Paws & Effect’s “A Night for the Dogs to Benefit Our Military Veterans” Set for Thursday, March 31 at Sticks Studio

March 29, 2011

DES MOINES – Puppy raisers, trainers, service dogs and Iowa National Guard members will take center stage Thursday as the nonprofit group Paws & Effect hosts “A Night for the Dogs to Benefit our Military Veterans” at Sticks Studio.

“Paws & Effect’s current focus for service dog placement is with military personnel experiencing post traumatic stress disorder as they return home to Iowa from Iraq and Afghanistan. Combat veterans from earlier military conflicts who live in our state also are eligible for the program,” said Becky Beach, an event organizer. “Right now, the need for service dogs exceeded the number available. Paws & Effect is working to triple the number of dogs trained annually over the next two years. We owe it to our veterans who have given so much for us.”

“A Night for the Dogs to Benefit our Military Veterans” will begin at 6:00 p.m. Thursday at the Sticks studio, 3631 SW 61st Street. Tickets for the event are $100 per couple.

Sarah Grant, artist and owner of Sticks, has designed an original artwork entitled “What We Love About Dogs”. Limited edition posters of the piece will be sold for $30 at the event and will be on sale at the Sticks galleries in East Village and West Glen for $40 beginning Friday.

Paws & Effect, which is relatively new to Des Moines, also raises service dogs for people with mobility needs.

For additional information, contact Becky Beach at 490-9766.



Des Moines Register — Pawlenty Update: Name Caucus Staff This Week, Plans April Visit

March 21, 2011

Des Moines Register staff writer Tom Beaumont reports: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans today to file papers with the Federal Election Commission forming an organization to explore seeking the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

Pawlenty aides said the former two-term governor is also expected this week to name staff to lead his preparations for Iowa’s caucuses, and is planning an early April return to the leadoff caucus state.

The Associated Press reported this morning that Pawlenty plans to announce the next step in his investigation of a White House bid at 2 p.m., with an entry on his Facebook page.

Aides also said Pawlenty, who has visited Iowa several times in the past 16 months, is expected to return on April 1 and 2, and is planning a spring campaign announcement.

Pawlenty already has lined up the support of a team of seasoned Iowa campaign operatives. Most recently, West Des Moines consultant Eric Woolson said two weeks ago he would support Pawlenty, should he run for president. Woolson, a top Iowa adviser to winning caucus campaigns in 2008 and 2000, would be expected to fill a senior communication role.
Veteran Iowa Republican operatives Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka have also been Pawlenty advisers, as have former national GOP strategists Terry Nelson and Sara Taylor, both Iowa natives.

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Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to Form 2012 Presidential Exploratory Committee

March 21, 2011

The staff of Politico reports that former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will file paperwork today to organize his bid for the White House into an exploratory committee. For the complete story, click here.

King James Big or Tall Store Announces Quitting Business Sale After 26 Years as Naples Retail Icon

March 11, 2011

NAPLES, Fla. – King James Big or Tall Men’s Fashions, a retailer of high-end men’s clothing for more than 25 years, is quitting business and will sell its entire inventory, owner Jim Montoney said today.

Montoney began his retail clothing career in 1978 and owned 12 men’s clothing stores by 1996. He began to sell off and close stores that year in response to industry trends and will own a single store in Sarasota following the closing of the Naples store.

“At one point, we had a captive audience. Back then, you didn’t have the competition from the big box stores and department stores that you do now,” he said.
“What’s always set us apart from all the other stores was that we carry the top brands. That will be just as true on our final day because I didn’t make the decision until the end of January to close the store and we have our full line of spring merchandise in store.”

Montoney said the public sale will begin on March 17. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday during the quitting-business sale.

A long-running national trend toward the casual workplace has contributed to the closings of many Main Street men’s clothing stores in the past decade – and the Naples area was no stranger to that change. “Men aren’t wearing suits like they used to and young guys rarely, if ever, wear suits,” Montoney said.

He also noted that a shift in the local retail universe played a part in his decision to close the store, which has been located at 1082 Fifth Ave., South, since opening in 1985. “Fifth Avenue used to be the spot in Naples retail. It was the place for very expensive, very high-end stores,” Montoney said. “Most everything is moving north these days toward Bonita Springs.”

“He added, “The Naples has been a very good store over the years. We’ve been blessed with truly exceptional, loyal customers. It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve them for so many years. We’re going to concentrate on our Sarasota store and, obviously, hope that we’ll continue to see many of our Naples customers there.”

Montoney noted that a number of celebrities visited the store over the years, including National Basketball Association star Larry Bird. Nationally syndicated radio personality Wolfman Jack was a frequent customer in the years before his death in 1995.


