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26 Mar 17 The Top Five Highest Earning Shark Tank Products of All-Time – TVOvermind

Shark Tank has become the most popular reality competition show for aspiring entrepreneurs. Contestants with a product idea make business presentations to investors who decide whether or not they want to invest. The investors or Sharks, who are very successful in the business world include Marc Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, and Kevin OLeary. The sharks decide whether or not its worth it for them to invest their money in new products and take on these entrepreneurs as partners. As you know, some of the chosen products on the show dont do very well, however, some of the products have made millions.

Below is a list of the most successful products in the history of the show according to sales.

5. BuggyBeds- $1.2 Million

Bed bugs are a very inconvenient, uncomfortable, and expensive problem. This product was designed to detect bed bugs before they become a serious problem. The monitors are very simple to use. You simply slide the monitor in the corners between your mattress and your box spring, under your couch cushions, under your car seat, and anywhere else bed bugs can hide. The monitors are crush-proof, and if there are bed bugs, they will be attracted to the monitor. It just takes a quick inspection of the monitor to catch a problem before it becomes a very costly one. The BuggyBed monitors last for up to six months. At that time, you would just replace the monitor with a new one for another six months. This product is especially helpful when you are staying in a hotel. Before you unpack your things and lay down in the bed, you can put a detector under the mattress. If there are bed bugs in the room, you will find out before your things get infested and you take them home with you.

When the product was showcased on the show, all five of the shark investors bit and invested a total of $250,000 to own 25% of the company. After the Shark Tank pitch, this product gained popularity in 23 countries and it has made over $1.2 million.

4. Groovebook- $14.5 Million

Groovebook is a subscription service that allows you to choose between 40 and 100 photos from your phone each month and Groovebook would send you a 4.5 x 6.5 book containing your photos. Each month, the cover and the spine of the book will be different. If you want to tear out the photos and share them, the pages are perforated which makes it easier. The service works through an app on your phone and is available through the Apple Store or through the Android Play store. After you have uploaded your photos for the month, you should receive your book about three days later. If you have a book dedicated to a friends wedding or a family members birthday, you can pay an additional charge and have a second book sent to another person. It is much cheaper than printing out the photos on your own and they are organized nicely. A Groovebook subscription costs $2.99 per month plus tax. Each additional book would cost $2.99 plus tax.

The sharks who chose to invest were Kevin OLelary and Mark Cuban. They invested $150,000 in exchange for 80% of the licensing profits.

After the sales pitch, 50,000 new people signed up for the service. In 2014, Shutterfly Inc. bought the service for $14.5 million.

3. Tipsy Elves- $8 Million

Tipsy Elves is an apparel company with a holiday theme. They sell holiday sweaters and other holiday themed items through their website and through other online vendors. What makes this company so special is that they donate part of each sale to charity. After the company took off, the company started selling patriotic products and products for other holidays, such as St. Patricks Day. Not long after, they started selling swimsuits and ski clothing.

A year before Tipsy Elves appeared on Shark Tank, they were making around $600,000 per year. By the end of 2016, the companys revenue reached $8 million.

2. Squatty Potty- $19 Million

According to recent studies, going to the bathroom with your knees up makes it much easier. This is especially true with people who have colon issues. The creators of the Squatty Potty is the Edwards family from Saint George, Utah. The family has always been self-conscious and after struggling on the toilet, they tried may different ways to keep their knees up when they went to the bathroom. This is where the idea for the Squatty Potty was born. They started out with a few different types of stools. Soon after, they introduced toilet sprays, bidets, and t-shirts.

When the Squatty Potty was introduced on Shark Tank, Lori Greiner and Kevin OLeary invested a total of $350,000 for 10% of the total equity.

Just 24 hours after the deal was made, the Squatty Potty made $1 million. Soon after, revenue rose to $19 million. This year, sales are expected to reach $30 million.

1. Scrub Daddy- $50 Million

The Scrub Daddy is also known as Americas Favorite Sponge. The product is a reusable sponge in the shape of a smiley face. What makes this product so special is that it gets firm in cold water and then soft in warm water. When it is rinsed 100 percent of the debris washes away, making it look like a new sponge. Testing has shown that it resists odors for up to two months. Finally, its special shape and design make it possible to clean both sides of utensils at once. After the Scrub Daddy became popular, the creators came out the Scour Daddy, which is five times stronger than your typical Brillo pad. The Screen Daddy is a reusable cleaner for television, cell phone, tablet, and computer screens. It is the safest way to keep these items clean. Finally, there is the Eraser Daddy. If you have ever used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, you will be amazed at how much better this product works.

The only investor who chose to invest in this product was Lori Greiner. She invested $200,000 for 20 percent of the equity. The other investors much be kicking themselves for not investing. Before Shark Tank, the product made $100,000. After the pitch and Loris investment, the company has sold over 10 million units and made over $50 million.

Shark Tank has made a success out of many products. Only time will tell what amazing product will take off after being presented on the show.

