Coop Scoop - March/April 2019

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ISSUE #427



Advocate for Parks Fight Climate Change

Boost Your Immunity Meditation and Mindfulness

Crochet and Volunteer

Where Service and Art Intersect

know yourself more, try something different, and watch things change. The calendar flips a page, time passes by and the seasons proceed unabated.

speaks to a stability that resists at least continuous change. Yes, I have settled down and I enjoy the peace and quiet—as well as knowing where my keys are.

• May/June: Create • July/August: Balance • September/October: Sustain • November/December: Joy Warm Regards, Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf

What is happening to our planet as the temperatures rise and what might be the consequences for generations to come? From environmental loss to personal growth, change demands both cooperation and introspection. Get to know someone new, get to


You don't have to Be a member to shop!























Linda Coolen & Susan Metcalf are Co-op Member-Owners and Co-Managing Editors of the Coop Scoop.




100 Watervliet Avenue, Albany, NY 12206 (518) 482-2667 [COOP]


Still, “no one likes change” is a common maxim. I personally tend to like change. Not always of course; sometimes things change for the worse, sometimes change is just annoying. But often change offers something new and different, something exciting or refreshing. Living in the Northeast, I love the four seasons. I like organizing things and working on home improvement projects. I don’t always enjoy working on myself, but I know selfimprovement will follow. And now as I get older, I find the common saying “we get set in our ways”

If the topic of CHANGE doesn’t pique your interest, consider one of our upcoming themes:

For this issue, the Call for Contributions brought in proposals for articles on environmental and inter/intrapersonal change, from the effect of climate change on regional woodlands to creating change by knitting for a cause and meditating to boost immunity.


As the ground thaws and crocus leaves begin to sprout, spring is coming and change is in the air. It’s Nature’s way of dying off and being reborn.



Co-Managing Editors


Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf


Letter from Our Editors

As always, we hope to recruit more volunteer members wanting to earn hours and perhaps looking for a change. Here is your chance to submit articles, poetry, recipes, and other content for consideration. Nervous to take pen to paper or fingers to keyboard? Reach out! Our editors are friendly and supportive, and they are willing to work with you wherever you’re at.

But “everything changes” is also a maxim. Change can be dangerous, scary, good, exciting, and at times a combination of these things. One thing is certain: change is a given. How shall we roll with the changes? When should we act to change a situation? How can we build and strengthen changing relationships? How can we ourselves change for the better?


8am TO 10pm EVERY DAY

Honest Weight Food Co-op is a memberowned and -operated consumer cooperative that is committed to providing the community with affordable, high quality natural foods and products for healthy living. Our mission is to promote more equitable, participatory, and

Ecologically sustainable ways of living. Honest weight is open to the public, seven days a week. The Coop Scoop is produced bimonthly by our Education Department and offered free of charge as part of our mission. To view online, Please visit

Contributors EDITORS: Ben Goldberg, our Associate Editor, is retired from a 40+ year career in behavioral health care in the nonprofit sector. He is currently an active volunteer and freelance writer and editor.

Carol Reid our Assistant Editor, is a retired cataloger at the New York State Library, where she worked for over 35 years. She wrote a 10-year blog called “Typo of the Day for Librarians” and has been a Co-op member since the 1980s.

Writers: Jennifer Bourke, William Cruzgriffith, Ben Goldberg, Georgia Julius, Melanie Pores, Carol Reid, Pat Sahr

Designers: Mathew Bradley Holley Davis is a new Co-op member. When she’s not at the Troy Farmer’s Market or trying new recipes, you can find her running a half marathon in every state.

DISTRIBUTION Assistant: Donna Eastman

Interested in Contributing TO THE COOP SCOOP? Contact:

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ADVERTISE WITH US! Contact: Kim Morton (518) 330-3262 Printed with soy ink on recycled paper in Albany, NY

ISSN 2473-6155 (print) ISSN 2473-6163 (online) The Coop Scoop is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. Honest Weight is not responsible for, and does not necessarily agree with, our guest writers' articles. Cover photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash

change 4 6





Ben Goldberg

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TRY MEDITATION AT HONEST WEIGHT! Georgia Julius and Deanna Beyer



12 16 17 18

200 SCARVES Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen






Jennifer Bourke


KIDS CORNER Linda Coolen and Susan Metcalf


What's Fresh at Honest Weight! We’re always working to improve your shopping experience, along with our store’s social and environmental impacts. We regularly assess and update our product offerings, educational programs, policies, and store infrastructure. We seek suggestions from our Member-Owners, staff, and shoppers and consider every single one. It’s a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it. Here’s what’s fresh for you this month at Honest Weight.

