Kingsley couple forced to cower in bedroom during alleged Shawn Newton crime spree

A Kingsley couple has told how they hid in their bedroom while wanted man Shawn Newton allegedly ransacked their home.

Malcolm, who has asked not to be identified, was home with his wife when Newton allegedly broke in while on the run from police and stole electrical goods, camping tents, a picnic rug and cushions.

“Oh it’s very unsettling, particularly for my wife,” he said.

Shawn Newton was arrested at a tavern on Monday.
Shawn Newton was arrested at a tavern on Monday.Picture: 7 News

“Police were here fairly quick.

“In fact, I hadn’t finished the call to police by the time they were here.”

Shawn Newton was arrested while having a beer at a Hillarys tavern on Monday, after almost three weeks on the run.

Police had asked for help to find him on July 16 after the body of Scarborough mother Rebecca Gascoigne was found in a car on the Mitchell Freeway.

Scarborough mother Rebecca Gascoigne.
Scarborough mother Rebecca Gascoigne.Picture: 7 News

But Newton’s alleged crime spree began more than a month before Ms Gascoigne’s alleged murder.

It’s alleged he held up a Woodvale Liquorland for $875, and about a month later, he allegedly stole controlled drugs and $1400 from a Craigie Pharmacy.

Police will allege Newton murdered the Scarborough woman on July 14 and held a man against his will before breaking into Malcolm’s Kingsley home six days later.

Police closed part of the Mitchell Freeway after Ms Gascoigne’s body was discovered.
Police closed part of the Mitchell Freeway after Ms Gascoigne’s body was discovered.Picture: 7 News

It’s also alleged Newton stole more than $300 from a McDonalds in Duncraig during an armed hold up.

Outside court on Wednesday, Newton’s lawyer Terry Dobson said his client was exhausted after his time on the run.

“He’s tired but that’s probably to be expected given what’s just happened,” he said.

Newton will remain in custody until his court appearance.

Delay by Railways in electrification projects, says CAG

Photo: Shutterstock

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came down heavily on the Railways for the delay in processing, assigning and completing the projects for electrification.

It also said that the Railways did not adopt the e-tendering system to reduce the tender processing period.

The CAG in its report, which was tabled in Parliament on Friday said it had done an audit on the 14 completed projects, 15 ongoing projects and seven new projects for detailed examination.

In its report, the CAG said: “The objective of saving time for deciding whether or not to take up a section for the railway electrification is not being fulfilled due to delays in processing the proposals and preparation of abstract estimates, which was up to 59 months in 24 projects.”

The CAG report also pointed out that variations of six per cent to 62 per cent between the abstract and detailed estimates indicated that the system of abstract estimates were hardly adding value to the process.

“The percentage variation was more than 40 per cent in respect of Karepalli-Bhadrachalam, Shakurbasti-Rohtak, Jhansi-Kanpur, Barauni-Katihar-Guwahati and Gunatakal-Kallur projects,” the central auditor said.

The CAG also highlighted that delays were noticed in assigning the electrification projects to agencies by the Railways Board after inclusion of the electrification projects in the annual works programme.

“There were delays up to 337 days in 17 projects in case of Central Organisation for Railways Electrification (CORE) and in case of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the delays were up to 202 days in six projects,” the CAG said.

“Further delays were also noticed in assigning project to their Chief Project Directors by CORE and RVNL, which was up to 229 days and 40 days respectively,” it added.

Rapping the Railways, the CAG said that there were delays in the approval of the detailed estimates upto 35 months in 27 projects assigned to CORE and upto 18 months in seven projects assigned to RVNL.

The CAG said that the e-tendering system which helped in reducing the tender process was not adopted in the case of CORE and RVNL.

“The time taken for the issue of notice inviting tender (NIT) after sanction of detailed estimates was upto 3,177 days in 27 projects assigned to CORE and up to 915 days in 12 tenders in seven projects assigned to RVNL,” it said in its report.

The CAG then said that it was evident that the tenders were processed without giving due regard to the objective of the completion of the project in time.


New record: $2,090 a month is average cost of one-bedroom rental in Vancouver

For more than a year, Vancouver has taken top spot for the most expensive city to rent in Canada and now the city of glass has broken another record.

