Tottenham star Dele Alli joins other stars by splashing out £250k on Rolls Royce

first_imgDELE ALLI is the latest star name to splash out on the ultimate luxury – a limited edition Rolls Royce.Tottenham star Alli has taken delivery of his stunning Wraith motor, which is billed as the most powerful and dynamic in the history of the legendary British manufacturers.3 Dele Alli has become the latest footballer to be lured by the luxury of a Rolls Royce3 Alli splashed out £250,000 on his Rolls Royce Wraith motorThe model has a starting price of £250,000 before any bespoke work is done on interiors and fittings at the Rolls factory near Goodwood in West Sussex.And Alli looks a picture as he glides smoothly into the Tottenham training ground in North London with his new set of wheels, complete with a 6.6litre V12 engine.The England star, who bought the motor a year ago, is just the latest big-name player to decide to get behind the wheel of a brand which was the ultimate status symbol in the 1970s.Back then, George Best was the proud buyer of the iconic Silver Shadow, and England World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore cruised around in a Roller. 3 Paul Pogba loves cruising around in his Rolls Royce WraithCredit: ZenpixDele Alli shows off his progress while training after hamstring injury So too was Kevin Keegan, the European footballer of the year, while high-living former Manchester City manager Malcom Allison was another owner.There had been a period when the Rolls Royce fell out of favour with stars, who preferred big 4x4s or Aston Martins.Cristiano Ronaldo boasts a large collection including his prized top of the range Bugatti.But over the last year or so, more of the highest-profile players have decided the Roller is the way forward.At Manchester United, Paul Pogba loves nothing more than taking his personalised Wraith for a spin in and out of training.Latest Tottenham newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerAnd until recently he was joined at the club’s Aon Training Centre HQ by Romelu Lukaku in his own version of the super car.At neighbours Manchester City, Nicolas Otamendi is another who has splashed out for his black motor with pristine white leather seats.And white is the order of the day for former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge in his Rolls.last_img read more

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With no size to match Fajardo, Slaughter, TNT banks on quickness

first_imgScottie Thompson also worthy of Finals MVP, thinks Cone Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTNT apparently knows when to stay on its lane.In a PBA Philippine Cup where behemoths such as 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo and 7-footer Greg Slaughter wreak havoc, the KaTropa big men are aware where their spots are and where they can nullify the size advantage of the lumbering giants.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina NBA: Dirk Nowitzki leaning toward playing again next season View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The KaTropa has the versatile trio of Williams, Troy Rosario, and Moala Tautuaa in their big man rotation and all three are capable of playing outside the paint that usually stretches out opposing teams’ defenses.And this ability to spread the floor is the biggest edge the TNT has over Ginebra or San Miguel. “As far as trying to go pound for pound, strength for strength, inch for inch with those guys, it’s not really possible with Greg or June Mar,” said Williams, the PBA 2008 MVP. “We’ll just take advantage of our strength where we can play outside and finish strong inside.”ADVERTISEMENT Brian Heruela arrival bolsters Phoenix backcourt, defense Meralco ‘never the same’ after Almazan injury in PBA Finals LATEST STORIES TNT forward Kelly Williams knows that trying to match Fajardo and Slaughter’s strength is practically a useless endeavor, but what they can do though is blitz around their bigger opponents as they dart in and out of the shaded area.“There really is no matchup, those guys are huge, and we’ve always been undersized,” said the 6-foot-7 Williams Friday at Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in Ateneo after TNT’s practice.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“We’ll take advantage of what we have and that is our quickness and being able to work well within the system.”Unlike San Miguel and Ginebra, TNT does not have a dominating big who plays in the post. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours MOST READlast_img read more

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Grizzlies coach Bickerstaff gets $25,000 fine from NBA

first_imgJiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Bickerstaff was ejected with 7:41 remaining in the Grizzlies’ 92-88 home loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Memphis Grizzlies interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff calls to players during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)NEW YORK — Memphis Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for directing inappropriate comments toward a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner after an ejection.The NBA announced the fine on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT Clippers handle Griffin, Pistons LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold00:50Trending Articles00:412 buses bound for SEA Games opening collide in Bulacan02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