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The Top Five Highest Earning Shark Tank Products of All-Time – TVOvermind

25 Mar 17 Bed Bug Report for Grand Hyatt New York, New York, NY

Anonymous on 12/21/2015

I was a guest at the Grand Hyatt New York as part of a 2-day conference. The night I returned home I noticed about 15 bites on both feet/legs – smaller than a mosquito bite, red, and somewhat raised. They itched for a few days. I called the hotel the following day to report the incident. I was advised the room would be pulled from inventory and inspected by an independent company. Two days later, I was told there was no evidence of activity. I asked for a copy of the report which indicated si

milar: “during inspection no activity noted.” I expressed concern about the brief report. I didn’t leave my home state (for the conference) with any bites on my legs and later received confirmation from my personal physician that I did receive bug bites. I arrived Monday, 12/14/15 and left Wednesday, 12/1615.

LDW on 10/02/2013

Stayed there two nights (Sept 24/25, 2013) and encountered bed bugs the first night. Saw it climbing on clothes and experienced bites both nights.

Reported it to the GM who said they take it seriously and would be sending and inspector up as well as emailing us the results. A week later, still have not heard a thing!

Anonymous on 04/19/2013

I stayed there for four nights from March 14th to the 18th, and I had no problems whatsoever. I enjoyed myself a lot, and all of the staff were so nice, I literally became friends with some of them. No bed bugs for me, definitely! Loved it!

Anonymous on 04/09/2013

My wife and a friend stayed here on the 17th floor on Easter weekend 2013. NO bugs reported. Very clean room. Good experience.

Goldcoaster on 09/24/2012

September 2012 Stayed four nights over Labor Day weekend and the hotel was a pleasure to stay at. NO bed bugs whatsoever, crisp, clean rooms, staff was great. Checked all the places bed bugs breed, nothing, very reassuring. Was there for the USTA conference and US Open. Concierge was excellent, suggested Fabio’s one rainy night, restaurant was superb and reasonable. I would definitely go back to this hotel.

Debbie S. on 06/04/2012

My two kids, sister, mom and I stayed here (in 2 different rooms) in May of 2012 and saw NO SIGN OF BEDBUGS at all. We stayed on the 23rd and 24th floors and we stayed for 4 nights. We were not particularly careful with our belongings – left stuff on the floor, for example – because I was stupid and didn’t check the registry before we went (we didn’t have a choice where to stay because we went with a tour group). However, we had NO problems and saw no signs of bugs of any kind. We’ve been home f

or a week now and still no signs of any problems. I would HIGHLY recommend this establishment for its cleanliness and hospitality.

d on 04/22/2012

Stayed here on 4/13/12 & 4/14/12 on 31st floor. Did not find any bed bugs. Hotel was very clean.

Anonymous on 09/13/2011

Just stayed here Aug 3 & 4 2011, my sister and I shared a room. I was still a little apprehensive but checked the room thourghly and was pleasantly surprised to find nothing. It was very clean & comfy and without hesitation I will recommend a stay at this hotel to anyone. It is very centralized to all I was hoping to see. Staff is very friendly and I’m looking forward to the new lobby once all the remodeling is done.

citygurl on 07/31/2011

We have stayed in this hotel many times and always find a fresh and immaculae room – this time we had booked two connecting rooms for three nights each – no bedbugs, clean drinking glasses, shining bathrooms. Love this chain

Anonymous on 03/30/2011

Stayed two nights – 3/4/11-3/6/11.


We were delighted. Very clean and lovely place.

Anonymous on 02/15/2011

Stayed at Grand Hyatt, NYC Jan 28-30, sixteenth floor. Did not see any signs of bedbugs…really did not think much about an infestation in such a well named hotel. Previous reports of bugs seemed to have the management taking a closer look at such a nasty pest. Keep up the good work, a very nice place to stay.

Tak Wong on 02/03/2011

Stayed on the 31th floor in this hotel from Jan 27-30 2011, no bedbugs. We checked as soon as we entered the room and every thing was ok. Still we took the precaution and kept belongs off the floor.

JD on 12/08/2010

We just returned from the Grand Hyatt in NYC staying 2 nights Saturday and Sunday 12/4/2010 – 12/5/2010. Didn’t see any bedbugs, didn’t get any bites. Upon arrival I thoroughly checked the room for bedbugs or signs of bedbugs. I removed all the sheets from both beds including the box spring cover. I even pulled both the mattress and box spring off the frame and checked everywhere with a flashlight (which I packed just for the occasion). Not leaving anything to chance we kept 2 suitcases in the b

athroom and the other on the luggage rack in the closet. All coats were hung in the closet at all times and nothing was left on the bed or floor – even our shoes were stored on the shelf in the closet while we slept. Dirty cloths were stored in a trash bag (again in the bathroom) and washed immediately when we got home.

We have taken our family to NYC and stayed at the Grand Hyatt every December for the last 5 years and have never had a single problem or incident. The staff is always friendly and helpful and the rooms have always been clean. After reading several other stories about bedbugs in hotels we simply took extra precautions this year just in case.

flag fan on 10/30/2010

I stayed in this hotel for two nights teh Columbus Day weeked (October 9-11) and had no problems with bed bugs. I was a little worried becaause of the reports by some others, but based on my own experience I would not hesitate to stay here again and I don’t see any reason to avoid this hotel because of concerns about bedbugs.

