Congratulations to this week's Teacher of the Week, Mrs. Judy Nelson! Here's what nominating student Jackson Knight and his family had to say about her:
Mrs Nelson has been a substitute teacher for the past several years, and (finally!) this is her first year having her very own class... I have been extremely impressed with the time and care given and I believe that Mrs. Nelson is paving the way for her students to not only do well, but enjoy school and learning!
If you've got a great educator in your life, nominate them for our Teacher of the Week award. Winners receive a prize package and a classroom party. You can find the rules and submission form on our contests page.
We're so proud of Kent, who was surprised with a huge honor today from Renton River Days.
Here's what the press release had to say:
This year celebrates the 28th anniversary of IKEA Renton River Days, Renton’s annual community family festival since 1986, and features the theme “Specquackular!” Since 1991, the festival’s volunteer Board of Directors has selected an individual or team to receive the Outstanding Service Award (OSA). This year, the Board selected Kent Phillips of STAR 101.5 and KOMO-TV.
For more than 25 consecutive years, Kent Phillips has volunteered his time to be the official Parade Announcer for Renton’s hometown parade, which takes place Saturday morning during festival weekend, along South 3rd Street in downtown Renton. In addition to Kent’s services to be the voice of the parade, the festival has also received resource and logistics support from STAR 101.5 to provide the sound system and amplification to the Parade’s Announcing and Judging Area.
The festival’s Outstanding Service Award recognizes exemplary pride and dedication towards the continued success of Renton’s community festival, and gratefully acknowledges the commitment and efforts of a volunteer or organized entity who help ensure the legacy of Renton’s festival traditions and community spirit. Past recipients have primarily included well-deserving individuals, but also teams such as the City of Renton Parks and Recreation Departments in 1999, and employees of First Savings Bank Northwest who volunteer in large numbers to help organize, manage, and “stage” 125+ parade entries along downtown Renton side streets before the start of the parade.
In a quote from the Volunteer Parade Chairman for more than twenty years, Joyce Williams said “Kent was always so dedicated and professional. His commitment and service to the IKEA Renton River Days Parade was ￼￼￼ an enormous help to the Parade Committee. He always knew exactly what to do and what was needed to be the voice of our parade. It was one of the most important pieces to have locked in each year, and was a huge relief once I knew Kent was confirmed for another year. When I knew I was going to be able to work with Kent again, it gave me one less thing to worry about. For a volunteer chairman of a parade, that’s a big big deal.”
Also in theaters: The animated movie EPIC which is getting solid reviews online but awful word-of-mouth from the local critic crowd I run with…
What’s left to see in May: AFTER EARTH (5/31; Will and Jaden Smith) and NOW YOU SEE ME (5/31; Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson)
See It or Skip It; in theaters now: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (see it), THE GREAT GATSBY (skip it), IRON MAN 3 (see it), PAIN AND GAIN (skip it), OBLIVION (see it), 42 (see it), THE CROODS (see it), THE BIG WEDDING (skip it), MUD (see it), OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (skip it), OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (skip it) and THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (see it)
Available right now on DVD/Bluray: One of the best movies of the year thus far, SIDE EFFECTS (B+) starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta Jones
NEW YORK (AP) - Actress Amanda Bynes appeared disheveled in a long blond wig and sweats Friday in a criminal court where she was charged with reckless endangerment after police said she heaved a marijuana bong out of her Manhattan apartment building.
The 27-year-old former child star was arrested Thursday evening, after building officials at her midtown apartment called police to complain she was rolling a joint and smoking pot in the lobby.
The officers went to her apartment on the 36th floor where they said they saw heavy smoke and a bong sitting on the kitchen counter. They said she tossed the bong out the window in front of them, prosecutors said.
She then said to police: "It was just a vase," according to Manhattan assistant district attorney Chikaelo Ibeabuchi.
"My client completely denies illegally throwing anything out of her window," said Andrew Friedman, her attorney for the arraignment.
The judge released her on her own recognizance and gave her a July 9 court date.
Thursday, Bynes was held overnight at a police precinct. She pulled up to court Friday morning in a squad car where she was greeted by a crush of media. She was also charged with attempted tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of marijuana, all misdemeanors.
