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HomenewsHeadlinesMinn. State Rep. Lesch files motion to dismiss defamation suit brought by St. Paul city attorneyUMC hosts Women Month, distinguished speaker eventsNew diversion plan shifts more flood water into rural Fargo, decreases rural Minnesota impactsMinnesota high school teachers are having sex with older students legallyTrump will get the military parade he wanted just not the tanks

lifestyleHeadlinesNorth Dakota ranked drunkest state in America, with Minnesota not far behindBrowser Blackout BingoMarilyn Hagerty: It isn over until it overCentral Minn. She sometimes wears glasses, and tattoos cover her right hand.

She was last seen March 5 wearing a purple shirt, black leggings, knee high white socks, gold Ugg boots and a gray leather coat. She had a black and white camouflage backpack.
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PROVO, Utah Sunday brought a heartbreaking update on Elsie Mahe, the 3 year old daughter of BYU running backs coach Reno Mahe, who has been in the hospital after an accident at home.

Elsie’s mother, Sunny Mahe, posted an update on Facebook Sunday saying the family has met with medical staff to discuss organ donation. The update comes after the family requested prayers from the community to help them know the “will of the Lord” for their daughter.

“The miraculous healing we have been praying for is not FOR Elsie, but FROM Elsie. We met this morning with a representative from the hospital organ donation team and feel confident that this is the Lord’s will for Elsie to be a life saving miracle for others. It is not the miracle that we wanted, but it is the one we got. It is still a miracle.”

Mahe also said her daughter is comfortable and not in pain, and they said they are grateful for the prayers and fasting on their behalf from the community.

“My friends of all faiths, thank you for your sustaining love, support, prayers and fasts,” Mahe stated. “I believe it to be the reason I have not fallen to pieces and am able to be a strength to my family. May the Lord bless each of you for your caring and kindness to my family.”

Saturday night during BYU’s game against USU, hundreds of people in the crowd wore pink as a show of love and support for the young girl.

BYU running back Jamaal Williams gave Reno Mahe a game ball afterward,
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and he said it was an emotional experience.

“Reno and his wife, they said that they already went through their grieving stage, but, for me, I didn’t have one, and when I seen her, Reno’s wife and him, I just started crying,” Williams said.

He added: “He’s just family, you know? Reno is family, his whole family is family, so when they hurt: we hurt.”

Head Coach Kalani Sitake also spoke.

“I love seeing our players have so much charity in their hearts for others,” he said.

Earlier in the week, the BYU women’s basketball team marked their wrists with the initials EM as a show of support for Elsie Mahe.

Elsie Mahe was found tangled up in cords from a window blind in her home earlier this month. Her mother performed CPR and the girl was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital,
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where her condition has continued to decline.

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It suffered a draggy start, cursed by a Abbey drawing room dialogue and a call for everyone to go to bed. It grew better in the colorful Neverland but veered into parody with a Captain Hook by Christopher Walken that seemed like a failed Night Live sketch about Johnny Depp. The whole thing lost steam by the second hour. Was anyone still trying to save Tinkerbell with 45 minutes to go?

The show came almost a year after NBC three hour live telecast of Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood revived the idea of a broadcast network mounting a full scale musical for live TV. That attracted nearly 19 million viewers and made live theater cool again on TV.

Like that previous show, Pan Live! wisely leaned on Broadway performers, including five time Tony Award nominee Kelli O who was sadly underused. Melissa Joan Hart endless shilling for Wal Mart during the commercial breaks made more of an impact.

HBO star Allison Williams was admirable in a role made famous by Mary Martin and Cathy Rigby. Her voice wasn strong but it was true and she was game for plenty of physical effort. She radiated a weird male energy, but the telecast revealed a lot of weird stuff in the script. This wasn the Disney version of Pan and its odd, old British roots were showing.

The show also starred Jake Lucas (who was in as John Darling, a very good Taylor Louderman ( It On: The Musical as Wendy, and a beefy armed Christian Borle, a Tony winner and veteran of last year Sound of Music Live! (In a twist, Borle won his Tony playing Captain Hook in the Peter Pan play and the Starcatcher. Borle was the best thing in the three hour event, hands down (punning again, Hook).

