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City Notebook
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Healing and acupunture workshop is this weekend

Savannahians interested in holistic and alternative medicine will get a rare opportunity this weekend, as acclaimed acupuncturist and Chinese medicine expert Tom Balles gives a day and a half workshop.

The workshop will not just focus on acupuncture, but on “an applied philosophy of healing that can be used in all domains -- relationships with significant others, family, friends, work, organizations and institutions,” Balles tells Connect from his Laurel, Md., office.

“Acupuncture comes out of the Chinese medical tradition and also the Chinese wisdom tradition,” Balles says. “There’s a whole philosophy of healing behind it. It teaches the unity of life and how to maintain it. ”

Balles says many who study acupuncture soon begin to see the all-encompassing nature of the pursuit.

“I see time and time again with my students that the conversation gradually shifts from wanting to put in the needle to people saying, ‘How can I be the needle?’ In other words, how can I be a practitioner to life in all the places I travel?” Balles explains.

Local psychologist and counselor Susan Lamb, who helped bring Balles to Savannah, says though the workshop is totally non-political in nature, she expects it might help soothe anxiety over the recent election results.

“I’ve noticed these days sometimes people just don't know how to talk to other people anymore,” Lamb says. “This is happening all over -- in churches, in families. When this opportunity came, we realized it had something to do with this time.”

While also stressing that his workshop is not in any way overtly political, Balles agrees with Lamb’s assessment.

“One could create a conversation about how the country is divided and polarized. But it’s that way only if you say so. How you speak makes a huge difference in how life shows up,” Balles says.

“The question is, who's going to hold unity while everyone is trying to figure out what position they hold on an issue? So this work is part and parcel of what we're faced with at this moment in time.”

The workshop begins with a full day Saturday, Dec. 4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and continues for a half-day Sunday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. The cost for the full session is $140.

Call 352-2468 for reservations and directions to the workshop location.


AASU prof prepares for climb

This January, Dr. Ray “Wall” Greenlaw, dean of the School of Computing at Armstrong Atlantic State University, will attempt to climb Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica.

On Wednesday, December 8, Greenlaw will make a presentation on his upcoming climb. The talk will begin at 12:30 p.m. in room 156 of University Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Greenlaw has already climbed four of the other seven summits of the world: Mount Elbrus, Russia (2001); Aconcagua, Argentina (2002); Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (2002); and Kosciusko, Australia (2003). In the near future, he plans to climb Denali (Mount McKinley), Alaska, and is considering a climb of Mount Everest, Nepal.

In 2003, at the age of 42, he recorded the fastest ever thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail by completing the 2,659-mile trail in 83 days. He completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 97 days in 1995.

Greenlaw has requested that all contributions be designated for the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program at AASU. For more information or to make a contribution, call Gail Rountree at 927-5208 or

Officer rescues woman

A Savannah/Chatham police officer pulled a woman from the Savannah River last week “after she ignored repeated pleas from officers to return to the bank of the river,” a police spokesman says.

The woman’s boyfriend is still missing.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. Nov. 27, officers were alerted by Marriott Riverfront personnel that a woman was in the Savannah River. Officers spotted the woman 30-40 yards from the bank drifting eastward with the tide.

The woman ignored pleas from the officers to return to shore and “repeatedly yelled belligerent statements at police,” the spokesman says. Cpl. Ashley Brown dove into the river and safely recovered her.

Officers then began a search for her boyfriend, who also may have entered the river. Articles of his clothing were found, but as we go to press it has yet to be substantiated that he actually entered the river.

The woman, identified as Traci K. Miller, age 23, of Elk Grove, Calif., was taken to Memorial Health University for minor cuts and abrasions and a slight case of hypothermia. She is expected to fully recover.