In July, the average price of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver hit $2,090 a month; which is the first time this type of property has cracked the $2,000 mark since Padmapper started tracking rental data. Padmapper collects rental data from 25 of Canada’s biggest cities based on population.

In June the average price for renting a one-bedroom was $1,950. That’s a 2.5 per cent jump in cost from June to July and year-over-year price of a one-bedroom in Vancouver has increased by 15.5 per cent.

Similarly, rent for a two-bedroom grew by 2.5 per cent in July to $3,230 a month.

READ MORE: West End residents fight against “unfair” rent increases

While Vancouver stays poised at the top of the list, Toronto comes in second consistently with rents increasing only slightly (0.9 per cent) to $1,800 a month for a one-bedroom and $2,430 for a two-bedroom.

Affordability for both renters and homeowners continues to be a hot topic in Metro Vancouver.

In March, tenants on Vancouver’s west side fought against a 35 per cent rent increase. The landlord of the building, located in the 1000-block of West 13th Avenue wants to raise the rent above this year’s legally-capped limit of 3.7 per cent under a clause of the Residential Tenancy Regulation.

READ MORE: Housing affordability taking huge swipe at Metro Vancouver’s ‘missing middle’: Report

The province currently caps annual rent increases at 3.7 per cent, but landlords can apply for exceptions if the rent they are currently charging is significantly lower than what is being charged for similar suites nearby.

The City of Vancouver conducted a survey of 10,000 residents, which resoundingly said affordability is their top priority and the city’s new housing strategy should prioritize housing based on what local residents can afford.

The survey also found that many residents believe investment pressure is a primary contributor to rising prices and that the majority of renters are concerned about their future in Vancouver — with affordability being a main reason why they might choose to leave. City staff will be reporting to council on July 25 with the results of the public consultation, housing targets in the next 10 years and actions to achieve those targets.

Victoria also remained in the top five even though rent fell by 5.1 per cent for one-bedroom units ($1,120/month) and slightly increased by 0.7 per cent for two-bedroom apartments ($1,410/month).



Elderly couple find deadly snake in dining room

Biologist Greg Calvert photographed this eastern brown snake in Condon.

AN elderly couple who found one of the deadliest snakes in the world in their dining room did the right thing by calling an expert, a Townsville snake catcher said.

  •  Exiled snake saved from starvation

Joe Mackereth was called out to a residential home in Condon on Wednesday about noon to reports of an eastern brown snake inside the home.

The volunteer snake catcher said the residents had lived in North Queensland for some time and knew what to do.

“They kept a keen eye on it and called a snake catcher,” he said.

He soon wrangled the snake and released it into nearby bushland as required by law, but not before his fellow snake enthusiasts took a look at it.

Eastern brown snakes are considered the second most venomous land snake. They can be aggressive and are responsible for about 60 per cent of snake bite deaths in Australia.

Greg Calvert, a Townsville biologist with about 40 years of experience in catching snakes, captured this photo of the snake.

“Dangerous snakes like this eastern brown are quite rare locally compared to non-venomous species like carpet pythons and tree snakes, which are all through the suburbs and perform valuable rodent control,” he said.

“Photographing snakes like this takes a lot of care, experience and understanding snake behaviour. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners.”

Great service at Bob Coccia’s Center for Appliances in Bayside

Great service at Bob Coccia’s Center for Appliances in Bayside 1

Bob Coccia’s Center for Appliances in Bayside is the very definition of a mom-and-pop store. Coccia is proud to keep it that way. He has been in the business long enough that he knows intuitively that giving the customer quality service is his top priority.

That’s why in 46 years his store has grown to 3,000 square feet.

“As an independent mom-and-pop type store, I feel like I can give the best service in our store,” Coccia said. “We’re capable of taking care of the customer in the proper and speedy manner.”

And his clients are pretty happy with his approach.

“Mama Mia!” customer Lindsey Harris of Flushing said on the store’s website, “Bob treated my family and me like we were real family … he comes through with great prices, dependable delivery and a great personal touch … Bob, you are one in a million! Thank you! — Lindsey.”

Coccia’s employees, which include his son, Bob Jr., don’t work on commission, so no particular brand is forced down the throat of an unassuming consumer. Instead he and his employees sell the knowledge of the appliance a customer needs. And they charge less for top-of-the-line products than their larger competitors. Just some of the big names whose products Coccia’s carries are GE, Bosch, Electrolux, KitchenAid and Whirlpool.