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CANTO 35th AGM being hosted in Guyana

first_imgSome 180 members and stakeholders from 30 countries, including the Caribbean, are in Guyana for the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO)’s 35th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Mini Expo which officially opened at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown.A rotary dial telephone on display3CANTO is the leading trade association of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Caribbean. One of its founding members, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) along with the Public Telecommunications Ministry and Caricom facilitated the hosting of the meeting in Guyana.Delivering the feature address, Public Telecommunications Minister, Catherine Hughes acknowledged the role that CANTO played in facilitating the process of bringing together regional telecommunications operators.Minister Hughes said many of the industries across the region that have been relied upon for many years no longer have the scope required to support national and economic requirement. Therefore, countries must diversify into other sectors that will provide opportunities for real economic transformation, and a strong digital agenda will allow for that transformation.With this in mind, the Government of Guyana, in 2015, established the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, with the aim of transforming the country’s landscape with the use of ICT.Minister Hughes highlighted some of the innovative work and imagination she observed over the last three years, especially by the youths using robotics applications.“We continue to work assiduously to ensure that the potential of these bright minds is realised. Critical to the success, to this endeavour, however, is the creation of an enabling environment to foster their growth and evolution. There is a need to move ideas, not only in Guyana but the entire Region, from beyond mere concepts and from thought to completion and that must include more finance to facilitate more start-ups,” she is quoted by the Department of Public Information (DPI) as saying.This is the role, Minister Hughes said, that the Ministry has assumed as part of their mandate to develop an enabling environment for the increased use of ICT across all sectors within Guyana over the last three years.GTT’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Justin Nedd said that the telephone company, over the past 28 years, has played its role in bringing the Guyanese population into the digital age. To date, GTT has delivered 140,000 landlines and 300,000 mobile connections.According to Nedd, the role of GTT is not done and anticipates continued work with CANTO to move the region forward.Outgoing Chairman of CANTO, Julian Wilkins provided an overview of some of the achievements over the past three years, with one of its main focus on partnerships and inclusivity.“CANTO is very keen on all stakeholders within the ICT environment, our mission has evolved over the years by promoting inclusiveness, that is, embracing all ICT members. We advocated on key issues of the day more often than we did in the past and we strive to create an environment that encourages investments and innovation.”General Secretary of CANTO, Teresa Wankin said that it is only appropriate that CANTO begins 2019 by hosting its meeting with one of its founding members, GTT, in a country rich with an abundance of natural resources.Some of the technological advancements in Guyana was on display by GTT and its partner, Intellect.CANTO was founded in 1985 and has grown to have over 130 members and its presence in more than 35 countries. Its last AGM was held in Trinidad and Tobago in January 2018.The four-day event is being held under the theme “Transitioning to a digital region. The opportunities and the challenges”. The next four days will see presentations and workshops regarding the current state, growth and development of ICT.last_img read more

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Senator Neufeld to push for more offshore drilling

first_imgOne of BC’s new Senators says he may use his time in Ottawa, to push for offshore oil and gas drilling, on the Northern BC coast.Richard Neufeld says he knows some people think the risks are too great but all options must be explored, considering the world’s energy needs.There’s been a federal moratorium on the offshore drilling since 1972 but, the out-going BC Energy Minister says the oil and gas under the sea floor present a huge economic opportunity.The Peace River North MLA also admits, he had approached Prime Minister Harper about senate membership prior to being named as one of 18 appointees yesterday.He says he welcomes the opportunity to do what he’s always tried to do as a political representative of this area…. [asset|aid=749|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=84bba58f0ea01d3dd34b293cef238961-Senator Slick-2_2_Pub.mp3] Two other British Columbians were on the Prime Minister’s appointment list…former Olympic skier, Nancy Greene-Raine and Yonah Martin, the co-founder of a Korean Community Group and, an unsuccessful Tory election candidate.- Advertisement –last_img read more

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Hooters set for Israel, but will it be kosher?

