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Local Studios Stay Strong as Music Industry Shifts

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High Hopes for 2012 Farmers Market

By Daisy Arriaga and Carly Halpin —

Early Sat­ur­day morn­ing on April 7, Karma Glos, co-owner of King­bird Farm, packs her diesel truck full with an array of freshly grown meats, such as poul­try, eggs and herbs to sell at the 39th open­ing day of Ithaca Farm­ers Mar­ket.


Kingbird Farm is located in Berkshire, NY.

Glos and hus­band Michael founded the farm nearly 15 years ago in Berk­shire, N.Y., and con­tinue to run the farm full-time by themselves.

“If I’m not sleep­ing or at roller-derby, I’m farm­ing,” Glos said. “It’s all the time work.”


Glos says the land is well suited for graz­ing, so they focus on rais­ing live­stock organ­i­cally to pro­duce meat and poul­try prod­ucts. They also har­vest veg­eta­bles and culi­nary herbs.

For nearly 13 years, the Ithaca Farm­ers Mar­ket has been and con­tin­ues to be the only venue she sells her prod­ucts at, other than on-site sales at the farm. The Ithaca Farm­ers Mar­ket has been in oper­a­tion since 1973. This mar­ket sea­son is expected to be the last year that runs April through Decem­ber, said Cathy Koken, man­ager of the mar­ket. The 2013 mar­ket is going to be open year-round.

The work­load on the farm is too big for her to be gone mul­ti­ple days a week mar­ket­ing and the Ithaca mar­ket allows her to only have to mar­ket one day a week, Glos said.

“Ithaca [mar­ket] is so good,” she said. “I can do all my mar­ket­ing in one day and make a big enough profit.”

A good mar­ket day is between $1,000 and $1,500 in sales, says Glos. This year, Glos will be one of 134 return­ing ven­dors at mar­ket, Koken said.

The work­load on the farm is too big for her to be gone mul­ti­ple days a week mar­ket­ing and the Ithaca mar­ket allows her to only have to mar­ket one day a week, Glos said.

“Ithaca [mar­ket] is so good,” she said. “I can do all my mar­ket­ing in one day and make a big enough profit.”

A good mar­ket day is between $1,000 and $1,500 in sales, says Glos. This year, Glos will be one of 134 return­ing ven­dors at mar­ket, Koken said.

A Different Kind of Faith in Service

Carly Halpin & Laura Murray 




Ithaca–Loaves and Fishes is a local Christian ministry that runs a community kitchen, and serves free meals five days a week.  Founded on Christian values, the organization serves everyone in need, no matter their religious beliefs. 

In 2011, the number of meals they provided increased by nearly 4,000 from 2010. Over 30,000 meals were served in 2011. Christina Culver, the executive director of Loaves and Fishes, said the economy is a large reason why the number has grown.

“A lot of people have noticed a cutback in benefits, and more people are looking for work,” Culver said.  “Loaves and Fishes tend to be the first place to go just to get a meal.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010 nearly 9,000 people in Tompkins County were receiving food stamps.

Nicole Sayward, a volunteer who works in the kitchen said the whole point of Loaves and Fishes is to get a solid, balanced meal out to people who need it.  She said the name Loaves and Fishes comes from the message where Jesus takes the fives loaves of bread and two fishes to feed several thousands of people. 

“It’s definitely a story I think that resonates in this community,” she said.

Sayward said for, her volunteering did not stem from religiosity.  She claims her nonstop energy compelled her to start volunteering since it seemed to be a useful resource to improve the problems of poverty and food insecurity. 

Emily Greenly, the Samaritan Center Coordinator for the Catholic Charities of Tompkins and Tioga Counties said there are also no religious requirements in order to volunteer or receive food from Catholic charities.

“I think that most of our volunteers are here because they are looking for the opportunity to be involved in the community,” said Greenly.  “And because they support the mission of Catholic Charities and want to be part of providing our services.”

 Greenly said as long as volunteers accept the principles of respecting the inherent dignity of all people and helping the less fortunate obtain basic provisions, then specific religious affiliations are not as significant.


A Legal Responsibility

Carly Halpin & Sydney Normil


Ithaca–As a first generation immigrant raised in Queens, NY attorney Régine P. Sévère has a strong affinity for public policy.

“The biggest crime is not knowing your rights or being incapable of defending yourself because you do not think you are worthy of assistance,” said Sévère.

Sévère was admitted to the NY bar in July 2011 and currently works as a solo practitioner in Queens. As a newly admitted attorney she is constantly trying to improve her legal skills to best defend those within her community.

“The legal field is difficult for new attorneys mostly due to the current economy. Even those of us knowing we wanted to come out and enter the public sector are having a hard time,” added Sévère.

