2011年8月30日 星期二

Study highlights continuing dangers of soft bedding

Despite an on-going educational campaign by pediatricians to alert parents to the dangers of soft bedding in cribs—meaning pillows, blankets, and crib bumpers—a recent study has found that the message hasn’t quite gotten through to some parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents avoid placing their babies on soft sleep surfaces, as a way of reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

A recent AAP study found that among a group of 83 African-American mothers with infants under six months of age in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area, there were serious misperceptions about safe bedding for their babies. Many believed that their babies would be cold without blankets, or would be injured by crib railings if there weren’t bumpers. Some also believed that bedding was safe if a blanket or pillow was placed between the mattress and the crib sheet.

“Decisions of Black Parents About Infant Bedding and Sleep Surfaces: A Qualitative Study”, was published this month in Pediatrics. According to the study, “Infants born to black mothers succumb to SIDS at a rate more than twice that of white, non-Hispanic Infants. Black infants are also disproportionately affected by accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed and undetermined deaths, with rates two to three times those seen for nonblack infants.”

“In general, health care professionals make assumptions about what people know and don’t know,” said Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., a co-author of the study, chair of the AAP task force on SIDS and co-author of “14 Ways to Protect Your Baby from SIDS”. “A lot of parents who use soft bedding think they make their baby safer.”

Dr. Moon said that the results of the study, which interviewed mothers from both lower and higher socioeconomic groups, showed that “there needs to be better communication from health care providers. They can be a little more pro-active in talking with parents. We have to emphasize the fact that we have new information that we didn’t have 20 or 30 years ago. Now we know better.”

2011年8月28日 星期日

Soft not safer for babies

Many parents put soft bedding such as pillows and blankets where babies sleep, despite warnings that the cushioning increases the risk of infant death, a U.S. study said.

That's because many are under the impression that a soft sleeping environment means the baby will be more comfortable or protected from injuries, said Rachel Moon, from Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. and one of the study's authors.

"When it comes to babies' sleep environment, soft is not safe, it's actually dangerous," she added.

Parents may misinterpret a pediatrician's recommendations or what constitutes a safe sleeping environment, said Debra Weese-Mayer, a pediatrician at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

According to findings published in Pediatrics, more than half of the mothers reported using soft bedding for their baby, telling researchers they wanted to make sure the children were comfortable and warm. They also said they used pillows as a barricade on beds or sofas, or to prop babies up.

"We were surprised that people use (soft bedding) because they think it's going to make their baby safer," Moon said. "

Some mothers thought doctors' recommendations to use a "firm sleep surface" included a bed where a sheet was tucked tightly over pillows - but that's still a dangerous sleep situation, Moon and her colleagues warned.

The mothers also used bumper pads on cribs. But as with pillows and blankets, bumper pads pose a suffocation risk, Moon said, adding that there really isn't any need for them - especially for very young babies.

All the experts agreed that awareness of the dangers needs to be raised across the board.

2011年8月25日 星期四

One woman's journey into homelessness

What would it be like to be homeless? How would it feel to go from a normal life to a life where the stuffy insides of a car serve as your living quarters? How would you feel about yourself if confronted with such a situation?

For long-time Oakville resident Sharon White, 60, no imagination is necessary.

White is new to the homeless experience as she only started living in her car on July 19, of this year.

It’s a nice car, a Nissan Rogue, which driving down the street does not look out of place in Oakville.

The car, however, is a remnant of White’s very different life, and now houses a sleeping bag, clothes, suitcases, books, water bottles and White herself.

“I never thought this would happen to me. Never in a million years,” said White, during an interview in Coronation Park.

“If you knew my past accomplishments and where I’ve traveled, flying on TD jets, and here I am now…it’s just unbelievable.”

White agreed to tell her story on the condition that her real name be withheld.

She has children who live in the area and said she doesn’t want them to be impacted.

She also said there is a great deal of shame, which comes from being in her situation and she would rather people didn’t know her name.

White said she comes from a pretty normal background.

She was educated at the University of Ottawa where she received a bachelor of commerce, which she used to get various jobs with life insurance companies and banking institutions.

She was married at 34 and adopted two children when it was found she could not have children of her own.

White lived with her family in a large home in southeast Oakville.

In today’s market, she said, that house would probably have been valued at around $1 million.

White’s decent into homelessness did not happen all at once, but slowly over several years.

She said it began with a messy divorce and continued when she lost her job as a day trader and most of her savings and investments to the recent recession.

Leaving her home, White eventually began leasing a townhouse in Glen Abbey, which she now realizes was completely beyond her means.

“It was very expensive,” said White.

“The utilities and all the extras and food. I guess I was in denial. I knew I was running out of money. I started looking for apartments around May, because my lease was up in July, and I couldn’t find anything, they were too expensive and I couldn’t find a job.”

White said she was also hampered by the fact that someone stole her credit cards, maxed them out and destroyed her credit.

This made finding someone who would rent a home to her even more difficult.

When the lease on her townhouse expired, White said she stayed a few days at the residence at Sheridan College until it got to the point where she could no longer afford that.

On July 19, White spent her first night sleeping in her car and it was only at this point the reality of her situation truly began to sink in.

“It’s depressing…depressing,” she said.

“The first night I slept in the public parking lot of the local canoe club. I had a hard time sleeping the first night and I woke up at 9 a.m. and there were cars all around me and nobody saw me.”

White said she was happy no one noticed her.

A couple days after she became homeless, White noticed a vacancy sign at a retirement residence in the area of Lakeshore and Trafalgar Roads.

After being told rooms were $2,600 per month, White said, she lost it and began tearfully explaining her situation to a member of the staff.

Halton police were called to assist White and it was suggested she attend a facility run by the Halton Safe Beds Program.

The program run by the Halton Region provides short-term support to adults, 16 and older, experiencing mental health crisis.

White said she doesn’t believe she has mental health issues, but understands where they could come from, describing the process of becoming homeless as a traumatic one.

“It really hits your self-esteem. You can’t look people in the eye, you walk with your head down,” said White. “That’s not me. It just eats away at you and I can understand now how this can result in mental problems. I don’t think I have any now, but I can see it. With women not as strong as me, I can see suicide, depression. I can see it happen easily.”

While White said the living space at Safe Bedding was nice enough, she took issue with staff members looking through her belongings and confiscating her diabetes medication, a nail clipper and other things.

The staff told her this was being done so she could not hurt herself or others.

Within 45 minutes, White said, she had a panic attack and after collecting her belongings, left the facility, never to return.

The experience has left White afraid of local shelters.

“I felt this place was for people who were in trouble for reasons other than just being poor,” she said.

“I felt like I was being punished, but it’s more than that. I was stripped of my dignity because I didn’t have a place to stay. They said, ‘While you can’t stay in your car,’ and I said, ‘Well, it’s better than being here.’ It was just so degrading.”

Since then White has endured life in her car.

2011年8月24日 星期三

Carousel Designs Teams With Operation Shower To Honor Military Moms

Carousel Designs, a contemporary and trend-setting leader in the baby bedding industry for more than 23 years, is set to sponsor a baby shower honoring expecting military moms. The event will be hosted by Operation Shower in conjunction with The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, and will be held at historic East Lake Golf Club outside Atlanta on September 21, 2011.

At the baby shower, each mom-to-be will receive a "shower-in-a box," packed with essential baby supplies, clothing, toys, books, blankets and much more courtesy of sponsors like Carousel Designs and other generous donors. Carousel Designs has provided financial support and crib bedding donations for Operation Shower’s Atlanta event, which will be hosted for a group of pregnant women from the Fort Benning and Fort Gordon, GA areas whose husbands are deployed.

"All of us at Carousel Designs feel honored to help provide a special day for military moms-to-be and their families," said Jonathan Hartley, Carousel Designs CEO. "As a veteran-owned company, we understand and greatly appreciate the sacrifices that military families make on a daily basis. We are also excited that Operation Shower is coming to Atlanta for the first time to host one of their showers here in our hometown."

The baby shower will be held on the TOUR Championship's Community Day and is expected to be attended by 40 military moms-to-be. The shower will be held at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots' Outpost presented by Kipper Tool on the 16th green.

"Operation Shower is thrilled to be joining with Carousel Designs to treat military moms-to-be to a joyous day just for them," said Chief Shower Officer LeAnn Morrissey. "The support of Carousel Designs and other sponsors allows us to reach more and more military families and show our appreciation for their sacrifices. Working with a veteran-owned baby bedding company for our upcoming military baby showers is certainly a perfect match. We look forward to hosting a wonderful event."

Carousel Designs is the lead sponsor for the Atlanta event. The company has also contributed to several Operation Shower events throughout 2011, including baby showers at Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Groton, CT; Norfolk, VA and Fort Campbell, KY.

Carousel Designs president Allan Sicat said, "We're committed to doing what we can to support military families because we feel like they are an extension of our family." He continued, "Due to our military background and because our own family members are currently serving and deployed overseas, our involvement with Operation Shower is much more than a business endeavor; it's extremely personal to us."

2011年8月21日 星期日

New Oak Creek Business a Unique Kind of Laundry Service

Oak Creek has many laundry facilities, but only one cleans surgical bedding, scrubs and other medical linen.

Crothall Laundry Services (CLS) opened in June at 9905 S. 13th St. The company specializes in laundry solutions for the health care industry, and takes extra pride in making them environmentally-friendly.

The facility is operated by a staff of 160 people and runs in two shifts.  Within the next year, 18 million pounds of laundry will be cleaned.  Crothall aims to increase output to 50 million pounds per year.

The company had been looking for a new location and chose Oak Creek because of the easy access to the 17 Milwaukee-area hospitals it services, CLS Milwaukee General Manager Dave Sobcinski said.

"Oak Creek was chosen for this facility because it is centrally located to customers," Sobcinski said. "It's close to (the) freeway for our trucks and the community was very supportive of the project."

