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President Obama speaks NAN Convention

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President Barack Obama
New York – President Barack Obama arrived at Midtown in New York and was greeted by energized supporters attending the 16th Annual National Action Network conference.  Rev. Al Sharpton, the activist of the NAN introduced President Obama.  Obama spoke about the continual decline of fair accessing of voting in the country.  “The right to vote is being challenged and threatened today,” Obama said.  Identification requirements are increasingly becoming unfair for the low-income, minority and elderly voters that may not have access to drivers license or passports. 

 

President Obama gave a large smile when he reflected to the issue of his birth certificate, “just to be clear, I know where my birth certificate is….”  “You remember that?  That was crazy…”  Obama also spoke about the improving economy, continual number of people being signed up for coverage by the new health care.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was also mentioned for his efforts on pushing for education opportunities for pre-K children.

 

First lady Michelle Obama and President Obama attended the Broadway play “A Raisin in the Sun” before heading back to Washington.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show

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Lori Morris Design
New York – Manhattan’s Pier 94 was packed with artist designs of uniqueness and quality exhibited for kitchen, bath, furniture (indoor and outdoor), decorative accessories and building products.  Over 300 brands and thousands of products were on display with the original designers on hand to answer any questions along with lectures and seminars going on continually each day.  This was the 13th year that the Architectural Digest Home Design Show had been held and by all accounts was a complete success with spectators packing the Pier 94 to view the spectacular show of talent; kitchen designs from Italy to new budding companies from Detroit, Michigan.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade –New York City

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John (Jack) T. Ahern, Grand Marshall
New York – The 253rd New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a bitter cold day but that did not prevent Fifth Avenue being filled with an estimated million celebrants having fun.  The procession had nearly 150,000 musicians and marchers carrying banners of Irish organizations along with the Irish and American flags as well as bagpipers dressed with the traditional kilts.  The police, fire department, colleges and high schools marchers followed the traditional Fifth Avenue route passing by St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Cardinal Timothy Dolan stood out front waving and greeted dignitaries as they passed by. 

 

The Irish prime minister, Enda Kenny joined in the parade after having the traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at Gracie Mansion with Mayor Bill de Blasio.  John (Jack) T. Ahern a Business Manager and Financial Secretary of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30 was the 2014 Grand Marshal.

Obama in New York Fundraising

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President Obama, New York
New York – President Obama landed in New York on Air Force One and was immediately greeted by a small group of people before boarding Marine One to attend two fundraisers.  Along the route Obama made a brief stop at a Gap store to shop for his wife, Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha.  Gap Inc. is a business that responded to Obama’s request at the State of the Union address to increase wages for their employees.

 

President Obama continued to the Upper East Side for two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee.  The events were high dollar private fundraisers with the first one set up as a round table discussion format with approximately 25 supporters.  The second fundraiser was attended by 40 supporters; DSCC Chairman Michael Bennet and Mayor Bill de Blasio were among the attendees.

WPPI Conference Expo – Premier Event

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Las Vegas – Exciting energy was overflowing at the top event for photographers that specialize in portrait, filmmaking wedding photography.  New technology combined with the highest quality of speakers sharing their experience and knowledge presented seminars throughout the week.  Photographers had the opportunity to learn new techniques from the best in the industry.  Over 13,000 professionals were in attendance packing the event halls at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  The weeklong conference added filmmaking seminars to the WPPI Trade Show and Conference for the 2014 event.

 

Manufacturers from all over the world premiered their new products and technology for photographers to view and learn from.  Gary Fong showcased two new lighting accessories, Epson’s new metallic photo papers, Westcott launched Zeppelin soft boxes, Hasselblad, Nikon, Cannon with large displays, high quality photo albums from the around the world were among the hundreds of exhibits. Competition and judging of prints and albums showcased the high quality of professionalism in the wedding photography business. 

Westminster “Best In Show” Wire Fox Terrier

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Wire Fox Terrier "Sky" Best in Show
New York – Sky, a five-year-old Wire Fox Terrier took the “Best in Show” award at 138th Westminster Kennel Club dog show competition. Betty Regina Leininger the Best in Show judge of Frisco, Texas had the difficult position of making the decision of choosing the final winner.  Seven dogs made the finals after two days of very high competition from a field of 2,845 and 190 different breed varieties.  Sky is the 14th winner of the breed fox terrier in the history of the Westminster.  Gabriel Rangel, Sky’s handler said, “She’s a perfect little dog.”  A white standard poodle named Ally was given the distinction of “reserve best in show.”

 

Torie Steele, Malibu, California is one of the owners of Sky.  This was Gabriel Rangel’s second Best in Show victory with the Westminster Kennel Club.  Rangel previously won with a Scottish terrier in 2010 named Sadie.  Three new breeds were included for the 138th competition:  Chinook, Portuguese podengo pequeno, spotted rat terrier.  The Westminster Kennel Club is comparative to the Olympics and is only second to the longest running sporting event in the United States; Kentucky Derby.

