Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Sicilians made wine 6,000 years ago

August 30, 2017

Tags: ancient, wine, sciacca, trapani, sicily, mount Kronio, terracotta, cave. researchers, archeology

From The Guardian:
Researchers have discovered traces of what could be the world’s oldest wine at the bottom of terracotta jars in a cave in Sicily, showing that the fermented drink was being made and consumed in Italy more than 6,000 years ago.

Previously scientists had believed winemaking developed in Italy around 1200 BC, but the find by a team from the University of South Florida pushes that date back by at least three millennia.

What's old is new

August 28, 2017

Tags: linosa, immigrants, no place

The tiny Pelagic island of Linosa, a hundred miles offshore from Porto Empedocle , Sicily, the sister island of Lampedusa, albeit two hours by ferry from Lampedusa, has barely 300 inhabitants, no hotel and no place to receive the hundred Tunisian migrants escaping Africa who arrived in two boatloads over the past two days. The migrants are mostly adolescent boys but include three women and a 7-year-old child, according to La Repubblica. For the past two nights they have been sleeping in the open on the steps of the tiny island town's amphitheater.
One of the island's three restaurants have guaranteed meals to the newcomers. One tourist from Milan who has a vacation home on Linosa let the migrants use her outdoor shower to wash themselves and their clothes, and loaned them her cell phone so they could call family back in Africa to say they had arrived safely. Water is scarce on Linosa: people collect rainwater in underground cisterns, so this was a real favor.
Linosa has no migrant center. The inhabitants feel abandoned by the state, wondering when someone will come get these immigrants who are spending their days in the street. The town opened up its kindergarten building for the migrants because it is the only structure with a tree for shade. There are no public bathrooms on Linosa, which one woman I know who taught there described as "a cork floating on the ocean."
The only available public bathroom is in the emergency clinic. Confronting the emergency are only the island's three carabinieri (federal military police who added ten more officers overnight) the lady doctors at the emergency health clinic and the traffic cop.

Norwegian Ship Docks at Catania with 49 cadavers and surviving migrants

August 17, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning

From La Repubblica today:
The bodies of 49 immigrants asphyxiated by diesel fumes in the hold of a trafficker's fishing boat were lifted ashore by a crane at the port of Catania today. The ones who pay the least for their passage, usually the women, are relegated to the airless, windowless hold, locked in, thesurest to die if the vessel sinks, with only diesel fumes to breathe. The survivors numbered 312, of whom 45 were women and three minor children.
They arrived on the Norwegian ship Siem Pilot.

Three NGO's call off rescues due to Libyan aggression

August 16, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning

From The Guardian:
Three NGOs have suspended migrant rescues in the Mediterranean because of the increasingly hostile stance of the Libyan authorities and coastguard.

Save the Children and Germany’s Sea Eye have joined Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) in halting operations because they feel their crews can no longer work safely in (more…)

2 more ngo's suspend migrant rescues at sea

August 14, 2017

Tags: rants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning

From La Repubblica:
ROME -- After Doctors Without Borders suspended migrant rescues at sea, the German NGO Sea Eye and the NGO Save The Children have also suspended rescues in the Mediterranean Sea. This is because the Libyan government instituted a no go zone "limiting access of NGOs to international waters" and to "securityrisk" owing to threats by the Libyan coast guard."
The German NGO repeats the accusation of Doctors Without Borders: " We find ourselves forced into this decision because of the changed security situationin the Mediterranean," "we can no longer continue our work, we cannot guarantee the safety of the crews," "the expansion of Libya's territorial waters end the threats against NGOs leave us no other choice" one reads in a series of tweets....

Stefano Argenziano, Doctors Without Borders coordinator for migration projects, said, "The Libyans can now do what they want with the support of Europe and Italy. ""We of Doctors Without Borders do not want to be co-opted in this illegal, perverse and inhumane machine. " "The code of conduct is just a distraction, it has no basis in law. The ones respecting the law are us, as we have always done. The illegal things, instead, are the EU's agreements with Libya,which boost the proliferation of traffickers and mafia. Migrant crises are resolved only with the reasonable management of migrant flow. We will again take up our activities at sea only when
the rule of law and international rights return.




Ignorant racists

August 13, 2017

Tags: ignorant, ignoramus, racist, Nazi, hateful, stupid, jerks, Charlottesville, immigrants, blood, soil

Blood and soil. Blut und bloden. A Nazi slogan referring to its ""racist ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors, descent blood (of a folk) and territory," per Wikipedia.
Don't they know that anybody living in the USA has the blood of immigrants? Including "Native Americans" who crossed the Bering Strait on their way from Asia? I guess not. They are just scared, scared of being "replaced". And scared people become bullies.

Doctors without borders temporarily suspends rescues of migrants at sea

August 12, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, doctors without borders, vos prudence

From the Guardian:
Doctors Without Borders has said that it is temporarily suspending the activity of its rescue ship owing to alleged threats from Libya. The Libyan coastguard has increasingly become more aggressive in patrolling the waters off its coasts where human traffickers launch boats crowded with migrants desperate to reach Europe.

The humanitarian group said the rescue coordination centre operated by Italy’s coastguard had informed it on Friday that the Libyan threats pose a security risk. The group added that Libyan authorities declared their own rescue area, extending into international waters, the same day.

firefighter sets fires

August 12, 2017

Tags: arson, fire, firefighter, arrested, blaze, burn, sicily, summer, heat, heat wave

From The Guardian:
Fifteen volunteer firefighters have been arrested in Sicily on suspicion of starting wildfires and reporting non-existent blazes so they could earn €10 (£9) an hour for putting them out.

Police in Ragusa province, in the south of the Mediterranean island, said the fire department became suspicious when it emerged that the auxiliary brigade had responded to 120 incidents compared with just 40 tackled by other volunteer teams over the same period.

The brigade commander, a refrigeration technician identified as DDV, was deemed dangerous enough to be held under house arrest, the Ansa news agency reported, because he was suspected off continuing to start fires after others had stopped.

Most of the remaining team members, whose private phone calls were recorded as part of the investigation, have since admitted calling the 115 emergency number or getting friends or relatives to do so.

the boats left behind

August 11, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning

Most of the immigrants arrive in Sicily from north Africa on flimsy rubber rafts. A few lucky ones arrive on 20-foot boats. They aim to land at night on nature reserves or tiny, unknown beaches. They escape, unseen. Many run to Palermo. They leave their old boats behind rocking in the waves.

8 cadavers on a rubber raft

August 1, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning

Eight corpses were recovered from aboard a rubber raft full of migrants coming from Libya and headed towards Italy during a rescue operation.
From La Repubblica:
Five hundred migrants were rescued at sea in four operations today, according to the Italian Coast Guard.

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