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References & Testimonials
April 29, 2014
For Immediate Release
Kathleen Tesnakis, 518-867-1864
Buddhist Teaching World Tour Comes to Troy May 2 – 4
Erik Drew Jung to Teach Happiness Through the Buddhist Path
TROY, N.Y. – The 2014 Dzogchen Buddha Path Teaching Tour stops in Troy this weekend.
Sustainable clothing designer Kathleen Tesnakis, of ‘e ko logic, is hosting Buddhist Monk Erik Drew Jung for a three-day teaching retreat starting this Friday May 2.
The events around downtown Troy are open to the public by donation. Reservations are encouraged.
Jung, of Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland, Ore., will lead sessions teaching Buddhist tools for successful meditation, reducing stress, improving heath and vitality. He returns to Troy for the second year in a row, after a world-teaching tour through the United States, Russia, Finland and Estonia.
“It’s really amazing to have a full-on Buddhist retreat right here in our community, and to offer it by donation-only,” Tesnakis said. “Erik fell in love with our city and community during his last visit. He can tell we have incredible vibrancy. We come together and we grow good things.”
SPREADING TROY TO THE WORLD
During his world travels to teach happiness through the Buddhist Path, Jung has brought a piece of Troy, N.Y. with him: a custom ‘e ko logic onion top hat, made with re-purposed saffron yellow and burgundy cashmere, with a skyblue accent and white yarns on top to signify eagle feathers traditionally worn by Buddhist monks.
“My design for the ‘e ko logic onion top hat was inspired by my childhood in the Himilayas,” Tesnakis said. “Buddhist monks wear traditional clothing and my hat was approved and blessed by Erik’s lama.”
Today, there are 27 other monks of Dzogchen Shri Singha who travel the world wearing the made-in-Troy hat by ‘e ko logic.
Introduction to Buddhist Fundamentals
With 30-min. Q&A
Friday, May 2
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Meet at Heart Space Yoga
10 2nd Street, Troy, NY
Tools for successful meditation: Learn how easy it is to meditate
Saturday, May 3
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location to be determined based on class size.
Buddhist principles of Dying, Death and Rebirth
Saturday, May 3
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location to be determined based on class size.
Morning Buddha Path Practice with Erik
Sunday, May 4
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Meet at the ‘e ko logic studio
1 Fulton Street, Troy, NY
Bring pillow and a blanket for meditation
Tools for reducing stress and increasing health and vitality
Sunday, May 4
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
& 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Meet at Heart Space Yoga
10 2nd Street
FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE
ABOUT ERIK JUNG
Erik Jung is a monk and authorized Dharma Teacher of The Buddha Path under the guidance of H.E. Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche. A lifelong Buddhist practitioner, Erik has spent more than nine years studying closely with Khen Rinpoche. He is a passionate and inspiring teacher in the Dzogchen Longchen Nyingthig Lineage of Mahayana Buddhism and has taught extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
ABOUT DZOGCHEN SHRI SINGA
Dzogchen Shri Singha of Portland is a non-profit organization whose mission is to spread authentic Buddhist teachings and to support the enlightened Dharma activity of Great Perfection of Wisdom lineage holder Dzogchen Khenpo Choga Rinpoche in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Rinpoche was born in the holy Dzogchen region of Tibet, where he began training in Buddhism at the Dzogchen Monastery at the age of five.
ABOUT ‘E KO LOGIC
‘e ko logic is a designer of “green” clothing worn around the world. Established in Portland, Ore. in 1996, ‘e ko logic uses recycled cashmere and post-consumer fabric to create one-of-a-kind hats, scarves and sweaters for men and women. They also make cashmere dresses and skirts.
Since 2003, ‘e ko logic has been based in Troy, N.Y. This October, the husband-and-wife owned company opened a retail shop and atelier in the historic Frear Bazaar building at 1 Fulton Street in Troy.
For media, contact: Kathleen Tesnakis at 518-867-1864 (mobile) email@example.com
April 24, 2014
For Immediate Release
Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
“The Tavern Restaurant” to Re-Open in Troy After 20-year Hiatus
Seeking Memories of Storied Troy Dining Spot, 1933 – 1993
TROY, N.Y. (4/24/14) — “The Tavern Restaurant” was a popular mainstay for 60 years at 211 Broadway, from 1933 to 1993. Now, the legendary downtown dining spot is re-opening and co-owners Vic Christopher, 38, and Heather LaVine, 36, are asking anyone with memories or memorabilia to share them as they re-envision the space.