Coffeehouse Open Mic: New Day and location All are invited to HWFC’s Monthly Coffeehouse Open Mic, now on the third Wednesday of each month in our Cafe! Join in a night of community music, poetry, and storytelling in our Cafe. Show up at 6:30pm to sign up if you’re interested in performing, or grab a latte and find a seat to listen to talented members of the HWFC community from 7-9:00pm!

What’s the Story?:

Little cooperators Storytime Bring the little ones to Honest Weight and enjoy our new drop-in class series for kids aged 2-4! This monthly offering from our Education department will include an engaging story book, creative craft, and yummy snack. It takes place from 11-11:30am on the first Friday of each month in our Community Room. Parents must accompany children.

March 1st: “Tikki Tikki Tembo,” as retold by Arlene Mosel

To Celebrate Chinese New Year we will snack on oranges and make paper oranges which are considered good luck in Chinese culture.

April 5th: Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

We’ll make awesome caterpillar finger puppets and all the eat our way through the same delicious fruits featured in this classic book!

New Green Incentive: 15 for reusing cups Now, when you bring in your own reusable travel mug or cup to the Co-op and use it to purchase a beverage from our Juice & Java Bar, you’ll receive 15¢ back! Just use your clean cup for self-serve coffee and tea or hand it over to our baristas with your order of a juice, smoothie, or specialty coffee drink. When you check out, let your cashier know you brought in a reusable cup! You can also find reusable mugs (insulated and non) for purchase in our housewares aisle with the fun kitchen stuff. As always, bringing in a reusable or reused bag to use at Honest Weight will get you 5¢ off your groceries or an Enviro Token to donate to charity.

Ceramic Mugs at the java bar You asked, we answered! We now have ceramic mugs in 12 and 16 ounce sizes on our coffee bar for our shoppers who choose to dine (or just drink) in. This will increase use of ceramic mugs (formerly, shoppers had to ask staff for one) and help eliminate waste. Plus, there’s just something so comforting about drinking hot coffee or tea out of a warm mug, don’t you think?

Meditation and the Immune System A PRACTICE WITH MYRIAD BENEFITS by Ben Goldberg

For thousands of years people have practiced meditation, as well as other mind-body disciplines, primarily in order to enhance their immediate experience (i.e., be more “fully present”) and to generally improve the quality of their lives (e.g., mood, concentration, health). For decades, researchers and healthcare practitioners have studied the benefits of mind-body practices and disciplines such as acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and meditation. Unfortunately, much of the research conducted was not very well done. Recently, however, especially during the past two decades, more sophisticated and illuminating research has been conducted. One specific area of interest is whether and how meditation affects the immune system, which plays a central role in health and disease.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM The human immune system consists of a variety of cells, tissues, organs, systems, fluids, and nodes. This complex, integrated system works together with other physiological systems, and in combination they directly affect our health and susceptibility to 6

diseases and medical conditions— from colds to cardiac malfunction, cancer, and even longevity. When the immune system malfunctions, we become more susceptible to infection and “hostile invasion” by viruses, parasites, bacteria, and cancer cells.

THE ROLE OF STRESS The things that we know help keep us healthy—a nutritious diet, exercise, adequate rest, social supports, etc.—do so because they support optimal functioning of primary physiological systems, including the immune system. One of the most common things that works against optimal systems functioning is negative stress. Although stress can also result from positive events (a wedding, planned retirement, etc.), negative stress is understood as a state that signals significant change is or may be necessary (as in the face of a threat or serious challenge), and typically that includes feeling as if one lacks the

ability or control to make that necessary change. A high level of negative stress often results in a sense of being overwhelmed.