Anonymous on 10/11/2010

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in NY on 10/9/10. I had researched the hotel ahead of time and knew of the possibility of bed bugs at this hotel. When we got there, I made sure to take all precautions and checked the mattress, box springs, headboard and dressers for ANY evidence of bedbugs. There was NO evidence in our room. The mattress and box springs were clean with no staining or spotting whatsoever. We stayed there one night and all was well. Our luggage was stored on the luggage rack onl

y and I am washing all clothes in hot water as I type this with extra time in the dryer just as an added precaution.

MikeC on 09/28/2010

I read the report for this hotel AFTER I reserved a room, so I was a little worried about the possibility of bed bugs.

I DID NOT experience any bed bugs at the Grand Hyatt New York during my short stay from September 25-27, 2010. I slept soundly for two nights, and I even woke up around 5-6am just to look under the covers for any possible bugs….I saw nothing that would lead me to think there was a problem at this hotel….at least in my room and floor.

The room was clean and contemporar

y. I thought the hotel was very nice. I would definitely stay there again. The convenience of the big subway hub just two doors down was great.

Anonymous on 09/03/2010

August 27-29, 2010, business trip. Woke up on the 29th with 4 bedbug bites (all in a row on my left arm). I had bedbugs a few years ago in South America so I know what the bites look like on me, and I am very allergic. I searched the bed but didn’t see any signs of them. Could have been in the carpet or chairs or bureau. I reported it to the hotel but haven’t heard anything.

George from UK on 03/20/2010

I just came back from a business trip in NY, i stayed at the grand hyatt for 2 nights Sunday 14 and Monday 15 of March. I checked out on Tuesday 16th and i started seeing some tiny red marks on my hands, arms and face, within the next 24 hours this marks have developed to blister like red bumps, i have in excess of 50 and they are very itchy. This has ruined the rest of my business trip and made me very worried. I will seek legal action against the hotel once i get all the right documentation

and proof in order. In the meantime i urge you not to stay there unless you want your holiday or business trip to turn into a nightmare. They should be ashamed, a 5star expensive hotel should not subject its guests to that

anonymous on 01/27/2010

November 9-11 Dirty sheets and then bedbugs followed shortly afterward. These went undiagnosed ruined my Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous on 01/26/2010

I stayed at the Grand Hyatt over New Year’s weekend. Immediately upon returning to D.C. I started noticing bites. They seem to be clearing up now, although I’m paranoid they may have traveled home with me or my boyfriend. I cannot “prove” the bugs were there of course, but I am highly suspicious. I urge you to be cautious if you stay there. Use the luggage rack, etc.

Anonymous on 10/19/2009

I recently attended at wedding in NYC and stayed at the Grand Hyatt for 4 nights, September 24-27, 2009. Room 2402. We had no other stops on our trip.

I returned home with over 100 bed bug bites on my thights, arms, hip area and under my chin. Bed bugs have a characteristic pattern of biting and mine is classic. I saw a doctor on October 6th who confirmed my suspicion.

My husband phoned the Grand Hyatt to inform them that I was covered with bed bug bites following my stay at their hote

l. We received a fax today, October 19th with a report showing no bed bugs found in the room. B—S—. Like they would really fax us a report revealing infestation in their hotel.

If you decide to stay at the Grand Hyatt, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Grand Hyatt New York on 08/28/2009

August 5th – 8th, 2009 Room 2567 Two friends and I took a girls trip to NYC and stayed at the Grand Hyatt. Me and one friend shared the same bed all four nights and both of us came home bitten by bed bugs. I received a medical diagnosis and have pictures of the bites. The first day home my friend called the front desk supervisor to tell him of the situation. He was non-chalant about the problem and said he’d look into it. I called the next day to file a formal complaint and upper mgmt said

that he’d first have to remove the occupants from the room (this should have been done the day before). They did a formal inspection of the room with their company of choice and sent me (after two requests) a simple report that stated no bed bugs were found. The insurance agency would not help us as well. All that we requested was to be reimbursed for our hotel stay and medical expenses. They refused all requests. This hotel not only costs us $300 a night, but time off from work, medical expenses, and time lost re-washing every piece of clothing that we had taken with us. I strongly recommend that you DO NOT stay at this hotel.

Original post:
Bed Bug Report for Grand Hyatt New York, New York, NY

22 Mar 17 Anaheim to crack down on substandard residential motels – 89.3 KPCC

About one-third of Anaheim’s approximately 95 motels are used as long-term lodging. Under a new ordinance, residential motels will have to register with the city and could be subject to inspections. Photo by Allen/roadsidepictures via Flickr Creative Commons

Motels in Anaheim that serve as long-term homes for low-income people will soon be subject to periodic inspections to make sure theyre up to code. The city council this week voted unanimously to adopt anordinancethatis an extension of a 2-year-old program that targets the citys rental units for similar inspections.

About one-third of Anaheims estimated 95 motels are expected to be included in the program. Owners of residential motels will be required to register with the city and fill out a questionnaire about management practices, including questions about the motels pest control practices and its system for taking and responding to tenant complaints.

Problematic motels will be inspected and owners will be given deadlines for fixing problems or else face fines.

Still, Anaheim Planning Director David Belmer stressed that the city wants to work with motel owners to ensure safe, sanitary housing.

