Jumat, 31 Januari 2014

248 Dogs Face Uncertain Future, And Their Rescue Organization Won't Tell us ...

Until last December, Hewitt-based Happy Endings Dog Rescue paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to board dogs at the Lavon-based Camp Diggy Bones kennel.

But word went out among the animal rescue community that Happy Endings, run by a woman named Linda Robinson-Pardo, suddenly lost a major contributor whose donations paid the kennel fees. Now it's unclear what will happen to 248 of the Happy Endings dogs -- mostly pit-mixes -- after February 1, and neither Happy Endings nor Camp Diggy Bones will tell us how this happened, and what they are doing to save the dogs.

Robinson-Pardo, 52, has not responded to multiple voicemails and online queries, nor have we been able to reach Camp Diggy Bones owner Gene Mason. The kennel's manager, Nathan Hondell, told us he has no idea what will happen to the dogs after February 1.

Neither Happy Endings nor Camp Diggy Bones appear to have reached out to other rescue groups, organized offsite adoption events, or facilitate with national animal welfare organizations to address what appears to be an emergency situation.

In fact, the people who seem to be doing the most to get the word out about the dogs are from other rescue groups, which is how we became aware of the situation in the first place. (A shout-out goes to Stacy Lee of Garcia Rottie Rescue, who worked with the American Rottweiler Club Disaster Committee to place 50 rotties, and who's been scrambling to save the rest of the dogs. Yet since she's not part of Happy Endings, she has no authority to make arrangements for the dogs -- she said people would have to contact Happy Endings directly. Yet no one from Happy Endings will even talk about the situation, including giving us information about how to adopt or foster).

According to Happy Ending's 2011 tax returns -- the most recent available -- the organization spent $871,680 on boarding fees, although it does not identify the kennels. According to 2010 tax returns, the rescue paid Cedar Park-based Happy Trails Pet Resort $229,951 for boarding, and paid Camp Diggy Bones $119,438.

Tax returns for 2010 year also show that Robinson-Pardo drew a salary of $185,266 and collected $99,124 in 'reportable compensation from related organizations.' The rescue's veterinarian, George McKirahan, was paid $125,989.

However, the 2011 return shows that Robinson-Pardo wasn't paid a cent. (McKirahan was paid $121,717).

The 2010 return also lists Brian Pardo as a director. (He's not listed on the 2011 returns).

Pardo, 71, is the founder of Life Partners, Inc., a pioneer in the 'life settlements' market -- the sale of life insurance policies on the secondary market. The publicly traded Waco-based company has for years been embroiled in litigation, both by shareholders who claimed they were not given accurate financial information, and by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has said that life settlements are securities, and therefore subject to state securities law. A judge ruled in Life Partners' favor in 2012, and Abbott subsequently sought another injunction, this time alleging that the directors misled investors. (According to SEC filings, the company is currently regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance as a 'viatical and life settlement company.')

According to a 2013 Star-Telegram story, a federal judge in Nevada summarily dismissed one of the suits brought by investors. (Shortly afterwards, Life Partners 'disclosed in a federal filing that it has given Pardo a $30,000 pay hike, raising his salary to $530,900 in fiscal 2014,' according to the story).

Happy Endings was at one time listed on Life Partners' website as an organization the company contributed to, but it's unclear whether there is still a connection. Pardo did not respond to messages left by the Press.

We asked Katie Jarl, head of the Humane Society of the U.S.'s Texas division, how rescues typically handle sudden loss of funding or other situations where they're forced to close.

'Responsible rescue groups don't take in more animals than they have resources for, in terms of both funding and space, so they can theoretically continue operating as long as there are pets in need,' she told us in an email. 'However, there are any number of reasons why a group may decide it needs to shut its doors. Ideally, the group will 'wind down' its operations, ceasing intake of new animals and ensuring that every animal already with the group finds placement, which often means holding adoption events and networking with the community to find homes for all the animals. When that's not possible, the burden falls on other animal welfare groups or animal control agencies to take the animals in and make the necessary difficult decisions about their future.'

We're at an absolute loss in trying to understand why no one from Happy Endings, and to a lesser extent, Camp Diggy Bones, is talking to us. We hope it's because they're too busy mapping out a solid plan to find homes for these dogs. But sadly, we just don't know.

Super savings on snacks for Sunday's big game


So the football season has come down to the final game once again, and even if you don't care who's playing in the Super Bowl this year, it's at least a good excuse to chow down on junk food while you critique the half-time show.

I guess it's pretty obvious which part of the Super Bowl I'm looking forward to this weekend.

So if you're preparing appetizers for a party, grocery stores are serving up a healthy portion of deals. Here's where to find them.


When you're planning for a big group, the easiest route for snacks is almost always chips and dip.

Publix has half-price Doritos, Nabisco snack crackers for $2.50 and Kangaroo Pita Chips for $2.

Publix Deli Salsa, which is one of my favorites, is on sale for $3 this week. At Bi-Lo, Tribe Hummus and Tostitos Cantina chips are both half-off.

Food Lion has a new coupon dispensary at the front of each store, where customers can print out deals before shopping. With one of those coupons, Cheez-its costs around $1.79, more than half off its usual price.


Coke products are best priced this week at Food Lion, where three 12-packs of cans are $9. If you prefer Pepsi, pick up two 12-packs for the price of one at Harris Teeter.

And of course, it wouldn't be an American tradition without domestic beer. Harris Teeter seems to have the best deals this week. A 24-pack of Bud, Miller, Yuengling, Coors or Michelob Ultra is $14.

Main course

If you have a large group coming over for the Super Bowl, it's not easy to serve dinner on the cheap.

Pizza delivery is a good idea, since many chains such as Papa John's, Dominos and Pizza Hut will be offering special deals.

If you have an outdoor grill, hamburgers and hot dogs can be an easy option to feed the masses. Ground beef is $2.49 a pound at Harris Teeter, and you can pick up Ball Park hot dogs for buy one, get one free while you're at it.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail

'Billionaires Row': inside Hampstead palaces left empty for decades

A thick crust of bird droppings is piled on the gilded balustrade of one of Britain's most expensive properties. Pigeon skeletons lie among shattered mirrors and water streams through broken cornicing. This is The Tower, a £30m palace in 'Billionaires Row' in north London whose spectacular ruin has been kept secret until now.

It is one of 10 mansions in the middle of The Bishops Avenue - the heart of London's spiralling property market - that have stood almost entirely vacant since they were bought a quarter of a century ago, it is believed on behalf of members of the Saudi Arabian royal family. Their Grecian columns are cracking into pieces and mosaic-tiled swimming pools are filled with rubble. Nature has taken over to the extent that owls have moved in.

It is a desolate scene repeated up and down the supposedly prestigious avenue that Lloyds Bank has calculated is the second most expensive street in Britain. While more and more people struggle to get on to London's property ladder as house prices rise at 11.2% a year, the Guardian has established that 16 mansions on the most expensive stretch of The Bishops Avenue are sitting empty, many behind padlocked gates, with their windows shuttered with steel grilles and overgrown grounds patrolled by guard dogs.