To be sure, the new show lifted the bar technically, making Sound of Music Live! seem like summer stock in comparison.

This time, there was much more dancing, the addition of complicated flying routines, some mermaids, sword fights, digital overlays like Tinkerbell and shadows, and a live dog. Director and choreographer Rob Ashford had his work cut out for him.

But the sweeping cameras across scenic designer Derek McLane fine ship and flower treed forests often captured the actors backs or cut away awkwardly. The addition of new visual toys made the show look overstuffed and yet not at all nourishing. Producers seem to have taken to heart Peter boast: the cleverness of me! End Global/Templates/Objects/articleParagraph51_12 >

Some numbers were lovely the Memory duet between O and Louderman, the defiant Won Grow Up and the pirate dance break Tango but so many others dragged and seemed like just filler. Did we actually need that many Lost Boys scenes and pirate jigs? And why were there so many on camera moments that seemed a surprise to the actors in them?

One big change this year was the flying. It was supposed to be like Cirque du Soleil, but it came out more Turn Off the Dark. Peter flying was jerky at the beginning and not well synched with the cameras, and the group flying scenes were shaky at best. It felt like personal injury attorneys should have been waiting by the phone.

This time, there also was a little more Hollywood, with Walken being Walken oddly a veteran of acting with a missing appendage since he starred in Behanding in Spokane on Broadway and an unseen until the end but effective Minnie Driver as the narrator.

It was a more culturally sensitive Pan, with Alanna Saunders, a woman of Cherokee descent, portraying the Native American princess character Tiger Lily, and the offensive song transformed into Blood Brothers. End Global/Templates/Objects/articleParagraph51 >

If that was more authentic, the same could not be said about many of the Lost Boys, who seemed old enough to have long ago lost their wisdom teeth. Never grow up, indeed. Some were so old that two adults were needed to carry them off.

Barrie children book is enjoying a purple patch of late. Broadway, which recently had and the Starcatcher, will soon have Neverland. Plus Hugh Jackman will star next year in the film End Global/Templates/Objects/articleParagraph51 >

The character of Peter Pan will clearly survive this live event, but it remains to be seen if NBC lackluster Pan killed off the network brave experiment in live theater.
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Local fashion experts list their must haves of the season

September 09, 2010By John John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun

The fashion magazines have a considerable amount of heft to them this month. The children are off to school, and the fashionistas are flocking north to New York City for Fashion Week. The fall fashion season is officially here.

Local fashion insiders have put their wish lists together for the hottest items this autumn. We asked them to share their must have items this season. Marc by Marc Jacobs have an exceptional pair that is sure to become a favorite. Don’t let the sun fool you. Even though it’s [warm] out, it can be a little nippy at times even at night so make sure you are prepared with a wonderful orange jacket from Michael Kors.

Even if you have endless pairs of shoes, make sure you get your hands on a pair of fall color over the knee boots. Guess ‘Oriska Over the Knee Boot’ makes this look just plain sexy. Paired with any or all of the items above, these style boots will just complete your stylish fall look.”

Margaret Smith, owner Ellie Boutique in Ruxton

“Black leggings are a staple for fall, but my new favorites are the Ella Moss leggings with an equestrian quilted patch detail on the leg, which is a great twist on the legging. Team them up with the yummy Marc by Marc Jacobs charcoal grey or black cashmere pullover sweater with exposed back zip and uneven hem line, and you’ve got a great look for fall.

“Sweaters are my downfall. Velvet by Graham and Spencer has come out with the most gorgeous line of cashmere sweaters and my must have is the cocoon short sleeve cardigan with open crochet detail throughout the sweater. Layer this super soft forest gray cashmere with a simple long sleeve tee from Michael Stars, and you’re set for fall.