“You go to the large stores, you’re not dealing with expert help,” he said. “I know the good products, I know the bad products and I try to give the customer the best product at the lowest cost.”

Coccia has been in the appliance business his whole life. He started off with his father repairing appliances for dealers and manufacturers. He then moved on to selling “scratch and dent” appliances, those that have slight cosmetic damage but are in fine working condition, and are sold at lower rates.

He moved up from selling “scratch and dent” to new products after joining the Intercounty Appliance Corp., a buying cooperative in the northeast, which he said allows him to sell better products but at the same low cost.

“I felt I was giving the customer a better product at the same cost factor as scratch and dent,” he said. “It was a big difference.”

Coccia’s specialty is selling appliances as a package for one price. If a customer is remodeling a kitchen, for example, items such as a microwave, refrigerator and stove will be sold together. That allows for lower prices and gets the buyer rebates.

If kitchen appliances aren’t what you’re looking for, Coccia’s also has many other products including air conditioners, barbecues and high-definition televisions.”

Having so much experience in the business and attending two important trade shows a year, Coccia is always on top of new and improved products. When changes are made to existing products, it’s always an improvement, he said. And no one can fill the customer in better than he can.

If something is not in stock at the store, Coccia can always order it from his warehouse in Long Island. And when someone is unsure about what to buy, Coccia is always there to help.

“I don’t plan on retiring very soon. I’m not going anywhere,” he joked.

The store is located at 215-03 Horace Harding Blvd. and can be reached at (718) 224-4344. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Here’s how much you need to earn to rent a 2-bedroom apartment in 15 of America’s biggest cities

Los Angeles

Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock …

One-third of Americans overpay for housing, and renters have it the worst .In fact, almost half spend over 30% of their incomes on rent, exceeding the standard measure of affordability, according to the 2017 State of the Nation’s Housing report, published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

In addition to transportation and food, housing is one of the biggest expenses Americans have. Cutting back on these things could mean more savings in the bank and even a ticket to early retirement.

In its latest report , SmartAsset calculated the income needed to afford rent in 15 major US cities. That is, the salary a household must earn to spend a comfortable 28% of its income on rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Rent prices were pulled from RENTCafe ‘s January 2017 report.

Below, check out how much you need to earn to pay rent in San Francisco, New York, Boston, and 12 more of America’s major metro areas.


China’s 28tr yuan of wealth management products under mounting stress in second half, analysts say

Wealth management products in China used to be a magical option for investors. They offered high yields and never failed as the banks that sold the products would stand behind them, even if they soured.

Tighter regulations and pressure on banks mean that this is likely to change in the second half, at least for the banks that have bought into products issued by other financial institutions, analysts say.

“Banks usually assume their investments in other banks’ non-principal guaranteed wealth management products (WMPs) are risk-free, based on some informal agreements provided by seller banks. However, disputes will arise if these WMPs fail to achieve expected returns because of recent regulatory and market changes, and the seller banks refuse to acknowledge the informal agreement,” said David Yim, greater China head of debt capital markets at Moody’s Investors Service.

“If, for example, a WMP is going to mature, and suddenly the seller bank says that we didn’t issue this WMP,who would be responsible in such a situation?” Yim asked.

As regulators look to tighten controls around shadow banking, defaults are becoming more likely, while embattled mid-cap banks are less willing to take the loss themselves than they were in the past.

Of course, there is no real reason why they ought to.

“Clearly banks should not be responsible for non-guaranteed WMPs,” said Chen Shujin, chief financial analyst at Huatai Financial.

Nonetheless, an average of 3,700 WMPs were issued each week in the first half of 2016, but only one product issued by a domestic bank reported any form of loss, according to calculations by Fitch.

The ratings agency noted in a report at the end of last year that “this loss ratio appears unusually low”.

Since then default rates have ticked up. In one case earlier this year WMPs sold at a branch of Minsheng Bank were found not to exist.