It was almost a year ago that ARCO/ Murray National Construction Co. broke ground on the $13 million state-of-the-art facility in the Creekside Corporate Park.

"The biggest difficulty was the pace," Sobcinski said. "We had to get the building up before the snow and cold weather set in. Our general contractor and machinery vendors did a great job keeping up the deadline set to make this project successful."

LEEDing the Way

The new Crothall building is the only CLS facility built from the ground up and the first laundry facility in the world to be LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

To be certified, the new plant was recognized for recycling previously developed land, strides in energy, water and material efficiency and constructing with eco-friendly designs.

For example, CLS Milwaukee uses three PulseFlow Milnor tunnel washers. These transfer soiled materials through wash compartments that drain only the filthy water from the wash. This will save about 8.5 million gallons of water each year. Crothall also uses natural gas-fired dryers that recover heat from waste water.

"It's always exciting to be noted as the first laundry facility whose company saw (it) important to be an environmental leader in this industry," Sobcinski said. "Hopefully, our future customers will see the value in this as much as our current customers already have."

2011年8月19日 星期五

Market report - Bedding Trials

Summer trials are a horticultural institution that serve a range of purposes from assessing the potential of new varieties and ensuring that current lines still perform to engaging with hobby gardeners and polling their views.

Mr Fothergill's puts the emphasis on comparison at the Suffolk trials site it has used for the past six years. "We are trialling around 1,500 lines, looking at the quality of seed from competing suppliers," says technical manager Tracy Collacott.

"We try to select the best we can in terms of uniformity, quality and colour range. Unlike the Dutch trials, it's a working comparison trial - there are no fancy mown paths around the site. But we are also showcasing this year's introductions and the coming additions to our mail-order range as well as potential introductions for the future."

This is important to give the Mr Fothergill's brand - and its Johnsons Seeds range - credibility in the market. "We can't replicate, for example, the Scottish climate in East Anglia but it's still more representative for the British market as a whole than trials in, say, California," says Collacott.

Indeed, this year's weather has been a challenge for less hardy plants, she adds. "The cool night-time temperatures are almost unheard of here and the result is the trials are a bit dwarfed. Our sweetcorn plants are three feet (1m) high rather the usual five to six feet and Cosmos are no taller."

Gathering evidence

The 60:40 split between flowers and vegetables at the trials is "reflective of the state of the market", she explains. "We try to find unusual varieties of vegetables such as coloured carrots. We are also looking at smaller squashes from the USA, which is not a crop that most people think will grow here but has been fruiting prolifically. On that basis, we can sell the seeds with confidence. We have even been trialling watermelons that produce superb fruits and we will put those in the catalogue too."
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Having polytunnels at the trials site enables comparisons between indoor and outdoor growing, she adds. "We are trialling some tomato varieties both inside and out and if they fruit well outdoors we can then say that on the packets."

Another ongoing area of investigation at Mr Fothergill's is late sowing of flowers. These trials, begun four years ago, have shown that Alyssum and some hybrid sunflowers can be sown in late July and will still flower in September-October. "It means that they can fill in odd spaces in the garden," says Collacott. "We can add that as a tip for customers."

Thompson & Morgan in nearby Ipswich takes a different approach, eschewing a trade event for a press day and an open weekend for consumer gardeners in late July, which this year attracted more than 5,000 visitors.

"We have display gardens across the site, including such things as growing in pouches as well as key products and customer favourites," says company representative Helen Johns. "Concepts such as vertical gardening can inspire people even if they only have a small space in which to grow."

The event also includes demonstrations of horticultural techniques and question-and-answer sessions with gardening experts. "We hear from them what they like and don't - they even vote for their favourite flower," says Johns. "It can also alert us to problems such as impatiens downy mildew this year."

The company also has a trial ground where new and existing varieties are field tested. For trade visitors, she adds: "We showcase what's coming up in 2012 so they will recognise what's in the spring catalogue. We have a big window when things are looking good and we can show people round."

The combination of consumer gardening with breeding of novel varieties "sets us apart", she says, and the two are connected. "Customers like to know that we are pushing the boundaries by trying new things. And dealing with people's problems and demands informs our breeding."

A good example of this is the company's award-winning Buddleja 'Buzz' series, she says. "Gardeners tell us that buddleja get too big and unruly and set seed everywhere. A plant like 'Buzz' can meet those concerns. It's a two-way thing."

Customer feedback

Flower and home-grown vegetable breeding is the sole concern of Norfolk's Floranova. "Our UK summer trials give us the opportunity to show our full product range to our home market," says supply chain director Kate Monaghan.

"The California Spring Trials and the Flower Trails in Holland are important too but they are effectively exhibition stands for us. And we also get visitors here from Europe and even the USA."

Floranova's event also serves as a testing ground for experimental varieties, she adds. "Our customers can see things pre-launch and we can get their feedback on what they do and don't like and what they are looking for in their market. While distributors are the main audience for the trials, they will also bring their grower customers."

Positive feedback has already been generated by the company's Pansy Freefall range and the Vegetalis range is proving "extremely popular", Monaghan continues. "People are doing their own small-scale trials, testing the water, and are finding that they are profitable, low-volume, high-margin crops that can be fitted in after the main bedding plant season. They also fit nicely into the trend for easy gardening, where you plonk a few plants in a container or even buy one ready-planted."

Vegetalis is among the ranges being trialled in Devon at Suttons Seeds, where consumer-friendly home growing is still moving forward, according to the company's technical manager Tom Sharples. "We tend to work in trends and our new varieties link with those. We are conscious of people coming into gardening, especially into vegetable growing. That is slowing from the 40 per cent-plus growth of previous years, but is still five-to-10 per cent."

Such newcomers to growing are unsure where to start, which is where Suttons' For Your Space initiative in garden centres comes in, he says. "It's aimed at different scales of grow your own, from windowsills and window boxes through to patios and what we're calling 'square-metre gardening'. That feeds into the new selections."

This means new livery and point of sale for the range, which includes "a lot of new varieties as well as good existing ones", he adds. "It's also supported by videos on our website. So far, it's gone down a storm in garden centres."

2011年8月15日 星期一

Fuanna Bedding H1 Earnings Up 79%

Shenzhen Fuanna Bedding and Furnishing (002327) reported that its net profit grew 79.28 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2011 to 85.67 million yuan, reports National Business Daily, citing a company filing.

Fuanna Bedding used funds raised in its IPO to invest in five programs. Specifically, it spent 143 million yuan on the third phase of facilities in Changshu city, Jiangsu province in the first half of 2011. It invested 40.72 million yuan in the program in the same period last year, accounting for 28.4 percent of the planned investment. The third phase of the Changshu facilities will be operational on June 30, 2011.

In addition, Fuanna Bedding plans to complete the construction of the second phase of Longhua Bedding on August 31, 2011. The program is 42 percent complete.

According to an announcement made in January, Fuanna Bedding planned to invest additional 92 million yuan to the Changshu program. As of the end of 2011, the Changshu program accomplished 20.83 percent.

According to an unnamed source, the Changshu program will include 910 digital sewing machines and work benches after the investment, with bedding capacity increasing by 1.3 million units to 3.8 million units, which would generate revenue and net profit of 480 million yuan and 54.9 million yuan per year, respectively.

2011年8月14日 星期日

Dorm living: On the plus side

The average dorm room at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is just over 200 square feet. It comes with extra-long twin beds (which can be bunked or lofted), two desks, two desk chairs and two chests of drawers. The closets are built-in and compact.

The secret is figuring out how to fit all of the "stuff" a new student brings into one neat and tidy space that is color coordinated and not too dorky.

In addition to that, there is the $$ factor. According to the National Retail Federation, parents will be spending about 3 percent less this year on clothes, electronics, dorm gear and food to prepare for college, compared to 2010.

Here are some ideas on how to establish a home sweet home for college students for the next nine months.

* Storage Plus

Hanging closet organizer + Rolling colored drawer + Under-the-bed storage bags = Tidy

Organizing dorm rooms has become a fine science and many specialty products exist for just this purpose. Figure out your needs, then head out to find storage boxes, tubs, hanging bags and more to accommodate them. New this year: Bright colors have been applied even to the most boring storage items.

* Bedding Plus

Cool comforter or duvet cover + XL Featherbed + Throw pillows = Cozy Bunks

Remember that the extra-long length is a must for dorm bedding. Call your roommate to check on his/her colors so you don't look too matchy-matchy. Individual touches, such as throw pillows or small end-of-the-bed coverlets, can be practical and make a statement.

* Desk Plus

Bed laptop desk + Bendable neon-colored light + bunk pocket = Tech heaven

Bring the basics -- powers strips, surge protectors and extension cords. But this year get a docking system that combines great speakers with a bed-side clock. Don't forget a cooling pad for your laptop. Organize your tech items with a bunk pocket, which slides under the mattress and holds remote controls, ear buds and your cellphone.

* Miscellaneous Plus

Funky message board + Wall decals + Beanbag peace signs chair = Cool room

Forget the usual whiteboard. Get a personalized version that reflects your personality. Although there may be restrictions on hanging pictures, wall decals will go up and come down without a scratch. If you can't buy a new futon, just buy new slipcovers to cover the one you  have already.

2011年8月11日 星期四

Tattoo-like patch may be future of health monitoring

Engineers at the University of Illinois today unveiled novel, skin-mounted electronics this week whose circuitry bends, wrinkles, and even stretches with skin.

The device platform includes electronic components, medical diagnostics, communications, and human-machine interfacing on a patch so thin and durable it can be mounted to skin much like a temporary tattoo.

What's more, the team was able to demonstrate its invention across a wide range of components, including LEDs, transistors, wireless antennas, sensors, and conductive coils and solar cells for power.

"We threw everything in our bag of tricks onto that platform, and then added a few other new ideas on top of those to show that we could make it work," said engineering professor John A. Rogers in a news release.