CHRONIC STRESS Under normal circumstances, stress associated with our day-today lives, known as “acute stress,” comes and goes. Our “alarm and protection/fight or flight” adaptive systems are activated, operate for a while, and then ease back down, allowing our bodies to recover. Acute stress, and the associated inflammation which is part of the protective response of the immune system, are temporary and leave no serious damage. However, chronic/longterm stress—sometimes referred to as “toxic stress”—can have seriously debilitating effects on the body, including the immune system. Chronic stress and the chronic mobilization of inflammatory responses may occur in reaction to family issues and conflicts, threatening political or economic conditions, cumulative microaggressions, living in a dangerous or violent environment, extended poverty, the absence of social support systems, or being the victim of childhood abuse or neglect, as well as to destructive lifestyles and behavior patterns (e.g., substance use or smoking). The chronic stress that develops under these types of circumstances keeps our “alarm and protection/ fight or flight systems” operating at all times, resulting in chronic

chronic/long-term stress can have seriously debilitating effects on the body, including the immune system COOP SCOOP

Meditation boosts our sense of well-being and quality of life, which has salutary effects on our physical health systemic inflammation, which eventually attacks and overtaxes the body from the organ level to the cellular level. Chronic stress keeps the immune response in high gear even when the threat is more psychological and emotional than physical. Chronic stress may even damage the ability of the body to adapt at all, in large part due to the development of widespread inflammation and associated self-perpetuating biochemical reactions. Inflammation has been determined to be a primary factor in the development of diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, early aging, and mental health disorders. At its worst, chronic overactive immune responses can result in debilitating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

MEDITATION Meditation and mindfulness have been variously described by many writers and researchers as “two sides of the same coin” and as “mirror images of themselves.” My own experiences with both meditation and formal mindfulness training support those analogies. For our purposes, we will consider the terms “meditation” and “mindfulness” to be synonymous. Mindfulness guru and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn (1984) has defined mindfulness as “paying MARCH/APRIL 2019

attention on purpose, to the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” Meditation has been shown in myriad reputable studies to provide a host of positive/ beneficial effects on the mind and mood, as well as on the body, including beneficial changes in brain structure and functioning. It increases activity in the parts of the brain associated with positive affect, empathy, ability to focus, memory, attention, executive functioning, self-calming, and the regulation of anxiety and stress. It also improves heart functioning and blood pressure, and helps prevent cognitive decline and cell aging. Meditation boosts our sense of well-being and quality of life, which has salutary effects on our physical health. Finally, while the specific mechanisms, processes, and pathways are not yet fully understood, it is clear that meditation can benefit and support the immune system. One promising psychophysiological hypothesis for how this happens is that pro- and anti-inflammatory cells appear to be affected by even short-term meditation practice through the brain’s intimate connection with the immune system.

RESEARCH EXAMPLES In 2016, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published a major article entitled “Mindfulness Meditation and the Immune System: A Systematic

Review of Randomized Controlled Trials,” by David S. Black and George M. Slavich. The researchers systematically reviewed 20 randomly controlled trials that studied whether mindfulness meditation affected targeted immune system processes. These studies, which involved more than 1,600 participants, found “evidence that mindfulness meditation is associated with changes in select immune system processes involved in inflammation, immunity, and biological aging.” And further that, “mindfulness meditation modulates some select immune parameters in a manner that suggests a more salutogenic [health supporting] immune profile. Specifically, mindfulness meditation appears to be associated with reductions in pro-inflammatory [inflammation promoting] processes, increases in cell-mediated defense parameters, and increases in enzyme activity that guards against cell aging.” It is important to note that many mind-body disciplines and practices may also result in similar, if somewhat different, benefits. Meditation is not a magic cure-all. It takes time and trying (or “not-trying”, I should say…), and it is not for everyone. However, meditation is safe (for most of us) and free. It can be practiced anywhere at any time, and you may find it fits nicely into your healthy living regimen. Change—for better or worse—is constant and inevitable. Choose and practice positive change. Visit the Co-op and your local library for free meditation classes. 7

Try Meditation at Honest Weight! Honest Weight’s educational programming offers wellness classes and services, free of charge and open to the public. Check out these regularly scheduled meditation sessions or see the full class schedule and most up-to-date information at:

Public Meditation with Diamond Way Buddhism Second Tuesdays, 7:30-8:30 PM, Community Room Diamond Way Buddhism appeals to a diverse array of people. This monthly meditation practice at Honest Weight is straightforward, and aimed at regular people with busy lives. Come sit, for the first or four-hundredth time!

