Friday, February 24, 2012
Kissing couples, pain at the pump: The best of iReport this week

This week, iReporters sent colorful dispatches from Carnival celebrations around the world, sounded off on the GOP debate in Arizona and recoiled at rising gas prices. Here are a few other notable stories you shouldn’t miss:

 

‘Never-ending’ line for anointments

Catholics lined the streets awaiting Ash Wednesday anointments in Manila, Philippines, this week, and photographer Arman Taylo captured these images outside the famous Basilica of the Black Nazarene. "The service went peacefully but the line to get anointed is never-ending, as passersby also join the line," Taylo said.

 

Icy expedition

Photographer L. Craig Smith took an adventurous expedition to the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway in 2010, and shared this and other stunning images for CNNGo's adventure travel assignment.

 

None of the six people in his group had formal training dealing with such extreme conditions.

 

"I received frostbite on my face. Our five layers of clothes and our arctic single-man tents were our shelter," Smith said. After five days the weather cleared, and they found polar bears on the ice. "We then made our way back to Svalbard, taking 10 hours, getting lost, navigating large snow drifts and flipping several snowmobiles as we made our way through some rather treacherous terrain."

 

Couples kiss statue goodbye

An estimated 50 romantic couples staged a special kiss on Saturday for a San Diego waterfront sculpture modeled after the iconic photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square at the end of World War II. The foam and urethane sculpture, “Unconditional Surrender,” has been on loan to the Port of San Diego since 2007, but the loan agreement ends this month.

 

Some critics called it "kitsch," but the statue has been hugely popular with tourists and locals that like to reenact the pose.

 

"Many times my husband and I would walk down to the statue and he would give me a kiss under it," Chris Morrow said.

 

Turns out the statue may get to stay. According to local news reports, the port is looking into a possible extension of the loan agreement, while an architect is leading a campaign to raise $1 million for a permanent version in bronze.

 

Gas prices going 'up, up'

Melissa Fazli felt a "jab in the stomach" as she filmed the numbers climbing at the gas pump last week. She spent $4.07 per gallon -- a total of $72.51 -- to fill her 2005 Honda Odyssey in her hometown of Yorba Linda, California.

 

"The last time I filled up it was around $65. It makes me really anxious about summer prices because I wanted to travel," she said. "I hope [President] Obama does something about it or I will be staying close to home this summer."

 

What’s the highest price for gas you’ve seen? Send a photo and tell us your breaking point.

 

Amazing dodgeball catch

Keith Ryan, the Mayor of Bondurant, Iowa (population: 3,860), was filming the city's dodgeball tournament on Sunday when player Mindy Brincks made this miracle catch to win her game. "I didn't realize what happened and then I noticed the ball between her knees and I couldn't believe she caught it," Ryan said. The opponent congratulated her on the surprise catch, showing "real sportsmanship."

 

Asked the secret to her success, Brincks, who lives in Des Moines, quoted Vince Vaughn in the movie "Dodgeball": “The '5 Ds of course -- dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!'”

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed this week! We love to see what's going on around the world.

 

Is news happening where you are, or do you have an opinion you'd like to share? You could be part of next week's Best of iReport. Share your story now.

3 Comments
February 24, 2012

Great reports this week!!! Keep em coming folks : > )

 

Much Metta

Percy

February 24, 2012
Click to view doonerist's profile

People who trek into the wilderness (re: the arctic story) with zero experience behind them, inadequate preparation, and  inadequate gear, are self-centered and egotistical jerks.  They aren't just endangering themselves (that I wouldn't car about).  They are risking the lives of rescue teams who have to go fetch such neophytes all too often.  And these folks were doing the trip as a CNN assignment?  Shame on you all.

February 26, 2012
Click to view dsashin's profile

Hi @doonerist -- Yes, we always encourage iReporters to stay safe! To clarify, Craig Smith didn't take the trip for CNN; he went on his own in 2010 and shared the photos last week for CNNGo's adventure travel assignment.

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