News + Views

Pirates of the Hudson 2013


Gangs of blackbeards and beauties will swashbuckle their way through Philipsburg Manor at this raucously fun festival. Grab your brood and bring ’em to Philipsburg Manor for the most fun this side of the Caribbean.

Join us as boisterous pirates lay anchor in the Hudson and storm Sleepy Hollow. Musical pirates, gypsy sword dancers, and scallywags of all sorts will roam the grounds, ready to make you smile while secretly stealin’ yer gold. Kids can take part in the Pieces of Eight treasure hunt, wiggle their way into a pirate shipwreck, get their picture taken with a talking parrot and a mermaid, and learn to act like a bloody pirate!

July 5, 2013 |

A Community That Works


ROI by Frank J. RichROI

Ever thought that nothing you could do would make a difference? We go to polls to vote, talk with our children’s teachers, drop a note in the suggestion box at work, but none of it seems to make a difference. Change is hard to achieve, isn’t it?

Allow me to introduce you to Anderson Sa. His credentials are a solid recommendation for a life of crime. Born in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, and raised in the drug culture that dominates them, Anderson Sa was a poster boy for local drug cartels in the fiercest and most violent of Rio’s slums—Vigário Geral.



October 24, 2014 |

Serve Your Flock Safe Eggs


To Your Health







(Family Features) Purchasing a dozen eggs offers nearly unlimited preparation possibilities. Enjoying any egg dish, however, starts with these four tips for purchasing safe eggs:


1.     Always purchase eggs from a refrigerated case.12809

2.     Open the carton and make sure there are no visible cracks or leaking eggs.

3.     Check the short end of the carton for the date the eggs were packed as well as an expiration or sell by date to make sure the eggs are fresh.

4.     Look for the United States Department of Agriculture grade shield or mark.


Safety Tips to Protect Your Flock

Once purchased, it’s also important to follow these safe food handling practices to ensure egg safety and quality.


  • Keep eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not the door. Storing them in the refrigerator door could result in temperature fluctuations that can lead to bacteria growth.
  • Eggs may be refrigerated three to five weeks at home. The sell-by date will usually expire during that time, but the eggs are safe to use for four to five weeks beyond the expiration date as long are they are kept in a refrigerator set at 40 F.
  • Wash hands and utensils after coming into contact with eggs to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Cook eggs thoroughly. For scrambled eggs and similar dishes, cook until no visible liquid remains. Fried eggs should be cooked until the whites are completely set and the yolk is thickened but not hard.
  • Serve eggs and dishes containing eggs promptly after cooking.


Does Hen Housing Affect Food Safety?           

To better understand how different hen housing systems may affect food safety and other sustainability factors, the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply recently completed a three-year research study.


The study compared flocks of egg-laying hens in three different types of housing systems: conventional cage, enriched colony and cage-free systems. As consumers are becoming more interested in the type of environment in which animals are raised, the coalition elected to conduct research in order to develop science-based information to use in supporting informed decision-making.


The research found that with proper management, eggs produced in any of the three different housing systems are safe and of comparable quality, but also accompany a variety of positive and negative aspects across other elements of sustainability.


Check out for more information about sustainable egg production, videos, interactive infographics and the CSES research results.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images


February 10, 2016 |

Of Paramount Importance: The Show Must Go On



On the stage of the slightly renamed and emphatically rejuvenated Paramount Hudson Valley (dotcom), John Platania was getting in his frontman licks as the band played on. Soon, Peekskill resident and performing-dervish violinist Daisy Jopling materialized to trade riffs with the man who for years kicked axe in Van Morrison’s band.

Outside, several minutes earlier, on a warm and sunny May 15, 2013, Peekskill’s Acting City Manager Brian Havranek and Kurt Heitmann, CEO of Red House Holdings, transacted the lease, signifying the ceremonial encore of an historic entertainment landmark seven months after it unceremoniously got the hook due to insufficient funds, about 300,000 simoleons’ worth.

