Gambino took a group selfie with his audience, one week after sharing a blunt with a weekend one fans.
“I loved it,” Nikki Warmsley said. “Artists forget there fans and when you smoke a blunt with someone that means so much. It’s personal. Our ancestors do that.”
Weekend two festival goers knew very little about his Gambino’s weekend one performance after avoiding the Coachella live stream last Friday.
“I never watched him live before so I am pretty excited,” Julie Hamilton said after buying some exclusive Gambino Coachella merchandise. “I didn’t watch the stream because I wanted to be surprised. I saw some things on social media, but I just didn’t watch.”
“Why is this night different from all other nights?” goes the famous question in the Haggadah, the prayer book of the ceremonial Seder dinner of Passover, the eight-day Jewish festival that begins on Friday evening, April 19th.
If there had been a question, “How is your Passover menu different from your past ones?”, our reply this year would be, “It’s our matzo balls that are different!” We decided to break with tradition and to season our matzo balls with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors.
When Passover comes, we think of the family holiday dinners of our childhoods. My mother, who was born in Poland and cooked Ashkenazi (Eastern European Jewish) cuisine, made light, fluffy matzo balls, which we called by their Yiddish name, kneidelach. Actually, she made them during the rest of the year too, but on Passover somehow they seemed special, perhaps because they were so satisfying during this period when the only “bread” allowed was matzo.
I still make matzo balls the way my mother taught me, but I also like to prepare matzo balls that taste different from hers, incorporating the flavors used by my in-laws in Israel. My spinach matzo balls are speckled with green and are studded with pine nuts; my fresh turmeric root matzo balls have an orange hue; and my matzo balls flavored with chermoula (Moroccan marinade) are dotted with cilantro.
Lovers of bold flavors will enjoy our Moroccan-inspired chicken soup with fennel seeds, saffron and fresh green fava beans. The matzo balls we add to this soup are flavored with cumin, garlic, paprika and cayenne. You might also like to try our Yemenite chicken soup seasoned with turmeric and cumin, based on the spicy soups made by Yakir’s Yemen-born mother.
I wish I could have served our new matzo balls to my mom.
Springtime chicken soup with spinach matzo balls
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably legs and thighs
1 large carrot, cut in 5 or 6 chunks
1/2 pound medium asparagus (about 8 spears), bases reserved, spears cut in three
1 large onion, quartered
3 celery ribs with leafy tops, cut in three
6 parsley stems (leafy tops reserved)
11 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Spinach and pine nut matzo balls (see variation of turmeric root matzo balls recipe)
1 or 2 large or 6 baby carrots; or 2 baby orange, baby yellow and baby purple carrots, peeled if needed, diagonally sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, ends pulled off together with any strings
1 or 2 tablespoons chopped dill leaves and fine stems
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1. Put chicken in a soup pot, large saucepan or stew pan. Add carrot chunks, asparagus bases, onion, celery, parsley stems and 10 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, skimming foam a few times. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Skim thoroughly.
3. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Adjust heat so that soup simmers very gently. Cover and cook until chicken is very tender and soup is well flavored, about 2 hours, skimming occasionally.
4. Discard pieces of vegetables and herbs (or reserve for other uses). Remove chicken pieces. If desired, set aside 2 or 3 chicken pieces for another meal. Cool remaining pieces slightly and discard their skins and bones. Cut or pull meat in strips and reserve.
5. Strain soup. If possible, refrigerate it overnight. Skim fat thoroughly.
6. Prepare matzo balls.
7. Bring soup to simmer, add 1 cup water and skim fat again. Return to a simmer, add reserved chicken strips and heat through. Reheat matzo balls in their cooking liquid if necessary.
8. Shortly before serving, bring 2 cups of soup to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add orange and yellow carrot slices (but not purple ones, if using) and asparagus stem pieces and return to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add asparagus tips and sugar snap peas and cook until vegetables are done to your preference, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, cover them loosely to keep them warm, and return their cooking broth to rest of soup.
