Off for the week

Life Style Weekly is keeping a close eye on who’s in the running to replace Paula Abdul and Nicole Icantspellhername on “The X-Factor.” Here is their latest e-mail blast:

Fergie hopes to be heading to the small screen later this year.

Life Style has exclusively learned that the 36-year-old Black Eyed Peas singer has set her sights on becoming a judge on Simon Cowell’s talent competition, The X Factor.

“There have been some conversations,” an insider reveals in the latest issue of Life Style, on newsstands now. “It’s in the early stages, but Fergie’s the one who approached the producers about joining the panel.”

While Fergie’s fighting to join The X Factor, Glee star Darren Criss, 25, has reportedly declined an offer to step in as host of the Fox series.

Last season, the show faced many changes. British pop star Cheryl Cole was hired as a judge but weeks later was removed and replaced with American songstress Nicole Scherzinger, who was originally a co-host. Earlier this year, it was announced that neither Nicole, co-judge Paula Abdul nor host Steve Jones would be returning.

Simon says he’s looking for a judge who “wants to be on the show and isn’t doing it just for a paycheck.”

For more, pick up this week’s issue of Life Style Weekly, on newsstands now.

World news in photos: Dawn raids in France

AUBREY COHE, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Copyright 2012 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Updated 11:07 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012

  • Police arrest a man after searching a house in Bouguenais, western France, on March 30, 2012 as part of dawn raids in several French cities. French police arrested 19 people in a crackdown on suspected Islamist networks as President Nicolas Sarkozy made the battle against extremism the keynote of his re-election campaign. Photo: JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD, AFP/Getty Images / 2012 AFP

    Police arrest a man after searching a house in Bouguenais, western France, on March 30, 2012 as part of dawn raids in several French cities. French police arrested 19 people in a crackdown on suspected Islamist networks as President Nicolas Sarkozy made the battle against extremism the keynote of his re-election campaign.

    Photo: JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD, AFP/Getty Images
    / 2012 AFP

    Police arrest a man after searching a house in Bouguenais,…


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Pet Health Solutions Introduces Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews

Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews are coated with plaque and tartar- fighting enzymes; Lactoperoxidase and Glucose Oxidase that promote clean teeth and fresh breath.

Union City, California (PRWEB) March 27, 2012

Pet Health Solutions (PHS), a premier provider of pet supplements, announced today the introduction of “Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews” to their product line. Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews are multi-functional chews that clean dog’s teeth, prevent plaque and tartar buildup and freshen breath.

Dogs are susceptible to a multitude of dental diseases like gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque, calculus or tartar buildup, pyorrhea, etc. Therefore brushing is strongly recommended for all pets; however most dogs are averse to brushing and Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews are recommended as a daily dental supplement or on those days when brushing isn’t possible. Dogs also find the poultry flavor of these chews favorable.

Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews contain beef hide, poultry digest, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, primary dried yeast, potassium sorbate, glucose oxidase (Aspergillus Niger), and dried whey protein concentrate. Unlike other chews where the cleaning enzymes are inside the chews, Ora-Clens is actually coated with a special blend of enzymes Lactoperooxidase and Glucose Oxidase so its abrasive texture can start working on the plaque and tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth immediately. These chews come in Small, Medium, Large and X-Large sizes for dogs ranging from 11 – 51 lbs or more.

In addition to Ora-Clens Oral Hygiene Chews, Pet Health Solutions also provides joint supplements for dogs, vitamins, pet food supplements, grooming products, dental products, shampoos and cleansers. These products include Joint MAX Triple Strength®, Vita-Tabs®, Derm Tabs®, Shed-Pro™, Proflora®, Vita-Soothe™ and others.

About Pet Health Solutions:

Pet Health Solutions (PHS)™ has been providing veterinary quality nutritional supplements for companion animals and horses for over 12 years. PHS utilizes premium U.S. made ingredients and regular 3rd party testing with all products to ensure utmost effectiveness in all product formulations. They provide products for pets such as joint support, skin and coat supplements, hygienics and digestive aids that are both innovative and proven beneficial. The success of their product line is driven by their sole focus on quality control and animal wellness. For distribution information, please visit:

Press contact
800-306-7910 270
Email Information

The Internet Makes Trust and Insight Scarce Commodities, and Makes Newsroom Veterans More Valuable

Recently I have been looking at the newspaper as a service and as a business (for reasons that will become apparent later). Something is becoming clear. While the Internet makes information plentiful, and this in turn may be a challenge to some aspects of the newspaper business, deep insight and trust remain as scarce as they have ever been. Indeed, the value of deep insight and trustworthy information may have increased in the digital era.

