B.R.A.G. MEDALLION WINNER

B.R.A.G. MEDALLION WINNER
B.R.A.G. MEDALLION WINNER

Sunday, December 20, 2015

REX FINDS A HOME…ALMOST

UPDATE: We posted this on December 10, 2015. Since then we've learned that Rex was returned to Best Friends when the couple decided they weren't a good fit for him. It's a sad turn of events but, in keeping with our mantra, we will keep writing about him until he finds the permanent, loving home he deserves.
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In traditional karate,we end each class with a series of mantras meant to help focus our commitment to the art. The last one reads, "Never give up." Well that applies to Life and dog rescue, too. More than one year ago, Santa Maria California animal shelter volunteer Connie Kruse contacted me asking for help in placing Rex, gorgeous people that had been house there for 18 months.  we passed his info around and cross our fingers. Several people applied to take him, but. for various reasons, the adoptions all fell through. This past May Connie and her team brought Rex to the Best Friends/NKLA mega-adoption in Los Angeles where he was transferred to the Best Friends shelter in West LA. In the hope that he might fare better there. Sometime around Thanksgiving, after 762 days in two shelters, a loving couple gave him a forever home. Another dog lover and friend of Gimme Shelter  Erika Brunson, stepped up to pay the adoption fee.
Rex - Merry Christmas!
It's a great ending to a long, difficult story, but Rex is just one of thousands of dogs in need of loving homes. If you'd like to do something to help the others, consider donating money, dog supplies, or your time to a shelter or rescue group working to save dogs like Rex and our Tanner. As many of you know, since we published Gimme Shelter, we've donated a good portion of the profits to rescue groups like 
Healthcare for Homeless Animals (formerly Malibu pet companions), Karma RescueBest Friends Animal Sanctuary ( currently running a $2-$1 matching drive),  Canine Adoption Rescue League, and Linda Blair's (yes, The Exorcist's Linda Blair) Worldheart Foundation. Who knows, you might have a hand in saving the next Rex. Thanks to Connie, Erica, Best Friends, and the Santa Maria Shelter for never giving up. 