New Orleans Police are investigating the death of a woman in Armstrong Park. A passer-by alerted authorities to the body, found behind the Mahalia Jackson Theater.

NOPD Commander Gary Marchese said the body is badly decomposed.

"Based on the decomposition, we really can't tell" what killed her, he said. "We're going to process the scene as if it was a murder, so we don't lose any evidence, if it in fact is. We're treating it as an unclassified death until the autopsy can tell us why she died."

Authorities say there was makeshift bedding in the area, and are considering the possibility that the woman was homeless.

2011年8月10日 星期三

Retail: Harvey Norman Joins The Restructuring Push

Electrical retailer Harvey Norman yesterday joined rival JB Hi-Fi, Colorado, Borders/Angus and Robertson and the Premier Retail group of chains in restructuring operations to meet the challenge of weak sales, cautious consumers who are saving madly and the strong Australian dollar.

The company said in its long delayed 2011 sales update, that it was closing the Clive Peeters and Rick Hart chains due to falling sales and losses.

Some of the stores would be shut, others would be rebranded.

JB Hi-Fi is in the process of closing its underperforming Clive Anthonys chain of outlets: some will be rebranded, others will be closed.

Premier revealed that around 50 stores across its various chains face closure, especially if rents aren't cut by landlords. Other stores will open in the next couple of years in two of its chains and Premier Retail will be playing hardball with landlords to cut costs.

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And 140 stores are being closed in the Colorado group, with losses concentrated in the Colorado chain (100 stores). 40 others in allied chains in the collapsed retailer in Australia and New Zealand are closing and Red Group, owners of Borders and Angus and Robertson, closed all Borders outlets and sold or closed the A&R outlets.

Harvey Norman's decision came 13 months after the company paid $55 million to the receiver managers of Clive Peeters in July of last year, for most of the stores in the failed chain, a move chairman Gerry Harvey said yesterday was a "mistake".

While Harvey Norman lifted global sales by 1.7% in the year to June to $6.18 billion, like-for-like (same store or comparable store sales) fell 3.6% over the year.

"Global sales were negatively affected by currency depreciation, including a 3.8 per cent fall in the New Zealand dollar, a 12.3 per cent slump in the euro and a 10.0 per cent deterioration in the UK pound," the company said.

Despite the news of the cutbacks and the weak sales figures, Harvey Norman shares jumped 16c yesterday, or 8.9%, to $1.95, after hitting multi-year low of $1.765 on Tuesday.

Harvey Norman said in the statement:

"The Clive Peeters and Rick Hart brand formats have not achieved the requirement for ongoing investment by the Company.

  "Given this, 16 of the 25 Clive Peeters and Rick Hart stores will be converted to Harvey Norman complexes, 2 will be converted to Joyce Mayne complexes, 4 Clive Peeters stores will be closed and 3 Rick Hart stores will be closed.

"The closure of the 4 Clive Peeters and 3 Rick Hart stores will result in a charge against the pre-tax profit of the consolidated entity of an amount presently estimated to be approximately $10M in respect of the financial year ending 30 June 2012."

Total sales in Australia, the company's biggest market, rose by 3.3%, but like for like sales in Australia fell by 2.8%.

Elsewhere total sales and like for like sales rose at Harvey Norman stores in Slovenia and Northern Ireland, but fell in Ireland and New Zealand.

The company said that in 2010-11 "Furniture and bedding franchisees continue to grow revenue and market share despite continued slowdown in the industry".

"We expect that our brands will again outperform the market in FY12.

"Electrical franchisees are operating in an extremely challenging environment accentuated by the strength of the Australian dollar.

"Price deflation in the television category has continued and has resulted in reduced revenues, however transactions continue to grow.

"The franchisees' continued focus on white goods, cooking, home appliances and floor care has resulted in growth in these categories.

"Deflation will continue to dampen revenue growth in the coming year.

"Computer franchisee sales continue to be affected by a cautious consumer and intense competition, however "Tablets", "Smart Phones", "Ultrabooks", "All in One Computers" and new generation DSLR cameras will offer positive opportunities for growth in the year ahead.

"Harvey Norman franchisees are well positioned to continue to lead and maximise the opportunities in this market," Harvey Norman said.

2011年8月9日 星期二

How Butchart Garden is maintained

Butchart Gardens employs a core staff of 50 gardeners to maintain the beautiful borders and beds. This number swells to about 70 with the addition of part-time workers in summer.

The bulk of the tens of thousands of bedding plants used to create the colourful displays each summer are grown in Butchart’s own private 26 greenhouses, which are run by a team of 16.

The garden has two full-time arborists and four people who run the shrub and tree nursery.

Gardeners are given a specific area to look after, with the areas carefully identified by number so they know precisely where work needs to be done.

Key summer bedding plants include pelargoniums, petunias, heliotrope, snapdragons and begonias. The garden uses more than 900 cultivars of bedding plants in beds as well as hanging baskets and containers.

Flowers are deadheaded precisely so no cut stem is left showing and all faded or decaying foliage is removed quickly to keep displays looking pristine.

Supervisors start work at 5:45 a.m. and quickly tour their section of the garden to see what needs to be done before dispatching gardeners at 6 o’clock.

No city tap water is used to water plants. All water comes from a reservoir at the smaller former lime quarry nearby as well as water in Ross Fountain and a few other natural water sources.

An integrated pest management program has been in place for years to control pests in greenhouses; herbicides are no longer used in the garden where more and more organic products are being tested and compost teas used to promote healthy growth.

However, fungicide is still used in the rose garden. Rick Los, the horticultural manger, says this is necessary: "You can’t grow show-quality roses in our climate without using fungicide."

An idea to introduce audio-tours, allowing visitors to wear a headset to tour the garden, was rejected because it was felt that people would be missing an important aspect of the garden by being "disconnected’ from the garden through wearing headphones.

The garden covers 22 hectares (55 acres), which is part of 54.6-hectare (135-acre) parcel of land owned by the company.

2011年8月8日 星期一

Moranbah North miners protest over ‘dangerous’ hot bedding

Miners at Anglo American’s Moranbah North coal mine are protesting over the practice of hot bedding.

They say the ‘dangerous practice’ of sharing camp rooms would require miners to drive home after 12 hours shifts, the Daily Mercury reports.

According to CFMEU spokesperson Dean Smith, Anglo American’s plan to hot bed accommodation means miners have to hand in their room key and drive home after working their last 12-hour shift on their roster.

He went on to say that miners are also protesting over the lack of accommodation provided by the company, stating that more than 60 workers wanted to bring their families to the town, but that there was no housing available.

Protests against hot bedding plans and accommodation will last until the end of the week.

Anglo dismissed the hot bedding claims, stating that it has a strict fatigue management policy and keeps rooms available at Grosvenor Village for workers finishing their shifts.

“The safety of our employees is our number one priority and as part of this we have a fatigue management policy in place to support our employees who choose to commute to and from Moranbah,” an Anglo American spokeswoman said.

“We also provide buses that depart at the end of roster cycles to transport our workforce to Mackay.”

The miner also hit back against the accommodation claims, saying the majority of its Moranbah North workforce is residential.

A spokesperson claimed Anglo owns 240 houses and units in Moranbah and has an additional 414 rooms as the Grosvenor Village.

Anglo American is currently focused on developing two new coal mines – Grosvenor and Moranbah South.

Anglo CEO Cynthia Carroll recently visited Moranbah, and announced the plan which will provide $20 million in infrastructure for Moranbah as well as 2000 jobs.

Anglo is aiming to build more than 50 houses and units as an effort to increase miner numbers in Moranbah.

“We are committed to providing our employees with a choice of accommodation options that best suit their personal circumstances, including permanent housing in the Moranbah community,” she said.

2011年8月7日 星期日

Agreement reached for accused dog breeder

A judgement was reached in the case of a woman accused of violating the Animal Care Facilities Act by operating her breeding facility without a license and failure to provide care of her animals.

Attorney General Chris Koster announced Friday that the Lawrence County Circuit Court had entered a consent agreement against Shirley Gilbert after Department of Agriculture inspections revealed numerous violations including failure to provide adequate veterinary care to animals who were in obvious medical distress; failure to provide adequate ventilation and odor control; failure to provide clean, dry bedding and wind and rain breaks to protect the dogs from the elements; failure to collect and remove animal waste; failure to clean and sanitize the facility or to provide adequate space for the dogs; and failure to provide housing that protected the animals from injury.

Gilbert owned and operated Wolfgang’s Puppies and Gee Gee’s Yorkies, a commercial breeder facility located in Aurora.

In order to comply with the terms of the agreement, Gilbert was required to  transfer all of the dogs at the facility to the Humane Society of Missouri for veterinary evaluation and rehabilitation prior to adoption. 

Gilbert also agreed to shut down her business for six years and pay a $500 civil penalty, $1,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs and $200 in restitution to consumers who were harmed by misrepresentations Gilbert made regarding her status as a licensed breeder.

2011年8月3日 星期三

Mattress Company Could Bring 100 Jobs to City

The Finance Committee on Wednesday eagerly endorsed a request by Mayor Richard Alcombright to designate the nearly 100,000 square-foot building and property in the industrial park an economic opportunity area and the accompanying five-year special property tax assessment. A resolution and tax incentive will go before the City Council on Aug. 23.

The incentive is part of a package to sweeten the deal over a competing site in Manchester, Vt.

"[Owner] John Wilkinson really likes North Adams, he's made that very clear," said Alcombright, who was knowledgeable about what Vermont was offering. "I looked at the numbers that he had ... we certainly seemed to be very, very competitive; in fact, I think we're more competitive."

The mayor said the condition and size of the building, the city's lower property prices and taxes, significantly lower state workers compensation rates and state tax credits, and McCann Technical School and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts were all attractors. It also hasn't hurt that Housing and Economic Development Secretary Gregory Bialecki has spoken to the Wilkinsons on the city's behalf.

