Monday, April 24, 2017

Five Things to Know About Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Prescription painkiller use kills about 45 people every day across the United States. The National Safety Council says employers need to know these five things about prescription painkiller abuse and how it affects both employee safety and the financial security of their businesses:
  1. Opioid painkillers compromise employee safety. Even a legitimately prescribed amount of painkillers can impair a worker’s ability to operate equipment, drive or perform other job duties safely.
  2. Workers prescribed opioids have higher workers’ compensation claims. Workers prescribed even one opioid have four times more expensive total claims costs than workers with similar claims who didn’t get opioids. And employers and insurers have been held financially accountable for overdose deaths tied to injured workers.
  3. Employers play an important role in helping their employees seek treatment. Research shows that employee recovery rates from prescription painkiller abuse are higher when employers—rather than friends or family—offer or suggest treatment.
  4. Opioid painkillers can delay recovery and return to work following an injury. “Return to work” and “fitness for duty” criteria vary widely, so it’s often difficult for employers to determine when an employee can safely begin working while under the influence of prescription painkillers. Opioid painkillers also delay recovery from workplace injuries.
  5. Using Opioid painkillers increases the likelihood of disability claims. Receiving more than a one-week supply of Opioids soon after an injury doubles a worker’s risk for disability one year later.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

SpayMart Announces $25,000 GiveNOLA Goal

SpayMart Announces $25,000 GiveNOLA Goal
APRIL 19, 2017, METAIRIE, LA – SpayMart has announced its GiveNOLA fundraising goal, with plans to raise $25,000 during the 24-hour event on May 2, 2017. The money raised will support SpayMart’s adoption, foster, rescue, and shelter operations in the greater New Orleans area.
Lynn Chiche, Founder and President of SpayMart, says, “SpayMart programs provide lifesaving care and support for pets and their owners. We’ve been doing this work for almost 20 years, and our staff and volunteers make a real difference. Funds raised during GiveNOLA will help us save and change the lives of even more New Orleans pets.”
“No one works harder than the folks at SpayMart,” said Patsy Watermeier, a long-time volunteer. “Bottle-fed kittens, feral cat colonies, pets stranded by disasters… SpayMart works hard to be the safety net New Orleans pets need while finding forever homes for homeless cats.”
GiveNOLA will run from midnight to midnight on May 2, 2017. Donations can be made online at More information about SpayMart’s efforts can be found at their website ( and Facebook page (, and SpayMart’s Thrift & Gift Shop will be open from 9AM – 9PM that day, offering refreshments and socializing for supporters.SpayMart, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 animal welfare organization established in 1999 that provides rescue, shelter, adoption, transport, and medical care for pets throughout the greater New Orleans area. They operate a Thrift Store & Adoption Center at 6601 Veterans Blvd in Metairie, and adoption centers at PetSmart Clearview Pkwy and PetSmart Fremaux Town Center in Slidell.
SpayMart, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 animal welfare organization established in 1999 that provides rescue, shelter, adoption, transport, and medical care for pets throughout the greater New Orleans area. They operate a Thrift Store & Adoption Center at 6601 Veterans Blvd in Metairie, and adoption centers at PetSmart Clearview Pkwy and PetSmart Fremaux Town Center in Slidell.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Please Help with Baby Chad’s Funeral Expenses

Please Help with Baby Chad's Funeral Expenses
To all my fans, it is with deep sympathy, heartache, and regret, that a dear friend or mine, Lori, suddenly lost her child on April 13th. They are trying to raise the funds to cover the funeral expenses.

Baby Chad was only 11 months in age and brought so much joy to those who knew him in person and just through her daily posts. I never got to meet Chad in person, but I used to work with Lori quite a few years back and I had the chance to meet her older son, Colon. Lori is an amazing mother and person and I know Colin to be a goofy, yet very intelligent young man. I could not tell you how many times Lori put a smile on my face. When we worked together, long before having kids, we would goof off and really made the workplace an enjoyable environment. Among having a goofy attitude and always putting a smile on other peoples' faces, she is there for anyone who needs it. When I was pregnant with my daughter, she stayed on the phone with me as I was pacing back and forth trying to decide if it was time to head to the hospital. When I was going through a difficult time, she reached out to me. Despite me doing the "I'm fine thing" I could not tell you what it meant to me to have someone I haven't really kept in much touch with to express concern. So now I feel it is my turn to be there for her.

