Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The man behind the march

By Winta Mebrahti

Excited Bernie Sanders supporters in Plattsburgh get to watch the senator on TV, behind his

modest podium, debating against Wall Street and Trans-Pacific Partnership. They see him

advocating for fair wages and tuition-free colleges. On the streets of Plattsburgh and on Facebook,

they see Adam Guillette, co-organizer of “March for Bernie,” who fights for Sanders to make those

plans a reality. They see him marching and honking for a new America and a new world.

“This is definitely the time to capitalize on that (excitement),” Guillette said. “To sustain the

movement and grow the movement, this is probably the best time to get into activism or politics.”

After Sanders announced his candidacy, Guillette decided to dedicate most of his time to

political activism. Guillette and two locals he met on Facebook organized the local version of the

national “March for Bernie” event in February and they've planned the “Honk for Bernie” event in

March 26.

Patty Blanchard, co-organizer of the events, said she Adam and Wendy Bridges — the third

co-organizer — met on the comment section of a photo posted on the “Upstate NY for Bernie

Sanders” group. She said that the lack of political activity in the area and their will to change that

brought the trio together. The March for Bernie event was Guillette's first big event he co-organized

— one they pulled off within eight days.

“The Bernie campaign has given him a politician he believes in,” Guillette's girlfriend, Liz

LaRosa said.

Guillette is a Plattsburgh State graduate who, growing up, “didn't like politics much,” but

who has always had an ambition to change the world.

“Adam was the one who was more apt to listen and come up with a fair judgment that would

be the most appropriate for everyone,” Guillette's father, Michael Guillette said. “That showed me

he really cared about people and their well being. He made sure they were really happy and


It was a trait that stayed with him until now LaRosa said.

Despite his feelings about politics, the Morrisonville native started out his college career as a

political science major, but quickly decided to switch to sociology. It was in the sociology major

that he learned about how local actions have a global impact. His major was also where —

specifically his philosophy class — Adam's interests and personality eclipsed.

“It spins the way you think,” Adam said. “You think more globally. That it's important to

make sure every body has the highest standards of living, and that people aren't suffering.”

Lead by those sentiments, Adam, a senior at that time, got involved in “Occupy Plattsburgh”

in 2011. It was a local march in response to “Occupy Wall Street” in New York City and one of the

first activist rallies he participated in. There, he met like-minded people whom he kept in touch with

and whose help he used to organize the “March for Bernie” event.

After college Adam felt the need to continue working to better his community through event

planning, so he joined AmeriCorps in Morrisonville. There he worked in the preparedness

department with children and senior citizens for a year. Adam planned educational events about

safety and disaster preparedness, among other things, and was known to the kids as Scrubby Bear

guy. It was a nickname he got from teaching the children how to wash their hands. He loved it.

Because of his new found love for working with kids and his interest in helping his

community members, Adam thought school counseling was his calling. A semester into the graduate

program, Adam dropped it discouraged by the toll working with mistreated children took on his

future colleagues.

“I think I would like to help them, but I just thought that it would take a toll on me being

around that much pain and negativity.” Adam said. “I figured that if I was going to work with kids, I

want it to be more fun and positive.”

Though he left the program to escape negativity, Adam does realize that it's not always

going to be easy being a political activist. When Hilary Clinton won five states at once, Adam was


“If you actually believe in creating a long lasting political revolution or a political

movement, you can't have one tough night take any wind from your sails.” he said. “You just got to

keep pushing the next day and every day after.”

Burdo gives animals second chance

By Kristine Giurco

“I wake up everyday and am happy to go to work because my job is so rewarding. I don’t think I could narrow my love down to just one thing,” said Rebecca Burdo.
The Elmore SPCA Animal Shelter, located on 556 Telegraph Road in Peru, NY, is home to many animals and also, Burdo, shelter manager.
The location is a non-profit organization with a no kill animal policy. The main objective of the shelter that Burdo enforces is to rescue and rehome the cats and dogs that are brought in.
Burdo’s job entails dealing with the community, adoption services, and veterinarians. She has been shelter manager for the last 3 years.
“I am most passionate about creating a family with every adoption,” said Burdo. Olivia Pizarro, Burdo’s employee, said that her boss tries to make adoption accessible for everyone. Burdo’s adoption policy requires the applicants to have 2 person references and an appropriate home life.
Bonnie Miller, Elmore SPCA Animal Shelter’s coin manager, said that adopters are constantly expressing their gratitude for Burdo’s kindness, empathy, and willingness to help during the adoption process.
Burdo makes the adoption fees significantly lower than other shelters to make the adoption process more attainable for an assortment of people.The shelter gets no profit off the adoptions. The cost includes only bedding and medical procedures, according to Pizarro.
Pizarro described Burdo by claiming that she, “Takes no nonsense but, in a good way. She takes her job very seriously. She loves what she does and she’s passionate about it.” The employee said Burdo is known for treating every person who comes into their shelter fairly and equally.
Nicholas Williams, a future adopter, said that Burdo had no problem lending a helping hand while figuring out if animal adoption was right for him.
“A lot of my questions seemed obvious and kind of stupid but she was really kind and told me what I needed to hear. It was clear she gets asked the same things probably every day but she still answered with a smile,” Williams said.
Whether it is a person who can’t care for their pets and need a non-judgmental helping hand, a person who is a potential applicant, a person who is a potential donor, or a person who is looking for help with the over cat population, we treat everyone with respect and kindness. We, humans, are the animal’s voice. It is imperative that we can communicate, educate, and help everyone that we can,” Burdo said.
Burdo’s courtesy goes farther than with just animals. She is always there when her customers, family, or employees are in need. Burdo’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers and Dementia early in her life. She was her mother’s full time caregiver and started working at the shelter to get a bit of a break and distraction.
“My mother, a nurse by trade, had taught all five of her children to be caregivers. It was almost a seamless transition to become a full time employee when she passed and to implement her teachings in dealing with both our two and four legged clients,” Burdo said.
Burdo has also helped many of her coworkers throughout her time at the shelter. She allows many volunteers to join the team for experience or to complete community service.
Miller said that her and her husband spent 11 months remodeling the shelter so they could relocate to their old home. After this, Burdo took over and made sure that the place looked just as good as when they remodeled.
Burdo tries to connect and grow with her surroundings. She believes the relationships that matter most while trying to make a difference in life are the people that share our environment.
“I love the light that comes into a person’s eyes when they have met the right pet for them. I love that moment when an abused animal realizes that they are safe with us and you can see them relax. I love watching the animals heal both physically and mentally under our care,” said Burdo.
Burdo acknowledges that running a non-profit animal shelter can be hard. She stated that seeing how much being loved by an animal and an animal loving people can change lives for the better, makes it that much easier to do what she does every day.

Heroin issue plagues Plattsburgh

Jasley Molina

In New York, the rate of Heroin admissions into treatment centers has increased by 30

percent. Currently, there are a few drug and substance centers in Plattsburgh; however, the

closest in-house drug recovery facilities for Plattsburgh residents are located in Albany and


           As of January 2016, to combat the Heroin problem in Plattsburgh, Governor Cuomo

announced a new funding plan that will help add more treatment centers and programs in areas

such as Syracuse, Troy and Plattsburgh.  The Champlain Valley Family Center will be

incorporating a new detox program in their center. The news of this has Plattsburgh residents

expressing polarizing opinions on whether this program will be enough to combat the Heroin

problem in Plattsburgh.

         Former employee of Walmart Edekira Liberato noted the necessity for more rehabilitation

centers in Plattsburgh. “Last semester, I worked at Walmart, and the side effects of drug use

were observable in nearly 90 percent of the workers there, ranging from rotten to missing teeth,

and blotches in the skin,” Liberato said. She also said that some of her coworkers were “twitchy

and unable to focus.” Whenever she decided to walk to Downtown Plattsburgh, she would see

one or two used syringes on the street. Liberato supports the idea of having a new rehabilitation

center in Plattsburgh. She believes that with the new facility, more people suffering from Heroin

addiction will have support for breaking the habit; however, she also believes that there is a

possibly that it will be difficult having a center in Plattsburgh because of the exposure and access

the patients may have to drugs in Plattsburgh. “It seems that it is not uncommon to have

problems with drug use around town, so it might be difficult for people to kick off the habit

when they are constantly being exposed to cues and surrounded by other drug users.” Liberato


           Daniela Hernandez is a sophomore at SUNY Plattsburgh. She says that she is skeptical

about the state’s funding plan and detox facility addition. As a student, she believes that the

Heroin problem in Plattsburgh can easily become a problem on campus. She recalls going to an

off-campus party and seeing someone snort a “suspicious looking white powder that looked like

crack.” She was on her way to the bathroom. She opened the door and saw three men snorting

the white powder from sink. Others were around her when she opened the door; however, no one

reacted to the situation. She believes that the use of one drug and can lead to people

experimenting with “harder stuff” like Heroin. Hernandez is skeptical about the detox facility

because she feels that the city of Plattsburgh has “spent too much money and time on combatting

a problem that still has no resolution.” While she hopes that the number of drug admission

decreases, she is doubtful that the center can single-handedly solve the problem.

           Old Navy employee Elida Espinosa says that this program will not work because it is the

college students that bring drugs from their hometowns to Plattsburgh.“You can see it at parties,

in broad daylight, I saw it once in the mall. It was two guys. They popped out the car and they

look really off.” She described the two men being extremely fidgety and paranoid.  They

appeared to be chewing on their tongues and scratching their arms profusely. She has also

witnessed a lot of suspicious activity around the Renaissance Village Suites in Plattsburgh.

Espinosa says that mentors and advocates should reach out to communities and campuses and

educate them on the consequences for consuming drugs. “You have to take small steps with

this,” Espinosa said.

          Kayla LeGendre is a housekeeper in Plattsburgh. She belives that there is a lot of addicts

roaming the streets of Plattsburgh. She recalls once being at the Champlain Center parking lot

and almost stepping on a syringe. “A lot of people are living off of government assistance in

Plattsburgh. Some of these people have nothing to do, so they start experimenting with stuff they

shouldn’t. Everything is handed to them. It is hindering the city’s growth. They are making us to

do the extra work,” LeGendre said. LeGendre feels unsafe walking alone at night, especially in

Downtown Plattsburgh, because of the suspicious behavior in the streets; however, LeGendre is

hopeful that the Champlain Valley Family Center’s rehabilitation program will support those

who are struggling with sobriety.

         The Champlain Valley Family Center will be running this rehabilitation program in 2017.

If you know someone who is need of assistance for drug addiction, there are several outpatient

treatment locations in Plattsburgh: Champlain Valley Family Center located at 20 Ampersand

Dr., Plattsburgh. N.Y., Clinton County Mental Health and Addiction Services located at 16

Ampersand Dr., Plattsburgh, N.Y., and Conifer Park located at  80 Sharron Ave., Plattsburgh,


Zika a non-factor for spring breakers

By Emily Kim

Spring break calls for relaxation, and if lucky enough, bathing in the sun on the

beach on a tropical island miles away from home. But it seems to be that every so often

there’s a new disease that causes chaos and immediate concern around the world; this

year, it’s the Zika virus. However, those traveling don’t seem too hesitant to cancel any

spring break plans.

Zika virus has been around since 1947, but only recently has it become an

international pubic health concern causing a scare around the world. The symptoms of the

virus are similar to those of other diseases, including fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes,

making it hard to recognize as Zika. Because it is spread through mosquitoes, prevention

is difficult. With no vaccines or specific treatments, the main focus for doctors is to cure

the ones who already have the virus.

This virus has been the recent epidemic over the past couple of months. The mass

media and news coverage has been spreading awareness about the virus, but yet many

people are still not aware of it.

“I actually had no idea about the Zika virus until one of my friends told me about

it a week before going on spring break,” Chelsey Larkin, a spring breaker, said.

Larkin had just come back from going on vacation to the Dominican Republic.

And with the virus being prominent in the Caribbean and Latin America areas, her spring

break could have been one to forget. She wasn’t aware of the affects and the conditions

Zika virus gave, but decided to give her luck a chance by going anyways.

“I was freaking out a little bit because I was just reading all of these things about

it right before leaving, but it didn’t stop me from going. I just made sure I had bug spray

and hoped for the best,” Larkin said.

Although Zika virus is an international public heath concern, many people are not

worried about catching the disease. Even though the mosquitoes carrying the virus are

more popular in the Caribbean islands, travelers are deciding to stick with their tropical

spring break plans.

Karina Ferreira, a spring breaker traveling to St. Lucia, had known about the virus

in advance of planning her trip. She read articles and retained information that relieved

her from worrying too much about it for her vacation.

“I’m not too concerned because the Zika virus is mainly a problem to a woman

who is pregnant because it leads to birth deficits, but to a woman who is not pregnant it

hasn’t had serious effects,” Ferreira said.

People who get the disease can have symptoms lasting up to a week, and then

they are free from infection. However, for women who are pregnant, these symptoms

become more complicated and dangerous. Mothers who carry Zika virus give birth to

babies born with unusually small heads and brain damage, also known as microcephaly.

Amanda Buskey had recently gone on vacation to Dominican Republic with her

husband. With the hopes of starting a family, Buskey was aware of the possible affects

Zika virus could have on women who are pregnant and those who are trying to conceive.

She knew about the virus before going to Dominican Republic and took extra caution.

“Since my husband and I were aware of the possible threat, we were careful to

ensure not to become pregnant prior to or during our trip,” Buskey said.

And instead of having the thought of the virus ruin her trip, Buskey was proactive

and applied insect repellent multiple times throughout the day. But knowing that the virus

most likely leaves a person’s system in no more than a week, Buskey was given relief for

her future plans on becoming pregnant.

“When deciding to start a family, there are endless worries that go through your

head without the need of adding stress of the Zika Virus into the mix,” Buskey said.

With the words “Zika virus” printed on newspapers and headlines, awareness is

being spread. And with the photographs and coverage on these babies with

underdeveloped brains, people who are taking notice are observing the horrific

consequences it can have on someone.

“When I heard about the Zika virus I had no idea what it really was. All I thought

was that it was a non-preventable and incurable disease, so obviously I was hesitant about

going on spring break to Aruba,” Nicole Rescigno, spring breaker, said.

Awareness is evident and is concerning, however, people who are not pregnant or

are trying to become pregnant are learning to be less concerned than those who are. And

after reading information about the virus and learning the symptoms and its affects,

spring breakers seem more than okay with traveling to their original destinations.

“Besides the possibility of being pretty sick for a few days, I knew that my spring

break vacation would be worth it,” Rescigno said.