Along with 53 other attorneys, Sévère sought the help of trial lawyers, judges and colleagues. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Young Lawyers Section Trail Academy gives new and young lawyers practical skills and experience. While the annual program, which is in its third year, costs participants an entry fee of about $800, the professional staff volunteers its time. Experienced judges and lawyers critique the young lawyers during the five-day event held at Cornell University Law School.

“The event fosters this idea that lawyers have a responsibility to each other, a responsibility to the profession and an obligation to teach these skills to young lawyers,” said Stanclift, the event’s founder.

According to Stanclift, the event challenges the fear of failure that accompanies trial lawyers. By going through every element of a trial participants leave their comfort zone and hone the skills necessary to best serve their clients.

“The program is great for me as a newly admitted attorney and was a great investment. The event gave me a greater confidence knowing now that I am not completely clueless and now know what portions I am weak and need improvement,” said Sévère.

The NYSBA Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy is the only one of its kind in NY and is expanding yearly to prepare lawyers to meet the needs of the changing legal field.


Multimedia Video Drill: A Process




Boxer Alex Stewart Publishes Children’s Book

By Carly Halpin and Natalie Rubino

Stewart published his first of a series of six children's books this year.

Ithaca– From the pounding of red, sweaty boxing gloves to the ease of the author’s pen, Alexander Stewart translates his passion for fighting in the ring to writing children’s books for autistic children.

Under the training and legal guardianship of world champion boxer, Floyd Patterson, Stewart found his passion for boxing at a young age. Growing up in a crowded household with 11 brothers and sisters, Stewart used boxing as a distraction and an outlet.

“Boxing was my release, I could go to the gym and not worry about anything at home,” said Stewart.

At age 17, Stewart enlisted in the military, never abandoning his love for boxing. In his first year he won four championships.  After 17 years, he was forced to retire when he was diagnosed with lyme disease.

Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by a bite from a blacklegged tick, causes flu-like symptoms, such as muscle weakness, headache and fever.  Unaware that he was infected, Stewart waited nearly two weeks before seeing a doctor. His infection during this time had worsened causing him to develop pericarditis, a condition causing the covering around the heart to become inflamed.

Boxing gave Stewart strength to over come his weakening sickness, he said.

“When I boxed I felt strong, so no matter what the disease was doing to me I was always strong, mentally and physically,” said Stewart.

[take a look at our audio slideshow]

He has three sons. His youngest, Jacob, was diagnosed with autism at age four. To help Jacob, now 16, Stewart developed a line of toys, Marble Mania. The line of toys, not yet endorsed, is designed for autistic children.  The toys have a specific focus on developing the attention span of autistic children through simple interactive mechanisms, such as running a colorful marble through a series of tubes.

Stewart recently published his first, of a series of six, children’s books called “Smunkarellies” inspired by his sons.  The books are also designed primarily for autistic children, through interactive story content to promote socialization, said Stewart.

Patrick McGrel, co-worker of Stewart at Ultimate Athletics, says he is a value to the company.

“Alex is the first one here in the morning and the last one here. He’s selfless in his regards to helping people,” said McGrel.

Stewart teaches boxing at Ultimate Athletics in the Ithaca. He teaches boxing because it’s an outlet for kids today, just like it was for him.


New York wine industry uncorked on sale of wine in grocery store

Wine soon find it's way into grocery stores

Carly Halpin & Evelyne Santiago

ITHACA, NY –The Wine Industry and Liquor Store Revitalization Act, which would allow the sale of wine in New York grocery stores, continues to fuel debate in the state’s wine industry three weeks after Governor Cuomo said he opposed the act.

Currently 35 states allow the sale of wine in grocery stores. However only wineries and liquor stores can sell alcohol in New York.  Wineries and liquor stores see both the positive and negative effects of the act.


New York Farm Bureau, a lobbying group that represents nearly 30,000 farm families across the state has been advocating for the act’s approval since 2009.  “The bill would allow for consumer choice and would help to ‘buoy?’ up New York’s wine and grape industry“ said Matt Nelligan, their spokesperson. “It’s really an overall economic winner”

Peter Engrasia, co-owner of Topshelf Liquors in Ithaca said, he believes that his business will suffer if the bill is passed. “Having the convenience of being able to get it [wine] at grocery stores would really reduce the amount of people coming into the store,” said Engrasia.

Some, like Derek Plants, General Manager of Six Mile Creek Winery in Ithaca, NY believe the act could both benefit wineries and hurt their current small retailers.

After gaining opposition from Governor Andrew Cuomo four weeks ago, the act has returned to the Economic Development Committee of the Senate. The act cannot proceed until it is resubmitted to the committee.


Sun not expected to set on indoor tanning business

Customers lay in beds with UV bulbs to build a natural tan.

Ithaca, NY—Local indoor tanning businesses are skeptical about any financial effects if Congress approves the potential bill that will ban tanning for minors.