I saw many posts of not only Lori enjoying time with baby Chad, but Colin enjoyed being an amazing big brother to him. I, personally,  loved seeing those videos or photos with him doing those goofy things babies do and him with his older brother. Sometimes those were the posts I needed to get a little smile on a rough day, though I'm not one to really express that directly. I would just scroll through and "like" with a smile on my face and was looking forward to one day have a chance to meet the goofy guy. He had adorable fashion expressions and then ones that would remind me of his mother, cutting up with me back on the job. 

Lori, if you are reading this, you can reach out to any time. Whether it's a ride somewhere, to have a friend, or someone to just listen. I do not have the words to comfort you. I wish I did. So I'm doing what I know how to do, share your story to try and help you out the best I can.
As a mother myself of two children, I am completely heartbroken and can only imagine the amount of pain, confusion, heartache, and every other emotion Lori and Colin are dealing with right now. If anybody can spare any amount, even $1, the family would be grateful during this difficult time. No parent should have to bury their child. Let's help make this time as easy as possible for the family. Expenses are the last thing they should have to worry about. Even though you guys do not know her, I'm sure as parents or caregivers, you can sympathize. Let's let Lori and Colin know we care. 
To donate, you can click the "donate now" button to go to the GoFundMe page that was set up by her equally amazing sister, Leigha. Like I said, any amount you can donate would be appreciated. If you cannot donate, please just share to help spread the word.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Suzanne Somers' Palm Springs Compound, Architect Designed Trump's Mar-a-Lago & Michael Jackson's Neverland Is a Bargain

Suzanne Somers' Palm Springs Compound!

Actress Suzanne Somers and her TV-host husband, Alan Hamel, are one of those rare married couples who know what it’s like to live every day like it was Valentine’s Day.   If environment counts, their romantic Palm Springs home might have a lot to do with it.  With impeccable and elegant good taste, Suzanne has created a love nest that is voluptuous, tactile and out-and-out sexy.

Suzanne and Alan have created an earthy, and at the same time, glamorous estate which is now back on the market.  Modeled after L’oustau De Baumaniere in Provence, France, the compound is on 73 acres and set into the side of a craggy mountainside above the valley in Mesa Canyon. The couple combined their love of nature and elegance by bringing out the best in both with their use of contrast.  Crystal chandeliers twinkle against natural rock and reclaimed wood - rough against smooth, soft against hard.  Adding even more intrigue, access is via a private funicular, a golf cart or a hillside of stone steps - but no cars.  There are five buildings to explore with 8,826 square feet of living space between the pavilions.  One houses the master suite, another the dining and living room, a separate two-room kitchen and wine cellar and an elegant stone guest house designed in the 1920s by Albert Frey.  There is also an outdoor amphitheater carved into the mountain that seats 50, meditation garden, dance floor, pool, spa, hiking trails and natural waterfall that spills musically down the hillside into a pond.  Much of the home’s furnishings collected by Suzanne and Alan in their world travels are included in the sale. Scott Lyle of Teles Properties is the listing agent.

Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel have re-listed their ultra romantic, private Palm Springs retreat on 73 acres with eight bedrooms and eleven baths, asking $14.5 million.  Was first listed in 2008 at $35 million.

Architect Designed Trump's Mar-a-Lago!

There are some homes designed by renowned architects whose designs have stood the test of time, well suited to their physical location and environment.  In Palm Beach, Florida where wealth could buy the very best, architect Marion Sims Wyeth designed fabulous mansions including President Trump’s Southern White House, Mar-a-Lago, which he originally designed for heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post in the 1920s.  Carefully constructed using old world crafters, many of his homes are more important today than they were when originally built, including his own family home.  Wyeth also designed the Florida Governor’s Mansion and Shangri La, Doris Duke’s home in Hawaii.

One of Wyeth’s homes, Lemon Hill, has just come on the market.  Built in 1939 and tucked away on 2.63 private tropical acres at the end of a canal leading into the Intracoastal Waterway, it is a stately compound with waves of its namesake lemon colors on the home’s walls and borders and an impressive entrance surrounded by emerald lawns and tropical plantings.  Located along A1A in Gulfstream, equidistant between Palm Beach and Boca Raton, it is close to the ocean, world-class shopping, posh dining and many cultural attractions.  The small wealthy community of Gulfstream has an island feel and the ambience of Old Florida during its Gilded Age with its beautiful mansions and tropical landscaping.  Wyeth favored the use of wood-beamed ceilings, Cuban tile floors and pecky cypress along with generous sized rooms with large windows that would open the house to the trade winds.