CIAO, 2015…A LOOK BACK

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." - There's wisdom in these words by Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige, but, as it draws to a close, 2015 still deserves a recap. We launched the year with a fun day at LACMA,  where a pit bull loving cashier gave us free entry to the awesome Samurai exhibit.  Later that month, we were fortunate to see our niece, the uber talented Margaret Spirito, perform her 'Sound Of  Dirty Jersey' show at Rockwell, LA. Even better, we had a surprise visit from our Garden State friends TJ Coan and Jane DeNoble  who joined us for the show.
Margaret Spirito doing 'Dirty Jersey'
The month came to a fabulous close, when we met Pepperdine University Professor. Ginger Rosenkrans and her Marketing 475 students to kick off their spring semester ad campaign featuring Lou and GIMME SHELTER, as the client. Not long afterward, we learned that Lou's alma mater, Iona College, had featured Gimme Shelter in their Magazine's book section. Thanks to a strong recommendation from our producer friend, Doug Curtis, Lou landed a gig writing a script treatment for the true story of a lady pilot from the 1930s who defied her powerful banker father to elope with a young flight instructor. 
In February, the Malibu Times ran a nice piece on Lou, and fellow Malibu resident, radio hostess and friend Megan Blake, who were nominated for writing awards by the Dog Writers Association of America. Tanner and Megan's dogs, Smiley and Angel, made the paper, too. Sadly, February wasn't all good news. On Valentine's Day, Lou's birthday, Tanner injured his eye while playing with his pals Porter and Lola. The badly scratched cornea that would require five vet visits and take more than two months to heal. At the time we didn't know how serious it was, or we might've skipped our getaway to San Luis Obispo. Glad we didn't. March brought a very nice mention of Gimme Shelter on the Malibu Times Magazine book page. It was heartening to think that, after more than two years, our little book is still finding a warm, receptive audience. Like February, March was a bittersweet time. We were shocked to learn that our beloved friend, Tanner's trainer Tony Rollins, had passed away from diabetes related complications and that one of Tanner's favorite little buddies, Doug and Jean's Ceba, had succumbed to old age. The feisty shih tzu was a regal, class act. Almost as shocking, but not nearly as sad, was the word that our bffs, Joe and Linda Simone, had quit NYC to for San Antonio, TX, to be closer to their son, Justin, and his bride, Nicole. 
Eugenie, Linda, Joe & Lou - 2000, NYC
April saw the culmination of the Pepperdine University marketing pitches. All three teams offered us amazing ideas for all sorts of social media applications, but Muse Media won the competition. For us, the highlights were their public service announcement featuring Tanner and voiced by our good friend Danny Ducovny, and a zany Bob Dylan inspired book trailer starring Tanner (of course) and Lou. The Pepperdine influence carried over into May, when we launched the redesigned Gimme Shelter and Lou's new websiteJune was a very big month on the writing and sculpture front. First, GIMME SHELTER snagged a coveted (and very hard to land for an indie book) Publishers Weekly review  to go along with a fun Instagram mention by indieBrag, the folks that honor the best in indie books. And he wasn't finished. When a major producer raved about the movie treatment Lou had written, the client hired him to pen the film script tentatively titled Wings Of Love. Not to be outdone, Eugenie and her sculpture were featured in the Sustainability issue of Unity Art Magazine, her first (but certainly not her last) national publication.
part of the winning Pepperdine University campaign
Martial arts got the spotlight in July, when Lou was hired to be a technical advisor for a video shoot on the Japanese art of kendo. He had a ball working with director Ben Kufrin and kendo Sensei Carry Mizobe. 
In August, we were rocked by the passing of our cherished friend and client Roberta Deutsch. A vivacious and talented dancer who appeared in dozens of TV shows and as one of the Jet girls in the movie version of Westside Story, Eugenie considered Roberta an older sister.  In September, Lou got the news that one of his  former  karate teachers, Harlan Cary Poe, had passed away in New York City. The gloom lifted a bit in October and November when Lou and his cowriter, Max McGill, were awarded Fifth Place in the Writers Digest National Writing Competition for their screenplay Out-Rageous, the true tale of Perry Watkins, a feisty drag queen and the only soldier to successfully challenge the U.S. Military's ban on gays. 
Later in the Fall, Lou had a sweet surprise when Sensei Mel Pralgo recognized his 35 years of martial arts training by promoting him to Godan or 5th degree black belt. Not long afterward, Eugenie was part of a terrific group show at Canvas Malibu, where her sculptures are currently on display. 
Eugenie & Danny Ducovny @ Canvas Malibu show
December brought the year to a sweet, symmetrical finish. We opened the month as we started 2015 by attending Margaret Spirito's revised and totally fantastic 'Dirty Jersey' show. The kid blew the roof off, garnering mad applause and rave reviews. Then, after much patient back and forth, the East River Academy at New York's Riker's Island prison purchased copies of Gimme Shelter to use in their dog training program. Coupled with the sales made to Los Angeles County's Probation Department, the book would now be helping at risk youth on both coasts. 
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We don't want to spill the beans or jinx ourselves but 2016 promises to be every bit as terrific as 2015. If it all pans out, we hope to have big news about GIMME SHELTER. So, thanks for following us, and stay tuned.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

THE 'ART' OF LIVING: PAINTERS, SCULPTORS & SINGERS

As you might have noticed, our posts sometimes tend to blow our own horn (or book). This week, however, we'd like to acknowledge the stellar work of friends and family. We'll start with our longtime (since 1970) bff, the super talented poet and painter Linda Simone who just crafted some superb illustrations for  'The Wanderlust (A South Carolina Folk Tale)' by her friend, the equally talented Sarah Bracey White. The book looks awesome and you can order your signed, limited edition copies from Sarah (bracey0114@aol.com). 

Staying with the visual arts, on Saturday 11/21, Jac and Arlington, the proprietors of Canvas Malibu, maybe the hippest fusion of art and fashion ever, threw another one of their fabulous 'Meet The Artist' parties. One of the featured artists was this superb stone carver from Malibu, Eugenie Spirito (I know, we did it again but it's all true). It was great fun getting to mingle with the designers and painters, and our dear friend, photographer extraordinaire, Roxanne McCann, captured it all for posterity. 
Lou, Tanner & Eugenie with the art crew (photo by Roxanne McCann)
Lastly, but not leastly (yeah, I made that up but cut me some slack, I'm a pit bull!), this past Tuesday, our gorgeous chanteuse niece, Margaret M. Spirito gave a KILLER show at Rockwell, LA, when the Sublime Ms. M (take that, Bette) reprised her 'Sounds of Dirty Jersey' show. She's always fabulous but was in exceptionally fine voice that night. I could go on, but read what an L.A. critic had to say:
 
