.
February 17th, 2012
01:26 AM ET

Video: Community members remember Houston

AC360's Gary Tuchman and producer David Puente speak with members of a basketball team sponsored by Whitney Houston.


Filed under: David Puente • Gary Tuchman • Whitney Houston
January 11th, 2011
11:34 AM ET

Producer’s Notebook: Hope survives, 30 years after first US AIDS diagnosis

Editor's note: Greater Than AIDS – a new national movement to respond to AIDS in America– is asking Americans to share their “Deciding Moments," personal experiences that changed how they think about the disease and inspired them to get involved. For many it is someone close to them who was infected. For some it was their own diagnosis. For others it was a realization that we all have a role to play. Tell us about your “Deciding Moment” by visiting: www.greaterthan.org/moment.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

(CNN) - A couple of months before the new year, I read that 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the first AIDS diagnosis here in the US. Immediately, I thought this was a story we had to cover on AC360°. That day I pitched the story and this week I am happy to be working overtime to get our hour long report – called “Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS” – to air this Friday at 9pm ET on CNN.

Related on CNN's Marquee Blog: AC360 to air special on AIDS in America

Since I began to research this story, I was interested in communicating that the AIDS crisis in America is alive and well, even if we in the media and society as a whole don’t discuss it as much as we did decades ago. At the same time, as I met more and more people living with HIV or AIDS, I realized that this was also a story full of hope. It is a mixed bag because, although AIDS is no longer the killer it once was, the stigma associated with the disease still destroys individuals. Yet so many of the HIV positive men and women I met in the last few months proved to me the strength of the human spirit – they have claimed victory over HIV because it is no longer the main focus of their lives. Sure they take their medication, watch their health and protect themselves but at their core they are much more focused on achieving their goals and living out their dreams than they are on their HIV status. So many of them are heroic – activists, long-time survivors, young people determined to live long, fulfilling, happy lives. That’s also the face of HIV in America today.

Sir Elton John; Mo’Nique; Phil Wilson, the Director of the Black AIDS Institute; Dr. Anthony Fauci, who oversees HIV/AIDS research at the National Institutes of Health; and a fashion designer, with a very inspiring story, named Mondo Guerra make up our panel for this Friday night’s program. I am extremely eager to hear what they have to say. I know it will be informative and will help bring AIDS back to the public discourse. We need that since there are still about 56,000 new cases of HIV in the US each year and at least 20,000 people still die of AIDS in our country yearly.
FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • AIDS • David Puente
March 12th, 2010
10:41 PM ET

10 Questions: David Barton on the future of fitness

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series "What's Next" and The Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente asks newsmakers his own set of questions. If in The Proust Questionnaire – named for the writer Marcel Proust who popularized it – the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we'll learn about the individual and about "what's next" in the coming century.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Cutting-edge fitness guru David Barton, the man behind the massively successful DavidBartonGym health clubs (located in Miami, New York, Chicago, Seattle and soon in LA and Las Vegas), reveals more about his obsession with big muscles and sculpting bodies. The Ivy-league educated fitness and business expert also ponders his own tastes which he calls “outlandish” but not “extravagant.” You decide.

1. Will Michelle Obama's arms make a mark on the First Ladies of the future? Look for a future female President.

2. Is it possible for fitness to go out of fashion? When I started, this business wasn’t trendy. Now that I’m around, I’d hate to see a world of out of shape people.

3. What is your motto? Look better naked.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • What's Next
March 4th, 2010
11:47 PM ET

10 Questions: Lauren Bush on compassionate fashion

Lauren Bush at a benefit hosted by Vanity Fair in Los Angeles last week.

Lauren Bush at a benefit hosted by Vanity Fair in Los Angeles last week.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series "What's Next" and The Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente asks newsmakers his own set of questions. If in The Proust Questionnaire – named for the writer Marcel Proust who popularized it – the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we'll learn about the individual and about "what's next" in the coming century.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Lauren Bush
Fashion Designer

As she visits stores across America this month to promote her fashion collaboration with African women, designer Lauren Bush takes some time to ponder the role of powerful dynasties, stylish First Ladies and the gadget that will make a man sexy in the future.