Corner-Stone Bookshop still thriving

By Yessenia Reynoso

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – You open the door and it hits you, the smell of old books and wood

shelves. You scan the room and towers of books from floor to ceiling fill your eyes. The floor

creaks as you take a step, and the men at the counter flash you a welcoming smile, you’ve

arrived at Corner-Stone Bookshop.

For 41 years, Corner-Stone Bookshop has occupied the corner of Cornelia and Margaret

St., a feat that current owner, Art Graves, acknowledges. “It’s got a history,” Graves said, “It’s a

comfortable place.”

Graves purchased the bookshop from its original owner Nancy Duniho back in 2011. “I

was working as a chemist, and I ended up getting laid off,” Graves said, “the owner was trying to

sell the business, and I ended up buying it.”

Despite the change in ownership, much remains the same. “We moved some books

around, but for the most part everything is the same,” Graves said.

Corner-Stone Bookshop has amassed great popularity among community members, and

even visitors from abroad. “We get tons of Canadian customers,” Vince Higgins, bookshop

employee, said.

Higgins, who has been an employee at Corner-Stone for 15 years, has witnessed first-

hand the success of the bookshop and has interacted with customers almost every day. “The

biggest reward is when I help someone find a book,” Higgins said, “and if we don’t have the

book here, we’ll find it for you.”

This attention to customer service is one of the reasons that community member Mandi

Spofford enjoys visiting the bookshop. “I appreciate the interactions that I have with everyone at

the shop. It’s conversational, it’s lively, you rarely find that in bookshops,” Spofford said.

The conversational atmosphere that Spofford refers to is a big staple at Corner-Stone, one

that Graves has made sure to preserve. “People like that we ask their name,” Graves said.

“There’s not many bookstores like this in this area, actually there isn’t any,” Higgins said

when asked about what has helped the business remain open for 41 years.

“This is the secret to the success of this place, having great used books,” Higgins said,

and in an era where people can find their books online or in their phones, there must be a reason

that customers keep coming back.

The selection, the space, and the reasonable prices are three reasons that Graves believes

customers continue to return to Corner-Stone every day. “Having three floors helps,” Graves

said, “there’s tons of books and customers can just wander around, and we’re a non-judgmental


Another reason why community members visit the bookshop is its community outreach.

“They have had book signing events in the past, which allows for extra interaction between

community members,” SUNY Plattsburgh student Chelsea Reid said. “The bookshop and the

community are one in the same; that’s authentic,” Reid said.

Corner-Stone has managed to operate for 41 years, and the owner, employees, and

customers understand how special that is in the town of Plattsburgh.

“I call this bookshop a port in the storm,” Higgins said. “People come in sometimes in a

bad mood and leave with a smile. This place’s got heart and soul.”

Business professional goes local

By Olivia Cahill

Imagine a large vat open vat being filled and mixed with cheese in a factory. Then

imagine that a light bulb explodes overhead and shards of glass scatter into the vat,

unnoticed by the employees below. Then that cheese is processed, packaged, and shipped

off into the stream of commerce – right on to your kitchen table. This is an issue that the

women at Cahill Consultants Inc. address on a daily basis.

Cahill Consultants Inc. is a female owned and operated consulting firm that that provides

product safety and regulatory compliance assistance to companies that design,

manufacture, distribute, retail, and import/export products into the global stream of

commerce. Founder and CEO, Katherine Cahill, previously worked as the Global

Managing Director at Marsh & McLennan- the largest insurance broker in the world.

However when the recession hit and Marsh downsized, Cahill decided go into business

for herself. “I came up with the idea in 2011. I had recently learned that my youngest

daughter needed me home because she was diagnosed with autism. Starting CCI allowed

me to have a flexible work schedule and be there for my family.” she said.

The CCI consulting firm was established to assist woman who chose an alternative work

style that would allows them to use their education and fit their work life into their family

life. While working with projects involving the automobile, pharmaceutical and

agricultural industries, these women have the taxing job of consulting companies on how

to avoid as well as how to recover from product recalls while also being a liaison with the

FDA and other governmental organizations.

Senior Vice President, Kathy Hill, has worked with Cahill for over a decade and still

continues to enjoy the variety of clients they assist on a daily basis. “One of the most

interesting projects that I have had the opportunity work on is in the dairy industry.” Hill

said. “Katherine and I toured various dairy facilities and we had the opportunity to see

butter, cheese and milk production in process.  Additionally, we have toured various

dairy farms from small capacity to larger capacity that utilized techniques inspired by

Temple Grandin”

Putting things out into the stream of commerce can be a difficult task, especially when a

companies working area is not in tip top shape when the FDA walks in. That is why these

specialists take the time to examine every angle from the creation to the end product and

see if there are any liabilities that may have been overlooked by the companies.

“We are a client driven firm and our main challenge is to service our clients in a

profession manner and provide them with high quality work product.” Hill said.

One aspect of their company that has become a worldwide phenomenon is

telecommuting. With offices in Oklahoma, California and New York, there is plenty of

room for traveling all over the U.S. Any time a company needs a facility review, the

women from CCI will be all the way to Chicago and back home within the day. Director

of Finance, Allison Foltmann, has not previously had to travel so much for work. “Before

working at Cahill I was self employed at Modern Accounting Solutions. I set up

accounting systems for companies as well as maintained them.” In addition to doing that

for Cahill Consultants, she also has had to get used to the large amount of traveling that

occurs throughout the company. Any time a company needs a facility review, the women

from CCI will travel all the way to Chicago and back home within the day.  On the non-

traveling days, you can find Cahill sitting in her fathers old blue recliner right in the

middle of the home office.

Intern Sarah Sheehan has just started working at the firm and already has learned a great

amount about the industry. “I love the ability to constantly be learning about something

new with every new client that Katherine acquires comes research on that product/market

and learning the regulations surrounding that. it never gets boring. the most challenging

part is keeping up with Katherine - she's always 20 steps ahead of the rest of the world.”

Sheehan said.

In terms of the future “I believe Cahill Consultants, Inc. will be the premier consulting

firm in the areas of product recall, liability and risk management issues that companies

face on a day to day basis.” said Hill. All the employees agreed that no matter where they

go, the next step is global. With offices in England and Canada, these women plan to help

not only companies in need of their consulting expertise, but they also plan to inspire the

next generations of women to show that they can be equally if not more successful in a

“mans world”.

Good weather, bad business

By Nicole Collado

PLATTSBURGH, NY—The Adirondacks are well known for its Ski Mountains and

fresh powder but this winter the North Country fell short in its snow-bearing

department. According to Brittany Taylor, Director of Marketing at Titus Mountain,

“it’s been a very strange season.”

This winter Titus spent all of January preparing for the Empire State Winter

Games.  Through all of January workers had the mountain’s snow guns running and

created an estimated 60-ft pile of snow, despite the lack of snow making weather.

Fortunately over the summer Titus installed new snow pipes, valve house and pump

house to assist in the creation of snow that was going to be necessary this winter.

“Ski Mountains of course are seasonal business’ and there are always going to be

some warm seasons,” Taylor said, “Unfortunately Mother Nature was not with us

this year.” Taylor said they made up for the lack of snowfall by making sure that the

trails that they have open are at the best condition they can be in, she spoke highly

of the work done by their snow making fleet and groomers.

