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Fronnie Lewis - Editor

Archive | January, 2009

Singer Jennifer Hudson to perform publicly for first time since family tragedy

Academy Award winning actress/singer Jennifer Hudson will step back into the public eye in a big way tomorrow when she sings “The Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. Hudson’s performance of the national anthem at Sunday’s match-up between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be her first since the murders of her mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew last October.  Hudson’s ex-brother-in-law, William Balfour, entered not guilty pleas to first degree murder and home invasion charges earlier this week, in connection with the... Read More →

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Super Bowl MVP life story bought by Hollywood

  No matter who wins the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Steelers or the Cardinals, it will probably be a super weekend for former NFL star quarterback Jim Plunkett. A movie deal, which involves the life rights for Plunkett’s story, was announced in Variety today.  Plunkett, who is Mexican-American,  was raised by blind parents who struggled to make a living in San Jose, California. Plunkett went on to become a star quarterback at Stanford University. Plunkett won the Heisman Trophy and led Stanford to a 27-17 victory over Ohio State in the 1971 Rose Bowl. ... Read More →

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Day Nine: President Obama signs groundbreaking equal pay bill

Photo from www.whitehouse.gov   Today, less than two weeks into his administration President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law and it’s a groundbreaker. President Obama put his signature on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2009. Among the supporters at the signing ceremony, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Lilly Ledbetter. Ledbetter worked 19 years in a Goodyear tire plant. In 1998, Ledbetter sued Goodyear for pay discrimination. In May 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against her saying she had failed to file... Read More →

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SAG and big studio representatives to meet next week

Representatives for the big Hollywood studios and the Screen Actors Guild announced jointly tonight that they will meet face to face next week. The statement below appears on both the SAG and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers websites.  Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will meet February 3 and 4, at the AMPTP offices in Sherman Oaks, Calif. We will have no further comment about the meeting. 

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Day Eight:President Obama’s $819 Billion stimulus plan clears first major hurdle

 Late today, the House of Representatives passed President Barack Obama’s $819 billion economic stimulus plan aimed at creating jobs and providing tax cuts to individuals and businesses. The vote was 244-to-188. Despite the president’s efforts over the past few days to rally support among Republicans, not one voted for the plan. Only 18 Democrats voted against it. The president is trying to drum up support for his stimulus plan in the private sector as well. This morning at the White House, Obama met with executives from corporations like IBM, Jet Blue,... Read More →

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Screen Actors Guild drama continues

More drama today for Hollywood’s largest actors union. The President of the Screen Actors Guild, Alan Rosenberg, sent out an e-mail to the membership late yesterday blasting the National Board of Directors for its firing of Doug Allen on Monday. Allen, the union’s National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, was ousted by the Guild’s National Board of Directors on Monday. Rosenberg praised Allen’s work for the union: “Doug gave us the courage to accept the fact that we had a legal right to pursue an agreement that addressed the... Read More →

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Distraught Wilmington man reportedly killed self & his family

 A man distraught over the loss of his job reportedly shot to death his wife and five children, before killing himself in their Wilmington home today. Wilmington is a Los Angeles suburb. The man has been identified as Ervin Lupoe who was apparently terminated from his job at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in West Los Angeles last week. Lupoe’s wife, Ana, had been fired from her position at the same Kaiser facility recently as well. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has not identified the children who are said to be between 2-and-8; including two sets... Read More →

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Big shake-up in the Screen Actors Guild

For weeks now the rumors have been flying about the ouster of the National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the Screen Actors Guild, Doug Allen. Despite all the denials, there was something in these rumors that suggested Allen’s days were numbered. And so it is, Allen is no longer working for SAG today, after being given his walking papers by the Guild’s National Board of Directors yesterday. Before I go on, a reminder of the really bad timing of this action. SAG is in the middle of bitter contract negotiations with the big studios... Read More →

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A huge demand for Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat

FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove Legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin belted out “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the swearing-in ceremony for President Barack Obama, last Tuesday January 20. Franklin is known for her over-the-top outfits that some feel are not always, ah, flattering. Well, the “Queen of Soul’s” inauguration outfit won her a multitude of praise, especially, that fabulous hat. I loved it! There are media reports, from People Magazine to the Wall Street Journal,  about that striking wool felt chapeau with the over-sized rhinestone bordered bow. The Detroit designer... Read More →

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Meryl Streep & Sean Penn big winners at SAG Awards

Meryl Streep and Sean Penn took the top honors at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony last night at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles; giving them added heat in the race for Oscar. Streep was both thrilled and surprised to win the best actress in a Motion Picture statuette:”Even though awards mean nothing to me anymore,” she said, “I’m really happy.” Streep won for her role as nun in the film, “Doubt.” Sean Penn won the best actor in a motion picture trophy for... Read More →

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Comedy is still king at the Box Office

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop” is number one for a second straight week at the Box Office. The slapstick comedy about a  security guard who has to face down a bunch of bad guys in a New Jersey mall earned an estimated $21.5 million at theaters across the nation. That brings its two week total to just under $65 million. Close behind in second place is the new vampire-werewolf film, “Underground: Rise of the Lycans,” which rang up around $20.7 million. This the third film in the Underground franchise.... Read More →

