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Archive for April, 2012

Check Out Mike Kelly’s Interview with Urbanette Magazine

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 26, 2012

Check out Mike Kelly’s interview with Urbanette Magazine
http://www.urbanette.com/marriage-divorce-and-prenups/

Facts: There is a 62% rate of divorce in the US. Most of these divorces are filed in January.

Few days after Christmas and one month before Valentine’s Day, the hotlines at family-law offices are ringing off the hook with unhappy couples screaming “I want out!”

Celebrity power couples who used to be the epitome of wedding bliss and fairytale romance are an upsetting attestation to the truth that when it comes to marriage, no couple is guaranteed to live happily ever after — from Heidi Klum and Seal who shared 6 years of marriage but annually made vow renewals, to Juanita Vanoy and Michael Jordan who spent 17 years of marriage and got reconciled on their first divorce filing, to Phyllis Raphael and Sumner Redstone who spent 52 years of marriage up to their senior years before announcing split.

Worst, divorce is not just painful but also a costly process, especially for the one with the most money earned. While in most cases the woman gets away with the pricey divorce settlement (Juanita receives $168 million from Michael Jordan), there were also cases when the woman (apparently more financially successful than her partner) has to shoulder the cost.

Britney Spears was ordered to shed $40,000 a month to her ex-husband Kevin Federline (whose occupation was listed as pizza delivery boy and dancer at the time of their marriage), Elizabeth Taylor paid $1 million to her 8th husband Larry Fortensky (a construction worker), Jennifer Lopez paid $14 million to Chris Judd (her former backup dancer and choreographer), Rosanne Barr (who fired her attorney for suggesting pre-nup) paid her comic husband Tom Arnold $50 million, and Madonna shed $76 to $92 million lump sum to Guy Ritchie.

Nowadays, career women could both get emotionally and financially hurt in the divorce proceedings. Thus, the time has come for us to legally prepare for divorce before we get married. Ivana Trump advices that when it comes to this process, “Don’t get mad, get everything.”

Urbanette Magazine sat down with Atty. Michael Kelly, one of the finest family-law attorneys in the country, to talk about marriage, divorce, and pre-nuptial agreements.

Here are interesting facts we’ve discovered:

  1. It is best to get married in California and Texas.
  2. January is the season of divorce.
  3. Hormones affect pre-nups. Seriously.

Urbanette: Forty (42) years of divorce andfamily law experience – wow! In your opinion, what states are the best and the worst for getting married? 

Atty. Kelly: California is the best state for getting married because it has done its best to level the playing field to ensure that spouses have equal opportunity to get divorce lawyers.  Texas may also be among the best because they allow jury trials for divorces which take all of the power away from the judge. In California, however, the judge has complete power and no jury.  Arkansas, Georgia, and Oregon are among the worst.  Their legislative record is far behind those in other states.

Urbanette: How are the laws on divorce and pre-nups in California different from other U.S. states? 

Atty. Kelly: The Barry Bonds case was in California where Mr. Bonds’ wife signed a prenup getting into a private jet on the way to Las Vegas.   The Bonds case was determined by the California Supreme Court to be an acceptable prenuptial agreement.  Thereafter in response to that ruling, the legislature set out certain statutory rules causing a seven day cooling off period before a pre-nup is good plus statutory ordering the disclosure of assets and the approved signature by experienced lawyers regarding what rights a pre-nup gives away. Everyone should be sure to know that 99% of the time, the pre-nup favors the individual drawing it up. It primarily protects the person who already owns the business, the property, the apartment building, etc.  This could include pensions, spousal support, etc.

Urbanette: How about New York? Is it good to get married in The Empire State? What are the laws that couples should be particularly aware of (like no-fault cheating, prenup rules to follow, etc)?

Atty. Kelly: New York State is an Equitable Distribution state. The marital assets and debts of the parties (marital property) will be divided in an equitable fashion. This does not necessarily mean equal, however. What it does mean is that, based on the particular facts of the case, the assets and debts will be divided in a manner that fairly represents the party contributions to the marriage. For example, if assets were brought into the marriage, but have appreciated in value, the marital portion (the appreciation) would be subject to equitable distribution based on what contributions were made.

In no fault divorce a spouse can simply claim a marriage has broken down for at least six months before filing for divorce. Prior to New York’s adoption of no-fault divorce, a spouse was required to allege and prove, at trial, if necessary, grounds such as abandonment, adultery or cruel and inhuman treatment.