Jean-Francois Ravenelle, retail and service manager at Mont Sutton a ski

resort at the Quebec and Vermont border said, “Both east and west, this is the worst

season that I or any of my elder customers have seen in our lifetime.” Ravenelle is

49-years old and skis at Whiteface and Stowe Mountain between two and three

times a season.

Francis Zuber, executive board member of SUNY Plattsburgh’s ski and

snowboard club is on the same page as Ravenelle. Zuber even went as far as to

travel to Colorado and Wyoming this season to get in some backcountry skiing.

“Hopefully it’s just an anomaly and next year brings lots of snow,” said a concerned

Zuber, “I really just hope this winter compared to last years record breaking cold

winter is a wake up call to everyone about how real climate change is.” The National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced this month that the 2015-2016

season was the warmest on record so far.

According to five-year employee Brantley Beach, Viking Ski and Cycle also

had weather attributed low sales this season; “it’s been the slowest season by far

since I’ve worked here.” Beach mentioned that Viking’s back country ski line that

has grown quite noticeably over the past couple of years was hit the hardest in sales

this winter. “I think the warm weather has caused people to go the mountains less

often in general,” said Beach, “the less often they go to the mountains the less often

the need tune ups and want more gear.” Viking Ski and Cycle is a full service ski

shop located on Route 3 in Plattsburgh.

While many ski mountains have taken a hit this warm winter season, nothing

will stop them from creating and grooming the best conditions they can for their


Champlain focuses on microbead problem

By Sean Messier

New national legislation was passed by Congress in December that will ban companies

from manufacturing products containing microbeads. The bill goes into effect in mid-2017 and

comes after multiple states have already passed similar legislation. But while this bill helps at a

corporate level, plastic pollution will likely still affect the ecosystems of Lake Champlain for

some time, said Dr. Danielle Garneau, an environmental science professor at SUNY Plattsburgh.

According to LA-based research organization 5 Gyres co-founder and executive director

Anna Cummins, plastic pollution is a problem that, on a global scale, has not been adequately

addressed until recently - especially from the microplastics angle. Microplastics, by definition,

are small pieces of plastic that typically measure under 1mm in diameter and come in many

shapes and sizes, such as fibers and beads. They can be found in toothpastes, exfoliants, and

other personal products.

These items pass through drains in the home head to wastewater treatment plants - where they

are too small to be filtered out - and, in the North Country, are spat back into Lake Champlain.

Along the way, they act like magnets to the materials they pass through, which can include

dangerous toxins contacted at the treatment plants. Once in the lake, these pieces of debris are

often consumed by animals due to their miniscule size or similarities in looks to food that the

animals typically eat.

Garneau, along with her students, has been coordinating microplastic testing and research

on the waters of Lake Champlain since 2012. One of many Lake Champlain-based microplastic

research projects Garneau has had a hand in planning is the educational expedition of

expeditionary studies major Robert O’Connor, who will paddle a kayak from the northern tip of

Lake Champlain to Manhattan while taking water samples along the way. While O'Connor

originally had interest in taking such a trip for fun, the microplastic angle and contact with

Garneau and her students did not come to fruition until more recently.

“My skillset is based on the expedition portion and paddling and kind of doing the actual

trip itself,” O’Connor said. “So the fact that I can help provide scientific information just by

going on these trips is the coolest part about this expedition.”

The trip is still in the planning stages, but O’Connor expects to begin just north of Rouses

Point and end in Manhattan while stopping frequently in order to recover and send off various

test samples taken on the trip, including some taken with a makeshift trawl that will be connected

to his kayak. The samples will be sent to Plattsburgh to be integrated into the university’s

research as well as Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a Montana-based environmental

research organization, in order to help further analyze the pollution levels of Lake Champlain.

In addition to the trip itself, O’Connor will be working with two high schools - Saratoga

Springs High and Hudson Valley High - to discuss the trip’s findings, the sampling process, and

explain how the tests work to help increase consumer education by discussing the preventability

and alternative options.

The need for community education about microplastic pollution is one thing that most

experts can agree upon. According to Lake Champlain Committee Executive Director Lori

Fisher, many Lake Champlain-area consumers encountered through the Committee’s outreach

expressed real concern about the presence of plastic in their products and outrage at the negative

effects upon Champlain wildlife once they were actually made aware of the presence of

microbeads. Luckily, Fisher explained, a few simple changes in buying habits are enough to help

out at home.

“One of the things consumers can do is be judicious with their purchases,” Fisher said.

“There are plenty of effective soaps and toothpastes and body scrubs on the market that don’t use

plastics as cleaning agents.” For example, while microbeads do serve their purpose as exfoliants,

there are other, natural, biodegradable alternatives that are just as effective.

Additionally, Fisher said, many companies such as L’OrĂ©al have phased out microbeads

entirely without the aid of legislation, which makes it easy enough to find products that don’t

contain pollutants.

Cummins agrees with the importance of change at a consumer level, but notes that

corporations need to continually be held accountable for the hand they have dealt in microplastic


“There needs to be major design changes, bottom line,” Cummins said, explaining that

many companies and organizations are focusing too closely on banning things, such as plastic

bags, and not enough on actually changing the design of products so that they pose less of a

danger as pollutants and are altogether more recyclable.

Marcus Eriksen, Director of Research for 5 Gyres, echoes this sentiment, explaining that

big decision makers in the plastic industry value an increased output over efficient design, which

lowers the likelihood of an imminent solution to plastic pollution.

“The industry anticipates growth in the next 30 years from the current rate of over 300

million tons being produced annually to over a billion tons produced annually by 2050,” Eriksen

said, noting the lack of discussion on regulation at a recent plastic industry conference he

attended in Brussels. “The industry does not self-regulate well. The industry is not going to

replace plastic bags with another material, or replace plastic straws. It’s not going to advocate

that. They want plastic to be sold.”

This focus on production over efficiency is more profitable and leads to less costly

products for consumers, Eriksen said, but ultimately results in continued increases pollution.

In the meantime, though Garneau admits Plattsburgh's smaller population means it is less

drastically affected by microplastics than many places, she expects SUNY Plattsburgh’s research

into Lake Champlain’s pollution to continue for at least 2 more years. The Lake Champlain

Committee will also continue to study the issue, in addition to myriad other issues the lake is

facing, including invasive species and oil pollution.

Yama puts a spin on sushi

By Kevin Morley

PLATTSBURGH N.Y.­­ Yama Sushi is putting a spin on the traditional Japanese

cuisine experience where they let the food speak for itself.

Since their opening roughly four months ago in downtown Plattsburgh, the

restaurant is the new kid on the block. Manager, Joy Liu, brought Yama Sushi to

Plattsburgh knowing that there was already an established Japanese cuisine

competition in the form of Koto. However, Liu believes the experience of the two

restaurants have their distinct differences.

“When you go to Koto, you get a show with the Hibachi,” Liu said. “Here,

there is no show, we just prepare the food and it goes to the customers plate.”

The growing clientele at this upcoming establishment makes it evident that

the traditional Hibachi “show” is not missed. The customers are appreciative of the

quality of food they are getting as well as the variety the menu offers. Brendan

Thomas, a sophomore at SUNY Plattsburgh, has had his fair share of dining ventures

at Yama Sushi and he is more than pleased with what the restaurant has presented

him with.