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A First Lady with a unique style

FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove Michelle Obama turned heads at the inauguration ceremony on January 20, 2009.   The new First Lady, Michelle Obama, really showcased her modern sophisticated style during inauguration week. Mrs. Obama got high marks from many fashion observers including Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, in an article on the high fashion magazine’s website.   I’m not an expert, but I thought Michelle was “styling” all week long. My favorite outfit, that striking yellow Isabel Toledo dress and matching coat. The new First Lady sparkled at the swearing-in ceremony. “Yellow is the color of optimism and confidence and hope... Read More →

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Day Four:President Obama first weekly address touts his economic recovery plan

Photo from www.whitehouse.gov   In his first radio and Internet weekly address, President Barack Obama today called for bold and swift action to shore-up our shaky economy. The president is pushing for the passage of his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan by Congress, which he said will “jumpstart” the economy. “It’s a plan that will save or create three to four million jobs over the next few years, and one that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment – the fact that there are... Read More →

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Hollywood buys another bestseller for the big screen

   A film version of the bestselling novel “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” is coming to a theater near you in the not too distant future. Earlier this week, Universal Pictures bought the rights to the David Wroblewski novel – his first. “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” reportedly has spent  at least 30 weeks on the bestseller lists since being released last September. It was selected for Oprah’s Book Club. Also, Oprah’s Harpo Films will be producing the movie adaptation of the novel along with actor Tom Hanks’... Read More →

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An extortion plot against John Travolta under investigation

File photo of John Travolta and son Jett   Today in the Bahamas two men are reportedly being held in connection with an alleged plot to extort money from actor John Travolta, according to a police official there. The alleged plot involved the recent death of Travolta’s and actress Kelly Preston’s 16-year-old son Jett, who was found unconscious in the family vacation home in the Bahamas on January 2, 2009. Jett was pronounced death at a hospital shortly after being discovered in a bathroom of the home.... Read More →

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Defense presents its case in Phil Spector retrial

Google file image   Today the defense takes center stage in the second murder trial of legendary music producer, Phil Spector. The trial has been trudging along quietly for several weeks in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. The  prosecution has been laying out its case with detailed forensics and testimony from experts and witnesses. Yesterday the prosecution’s final witness, the mother of Lana Clarkson, took the stand. Donna Clarkson insisted her daughter had future plans and job prospects and was not suicidal. On February 3, 2003 Clarkson, a “B movie” actress, was found with a fatal gun shot wound... Read More →

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Day Two: President Obama signs more important executive orders

President Barack Obama delivered on more campaign promises today. At the White House, the president signed three executive orders: one to close the controversial U.S. run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and two others banning torture and setting up a task force to oversee these changes. These swift decisions are a clear break with the Bush administration and send a message to the world. President Obama says: “This is following through not just on a commitment I made during the campaign but an understanding that dates back to our Founding Fathers, that we are willing... Read More →

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13 Oscar nominations for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Movie inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story.   Voters for the 81st Annual Academy Awards were apparently dazzled by the journey of a man who ages backward in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” When the Oscar nominations for 2008 were announced bright and early in Beverly Hills today, this film was mentioned 13 times — more than any other. For some 13 is an unlucky number; not in this case. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” is inspired by a short story written in the 1920s by one... Read More →

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Obama Oath

A do-over on the oath of office for President Obama

Today Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to President Obama for a second time.   Millions of people on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across the country, and around the world cheered after the swearing-in yesterday of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. It probably did not matter to most of them that the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court flubbed the 35-word oath. Chief Justice Roberts misplaced the word, “faithfully” and then at another point, omitted the word “execute.” That explains... Read More →

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Writing query letters that get noticed by agents

  Two agent/bloggers are showcasing query letters from authors that grabbed their attention. The authors who wrote these knockout queries got requests for their manuscripts and later representation. Last Friday Kristin Nelson, on her Pub Rant blog, discussed one of her client’s boffo queries.  Also, over at the BookEnds, LLC – A Literary Agency blog, Jessica Faust is posting a series of successful author query letters. Faust not only points out what works in these queries, but also what she thinks would improve and make them even better. Very helpful posts for authors serious about hooking up... Read More →

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President Obama gets down to business

  President Obama meets with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office.   The parties and celebrations of the historic inauguration of the 44th president are over. (Technical problems on my site blocked me from blogging yesterday. Some of the glitches are still being worked out.)  Meanwhile today, President Barack Obama got down to the business of running the country and dealing with its myriad of problems. President Obama’s first full day on the job got off to a fast start with the signing of several executive orders... Read More →

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On MLK Day Obama calls for service and commitment to others

As part of his activities on this Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, President-elect Barack Obama today visited  a shelter for homeless and runaway teens in Washington, D.C.  A renovation project was underway, so the future president picked up a roller brush and helped paint.   “Today, we celebrate the life of a preacher who, more than 45 years ago, stood on our National Mall in the shadow of Lincoln and shared his dream for our nation. His was a vision that all Americans might share the freedom to make of... Read More →

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