BUSINESS, LABOR, AND NONPROFIT SECTORS JOIN TOGETHER CALLING FOR PASSAGE OF A LOCAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (LDC) FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY
The Westchester County Association, Building Contractors Association/Construction Industry Council, and Nonprofit Westchester Urge the County’s Board of Legislators to Move Forward with the Creation of an LDC An LDC Is Seen as Key to Economic Development and Opportunity in the County(White Plains, New York....March 19, 2013) Marissa Brett, executive director of The Blueprint for Westchester the Westchester County Association’s economic development initiative, announced today that the business, labor, and non-profit sectors have joined forces in support of a Local Development Corporation for Westchester County. The object, she said, is to give nonprofit organizations access to low interest, tax-exempt financing for major capital projects that the business sector often accesses through IDAs. Since 2008, the Industrial Development Association for Westchester County no longer has had the legal authority to serve the nonprofit community. On Thursday, March 21, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) will continue their deliberations over the issue of creating an LDC; a vote is expected within the next five weeks. “An LDC in this county will open doors for the nonprofit community – healthcare, education, cultural and similar organizations – to have access to the same low-interest financing opportunities that for profit organizations enjoy,” Brett said. “Most important, the existence of an LDC will help advance economic development in the county and create jobs in this difficult economic climate.” She said that the Westchester County Association, Building Contractors Association/Construction Industry Council, and Nonprofit Westchester have issued a joint statement in support of the LDC and sent it to the BOL. “We urge the BOL to Vote for Progress,” she said. Pressure for the creation of a Westchester LDC grew after a provision of state law that permitted IDAs to issue tax-free bonds to nonprofit organizations expired in 2008. While their advantages are many, LDCs currently are not subject to the same oversight as other entities like IDAs that provide economic incentives to developers, which is why some members of the BOL have stressed the need for transparency and public scrutiny. In recent years, many local governments in New York State have created LDCs, which exist outside of municipal law, to spur growth and jobs and help stimulate local revenue. According to Brett, local labor will get a seat on the Westchester LDC, which also will encourage use of Project Labor Agreements by applicants. Ross Pepe, president of the Building Contractors Association/Construction Industry Council, noted enthusiastically that, “the LDC will create hundreds of millions in new building construction activity and nonprofit growth throughout Westchester County.” Joanna Straub, executive director of Nonprofit Westchester, pointed out that with an LDC there is no financial risk to Westchester County, “as the county is not obtaining bonds based on its credit. Rather, a nonprofit organization will obtain the low-interest bonds based on its own credentials, and get to benefit from Westchester’s Triple A credit rating.” In recent months, both the BCA/CIC and NPW joined with the Westchester County Association in pushing for the creation of the LDC. All believe that the LDC will accelerate large capital projects and capital investment in the county that had been languishing for lack of incentives and funding, and hampered by a sluggish economy. “This is the tool that Westchester needs,” notes Brett. “Today, the business, nonprofit and labor sectors are joining forces to ensure that the legislation is passed. We’re demonstrating that the entire community is working together to ensure that the BOL gets this done. It will be a win-win for Westchester.”
WILLIAM BRATTON ADDRESSES 300 SCHOOL AND POLICE OFFICIALS AT KICKOFF OF ASTORINO’S “SAFER COMMUNITIES” INITIATIVE
Former NYC Police Commissioner urges improved collaboration following Newtown tragedy
Educators and police from throughout Westchester County were urged Wednesday by former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton to make collaboration an integral piece of their efforts to keep schools and communities safe from violence.
The event was part of the Safer Communities initiative launched by County Executive Robert P. Astorino in the aftermath of the Newton, Conn. tragedy. Astorino invited police and school officials from every jurisdiction in Westchester, including public, private and parochial schools.
About 300 people attended the School Safety Symposium, held at Purchase College.
