Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:07 AM
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:05 PM
Robert Goulet, 73
October 30, 2007 at 7:48 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES — Robert Goulet, the handsome, big-voiced baritone whose Broadway debut in "Camelot" launched an award-winning stage and recording career, has died. He was 73.
The singer died Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles hospital while awaiting a lung transplant, said spokesman Norm Johnson.
He had been awaiting a lung transplant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after being found last month to have a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis.
Goulet had remained in good spirits even as he waited for the transplant, said Vera Goulet, his wife of 25 years.
"Just watch my vocal cords," she said he told doctors before they inserted a breathing tube.
The Massachusetts-born Goulet, who spent the majority of his youth in Canada, gained stardom in 1960 with "Camelot," the Lerner and Loewe musical that starred Richard Burton as King Arthur and Julie Andrews as his Queen Guenevere.
Goulet played Sir Lancelot, the arrogant French knight who falls in love with Guenevere.
He became a hit with American TV viewers with appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and other programs. Sullivan labelled him the "American baritone from Canada," where he had already been a popular star in the 1950s, hosting his own show called "General Electric's Showtime."
Posted by David Berner at 6:31 PM
KCM, Insight on InvestingPerspective from Adrian Mastracci, Portfolio Manager
"Canada's economic update"For Immediate ReleaseVancouver, BC (October 30, 2007): Some brief comments on today's proposals by the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance:
There are a number of tax incentives that touch everyone: individuals, small businesses and corporations. It's a welcome approach to reducing the tax loads for the long term.
As an example, the lowest personal income tax rate will be reduced to 15% from 15.5%, effective January 1, 2007. The amount that all Canadians can earn without paying federal income tax will be increased to $9,600 for 2007 and 2008, and to $10,100 for 2009.
The Finance Minister estimates that these two measures together will reduce personal income taxes for 2007 by more than $400 for a typical two-earner family of four earning $80,000, and by almost $225 for a single worker earning $40,000.
The markets are likely to applaud the measures as positive steps.
If Canada's economic situation improves from here, look for the Loonie to rise further from current levels. Hence, our exporters may face more challenging times ahead in keeping their costs in check.
Small businesses, who provide the majority of jobs, will be happy to see lower rates. Especially, if the Provinces and Territories join the rate reduction bandwagon.The one caution is that today's measures are only proposals. They must be passed into law first.Of course, tax reductions from any Government in power are really a return of some of the revenues collected by the Government.
I welcome your questions, comments and opinions.
Adrian MastracciPortfolio Manager, R.F.P.,KCM Wealth Management Inc."Private-Client" Portfolio Managers & Financial Advisors Suite 1500, Box 1078, 885 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, Canada V6C 3E8 Tel: (604) 739-4500 Fax: (604) 739-0234 Visit Our Website: <http://www.kcmwealth.com/>
Posted by David Berner at 5:31 PM
Posted by David Berner at 11:13 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:03 AM
Monday, October 29, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:31 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:19 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:07 AM
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Sunday, October 28, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:44 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:36 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:08 AM
My Answer to Peter Ladner's Oh-So-Cavalier Suggestion about Asking for a Refund From the City With no Services for 3 Months
That's a clear indicator that garbage pick-up could easily be once every TWO weeks.
But that's not going to happen is it?
Nor are any of the thousands of cost savings that are possible, because there is no political will to do so.
Posted by David Berner at 10:59 AM
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 1:57 PM
Posted by David Berner at 1:49 PM
Posted by David Berner at 1:37 PM
Posted by David Berner at 1:33 PM
Friday, October 26, 2007
But no one that I know has gotten below the shimmering surface of this nonsense.
It is difficult to get excited by Brightlight's announcement that they made $100 Million on one of their recent, desperately bad projects.
Posted by David Berner at 12:53 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:22 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:10 AM
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 5:01 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:59 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:52 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:40 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:24 AM
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:33 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:25 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:20 AM
Monday, October 22, 2007
I was watching the Olympic television special last night, a joint celebratory production between VANOC and Beijing Olympic organizers staged in Vancouver. As it happened , I was watching it with Chinese friends. Here were some of the groaners.
