Being a litter-bug has never been cool, and this summer the children of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale are telling us why.

Recently featured on 3TV News and KTAR, Don’t Trash Arizona, Kids! held a press conference with Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane to announce their new public service announcement.

Don’t Trash Arizona, Kids!, a part of the Don’t Trash Arizona (DTAZ) anti-littering campaign sponsored by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), offered educational workshops this spring at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. DTAZ then challenged the children to apply what they had learned by producing litter-themed projects using video or photos, or by writing an essay. The kids who produced the best projects were invited to star in the PSA and highlight the key reasons why people should stop littering in our state.

The winners were honored with a certificate and public praise during the press conference from Mayor Lane. The media interviewed the winners, making them feel like stars for the day. The winners include:

  • Essay: Maya Honig, 12, of the Virginia G. Piper Branch.
  • Photo: Jocelyn Phillips, 9, of the McKee Branch.
  • Video: Mia Hermanson, 9, Aidan Dorsey, 8, Mackenzie Fowler, 9, and Abby Fontes, 9, of the Rose Lane Branch.

The contest winner’s PSA can be viewed below.


Posted by: Lynita Johnson | July 28, 2014

A Firsthand Account of Chef Justin Beckett’s NYC Eat-A-Thon

Three restaurants in one night. After a red-eye across country and a full day of media visits, we ate at three restaurants in one night. And I’m not talking about your everyday restaurants, I’m talking about the types of restaurants throngs of people across the country are complimenting. That’s how you start a national media visit with Chef Justin Beckett. Then you wake up and do it again the next day.

This whirlwind experience in New York City began with a running start. While I dashed uptown to discuss Shore Lodge and El Chorro with a contributing writer for several national bridal publications, Chef Justin Beckett and his sous chef, Seth Swartz, headed to Condé Nast to manage preparation for the Café Condé Kitchen Takeover.

Chef Justin Beckett's NYC Eat-a-thon

With an evening itinerary packed full of eating destinations, Justin warned me not to indulge in the many culinary temptations as I traversed the city. So I did my best to restrain from delicious distractions as I crossed NYC for several media visits. However, I could not miss breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien across from Bryant Park or a “quick” stop by the notorious Shake Shack. Had I known what was in store, I may have held these dining pit stops for another day.

Upon returning to The Archer, our center of operation for the three-day media trip, I had little more than an hour to answer any outstanding emails before reporting to the lobby for day one of Justin’s NYC Eat-A-Thon. I quickly scanned my suitcase and selected the most stylish, food-baby-camouflaging ensemble I could locate for Eat-A-Thon duties.

With no reservation secured, we made our way to Prune, where karma was on our side. Opened in 1999 by chef and owner Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune is consistently recognized by the top culinary publications nationally and internationally. As we arrived, the restaurant’s quaint dining room was packed but we were promptly informed that a reservation for the semi-private dining room had just cancelled. It was ours for the taking and we resolved to salute our turn of luck with a thorough exploration of the menu. Nearly 10 dishes later, we were thoroughly impressed and off to our next location, Acme.

Acme Radishes

Acme Radish Rendition

Deemed one of the “10 Sexiest Restaurants in America” by DETAILS, the bustling bistro tempted us yet again with the many culinary delights on the menu. We proceeded to order another 10 dishes. And as each plate was delivered, we were wowed by the flavors. Typically I steer clear of radishes, but Acme’s rendition stood out with an oyster-parsley emulsion. The hand-cut fries also pleased our palates with a wild herb mayo that was slap-your-momma good.

By the time we made it to the dimly-lit French Buvette Gastrotheque, Justin’s mighty Eat-A-Thon was testing our wills. Refusing to be defeated, we bellied up to the table and got down to business. Justin quickly ordered a variety of tartinettes, poissions and legumes. Between taking in Buvette’s warm interior and reminiscing on the long list of favorites from the night, we made our way through another table full of dishes – enjoying every bite. Especially the julienned carrots with pistachios and lemon.

Finally we returned to The Archer full, happy and ready to do it all again.


Buvette Gastrotheque Bites

Posted by: Alison Frost | July 25, 2014

Happy Hour: Adventure, Intrigue and Laughs at the Movies

Looking for some action and adventure this weekend?  Maybe some comedy? Or how about a little political intrigue?  This week’s new movies offer something for everyone. Opening in theatres today is a variety of film, so there should be something to please everyone.
If action-thrillers are your genre of choice, LUCY, starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman should get your heart racing.  From director Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element) Lucy, is the story of a woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.AMostWantedMan-OneShtS

Looking for something with a lot of twists and surprises that will keep you guessing at every turn?  Check out A MOST WANTED MAN based on the John le Carré’s novel is a contemporary, cerebral tale of intrigue, love, rivalry, and politics that prickles with tension right through to its last heart-stopping scene.  The film stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe in an ensemble cast. This is Phillip Seymour Hoffman last completed starring role.

SONY-LHOS-01_27x40_hires_041314 .inddAlso new in theatres this week is LAND HO!, an adventure comedy about a pair of 60 something ex-brothers-in-law that set off a road trip through Iceland hoping to reclaim their youth. Along the way they spend time exploring aging, loneliness and the joys of friendship.

These new movies, plus what is already playing in your neighborhood theatre should be enough to lure you in out of the heat and make you forget the summer’s blazing temperatures at least for a couple of hours.  I know that’s where I’m hoping to chill and just maybe see you at the movies.

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