LOS ANGELES — Xavier "X'' Atencio, an animator behind early Disney movies including "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia" and "imagineer" behind beloved Disneyland rides like "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "The Haunted Mansion," has died at age 98.
Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown confirmed a company statement saying Atencio died Sunday. No cause or place of death were given, but Atencio lived and worked in the Los Angeles area most of his life.
Atencio's drawings on "Pinocchio" helped give Disney its permanent identity in film and culture. His contributions to "Pirates" included the words to the "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" song that is sung throughout the ride and by parkgoers for days after.
He was born Francis Xavier Atencio in Walsenburg, Colorado. But friends in his youth called him just "X," the name he was known by the rest of his life.
He was still a teenager with a gift for drawing in 1938 when he began working for Disney, a company that was even younger than he was and had just one feature film — 1937's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" — to its name.
Atencio would see his work on the big screen in the company's next two films in 1940, when he helped bring "Pinocchio" to life and worked on the musical and mystical "Fantasia" before leaving temporarily to serve in World War II.
After returning, he helped design stop-motion sequences for the Disney live action films "The Parent Trap" and "Mary Poppins."
When the company's work started including theme parks in the 1950s and 1960s, so did Atencio's. At the request of Walt Disney, he became an imagineer in the company's parlance, helping design rides for Disneyland and Disney World. He wrote the story and song that play out on "Pirates" and "Haunted Mansion."
"X was an enormous talent who helped define so many of our best experiences around the world," Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering, said in a statement. "Some may not know that when he wrote the lyrics for 'Yo Ho' he had never actually written a song before. He simply proposed the idea of a tune for 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' and Walt told him to go and do it."
Atencio retired in 1984, but he continued working as a consultant. In 1996, was declared a Disney Legend by the company.
His death comes just weeks after that of another Disney Imagineering legend, Marty Sklar.
Atencio is survived by his wife, Maureen, three children, three stepchildren and nine grandchildren.
WASHINGTON — Getting checked for cervical cancer isn't one-size-fits-all: Millions of women may soon have to decide between a routine Pap or a newer test that detects if they have a cancer-causing virus.
Draft national guidelines released Tuesday for the first time say either option is reasonable for certain women — those ages 30 to 65.
Paps, a mainstay for women's health for decades, can spot pre-cancerous abnormalities in time to prevent cancer. Newer HPV tests detect the virus that causes nearly all of that cancer, and while they're widely used to confirm Pap results, most U.S. medical groups haven't yet pushed them as a stand-alone alternative for screening.
Tuesday's proposal doesn't signal an imminent end to the Pap era. Paps, not HPV tests, still are recommended for screening women in their 20s, stressed the guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
And don't let the which-test debate blur the main message: "Screening for cervical cancer saves lives," said Task Force member Dr. Carol Mangione of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Today, too many women still miss out. Some things to know:
CERVICAL CANCER STILL A THREAT
Cervical cancer has dropped dramatically over the past half-century thanks to Pap testing. Still, this year an estimated 12,820 U.S. women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and about 4,200 will die. Most haven't been screened, or have gone too long between checks.
Paps examine cells scraped from the cervix. HPV testing looks for high-risk strains of the human papillomavirus, the nation's most common sexually transmitted infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just about everyone will get at least one strain at some point in their lives. But only certain strains cause cervical cancer — and only if they linger long enough in the body.
AGE MATTERS FOR SCREENING
Otherwise healthy women need a Pap every three years from age 21 to 29, agree most U.S. physician groups and the draft Task Force guidelines. Cervical cancer grows so slowly that regular Paps can find a problem early enough to treat.
While the Food and Drug Administration has approved an HPV test for women as young as 25, national guidelines have long recommended Pap screening for 20-somethings. That age group is most likely to get HPV — and the vast majority of the time their bodies clear the infection before it harms.
WHAT CHANGES AT AGE 30?
The older you get, the greater the chance that an HPV infection is the yearslong, harmful kind. To better catch those cases, today what's called co-testing is increasingly common for women 30 and over — a Pap-plus-HPV test combination. If the results of both tests are negative, women can wait five years to test again.
But both Paps and HPV testing can trigger false alarms, prompting unneeded, and sometimes harmful, additional care to rule out cancer. New studies show co-testing leads to more false alarms than either test alone, without adding benefit.