9. If using purple carrots, keep them separate until serving time so they won’t discolor the soup. Put them in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water; bring to a simmer and cook for 6 minutes or until just tender. Remove them with a slotted spoon and reserve them in a small bowl.
10. Add chopped dill and parsley to hot soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.
11. To serve, put 2 or 3 heated matzo balls in each soup bowl using a slotted spoon, and ladle hot soup over them. Add a few chicken strips and vegetable pieces to each bowl, adding purple carrot slices last.
Yemenite style chicken soup with turmeric root matzo balls
This soup is served with a mild version of red schug, a Yemenite pepper and garlic relish.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 to 2 1/2 lb chicken pieces, preferably legs or thighs
1 large onion, quartered
Thick stems of 6 cilantro sprigs (leaves reserved)
11 cups water
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 turmeric root about 2 inches long, minced (about 2 tablespoons) (wear gloves when handling)
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
Turmeric root matzo balls (see recipe)
Mild red schug (optional, see recipe)
2 or 3 zucchini, cut in 2-inch sticks
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1. Put chicken in a soup pot, large saucepan or stew pan. Add onion, cilantro stems and 10 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, skimming foam a few times. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Skim thoroughly.
3. Add cumin, turmeric root, garlic, ground pepper and a pinch of salt. Adjust heat so that soup simmers very gently. Cover and cook until chicken is very tender and soup is well flavored, about 2 hours, skimming occasionally.
4. Discard onion and cilantro stems. Remove chicken pieces, cool slightly and discard skin and bones. Refrigerate 2 or 3 chicken pieces for another meal. Cut meat from remaining chicken pieces in strips. Put them in a container, cover and refrigerate.
7. Bring soup to simmer, add 1 cup water and skim the fat again. Return to a simmer, add reserved chicken strips and heat through. Reheat matzo balls in their cooking liquid if necessary.
8. Shortly before serving, bring 3 cups of soup to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Add zucchini, return to a simmer and cook uncovered 2 or 3 minutes or until done to your taste. Add diced tomato and heat through. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, cover them loosely to keep them warm, and return their cooking broth to rest of the soup.
9. Add chopped cilantro to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning.
10. To serve, put 2 or 3 heated matzo balls in each soup bowl using a slotted spoon, and ladle hot soup over them. Add a few vegetable pieces and chicken strips to each bowl. Serve schug separately.
Mild red schug (pepper garlic relish)
This schug (also spelled zehug), a Yemenite relish, is made with mild Red Fresno chiles. If you would like hot red schug, use red jalapenos; or make hot green zehug with green jalapenos or serrano chiles.
Yield: about 1/2 cup, about 6 to 8 servings.
5 Red Fresno chiles or other mild chiles
1/4 cup garlic cloves (about 1 ounce), peeled and quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Remove stems from chiles. Remove seeds if desired so the schug will be milder. Cut chiles in chunks. Put garlic, chiles and salt in mini food processor and puree until finely chopped and well blended. If necessary, add 2 or 3 teaspoons water, just enough to enable food processor to chop mixture until smooth. Add olive oil and puree.
2. Transfer to a small bowl for serving or to a jar for refrigerating. Schug can be kept, covered, up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Turmeric root matzo balls
For spinach and chermoula matzo balls, see variations. To make traditional matzo balls, omit turmeric.
Yield: 20 to 24 matzo balls
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, or vegetable oil such as grapeseed oil or safflower oil
About 3 to 5 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled turmeric root (about 1.5 oz or 2 three-inch turmeric roots)
About 3 cups strained chicken soup or vegetable broth (for storing and reheating)
1. Using a fork, beat eggs with oil, grated turmeric root, fine salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon water in a medium bowl until blended. Mix matzo meal and baking powder in a bowl. Add to turmeric mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to a smooth batter. Stir in 1 tablespoons water to make a soft batter.
2. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
3. Stir batter. Add about 2 tablespoons more water by tablespoons, adding enough so that mixture is just firm enough to be formed in rough-shaped balls; it should be soft.
