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December 31, 2007

 

Fitness a top goal for New Year’s resolutions

Resolutions

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Matt Hadfield, 33 of Cortland works out at the YMCA Saturday morning.

By IAN BOUDREAU
Staff Reporter
iboudreau@cortlandstandard.net

Last year, Matt Hadfield made a New Year’s resolution to quit drinking.
“I had lived an unhealthy lifestyle most of my life,” said Hadfield, who moved to Cortland from Rochester two years ago.
During 2007, he was able to keep that resolution, he said — and he has already begun keeping his resolution for next year: to get into better shape.
“I want to have a balance between everything in my life,” the 33-year-old said Saturday afternoon during a workout break at the YMCA. “That would be health-wise, spiritually, and socially.”
For the past month and a half, Hadfield said he’s been going to the gym and exploring different fitness routines, finding what works for him and what doesn’t. While he said he’s still experimenting with different methods, what’s crucial is staying active.
“You have to get out and do something,” he said.
Hadfield said his health kick began with his decision to stop using alcohol.
“That’s really what prompted everything,” he said. “You have to find other things to do with your time. Instead of going to the bars on Friday and Saturday nights, now I’ll go to the gym earlier in the day.”
For next year, Hadfield said his goal is to completely quit smoking, which he’s confident he’ll be able to do.
“I hardly smoke at all anymore,” he said. “I hope — no, I’m sure I can do that.”
Not everyone who makes New Year’s resolutions has the determination Hadfield does, said Margie Stone, the YMCA’s associate executive director.
“Everybody comes in at the beginning and end of the year,” she said. “This place is packed for about the first three months. Then the weather gets nicer, people don’t want to be inside … they kind of ease out of it.”
At 44, Stone has had five children, but maintains a high fitness level. She leads one of the YMCA’s spinning classes, which use stationary bicycles.
But getting into tip-top shape came one step at a time to Stone, who said the key to success in fitness — and any life-improving resolutions — is to set reasonable goals.
“People want to change their whole entire life in one day,” she said. “You can’t lose weight, quit smoking, dump your boyfriend and get a better job all at the same time — that’s too much.”
Instead, she said, people should resolve to make small changes in their daily routines.
“Switch from soda to water, or change the kind of bread you use,” she said. “Once people see that little bit of positive change, they get psyched.”
Since joining the YMCA with her husband in 1999, Stone said she’s been able to transform herself.
“I went from being this dumpy, 36-year-old mother of three to being someone who’s fit enough to work here,” said Stone, who has since had two more children.
Of course, not all New Year’s resolutions are fitness-oriented. Roger and Adrienne Bea Smith, the owners of The Main Street Gallery in Groton, said their goals last year were more business-oriented.
“We resolved that we were going to expand,” Adrienne said. “Not our physical presence, though — we wanted to expand our presence online.”
The Smiths launched their gallery Web site, www.themainstreetgal.com, this year. Since they’ve been online, they said they’ve noticed a distinct upswing in interest in their gallery.
“We have more people viewing (the artwork), more people have heard of us, and we have many more sales,” Adrienne said.
This year, the Smiths said they’re planning a “Go Green” art campaign. For a $10 entry fee, local artists will be able to submit work that reflects their feelings on the environment. The collected art will be shown in the Smiths’ gallery, as well as on their Web site.
“Of course, we want to continue to give good, well-presented and diverse shows,” Adrienne said. “That’s always one of our goals: to keep the arts alive.”
Then there are those who, like Nicole Dintino, refuse to make New Year’s resolutions at all.
“I think the pressure of the New Year is self-induced,” the 26-year-old pre-school teacher said. “It almost sets you up for failure.”
Making and keeping resolutions should be a constant activity, she said.
“If you don’t like something about yourself or about your life, you need to be proactive all year round,” she said.
Dintino, who works at the Happy Way Child Care center in Freeville and at the Blue Frog coffee shop on Main Street in Cortland, said she decided to stop eating meat last February.
“It was pasta day at the Dintino household, and I decided, ‘You know, I don’t really feel like eating meat anymore,’” she said.
Her decision wasn’t made on an ethical basis; she said she just wanted to avoid growth hormones and artificial additives.
“I feel like twenty-thousand times better,” she said.
Dintino said she plans on sticking with her current system of self-improvement.
“I constantly re-evaluate myself,” she said. “You’re human, you’re going to make mistakes, you have to try again … I think people in general should just try to be better people.”

 

 

 

Local Empire Zone companies create 182 jobs

Businesses in zone invest $28 million to receive $3.1 million in various tax breaks in 2006.

By CHRISTINE LAUBENSTEIN
Staff Reporter
claubenstein@cortlandstandard.net

In 2006, Empire Zone businesses in Cortland County received $3.1 million in tax credits for making $28 million in capital investments, paying out $174 million in employee salaries and creating 182 net jobs, according to the county’s Empire Zone coordinator.
Karen Niday said the companies that invested the most money in 2006 were Pall Corp., which invested $4.7 million, most of it in new equipment; Cayuga Press, which invested $3.7 million, most of which was for renovations and production equipment; Intertek, which invested nearly $3 million; and Borg Warner, which invested $2.3 million.
“We had eight companies that all invested at least $1 million,” she said.
Niday said small companies that invested a significant amount of money in 2006 included Franklin Rock, a subsidiary of Economy Paving, which invested $716,000; the Cortland Community Reentry Program, which invested $550,000; and Grant Street Construction, which invested $518,000.
Niday said the $28 million total invested by Cortland County Empire Zone companies is pretty average for a given year. The highest amount companies have invested in a given year is around $40 million, Niday said. She didn’t have the year available this morning.
She said in 2006 Pall Trinity added 51 jobs, while Intertek added 19 jobs. They are among the 182 net jobs Cortland County Empire Zone companies gained in 2006, Niday said, bringing the total number of people employed by the county’s Empire Zone companies to nearly 3,800.
Niday said 182 net new jobs for Cortland County Empire Zone companies is somewhat average for a given year. The lowest number of jobs created in one year was 160, while the highest was 300. She didn’t have years available this morning.
Based on figures provide by Niday, each new job created by Cortland County Empire Zone companies in 2006 cost the state about $17,000 in taxpayer dollars.
There are 144 Cortland County companies in the Empire Zone program. Most of those companies joined the program in 2001 and 2002 — the first two years Cortland County had an Empire Zone, while now between 10 and 20 companies join the program a year.

 

 

GOP caucus backs slate for key posts

The Republican legislative caucus met Saturday and endorsed the slate for county Legislature leadership positions that was proposed last week by party leaders.
The Republicans will be standing behind Legislator John Steger (R-Preble and Scott) for chairman of the Legislature; Patrick Perfetti of Homer for county attorney; and Carletta Edwards of Cortland for clerk of the Legislature.
No minority leader has been selected as the party is waiting to see what happens at Legislatures organizational session Thursday night.
The Democrats, who hold a 10-9 majority, have chosen Carol Tytler (D-3rd Ward) for the chairmanship and Sandy Price (D-Harford and Virgil) for majority leader but have not put forward names for county attorney and clerk of the Legislature.
They will meet tonight to discuss possibilities and talk with interested persons. Tytler has said if she were appointed chairman by the Legislature, she would keep on Sue Morgan, the current clerk of the Legislature.
The bare 10-9 Democratic majority could make predicting an outcome difficult and both parties are poised to make last-minute decisions at Thursday’s session.