In a letter of intent to the mayor, WCW President Jeffrey Wilkinson wrote, "this project would involve the purchase of an existing building suitable to allow the relocation of our entire operation and staff. This would involved relocation of approximately 100 jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $4 million."

Local and state officials have been working with the company to bring the deal to fruition over the past six weeks.

"This is by far he most exciting, encouraging thing since ... Mass MoCA," said Councilor Keith Bona.

Michael L. Vedovelli, regional director for the state Office of Business Development, said the City Council's approval will be necessary to wrap up a package including state tax credits by a September deadline for the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council.

"It's viewed as a three-way partnership with all parties coming together," he said, describing the state's package as "aggressive."

Where a TIF, or tax increment financing, agreement allows reductions on capital investments, the STA provides for property tax discounts over the entire value. That's important, said Alcombright, because investment into the building is expected to be small while the assessment on the property is $2.2 million.

2011年7月31日 星期日

Many in Mackay have no home

A HOME is a luxury many can be accused of taking for granted, however, for the 2000 people in Mackay, who, have been identified as homeless it would be a dream come true.

Data collected in the last census shows the Mackay region’s homeless population was almost five times the national average and with new data to be recorded this month, many believe the situation won’t have changed and may, in fact, have worsened.

Homelessness Australia policy and research officer Travis Gilbert said this equated to 235 people per 10,000 without a permanent address, while the Queensland average was 69 per 10,000 and the national average 53 per 10,000.

Salvation Army Mackay call officer Lt Jeff Goodwin isn’t surprised by these figures.

“I know it’s a big problem... there isn’t a lot of accommodation for homeless people in Mackay at all,” Lt Goodwin said.

In Australia, homelessness covers a range of living conditions, including rough sleeping, living in cars or tents, homeless shelters, couch surfing, temporary accommodation with friends or relatives and boarding houses.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a home to call their own,” Mr Gilbert said.

In Mackay, 33% of people who were homeless were rough sleeping. The national average is about 16%.

Mr Gilbert said from the 2001 to 2006 census the rate of homelessness doubled in Mackay. Regional Social Development Centre manager Deborah Rae believes it has increased since then .

“There has been a huge increase in population since 2006 ,” Ms Rae said.

“We’ve also had a significant increase in costs such as housing and rent... which means that people can’t afford to spend as much on accommodation.”

Ms Rae said one of the biggest challenges was identifying the homeless.

Services available include Samaritan House and Lowana House for women, Ozcare Homeless Men’s Shelter, Youth Information Referral Service and Community Accommodation Support Agency.

A possible factor related to the region’s high level of homelessness is the soaring cost of living and a lack of affordable housing.

“Often people found themselves homeless due to circumstances beyond their control,” Lt Goodwin said.

While more temporary accommodation would help, Lt Goodwin said it would only be a band-aid and not a very good one at that.

More affordable housing, particularly in areas like this, where high wages and a lack of accommodation dictate house and rental costs, would be one step , Lt Goodwin said.

Business and community leaders are being challenged to experience being homeless for a night at the Bluewater Quay on August 7.

2011年7月27日 星期三

Eddie Cibrian adds to list of Great Pop Culture Moments in Bathtubs

Eddie Cibrian, star of NBC’s new fall drama The Playboy Club, is, one must admit, an excellent model for Charisma, a luxury home brand that includes bedding, robes, bath rugs, and towels. For the fall 2011 campaign, he was photographed in bed, of course, and while those shots are worth looking at (check them out here, along with a behind-the-scenes video in which Cibrian is half-naked but hearing compliments like, “Look at those sheets! Ohmygod!”), it’s the bathtub shots that make me happy. I love when male celebrities agree to be photographed in a bathtub because it always feels so random even if it isn’t. See: Colin Firth and David Boreanaz. Therefore, I’m adding Cibrian’s shoot to my list of Great Pop Culture Moments in Bathtubs, which, my editor Mike Bruno said I could blog “only if you include the ‘When Doves Cry’ video, which starts with doves opening double doors to a purple misty room containing Prince in a tub. As Morris Day would say, ‘So sexy!’” So, we have that. What else should be on this list? Other colleagues have nominated Fatal Attraction, Scarface, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Pretty Woman. Off the top of my head, my submissions would include:

• Bull Durham. As Annie would say to Crash, “Oh my.”

• Out of Sight. George Clooney looks great in that light.

• Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I just like how fresh Moaning Myrtle is. And let’s be honest, a bathroom is the WORST place to haunt, so she deserves moments like this.

• True Blood: Eric waits for Bill.

• The Vampire Diaries: This is the reason you build new sets.

• Would the The Money Pit Count?

2011年7月25日 星期一

For Red Lion man, farming becomes a 'way of life'

After pausing a minute to gaze at a patch of his farm washed away by a torrential downfall earlier this summer, Jonathan Darby went back to raking his soil into theoretically weatherproof mounds.

Darby, of Hellam Township, didn't grow up wanting to be a farmer. But he now works on two farms and manages one of them, spending nearly all his time in agriculture.

Born and raised in Red Lion, the 35-year-old traveled for several years before moving back to Pennsylvania and has worked as a massage therapist and in kayak sales, touring and instruction.

Six years ago, he started working at the Goldfinch Farm in Wrightsville.

This year, he switched to doing that job part time in order to join Horn Farm's

newly started Incubator Farms Project, which prepares aspiring farmers to buy and work their own land.

As of last month, he also acts as farm manager of Horn Farm.

'Way of life': Darby said farming as a career grew out of his lifelong activism and belief in locally sourced produce.

"We're at a point in time in our culture where I think we need to approach a more local way of life," he said. "A lot of the agriculture around here isn't directly growing food for the table, which is a need that really needs to be met."

One of three farmers in the project, he works a plot just smaller than two acres for up to 14 hours a day.

He named it Sterling Farm after his grandfather, who spent his life working on a farm in York County.

He routinely starts working around 5 a.m. and said he never leaves the farm for more 24 hours at a time.

"I don't think that there's been a day in the last month that I haven't been out here for some purpose," he said.

He grows everything from tomatoes to sweet peas to arugula, using a number of farming techniques including companion planting -- putting together plants that benefit each other -- and no-till raised beds, where soil is raked into horizontal ridges to deal with rainfall and minimize the amount of tilling necessary.

How it's used: He said about half his produce goes directly to individuals through the Community Supported Agriculture program, in which people pay to receive a share of a farm's crops throughout the season.

Those interested in getting involved for next year can search for local programs on www.localharvest.org/csa/ or email sterlingfarmproduce@gmail.com.

Some of his customers take advantage of an option he offers by which they work on the farm in exchange for some of the produce. Others, including his children, ages 6 and 9, volunteer their time for free.

The other half of his yield is sold to local markets. He and the other workers at Horn Farm plan to open a produce stand outside of the farm's corn barn on Wednesdays and Saturdays sometime in early August.

Although it is only his first year, he said the farm has already proved profitable.

Beyond his own plot, he has also been working at Horn Farm's mission -- to encourage agriculture moving local. As farm manager, he is in charge of overseeing operations at the farm and organizing educational outreach.

"I really want to push the educational side to things here," he said. "I would love to see everyone growing their own foods until it makes my job obsolete."

2011年7月20日 星期三

Body Found in Downtown Dumpster Likely a Transient

Police say a body was discovered in a dumpster downtown Wednesday afternoon.

Springfield Police got the call around 12:45 p.m. about the body below the Martin Luther King Bridge at 602 E. Phelps.

A passerby walked into the crime lab and had the crime lab call 911 to report the finding.

Officers on scene say it appears to be transient who'd been dead at least a day before his body was discovered. Bedding and personal items were found inside the dumpster, indicating the man may have been living there.

Officers aren't sure if it's a heat-related death, but there are no obvious signs of foul play.

"It's not been linked to heat, but transients in the area are, when we contact them and are suffering from heat illness, taken to hospitals also advised to go to cooling centers that are open at the time, churches," says Officer Lee Walker.

The medical examiner has removed the body. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday in Columbia, Missouri.

Police have identified the man, but next of kin have not been notified.

2011年7月17日 星期日

Fickle Copa America quarterfinals yield surprising remaining quartet

The full moon shone bright and white over San Juan, its domination of the chill sky seeming a symbol of the lunacy that took over the Copa America this weekend. The tournament -- perhaps any tournament -- has never known a series of quarterfinals like it, as the three group-winners and the hosts all crashed out. The machinations of the schedulers, who had done everything in their power to ensure a third successive Brazil-Argentina final, are left looking a little silly.

Charles Reep, the British long-ball theorist, spoke a lot of nonsense, but one of his great insights was that there is an essential randomness to international competition. The three-week or monthlong span of a major tournament simply isn't long enough for luck to work itself out. For that matter, even a domestic-league season is too short to be influenced by random factors. James Walmsley, a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, hypothesizes that a season would have to be seven years long before it could be reasonably be considered "fair." Six games is nothing like enough.

Often, of course, the better teams do prevail, but sometimes there are weekends like this. Colombia missed a penalty and hit the post but lost 2-0 to Peru. Argentina was thwarted repeatedly by the brilliance of Nestor Muslera, the Uruguay goalkeeper, but lost on penalties. In Paraguay's Justo Villar, Brazil also met a goalkeeper in sensational form, and Fred had a header cleared off the line; it too, lost on penalties. By the time it came to Sunday evening's game in San Juan, the pattern was well established.

Venezuela is dogged, but frustrating, both to watch and, you imagine, to play against. Tomas Rincon and Franklin Lucena have been two of the players of the tournament, mopping up at the back of the midfield. It has technically gifted attacking midfielders and forwards in Cesar Gonzalez, Juan Arango, Nicolas Fedor and Giancarlo Maldonado, but it does spend an awful lot of time looking for free kicks. There were 31 in the first 45 minutes against Chile -- evidence both of tactical fouling and tactical being fouled.

