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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Three Centenarian Sisters Defy Odds

Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime(TM) grant a Wish to Rose Shloss to see her sisters again after 10 years. From left to right: Ruth Branum, 104, of Tulsa, Okla., Rubye Cox, 110, of Bristol, R.I. and Rose Shloss, 101, of Sarasota, Fla

It is a distinction to live to be 100 years old. Just ask Rose Shloss. Not only is she 101, but her sisters are 104 and 110! Three sisters, all from one family, haven't been together in a decade. So Rose's Wish of a Lifetime™ came true when she traveled from her home at Villa of Waterside Retirement Estates, a Brookdale senior living community in Sarasota, Fla., to Bristol, R.I., to reunite with her sisters, Ruth Branum and Rubye Cox. Ruth, who is 104, made the trip from her home in Tulsa, Okla. to Rubye's community.

"I could not have dreamed that I would be with both of my sisters," said Rose. "Given our ages and the fact that we live so far apart this is truly a Wish of a Lifetime™. I am excited beyond words to share this time with them." The last time the sisters saw one another was for Rubye's 100th birthday. 

Jeremy Bloom, the founder of Wish of a Lifetime™, the three sisters and their families celebrated the reunion Friday at Rubye's community in the seaside town of Bristol, R.I. Rose also got to see her first great grandchild 5-month-old Leela. Rose, her three sisters and three brothers grew up on a farm in rural Oklahoma with their parents. Life took the sisters to live in different places, but their families have always remained close even though travel and health issues have made it more difficult over the years. 

"The odds of reaching 110 are about one in 7 million," said Dr. Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University gerontologist. "If you add the fact that the three sisters are all currently more than 100 years old, the odds are so incredibly small that it would even be difficult to calculate them."

"Family ties are so very important, especially when families are separated by great distance," said Janet Shloss, Rose's daughter. "Despite all of our technological means of communicating, nothing can replace the fundamental need to be hugged and held by a loved one. How truly remarkable that these three sisters were given the chance to one last time know the joy of being together."

In 2010, Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime™ formed a partnership to provide a helping hand in making some of the dreams of Brookdale's residents come true. This Wish was additionally supported by Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe who donated Ruth's flight which required special accommodations and Silver Creek Manor in Bristol, R.I. the site of the reunion.
To request a Wish, Brookdale residents fill out a Wish application explaining an experience they would like to have fulfilled and how that experience relates to one or more dimensions of Brookdale's Optimum Life® platform. Optimum Life cultivates whole-person wellness through fulfillment in the six key dimensions: purposeful, emotional, physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. Since the partnership's inception, more than 450 Brookdale seniors have had their Wish granted.

For more information about Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime™ visit www.brookdaleliving.com and www.seniorwish.org

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States. The Company is committed to providing senior living solutions within properties that are designed, purpose-built and operated to provide the highest-quality service, care and living accommodations for residents. Currently Brookdale operates independent living, assisted living, and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers, with nearly 650 communities in 36 states and the ability to serve approximately 67,000 residents. Through its ancillary services programs, the Company also offers a range of outpatient therapy, home health, personalized living and hospice services.

Wish of a Lifetime™ fosters respect and appreciation for deserving seniors by fulfilling their life-enriching Wishes. Founded by two-time Olympic skier, World Cup gold medalist, entrepreneur, and former NFL football player Jeremy Bloom in 2008 in living honor of his grandmother, Wish of a Lifetime encourages the public to take an active role in granting Wishes through its Wish Connect program. Wish of a Lifetime has made 840 Wishes come true for seniors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 93 percent of Wish recipients stated they felt their quality of life improved after having their wish granted and 76 percent said they felt their overall health improved after experiencing a Wish. Learn more about #WishConnect, our volunteer program to help fulfill a senior's wish or visit www.seniorwish.org.



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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Easter lilies and other lily plants can be deadly to cats.

Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center (www.ChicagoPetEmergency.com) is distributing an infographic to remind pet owners that many lilies are deadly for cats. 