Advocates for victims of domestic violence have been won over by the no-fault law. They originally opposed it because they felt the history of abuse might not be factored into divorce settlements. But as it turned out, judges are much more likely to quickly award support and attorney fees that make it possible for women to leave an abusive home and get appropriate legal representation.

Though no fault streamlined the divorce process, the temporary support guidelines are messy.

Some New York courts have ruled that New York’s no-fault divorce statute does not provide a defendant with a right to trial.  In doing so, the court ruled that a party is not entitled to challenge the other spouse’s allegation that the marriage has broken down.

I suspect that more courts will adopt the position that New York’s no fault divorce law does not require a showing of marital wrongdoing.   I think all that is necessary in order to make out a case for no fault divorce is a party’s sworn statement alleging that the marriage has indeed broken down.

Urbanette: You’ve been in the profession long enough to conclude that a great number of people are filing for divorce in January.  When did this trend started?

Atty. Kelly: For at least thirty years of my practice I have seen a reoccurring trend that January has always been one of the busiest months.  December has also been a busy month because you get many modifications of child access orders due to people wanting custody of children during the holidays.

Generally speaking, the advent of the New Year typically brings along New Year resolutions and a desire to start over and clean the slate.  Too often than not, that includes ditching your spouse and starting anew either alone or in a new relationship.

There are also tax benefits to filing in January. By waiting the whole year, you can claim your spouse’s end of the year bonuses.

Urbanette: So is January the best time of the year to file for divorce? What makes it beneficial for filing for divorce in January?

Atty. Kelly: Again, there are specific tax advantages to filing in January. If you file for divorce in January, you should file your tax return in December while still married because it allows you to claim all of your spouse’s assets. January is the best time to divorce, that way you do not endure another year full of holidays with the significant other that you are trying to leave. It gives you a new lease on life being the fact that it’s a New Year.

Urbanette: Divorce is considered as the most difficult times in the lives of once happily married couples. How can a divorce process be considered “painless” and “beneficial” to all parties involved?

 Atty. Kelly: The only divorces that are considered painless and beneficial are those where the people in general are in agreement on support, property division, child support, child sharing and child custody.  Other than that it is unfortunately too often than not, a rather painful process for both parties.  Divorce is used as either revenge, to inflict pain, attempt to financially destroy the other person, attempt to take away children, attempt to move to another state to cut the person out of their life.

There are of course exceptions, but often times divorce brings out the worst in people. My job is to help facilitate the process, and lessen the pain for everyone involved.

Urbanette: How can women protect themselves and their children during the divorce process?

Atty. Kelly: The best thing a woman can do for herself during a divorce is to get the right attorney. Check the attorney’s resume and make sure they practice what they preach. Do they write and or teach about the practice of family law? Are they on any legal and or divorce committees? They should be very well versed in the divorce process and the stator process.  The practice of family law should be a deeply engrained aspect of their life.  I also recommend going with a firm vs. a single attorney.  A firm is usually better equipped to handle all challenges destined to arise given the volatile nature of divorce and litigation as well as the actual physiology and physical stress separating causes. A firm can instantly respond to a myriad of problems including violence, threatened violence, child abduction, confrontations, bank account draining etc.  There is no way in this lifetime that a single practitioner can rapidly respond to all of these apprises.

Urbanette: Pre-nuptial agreement. What makes it a necessity these days?  

Atty. Kelly: The reason prenuptial agreements is necessary these days is that there is still a 62% divorce rate.

Urbanette: Pre-nups versus perfect timing. Pre-nups forces the couple to talk about issues that may soon arise later in their married life (money management, estate planning, etc). The relationship may still be untested and talking about pre-nups can only make the couple stressful. Is there such a thing as “perfect timing” when it comes to pre-nups?

Atty. Kelly: There is a hormonal increase of certain hormones between six and eighteen months during a couple’s courtship and preparation into getting married.  When that hormonal release stops the couple had better have developed a decent companionship relationship to make it work out. I suggest having the conversation sooner rather than later.

If the relationship is for real, and both parties care about each other they will be able to move forward in love and understand it’s for both parties protection.

Urbanette: Are there cases when pre-nups can be fought (like signed while the woman is pregnant, etc.)?

Atty. Kelly: Some people cleverly get married and cause a child to be born in hopes it is going to be a long-term relationship.  On the other side, the impregnating partner can think of it as a perfect way to get more control of their spouse.  When there is an expectation of a great deal of money being left it should certainly be kept separate because their parents are attempting to leave assets to their children and are not usually contemplating those children having to share those assets with the spouse that they haven’t know for a very long period of time.

