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‘Anything Goes’ — Westchester Broadway Theatre’s Summer Sensation

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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

Summer is the perfect time to be aboard a cruise ship, which just happens to be the location of the Westchester Broadway Theatre’s (WBT) 206th production, Anything Goes. Running now through September 9th, it is the perfect way to relax with friends, enjoy a lunch or dinner while being transported back in time via this classic 1940s Cole Porter musical.

Considered one of best tap dancing musicals, the score includes the most memorable standards including: I Get a Kick Out of You; You’re the Top; It’s De-Lovely; Blow, Gabriel, Blow; Friendship and many more. The story is simple — a brassy nightclub singer, a starry-eyed stowaway and Public Enemy Number 13 are booked on a transatlantic luxury liner bound for romance and laughter. Add a debutante whose family is bankrupt and wants her to marry an older, wealthy English lord, even though she is not in love with him.

The set design at the WBT continues to be outstanding. The set consists of an artful creation of a luxury liner where all the activity takes place up staircases and through doors depicting staterooms. Tap dancing numbers are spectacular, the choreography creative and the costumes glitzy, with a large cast filling the stage in every dance number! It is truly an extravaganza reminiscent of the best musicals of days gone by!

The Cast

WBT casts are consistently spot-on for the parts they play, and this show continues that tradition. Featured are: Stacia Fernandez (as Reno Sweeney), Tina Johnson (Mrs. Harcourt), Kevin Pariseau (Lord Evelyn), Jon Peterson (Moonface Martin), Mychal Phillips (Erma), Jackie Raye (Hope), Zach Trimmer (Billy) and Bob Walton (Elisha Whitney).

The cast is supported by a multi-talented ensemble: Leeds Hill, Kelly Black, Katie Brunson, Mike Baskowski, Caroline Chisholm, Joseph Cullinane, Will Geoghegan, Kelly Gleason, Thadd Krueger, Seth Lerner, Lily Lewis, Mallory Nolting, Jason Rath, Joey Simon.

The production is directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford with Musical Director Patrick Hoagland. Special mention has to be made of Stacia Fernandez as Reno Sweeny, whose singing, as she belted out each song, brought to mind Broadway’s Ethel Merman. Ms. Fernandez performed numerous songs — each one was fantastic, clearly making her a forefront talent in this show.

Another strong and beautiful voice was that of Zach Trimmer, playing the handsome lead, Billy Crocker, who was in love with the debutante seemingly destined to marry another. Casting for romantic duos at the WBT is so believable that audiences hope the two actually overcome the obstacles the storyline sets for them.

Don’t miss this summer stunner and the entertainment joy it brings!

Information

The WBT continues to offer the best value around. Parking is free.

For reservations: Call (914) 592-2222 or visit: www.BroadwayTheatre.com

Gift certificates, matinee performances and group discounts are available.

 

Future WBT Mainstage Shows: Phantom – September 13th – November 25th 2018; A Christmas Carol – November 29 – December 23rd, 2018; Phantom returns – December 27th – January 27th 2019.

 

July 25, 2018 |

Potential

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ROI by Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Frank J. Rich

 

 

 

Potential is one of those oft-quoted terms used to express the opportunity in someone or the future of some thing, such as a business venture. It is usually followed by a concern that reaching that potential requires something yet to form. Potential, it appears, has a dark side. Perhaps, it is because so few of us know how to measure it.

In simple terms, potential is the “likelihood of doing or becoming something in the future.” As it applies to business, we see new products, services, capital improvements, businesses, and personnel decisions, for their potential to be profitable. NPV (Net Present Value), IRR (Internal Rate of Return), and other calculations are used to help measure the “potential” success of these things. But like most things, we have less than perfect knowledge about them and proceed with certain “reasonable” assumptions in place. Good business sense, a knack for judging people, education, and experience all combine to reduce the risk of poor decision making. But, as you might imagine, the opportunity in “potential” begs for serious efforts at measuring it. One such measurement device is called Five Forces Analysis (M. Porter), and means to focus attention on a common experience to achieve very practical results—the kind that seem to have a greater “potential” for success. Here’s how it works:

Five Forces Analysis assumes that there are five important forces that determine competitive power in a situation—supplier and buyer power, competitive rivalry, and the threats of substitution and new entries. Each locus provides an opportunity to look carefully at the fundamental elements of any business venture. A review of these practical (common) experiences provides unusual acuity in measuring the potential of most ventures.

