Wednesday, September 30, 2015

That book on your desk isn't for decoration

By: Madison Winters

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The pages are starting to get a little dusty in the books owned by the 16-24 age demographic. The cobwebs on the cover symbolize a growing problem with the high school and college students of today. According to an article on The Chronicle Of Higher Education, the number of student who read for pleasure has taken a serious nose drive in recent years.
Kenzie Heffernan works at the information desk in Feinberg Library.
“I believe that student nowadays do not read for fun,” Heffernan said, “They are so consumed with their school work and reading textbooks.
Unlike a vast majority of her peers Heffernan, considers herself to be an avid reader.
“I like to read because it relaxes me,” she said, “And I fall asleep easier when reading instead of being on my phone or watching Netflix on a bright computer screen.”
Senior research librarian, Joshua Beatty, doesn't “see a lot of student's reading for fun.”
“I think that our 'browse section' which is mostly fiction, is browsed,” he said “But if students are reading for fun, they are doing it under the noses of the library”
Has the process of going to the library and checking out a book become a thing of the past?
Beatty thinks more students are readying on “Smart phones or Kindles, things that we wouldn't see”
Like Heffernan, Beatty thinks that a student's busy schedule is to blame for a lack of reading.
“They just don't have a lot of free time,” he said, “School work, working part-time jobs, being involved in extracurricular activities, that takes time.
The reality is, students of today are taught that being involved with many different things is just what's expected of them. When applying to college it's good to have a list of extracurricular, it shows that you like to be involved. When applying to jobs after school it's better to have a list of clubs, organization and honor societies that you were involved with. Having the skill of time management looks good on any application.
Matthew Quilty, a sophomore business student, says his schedule “doesn't include time for reading anything outside of what's required for classes.”
Quilty, a member of the Plattsburgh State men's hockey team, considers his daily schedule to be “Very busy”
“I think that reading could be relaxing for some students, I probably would be for me,” he said, “I just have other things to do with my free time.”
Morgan Winters is a junior in high school.
“I definitely read for fun,” Winters said.
She thinks a student saying that they don’t have enough free time for reading is a “Lame excuse”.
“I'm a cheerleader, play soccer, take dance classes and maintain an overall average of 93,” she said, “If you want to do something, you will make the time for it.”
Winters says that although she doesn't read as much during the school year she still manages to finish a new book every month.
“You just have to be creative,” she said, “I read while I'm on the bus to games or if none of my friends are in my study-hall and I’ve finished my work.”
How would an educator feel about this problem?
“It fairly simple to pick out the 'readers' among my classes” Maryann Jones said.
Jones, a high school English teacher thinks that students who do not reading outside of class are missing out on “life experiences.”
“Book's allow us to take a little vacation when we really need one but just can't get away,” she said.
“How else can I experience the sights and sounds of china from my bedroom,” Jones said, “Television aren’t going to give you tiny details like a book can.”
She thinks that students use their schedules as excuses for a lot of things. “Everybody is busy, I have a job, a family and countless other things to do during my day” she said, “but I still lie in bed every night and read a book before falling asleep.
Jones thinks that if a student really wants to read, they will make the necessary effort.
“I will always encourage my students to pick up a book and start reading,” Jones said, “Even if they only read a page, that's a good start.”


Bridging the gap of new and old

By: Noelle Tedford

Plattsburgh, N.Y. – Trends always tend to repeat themselves but can the generations of old and new enjoy the same interests? The Strand Center for the Arts attempts to mend that gap through the cultural arts. The arts bring people of all likes together. When it comes to art in your community, do you contribute?
The North Country Cultural Center for the Arts merged with The Strand in May 2014, creating The Strand Center for the Arts. The Strand Center for the Arts is a nonprofit community-based organization that provides Plattsburgh with various art classes and professional concert performances. Over the past three years The Strand amphitheater has had a roughly $2,000,000 renovation transforming it from an old-time movie theater to the fully restored and fully functioning theater.
            Now that the renovations are coming to a close it is time to fill the theatre with people. However, a trend seems to be forming that The Strand is catering to certain community members over others. A large number of sponsors for The Strand renovation included older prominent community members. There is speculation among youth community members that shows and events are aimed to please these sponsors and their interests.
            Local community youth, Daniel Brzywczy said, “They are stuck in a particular demographic and only cater to that specific demographic. When it comes to a younger crowd they simply don’t cater to them. The event I did attend was an interesting experience. I stood up with a friend to dance (during an otherwise great concert) and, after feeling the glares of annoyance, quickly sat back down.”
            Although The Strand has had several events that they believed could be enjoyed by all ages the crowd (or lack there of) remained the same. The question of how to engage the youth of the Plattsburgh community remains.
            Beth Fitzgerald, a SUNY Plattsburgh student, said, “It might help to have a community input section on their web page. People might feel more involved that way.”
            The increased use of bulletin boards surrounding the college campus as well as offering Cardinal Cash at the events offered at The Strand Theatre might attract more college students to events. Also, offering discounts to greek life to rent out the theatre for events could attract attention and create a need for the college campus to work with The Strand. Both of these things would play a huge role in creating awareness for events.
            Chris LaRose, a SUNY Plattsburgh student, said, “I have never noticed anything advertising The Strand on campus. It could be there, but has never caught my eye.”
            Now, what does this older crowd think? Steve Martin is a local businessperson in Plattsburgh. He is owner and head auctioneer at Martin and Sons Auction Gallery. Martin has been a longtime member of The Strand. He has helped with various fundraisers and donations.
            Steve Martin said, “I would love to see young people. The performances are concerts that everyone should enjoy.” When asked about the unsaid rule of staying in your seats as to not disturb other concertgoers he said, “I think people should get up and dance if they want to!”
            Paula Lapham said, “I am not positive if The Strand markets to the college or advertises at youth hot spots but if not they should. It would be great to have a younger crowd in with us. If they are marketing to SUNY Plattsburgh they could probably do a better job.”
            Lapham is a Plattsburgh local and a prominent member of the medical community in Plattsburgh. Lapham is a long-time member of The Strand and has attended several charity events held by the organization.
            So, how does The Strand break the barrier between the old and new generations? Is this an impossible task? Visit or contact Josh Kretser, the Executive Director at to get involved!