It doesn't make for much of a spectacle, but it was effective partly because Chile kept dumbly conceding free kicks. First Arango crossed for Oswaldo Vizcarrando to capitalize on some slack marking and head Venezuela into the lead. Then, after Chile had twice hit the woodwork before finally equalizing, Gabriel Cichero forced the ball over the line after a right-wing free kick had caused havoc in the box. Venezuela has never previously reached the last four of the Copa America; the only negative on a night that will live on in its football history was the late red card shown to Rincon, presumably for clipping Jorge Valdivia with a flailing arm.

In the last four Venezuela will meet Paraguay. Gerardo Martino had opted for a much more attacking approach in this tournament than he had at the World Cup, but at the back of the midfield he left out Nestor Ortigoza, a ferocious tackler with a deft touch, for the more defensive Victor Caceres. He would probably argue the decision was vindicated, both by the result and the number of interceptions Caceres made, but it did mean that Paraguay offered far less of a threat to Brazil than it had in the group game between the two, in which Brazil was fortunate to plunder a last-minute equalizer through Fred.

Brazil will question itself. Mano Menezes was supposed to offer a return to the thrilling days of the past, to approach the altar of joga bonito. Observing how often Brazil's opponents seemed cowed simply by facing the yellow shorts, Rob Smyth once noted that "the greatest trick Brazil ever pulled was to convince the world it existed," but it may be that when it is not intimidating opponents, the mythical style becomes a burden to itself. After all, Dunga, to whom Menezes was supposed to be an antidote, won a Copa America and the Confederations Cup before (unfortunate) defeat in the World Cup quarterfinals.

In this tournament, Brazil toiled, struggling to get the balance right between attack and defense. On the two occasions it kept clean sheets, it failed to score; both times it did score -- two against Paraguay in the group and four against Ecuador, it let in two. That is a simplistic way of looking at things, and it had the better of the stalemates in the opening game against Venezuela and the quarterfinal, but then it was fortunate to get away with a draw in the group game against Paraguay.

Neymar and Ganso, the two great prospects brought in to the senior side in preparation for the 2014 World Cup, were inconsistent, showing flashes of talent but too often fading from games, something that calls into question the whole notion of using the Copa as preparation for the World Cup. Bedding in young players is a fine idea in theory, but three years is a long time in football, and Neymar and Ganso are both still young: what if it turns out in a couple of years that they are not the right young players to be promoting? What if exposure too soon damages them?

2011年7月13日 星期三

Animal Island: Proper bedding for a guinea pig

Q: It seems that my 8-year-old son may be having an allergic reaction to the guinea pig we got six months ago. I have read that the allergen may be more the bedding than the pet itself. Any suggestion for hypoallergenic bedding? We love this little guy, and he has been a very welcome addition to our household.

A: I've noticed that most of my clients who keep guinea pigs put a great deal of bedding two or three inches in the cage and then change it only once a week. All this bedding being kicked around by a guinea pig all week long creates a dusty mess, and dumping it out once a week is hard to do without it getting all over the house.

I just spread a few sheets of newspaper on the bottom of my guinea pig cages and then put a sprinkle of bedding on top like sprinkling cheese on top of spaghetti. Every day, I just roll up the used newspaper and bedding into a long cigar and throw it out, then put a fresh sheet of paper with a new sprinkle of bedding. It literally takes only a minute to do this, and the cage is clean and dust-free.

There are many bedding products you can use. I have found that Aspen Wood Bedding and the natural-colored Care Fresh Bedding seem to be the most free of dust.

Q: Yesterday I saw what I thought was a blue jay flopping around on the ground in distress. As I walked closer, I noticed it was not hurt but sitting on the ground with its feathers all fluffed up and picking up something in its beak and then rubbing it all over its plumage.

I just sat there, watching, for a couple of minutes, then the bird stopped, shook out its feathers and flew off. When I got to the spot where the bird had been sitting, I saw that it was an ant hill with lots of busy ants. Am I correct in assuming the bird was rubbing its feathers with ants? Why would it do this?

A: You saw a natural bird behavior that is rarely witnessed. Scientists call this anting. It is an aspect of avian feather maintenance that is imperfectly understood. We do know that ants secrete formic acid. It seems logical that the bird is rubbing the ants throughout its feathers to coat them with the formic acid, thus killing feather lice or other parasites in the plumage. It is one of those mysteries of nature, an instinctive behavior that birds do not need to be taught.

Q: At our vacation house, my son found quite a few little red salamanders crawling in the woods after a rainstorm. We brought five of them back to Long Island and set them up in a terrarium with leaves and moss collected from the area around our house. A pet store sold us pelleted food for newts and salamanders. We sprinkled some in the terrarium, but they just ignore it. Is there something else we can offer them that they might like better?

A: The salamanders you found are the juvenile form of the Eastern newt. As adults, they live in lakes and ponds, but as soon as the tadpoles develop legs and can walk, they leave the pond where they were born and live a terrestrial life in the moist forests, hiding under leaf litter, where they eat very small termites and other live prey. In this life stage, they are called red efts.

The adult newts that live in the water will eat the pellets you bought, but the little red juveniles will not. They need live food. About the only commercially bred insects you can buy for them are wingless fruit flies.

Your life will be a lot easier and the newts will be a lot happier if you just take them back up to the area where you found them and turn them loose. There are very few salamanders native to the United States that can be successfully kept in captivity. They should always be appreciated in their natural environment but left strictly alone.

2011年7月11日 星期一

The Yorkshire Linen Company Introduces New Bedding Lines For Summer

The Yorkshire Linen Company has recently added to its range of bedding products through the introduction of a number of new lines. Following the hottest spring in the UK since records began, the company has created several new and beautiful designs to help keep their customers feel cooler during the hot summer months.

With temperatures remaining relatively high there is a feeling amongst weather forecasters that this summer could prove to be a hot one; leaving many seeking a haven from the heat. The most common place that we tend to seek sanctuary is the bedroom and the bedding that we opt for can play a huge role in creating a cool and relaxed atmosphere. Going for darker shades that we associate with warmth can be a mistake during warmer spells and leave the bedroom feeling oppressive.

Through the use of carefully chosen shades and the incorporation of floral patterns, The Yorkshire Linen Company has provided several designs that serve to continue the summer vibe, whilst bringing down the temperature of the bedroom. The understated Saskia Green bedding with its beautiful appliqué embroidered flowers on an ivory background offers cool tones that will leave you feeling refreshed. If you are looking to make a bold statement in your bedding set then you might want to consider the new Tulip Plum pattern, which features a contemporary tulip design with purple and pink heads on an aubergine background.

In addition to the new range of bedding items on offer, The Yorkshire Linen Company has also introduced a selection of curtains and voile panels to add the perfect finishing touches to your bedroom decor. Available in a spectrum of colours the lightweight drapes serve to block some of the Sun’s rays without completely shutting out the joy of the summer weather; allowing the breeze from your open window to gently cool you.

2011年7月6日 星期三

Jilted woman stabbed, shot and beat millionaire to death

Onetime pilot Catherine Marie Pileggi, apparently enraged by a potential breakup with a self-made Fort Lauderdale multimillionaire and also blaming him for the death of a sister during a vacation years earlier, took brutal revenge, investigators say.

Pileggi is accused of shooting Ronald C. Vinci in the head, stabbing him in the chest, slitting his throat, wrapping him in bedding and plastic bags – and then plotted to drop his body in the ocean. She was held without bond Wednesday.

“This is a brutal, brutal murder," police spokesman Detective Travis Mandell said. "I can’t imagine someone else doing this to another human being."

According to the arrest affidavit, Pileggi told one of Vinci’s friends: “I messed him up bad.’’

The admission was made to Spencer Gordon, who discovered the body at a mansion the couple shared in the upscale Tarpon River neighborhood, according to the arrest affidavit released by Fort Lauderdale police. Gordon had been called by the couple’s handyman the morning of June 28.

Vinci, 70, whose riches came from successful car dealerships, had and on-and-off relationship with Pileggi, 54, for two decades. The dead rich man is now a central figure in a bizarre family drama that also involves his lover’s late sister, Angela Pileggi Silverstein. She died suddenly at the age of 45, possibly from a drug overdose, while on a Caribbean cruise with the couple in December 2009.

Eight months earlier, Silverstein herself was a witness in another mysterious murder case, that of record producer Phil Spector, who was convicted that year of killing an actress in his California home.

In April 2009, Silverstein testified against a third Pileggi sister, Melissa Grosvenor, who claimed she had had a relationship with Spector. Grosvenor testified at trial that the eccentric producer had once threatened her with a gun, a charge that Silverstein, with a flourish, discredited on the witness stand, painting her sister as a fame-seeker.

“She was bragging about going on Court TV!” Silverstein said in court about her estranged sister. Spector is serving 19 years in prison for the death of the actress, Lana Clarkson.

Now it’s Catherine Pileggi who faces murder charges.

Vinci had made millions with a string of Honda dealerships in Southern California before moving to Fort Lauderdale.

Pileggi’s family said the pair met through their shared love of flying.

But after 20 years, Vinci apparently was ready to move on. According to the police report, “it was revealed through witness statements that Mr. Vinci had attempted to end his live-in relationship with Ms. Pileggi with negative results.’’

Pileggi responded by going to another Vinci home, on Nurmi Drive, on June 24, where she got two of his guns, and returned to the Tarpon Bend home, according to an arrest affidavit.

Neighbors in their Fort Lauderdale neighborhood said they heard a pop on June 27. The next day, police cars arrived on their street.

According to the arrest affidavit, Peliggi killed Vinci, called the couple’s handyman, Reynaldo Silva, on June 28 and claimed that her partner died from a fall in their recently-purchased $2.9 million mansion.

She explained that Vinci wanted to be buried at sea and asked Silva to help her hoist the body inside a large blue container then transport it to Vinci’s boat and take it out to be dumped in the Atlantic.