"I'm asking you I don't want any pictures," she said to a photographer.
"I don't want any photos. No press are allowed in here," she announced to the public courtroom.
Bynes rose to fame starring in Nickelodeon's "All That" and has also starred in several films, including 2010's "Easy A." But she has been in the news more recently because of several scrapes with the law and bizarre public behavior.
Her lawyer said she had no record in New York, but the judge noted she had several out-of-state cases. In California in December, the former "Hairspray" star resolved a misdemeanor hit-and-run case after entering into a civil settlement with other drivers.
Also in California, she was charged last fall with driving on a suspended license after it was temporarily taken away from her after two hit-and-run cases where she was accused of leaving the scene without providing proper information. She has also pleaded not guilty to drunken driving in a separate case.
In releasing her, Chief New York County Judge Neil Ross gave her a stern warning not to make trouble or miss any court dates.
"I do want to make sure you understand," he said. "If you get arrested again ... I'm going to be setting very, very significant bail."
"OK," she replied.
"You're in a very, very challenging situation right now," he said.
Assistant district attorney Ibeabuchi had asked for $1,000 bail. He said no bong was recovered from the street below - a sign, her attorney said, that Bynes was telling the truth.
"There was nothing recovered from the sidewalk, clearly a search was made for the bag," said Friedman of the New York County Defender Services. He said she was followed illegally into her apartment and has made a complaint about police wrongfully entering.
As the judge dispensed with her case, she said, "Thank you sir, have a nice day."
The star then got into a waiting yellow cab ringed with photographers and TV cameras and left.
NEW YORK (AP) — "Jenny from the Block" wants the block to buy Verizon phones from her.
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez on Wednesday announced she's opening a chain of 15 cellphone stores and a website under the Viva Movil brand. The aim is to sell Verizon phones and services to Latinos.
The first store will open in New York on June 15, with others following in Los Angeles and Miami. The stores will have bilingual staff and provide a "culturally relevant shopping experience," Viva Movil said.
Viva Movil will be an authorized Verizon reseller, with the same prices and plans as regular Verizon stores.
Lopez is the majority owner and "chief creative officer" of Viva Movil. She said Viva Movil and its Facebook page will be a way for fans to connect with her.
"Latinos need a place to go and they need to be catered to because it is such a growing, growing demographic and market and people want to capture that, and they deserve to be catered to," Lopez said in an interview.
Lopez is no stranger to business. She owns a film and television production company and has launched clothing and perfume lines.
She said she wasn't looking specifically to get into wireless — "it was just one of those things where you sit down with people and you start spitballing."
Marketing cellphone service specifically to Latinos has not been a winning formula so far in the U.S. One company targeting Spanish speakers, Movida Communications, raised $40 million in 2007 and filed for bankruptcy the following year.
Most attempts to cater to Latinos have focused on low-cost, no-contract service. By partnering with Verizon, Lopez is hitching her business to a company that's focused on premium, contract-based service, backed by a top-rated wireless network.
The U.S. wireless market does have a large but low-profile Latin American presence: Mexican cellphone company America Movil owns Tracfone, the largest provider of no-contract service, with 23 million phones active. That service isn't marketed specifically to Latinos.
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
NEW YORK (AP) — Lea Michele has stories to share about the many auditions she has passed.
The "Glee" actress has a deal with Harmony Books, a Random House Inc. imprint. Harmony Books announced Thursday that "Brunette Ambition" will come out in the spring of 2014. The publisher is billing the book as a combination memoir, style guide and advice book.
The 26-year-old Michele is best known as the ever-striving Rachel Berry on "Glee." She also starred in the Broadway production "Spring Awakening" and the film "New Year's Eve."
SEATTLE (AP) — It's hard to miss the enormous 20-foot (6-meter)-wide American flag on the side of Richard Ormbrek's home. Comprised of around 180 tiles painted with scenes of Americana against a background of red and white stripes, the flag pops from the orange cedar shingles with traffic-stopping audacity.
This is actually the second major art project that Ormbrek has put on the house he shares with brother-in-law Bruce Edenso. The first — a traditional Haida Indian totem house design that covered the entire side of the home — was painted in 1975 and made the house something of a local landmark.