John Furlong, in his insipid style, said Vancouver and Beijing were kindred spirits because they are both ( ready for this) "emerging cities.' My guests were astonished.
Earth to Furlong. Beijing is not emerging. It is a dazzling city of 14 million people that has been around for 3000 years. Vancouver is neither dazzling nor a city. It is a town of 600,000 with a nice view that is emerging from being Canada's largest lumber town.
2. The Drum Competition.
Five precision Chinese drummers performed a synchronized session on ancient drums complete with acrobatic flourishes. One First Nation drummer banged a single drum with monotonous repetition.
Earth to First Nations. Before 2010, practice. A lot. Your drum show is rather bleak by comparison.
3. Dodging the Multicultural Bullet.
Mercifully, the Vancouver contingent did not not trot out the usual contingent of "multicultural performers" which usually consists of young people in unrecognizable costumes, running aimlessly around stage to the strains of a tuneless composition. We would have looked ridiculous because the Chinese show included several splendid acts by Chinese minorities.
Earth to Canadian Multicultural Braggarts. China has over 50 cultural minorities. They all have distinct identities. They are not hyphenated. They have not moved to China in the last 100 years or so. Don't try to play the multicultural card with the Chinese. They'll laugh.
4. The Entertainment Gap.
The Chinese brought in household name entertainers from the Mainland and Taiwan. Thousands of Chinese guests in the audience, as well as my guests, sang along with these familiar songs. Canada's entertainers were a couple of unknowns including a bimbo sporting a crotch level dress and trucker tattoos who felt obliged to tell the audience that the olympics were "about peace." Yeah dude.
Earth to Booking Folks:
Go for quality and dignity.
Posted by David Berner at 6:12 PM
Irrefutable statistics of loss and hardship that point to immediate action to compensate the businesses.
As you may recall, you participated in a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) on the impact that the Canada Line Construction is having on your business. Ninety-two businesses completed the survey from all along the Line.
We have released the results of the survey on Monday October 22nd. Here are some of the highlights:
- The average business owner has been at the current location for 11 years and has 6 employees.
- 74 per cent of businesses have seen a sales decrease. The average business along the Line is reporting a loss of $111,927.57.
- 37 per cent of businesses have had to downsize staff of an average of 2.8 employees.
- 74 per cent of businesses have depended on loyal customers to stay open, while 33 per cent have had to take our loans.
- Only 28 per cent expect the Canada Line to be beneficial to their business, while 46 aren’t sure and 26 per cent say it won’t benefit their business.
- 73 per cent of businesses are unsatisfied with consultations with businesses prior to the construction, and 84 per cent are dissatisfied with current support for businesses.
- 88 per cent of businesses say that a property tax rebate would be helpful or somewhat helpful for them to survive the construction.
The full report is available at: http://www.cfib.ca/research/reports/rr3041.pdf
We are expecting that the media will be looking for small businesses to tell their story. If you are willing for the media to contact you, please let us know and we will pass along your contact information accordingly.
Thank you very much for having taken the time to help us better understand the impact that the Canada Line is having on your business and help us make recommendations that reflect your perspective and experience.
Heather TilleyPolicy Analyst, BC
Posted by David Berner at 6:10 PM
Posted by David Berner at 6:02 PM
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Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:50 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:44 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:40 AM
Friday, October 19, 2007
I am not in total agreement with what this editorial says, but it does have merit and is well worth the read.
AMEN AND AMEN!!!!
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a crche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.
She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards.
Honestly and respectfully,
Posted by David Berner at 12:59 PM
Posted by David Berner at 10:08 AM
Comedian Joey Bishop dies
Comedian Joey Bishop dies at home in Los Angeles
With Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bishop was in Rat Pack
Bishop had late-'60s talk show; sidekick was Regis Philbin
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Joey Bishop, the stone-faced comedian who found success in nightclubs, television and movies but became most famous as a member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack, has died at 89.
He was the group's last surviving member. Peter Lawford died in 1984, Sammy Davis Jr. in 1990, Dean Martin in 1995, and Sinatra in 1998.
Bishop died Wednesday night of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach, publicist and longtime friend Warren Cowan said Thursday.