“Yeah, you may not get the crazy knifes flying around and the little onion

volcanoes that you would see at Koto,” Thomas said. “But the creativity of the food

beats out the simplicity of cooking the normal Hibachi menu.”

The creativity that Thomas refers to can be found in the contents of the menu

at Yama Sushi. Sushi rolls vary from the classic California roll to the location

oriented Plattsburgh roll. Although it is offered year the Christmas roll also breaks

the generic rolls that many Japanese restaurants offer.

Beyond the food, the atmosphere of Yama Sushi is refreshing. Once again,

they walk away from the traditional Japanese tendencies as they have the

alternative rock station, WPTZ playing upon entering, rather than the common

Japanese folk music.

The walls of the restaurant space are coated in the bright “Mets” orange that

gives off a trendy vibe; catered to the abundance of college students that have made

this restaurant their go to spot.

“I think that it’s perfect for college students because of how played down the

atmosphere is.” Evan Floreck said. “I feel like when you walk into Koto a customer is

inclined to think that it is a much fancier place than it is. The fact that this place is

less extreme in their presentation of the store makes it more welcoming to a college


Not only does the space of the restaurant bring a welcoming vibe to it’s

customers, but the staff has been known to be able to relate to their customers on a

personal level. Liu is known by her customers as the smile that greets you at the


“I think a big part of the success of this place is the fact that you feel

comfortable here,” Rachel Buonforte said. “When I came back after my first visit

here I already felt like a regular.”

A sense of community has been established in this particular restaurant, even

the way that people hear about it is by word of the community. Liu has decided to

not use advertising for her rising company, which is an interesting business move

on her part. However, this leads to the interaction of people as a way for the name of

the business to spread rather than hearing about it on a commercial.

Liu’s decision to hold off on advertising embodies her immigrant spirit. Yama

Sushi is Liu’s way of making a living for herself and providing for her family. She is

not looking to make some huge chain that goes national. As of right now she is just

trying to get by.

Liu believes that providing the best food for her customers should be the

main focus of her business. When it comes to her long term goals for Yama Sushi,

her wishes are quite modest.

“I’ve been working in the Japanese restaurant business for ten years now,”

Liu said. “In those ten years I’ve yet to have a nice sit down meal with my family. I

just hope this place brings enough success to me where I can make that dinner

happen some day.”

Longtime store still relevant

By Alexis Archilla

PLATTSBURGH N.Y­ In this college town, there are very few convenient stores that have been

around for the public to buy goods. Needless to say there are very few stores that have a long

history like Chuck Wagon.

Chuck Delcore took over the store in 1969 which originally was a pharmacy. The

pharmacy was named after Chuck Ferrington.

“It made sense to leave the name” said Delcore. Mr. Delcore, not only owns Chuck

Wagon which is located on 121 Brinkerhoff street but also owns the laundromat on Williams

Street and two apartments.

One apartment that is right above Zukes Deli and the other that is upstairs of Chuck

Wagons. This helps out college kids or locals find a place to live. So far it’s been forty seven

years and still going strong.

“ We have many customers coming in, most are college students but some are locals that

come every day” said Chuck.

One person that loves Chuck Wagons that is so called a “regular customer” goes by the

name of Sharon Raymond. Mrs. Raymond has been going to the store for two years just about

everyday for lunch.

“I usually get michigan's which is one of their specials on the menu or I just enjoy a nice

sandwich” said Raymond.

It’s a great place to eat and get to know people, maybe that’s why they have been around

for so long.”

Her experience there has made her feel very welcome every time she steps through the

door. “They are very caring people who treat everybody equally, even those with disabilities”

says Raymond.

His family has been a big help with the process of keeping his business running


His daughter, Kim Delcore, has been working in the family business for thirty two years.

She started when she was eighteen years old and has loved it ever since.

“I don’t come to work and hate working, something funny happens every day” says Delcore.

Unlike Express Lane and other stores. Chuck Wagon’s or Chuck’s which some people

call the store for short, use to deliver Sandwiches and alcohol to dorms and houses back when

the drinking age was eighteen which was in 1982.

“Yes we run our store on college kids” Ms. Delcore said. “It’s good to be busy through

the school year and then have a break in the summers, even though the days are a lot slower”.

The Delcores have helped numerous people by giving them jobs at their store. One young

man by the name of James Oliver has been working with the family for seven years.

Mr. Oliver suffers from ADHD which was caused by his brain injury, but even though he

suffers from this illness he seeks many positives while working in the store.

“ I love working and meeting new students every year” said Mr. Oliver.

Mr. Oliver, who is thirty years old, feels at home when he is at the store and wouldn’t rather be

anywhere else.

“Chuck and his family have taught me a lot about work ethic” said Oliver.

Even when I’m not here working, I like being here because the regulars are like family.”

Hospital has increased focus on patient care

By Kristen Suarez

BURLINGTON, VT— In the United States alone, millions of patients every year

are harmed in hospitals, while being treated. These errors can occur due to lack of

communication, spread of infection, and reactions from drugs along with other errors.

The Institute of Medicine reported that 98,000 people die in hospitals each year as a

result of medical errors that could have been prevented, according to two major studies

conducted in 2013.

In recent years, The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, is changing the

way Medicare pays for hospital care by rewarding hospitals for delivering services of

higher quality and higher values. Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers

and Systems, HCAHPS, has become increasingly important for hospitals all over the

United States. These surveys are used to measure patient’s perspectives on hospital care.

This is the first national standard for collecting or publicly recording patients’

perspective. The success of a hospital is now weighed heavily on these HCAHPS scores.

The University of Vermont Medical Center has created the Patient and Family

Centered Care Steering Committee to help improve hospital quality by working. This

committee aims to create mutually beneficial partnerships among health care, patients,

families, and providers. Members of this group include nursing, physicians, human

resources, the UVM Medical group, and UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

After attending a Patient and Family Centered Care conference Lisa Emerson:

Nurse Manager, Baird 5, recognized the importance of a PFCC and pushed to start the

committee. “I asked my mentor, if I were to really push for patient and family centered

care on Baird 5 what would that look like, what is the first thing I’d have to do? And she

said you need a patient and family centered advisory council, that’s the number one thing,

so she helped me get the ball rolling on that, and from there it just became what I talked

about all the time, it was what I felt very strongly about, like this is the only real way that

we can truly take care of our patients and families with the dignity and respect that they

deserve.” Emerson said.

“And so that was that, but then the organization started looking at the patient

experience, so HCAHPS, became a big thing, and our hospital scores were not that great,

and that really looks at the patients experience, rather than there satisfaction.”

Over the past two years a formal position has been created to focus on these

issues. Amy Cohen, Patient and Family Centered Care Project Manager, and Charlotte

Safran, Patient and Family Centered Car Coordinator work together at The University of

Vermont Medical Center towards improving patient and family centered care.

“I was working at a local non-profit called Vermont family network, and I learned

about a volunteer opportunity to be an advisor for the children’s hospital advisor

council,” Safran said. “I had some personal experience, my son Lincoln was in the

children’s hospital when he was 5 days old and continues to be followed up by

neurology, cardiology, and endocrinology and via that volunteer position I found out

about this grant funded position funded by the children’s miracle network.”

In addition to these positions, and PFCC, The UVM Medical Center has created a

Patient and Family Advisory Council. “My position is half time, and my co-worker Amy

Cohen and I felt that for me to focus on augmenting the number of patient and family

advisors we have on board so I try to connect with doctors nurses and community

members to really connect with families of patients who have used the children’s hospital

explain about our program and ask if they would like to serve as an advisor on a

volunteer basis.”