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! ATLANTA – Hooters, the restaurant chain known for its tasty wings and scantily clad servers, is heading to Israel. Atlanta-based Hooters of America Inc. said it has reached a franchise deal with Ilana and Ofer Ahiraz to open the first Hooters restaurant this year in Israel. The first location will be in Tel Aviv, Hooters spokesman Mike McNeil said Tuesday. The franchisees are from Israel. Eventually, other parts of the country might be considered for locations, McNeil said. “For the most part, it will be identical to what you’re going to see in the United States – the same uniform for the girls, chicken wings and burgers,” he said. He said he wasn’t sure whether kosher fare would be offered, but he said Hooters would be open to the idea if that was requested. There might be some variations in the menu based on food availability and local tastes, McNeil said. Asked about any religious concerns about Hooters opening in Israel, McNeil said, “We’re not aware of any concerns at this point.” There are more than 430 Hooters Restaurants in the United States and 23 other countries, including China, Australia, Switzerland and Brazil. Hooters, a privately held company started in 1983, is known for its spicy chicken wings and the women who serve them, which the chain refers to as “Hooters Girls.” Besides their revealing attire of low-cut, tight tank tops and short orange shorts circa the 1980s, the waitresses are known for their playful banter and friendly smiles.last_img read more

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Wenger confident Wilshere will sign new Arsenal deal

first_img“I cannot give you any news,” Wenger said at his pre-match press conference. “I don’t know really what is in his mind.“He has not signed, he has an offer and we want him to stay. The offer is a long-term contract and I hope at some stage he will sign it. I am always confident.“As a club you want the players to stay and be paid well and I think everyone would agree we pay our players very well.”Wenger has also played down speculation over his future at the Emirates Stadium amid reports linking Patrick Vieira with the manager’s job.Former Gunners midfielder Vieira is currently in charge at New York City in Major League Soccer.“My personal situation is not so much my worry at the moment,” said Wenger. “My worry is to transform the season into a success.”When asked if he will make his own mind up on his future, Wenger added: “That doesn’t really matter.”Wenger also revealed Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid next week.Mkhitaryan was expected to be out for a while with a knee injury but Wenger said the midfielder was on the road to recovery.“Mkhitaryan is running again, he has to progress in the next three or four days,” said Wenger. “Possibly (fit for) Thursday, that is the earliest.”Arsenal, who are 14 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League, face West Ham at home on Sunday.Wenger added: “For us it (the Europa League) is the biggest priority now. This weekend is preparation for Thursday. I rested most players after the (CSKA) Moscow game and they will need a game.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has yet to sign a new deal at the club© AFP/File MARCO BERTORELLOLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 19 – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said Thursday he is “confident” midfielder Jack Wilshere will sign a new contract at the Premier League club despite a delay in putting pen to paper.Wilshere’s current deal runs out in the summer and, despite an offer being on the table, the 26-year-old is yet to agree terms.last_img read more

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W. Cup exit ‘the saddest moment of my career’ – Neymar

first_imgBrazil were left stunned in Friday night’s match in Kazan, finding themselves 2-0 down at half-time and unable to rescue the game in the second half, despite substitute Renato Augusto getting a goal back late on.The disappointment follows Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 loss against Germany in the semi-finals four years ago, when they hosted the tournament.They played that match without Neymar, who had been stretchered off in the quarter-final win over Colombia with a fractured vertebrae.He came to Russia having only just returned from an operation on a fractured bone in his foot in early March.“It is difficult to find the strength to want to go back out and play football, but I am certain that God will give me sufficient strength to face up to anything,” Neymar added.“Very happy to be part of this team, I am proud of everyone. They interrupted our dream but they have not taken it from our heads or our hearts.”The forward, who became the world’s most expensive player when he left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain last year for 222 million euros ($264 million), will be 30 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.Brazil have now been knocked out in the quarter-finals at three of the last four tournaments since winning the World Cup for the fifth time, in Japan in 2002.The Brazil squad were due to leave Russian soil on Saturday afternoon on a flight to Madrid, before carrying on to Rio de Janeiro, where they are due to arrive in the early hours of Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Neymar leaves the Brazil team hotel in Kazan on Saturday in the wake of their World Cup exit at the hands of Belgium © AFP / Benjamin CREMELSOCHI, Russian Federation, Jul 7 – Neymar has expressed his anguish after Brazil were knocked out of the World Cup on Friday, losing 2-1 to Belgium in the quarter-finals in Russia.“I can say it is the saddest moment of my career, the pain is great because we knew we could get there, we know we had a chance to go far, to make history… But it wasn’t to be this time,” he wrote in an Instagram post.last_img read more