Now “Under New Management,” one of the encouraging signs, oddly enough, is that Mr. Heitmann and Co., at the outset, seem suitably realistic about the challenges of transforming the venue into a healthy moneymaker. For the first six months, under the deal between operator and the city, which owns the building, Peekskill will absorb certain operating costs so new management can find its – pardon the pun — “see” legs. Part of the deal also calls for the City to collect 5% of box office receipts.

There already are events scheduled, from rock-and-rollin’ violin virtuoso Daisy Jopling’s June 9 concert with the Westchester Putnam Youth Symphony to a physique competition June 29. (Jopling tix are available through; 800.838.3006.) See my interview with Daisy Jopling here (more…)

May 30, 2013 |

Be Pre-prepared


Bruce the Blog







By Bruce Apar


Anybody who’s ever been — or even known — a Boy Scout knows the Scout motto, “Be Prepared.”

The Dutchess of Windsor didn’t exactly say, “You can’t be too rich or too thin… or too prepared,” so I will finish her infamous quip, even though the closest I’ve ever come to a Windsor is duking it out with a necktie knot that was a royal pain in the neck.

If the title of this column sounds like double-talk, consider that preparation doesn’t just happen. It takes deliberate forethought. Not pre-preparing is preparing to procrastinate. You’re never too along in years to nip procrastination in the but. That’s not a typo. It’s as in, “I know I should have done it already, but…” Or, “It would have been done by now, but…”

Been there, done that, but… I am getting better.

Let’s call my most recent lesson on this subject “The Deferred Dividends of Preparation.” To prepare for a recent gig as master of ceremonies at the first New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in the Westchester town of Yorktown, I spent a fair amount of time online doing research. My intent was to have a ball quizzing revelers on trivia, such as, “Long before Dick Clark, what TV entertainer was nicknamed Mr. New York’s Eve?” I had a million of them.

As it turned out, almost none of my copious research was used that crazy night. I ended up jabbering spontaneously with various townfolk who dropped in to the Ball Drop. A good time was had by all, with nobody missing my carefully constructed funhouse of factoids.

At first I regretted having spent a couple of hours digging up trivia for naught. Then it dawned on me that I could repurpose the same information to write my next columns. Or at post-New Year parties. I’m also pre-prepared for New Year’s Eve 2016 almost 12 months in advance. Take that, dumb ol’ Procrastination!



My preparing to write this column revealed something I wasn’t prepared for: While the internet is a wondrous cornucopia that puts anything you want to know at your fingertips, its talent for pinpointing popular taste at this very moment shortchanges the long tail of longevity.

To wit, when I asked that garrulous genius Google to regale me with its vast knowledge of the ageless axiom “Be prepared,” the first reference to the 109-year-old Boy Scout motto surprisingly didn’t appear until well past the first page of Search results.

Sitting atop Mount Google on that first page was a little ditty called “Be Prepared” from Disney’s “The Lion King,” which itself, at 22 years old, is getting long in the tooth. One day, it, too, will be aimlessly roaming the Google Serengeti in search of its former fame. I only hope it is pre-prepared for that cruel fate.


Media and marketing specialist Bruce Apar, also known as Bruce The Blog, is Chief Content Officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner agency.  He also owns APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley marketing agency. Follow him on Hudson Valley WXYZ on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Reach him at or (914) 275-6887.




January 20, 2016 |

F-U-N Learning with Food


In Good Taste







(Family Features) If you’re searching for ways to get little ones excited about learning, try combining fun and function, using food as your teaching tool. Foods that come in letter shapes are a great way to introduce young learners to the alphabet and make learning delightfully F-U-N.

Although it may contradict the popular mealtime mantra to “quit playing with your food,” teaching children to recognize letters using a familiar food, such as cereal, can actually be a great way to promote literacy and a love of reading early on.

You can get started promoting the joys of learning with these “snacktivities” to make snack time as entertaining as it is educational for your littlest family members. Use a nutrient rich cereal, such as Post Alpha-Bits, so when letters start disappearing into those tiny tummies, you can feel good knowing each serving provides 12 of the essential vitamins and minerals growing kids need.

For more great recipes your family will love, visit

Family tree12473_A
Draw a big tree with lots of branches on construction paper. After the tree is drawn, write out each family member’s name on the branches with colorful markers. Encourage your little ones to match the letters you have written with letters from the Alpha-Bits box. Let them glue the cereal pieces to the tree so you can display their works of art on the refrigerator.