Across the street from the former Saudi properties stands another derelict mansion worth £18m with smashed windows and walls coated in anti-climb paint. Metal grilles block the windows of another believed to belong to a Middle Eastern owner through a Channel Islands company which has been 'sold on behalf of receivers' for £20m.

But that doesn't stop the prices going up. Dryades, a mansion until recently owned by a Pakistani politician, sold for £12m in 2007 and is believed to be worth about £30m today. Heath Lodge, the scene of the 1984 murder by silver bullet of fashion tycoon Aristos Constantinou, is worth £13m today after having been sold in the late 1970s for £400,000.

The dereliction can be agonising for people struggling to keep a roof above their heads in one of the world's most expensive cities. One security guard working on the avenue said he had only recently been homeless and it was exasperating to see so many tens of thousands of square feet of property - enough to house dozens of people - falling apart. 'How do you let something like this go to waste?' he said. 'You wouldn't, would you?'

Over the last half a century this curving road near Hampstead Heath has become a haven for the winners and losers of numerous geopolitical shocks. Royals flushed with oil wealth from Nigeria and Saudi Arabia were among the first to come. Iranians fled here after the fall of the shah. Now Chinese househunters are following Russians and Kazakhs who have spent millions securing an address estate agents tell them is as world famous as the Champs Elysées and Rodeo Drive. This week two mansions were on sale for £65m and £38m, promising endless Italian marble, leather-padded lifts and luxury panic rooms. Roaring Lamborghini sports cars and Bentley limousines negotiate the constant traffic of construction vehicles refurbishing mansions.

The avenue is home to Princess Al Jawhara bint Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, widow of Saudi Arabia's late King Fahd, and Richard Desmond, owner of the Express newspapers. But its hidden reality is exposed most clearly in the wrecks of the 10 mansions sold last October for a combined £73m.

Land Registry records show the portfolio was assembled between 1989 and 1993, around the time Saddam Hussein's sabre rattling in the Gulf threatened the House of Saud. The deal on the boltholes was brokered by Rafic Hariri, the future prime minister of Lebanon, who at that time was working as a Saudi envoy, sources familiar with the transaction say. Five identical mansions were snapped up for £1.5m each along with the palatial Tower - built on the site of the former home of the 1940s Hollywood star Gracie Fields - and three neighbouring mansions. But after Saddam was beaten back, the Saudis let dilapidation take hold.

The waste is spectacular. In the grounds, stone fountains crumble and lawns have become bogs. Inside the Georgian mansion water drips through a huge crystal chandelier on to a thick carpet rotting under sections of collapsed ceiling. Moss grows through shattered bricks and mirrored tiles are scattered across a bathroom. An odour of fermentation pervades neighbouring Redcroft and the only signs of life are an old and jammed Arabic Olympia typewriter and a hotel-style sign warning: 'Visitors may be asked to submit to a search of person or baggage by security staff.' The swimming pool is filled with a foot of brackish water and has flowers growing through its tiles. Wooden slats bulge away from the sauna. Behind the rotting ranch-style shutters of Ilkley House, a tiled peacock remains intact in the pool house but dead plants droop from hanging baskets. A sheaf of invoices reveals a £7,314.54 order for kitchen equipment made in September 1992 including a Robot Juicerator, teak salad servers and a melon baller.

But it is the wreck of The Towers, a grand mansion set in acres of hornbeams, oaks and limes, that is most dramatic, with its huge, high-ceiling halls occupied by pigeons and its walls turned bright green by algae as water pours through three storeys and plinks into a vast, empty basement swimming pool. Unopened wooden crates marked 'bullet proof glass' reveal the security fears of the previous owners.

The properties have now been bought for £73m by LJ Capital, an investment fund which intends a major redevelopment. It has appointed Harrison Varma, a local developer, to oversee the scheme, which is the subject of talks with the local authority to allow the construction of flats as well as mansions, because it believes smaller serviced apartments will be better occupied and help bring the avenue back to life.

Today, very few people live on The Bishops Avenue full-time. A security guard patrolling the pavement outside one mansion confirmed it was owned by 'someone from Brunei', but said they were not at home. Another in a designer uniform outside Royal Mansion, owned by a Kazakh-born property billionairess, declined to say if anyone was home, while a member of staff at Saudi-owned mansion simply warned the Guardian about the guard dogs. But Magdy Adib Ishak-Hannah, an Egyptian-born private healthcare mogul whose personal wealth is £45m, said he was in the minority of permanent residents.

'It's not a neighbourly place where you can chat over the fence,' he said. 'To be honest I have never seen what my neighbours look like. Next door a Saudi princess spent £35m a new house and I've never seen her. There are about three houses that are lived in 24/7 and half of the properties are occupied three to six months a year. The other half, who knows if they come or not?'

The multimillion-pound wrecks are evidence of a property culture in which the world's richest people see British property as investments. One Hyde Park, a block of apartments in Knightsbridge, is another example where more than half the flats are registered with the council as empty or second homes.

Nevertheless, the talk on the avenue is about building £5m apartments instead of £50m mansions in an effort to draw people back.

Anil Varma, a local property developer, has decided to rebuild one of the most valuable sites on the avenue as a collection of 20 apartments with a concierge, maid service, 25-metre pool, spa and cinema. He believes the local authority should relax conservation area rules to allow more apartments such as his Buxmead scheme.

'If you build a big house and try and sell for £30m to £40m it won't sell,' he said. 'Locals won't buy and so you have to bring in overseas buyers.'

Andreas Panayiotou, a boxer turned property developer whose fortune is estimated at more than £400m, has been trying to sell Heath Hall next door to the site for £65m for well over a year. It came on to the market in August 2012 at £100m. He completely refitted the 15-bedroom Arts and Crafts-movement mansion, originally built for William Lyle of Tate & Lyle to include hand-carved marble baths and an oak-clad snooker room.

'It used to be the Arabs buying trophy assets but not moving in, but now you have a lot of new money coming in,' Panayiotou said. 'Over the last 20 years it was the elite that bought these properties and a lot didn't live in them but might come over two or three weeks a year. There was so much money that these houses were being left behind. In the last 10 years people are starting to live in the road.'

Firoz Kassam, the former owner of Oxford United Football Club, last year spent close to £30m on three properties which he is planning to turn into three mansions and five apartments. 'Everyone wants to be bigger and better than next door so they pull down the buildings and start again,' he said. 'It has always been like that and it shows no sign of changing.' Kassam said to leave houses derelict 'is no good for anybody, but it is hard to see what you can do'.

Cross the road from the rotting Tower and Jersey House feels a million miles away. The electronic gates swing open on a rebuilt £38m, seven-bedroom mansion with silk carpets and limestone floors. The suited housekeeper turns on ambient music and reveals a six-metre-high hall with shimmering bauble chandelier. A fur is tossed over a chaise longue to create a Downton Abbey ambience.

'Buyers have a celluloid image of Britain in their minds and when they come they want to live the dream,' explains Trevor Abrahmsohn, the 59-year-old estate agent who has sold more homes on the avenue than anybody else. 'The more things there are that give them instant gratification, the better.'