Supplier Power, or how easy is it for suppliers to drive up prices. This is measured by the number of suppliers of each key input (of your product or service), the uniqueness of their product or service, their strength and control over you, the cost of switching from one to another, and so on. The fewer the supplier choices you have, and the more you need suppliers’ help, the more powerful your suppliers become.

Buyer Power, or how easy it is for buyers to drive down prices. Again, this is driven by the number of buyers, the importance of each individual buyer to your business, the cost to them of switching from your products and services to those of someone else, and so on. If you deal with a few powerful buyers, they are often able to dictate terms to you

Competitive Rivalry, or the number and capability of your competitors. If you have many competitors, and they offer equally attractive products and services, then you’ll most likely have little power to operate freely in the marketplace. If suppliers and buyers don’t get a good deal from you, they’ll go elsewhere. This is often the scenario created by poor customer service. When a company fails to measure, specifically, its success at satisfying customer requirements, it is sitting on a time bomb. When its customers become aware of an alternative they bolt to another supplier. On the other hand, if no others can do what you do, then you are dealing with the market from a position of strength.

Threat of Substitution, or the ability of your customers to find a different way of doing what you do. For all businesses the greatest source of competition is the alternative use of the same resources. If substitution is easy and viable, this weakens your power to influence the buying decisions of your customers.

Threat of New Entry, or the ability of others to enter your market. If it costs little in time or money to enter your market and compete effectively, if there are few economies of scale in place, or if you have little protection for your key technologies, then new competitors can quickly enter your market and weaken your position. If you have strong and durable barriers to entry, then you can preserve a favorable position and take fair advantage of it. This is why it is imperative for companies to invest in technology.

The Drill

Begin by checking the factors above for the size and effect of the force noted above. For example, use a single “+” sign for a force moderately in your favor, or “” for a force strongly against you. Finally, assess your particular situation in light of the strengths and weaknesses you have noted in each of the areas above. Think through how each affects your “position” and “potential” for achieving the goals you set. The tally will help you see what changes are needed to increase your power with respect to each force.

The Porter method is a useful tool to help measure “potential” and to determine the balance of power in your industry. It is not a perfect predictor of these, but an effective tool in the effort to prepare a favorable market model for yourself and your company. Discovery is often the means to greater success, and not surprisingly, great fun.

July 20, 2018 |

College Students Connect with Master Networks

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College Students Invited to Join Master Networks Meeting

The Brewster/Carmel chapter of Master Networks is hosting a “College Students Connect” event on Wednesday July 25 at 5:45 pm – 6:45 pm at the Laura Spain Cornerstone Park Building, 1 Fair Street, Carmel, NY.

Introduce a college student in your life to the art of networking! Who better to do this with than Master Networkers? Each student will have the opportunity to introduce themselves and to talk about future plans. Networking will happen naturally.

Not a member of Master Networks? Please come as our guest. Whether you are a business professional or a college student, find out how Master Networks helps their members pursue excellence in their personal and professional lives. It is an environment of positivity and creativity, which focuses on being supported and challenged.

“College Students Connect” is an opportunity to meet with service-oriented entrepreneurs, business leaders and fellow college students to connect, share and prosper.

Contact Laurie Spens for more information at LSpens@comcast.net.

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About Master Networks, Inc.
Master Networks is a cutting-edge training, development and referral network. Chapters meet weekly for pragmatic, hands-on training that can be applied to members’ businesses. Members also agree to refer business to one another every week. For more information, visit www.masternetworksnyct.com

 

 

July 18, 2018 |

Muscoot Farm Presents Shakespeare

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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

For those of us who are familiar with Muscoot Farm in Katonah, we know it as a wonderful place to stroll, enjoy looking at the animals, and stepping back in time to when Westchester was an agricultural community, circa 1880 – 1930. However, throughout the year Muscoot also offers wonderful, varied and educational activities for guests to enjoy.

The Production

This summer the Friends of Muscoot Farm presents Shakespeare on the Farm: “Romeo and Juliet” directed by Mary Roberts.  Guests are invited to “experience Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on the farm!”  The outdoor performance includes a hayride to the Pumpkin Field Theater. Bring your own picnic food, blankets, and/or chairs. This fresh take on the classic love story will be abridged to a 90-minute performance with no intermission. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for the general public. This production is a recurring event with performances scheduled for July18, July 22, and July 25. All performances began at 6:00 pm, with gates opening at 5:00 pm.

