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The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

November 12, 2006 Edition - SPECIAL COMBINED BIRTHDAY/TENTH 
                            ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
(C) 2006 Portland Ice Skating Society
http://www.geocities.com/portice
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Welcome to our annual birthday edition of "The Portlandian", the 
Internet's leading source of Tonya news. Today's edition is a 
double celebration; not only is it Tonya's 36th birthday, but it 
also marks an important milestone for "The Portlandian": it's our 
tenth anniversary. On this very day back in 1996 our very first 
issue made its way onto the Internet. Since then we've spent the 
past ten years kicking the skating establishment's ass and 
providing a pro-Tonya viewpoint that has largely been absent from 
the mainstream media.


TEN YEARS OF AGGRESSIVE PRACTICE

In the intervening decade there have been many changes for both 
Tonya and ourselves. We now have our own website, which has grown 
to provide a comprehensive source of information about Tonya and 
her skating career and the "whacking" incident that destroyed it, 
correcting the many misconceptions that are circulated by the 
popular media. During that time we've been keeping you up to date 
about Tonya's post-skating activities, while exposing a few 
phonies along the way and giving the crooks & hypocrites at the 
USFSA, ISU and IOC the good hiding they deserve.

The past ten years have seen big changes for Tonya as well. She 
has attempted two comebacks, saved an old lady's life, been 
abducted, appeared in a movie and in many TV and radio 
interviews, made numerous public appearances (ranging from 
signing miniature baseball bats to appearing with drag queens) 
and reinvented herself as a boxer, a career that neither she nor 
her fans would have even dreamed of in 1996.

There have also been many people who have helped both us and 
Tonya over the past ten years. In particular, we'd like to 
mention David House of tonyaharding.org, Leo, Mike and the others 
at the tonyaharding.org forum, Charlie Main at charliesweb.com, 
Paul Dizadji at the Puppetland site, Joe Haran for supplying us 
with his inside knowledge of his time at Team Tonya and numerous 
photos, Michael Rosenberg and his staff for supporting Tonya and 
feeding info our way and Linda Lewis, Tonya's godmother, for 
keeping us up to date with Tonya's activities. Plus our many 
subscribers and people who have given us bits of information over 
the years.

We hope that Tonya has a happy birthday. And perhaps we may still 
be around in another ten years.


DOWNSIZE ME, AND TONYA WINS CAR TROPHY

There hasn't been an awful lot of news from the Tonya camp 
lately, but Linda has supplied a photo of Tonya at a car show 
back in late July where she won a trophy for her Jeep, but 
unfortunately she says that Tonya doesn't want it published. We 
can reveal, however, that she has noticeably shed alot of weight 
since the last photos we saw of her. Although she still looks 
somewhat on the heavy side compared to her skating days she's a 
far cry from looking like Jabba the Hutt's stunt double like she 
did earlier this year during the Olympics. No doubt she's 
probably lost more weight since the photo was taken, so hopefully 
she'll soon be back down to the slender, normal-sized Tonya we 
know. Linda also says that Tonya sends her best wishes to all her 
fans.


NEW PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN TONYA PHOTOS RELEASED

The Special Duties Section is pleased to announce the release of 
a number of photos of Tonya from her skating days that I can 
confidently say have never been seen on the Internet before.

The story behind these pictures is itself interesting. They were 
part of a set of photographs that were sent to us a number of 
years ago by Joe Haran, prominent Tonyaphile and former editor of 
"The Skater", the official magazine of Elaine Stamm's original 
Tonya fan club in Portland in the early 90's. Unfortunately, Joe 
had earlier loaned some of his best photos of Tonya to a TV 
station which promptly "lost" them, which is a sad loss for 
Tonyaphiles. It also meant that the only stuff he had left to 
send us was in many cases outtakes that weren't of very good 
quality. Many of these images, particularly of Tonya's skating, 
were fuzzy, grainy, or badly under or overexposed, and when we 
first scanned them, the results were in many cases even worse.

At this point, there were two choices: we could upload the crummy 
scans on the basis that any Tonya is better than no Tonya, and 
then remaster them later when a better scanner became available, 
or we could wait until we had the facilities to do the job 
properly. We decided to do the latter, despite the fact it could 
mean a lengthy delay. We believe that only the absolute best is 
good enough for Tonya, and we felt that having poor quality 
images of her on line - which would likely continue to circulate 
for decades even if later replaced by better copies - would not 
show her skating as it deserves to be seen. I think that it's 
safe to say that the increase in quality achieved has made the 
wait well worth it.