“Commodity news” made up of superficial coverage and parsed press releases is plentiful online. But deep insight remains sufficiently rare that some publications can charge for it. Thus, The Financial Times and The Economist remain essential reading despite the availability of zero cost alternatives. This deep and explanatory (see Jay Rosen) journalism can only be built by an expensive newsroom staffed by veteran reporters who have built expertise and relationships with sources over many years. The newspaper that is viable in the digital age must maintain a level of expertise in its newsroom that can not be accessed elsewhere.

And because trust remains scarce despite the volume of information now available, the core strengths of the grey lady newspapers are more relevant than ever. In a world of many competing voices the “paper of record” is a compelling product. These papers are not only a filter but a standard.

Example of disaster: Times-Mirror and then Tribune Company chase profit at The Baltimore Sun

Consider the contrary example of The Baltimore Sun. The paper was bought from the Abell family by the Times-Mirror Group in 1986. In the mid 1990s the paper’s new masters initiated rounds of voluntary redundancies to increase the paper’s profit margins. Some of those who took redundancies were veteran journalists who departed for the Washington Post and New York Times (see former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon’s take here).

The Baltimore Sun‘s newsroom was being rendered incapable of producing deep news at the very peak of newspaper circulation in the U.S. (data). As Simon writes:

Amid buyout [read “redundancy”] after buyout, the Baltimore Sun conceded much of its institutional memory, its beat structure, its ability to penetrate municipal institutions and report qualitatively on substantive issues in a way that explains not just the symptomatic problems of the city, but the root causes of those problems. … beat reporting and any serious, systemic examination of issues was eschewed in favor of “impact” journalism, special projects and Pulitzer sniffing.

And at this point, as the newsroom was being stripped the things that would allow it to produce the deep coverage that would differentiate its product from Internet news sources, online connectivity was beginning to rapidly expand. Between late 1994 and mid 1995 the number of Internet connections grew from 3.4 to 12.8 million. As Internet connections rose, newspaper circulation declined. By 2009 U.S. newspaper circulation had fallen from its 1995 figure of 62 million to what it had been in 1958 — a mere 46.8 million.

And against this background of decline matters got far worse. The Times-Mirror Company was bought by the Tribune Company in 2000 and redundancies accelerated. In 2007 the real-estate mogul Samuel Zell took control of the company. Zell had a focus on the bottom line an almost total disregard for journalism as a public good and installed a radio shock jock in control of innovation. Zell’s response to a journalist at the Orlando Sentinel, one of his papers, gives an insight into his regard for high quality journalism.

The tenure of Zell’s management team ended very badly indeed (resignation 1 and resignation 2).

What Zell and other buck-chasing newspaper owners failed to realise was that sophisticated journalism and a deep newsroom is more essential now than it was before the Internet.

Follow Dr Johnny Ryan on Twitter:

Entertainment News: AMC To Let Kids Into Unrated Doc ‘Bully’

The documentary “Bully” (which opens in select theaters in San Diego on April 13) has been drawing a lot of attention over its R-rating.

Lee Hirsch’s documentary “Bully” deals with the issue of bullying among kids. The fact that it received an R-rating (mostly for language) has prompted criticism because it is keeping kids out that might benefit from seeing the film. Here is the trailer:


“Bully” Trailer

Above: Trailer for “Bully”

The Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, appealed the rating and sent this statement out earlier this week:

After a recent plea to the MPAA by “Bully” teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that’s meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what’s become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on. The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film’s mission to be seen by those it was made for – children – has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler’s petition on to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.

Said “Bully” Director Lee Hirsch, “The small amount of language in the film that’s responsible for the R rating is there because it’s real. It’s what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it’s up to the theaters to let them in.”

But now AMC Theaters is defying the MPAA and has decided to allow kids with permission slips from parents in to see the movie.