This week, Quality Glass of Troy installed windows in the recently restored cast iron tavernfront. The windows include a series of customized bifold glass doors that can remain in the open position to allow for open air alfresco dining in warm weather. This installation was the first of its kind for Quality Glass, a three-generation family business established in Troy in 1940. The cost for the materials and installation was $12,500.
Following many months of structural work in the 1,500 square-foot tavern space, Christopher and his Confectionery Construction, LLC have started the detail phase of the project.
Some original elements are still intact, including a section of the floor with a tile mosaic spelling out “THE TAVERN.” Wall tiles from the former kitchen and other traces will be preserved and enhanced. The team is utilizing structural steel to support a marble bar top, which was reclaimed from an old Troy soda fountain.
“This building was full of debris and crazy stuff and we’re re-purposing everything we can,” said Christopher, who describes his construction process as freestyle reclamation. “We even reused the plywood that boarded up the windows for the last 20 years.”
Christopher and LaVine are aiming to open The Tavern Restaurant before the end of the year.
“We are developing a menu that will be unique to the region,” said LaVine.
The husband and wife team are currently inviting anyone who experienced The Tavern Restaurant in any of its incarnations to share memories and historical descriptions of the establishment and its various layouts. They have already acquired some memorabilia, including a Tavern Restaurant matchbook and postcard, which can be viewed online at: http://www.facebook.com/TheTavernRestaurant
Kathryn Sheehan, Rensselaer County historian, remembers joining her grandfather for lunch at the Tavern Restaurant as a young girl.
“The Tavern was the first place I had a club sandwich, and a Shirley Temple. It made me feel very adult like,” Sheehan said. “Gramma was a teetotaler and Grandpa had a great sense of humor, so after lunch he would always give us a wink and tell us not to tell Gramma where we ate lunch. She would not have approved.”
ABOUT 207-217 BROADWAY
The Tavern Restaurant is located on the street-level of “The Clark House,” a four-story, 10,900 square-foot building at 207-217 Broadway that was constructed in 1876. It was once home to a boarding house and hotel, as well as many industrial, manufacturing and retail tenants through the years. By 2013, the sole remaining tenant was Broadway News, which opened in 1934 and continues to operate today.
Christopher and LaVine purchased the building for $80,000 in March, 2013. At the time, the historic structure was considered one of the most endangered buildings in downtown Troy. This October, after stabilization and restoration, the couple opened “The Grocery” in the center storefront. Once “The Tavern Restaurant” opens, the building’s first floor will be fully re-activated.
In November 2012, Christopher and LaVine opened Lucas Confectionery wine bar at 12 Second Street. That business is connected to The Grocery and The Tavern Restaurant by a rear enclosed garden patio with a retractable glass roof.
For images and information about the Tavern Restaurant, past and present, visit: http://www.facebook.com/TheTavernRestaurant
Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430 firstname.lastname@example.org
April 22, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434
Neighbors Re-Tree Troy Street For Arbor Day, April 25
Friends of Washington Park, Students to Plant Trees on Adams Street
TROY, N.Y. (04/22/14) — This Friday on Arbor Day, Troy neighbors and students will join together to plant trees along Adams Street, on a section between First and Second streets that is nearly bereft of trees.
At 2 p.m., April 25, more than 40 seventh grade honor students from Troy Middle School will join Friends of Washington Park in Troy to plant trees on the north side of Adams Street, one block from the park. Urban Forestry education will be an important component of this tree-planting project.
“City trees have a long list of benefits, from aesthetics to cooling effects to increased property values,” said Lynn Kopka, president of the Washington Park Association. “Right now, Adams Street is a heat island where the sun glares off brick and concrete. We want to teach the participating students that trees are just as important in the city as they are in the forest.”
Friends of Washington Park obtained $1,000 from National Grid to fund the planting. Located between Troy’s historic downtown and the South Troy neighborhood, Washington Park is distinguished by the presence of stately Maple and Cottonwood, as well as smaller specimens like Flowering Cherry and Eastern Redbud.
