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Leach wants to free circus animals

Senator’s bill would ban confinement of wild animals, touts film that depicts struggle

ONE OF OUR local elected officials has quite the soft spot for our furry friends.

State Sen. Daylin Leach has introduced a bill that would ban the practice of using wild animals in circus acts.

He was in Bryn Mawr this past weekend to host a screening of the film "Lion Ark," produced by Jan Creamer, founder of Animal Defenders International.

"Every day, more and more people from all over the world realize that we should not use cruelty and confinement to force animals to do tricks for our entertainment," Leach told me.

"It's time to free circus animals from their cages."

The screening was featured Saturday and Sunday at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Animal Defenders International is in Peru undertaking what they're calling the biggest and most complex animal rescue of its kind. Peru passed a ban on circus animals, and it plans to fly more than 70 animals, including 35 big cats and a bear, to an animal sanctuary in Colorado.

Hitting close to home

Several Baltimore rioters pounced on a Philly Fox 29 live-feed truck Monday.

A publicist for Fox television stations in New York told me that Fox 29 reporter Dave Kinchen was on the scene when a handful of young men pounced on the station's news van.

They tried to open the van's doors and jumped on the vehicle, but did no serious damage. Kinchen was not hurt.

"All of our reporters are all right, but it was definitely a scary experience," the publicist said.

S. Philly crooner praises organ donors

The portion of 11th Street on which I live is named Bobby Rydell Boulevard. And rightly so. The former teen idol and well-seasoned performer still sells out venues all over the world.

On Friday, you can catch him as the featured act at the Professional Care Alliance of the Delaware Valley Inc.'s ninth annual luncheon at Evivva Restaurant (1236 Montgomery Ave.), in Narberth. The PCADV works to provide health and social services to seniors.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The PCADV has invited Rydell to share his experiences as a top-tier entertainer and his recovery from a double organ transplant - a surgery he had in 2012. He received one kidney and part of a liver, which saved his life.

Within six months, he was back on stage in Las Vegas. Today, he dedicates his life to public awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Confections for charity

Buddy Valastro, star of the TV show "Cake Boss" on TLC, appeared at the 11th annual Let Them Eat Cake competition Monday, where he judged confectionary masterpieces by 15 local bakeries and student pastry chefs at the Crystal Tea Room (100 E. Penn Square).

Proceeds went to the City of Hope, a leading cancer-research hospital in Los Angeles.

Earlier in the day, he hosted a bake sale outside the future home of his new bake shop, Carlo's Bakery, at 21st and Walnut streets. Valastro served up tasty treats for locals with all profits benefiting the national nonprofit No Kid Hungry.

He'll also be here Saturday with other TLC stars for the cable network's summer block party, which I plugged in Monday's column. It's from noon to 5 p.m. at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing (101 S. Columbus Blvd.).