The two-story main house at 6,206 square feet has four bedrooms, six baths, large formal rooms with high ceilings and fireplaces, a cypress-paneled library that opens to the pool terrace and a large kitchen and breakfast room to service a large family or for entertaining.  Between the main house, guest house, pool house and maid’s quarters, there are a total of seven bedrooms and twelve baths.  It also includes an elevator, hurricane shutters and backup generator.  One unusual architectural feature is Wyeth’s use of tall, double French pocket doors both on interior rooms and exterior walls leading to the garden and pool.  Designed for outdoor living, the covered outdoor dining area also has an outdoor kitchen with wet bar and refrigeration.  The private dock is a perfect spot to watch the Florida sunsets over the water.  The last owner, Nancy Cudahy Touhey, was well known for her beautiful fairy gardens on the grounds and she enjoyed serving visitors fresh lemonade squeezed from the lemon trees behind the pool.  Co-listing agents are Keith Neff and Quisqueya Neff of Sotheby’s International Realty.  Price includes all furnishings with the exception of four dining room wall sconces.

A taste of Old Florida in this pristine waterfront mansion designed by Marion Sims Wyeth, architect of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, priced at $9.495 million.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Is a Bargain!

It might not be a bargain but Michael Jackson’s Neverland, sans Michael’s menagerie of animals and carnival rides, is now much more affordable. First put on the market in 2015 with an asking price of $100 million, it has been relisted at $67 million for its 2,700 acres, lakeside mansion, sports courts, guest houses and famous floral clock.

Designed in 1982 by Robert Altevers, the main house at 12,000 square feet has rooms of large scale containing formal rooms, fireplaces, a comfortable but commercially functioning eat-in kitchen, hardwood floors from an 18th-century French villa, six bedrooms including a master suite complex on two levels with fireplace in sitting room, two large baths and cedar walk-in closets, one with a hidden safe room. There is a four-bedroom guesthouse, a two-bedroom guesthouse, a free-form swimming pool, large covered barbecue area, basketball court, tennis court, 50-seat movie theater with private balcony and stage, and a four-acre lake with waterfall. Long distance views include meadows and mountains.  Michael’s flower bed clock is still at the walkway entrance. There are numerous structures on the property including several barns, animal shelter facilities, corrals and a maintenance shop.

Sycamore Valley Ranch, named for its abundant sycamore trees on the border of Los Padres National Forest, is priced at $67 million. The new listing agent is Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International.

Near Fort Lauderdale Spring Break Beaches!

Although things have quieted down quite a bit from the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, it’s spring break time and thousands of college students will still head to the Fort Lauderdale beaches. The beach town that started the tradition in the 1930s, when northern college swim teams took advantage of the spring school break to compete in Fort Lauderdale tournaments and spread news of the city’s big sandy beaches and cheap hotel prices to their fellow students, is much different than the hotel balcony diving and wet t-shirt contest days. Instead of spring breakers, it is now the home of rich guys, beach penthouses, the world’s largest boat show and yachts on its 165 miles of water.   

Now for sale is a Fort Lauderdale waterfront house within walking distance of the glam shopping and restaurants of upscale Las Olas Boulevard and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. Appearing like a boat under sail, the curved concrete roof, wood, stone and glass home with three-level terraces over the water is 4,500 square feet. The three-bedroom, four-bath house was designed by Vernon Pierce which, according to Tropic Magazine, he modeled after a ship and his love of boating.  In some areas the interior is open to the third floor crow’s nest office accessed by sweeping spiral staircase and 24-foot custom chandelier with sunlight and breezes flowing through large expanses of glass. The exterior has multiple levels of terraces and decks overlooking the private dock, pool and spa.

Sailboat inspired home near Fort Lauderdale shopping and dining and for walks along the beach, priced at $4.375 million.

Historic 1910 New York Hotel!

Many dream of owning a Bed & Breakfast and imagine one with charm and hopefully a beautiful location.  When the time comes to make that dream come true, the right place might be hard to find - not enough guest rooms, a difficult layout for serving breakfast, possible lunch or dinner, not enough private owner space, not the right location to draw in guests or lacking an atmosphere where owners and guests can mingle and have a good time - a myriad of details that make the search disheartening.  Not the case with the historic waterfront Pleasant Beach Hotel that recently came on the market in Upstate New York.  