The trees to be planted Friday are Serviceberry, a native, small, flowering tree that develops berries favored by birds. The tree species was selected for its size, beauty and wildlife value following National Grid’s guidelines for planting the “right tree for the right place.” National Grid’s publication, “How to Avoid Tree & Utility Conflicts When Selecting and Planting Trees,” provides guidance on balancing the benefits and beauty of trees with reliable electric service.
“Maintaining the environment is an important part of National Grid’s stewardship and commitment to the communities that we serve,” said National Grid Manager of Community & Customer Management Michael DiAcetis. “National Grid is proud to support the Friends of Washington Park and their efforts to plant trees for this Arbor Day celebration. The students will learn a hands-on lesson on the importance of planting and maintaining trees in urban settings and the trees will help combat the effects of carbon emissions and enhance the beauty and significance of this neighborhood for generations.”
Troy Councilman Gary Galuski secured assistance from the city’s Department of Public Utilities for the event. Students will accompanied by their science teachers Celine Boule and Paul Dunleavy.
“The tree is a symbol of life,” said Boule. “By inviting our students to see and participate in the planting of trees along our city streets, we are giving them the opportunity to be a part of the revitalization of our community while learning about the role that nature plays in it.”
QUICK TREE STATS
The following are some statistics, provided by the Arbor Day Foundation, on just how important trees are in a community setting.
“The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.” –U.S. Department of Agriculture
“A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” — Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
“In one study, 83 percent of realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the salability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98 percent.” — Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests
“Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent” and “There are about 60 million to 200 million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs.” — National Wildlife Federation
“Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 percent in energy used for heating.” — USDA Forest Service
“Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent.” — The Arbor Day Foundation
“Healthy, mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value.” — USDA Forest Service
“The planting of trees means improved water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion. This allows more recharging of the ground water supply. Wooded areas help prevent the transport of sediment and chemicals into streams.” — USDA Forest Service
“In laboratory research, visual exposure to settings with trees has produced significant recovery from stress within five minutes, as indicated by changes in blood pressure and muscle tension.” — Dr. Roger S. Ulrich Texas A&M University
“Nationally, the 60 million street trees have an average value of $525 per tree.” — Management Information Services
ABOUT WASHINGTON PARK:
The Washington Park neighborhood is modeled after the private residential green squares of 19th Century London. It is often compared to New York City‚Äôs famous Gramercy Park. Washington Park and Gramercy Park are the only two privately owned and maintained parks of their kind in the state.
For renderings of where the trees will be planted on Adams Street, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/trees.html
For information, contact: Lynn Kopka at 518-274-6434 or email@example.com
March 15, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723
“Being Ginger” Documentary to Show in Troy
League of Extraordinary Red Heads Hosts Filmmaker Scott Harris
April 2, 6:20 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.
@ The Arts Center of the Capital Region
TROY, N.Y. (03/14/14) — Filmmaker Scott Harris will present his documentary about life as a red head looking for love this April 2 in Troy.
Humorous and heartfelt, “Being Ginger” follows the trials and tribulations that Harris, 33, has endured in the dating world as a red haired American living in Edinburgh, Scotland, “the redhead capital of the world.”
“Having bright orange hair makes you stick out, and when you are a kid the last thing you want is to stick out,” said Harris. “I’m fairly well adjusted now that I’m an adult, but people still say random things to me about my hair all the time, and some of it’s shocking.”
One of Harris’ personal challenges is overcoming a general perception that fair skinned red haired males are less attractive than other types of men. During one of the more outrageous scenes in his film, Harris interviews a young Scottish woman on the street who openly shares her unflattering thoughts about red haired men. “You’re like an orangutan,” says the woman, who has dyed blond hair. “You’re not just ginger, you’re like the joke ginger.”
To attract a woman, she advises him to remove as much of his red hair as possible to “try and limit the ginger to be as ginger-less as possible.” She also recommends he stick to dating red haired women to “keep the genetics together …just keep ginger on ginger and not on other people.” The cavalier exchange is as funny as it is shocking. Harris handles it with calm bemusement on camera.
FILM EXPLORES UNIVERSAL QUEST FOR ACCEPTANCE
Though the movie offers many rarely seen glimpses into the peculiarities of life as a redhead — one of the smallest segments of the human population, at around 2 percent — its true intent is to speak to a universal audience.