Everything from the leather-clad lift to the vast master bedroom with its three dressing rooms and three bathrooms is 'reassuringly expensive' he says. The master bedroom is in fact one bedroom, three dressing rooms (two of which are fitted out in his and hers styles) and three bathrooms. The staff quarters is a self-contained flat that would delight any first time buyer.

In the basement is a swimming pool, gym and spa, while there is a cinema on the first floor and there are two kitchens - one built to catering standard that could serve a small hotel and another more for show. Books are scattered around like heavy hints: The Richest of the Rich and The Villas of the Riviera.

'Everything is extraordinary about it,' said Abrahmsohn of The Bishops Avenue. 'You can buy a home with multiple acres of land 15 minutes from the centre of London. It is a cross between a dacha and a town house.'

The trend for foreign ownership has snowballed to the point that more than half of the 55 properties on the most expensive stretch are now registered to offshore companies or foreign owners. But the prospect of the avenue's empty property being used to help solve the housing crisis remains distant.

A Conservative councillor, Andrew Harper, whose ward covers the avenue, laughed when asked whether some of the derelict housing could become affordable homes. He said the land price would be prohibitive.

'Very wealthy people own property there,' he said. 'Sometimes they live in them and sometimes they don't'. Asked whether leaving homes vacant for decades was acceptable, he replied: 'That's their prerogative. It is difficult to imagine what one would put in place to force things to be different to how they are.'

Eat treats and help animals at ADOPT Pet Shelter

Dog and cat cutout cookies are ready for baking. | Judy Buchenot~For Sun-Times Media

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Mary Kyrychenko always enjoys baking, but she gets extra satisfaction when her baked goods can raise money for an organization that is dear to her heart.

The Plainfield mother of two started volunteering for ADOPT, a Naperville animal shelter, about four years ago. Since then she has tied on her apron to bake cookies, cupcakes and muffins for the organization's fundraising bake sales. She is getting ready for their annual Valentine's Day Sweets and Treats Sale on Feb. 8 with plans to make cookies, candies and mini-cupcakes.

Kyrychenko says working with ADOPT has been a meaningful experience for her. She loves animals and adopted two cats from the organization over the years.

Last November, she learned about a cat that wasn't eating or doing well at the shelter despite the comfy cat accommodations. Instead of caging cats, the shelter keeps them in a room with couches and a sunny window.

To help, Kyrychenko volunteered to take the cat home to see if it would be happier there. Then test results came back that revealed that the cat had a tumor.

'We then decided to adopt her so that she would be part of a family for what might be her final days,' says Kyrychenko. The cat, Tabitha, has taken well to her new family and is perking up and eating again.

The timing of the Valentine's Day sale is perfect, according to Kyrychenko, since most everyone has finished off their holiday treats and is ready for something rich, chocolatey and delicious to celebrate Valentine's Day.

'We really have a big selection of cookies, candies, bar cookie and cupcakes,' she says. 'We usually fill about three banquet tables with things that everyone can choose from to fill a box. We have boxes, but many people bring their own box or container.'

The container is weighed before filling and then after filling to determine the weight of the sweets and treats, which are sold for $9.99 a pound.

One of Kyrychenko's favorite items to make for the sale is a butter-rich cut-out cookie in dog and cat shapes. She plans to include a few heart shapes also in honor of Valentine's Day.

She knows there are many cut-out cookie recipes available, but she favors her recipe because it does not require refrigeration, and the dough is firm enough to keep the cookie cutter shape intact.

'I am always worried about losing a tail on my cats and dogs,' says Kyrychenko.

She rolls the dough to about a quarter-inch thickness on floured waxed paper that she tapes down on her counter. She cuts out the shapes and removes the excess dough. She then lightly flours a narrow spatula that is slid under the cookie. The cookie shape easily slides off the spatula onto the baking sheet.

Kyrychenko also has a favorite icing for the cookies that can be spread on or piped onto the cookies.

'If I am piping on the frosting, I add a little extra confectioner's sugar,' she notes.

She adds that it is important to let the frosting harden before packaging cookies for the sale.

Another popular item she makes for the sale is a simple peanut butter cup that requires no baking.

She invites others to try making her sweet treat recipes for their Valentine, but if time is short, she reminds everyone there will be an ample supply at the Valentine's Day Sweets and Treats Sale.

Kamis, 30 Januari 2014

Despite Dilution, Aratana Therapeutics Can Keep Climbing

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Aratana Therapeutics , one of the best-performing biotech IPOs last year, rallied on January 28 after the company announced that the USDA had granted a conditional approval for AT-005, Aratana's T-cell lymphoma treatment for dogs. This is the second of Aratana's lymphoma canine treatments to be approved, following the conditional approval of the B-cell lymphoma drug AT-004 in 2012.

AT-005 is highly significant for Aratana, since it represents the company's first internal commercial opportunity. Its predecessor, AT-004, was licensed to Novartis Animal Health for commercialization in the United States and Canada.

Is this recent bullish development a good reason to invest in Aratana, which has already rallied more than 130% since its market debut? Let's take a look at three key factors to consider.

1. An exclusive bet on pet health products What makes Aratana an appealing investment is that there aren't many companies like it.

Other animal health companies, such as Zoetis, focus on both farm animals and companion animals. The same can be said of the other leaders in the field -- Novartis Animal Health, Merck Animal Health, Eli Lilly's Elanco, and Sanofi's Merial.

While those companies are affected by both pet and livestock issues, Aratana is a pure bet on the growing demand for veterinary pharmaceuticals. According to the company, annual spending by U.S. pet owners has surged 212% from $17 billion in 1994 to $53 billion in 2013.

Market trends reflect Aratana's forecasts. Last quarter, Zoetis, the largest pure animal health play on the market, reported that sales of its companion animal products rose across all four of its geographical regions. Sales were particularly strong in the U.S. and in Canada/Latin America, where revenue respectively rose 10% and 19% from the prior-year quarter.

However, when we compare Zoetis to Sanofi, Merck, and Lilly's animal health units, we see some glaring discrepancies:

Animal Health Segment Revenue (most recent quarter)

YOY Growth


Sanofi (Merial)

Merck (Merck Animal Health)

Eli Lilly (Elanco)

Sanofi and Merck's negative growth shouldn't worry Aratana investors, however. Sanofi posted negative sales growth due to generic competition for its Frontline flea and tick control treatment -- a market that Aratana is not involved in. Meanwhile, Merck's animal health segment stumbled after its non-hormone growth promoter Zilmax was banned by major customers after it was found to cause lameness in cattle. Again, Aratana is not exposed at all to the livestock market, which makes it a more attractive, higher growth animal health play than any of the above companies.

2. An attractive pipeline of better treatments Last December, Aratana announced that it had met all of its 2013 milestone developments. Here were the key highlights:




Anticipated Approval Date

AT-001 and AT-003 could represent substantial improvements over the broad spectrum of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) which are currently used to treat pain and inflammation in dogs.

AT-002 could compare favorably to the current treatments for inappetance, which surprisingly include human allergy drugs like Johnson & Johnson's Benadryl (diphenhydramine) or cyproheptadine. In addition, AT-001, AT-002, and AT-003 are all being tested for cats as well.