4. Bring 7 or 8 cups water to a boil in a saucepan and add coarse salt. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low so that water bubbles gently. Prepare a small bowl of cool water. Moisten your hands, measure a mounded teaspoonful of batter and remove it from spoon. Transfer batter from one palm to the other, gently rolling it to a roughly round ball. Drop matzo ball into simmering water. Continue shaping matzo balls and adding them to pan, moistening your hands after every two or three.
5. When all of matzo balls are in the pan, raise heat and return liquid to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until matzo balls are tender, about 30 minutes.
6. With a slotted spoon, gently transfer matzo balls to another saucepan for reheating or to a container to refrigerate them. Ladle enough chicken soup over matzo balls to cover them.
7. Cover matzo balls and keep them warm until ready to serve; or refrigerate them. Reheat them in their chicken soup in a covered saucepan over low heat, without stirring. Serve hot.
Spinach and pine nut matzo balls
Omit turmeric. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped pine nuts to matzo meal mixture. Rinse 6 ounces spinach leaves (about 3 cups firmly packed) and remove any stems. Add spinach to 4 cups boiling water, return to a full boil, stirring, and remove from heat. Remove spinach with slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse. Put spinach in a strainer with a bowl underneath. Squeeze spinach by handfuls in strainer, reserving the squeezed spinach liquid in the bowl. Puree spinach with 2 tablespoons of reserved spinach liquid to a fine puree. Add to egg mixture. When making batter, use reserved spinach liquid instead of water.
Chermoula matzo balls
Omit turmeric. Finely chop 2 large garlic cloves in mini food processor. Add 1/2 cup (lightly packed) cilantro leaves without any stems and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Mix well. Add to egg mixture.
Moroccan-inspired chicken soup with chermoula matzo balls
Fresh fava beans are Passover favorites among Moroccan and other North African Jews. If your family doesn’t eat beans on Passover, you can omit them. Saffron and fennel seeds give this soup a lovely aroma.
1 small fennel bulb
2 to 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably legs and thighs
1 1/4 pounds fava beans in pods or 3/4 to 1 cup peeled fava beans (packaged steamed or frozen)
1 turnip, tops and bottoms removed, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 carrot, sliced diagonally about 1/4 inch thick
2 small celery ribs, peeled if stringy, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large zucchini, halved and sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1. Pull off outer layer of fennel. Quarter the fennel bulb. Cut off and discard core at bottom of each piece. Reserve outer layer and core and a few 2-inch pieces of fennel stems for flavoring the soup and put them in a soup pot, a large saucepan or a stew pan. Cut rest of fennel in thin slices crosswise.
2. Add chicken pieces, carrot chunks, onion, fennel trimmings and cilantro stems to soup pot. Add 10 cups water.
3. Bring to a boil, skimming foam a few times. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Skim thoroughly.
4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Adjust heat so that soup simmers very gently. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
5. Discard pieces of vegetables and herbs (or reserve for other uses). Remove chicken pieces. If desired, set aside 2 or 3 chicken pieces for another meal. Cool remaining pieces slightly and discard their skins and bones. Cut or pull the meat in strips and reserve.
6. Strain soup. If possible, refrigerate it overnight. Skim fat thoroughly.
7. Prepare matzo balls.
8. Bring soup to simmer, add 1 cup water and skim fat again. Add saffron and fennel seeds to the soup and cook for 20 minutes.
9. Shell fava beans. Add beans to a saucepan of 4 cups boiling water. Return to a boil. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse, and peel: peel smooth end slightly, squeeze other end and bean will come out of its thick skin.
10. Before serving, bring soup to a simmer. Reheat matzo balls in their cooking liquid if necessary.
11. In a medium saucepan bring 3 cups of soup to a simmer. Add turnip slices and return to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Add carrot slices, celery, fennel strips and garlic and return to a simmer. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add zucchini, bring to a simmer and cook uncovered over medium-low heat until vegetables are done to your preference, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, cover them loosely to keep them warm, and return their cooking broth to rest of soup.
12. Add cooked fava beans and chicken strips to hot soup and heat through. Add chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning.