Many people know of one: that neighborhood house that's quirky or dramatic or a bona fide art project.
But few have the inclination — or the guts — to turn their own home into "that house," to view their property as a giant canvas waiting to be explored.
"We needed to paint our house anyway," says Ormbrek. "And while we were mulling over the color, we decided to make our home look like a longhouse."
Ormbrek's late wife Judy, a Tlingit-Haida, picked the totem design, which the Ormbreks projected from atop a car across the street while their friend Steve Priestly painted in the lines.
Neighbors gaped as the house was transformed, but only one seemed to mind, fearing it would bring down property values. So far, it seems, the Totem House has neither driven down property values in one of Seattle's hottest neighborhoods, nor affected the resale value of the home itself.
"I get offers every week to buy my home," says Ormbrek. "Of course I'm not planning on selling the house — it's a very special place."
Keith Wong, an agent in San Gabriel, California, for the national real-estate brokerage Redfin says a home's price and location are more important than aesthetics in tight markets.
"We educate our clients to look past cosmetics," says Wong. "If a house has good bones, it has lots of potential."
Wong recently took clients to see an unusual home in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles and says the couple were turned off more by the noise from a nearby freeway than by the home's eclectic design, which included a rainbow of exterior colors and a giant statue of an insect in the front yard.
For those considering a creative makeover to their home, remember it's a fine line between special and tacky, Wong advises. And consider how long you'll be staying there.
"If you're planning on selling your home anytime soon, it's best to stick to cosmetics and keep with the characteristics of the neighborhood architecturally," he says.
Jay Pennington of New Orleans put a twist on this suggestion when he offered his yard to host a year-long musical art installation. The double lot he purchased in 2007 came with a dilapidated, roughly 250-year-old Creole cottage on the property, which Pennington wanted to use in a creative way befitting the spirit of New Orleans.
A DJ, performer and artist manager who also goes by the name Rusty Lazer, Pennington is steeped in the art world through his work as co-director of New Orleans Airlift, a not-for-profit organization that provides opportunities for artists. Pennington, along with Brooklyn-based street artist Swoon and New Orleans Airlift Co-Director Delaney Martin, came up with the idea of a musical village made from the salvaged remains of the cottage.
After obtaining city permits, Martin and artist Taylor Lee Shepherd paired artists with builders to create a lot-size shantytown with nine shacks that wheezed, thrummed and plinked as fully functioning instruments.
The neighbors were almost universally supportive and took part in the project — from helping to dismantle the cottage to defending Pennington from the one neighbor who viewed the project as "trashy" and tried to shut it down.
"It's New Orleans — people love music here," says Pennington. He said neighbors appreciated that the cottage wasn't torn down and replaced with a new, out-of-character home.
"The area has a rhythm and spirit to it, and that was something we had to try and preserve," he says.
He did draw the line at friends camping in his yard for Mardi Gras, insisting that they build a privacy fence to show respect for the neighbors. The fence was built in a day, wheat-pasted with a design by Swoon, and now a piece of it is part of the archival collection at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Performances of "The Music Box," as the project was called, drew 15,000 visitors and a host of performers who played the instrumental buildings. It ended in May 2011 after four months of staggered performances. Most of it was dismantled and the pieces stored to be used in a permanent musical building known as Dithyrambalina.
Pennington still shares his property with the project's art director, Eliza Zeitlin, who lives in the permanent structure she built for the project — along with her menagerie of 30 animals.
"My house will never be just my house again," says Pennington. "But I love that."
NEW YORK (AP) — Nick Carter isn't only writing songs — he's written a book.
The Backstreet Boys singer will release a memoir, "Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It," on Sept. 24 via Bird Street Books. The 33-year-old is the first of the group to release a book.
The autobiography and self-help book will include stories about Carter's teenage years in the multiplatinum Backstreet Boys, his struggles with substance and alcohol abuse and the hardships of his family.
His younger siblings include Aaron and Leslie Carter. Leslie, who battled with substance abuse, died last year.
Carter is engaged to Lauren Kitt. The Backstreet Boys will release their eighth album, "In a World Like This," on July 30.