Pleasant Beach’s history dating back over 100 years, the small hotel at the edge of Fairhaven Bay on Lake Ontario was one of many summer hotels built in the early 1900s.  Though most of them are long gone, it was believed that the original owner, Floyd Clark, “fireproofed” Pleasant Beach with the use of pressed tin ceilings and upstairs walls with a masonry exterior and metal roof.  When so many of the hotels were being ravaged by fire, having been constructed of timber in the Victorian motif, Clark was able to advertise the Pleasant as fireproof.

Over the years, different owners have configured the interior according to what most effectively served their guests during their particular era.  Today the hotel has nine guest rooms, a restaurant-bar with seating for 185 and parking for 62 cars.  The dock consists of 20 to 25 boat slips and eight moorings with water and electric.  There is a boaters shower on the exterior in walking distance from the dock.  The owner’s apartment is independent of the hotel and is located on the third floor with stunning views to Little Sodus Bay.

A hundred years of documented history of the hotel comes from the current owner who has been diligent in accumulating years worth of research within the community.  More than enough to keep guests spellbound.  The listing agent is Michael R. Franklin with Franklin-Rutten Brokerage.  Pleasant Beach Hotel is priced at $975,000.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

African American Leaders Unhappy with K-12 Education System Say “Enough is Enough”; Eager to Make Changes

New report by the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute explores African American community leaders’ perspectives on key issues in K-12 education reform

WASHINGTON (March 23, 2017)—Only three percent of influential black leaders think public schools are preparing black students to attend and graduate from college; however, the majority of leaders are optimistic they can help improve the quality of education for black students, according to a new report issued by UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI).
Lift Every Voice and Lead: African American Leaders’ Perceptions of K-12 Education Reform is the second report in UNCF’s three-part series on African American communities’ perspectives on K-12 education. UNCF is giving rise to a more inclusive education reform movement, where African American voices are truly lifted up in both research and advocacy.
“As the Every Student Succeeds Act implementation begins to move forward, there are various ways that black leaders can help shape education reform at the local and state levels,” said Dr. Brian Bridges, co-author of the report and director of FDPRI. “Lift Every Voice and Lead is a call to action for black leaders to use their influence to not only highlight the crisis in education for black youth, but to also find tangible ways to get involved.”
FDPRI researchers analyzed survey and interview data from more than 650 African American community leaders across the country: a group of clergy, local politicians, business leaders and education leaders often described as “grasstops.” As the title suggests, this report urges black grasstops to lift their voices and lead advocacy efforts in the K-12 education space. Although nearly 80 percent of black grasstops feel black leaders in their communities are not doing enough to improve education, the report indicates that many leaders have, in fact, developed community-centered strategies to address disparities in schools—from hosting workshops for students and parents, to engaging with local school board leaders. Furthermore, the study finds that leaders want tools such as talking points, statistics on racial disparities, and advocacy toolkits to support their efforts in improving the quality of education for students.
“The implications of these findings are vast and help challenge assumptions about the lack of engagement of black leaders. Our report suggests that while some leaders think they are not doing enough, the majority sincerely want to make a positive difference in the lives and futures of black students,” said Dr. Meredith B.L. Anderson, lead author of the report.
The report offers four recommendations for community leaders seeking to make improvements in education:
  1. Expand community networks to further advocacy efforts.
  2. Provide leaders with the tools to advocate for African American youth.
  3. Champion the message of positive African American community engagement in education.
  4. Make the ask for leaders to be involved. Leaders want to see a clear, action-oriented strategy in place.
Read the full press release here
Read the full report here
View the report’s infographic here
Join UNCF’s Q&A with Media today:
WHEN: Thurs., March 23, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. EST
  • Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughter of the late Rev. Oliver Brown who was the plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education.
  • Sekou Biddle, vice president of K-12 Advocacy
  • Meredith B.L. Anderson, Ph.D., K-12 Advocacy senior research associate; report’s author
  • Naomi Shelton, UNCF director of K-12 Advocacy
JOIN: Please RSVP to by 1:00 p.m. EST today. Conference call information will be provided upon RSVP.

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