Meanwhile, both AT-004 and AT-005, which Aratana gained via its $30 million acquisition of Vet Therapeutics in October, have huge market potential, since lymphoma is the most common blood cancer in dogs and accounts for roughly 6% of all canine cancers. The most common treatment today is chemotherapy, which can cost between $3,500 to $10,000 per dog. Therefore, AT-004 and AT-005, which are both monoclonal antibodies, have game-changing potential as two of the first targeted treatments for dog lymphoma. Aratana expects a full approval license for AT-005 in 2015, make the drug Aratana's first pillar of real revenue growth.

Earlier this month, Aratana also acquired Okapi Sciences for its rich portfolio of feline antiviral and immunodeficiency drugs, and oncology drugs for both cats and dogs. If Okapi's lead drug candidate, a treatment for ocular disease caused by feline herpes, is approved, Aratana intends to commercialize the product in several territories under a current commercialization agreement with Novartis Animal Health.

3. A proposed public offering could mean lower prices ahead Although Aratana has a robust pipeline, it finished last quarter with only $52.3 million in cash and equivalents. Meanwhile, it has a negative operating cash flow over the past 12 months of $13.8 million, $4.9 million in debt, and no meaningful sources of revenue.

Therefore, to fund upcoming studies, Aratana proposed a public offering of 6.5 million shares of common stock, priced at $19.00, on January 29. Aratana will sell 5 million shares, and two other major stockholders will sell 1.5 million shares. Considering that there are only 23.8 million outstanding shares on the market, that new offering will significantly dilute existing shares.

The company intends to raise $95 million from the sale, which will help cover its acquisitions of Vet Therapeutics and Okapi Sciences and upcoming trials. However, this means that lower prices could be on the horizon, which could be the ideal time for new investors to pick up some shares.

The Foolish takeaway In closing, Aratana is a speculative, pre-revenue biotech company fully dedicated to the growing market for veterinary therapeutics. Aratana's robust pipeline and ambitious inorganic growth all indicate there is plenty of room for growth, but investors should remember that until the company actually generates revenue, no one can be sure what the stock is really worth. Aratana has had a spectacular triple-digit run over the past 12 months, and a new public offering is right around the corner, so lower prices could be ahead. Therefore, this is definitely a stock better suited for investors who can stomach the near-term volatility.

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Designer prep: Even the biggest names have pre

By all appearances, designers seem a perfectly confident lot - especially the veterans. At the end of their shows during New York Fashion Week, they take their runway bows looking cool, collected and, of course, chic.Michael Kors stalks his catwalk wearing signature black and proffering a presidential wave. Donna Karan goes glam, often dressed in something from her latest line, doling out kisses to the front row. The team at Badgley Mischka appears entirely unfazed, elevating the word 'crisp' to new heights, while Carmen Marc Valvo reads dapper - jaunty even. And Tracy Reese is always ladylike and fresh, a perception amped up by a bouquet of flowers presented by a family member.But behind the scenes, are they all sooooooo buttoned up? Do they break a sweat? How do they stay sane and healthy? We asked this group to give us a little insight into their pre-fashion week world. What we learned? Designers are people, too. Is it always glamorous? Um, not so much.

DONNA KARAN Photo: Designer Donna Karan works with supermodel Karlie Kloss backstage at the preshow during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Handout

Stress factor 1-10: 'The scale only goes up to 10?!? Seriously, the stress factor is high, but so is the adrenaline. You just push forward and get it done. Thank God for deadlines.'Fitness/health: 'It's not really pre-Fashion Week, it's my lifestyle. I'm a yogi and practice every morning. Yoga gives me a sense of balance like nothing else. I also try to mediate - even for a few minutes - to help center myself and find the calm in the chaos.'Eating and cheating: 'For the most part, I try to eat well. I start every day with my green juice and have lots of raw snacks and raw cookies packed into my handbag. But I have a serious dark chocolate addiction, too.'All glam? 'They should try being me for a week; the stress and deadlines would instantly change their minds.'Good luck charm: 'My granddaughter Stefania [she's 10] usually visits the design room at some point. She's my talisman.'MICHAEL KORS

Photo: Backstage at a show from seasons past, Michael Kors is hands-on tweaking every little detail, in this case, a belt. Credit: Getty Images

Stress factor 1-10: 'At this point, after more than 30 years, I'd say I'm about an 8. You don't have the nerves that you have during the first few shows - you sort of know the routine, but you've invested so much time and so much of yourself into these pieces that you're anxious to send them into the world and [get] the reaction. The night before, I try not to read anything and usually watch something that really lets me turn my brain off. Then, when I wake up, it's go time.' Eating and cheating: 'I eat the same lunch almost every day - either arugula salad or sashimi. But past a certain hour, it's Doritos and dark chocolate.' BADGLEY MISCHKA

Photo: Mark Badgley, left, and James Mischka greet the audience after their Spring 2014 collection was modeled during Fashion Week in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Credit: AP Images

Stress factor 1-10: Mark Badgley: 'We are both Capricorns, and usually try to contain the stress so that it doesn't leach out to everybody else. Maybe 4 on the outside, 8 on the inside.'Fitness/health: James Mischka: 'We just try to keep everybody at the studio well and healthy, especially in the month before a show. We go through a lot of Emergen-C. Mark: 'And Purell, especially this year.'Eating and cheating: James: 'Since we need everybody every minute before the show, we cater all of the meals so they don't waste time going out to get it. It's always a trip around the world: Japanese one meal, Indian the next, then Mexican. But we always sneak in a few steaks at Keens.'All glam? Mark: 'If they think it's all about glamour every day, then they are not very close friends!' James: 'And if they do think it is, we let them continue to believe the lie!'TRACY REESE

Photo:During the Fashion Week preshow, Tracy Reese does a run-through looking for potential trouble. Credit: AP Images

Stress factor 1-10: 'Oh gosh, can I say 20? But in reality, there is always stress surrounding Fashion Week, because at the end of the day the team is dedicated to putting on the best show possible. We have a lot of shows under our belts, so when the time rolls around each year, we just have to know that we've got this handled.'Fitness/health: 'We are always in the office long hours leading up to Fashion Week, but I always love to squeeze in a Pilates class in the morning before work. I always feel very balanced throughout the day when I start it with a class. And lots of green juice and kale salads!'Eating and cheating: 'For a special treat, I love peanut butter on rice cakes. Always delicious and nutritious.'All glam? 'So many think the job is about the glamour and parties. In reality, the fashion industry is demanding and around the clock hard work. My friends know better by now!'Good luck charm: 'I have a special cross necklace that I wear daily - I never leave home without it. I guess you could say that is my good luck charm each season as well.' CARMEN MARC VALVO

Photo: Glamorous? Not so much. Carmen Marc Valvo tweaks a dress for his line-up last season, sitting on the floor. Credit: AP Images

Stress factor 1-10: 'The stress factor hits at the show when they go into the second look on the runway . . . that's when the panic hits. The shoe may not fit, or they put the dress on backwards - it's happened - and one media outlet said it was brilliant! Then, it's a 10.'Fitness/health: 'The month before fashion week, I work out twice a day. I go 20 to 30 miles on the bike depending on my schedule. It's 15 seconds of fame, and you don't want to feel enormous on the runway.'Eating and cheating: 'I may cheat by having a bacon cheeseburger. It's something I normally would never eat. I'll do something bad like that, but Chris [his partner] can't be around, or he'll yell at me. I also drink two little glasses of wine, which I sip slowly.' 'They're clueless. You get maybe 15 seconds of it. It's hard work, late hours and an ungodly schedule. Every so often, you get to meet someone who is glamorous.'Good luck charm: 'I used to wear a stack of bracelets that said things like 'strength,' 'creativity,' 'luck,' but finally they started getting in the way, and I stopped that ritual 10 years ago.'

