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Newsletter

The following posting was sent on November 6, 2004

IN THIS ISSUE:

Calendar of Polish events in Northern California
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Polish Christmas tree at the San Francisco Symphony
Santa Clara 1944 Warsaw Uprising 60th Anniversary exhibit
Polish software world champions
Visa Waiver for Poles - update

All newsletters

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

We are happy to report an exemplary cooperation of all East Bay Polish organizations. They are planning together the traditional Polish celebration of Christmas Eve Dinner - WIGILIA. The celebration will take place on December 11, 2004. They would like to share the Polish Christmas spirit with everyone. Please support this wonderful example of Polonia joint effort by attending. Participating are: Polish Pastoral Center, East Bay Polish American Association, Polish School, Polish Veterans and Polish Scouts.

The celebration will include Traditional Blessed Wafer wishes and dinner, visit by Santa and artistic performances about Christmas - jaselka. Our local poet and singer Maciej Danek will warm up the evening with Polish Christmas poetry and songs recital. Everyone is warmly welcomed. Please come and rejoice at the Christmas Polish celebrations.
Location: 1543 Sunnyvale, Walnut Creek, easy access (1 minute) from 680, west side of freeway, exit Treat Blvd. Sunnyvale Ave is one block north from Treat Blvd. (Treat becomes Geary on the West side of N Main Street)
Tickets: Adults $20, children $5.
Reservations and info: 1-925-689-8008, 1-925-825-9609, 1-925-825-1804

DECEMBER 11, 2004, Saturday, Walnut Creek
6:30 p.m. - WIGILIA - 1540 Sunnyvale Avenue
http://www.polishschool.org

Polish Christmas tree at the San Francisco Symphony

Once again the Polish Arts and Culture Foundation has been asked to decorate a 16 foot Christmas Tree on the Main Floor at Davies Symphony Hall. Directly across from Lech Walesa Street in San Francisco, the beautiful fir has been adorned with traditional Polish hand-painted glass ornaments, dolls, toys and apples. "The Polish Tree" as it has come to be known, always draws a lot of attention because of the unusual elements used. This is the eighth year that we have participated in the San Francisco Symphony's Holiday Gala. Please include a visit in your holiday plans. The trees will be lit from 4:00 p.m. to midnight and from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m. between December 3rd and 26th. Tree Tours are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays by contacting the San Francisco Performing Arts Center at 415-552-8338.

An elaborate children's party called DECK THE HALL is presented again this year on Sunday, December 5th at either 11:00 a.m. OR at 3:00 p.m.
Please call the Symphony for more information at 415-552-8000 or visit: http://www.sfsymphony.org

Santa Clara 1944 Warsaw Uprising 60th Anniversary exhibit

There is a major presentation at the County of Santa Clara Government Center of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising 60th Anniversary exhibit commissioned by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, Los Angeles, which has been shown in several other cities. The impressive exhibit consists of twenty large lighted panels, each displaying a montage of photos, maps, and text depicting the epic story of the heroic 1944 Uprising. It is on display in San Jose for the period of early November through January 3, 2005.

The exhibit Is in the breezeway gallery of the County Government Center building, 70 W. Hedding Street San Jose. Except for holidays, it is accessible to the public on weekdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. It can be viewed also on those evenings when the building is open for various County meetings or events (call 408 299 5001 for specific evening hours).

A showing of Polish films in Isaac Newton Hall, adjacent to the exhibit, along with appearances by the Consulate General, Chair Pete McHugh, and Polish Home Army veterans of the 1944 Uprising, among others, is being scheduled for Tuesday, December 14 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Polish software world champions

For the third time in a row Tomasz Czajka of the University of Warsaw has won the annual Top Coder world software programming contest sponsored by Microsoft, Intel, Yahoo and Nvidia.

http://news.moneycentral.msn.com

This year in the university competition, Czajka's University of Warsaw was 3rd behind MIT and Stanford. In the country competition, Poland finished second to the U.S. On the following link, see the charts in the right had margin. The article itself uses the screen names of the programmers and is very awkwardly written - probably not a native English speaker: http://www.topcoder.com

In 2003 University of Warsaw won the global university team title in the ACM-ICPC contest held at Baylor University: http://icpc.baylor.edu

In 2004 University of Warsaw was 10th and Jagiellonian University was 27th. I was told that in 2003 University of Warsaw had two or three different teams, all of the same ability, but chose to send only one. Most of the major universities (including academies and polytechnics) in Poland do not even enter these contests. The U.S., Russia and China all have a dozen or more entries.

Thank you Clay for this info.

Visa Waiver for Poles - update

I am presenting two responses from Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It looks like her office is interested and getting details on the issue:

From: senator@feinstein.senate.gov
Sent: Nov 9, 2004 12:56 PM
Subject: Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message

November 9, 2004

Dear Mr. [PoloniaSF.org subscriber]:

Thank you for your letter regarding the Visa Waiver Program. I welcome the opportunity to respond.

The Visa Waiver Program, as presented and managed, presents a major security loophole for our country. I will do all I can to push for reform and to plug the huge security loopholes that exist.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. staff at (202) 224-3841.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator


Second response 10 days later:

--- senator@feinstein.senate.gov wrote:

> From: senator@feinstein.senate.gov
> To:
> Subject: Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
> Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 15:43:12 -0500
>
>
> November 19, 2004
>
>
> Mr. Edmund Lewandowski
>
> San Mateo, California 94403
>
> Dear Mr. Lewandowski:
>
> Thank you for your letter requesting that Poland be
> included in the Visa Waiver Program. I welcome the
> opportunity to respond.
>
> To the best of my knowledge, the bill which would
> add Poland to the Visa Waiver Program is being held up
> by both Republicans and Democrats. My main concern
> regarding this legislation is the fact that Poland has an
> extremely high rate of refusal for non-immigrant visas.
> In order to participate in the Visa Waiver Program,
> countries must have a refusal rate of less than two
> percent for the past two years. In 2002, Poland's refusal
> rate for non-immigrant visas was 47 percent; and it was
> 46 percent in 2003. It would be difficult to justify placing
> Poland in the Visa Waiver Program when every other
> participating country has met the strict criteria. Please
> know that I will keep your views in mind as the Senate
> considers this legislation.
>
> Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will
> continue to keep in touch. If you have any further
> questions, please contact my Washington, D.C. staff at
> (202) 224-3841.
>
>
> Sincerely yours,
>
> Dianne Feinstein
> United States Senator
>
> http://feinstein.senate.gov
> Further information about my position on issues of
> concern to California and the
> Nation are available at my website
> http://feinstein.senate.gov. You can also
> receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing
> to my e-mail list at
> http://feinstein.senate.gov/issue.html

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