Qi Gong Meditation with Chris Reilly Second Wednesdays, 7:00-8:00 PM, Community Room A monthly session rooted in traditional Taoist Qi Gong (the practices of mastering qi, or the movement of life) led by Chris Reilly, L.Ac., MSA, an acupuncturist and herbalist of 17 years and student of Taoist Internal Alchemy Qi Gong of over 20 years. All experience levels welcome. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a chair cushion to sit on. 8

Singing Bowls with Bill Leslie Third Mondays, 6:00-7:00 PM, Community Room Meditation allows the mind to let go of the past and put aside expectations for the future. The sound of singing bowls helps create that pause. Participants in this meditation session are encouraged to bring a cushion or yoga mat to sit on. A limited number of chairs will also be available. Please arrive on time!

Somatic Breathwork with Victor Anderson Every Wednesday, 3:00-6:00 PM, Practitioner Room Many of the forces that hold us back can be released through working with breath. With kind attention in a safe space, Victor will guide you to open your breathing and heal through your own breath. Once the breath holding patterns are met and integrated, many insights arrive, some painful emotions and physical limitations will be eased permanently. In as little as one half-hour session you can feel a precious freedom. Sign up at the Service Desk to reserve your spot! Questions? You can reach Deanna Beyer, our Education Coordinator, at (518) 482-2667 x219 or at


EXPLORE IN EVERY SEASON Visit one of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s 18 nature preserves - all within a 30 minute drive of Albany.


AND MORE Kids 6-8


Vacation Camps Summer Camps

Before & After Care Half Day Sessions Full Day Sessions 1 Week or 2 Weeks EXPLORE TROY

Find your new favorite spot!



ENJOY Cooking Digital Arts Drawing Mixed Media Painting Pottery Video Game Design AND MORE

Big Kids 9-11

Pre-Teens 11-13

Teens 14-17


Does Your Social Impact Investment Earn Interest? “I invest in the Community Loan Fund because it helps the local businesses in my neighborhood. And I can earn interest on my investment.” Louise McNeilly

Hands-On, Hearts Open

11-year Investor

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Tisha Graham, CPM, CLC, Doula Rose Mitchell-Tenerowicz, Doula Laura Simpson, RN, NMT, Doula

Professional homebirth midwifery, Doulas, education and more! Locations in Albany & Saratoga

255 Orange St., Albany, NY 12210 920 Albany St., Schenectady

Call us at (518) 436-8586 x806 to learn how you can align your money with your values – while earning interest!

Producer Profiles by Pat Sahr

We truly value the small businesses and dedicated individuals who work hard to create the exceptional goods and products we carry here at Honest Weight Food Co-op. We think these inspirational stories demonstrate the importance of supporting local, and why we’re so committed to it!

HAPPY PITS FOUND IN OUR WELLNESS DEPARTMENT Happy Pits is a primarily organic, gluten-free deodorant that uses the highest quality raw, unrefined, organic, and fair-trade ingredients. In addition, it is Leaping Bunny Certified crueltyfree and Vegan. Happy Pits is aluminum- and toxin-free, yet it provides exceptional moisture absorption and odor control, all while keeping the underarm area soft, smooth, happy, and healthy. Every ingredient in Happy Pits is an "active" ingredient serving two purposes—reducing moisture and preventing odor (not masking it). Fragrances come from pure essential oils.

Sandy Pratt’s mission is to provide safe and affordable personal care products 10

Sandy Pratt is the creator and owner of Happy Pits. Her business originated when her mother became ill with an autoimmune disease. Sandy first worked to limit her mom’s flare-ups from chemicals and toxins by removing potential environmental triggers. Her mother was already eating a healthy organic diet, so Sandy began studying what toxins are found in most personal care products. She narrowed her focus to deodorants and was horrified to learn that many popular deodorants on the market contain aluminum and heavy metals that may lead to cancer and neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Her next step was to test various “natural” deodorant products, but she found that they either

irritated her skin or didn’t have the necessary staying power. Finally, after studying the science behind sweating, odor, and how deodorants work, she began to experiment with the best organic ingredients she could find to create a high-quality, all-natural deodorant. Through trial and error and by reading blog comments from others who were doing similar experiments, Sandy finally settled on her unique recipe and asked her mother to test the result. Mom’s comment after using it: “Sandy, I feel like I don't even sweat when I wear this deodorant!” Happy Pits products are currently handmade in Cohoes, New York. Sandy Pratt’s mission is to provide safe and affordable personal care products to as many people as possible. You will find a variety of these deodorants and other products in Honest Weight’s Wellness Department.