Keeping the Lights On: Lessons From Hurricane Sandy
Susan Rubin and Cameron Kelly of Transition Westchester will discuss practical strategies on how to prepare yourself and your family and also how to build the self-reliant, resilient communities that will enable us to meet the storms and challenges that lie ahead.
Meeting Time: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 7:30pm.
Refreshments by Sierra Club at 7:00pm
Greenburgh Nature Center,
99 Dromore Road.
Scarsdale, N.Y. 10583. 914-723-3470.
This is a handicapped accessible location.
Healthy New Year's Resolution Ideas for Kids
(StatePoint) If eating healthier and getting more exercise tops your New Year’s resolution list, consider extending these worthwhile goals to the whole family.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity in this country has more than tripled over the past 30 years. But you can help your family get the right nutrition and exercise to stay healthy.
“Not only is it extremely important for kids to get all the vitamins, nutrients and physical activity they need to stay healthy, but habits formed early in life -- both good and bad -- can last a lifetime,” says Dr. Thomas McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
The AAP is offering some healthy living tips for parents to help kids get on the right track for the upcoming year.
Improving Eating Habits
• You may have bad childhood memories of being forced to sit at the table until you cleaned your plate. Don’t perpetuate this method of mealtime management! It sends the wrong message by emphasizing quantity over quality and can lead to significant overeating. Foster a healthier attitude toward food by focusing on what you serve in the first place.
• Establish a routine with regular meal and snack times. Always eat meals at the table. Children who eat meals with their family consume more fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium-rich foods and vitamins.
• Once kids are old enough, encourage self-feeding as much as possible.
• Avoid soda, which is full of empty calories or artificial sweeteners. Milk and water are the best drink choices for your child. Offer whole milk or 2 percent milk to children ages 12 months to 2 years old, unless your pediatrician recommends low-fat milk. After age 2, offer low-fat milk. Limit juice to four to six ounces a day.
• Kids can be picky at first, but don’t let a refusal of a new food stop you from trying again. Offer new foods multiple times in multiple ways. For infants, you may need to even try 10 to 15 times over several months. Parents are extremely influential and can serve as a child’s best role model. Eat a variety of foods of different flavors, colors and textures.
Encourage Active Play
• Don’t let a full day go by without active play. Take trips to the park, play in the yard, go for walks and make physical activity a part of your family’s daily routine. Reduce the amount of time spent in devices that restrain movement, such as strollers and bouncy seats.
• Limit screen time, including TV, video games and computers, to less than two hours a day. Avoid placing computers or television sets in children’s bedrooms so they can get the best sleep possible.
• Encourage your kids to take part in sports teams, gymnastic and dance classes, and other activities that will get them moving.
More ideas about healthy living for families can be found at www.healthychildren.org/growinghealthy.
“No matter how old your child is, it’s never too early to establish household routines that foster healthy habits.” says McInerny.
Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry Receives $5,000 Grant from the ASPCA to Fund Community Aid
Funds will allow Pantry to provide essential assistance to in-need pet owners
White Plains, NY. — The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry today held a check-presentation ceremony to announce the receipt of a $5,000 grant from the ASPCA ® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) which will enable the pantry to accept new clients, while continuing to provide much-needed pet food to more than 220 current clients.
“The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry is humbled by this generous gift from the ASPCA, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Susan Katz, president and founder of the Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry. “Pet owners in the Hudson Valley are still struggling to make ends meet, and this grant will allow us to help more families who no longer have to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their four-legged family members. The simple act of providing a bag of pet food can be a life-saving effort, keeping the animals in their homes and preventing them from entering the shelter system.”
“The ASPCA is proud to support the mission of the Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry with this grant,” said Michael Barrett, vice president of grants management at the ASPCA. “Their efforts relieve the distress that pet owners feel when they cannot provide basic nutrition for their pet, and it’s our hope that these funds will allow the pantry to continue and expand its work.”