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Courtenay boy aiming for $1500 to train therapy dogs

Sam Sterk, 7, has raised almost $1,400 in memory of a beloved therapy dog called Faith. He's shooting for $1,500 by Feb. 8, which is his next birthday.

- image credit: Photo submitted

A seven-year-old Courtenay boy has raised nearly $1,400 in memory of a therapy dog called Faith.

Shortly after his family's 13-year-old golden retriever passed away in November, Sam Sterk decided to raise money for the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), where Faith was trained.

'They raise assistance dogs for people with disabilities other than blindness and train therapy dogs to work alongside people who work in health care,' Sterk writes on his poster. 'These amazing dogs are trained to turn on light switches, help people get dressed, pull wheelchairs, pick things up and be great companions. It takes between $50,000 and $90,000 to train one dog and I would like to help.'

Faith worked with Sterk's mom Nicole Burgess, who is a music therapist to a variety of clients in the Valley. Sterk says he was more interested in Faith's role as a family member than the work she did, but after she passed away he decided he wanted to do a fundraiser in her memory.

Sterk's first fundraising idea was to ask his parents and extended family to give him money for Christmas instead of presents. Burgess says the family still gave Sterk some small items but he received significantly less than normal, and than his brother, on Christmas Day.

Sterk also set a donation jar up at the Potters Place, where his grandmother sells the pottery she makes. Sterk has so far raised $1,385.

'I thought I was only able to get like $600,' Sterk says with a grin as he points out one non-family member generously donated $700 to his initiative.

His new fundraising goal is $1,500. Donations will be accepted until Feb. 7, as Sterk's birthday is on Feb. 8, and he's doing something special to celebrate it this year.

'Instead of a birthday party he'd like to go over to Vancouver to visit PADS,' says Burgess, adding he will hand over the funds when he's there. 'Again, instead of presents he's asked his family to donate to PADS instead of buying him gifts.'

Burgess adds she and her husband (dance instructor Lindsay Sterk) couldn't be more proud of Sam.

We're 'super proud - really, really proud,' she says. 'Sam's a determined little guy and always has been, but he's really put his mind to this.

'For us as parents that's the cool thing: we've supported Sam, but this is Sam's thing that he's done.'

For more information, e-mail Nicole Burgess at peoplemakingmusic@gmail.com. Or, to make a donation, stop by the Potters Place at Fifth Street and Cliffe Avenue in Courtenay.

Meanwhile, Sam told his Grade 2 École Puntledge Park class about his PADS fundraiser and his classmates decided to make helping PADS a class I Can project.

The class sent out handwritten letters last week asking veterinary clinics and pet stores in the Comox Valley and Campbell River if they could donate specific items needed to help train the dogs, or money to buy those items. PADS has a wish list on its website, which includes things like puppy leashes and collars, kongs (dog toys) and folding ring gates and ex-pens for puppy play areas.

With help from its Grade 6 buddy class, Sam's class planned to hold a bake and craft sale Wednesday, after the Record's deadline.

Sam will take the wish list items over to PADS when he visits on his birthday, so anyone wishing to donate to the class fundraiser can do so until Feb. 7.

For more information contact teacher Thea Black at thea.black@sd71.bc.ca or call 250-334-4495.

'Sam has been a real inspiration to the students in our class,' says Black. 'I am so in awe of how a bunch of seven-year-olds have taken on this amazing 'I can' project and are so passionate about supporting Sam and his cause.'

For more information about PADS, visit www.pads.ca.


E! Named Official Media Sponsor for 2014 MERCEDES


E! announced today that the pop culture powerhouse has been tapped as an official media sponsor for both the February and September 2014 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in New York.As a new official media sponsor, E! will enjoy unprecedented access to all the shows and A-List only events of fashion's biggest week, providing fashionistas at home with celebrity interviews, breaking fashion news, party coverage, trends and happenings, much of which airing live at Eonline. Live streaming highlights include inside access to the most popular fashion shows from some of today's hottest designers. With the network's commitment to reaching viewers both at home and on the go, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week coverage will be everywhere E! can be found -- on-air, at Eonline and across the network's various mobile and social platforms.'From awards shows to premieres, E! has become synonymous with the most talked-about pop culture events, and we welcome the opportunity to present Fashion Week through the multi-dimensional lens that only E! provides,' said Suzanne Kolb, President, E!. 'Only E! and Eonline gives viewers unprecedented access to all the activities and happenings at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, providing a front row seat to experience every aspect one of the industry's biggest events.'E! will kick off its sponsorship of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week during the Fall 2014 Collections, taking place at Lincoln Center February 6-13. Sponsorship components include:ON-SITELounge: There will be an E! lounge in the lower level lobby that will offer a multitude of on-site activations for designers and celebrity attendees to show off their designs and fashions. In the upper mezzanine of the Grand Lobby, viewers will see all the latest trends up close, from head-to-toe, via E!'s exclusive 360 Glam Cam.VIP Backstage Entrance: E!'s VIP Backstage Entrance will serve as a special 'red carpet' for celebrities and VIPs attending the various shows and, of course, E! cameras will have special access to this exclusive entrance.ON-AIRExclusive access: 'E! Live from Fashion Week' will cover the week from all angles, giving viewers at home an exclusive front row seat to both the runway and backstage activities. E! News will have an exclusive access to get The Real Story behind what inspires Fashion Week's hottest designers and find out what keeps their celebrity clientele coming back for more.Special Broadcasts: E! News will broadcast from Lincoln Center nightly during Fashion Week and will have fashion correspondents on-the-ground to report live from the tents with breaking trends, celebrity sightings and rich descriptions of the event's activities. E! News anchor and Fashion Police star Giuliana Rancic will be reporting live every night from the runway. Joining her will be E! News correspondent Alicia Quarles and E! News contributors Z Anna Roberts Rassi and EJ Johnson.Synergized Programming: E! will celebrate the week with special segments, guests, and themed episodes across E! original programming, including 'Chelsea Lately,' 'The Soup,' 'E! News,' and, of course, 'Fashion Police.'DIGITALEonline will launch a brand new digital channel dedicated to fashion's biggest week, making it the principal website for everything you Need to Know about upcoming trends and fashion news. Eonline's new fashion channel will have:Live Streaming: The site will give users a backstage pass to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week by featuring live, online streaming throughout the day on Eonline.com.Insider Access: Users will be able to watch interviews with the designers and models, click through exclusive photos of the most talked about parties, celebrities and of course, the week's biggest star, fashion.Social Media: E! fashion correspondents and editors will also interact with viewers and designers across all social media platforms.