 
"Lilies are extremely poisonous to cats," said Dr. Jerry Klein, supervising veterinarian at Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center. "Ingesting any part of a lily plant can cause serious illness or even lead to death. Because many lilies are so highly-poisonous to cats, prompt veterinary care is required."  
Treatment for ingesting lilies can be difficult for the cat and expensive for its owners. Hospitalization is generally required. Without treatment, the cat will suffer from renal failure and die.

Many of the most common lilies are the most toxic to cats including Asiatic, Day, Easter, Stargazer and Tiger Lilies. All parts of the lily are poisonous to cats, including the flower, leaves and pollen. A cat can even be poisoned by drinking water that lilies were stored in. Cats that ingest any part of a lily may develop acute renal failure and die within days.  

Anyone who suspects that her or his cat has come in contact with any part of a lily plant should seek immediate veterinary care. Although there is no antidote, prompt treatment can help save the cat.
 "We remind cat owners to keep lilies out of their homes," said Dr. Klein. "And if there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, please don't plant lilies in your yard."

Infographic available on  www.ChicagoPetEmergency.com.

SOURCE Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Backgrounder On White Supremacist Kansas Jewish Community Shooter Frazier Glenn Miller

  The shooter arrested in the killing of three individuals outside the Jewish institutions in Overland Park, Kansas is a white supremacist with a long history of promoting anti-Semitism and racism, according to a backgrounder released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The suspect, identified by police as Frazier Cross, but who is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller (or simply Glenn Miller), is a white supremacist from southwest Missouri with a career in hatred and white supremacy that has spanned more than three decades.  In the early 1980s, Glenn Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S., but he eventually ran afoul of both the federal government and members of his own movement and has spent the last decade at the periphery of the white supremacist movement.
"The shooting at the Kansas Jewish community centers is a sad and tragic event which reminds us where the spread of anti-Semitism and racism can lead," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  "We recently issued a report which indicated that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States had fallen precipitously over the past few years.  So the statistics are good, and then you wake up in the morning and three people are dead because someone believed them to be Jews."
ADL has reissued a security bulletin to synagogues and Jewish communal institutions across the United States urging them to review their security plans for the Passover holiday, which begins at sundown tonight.

Backgrounder: Frazier Glenn Miller

Originally from North Carolina, Frazier Glenn Miller began his career as a neo-Nazi in the mid-1970s, but soon switched to the Ku Klux Klan.  He was present at an infamous shooting of left-wing activists by white supremacists in Greensboro in 1979 that left five dead, but was never charged with a crime.

By 1980, Miller had formed his own Klan group, the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (later changed to the White Patriot Party), a large regional Klan group that drew notoriety for its paramilitary training exercises.  Members of the group committed several hate crimes against African-Americans during the decade, while its second-in-command was convicted of a plot to purchase stolen weapons, ostensibly to target a civil rights organization.  During this period, Miller was one of the more notorious white supremacists in the U.S.

The activities of Miller and his group eventually led to a federal court order prohibiting its paramilitary training.  Rather than obey the order, Miller went underground with several followers in 1987 after issuing a "Declaration of War" that called for the "blood of our enemies [to] flood the streets."  Federal agents soon arrested Miller hiding out in the Ozarks in Missouri on charges related to his "Declaration" and explosives violations.  

Miller eventually pleaded guilty to possession of a hand grenade and received a five-year sentence. He also agreed to testify against other prominent white supremacists in a sedition trial in Arkansas in 1988—this latter decision earned him the enmity of the majority of the white supremacist movement, which now considered him a traitor to the movement.

After getting out of prison in 1990, Miller moved to Iowa (later to Missouri) and became a truck driver.  Largely ostracized by white supremacists, he laid low until the end of the decade, when he self-published his autobiography (A White Man Speaks Out).  This marked a return to activism; by the early 2000s, Miller began purchasing advertising space in local newspapers in Missouri for racist and anti-Semitic screeds, followed by his own attempts to publish a "white-friendly" newspaper called The European-American
In 2004, Miller allied with fellow Missouri white supremacist Alex Linder to produce a more grandiose white supremacist newspaper that they dubbed The Aryan Alternative.  Only a couple of issues were published, but they were printed in large numbers, which were distributed by various white supremacists for years.  Miller also tried running for office, receiving only two votes in his 2010 attempt at a U.S. Senate seat in Missouri.