Palmers donates bedding plants in Auckland’s CBD

Pockets of Palmers pansies and primula’s are peeping out from new flowerbeds in Auckland’s CBD – but the planting drive isn’t just about looking pretty.

Palmers donated more than 2500 punnets of purple and white bedding plants as part of the Beautify Your City campaign, which kicked off its third phase this week.

The flowers have been planted in six temporary flowerbeds in spots that had become targets for the illegal dumping of rubbish, fats and oils.

“The idea is that the plants will dissuade dumpers,” says Palmers General Manager Garry Stone. “It’s a similar concept to painting murals on spots that are targets for graffiti. It’s designed to gently encourage people to respect their city – even the seemingly forsaken nooks and crannies. And, of course, the flowers will also brighten up the CBD for everyone to enjoy.”

It’s the second time in the last year that Palmers has donated plants for the beautification initiative, which was developed by the Heart of the City business group and the Auckland City Council.

“We’re delighted to be involved,” says Garry. “We here at Palmers are great believers in the power of plants. This project channels that power into a good cause. It really is beauty with a purpose.”

To reinforce the campaign, the council provided every business in the CBD a rubbish bag printed with purple pansies, instead of the usual red bag.

Businesses have also received an information pack about rubbish and recycling.
The campaign began in November last year, when Palmers donated its first round of plants. Council statistics suggest that the initial planting project worked, in conjunction with the wider campaign. The number of rubbish bags dumped illegally in the city fell from 1273 in November 2009 to 381 bags in November 2010. The numbers continued to improve – in February this year only 121 bags were found dumped – though the council says the record has slipped since then.
“We hope this new project will reinforce the strong message that the plants conveyed in November. With an influx of visitors expected in the next few months, the timing couldn’t be better for a reminder to take pride in our city,” says Garry.

Pileggi is accused of shooting Ronald C

Onetime pilot Catherine Marie Pileggi, apparently enraged by a potential breakup with a self-made Fort Lauderdale multimillionaire and also blaming him for the death of a sister during a vacation years earlier, took brutal revenge, investigators say.

Pileggi is accused of shooting Ronald C. Vinci in the head, stabbing him in the chest, slitting his throat, wrapping him in bedding and plastic bags – and then plotted to drop his body in the ocean. She was held without bond Wednesday.

“This is a brutal, brutal murder," police spokesman Detective Travis Mandell said. "I can’t imagine someone else doing this to another human being."

According to the arrest affidavit, Pileggi told one of Vinci’s friends: “I messed him up bad.’’

The admission was made to Spencer Gordon, who discovered the body at a mansion the couple shared in the upscale Tarpon River neighborhood, according to the arrest affidavit released by Fort Lauderdale police. Gordon had been called by the couple’s handyman the morning of June 28.

Vinci, 70, whose riches came from successful car dealerships, had and on-and-off relationship with Pileggi, 54, for two decades. The dead rich man is now a central figure in a bizarre family drama that also involves his lover’s late sister, Angela Pileggi Silverstein. She died suddenly at the age of 45, possibly from a drug overdose, while on a Caribbean cruise with the couple in December 2009.

Eight months earlier, Silverstein herself was a witness in another mysterious murder case, that of record producer Phil Spector, who was convicted that year of killing an actress in his California home.

In April 2009, Silverstein testified against a third Pileggi sister, Melissa Grosvenor, who claimed she had had a relationship with Spector. Grosvenor testified at trial that the eccentric producer had once threatened her with a gun, a charge that Silverstein, with a flourish, discredited on the witness stand, painting her sister as a fame-seeker.

“She was bragging about going on Court TV!” Silverstein said in court about her estranged sister. Spector is serving 19 years in prison for the death of the actress, Lana Clarkson.

Now it’s Catherine Pileggi who faces murder charges.

Vinci had made millions with a string of Honda dealerships in Southern California before moving to Fort Lauderdale.

Pileggi’s family said the pair met through their shared love of flying.

But after 20 years, Vinci apparently was ready to move on. According to the police report, “it was revealed through witness statements that Mr. Vinci had attempted to end his live-in relationship with Ms. Pileggi with negative results.’’

Pileggi responded by going to another Vinci home, on Nurmi Drive, on June 24, where she got two of his guns, and returned to the Tarpon Bend home, according to an arrest affidavit.

Neighbors in their Fort Lauderdale neighborhood said they heard a pop on June 27. The next day, police cars arrived on their street.

According to the arrest affidavit, Peliggi killed Vinci, called the couple’s handyman, Reynaldo Silva, on June 28 and claimed that her partner died from a fall in their recently-purchased $2.9 million mansion.

She explained that Vinci wanted to be buried at sea and asked Silva to help her hoist the body inside a large blue container then transport it to Vinci’s boat and take it out to be dumped in the Atlantic.

2011年6月29日 星期三

Montreal launches campaign to fight bedbugs

The city of Montreal has launched a new campaign against bedbugs, coinciding with moving season when the bugs tend to spread more easily.

Thousands of people across Quebec move on July 1 because it is the official end date for rental leases.

This year, the city is urging people to take precautions to ensure they are not spreading pests when discarding old furniture or bedding.

City councillor Alain Tassé said infestations spread easily and that moving day can make things worse.

"Bedbugs could travel on people, bedbugs could travel in a moving truck. So it is recommended to be as careful as possible," he said.

The city suggests using a knife to slash old mattresses when throwing them out, so others don't take them from the curb. After that, the mattresses should be placed in large plastic bags provided by the city.

Pest control worker Pierre St. Louis said moving vans can cause pest problems too.

"A good prevention could be to pass the vacuum in the empty truck before you store your storage," he said. "It's going to really prevent... bed bugs."

On top of that, the city suggests placing bedding, furniture and clothing in plastic bags before putting them in a moving truck.

The Quebec Landlord Association said preventing the spread of bedbugs is something all tenants need to take responsibility for. Spokesperson Hans Brouillette said the insects can easily spread between apartments.

"You can clean the apartment and do all you can to exterminate all the bedbugs but the problem will come over again if tenants do not collaborate," he said.

If you suspect you have bedbugs in your apartment, the city says to contact your landlord immediately to arrange for a certified exterminator to come in.

Sealy sees double-digit gains domestically and globally

Bedding major Sealy Inc. said worldwide sales for the quarter ended May 29 were 10.6% above the same quarter last year, but the company swung to a net loss of $377,000.

The company said the red ink was due to losses from operations in Brazil and Europe that recently were sold.

Without those discontinued operations, Sealy would have recorded a profit of $750,000 or 1 cent per share for the quarter. That compares with earnings from continuing operations of $3.67 million, or 4 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The most recent quarter's net loss compares with net income of $849,000, or 2 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Worldwide sales for the quarter, the second quarter of Sealy's fiscal year, totaled $321.3 million. That's up from $290.5 million in last year's second fiscal quarter.

U.S. bedding sales for the quarter were up 10.6% to $253.4 million - a figure driven by the introduction of the Next Generation Posturepedic line. Sealy said the revamped flagship line had been delivered to a majority of its retail customers by the end of the quarter.

"We were pleased with our operational and financial performance in the second quarter, which allowed the company to deliver double digit sales growth over the prior year, as well as sequential growth in gross margin, income from operations and adjusted EBITDA," said Larry Rogers, president and CEO. "We accomplished these results even as we saw conditions for the industry become more challenging than expected."

In the U.S. the company said wholesale unit volume increased 12.2%, while the average unit selling price fell 1.2%. The decrease in the average unit selling price was driven by a heavy mix of floor samples of the new Posturepedic line, which were sold at a significant discount during the product rollout.

For the six months ended May 29, worldwide sales totaled $626.8 million, an increase of 4.1% from the first six months of the previous fiscal year.

Sealy recorded a net loss of $1.28 million, or 1 cent per share for the most recent six months. That compares with net income of $6.56 million, or 5 cents per share, for the same period in 2010.

Excluding the discontinued operations, the company had a six-month profit of $880,000, or 1 cent per share.

2011年6月26日 星期日

Developing new kinds of Disney hotels from Orlando to Hawaii

Mark Rucker, 49, is vice president of lodging for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, overseeing projects such as Aulani, a stand-alone resort on Hawaii, and Disney's Art of Animation Resort, a family-suites hotel in Orlando. He spoke with Sentinel staff writer Jason Garcia.

CFB: I understand you just returned from Aulani. Is it ready to go?

It's going well and it's on schedule. It's actually looking fabulous. We were over there and had planned to go over for some pre-opening work. And that's working on arrival processes and front-desk check-in and sense of arrival and how the guests are going to be welcomed, housekeeping and all the recreation preparation. All the senior leaders are now on board, and most of the leaders are now on board over at Aulani, and it's really transitioning many years of work over to the leadership team that's going to be there on the ground, yet still continuing to be here to support them with the test phase and opening. I think you're aware opening is on August 29.

CFB: How do you make a Disney hotel stand out without a theme park?

Disney's very much about storytelling and service excellence, and what the WDI group has done here at Aulani will tell stories. I mean, everywhere you look in the aspects of this product — the artwork and murals and paintings to the general design to the architecture and even the cultural components of the experiences and the entertainment — everywhere the guests look, everywhere they turn, whether it's the lobby or the Waikolohe Valley, they are going to have stories told to them. And it's really cool because the stories are a lot about Hawaii. We did a lot of work with the people of Hawaii to make sure that the "destination reason" for going there was about sharing the history of Hawaii and the authenticity of Hawaii. Yet, still, there's going to be this Disney magic or Disney overlay to complement the authenticity of Hawaii when they visit. And that really is going to be distinctively different.

CFB: What will Art of Animation add to Disney World's hotel lineup?

