Portland Timbers Thrash New MLS Team at Opening Home Game

Portland Timbers Match Photo by:Ryan Harvey

The Portland Timbers had their 2017 MLS opening match against a new expansion team, Minnesota United last Friday evening. Playing in a sold out stadium with 21,144 fans at Providence Park, the Timbers made sure they gave their fans a match worth celebrating.

Within the first 14 minutes, Lawrence Olum scored after getting the ball from Andriuškevičius Vytas, who headed the ball into the box from a free kick off of Valeri. “Olum stuck his foot out and watched as his shot floated up and over Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage before dropping into the net to give Portland a 1-0 lead.”

Although Olum had the first goal of the night he was not the only one to score for the Timbers. Play-maker Diego Valeri and forward Fanendo Adi both had two goals each in the second half of the game to ultimately beat the Minnesota Loons 5-1.

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What is particularly exciting is that the Timbers seem to have a very balanced and exciting attack this year as the goals scored were from a variety of players. Besides the players who did score goals, there were many assists from Valeri, Vytas, Sebastian Blanco and Darlington Nagbe.

Caleb Porter, the Timbers coach, was very pleased with how his team was performing performing. “It’s good to get [goals and assists] from different guys…We’re still going to always get probably the lion’s share from Adi and Valeri, but we need more goals and assists from the wingers and we’re getting those assists.” With the team picking up some new players this year like Blanco, Juan Guzman, Olum and Chance Meyers, the attack is starting off stronger than before.

Although Minnesota saw small numbers in terms of goals, they did manage to pick up their first goal in the Loon’s history in the 79 minute of the game from forward Christian Ramirez.

Porter originally didn’t feel bullet proof with his team going into half time when he mentioned “I do think it was a closer game than 5-1…That’s what I said to the guys, we have to, at 2-0, go for the jugular and make it three and put the game away.”

The boys heard Porter loud and clear and put away three more goals in the second half. “This group, when they want to score and they want to play aggressive, they’re scary,” Porter said.

As someone who was at the season opening game, I am very excited to see how the rest of the Timbers’ season will play out.

 

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The Oscars Big Mixup

If you tuned into the ABC channel to watch the Oscars on Sunday, February 26, then you have already heard about the mix-up that happened during during best picture. According to several articles regarding the matter including The Hollywood Reporter, a starstruck accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers handed out the wrong envelope to Warren Beatty backstage right before he announced best picture in front of the Oscars audience.

Beatty opened the envelope and paused before reading it, as he sensed something was wrong. Apparently, he was accidentally given an extra copy of Emma Stone’s best actress card by the chairman, Brian Cullinan, of PwC. Minutes before he gave Beatty the wrong card, Cullinan was caught tweeting a photo of Emma Stone backstage directly after she won best actress.

Questions arise as to why no one stepped in immediately after the wrong card was read to correct the mistake. Only after 2 minutes and 25 seconds for Horowitz to correctly state that Moonlight was the actual winner, not La La Land.

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As stage managers, producers and other backstage producer’s were informed of the mishap, Gary Natoli rushed to the stage along with host Jimmy Kimmel. As the La La Land team was informed that they in fact did not win, producer Fred Burger shared some kind words about the Moonlight cast and crew as he handed over the Oscar.

Three hours after the Oscars concluded, PwC issued an apology statement to both Moonlight and La La Land, Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Oscar viewers for the mistake made. The apology then goes on to mention it is investigating how that could’ve happened and that it “appreciate[s] the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.”

That following Monday, PwC issued a second apology, or “revised apology,” in which it singled Cullinan for tweeting during the event and for handing Beatty the wrong envelope.

It is unfortunate that Moonlight must share its memory of winning the Oscar for best picture with an overarching mishap such as the mix-up with La La Land. However, it cannot take away from the hard work and great achievement that goes into winning an Oscar, which Moonlight will forever have.

Planet Earth II Captures Rare Footage of Elusive Endangered Species for the First Time

After the The BBC America documented series, Planet Earth II, recently aired in the United States a few weeks ago, it has been the first ever to document more than one snow leopard in their natural habitat at one time. As they reside in extremely cold mountainous terrains, snow leopards are notoriously next-to-impossible to capture on film.