If Pawlenty Runs, Huckabee’s Top 2008 Iowa Adviser Would Support Him

March 10, 2011

The Des Moines Register’s Tom Beaumont reports:
The top Iowa adviser to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said today he will support former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, should Pawlenty seek the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Eric Woolson, 52, said he did not know whether Huckabee, the 2008 caucus winner, planned to run again. Huckabee, in Iowa last week, said he was weighing a second presidential bid but had reservations about its fundraising demands.

Woolson said he would work for Pawlenty if asked, but that he had not been offered a position. Pawlenty, who has enlisted the advice of key Republican strategists in the leadoff caucus state, said Monday in Ames that he was within weeks of announcing the next step in his exploration.

“I expressed to him an interest in helping him,” Woolson told The Des Moines Register, referring to a conversation he had with Pawlenty in mid-February.

“I think he’s got a terrific record. He’s got a great story to tell,” Woolson said. “He hasn’t said he’s running yet. If he decides to run, I’d love to help him tell that story to Iowans.”

Woolson boasts one of the most robust portfolios of Republican campaign work in Iowa, although he also worked on Democrat Joe Biden’s Iowa campaign in 1987.

Since then, Woolson has worked for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s campaigns and administration, George W. Bush’s 2000 Iowa caucus campaign and other GOP candidates for state and federal office.

He has been the president and CEO of his own public relations firm since 2002.

Huckabee’s Cinderella campaign in 2008, when he grew from an asterisk in the polls to the caucus front-runner, helped stamp Woolson as a top catch for 2012.

He joins veteran Iowa Republicans Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka as senior strategists who have helped Pawlenty make contacts, and national GOP operatives Terry Nelson and Sara Taylor, who are Iowa natives.

Huckabee has given a summer time frame for deciding about a 2012 campaign. That may be too late, Woolson has said, and he does not want to wait to get involved.

“As you look at the monumental task of unseating an incumbent president, Republicans need to get about the business of getting that job done,” Woolson said. “And I want to get on with the task of getting that done.”

Politico Morning Score: Heating Up

March 10, 2011

By POLITICO STAFF | 3/10/11 6:13 AM EST
From today’s edition:

2012 RECRUITMENT WATCH – THE SCRAMBLE BEGINS – Don’t look now, but the pace of hiring for the presidential campaigns-in-waiting just picked up – a lot. There’s been big movement on at least four teams in just the last 24 hours. Here’s what you may have missed:

– HALEY BARBOUR: The Mississippi governor’s political team, fresh off bringing on Jim Dyke as a top communications aide, has recruited former RNC online communications chief James Richardson to work on web outreach. Henry Barbour’s statement, shared with Morning Score: “Haley is very pleased that James Richardson has joined his team to help manage the national interest of bloggers and other online journalists in the Governor’s political activity. Haley understands the significant role bloggers play in today’s political world and wants to maximize that dynamic medium.”

– TIM PAWLENTY: Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty just added two major early-state talents to his 2012 operation, signing former Mike Huckabee adviser Eric Woolson to his effort in Iowa and bringing former Mitt Romney strategist Rich Killion on board in New Hampshire. Real Clear Politics reported the Killion news: “The Concord strategist is regarded by his peers in New Hampshire as one of the top three GOP strategists in the state – if not the best.” And the Washington Post had the Woolson hire first: “Woolson was at the center of Huckabee’s stunning victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses … Woolson’s hire is also a sign of Pawlenty’s big bet on Iowa.”

– JON HUNTSMAN: Horizon PAC, the would-be vehicle for Huntsman’s presidential ambitions, has enlisted several well-connected former McCain backers in New Hampshire to help prepare for 2012. NH Journal’s Amelia Chasse: “Horizon PAC … recently announced Peter Spaulding as its top New Hampshire advisor … NH Journal has learned that another Commissioner is also helping lead the charge for Huntsman in New Hampshire – former State Commissioner of Employment Security Richard Brothers … Bill Grimm of Franklin, has also joined the Huntsman team and will help recruit veterans for Jon Huntsman.”
– RICK SANTORUM: The former Pennsylvania senator has bulked up his New Hampshire advisory committee with several new members, including former Union Leader editorial page director Jim Finnegan. John DiStaso has more: “Conservatives Jim Finnegan, Elaine Kindler and Sue Carroll ‘have come on board to help inform Senator Santorum and America’s Foundation about the concerns and issues important to New Hampshire families,’ according to an announcement to be made public on Thursday. Finnegan … was well-known for his directly, sometimes scathing, commentaries on a wide range of state and national issues.”

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Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin Speculates on Meaning of Pawlenty’s “Staffing Up” in 2012 Presidential Race

March 10, 2011

In her “Right Turn” blog, the Post’s Jennifer Rubin speculates on the impact of former 2008 Huckabee Iowa campaign manager Eric Woolson means in the 2012 GOP presidential contest. For the full story, click this link.