"Powerhouse vocalist Margaret M. Spirito revived her iconic "Margaret M. Spirito and the Sounds of Dirty Jersey" show last night to a full house of loving friends, fans, and family. Clad in black blousy pants and a black and gold top that made her seem like a hot Jersey-Girl superhero, Spirito took over the Los Feliz hotspot "Rockwell Table & Stage" -- and then tore it down. From New Jersey herself, Spirito created her show around musical artists who came from The Garden State and went on to make an impact on the music industry. Opening with the classics "Ready or Not/Fugee-la" from "The Fugees" Spirito proved she can move from funky R&B, to heartfelt ballad, to powerhouse rock anthem in the simple change of a chord. Backed by a three piece band, the raven-haired beauty moved effortlessly from an affecting arrangement of Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me" to a slowed-down and gorgeous rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." Throughout the evening, she tackled The Four Seasons, Bruce Springsteen, and the grand-daddy of Jersey crooners, Frank Sinatra. She even let her bandmates Anthony Starble (keyboards), Ian Lowe (drums), and Devin McNichol (guitar) steal the spotlight, along with special guest and friend Ben D. Goldberg who performed a lovely acoustic rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "Growin' Up." Frequently, Spirito and her band offered new takes on classic songs like a bluesy "Born to Run," "I'm on Fire" (sung as a duet with McNichol), and a mash-up of Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer" with "You Give Love a Bad Name." But what made the night extra-special -- and makes Spirito stand out amongst her talented peers -- is her banter. She doesn't just give a quip and launch into her next song; she gives us actual stories and allows herself the time to tell them. It's like listening to Kathy Griffin tell one of her "this is what happened to me" stories, but instead there's singing in-between. And it's fabulous. Spirito is admittedly a loud, chatty Jersey Girl and we'd never want her to be anything but. Add to that her vocals which are the size of the state itself, and you have a down and dirty evening worthy of the greats she immortalizes."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

'WAX ON, WAX OFF'…RIKER'S ISLAND…HERO, THE DOG

Sensei Mel Pralgo and dad
As some of you know, riding in the car used to be rough (ruff?) on me. Now that I've conquered my auto-neurotic phobia, I get to go to interesting events, like the other night when I went with mom to the Traditional Karate Institute (Thousand Oaks, CA) to see dad get his Godan or 5th degree black belt in Okinawan GoJu karate, the "Wax on, wax off" fighting art featured in the original Karate Kid movies. Dad's been practicing karate for almost 40 years now, ever since his college days when he needed an activity to replace basketball. Here's how he explains it in the revised GIMME SHELTER: "College hoops proved unlikely (a triple threat: I was a short, white, and a poor ball handler), and so I quit organized ball to focus on my studies. I was playing h-o-r-s-e in the gym one afternoon when a fellow student invited me to join the Karate Club. Given my quick temper and pugnacious attitude, you would think that I’d jumped at the chance.With Bruce Lee’s Fists of Fury some two years off, the U.S. martial arts boom was still cresting. While cosmopolitan centers like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco already had judo, jujitsu, karate, and tai chi, in blue-collar burgs like Elizabeth, New Jersey, the Asian fighting arts were practically unheard of...Having finished with round ball, though, my volcanic energy still needed a new outlet. That first evening at Karate Club, I knelt in front of Sensei Gotay, a sixth-degree black belt and decorated New York City police officer with a background in boxing and judo. He paired me with a senior student who patiently showed me how to properly knot my pristine white belt. Mission accomplished, he had me squat down into a “horse stance.” Then he demonstrated the basic blocks and punches. By the end of class, my legs were jelly, but I was hooked, enthralled with the focus and discipline that the art demanded." 
Dad (3rd from right, pimp mustache) with Sensei Al Gotay and the Iona College Karate Club 1970