Dr. Kirsten Isgro, SUNY Plattsburgh professor, became of the Patient and Family

Centered Advisory Council after spending time in and out of the hospital with her

daughter. “The larger goal is to introduce, what does patient and family care look like

using the four pillars; collaboration, information sharing, participation, and dignity and

respect,” Isgro said. “Some of the things I’ve been called to is presenting at the pediatric

Grand Rounds for doctors, nurses, medical students, nursing students, and administration

at The Vermont Children’s Hospital sharing my own story about things that have gone

well things that have not gone so well.”

Recruiting Patient and Family give the hospital their perspective on policies,

programs, facility design, operations, and education. “I was able to sit in on a Patient and

Family Centered Advisory Meeting because I’m interning with UVM Medical Center

currently. It was nice hearing patients, and family members voice be heard, especially my

professor, Dr. Isgro.” Flora Veitch, SUNY Plattsburgh student/UVM intern, said.

The Patient and Family Centered Care Council work towards achieving

population health, reducing cost, and improving the patient’s experience. Implementing

culture change and the education plan will help caregivers move from doing “to” or “for”

to “with” patients and their families to work collaboratively. The hospital intends on

lifting traditional restrictive visitations to a welcoming all at any hour, along with a new

building for inpatient private rooms. HCAHPS has moved hospitals towards patient, and

family satisfaction, creating big change in hospitals all around the United States.

New name - new place

By Noah Cooperstein

The Broad Street Commons embodies a whole new meaning of living “the suite life” in


The Broad Street Commons, previously known as the College Suites, is located at 59

Broad Street. The College Suites was recently in the news for tax issues with the building. These

issues have been acted upon and the facility shortly after went under new ownership.

The Broad Street Commons went under new ownership in early January of 2016 when

Campus Advantage had purchased the facility. Campus Advantage is a student housing

management company with an abundance of buildings and a total of about 60,000 beds located

throughout the country.

The building in which the Broad Street Commons is located at was built in 2008 and

since then has offered the options of four bedrooms/two bathrooms or two bedrooms/one

bathroom styled apartments.

The apartments are completely furnished in both the living room and the bedrooms. They

also include various full-sized appliances.

Mary Thwaits, the General Manager at the Broad Street Commons, believes that amongst

the various different aspects that the building provides, the most important is the range of

amenities the building offers it’s residents.

The amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, on-site cafe called Smooth Moves, free

cable and high speed Internet, 24-hour controlled access, as well as various other benefits.

One of the newer amenities is the Student's First experience. Campus Advantage created

the program with three core areas in mind: living, learning and career. The experience includes

various events, community service and workshops.

One of the most recent events that were held was a Career Week, which took from place

February 23 till the 25th. During these three days residents took part in getting professional

headshots taken, creating business cards and participating in a webinar.

Thomas Clarke, a resident at the Broad Street Commons, considers living there to be one

of the best decisions he has made while attending SUNY Plattsburgh.

“There is so many different aspects about the Broad Street Commons that have made my

living experience great,” said Clarke. “My favorite part about living here is the 24-hour fitness

center. As an avid gym goer it is perfect to have in the building, especially if I need to get a

quick workout in.”

Besides the vast amenities that are offered at the Broad Street Commons, their location is

also a big draw-in for potential residents.

The building is only a five to ten minute walk to the campus, which is very convenient

for the residents of the building who attend SUNY Plattsburgh.

Besides having a convenient location to the SUNY campus the Commons also has

arrangements with Clinton Country Public Transportation to take our residents to Clinton

Community College as well as various other destinations in Clinton County, free of charge.

As well as providing a place of residence for college students, the Broad Street Commons

also employs students to work in the building’s office. Both Kelsie Boudreau and Jordan

Seymour, Public Relation Majors at SUNY Plattsburgh, hold Community Assistant positions in

the facility.

Boudreau and Seymour each have been working at the facility for two years and have

learned a lot from their experience.

“Being a Public Relation major, I have been able to use a lot of what I have learned in

class in real situations. It really has been a great experience and honor.” Boudreau said with

ambition in her eyes.

Boudreau and Seymour both are able to dabble in the marketing, promotional and leasing

aspects of the job.

“This job has definitely helped with narrowing my career path after college. I learned

many useful skills that will help with my future career.

The Broad Street Commons has been able to open many doors to both residents and

community members with a secure promise of many more years to come.

Plattsburgh locals show Irish pride

By Eve Barnofsky

PLATTSBURGH NY- On the Durkee Street Parking Lot, in downtown Plattsburgh the first

annual Plattsburgh Irish festival paints the city green.

Bouncy houses, vendors, and live music, the parking lot down town was packed.

Children running around with their faces painted. Parents enjoying the Adirondack Hard cider

tavern. Everyone enjoying the free ice cream provided by Stewarts.

Sandra Geddes, special events coordinator for the City of Plattsburgh, put together this

even with the help of First Weekends in Plattsburgh and Adirondack Brewery.

“I wanted to create an event that can be ongoing and return over the years and show the

community that plattsburgh has a lot to offer.” said Geddes.

Geddes, the first special events coordinator for the City of Plattsburgh had the idea to put

together an even series like she said to show what Plattsburgh has to offer. After her first event

she was excited to plan more and she thought of Saint Patricks day. She has been planing this

event since November.

 She and ADK Brewery had worked together on other events for the city. When she asked

they were more then happy to participate.

“At the end of the festival ADK Brewery will donate all the funds they made today back

to the city.” Said Geddes.

Ryan Bliss an ADK Brewery representative and bar tender at the Irish festival. It’s the

first event of the year and the weather is unbelievable Bliss commented. For a Plattsburgh winter

the sun was out and the weather was warm.

“We didn’t know how much beer to bring, it was very new to us and we just had someone

go back to the brewery to get more beer because its going so well.” said Bliss.

With beer flowing, Bliss servers costumer after costumer. People were loving the hard

cider and you could tell they kept going back for more.

While live music played and children ran around. People seemed to be enjoying the

event. There was a scavenger hunt that the kids could participate in. They had to go to the local

businesses downtown and solve the riddle that one of the workers gave them. Kids could be seen

running around in green trying to solve the scavenger hunt.

Local vendors such as the Celtic Crafters were loving the days event. Bridget the

Celtic Crafter thought the event was going good and is busy.

Finding the listing on Facebook to be a vendor, she filled it out the application and went

from there.

“We will definitely be here next year.” said Bridget.

The town was out to enjoy this event. Sheila Rowlands a festival goer was enjoying the

event with her friend and her dog.

Rowlands originally from Syracuse was excited to hear that Plattsburgh was having an

Irish festival because where she is from on the weekend before Saint Patricks day, syracuse, has

a big parade.

“I love it, were going to sample some sider and I love the live music. I think theres

something for everyone, its really nice.”

