Spirits Rising Between The Finger Lakes

New York's Finger Lakes. Lying below Lake Onta...

New York’s Finger Lakes. Lying below Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes formed in tunnel valleys. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OVID, NY — For more than 30 years, John Myer has farmed the ridge above Cayuga Lake and has seen the passing traffic from winery to winery grow each year.  His corn, wheat and soybeans wind up as flour, tofu and animal feed, not part of the burgeoning trade in locally made beverages.

No longer.

This fall, John and his brother Joe opened the tasting room of Myer Farm Distillers, where guests — many already undoubtedly cruising the Cayuga and Seneca wine trails — can sample spirits made on the farm from grains grown there.

Selling vodka, gin and clear, unaged whiskey — and with plans for aged spirits, including bourbon — Myer Farm is the second stand-alone artisan distillery to open in the southeastern Finger Lakes in the past five years.  The first was Finger Lakes Distilling in Hector, which opened in 2009 and has since released its first aged whiskies to critical acclaim and built its off-premises sales to account for half its revenue.

Read more:  http://www.stargazette.com/article/20121117/NEWS01/311170034/Spirits-rising-between-Finger-Lakes?odyssey=mod%7Cdnmiss%7Cumbrella%7C1&nclick_check=1

The 12 Worst Supermarkets In America

Editor’s note: If you live in Pennsylvania, you will see many familiar names!  Fortunately, I don’t shop at any of these stores :)

Not all supermarkets are created equal.  For many Americans, stopping by a chain supermarket has become a major chore, involving long lines, rude employees, unsanitary conditions and poor selection.  Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey of more than 24,000 shoppers to rank the best and worst out of 52 grocery store chains – and the results show just how disappointing customer experience can be at some megastores.

Read more:  http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2012/04/13/12-Worst-Supermarkets-in-America.aspx

Vignettes Of Black Friday

With promotions, discounts and doorbusters already well under way on Thanksgiving Day itself, many big-box retailers are making Black Friday stretch longer than ever.  The Lede is checking out the mood of American consumers in occasional vignettes Thursday and Friday as the economically critical holiday shopping season kicks off.

Shoppers waiting outside Sam’s Club in Eagan, Minn., for Friday’s 7 a.m. opening clung to free Starbuck’s Holiday Blend coffee as they endured freezing temperatures and biting winds and collected brightly colored vouchers for laptops and big-screen TVs.

The biggest draw: a 96-cent Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.  Once inside, they also beelined for tickets for the 63 Samsungs in stock, which sold out shortly after the store opened.  Customers could make an appointment for later in the day or another day to purchase the phone, choosing from three carriers, Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.

“O.K., this is my last blue for Sprint,” an employee called out at 7:08 a.m.

Read more:  http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/coverage-of-black-friday/?hp

Macabre Dumping Grounds Amid A Storm-Altered Landscape

English: Looking southeast on a sunny spring a...

English: Looking southeast on a sunny spring afternoon in western Forest_Park_(Queens) along abandoned Rockaway_Beach_Branch at Myrtle Avenue overpass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A forester working for New York City’s parks department made a horrifying discovery last week, beside a huge pile of fallen trees destined for the wood chipper.

A dead man.

And with that discovery, add this to the huge list of troubles Hurricane Sandy has brought to the neighborhoods of the city hit hardest: wreckage from the storm seems to have created inviting spots for killers to dump bodies.

Hours after the discovery, in Forest Park in Queens, a second body was found on storm-ravaged Rockaway Beach. Workers cleaning up around O’Donohue Park heard a shriek of fright from one of their own, standing over a dune near the shoreline. There, a man’s elbow protruded from the cold sand.

Read more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/nyregion/macabre-dumping-grounds-amid-a-storm-altered-landscape.html?hp&_r=0

The Pride Of Clairton: A Town Looks To Football Team For Hope Amid Its Struggles

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United ...

Map of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The doors to the Clairton Bears’ locker room are closed.  A space usually pumped full of booming bass from hip-hop music is silent, except for the young man in the corner wearing a black No. 9 jersey.  Sitting on a bench, he bows his head and cries.

His name is Robert Boatright.  He’s a senior running back and defensive end.  Senior Night festivities are complete, and Boatright still doesn’t know if he’ll play college football.  Now he’s gulping back tears.