Pat Sahr has been a member of the Co-op since 2005. She contributes to the Coop Scoop as the writer of the Producer Profiles. Sahr says, “It’s a pleasure being part of the Honest Weight family, and I’ve especially enjoyed communicating with the various producers whose products are sold at the Co-op!”


PICNIK Found in our grocery Department Those who like traditional coffee might want to try a different kind of coffee beverage that is now available at the Co-op. It is a packaged drink from an Austin-based company called Picnik, a producer of “butter coffee,” which is a blend of organic coffee, butter from grass-fed cows, and MCT oil. According to the Picnik website, “MCT stands for ‘medium-chain triglycerides,’ saturated fatty acids that are easily digested and sent to the liver to be converted into fuel for the body, rather than stored as fat. Coconut oil is a great source of MCTs, but concentrated MCT oil is what we use in our products.” The company asserts that butter coffee gives one a boost without causing the usual jitters followed by an energy crash. Furthermore, it states, “Butter coffee is known to boost cognitive function, support fat burn, balance mood

and hormone levels, and reduce hunger.” Naomi Seifter is the founder of Picnik. As a long-time sufferer from food allergy-related illnesses, she has made it her mission to improve her health through an allergen-free diet. Though she learned how to become healthier by changing her eating habits, she found that she could only eat safely if she prepared food in her own kitchen. Her desire to help others with similar problems led Naomi to open a Picnik restaurant in 2013. The location of the business was in Austin, Texas, in a food trailer created from a transport shipping container.

Her mission was to serve nutritious, convenient food. The menu included gluten-free, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch items, butter coffee, and bone broth, all with a focus on using

Butter coffee is known to boost cognitive function, support fat burn, balance mood and hormone levels, and reduce hunger. MARCH/APRIL 2019

premium local ingredients. In time, Picnik became popular among those interested in the paleo diet, who were drawn to the grass-fed butter coffee. In 2016 Naomi opened a “brick and mortar” restaurant in Austin. The following year she and her team, which currently includes 20 talented individuals, began sending butter coffee to grocery stores nationwide, and also opened a second food trailer.

Naomi is pleased that her products have had a beneficial impact on the health and wellbeing of thousands of people. She says, “By using thoughtfully sourced, good-for-you ingredients, our customers can confidently look forward to feeling their very best.” Honest Weight carries five varieties of Picnik butter coffee as well as butter coffee creamer. They can be found in the cooler in the Grocery Department. For more information, visit 11

200 Scarves Volunteering for LIfe by Susan Metcalf and Linda Coolen

The following is an interview with Sharon [last name omitted], who has been attending Knit and Stitch* at Honest Weight since June of 2018. She has been involved in volunteering for over 40 years, donating her crocheted items (scarves, hats, shawls, blankets, and mittens) to those in need across the United States.

Q: How did you start crocheting? And what is the difference between crocheting and knitting? Sharon: Crocheting is much easier. Knitting uses at least two straight needles and crocheting has one needle with a hook. My roommate in the 1970s tried to teach me how to knit and purl and I never got past knit.

Q: What are participants’ current levels of experience at the Knit and Stitch group? Sharon: New people come in usually when they have a problem, and the advanced ones there help those with problems. There are anywhere from 6 to 12 people knitting or crocheting, but mostly knitting. I joined in large part for the social aspect, to get out of the house, but of course everyone is welcome. People attend as they can or just drop in to get help solving a problem.

Q: It was suggested that we interview you on the topic of 200 Scarves, thus the title of this piece. Where did this idea of 200 scarves come from? Sharon: Two hundred scarves, yes. On January 2, 2018, my husband ended up in the hospital. I needed to keep busy so I started crocheting scarves. He died on April 7th. Once he was gone, I wondered how many days he was in the hospital and the nursing home and it was 95 days total, which meant I would make 95 scarves in memory of him. But when I got to 95 I was still trying to keep busy. I thought to myself, “Well, there are a lot more people out there that need scarves” and I got to 200 on October 30, which was our 42nd wedding anniversary.