Speaking of that awesome book about the bond between man and dog, we're pleased to announce that East River Academythe school at NYC's Riker's Island, has purchased copies of Gimme Shelter for students in their dog training program. Last year, L.A. County bought copies for their juvenile camp school libraries so the book is now reaching troubled kids on both coasts. Thanks to ERA's principal. Tonya Threadgill, for putting us in the mix, and to Mary Runyan for helping us navigate the NYC school vendor process. 
with dad at the dojo
We always look forward to Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan's newsletters which contain helpful advice on dog behavioral issues. In the November 15 issue, he talks about dog aggression and how the desire to fight or kill is something that man instills in his canine companions. "However, when it comes to red zone dogs, they are made, not born — and they are made by humans. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years, at least as far back as Roman war dogs if not earlier. These dogs were formidable because they were bred to be that way, and this is how and why mastiffs were originally created. They came into battle with their humans and were unleashed to be killing machines. As I said, though, even if dogs are bred to have the physical capabilities for waging war, they do not naturally have the instinctual tendency. That must be created in them and, unfortunately, humans are still doing this to dogs that will never see a battlefield."
Hanging with mom, dad and uncle Danny Ducovny at Canvas, Malibu art party 11-21-15
 
Another fabulous source for upbeat stories on man's best friend is The Week magazine. A few months back, the chronicled how a stray dog in Dallas saved a mother dog and her abandoned  litter of 10 puppies. When a rescue volunteer showed up, the pooch, now named Hero, led her into the woods to mom and her babies. 
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If you think we dogs (and our kitty cousins)  don't have clout, think again. According the American Pet Products Association, Americans will spend $60 billion - yes, you read that correctly - on their pets this year, with $30+billion going to gourmet pet food. 
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Finally, here's a craigslist post that shows what happens when you force a man to choose between his dog and a woman.

Friday, October 23, 2015

NATIONAL PIT BULL AWARENESS DAY - Some Famous 'Pitties'

Because today is National Pit Bull Awareness Day, I thought I'd give a shout out to my breed and some of the more notable 'bullies' who've made headlines thorohg the years. As many of you know (and as we pointed out in our our last post), 'pitties' were and still are known for their agreeable and loyal temperaments. It's what lead to us being labeled 'nanny dogs', because we are so gentle with and protective of the human young in our packs. Helen Keller had this to say about her beloved Sir Thomas: "Whenever it is possible, my dog accompanies me on a walk or a ride or sail. I have had many dog friends - huge mastiffs, soft-eyed spaniels, wood-wise setters and honest, homely bull terriers. At present, the lord of my affection if one of these bull terriers. he has a long pedigree, a crooked tail and the drollest 'phiz' in dogdom. My dog friends seem to understand my limitations and always keep close beside me when I am alone. I love their affectionate ways and the wag of their tails."
Helen Keller and Sir Thomas
 
Buster Brown, a popular cartoon character and the mascot of  the eponymous shoe company, had a pit bull named Tige. During WWI, a pit bull named Sergeant Stubby distinguished himself in combat and became America's mot honored and beloved war dog. (read our post on Sgt. StubbyAnd, or course, their was Petey, the black-eyed canine star of the Our Gang Comedies
Petey


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On a more contemporary note, a certain, strikingly handsome pit bull plays a pivotal role in GIMME SHELTER, the story of an angry man who finds salvation when he rescues an abused, homeless pit bull. So what's the takeaway here? Whether he's a pit bull or some other fabulous dog, be sure to spoil your pooch tomorrow, and every day. Our dog lives are short, and all we want from our human partners is affection, exercise, and lots and lots of treats and toys! A small price to pay for all the love we send your way.
with Tanner @ Calamigos Ranch

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A HORSE NAMED 'BRUCE'…MELLOW PIT BULLS…MOVING CLOSER TO 'NO KILL'

While I usually write about dogs and, then, chiefly pit bulls, the L.A. Times recently ran  great piece about a champion calf roper who needed a new partner and took a chance on a rodeo washout named Bruce. It's the kind of  feel good, 'underdog' (in this case, under horse?) tale that makes you want to go out and hug a steed, and maybe a cowboy. 
Bryce Runyan and 'Bruce'
I don't want to crow - a whole flock of the clever birds hangs around outside our condo hoping we'll toss them some stale bread - but Cesar Millan recently posted a list of the 'Best Dog Breeds for Kids'. Care to guess which was number nine, ahead of poodles? Here's what he had to say about my kind: "The media pays a lot of attention to pit bull attacks - way more than other breeds - but these pups are actually great with kids as long as you do a good job of training and socializing them early. Luckily, pits are smart and highly trainable - plus they really like pleasing people. Couple that with the fact that they're energetic, playful, and solid enough to put up with a lot of roughhousing but don't need a whole lot of exercise and you have a wonderful dog for children. Plus, who's going to mess with a kid who has a pit?" Since I'm on a role, a recent Instagram post from @pitbullstagram claims that, according to the American Temperament Test Society, in tests involving 400 or more dogs, pit bulls rank second in temperament (the test covers aggression, panic, avoidance, and other behavioral traits), behind only Labrador retrievers and ahead of their golden cousins. 
What, me worry? Only if we run out of margaritas!
If you follow this blog, you'll know that we're big fans of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a super cool rescue group that sponsors the twice-annual 'No Kill LA' mega adoptions. Their recent newsletter contained the wonderful news that that deaths from euthanasia at L.A. County Animal Services shelters continue to plummet. The story notes that: For the fiscal year of 2014-2015, the six LAAS shelters recorded historically low killings and euthanization: 11,737. That number is a decline of 8 percent from the previous year’s number of 12,683. The overall save rate for LAAS has increased to 78.5 percent, or 88.4 percent for dogs and 68.7 percent for cats. The threshold save rate for a community to be considered “no-kill” is 90 percent. “These numbers reflect the hard work of a lot of groups and individuals coming together to save shelter pets in Los Angeles,” said Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society and one of the architect of NKLA. The next mega-adoption is right around the corner, November 7-8 at the LaBrea Tar Pits, so stop by, take home a BFF, and help make the City of Angles a 'no kill' zone.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