Throughout the 2000s, Miller actively promoted his racist and anti-Semitic views online, but remained hampered by the hostility with which most of the white supremacist movement continued to view him.  In the years prior to the Overland Park attacks, Miller was a perennial but peripheral figure within the world of white supremacy.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. 

SOURCE Anti-Defamation League

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

CAIR Welcomes Cancellation of Anti-Muslim Event in Tenn. School

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said it has joined with concerned Muslims in Tennessee in welcoming cancellation of an anti-Muslim event scheduled for April 24 at a Knoxville high school.

TN: Approval Rescinded for Shari'a Law Event at Farragut High School
http://tinyurl.com/k3eneoq

A school official today told CAIR: "I am happy to announce that our Central Office has canceled the ACT event. Thank you for your concern and support." 

"We appreciate the prompt and appropriate response to concerns of Muslim parents and others that hosting this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers," said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.

"We welcome the decision by the superintendent of Knox County Schools to help ensure that they remain a safe place for all students," said American Center for Outreach Director of Policy Remziya Suleyman.
In a letter sent yesterday to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds, Hooper wrote: 

"I wish to bring to your attention our concerns about a program scheduled for April 24 at Farragut High School in which two anti-Muslim speakers are to appear to discuss 'Shariah Law.'

"'Bill Warner' (Bill French) is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a member of the "anti-Muslim inner circle."
SPLC: The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle  
"He will appear with Matt Bonner, the southeast regional director of the Crescent Project — a group whose mission is to 'reach Muslims with the Gospel of Christ.'
"Note the anti-Muslim bigotry they both expressed at a previous event.
SEE: Town Hall Meeting Warns Against 'Political Islam'   
 
"The April 24 event in your school is sponsored by ACT! for American, another anti-Muslim hate group.

"ACT! for America leader 'Brigitte Gabriel' claims that an American Muslim 'cannot be a loyal citizen' and that Islam is the 'real enemy.' She once told the Australian Jewish News: 'Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.' She also claimed that 'Islamo-fascism is a politically-correct word. . .it's the vehicle for Islam. . .Islam is the problem.'
CAIR Islamophobia Backgrounder: ACT! for America and 'Brigitte Gabriel'

"We believe this event will be viewed as having the endorsement of school officials and has the potential to promote bullying and to create a hostile learning environment for Muslim students. It may also serve to create a negative impression of Islam and Muslims in the minds of students of all faiths.

"We support the First Amendment right to free speech -- even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers -- but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting such an event. 

"I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program."
After receiving the letter, a representative of the school told CAIR that "Farragut High School does not support this event, nor do we share the presenters' views" and that a review of the "use of facilities" agreement was being reviewed by legal experts.

SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations


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Friday, 11 April 2014

Ohioans To Stop Executions Applauds Death Penalty Task Force

The Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio's Death Penalty meets today to finalize its recommendations.  Concurrently, Ohioans to Stop Executions launched a new tool on its web page. This new tool will allow Ohioans to search, sort, and understand the more than 50 recommendations intended to help make Ohio's death penalty more fair. The OTSE/Task Force search tool may be used at www.OTSE.org
 
"Today the Task Force is completing its work by releasing a report with 56 recommendations that attempt to address the failures of Ohio's death penalty system," said Kevin Werner, executive director of the statewide anti-death penalty coalition. "I personally watched these recommendations evolve from meeting to meeting as the state's appointed experts decided how to solve the problems with the death penalty. Ultimately, we know that there's only one problem—the death penalty itself, which the Task Force was precluded from considering as a whole. Anyone who really looks at this issue tends to agree that the only way to fix the death penalty is to get rid of it. Until that day comes, Ohioans to Stop Executions will work to ensure that the reforms that will make the biggest impact are legislated. If we have to have a death penalty, let's make it a fairer one."



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