- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beatle grandchild

Sir Paul McCartney has become a grandfather for the fourth time. His fashion-designer daughter, Stella, gave birth Friday to a baby girl, his first granddaughter, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Bailey Linda Olwyn Willis is 35-year-old Stella McCartney’s second child with husband Alasdhair Willis, 36, a former magazine publisher whom she married three years ago, said spokesman Stephane Jaspar.

Bailey was born in London weighing 7 pounds and 14 ounces. The couple’s first child, son Miller, will be 2 in February.

The 64-year-old former Beatle already has two other grandsons: Arthur, 7, and Elliot, 4, from his 37-year-old photographer daughter, Mary.

The mother of Mary and Stella, Linda McCartney, died of breast cancer in 1998.

Mr. McCartney and his 38-year-old second wife, Heather, announced in May that they had agreed “with sadness” to go their separate ways, four years after they were married.

Leo online

Leonardo DiCaprio knows global warming is a problem, and he wants answers.

That’s why the actor posted a question on the Yahoo! Answers Web site, prompting visitors to share their solutions.

“We can all be environmentalists,” Mr. DiCaprio, 32, said in a statement to Associated Press. “Creating communities online that are interested in discussing and embracing smart, simple and serious solutions reminds us we can all take action in our own homes and where we work.”

The United States “can set an example for the rest of the world by protecting our cities and protecting ourselves,” he said.

The environmental organization Global Green USA invited Mr. DiCaprio, who serves on its board of directors, to post the question online.

“It’s meant to provoke thought about what people can do in their own lives and what leaders can do to take us in a different course,” said Matt Petersen, president and chief executive of Global Green USA. “We’re fortunate to have [Mr. DiCaprio] on our board because he can help shine the light on the challenge, shine the light on the experts and shine the light on the solutions.”

Mr. DiCaprio stars in “The Departed” and “Blood Diamond.”

Carnival king

James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano, will reign as celebrity monarch Bacchus during the 2007 Carnival season.

Mr. Gandolfini, who filmed scenes in New Orleans for his role in the movie “All the King’s Men,” plays the head of a New Jersey crime family on HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

“He fell in love with our city, and he wants to do a lot to help us get back on our feet,” Pip Brennan, captain of the Krewe of Bacchus, said Monday.

Most Carnival groups, known as krewes, select members of New Orleans society as their kings or queens.

New Orleans’ signature celebration will have 31 parades over 10 days, compared with 28 parades in eight days in 2006, just months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. The Bacchus parade will be held the evening of Feb. 18, two days before Mardi Gras.

Bacchus traces its roots to the 1940s but disbanded in the 1950s. The group re-formed in the late 1960s and was one of the first Carnival organizations to open participation to tourists and others from outside the New Orleans area.

Bacchus introduced spectacular floats much larger than those in traditional Carnival parades, and it was the first to choose a national celebrity to lead its parade.

Danny Kaye was the first Bacchus, in 1969. Other celebrities have included Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Michael Keaton, Nicolas Cage, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Ron Howard and Jackie Gleason.

The Bacchus krewe has more than 1,000 members and parades with more than 30 animated floats along historic St. Charles Avenue and through the city’s business district.

Holiday fare

American Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu will host the Festival of Lights, a special satellite radio Hanukkah celebration in which he will share his thoughts about this holy time of year, exclusively on commercial-free SIRIUS reggae Channel 32 beginning at sundown tomorrow and airing through sundown Dec. 23 — the duration of Hanukkah.

Matisyahu is a devoutly religious Lubavitch Hasidic Jew who has become one of today’s most popular reggae artists. Two of his albums, “Live at Stubbs” (2005) and “Youth” (2006), have been certified gold, and he has performed for large audiences at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits music festivals, among others.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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