We've talked a number of times in the past about our focus on specialty rooms. And Art of Animation, when you look at that, it's a couple of power alleys for us. Power-alley one is that Art of Animation is getting to the point where we're leveraging stories and the equity of our products. The second is this whole family-suite issue; the world has changed around us, and we're seeing a lot more multigenerational families traveling and celebrating together, whether it's reunions or special events or what have you. And we're seeing the fact that they're wanting to play together at Disney and but also stay together in our hotels. This family suites product creates, a little bit more, an intimate setting where they can stay together.

CFB: What else do specialty rooms encompass?

There is this whole themed and storybook room, which we're working on not just domestically but internationally. You asked about Art of Animation, and aspects of room configurations — family suites — fits into that. Family suites is a strategy of specialty rooms. In that specialty-room category, we're looking at bedding configuration, too, of preexisting rooms. And we've got a really neat bedding strategy that's going to be coming out with the release of upgrades for our moderate product, which is really going to drive some interest, we know, to those moderate rooms. And we've a talked a little bit about — not just the 14th floor [of Disney's Contemporary] and the health-and-wellness suites test and pilot that we've got coming up here this coming fall — but just other categories like that, where there's emerging trends or big trends in the industry.

Mrs. Brady gets the crabs from a one-night stand

An upcoming memoir reveals another stain on the perceived wholesomeness of the “Brady Bunch” clan.

77-year-old actress Florence Henderson, who for years in the 1960's and 70’s played the all-American mother, Carol Brady, tells all about an affair she had with a prominent politician that resulted in a bad case of the crabs.

I her book, "Life is Not a Stage", Henderson tells all about a one-night-stand she had decades ago with then New York City Mayor, John Lindsay.

According to a Saturday Reuters report, she recalls Lindsey making moves on her at the Beverly Hills Hotel in which she succumbed to the politician’s advances.

She says she went home afterwards to wake to ever-disgusting "little black things" crawling over her bed and body.

A doctor diagnosed Henderson with pubic lice. The gentleman that he was, Lindsey apologized for the infestation with flowers and an apology.

What exactly did Carol Brady catch in the heat of passion at the Beverly Hills Hotel?

The pubic louse, Phthirus pubis, is typically found on pubic hair, but can also be found in armpit hair, eyebrows or mustaches and beards. It is strictly a human infection; you cannot get them from animals.

They get the nickname “crabs” from its appearance in the adult or nymph stage. They have six legs with the two front ones having the resemblance of pincher claws.

Pubic lice are tan to grayish white in color.

You may also see the nit stage. These are the lice eggs. They are oval, yellow to white in color and attached to the hair shaft. You may need a magnifying glass to see the details of the louse or nit.

They don’t transmit any infectious disease; however there may be allergic reaction and redness from the lice saliva. Itching that crabs cause can make a person scratch and secondary bacterial infection is possible.

In young children pubic lice may also be a cause of blepharitis (irritation or infection of the eyelids).

In most cases, pubic lice are transmitted sexually from the pubic hair of one person to another. But lice can be contracted in other ways, too — from infested clothing, towels and bedding.

2011年6月22日 星期三

Technogel begins selling bedding co-branded with Dr. Scholl's

Technogel Sleeping, a European producer of sleep products, has entered the U.S. market with a line of gel-cushioned mattresses and pillows co-branded with the Dr. Scholl's name.

The U.S. arm of the company, Technogel US, is based here and is marketing the gel mattresses and pillows to a select group of U.S. retailers. The pillows are brought in from Italy, as are the gel components used in the mattresses, which are assembled in the U.S.

Technogel US is counting on the endorsement of Dr. Scholl's, well-known for its use of gel cushioning materials in footwear, to give the line a boost.

"In the United States, Technogel Sleeping products are exclusively endorsed by the makers of Dr. Scholl's, which has led to a collaboration of innovation, technology and heritage," said
Alvise Bertoncello, vice president of sales and marketing. "In fact, both companies share a common vision about providing innovation in comfort-related products."

Products sold in the U.S. include four pillows, the Classic, Deluxe, Anatomic and Contour models; two mattresses, the Estasi and Piacere models; and two travel products, a pillow and a collar.

A layer of Technogel up to one inch thick, designed to work with a variety of support materials, is the key feature of the products, company officials said.

Technogel, the namesake of the company, is a new type of plasticizer-free polyurethane gel with unique cushioning and support properties, originally developed for the medical industry. The surface of the Technogel material features little square "towers" that promote air circulation and provide a cooling sensation, the company said.

Technogel offers "a new way of enjoying rest," which led the company to use the "sleeping redefined" tagline.

Technogel US is the American branch of a German-Italian company, Technogel GmbH, which was established 13 years ago and is based in Berlingerode, Germany, and Pozzoleone, Italy.

Technogel Sleeping, the division focused on bedding products, was established in 2008. It has successfully marketed mattresses and pillows in Europe, Australia and Asia, officials said.

The pillows marketed in the U.S. retail from $150 to $210, while the mattresses retail from $2,899 to $4,899.

Company officials say the products are well positioned to appeal to consumers interested in health and wellness issues.

"The novel combination of product and brand characteristics define Technogel Sleeping's identity and position in a wellness-oriented market niche, based on high-end technology, outstanding quality and style," Bertoncello said.

During the summer no one

Shoppers in search of cool, light sheets for summer weather should head over to www.BlanketAmerica.com for the textile manufacturer's cotton sheet set bargains. Blanket America offers a number of high-thread-count sheets at significant bargains, with each item providing immediate aid to Americans in need through the website's BUY 1, GIVE 1 donation model. For every cotton sheet set, woven blanket, towel, or other textile purchased from Blanket America, the company will donate a blanket to charity to combat domestic poverty.

“During the summer no one is thinking about snuggling under layers of blankets, but most people still enjoy being wrapped in the comfort of sheets. That's why we've created high-thread-count sheets that keep you warm without making you sweat,” said Mesh Gelman, co-founder of Blanket America. “We also know that everyone has specific tastes when it comes to decorating. That's why we offer such a large selection of cotton sheet set colors and patterns.”

Designer cotton sheet sets can cost hundreds of dollars at major retailers, but shoppers can enjoy discount prices at Blanket America, with the majority of sheets on sale for under $50. Ideal for summer use, Blanket America's 300-thread-count cotton sateen sheets offer a softer, silkier feel than regular cotton and are available in a wide selection of solid colors, from mellow charcoal to summery chamois.

For shoppers looking for something a little punchier, Blanket America's 300-thread-count jungle themed sheets may be of service, available in puma, giraffe, and leopard prints for under $45. While the animal prints appeal to the teen and young adult crowd, Blanket America's 500-thread-count Cordelia embroidered cotton sheet set provides a more mature look, with classic detailing along the 4-inch hem in contrasting colors. Normally retailing for $150, the six-piece Cordelia set is on sale at Blanket America for just $49 with two free pillow cases thrown in.

A child company of Extreme Linen, a major textile manufacturer for Macy's, Target, Kohl's, and other prominent retailers, Blanket America is able to offer top-quality sheets, blankets and throws at low prices. Many of Blanket America's cotton sheet sets are also available in California king sizes, a hard-to-find fit that the online store features in a variety of colors and styles.

"From our colorful Patricia Field towels to our soft and cool cotton sheet sets, Blanket America has a number of hot summer bargains in store for consumers. We're happy to provide high-quality textiles to shoppers on a budget, while also harnessing the power of the U.S. economy to help individuals and organizations in need," Gelman said.

2011年6月19日 星期日

How business travellers feel right at home

BACKPACKERS and business executives may occupy opposite ends of the travel spectrum, but one thing they often share is a desire to feel less like a tourist and more like a local.

And among the best ways for a backpacker to gain a more authentic experience is “couchsurfi ng” – the practice of using social networks to connect with like-minded people and then crash for a few days in whatever relatively clean space they have available.

Now a collection of travel websites is helping sophisticated travellers forgo five-star hotels or boutique properties for some couchsurfing of their own. If your first instinct is to recoil at the idea of bedding down on the couch of a hairy political science student, relax. These sites offer attractive upmarket apartments and homes whose owners are out of town.

One of the most popular and fastest growing sites is the San Francisco-based Airbnb, which recently raised $US7.8 million in venture capital funding. The company, which receives 10 per cent of its revenue from Australia, offers properties in 8000 cities and 167 countries, with options ranging from modest apartments in the heart of New York to a fairytale castle in Umbria – and pretty much everything in between (including boats, lighthouses and even an igloo).

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Since Airbnb arrived in late 2008 plenty of rivals – offering essentially the same model – have emerged. They include housetrip, with more than 100,000 properties in Europe, and, more recently, 9flats and My Friends Hotel.

But last year British start-up Onefinestay took the idea to a new level by introducing an innovative model designed specifi cally for business travellers. Rather than just holiday rentals, the company combines top-quality homes (average value of about £1 million) with the services that guests would expect from a four- or five-star hotel. Chief executive Greg Marsh says these “unhotels” offer the best elements of hotel service in the setting of a “carefully curated home”.

“What that means in practice is that we take great care to clean the place before each guest stay, deck it out with five-star linens and toiletries, greet guests on arrival and provide useful tools, such as a free iPhone to ensure we’re accessible 24/7.”

The properties have complimentary WiFi and the company puts barcodes on selected items – such as artworks and television set-top boxes – so guests can use an app on the iPhone to view short videos in which the owner explains an item or how it works.

Cultural differences mean some household gadgets have required more explanation that initially expected. “Americans can’t use kettles,” Marsh notes. “It’s because they’re much less common in the US. We had a case recently when a family put an electric kettle on a gas hob ... with predictable results.”

Onefinestay has proved particularly popular with business travellers from the US and Australia (the company’s secondlargest source market), who often stay in London for longer periods of time. “We have also had business travellers who arrive in groups or project teams and prefer to share a single living space, rather than having to crowd into the business lounge at a hotel or squeeze into a hotel room,” Marsh says.

Prices in the British capital range from £125 per night for a one-bedroom apartment in St James to £1145 per night for a five-bedroom house in South Kensington.

Marsh founded Onefinestay with two other entrepreneurs who had experience in the property management, logistics and technology fi elds. In March they raised $US3.7 million to fund expansion. Backers include some of the online travel industry’s most respected players, including Lastminute.com cofounder Brent Hoberman. The funds will be used to enlarge the company’s London operation, where it offers about 50 upscale properties. However, Marsh says he is “eagerly eyeing” other markets, including New York, Paris “and even Sydney”.

Onefinestay’s model is evolving. In response to guest demand, it recently started a partnership with food service Deliverance, which brings a choice of five different cuisines to the door. “When you place an order, it goes straight onto the fi nal bill. So it’s as simple as hotel room service, but more varied.”

He says the company is keen to launch a loyalty program. “And there are plenty of other services for guests we are keen to start experimenting with, from taxi services to a hotel-style concierge. We are in talks with a number of great London companies that provide those services at a world-class level.”

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Public service workers will have heard Treasury Minister Danny Alexander publicly outlining plans for their pensions.

Telling the world workers must pay more, work longer and get less, while in the middle of talks, shows utter contempt.

They are being battered on all fronts. A pay freeze, hundreds of thousands of jobs going and now an attack on the pensions they saved for.
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Charges of “feather-bedding” and “gold-plated” pensions are flung about like confetti, coupled with dodgy statistics to whip up hatred and envy. It’s a typical establishment trick to divide and rule. But the average pension for a woman in local government is just £60 a week, and in health, it’s £85. Not gold-plated, but a cushion against poverty in retirement. They pay between 5.5% and 7.5% of their salary for that benefit. The Government wants them to pay 50% more for 50% less.

But the extra money raised won’t go into the pension scheme. It will go to the Treasury to pay off the deficit – a pensions tax in other words.

The public doesn’t buy into the Government’s view. After all, most households are a mix of public and private sector workers. It would be better if they all had a decent pension, instead of this race to the bottom.

Why should public sector staff lie down and be trampled on? They didn’t cause the recession. They work hard to help people through it and the last thing my members want is action that hurts people they care for.

But what choice do they have?

There is still time for the Government to enter into honest negotiations but the clock’s ticking.

2011年6月14日 星期二

Carolina Mattress Guild grows with innovation

THOMASVILLE | Neal and Kathy Grigg started Carolina Mattress Guild with five employees in a 5,000-square-foot space 20 years ago in High Point.

Today the mattress maker employs about 85 people at its 68,000-square-foot headquarters on Interstate 85 Business Loop in Thomasville, with 65 of those individuals in production and the remainder in sales, administration or driving trucks. A second facility in Orlando, Fla., which opened in 2009, employs another 15 people. The local plant produces 85 models of mattresses while the Orlando facility makes 65.

With Neal's executive experience at Leggett & Platt, which makes bed springs, and Kathy's eye for design, the business quickly grew. The Griggs moved the operation to Thomasville in 1993 for more space and opened the current headquarters in December 2000. But within five weeks of opening their new facility, a spark from welding work in the production area set off a blaze that quickly engulfed the factory filled with fabric and foam.

“We saw firsthand what happens when foam burns — all the black, acrid smoke,” Kathy said, noting the facility was gutted due to the high amount of smoke and water damage. No one was injured.

For several months they leased some temporary production space in High Point, ran administrative operations out of some trailers parked in front of the headquarters and were back on their feet by the High Point Market in April 2001.

Kathy said the fire was hard on everyone, but she proudly noted it led the company to become the first manufacturer in the U.S. to make a flame-retardant mattress in 2003, which is now standard and required by law.

Chinese producers demonstrate their flair of home fashion at Intertextile

With a 10% increase in scale, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles 2011 will occupy 11 halls in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. The event held from 29 – 31 August 2011 is the largest up to date. Suppliers exhibiting across the international halls include country and regional pavilions from Korea, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey, as well as new country pavilions from Greece, Italy and Spain. Exhibitors of bedding, curtain and upholstery fabrics will group into special product zones.

To tap into the Asian markets, Greek, Italian and Spanish pavilion exhibitors will stage their best and latest fabrics at the fairground. Exhibitor highlights will include:

Greek Pavilion
Coco-mat manufactures bedding, mattresses and home products made in natural or recycled materials including cotton, horsehair, seaweed, coco fibres and natural rubber. Its products serve both consumer and contract business.

K. Stamatopoulos S A is one of the largest wholesalers and has set up retail stores in the country. It produces decorative fabrics, upholsteries and curtains as well as a special woven vinyl flooring.

Vasilas Christos & Co Ltd is a leading curtain producer in Greece and the exclusive representative of DISNEY in Europe for rugs, wall to wall carpets, polyester mats and curtains since 2007.

Other leading manufacturers joining this zone include Anartisi Kiourktsoglou K & SIA E E, IFI S A, Sarlas S A and Zogometal S A

Italian Pavilion
Organised by The Chamber of Commerce in Caserta, this new pavilion will feature top suppliers of silk home products and furnishing fabrics from the region. They include S. & C. – Antica Lavorazione Orditi In Seta SRL, Tesseci SRL, S&B – Silk Beyond SRL, Fratelli Bologna E Marcaccio SRL and Gustavo De Negri & Zama SRL Manifattura Tessile. Other companies from Italy include Enzo degli Angiuoni and Luilor SpA. They will introduce high-end upholstery fabrics made from natural fibres, dobby and jacquard at the fair.

Spanish Pavilion
Comersan SA manufactures upholstery and decorative fabrics, home linens, contract products, micro fibres, light curtains and textile wall coverings.

Textiles Joyper SL supplies home decoration fabrics in a wide range of vibrant colours. The company will display its latest collection for the high-end Chinese consumer market.
Rafael Catala SA and Reig Marti SA offer high quality jacquard fabrics for furniture and home decoration products.

Other top suppliers in this pavilion include B&C Fabrics SL, Gonzalo Ferri SA and Textiles Frau Perez SL.

Well-established high-end bedding suppliers and brands also joined the fair to reach the growing luxury market in China. With over 100 years experience in producing bedding in Germany, Ibena will promote its new product line jointly with Cotton Council International. Standard Fiber from the United States will introduce the popular English brand, Peter Reed and new brand, Somerelle specifically for the Chinese market. Spring Global also from the US will represent the luxury brand, Court of Versailles at the fair. These companies will be showcased alongside other famous brands in hall W2.

2011年6月12日 星期日

Almanac June 12, 2011

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan, during a visit to the divided German city of Berlin, publicly challenged Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to "tear down this wall."

In 2010, Daniel Nava hit the first pitch he saw as a big leaguer for a grand slam — only the second player to do it — leading the Boston Red Sox to a 10-2 rout of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Today's birthdays

Former President George H.W. Bush is 87. Singer Vic Damone is 83. Actor-singer Jim Nabors is 81. Jazz musician Chick Corea is 70. Sportscaster Marv Albert is 70. Blues musician Kenny Wayne Shepherd is 34.

The sun sets 8:32 p.m. today, rises 5:29 a.m. Monday.

The moon sets 2:40 a.m. today, rises 6:34 p.m. Monday. It is four days after the first quarter.

100 years ago today

1911: New industry: "The A.S. Cameron Steam Pump Works, a well-established industry now located in New York City, has decided to move its plant to Phillipsburg on property adjoining the plant of he Ingersoll-Rand Drill Company, that is said to have a controlling interest in the pump works. It is given out that the A.S. Cameron Steam Pump Works, that sends its product to every part of the world, has a capital of $1,000,000 and will employ about 300 hands as soon as the plant is located in Phillipsburg."

50 years ago today

1961: Escapee is no dummy: A 31-year-old Bloomsbury man, an inmate at the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, "employed an elaborate ruse" to make his escape. Guards at the prison discovered a stack of benches against the inside of a 14-foot prison wall. A rope made of twisted bedding was hanging down the outside of the wall. He had carefully constructed a dummy and left it in his bed. He had stuffed pajamas with bedding and wadded paper to simulate his body and placed a plaster head on the pillow. The head was complete with glued human hair, apparently collected at the prison barbershop. On the head was a pair of earphones used by prisoners when listening to the prison radio system. The escaped prisoner formerly lived in Phillipsburg, Blairstown and New Village. He was arrested in 1951 for stealing cattle. In 1956 he was arrested for selling a tractor on which a bank held title and for burglaries in Easton. The alarm issued following his escape described him as 'unarmed' and 'probably not dangerous.'"

25 years ago today

1986: One good turn: Larry Holmes' $4 million Riverside Development project was approved unanimously by Easton City Council. "But the proposal to build a five-story commercial office building and a five-story, 32-unit luxury apartment complex faced some jabs during the final round from citizens who would like to see the 3.2 acre tract along Larry Holmes Drive developed a bit differently. Former Easton Mayor Philip Mitman said he is pleased that Larry Holmes Enterprises Inc. has been named developer of the tract at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh rivers but he'd like to see the office building turned slightly to the east so the front would face the river, giving a better view of the river from Ferry Street."

King of the Beds

What the underdog bed racers lacked in design and decoration, they made up for with pure speed.

And it was almost enough to put an end to reign of Royal Bedding. But a late sideways mishap gave Royal Bedding it’s third straight Bed Race championship Saturday in an action packed one-minute competition at Madison Days.

“We had the speed, but we lacked control,” said Cameron McNell.

Three teams rolled beds on wheels one block, turned around a barrier and then sped back to where they started from. Four people pushed the bed with one person riding on it. The winner received $100 and bragging rights.

The team of Casey Cookson-Zans, Jane Cookson-Scott, Amy Cookson-Koehler, Austin Klumpe and rider Dana Cookson won for the third straight year.

Cookson-Zans said her father, Dan, built their racing bed two years ago.

“He’s a welder so it was pretty easy for him to do it,” she said. “He just got some bicycle tires and put it together. It started out as a joke.”