Westminster Kennel Club First Masters Agility Championship

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New York – Kelso a Border Collie took the grand prize for the Westminster Kennel Club’s Agility competition Saturday evening.  Roo! (name includes the explanation marking) a mixed-breed took home the best All-American. Pier 94 Saturday was filled to capacity to watch 225 dogs of purebred and mixed dogs for the First Agility competition that the Westminster Kennel Club had hosted.  The traditional high level of organizational and quality skills that the Westminster Kennel Club holds the distinction for was carried through with the first held Agility platform.  Westminster’s 138th Annual All Breed Dog Show February 10-11 will be held at Piers 92 and 94 during the day with final competitions in the evening at Madison Square Garden.

New York Pet Fashion Show – Crown Jewels of Fashion

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New York – Westminster weekend, Fashion Week and upcoming Valentines Day began with the “10th Anniversary Diamond Celebration” New York Pet Fashion Show presented by TropiClean.  Hotel Pennsylvania was packed with supporters of the animal rescue shelters and the importance of preserving animal groups of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.  The runway was filled with expensive dog couture items with over $400,000 present; the Lumieres dog dress at $25,000, Queens’s Crown $3,000 and a priceless Diamond Dog Collar.  An evening of top pet designers were accompanied by owners dressed elegantly to accompany the grace of ‘man’s best friend.’  The exclusive Diamond Dog Collar was designed by Candy Udell from London Jewelers and also was the designer of the infamous 2.5 million dollar bra for the Victoria’s Secret Show Angels on the Runway.  Couture by Ada Nieves and Gladys Delgado featured the Lumieres $25,000 canine dress with 150 LED lights and Swarovski Crystals powered by two mini computers and 10 programmed animations.

Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration

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New York – The Year of the Horse was celebrated In New York with a parade winding through Chinatown.  Sunday was a warm sunshine day to have a parade filled with confetti, fireworks, and drumbeats to energize the tightly filled streets of spectators.  This was the 15th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year parade with dignitaries, festive floats, musicians, acrobats performing flips and spins along with the Ronald McDonald mascot.  One of the eye-catching groups stopped several times to show wide-eyed children their fire-eating act.  A long extended line of dragons danced through the streets toward the Sara D. Roosevelt Park.  Chinese Zodiac has twelve animal signs with 2014 the Year of the Horse representing cleverness, kindness to others and great communicating skills.

2014 International CES

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Las Vegas – Futuristic and present day technology was showcased in over two million square feet of exhibit space in Las Vegas at the 2014 International CES show.  Curved TV’s had a huge presence and 3D viewing amongst the over 3,200 exhibitors and more than 150,000 industry professional in attendance including 35,000 from other countries. Camera, lens and filters are forever changing in a world where everyone is taking massive amount of pictures.  Nikon and Canon showroom featured not only their products but had national speakers every day talking about how to capture the moments.

 

Wearable watches that related information to monitor your health as well as communicate with and not carry the cell phone everywhere.  Robots that not only clean your floors but also can automate to clean windows and far reaching importance monitor with regards to health.  Drones were shown carrying the Go-Pro to capture the pictures the average person had not been able to capture in the past.  Hydrogen, electric and solar cars with a futuristic design were showcased as well as unique innovations from startup companies. Gibson guitars had a large display of instruments featuring the historic career the instrument has had with the top performers in the world and demonstrated the self-tuning guitar.




 
 
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Taylor Swift rings in New Year's at Time Square
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Taylor Swift
Millions of revelers filled Times Square to celebrate the Waterford crystal ball dropping for 2013.  Ryan Seacrest hosted this year’s celebration with memories tribute to Dick Clark along with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg notating Clark’s absence. 
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Madonna 2012 World Tour Pack Xcel Energy Center
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Madonna
St. Paul, Minn. – Madonna 2012 World Tour performed Saturday night to a packed house of close to 14,000 fans at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  The tour marks 25 years since Madonna has performed in the Twin Cities.


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Aretha Franklin at Radio City Music Hall
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Aretha Franklin showed why her staying power has remained for 50 years of performing. Franklin gave a strong and powerful show to a sold out Radio City Music Hall.  The Queen of Soul brought gospel to the show and performed at the piano singing many pieces including Franklin’s rendition of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Trouble Water.”
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Kid Rock at Moondance Jam
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Kid Rock
Walker, Minnesota - Kid Rock was the Thursday night Headliner that broke all record attendance for Moondance Jam.  Campers and fans began moving into the outdoor venue on Wednesday and were treated to pre-concert high energy performances.  Thursday was the beginning of the main acts that went through Saturday night with top notch performers as John Fogerty, Heart, Motley Inc., Grand Funk Railroad and more.
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Lady Gaga Rocks Madison Square Garden

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Monster Ball was performed to a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden. 

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Aerosmith WOWS Winnipeg

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 Aerosmith performed their show "Cocked, Locked and Ready to Rock" in Winnipeg. 


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