“We always give the owner an opportunity to perform, he said. “Our expectations are reasonable and simple. All were asking is for you to provide safe and sanitary conditions here.

Belmer said the citys highest concentration of residential motels is on Beach Boulevard, once a major city thoroughfare that offered lodging for out-of-town visitors. Now, most visitors stay in the citys resort district, closer to the I-5.

Many motel owners in the area have found a market among down-and-out individuals and families who need a place to stay for a few nights or even weeks or months.

“They definitely fulfill a housing need because people are living there, Belmer said. “And I think its largely people who cannot qualify for traditional housing for various reasons.

One of those reasons is cost. Anaheim, like most Orange County cities, has a dearth of affordable housing. More than 1,000 Orange County school children lived in hotels or motels during the 2014-2015 school year, according to the latest data from the Orange County Department of Education. Jeanne Awrey, the departments homeless education manager, said the percentage of homeless students has gone up since schools started keeping track in 2003, but said it was hard to gauge how much of the increase is due to better accounting.

The countys biannual Point in Time homeless count does not include people living in motels.

Paul Leon, executive director of the Illumination Foundation, said Anaheim likely has the largest concentration of residential motels in the county.

He said renting a motel room isnt necessarily cheaper than renting an apartment, but families often dont have the funds to pay a deposit or cant keep up with monthly rent. Many rotate between sleeping in their cars, in parks or at the beach, and in motels.

Leon said he welcomed the news of Anaheims residential motel inspection program.

“Having transparency in those apartments is a great idea, he said, adding that many rooms housing transient families have bed bugs, lice or rats. He recalled visiting one room where the bathtub was covered in black mold.

Theyre horrendous, he said. “Some of them arent any better than the street.

Anaheim plans to have its new inspection program up and running by June. Its expected to cost about $150,000 annually.

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Anaheim to crack down on substandard residential motels – 89.3 KPCC

22 Mar 17 BBB advice on stopping invasions of ants, bed bugs, cockroaches – KY3

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – It’s spring cleaning time and that includes pest control. Local experts say the top calls right now are to get rid of ants, bed bugs, and roaches.

The Better Business Bureau of Southwest Missouri says, before you call an exterminator, check its work history. You can read reviews at

Talk to family and friends about their experiences and which pest control companies got the job done for a fair price.

Ask to see the license or other credentials of the professional who comes to your home.

Don’t rush. If it’s an expensive issue, get bids from several companies.

Before signing a contract, make sure you understand the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to fix the problem.

Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your home or furnishings during treatment.

If a guarantee is given, know exactly what it covers, and for how long.

Finally, be suspicious of anyone who comes to your home uninvited and offers a free inspection.

The BBB says scammers can try to scare you into authorizing immediate and expensive treatments. They may say your ceilings or floors could collapse. The BBB says, in some cases, scammers even bring pieces of termite-infested wood and claim they found it on your property. Don’t sign anything. You can file a report with the BBB’s online Scam Tracker.

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BBB advice on stopping invasions of ants, bed bugs, cockroaches – KY3

21 Mar 17 Answer Man: Who’s behind tinted windows of stealth vehicles? – Springfield News-Leader

Answer Man: I see these stealthy looking vehicles with unusual markings. They look like they belong to law enforcement. Do they?(Photo: Steve Pokin/News-Leader)Buy Photo

Answer Man: I’ve seen several black police-like vehicles with “SWOJS” on them. Today I saw a black Tahoe with those letters.The lettering is done in such a stealthy way that it is almost invisible. What is this organization? Why the secrecy? Jon Wessel, of Springfield

Jon, this agency is so secret that I found no trace. This worries me. You should leave the country tonight.

Actually, I found no trace because the initials are actually “SMOJS” not “SWOJS.”

SMOJS stands for Southern Missouri Judicial Services, it’s a private-security company based in Springfield, with a second location in Branson.

(So you know, readers, I sent Jon a link to the SMOJS website and he confirmed that this is the company he had asked me about.)

The man behind the tinted window oftentimes is former police officer Tim Brenner, 44, who founded SMOJS in 2008 in his Springfield home.

It started as a bail-bonding company but quickly expanded to security, surveillance, prisoner transport and arson investigation.

Tim Brenner started his own security company in 2008. The company has 10 canine units.(Photo: Steve Pokin/News-Leader)

Security clients include hotels, apartment complexes and gated communities.

“We provide executive protection for people who come to town,” he says. He said his company does not disclose its executive customers.

Transport customers include various police agencies.

The company has 14 vehicles which includes Tahoes, Dodge Chargers, Chevy Impalas and two prisoner transport vehicles. All have the same features sought by law-enforcement departments.

It has 67 employees, including many certified law-enforcement officers, as well as 10 trained canines.

One of the dogs is trained to detect bedbugs.

“We provide bodyguards,” he explains. “Some of our clients want to make sure that the room where they are staying doesn’t have bed bugs.”

Some of the SMOJS dogs attendschool.It’s where they sniff for drugs or guns.

Tim Brenner’s company has a fleet of 14 vehicles and employs 67 people.(Photo: Steve Pokin/News-Leader)

According to Brenner, his company has the state’s only canine specifically trained to sniff out materials used as accelerants in fires.