That spurred Tuesday's Task Force proposal to let women 30 and over choose an HPV test by itself every five years — or a Pap every three years instead. The proposal is open for public comment through Oct. 9, before it will be finalized.
Some countries already are moving to make HPV testing the chief screening tool, including the Netherlands and Australia.
"Most experts in this area are in agreement that HPV testing alone is the future of cervical screening," said Debbie Saslow of the American Cancer Society, who wasn't involved with Tuesday's draft guidelines.
WEIGH PROS AND CONS
Women in their 30s and older need to discuss screening options with their health providers, said Dr. Jason Wright, gynecologic oncology chief at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, who also wasn't involved with the new guidelines.
An HPV test can cost twice as much as a $40 Pap, but doesn't require screening as often. Some data suggest HPV testing leads to more diagnosis of risky pre-cancer — but even by itself, an HPV test can spark more false alarms than a Pap, Wright said.
Also, some follow-up tests can alter the cervix in ways that may affect future pregnancies, a consideration for women still interested in childbearing, added the Task Force's Mangione.
WHO CAN SKIP CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING?
It's not recommended for women younger than 21, or those who had a cervix-removing hysterectomy.
Women can stop screening after age 65 if proper checks until then show they're healthy, current guidelines agree.
WHAT IF WOMEN RECEIVED THE HPV VACCINE AS AN ADOLESCENT?
Keep getting screened, following recommendations for your age. The first HPV vaccine hit the market about 10 years ago, too soon to know if it's safe for the now-grown first recipients to be screened less often, and newer vaccine versions protect against more strains, said Saslow, the cancer society's senior director of HPV-related and women's cancers.
Eventually, if enough young women grow up fully vaccinated, screening recommendations may change, she said.
LOS ANGELES — J.J. Abrams is returning to "Star Wars" and will replace Colin Trevorrow as writer and director of "Episode IX," pushing the film's release date back seven months.
Disney announced Abrams' return Tuesday, a week after news broke of Trevorrow's departure. After several high-profile exits by previous "Star Wars" directors, Lucasfilm is turning to the filmmaker who helped resurrect the franchise in the first place. Abrams will co-write the film with screenwriter Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for adapting "Argo" and also co-wrote "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice."
As the director of "The Force Awakens," Abrams rebooted "Star Wars" to largely glowing reviews from fans and more than $2 billion in box office. Abrams had said that would be his only film for the franchise, but now he has been pulled back in.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said that Abrams "delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for" on "The Force Awakens" and added "I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy."
This move also means Abrams will be the only director aside from "Star Wars" creator George Lucas to direct more than one "Star Wars" film.
"Star Wars: Episode IX" was originally slated to hit theaters in May 2019, but in the wake of the shift it has officially been pushed back to a Dec. 20, 2019, release. It is the final installment in the new "main" Star Wars trilogy that began with Abrams' "The Force Awakens" in 2015 and will continue this December with director Rian Johnson's "The Last Jedi."
Lucasfilm has had a number of public fallouts with "Star Wars" directors over the past few years.
Earlier this year, the young Han Solo spinoff film parted ways with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and swiftly replaced them with Ron Howard deep into production. In 2015, the company fired director Josh Trank from work on another Star Wars spinoff. And extensive reshoots on "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" led to widespread speculation that director Gareth Edwards had been unofficially sidelined by Tony Gilroy.
News of Abrams' return was greeted warmly by fans on social media Tuesday. He hasn't directed or committing to directing another project since "The Force Awakens," and instead had been focused on producing.
"I'm very much enjoying taking a moment. Since I've done the show 'Felicity,' I've gone from project to project. So it's been 20 years since I haven't been prepping, casting, shooting, editing something," Abrams told The Associated Press in March.
That moment, however brief, is over. For Abrams, it's time to go back to the Millennium Falcon and that galaxy far, far away.
Sidney "Don" Sparks, 96, passed away in Myrtle Point. He was born in Gooding, Idaho as the youngest of nine children. He was proud to be a Veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. He was a building inspector for the State of Oregon (Coos County) which he enjoyed for 12 years. He was an avid fisherman and hunter all of his life. He enjoyed watching all the sports which his grandchildren and great-grandchildren participated.
He married his high school sweetheart, Connie Ponce in 1941. They had their girls, Sandy in 1943 and Karen in 1947. The love of his life passed away in March 1999. In 2003, he married Frances Clark until her death.
He was preceded in death by his parents; all eight of his siblings; his wife, Connie, his grandson, Greg Lester and Frances Clark.