This species of cat is estimated to only have around 3,500 left on our planet, which makes capturing them on camera that much more incredible. Only after consulting with locals in Ladakh (where the footage was captured) who were experts in tracking snow leopards was the crew able to finally catch some footage. On top of that, the crew had to spend 16 weeks in the India location, where they hiked the Himalayas to place cameras that were left there for four months at a time and up to 16,400 feet in elevation.

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Photo by: Eric Kilby

With the show’s new technology such as its  high-tech “camera traps,” the crew was able to leave the devices in place for longer periods of time and operate them more remotely. With this historic footage comes awareness about the endangered species. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, snow leopards have been endangered since 2003.

 

The World Wildlife Fund’s UK Snow Leopard program, lead by Rebecca May, gives us some insight on the snow leopard’s declining population. “Living in an incredibly harsh landscape these hardy cats are , human wildlife conflict and loss of living space.” While the program is thrilled to see footage like this, they hope it helps spread the word about the species’ threats.

Planet Earth II is known around the world for it’s amazing documentaries and incredible footage of animals. The series is driven by its passion to educate the world on animals and endangered species in hopes to raise awareness.

The new series talks about global warming and the effects it has on our planet and the ecosystems that inhabit it. With many new regulations surrounding the EPA and other Administrative restrictions regarding access to global warming information, the documentary is a great way to keep the conversation alive and keep awareness around this very real threat to animals such as the snow leopard.

Take a look at the Planet Earth II video here:

Four Helpful Tips for Creating an Infographic

With social media being such a large part of our culture, society has adopted shorter attention spans and a larger appeal for visual content. Because of this, infographics have become a great way to visually share a message that easily adapts across different online platforms.

While a good infographic should be easy to read and understand, they can be hard to master. Lots of elements need to come together for it to have the potential of circulating and driving traffic to a website.

Luckily, I am here to give you some helpful tips so that you can create a successful infographic!

1.) Have an Attention-Grabbing Headline

The headline is the first thing your viewers will read. If it is not catchy and attention-grabbing, your infographic will be passed up. Good headlines describe the infographic, grab the user’s attention and are short enough to understand at a glance.

2.) Have an Idea and Turn it into a Story

The way to come up with a successful infographic idea is to first figure out what your target audience responds to. Then, create important elements in your infographic by having a cohesive story in which you tell your information. Think about what the main idea is that you are trying to get across and connect the dots to share your story.

3.) Focus on Data

The data you use in your infographic should be relevant and from reputable sources. It is always smart to check your facts – if the data you use is unreliable, so is your infographic. On top of that, only use data that adds to your story and is relevant to the message you are trying to get across. Never forget to credit the sources you use!

4.) Have a Clear and Easy-to-Read Design

new-piktochart_20619808_d76a8453e38fe43af74c8b0e56d72f4edd17b58aUse a limited and cohesive color palette so the design is visually pleasing, add pops of color and bold fonts to make important information pop! White space is very important in infographics. It helps balance the visual elements and guides the reader through your story and data. Also, stick to a limited range of fonts and graphics, this will make the infographic have better flow and keep the story cohesive.

There you have it! While starting an infographic can be intimidating, they are totally doable. As long as you keep these tips in mind, your infographic will be top-notch!

 

 

Animal Adventure Park: “Giraffe Cam” Brings all Kinds of Attention

Last week, the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York set up a “giraffe cam” as its 15-year-old April is getting ready to go into labor. As this is an exciting event for any zoo to have, the park tried to live stream the video of April on YouTube. However, the video was quick to be removed as people reported the content was explicit and contained nudity – the owner, Jordan Patch blamed “a handful of extremists and animal rights activists for interrupting the stream from the ‘giraffe cam’.” Later that Thursday, the live stream was able to resume on YouTube.

According to Patch the animal rights activists failed in their attempts to shut the live stream down when he mentioned “Their efforts have created a media blitz we could not have even anticipated, my day has been spent on the phone non-stop giving interviews around the country and it’s gaining more popularity. I hate to say it, but mission failed.”

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Photo taken from Animal Adventure Park’s Facebook

Babies are always a great way to attract the public to zoo’s and animal parks! Especially with the controversy over the live video stream on youTube, the story of April and her baby have blown up even more and attracted a bigger audience. After looking on the animal park’s Facebook page, it is doing a great job of informing and keeping the viewers updated with videos, pictures, labor status and live streams.