The film opens nationwide on March 30th but will not open in San Diego until April 13th. Kudos to AMC for challenging a rating system that has been frequently criticized for its erratic and sometimes arbitrary ratings. The documentary, “This Film is Not Yet Rated,” attempted to look at the process by which ratings are determined and at who actually sits on the rating board.

Family Fun: Easter Egg Hunts, Ghost Tours

Easter Egg Hunts

Wethersfield hosts its egg hunt Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. at Cove Park on State street (near the department of motor vehicles at 60 State St.) The fun starts promptly, so arrive early. If weather or field conditions are poor, event will be held indoors. Call Parks and Recreation for alternate site: 860-721-2890.

Tunxis Community College’s free Spring Egg Hunt for ages 3 to 6 is Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. on the first floor of Tunxis Library. A prize will be awarded to the child who finds the golden egg. Refreshments served. Tunxis is at 271 Scott Swamp Road ( the junction of Routes 6 and 177), Farmington. Information: 860-255-3716.

First Church of Christ, Congregational, 75 Main St., Farmington, is hosting a community Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 1, for kids ages 3 through 12. Registration starts at 10:45 a.m. and the egg hunt kicks-off at 11:30. Information:, 860-677-2601.

The Parks Recreation and the EHHS Student Council present a Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt, Saturday, March 31, for ages 10 and younger. Breakfast with Peter Cottontail runs 9:30 to 11 a.m. at East Hartford High School Café (enter through the Gym lobby). Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for ages 10 and younger. Photos with Peter Cottontail are $3.

The Spring Egg Hunt begins at 11 a.m. Bring your own bags or baskets. Adults may accompany children onto the field for ages 3 and younger. Held rain or shine.

Lyman Orchards Easter Apple Hunt is Saturday, March 31. The Easter Bunny arrives at Lyman’s Apple Barrel market at 9 a.m. Ages 1 through 10 can join others in their age groups to search for apples hidden in a hay maze on the Apple Barrel grounds.

Apple Hunt schedule: ages 1 to 3: 10:30 a.m. One adult permitted in the maze with each child; ages 4 to 6: 11:15 a.m. One adult permitted in the maze with each child; and ages 7 to 10: noon. No adults permitted in the maze.

Easter Apple Hunt admission is $3 per child. Register children in advance at Rain date is April 7. Lyman Orchards is at 32 Reeds Gap Road, Middlefield. Information: 860-349-1793.

ShopRite of Enfield’s Second annual free Easter Egg Event is Saturday, March 31, from 8 to 10 a.m. Egg hunts, crafts, games, cupcake decorating and a visit from the Easter Bunny. Find the golden eggs and win a special prize.

Egg Hunt schedule: 8 a.m. for ages 1 through 3; 8:15 a.m for ages 4 through 6; 8:30 a.m. for ages 7 through 10. ShopRite is at 40 Hazard Ave., Enfield. Registration: 860-745-1621.

Horse Listeners Orchard presents an Easter Egg Hunt for ages 8 and under Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. to noon, at 317 Bebbington Road, Ashford. Search for eggs, decorate Easter cookies, outdoor games and more. To register, email with the number of children attending and their ages. Rain date is April 7. Information: 860-429-5336.

Participate in the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31 at 11 a.m. at the Guilford Smith Memorial Library. There will also have games and children can take a picture with the bunny. The library is located at 17 Main St., South Windham. Information: 860-423-5159 or

Guilford Smith Memorial Library

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday Thursday, March 29, at the Guilford Smith Memorial Library. The program, which starts at 6:30 p.m., includes books, crafts and music. The library is at 17 Main St., South Windham. Information: 860-423-5159 or

RJ Julia

There are several events at RJ Julia, 768 Boston Post Road, Madison, this week. Young adults can partake in “Teens Talk Books!” Thursday, March 29, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free, but reservations are required.

Family Game Night is Friday, March 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be board games for families and friends to enjoy. Free, but reservations are required.

On Sunday, April 1, 3 to 4 p.m., meet and greet Matt Tavares, author of the children’s book, “There Goes Ted Williams, The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived.” For age 6 and older.

Reservations: 203-245-3959 or

Minka Kelly has apparently dumped Derek Jeter for … Fez?