Terrish Webb is Boatright’s best friend.  He moves to Boatright and consoles him.  Webb knows where he’ll play next year, at Kent State.  Even with his clarity on a night full of questions, Webb begins to cry, too.  His father was murdered when Terrish was 11, and it hurt hearing his dad’s name announced on Senior Night.

The rest of the seniors join Webb in forming a circle around Boatright, wrapping their arms around each other.  Nobody else can enter.  They’re the protectors of a historic winning streak that weighs on them daily. It’s at 55 now, will be 56 in a few hours, one more box checked until Heinz Field on Nov. 23, when they’ll likely set a state record of 60.  If they lose before then — or any other time, really — they believe they’ll be seen as failures.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/clairton-looks-to-team-for-hope-amid-struggles-663011/#ixzz2D4FiVth5

Scranton Shop Owners Hopeful ‘Small Business Saturday’ Takes Off

Retailers hope the third time will be a charm as they prepare for Small Business Saturday, the shopping season’s celebration of small boutiques and mom-and-pop stores.

In 2010, Small Business Saturday was a nonevent for customers of Lavish Body and Home in downtown Scranton.  Lavish was busy, but no one really knew about Small Business Saturday.

Last year, Lavish co-owner Jonathan Chernes said a good number of people came to the store solely because it was Small Business Saturday.  This year, more people are talking about it, he said.

“Merchants have gotten together, there is buzz in social media, and ever more advertising on television,” Mr. Chernes said.

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/local-shop-owners-hopeful-small-business-saturday-takes-off-1.1407292

1,300 Gather For Food, Fellowship At Community Meal In Ephrata

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some Thanksgiving Days, Paul and Lorraine Martin of Ephrata would cook a turkey at home and, if they felt ambitious, go put up their Christmas lights afterward.

But on Thursday, the Martins and their son Jason took part in a new tradition, going to a Thanksgiving Day dinner in the heart of Ephrata with some long-time friends.

“And it’s a really nice thing,” said one of those friends, Jim Mertz of Manor Township, there with the Martins and his wife Sherri and their son Jesse, 27.

“I think it’s great that the churches here do this for everybody in the community. Everybody’s so friendly, you just feel blessed,” Mertz added.

“It does feel like a big, happy family.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/783422_1-300-gather-for-food–fellowship-at-community-meal-in-Ephrata.html#ixzz2D46DYa00

Buy Fresh Buy Local Gaining Traction In Lancaster County

“Fresh” and “local” are buzzwords used by marketers to promote everything from organic produce to fast-food sandwiches.

But the Buy Fresh Buy Local network is distinct from Madison Avenue marketing. It is a grass roots movement aimed at encouraging consumers and businesses to buy foods grown and produced in their immediate regions.

Linda Aleci is the chair of the Buy Fresh Buy Local steering committee in Lancaster County. The network’s state coordinator is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and its national coordinator is the FoodRoutes Network.

Aleci is an associate professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an affiliated scholar with the college’s Local Economy Center.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/777744_Buy-Fresh-Buy-Local-gaining-traction.html#ixzz2D43yHYKM

First Annual Open House At Hodge Podge Unique Boutique In Boyertown

Friday, November 23rd at 11:00 am until Saturday, November 24th at 4:00 pm

The fun begins on Black Friday with Door Prizes and Specials all day.  Then, come wind down with us and share your Shopping Stories in a relaxing, no pressure atmosphere at our monthly Fourth Friday Event.  You’ll enjoy a complimentary glass of wine or iced tea along with a selection of fine cheeses – just what you’ll need to melt away the stress of the Big Box stores.

The festivities continue on Small Business Saturday! From 10:00 am until noon, meet Nadia Beck, designer and owner of the Grey Button clothing line.  Enjoy free coffee, tea and sweets as you get to know Nadia and the ins & outs of the fashion biz!  The new look of Avon arrives at noon until 3:00 pm.  If you haven’t seen what Avon’s been up to lately, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Avon offers so many gifts – truly something for everyone – that you can sit and shop while you snack on lite refreshments.  Door Prizes and Deals throughout the day!

Three door prizes will be awarded per day.  Need not be present to win.As Always, No Purchase Necessary.

Hodge Podge is located at 12 N. Reading Avenue, in downtown Boyertown, PA.