He is survived by his daughters, Sandy and Gary Waddington, Karen and Eddie Lester; grandchildren, Jeff and Corinne Waddington, Dave and Cheryl Waddington, Paul and Sharon Waddington, Brian and Amie Waddington and Mike and Celeste Lester; great-grandchildren, Bayli Waddington, Seth Waddington, Cody and Mickie Waddington, Cole Waddington, Ryder Waddington, Mitchell Waddington, Mason Waddington, Andrew and Shayla McQuary, Brianna McQuary, Jordan and Kelsey Waddington, Rylie Waddington, Joey and Mayelie Lester, Wyatt Lester and Levi Lester; three great-great-grandchildren, Hayden Waddington, Amelia Lester and Easton McQuary.
A private service will be held for his immediate family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Coquille Booster Club, 1390 W. 14th, Coquille, Oregon 97423.
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Leslie A. Cleveland, 62, Reedsport, died Sat. Sept. 9, 2017 at Lower Umpqua Hospital. Private Cremation Rites will be held.
Richard Earl Roberts, 72 died Sept. 3 in Anchorage, Alaska. Anyone with information regarding relatives is asked to contact Legacy Funeral Homes at 907-277-1682.
Florence E. Schmidt, 98 of Myrtle Point, died Sept. 10, 2017 in Myrtle Point. Arrangements are pending with Amling/Schroeder Funeral Service - Myrtle Point Chapel, 541-572-2524.
Dorothy “Dee” Jane Ralls, 76, of Coos Bay, passed away Sept. 8, 2017 in North Bend. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Dorothy Ann Rouse, 81, of Coos Bay, passed away Sept. 10, 2017 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Jenny Elizabeth Stinnitt, 71, of Lakeside, passed away Sept. 8, 2017 in Lakeside. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Celebration of life for Richard “Mac” McIntosh, will be held 3 p.m., at the Marshfield High School gymnasium, 10th & Ingersoll in Coos Bay.
Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017
Celebration of Iife for Merle R. Kalb Sr., 94, of Powers, 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at the Powers Church of God. Arrangements by Amling/Schroeder Funeral Service - Myrtle Point Chapel, 541-572-2524.
DEAR ABBY: I enjoy reading your column, especially letters regarding young girls and their social skills. I have two granddaughters who have the normal drama, mostly with other girls. I worry their social skills are getting sidetracked.
I am interested in ordering your booklet about popularity. You have such a good way with words, and I'm sure the girls would find it helpful and enjoyable reading. They are the only grandchildren I have, and I'm trying to give them insight and help them along to become fully functional, successful adults. Is it still available? -- LINDA IN TERRE HAUTE, IND.
DEAR LINDA: Yes, the booklet is still available. It was written in response to thousands of questions from readers over the years who were not naturally socially assertive and contains many useful tips for polishing social skills. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. You will find the booklet covers a variety of situations and is meant for people of all ages. Everyone wants to be the kind of person others find interesting, attractive and worth knowing better. (If parents, teachers and clergy know someone needing help in this regard, it might make an inexpensive gift that could help change the course of that person's life.)
The key to being well-liked by both sexes is: Be kind. Be honest. Be tactful. Don't be afraid to give someone a compliment if you think it's deserved.
If you think you're not beautiful (or handsome), be well-groomed, tastefully dressed, conscious of your posture. (People who stand tall project self-confidence.) If you are not a "brain," try harder. If you are smarter than most, don't be a know-it-all. Ask others what they think and encourage them to share their opinions.
If you're not a good athlete, be a good sport. Be generous with kind words and affectionate gestures, but respect yourself and your family values always. If you think "putting out" will make someone like you, forget it. (It won't work, and later you'll be glad you didn't.) If you need help, ask God. And if you don't need anything, THANK God!
DEAR ABBY: My husband refuses to wear headphones. This means that when we sit in the living room together, I must put up with the blaring noise of whatever he is watching.
I do a lot of writing, and in order to think, I need silence. I have tried earplugs, but they don't muffle enough of the noise. Now, when I have had enough, I leave the room. This results in us being in two separate places, which he hates. Is there another solution I may be overlooking? -- LOUD IN MAINE
DEAR LOUD: You might try noise-canceling headphones. However, if that doesn't work, because you need to "hear" in your head the sentences you are trying to write, you may have to do your writing when your husband is not at home.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.