The niece of former President George W. Bush, and granddaughter, of former President George H. W. Bush, is hands-on when it comes to business, she hand-writes the labels for her very personal women’s ready-to-wear line herself. The dresses, on sale in Barneys nationwide, are part of her "Lauren Pierce" collection. They're made of fabrics hand-dyed by women in the war-torn Democratic Congo. Bush says she named the line “Lauren Pierce” not because she wanted to downplay her last name, but rather because Pierce is her brother's name and also the maiden name of her grandmother, Barbara Bush, a descendant of President Franklin Pierce. Take a look at some of her work here www.lauren-pierce.com.

1. Family dynasties often rule in Washington – why not as much in fashion? Politics and fashion aren’t necessarily congruent.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • What's Next
February 16th, 2010
01:58 PM ET

10 Questions: Carolina Herrera on What’s Next…in Style

Designer Carolina Herrera watches rehearsals before the Carolina Herrera Fall 2010 Fashion Show in New York City on Monday.

Designer Carolina Herrera watches rehearsals before the Carolina Herrera Fall 2010 Fashion Show in New York City on Monday.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series "What's Next" and The Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente asks newsmakers his own set of questions. If in the The Proust Questionnaire – named for the writer Marcel Proust who popularized it – the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we'll learn about the individual and about "what's next" in the coming century.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Carolina Herrera
Fashion Designer

Taking time out from New York's Fashion Week, designer Carolina Herrera pondered what's next for the industry, male vanity and even Venezuela's strong-man President Hugo Chavez.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • What's Next
February 11th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

10 Questions: What’s Next…in Education, according to a 14-year-old

Zhuara Rivera, a 14-year-old student, reader and activist.

Zhuara Rivera, a 14-year-old student, reader and activist.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series “What’s Next” and The Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente asks newsmakers his own set of questions. If in the The Proust Questionnaire – named for the writer Marcel Proust who popularized it – the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we’ll learn about the individual and about “what’s next” in the coming century.
________________________________________________________________________________________

Zhuara Rivera, teenage student, avid reader & activist

B. Dalton, the only bookstore in Laredo, Texas, offered a fairy tale world for 14-year-old Zhuara Rivera. She could get lost in all the stories on all those pages. But on January 16, Barnes & Noble, which owns B. Dalton, closed the bookstore. Now, Zhuara has to travel 150 miles to San Antonio to find a shop that sells books. So she and dozens of volunteers launched a grassroots organization called "Laredo Reads" collecting signatures to support a bookstore in Laredo. Zhuara has collected 2,500 signatures and counting. She says she won’t stop until a new bookstore opens in her city.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • Opinion • What's Next
February 2nd, 2010
05:23 PM ET

What’s Next…Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Mental Health & the U.S. Military

Bonnie Carroll founded the advocacy group, TAPS.

Bonnie Carroll founded the advocacy group, TAPS.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series “What’s Next” and the famed Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente has devised his own set of questions for newsmakers. The Proust Questionnaire is a list of questions about one's personality, named for the French writer Marcel Proust who popularized it at the end of the 19th century. Back then it was in fashion to answer questions that revealed one’s tastes and aspects of one’s work.

If in the Proust questionnaire the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we’ll learn about the individual and about “what’s next” in the coming decade.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

While the battle over “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” captures national headlines again today, another battle within the U.S. Military is also on the minds of the country’s highest-ranking soldiers. The battle against suicide in the Military has prompted top Pentagon officials to call for a change in how the troops perceive mental health. The goal is to combat the stigma that therapy is shameful. But the fact that when a U.S. soldier commits suicide, the president doesn't send a condolence letter to the family, doesn’t help grieving relatives. It also doesn’t help de-stigmatize mental health issues in the Military.

Advocates for bereaved Military families like Bonnie Carroll say soldiers deserve better. Bonnie is a military widow who founded the advocacy group Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. I talked to her about both “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the fight to prevent suicide, which took the lives of 160 active-duty Army soldiers in 2009 - up from 140 suicides in 2008.