Boilerplate: Kretser could not be reached for comment in the allotted time.


Paws on Parade in Plattsburgh

By: Vicky Scott

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - If you find yourself at the Plattsburgh City Rec Department on October 11 you will see more than just your two legged friends for the Elmore SPCA. This even is held to raise money for the shelter and to raise awareness about animals without homes. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. there will be photos, human and dog costume judging, awards, 97.5 Eagle Country DJ, performance by Center Stage Performance Dance, Paws on Parade around the Oval, The Wild Waggle and Waddle 5k run/walk, the Human and Dog obstacle competition, the best leash challenge, best in fetch competition and Closing Challenge Awards Ceremony and Pet Blessing. The walk has a fund raising goal of $20,000 and has so far raised $390. Participants are asked to pay a minimum of $20 for a pre-registration fee. The participants who reach a fundraising goal of $100 will receive a free event gift.

The Elmore SPCA is a no kill animal shelter located in Peru. Last year the shelter was successful and found homes for 313 dogs, 243 cats, 23 small animals and six birds. All dogs and cats adopted last year were either spayed or neutered and up to date on their vaccinations. This success was made possible through local donations and fundraisers put on by the shelter, like the 5k.

The shelter has eight different sponsorship and membership levels ranging from $15 to $500. Not only does the shelter need monetary donations, they also rely on volunteers and the time they give to the shelter.

Tasha Widrick, a junior at Plattsburgh State, has volunteered at the Elmore SPCA since her freshman year of college. “It’s a great experience to work with the animals and people here at the shelter because not only does it benefit the animals and the workers, it allows a positive outlet in my life during stressful times in school,” said Widrick. With more volunteers at the shelter, more funds can be put towards health needs.

Funds are necessary to keep the animals spayed and neutered and up to date on vaccinations. Linda O’Brien, a former vet tech at Palmer’s Veterinary Clinic, explained the importance of spaying and neutering animals who are in shelters and at home. “These procedures can eliminate the chance of other health problems down the line and prevent unwanted pregnancies,” said O’Brien. Communities spend money to control the spread of unwanted animals every year, like Krumpus, a black haired Bombay cat who was adopted from Adirondack Save a Stray by Emily Leonardi.  

“Krumpus earned his name because of his color and attitude,” said Leonardi, “he shares the name with an evil character who is Santa’s shadow.” Leonardi chose to adopt a cat instead of “shop” for one because she believes that by doing so, you will change a homeless animals whole entire world. It gives an animal a second chance at life and it helps fight the puppy mills. “I adopted Krumpus three months ago and at first he was shy but seeing the transition from shelter life to home life really makes adoption worth while,” said Leonardi.

By participating in the Elmore SPCA Paws on Parade, it will support animals like Krumpus and help the shelter find all animals a happy ending.


Wake up call for environmental ignorance

By: Laura Schmidt

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — Swapping out coffee for a more nutritious energy source may help improve your overall health and well-being.
To millions of Americans, coffee is the first thought they wake up to in the morning. A fresh pot is the only motivation needed to get out of bed to start their day. The ugly truth is that too much coffee consumption paired with an unhealthy lifestyle can cause real damage to your body.
In 2010, the National Coffee Association, NCA, released a survey announcing 54 percent of Americans over 18 drink at least one cup a day. This much caffeine can not only cloud your mind and thought process, but it creates irreversible damage to your body as well.
There are many substitutions for coffee that are just as accessible and give you the energy you need. Still, for adults who drink coffee on a daily basis, making the switch to something more natural may seem difficult at first.
Alex LaLonde, 24, a student and expeditionary studies major, is a daily coffee drinker who says his habit began when he was 16.
I saw my mom drink coffee a lot and when I started high school I wanted to start drinking it too,” LaLonde said.
Drinking coffee once a day every day isn't out of the ordinary for this mountain climber, but he also enjoys healthier sources of fast energy such as apples in the mornings.
Apples are actually really good instead of coffee especially in the morning,” LaLonde said. “They have a lot of sugar and give you that same energy boost a cup of coffee can give.”
College students are notorious procrastinators and often look to coffee to help fuel them through something like an all night study session. This bad habit paired with too much caffeine can lead to difficulty falling asleep and irregular sleep patterns.
The biggest key is moderation,” Jeff Vallee, dietitian and event manager at SUNY Plattsburgh. There is a fine line between a normal, healthy amount of caffeine and over consumption he said.
If you slightly over exceed that line it has very drastic and negative effects on the body.” Vallee said. “Students who cram usually exceed their limit.”
Health issues such as nervousness, sweating, upset stomach and insomnia have been linked to the over consumption of caffeine along with other bad habits according to Vallee. “Insomnia is usually pretty big in college,” he said.
To avoid crashing after a late night, eat your first meal within a half hour of waking up, and then continue to eat small meals every couple hours. This is vital to staying energized throughout the day and is a much healthier option than on caffeine.
I drink coffee every day once a day,” PSUC student Leanna Thalmann, 18, said on her way to class with a large, hot coffee in hand.
I drink it when it's early in the morning and I need that little boost to start the day,” Thalmann said. “I try to drink tea some days too, though.”
All kind of tea provides lasting energy without the jitters and the inevitable crash coffee causes.
PSUC student Caitlin O'Donnell, 19, prefers tea as her daily fix.
I don't like the caffeine in coffee and I don't want to get addicted to it, I just love green tea and I try to have it every day,” she said.

Others have been drinking coffee routinely since they were in middle school. Plattsburgh native, Jesse Atkinson, a barista at Koffee Kat Espresso Bar in downtown Plattsburgh, has been surrounded by coffee his whole life.
I started drinking coffee at, like, 12,” Atkinson said. “It was like the family alarm clock when the tea kettle would go off.”
Koffee Kat sells a huge variety of coffee-based drinks, with decaffeinated options, to locals and students of PSUC every day of the week. Atkinson explained that the business was on its way to having more fresh pastries available and considering organic food options for health conscious customers.
The cafe offers healthier options for coffee beverages like soy or almond milk rather than milk and creamer, a small change that can make a difference in your health.
An additional source of natural energy, for those trying to kick a coffee habit, is smoothies. Blended with ingredients like yogurt and bananas or kale and carrots, smoothies are tasty and filled with necessary nutrients and antioxidants.
Smooth Moves, a smoothie and juice bar in downtown Plattsburgh, serves dozens of smoothies and drinks filled with energy from natural foods and drinks. This is another healthy alternative to coffee that's quick and tasty.
Coffee, in moderation, can be a delicious treat. Enjoy your mornings with coffee in a big mug and the crossword puzzle by your side. Just don't drink five cups a day and wonder why you haven't slept in a week. Switching from coffee to healthier options will bring great benefits your body, mind and overall happiness.


Personal training takes more than one certificate

By: Emilie Mullin

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Personal trainers are seen at almost any gym. They can be seen coaching, pushing clients, or even giving a small little pep talk after words. In Plattsburgh, New York there is a surplus of many gyms. They range from Planet Fitness, Eclipse, Crossfit, campus gym, Powerhouse etc. Walking into a gym doesn’t always mean exact results will happen. That’s where personal trainers can come in.
            Personal trainer is by the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) definition:

“is a fitness professional possessing the knowledge, skills and abilities
for safe and effective exercise and fitness program design, instruction
and assistance for the purpose of reaching personal health and fitness goals.”

There are several different ways to go about become a personal trainer. The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, is one of the most common certifications for group exercise teachers, and personal trainers because it covers so many different areas. AFAA refers to  personal training, group exercise, kickboxing, step, pilates etc. certifications.
            People use personal trainers for many reasons. Sean Howard a current baseball player used a personal trainer to help with his strength, mobility, and conditioning. His trainer helped him with baseball specific workouts. He noticed a big difference than had he just done workouts on his own. Howard was on his own for nutritional help, which is not always the case.
            Jennifer Thume is a personal trainer for the Lake Placid, Plattsburgh, and Vermont area. Her clients’ goals are what she works and continues to work for. She has many certifications, but is not afraid to refer her clients elsewhere if she feels her services wouldn’t be best suited.
One of the certifications that she has obtained is her Crossfit level 1. To be certified as a level 1 Crossfit there is no prerequisites but is designed to make the future trainers more aware of the proper techniques, and able to use and teach the program correctly.
She also has her NFPT certification which is NCAA accredited. The NFPT has a little more nutritional side to it. Thume also has her Bachelors in Nutrition. She finds encompassing the nutritional side of training to be beneficial in her business, and her clients’ goals.
In a couple weeks she is taking her Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist which is the top recognized certification. You can’t apply for the CSCS without having a bachelors in something related to health and fitness. The acceptance of the bachelors is decided by council.
Not all personal trainers are determined to make their clients goals their number one priority, as stated by Thume. She takes pride in the fact she has several different certifications. She can work with other trainers and that’s actually where she gets some of her different ideas. Thume is an avid reader. She reads for new ideas, networks out to Utah, Chicago, and Lake Placid. One of her biggest pushes and help in the industry is her comradery with Powerhouse gym owner and trainer Michelle Mosher.
Mosher is a personal trainer with a bag full of goodies under her belt as well. She trained and competed competitively as a bodybuilder. After receiving her pro-card she wanted to help others and their goal to eat right, get fit, and be on stage as well. She has her AFAA, Peak pilates, Zumba, Madd Dog spin, and Biggest Loser Pro certifications.
The Biggest Loser Pro certification was because she saw the need for it here in Plattsburgh. “You can’t train bigger people like you train smaller people” she says. She wanted the safe and proper way to train those who needed it. To get the Biggest Loser certification though there is a
She has recently been working with Thume to get herself back into the swing of things. She was one of the first people to be certified with Madd Dog Spin when it came out in 1992. She retired from teaching spin classes in 2012/2013. After 20 years she was just burned out. But she still can jump in and teach a class if she has to.
Mosher gets a lot of her information from “slamming ideas” off of other trainers. She likes to read for new, fun, and updated routines, and ideas for different training.
Different types of certification are needed to maintain the AFAA certification. It is also the easiest and cheapest to maintain. There are discounts available to those who teach at the college campus.
Emily Alexander is one of the group exercise leaders at SUNY Plattsburgh. She teaches a Dance Fit class, which is 25 minutes of Zumba like movements, and then 5 minutes of strength and conditioning. She has her AFAA in group exercise and pilates. In her hometown she taught pilates. But at the school she just does the Dance Fit. She also has a minor in nutrition
There is a free way for students, and faculty to obtain a personal trainer through the school. Most of the personal trainers are fitness and wellness majors at the college. They have to have their American College of Sports Medicine certification. They need 92 hours of personal training time. Not all of the personal trainers are fitness and wellness majors. But they do need to obtain some form of personal training certificate.
One of the members of the personal training team at SUNY Plattsburgh who is not a fitness and wellness major is Ariel Monserrate. She is passionate about working out and loves to share her passion with others. She is also considered as supervisory level in the gym. She still gets a little time to work in the gym with her clients. She manages to make time outside of her scheduled work hours to get her training time in.
There are different types of personal trainers. Some come with the gym, some are freelance. Not all trainers have the same certifications so it’s important to research what each trainer offers. Trainers often work with each other, and they bounce ideas off each other. It not only helps clients but it helps them become more marketable in the business world.

Plattsburgh plunges for special players

By: Kevin Morley

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Last year, over 350 people crowded the shore of the Plattsburgh City Beach to go for a swim. However, these swimmers were not preparing for a normal summer dip due to the fact that it was a brisk November Day.

Every November, the annual Polar Plunge comes to the city of Plattsburgh and hundreds of volunteers take part in something extraordinary. This year’s event will mark the sixth annual plunge to take place here in Plattsburgh. The goal of the Polar Plunge is to raise money in an effort to support the Special Olympics of New York.  This organization provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to compete against each other in athletic events, something that they could not experience in a normal school setting.

            “Being able to compete in sports is something we all take for granted.” Director of Programs of the Capital District of the North Country, Ryan Miller said. “Through our organization, these athletes finally get to experience competition.”

            In order to support this great cause, an abundance of financial support from volunteers can go a long way. Just last year, there was a total of 35,672 volunteers that donated their time and experience to both the program and the athletes involved.  4,663 of those volunteers served as coaches to aide the astonishing 64,659 athletes that take part in the Special Olympics annually. Although these numbers are both impressive and effective, the organization is always looking to expand.

            A common roadblock that rises when trying to get more people involved is a unique campaign, something that sets an organization apart from the rest. One of the most effective campaigns was evident in the ALS Association with their infamous Ice Bucket Challenge. Participants would post videos of themselves having an ice water bucket dumped on their heads. Upon completion of the challenge the participant would then extend the challenge to his or her friends. This campaign alone spread awareness of the ALS disease to over 440 million people according to

            The Polar Plunge shows similar characteristics to the Ice Bucket Challenge in the sense that it is a unique way for people to raise awareness for a worthy cause. Seeing hundreds of people charge into the freezing waters of Lake Champlain tend to make someone stop and ask why these people are doing such a daring stunt. Director of Developments for the Hudson Valley Special Olympics, Teresa Gilli believes that events such as the Ice Bucket Challenge as well as the Polar Plunge are the most effective ways of raising awareness for a cause. Gilli is ecstatic to have the first annual Polar Plunge take place in the Hudson Valley region on November 14, this year.

            “In my opinion, I think it’s a unique concept.” Gilli said. “I myself have always wanted to jump in the icy cold water, and a lot of people say that it’s on their bucket list.”

            The Polar Plunge has been turning heads for nearly two decades since the original plunge that took place in Fischkill, New York. The pioneer of the plunge, Chris Jamel, would hold the event every February. The opening year, there were a total of 16 participants. Jamel’s creation has now transformed into something monumental and now has upward of 5,000 participants annually.

Since the initial Polar Plunge, the event has not only expanded to various parts of New York, but has also reached other parts of the United States such as Minneapolis and Maryland. No matter where the participants partake in the plunge, they all seem to adore the experience as a whole. Liam Ryan, a Plattsburgh student and member of The Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity, recalls his first experience with the plunge.

            “I was in my freshmen year and the fraternity had about 20 guys do it.” Ryan said. “We decided to go in speedos and the water was insanely cold. I actually tripped when I was trying to get out of the water.”

            Although there are many individuals like Ryan who choose to take their chances in the arctic like waters, this is not the only way to be involved in the event. There is an area designated as the “plunge zone”, where family members and friends can go to cheer on the hundreds of participants. Alex Zack, a sophomore at PSU, was amongst the “plunge zone” last year and recalls how energetic the atmosphere was.

            “I was just going to watch my friends go in the lake and I didn’t really think much of it.” Zack said. “But right before everyone was about to go in, the crowd went crazy, it was like being at a Yankee game.”

            Zack’s personal experience with the plunge has had a big impact on her and she plans to go in the water herself this year. Her story is a prime example of how effective the Polar Plunge is in reference to raising awareness as well as participation.

            Another way that the campaign attempts to get more people involved can be found through the incentives that they offer to individuals who raise more than the mandatory hundred dollar donation. The incentives range anywhere from a sweatshirt blanket to the highest reward of a Luxe Spinner Carry-On, which entails a donation of at least 5,000 dollars. Despite being small tokens of gratitude to the participants, the incentives act as a source of inspiration for those who donate.  Brendan Thomas, a previous participant, was happily surprised when he received a water bottle for raising 250 dollars.

            “I honestly wasn’t expecting anything.” Thomas said. “I’ve kept the water bottle and it’s nice to have a reminder of what I did that day.”

            Despite the fact that the Polar Plunge is only entering its sixth year here at Plattsburgh, the event has gained significant attention and support over the years. An idea as unique as the plunge can only grow and having a cause as worthy as the Special Olympics will only add to its infamy.

            “It’s not just jumping into icy cold water.” Gilli said. “It’s raising money for a good cause while at the same time being more fun than you could imagine.”

No more Big Macs?

By: Sarah McMullen

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Creamy milkshakes, juicy hamburgers, and crispy fries are the bread and butter of the McDonald’s retro menu. Speaking of retro, McDonald has been a household name since the early 1940's. It has become largest fast food restaurant in the world.

            The twenty first century has shed a light on the harms that McDonald's food is causes people. Foods high in fats and non organic meat, fruits and vegetables are no longer acceptable as good food choice in today’s society.

            As a result of the changes in food preferences of people McDonald's has economically been feeling the changes of peoples tastes bud. That poses the question whether the two Plattsburgh location are in jeopardy of closing their doors. Kaila Young, a college student at SUNY Plattsburgh said “I honestly would rather spend the extra 10 dollars and go to Chipotle because I know that the food is organic and healthy.” Young is a person who monitors everything she puts into her body and McDonald's is not an option because of the amount of salt and fat.

            Young isn’t the only student backing off McDonald’s dollar menu Brianne Reilly is a nutrition major at SUNY Plattsburgh. Through Reilly’s studies she has seen how bad McDonalds food is and how unnatural their ingredients are. Reilly said, “McDonald’s food causes high blood pressure and weight gain. I really don’t want to eat food that does that to my body.” 

            On the other hand there are some local Plattsburghians who enjoy eating a big mac and a large fries. The two local McDonald's have been around for over 10 years. For some it had become a staple in their everyday diet. Either because of cost efficiency and fast service.Taylor Mignone a past McDonald's employee loved the food she served. She would eat it once in a while and it did not drastically affect her health. Mignone said, "It's a cheap meal and if you choose the right things off the menu its actually not that unhealthy." Mignone had dealt with all the McDonald's job duties. From cleaning the bathroom to flipping burgers on the grill. She insisted that all the ingredients were up to par. She went on to say that McDonald's in town is thriving with business and she would be shocked to see it close down for business. Mignone also went on to say that McDonald's does not nationally own its franchises they are owned by private investors.

Another supporter of McDonald's, Kailey Wolin, a local of the Plattsburgh area. Wolin frequents the McDonald's on Cornelia street at least a couple time a month. She will grab a quick breakfast and coffee on her way to work. Wolin said, "The food tastes great and its super budget friendly." Wolin shared how she would be upset it the Cornelia Street McDonald's would close. However she would understand because many people have adapted a healthy lifestyle.

            Even local competitors are feeling the change in peoples eating habits. Erin Byrnes a employee at Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has noticed a difference of people orders and choices off the menu. Brynes said, I have been working here for 2 years and I have seen regulars come in and start ordering salads instead of pulled pork sandwiches.” There has also been a decrease in the amount of costumers Byrnes continued to talk about how once regulars have become once in a while costumers. Byrnes hopes that business will pick back up.
            It seems like many fast food restaurants are struggling in the form of people seeking out healthier options. McDonald's is a 75 year old business that has been grown into a fast food empire no matter the nutritional findings. Will this generation be the ones to push McDonald's to close it’s doors. 


Lumber Jill’s take on non-profit status

By: Angela Lince

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Lights shine down on the women, dressed in their colorful uniform attire. Padding, helmets, and pride are a visual part of the roller derby look. The whistle is blown, and the women are off. Their season is slowly approaching center stage, for all to see and help the community as well.
The Adirondacks only roller derby team, the Lumber Jill’s, all started in the Spring of 2010. The team unified and was established as an all-female, flat-track derby league. Over time, they have developed respect and a name for themselves, due to their outstanding events that are based on the fun of the game, while raising money for organizations.
Just a year ago the flags were raised; allowing the team to be known as non-profit , which was originally a Limited Liability Company, meaning, the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company's debts or liabilities. Since their existence back in 2010, they have been covering ground all over Clinton County, trying to help the community in need. The team also prides itself in supporting others while dedicating time to further their understanding of roller derby and female athleticism.
Starting a nonprofit organization can be an inspiring way to give back to your community and help those in need. However, it is important to understand all of the steps involved in this process before moving forward. Growing and sustaining a nonprofit may take years of effort and a great deal of determination.
Difficulty is a given when establishing a non-profit organization. For the Lumber Jill’s, waiting around for the official announcement of their new obtained status was the biggest hardship. Danielle Baker, a former five-year Lumber Jill, (Derby name, Mayday Va JJ) says the process in becoming non-profit was a “challenge”, but it was ultimately the right choice to make. For years, the team put on events to raise money for causes, so it just seemed to make sense. One constant struggle for the Lumber Jill’s is getting their name out for all to know. “Advertisements and radio announcements/PSA’s are expensive, so we find our best advertisement is through giving to the community”, Baker said.
President of the Lumber Jill’s, Maddie McGrath (Derby name, Chucky Finish-Her), said: “We pretty much try and help people who ask for it, when our schedule allows for it. If someone within the group has an organization or event they want to work with, they voice it to the team, some outside groups also ask for our help.”
According to, the first step in creating a non-profit organization is by drafting your mission statement.  “Developing your mission statement is a critical because it communicates your nonprofit's purpose, what groups it serves, and how it will serve them. Every decision and action in your organization should support and further your mission,” (How Do I Start).
            Grantspace also guides you to the next step: “Write a business plan.  Just as with a for-profit business, a business plan can help a nonprofit describe how it intends to achieve its mission in more specific details. It also can be used to outline a new project or venture,” (How Do I Start).
Last but not least, you must “Develop your board.  As your nonprofit's governing body, your board fulfills a variety of roles and legal responsibilities. In order to carry out these duties effectively, the board will change as your organization grows and matures. While recruitment is an important step in this process, a systematic approach to board development, including orientation, training, evaluation, and the cultivation of prospective board members, is critical to ensuring its long-term success” (How Do I Start).
“Our organization has several committees that focus on different topics, one being the donation committee. You don’t have to be a player on the team to be a part of the committee. We’ll still consider you a Lumber Jill”, Baker said.
                So far, these powerful women have displayed their support through many events, a few being: “The First Weekends in Plattsburgh” is an event that occurs the first Friday and following Saturday of select months. They bring music, arts and entertainment to the downtown streets of Plattsburgh. Another event they attended was the annual SUNY Plattsburgh, “Take Back the Night” event based on men and woman coming together to raise awareness about the sexual assault issues people face today in April 2015. In February 2015, they also attended the BHSN children’s carnival, helping with selling popcorn and beverages.
In the year 2015, the Lumber Jill’s were looking to collaborate with the Heart Association, Kent-Delord House Museum, Impeerium Peer Network, Reality Check of Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties, as well as Imaginarium Children’s Museum, and the Girl Scouts. These organizations are normally introduced to the audience around the Lumber Jill’s half-time show, where then proceeds are collected.  For an event called, “That 70s”, the Lumber Jill’s invited the Autism Alliance of Northeastern New York to perform at the half time show, while informing the audience about the organization.
Another Lumber Jill event, “Pint of Revenge”, allowed the Impeerium Peer Network of Plattsburgh to benefit from the 50/50 raffle. The Impeerium Peer Network is a local organization dedicated to assist[ing] peers along their journey toward recovery by shifting them in a direction to help themselves in their time of need. The program is all peer-based, so it allows you to experience the individual comfort one should have in situations connected to mental health. The Lumber Jill’s often focus on organizations that target the awareness of mental health, since it’s an ongoing issue in the United States.  The participation in helping other organizations doesn’t stop there. A “Born in the USA” doubleheader match, the featured non-profit is ROTA Studios and Gallery ROTA, received all proceeds of the 50/50 raffle, held a spot in the show (to inform the public) and performed during the half time show.
“Back to School”, another event was covered to help the Bailey Avenue School district. At the time of the event, the president of Plattsburgh Roller Derby, Erin McGill also known as Teachy McKill, decided to give back to her own school. Since McGill is a teacher at the school, you could see why she would find Bailey Avenue to be a spot in her heart.
As mentioned before, the Kent-Delord House Museum was a focus for the team, where they raised money to help it.  Member boarder director of the Kent-Delord House Museum, Sharron Vell, stated that the funding was in idea brought by Connie Manderville, a former Lumber Jill, and former Kent-Delord House Museum employee. Giving back to their own organizations is important to them, as well as many others.
All of these organizations have benefitted from the proceeds raised by the Lumber Jill’s. Danielle Baker says that from there, the money is used by the organizations in many ways—but at the end of the day, receiving a thank you card and a smile is all they need to feel truly successful.
If you’re looking to help the Lumber Jill’s with proceeds focusing towards local organizations and just enjoy a classic derby match, you’ll be seeing these woman appearing in the “later winter, early spring”, Baker said.


Getting the most maize for your buck

By: Anthony Calabrese

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Local farms take advantage of the agritourism craze by building corn mazes.  Agritourism is any type of attraction that can bring revenue to farms. Area farmers have been utilizing the strategy differently. 
The 3.5 acre corn maze is only one of many agritourism features at Rulf’s Orchard in Peru, New York.
“We even have an orchard to pick fresh apples, freshly pressed apple cider, even take rides down to the pumpkin patch.” said Derek Mckee, delivery driver and maintenance man. 
            In addition Rulf’s offers a night maze two weekends out of the year and hosts a bonfire where visitors can drink free fresh pressed apple cider.
            Plattsburgh resident Marci Hamel, business owner/ title searcher takes her children Nik (12) and Leah (9) to Rulf’s. She said, “We like the challenge it’s a lot harder.  We had fun hiding from each other, and playing around for the first hour. Then we got so lost that we just took a straight line for the second hour to finally get out of the maze.”
Fourteen miles away in Plattsburgh, at Country Dreams farm, Owner Melissa Monty-Provost explains their agritourism practices, “When you come to visit the maze,” she said, “We bring you to the maze from the parking lot and give you a tour of the front side of the maze. (We) take horses every weekend to transport people to the corn maze and pumpkin patch field. We only use the tractors on the weekends if it is really busy or if there is a special request such as boy scouts come into town.”
            After the Halloween season Country Dreams farm harvests their corn stalks to feed their livestock’s that consist of goats, horses, chickens, donkeys, and cows. This is a real operational animal and crop farm, it’s more than just a corn maze, there is also a petting zoo, and a kids play area.” Monty-Prevost said.
When asked about the one thing that people don’t know about her corn maze Monty-Provost responded, “I think people don’t realize how much work we put in the maze. It’s our heart and soul.”
 Hamel’s family also has visited Country Dreams Farm. “Country Dreams is a lot of fun as well, because they have the petting zoo, where they actually take you on a ride pulled by their very own horses.”
 Two hours south on interstate 87 is Schuyler Farm. The corn maze here is seven acres and has been around for 13 years. Co-owner Ken Macica is proud to discuss how, “we use blueprints, and set the field up on a paper grid showing each row of corn, and how they map out the maze.”
Macica notes how the corn maze fits in nicely with both the location of their farm and the other areas of their business. Being right off the highway makes their greenhouses visible in the spring and the corn maze in the fall.
One farm that uses the corn maze completely differently than the others is Tucker Farm. The Corn maze is the primary revenue generator in the fall according Vice President Tom Tucker.
Once September hits, Tucker Farm will be in full swing harvesting their main product, seed potatoes. Potatoes happen to be this year’s corn maze theme of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head vacationing in the Adirondacks.
According to Tucker, all of the employees and the Tucker family come together to decide the theme of the eight acre maze. They are proud that they design and manage the entire corn maze themselves.
Plattsburgh area corn mazes range in size from three to eight acres and have been in business between five and 13 years. Prices vary from $4 - $14. The mazes range from family friendly in the daylight to haunted and spooky at night.


Little League Tommy John

By: Alex Ayala

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Parents should always let their child enjoy their childhood and never force them to do more than they should.
When you put your child into a sport, sometimes competition can take over your decision.
“Sometimes I’m guilty of it myself because I have an 11 year old son, sometimes I push him to play too much,” Kris Doorey, assistant coach of the 11 & 12 All-Star team for the Plattsburgh Little League team and current head coach of the Plattsburgh State baseball team said.
Numerous studies including those from American Academy of Pediatrics to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons show a rise in shoulder injuries, specifically youth pitchers.
A study in 2014 by Dr. Benton E Heyworth of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, an organization whose members must demonstrate scientific leadership, involvement and dedication in daily practice of sports medicine, showed that 95 patients ranging from 8 to 17 years of age were diagnosed with proximal humeral epiphysiolysis, otherwise known as Little League shoulder.
LLS is an overuse injury caused by too much throwing or repeated overhead throwing with improper mechanics.
Take Kurt Ouellette, a pitcher for the 11 & 12 All-Star team for the Plattsburgh Little League team.
Ouellette has been playing baseball since he was four years old and has been pitching since he was six.
He may have never been injured while pitching, but Ouellette has said his arm can get sore when pitching too much. He has even pitched through pain at times.
Or look at the example of former pitcher Ronald Davis.
Once offered a minor league contact to sign with the New York Yankees, he rejected because he knew he pitched too much.
“I remember pitching for four straight games,” Davis said. When he did pitch for four straight games this was during the Georgia State Championship during High School, which is too much by today’s baseball standards
Every time a pitcher throws a ball, they create small rips in their ligaments requiring time to heal. For Davis, because he pitched so many games without rest, his arm wore out.
But before that, he learned a pitch called the Drop pitch, which was similar to a curve and splitter but breaks at a much high rate.
He learned this pitch while playing Little League, which under today’s Little League rules is too early to learn.
Sometimes those kids need a little bit of recovery time away from that sport to do something else,” Doorey said. 
So what is the solution?
Doorey has said that parents and coaches control what their child can and cannot do.
            The mother of Kurt Ouellette, Michelle Ouellette, said that she makes sure her child isn’t over pitched.
“We’re careful about that,” Michelle said. “We watch out for him and make sure he ices his arm and he isn’t over pitched.”
Davis adds that though competition is good, parents and coaches should be very aware about their child pitching too much and making sure they get rest.
Doorey points out that kid should look and participate in more than just one sport. He mentions that when a kid choses one sport, they usually end up burning out of that sport.
“Parents have to start looking at it as ‘Alright I want what’s best for my son and is playing baseball four times a week going to make him a Division I college athlete so he can get a scholarship?’ Maybe, but also maybe not,” Doorey said. “There aren’t a lot of 9 10 year old kids that say. ‘Mom and dad, I’m only going to play baseball.’”

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The red tape could be a cause for concern

By: Madison Winters

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.— When walking past the Moffitt Residence Hall construction site, it's hard to miss the bright red caution tape that reads “Danger Asbestos”. Plattsburgh State students aren't strangers to construction on campus but unlike the Hawkin’s pond renovation, could this project have potentially harmful effects on students?
When asked if moffitt residence hall contains asbestos, Steve Matthews director of housing for Plattsburgh State said, “It's in the ceilings; it's in the adhesive for floor tile, the adhesive for dry wall.”
“There's asbestos in almost every building built before the year 2000” Matthews said, “Your home is probably filled with asbestos”
How does exposure affect your health?
After speaking to the Clinton County Department of Health, Sr. Public Health Samaritan Judy Ross provided information about asbestos exposure directly from the New York State Asbestos Control Bureau.
According to the New York State Asbestos Control Bureau, asbestos, in its several varieties, is a naturally occurring mineral, formed of very strong fibers that are both heat and corrosion resistant. Because individual asbestos fibers are so small and light, they cannot be seen with the naked eye and can easily become airborne.
According to The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, Significant exposure to any type of asbestos will increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including asbestosis, pleural plaques, pleural thickening, and pleural effusions.
              Dr. David Sugarbaker, mesothelioma specialist, world-renowned doctor and certified thoracic surgeon, says long terms survival with this cancer is possible.
“With help from new technology, we're making vast improvements but at the end of the day it's still a struggle.”
With serious side effect such as cancer, how would students feel about being exposed to this dangerous substance?
“It makes me very upset” Diana Moore said. The sophomore, and former biology student, has learned a lot about the toxic substance, “With Asbestos, once you breath it in it sticks to your lungs,” Moore said. “After being exposed for extended periods of time you can develop cancer”
Moore lived in Whiteface Hall last year but spent most of her time with friends that lived in Moffitt Hall. She said that after seeing the red tape she “definitely didn't feel very safe”
“It's definitely a little worrisome” Sabrina Santos said when asked how she felt after seeing the caution tape outside of the building that she lived in last year.
Santos, a sophomore biology student, didn't understand why students weren't informed about the presence of the asbestos in the room where they spend the most time.
Why wasn't something done about this issue sooner?
Matthews said that the campus hired a consultant to “Look at the conditions of our buildings, see what needed to be done and how much it would cost.”
According to Matthews, the list of renovations was scheduled out over a ten year period.
“We're trying to finish one side of the street at a time” Matthews said.
Talking about the safety of students, Matthews explained that asbestos is a naturally occurring substance,
“It's perfectly fine until it's called friable” he said, “which means it's airborne.”
Was the building renovated because of the asbestos?
“During the renovations we're removing all of that material from any place that students would have access to”
Matthews said that the construction crew is working floor by floor.
“Have you seen the plastic?” Matthews said. The plastic coverings are to insure that none of the airborne asbestos is released from the building. After the demolition, the hazardous material is “removed from the building and properly disposed of” Matthews said.
With that said, during the removal process are students passing by the building being exposed to the toxic substance?
“The construction site can't be safe for students to be around” Santos said, “Students are still going to breathe it in.”
Matthew's said that students aren't at risk for exposure because of strict guidelines set in place by the federal government.
“The requirement from the federal government is that you have to have a 25 foot radius around the spot” Matthews said, “To let people know that asbestos is being removed”
Even after learning about the safety precautions that PSUC and the construction crew are making,
Santos said, “Still, a warning or heads up would have been nice,”
Matthews said that PSUC pays a separate company to “Sit on the construction site with a monitor,”
“They test just to be sure that absolutely none of it getting out of the containment area,” He said.
Matthews reiterated how important student safety really is very to PSUC.
“It's not flying around in the air, for you to breathe in, at all” Matthews said.