“I also can’t resist the UGG of Australia suede slouch boots in either chocolate brown or black since I can’t decide, I’ll get both colors. The UGG boots will look awesome with my new True Religion black rinse skinny Billy, which are now my new favorite jeans for the season. I fell in love with a Milly party dress made of luscious black satin. This Audrey Hepburn style dress with its delicate neckline and perfectly placed bow on the dress make it a must for any party this season.”

Gail Kandel, owner of Vasarri in Pikesville

“Although black and brown are basic this season, I think people are looking for color. They are excited about it. For me it has become fun on the peacoat, which has been very serious in the past. People are looking for things that are little more fun than are serious. The multicolored peacoat by Yansi Fugel works when matched with a winter lime green turtleneck, and an ombre scarf. It pops. I love the black belted coat/dress by Samuel Dong. It is just a knockout piece. It could be worn as a dress. It is tight to the body. It is totally fabulous and fun. It’s not basic. Easy packable pieces that go from day to evening and can be worn 12 months are also big. (They used to be called transitional, but now they are 12 month clothing.) Dresses remain huge. Novelty sweaters and cashmeres in every color red, teal, golden are very popular. I’ve reordered them four times.”

Masooma Z Ali, Baltimore based designer for Bella Zara

“Camel is a very important color in outerwear this fall. The shrunken double breasted Balenciaga peacoat is a stylish way to add it to your wardrobe. From the fall 2010 runway, the 3.1 Phillip Lim A line wool coat is also a chic look detailed with contrast piping and off centered exposed zipper.

“Leopard print accessories are a fall must have. Shoes, belts, and handbags in leopard print are an easy, chic way to spice up the outfit and play well with the tailored looks. Whether it is a cocktail dress or a business suit, booties play well with any outfit and are a must have for fall. You can also spice up an outfit with the Alexander Wang Constance platform bootie.””This season, the look for the ladies is wearing menswear pieces such as fitted vests, trousers, blazers and ties. I think this look is hot on women who can pull it off to perfection. Don’t forget to spice it up with a nasty pump or boot. It will set the outfit off. Maxx, AJWright. You can even shop at your local thrift stores.
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NORWALK, Conn. (WTNH) Warm temperatures have ragweeds flourishing in the wild. An ominous sign for allergy sufferers.

“This is a bad one, ” a bad fall allergy season says specialist Dr. Richard Weiss with Connecticut ENT Sinus and Allergy.

“Ragweed is continuing to grow so as long as it’s growing and those plants are getting bigger there’s going to be more pollen. the wind blows them around. People are going to get more allergy symptoms this fall.”

John says, “I feel this puffiness in my eyes and I experience fatigue. Everything is up the weeds, the tree pollen”

So he relies on allergy drops.

The customized cocktail based on his allergy testing and symptoms brings relief.

“It’s every three months,” says John, “they test you again, they up the strength on it so you’re actually building up your immune system I guess and fights off the normal allergies.”

Studies show the tailored made treatment is indeed effective.

Dr. Weiss says, “We’re seeing more and more evidence that allergy drops are as effective as shots some of the pharmaceutical companies are getting into the act they are actually coming out with different pills for different allergies.”

For patients with milder allergies, Dr. Weiss says,
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keep the A/C going and windows closed.

He explains, “People think the fall is here, and we open the windows, get that fresh air in, and that’s probably the wrong thing to do if you’re an allergic patient.”

And, if you’re doing a lot of yard work, Dr. Weiss says, “Don’t bring those boots and clothing into your home because that’s full of pollen, and mold spores, and all sorts of things that you can be allergic to so you want to leave the shoes outside,
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remove those clothes maybe in the garage.”