It also has a bomb-sniffing dog.

Often, he says, the dogs are hired under contract by public agencies that include schools, police departments and sheriff’s departments.

It has a drone, too, to help in investigations, according to the company’s website.

In 2013, Brenner invested in breath-alcohol units.

Brenner started his law-enforcement career in Cherokee County, Kansas. He later worked with canines in Barry County and in Springfield as an undercover member of COMET, the Combined Ozarks Multijurisdictional Enforcement Team, a drug task force operating in Greene County and eight others.

And the lettering you mentioned, Jon well, Brenner tells me he just wanted something cool and distinctive.

Keep those questions coming. Send themto The Answer Man at 836-1253,, on Twitter @stevepokinNL or by mail at 651 N. Boonville, Springfield, MO 65806.

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Answer Man: Who’s behind tinted windows of stealth vehicles? – Springfield News-Leader

20 Mar 17 War of words over addiction program’s fate – Albany Times Union

Father Peter Young goes through some of the letters he’s received from people in prison in his office in the basement of the Picot Building on Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Father Young said they write to him trying to find services for themselves on their way out of prison. “I try to find them housing, treatment and employment, they are in need of a support system when they get out. I always say I’m trying to turn them into tax paying citizens” Father Young said. (Paul Buckowski / Times Union) less Father Peter Young goes through some of the letters he’s received from people in prison in his office in the basement of the Picot Building on Thursday, March 9, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Father Young said they … more Photo: PAUL BUCKOWSKI

Robert Kent, general counsel of the state Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, and OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez. (Photos provided by Brian Flynn/WMHT)

Robert Kent, general counsel of the state Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, and OASAS Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez. (Photos provided by Brian Flynn/WMHT)

War of words over addiction program’s fate


The commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services wrote a letter to multiple state legislators over the weekend defending her agency’s efforts to shut down a sprawling addiction-treatment program run by an iconic Albany Roman Catholic priest.

The three-page letter from Commissioner Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez was addressed to Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy of Albany and several other legislators who last week called on OASAS to explain its reasons for cutting off funding to the Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment program, which was founded by 86-year-old Father Peter Young.

“OASAS and other state agencies, along with the Office of the Attorney General, have been unsuccessful in their efforts to persuade PYHIT to take the steps necessary to correct their administrative, operational and fiscal deficiencies,” the commissioner wrote.

PYHIT, in an eight-page response on Sunday, characterized the commissioner’s summary as “inaccurate” and said she has been “misinformed” by her staff. They also provided copies of financial records and state inspection reports they said contradict the information in the commissioner’s critical letter.

The tension between Young’s storied addiction-treatment organization, which took shape more than 50 years ago and eventually stretched from Brooklyn to Buffalo, boiled over last week following a Times Union article that laid bare the state’s hard-line stance against Young and his supporters. The state’s decision to cut off PYHIT’s funding and access to state contracts has sent the nonprofit into a slow death spiral.

The situation became incendiary last summer when the OASAS general counsel, Robert A. Kent, launched into an obscenity-laced tirade directed at Young and volunteer members of his board of directors during a meeting where Kent refused to listen to their proposals for saving the organization.

“We are sick of you. We should have put you out of business two years ago,” Kent told the group, according to multiple people who were at the meeting. “The state does not want to do f—ing business with you people.”

Gonzalez-Sanchez and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have declined to address Kent’s behavior and there’s no indication he faced discipline for his remarks.

OASAS has carefully praised Young for his decades of hard work, but also said his organization has fallen apart, is financially unstable and is no longer able to function at the levels required by the state.

Without specifying the sites, Gonzalez-Sanchez in her letter cited prior state investigations that she said uncovered “systemic neglect” of PYHIT’s facilities and led to citations for “maggot and bed bug infestations, unrepaired fire damage, a roof leaking into residential areas, inoperable sanitation facilities and numerous issues related to unsanitary and unsafe physical plant conditions.”

The commissioner also described Young’s organization as “over $5 million in debt” and still lacking administrative protocols to prevent the breakdowns that led to five former employees being convicted in a criminal investigation that began in 2011 with crimes ranging from padding expenses to embezzlement.

“PYHIT has also been cited for serious regulatory and operational deficiencies, failure to correct citations, inadequate staffing and failure to provide an environment conducive to recovery,” Gonzalez-Sanchez wrote.

PYHIT responded that the commissioner’s “disparaging language … will certainly grab attention” but said the nonprofit’s 12 licensed facilities all received near-perfect scores in OASAS inspection reports conducted during the past three years.

“OASAS’s field inspectors did not give a single PYHIT facility a noncompliance rate on any of the PHYIT facilities, and almost all the PYHIT facilities were granted the three-year maximum license that OASAS is permitted to issue under the law,” the organization’s letter states.

PYHIT’s response added that its efforts to make repairs at its facilities have been hampered by the state’s decision to cut off maintenance funding that was granted in the past. Instead, the group said, the state offered another organization Addictions Care Center of Albany $100,000 per building for repairs if it took over a few of PYHIT’s treatment facilities. PYHIT’s letter said the state was “starving” their group of needed repair funds and is “now accusing PYHIT of not keeping up its facilities.”