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Come in, enjoy ‘dental spa’

first_imgFor well-heeled patients sick of the sterile setting of a dentist’s office, sounds of a soft, airy flute and the gentle scent of candles have replaced the grind of a drill and the acrid stench of ground-up teeth. What? Enjoy the dentist’s office? Such is the hope of a growing number of dentists who are turning their practices into “dental spas” that offer such perks as fresh-baked cookies and overstuffed couches, and such services as body waxing, facials, massage and pedicures. About 5 percent of the American Dental Association’s members have declared their offices “spas.” And their new services may open the door to more elective cosmetic dentistry an additional revenue source for an industry that historically has been restricted by what patients’ insurance will cover. “Instead of constantly thinking What are you going to do to me next?’ they’re getting a foot massage and getting their nails done,” said Dr. Eddie Siman, a dentist who relocated his practice from Beverly Hills to Sherman Oaks six years ago and bought into the spa movement wholeheartedly. “Why not get the work done and get pampered? Or you could go to an old, smelly dental office and have a miserable experience.” Patients don’t sit in examination rooms; they relax in studios. “We’re creating art in there,” Siman purrs in his smooth, polished voice against a background of scented candles and soothing, piped-in music. As they recline with lights dimmed, patients can cue up favorite songs on iPods or watch movies. If they’d like, Siman gives them a sleeping pill to let them slumber through their procedures. He says his prices are “competitive, not more than anyone else,” with a cleaning ringing up a $90 bill. In practice for 18 years, Siman says business has gone up as much as 25 percent since he waded into the spa world. Keying into the trend on the East Coast, Deann Romanick sips green tea and takes in the scent of lavender and the sounds of new-age music. She gets a free paraffin hand wax treatment, blankets, a warm neck pad and video eyeglasses in which she can watch “Seinfeld” episodes while the dentist works on her teeth. The pampering eased her through a root canal and a tooth replacement, and now, with her fear of dental work gone, she has moved on to more elective procedures. Romanick, 34, a graduate student from Germantown, Md., spent $399 for teeth whitening and next plans to straighten her teeth with removable plastic braces, which can cost up to $3,500. “I was totally afraid of the dentist,” she said. “Now I go to the dentist every six months and I just can’t wait.” For dentists, the changes can mean that patients see office visits as more routine. “Going to the dentist shouldn’t be this bad thing,” said Dr. Kimberly Baer, who did Romanick’s dental work. “It should be like going to get your hair done.” Baer opened the Bethesda Dental Spa in North Bethesda, Md., two years ago, installing hardwood floors and waterfalls and decorating in muted lavenders and greens. All patients receive hand waxes before their appointments. For additional fees, they can get follow-up pain treatment from an acupuncturist, and eyebrow waxes from a staff aesthetician. This summer, the office plans to add free 15-minute facials and massages. “I view it as a marketing expense,” Baer said. “It’s what makes other people go back to their office and talk about their dental appointment.” The strategy has paid off. Baer says the spa receives about 45 new patients a month, with many of them willing to go beyond traditional dentistry and spend $400 to $16,000 out of pocket for various procedures, such as whitening teeth or attaching porcelain veneers. Sales at the office doubled in the past year, to $1.5 million, she said. The spa services go hand in hand with the growth of cosmetic dentistry. Dentists surveyed last year by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry reported that the aesthetic procedures in their offices rose by 12.5 percent, on average, in the past five years. Tooth whitening, they said, was the No. 1 requested service. Patients might pay $300 to $600 for it, an expense typically not covered by insurance. The desire for perfect teeth is not limited to the dental office. Consumers have flocked to over-the-counter teeth-whitening products. Together, sales for Crest Whitestrips and Crest Night Effects, two whitening products from Procter & Gamble, tripled from 2001 to 2005, to $300 million. “Now more than ever people are looking