13. To serve, put 2 or 3 heated matzo balls in each soup bowl using a slotted spoon, and ladle hot soup over them. Add a few chicken strips and vegetable pieces to each bowl.
Note: Some people of Mediterranean or African origin have an inherited allergy to fava beans. If your family or a guest has this allergy, omit them or substitute lima beans or edamame.
Hardcore Star Wars fans heading to Disneyland for the May 31 grand opening of Galaxy’s Edge or on June 24 — the first date that reservations won’t be required — will also have to brave an overnight lineup just to get into the Anaheim theme park.
The reservation-only soft opening gives Disneyland an opportunity for a controlled introduction of Galaxy’s Edge and a chance to understand how visitors react and respond to Black Spire Outpost on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the new 14-acre themed land.
Disneyland will restrict access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge between May 31 and June 23 to visitors with reservations. Each registered guest staying at the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel during the initial 24-day window will receive one reservation to Galaxy’s Edge. A limited number of theme park visitors not staying in one of the three hotels will be able to make reservations for Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland has not yet released details on how the free reservation system will work.
It will be difficult to do everything in one visit to Galaxy’s Edge during the initial 24-day reservation period. Visitors should expect hours-long waits for the lone attraction operating on opening day, the intimate must-see cantina and the boutique build-your-own experiences.
Disneyland will reassess the need for reservations at Oga’s, Savi’s and Droid Depot after June 24, when reservations will no longer be needed to access Galaxy’s Edge. A virtual queue system in development for Galaxy’s Edge will allow visitors to wander around other areas of Disneyland while waiting to enter the new Star Wars land. The digital system won’t be instituted until after the soft opening period.
Disney’s rival Universal Studios had one of the largest grand openings in theme park history with the 2010 debut of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure in Florida, which generated 10-hour lines just to get into the themed land on opening day.
The Avatar: Flight of Passage flight simulator at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida generated 6-hour queues when it debuted in May 2017 before settling down to 2- to 3-hour average wait times.
Touring Plans, which uses big data and statistical analysis to calculate daily crowd sizes and ride wait times at theme parks, anticipates visitors could encounter 6-hour waits for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run on opening day of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.
Wait times for the marquee Millennium Falcon attraction will be affected by two key factors. First, Disneyland will not offer FastPasses for the ride during the soft opening period. Second, Rise of the Resistance, the other major attraction in Galaxy’s Edge, won’t open until later this year, reducing the overall ride capacity for the new land.
Fortunately, Disneyland has vast expertise in attraction queue management.
Disneyland plans to offer atmosphere talent, mobile app games and snack vending options for those waiting in line for Smugglers Run. Riders waiting in the Falcon queue will be able to get a bathroom pass and rejoin their party at the FastPass merge location in the attraction. Disney plans to eventually offer the same bathroom relief in the Rise of the Resistance queue when the attraction opens.
A Disneyland initiative dubbed Project Stardust — a mash-up of Star Wars and pixie dust — has been preparing for the massive crowds expected to descend on Galaxy’s Edge by taking a comprehensive park-wide look at operations, infrastructure and crowd management with an eye toward improving efficiency, traffic flow and access.
Visitors to Disneyland’s new Galaxy’s Edge themed land will be able to browse through clothing inspired by movie wardrobe pieces, but Disneyland’s strict costume policy means they won’t be able to wear some of the clothing they buy within the Anaheim theme park.
The new 14-acre land opening May 31 at Disneyland will be set in the on the Star Wars planet of Batuu in the remote outer rim village of Black Spire Outpost.
An apparel shop in the Black Spire marketplace will sell a line of handmade robes, tunics, hooded scarves and belts based on wardrobe pieces from the “Star Wars” cinematic universe. Disney’s merchandise team worked closely with Lucasfilm’s archives division to turn movie wardrobe pieces into authentic-looking clothing.
Visitors over the age of 13 will not be able to wear the Star Wars robes and some other Galaxy’s Edge merchandise in the theme park, Disneyland officials said. Disneyland currently sells stormtrooper helmets and other items that violate the costume policy and can’t be worn in the park.
Disneyland visitors 14 and over are not permitted to wear costumes into the parks although “Disney bounding” is permitted. Disney bounders dress in color schemes and design patterns that mimic the look and style of their favorite characters. Visitors of all ages can wear costumes during some separate-admission after-hours events at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
“We believe that our current costume policy allows a lot of Disney bounding and opportunity to come and live your story,” Disneyland Vice President Kris Theiler said.
Disneyland employees will wear costumes that place them into three distinct camps in Galaxy’s Edge: First Order soldiers, Resistance rebels or Black Spire Outpost villagers.
Employees dressed as villagers will get to choose from a mix-and-match collection of costumes that can be assembled into 80 combinations. Cast members will get to pick their own pieces from a selection of tunics, wraps and vests as well as accessories like necklaces, scarves, hats and belts.
The First Order and Resistance looks will be more pre-determined for employees. The bad guy First Order soldiers will wear sleek military-style uniforms. The good guy Resistance rebels will wear flight crew gear with a jacket, vest and goggles on their hat.
Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of the company, has created an immersive and interactive environment in Galaxy’s Edge designed to let every visitor live their own Star Wars hero story.
Visitors will play a role in a continually developing storyline that evolves and progresses throughout the day. Fail in your mission aboard the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction and a bounty hunter might tap you on the shoulder looking for a vengeful space pirate’s lost loot.
The 91st Academy Awards will not have a host after Kevin Hart, who accepted the job, stepped down amid controversy over his past tweets. The Oscars have not had a host several times.
There’s something about years ending with a 9 and the show not having a host. This will be the sixth Academy Awards to not have a host, following 1939, 1969 and 1989.
Hosts with the most
Bob Hope, 18
Billy Crystal, 9
Johnny Carson, 5
Whoopi Goldberg, 4
Jack Lemmon, 4 (two as co-host)
Host it notes
At the first ceremony, the winners had been announced three months before. From 1930-1940 the academy kept the results secret but gave an advance list to newspapers to enable next-day publication. This was discontinued after the Los Angeles Times published the winners in its evening edition in 1940.The sealed-envelope system began in 1941.
1940: Bob Hope hosts for the first of a record 18 times.
1943: 45-second speech limit is set.
1953: First televised ceremony.
1966: First color TV broadcast.
1969: International broadcasts begin.
1969-71: There was no official host. Awards were presented by Friends of Oscar, including Bob Hope, John Wayne, James Earl Jones, Barbra Streisand, and Raquel Welch.
1979: In Johnny Carson’s first opening monologue, he says, “As you well know by now, this is the 51st Academy Awards. Two hours of sparkling entertainment spread out over a four-hour show.”
1989: For the first time in 17 years, there is no master of ceremonies. Awards are handed out by various actors.
1994: Whoopi Goldberg becomes the first woman and first African-American to serve as the solo host. She goes on to host three more times.
1998: 57.25 million viewers tune in the year “Titanic” wins and Billy Crystal is host.
2002: Longest ceremony: 4.5 hours. Whoopi Goldberg is host.
2008: Jon Stewart’s last time hosting gets one of the smallest TV audiences for the ceremony in 20 years: 31.8 million viewers.
2009: Hugh Jackman’s low-budget opening montage referencing the recession receives a standing ovation.
2010: The first telecast to have more than a single host since 1987. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin share the stage.
2011: James Franco and Anne Hathaway host. The show is ranked the worst ever by TV Guide and Variety.
2013: Seth MacFarlane’s song referencing breasts is criticized as crass and inappropriate.
2016: In Chris Rock’s opening segment, he says, “No black actors nominated. I thought about stepping down as host, but the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart.”
Hosts by the year and U.S. TV viewers (starting in 1974)
* Not all hosts listed# Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president
Sources: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Box Office Mojo, Internet Movie Database, Nielsen Media Research Inc., Variety, TV Guide Photos by The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Saturday that chief of staff John Kelly will leave his job by year’s end amid an expected West Wing reshuffling reflecting a focus on the 2020 re-election campaign and the challenge of governing with Democrats reclaiming control of the House.
Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, is Trump’s top choice to replace Kelly, and the two have held discussions for months about the job, a White House official said. An announcement was expected in the coming days, the president told reporters as he left the White House for the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.
Kelly had been credited with imposing order on a chaotic West Wing after his arrival in June 2017 from his post as homeland security secretary. But his iron first also alienated some longtime Trump allies, and he grew increasingly isolated, with an increasingly diminished role.
Known through the West Wing as “the chief” or “the general,” the retired Marine Corps four-star general was tapped by Trump via tweet in July 2017 from his perch atop the Homeland Security Department to try to normalize a White House riven by infighting and competing power bases.
“John Kelly will leaving — I don’t know if I can say retiring — but he’s a great guy,” Trump said. “John Kelly will be leaving at the end of the year. We’ll be announcing who will be taking John’s place — it might be on an interim basis. I’ll be announcing that over the next day or two, but John will be leaving at the end of the year. … I appreciate his service very much.”
Kelly had early successes, including ending an open-door Oval Office policy that that had been compared to New York’s Grand Central Station and instituting a more rigorous policy process to try to prevent staffers from going directly to Trump.
But those efforts also miffed the president and some of his most influential outside allies, who had grown accustomed to unimpeded access. Kelly’s handling of domestic violence accusations against the former White House staff secretary also caused consternation, especially among lower-level White House staffers, who believed Kelly had lied to them about when he found out about the allegations.
Lauding Kelly, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the country was “better for his duty at the White House.” He called Kelly “a force for order, clarity and good sense.”
Trump and Ayers were working out terms under which Ayers would fill the role and the time commitment he would make, the White House official said. Trump wants his next chief of staff to agree to hold the job through the 2020 election. Ayers, who has young triplets, had long planned to leave the administration at the end of the year, but he has agreed to serve in an interim basis through the spring of 2019.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.
Word of Kelly’s impending departure comes a day after Trump named his picks for attorney general and ambassador to the United Nations, and two senior aides shifted from the White House to Trump’s campaign.
In any administration, the role of White House chief of staff is split between the responsibilities of supervising the White House and managing the man sitting in the Oval Office. Striking that balance in the turbulent times of Trump has bedeviled both Kelly and his predecessor, Reince Priebus.
White House aides say Trump has developed confidence in Ayers, in part by watching the effectiveness of Pence’s largely independent political operation. Ayers also earned the backing of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, for taking on the new role, White House officials said.
The Georgia native’s meteoric rise in GOP politics included a successful stint at the Republican Governors Association, time as campaign manager for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s failed White House bid and consultant work for dozens of high-profile Republicans, including Pence.
Ayers, 36, would be the youngest chief of staff since 34-year-old Hamilton Jordan served under Jimmy Carter. Kelly is 68.
Trump had discussed replacing Kelly on multiple occasions, including following the negative publicity surrounding Kelly’s handling of domestic violence accusations against then-White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Some lower-level White House staffers believed Kelly had lied to them about when he knew of the allegations and when he made clear to Porter that he’d have to leave.
Trump had often tossed around potential replacements, but sensitive to charges that his administration has been marked by record turnover, he said in July that he would keep Kelly in the job through 2020.
But inside the White House, it was viewed largely as an attempt to clamp down on speculation about Kelly’s fate during the midterm elections, rather than a true vote of confidence.
Kelly, too, made no secret of the trials of his job, and often joked about how working for Trump was harder than anything he’d done before, including on the battlefield. In private, Kelly, whom friends said took the job out of a sense of duty to his country, cast himself as safeguarding the public from an impulsive and mercurial president. Reports of those conversations infuriated the president, who is especially sensitive of attacks on his competence and perceptions he is being managed.
At an event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kelly joked that he missed everyone in the department “every day,” offering a deadpan eye roll and smile that drew laughs and applause.
“At six months, the last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of Homeland Security, but I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess,” he joked.
Kelly, who had threatened to quit on several occasions, told friends he would be happy if he lasted until his one-year anniversary: July 28.
Associated Press writers Michele Salcedo and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.