The first batch of photos shows Tonya skating in Portland in 
December 1992. Most of these were taken at the Portland stop of 
the Ice Capades tour, where Tonya was the headlining act. They 
can be viewed at:

http://www.geocities.com/portice/haranphotos.htm

Too often Tonya is seen by the public as just a tragic joke. 
These images serve as a timely reminder as to what a great skater 
Tonya was in her heyday, with the crowd going wild over her 
routines.

We have approximately 35 or so other photos that we hope to add 
in the next few weeks. Many of these show rare behind-the-scenes 
views of the fan club and also Tonya's attempt at developing a 
pairs routine in the months following the Whacking.

We would like to thank Joe for generously sharing these with us.


THE T-FILES: PART 4 - RINKSIDE P2P NETWORK

In this section, we continue our series about potential sources 
of Tonya skating footage.

Peer to peer (P2P) file-sharing networks have without doubt been 
one of the biggest innovations on the Internet in the new 
millennium. Names such as Gnutella, Kazaa, eDonkey, BitTorrent 
and the infamous Napster have constantly been in the news, mostly 
for all the wrong reasons - like record companies trying to shut 
them down because of all the pirated music they contain. However, 
such networks also have legitimate uses, and can be a valuable 
source of footage for skating fans, much of which cannot be 
obtained anywhere else.

One network that is of particular interest to Tonyaphiles is the 
Rinkside Hub, located at http://www.rinkside.org/. This private 
network is specifically dedicated to figure skating and uses the 
Direct Connect protocol to share files. Connection is most easily 
obtained using the DC++ P2P client software, an open-source 
program that is available from http://dcpp.net/ both as C++ 
source code for the computer geeks out there and as pre-compiled 
Windows binaries for the rest of us. Installation and setup is 
somewhat time-consuming but a detailed set of easy-to-follow 
instructions are provided on the Rinkside site.

The results are well worth it, as we found several exhibitions of 
Tonya's, mostly from her NHK and early Skate America performances 
that we've not seen on any other video sharing site so far. The 
downside: P2P sites rely on having a constant connection to the 
internet and are pretty much useless if you don't have broadband, 
particularly in the case of large video files. They are therefore 
much more of a problem for dialup users than with YouTube, where 
you can simply hit the "pause" button on the player and wait 
while the file loads before playing it.


ROSENBERG INTERVIEW

We recently came across this interview with Michael Rosenberg, 
Tonya's former agent, which was conducted for Event Talk Radio, 
an internet station devoted to event management, on Nov 3rd last 
year:

http://podcast.avalar.com/WorldTalk/shows/etr/etr051103b.mp3
(6 megs)

http://podcast.avalar.com/WorldTalk/shows/etr/etr051103c.mp3
(4.5 megs)

The Rosenberg interview starts about halfway through the first 
part, in which he discusses his life and career (which is in 
itself quite interesting). In the second part he talks about Rudy 
Galindo and briefly about Tonya. Apparently he's also working on 
his autobiography which will mention her.


AT THE BOOKSTORE: ANDREW JENNINGS CRIES FOUL! AT FIFA

If you've read "The Portlandian" for a few years you'll recognize 
this name - he's the investigative reporter who blew the lid off 
sleaze and corruption in the IOC way before the mainstream media 
got onto the story in 1998. Now he's taken on FIFA, soccer's 
governing body, in his latest book, "Foul!", released back in May 
on the eve of the World Cup:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007208111/026-3997353-
3499609

What he's found isn't pretty, with massive bribery and ticketing 
scams being uncovered. But not for much longer. The Swiss police 
are moving in and it looks as if several prominent FIFA officials 
could be getting the red card very shortly.