These productions feature performers: Daniel Stompor, Jenna Isabella, Michele Dugan,
 Ruby Ellen Rocco, Ajinkya Subhash, Allie Samuel, Dakota Martin, Koby Weston, Isabelle Pierce, Anne Giroux, Eric Novak and Kevin Roberts. The performances are brought to the public by The Friends of Muscoot Farm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Online sales end the morning of each performance; however, tickets will still be available for purchase at the door.

Attendees who require assistance are asked to call the office prior to the performance at (914) 864-7286 or email muscootcasting@gmail.com so they can be accommodated in the best way possible.

Muscoot Farm is located at 51 Route 100, Katonah, New York 10536.

Phone: 914 864-7782.

Visit muscootfarm.org for information about other scheduled events.

 

Square Dancing!

Looking ahead to Muscoot’s September calendar, get ready to polish up your boots, dust off your Sunday dress and start practicing your dosey-does! There is going to be a Hoe Down at the Farm! The date is September 22, from 6 pm to 9 pm and tickets are $50 per person. This includes a BBQ dinner, a square dance called by C.J. Lawler, auctions featuring Muscoot Farm experiences, local business donations, a photo shoot, country park experiences, horseback riding lessons, sports event tickets and much more!

Tickets must be ordered online — no tickets sold at the door. The money raised is for future installations at the farm.

Check out their website (muscootfarm.org) for dates featuring farmer’s markets, art shows and morning farm chore classes for children (to see what working on a farm is like by helping staff with chores.) Pre-registration is required for farm chore sessions.

 

July 18, 2018 |

Be the Hero of Your Grill This Summer

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Nothing brings people together like a barbecue. There seems to be something about being outdoors and the sizzle of fresh food on the grill that makes you want to gather with family and friends.

This summer, you can be the hero of your grill with a few simple tips and tricks:

  • A great meal starts with great meat. Make sure to use versatile, high-quality and tender cuts like Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs, chops and tenderloins.
  • Cut down on time, not flavor. Look for pre-seasoned meats such as pork chops, or slice, dice or cube larger cuts like boneless loin to shorten cook time and increase flavor.
  • Grill like a pro. Use direct heat for burgers and chops, and indirect heat for larger cuts like ribs.

Find more summer grilling tips and pitmaster-perfected recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.

St. Louis Style Pork Spare Ribs with Coffee Cocoa Dry Rub

Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Chris Lilly

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 3 1/2 hours

Servings: 4-6

7          teaspoons salt

2          tablespoons dark brown sugar

4          teaspoons chili powder

1          tablespoon ground coffee

2 1/2    teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

2          teaspoons black pepper

1          teaspoon garlic powder

1          teaspoon onion powder

3/4       teaspoon ancho chile pepper

1/8       teaspoon coriander

1/8       teaspoon turmeric

2          racks Smithfield St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs, membrane removed

Build charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Heat grill to 250 F.

To make dry rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, cocoa, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile pepper, coriander and turmeric.

Generously apply dry rub onto front and back of pork ribs. Gently pat to ensure rub adheres.

Put ribs meat-side up over indirect heat, away from coals, close lid and cook until ribs are tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Remove ribs from grill and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Slice ribs between bones and serve.

Pineapple Pork Kebabs

Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Sterling Ball

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 3-4

1/2       Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin

1          sweet onion, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces

1          red bell pepper, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces

2          cups pineapple chunks

3-4       tablespoons barbecue rub

2 1/2    cups teriyaki marinade

3-4       flexible skewers

Heat grill or smoker to 250 F. Cut pork loin into 2-inch cubes.

Season pork loin, sweet onion, red bell pepper and pineapple chunks with rub.

Thread pork loin, onion, pepper and pineapple on skewer; repeat until length of skewer is almost full. Repeat with additional skewers.

Put assembled kebabs in large re-sealable bag and add teriyaki marinade. Carefully remove air from marinade bag and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Remove kebabs from marinade bag and place on grill over indirect heat; cook 12-14 minutes, remove and set aside.

Increase grill temperature to 400 F. Sear kebabs at high heat, until caramelized. Using meat thermometer, check pork loin cubes for doneness; remove from heat once pork reaches internal temperature of 145 F.

 

July 18, 2018 |

Create an Accessible Lifestyle

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To Your Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enhance independence with mobility in mind

(Family Features) If you’re like the majority of the population, mobility is something you take for granted. However, once you or a loved one encounters an illness or disability that results in dependence on a wheelchair, your perspective is likely to change dramatically.