Follow Miller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ZekeJMiller and Colvin at https://twitter.com/colvinj
A recap of the exciting plays and turning points from Mater Dei’s 35-21 win over De La Salle in the CIF State Open Division championship game Saturday, Dec. 8, at Cerritos College. Also, hear what Coach Bruce Rollinson, receiver Bru McCoy, running back Shakobe Harper and quarterback Bryce Young had to say about the victory and their season.
Even though Stephen King wasn’t around for the introduction of “Castle Rock” to Comic-Con International on Friday, the author’s name was on everyone’s lips.
Here are five ways the Master of Horror impacted not only the creation of the new Hulu series but also the showrunners and actors themselves.
1. Studying Stephen King
Creators and executive producers Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason said they grew up on King and revered the writer.
“We never would have done it without his blessing and a feeling that we were delivering something creatively that he was going to be happy with,” Thomason said. “I think that ultimately … every character choice, every setting of his that we wanted to use in this first season, we went to him and we made sure that he was comfortable with it.”
To create the series, they had to build a “graduate level seminar on Stephen King” to divide and conquer the library of King’s work, according to Shaw.
Sissy Spacek attends a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Melanie Lynskey, from left, Bill Skarsgard and Sissy Spacek attend a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
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Jane Levy, left, speaks as Melanie Lynskey looks on at a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jane Levy speaks at a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Jane Levy attends a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Bill Skarsgard, left, speaks as Sissy Spacek looks on during a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Melanie Lynskey, left, speaks as Bill Skarsgard looks on a panel discussion following the world premiere of “Castle Rock” on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
“We’d sit around and try to anatomize what it is that makes a Stephen King story a Stephen King story,” he said. “What is essential to the DNA of the stories?”
The answer to that question is what helped Shaw and Thomason launch the “Castle Rock” series.
2. Small town tensions
According to Shaw, what lured him and Thomason down the path of “Castle Rock” was their love of the American small town and the secrets that can lie within.
“Part of what we always loved as readers of Stephen King was how specific his anthropology of New England and of Maine was in the sense that he really lovingly became an archivist of small town life there,” Shaw said during a press roundtable Friday. “And so it was exciting for us to check in there on this town that we’ve been reading about for a long time and re-imagine it in 2018.”
“One thing that we love about Stephen King is the way that you can go on a Stephen King ride and never know exactly what ride you’re on,” Thomason said. “Sense of the unexpected is something that we really wanted to achieve.”
The creators of “Castle Rock” kept the detailed storylines a secret from the actors during the audition phase.
The secretiveness of the show almost scared Bill Skarsgård, who played Pennywise the clown in the 2017 remake of the film “IT” based on a King novel, away. Skarsgård, who became one of the main stars of the show, was a little hesitant to even apply for the role.
“I was reluctant. I just did something in that world and I don’t know how this interferes with the ‘IT’ narrative really,” Skarsgård said. “As soon as they allowed me to read the pilot that all changed. I fell in love with the show.”
After meeting the writers, Skarsgård said he was in all the way.
“With ‘IT’ the book was a bible to me because that was a source material that we were adapting,” Skarsgård said.
While Skarsgård said he’s only read about five to six of the novels by the prolific writer, costar Melanie Lynskey said she began reading King at a young age.
“I was a fan of a Stephen King probably too early. I think I was like 10 when I started reading his books, so I felt pretty well versed” coming into the role of Molly, Lynskey said. “I didn’t do any extra reading for the show, but I already loved his stuff.”
For Jane Levy coming into her role as Jackie on “Castle Rock” made her realize how much of King’s work she didn’t actually know, such as “The Shawshank Redemption” film being based off one of the author’s short stories.
Since taking the role, Levy says she’s become a huge fan of King.
“Such a fascinating person, really no comparison,” she said. “I’m honored to be part of the universe.”
Levy also noted that through her “Castle Rock” role she’s realized that she’s actually a fan of the horror genre, which is in tune with her character who loves the macabre.
“Maybe I am an actual huge horror fan,” she said. “Whenever a horror movie comes out it’s the only thing that without absolute fail will get me to the movie theater.”