Absence from London fashion week may hit Mulberry hard

Tickets to the Mulberry catwalk show at London fashion week are never easy to come by - with Cara Delevingne on the catwalk, Mossy and Alexa in the front row and tables piled with Claridges' finest cakes, seats are highly sought after - but at February's week of catwalk shows, they will be more elusive than ever. Nonexistent, in fact. That is because Mulberry, which is currently without a designer after the departure of Emma Hill last autumn, will not stage a show.

A string of names have been linked to the Mulberry job in the past six months. At various points Erdem Moralioglu, Roland Mouret, Mary Katrantzou and Sophie Hulme have been rumoured to be 'in negotiations'. In the late autumn, a deal was close enough to being signed that the label reserved a seat at the British Fashion Awards from which it hoped to introduce their new designer - but the awards came and went and no deal was signed.

The lack of catwalk presence is likely to further negatively affect Mulberry in the coming season. Catwalk and front row photographs from the shows are a staple of fashion magazines and websites for an entire season. Without visuals that can be included in those pages, a brand slips from view.

But perhaps more significant is the difficulty in signing a deal. It is no secret that Hill's departure was driven at least in part by creative differences with CEO Bruno Guillon, who since joining Mulberry from Hermès in 2012 has focused on repositioning Mulberry from being a small, quirky British label to a serious international player.

The quality of the leather has been upgraded, with a corresponding hike in prices. Mulberry achieved cachet by courting hipster celebrities - in the past it held pool parties at the Coachella festival in California, a strategy that proved successful in placing the Mulberry name and handbags front and centre of fashion coverage of the festival - and successfully positioned itself as an aspirational but accessible brand for young British women. There is a long road to travel between that version of Mulberry and the British Hermès that Guillon appears to be aiming for.

Pet dogs Hamley and Rufus help out with Aylsham

Rev Patrick Coghlan and his dogs, left, Rufus and Hamley. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Alex Hurrell, Reporter Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:00 AM

A pair of much-loved pet pooches have helped a north Norfolk clergyman and author write his latest religious book.

Rev Patrick Coghlan and his dogs, left, Rufus and Hamley. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Rev Patrick Coghlan's 25th work, The Destination is in Sight, is about the Christian journey, held together with anecdotes about walking his dogs, Cockapoo pup Hamley and 12-year-old Rufus, a long-haired Dachshund.

Mr Coghlan, 58, who is minister of Worstead Baptist Church and chaplain to the Aylsham Care Trust, said different sections in the book, which looks at extracts from the Gospel of John, with particular reference to the 'End Time' - before the second coming of Christ - were linked by Hamley and Rufus.

'Taking up John's analogy of the Christian journey being like a journey on foot, the book is hung on a framework of analogies drawn from dog walking,' said Mr Coghlan.

In one example, he writes: 'Where we go for our walks varies: and there are times when the plan has to be changed pretty well instantaneously. Sometimes the planned route is too muddy; so a different route has to be taken. Sometimes all the dog walkers in the area appear to have chosen an identical route; so to avoid the rush and bustle, we make a hasty change of direction. Sometimes it is too hot to go far; so a shorter option is chosen.

'I am reminded of Proverbs 16:9, which says: 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.'

Mr Coghlan, of Charles Ewing Close, Aylsham, said the paperback book, published by Matthew James Publishing Ltd, should be on sale before Easter in outlets which he hoped would include Norwich Christian resource centre, the Forget Me Not Café, on Redwell Street.

His other published works include Christian teaching materials, stories for children, and books on prayer, spirituality and the miracles of Jesus.

Rabu, 29 Januari 2014

ABC Family's 'The Fosters' Gets Web Series (Exclusive)

ABC Family's drama The Fosters is getting its own web series.

A five-part original web series, The Fosters: Girls United, will follow the residents of the Girls United group home, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

The entire series will debut Monday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET immediately following an original episode and will feature an arc, providing additional content to supplement The Fosters universe.

STORY: ABC Family Renews 'The Fosters' for Season 2

In the three- to five-minute episodes, The Fosters: Girls United follows the girls' theories when one of the members from the group home goes missing.

Maia Mitchell stars in the web series, alongside Daffany Clark, Cherinda Kincherlow, Annamarie Kenoyer, Alicia Sixtos, Hayley Kiyoko and Angela Gibbs.

ABC Family previously debuted an eight-episode, closed-ended Pretty Little Liars mystery web series, Pretty Dirty Secrets, that premiered online during the show's break in 2012.

The Fosters airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com Twitter: @insidethetube

Wellington law bans sale of dogs, cats from pet stores

By Jason Schultz

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

The Wellington Council unanimously passed its anti-puppy-mill ordinance a second time Tuesday, making the new law official.

The puppy-mill law, which will take effect immediately, bans the sale of dogs or cats from pet stores in the village. There are no commercial pet stores open in the village now, but resident Lorrie Browne said she called for the ordinance to get ahead of the national issue of pet stores selling sick animals bred at 'puppy mills' or large commercial breeders that sometimes put profits ahead of animal health and safety.

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How to look totally Clueless for Spring/Summer 2014

Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, fashion's muse for SS14 (Picture: YouTube)

If there was one, perhaps unexpected, muse designers kept coming back to for spring/summer 2014, it was Cher Horowitz, Alicia Silverstone's teen fashion queen, from 90s hit Clueless.

Sister by Sibling and Moschino both featured Cher-style coordinating skirt suits for SS14, while Clueless inspired crop tops and checks abounded on the catwalks.

90s fashions have been threatening to stage a takeover for a number of seasons now and we saw the first wave of attack in the autumn last year with Saint Laurent's ode to grunge that flooded the high street with PVC and tartan. Now, things are set to lighten up a little for spring with the resurgence of Cher's Valley girl look.

Spot the Clueless influence at Sister by Sibling (Picture: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

Here's how to get the look on the high street for spring/summer 2014.

1. CoordinatesDionne and Cher coordinate their blazers (Picture: YouTube)

Not only were Cher and Dionne brought together by the fact they were both named after great singers from the past who now do infomercials, but they shared a rather snappy dress sense too. This season, make sure you coordinate your checks - and your mates. This Topshop tee and skirt bring the look bang up to date for 2014.

Mixed check jaquard tee, £26, TopshopTexture check tube skirt, £24, Topshop2. The A-line skirt and tee

The A-line skirt is synonymous with the 90s and, when Cher and Dionne decided to makeover Tai (as Dionne explains, 'Cher's main thrill in life is a makeover, it gives her a sense of control in a world full of chaos'), it was the first thing they put her in. Team this Topshop skirt with one of Untitled & Co's brilliant Clueless tees (available online) and some Mary Jane/t-bar heels (it's up to you if you want to add the knee high socks).