1. How will mental health in the Military change? The stigma in seeking care will disappear.

2. The trait you most admire in the U.S. Military? Loyalty and selflessness.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • What's Next
January 29th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

What’s Next…on stage

David Puente
AC360° Producer

A cross between the AC360° series “What’s Next” and the famed Proust questionnaire, AC360° Producer David Puente has devised his own set of questions for newsmakers. The Proust Questionnaire is a list of questions about one's personality. Its name is owed to the French writer Marcel Proust who popularized it at the end of the nineteenth century. At that time, it was in fashion to answer questions that revealed one’s tastes, aspirations, and aspects of one’s work and personality.

If in the Proust questionnaire the individual responding reveals his or her true nature, then in this questionnaire we’ll learn about the individual and about “what’s next” in the coming decade.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Now a divorced dad living in New York City, Will Swenson has come a long way from playing Jesus Christ in a promotional film for the Church of Latter Day Saints. Now Swenson gives life to ‘Berger’ in the Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR at Broadway’s Hirschfeld Theatre. And despite having grown up as a member of the conservative Mormon Church in Utah, he also reveals his support of gay marriage and his lack of patience for right-wing religious types, some of which he wants to excommunicate from the human race.

The HAIR New Broadway Cast Recording is Grammy nominated, and now re-released on vinyl.

1. What's better for the spirit, free love or the institution of marriage?

The best thing would be living in a society where anyone could live in the relationship of their choosing. Yes, anyone.

2. What is the trait you most deplore in hippies?

The female armpit hair thing. Sorry. Just being honest.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yuppies?

FULL POST


Filed under: David Puente • What's Next
January 11th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

'Out of control': A passenger on Northwest Flight 253 recounts her experience

Editor’s Note: Last week, AC360° Producer David Puente interviewed Scotti Keepman, a passenger on board Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day. Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the man charged with trying to blow up the plane, pleaded not guilty Friday to six federal charges.

The Keepman family.

The Keepman family.

David Puente
AC360° Producer

Scotti Keepman, a passenger aboard Northwest Flight 253 described the chaos on board and told me about the mass confusion on the ground as passengers tried to get home. In her opinion, the airline dropped the ball. She said she feels the U.S. government’s response to the attempted attack was “disappointing” and even “disgusting.”

Keepman said she was flying from Ethiopia to Holland on her way back home to Wisconsin with her husband and the two young Ethiopian siblings they had just adopted. Her older daughter was with them as well. Until then, the young children had never been on a plane so when they smelled smoke and saw flight attendants run down the aisles, and heard passengers cry and yell, the Keepmans focused on keeping their young children distracted, even entertained.

Keepman also described a passenger who she says videotaped the bomb plot suspect as others tried to subdue him. She says the FBI was looking for the video tape and the man who was recording when the plane landed in Detroit, telling passengers that no one was leaving until the tape was found.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360º Follow • Airline Safety • David Puente
October 27th, 2009
03:37 PM ET

Is it possible to stop the mental health stigma in America?

David Puente
AC360° Producer

“In school, he was popular, athletic, and I was always proud to have him as my brother. As he got older, I sometimes thought he was a little moody, but never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that my brother might be suffering from depression and would ultimately die from it. “

– Lynda Ganley Andree

It struck me to hear a parent say that if a child dies from an illness, people know how to express condolences. But if a child dies from suicide, as was the case for the parent who emailed me today, then folks just aren’t sure what to say. Depression and suicide are still so taboo.

“AIDS was taboo, now it is openly discussed. I want the same to happen when it comes to depression and suicide. I want people to learn the signs of depression,” that’s what Jim Ganley told me today via email.

Jim is the Chief Operating Officer of Fox Pan-American Sports, a media executive who suffered the loss of his only son Jimmy who died five years ago at the age of 22 due to undiagnosed depression.

A childhood photograph of Jimmy Ganley.

A childhood photograph of Jimmy Ganley.

“Deciding what to do and how to do it is very complicated. I have worked in the media business my whole life and figured that there must be a way to use what I have learned and the people I have met to make a difference,” Ganley said.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • David Puente • Health Care
« older posts