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Customers who buy from the sites either receive nothing, counterfeit goods, or have their credit card details stolen.In the past 12 months, complaints about fake Ugg boots have tripled and customs officers have seized more than 20,000 pairs.More than 400 of the removed sites were thought to be advertising the boots.Central e crime unit head Det Supt Charlie McMurdie said: “This is the biggest operation of its kind in the UK.They use false details or hide behind anonymous e mail addresses when signing up, and are almost impossible to trace.Nick Wenban Smith, senior counsel for Nominet, which manages more than seven million UK domain names, said the sites had effectively been frozen,
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and could not be re registered or recycled.”It’s a fantastic result for UK consumers, Nominet’s mission is to make the internet a safe and more trusted place, and the UK jurisdiction has an excellent reputation.”This is just one more example of our efforts to preserve that position,” he said.Consumer Direct, Trading Standards, the Office of Fair Trading and manufacturers also helped identify the fraudulent web sites.People who might have bought products from one of the sites are advised to contact Consumer Direct.Consumer minister Kevin Brennan said scam websites cost the economy thousands of pounds each year.”These sorts of websites prey on consumers and, as you can see from the work of the Metropolitan Police, all agencies involved are working hard to make sure this sort of con is stamped out,” he said. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.This page is best viewed in an up to date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser,
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you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

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Fake Ugg Boots are a growing problem, particularly through disreputable online retailers who are getting ever more sophisticated at counterfeiting the real thing.

Then, of course, there are other brands of Ugg style or ‘fashion’ Uggs, such as Emu or Bearpaw, who are not ‘fake’, but simply offer similar styles and lines. The name ‘Ugg’ used to be a generic term for the style of boots, before Deckers, who owns the Ugg name, took the term and turned it into a brand name. Emu boots were technically on the market before Uggs, so who is the fake? That’s a matter of personal opinion. Ironically, this year, Emu seem to be the hottest of all the brands!

The price check on a reputable online shoe shopping store (or visit the Ugg store) what the going rate is for genuine Uggs. Anything a lot less than that should set alarm bells ringing. Remember if it seems to good to be true, it usually is.

New Ugg Boots (less than 3 years old) should say ‘Made in China’. Not made in Australia suprising, huh? But Deckers who make them have been manufacturing in China for some time.

Check the sheepskin lining of the boot. It should be creamy yellow color (not off white) on the pale color boots, and if it’s a darker boot, it should match the boot color at the top, and be that cream color at the bottom. Give the lining a tug to check that it’s not just a lining it should be part of the boot outer (one piece, not two).
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Fake Ugg boots, dodgy Mulberry bags and counterfeit tracksuits this is the haul of phoney clobber unearthed at a Tyneside store.And expert analysis showed the haul had been made illegally and was being sold on the black market. Now dad of two Handa has appeared before magistrates in Newcastle where he admitted seven counts of possessing the illegal stash and was handed a fine and ordered to pay costs.Today Chairwoman of Safe Newcastle, Coun Linda Hobson, said: “Counterfeit goods pose a genuine risk to public safety, often fund criminal behaviour and reduce the income of legitimate businesses.”Our trading standards team are always on the lookout for fake goods and act on tip offs from the public so people selling counterfeit goods are always looking over their shoulder. It’s just not worth it and in this case, not only have the goods been seized but the trader in question has received a fine and costs.”I hope this acts as a deterrent to others thinking about selling fake merchandise not to do it.”Northumbria Police first contacted the council’s trading standards team on December 3 last year after fears were raised illegal clobber was being stored at Handa’s Fashion Girl store on Welbeck Road, Walker.The following day officers served a notice on the 60 year old before executing a search of the premises where they discovered five handbags, 136 tracksuits, 54 pairs of Ugg boots and four tops.When Handa, of Kenton Road, Kenton, was quizzed he admitted buying the stash but said he had been trying to bankroll his business after the recession took its toll. He said he had been made the subject of a County Court judgement for debts totalling in 2009 and was struggling to get credit for his store.And in a bid to ensure the company’s survival and to support his family he bought the clothes from Manchester in the hope of an easy sale.Victoria Oliver, defending, told magistrates: “The recession has hit Mr Handa’s clothing business hard. It’s a small shop and as a result he was unable to obtain credit because of the CCJ.”He turned unfortunately to friends in Manchester who put him in touch with a gentleman who he bought the clothes from.”He was aware they were not legitimate and they were on a sale or return basis. He was aware the goods were not of proper origin and unfortunately he kept them in his store room hoping they would keep his business afloat.”The business is an ongoing concern it’s keeping afloat but only just.”She added: “This was a foolish thing to do, to be tempted by the thought of a quick sale in the hope of supporting his family.”Handa entered guilty pleas to seven counts of possessing counterfeit goods but the court was told this was a sample and it was safe to assume the remaining goods were also fake.Magistrates heard Handa is due to undergo surgery for a curvature of the spine. Chairman of the bench Nick Girdler said it was a “serious matter” and was premeditated.
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It was another night, another city, another immersion in “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” excess on the road in America, Carson Kressley, “celebutante” proprietor. Here in Bailey/Coy Books, the literary epicenter of Seattle’s gay community, were gathered 150 fervent Kressley fans who awaited the first words out of the Fab One’s notoriously mouthy mouth.