The organization also disputed the commissioner’s allegations about its financial soundness, saying the organization has $3.5 million in “mortgage debt” on properties valued at about $9 million.

“Consultation with any banker or debt analyst will reveal that the debt to equity ratio of about 46 percent is at the superior end for debt analysis and evidences significant financial stability,” PYHIT wrote.

At the explosive meeting with OASAS officials last July, PYHIT said their board members, including Saratoga National Golf Club owner Tom Newkirk, who holds the mortgages and is a longtime supporter of Young’s, were not allowed by Kent to explain their financial stability. Newkirk said he was going to guarantee a “zero deficit” for the PYHIT programs for two years, but never got the chance to explain.

“It doesn’t matter, we are shutting you down,” Kent told the group. “It can go easy or not. … We are sick and tired of you and we don’t want to do business with you anymore.”

OASAS officials said PYHIT’s financial problems also include $650,000 owed to the state as repayment for funds that were expended for renovating a treatment program in Altamont that subsequently closed. PYHIT acknowledged the program in Altamont struggled because of the lack of state grants, but said they do not owe $650,000 because Kent has siphoned $80,000 a month from PYHIT’s state funding for other programs since last September, which paid down that debt by more than $500,000.

Kent cut the $80,000 per month from three drug-treatment programs in Warren, Washington and Rensselaer counties that had contracts with PYHIT.

“Your staff’s effort was to try to change the financial picture for PYHIT and to force it towards financial instability so that OASAS could make the assertions you now make in your letter,” PYHIT said.

Finally, PYHIT’s letter cited an independent audit of its operations that was commissioned by the state two years ago and gave it high marks for its treatment programs and the overall professionalism of its staff.

“It is significant that when OASAS received the report, your staff refused to provide a copy to PYHIT despite many requests over months, and it was only provided when PYHIT refused to meet with OASAS officials unless or until the report was provided,” the organization wrote in its letter to the commissioner. “You have been provided inaccurate information by your staff to formulate your letter to Assemblywoman Fahy, and most of your assertions are directly contradicted by OASAS own internal documents.” 518-454-5547 @brendan_lyonstu

War of words over addiction program’s fate – Albany Times Union

19 Mar 17 Shy dog can tell when pregnant mums-to-be are expecting weeks before bump shows – The Sun

Pooch Chesney pays special attention to women having a baby by resting at their feet or lying on their bellies

CHESNEY the dog is the master of the pregnant paws he knows when women are expecting.

He is usually shy but pays special attention to mums-to-be by resting at their feet or lying on their bellies.

SWNS:South West News Service

Owner Angie Keay, 27, said it first happened with a relative.

She said: We knew my cousin was pregnant but she wasnt really showing.

Every time she visited, Chesney would lie across her belly.

SWNS:South West News Service

SWNS:South West News Service

Angie, a designer for the Pets at Home chain, said he has since detected two pregnant workmates.

One, Freya McAnally was eight weeks gone and had not told anyone.

But Chesney, 12, a Yorkshire terrier, Jack Russell and chihuahua cross, snuggled up to her, letting Angie know her secret.

Freya, 35, has just given birth to baby Lara.

Angie, of Manchester, said: Its a running joke in the office now that when Chesney goes up to someone they might be pregnant.

SWNS:South West News Service

Experts believe dogs can smell hormonal changes humans cannot sense.

By Joseph Archer

DOGS can be trained to smell many things to help humans.

They have been taught to detect several cancers and even low blood sugar levels.

Security dogs can find electronics, improvised explosives, weapons, gases and drugs.

The British Army has its own Dog Regiment.

Dogs can also find bed bugs, freshwater mussels, bumblebee nests, fire and even killer whale faeces.

The animals noses have more than 220million receptors to help them smell compared with around five million in humans.

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Shy dog can tell when pregnant mums-to-be are expecting weeks before bump shows – The Sun

17 Mar 17 GHA acknowledges employees’ union – Gloversville Leader-Herald

A standing-room-only crowd that included GHAresidents, Mayor Dayton King and mayoral candidate William Rowback Jr., gathered Thursday night for the GHA board meeting. (The Leader-Herald/Jason Subik)

GLOVERSVILLE The Gloversville Housing Authority Board of Directors voted Thursday to recognize the Civil Service Employees Association as the union representing its employees.

GHA labor attorney Brian Goldberger, of the Goldberger and Kremer Law Firm in Albany, said the GHA board also has agreed to drop all disciplinary action against the four authority employees who had been suspended without pay in January office workers Tina Sena, Linda Lizio and Janet Luck, and maintenance worker Joe Battaglia. The GHA board has agreed to make them whole for all of their lost compensation during the suspension period.

I have a decent working relationship with CSEA, and what the board gets out of this is theyve taken appropriate steps, that are justifiable under their own circumstances, Goldberger said. What the employees get, we hope, is fairness as matters are looked at evenhandedly, which is one of the reasons the board brought me in, because the board was not conversant in public sector labor relations law. Arguably, I hope I am to some extent.

Im recommending this course of action, and to the boards credit, theyve endorsed it and support it.