“I’ve used dating as a subject in the film because the quest for love is something that everyone can relate to,” Harris said. “It might be more accurate to say that the film is about the quest to be accepted. This is a film for anyone who has ever felt different, for any reason. In my case, it just happens to be the color of my hair that sets me apart, and the way people treat me because of it.”
The 69-minute film will be screened in the black box theater at The Arts Center of the Capital Region, located at 265 River St, in downtown Troy, N.Y. Afterwards, Harris will answer questions from the audience before joining The League of Extraordinary Red Heads for a free after party open to the public, 21 and over, at Lucas Confectionery wine bar, located at 12 Second Street. The post screening party will feature a red wine special and a hard apple cider seasoned with ginger, made by Albany-based Nine Pin Cider Works (“Jonagold Ginger” made by fermenting Jonagold apples with ginger).
Tickets are $10 ($11.34 w/service fee) and can be purchased online at: http://BeingGingerTroyNY.bpt.me or at the Arts Center just prior to the screening. One hundred tickets will be available for the 6:20 p.m. showing.
For information call Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com
BRINGING RED HEADS TOGETHER
Harris, an Austin Texas native now living in Scotland, has shown the film at the “Irish Redhead Convention” and “The Redhead Days” in the Netherlands, which are the two largest redheaded gatherings in the world with about 5,000 redheads in attendance. Now on a 30-city tour in the U.S., his film screenings are creating min-gatherings of redheads wherever he goes.
“After spending my whole life as the only ginger I knew, I can’t explain how nice it is to sit down for a drink and swap stories with a bunch of other redheads,” said Harris.
The April 2 screening and after party are hosted by The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, a social club for red haired people and those who love them. Founded in Troy, N.Y. in January 2013, The League of Extraordinary Red Heads attracts about 100 people at its semi-regular gatherings.
“Contrary to urban legend, red heads are definitely not going extinct,” said LoERH Founder Duncan Crary, 35. “And after watching this movie, it’s clear to me that we never will never go extinct, because you can’t help but love gingers and our special brand of humanity.”
Following the screening in Troy, the film will open for a week long run in New York City at the Quad Cinema at 34 W 13th St., and the film will be available to purchase and download.
MORE INFO & PUBLICITY IMAGES
For information about “Being Ginger” and to watch a trailer, visit:
Publicity images: http://duncancrary.com/RedHeads
For information about the League of Extraordinary Red Heads, see: League of Extraordinary Red Heads Forms in Troy, NY, Jan. 30 (01/11/13) and visit: https://www.facebook.com/LeagueOfExtraordinaryRedheads
**Media can request a special password to preview the film online in advance of the screening. **
March 13, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Corey Aldrich, 518-928-4622
Electric City Couture Fashion Show Highlights Regional Designers
April 26, 8:00 p.m. Fundraiser at Universal Preservation Hall, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (03/13/14) — The Capital Region’s largest, original juried runway fashion extravaganza will be happening this April 26 in the Spa City.
Electric City Couture and Universal Preservation Hall are proud to present the “5th Annual Electric City Couture Fashion Show — Saratoga Edition,” featuring both established and up-and-coming regional fashion designers in a juried, pure runway experience.
The evening will showcase signature collections of six regional designers and will include roughly 55 male and female models on the runway. Targeted proceeds from this year’s show will go to the ongoing restoration work of Historic Universal Preservation Hall, a year-round arts and community events venue located at 25 Washington St. in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
“Universal Preservation Hall is a beautiful venue to showcase Upstate New York’s burgeoning fashion scene,” said Dorothy ‘Teddy’ Foster, director of Universal Preservation Hall.
The Electric City Couture mission is to provide a platform to increase awareness for regional fashion designers and fashion support industries to stimulate a regional fashion based economy.
“It is crucial that our communities show support for small business in all industries, including the arts and fashion,” said F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth (CEG). “We support Electric City Couture’s goal of connecting local retailers with local designers to contribute to the creative economy of our region; which also supports these small business owners.”
Designers participating in the show include:
- Kim Vanyo of Khymanyo Studios (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
- ‘eko logic (Troy, NY)
- Jane Wilson Marquis (Valley Plains, N.Y.)