“Are there any straight people in the audience?” asked Kressley, who was on his national book tour, as two thirds of those in the Capitol Hill crowd raised their hands. “I just love straight people!”

A broken chair, whose startled occupant was invited to share Kressley’s chair up in front of the crowd, where the two engaged in a spirited 10 minute flirtation.

A breast autographing during the book signing, after a woman in a scoop neck T shirt slithered it down to indecenct exposure after asking Kressley, “Would you mind autographing my breast?” to which the nonplussed nova replied, “Sure. Which one right or left?”

A host of cell phone users who approached the book signing table with friends on the line and asked Kressley to chat briefly with distant wireless voices, which he gladly did.

A last minute Fab One encounter with a Chihuahua named “Carson,” courtesy of the woman with the autographed breast who rushed off to her home and returned with the canine named in Kressley’s honor, which resulted in some actual celeb petting of pet with the same name.

Sudden celebrityhood often results in severe cases of ego inflation, as Wells and his staff have seen when dealing with some big names in those moments when the public persona is switched off and regular jerkdom replaces it.

The book critic had expended less thought as to what to wear on many first dates in his life than he had for this interview with the self described “Fashion Fairy Godstylist.” Finally, he settled on this Carson influenced ensemble: Levis jeans (no hated pleats!), Tony Llama cowboy boots, Brooks Brothers oxford cloth shirt in resplendent pink, Cutter Buck gray sweater vest, Brooks Brothers sport coat in Prince of Wales plaid.

“Well, look at you!” Kressley said soon after they parked themselves on the understated couch. “You look great, with that pink oxford shirt, those cowboy boots with a little East Coast detailing by the toes. And that leather watch band! And that signet ring! Very Nice!”

Kressley, as is his wont, looked nothing at all like the “simple but classic” advice he dispenses to style Neanderthal straights, both in his thorough and helpful new guidebook and on the Emmy winning TV show.

The Fab One was outfitted in massive Australian Ugg shearling boots that looked as though he expected an imminent encounter with a glacier (“Very last year,” he admitted, “but oh so comfy!”). He also sported Mahareshi fatigue pants emblazoned with Chinese dragons (“$900 in a London shop but a gift from the owner; how I love these perks!”).

Kressley topped that off with a D Squared logo T shirt underneath a royal purple Polo Ralph Lauren crew necked sweater in luxe cashmere (“the flat screen TV of yarns”). Then he completed his preppy tundra road warrior look with two dazzler accessories an antique English signet ring sporting a running fox, an homage to Kressley’s equestrian prowess, and a Cartier Santos wristwatch about the size of a Benelux country.

“My fashion advice is do as I say not do as I do,” Kressley, 35, stressed. “I want to help straight guys develop a sense of personal style. Some things I wear, I’ll admit, might not work for them. I’m interested in taking the intimidation and fear out of fashion and convincing straight men that shopping should be fun. But, please!, I don’t need everyone to look like me. Look like yourself! Although that’s not to suggest that I don’t have the best taste in the world because, of course, I do.”

And now much of the world knows that, too. In two short seasons on the once obscure Bravo network (“I thought Bravo was a non stick cooking spray,” Kressley recalled), “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” has become a national and then an international phenomenon, as the Five Fab gay experts have remade the style challenged lives and lifestyles of clueless straight guys.