Rollin with the Homies T, $40, Untitled & CoGingham A-line skirt, £36, TopshopBlack T-Bar shoes, £34, Next3. The spaghetti strap bodycon dressCher is the designers' favourite muse for SS14 (Picture: YouTube)

The spaghetti strap sheath dress was hugely popular in the 90s and Cher famously wore a white Calvin Klein one on her date with Luke Perry look-a-like, Christian. Get the look with this cute pastel slip dress from ASOS.

ASOS soft mini cami-dress, £224. The collar contrast dressGet Dionne's contrast collar dress for SS14 (Picture: YouTube)

The Valley girls popped a shirt under everything - under dresses, sweater vests and cropped knits. This dress from Retail Therapy Fashion does all the hard work for you with its contrast collar and sleeves - plus it's in spring's favourite colour, pastel pink.

Contrast collar shift dress, £25, RetailTherapyFashion.com5. The cropped cardi and pleated mini-skirtCher in her most capable cropped cardi (Picture: YouTube

You didn't think you'd get away without facing the dreaded 90s crop top did you? The good thing about Cher & co. is that they always layered their crops over longer shirts and t-shirts, so just pop a plain, white tee underneath this ASOS cropped cardi, then add a pleated mini-skirt and one of this season's luxe rucksacks - the Whistles one is on all the must-have lists.

Who are you calling ensembly challenged?

ASOS cropped cardigan, £18Zara pleated skirt, £25.99Verity large rucksack, £275, Whistles

Karlie Kloss Might Officially Be Too Famous for Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is creeping up on us, which means in a matter of days, the streets will be filled with an army of beautiful, impossibly tall models visiting designers for their castings. IMG, one of the top-tier modeling agencies in each fashion capital, released its show package for the Fall 2014 shows on Tuesday, debuting its impressive roster of models for the season.

Aside from seeing a number of our favorite girls represented - Joan Smalls, Ali Michael, Jac - and noticing how diverse IMG's lineup is this season (there's a number of plus-size models included, as well as a significant selection of models of color), one model's card caught our eye in particular. Karlie Kloss, who has officially reached supermodel status, has a bit of a disclaimer attached to it: She's only available by 'special arrangement.'

This likely means that Kloss won't go on castings like most of the models have to. It also has a number of different implications, the main ones being that a) designers probably need to be buddies with Kloss to have her walk their shows, or b) they'd better be willing to fork over some extra cash in order to cast her. We reached out to IMG for clarification and we will update as we hear more.

Kloss has taken some time away from the runways before - she completely skipped New York Fashion Week during the fall 2012 season to pursue another opportunity - and she has scaled back on the number of shows she walks each season because, face it: she totally can. The 'MTV House of Style' host and Victoria's Secret Angel has a lot on her plate, including aspirations to go back to school. Kloss did once admit to Vanity Fair that designers have told her she's 'too famous ' to walk in their shows, since 'no one will pay attention to the clothes,' so this could just be a way to weed out those who don't want the competition for attention on the catwalk.

Kloss has a stable of shows that she tends to walk in season after season, including Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors, so we're hoping we'll be lucky enough to witness that mesmerizing, panther-like walk at least once here in New York.

New Thunder bat dog named Rookie

New Thunder bat dog named Rookie

Grandpuppy of Trenton's beloved Chase was born last month

TRENTON, N.J. -- After nearly three weeks of fan input and voting, the Trenton Thunder's bat dog of the future has a name. The golden retriever puppy, who is the son of team bat dog Derby and grandson of original bat dog Chase, will be named Rookie.

Thunder fans submitted 1,164 different names during a 10-day submission period before thousands of fans voted for one of eight finalists during a week-long online vote.

The eight finalists are listed below in order of votes received:

'With all the young players that pass through ARM & HAMMER Park each year, it's only fitting that we have a 'Rookie' here to fetch their bats,' said Thunder General Manager Will Smith. 'The interaction we had with the fans throughout the naming process was outstanding and there's no doubt that everyone is excited about Rookie becoming part of the Thunder experience.'

Rookie will make many appearances at Thunder games during the 2014 season. He will be trained by Shelly's School for Dogs in Millstone, N.J. and should make his bat dog debut for Thunder fans during the 2015 season. Rookie, like his dad Derby, is sponsored by ARM & HAMMER.

The Thunder gained worldwide attention starting in 2002 when then two-year old 'Chase That Golden Thunder' joined the team as an official bat dog, entertainer and mascot. In 2008, Chase fathered a litter of puppies. His son 'Home Run Derby' followed in his father's pawsteps in Trenton while 'Ollie' continued the family business with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double-A, Toronto). Chase and Derby worked alongside each other at ARM & HAMMER Park from 2010 until Chase's passing last July.

Rookie was born on December 15 at Goldilocks Goldens of Levittown, Pa. Derby's mate Reba had a litter of two puppies, a boy and girl.

The Thunder will begin the 2014 season at ARM & HAMMER Park on Thursday, April 3. Season tickets, group outings, Pic-A-Plans, and Mini Plan renewals are on sale now. Single game tickets will go on sale on March 1, 2014. For more information about tickets, fans should call 609-394-3300 or visit trentonthunder.com.

Through Strachan's Strays, Hershey Bears D Tyson Strachan seeks to raise ...

A general love of dogs inspired Hershey Bears defenseman Tyson Strachan and his girlfriend, Kate Ankoviak, to start Strachan's Strays.

One pooch in particular, an American bulldog named Bowser rescued from a horrific puppy mill situation during Strachan's tenure with the St. Louis Blues, animates the couple's motivation to promote adoption and support of rescue dogs through their organization.

Bowser was a year and a half old and had never been out of a cage when they found him.

'He couldn't walk on bare ground,' Strachan said. 'He had heartworm so bad that he passed away about a month into us having him.

'His memory has kind of stuck with us. We're softies. We had him cremated and we bring him with us everywhere. He's a big driving force behind what we do.'

Using his platform as a professional athlete, Strachan seeks to educate the public about the benefits of dog rescue, the heartrending consequences of pet animal overpopulation and raise donation money.

Strachan's Strays, which works with no-kill shelters, took off among hockey fan bases in Miami and San Antonio the past two seasons during his time in the Florida Panthers organization.

'It's amazing how many misconceptions there are out there about shelter dogs in general and shelter animals,' Strachan said.

'A lot of people feel that shelter animals in general have either been abused or are all mutts or are bad animals. A lot of people feel they have to go to a breeder to get a specific type of dog or get certain traits. We just want to convince people that you can go into a shelter and you can find any type of animal you really need.'

Strachan owns two rescue dogs - Raja and Soder - and also provides foster care for rescue dogs when his in-season apartment accommodations allow it. Last season in San Antonio, Strachan and Ankoviak fostered six puppies for two months.

This season, Hershey teammates David Leggio and Garrett Mitchell adopted rescue dogs, Strachan said.

'I think that they're both very happy,' Strachan said, 'and they have two great additions to their families.'

For Strachan, rescue adoption is a far better option than providing economic support to puppy mills. He has witnessed puppy mills firsthand.

'We got to see the conditions that the general public aren't going to see,' Strachan said. 'They're going to go down to the puppy store and see that cute little puppy sitting in a cage or kennel that's cleaned up. There's 800 dogs stuck in cages [at the puppy mill] with frozen water bowls and not able to move.'

A Strachan's Strays Night is scheduled for Feb. 15 when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins visit Giant Center.

On Wednesday night, Strachan and Bears teammates are holding a photo shoot with their own dogs and rescue dogs. Autographed portraits from that photo shoot will be on sale during Strachan's Strays Night to raise money that will be donated to local no-kill shelters.

It wasn't a portrait, but on the ice Saturday night at Giant Center Strachan made a highlight reel hit on Syracuse Crunch forward Richard Panik (around 2:41 mark of embedded video). Strachan caught Panik, who had just received an ill-advised pass from Pierre-Cedric Labrie, at the blue line.

'I thought it was a good hit, I really did,' Bears head coach Mike Haviland said. 'He met the puck right when the puck was there. The guy had his head down. I thought his hands were down. He didn't jump.'

But Strachan was called for charging.

'I think that's about as clean of a hit as you can,' Strachan said. 'In today's day and age in hockey, it's tough. A lot of the big hits, right away it's kind of reactionary calls. They find something.

'Charging is usually when you're running at somebody. In that situation, I would never run at anybody.'

Labrie, rushing to Panik's defense, jumped Strachan and started a fight. Strachan and Labrie were teammates in Peoria in 2009-10.

'I don't fault him for anything he did,' Strachan said. 'I think he could have let me square up a little bit more.

'I know his intent wasn't to injure me in any way.'


Brandon Segal was selected as Hershey's player of the month for December and was presented a watch by Leitzel's Jewelry of of Myerstown.

ON TWITTER: @timleone

Ladurée Soho Gets Fashion Week Fever

Ladurée Soho Gets Fashion Week Fever

If there's one thing you can count on while making the rounds during Fashion Week in February, it's seeing trays laden with macarons backstage and at many of the VIP parties. The French pâtisserie invented the double-decker version of the meringue confections more than 80 years ago, and now, in all their color-blocked Parisian glory, they have become the unofficial food of the fashion set. Ladurée is even partnering with designer Nina Ricci to create a special macaron package that will be sold during Fashion Week. (Last year it partnered with Reed Krakoff.) No doubt this marriage of food and fashion has led to macarons' soaring popularity, recently surpassing cupcakes as Manhattan's de rigueur treat. This battle of the guilty pleasures continues with Ladurée's newly opened US flagship maison—, a palatial tea room in Soho styled after the Champs-Élysées locale. While the company has had a boutique on Madison Avenue since 2011, the Soho outpost features a full-service restaurant that offers classic French dishes such as vol-au-vents, pike quenelles, and pan-fried foie gras. And of course, macarons and Ladurée's other famous sweet pastries, like dark rum mille-feuilles, vanilla éclairs, and strawberry mascarpone tarts. Chef Jimmy Leclerc, a seven-year Ladurée veteran, oversees the location's delectable desserts. 'He's been trained to make what we're known for-amazing pastries,' says Elisabeth Holder Raberin, co-managing director of Ladurée USA. But don't count on seeing him create the precious macarons. The company, to preserve the sweets' authenticity and secret recipe, continues to make them in France and fly them into the US. 398 W. Broadway, 855-523-8733

Selasa, 28 Januari 2014

Mountain Lakes businesses teaming up to help homeless dogs

Tiffany Palisi is a dog lover. After rescuing two, she wondered what their lives might have been if she'd chosen not to adopt them.


Sugar, the black lab mix, had been hit by a car while in her foster home, and subsequently had many surgeries, including one that required pins in her leg. At nearly 18 months old, the black dog, shaved and ratty with an offset under bite, wasn't the most coveted dog. Rocco, her greyhound mix, was 14 pounds of noise. He lived in foster care for a year, but no one would adopt him because he barked endlessly.

Palisi adopted both (on separate occasions) and they have changed her life.

Wanting to help more dogs, but not having the space or ability to adopt more, Palisi set into motion a fundraiser for her favorite animal rescue group, Coming Home Rescue.

'The way I see it,' said Palisi, 'is that if I can raise some money, collect some food, and get a few other supplies, I can help the rescue. And if I can raise awareness, maybe a few dogs will be adopted. But with so many fundraisers out there, I knew we needed to do a little more to get people out, up the ante.'

Teaming with her friend Pam Saldutti, owner of P.S. I Love Soap Co. in Boonton, they decided to offer giveaways to everyone who donates items, or makes a monetary donation, of $5 or more. Palisi's company, Domestic Goddess Ltd., is giving away candles, while P.S. I Love Soap Co. is offering free Bow Wow body bars (soap for doggies).

Other local businesses jumped in to help. Bubba Rose Biscuit Company, 421 Main St. in Boonton, will conduct a donation event on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Owners Jessica and Eric Talley, whose business was inspired by their rescue dogs, Bubba and Rose, explained, We are fully committed to helping make sure every dog gets a loving home to call their own, and a portion of every sale goes toward an animal rescue organization.'

Mountain Lakes Bagel & Deli, at 350 Route 46 east, will host a similar event on Saturday, March 15, from noon to 2 p.m. Dawn Brodsky-Imbert, owner of the bagel shop, said that she 'would love to have a farm for older unwanted dogs or for families who can't care for their aging pets.' She's rescued seven dogs to date, and says she 'would do anything for animals.'

For those who cannot make the events but wish to help out, Nancy Moran Mermelstein, owner of Prana Yoga in Denville, has offered her space for dropoffs, beginning on March 1.

'We are dog lovers and see the need to help,' she said. 'When you are able to work as a community, you have a greater outreach!'

Watch Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 17 Live Stream: 'Bite Your Tongue ...

Tonight, 'Pretty Little Liars' season 4 episode 17 will broadcast on ABC Family, and now fans can watch the live stream online!

On tonight's episode, 'Aria's brother befriends Mona, but Aria disapproves. Elsewhere, Spencer digs into a new lead from Ali's diary and uncovers something shocking; Hanna's love of crime novels leads her to investigate Ali's grave; and Emily's dad grows worried about her.'

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For ABC Family, there is a live stream which can be accessed here, here or here (depending on your region, one may be accessible over the other), and through that, fans can watch the 'Pretty Little Liars' season 4 episode 17 live stream online.

There are a lot of fake channels solely for the purpose of luring viewers with ads, but here is how you can avoid any potential hiccups with pop-ups and ads.

--Do not download anything that is suggested.

--For every ad, there is an 'X' button. It is typically in a corner or out of the way so it is hard to see. Sometimes ads try to fool you by giving you a fake 'X' graphic which leads you to an ad. Do not be discouraged when this happens, the real 'X' button is there somewhere.

--Multiple ads will pop and it takes a little bit to clear out each and every ad. Even then, pop-ups will occur as you clear the ads. Do not listen to any of these ads or pop-ups and clear them right away.

--This 'Pretty Little Liars' season 4 episode 17 live stream will have recurring ads that pop up every once in a while. If this is the only way you can view 'Pretty Little Liars' season 4 episode 17, do not be deterred and the live stream will work once the ads disappear.

Be sure to catch 'Pretty Little Liars' tonight on ABC Family at 8:00pm EST!