- Behida Millinery (Hudson, N.Y.)
- Kristina Collins Clothing (Saratoga, N.Y.)
- Gamakache Black by Margaret Persaud (Queens, N.Y.)
BUY IT OFF THE RUNWAY
A new edition to this year’s show format will be the ability to “buy it off the runway” in a retail sales area that will be available both after the show on Saturday for show attendees and on Sunday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the general public. This year’s show will be a partnership between Proctors of Schenectady, N.Y., Universal Preservation Hall and Electric City Couture. It is designed to highlight the strengths of the regional creative economy.
The Honorary Chair for the event is Julie Bonacio.
Electric City Couture is a 2440 Design Studio production.
Live DJ music will be provided by Albany-based, Nate da Great. Special entertainment features include appearances by vocalist Jill Hughes and producer/rapper John Brown aka JB Dirty Moses.
Event tickets can be purchased in advance through the Proctors Theatre Box Office starting April 1 at 432 State Street, by calling (518) 346-6204 or online at: http://electriccitycouture.com
General admission is $15.
Special seating is available to media and fashion industry professionals including independent boutique owners with RSVP. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnership support will be provided by Proctors Theater, a founding partner of the show.
This year’s show is sponsored in part through the generous contributions of Sonny and Julie Bonacio, Keeler Mercedes, Skinny Girl Vodka and Lifestyles of Saratoga.
ABOUT THE ELECTRIC CITY COUTURE
Founded in Schenectady in 2010, Electric City Couture is designed to celebrate the art of fashion, providing a platform to exhibit up-and-coming designers of the Northeast. Since its inception, the fashion organization has hosted events through New York’s greater Capital Region.
Combining entertainment and serious fashion business, the event showcases Signature Collections from up and coming Fashion Designers. It is also a regional showcase for aspiring Models, Jewelry and Accessory Designers and Hair and Makeup professionals.
ABOUT PRESERVATION HALL
Built in 1871, the Universal Preservation Hall is one of the earliest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture anywhere in the country. It was designed by famous architect Elbridge Boyden. Its 129-foot steeple, with a giant Meneely bell forged in Troy, N.Y., is one of Saratoga Springs’ highest spires. The building is located in one of Saratoga Springs’ National Historic Districts. In 1999, in recognition of its significance, the building was designated as an “Official Project of Save America’s Treasures” by The White House Millennium Council. In 2006, it received nearly $200,000 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Because of its importance, many luminaries attended, spoke or preached in the Hall including Theodore Roosevelt, William Jennings Bryan, Henry Ward Beecher, Frederick Douglass and William Howard Taft. The building was formerly known as the Universal Baptist Church, an historically African-American congregation. This unique association with the church provides an on-going connection with this under-served population.
For high resolution publicity images, visit:
Additional publicity images can be provided upon request.
FOR INFORMATION, visit:
Contact: Corey Aldrich, 518-928-4622 | email@example.com
March 11, 2014
For Immediate Release
Contact: Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
Rensselaer Co. Legislature Passes Resolution to Oppose “Cork Tax” on Wine
Upstate County Against Proposed New York State “At Rest” Legislation
TROY, N.Y. (03/11/14) — The Rensselaer County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution tonight opposing a state law that would potentially raise prices and reduce the selection of wine now available to consumers in New York state.
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.
“We thank the Rensselaer County Legislature for supporting our efforts to oppose ‘at rest’ legislation,” said Vic Christopher, co-owner of Lucas Confectionery & The Grocery, a Troy wine bar and adjacent micro-market both specializing in boutique wines. “Our business is based on natural and hand-made wines. The passing of this state law would adversely impact hundreds of New York retail shops and restaurants like ours.”
