by Jenifer Herring

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10 Tips to Know Before Dating a Female Journalist

ESPN reporter, Erin Andrews.

Check out my post on Good Day Sacramento CBS 13: http://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/8216930-manly-minute-truth-about-dating-journalists/

Journalists are a completely different breed than the rest of the population, so you should know exactly what you’re getting into before making a move on one. Here are some tips to help you decide if you can handle being with these females:

1. Female journalists are ballsy. We’re not afraid to tell it like it is because it’s our job. Honesty is the number one characteristic of a talented and successful writer, therefore, that straightforwardness will be projected to you every day. If we don’t like what you’re doing or how you’re treating us, we will immediately notify you…and probably without a filter. If you prefer a woman who tap dances around situations then don’t date a journalist.

We take risks and aren’t afraid of anything-especially you. We are not naive, we are free-spirited, tough individuals who seek challenges. We enjoy going into situations we are not “supposed” to be in or situations that would require other people to ingest four Xanax prior.We can wing it and you will never have to prepare us. We prefer excitement and delving  into new experiences without much thought. Mastering uncharted territory? Sign us up. This is our blessing and our curse.

2. Stay out of our way. Never try to hold us back from doing anything because we will leave you in our dust with no regrets. We believe we can change the world with what we’re doing, so don’t waste your energy trying to convince us otherwise. Our ambition is far stronger than your gym rat arms yanking us back. What you tell us to do, we will do the opposite. If you tell us not to go somewhere, we will absolutely go there. You might as well have a seat because you will lose this argument. We meet lots of people every day, every where we go. You are not special and can be replaced. Confused? Check out Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” lyrics.

3. We are social creatures. We are colorful, cheerful, confident butterflies that will land wherever we please. We will chat up any individual that comes our way because every person is important-no matter how bizarre. They were put here for a reason and our curiosity is immediately piqued by their strange behavior. Any person could be a possible interview or a networking connection somewhere in the future…or it could just  be an interesting chat with a unique individual. 

That being said, we are entertaining. Don’t hire a comedian at your next party, bring a journalist. We have a zest for life that others do not. We recognize the value of life and how short it can be because we read the headlines. We live every day like it is our last. If you don’t, we suggest you check out the local crime section of your daily paper. Better yet, try the obituaries for a killer reality check-no pun intended.

4. Business is ongoing. Our day never ends and our networking is continuous. Don’t be surprised if our dinner plans get shut down because journalism never sleeps. Food will always be around, but the news changes every second. That particular interview we finagled could be a once in a lifetime opportunity and you will take a back seat. We take chances and have a mindset that some opportunities only come around once.

It’s not that we don’t think you’re important, it’s that what we do is quite important. Let’s face it, without the news, nobody would know what the hell is going on.

5. We aren’t stupid. We’re used to being on edge and thinking on our feet, so we converse well. If you want to banter, bring it-we are masters at this.  We have a deep opinion regarding every topic you bring up and there are probably lots of layers or examples to back up our answer. We are taught to provide proof in our work, so you will always have factual information. 

We are not typical women who know the basics of current events or are dumb broads you meet at your local watering hole. Most of us are witty because we have seen and read it all. Nothing surprises us about humanity anymore, therefore we have to be lighthearted about it. People are screwed up and we know it…why not crack some jokes about it? Life is short. If you don’t have a sense of a humor, you will not last with a journalist. We are skilled at interviews, so we can smell BS from a mile away…don’t bother.

6. We will photograph everything. We are social media experts and will inform our avid followers often on what’s happening around us. We love feedback because we enjoy conversation, so we will post photos, tweet, and “check in” whenever we please. In layman’s terms, if it’s a noun (aka: person, place or thing),  it will be recorded or preserved.  A picture is worth a thousand words and our computers contain several thousand plus video footage. If you don’t enjoy having your picture taken, you will learn to enjoy it or choose to hit the pavement.

We are technology nerds, but are attractive and stylish. We have i-pads, i-phones, Droids, MACs, tablets, nooks and whatever else we can receive media on. We can also multi-task on several of these items at once.