Crystal Cabose - a hidden treasure

By Emily Gregoire

Gail and Bill Borkowski are the co-owners of the Crystal Caboose: a gift emporium and holistic resource center. The caboose carries crystals, stones, jewelry, music, beads, dowsing, and supplies.
            Neither Gail nor Bill are from the Clinton County area. Bill hails from Connecticut and Gail from Massachusetts. Their journey to West Chazy is one of persistence and optimism.   
            “The more you say yes to the universe, the more it will give to you,” Gail Borkowski said.
           In 1987 the Borkowski’s were paying a visit to the Rand Hill (Beekmantown) area, where their good friends had taken residence. Actually they were the exact same friends that introduced Gail and Bill for their blind date in 1979. The two later married in 1982.
           Gail had always taken a liking to the area, “I’m part of the earthquake generation,” Borkowski said. She stated that Northern New York is one of the safest places to be, “not too close to the ocean or a large city,” said Borkowski.   
             To thank their friends for the visit, Gail went to a gift shop to pick up a present. When she was there she notice a photo of the local West Chazy train station and immediately thought of her husband, Bill.
            Bill Borkowski has always loved anything to do with trains. During their visit they drove by the railroad station. He set his sights on owning that station.
          The Borkowski’s were in the presence of Ms. Atwood throughout their visit. Atwood was the town matriarch at the time. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. Bill informed Atwood of his intentions so that she could keep an ear out.
          Two weeks later the Borkowski’s were informed that the train station was for sale. Bill and Gail packed up and decided to retire from their 9 to 5 jobs to move up north and set up shop in a used-to-be train station.
          Once they got the idea of having a caboose on their property, the Borkowski’s wanted to ensure that the neighbors would love it just as much as they would.
          The first few transactions for a caboose didn’t work out. To show their support, neighbors of the Borkowski’s created a handmade, cardboard caboose and displayed it on the tracks that had already been laid down.
           That following January of 1997, the caboose distributor had called the couple to inform them that the previous buyer’s check had bounced and they would be receiving a caboose.
.           It had taken the power of two cranes and two trucks to get the caboose to its final destination.
          Gail used her artistic abilities to create a warm, inviting space inside the caboose which had its opening debut in 1998.
           Along with the for-sale items, the Crystal Caboose hosts community events throughout the year.
          Last December there was a holiday themed wrapping party, where community members gather in the community space and were provided with gift wrap for the upcoming holidays. “We are always a resource center” Borkowski said.
The Borkowski’s advertise their business through the store’s website and other social media platforms, but for the most part it’s through word of mouth.
          “I heard about crystal caboose from my mom who heard about it from a coworker back about 8 years ago,” Brandon Bedard said.
         Gail describes her customer base as optimistic, open-minded, spiritual, generous, thoughtful, and intuitive.
           The Crystal Caboose is a tool for people when they are going through times of transition and may need some encouragement. “People come when they are supposed to,” Borkowski said
         “My first impression was a sigh of relief for some reason, Gail is an amazing person who is very knowledgeable and kind. The moment you step inside the caboose, you will safe, loved and at home,” Bedard said.
         “My first time there I was absolutely amazed at how everything I am interested in learning and living by was put in one little caboose,” Courtney Forkey said.
          To many, the caboose is much more than a gift shop. “There is insight to a higher world beyond the one we I habitat and the crystal caboose is the foot in the door,” Forkey said.
         The caboose itself is a great place, but the owners are just as great. “Gail is someone who you look to, to help you find exactly what you are looking for or destined to find and will always answer your questions from insight and her own experiences, rather than what you want to hear,” said Forkey.
          The Crystal Caboose is this quirky hub for a niche interest, yet it holds such an important place in the hearts of its supporters.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Takia Feliciano Makes Impact on Adolescents

By Jasely Molina

Every morning, Takia Feliciano’s day begins at 6:15 a.m. Today is Monday. She

showers, gets dressed, eats breakfast, takes her son to daycare and drives for 35-38 minutes until

she reaches her destination: Moores Elementary School. By this time, it is roughly 7:45 a.m.

Feliciano makes her way into her office and turns on her computer to review her notes. Today.

she will be speaking to nine students- her goal is to reach 12. She gathers her stuff, walks out her

office, knocks on the door of the classroom down the hall, greets her first student and waits for

them to follow her out of the room. The teachers already know what she is here for. The student

walks out and follows Takia Feliciano to her office. Walking down the hallway, she asks the

student about their week and how they are feeling. She eases the students and builds a sense of

comfort for them before they begin their 30 minute therapy session together.

             Takia Feliciano, a school mental health therapist at Moores Elementary School and

Rouses Point Elementary School, has been working as a school mental therapist for five months

now. Her schedule shifts throughout the week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, she works at Rouses

Point Elementary School until 3:30 p.m. She eats with her students and stays after hours to work

on her student reports. On Wednesdays, she works as a Residential Counselor at 22 U.S. Oval

here in Plattsburgh. Typically, she works with pre-pubescent children adolescents. This also

extends to children from other schools within the district as well as adults that suffer from severe

trauma or mental illness. On Thursdays and Fridays, she works at Mooers Elementary School.

          “I decided to use my pain for a purpose,” said Takia Feliciano. Being raised in Queens,

NY with a mother who had mental illness and “dealing with my own trauma and seeking

counseling” motivated Feliciano to help others build self-esteem and communication skills. She

earned her Bachelor of Science in Social Work from SUNY Plattsburgh. Feliciano then went on

to pursue and attain her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling. In regards to working

with children, she noted that when she speaks to adults with mental illness, some of the issues

could have been prevented if they had therapy at an earlier age. “I believe that what I am doing is

preventive work. I want to empower [students] and help them develop coping skills that they can

use to deal with stress.” said Takia Feliciano. She feels that she can relate to many of her

students because she has gone through similar scenarios in her life.

         “[In the elementary schools] I work in conjunction with the school’s counselor. The school

counselor focuses on classroom behavioral issues. I focus more on the severe trauma cases,” said

Takia Feliciano. Feliciano’s first step in counseling is building a report. During this time, she has

to contact all of the student's’ teachers to receive a synopsis on the student. She then figures out a

suitable time to reach the student- usually during an art or gym class. Once she meets with the

student, she focuses on identifying feelings. “My job is not to give advice. My job is to allow

kids to vent and be the support system they need.” Feliciano uses art therapy as an outlet for her

students. To prevent her student from becoming reserved and believing that she solely wants to

know about the bad things in their life, she will have the student draw the happiest and saddest

moments in their life.  Then, they discuss the drawings and Feliciano lets them pick out a piece

of candy or a toy from a box to lift their mood after session. The following sessions consist of

using games to discuss topics such as grief and loss. She plays Jenga with her student; however,

there is a different way and concept to the game. Each Jenga block has number on it. Each

number a question on it. This will get the student to open up on a deep topic. After the

discussion, Feliciano ends the session with a regular game of Monopoly or Sorry. She says that

she uses these games to build communication skills. Many of the children she has worked with

have come from traumatic and abusive backgrounds, dysfunctional families or have experienced

a major loss in the families. According to Feliciano, children that suffer from trauma or mental

illness are crying inside, but act out their emotions. The feeling that the children tend to express

easily is angry. In order to cope, Feliciano gives her students mandala books to color in. As the

sessions progress, she allows the students to play their favorite music. One of her students love

Michael Jackson. Many of the younger girls love to listen to YouTube rapping sensation Matty

B. Sometimes she will dance with her students to set the mood. As Feliciano and the student dive

deeper into the sessions, the type of therapy shifts. After the fifth session, play therapy is

incorporated. Each student will be given dolls to represent their family. One student had a doll

that represented her late father. Feliciano was able to note from play therapy that the girl was

dealing denial because she included her father as though he were still alive. With this, Feliciano

was able to teach the girl about the stages of grief and how to accept that her father’s passing.