Kressley is stunned there are now 98 countries in the world where their own knockoff versions of “Queer Eye” are shown, as well as 14 counties where the original American version is rebroadcast, including France, Australia, Italy and Japan, countries where the inimitable voices of Kressley, Thom Felicia, Kyan Douglas, Jai Rodriguez and Ted Allen often are assisted with subtitles.

“I kept having Japanese people point at me in airports and say, ‘Pink Savior!’ ‘Pink Savior!” Kressley related. “I couldn’t figure what was going on until it turned out that ‘Queer Eye’ is called ‘The Pink Saviors’ in Japan.”

Kressley quickly emerged as the first real star of “Queer Eye” with his over the top foppishness, his fashion outlaw persona, his luscious blond good looks, his fondness for rapid fire double and triple entendres. He was the most out there of the five unlikely stars, a child of middle America turned longtime stylist for Polo Ralph Lauren who obviously reveled in the reality TV spotlight. He was a veritable caricature of exaggerated gayness at times, but with a captivating openness and empathy that also verged into excess.

“I’m just being me; I’m just reacting to the absurdity of the situations on the show,” Kressley explained. “I don’t think there is such a thing as being too flamboyant. That’s the way I really am.”

Kressley’s clown prince persona masks a sharp intellect and a driving ambition. team in the world championships in South Africa stood him in great stead as he assumed his new role as recognized style guru for straight “make betters” on “the road to fabulosity.”

“Off the Cuff” filled with his trademark quips and sensible guidelines should only expand the Kressley franchise, as should his February film debut (“The Perfect Man”) with Hilary Duff and Heather Locklear, as should his planned book for children (“You’re Different That’s Super!”). He is not about to squander his moments in the spotlight, however long they last.

So Kressley zeroes in on the three most odious fashion faux pas of straight guys: “They are so often guilty of fashion amnesia, wearing looks from the Nixon administration. A lot of men do not know how clothes should fit; a lot of men do not want to know their correct size. They once wore shirts size 15 32 but, news flash, that’s not your size anymore, people!

“And a lot of men are not having fun with fashion. And a lot do not realize how color affects how you feel. If there’s going to be a driving rain for the next six months, it’s not going to help to only wear black. It’s time to wear a little pink.”

No fashion trend draws more Kressley disgust than the odious proliferation of pleated pants in America. The widespread perception that pleated pants disguise girth is only wishful thinking, Kressley asserts, since the pleats actually produce the Michelin Man effect, with “little arrows pointing directly at your spare tire, people!”

Kressley suggests that a man spend $5,000 a year on clothes and accessories to build “a wardrobe of classics,” although he admits that he has so long been the beneficiary of freebies and deals that “I’m spoiled; I never live in the real world.” Still, he does fill his own bulging closets from a variety of sources, including Nordstrom (“the good shoe people where I found the best flip flops ever, with little surfers on them”) to discount stores and even Goodwill, although not just any Goodwill, certainly, but those situated in wealthy enclaves.

“I go to Goodwills all the time, especially to the Goodwills in Palm Beach and Palm Springs,” Kressley said. “You need some knowledge to shop at Goodwill; you need to know fabric content since Dacron causes strokes, or that you can end up with collars the size of the Olympic Peninsula. I found these great patchwork cords in the Palm Springs Goodwill (age 57 of ‘Off the Cuff’); they were so worn in, so much better than new.”

The new season of “Queer Eye” debuts on Jan. 11, with the Fab Five escaping their regular territory of metro New York in favor of three shows filmed in Texas, including a makeover of the entire Sigma Chi fraternity house at North Texas State. Yes, Queer Eyes for frat boys in testosterone city!

Humor, outrage and empathy have made “Queer Eye” an unlikely pop culture phenom, with benefits that extend beyond celebdom for the Fab Five (three of whom are in committed relationships, leaving only Kressley and Rodriguez in free range zone). The quintet has reaped fame from cashmere, nose hair clippers and back waxing, but they are surprised by the show’s added bennies.