Some problems the park has been running into are false accounts posting videos of April “already giving birth” and people setting up false donation pages. While there isn’t a lot Patch can do to control others, he is being proactive by putting the word out there in interviews and on the Facebook page that there is false accounts and media circulating. He also is providing the right links and accounts on the Facebook page to direct people to the right places for information.

This live stream event also brings attention and awareness around the world about giraffes and their status in the wild.  “With appreciation, understanding we get conservation so in our eyes, it’s a win-win for the species.”

 

Grreat Choice by PetSmart for Recalling Potentially Hazardous Product

PetSmart recently issued a voluntary recall for a type of its Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food as it had a potential chocking hazard in one of its lots. After receiving notification from its manufacturer of consumer complaints, the store decided to recall the product because of metal contamination.

According to DogFoodAdvisor, the Grreat Choice Adult Dog Food being revoked includes the 13.2 0z. can of Chicken & Rice Classic Ground that was sold between the dates of October 10, 2016 and February 7, 2017. According to PetSmart, none of the other products under this brand are affected by the recall and there are no reports of illness or injury concerning the product.

Image result for Grreat Choice Chicken and RicePetSmart encouraged it’s customers to “Please stop feeding this product to your pet and bring any remaining cans affected by this recall to your nearest PetSmart for a full refund.” The company then recommends the other varieties of Grreat Choice dog food as an alternative option until the specific product is available once again.

While this is surely an unfortunate thing for a store to do, PetSmart did the right thing! By voluntarily recalling the product, PetSmart is recognizing there is an issue and is attempting to minimize any harm to families and pets. As there are no reports of illness or injury regarding the product that has been reported, it shows the customers that PetSmart really cares and has their best interest in mind.

PetSmart also is giving the customers refunds if they bring back the cans or allowing them to switch it for another Grreat Choice product that isn’t under recall. Another initiative proving to the shoppers that it is loyal to it’s customers.

Seeing as I have a dog at home and my parents have bought this brand of dog food, it makes me happy knowing the company wants to keep my pet safe and out of harms way.

Be My Fluffy Valentine:Willamette Humane Society Does Free Adoption

 

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, an article appeared titled “NO-fee adoptions at Willamette Humane Society for Valentine’s Day weekend.” Being someone from a family who has adopted all of our pets from animal shelters, this immediately caught my attention so I had to click on it!

As you can tell from the name of the article, the Willamette Humane Society is having a special event the weekend of the 11 and 12, right before Valentine’s Day. Since the day is all about spreading the love, the Willamette Human Society took it as an opportunity to help give the public a little extra push to bring home an animal and “welcome a new family member into your heart just in time for Valentines Day.”

With the event being called “Full Hearts, Empty Kennels,” the shelter does a good job trying to pull at people’s heart strings to get their attention and by waiving adoption fees it hopes people will be more willing to take home an animal. This is probably encouraging a lot of traffic to the human society’s website which should result in at least some successful marketing for the shelter! However, if you are looking at the website for an animal don’t bank on reserving a pet, you’ll have to get their early if you have your eye on one!

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Taken from the Willamette Humane Society’s Facebook

In addition to the free adoptions, the Willamette Humane Society will also be hosting free workshops, will be handing out treat samples (for the animals) and will have a raffle including prizes for any pet owner supporting the event! While the main goal here is to get as many dogs and cats adopted as possible, the shelter also is trying to raise as much awareness as they can about animals shelters in general and about adoption options for people in the Keizer-Salem communities.

 This event is definitely a “feel-good” story and will hopefully get people excited about supporting cute dogs and cats that need homes. The shelter did a good job getting its name out there as I have seen many people “share” it on Facebook and the story was covered by the local news Katu2’s website! It also did a great job of tying the event to a holiday everyone in Oregon knows about, especially a day meant for love and giving. Hopefully the event is successful in adopting out animals and brings more awareness to their shelter!

 

 

SeaWorld Makes a Splash With its Commitments to Killer Whales

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(Photo: Brigitte Hiss/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

After the documentary Black Fish aired back in 2013, SeaWorld has been under heavy fire with questions and skepticism of the conditions the Killer Whales endure in captivity. Animal activist groups like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) were relentless issuing over 100 press releases following the years after the documentary exposed the treatment of the whales, which, resulted in terrible press for the corporation and public outcry against the park.