The Rat Pack -- originally a social group surrounding Humphrey Bogart -- became a show business sensation in the early 1960s, appearing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in shows that combined music and comedy in a seemingly chaotic manner.
Reviewers often claimed that Bishop played a minor role, but Sinatra knew otherwise. He termed the comedian "the Hub of the Big Wheel," with Bishop coming up with some of the best one-liners and beginning many jokes with his favorite phrase, "Son of a gun!"
The quintet lived it up whenever members were free of their own commitments. They appeared together in such films as "Ocean's Eleven" and "Sergeants 3" and proudly gave honorary membership to a certain fun-loving politician from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, at whose inauguration gala Bishop served as master of ceremonies.
The Rat Pack faded after Kennedy's assassination, but the late 1990s brought a renaissance, with the group depicted in an HBO movie and portrayed by imitators in Las Vegas and elsewhere. The movie "Ocean's Eleven" was even remade in 2003 with George Clooney and Brad Pitt in the lead roles.
Bishop defended his fellow performers' rowdy reputations in a 1998 interview.
"Are we remembered as being drunk and chasing broads?" he asked. "I never saw Frank, Dean, Sammy or Peter drunk during performances. That was only a gag. And do you believe these guys had to chase broads? They had to chase 'em away."
Away from the Rat Pack, Bishop starred in two TV series, both called "The Joey Bishop Show."
The first, an NBC sitcom, got off to a rocky start in 1961. Critical and audience response was generally negative, and the second season brought a change in format. The third season brought a change in network, with the show moving to ABC, but nothing seemed to help and it was canceled in 1965.
In the first series, Bishop played a TV talk show host.
Then, he really became a TV talk show host. His program was started by ABC in 1967 as a challenge to Johnny Carson's immensely popular "The Tonight Show."
Like Carson, Bishop sat behind a desk and bantered with a sidekick, TV newcomer Regis Philbin. But despite an impressive guest list and outrageous stunts, Bishop couldn't dent Carson's ratings, and "The Joey Bishop Show" was canceled after two seasons.
Bishop then became a familiar guest figure in TV variety shows and as sub for vacationing talk show hosts, filling in for Carson 205 times.
He also played character roles in such movies as "The Naked and the Dead" ("I played both roles"), "Onion-head," "Johnny Cool," "Texas Across the River," "Who's Minding the Mint?" "Valley of the Dolls" and "The Delta Force."
His comedic schooling came from vaudeville, burlesque and nightclubs.
Skipping his last high school semester in Philadelphia, he formed a music and comedy act with two other boys, and they played clubs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They called themselves the Bishop Brothers, borrowing the name from their driver, Glenn Bishop.
Joseph Abraham Gottlieb would eventually adopt Joey Bishop as his stage name.
When his partners got drafted, Bishop went to work as a single, playing his first solo date in Cleveland at the well-named El Dumpo.
During these early years he developed his style: laid-back drollery, with surprise throwaway lines.
After 3 1/2 years in the Army, Bishop resumed his career in 1945. Within five years he was earning $1,000 a week at New York's Latin Quarter. Sinatra saw him there one night and hired him as opening act.
While most members of the Sinatra entourage treated the great man gingerly, Bishop had no inhibitions. He would tell audiences that the group's leader hadn't ignored him: "He spoke to me backstage; he told me, 'Get out of the way.' "
When Sinatra almost drowned filming a movie scene in Hawaii, Bishop wired him: "I thought you could walk on water."
Born in New York's borough of the Bronx, Bishop was the youngest of five children of two immigrants from Eastern Europe.
When he was 3 months old the family moved to South Philadelphia, where he attended public schools. He recalled being an indifferent student, once remarking, "In kindergarten, I flunked sand pile."
In 1941 Bishop married Sylvia Ruzga and, despite the rigors of a show business career, the marriage survived until her death in 1999.
Bishop, who spent his retirement years on the upscale Lido Isle in Southern California's Newport Bay, is survived by son Larry Bishop; grandchildren Scott and Kirk Bishop; and longtime companion Nora Garabotti.
Posted by David Berner at 9:53 AM