“The best thing about the show and something that none of us expected,” Kressley stressed, “is that it has helped 15 year olds who think they might be gay to now talk about that. The show is really about people helping people, so it has opened up that dialogue between parents and kids talking about being gay. It has promoted acceptance of gayness as a normal thing in life,
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“I don’t think people realize what an asset that is,” said Bill Coan, president of Orlando based ITEC Entertainment, which designs and builds attractions at theme parks including Universal’s. “They’ve got quite a piece of real estate, probably one of the more robust pieces of real estate on International Drive.”

Experts say it would make sense for Universal to build more hotels on that property. Executives at Comcast Corp. have said they want to nearly triple the number of Universal’s hotel rooms.

It’s uncertain whether Universal will make any moves during 2016 to make use of 450 acres that was recently purchased near the Orange County Convention Center. The land was bought by an LLC that sources say is affiliated with Universal.

Here’s a look at what we know will be opening this year:

At Epcot, a “Frozen” ride will open at the old Maelstrom site in Norway. This spring, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will open its “Rivers of Light” show and begin running sunset versions of the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. A newly themed Soarin’ at Epcot, replacing the California scenery with images from around the world, will reopen this year too.

The revamp of Disney Springs will also finish this year. A second parking garage that will hold 2,000 vehicles will open. Other debuts will include a new town center shopping area with Lilly Pulitzer, Zara, Tommy Bahama and Ugg; restaurants including STK and The Edison, and a “reimagined” Planet Hollywood with a dramatic redesign to look more like a four story astronomy observatory.

And the long awaited Flamingo Crossings development at Disney’s western gate will soon open its first two hotels. The 248 room SpringHill Suites and the 250 room TownePlace Suites will be the first of several hotels in an area aimed at budget travelers and teams competing at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Universal Orlando will open its Skull Island: Reign of Kong dark ride at Islands of Adventure this summer. Also, the resort will open its fifth hotel, Sapphire Falls, a Caribbean themed resort which will have Universal’s largest hotel swimming pool.

And this summer, SeaWorld will open Mako, Orlando’s tallest and fastest roller coaster at 200 feet and 73 mph.

The smaller Fun Spot, meanwhile, will be working on an expansion plan it just announced, including water features that will open next spring.

Theme parks will continue ramping up technology, said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of North America and Europe at accesso,
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a technology company which has its North American headquarters in Lake Mary. Accesso provides tech to many theme parks around the world.

“What we’re staying focused on is just the continued shift to mobile, whether it’s the line management options, the ticketing, and consumers’ preference for using their mobile device,” he said.

“As technology becomes more pervasive inside the experiences, were going to see a much more responsive offering for the guest,” he said.

Big issues for theme parks this year will be security and pricing, said Dennis Speigel, president of the International Theme Park Services consulting firm.

Theme parks have beefed up security over the past couple of months following high profile shooting attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. Disney and Universal have been advertising for more security officers, and keeping guests safe will continue to be a huge issue for the parks, Speigel said.

“No matter how we’ve lived before, it’s going to change and that applies to the employees of the parks, the operators, owners of the parks, the guests who come to the parks,” Speigel said.

Speigel said experts will be watching to see if Disney moves ahead with charging different prices depending on the time of the year a potential development Disney surveyed guests about last year.

“We believe dynamic pricing is coming,” Speigel said, though “it’s slower than I thought.”

Brown said “we’ll continue to see the attractions focusing on a segmented pricing strategy, promoting affordable options to drive more total visitors from the mass market alongside premium offerings” that will appeal to people “looking for higher end, highly differentiated experiences.”

Already this year, SeaWorld introduced a new price structure, It switched out a system with two different prices for online tickets, depending on the day of attendance, and replaced it with just one cost $79. Tickets at the gate still cost $99.

SeaWorld will continue to try to repair its brand,
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which has been damaged by the 2013 documentary “Blackfish.” It recently announced a turnaround plan that includes emphasizing much more its rescue efforts and other conservation related work.

SeaWorld also this year will be fighting a decision by the California Coastal Commission that says it can only expand its killer whale habitat if it agrees to stop breeding orcas.