Mobility is a major factor in a person’s independence, but when illness or injury hinders free movement, even a simple task like running to the store becomes a challenge. Fortunately, there are numerous options you can explore to improve mobility and accessibility if you or a loved one becomes reliant on a wheelchair or other assisted mobility.

Ramps in Place of Stairs

Safety is a primary concern for someone whose mobility is limited. Even minor falls can cause significant injuries, particularly for seniors whose bones tend to be more fragile. When a loved one begins experiencing trouble with the steps, a ramp is a good solution. In fact, ramps aren’t just for those who are reliant on a wheelchair or other motorized device like a scooter. They are also a good solution for someone who uses a cane or walker, or someone who experiences pain or difficulty maintaining balance on the stairs.

Accessible Vehicles and Parking

Getting out of the house is an important way to help someone whose mobility is compromised continue to feel connected to the larger world, and practically speaking, even if they’re not physically up to social engagements, chances are that doctor’s appointments will still be a necessity. However, parking limitations cause major challenges for wheelchair users.

Not only is getting in and out of the vehicle a chore, 74 percent of people have personally seen a handicap accessible parking space being improperly used, according to a survey by BraunAbility. As a leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts, its Save My Spot campaign works to educate the public about the meaning and importance of handicap accessible parking. In addition to understanding and educating others about the proper usage of handicap accessible parking, chair users may benefit from wheelchair accessible vehicles that provide maximum maneuverability, such as the BraunAbility Pacifica, which delivers the most interior cabin space and widest doorway and ramp for ease of entry and exit.

Hand Rails and Grab Bars

Hand rails add another measure of safety in the home. They can add stability and support on staircases, ramps and other walkways, but they’re also beneficial in areas like the bathroom. A rail or grab bar near the toilet can help steady someone raising or lowering to use the facilities. Similarly, rails in or adjacent to the shower can assist with safe transitions into and out of the stall. Remember to follow all manufacturer instructions for installing rails to ensure they provide adequate support and can bear the weight of the user.

Bathroom Modifications

Proper hygiene goes a long way toward promoting overall wellness and independence, but a person with limited mobility may struggle using the features of a standard bathroom. In addition to safety rails and grab bars, devices such as shower stools and raised toilet seats can provide needed support. Depending on your circumstances, it may be necessary to consider renovations to include a roll-in tub or seated shower and a vanity with a counter at an accessible height.

Wider Doors and Hallways

While it’s not always possible to widen doors and hallways, this is an important consideration for someone who is heavily reliant on a wheelchair or other motorized device. If the chair can’t clear hallways and maneuver around corners, a person’s access to the home is severely limited, sometimes to the point of needing to find new housing accommodations. When considering whether the doors and hallways will meet your needs, remember to take into account any accessories or equipment, such as an oxygen tank, that may affect the chair’s turn radius.

Find more ideas to promote independence and mobility at braunability.com/savemyspot.

5 Facts About Handicap-Accessible Parking

Handicap-accessible parking plays a critical role in giving chair users independence and mobility, making it important to understand the rules of the parking lot. To bring awareness to the challenges wheelchair users face, BraunAbility offers these reminders:

  1. The striped lines next to a handicap-accessible parking space indicate it is reserved for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. These spaces are wider than regular handicap accessible parking spaces, offering room for people to safely lower a ramp and enter and exit their vehicles.
  2. There is a difference between handicap accessible parking for cars and wheelchair-accessible vans. When the parking sign says, “Accessible Vans,” it is reserved for wheelchair-accessible vehicles only. Van accessible spaces are easily identified by a striped access aisle on the passenger side.
  3. Some people have hidden disabilities, and it may not be visibly apparent that they need a handicap-accessible spot. Not all people who require handicap parking access are reliant on wheelchairs. These spots are also intended for use by people with disabilities such as deafness or a recent injury.
  4. Businesses are required to meet a quota for handicap accessible spots. The number of handicap accessible parking spaces required depends on the total number of parking spaces in the lot, but at least one in every six handicap accessible spaces must be designated for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, according to the American Disabilities Act.
  5. Wheelchairs continue to increase in size, requiring more room to maneuver in and out of vehicles, and therefore need extra space in a parking spot for the wheelchair user to safely access a fully deployed ramp.

 

July 18, 2018 |
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