A MENTOR'S PASSING…BACKYARD DANGERS…AMY SCHUMER ON DOGGIE DAYCARE

Tanner graciously agreed to let me take the reins (keyboard, to be exact) this week so that I might remember Harlan Cary Poe, a mentor who recently passed away. When I met him in 1984, Cary was co-director (with Sensei Andy Diaz) of the Martial Arts Conservatory, a karate dojo in New York's Greenwich Village. I had just returned to training after nearly a 10-year hiatus, and they welcomed me into the fold, which included several working actors and at least one world-class visual artist. I was struggling with my anger issues, and their spirited, philosophical teaching helped me keep myself in check. A skilled karateka who was proficient with several weapons, Cary was also an actor who appeared in many films and TV shows, including Someone To Watch Over Me, where he played a creepy hit man that was out to silence socialite Mimi Rodgers. Standing in the way was a NYC detective, played by Tom Berenger, Cary's close friend. I lost touch with Sensei Poe when we left New York in the early '90s. I know he went on to become a physical therapist, and he continued to live in his WestBeth apartment, a few floors above the original dojo. That's where his body was recently discovered by a neighbor. He was seated in lotus position. 
Cary Poe in "Someone To Watch Over Me"
Sensei Harlan Cary Poe, circa 1988

Being a dog guardian comes with plenty of responsibilities. You must provide food, water, shelter, exercise, affection, toys and treats…lots and lots of toys and treats. If you have a backyard, you also need to be alert to dangers that might harm your doggie BFF, like wild animals (coyotes, cougars, bears, venomous snakes and insects), unexpected human visitors and intruders (utility workers, meter readers, and sadly, dog nappers), exposed outlets and power lines, uncovered pools, and gaps in walls or fencing that might allow your dog to escape and become lost or injured. In this week's edition of Cesar's Way,  celebrity dog guru and Cesar Millan gives a rundown on these backyard perils and how you can prevent them.
with Tanner @ The Sacred Space, Summerland, CA
Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group can be very rewarding experience. In our case, we rescued Tanner from a life behind bars (or worse) and he returned the favor by showering us with love and helping me finally tame my ferocious temper. If you'd like to learn the details, you can read all about it in GIMME SHELTER. While rescuing a dog feels good, it can sometimes lead to ego-driven oneupmanship. Like the drunken sailors in this scene from the classic movie Jaws, played by Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfus, who get carried away comparing their scars, some doggie saviors feel the need to show just how precious they are. Leave it to Amy Schumer to skewer the do-gooders and the urban doggie daycare culture.
Amy Schumer
Robert Shaw & Richard Dreyfus, JAWS