to improve their smiles,” said Dr. Irwin Smigel, a Manhattan dentist and founder and president of the American Society of Dental Aesthetics. Technology has improved, and reality makeover television shows have helped to make more consumers aware of it. And many people including baby boomers have the cash to spend. “The baby boomer generation has put looking good and feeling good as a priority,” said Kimberly Harms, a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association and a dentist in Farmington, Minn. “It goes along with people getting Botox, exercising and dyeing their hair.” Dentists say that when a patient is relaxed, anesthesia works better and procedures move more quickly. And if they enjoy the experience, they’ll come back regularly, leading to better overall health, said Lynn Watanabe, a dentist who opened Dental Spa Inc. in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Watanabe and her husband, John Chien, started their dental spa in 2002, after watching fearful children run from the office. Since then, they have seen their business and the spa phenomenon grow, even licensing the Dental Spa name to other dentists in San Francisco, New York City and Ann Arbor, Mich., along with the slogan, “Your teeth, body and mind will feel great.” The couple also started the International Dental Spa Association it now has 10 members and are coming up with guidelines for what services constitute a dental spa. Already, Watanabe said, they have received interest from dentists in Dubai, South Korea, Russia and Brazil who want to start dental spas. The trend goes beyond dentistry. Medical spas have become a fast-growing segment of the spa industry. Doctors, including podiatrists, gynecologists and general practitioners, are opening medical spas in malls and hospitals nationwide, offering extras like laser hair removal, Botox injections and facials, said Hannelore R. Leavy, director of the International Medical Spa Association in Union City, N.J. She estimates that there are about 1,500 medical spas worldwide, more than triple the number three years ago. “This is all cash for the doctor,” she said. “There is no insurance, no paperwork. This is a very lucrative business for them.” Citing surveys that say people judge one another by their smiles, dentists now offer a wide range of services. Smigel says he has patients who pay up to $40,000 for “nonsurgical face-lifts” that use bonding, veneers, crowns, implants, bridges and even dentures to build out the lower half of the face. “I can build out lips, raise the cheekbones,” he said. Timothy B. Dotson, a dentist in Chicago, offers computerized “smile imaging” at his practice, Perfect Smile Spa. He takes photographs of the patients and then, using a computer, alters the photos to show them what they would look like if they had cosmetic work. His office also gives patients free 10-minute massages in the waiting room and paraffin hand waxes, among other services. Quickbleach Dental Spa and Boutique, a street-level spa on the East Side of Manhattan, literally offers a menu of services to walk-in customers, including veneers, tooth caps the thickness of a baby’s fingernail at $750 a tooth, and one-hour whitening procedures for $399. Quickbleach is more akin to a trendy store or salon than a dental office, with its modern decor and Latin- and Arabic-influenced music. “It’s serious dentistry with a spa atmosphere,” said Jimmy Conlin, 59, a songwriter in New York who saw a flier about Quickbleach and decided to have his teeth whitened there. Conlin’s wife, Carolyn, joined him and received a computerized smile analysis, porcelain veneers, gum recontouring (which evens out the gum tissue), and skin grafting (which patches gums with tissue from other parts of the mouth). The couple spent $7,000. “It’s really a vanity issue, no question about it,” Conlin said. “Our teeth look fabulous. It was all that was promised.” Dr. Jose Souto, a dentist who is Quickbleach’s owner, says that since he overhauled his practice, he has doubled his annual revenue, to $3 million, and can accommodate twice as many patients as before. “When people walk in, they’re amazed,” Souto said. “They say, `This doesn’t look like a dentist’s office.” Little by little, people will think of the dentist’s office as a positive place where they can be more beautiful and not a place where they’re going to be punished and lose a couple of teeth.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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Winning is the only attitude