Goldberger said the next step will be for CSEA and the GHA to negotiate a labor contract. Meanwhile, 10 of the employees who will be members of the GHA collective bargaining unit are still suing the authority for $10 million, alleging violation of their federal rights, including their right to act as whistleblowers.

The GHA has been embroiled in controversy since December when nine of the authoritys 11 employees signed a letter of complaint to the board making several allegations against GHA Executive Director Tim Mattice, including that he had created a hostile work environment, that he had ordered GHA workers to do work for the nonprofit Gloversville Housing and Neighborhood Improvement Corp., as well as do work at former GHA board chairman Anthony Ferraros house and that Mattices brother, John Mattice, was hired improperly by the authority.

Since then, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Developments Buffalo field office, under HUD Buffalo Office of Public Housing Lisa Pugliese director, has begun a probe of the allegations in the letter.

Also, Jason Sweeney, a resident commissioner of the Gloversville Housing Authority, has threatened to sue the Authority board for denying him access to a board meeting in January and said he plans to still do so.

Sweeney has been aligned with the workers during this ongoing dispute with Mattice and has stated he believes he was denied access to meetings because of that.

During the GHA board meeting Thursday at Forest Hill Tower apartment building, Mattice discussed the formation of a committee to update the authority boards bylaws, including creation of new rules that would remove any GHA resident commissioners from the board who were behind on their rent or had missed three or more meetings.

Sweeney said he believes the proposed bylaw changes are directed at him. He countered by saying frequently absent commissioner Dorothy Boroson would also need to be held accountable to the three-meeting rule. Mattice agreed.

Dorothy Boroson hasnt been here in six months. [The GHA board meetings should also be] at night, because, years ago the bylaws, which I have a copy of, say the meetings should be at

6 p.m., he said.

GHA meetings are often a roller coaster of emotions and Thursdays meeting proved to the be same. A standing-room-only crowd of authority residents, as well as Mayor Dayton King and mayoral candidate William Rowback Jr., attended the meeting. When Mattice gave his facilities report to the board, he said Forest Hill Tower is now clear of all cases of bedbugs, which received applause.

There are two [Forest Hill] apartments scheduled for K-9 inspection March 21 and were confident those will pass. Kingsboro Towers has no bedbug activity as well. DuBois Gardens has four cases of bedbugs were addressing currently, he said.

Mattice listed several facility improvements planned at the authority apartments in the coming months, including: $120,000 in kitchen upgrades for DuBois Garden Apartments, $65,000 in kitchen upgrades for Kingsboro Towers, a $30,000 card-reader front door system for the authoritys buildings, replacing the current key system [an idea which was applauded], new electrical systems for the drier units and a $90,000 boiler improvement for Forest Hill Towers. Mattice concluded his report by praising the authoritys maintanence staff for their snow removal efforts this past week, which also received loud applause.

During the public comment period, frequent Mattice critic Bob Castiglione praised GHA Chairman Mike Ponticello for being a prime mover in what he called a dramatic improvement at the authority since January. He then called on King to use his power as mayor to meet with the employees of the GHA, hear their stories and then remove Mattice.

I did drop off a document at your porch, I guess you dont particularly want someone at your porch, Castiglione said to King.

Just you Mr. Castiglione, just you I dont want on my porch. Everyone else is welcome, King responded in a dramatic moment.

Undetered by Kings reproach of him, without pausing, Castiglione said, That document empowers you to manifest removals from the [GHA] board. So, if there were any question about your capacity to do that, you are empowered to do that as a matter of state law.

Later, after what had seemed a mostly positive reception for most of the statements made by the GHA board at the meeting, the applause and cheers for pest and snow control turned to jeers and cat calls when retired GHA employee Dan Conyne challenged Ponticellos past defense of Mattices tenure as executive director. Ponticello, using information from a HUD audit, has argued Mattices leadership has helped to bring the GHA from the red to the black through savings attained through eliminating positions through attrition.

Conyne said Mattice is getting too much credit because in the year prior to Mattice being hired, the authority had $270,000 in utility costs due to heavy snowfall, and other expenses from employees retiring. Conyne argued that Mattices first year on the job in 2016 was a lucky year for him in that warmer temperatures and little snowfall helped the authority save money on electricity and snow removal costs, savings that should not be attributed to his leadership.

Its mother nature that saved the money, not Mr. Mattice, Conyne said.

CANAJOHARIE Kinderhook Bank Corp. and Patriot Federal Bank announced Wednesday a merger of the two …

The City of Johnstown Water Department has issued a boil- water advisory due to a water main break in the vicinity …

JOHNSTOWN Fulton-Montgomery Community College has a number of available programs to help high school students …

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GHA acknowledges employees’ union – Gloversville Leader-Herald

17 Mar 17 Some bedbugs are really good climbers. And that may be bad news for you. – Washington Post

March 16

Some bedbugs are better climbers than others, and the bloodsuckers climbing prowess has practical implications.

To detect and monitor bedbugs, people use an array of strategies including do-it-yourself setups and dogs. Pitfall traps, which rely on smooth inner walls to keep the critters from escaping, are highly effective for detecting and monitoring an infestation. The traps are sold around the world, but they have been tested only with common bedbugs (Cimex lectularius) the most common species in the United States.