Monday, August 31, 2015

DUMBEST PREDATOR…HARD LUCK MEN, HARD LUCK DOG…SENSE INSTEAD OF BSL

Which is the world's dumbest predator? Hint - it hunts on two legs. As reported in the L.A. Times (Turning Hunting On Its Head by Amina Kahn, August 15, 2015), a study published in Science Magazine claims that humans slaughter other carnivores at a far higher rate than other top predators. Even more troubling than our bloodlust is the fact that we kill healthy, breeding animals needed to replenish their species, and not the small, weak elderly ones favored by other predators. If we hope to avoid altering evolution for the worse, we need to start behaving more like the hunters we've been wiping out. (read story)
While humans are super efficient at screwing things up, sometimes our high nature prevails. That's the case with Petey, a pit bull that was used as a bait dog and horribly disfigured before ending up at the Carson (L.A. County) Animal Shelter. The Carson staff helped Petey make and impressive recovery, and Karma Rescue stepped in to find him a forever home. A mere six months later, the poor pup was diagnosed with cancer. 
Petey
Enter Chris M., an inmate/trainer at the CDCR- Los Angeles men's prison where Karma runs their Paws For Life program, pairing shelter dogs with inmates for a 12-week training course. When he learned of Petey's story, Chris decided to help raise money for his treatment - from his fellow prisoners, who average less than a dollar a day at their prison jobs. To date, Chris has collected over $1,000 from hard luck men moved by the plight of a hard luck dog.
Chris M and his Karma trainee
Like Karma, Best Friends works tirelessly to place rescue dogs in loving homes. Until recently, unwanted pit bulls in St. John's County, Florida, never got that chance. An ordinance passed inn 2007 mandated a 'no-adoption' policy for pit bull terriers, ensuring they would be euthanized. At the urging of a pit bull advocate, Best Friends legal council challenged the ordinance as being contrary to state law. They prevailed and  convinced county officials that temperament screening  and not BSL, breed specific legislation, is the key to weeding out aggressive dogs. Thanks to their dogged (yes!) efforts, beautiful boys like Bobo (adopted by Mary Robinson) have a chance to do what they do best - teach us humans how to live and love more fully.
Bobo


Friday, August 14, 2015

A BATTALION OF SORROWS…A GREAT TAKE ON BSL

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions." (Shakepeare, Hamlet, IV, 5) 

With just over four months still to go, 2015 has unleashed a battalion of losses on our small corner of the world. We've lost two close friends to the ravages of diabetes, including Tanner's  trainer Tony Rollins, and another was recently diagnosed with a serious, neurological disorder. Several older relatives are also battling deadly maladies. The dog world has taken some hits, too. Tanner lost Ceba, one of his long-time buddies, and two other canine pals are suffering from serious ailments and advanced old age. The latest blow came last Saturday when our dear friend, Roberta Deutsch, passed away while awaiting treatment for a bone marrow disorder. Together with her husband, Carl, another dear friend, Roberta was an angel for all sorts of worthy causes. A supremely talented dancer and musician, who worked on dozens of TV shows and films, including West Side Story, where she was a fetching Jet girl, Roberta fervently supported diverse charities like SHARE, the Professional Dancers Society, Homeboy Industries, and dozens of programs to help children in need receive early childhood intervention, and education in the arts, especially music and dance. She and Carl also established our weekly Course In Miracles meeting, a program that has helped me recognize and handle my sometimes crushing anger issues. Although she faced some long-standing, debilitating health problems, Roberta never lost her wicked sense of humor, or her impeccable style and grace. She leaves behind sweet memories, and a hole that will never be filled.
Roberta with Janie

BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation is an ill-conceived, ineffective effort to ban certain breeds of dogs, like pit bulls and Rottweilers, deemed 'inherently dangerous'. Based on fear and bogus science, several cities and some states (yes, you, Maryland) have implemented BSL as a knee-jerk reaction to fatal dog attacks, which almost always result from the mistreatment of the offending dogs or  owner neglect. Nearly all canine experts, and President Obama himself, consider it a wrong-headed, ineffective tactic. Tanner and I consider BSL to be is just BS, and we have railed against it in the past. I recently came across a novel, funny take, by a lawyer who specializes in HOA law, on why scapegoating pit bulls makes no sense. In his weekly newsletter Adrian Adams, of Adams Kessler PLC, posted the following: QUESTION: Our condo association is plagued with prostitutes, drug use and pit bulls. I'm a non-voting member of the board and want to know what we can do about the pit bulls. RECOMMENDATION: I noticed it's a class of dogs that bothers you, i.e., compact muscular dogs with great jaw strength such as pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and bulldogs. If your board were to get rid of the prostitution and drug use, I suspect most of your pit bulls would join the exodus. The task will be daunting but your board should work with the police and legal counsel to clean up the development. Or, in the alternative, you could designate yourselves a "sanctuary association" for drug dealers and prostitutes and then apply for federal subsidies. You could be eligible for truckloads of money.
Eugenie and I with Roberta and Carl at the Professional Dancers' Benefit, 2007