5. Connecting worlds
Levy’s character’s last name is Torrance, a name any “constant reader” — what King calls his fans — should know hearkens back to the Torrance family in “The Shining.” It’s yet to be revealed exactly what Jackie’s connection may be to Jack Torrance, an alcoholic family man who became not so friendly to his family during their stay at the Overlook Hotel.
“She brushes up very close to a famous King character,” is all Levy would say about Jackie.
The Shawshank State Penitentiary becomes a predominant location that connects the “Castle Rock” characters — most notably Henry Deaver, an attorney from the “Needful Things” novel portrayed by André Holland, to Skarsgård’s character who has been in solitary confinement at the prison.
There are plenty of other connections that will be made clear as the series progresses, according to the creators. Shaw said that even PhD-level King fans will be able to find clues throughout the the series and King’s immersive universe.
Homebuying in inland South County — including Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and San Juan Capistrano — rose 114 percent in 10 years.
In the first quarter of 2008, housing’s bubble was bursting and it was just months before the global financial collapse that led to the Great Recession. This three-month period still stands as Orange County’s slowest-selling start to any year in CoreLogic’s database that dates to 1988.
We decided to see how neighborhood housing markets fared since, comparing homebuying’s start of 2008 vs. this year’s first three months.
CoreLogic found these 14 trends in 8 ZIP codes covered by the Orange County Register’s Saddleback News weekly, …
1. Purchases: Home sales in this period totaled 1,342 vs. 626 a decade ago, a gain of 114.4 percent.
2. Who’s up: Prices increased in 7 of the 8 ZIPs as sales rose in 8 ZIPs.
3. Countywide: $710,000 median selling price, up 38.4 percent. Orange County sales totaled 7,800 residences, existing and new, vs. 4,419 a decade ago, a gain of 76.5 percent. Prices rose in 79 out of 83 Orange County ZIPs and sales were up in 76 out of 83 ZIPs.
Here is how prices and sales moved at the community level …
4. Mission Viejo 92691: $680,000 median, up 39.2 percent. Price rank? 47th of 83. Sales of 158 vs. 87 a decade ago, a gain of 81.6 percent.
5. Mission Viejo 92692: $695,000 median, up 31.9 percent. Price rank? No. 43 of 83. Sales of 178 vs. 77 a decade ago, a gain of 131.2 percent.
6. Lake Forest 92630: $739,500 median, up 76.1 percent. Price rank? No. 34 of 83. Sales of 260 vs. 83 a decade ago, a gain of 213.3 percent.
7. Foothill Ranch 92610: $570,000 median, down 0.9 percent. Price rank? No. 65 of 83. Sales of 38 vs. 26 a decade ago, a gain of 46.2 percent.
8. Rancho Santa Margarita 92688: $575,000 median, up 42.0 percent. Price rank? No. 63 of 83. Sales of 157 vs. 119 a decade ago, a gain of 31.9 percent.
9. Trabuco/Coto 92679: $982,500 median, up 24.3 percent. Price rank? No. 12 of 83. Sales of 131 vs. 75 a decade ago, a gain of 74.7 percent.
10. Ladera Ranch/Rancho Mission Viejo 92694: $710,500 median, up 15.5 percent. Price rank? No. 40 of 83. Sales of 280 vs. 89 a decade ago, a gain of 214.6 percent.
11. San Juan Capistrano 92675: $892,500 median, up 44.2 percent. Price rank? No. 20 of 83. Sales of 140 vs. 70 a decade ago, a gain of 100.0 percent.
Let’s toss in three more countywide trends …
12. Single-family homes resales: 4,614 Orange County sales vs. 2,853 a decade ago, a gain of 61.7 percent. Median: $760,000 — a rise of 32.2 in the period.
13. Condo resales: 2,097 sales vs. 1,080 a decade ago, a gain of 94.2 percent. Median: $495,000 — a rise of 32.0 in the period.
14. New homes: 1,089 sales vs. 487 a decade ago, a gain of 123.6 percent. Median: $873,000 — a rise of 63.8 in the period.