I don’t really know how to tell you this so I’m just going to say it: Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter are no more. No, it’ll be OK, put down that sword. This is according to Life Style, which reports the on-again-off-again romance between the Yankees infielder and Friday Night Lights star is off once again. and it may be because Kelly has found another man. That man, according to LS, is … That 70s Show star Wilmer Valderrama.

Minka hasn’t wasted any time moving on from her MLB All-Star ex. She helped That 70s Show funnyman Wilmer Valderrama celebrate his 32nd birthday at Hyde Bellagio in Las Vegas on Feb. 4, and since then the two have been seen at Disneyland on Feb. 21 and dining at Pink Taco on March 15 and Greystone Manor Supperclub in LA on March 18.

“It’s been getting serious in the past few weeks,” a source tells Life Style. “Seems like Minka is done with Derek and things are heating up with Wilmer.”

I see no way Jeter will be mocked for this.

Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter have split, Kelly reportedly seeing Wilmer Valderrama [Larry Brown Sports]

Industry Newcomer Continues to Build Momentum as It Debuts New Section to Support Pet Health, an online retailer featuring pet food, treats and supplies,
today announced the official launch of its Pet Health section, a new
category devoted to health-specific products for pets. This latest
extension for the brand is another giant step towards its mission to
deliver pet happiness, now providing pet parents easy access to products
that will maintain overall pet wellness, support preventive care and
improve pet health.

“We are extremely excited to offer the new Pet Health section to our
consumers as it is a tremendous part of ensuring the well-being and
happiness of our pets,” said Michael Day, founder of “In
addition to the top name brands and leading manufacturers’ products
currently featured, we will continue to grow the category and offer new
treatments and preventive medication to promote everyday pet health.”

The Pet Health section features a variety of products and solutions to
keep pets healthy. Category highlights include flea and tick preventive
medication, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix brands; Angel Eyes’ eye
care products; weight control products such as Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin
Veterinary Diet, Natural Balance, Evo, and Canidae; Cosequin hip and
joint care; and Greenies’ products that encourage dental care, among
other categories.

To further assist pet owners in caring for their furry family members, offers scheduled delivery to ensure necessary medication and
wellness products arrive month after month without the need to re-order.
And as always, the online retailer offers free FedEx shipping on orders
above $49, provides 24/7 customer service, and features great prices on
top brands with convenient delivery schedules.

About delivers pet happiness by conveniently shipping more than
100 brands of pet food, treats, supplies and health-related products.
The Miami, FL-based company officially launched in September 2011 with
the mission to increase pet happiness, and protect and improve the lives
of at-risk animals around the globe. has charitable
relationships with North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal
Society and Bideawee, and empowers consumers to help determine the
brand’s donations to each organization through its unique referral
program. For more information, visit

Your Mail: Proud of Alexandria Zoo

A recent headline on the Internet caught my attention. The article that followed was from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., announcing the birth of rare maned wolf pups.

Although we did not make national Internet news, our own Alexandria Zoo not only has maned wolves, we too have had wolf pups born at the zoo. Maned wolves, rare in captivity, are endangered in their native home. We are one of a number of zoos who are part of the Species Survival Program. In fact, our Alexandria Zoo is home to over 20 endangered or threatened species. We are also home to the red wolf, one of the most endangered species on earth!

The Alexandria Zoo is one of only 20 zoos in the world to house Malayan tigers, one of 10 zoos in North America to exhibit lowland anoa and the only Association of Zoos and Aquariums facility in North America to exhibit two white-tailed sea eagles! I think that alone deserves a headline!

The Alexandria Zoo has so much to offer our community, but we can in turn show our appreciation by becoming members of Friends of the Alexandria Zoo, by supporting the many programs and upcoming events like Party for the Planet on March 31, Wild Side of the Arts in May, and purchasing commemorative bricks in our Memorial Plaza.

The next big plan for the zoo will be the Land of the Jaguar exhibit which will be a much anticipated addition to our zoo.

We are so fortunate to have this wonderful attraction right here in our community. The mission of the Alexandria Zoo is to offer education, recreation and promote understanding and conservation of the natural world in which we live. We have a lot to be proud of!

Renie Saucier


Friends of the Alexandria Zoo