         One of the hardest things in Feliciano’s career is figuring out what her limits are. As a

mental health therapist, the details of the session are confidential; however, there are laws that

she must abide. Hence, there are moments where she ponders at what should be told to the

student’s family and teachers and what is held in confidentiality. She has also learned to “fake it

until you make it.” This means that she has to push her emotions aside and show positivity.

Some of her students wallow in the depression or stress, but she aims to bring them hope and

push them forward. The way that she approaches this is through motivational interviews.

Motivational Interviews are conversations where she will ask the students thought-provoking

questions that sway them to making rational and positive life decisions. She refrains from forcing

them to do anything that they do not want to do.

           Takia Feliciano find her “niche” to be in therapy for trauma and substance abuse patients.

She plans on leaving her jobs at Mooers Elementary School and Rouses Point Elementary School

within a year. Post graduate school, she has worked for PROS (Personalized Recovery Oriented

Services). This program assists patients with mental illnesses build the tools needed to live

independently. She also works as a C.A.S.A.C. (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

Counselor) in Plattsburgh.  Her short term goal is to expand her career and be a mental health

therapist for middle and high school students. Her long term goal is to be able open up her own

practice clinic by the age of 40. In the meantime, she works with children to become a well-

rounded therapist. “I feel so alive when I help others. When I help others, I am healing myself.”

College Hockey Brings Community Together

By Alexis Archilla

Plattsburgh N.Y. - It’s tied at two here in Stafford Arena, everyones at the edge of their seat

waiting to see what happens next.

In the back of Terrance’s head, “ when are we going to score? or could this be the last

game of the season”. On saturday Michael Radisa, a senior on Plattsburgh State, made the crowd

rawr as he scored the game winning goal against their big rivals Oswego.

As the crowd rushed to their feet both Terrance and Bryant Mcgill jumped with joy

celebrating the exhilarating goal. “It was a great game,overtime wins are the best!” Terrance

Penn exclaimed.

Penn a Plattsburgh native has been going to the games for over a year now but has never

played once in his life.

“ I never played, I’ve just grown around it, since we're right by Canada, my family and I

would go to a couple games.” Terrance couldn’t explain how crazy how the games got Saturday

night. “I know there packed but not this packed”.

A big fan that stood tall the whole game wearing all red, was relieved after the 3­2 win.

“I thought we were gonna lose” as he said spoke out of concern for the team.

The Clinton County native has been coming to the games for two years now. “I use to

play when I was younger but I didn’t stick with it”.

Big red continued as he mentioned some of his wishes for the field house. “you would

think that there would be more room and seats since there games are sold out every game.”

The stafford area seats 1924 people, they are divided between those that live in the community

and those that go to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Scott Johnson a worker in the fieldhouse explains that the community has a week before

the event to buy tickets before the students get their tickets.

“There are around five hundred and fifty people from the community that are allowed and the

rest which is around three hundred to three hundred and fifteen people from the school get their


It’s best to get tickets early. Students have to get their tickets online, each student is

allowed one free ticket. There are many students that set alarms on their phones to get up before

seven in the morning to order them.

The school and fieldhouse made it easier way to get your ticket instead of having

everyone wait on line. "I think it's a better idea." Michael Grig says. Grig, a big fan that has been

coming to Plattsburgh to watch the games for three years, takes the ferry over from Vermont to

watch the games live.

"I grew up with it, a couple of my friends play here at Plattsburgh." Grig moved from

California to Plattsburgh when he was four, "Ever since growing up in this area, everyone loved


When beating the second best team in the SUNYAC Semifinals in overtime, the

Cardinals found it hard to bounce back over the excitement as they lost to the Geneseo Knights

in the SUNYAC FINAL which is the biggest lost and upset this season.

Can the fans motivate and help the team bounce back for next year?

Barrie Finnegan Brings Attention to Local Veterans

By Noah Cooperstein

With a strong military presence in his family, Barrie Finnegan has been able to turn an

aspiration into a promising and rewarding career.

Finnegan, having both parents serving during WWII, is very knowledgeable of what had

happened during this impactful period of history.

“My mother, Laverne, served in the Canadian Army and my father, Frank, served Army

Air Corp, so military blood was all around me,” Finnegan said.

As a boy from Keeseville, New York, growing up on baseball, music and motorcycles,

Finnegan never expected he would wind up working to help those who helped our country.

“In 2013, I attended my first North Country Honor Flight send off, and I was

immediately hooked,” he said. “All I could picture were my parents walking off the plane, and

that drove me to make sure everyone would be able to get that opportunity.”

Finnegan began working for North Country Honor Flight, a nonprofit organization with

the mission of flying World War II veterans to their memorial in Washington, D.C., including

veterans from other conflicts, shortly after the send off that he had attended.

Since he began to work for Honor Flight, Finnegan has been driven and focused on every

task he has been presented with.

Recently, Finnegan has been named the director of Honor Flight, previously holding the

position of executive director of operations. Being named director, Finnegan seeks to bring more

awareness and understanding of Honor Flight.

“The biggest focus is getting the word out there about the organization.” Finnegan said

who also noted he believes that Honor Flight is the best kept secret in Plattsburgh.

As of recent, North Country Honor Flight is working with SUNY Plattsburgh’s Public

Relations Campaign Class. Professor Colleen Lemza discovered Finnegan and Honor Flight

when looking for potential clients for Cardinal PR, a student run Public Relations firm.

“I thought it was a great cause. My grandfather was in World War II, so it also hit very

close to home,” Lemza said.

Lemza and her campaign class are working closely with Honor Flight, aiming to achieve

their two major goals of finding fourteen veterans that have not yet participated with Honor

Flight and raising twelve thousand dollars.

“Working with Honor Flight has opened my eyes,” Marco DiGirolomo, one of the two

student account executives of the Public Relation Campaign class, said. “It has broadened my

understanding on what World War II veterans have done for myself, as well as what they have

done for this country.”

Since being associated with Honor Flight for only a short period of time, Finnegan has

experienced both impact to himself as well as the organization.

One of the most rewarding moments since his involvement with this organization was an

interaction with one of the veterans that participated on an Honor Flight.

Finnegan said one North Country veteran told him going on Honor Flight changed his life

and it will be a lifelong memory.

Finnegan has also created strong connections with many he has met, one of these

veterans being Ross Bouyea, who served in the Army from 1943 to 1945.

When Bouyea discovered Honor Flight, he was immediately drawn to the overall mission

of the organization.

Bouyea participated on the Honor Flight that took place on June 8, 2013. This was the

second sendoff North Country Honor Flight constructed, the first one taking place in April of the

same year. However, this was the first flight to leave from Plattsburgh, with the first initial flight

leaving from Albany.

Over the period of time that they have known each other, Finnegan and Bouyea have

built a strong bound.

“Barrie has done a lot for me since we have met,” Bouyea said. “I am very grateful for all

that he has done for me and the other veterans.”

Both agree Honor Flight has created a way of togetherness for all who have participated.

Finnegan continues to spread the word out about Honor Flight and everything that it has

done for all participating veterans.

“Finding the veterans and getting them on a plane is extremely rewarding,” Finnegan

said. “It is confirmation that you are doing something good. You have to take care of one