According to business owners and staff members at Tanfastic and Tanningbed, the growing regulations on indoor-tanning are having very little impact on local business. California was the first state to enact an official ban for minors, and now nearly 20 states are pushing similar bills through, New York being one of them. Currently NY restricts tanning of minors by requiring parental consent for anyone between the ages of 14 and 17.

Tanning facilities in Ithaca are not anticipating a significant impact if the bill is passed, according to Scott of Tanfastic. According to Kimberly Herbaugh, District Manager of Tannigbed, the bill won’t have a negative impact on business because of their customer’s demographics.

“I don’t think it will have a very serious effect, because the majority of tanners are over the age of 18,” said Herbaugh.

According to Gabbi Rosetti, a Tanningbed employee, business may suffer a minor decline due to the fast approaching prom season.

“I think it will have an effect, we have 32 locations and a lot of girls want to go tanning for prom,” said Rosetti.

In 2010 congress passed a nation-wide bill that put a 10 percent tax on tanning. For local tanning businesses, the tax did not heavily impact profits or customers. The bill is not helping or hurting, and Scott of Tanfastic believes if the new bill is passed it will have the same affect.

“It (the 10% tax) really didn’t financially impact us. It didn’t kill us, but it definitely didn’t help us,” said Scott.

Daily profits for any individual employee at Tanningbed range from about $100-$500, this is not including membership fees or packages, according to Rosetti.

The minor effects on business can be attributed to the multiple benefits that tanning provides for users, according to business employees and managers. Rossetti said when not used excessively tanning provides health benefits.

Proponents of the bill say it will save minors from the dangers of skin cancer. Ithaca College junior Kelly Wakelee agrees that if you can’t buy cigarettes under the age of 18, you shouldn’t be able to tan. Herbaugh disagrees and said there are medical benefits.

“Vitamin D is a very important thing for your body. The sun and UV rays are a good source of Vitamin D and for places that don’t get a lot of sun doctors even prescribe moderate tanning,” said Herbaugh. “Therapists also prescribe tanning because it’s a stress reliever and helps depression.”

The bill advanced to a third reading in the New York State assembly on February 7. A final decision on the bill is expected to be settled before spring.

Tanningbed employees make between $100-500 daily on sales.


Cornell Mars Rover Team to Blast into Competition

By Carly Halpin & Alex Ash

Ithaca—For the first time ever Cornell University’s Mars Rover Team will be competing in the University Rover Challenge (URC) in Utah this coming May. The team will assemble their rover in the next coming week.

This year’s URC will be held in Hanksville, Utah at the Mars-Desert Research Station from May 31- June 2. Currently 10 teams are registered to compete at the international competition, including University of Michigan, Iowa State University, Cornell University and even Wroclaw University of Technology in Poland.

Thomas Hayford, Cornell’s team leader, started the University’s team last year. The members have broken down into sub teams: tasks systems drive systems, control systems, business and science.

Preparations have been under-way since fall of 2010.  Beginning first with researching past rovers at competition, methods of assembly and equipment design the team is now anxiously awaiting the arrival of their parts from manufacturing, said Daniel Rodrigues the 2011-2012 Drives Systems lead.

“We meet once a week, sub teams meeting separately for a period of time to discuss in detail their tasks and then we spend a lot of time developing our rover as a whole,” said Hayford.

Cornell’s team has not begun actually constructing the final rover. All of the parts for the machine are currently in the manufacturing stage, said Rodrigues.

“It’s mostly just a pile of parts right now, waiting for specialty parts to come in so we can really start getting this together,” continued Rodrgiues, “it’s really exciting to finally have something now physically built that will be competition ready.”

The team’s nearly 32 members in total, including their faculty advisor, for the 2011-2012 season have decided to create an “integrated design” for their rover.

“After a ton of trial and error last year, we decided to build our rover top-down, so we could create an integrated design. Giving the rover both a smooth appearance and operation,” said Hayford.

Parts are expected to come out of manufacturing in the next week, according to team members. Assembly of the rover is expected to take until about April 1st, said Hayford.

After assembling their rover, the team will test it in conditions very similar to the terrain of the competition, which will take place in available open fields in Cortland, NY.

“Recreating the competition will really give us a good indication of our potential success at competition. Really the only way to test this stuff is through trial and error,” said Hayford.

During the competition the rovers and their teams face multiple challenges. Scores are a result of the rover’s performance.

The first challenge is a soil sample task. The rover must gather a soil sample from the testing grounds and then take it to the team to be analyzed, said Rodgriues. Other challenges include assembling and cleaning a solar panel and retrieving a flag using GPS coordinates.

to see slideshow of Cornell Mars Rover Team click here


Spring In February

in-class slideshow drill


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