Urbanette: Do you have tips for making a fair and lasting pre-marital agreement?  

Atty. Kelly: The main thing that prenups do is make sure that the person marrying is doing so for love and not the gain of money or love of money. If you have the money, prepare a pre-nuptial. If you do not have the money, check and request because there is a time the pre-nup will stop being an order.

Atty. Michael Kelly is a frequent contributor to Sirius XM Radio, CBS Radio, The Huffington Post, as well as numerous NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and CW network affiliates. The Law Offices of Michael Kelly are located in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Century City, CA. For more information, visitwww.cfli.com.

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Pulse of Vegas Blog Announces “Tony N’ Tinas Wedding” Move to Ballys

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 26, 2012

Pulse of Vegas announcing Tony N Tinas Wedding move to Ballys

http://lasvegasblog.harrahs.com/las-vegas-casinos/ballys-las-vegas/moveable-feast-tony-n-tinas-wedding-comes-to-ballys/

The last performance of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” at the V Theater is May 26.

The always-unpredictable “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” will take up residence in the space formerly occupied by the Bally’s buffet, on the hotel’s second floor. (There’s still a buffet elsewhere at Bally’s, of course, the Sterling Brunch in the Bally’s Steakhouse.)

“Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” is unique in that unlike traditional theatrical productions, it doesn’t take place on a stage. The show provides a wacky spin on Italian weddings, from the ceremony to the reception, and performers mingle with audience members throughout the evening. Cast members have a lot of leeway to improvise, which means audiences never get the same show twice.

Paris cake topper

Only remotely related: We love this cake topper you can get next door at Paris Las Vegas.

The show includes a full Italian dinner, which makes the former Bally’s buffet space especially convenient, as there’s a kitchen adjoining the room. The performance space will now be called the “Tony and Tina Room” in honor of the show. The new “Tony and Tina Room” has a great view of the Strip, by the way.

“Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” which we’re fairly sure should have an apostrophe in front of the “n,” too, has played in more than 40 American cities during its run.

Some facts we found interesting: Since opening in its original Las Vegas home at Rio Las Vegas(Feb. 14, 2001), “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding” has served up 2.9 million glasses of champagne and 450,000 pounds of spaghetti. No, we did not do the math. We prefer to just parrot what publicists say. It frees up a lot of our time.

Bally's Las Vegas

Thanks for giving us an excuse to share our awesome photo of Bally’s Las Vegas again, Tony and/or Tina.

Brides and grooms may also want to note that couples who get married at any Caesars Entertainment hotel in Vegas get free admission to the show.

Now, that’s amore. Although we can’t be sure we used that word correctly. We are a Las Vegas blog, not an ethnologist.

We look forward to seeing this show again when it opens at Bally’s! We love us some Vegas newness. Oh, and wedding cake, of course.

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Brandon Wade’s New Website

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 26, 2012

Brandon Wade’s interview on CNN about http://www.misstravel.com:

http://earlystart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/26/misstravel-com-ceo-brandon-wade-on-concept-of-pairing-attractive-women-with-generous-men/

 

Be sure to check out Brandon Wade’s interview on Good Morning America: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/dating-website-links-rich-pretty-misstravel-16218181

 

Also read about it here http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/25/travel/misstravel-dating-site/index.html

New site promises hot people a free ride

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Thu April 26, 2012

There’s a hot new travel site — but it doesn’t really arrange any travel.

The Internet blew up Wednesday over Misstravel.com, a site that launched April 9. According to its founder, Brandon Wade, the site connects rich people with good-looking people who want to gallivant around the world on the rich person’s dime.

“We are a meeting space like a nightclub or a bar for people who are interested in talking,” Wade said.

“This isn’t an escort service.”

Wade points out the “Escorts are not welcome” disclaimer linked from the home page. Visitors to Misstravel.com may miss that message initially when confronted immediately upon arrival by the image taking up most of the home page, a young woman sitting school-girlishly (short skirt, head tilted) on a pink suitcase.

A video play button appears over her. Click and hear a woman’s voice speaking sexily as a female cartoon delivers the pitch.

“Are you attractive but you don’t have the money to travel?” she asks. “What if you could travel around the world, stay in five-star resorts, dine at top-rated restaurants and do the fun things travelers do, all for free?”

On Misstravel, you can, the voice says. Male cartoons of doctors, lawyers, bankers, athletes and such pop into the frame, and the voice says, “Best of all, they have the money, and they are willing to spend it on you.”