As SeaWorld aimed to recover from the controversy, it made huge leaps to fix its problems and mistakes. They have implemented new programs such as ending its killer whale breeding program, new enclosures that are more “natural,” a new partnership to protect oceans and marine mammals, and its “You Ask. We Answer.” website. Let’s look more at SeaWorld’s “You Ask. We Answer.” website; it wanted to be completely transparent with the public and answer any and all questions people had via the @SeaWorld handle on Twitter . This transparency has seemed to work really well for SeaWorld and has allowed their experts to really share their knowledge and expertise of the staff they have and the impact of the sea animals they care for. SeaWorld has also started to turn its shows and exhibits from pure entertainment purposes into more educational shows highlighting the amazing things marine animals excel at and what it is like for them in the wild.

0703_SD_orca_squirt (1)I think SeaWorld is on a great path to recovering from 2013 and it has really built a strong CSR for itself. Nothing gains respect for an organization like being truly honest and open with its audience about both good and bad topics surrounding it. It also allows SeaWorld to build a brand voice, which, I thought was very cohesive and consistent when answering to its public. Making the choice to partner up with other conservation organizations shows SeaWorld is making an effort to relay to its audience it really wants to help the problem of mistreatment and bad practices going forward and not BE the problem anymore. Adding onto that, as you open up the home page on SeaWorld’s website, one of the first things you see is titled “Our Commitment.” The organization clearly wants to make it apparent that it is on track to helping the problem it once was a big part of.

 

Uncovering Hidden Treasures

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Photo taken from S.A.R.A,’s Treasures’ website

The topic of animal welfare seems to carry a negative connotation most of the time, however, if you sift through all of that, you may come upon some hidden treasures.When you first walk into Eugene’s own S.A.R.A.’s Treasures, you find yourself in a trendy thrift store. As you look around you would notice many cat toys and cat beds. As you further sift through the clothes and other accessories you may feel something brush against your leg. Looking down, you see a sweet little kitten face peering up at you as it lets out a “meow.” Before you start scratching your head wondering what’s happening, let me connect the dots for you.

“S.A.R.A.” in S.A.R.A.’s Treasures stands for Shelter Animal Resource Alliance: this thrift store doubles as a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing animals from shelters where they may face an unfair death like euthanasia. Through selling old and gently used items people have donated to their store, S.A.R.A.’s Treasures is able to use the proceeds to, “provide these cats and dogs with a safe and comfortable environment to live in, all necessary medical care, high-quality food and treats, and plenty of love and attention until we are able to find them their forever homes.”  While this store doubles as a sanctuary for some of the animals, S.A.R.A.’s Treasures is able to rescue, you will only find cats roaming around the store. This is because the store can’t house dogs in their store so they either transfer dogs to the Oregon Humane Society; place dogs into rescue groups where the store works with a wide variety of other rescue groups and humane societies to try to find a safe place for the dog to go while a new home is sought for him or her; or find a home for the dogs through S.A.R.A.’s Foster and Adoption Program.

Thanks to S.A.R.A.’s Treasures and everyone who donates and supports its cause, the store has rescued 960 dogs and 778 cats from being euthanized or killed! Thank you S.A.R.A.’s Treasures for giving these homeless animals a second chance at a better life!

 

The Change on Climate Change

With newly elected President Trump, comes a steep struggle for climate change efforts and organizations – like the Sierra Club – that aim to reduce our carbon footprint on the world.  According to an online article that the Sierra Club re-tweeted on their Twitter account, the Trump administration is beginning to alter EPA climate change websites. The article mentions how the Trump administration seems to be “killing off” climate change programs in a behind-the-scenes, secretive way. This is being confirmed as scientists are tracking the administration’s websites and data centers using the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI). According to a report by Climate Central, there is proof that changes have already been made on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) websites regarding climate change.

This poses a threat to the Sierra Club because their whole organization is centered around sustaining our Earth as much as possible. When changes are being made to these websites secretively, many people will be unaware and may use the information on these sites under the impression that they are credible or original content from the sources used on the websites. This also gives people false information about the urgency that climate change poses to our Earth and how we need to start implementing more sustainable uses of energy. When our nation is wrongly informed about scientific facts such as climate change, how we act, or don’t act, it has a lasting impact on the wildlife around the globe.
5According to the World Wildlife Fund, “the rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.” That means if there are roughly 2 million species on our planet (which is a low estimate of the number of species out there), then roughly 200 to 2,000 species go extinct every single year.

