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February 27, 2014


Filed under: Author,Features — duncan @ 1:13 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Author Tells How She Conquered Her OCD Without Medication

“OCD and Me: My Unconventional Journey Through Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (2/27/14) — A new book tells the story of how a life-long sufferer conquered her own Obsessive Compulsive Disorder without medication.

OCD And Me (Cover)“Some people suffering from OCD definitely do need medication, but I don’t think people realize there are alternatives to try before they subject themselves to medication which can have disagreeable side effects,” said author and former OCD sufferer Bess Cunningham. “Medication often only treats the symptoms, but not the underlying disorder. Understanding of what is happening to them and natural therapies can be very helpful to some sufferers, especially children.”

“OCD and Me: My Unconventional Journey through Obsessive Compulsive Disorder,” by Bess Cunningham (PlantaPress, Liverpool, U.K., Dec. 2013), includes the author’s personal narrative with OCD, supplemented by interviews with OCD specialists, and information on natural therapies that help to alleviate OCD, anxiety, and depression.

“This is not a clinical book. It’s a creative informational work that’s meant to connect with the reader on an emotional level,” Cunningham said. “I want my readers with OCD to know that they’re not alone in what they’re experiencing — and for their friends and loved ones to better understand what it feels like to have OCD.”

Cunningham has learned to laugh at some of her past experiences with OCD. But she still can’t laugh at the isolation and humiliation she felt as a child. In grade school, she had a pet goldfish that she loved very much. One morning she had an intrusive thought that told her to wear a particular red headband every day or else her fish would die.

“I was very anxious about wearing the same headband every day,” Cunningham said. “My Granny used to wash it, but I didn’t even want her to wash it. I just wanted to wear it so my fish would be all right. This went on for years.”

One day, she told the kids in her class why she wore the headband, and she was picked on and teased thereafter. “I felt terrible,” she said. “I would get stomach aches from the ridicule. That’s what happens when you speak about this condition. And, no, I can’t laugh at that story. But I can laugh about a lot of other things.”

At one point Cunningham’s OCD was so bad, she had to withdraw from college. But it was not until 1999 that she gained insight about widespread her condition was. After psychotherapy sessions failed to help her, she turned to the Internet and found an online discussion board for OCD sufferers and professionals exploring treatments.

“I used to just live with it, as best I could,” said Cunningham. “But one thing led to another and I learned about professionals like Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, who advocates for a four step self-treatment behavioral therapy approach that helped me a lot. I believe you can change your brain chemistry, and you can do that naturally, by listening to music, immersing yourself in humor, using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), taking Inositol, which is a form of Vitamin B, as well as other natural therapies in the book.”

An interview with Dr. Schwartz, author of “Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior” (Harper Perennial, 1997) appears in “OCD and Me.” The book also includes an appendix of resources and an extensive bibliography and information about other OCD specialists.

“My hope is that this book will inspire and teach OCD sufferers that they don’t have to live this way,” Cunningham said. “There’s humor in my book, but there’s a lot of pain, too, that people can empathize with.”

“OCD and Me” is available through booksellers across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and through Amazon. Illustrations are by David Michael Lyndon Thomas.


For an author photo and book cover, visit:

To request an interview or review copy, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or


Bess Cunningham was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is President of Landing Gear, a Brooklyn based company with retail stores in the New York area, which she and her husband run. She is also a mother, a photographer and book editor. None of this would be possible without her conquering her severe OCD, which she did alone and without medication.

She blogs at (OCD and Me)

Find her on Twitter at:


February 6, 2014


Filed under: Business,News,Troy NY — duncan @ 2:42 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430

Albany Area Restaurants Oppose NYS Cork Tax Legislation

Restaurants serving boutique wines would be hurt by “At Rest” law

ALBANY, N.Y. (02/06/14) — A proposed New York law (A5125-2013 / S3849-2013) would require that wine and spirits sold in within the state must be warehoused “At Rest” in New York state for at least 24 hours prior to delivery. Currently, these products stop first in New Jersey warehouses.

“The reason the wines are warehoused in New Jersey is because all of the ports are located there,” said Dominick Purnomo, wine director / owner, Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie located at 25 Chapel St in Albany. “If they were to then truck the wines into New York for storage, that would raise prices at every level.”

Although the two largest wholesalers in the state are located in New York, many small-scale distributors currently use New Jersey warehouses. While large wholesalers generally represent mass-produced wine and spirits, the smaller distributors are known for showcasing boutique wine and spirits produced by small, independent labels.

“This is not about creating more warehouse jobs in New York City. It’s about the mega-distributors trying to create a monopoly for themselves by squeezing out their smaller competitors,” said Vic Christopher, who owns the Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second St. in Troy, along with his wife Heather LaVine. “Our business is based on natural and hand-made wines. The passing of this law will adversely impact hundreds of New York retail shops and restaurants like ours.”

A coalition made up of small wine and spirit distributors, distillers, wholesalers, vineyards and retailers from across the state is challenging the proposal. The “Stop the Cork Tax” Coalition represents 37 New York businesses dedicated to preventing the additional costs associated with the proposed “At Rest” legislation. The coalition believes that the cork tax is detrimental to New Yorkers because:

  • The cork tax is being pushed by big wholesalers to eliminate their main competition: i.e. small businesses across the state.
  • The cork tax will make it harder for New York wineries to access the NYC market.
  • The cork tax will drive up costs for New York wine and spirits by as much as $27 million a year while also reducing consumers’ choices.

While the Stop The Cork Tax Coalition is comprised of distributors, a group of Capital Region restaurateurs are standing by the coalition in voicing their opposition.

“This law will be debated in Albany, and we want the companies we do business with to know that we are here in the state capital taking a stand,” said Christopher, who has contacted his county, state and federal representatives regarding this matter.

Joe Armstrong, wine consultant at Winebow Importing located at 75 Chestnut Ridge Road, Montvale, N.J., said he fears that “two big companies are trying to use the government to eliminate their competition, resulting in the loss of jobs in thousands of wineries.”

Kevin Everleth, chef / owner of The Wine Bar and Bistro on Lark at 200 Lark St., says the “strong-arm tactic by big corporations to enhance their profile at the expense of small business” is “unacceptable. Period.”


Christopher urges any anyone working in the wine and spirits industry in New York to visit to send a message to their representatives asking them to Stop The Cork Tax.

This includes all servers, chefs, bartenders, hosts, wine salesmen, store clerks, and other employees of New York retail shops and restaurants potentially affected by the law.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, and Assemblyman Joe Lentol, D-Brooklyn. To read the proposed legislation, visit:

Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430


February 3, 2014


Filed under: Business,Events,Troy NY — duncan @ 3:04 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact: Carmen Gonzalez, 516-857-0474 (*Note: Long Island Area Code 5-1-6)

Carmen’s Cuban Cafe Troy – Extended Hours, New Menu, Delivery

Now Serving Authentic Cuban bread, Soups & Sandwiches | Free Sampling of New Menu Items Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. event

TROY, N.Y. (02/03/14) — Carmen’s Cafe will be open for extended hours, offering new menu items and delivery, starting this Wednesday, Feb. 5. The public is invited to a free sampling of the new menu items at a re-opening ceremony this Wednesday at 1 p.m.