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In their attempt to soothe the fans after hockey’s lost season, the Kings announced Monday that left wing Luc Robitaille has agreed to autograph replicas of his No. 20 jersey to be handed out to all of the team’s season-ticket-holder accounts. “I told (a team executive), ‘You guys owe me big on this one,”‘ Robitaille said with a laugh. “That’s a lot of freakin’ jerseys.” A couple of thoughts. One, as he faces the task of writing his name on 3,000 sweaters in the next few weeks, Luc Robitaille probably wishes for the first time that he were Syl Apps. Two, although I know the NHL is emphasizing the personal touch this summer, I wonder if Robitaille shouldn’t save his 39-year-old shooting wrist for more important things. Giveaways are nice. Goals are nicer. The Kings held a news conference Monday at Staples Center to outline their plans following the 310-day labor lockout that caused the 2004-05 season to be canceled. The team’s cable outlet showed the news conference live in Los Angeles. There had been commercials all weekend advertising the telecast of the news conference. The Kings seemed to have the idea that reconnecting with fans was a marketing challenge instead of a hockey challenge. I kept waiting for the news release announcing the commercials advertising the telecast of the news conference. Only a small part of the news conference was taken up with the unveiling of ticket-price cuts, player-fan-interaction programs and other such make-nice plans. Most of the time was devoted to the Kings’ plans for building a winner. For my money, they could have kept the marketing gimmicks and made it all about building that elusive winner. If the front office thinks anything will impress fans as much as a Stanley Cup contender, it has another thing coming. That is, it has the same thing coming. By the same thing, I mean a mediocre team on the ice and indifferent fans outside the small circle of diehards. The Kings’ problem over the years wasn’t that sports fans think it’s an unfriendly franchise. It’s that sports fans think it’s a losing franchise. Now the NHL’s new salary cap and the wide-open market on free agents have given the Kings an unprecedented chance to make a fresh start. They’d better take it. The cute-and-cuddly act is almost as old as Robitaille. The franchise has been around 38 years and has depended too much on occasional overachievement to stir excitement. The last six times the Kings made the playoffs, they had to climb out of sub-.500 holes in the second half of the season. Miracles on ice stir pleasant memories in all of us, especially those of us who remember the original Miracle on Ice. But it would be nice if, more than once every decade or so, the Kings went into the season as contenders. Give us a reason to watch from Oct. 5, opening night this season, and to keep watching until spring. Kings president Tim Leiweke said Monday: “We’re at a point where the pressure is on us.” What he means is the onus is on Dave Taylor, the Kings’ general manager, and Andy Murray, their head coach. They’re the epitome of the decent, competent men who have been the faces of the club. Time to see if they’re a Stanley Cup kind of competent. The $39 million player-payroll cap, $7.8 million per-player limit and 24 percent discount on active contracts means you don’t spend your way to the playoffs anymore. You think your way to the playoffs. “It’s whoever makes the best decisions, character-wise, and the team that treats its players the best that’s going to win,” said Robitaille, whose signing to a new Kings contract was announced Monday. “It’s not about overspending anymore. That’s why I believe (the Kings can win).” With $20 million committed to 20 players, leaving all that room under the payroll cap, the Kings believe they’re perfectly situated to sign a handful of game-changers when the free-agency free-for-all opens Monday. They’re bold enough to suggest that playing on a more-level economic rink, a team in sunny Los Angeles should have an edge in trying to lure free agents away from the NHL’s many frigid cities. “Selling L.A. is going to be easy,” Robitaille said. “Phil (Anschutz, the Kings’ co-owner) should offer the young guys a movie role.” The Kings haven’t played hockey in 16 months because of the lockout. They’ve won a grand total of one playoff series in the 12 years since their Western Conference championship with Wayne Gretzky. The latter is the bigger public-relations problem. The player who scores the Kings’ first Stanley Cup-winning goal, that’s the man whose signature you want on a jersey. Kevin Modesti’s column appears in the Daily News three days a week. He can be reached at heymodesti@aol.com. last_img read more

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