There's also an interview with him here from a conference on 
sports corruption in Copenhagen, Denmark last year:

http://medianet.djh.dk/sites/conferencepulse/folder.2005-11-03.1808955164/plonearticle.2005-11-08.9177021234

Jennings was out here in NZ back in June for a conference on 
sports corruption and was interviewed on local TV. You can watch 
the clip here:

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/410965/764444

He also has a web site up to promote his book:

http://www.transparencyinsport.org/

Now, if only this guy would do a book on figure skating. Although 
the incompetence and corrupt judging has been exposed in books 
such as "Cracked Ice" and "On Edge", there's still plenty left to 
investigate, like the money and crime aspects that have never 
really been fully documented. For instance, people have been 
trying to dig up dirt on Speedy for years but nobody has ever 
come up with anything really solid on him (the WSF lawsuit 
claimed he was taking kickbacks relating to TV coverage, but no 
evidence was ever made public). And the full story of the Russian 
Mob connection to the SLC dance scam has never been fully 
explored. Plus, it would be interesting to know what happens to 
the USFSA's huge budget, little of which seems to be spent on 
skaters according to Jon Jackson. We're sure that if anyone could 
get to the bottom of things, Andrew Jennings could.


COMPULSORY FIGURES: A YEN FOR A SKATING RIPOFF

Japanese skating official Katsuichiro Hisanaga usually had a 
smile on his face when he visited Canada, according to an article 
by The Canadian Press.

It's a pretty safe bet that he isn't smiling any more. The 75 
year old Hisanaga and two others were last month charged with 
bilking the Japanese Skating Federation out of the equivalent of 
around $US50,000 in an expenses scam. The swindle involved a 
company that was set up to run the 2002 World Championships in 
Nagano overbilling the Federation for accomodation and other 
expenses.

Hisanaga served as the Federation's president for six years as 
well as heading its business committee until resigning in June 
2004 supposedly for health reasons. However, suspicions about 
problems with the accounts had started to surface the previous 
year. Indeed, police suspect that the Nagano scandal may be just 
the tip of the iceberg and that other bills to the federation 
might have been doctored over the years to provide over 
$US400,000 in "special benefits" to committee members. Eight 
federation directors also resigned in April.

The ISU has responded by suspending him, though we suspect it's 
only because Speedy, the biggest sleazebag in skating at present, 
doesn't like competition rather than because of any ethical 
concerns. "Since the investigation of Mr. Hisanaga is reported to 
be for the embezzlement of funds directly connected to his 
international activity in the sport of figure skating, the (ISU) 
council decided to suspend the ISU honorary membership of Mr. 
Katsuichiro Hisanaga pending the outcome of the investigation," 
the ISU press release stated. "The council will take further 
action upon receiving the final decision of the Japanese 
authorities having jurisdiction in the matter."

What will that "further action" be? Well, if he escapes jail 
we'll bet that he'll probably be put in charge of judging, given 
that his skills in creative accounting rival those of Arthur 
Andersen.


PLUTO: THE TONYA HARDING OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM?

We guess that by now everybody has heard that the International 
Astronomical Union (sounds suspiciously similar to "International 
Skating Union", doesn't it?) has decided to give Pluto the boot 
as a planet. Yes, it's been demoted - downgraded from planet one 
day to little more than a piece of space junk the next.

It appears that Tonya has alot in common with Pluto: in addition 
to now being an outcast, apparently it's mostly ice, so it's 
probably the one place left where Tonya would still be welcome to 
skate. And according to astrologers (who don't pay much attention 
to all that astronomy crap anyway), it's quite important in the 
lives of Scorpios like Tonya. For instance, this horoscope

http://www.adze.com/Celebrities/TonyaHarding.htm?page=11 

for Tonya says that:

    "Pluto represents trust and violation of trust, control, 
    obsessions and power struggles... In addition, Pluto 
    represents "living hell" stories, second chances, rising up 
    from the ashes and resurrections".

which certainly applies to Tonya.

And the circumstances of Pluto's ousting from the planet club 
sound exactly like the sort of thing the ISU or the USFSA would 
think up: only the handful of astronomers who attended the IAU's 
meeting in Prague were entitled to vote - no proxy voting 
allowed, it seems.

Apparently alot of people are upset about it. Could we perhaps 
see the emergence of a new terrorist group, the P.L.O. (Pluto 
Liberation Organization) kidnapping scientists if Pluto isn't 
reinstated?


TONYA QUIZ: BREAKFAST AT TONYA'S

Leafing through the newspaper we noticed that a local cinema out 
here is showing the classic movie "Breakfast At Tiffanys" 
starring Audrey Hepburn. Which made us think of a question that 
any Tonyaphile should have no trouble answering: what's the 
connection between this movie and Tonya? Answer next issue.

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VISIT THESE GREAT TONYA WEB SITES:

PortIce - http://www.geocities.com/portice
David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
Puppetboy - http://www.tonyaharding.us/tonya/
Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html
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