For a .pdf of the resolution, which passed 19-0, visit:
The text is as follows:
Resolution No. P/137/14
RESOLUTION OPPOSING “AT REST” LEGISLATION
FOR DISTRIBUTION OR STORAGE OF WINE IN NEW YORK STATE
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body has long endeavored to protect the health, safety, quality of life and economic interests of those who live and work in Rensselaer County; and
WHEREAS, For generations, residents of this State have enjoyed wine, and there are numerous establishments in Rensselaer County serving wine to many customers on a daily basis in accordance with the laws of the State; and
WHEREAS, Establishments serving wine have contributed to the ongoing revitalization of the downtown of the City of Troy, attracting patrons from throughout the region; and
WHEREAS, There is currently legislation sponsored in the State Legislature to change the method of transport and storage of wine in New York State which would potentially raise prices and reduce the selection of wine now available to consumers in the State; and
WHEREAS, Under the Legislation, wine would be required to be warehoused in the State for at least 24 hours before being brought to establishments for sale; and
WHEREAS, This proposed Legislation is seen as favoring only a select number of large distributors, as smaller distributors that serve establishments in the State and this County would be forced to secure warehouses in the State, adding considerable expense and disruption to existing business plans and methods of distribution; and
WHEREAS, There is no apparent benefit to State commerce, or to the health, safety and quality of life for consumers of wine in the State, or employees of establishments that lawfully serve wine, and a number of County businesses and the New York State Farm Bureau oppose this measure; now, therefore, be it
Resolution No. P/137/14
Page No. 2 of 2
RESOLVED, This Legislative Body opposes the proposed change in State law, known in some quarters as the cork tax or “At Rest” Legislation, regarding the distribution and warehousing of wine for sale in the State, to support numerous businesses, residents and customers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Clerk of this Legislative Body is hereby directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Kathleen Marchione, Senator Neil Breslin, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Assemblyman John McDonald.
For an earlier press release with quotes by Capital Region area restaurant owners and distributors, see:
Contact: Vic Christopher, 917-693-7430
February 27, 2014
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.
“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.
REVIEW COPIES/ PUBLICITY ART
For an author photo and book cover, visit: http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/OCDandMe.html
To request an interview or review copy, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 http://besscunningham.blogspot.com (OCD and Me)
Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/OCDandME
February 6, 2014
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.”
CALL TO ACTION
Christopher urges any anyone working in the wine and spirits industry in New York to visit http://www.stopthecorktax.com 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
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.
January 27, 2014
For Immediate Release
Oil Plant Could Destroy 1614 Dutch Fort in Albany, New York
Historians: First Dutch Habitation in North America Located at Port of Albany
ALBANY, N.Y. (1/27/14) — A proposed facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany could forever destroy “Fort Nassau,” North America’s oldest Dutch habitation built in January, 1614, say historians. But the structure could be saved, if the project is handled correctly.
“This is probably the most important European archaeological site in North America,” said historian, author and archaeologist Don Rittner. “Right now in January, 400 years ago, the Dutch were building Fort Nassau. This structure represents the first real presence of the Dutch in North America, but there is a chance it could be destroyed. The timing is amazing.”
Fort Nassau was constructed during a 1613 trading expedition for the Amsterdam Van Tweenhysen Company, commanded by Captain Adriaen Block. In January 1614, Block remained in New York Bay but sent Hedrick Christiaensen and his crew up the Hudson River (then called the “North River”) to build a trading post, named Fort Nassau.
The fort was located on “Castle Island,” which has since gone by several other names, and was later buried under silt and earth. Fort Nassau became the focal point for the North American fur trade in the Northeast, where the Dutch and indigenous Mohicans traded goods for fur. It also became the staging point for expeditions to seek out mineral deposits and other natural resources for exploitation.
After several washouts by the Hudson River spring floods, and a final severe flood in 1617, the Dutch moved on to the mainland and built Fort Orange, which in 1970 was partially excavated before an exit from I-787 was placed on top of it.
Today, Global Companies plans to build a facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany in the general vicinity of where Albany historian and cartographic sleuth John Wolcott has determined that the original Fort Nassau is located. Wolcott was responsible for finding the remains of the original Fort Orange in the early 1970s.
“John Wolcott is very good at reading old maps, old measurements, old triangulations,” Rittner said. “If John tells you something’s in the ground, I’ll put money on it.”
Wolcott has been searching for the remains of Fort Nassau for 50 years. He is now confident that he knows the precise location of the structure. And he does not want to see Albany repeat the same mistake it made with Fort Orange when it buried the colonial fort beneath a highway exit.
“That was so stressing and hurtful to me, personally and publicly,” Wolcott said of the loss of Fort Orange. “Fort Nassau wasn’t a permanent settlement, but it was the beginning of it all here in the Northeast. Let’s finally save one.”