7. We hate your spelling errors. Make sure you switch the Autocorrect setting to “ON” for your text messages because we will rip you a new one if you have a grammar or punctuation error. It is a huge pet peeve considering you graduated high school. This is expected of you.

The majority of us are perfectionists which is why so many copy editors across the world are women. You think we’re hard on you? We’re ten times harder on ourselves. If we do something wrong, you can guarantee we will kick ourselves for it for days (even weeks or months), so please don’t harp on us. We do a good enough job on our own.

8.  We remember your words. Choose your words wisely because they will never be forgotten no matter how many times you apologize. We are programmed to retain events or large amounts of information to create a thorough, concise follow-up story. Nobody is perfect (not even us), but we hold you to a higher standard than other women.

We learn fast, so if you have an issue with us, we hear you and will attempt to fix it ASAP. When things are in chaos or disarray, we can’t function properly. We are amazing listeners and marinate on every word you say. On the downside, we can handle your criticism-but we can also dish it.  Be prepared and fasten your seatbelt.

9.  We are trustworthy. We have a duty to report unbiased information, which is a task since we are very opinionated people. We are the most trustworthy, dependable, responsible, driven types of women you have ever seen. It will take a lot for us to trust you, but when we do, we would never do you harm. We want what’s best for everyone around us, including the bum on the street digging through the trash can. We will help anyone in need  if we can. If you’re not a humanitarian or you are only looking out for “numero uno,” go home.

10. We will write about you. This is not a threat, but we can’t guarantee it will always be positive. You could be a character or part of a non-fiction story. This means you are interesting-congratulations.

Oh my 2011, you are everything I hoped for

Gas prices are rising, but so is my confidence. I’m excited for all the positive changes in my life and I’m thankful that it’s getting easier to leave the negative behind. I’m truly blessed with the phenominal people that have recently stepped into my life and friends that have been by my side since the beginning. If anyone in your life causes positive change-keep them around and make changes yourself. The more you make, the better you become and what’s best of all-you become the person you’ve aways WANTED to be. Life is a journey and change is a process. It’s difficult, but possible. Letting go is hard, but when you know something’s not right for you-keep it moving! All it means is fasten your seatbelt because something better is about to arrive. Stay tuned! #Excitedforwhatsnext

Autonation films a series of commercials starring…

Me! I’m very excited about this amazing opportunity to work with Autonation. I auditioned for the part last year and began filming last November. I’m proud to say I’ve been continuing to work with them and I love every moment of it! We have a great work team and have more fun on set then you could imagine.

 

Sushi Samba dominates the world of seafood rolls

Sushi Samba Miami/Courtesy of google images

As a person who has never liked sushi, I commend a friend of mine for taking me to Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road in Miami. The atmosphere is relaxing and there’s plenty of things to watch as you dine outside on the patio. As an avid people-watcher you will not be disappointed. The inside is great for those who prefer to avoid the South Florida heat and dine in the air conditioning. Whether diners sit at the bar or at the many tables located inside they will enjoy the techno beats of the DJ. Let me also add the most important factor that made this restaurant so amazing-the SERVICE! The service was outstanding. For South Beach, this is a rare commodity because many restaurants will include a 15-20 percent tip automatically-therefore leaving servers to care less about you and more about themselves. I will recommend this restaurant to everyone looking for a cozy spot to grab a bite in Miami.

The menu is eclectic containing dishes from Brazil, Peru, and Japan. For appetizers, we split the crispy tequitos which came with a spicy sauce and lime on the side. Inside was flavorful, juicy beef mixed with vegetables and lettuce. Next we had the shrimp seviche ($14.00) which was blended with passion fruit, cucumber, and cilantro. Not only was this my first time trying sushi, but seviche as well. I’m a new fan. Please try this dish if you’re a seviche supremist serching for something new or if you’ve never tried seviche before. It was very sweet and full of delicious tangy flavors.

Sushi Samba/Courtesy of Destinationluxury.com

The sushi that made me fall in love?  The Maya Roll ($10.00) which includes shrimp, avocado and salsa…mmmm…I’m ready to go back for more just thinking about it! Dip a roll into the shrimp sauce on the side of your plate and you’ve just experienced a piece of heaven.

I also tried the Samba Dromo Roll which wasn’t too bad either. Starting off on California Rolls, I was wary as to what this would taste like. Thankfully, it was nothing like a California Roll. The Samba Dromo consisted of lobster, mango, tomato, chive, rice, soy paper, and peanut curry. Add less then a tiny pinch of wasabi to the roll and you’ve got a great new flavor going on. If you like more of the typical sushi texture go with this roll.

My friend ordered cold sake (which I discovered doesn’t only come hot). I’m not sure what kind he ordered, but it tasted like a sweet coconut wine with a hint of alcohol. I recommend this to anyone who wants something to drink aside from water.

For more information please visit: http://www.sushisamba.com/

The price honest consumers pay due to shoplifting

By Evelyn Ticona, Jen Herring, & Ashley Duchesneau

Managing Editor of The Beacon & Contributing Writers

Photo by Jen Herring

Retail companies across the nation refuse to prosecute shoplifters due to the cost post-arrest and the risk of hurting the brand’s image. As a result, the majority of shoplifting cases go undetected because they’re not reported.

“Personally, I feel like the laws are made just to protect them,” said Jen Santiago, assistant manager of Arden B. in the Palm Beach Gardens Mall. “It’s not really for us.”

According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, “Shoplifting has become one of the most prevalent crimes in the U.S., averaging about 550,000 incidents per day resulting in more than $13 billion worth of goods being stolen from retailers each year.”

What most people don’t realize is the effect shoplifting has on the honest consumer. Retail companies do not want to pay for the cost of prosecution after an arrest. Instead, they will raise the price of clothing to compensate for losses.

“It all gets reflected:people we’re able to hire, price of the clothing and being shut down with internal theft or external theft. It all adds up,” Santiago said.

Each store is allotted a loss and prevention budget for stolen items. However, if the total cost of items stolen runs over budget, prices will go up.

“The stores are not going to give it away free and continue to take the loss. They’re just going to pass it on new customers,” said Gary Frechette, director of security at the Gardens Mall.

According to the National Retail Federation, in 2009, 92 percent of retailers said their company was the victim of organized retail crime.

Experts say that as the economy has weakened, shoplifting has increased. That is not the case at the Gardens Mall, according to Frechette. In February only two cases of shoplifting were reported at the Gardens Mall, compared to last year’s 16 cases.

Amanda Soto, store manager for the GAP store at the Mall at Wellington Green said that she teaches her associates “real service.” Acknowledgement of shoppers as they enter the store is a must, she said.

“If they know that we know they are there and that we are watching, they are less likely to put something in their bag and walk away,” Soto said.  “If we see someone trying to steal a pair of pants, we use recovery statements.”

Video Flip of Gardens Mall Security below:

In the two years Soto has been store manager, she has never prosecuted anyone for shoplifting.

“I think the policy is the same across the board: there’s always a dollar amount you have to meet before you prosecute,” Santiago said.

Each store’s security plan varies, but at the end of the day shoplifters will do whatever it takes to get what they want.

“We find sensors with bite marks on them,” Santiago said. “If they want it bad enough, they are going to find a way around it.”

There are a variety of types of shoplifters — from juveniles to professionals — who spend weeks hitting malls across the state. They travel for hours to different malls along I-95 to get as many items as they can from different stores.

“We also get the real professionals that are looking for just one thing to steal, and most of the time that’s an item from the high-end stores like Gucci, Chanel or Michael Kors,” Frechette said.

If a store is releasing items from a new collection, professional shoplifters steal them and send them the same day to China to be crafted into a perfect knockoff.

“They have places in China and over in that area that can make these knockoffs in a matter of a day,” Frechette said. “They know it’s coming and they’re ready to go. That’s how knockoffs are successful.”

Aside from stores not prosecuting, another factor is the liability companies have if a customer harms an employee. Employees, even if they clearly see a shoplifter, are not allowed to outright accuse the shoplifter, due to most company policies.

“We can’t pursue those [people] because of risk of bodily harm,” Santiago said.

Lori Judson, manager at Victoria’s Secret in the Gardens Mall, said she follows a similar protocol and uses good customer service to detour shoplifters.

“We make it known that we saw them,” Judson said. “We don’t have to outright say it, but just act overly friendly.”

Tranique Williams, key holder for Charlotte Russe at the Wellington Green, said that if sales associates think they see someone shoplifting, they approach the person and make a suggestion of matching apparel to go with the product that they were trying to steal.

Bridgett Migill, an associate at Victoria’s Secret at Wellington Green, said that if she encounters a shoplifter she is to immediately call mall security.

“It usually takes them around five minutes to get here,” she said.

The strangest thing Migill has seen when it comes to shoplifting is men dressing up as women. A common shoplifter will take one or two pairs of panties from the front and walk out the door, but by the end of the day they usually recover about 85 percent of the stolen merchandise, said Migill.

Judson tells her staff to watch shopper’s behavior closely.

“People act differently when shoplifting compared to shopping,” Judson said.

Sometimes shoppers will use bags from stores not even in the mall or will watch the employees more than looking at the clothing. Others will be rude to distract employees or divert attention elsewhere.

“We have a lot of tools from corporate, but a lot of it comes from personal experience,” Santiago said. She said she keeps a keen eye on customers who want to make returns.

“You cannot make a return without a receipt,” Santiago said.

According to the National Retail Federation, $9.59 billion of fraudulent returns were made in 2009.

“Shoplifters are always going to be one step ahead,” Frechette said. “The best way to catch them is a good sales associate keeping their eye on the ball.”

Shoplifters take an item from a store and immediately try to return it at a different store to get cash. Frechette said that one of the problems is some stores do not require receipts anymore to return clothes, instead offering a store credit.

Though the shoplifting figures vary from month to month, security has been reinforced at the Gardens Mall.

Mall security guards are limited in what they’re allowed to do when a shoplifter is spotted. If a store wants to prosecute a shoplifter, the police must be called. If not, what happens to that shoplifter?

“Malls across the board need to empower their security to do it, instead of waiting for the police to come,” Santiago said. “By the time they come, who knows what could happen.”

Though not too many incidents are reported, Santiago made reference to an assault which occurred on Saturday, March 13, where a customer attacked the manager of Arden B. at the Gardens Mall after being identified as a potential shoplifter.

The report from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department said the customer pushed the manager against the wall, pulling her hair. Officer William Stiggle reported he found red markings on the manager’s upper right arm, and he found her crying and shaking. This is one of the few cases where managers want to prosecute shoplifters.

Frechette said by statute and liability for their corporation, they’re responsible for the common areas of the mall. However, security guards can help an associate if he or she is in trouble.

With 44 security officers walking and watching the stores inside the mall, and driving around the parking lots and more than 60 cameras placed at strategic points throughout the mall, the Gardens  Mall has reduced its shoplifting statistics in the past 18 months.

“Security cameras have full 360 degrees view and can pan, tilt, and zoom,” Frechette said. “We have really good cameras and can look at somebody’s face.”

The Gardens Mall also has several security guards driving around the parking lots looking for potential crime victims.

Security officer Harold Beasley said sometimes people leave their cars with the windows down, exposing valuable items like GPS devices or cell phones. In those cases officers stay by the cars and wait for the owner to come back to their vehicle in order to prevent a theft.

“We try to educate the patrons on things they can do themselves to help and assist and neutralize the criminal activity,” Beasley said.

Officer Allen Montes, who has worked at the Gardens Mall for almost four years, said the strangest thing about shoplifters is their creativity when trying to hide the items they want to steal.

“Just when you think you’ve seen it all they find a new way to do it,” Montes said.

“Knowing the managers is very important,” Montes said. “I try to keep in contact with the maintenance people and housekeeping people so in case an issue arises, we all know what is going on.”

Bully Johnson, 34,
used to shoplift because of the thrill of seeing what he could get away with stealing. He got caught shoplifting at Sears in the Gardens Mall, but didn’t get prosecuted.

“The reason I stopped was because I realized that I was soon going to be an adult and the consequences would be much worse,” Johnson said. “I was a stupid kid.”

In comparison to the Gardens Mall, the Mall at the Wellington Green has a higher shoplifting arrest rate. That’s not to say there’s more shoplifting at Wellington Green, but rather more have been reported to police.

According to a February report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, in January there were 44 arrests made for retail theft in the Wellington area.

In November, 19 arrests were made for shoplifting; in December there were 31; and in January there were 29 at the Mall at Wellington Green.

For now, it seems shoplifters have the right of way and innocent consumers are footing the bill.

Miami Art District comes to life for 2010 Fashion Week

See Giselle Sosa and I report at this year’s Miami Fashion Week!

Here’s my quick Video Flip of some of this year’s performers and fashions from Ecuadorian designer, Milu Espinoza:

Silk, shimmer, and sky-high stilettos dominated the runway during this year’s 12th annual Miami International Fashion Week. About 700 people combined of press, buyers, and audience came out to support designers from all over the world each night in Miami’s Art District during March 18th through the 21st.

On Friday March 19, the audience piled in so tightly that many guests were standing against the back walls just to catch a glimpse of the women’s swimwear by designer Antonia Saenz from Columbia.

“What’s better than beautiful women with clothes that fit so well,” model Wayne Patrick said.

As the models strutted down the runway in bright, colorful pastel bathing suits to the French song “Baby, Baby, Baby” by Make the Girls Dance, the audience cheered.

Metallic fabrics, sequins, and high heels with lots of straps seem to be a reoccurring theme with many of the designers, such as Franco Montoro. Montoro chose to use high slits, several straps and cutouts. Also many dresses were made of a light, sultry silk with bold black lines. Thick bracelets and accent clutches accompanied the outfits.

Women weren’t the only stars of the show as men’s clothing designer Arcadio Diaz from the Dominican Republic stole the show when one of his models walked out on the runway with a baby as an accessory. His clothes were light, airy and consisted of a variety of blue, pink, and yellow pastels.

Designer Nicolas Felizola won the 2010 Miami International Fashion Week Men’s Style Award with his fitted silk suits and sexy, soft scarves.

Aside from fashion, the event also had a variety of performers including dancers and singers. Surrounding the main event, tables were set up showcasing vibrant jewelry from Latin-inspired designers. The jewelry had unique designs and stones.

“I like the show and I think it’s getting better and better every year,” Patrick said.

Many local celebrities came out to show support such as Bravo “Miami Social” cast member, Ariel Stein and one of the original Versace models and actor in AMC’s “Mad Men” Vincent de Paul.

Miami Fashion Week was created by former model Beth Sobol who said according to NBC Miami, “New York Fashion Week is only three years older than us.”

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

2010 Miami Fashion Week

PB Super Car Show ‘almost at full capacity’

A preview for this weekend’s Super Car Experience (set to take place on Flagler Drive in Palm Beach) was seen at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Jupiter. Check out me interviewing professional race car driver, Guy Cosmo and founder of the event, John Temerian.

Photo Courtesy of Collier Rice

Photo Courtesy of Jen Herring

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Duchesneau

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Duchesneau

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Duchesneau

Interviewing Guy Cosmo /photo courtesy of Ashley Duchesneau

Interviewing founder John Temerian /photo courtesy of Ashley Duchesneau

photo courtesy of Marcus Collazo

photo courtesy of Marcus Collazo

photo courtesy of Marcus Collazo

According to event planners, Saturday’s event will showcase around 400 cars and it’s “almost at full capacity”. They also mentioned super car owners are still trying to register, but Friday, February 26 is the last day they can do so.

Not only will they showcase super cars on Flagler, but they will also feature a Mercedes AMS-inspired cigarrette boat on the waterfront.

Tickets are $24.00 per person and kids 12 and under are FREE. Event will take place from 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

251 Palm Beach will host an after party:

Photo Courtesy of 251 Palm Beach

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