Vowel play
Give your little one a one-cup serving of Post Alpha-Bits and ask them to eat all of the consonants and leave only the vowels. They’ll learn their letters a little better and get 20 grams of whole grains along the way.

ABC Crispy Bars
1/4     cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1     package (10.5 ounces) miniature marshmallows
8     cups Post Alpha-Bits Cereal
Alphabet-shaped cookie cutters

Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; lightly grease foil.

Microwave butter in large microwavable bowl on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows and mix well.

Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds.

Stir in cereal.

Press cereal mixture firmly into prepared pan. Cool.

Using the alphabet-shaped cookie cutters, cut cereal mixture into 12-15 pieces.12473_B

Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Source: Post Foods














September 9, 2015 |

Petro Home Services Launches “Always Remember” Memorial Day Campaign


Petro Home Services Launches “Always Remember” Memorial Day Campaign, Giving Up To 1,000 Gallons of Oil Or Propane To Military Members, Veterans Or Their Families

Through its “Always Remember” program, Petro Home Services is providing up to 1,000 gallons of free heating oil or propane to a serving military member, veteran or their family in need, to thank them for their service or sacrifice this Memorial Day.

Petro Home Services is dedicated to taking care of its customers’ home service needs and honoring those who served or who are serving in the armed forces, along with their families, for all that they have fought for and lived through to give us our freedom. That’s why Petro Home Services is launching its Always Remember program this Memorial Day.

“We are honored to run this program, and our goal is to help deserving armed forces members past and present in need, as well as their families, by providing up to 1,000 gallons of free oil or propane. However, it goes beyond that for the Petro Home Services team,” commented Joe McDonald, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing for Petro Home Services. “We are proud that this program raises awareness of the true meaning of Memorial Day, when we remember all those who died in active service. Without their sacrifices, we would not be free to live as we do today. The program is also a tribute to current armed forces members, veterans and their families, recognizing all that they do and the sacrifices they make, too. Always Remember engages our customers and the local community, enabling them to share their personal stories about deserving former or current armed forces members and their families that they know and truly want to help. More importantly, it’s about all of us, as a community, helping to give back to those who gave so much for us.”

Petro kicks off its Always Remember program on May 16th, 2016 by encouraging customers and community members throughout the company’s service areas in Washington DC, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia, to and nominate a current or veteran armed forces member or military family in their neighborhood that they feel deserves up to 1,000 gallons of free oil or propane. Nominations must be submitted by May 30th, 2016. The Petro Home Services team will then choose one household in each state which will get their oil or propane just after Memorial Day. Recipients must sign Petro’s media release and will be announced on June 8th, 2016. Visit for further details, terms and conditions of the Always Remember program.

Petro Home Services is also sponsoring local Memorial Day celebrations, such as local parades, and having collections for Operation Shoebox for active armed forces members at various locations throughout their service areas. Visit to find out how to make a donation at a location near you.

Joe McDonald added that “Everyone on the Petro Home Services team is proud to be a part of this program. It’s the least that we can do to thank all of those servicemen and women that we’ve lost, those who continue to
serve and the sacrifices of the families they leave behind in their continuing fight for freedom. We employ many veterans, and we are pleased that the Always Remember program demonstrates what our company is all about, one that cares about its community.”

From heating oil, natural gas and propane services to AC, generators, plumbing and more, helping customers save on energy costs and keep comfortable at home is what drives the Petro Home Services team every day. You can learn more about Petro Home Services, its services and special offers by visiting or by calling 1.800.645.4328.

Petro Home Services is the country’s #1 home heating oil provider with over 100 years of industry experience. Our large network and resources enables them to support each customer’s home comfort needs better than any other heating oil company. With local customer service professionals, drivers and technicians, Petro Home Services is always there, whatever the weather–24/7, all year. For more information about Petro Home Services, call 1.800.645.4328 or visit

May 20, 2016 |
TownLink is powered Chase Media Group. ©2014. All rights reserved.
Skip to toolbar