No one on the site has gone on any trips that Wade knows about — mostly because the site is so new — and Misstravel does not arrange travel, he said. Like a dating site, Misstravel only provides a platform for people to create profiles and communicate.

There are two categories on Misstravel: “attractive” and “generous.” Judging from photos of the attractives, they evidently have so little money they can’t afford many clothes.

The site offers no promises that a generous will not stick an attractive with any bills. It’s up to the two of them to negotiate, Wade said.

The generouses include “YoungCEO4U” who claims to be 27, worth between $500,000 and $1 million and from Farmington, Michigan. He is interested in “no strings attached” and going to the Dominican Republic.

An attractive could also choose a 6 foot 2 inch generous named “Bigmoolah” from Florida or “Texan323,” who lists himself as single but is open, he indicates, to “Mutually Beneficial Arrangements (Sugar Daddy / Sugar Baby)” and “Married Dating/Discreet Affair.”

If you register as an attractive, you pay nothing. If you’re generous, you pay a minimum of $50 to be able to communicate with 10 attractives, Wade said. For $250, you can communicate with up to 100 attractives.

Wade said the site allows people of all types; although it’s called Misstravel, men and women, gay and straight are welcome to be either an attractive or a generous.

When these categories connect, Wade said, they should consult thesafety guidelines Misstravel provides, such as, “Never travel out of the country or to a different city to meet someone you do not know well.”

Something to keep in mind when dealing with “Manimal” a 30-year-old from the Chicago area who asks in his profile, “Are you woman enough?”

Wade said he was a “nerd growing up in Singapore” who didn’t have a girlfriend or a kiss until he was 21. His site is intended, he said, to help people who are shy like him connect. He is trying to follow some wisdom his mother shared with him years ago.

“A little bit of generosity,” he said, “goes a long way when it comes to dating.”

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Jimmy Au for Men 5’8” and Under on Kababayan LA

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 25, 2012

Check out Jimmy Au for Men 5’8” and Under on Kababayan LA:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR662Lk611k&feature=share

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Debbie Gibson is Featured in Multiple Magazines and TV shows!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 25, 2012

Debbie Gibson was featured this week in Billboard Magazine.The article mainly covers her charity, Gibson Girl Foundation, and her appearance at Dee Snider’s Jam for Autism and her upcoming musical “The Flunky”.

Debbie Gibson had a national interview with CBSNews.com at Culture Club last Tuesday, April 17th.  It was also featured  on CBSNews.com.You  can watch the interview on the following links:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-57420172-10391698/debbie-gibson-marries-past-and-future-with-new-music-and-rock-of-ages-role/.

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/entertainment/main207.shtml?tag=hdr;cnav

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406070n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7406072n

Here is another great interview for Debbie Gibson on People Magazine’s website.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20589310,00.html

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Alan Au’s interview with THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 20, 2012

Alan Au’s interview with THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iBaC4elkxWlPtIQMpFzdRPirHnGA?docId=aaaca8f23e184c17b47f00ac43372953

Inflation poses big problems for small businesses

By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG, AP Business Writer – 2 days ago  

NEW YORK (AP) — Don’t be misled by reports that inflation is tame. For small business owners, it’s a threat to profits and expansion plans.

An 8 percent increase in the cost of eggs over the past year is eating away at restaurants and bakeries. Cotton’s 14 percent increase is hurting clothing manufacturers and retailers. And any business that sends somebody on a sales trip is bearing the brunt of an 8 percent increase in jet fuel or 7 percent rise in gasoline.

If this were a “normal” economy, companies could pass along the cost of doing business to customers. But these days, customers are demanding to pay less, not more. As a result, small businesses are often left with no options.

“You have to absorb a lot,” says Celeste Hilling, whose skin-care company has seen travel costs rise 30 percent in the past year after a 20 percent gain the year before. Rising fares, baggage fees and hotel bills are to blame.

Many companies have to adjust the way they operate. Hilling’s Carlsbad, Calif.-based Skin Authority is doing more training through online seminars rather than in person.

The kind of numbers that Hilling deals with may surprise anyone who believes that the government’s Consumer Price Index tells the story of inflation. In the 12 months that ended in March, the CPI rose 2.7 percent. Subtract food and gas as some economists do, and what’s left is called “core” inflation. It rose 2.3 percent. That’s close to the target of 2 percent set by the Federal Reserve, which sets monetary policy so inflation doesn’t get out of hand.