“I learned about Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry after it had been operating for only a few months, and I was immediately impressed with how organized, efficient and dedicated the volunteers are,” added Jill Van Tuyl, ASPCA community initiatives director for New York. “They are completely committed to keeping pets in their homes and out of shelters. For an all-volunteer agency, it is inspiring to see what a group of concerned citizens has accomplished in such a short amount of time.”
The all-volunteer Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry currently serves more than 220 families and individuals each month. As 2012 ended, funding constraints forced the pantry to suspend accepting new applicants, and only recently has it been able to add additional clients. The pantry has helped prevent an estimated 1,100 animals from being surrendered to shelters or abandoned since its inception two years ago, while distributing an estimated 32,000 pounds of pet food at no charge to recipients. It recently moved to a larger space in White Plains in response to the growing need for its services.
The pantry continues to receive new requests for services directly from individuals and through referrals from government and other social service agencies. Clients include veterans with service animals, senior citizens on fixed incomes, the temporary or long-term unemployed, and individuals with disabilities. Potential clients must meet certain financial criteria, similar to those needed to qualify for government social services.
For more about the Pantry, including an application for services and information about volunteering or donating, visit their website at: www.hvpetfoodpantry.org or call (914) 907-3487 or (914) 907-3433. The Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Livanos Family and Adam Strum to Receive Awards at Westchester Magazine’s Winemakers Dinner
Icons in the Wine and Food Worlds to be Celebrated at Gala Dinner catered by Some of Westchester’s Top Chefs
Rye, NY – The Livanos Family of the Livanos Restaurant Group and Adam Strum of Wine Enthusiast Magazine will be the recipients of the Westchester Magazine Food Award and Westchester Magazine Wine Award, respectively. The honors will be distributed during the Winemakers Dinner on June 8, which is a highlight of the Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, taking place this year June 6-9 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester.
“Both the Livanos Family and Adam Strum have had a tremendous impact on the culinary and wine worlds – not just here in Westchester County, but stretching to New York City and the entire country,” said Ralph Martinelli, Publisher of Westchester Magazine. “We are pleased to be honoring them at this year’s Winemakers Dinner and look forward to an exquisite gala dinner catered by some of the region’s top chefs.”
The Livanos family was one of the first to create a true fine dining experience in Westchester County with Livanos, a signature restaurant that was a hot spot in White Plains in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, as City Limits Diner, the restaurant has become a go-to dining destination for both the business community and for families. Moderne Barn, located in Armonk, has brought fine American food with global influences to a casual yet sophisticated space which is a true destination for nightlife in Westchester.
Adam Strum is a leading name in the wine industry as Founder and Chairman of Wine Enthusiast Companies and Editor and Publisher of Wine Enthusiast Magazine. He heads up the largest group of wine commerce and media companies in the world. Strum’s magazine has helped millions of Americans become acquainted with wine and has also helped propel wine retail sales in America.
The Winemakers Dinner is a six-course sit-down gourmet dinner prepared by Westchester’s top chefs including Chef Peter X. Kelly (X2O Xaviars on the Hudson), Chef Anthony Goncalves (Restaurant 42), Chef Michael Gallina (Blue Hill at Stone Barns), and Chef Andy Nusser (Tarry Lodge) who will each present one of the courses that will be paired with wines from across the world. The menu for the Winemakers Dinner is as follows:
Hors D’oeuvres – Peter X. Kelly, X20 Xaviars on the Hudson
Ahi Tuna and Yellow Watermelon with Kaffir Lime & Fresh Coriander
Miniature Braised Short Rib “Wellington” Foie Gras & Madeira
Lobster “Cappuccino” with Mascarpone Foam & Porcini Dust
Sashimi Maine Scallop with Chick Pea “Panisse” Creamy Togarachi & Black Salt
Goat Cheese Mousseline with Parmigiano Lace Cookie & Chive
Rock Shrimp in White Soy Emulsion with Nori Crumble
Spicy Tofu & Mango Roll with Avocado & Caramelized Soy
First Course – Michael Gallina, Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Marinated Beets with Blue Hill Farm yogurt and pine nut butter
Second Course – Ethan Kostbar, Moderne Barn
Grilled Octopus with chick pea & tomato stew
Third Course – Andy Nusser, Tarry Lodge
Garganelli with Morels, Favas and Black Truffle Fonduta
Fourth Course – Jay Lippin, Crabtree’s Kittle House
Hudson Valley Lamb Two Ways
Slow Roasted Shoulder Ras El Hanout and Pan Seared Loin with Wild Mushrooms, Farro and Herb Scented Lamb Jus
Dessert – Anthony Goncalves, 42 The Restaurant
Lemon curd, corn flake streusel, marshmallow ice cream, strawberry-rhubarb granita
Tickets are $200 per person. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless. Tickets and additional details for the event are available online at www.westchestermagazine.com/wineweekend. For more information about Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, or to become a sponsor, please call914.345.0601 at ext. 112 or email email@example.com
Studying Music Can Help Kids Do Better in School
(StatePoint) From higher test scores, to enhanced coordination, to improved time management skills, the benefits of music education are numerous, say experts. Unfortunately, many school music programs nationwide are facing cutbacks.
Parents can help budding musicians learn outside a traditional classroom by investing in properly-sized, quality instruments that are suited for learning.
If you’re shopping for a keyboard for your child, opt for a lightweight, portable model that reproduces the touch feeling and sound quality of a piano. For example, Casio’s new Privia PX-150 model has a duet mode particularly ideal for teaching. More information can be found at www.CasioMusicGear.com.
While practice makes perfect, be sure to keep musical study enjoyable for children. They’ll be more likely to stick with it.
Resolve to Meet Your Financial Goals in the New Year
(StatePoint) Achieving your financial goals can sound like a daunting New Year’s resolution if you aren't organized when it comes to your money. But by planning ahead, you can more easily improve your financial situation.
If you're new to money management -- don't stress -- new tools are making it simple to stay on top of your finances, allowing you to pay down debt and save for the future.
Here are some foolproof ways to achieve your financial goals this year:
Short and Long-Term Goals
Whether you dream of owning the latest iPhone, a home, or you’re planning for retirement, identifying your goals is the first step to making them happen. Without goals, it's easy to spend too much money on the here and now without thinking about the future. Figure out what portion of each paycheck you're willing to divert to a goal-designated savings account. This will give you a realistic idea of how long your goals will take to achieve.
Talk to your employer’s Human Resources department about how to set up a 401(k) or 403(b). Not only are your contributions to your account tax-free, but many employers will even match your contribution, which is an offer that should be impossible to refuse.
Tracking your finances can help you make smart financial decisions that won't put you in debt. But before you clear off your desk and buy file folders, consider this: electronic money management can save you the mountain of paperwork. Free online resources can help you manage all your financial accounts in one place. For example, personal finance website Mint.com, allows you to categorize your spending, create budgets and savings goals, and set up bill reminders and alerts. Available for Android and iPhone phones and tablets, you can manage your spending on the go and in real time.
Or try Quicken 2013 from Intuit, which gives you access to checking, savings and credit card account information, automatically syncing your information across your mobile devices so you can keep your accounts up-to-date by entering transactions as they are made. The bill reminders tool, budgeting features and debt reduction tool make it easier to eliminate debt in the New Year and plan for the future. You can learn more by visiting www.quicken.intuit.com.
Not all your goals will be achievable with assets you have today. Luckily, there are new, lower-cost ways to pay off debt. For example, borrowers using Lending Club can qualify instantly with a simple online application. Unlike a traditional bank loan, Lending Club enables dozens or even hundreds of people to seamlessly invest in the loan, resulting in lower costs for borrowers and consistent returns for investors.
For more financial advice to carry you through a new year, visit www.mint.com/blog.
Without help, New Year's resolutions can be tough, if not impossible to achieve. Innovative tools can give you a leg up toward your goals.