Q: So, what do you do with all those scarves? Sharon: Through word-of-mouth within the charity business or on TV, I find people or organizations that take donations for the poor. I have mailed scarves to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, and Arkansas, as well as delivered them here in Albany. I call these organizations and ask if they give to both men and women. One organization is “Hats for the Homeless.” The Pennsylvania group makes what they call “ugly sleeping bags” for the homeless because if you make a pretty one it gets stolen. They tie them with extra neckties, so I sent them those as well. They can stick just about anything that people can use inside these sleeping bags, so I sent her 20 scarves. Carewear is an organization in Maryland that serves infants in hospitals. This past year they decided on a breast cancer walk and requested pink scarves or hats, so I sent her 20 pink scarves. Another group in Tennessee takes plastic grocery bags, cuts them apart, and crochets them back

*Knit & Stitch is a group for people at all levels of expertise. They have been meeting weekly at Honest Weight for over 10 years to share skills and enjoy camaraderie and conversation. Join them in Honest Weight’s Community Room every Friday from 12-2:00PM except during the summer months, when they take a break. No need to sign up--just drop in! 12


together for a mat for the homeless to sleep on instead of the pavement. They wanted hats, scarves, and gloves, so I called them and asked: “For men and women?” They said yes. So I sent them 20 scarves. I’ve also been working with a charity in southern Arkansas since 1997. This is a very poor area and they can use anything. I get a newsletter from this group, Joann Cayce Charities. I got her name through an article from Family Circle magazine in 1997, “Women Who Made a Difference,” and sent them 39 scarves for men and 17 for women.

Q: So back then, of course, and even now, you don’t use the Internet? Sharon: No. Word of mouth. TV. Articles. I find a phone number and call them and ask them what they need.

Q: And you pay for supplies and postage out of your own pocket? Sharon: My husband used to say, “When I die, you will give it all away.” Sometimes yarn is donated, but rarely. I tried to see if FedEx had a shipping discount for charity, but it was only for nine packages a day and I couldn’t do that many. So I pay for supplies and for the postage. Seniors say they don’t know what to do with their time. And it can be lonely. This can help everybody.

Q: When you attend the Knit and Stitch group on Fridays at Honest Weight, what do you bring Q: What do you take away with you with you? when you leave the group on Fridays? Sharon: Well, last Friday was a big mistake. This time we went to the coordinator’s home instead of HW. I figured it was a party so I didn’t bring anything and sat for two hours doing nothing while everyone else had their work with them. So I always bring my project and the materials I need. One scarf used to take about six hours, now it’s about 10 hours, 1 row per hour, because I’m older, my hands hurt and my shoulders hurt. At one point, eight years ago I stopped altogether because of the pain, but then I just fidgeted. So I started again, and then stopped. But then my husband was dying, and I have started again.


Sharon: That I made another scarf for another homeless person: 20 each to the Rescue Mission on South Pearl, a hospice in Colonie, the Red Cross, Travelers Aid, and others. I didn’t intend to keep going, maybe slow up, but it didn’t happen. One scarf gets done and I have two hours before bed so why not start another one?

Q: How can people get more involved? Sharon: It’s not about getting more people to come on Fridays. It is about getting people to volunteer in general. 13

Q: How long have you been volunteering? Sharon: I worked for the state, but I have been volunteering for about 50 years (crocheting, of course, helping with daycare for young mothers trying to go to school, a food pantry, Albany Med, Christ Child Society of Albany in Schenectady—I sent them baby blankets). There are so many places it is hard to remember them all.

Q: Where does your sense of charity come from? Sharon: I have no idea. My husband would say you can’t save them all, but I say I can try.

Q: How can people get into volunteering? Sharon: There are lots of opportunities, but you have to get out there. Especially seniors who don’t know what to do with their time. If you know how to crochet or knit, you can do it for charity. If money is an issue, there may be chances to get yarn donated. Anything anyone can do for charity would be welcome to society.

Create Change! Volunteer! Colonie Senior Services Center (518) 459-2857 ext. 308 Annual Volunteer Opportunity Fair, Wednesday, May 22nd from 10am to 1pm.

EQUINOX, Inc. “People, Programs, Service" (518) 434-6135 ext. 5302 Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner that feeds 10,000 has a need for volunteers. Also options for community service projects like drives or in-kind donations.