Wolcott is not the only historian who believes Fort Nassau is located on the site of the planned boiler plant. Historian Shirley Dunn, former curator of Fort Crailo in Rensselaer and author of “The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730,” published proof of the general whereabouts of Fort Nassau.
“One key to finding the general location of Fort Nassau is a map made by Johannes Vingboons, one of the most masterful cartographers of his time,” Wolcott said. “Shirley Dunn looked at the original map, which was probably made in 1626, and there’s a little smudge at the north end of the island just before you come up to Fort Orange. She enlarged the smudge and found it to be a ruined building which she determined to be Fort Nassau.”
Wolcott also found further verification of the fort’s location by reinterpreting the latitude provided by the historical writer Joannes de Laet. (The latitude reading reported by de Laet must be adjusted for problems caused by being inland using instruments of that time, Wolcott said.)
Based on a contemporary record, Wolcott says the dimensions of Fort Nassau are 58 feet across the quadrangle, surrounded by an 18-foot moat. That poses higher probability of finding something.
ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLANT
Global Companies, a unit of Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., plans to build a 2,600-square-foot facility at the port’s rail yard to heat crude as it is pumped out of rail cars and into storage tanks. The oil will then be shipped out on barges headed downriver toward refineries on the east coast. Global’s application does not specify what kind oil would be heated, but many worry it will be volatile tar sands from Canada.
The proposed boiler plant will have to be reviewed by the Albany Planning Board, and will be subject to an archaeological review. If handled correctly, with sensitivity to the historical importance of this structure, a compromise could be achieved that would save the fort, Rittner said.
“If they find this fort, you can preserve it,” Rittner said. “You can design the plant so that it incorporates the fort into the site plan. You can display any artifacts in a structure on site, or move them to the museum. But you can also expose part of the fort for the public to go see. This is located in a place that is easily accessible to the public and near a public park.”
Wolcott and Rittner are 100 percent opposed to anything being constructed over the ruins of the fort if they are found.
The next planning board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20, but so far the proposed boiler plant does not yet appear on the agenda. That means there’s still time for the City of Albany to advocate for the best possible outcome, Rittner said.
MAJOR HERITAGE TOURISM DOLLARS AT STAKE
“Heritage tourism is one of the biggest industries in America. Heritage tourists stay an extra day or two and spend up to $600 more than average tourists. The stats are there. The economy is there. And we do next to nothing to promote our heritage in this region,” Rittner said. “Gettysburg rakes in more money in heritage tourism than all of the Capital District sites combined, and all they have is a Civil War Battlefield – we have 400 years of history here. What we do instead is find the sites and put parking lots on top of them. Then the politicians complain: ‘I don’t know why we don’t get tourists here.’ My response is: ‘Well we’ve got plenty of places for them park. But what they want to see is underneath.’”
Don Rittner was the City Archaeologist for Albany from 1973 to 1979, the first position of its kind in the United States, during the Erastus Corning II administration.
The City Charter for Albany calls for a City Archaeologist to “advise the Mayor, the Common Council, the Historic Resources Commission, the Planning Board, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Commissioner of Public Safety the Division of Building and Codes, the Engineering Department, and the Planning Department on archaeological matters in the City of Albany,” — Section 7. Section 42-360(A) of Part 35 (Office of the City Archaeologist) of Chapter 42 of the Code of the City of Albany.
The city budget has annually allocated $55,000 for the position, but that position has been unfilled for years.
“Albany is opening itself up to major lawsuits,” Rittner said, with respect to archaeological sites. “But lawsuits can’t bring back what is destroyed. We must be sure this site is preserved, now.”
CALL TO ACTION
Concerned citizens from any area are encouraged to write a letter to the city planning board at:
The Department of Development & Planning
21 Lodge Street Albany, NY 12207
P: (518) 434-2532 | F: (518) 434-9846
For more information on Fort Nassau and the proposed boiler plant, read Don Rittner’s Times Union Blog posts:
- “Boiling plant threatens the most important historic archeological site in the Northeast United States,” (Jan. 26, 2014)
- “North Dakota’s Crude Trick on Albany” (Jan. 19, 2014)
HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES
For historical maps and details showing Fort Nassau, visit: