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Alexandru Ioan Cuza

Alexandru Ioan Cuza was Prince of Moldavia, Prince of Wallachia, Domnitor of the Romanian Principalities. He was a prominent figure of the Revolution of 1848 in Moldavia, he initiated a series of reforms that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and of state structures. Born in Bârlad, Cuza belonged to the traditional boyar class in Moldavia, being the son of Ispravnic Ioan Cuza and his wife Sultana, a member of the Cozadini family of Greek Phanariote origins. Alexander received an urbane European education, he married Elena Rosetti in 1844. In 1848, known as the year of European revolutions and Wallachia fell into revolt; the Moldavian unrest was suppressed, but in Wallachia the revolutionaries took power and governed during the summer. Young Cuza played a prominent enough part so as to establish his liberal credentials during the Moldavian episode and to be shipped to Vienna as a prisoner, where he made his escape with British support. Returned during the reign of Prince Grigore Alexandru Ghica, he became Moldavia's minister of war in 1858 representing Galați in the ad hoc Divan at Iași.

Cuza was acting under the guarantees of the European Powers in the eve of the Crimean War for a recognition of the Prince of Moldavia. Cuza was a prominent speaker in the debates and advocated the union of Moldavia and Walachia. In default of a foreign prince, he was nominated as a candidate in both principalities by the pro-unionist Partida Națională. Cuza was elected as Prince of Moldavia on 17 January 1859 and, after "street pressure" changed the vote in Bucharest Prince of Wallachia, on 5 February 1859, he received the firman from the Sultan on 2 December 1861 during a visit to Istanbul. He was recipient of the Order of Medjidie, Order of Osmanieh, Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus and Order of the Redeemer. Although he and his wife Elena Rosetti had no children, she raised as her own children his two sons from his mistress Elena Maria Catargiu-Obrenović: Alexandru Al. Ioan Cuza, Dimitrie Cuza, thus Cuza achieved a de facto union of the two principalities. The Powers backtracked, Napoleon III of France remaining supportive, while the Austrian ministry withheld approval of such a union at the Congress of Paris.

The union was formally declared three years on 5 February 1862, the new country bearing the name of Romania, with Bucharest as its capital city. Cuza invested his diplomatic actions in gaining further concessions from the Powers: the sultan's assent to a single unified parliament and cabinet for Cuza's lifetime, in recognition of the complexity of the task. Thus, he was regarded as the political embodiment of a unified Romania. Assisted by his councilor Mihail Kogălniceanu, an intellectual leader of the 1848 revolution, Cuza initiated a series of reforms that contributed to the modernization of Romanian society and of state structures, his first measure addressed a need for increasing the land resources and revenues available to the state, by "secularizing" monastic assets in 1863. More than a quarter of Romania's farmland was controlled by untaxed Eastern Orthodox "Dedicated Monasteries", which supported Greek and other foreign monks in shrines such as Mount Athos and Jerusalem. Cuza got, he offered compensation to the Greek Orthodox Church, but Sophronius III, the Patriarch of Constantinople, refused to negotiate.

State revenues thereby increased without adding any domestic tax burden. The land reform, liberating peasants from the last corvées, freeing their movements and redistributing some land, was less successful. In attempting to create a solid support base among the peasants, Cuza soon found himself in conflict with the group of Conservatives. A liberal bill granting peasants title to the land they worked was defeated; the Conservatives responded with a bill that ended all peasant dues and responsibilities, but gave landlords title to all the land. Cuza vetoed it held a plebiscite to alter the Paris Convention, in the manner of Napoleon III, his plan to establish universal manhood suffrage, together with the power of the Domnitor to rule by decree, passed by a vote of 682,621 to 1,307. He governed the country under the provisions of Statutul dezvoltător al Convenției de la Paris, an organic law adopted on 15 July 1864. With his new plenary powers, Cuza promulgated the Agrarian Law of 1863. Peasants received title to the land they worked.

Where there was not enough land available to create workable farms under this formula, state lands would be used to give the landowners compensation. Despite the attempts by Lascăr Catargiu's cabinet to force a transition in which some corvées were to be maintained, Cuza's reform marked the disappearance of the boyar class as a privileged group, led to a

Bolton Landing, New York

Bolton Landing is a hamlet and census-designated places in the town of Bolton in Warren County, New York, United States. It is located on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains, it is a common tourist destination and the closest town to the State Park lands and islands of the Lake George Narrows. The hamlet's most notable structure is a renovated Victorian-era hotel. There are 4 public beaches for swimming; the community was founded in 1799. The Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum and Sagamore Hotel Complex are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Bolton Landing is ten miles north of Lake George village on the west side of Lake George in the town of Bolton; the closest city is south of Lake George village. New York Route 9N passes through the community. Home of the Bolton Landing Barbershop Quartet Festival for 14 years; the international harmony singing event drew crowds and visitors from around the world and was featured on several television shows including an hour long special in Japan.

The festivals popularity reached its peak in 1999 as hundreds of Barbershop enthusiasts along with their friends and families packed into the small town of Bolton Landing for the annual Labor Day Barbershop Quartet Competitions. The Festival started by Bolton native Andy Pratt ended in 2002; the Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum at Bolton Landing on the shore of Lake George commemorates the internationally known Polish soprano Marcella Sembrich, whose favourite composers included Vincenzo Bellini and Gaetano Donizetti. In addition to her career in Europe, Sembrich had more than 450 performances at the New York Metropolitan Opera, her lakeside summer mansion was opened as a museum in 1937 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Every year since 1989, the Bolton Recreation Commission's summer free concert series in Roger's Memorial Park has been anchored by Bolton native and summer resident Matt Finley performing with his band, Rio JAZZ. Since 2005, Bolton Landing has been home to the Lake George Theater Lab, a theater company devoted to new American plays and adaptations.

Bolton Landing was the home of sculptor David Smith, is where he did a large percentage of his work. David Smith was introduced to the hamlet through Wilhelmina Weber Furlong the early American avant-garde modernist painter who pioneered the modernist movement in Bolton Landing, New York at Golden Heart Farm. Bolton Chamber of Commerce information

Anne Polinario

Anne Cecile Polinario is a S10 classified Canadian para-swimmer. Born to parents on Cuba's national swim team, she was on Canada's National Team. Polinario has competed at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games. Polinario was born on 5 August 1979 in Havana and now resides in Montreal, Quebec, she had Drop Foot Paralysis in her left foot at birth. She moved to Canada as a teenager, she made it into Canada's national swimming team while her mother and father were in Cuba's National Swimming Team. Polinario's headed for here first Paralympic games in 2000 Sydney, where she won three bronze medals in 100m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle, 50m Freestyle. In 2004 Athens, she won 3 gold and 2 silver."I was pretty happy. I had a bit of tears in my eyes, it was pretty emotional for sure." She said. In 2008, Polinario's final Paralympic game, she competed in three races but had only won one medal, a gold. "I was disappointed with my first two races so I'm glad to finish with a victory, It was a good race for me. But I'll need to work harder to get that world record."

She said