Volunteer Match Aims to strengthen communities by making it easier for people to find good causes. Other volunteer opportunities may be available at your local church, nonprofit organization, or thrift shop.

Stop Energy Waste and Save! Get a free Home Performance Energy Assessment which can qualify you for incentives and low interest financing to make home improvements. Have an expert show you where you may be wasting energy- and how to fix it.

Sunday, May 19, 2019 • 10:30am - 2:30pm FAIR LOCATION: Albany JCC • 340 Whitehall Road • Albany, NY

518-438-6651 x112 •


Homeownership Center


Information Booths Refreshments Drawing Prizes Therapeutic Massage Snack Bag 10:30am - noon (while supplies last) • Quick Adult Haircuts Vaad Hakashruth

We’ll help you take the first step to a greener and more comfortable building with lower utility bills.

Vaad Hakashruth

of the Capital District

of the Capital District

GARFIELD © 1982 Paws, Reprinted permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. rights reserved. GARFIELD © 1982 Paws, Inc. Inc. Reprinted withwith permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All All rights reserved.

Albany Jewish Community Center

340 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY 12208 Contact: Claire Sigal 518-438-6651 x112



EVERY Look for these events throughout April and in the upcoming year! For updates and all the details, visit: • Earthdayogathon in support of Protect Our Breasts • Fabric Collection • Green Giveaways • E-Waste Recycling • Soil Testing • Zero Waste Classes • Albany Bike Rescue Repair Workshop + Safety Class • Seedling and Seed Blossoms Workshop for kids Open House March 30 1-3 pm


Ages 3-12

June 24 - August 23 Woodland Hill Montessori School 100 Montessori Place • North Greenbush MARCH/APRIL 2019

Woodland Hill welcomes you to play, cook, create, and invent! Become a nature explorer, lean yoga poses, create with clay, connect with your inner musician, investigate outer space, and try coding!

Space is limited. Register today! 518.283.5400 15

On Forests and Climate Change by William Cruzgriffith

“Well anyway, let me say ‘you’re welcome’ for the wonderful world that you know!” I watch my son dance around the living room to the song every day, arms flailing wildly to the tune of You’re Welcome from Disney’s hit Moana. I have the full soundtrack, of course, which includes no fewer than three versions of the song. My son likes the theatrical track with Dwayne Johnson, but my favorite is the feature of LinManuel Miranda and Jordan Fisher.

The root problem: an unnatural global climate shift towards hotter mean temperatures


For those who have not seen the film (I strongly encourage you to do so) Moana is the tale of a Polynesian teenage girl, who sets off on a whirlwind adventure to restore the heart of Te Fiti, a Mother Nature figure who possesses the power to create life itself. Aided by the demigod Maui, a socially awkward chicken named Hei Hei, and her own determination, the movie serves as a cautionary tale about respecting the natural world. So it would come as no surprise that Fisher, who was named an Ambassador for the National Parks Service for its 101st Anniversary, would find himself involved with the Disney musical. Before working either on Moana or with the Park Service, Fisher admits that he has, “always been aware of the National Parks,” but

JORDAN FISHER had never taken the opportunity to enjoy any himself. An avid history enthusiast, he jumped at the chance to help preserve and bring awareness of the rich traditions maintained by the Park Service. “I was especially happy to join the National Park Foundation to tell the story of Hamilton Grange, a uniquely American place that means a lot to me,” says Fisher of the former homestead of


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Alexander Hamilton. He recently concluded his role as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton in the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamilton.

Mother Nature could use more advocates in her corner, perhaps now more than ever. The Caribbean—Puerto Rico in particular—Gulf Coast, and even Ireland have been subject to decimating storms in what has been a series of some of the most ferocious hurricane seasons on record. Wildfires in Northern California have killed 86 and turned nearly 1.1 million acres of the Golden State to ash. Glacier National Park has reduced its total glaciers from 150 to 26 and significant portions of the Great Barrier Reef were declared dead in 2016. The root problem: an unnatural global climate shift towards hotter mean temperatures. Denial of such at this point is more than an inconvenience, it is creating a clear and present threat to human survival. Advocacy for the planet goes far beyond the preservation of natural gems from a world that was; it helps remind the general public that the planet Earth is the one and only place in the cosmos humanity can exist.

