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Citizen Staff Writer

This week’s question: Which new entertainer (in movies, music, TV, publishing, etc.) has the talent and charisma to endure in the industry?

Book reviewer Larry Cox

Because I know more about books than I do about either music or entertainment, I have to tip my hat to Selden Edwards, a California teacher. He wrote, rewrote and polished a manuscript for more than two decades before finally getting it published. “The Little Book” was one of the top novels of 2008 and it still knocks my socks off. I wait in anticipation for his second book and, hopefully, unlike his first, it won’t take another 20 years to complete.

Arts writer Chuck Graham

Maybe you won’t recognize her face, but I’m hoping the ingeniously clever new screenwriter Diablo Cody (not her real name) never gets writer’s block. Anyone who could dream up a nom de plume that good has got to be on to something. In 2007, Cody broke through big time with her script for “Juno,” an insider-smart film dazzling for its word play. After the former striptease dancer won the Best Screenplay Oscar last year, she became one very hot property (in more ways than one).

Events coordinator Elsa Nidia Barrett

Abigail Breslin, the little girl who upstaged all her costars in last year’s indie hit movie, “Little Miss Sunshine,” is my pick. The role that got her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. At only 12 years old, this young star has only one way to go: UP!

Calendar editor Rogelio Yubeta Olivas

Although few people know of these talented musicians on a national level, former Tucson folk singer Jose “Pepo” Saavedra and alt-Latin band Maneja Beto of Austin, Texas, are the real thing. Their sound is fresh and is complemented by intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics. Take a listen on iTunes or their Web sites. You’ll be impressed.


(Editor’s note: One reader’s response to last week’s question about favorite expressions got lost in the shuffle, so we’re running it this week. Another reader enlightened us about the origins of one of our staffers’ favorite sayings.)

Wayne Komorowski

Why do ads always say “state of the art”? It is an overused term and what the heck is it supposed to indicate? Let’s dump it forever.

Don T. Thompson

(RE: Features writer Jen Lum’s answer to last week’s question) The expression “balls to the wall” originated in England during the second world war. It refers to the practice of pushing the ball-ends on the throttles of a fighter aircraft (I can’t remember if it was the Spitfire or the Hurricane) to the firewall to achieve maximum output from the engines in a combat situation, hence the meaning “all-out effort without regard to immediate consequences.” Had there been female fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain, they would have been fully justified in going balls to the wall.

What in the world did you think the expression refers to?

Just Because: our favorite new stars

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