WMPs issued by Chinese banks have a variety of investors. Approximately half are individuals, a fifth other banks, with the remainder made up of institutional investors and private banks, according to data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

The number of banks investing in other banks’ WMPs has increased significantly in recent years. In 2014, banks made up just 3.3 per cent of investors in WMPs issued by Chinese banks.

For investors, the products offer higher rates of return than they could get elsewhere, while the issuing banks gain access to funds. This has become particularly important for banks this year, as liquidity has tightened.

“To some small lenders which simply do not have enough funding to support their activities, WMPs remain an important tool especially when they face quarter-end pressure,” said Marco Yau, senior analyst CEB International Research

“That’s why the WMP yield was sent to 16-month high last month,” he said.

However, because banks tend to keep their WMPs off balance sheet, banking regulators were concerned about the threat they posed to China’s economic system.

“It was a popular practise for banks to issue interbank certificates of deposit and invest in WMPs issued by other banks during 2014 to 2016,” said Yim.

The difference between the very short term duration of the certificates of deposit and the longer term duration of the WMPs made this risky.

“In 2015, over half of the WMP funds were invested in the bond market. Some money managers then used the bonds as collateral to borrow short-term money via the repo market to buy more bonds. By repeating this game, bond markets would be heavily leveraged and lead to excessive risk,” Yau wrote in a recent report.

As a result, a variety of Chinese regulators cracked down on the shadow banking sector, and since the start of this year, WMPs are included on banks’ balance sheets under new regulations.

Following the tightened regulations, the total balance of WMPs issued by Chinese banks decreased to 28.4 trillion yuan (US$4.18 trillion) at the end of May from 29.1 trillion yuan at the end of 2016.

The reduced issuance of WMPs make things more troublesome for issuing banks.

“If things continue to grow at a fast pace you can always refinance to renew the products, as things slow down, then you can’t,” he said.

Nonetheless Yau from CEB International said that authorities would be careful when introducing new regulations on the shadow banking sector.

“We probably won’t see aggressive WMP growth again as in 2015 and 2016, but it doesn’t mean the regulator wants to crack down on the whole thing,” Yau said.

He noted that the pool of investments under management by WMPs is equivalent to 40 per cent of China’s economy.

“It would be a nightmare to the economy if issuers have to unwind the whole thing,” Yau said. “If anything went wrong, the domino effect may turn into a disaster. In this political transition year, I think the regulator


Sampling innovations in teaching and learning

Bok Center Spring Showcase

Instead of writing a final paper, what if students crafted an art project, complete with artist’s statement, to demonstrate how plants have evolved? Instead of using class time for lectures, what if professors recorded videos for students to watch on their own, to save class time for deeper discussion? Instead of explaining the elements of a musical piece, what if students re-created each component to better understand harmony and composition?

These and other innovative approaches to teaching and learning were on display at the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning’s first showcase on May 12. Held on the third floor of the Science Center, the exhibition displayed approaches and techniques to improve teaching, including more than a dozen projects developed through the center’s new learning lab. Through a series of interactive stations, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff explained how they are making Harvard an innovative place to learn.

Now in its second year, the learning lab, supported by a gift of Hartley R. Rogers ’81, M.B.A. ’85, and Amy C. Falls, M.P.P. ’89, makes possible new collaborations and projects, from data visualization to dance. The lab’s suite of rooms is outfitted with high-end digital tools — professional lighting, video cameras, and powerful computers and software — providing resources for professors to reimagine how they teach and vibrant spaces for students to convene and work on projects.

The Bok Center is an intergenerational and interdisciplinary community. “Faculty are hungry,” said Robert Lue, the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the center, “for opportunities to experiment, prototype, and test new ideas in teaching that have the potential to transform the effectiveness of their courses. The learning lab provides a supported environment that not only fosters the creation of these new materials and approaches, but also involves students in their continued development and testing.”

Students, scholars, and staff explore interactive demonstrations, videos, presentations, and exhibits inside the Science Center. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Undergraduate fellows who work in the lab serve as shrewd testers of new ideas, offering feedback to faculty. “This co-creative effort brings faculty and students together around learning in ways that further enrich the traditional paradigms of teacher and student,” said Lue. The lab also hosts workshops to train graduate students in media, literacy, and visualization skills, all important aspects of effective teaching. Faculty and teaching fellows can come to the center for help with their challenges, and the learning teams provide a framework for creative solutions.