I don’t know about you, but it seems very unethical of our president to go behind the public eye and change information on these websites with no indication of any information being altered. As the WWF reports, “Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species – ours – appears to be almost wholly responsible.” The fate of our world and the animals that inhabit it with us are literally in each and every one of our hands. If I was a part of  the Sierra Club, I would suggest they keep posting about this controversial issue of sneaky behavior by Trump’s administration on all of their social media sites as well as their website. I also think the Sierra Club needs to organize a campaign that exposes what Trump’s administration is doing online and keeps talking about living clean to combat the issue. The Sierra Club could establish a new hashtag that follows the theme of the campaign so it can circulate around a large online audience.

 

 

 

Trump Rattles Environmental Progression

donaldtrumpWith our newly elected President, Mr.Trump, comes a lot of questions regarding what he will do to better our country. In terms of animal welfare and other regulations set to secure animal rights, a lot of people are concerned about how he will follow up Barack Obama’s road paved to protect animals.Seeing how Trump’s son has a lust for hunting exotic game and his new agriculture advisory committee has members who oppose numerous animal protection policies, it is an unsure and nerve wrecking process.

According to an article by The Washington Post, President Trump has shown his true colors towards animals through his choice of agricultural advisers. The Humane Society Legislative Fund has gone as far as to call the advisers a “rogue gallery of anti-animal welfare activists.” The Washington Post also singled out a member by the name of Forrest Lucas, a billionaire who founded Protect the Harvest, which is an organization that fights against animal rights groups “who want to end meat consumption, halt consumer access to affordable food, eliminate all hunting practices, and outlaw rodeos, circuses and pet ownership.” By founding and supporting Protect the Harvest, Lucas not only is against the fair treatment of animals, but he also doesn’t care or want the citizens of America to know how terribly the food we eat is treated  (or for that matter mistreated) before it is shipped to our stores for our consumption.

In an effort to unite the country as President, Donald Trump has potentially appointed people who are only interested in economic growth, as opposed to previous advisers who were more progressive-minded towards animal rights. By Trump appointing such partisan affiliated individuals, he is augmenting the gap between the opposing sides of animal welfare. From a public relations practitioner viewpoint, I would have advised President Trump to appoint advisers that value progressive ideologies and abridge the gap between the polarized views, especially those of animal welfare.

 

 

 

 

 

Questioning what “A Dog’s Purpose” really is During the Filming of Movies

After watching the trailer for the new movie “A Dog’s Purpose,” you would expect animal lovers lining up to go see the film. That was until TMZ released a video online of someone on set of the movie capturing a German Shepard being physically forced into rapid water it clearly did not want to go in. This was followed by the dog being sucked underwater as crew members rushed to pull him out. The movie with a plot line based on the love between humans and their dogs was quickly turning into a hypocritical situation. The premiere for the movie even had to be cancelled last week because of so much backlash from the public and dog lovers promising to boycott the movie by not going to see it.

mv5bndq4njkxnzgzn15bml5banbnxkftztgwmjazodq4ote-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Mr. Polone, director of “A Dog’s Purpose,” responded to allegations of animal mistreatment by saying he was not present that day of shooting for the movie. However, he expressed that the dog, Hercules, had never shown signs of distress while filming prior to the controversial video’s release. Polone agrees that what is seen in the video is “inexcusable.” Following that, Polone had to respond to emails from PETA’s senior vice president Lisa Lange, who suggested he “pledge to never use live animals in films again.” Mr. Polone responded, saying that while he still plans on using live animals in future films, he wanted to put blame on Birds and Animals Unlimited, which is the company supplying the animals used in the film. “The trainer should have stopped trying to get Hercules to go in once the dog looked uncomfortable, and Hercules should never have gone underwater,” Polone stated.

As a fellow dog lover and animal enthusiast I was heart broken watching the TMZ video on Facebook. After being excited to go see a movie that is centered around the love and connection between man and his best friend, the video released online showed the exact opposite happened during filming for the movie. Mr. Polone seemed to react to allegations pretty sincerely, leaving me to believe he has the animals on set’s best interest and well being at heart. Polone continues on by expressing  “I say that we build a better method of protecting animals on sets through a better animal-protective service.” This put pressure on the American Humane Association (who were present on set to ensure the fair treatment of animals while filming) to take responsibility for what had happened. Proving their commitment to keeping the animals on set safe, A.H.A. decided to put the employee present during filming on administrative leave to ease the minds of the public with ruffled feathers.