But prices that businesses pay for energy, raw materials, supplies and services have gone up much more sharply. And they’re expected to keep rising because demand for many goods and services is soaring in countries like China and India. That offsets slower demand in the U.S. and Europe and sends prices higher worldwide.

Raymond Keating, chief economist with the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, an advocacy group, expects inflation to keep rising as the economy improves and the Fed eventually lets short-term interest rates rise from their current levels near zero. He says of small business owners, “a lot of people are worried about how high it (inflation) will go in the future.”

Martin Regalia, chief economist with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says that while overall inflation “is not a real problem,” the components of inflation that matter the most to small businesses — such as energy — are troubling.

The impact of rising energy prices may not always be obvious. Regalia noted that airlines’ baggage fees, typically $25 per bag per flight, are the result of rising fuel prices. And energy costs factor into the prices of all goods and services.

Chad Moutray, chief economist with the National Association of Manufacturers, says small businesses are at a disadvantage because they can’t buy in bulk like larger companies can. That means a small cosmetics manufacturer can’t negotiate the lower prices that a company like Revlon can. And, he said, “they’re less likely to pass along their higher prices to customers.”

Lorne Campbell, president of Occasionally Cake, two upscale bakeshops outside of Washington, D.C., has refrained from raising prices since his company was launched in 2009.

“A small business is about personal relationships. It’s about trust,” he says. “A large faceless corporation doesn’t have to look at their customers and say, Mrs. Smith, you and your daughter are going to have to pay extra for a cupcake today.”

Campbell estimates that he’s paying 10 percent to 12 percent more for ingredients and other supplies than he did a year ago. His fuel costs have doubled, although some of that increase is due to the fact he’s making more deliveries.

Occasionally Cake has kept other costs down by holding back on hiring, and asking current staffers to take on more responsibilities and work longer hours.

Other businesses can’t raise prices because they’re under contract to deliver goods or services at a set price. Campus Cooks, which provides dining services for fraternity and sorority houses in the Midwest, Florida and Texas, signs agreements that cover the entire school year. When wholesale food prices rise sharply when school’s in session, it’s time to get creative.

“If chicken’s higher, you change the menu to more fish, pork and beef,” says Bill Reeder, president of the Glenview, Ill.-based company. Campus Cooks will also buy in bulk. And if it has to serve, say, more pork, it will vary how the meat is prepared.

Reeder already expects his prices to rise 2 percent to 3 percent for the next academic year. But he’s not passing all the costs along.

“We’re taking some of a hit on the profit end of it,” he says. He’s hoping to get another 10 to 12 customers signed for the next year; the added sales volume would help his profits.

Clothing stores are also contending with higher prices — and consumers’ tendency to be frugal when they’re paying more for gas, food and other items. Jimmy Au’s, a Beverly Hills, Calif., men’s store, has paid on average 5 percent more for the clothes it stocked during the past year. Alan Au, the store’s client relations manager, says prices for cotton, wool and silk have soared. Top-grade cotton has gone up as much as 10 percent over the past year.

Au says the store laid off a sales person as demand fell, and that allowed it to keep most of its prices unchanged. It has raised prices on some high-end suits and on jeans that sell for $200. But for the most part, the store is telling customers, “we’ll bite the bullet for you because we appreciate your sticking with us.”

—–

Joyce Rosenberg can be reached at http://twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg

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Check out Jackie Keller from Nutrifit’s latest interview with National Examiner.com

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 20, 2012

Check out Jackie Keller from Nutrifit’s latest interview with National Examiner.com

http://www.examiner.com/article/want-to-look-like-royalty-discover-duchess-kate-s-fitness-favorite

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What is Public Relations?

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 19, 2012

What is Public Relations?

 

We would like you, the readers; of the LCO Blog to vote on which definition you feel best represents your understanding of Public Relations.

 

  1. Public Relations is the management function of researching, communication and collaborating with publics to build mutually beneficial relationships.

 

  1. Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

 

  1. Public Relations is the strategic process of engagement between organizations and publics to achieve mutual understanding and realize goals.

 

 

Please Vote by Sending Your Response to:

lbnelert@timewire.net

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Christine Romeo, Communications Director of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation Taking her First Flying Lesson on her Birthday Yesterday!

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 19, 2012

Christine Romeo, Communications Director of The Farrah Fawcett Foundation taking her first flying lesson on  her birthday yesterday!

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Check out Dr. Tony Nakhla’s interview with Prevention.com

Posted by Levine Communications Office on April 17, 2012

To read the story click here

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