No heir, apparently…

The white Maltese dog that Leona Helmsley loved so much ($12 million much) might become a stray.

The Associated Press reports today that Helmsley’s brother and the appointed caretaker, Alvin Rosenthal, 80 (who inherited $15 million of his own) is not interested in becoming a pet owner.

Now it’s up to Leona’s second choice—her grandson, David Panzirer. No word so far on whether he is a friend to the animals.

And the hits just keep coming.

You may remember from our original post that Helmsley requested the dog be interred with her at the family mausoleum once the pup goes to the great beyond.

Tough break: the cemetery says state law forbids animal remains to be buried in human graveyards (but don’t all dogs go to heaven?).

You’d think Leona’s estate lawyer would have checked that one out…

Attorneys, we beseech you: what advice would you give your clients to avoid these estate-planning disasters?

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Not exactly meals-on-wheels

KFC, Yum! Brand’s cash-hungry chicken chain, has announced an “aroma-focused” product placement program to market their new $2.99 deal. The Wal-mart-esque price covers KFC chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and a biscuit, all for less than Metro fare.

KFC piloted a “scent-focused” program in three cities, including the nearby District of Columbia, by having corporate mail carts carry plates of KFC chicken on their pre-lunch mail route through the cubicle maze.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to showcase the value of our new $2.99 Deal than to inject the mouth-watering scent of Kentucky Fried Chicken into the corridors of corporate America,” said James O’Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC.

Sound devious? Very.

Am I hungry as I type this post? Getting there…

From the release:

To bring the sweet-smelling promotion to life, KFC collaborated with in Dallas; the Trade Association & Society Consultants of Washington, D.C.; and the Chicago offices of the Salvation Army.

Anyone else wondering what the Salvation Army is getting out of the (hopefully-not-raw) deal?

-JACKIE SAUTER, Multimedia Editor

Down to The Wire

The Wire has reached the end of the reel…

Yep, after five years of portraying Baltimore as a den of sleaze and corruption with ambitious young politicians making hay out of troubled schools, rampant murder and drug trafficking, production has shut down.

And I, for one, am thrilled! Baltimore, a city beset with violence and drugs? Come on, gimme a break!

That’s not my town. Baltimore is a place where people BELIEVE and Get In On It, not shoot each other on the street. Portraying it otherwise is a disgrace and scares away tourists who are afraid of getting caught in the crossfire.

Right? Well…

There are those who have said exactly that—that The Wire has somehow helped give Baltimore a bad name, as if we haven’t done a bang-up (pun intended) job of that ourselves.

What do you think? Are you happy to see The Wire coming to an end? What do you think of it as a television show? What about the estimated $100 million in direct spending and $200 million in economic impact during its five-year run, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Development? Are you glad to see that go, too?

Sound off! Let us hear from you.

As for me, when I leave my downtown office before sundown today and head north on the subway to my home in the suburbs, I will shout out a hearty farewell. At least until the show’s last season surfaces on HBO, likely early next year.

-LOUIS LLOVIO, Business Writer

Ode to acronyms

There’s no question that we like it short and sweet in this country. Who needs to watch Entertainment Television when we can watch E! ? Why send the President of the United States to the North American Aerospace Defense Command center in a time of crisis when POTUS can go to NORAD?

Nobody creates acronyms better that the United States — or should I say U.S. of A.

Here in Maryland, with thousands of jobs coming as part of the military’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, acronyms and abbreviations are going to become an even bigger part of our everyday lives. If we’re to survive the influx of the military and its contractors, we better figure out what they are saying…ASAP.

To help us out, the Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor — a.k.a. the CSSC, which is made up of the counties in central Maryland affected by BRAC — came out with a handy pamphlet called BRACANYMS.

BRACANYMS translates military speak for the average citizen or business owner. Some of the entries are pretty straightforward and already part of our everyday lexicon: AACC stands for Anne Arundel Community College; DPW is the Department of Public Works; MTA is the Maryland Transit Authority; HQ is headquarters.

Others, though, are perplexing and lead one to wonder: Is this English? Is this where my tax dollars are going?

There is NETOPS, which is how the military says Network Operations; RDECOM which is the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command; O&M, which is the government’s way of untwisting the complicated phrase Operations and Maintenance.

Then there is the PEO family with PEO, PEO C3T, PEO EIS and PEO IEW&S. As far as I can tell they have something to do with offices that manage a group of programs.


Do we really need guide to acronyms? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place without them? How about a ban on government acronyms altogether?

Which acronyms would you like to see disappear?

Send us your nominations PDQ.

—LOUIS LLOVIO, Business Writer