As it turns out, tropical bedbugs (C. hemipterus) can easily scale the walls of pitfall traps, Chow-Yang Lee, an entomologist at Malaysias University of Science, and colleagues found in lab tests. While 24 to 76 percent of tropical bedbug strains escaped traps, only 2 or fewer percent of common strains made it out. In measurements of vertical frictional force, tropical bedbugs also came out on top. Further investigation revealed extra hairs on the tibial pads of tropical bugs feet. These may give their legs a better grip on trap walls, the researchers propose in the March 15 edition of the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Tropical bedbugs live in some regions of Africa, Australia, Japan, China and Taiwan and have recently surfaced in Florida.

Original post:
Some bedbugs are really good climbers. And that may be bad news for you. – Washington Post

17 Mar 17 Killing bugs and keeping them out – The News (subscription)

In a climate like that of the Golden Isles pests are to be expected, especially around spring time. Noticing the warning signs and taking steps to counteract the varmints can be vital to saving yourself time and money.

The early signs are in the spring time when the flowers are blooming, said Gary Wise, Yates-Astro general manager. It starts with flying pests, then ants start swarming and termites start swarming.

Around Easter, from mid-March to the end of March, is when pests begin showing up in full force.

Spring pretty much triggers everything here, Wise said.

Once the weather warms up enough that pests like ants, termites, cockroaches, mosquitos, sand gnats and spiders can move around and breed outside conformably, theyll start hunting for warm, damp places to hide out.

Among the flying pests, mosquitos and sand gnats are by far the most common.

The biggest thing with mosquitos is inspecting the outside of the house, looking for standing water. It only takes enough water to fit into a bottle cap for mosquitos to start breeding, Wise said.

For mosquitos, an exterminator will start by emptying out any containers holding standing water. This is something that is recommended for everyone to do. Mosquitos lay eggs quickly, and they hatch and grow quickly as well.

Sand gnats are quite different from mosquitos.

Sand gnats are harder to kill. You cant kill them without making contact with them, Wise said.

Wearing bug spray with DEET in it helps with sand gnats particularly, but not much else is very effective.

Theres really not much we can do about sand gnats long term, Wise said. If we can control their population for two weeks, thats pretty good.

Ants and termites are beginning to really get around at this point during the year, to the point where Wise has been booking lots of appointments to deal with termites for the last few weeks.

The termites and bedbugs are really picking up, and then around Easter ants will start showing up and getting everywhere, Wise said.

Ants and termites are relatively simple to deal with.

They swarm the lights, get into the light fixtures, at evening time and then theyll start going for the cracks in the doors, Wise said. Moisture around the house is key. Close any gaps you have, make sure windows and attic vents are sealed. Just make sure the house is closed up tight.

Bed bugs are much trickier. They get into peoples homes by hitchhiking on clothes, luggage, furniture and anything made of cloth or with crevices to hide in.

Bed bugs, the more you travel, the more likely you are to have them, Wise said.

Bed bugs are so small that most people dont know they have them until they start getting bitten.

(Once you know youve got them,) youve got to find where they are, beds, nightstand, curtains, carpet, headboard, floorboards, anywhere they can crawl into, Wise said. What happens at the inspection part is once they get into one thing they can get into everything, so the inspection process can take hours.

The only way to completely get rid of them is to fumigate the entire structure, which can be very pricey. As far as preventing them, Wises only advice was to be very careful where you stay while traveling and closely inspect secondhand furniture and mattresses before buying them.

The same advice for dealing with ants and termites goes for cockroaches of all varieties, of which there are many in Georgia.

Asian, American, Oriental, Smokey Brown and German. We deal with quite a large number of different species of cockroaches, Wise said.

They like to be holed up in dark, warm and damp areas, like palm trees, oak trees, palmetto bushes and mulch, but they are more than happy to move into houses.

Spiders are a year-round problem, according to Wise. They will usually try to stay indoors all winter, and will gladly do so if allowed. The best way to deal with them to is keep them from making webs. Take down any webs you see to deprive them of their means of catching food. Once theyre gone, chemicals that keep webs from sticking can be applied to keep them away.

Some things that can be used to keep a number of bugs away are outdoor lights that shine a color instead of white lights that attract more insects, spraying repellent chemicals around houses and clearing old wood piles.

For a professional exterminator, Yates-Astro usually charges an initial fee of $150 followed by a bi-monthly $56 charge.

Primarily what were trying to do with the bi-monthly service is to get them while theyre outside. Wise said. A bi-monthly service is good, quarterly is a little too long between treatments.

Wise stressed the importance of pest control, saying consumer products generally arent as potent as chemicals exterminators use, and that exterminators are specially trained to deal with pests.

Other pest control options in the Golden Isles include Golden Isles Pest Control, Redfern Pest Control Services, American Pest Control, Allgood Pest Solutions, Peachtree Pest Control, Younce Terminix, A-1 Economic Exterminator, Knox Pest Control and Excel Pest Control.

Pest control in our area is very important, Wise said. Killing them is important, but keeping them from getting into your house in the first place is important too.

Excerpt from:
Killing bugs and keeping them out – The News (subscription)

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