“Faculty at every level benefit tremendously from the unique resources of the Bok Center,” said Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith. “The learning lab empowers our faculty to pursue forward thinking and creative approaches to teaching and learning, to great effect across campus.”


Father of modern Malaysia backs jailed former deputy in attempt to oust PM

Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister

Mahathir Mohamad, the father of modern Malaysia, is backing the man he sacked as his deputy and saw imprisoned on charges of sodomy to be prime minister, in an attempt to unseat the scandal-ridden incumbent.

In a remarkable political U-turn ahead of a general election next year, Mahathir now says that his former protege Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s most famous political prisoner and its most charismatic public figure, ought to be released from jail and allowed to contest parliamentary elections.

Human rights groups have long said the allegations against Anwar are politically motivated attempts by his opponents, including Mahathir and the current prime minister Najib Razak, to silence him.

Speaking to the Guardian on a visit to London, Mahathir, who in power was accused of being an autocrat, said Anwar is a victim of a political vendetta and that a new administration would seek a royal pardon to allow him to re-enter politics.

Anwar’s lawyers are currently seeking to get him released after evidence emerged that suggested an impartial government-appointed prosecutor was paid a sum equivalent to £2m from a bank account controlled by the prime minister.

“In the case of Anwar we can make a case that he was unfairly treated. The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the King to give a full pardon for Anwar,” Mahathir said. “In which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM. I can have no objection to that.”

Malaysia’s opposition has gained ground in recent years, and nearly toppled the governing party in 2013, winning the popular vote in the general election.

Since then prosecutors have filed a multitude of cases against government critics, including opposition figures, a professor and a cartoonist. A national security act, widely criticised by rights campaigners, came into force last year which gives the army and police sweeping powers for seizure and arrest, and does away with inquests into the deaths of anyone killed in zones declared under a “state of emergency”.

Mahathir stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in office, with no heir apparent. He brooked little dissent during his time in office, and ousted Anwar – seen by many as his natural successor – during a power struggle, ostensibly over an argument over the use of capital controls, in 1998.

A few weeks later Anwar was arrested, beaten by police, then charged with sodomy and corruption. After a trial widely considered to have been politically rigged, he was given a six-year jail term for abuse of power, sparking widespread protests.

Following his release in 2004 he became a leading opposition figure, before returning to prison in 2015 when a court upheld a five-year sentence on another sodomy charge.

Mahathir now accepts he made a mistake by not allowing Anwar to “succeed him”, and that he held on to power for too long, only to anoint two men who subsequently disappointed him, especially the current PM Najib, who is embroiled in one of the world’s largest kleptocracy cases.

According to lawsuits filed by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ), at least $4.5bn has been stolen from a state investment fund 1MDB. The purpose of the fund, which was set up by Najib as prime minister in 2009, was to promote economic development in a country where the median income stands at approximately £300 per month.

Instead, the DoJ alleged that stolen money from 1MDB found its way to numerous associates of Najib, who subsequently went on a lavish spending spree across the world. It also accused Najib of receiving $681m of cash from 1MDB. Najib has denied that claim, and all other allegations of wrongdoing.

Money from 1MDB, the US also claimed, helped to purchase luxury apartments in Manhattan, mansions in Los Angeles, paintings by Monet, a corporate jet, and even financed the Wolf of Wall St, a major Hollywood movie. Last week Australian model and actress Miranda Kerr handed over $8m of jewelry that US authorities say was given to her as part of a Malaysian money laundering scheme.

“Najib is bad news for Malaysia. For the PM to be accused of stealing huge sums of money, I think that is something we don’t expect of any other PM. Certainly not in Malaysia. The money he is said to have taken is mind boggling,” said Mahathir.

Mahathir remains hugely popular with a broad swath of rural Malay voters who remember the boom years of his rule.

He has registered a new party and is in talks to join the opposition coalition led by Anwar’s party.

He now accepts that the authoritarian turn Malaysia took under his rule – including the use of the colonial-era Internal Security Act to jail troublesome opponents and tighten laws covering protests and the press – needs to be reversed.

Mahathir said he never foresaw a prime minister like Najib who was willing to “implement laws in a much more oppressive way than during my time”.