The Empire State has not been immune to the effects of global climate change either. According to both the ClimAID report and the National Climate Assessment, New York’s coastline has risen at nearly double the global rate over the decades, and annual precipitation has MARCH/APRIL 2019

shown steady increase as well. As seen in recent years, increased rainfall and snowmelt is a serious flooding hazard for those residing near upstate waterways. The lengthening warm season has also brought about a plague of tick-borne illnesses. Since 2004, only Pennsylvania has recorded more cases of tick-related ailments—such as Lyme disease— per a Centers for Disease Control report.

Put Mother Nature’s skin beneath your feet Feel her breath in the wind and give yourself the opportunity to become one with the environment around you When asked what advice Jordan had to future generations in appreciating embracing the joy of nature, he said, “Put Mother Nature’s skin beneath your feet; Feel her breath in the wind and give yourself the opportunity to become one with the environment around you.” Including Hamilton Grange, New York has 24 National Parks, along with 180 state parks, as well as hundreds of farms, nature conservancies, and preserves; plentiful opportunities to appreciate all the natural beauty of our state. Perhaps if you listen closely, you can hear the wind whisper… "you’re welcome." Will Cruzgriffith is a proud father and husband who has lived in the Capital District since 2007. He is a freelance writer, blogger, and marketing specialist.

A Spring Fox poem and illustration by Jennifer Bourke Look at the mountains They shifted The snow piled high on their peaks Was removed Smokey fog drifts above their tips So high The purple night sky glistens With stars The peach fuzz smell of apricots Drifts to the nose Of a scampering fox Light on its feet As it runs Blossoms bloom Yellow, orange, pink All in a row The forest Comes to life for its calls Branches reach For its warm sweet breath As it dashes up to the cave Of its good friend bear Good morning, it calls And thus it is spring again Jennifer Bourke is a third-year RPI

student majoring in Game Design and Art with a passion for writing. 17

Recipe Corner by Melanie Pores

Sweet Potato Curry Serves 2

Ingredients ●● 1½ cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 large sweet potato) ●● 1 Tbsp raisins (soaked in water for 15 minutes) ●● 1 Tbsp ghee, butter, or coconut or sunflower oil ●● Mild Sweet Curry Spice Blend: ◊ 1 tsp ground coriander ◊ ½ tsp ground turmeric ◊ ¼ tsp ground cumin ◊ ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon ◊ ⅛ tsp ground cardamom ◊ 2 tsp sunflower seeds ◊ 1 Tbsp maple syrup ●● ½ cup sweet peas ●● 1 Tbsp minced cilantro leaves ●● ½ tsp salt

Directions 1. Bake or steam sweet potato. Sauté Curry Spice Blend in ghee, butter, or coconut oil. 2. Stir and add raisins, sunflower seeds, maple syrup, and peas. 3. Cube sweet potatoes and add to mixture. Add salt and cilantro. Cook for 5 minutes. 4. Serve with Almond Sweet Potato Flatbread (see provided recipe), basmati rice, or naan.

Almond Sweet Potato Flatbreads Serves 2

Ingredients ●● 1 ½ cups almond meal ●● 1 large egg white (or substitute egg replacer to make the recipe vegan) ●● ½ cup mashed, cooked sweet potato ●● ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

Directions 1. In a large bowl combine almond meal, sweet potato, and Himalayan pink salt to taste. Mix with a fork until well combined. 2. Add egg white/egg replacer and mix until dough forms. 3. Divide dough into 2 pieces. 4. Place one section of dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper or 2 silicone sheets and flatten with hand (or rolling pin) into a quarter-inch thick circle. 5. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet and repeat with remaining dough. 6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Melanie Pores is presently retired after having served a 30+ year career as a bilingual teacher, teacher-trainer, resource specialist, school board member, adjunct professor, educational researcher and policy analyst. She facilitates the Co-op's Spanish Conversation Group on Mondays at 10 am. 18 COOP SCOOP

Kids Corner Let's make some change! Ways to Make $1.00 How many dollars makes $10.00?


$1.0o is made up of, or equal to, 4 quarters.










$1.00 is made up of, Or equal to, 10 dimes. boxes


MORE FUN! Create a coin caterpillar and add up the coins LIKE the example PROVIDED! MARCH/APRIL 2019




= $0.57 19




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