“Are the checks and balances not good enough? I agree to a certain extent they are not. We in Malaysia live in a multi-racial society and cannot be ever as liberal I think as the USA or Britain. But we should allow free expression in the press. Najib has a new security act that allows him to declare any territory under a state of emergency and detain people without any reason. I inherited and used the law. I did not abolish it and make another one even worse.”


6 do’s and don’ts for decorating a bathroom that won’t embarrass you in front of guests

Whether your bathroom is your own personal spa or a tiny space shared with three roommates, it should be a place of order, freshness and calm.

Take a good, hard look around, says designer Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey of SCW Interiors in Alexandria. “The perfect look and feel of a bathroom is one that meets the end users’ needs,” she says. “It’s different for everyone, but I think that a space that is functional and flexible is key. And your bathroom should be the cleanest room in your home.”

Cavin-Winfrey says she is amazed at how many things people leave scattered on bathroom vanities, shelves and floors. “I think a bathroom should always be uncluttered. The average human makes so many choices and scans so much information in a given day — your daily rituals at home should be easy to maintain and not require any extra work to find things you need.” She says always keeping the bathroom tidy has its benefits, including being ready for guests at all times. “That can help make entertaining stress-free,” she says.

Whether you have a dedicated powder room for guests or everyone must share the one bathroom in your home, these dos and don’ts might help you clean up your act.

Don’t put a rug in your bathroom. A bathroom is not a place for wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs. These cannot be properly cleaned in this environment. Think of the germs on a bathroom floor and how a damp rug or mat could be a magnet for mold. ­Cavin-Winfrey suggests providing a machine-washable bath mat (with or without rubber backing) for use right after a shower or bath. Then let this dry on the side of the tub or shower when not in use. She uses the no-slip CB2 lateral teak bath mat ($40,

Do stock both bar and liquid soap. In a powder room, Cavin-Winfrey prefers a pump bottle so there is no gooey soap bar left in a pool of water by a previous guest. She would choose ElizabethW’s Vetiver hand wash ($22, If you have a guest staying the night, it’s a nice welcoming gesture to leave a fresh bar of soap atop a stack of clean towels on the bed. She likes Crabtree & Evelyn goat milk soap ($8,

Don’t think of toilet paper as an accessory. Stacking a Costco-size tower of toilet paper rolls next to the toilet is not necessary or attractive. Why not reduce clutter and store your roll stockpile in a linen closet or in the garage? If you like to keep a roll or two nearby, use a small holder that fits nicely on the tank or discreetly on the floor. So many of her clients needed an attractive TP organizer, Cavin-Winfrey now sells this Matahari woven rattan two-roll model ($72.50, Also, it’s thoughtful to have a box of tissues around so guests won’t have to rip off a piece of toilet paper to blow their nose or adjust makeup. Extra points for a tissue box cover, such as the one in white lacquer from the Container Store ($13,

Do minimize products. Your shower, bathtub ledges and countertops should not look like you are a tester for a shampoo or beauty company. Eliminate the excess and store items not used daily elsewhere. “I myself am a product junkie but find unique ways to contain clutter with small trays around the tub or the vanity,” Cavin-Winfrey says. “If your shower doesn’t have an integrated niche, consider wire baskets to mount on the tile.” She prefers the WEBI 12½ -inch rectangular stainless-steel wire caddy ($29,, which should be fixed to the wall. As for prescription drugs, medications or personal-hygiene products, tuck them inside a cabinet or drawer.

Don’t use plastic bags to line bathroom trash cans. Do you want to take your style tips from motels? Hopefully not, so don’t use your Target bag as a trash liner, Cavin-Winfrey says, or buy rolls of mini trash-can liners. It seems wrong for the planet to be buying small plastic bags to corral trash in your teeny-tiny wastebasket, she says. Instead, buy good-looking metal or recycled plastic wastebaskets that can be easily and frequently wiped out and sanitized. This hammered-nickel wastebasket ($39, fits the bill.

Do use hooks for bath towels, not bars. How many people neatly fold their large towels when they hang them up over a bar? Do you really expect guests to do that? Hanging towels on an oversize hook makes them dry faster and looks less messy, Cavin-Winfrey says. She often uses the large Restoration Hardware Spritz hook ($39, in her projects. Using a bar is fine for hand towels, though.