Say “Yes!” to Life

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As any good soul of the space generation would, I leapt at the chance when the Kodak Center offered tickets to see William Shatner host a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. As with 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Keir Dullea last year, (see “Exclusive Interview: 2001: A Space Odyssey actor Keir Dullea one-on-one with Sentinel Publisher Chris Carosa,” Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, January 26, 2017), I had hoped to score an interview with the man who first portrayed Captain Kirk. Alas, our schedules didn’t allow it.

Catarina, perhaps feeling slightly sorry for her Continue Reading “Say “Yes!” to Life”

The Difference Between a Reporter and a Columnist

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I interviewed a prospective intern the other day and she asked a very interesting question. I was explaining how, because our vast publishing empire does so many things – from print to digital, from text to video, from social media to books – we have the flexibility to design an internship program customized to her specific needs and wants. I asked her, “What should you have on your resume that would most impress your future employer? Chances are, you can get that by interning here.”

She was contemplating a different question, though. Something I had told her about what I do intrigued her, and she wanted to explore that. So, instead of answering my question, she asked me one of her own.

“What’s the difference between a reporter and a columnist?”

I leaned back in my chair. Wow, I thought, what a great question!

I had told her I did both. She wanted to know specifically how the two journalism functions Continue Reading “The Difference Between a Reporter and a Columnist”

3 Reasons Why Amtrak Should Not Rename Rochester’s Train Station after Louise Slaughter

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Many who met her say she seemed like a nice lady, but should Amtrak rename the Rochester train station after Louise Slaughter? To best answer this question, we should consider her legacy, a legacy long forgotten but memorialized in a book written nearly three decades ago. Here’s what made me remember it:

About a year ago, Ted Benna went over the beginnings of the 401k with me. The interview was for part of a series of articles that would eventually be published in several national media outlets. You might not recognize the name “Ted Benna” but you should. Chances are he changed your life and the lives of many of your neighbors. He was the man who discovered and created the world’s first 401k account. Well, he didn’t exactly do it alone.

Ted Benna’s discovery of the true significance of section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code required confirmation. As he retold the story of the very beginning, he read through the litany of executive branch policymakers who helped pave the wave for Benna and his coworkers. They represented familiar figures from the Reagan administration.

But Benna said the seeds for his discovery were sown years before when Congress amended the U.S. Tax Code in 1978. He mentioned many names, quite a few who I remembered. I listened and let him talk uninterrupted. Until he said one congressman in particular offered the key piece to this 1978 legislation. His name was Barber Conable.

“Barber Conable?” I asked in shocked disbelief. “You mean the same Continue Reading “3 Reasons Why Amtrak Should Not Rename Rochester’s Train Station after Louise Slaughter”

How Has Your Life Changed in the Past 30 Years?

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By Raphaël Thiémard from Belgique (Berlin 1989, Fall der Mauer, Chute du mur) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Where were you in 1989? Were you glued to the television watching the Berlin Wall come down, symbolizing the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the dawning of democracy in Western Europe? Perhaps, instead, you marveled at the picture of the one lone protestor in Tiananmen Square stare down a column of tanks as China decided it would not experience the same fate as its communist rival. Back on the brighter side, evil nemesis Ayatollah Khomeini died, although that didn’t seem to change much. Oh, yeah, and George H. W. Bush was sworn in what many expected to mark the beginning of Ronald Reagan’s “third” term.

Maybe, rather than the geopolitick, you preferred the here and now of the budding world of technology. You probably couldn’t believe this “486” chip just introduced by Intel could make “home” computers (that’s what they were called then) operate so fast. Little did you know you’d need that extra power to best use Microsoft’s new entry into the business software market with its product called “Office.” (And, if you were like most of us, you’d have thought only a fool would believe Excel could supplant Lotus’ 1-2-3.) Less interested in home computers? How about home video games? Nintendo releases something called a “Game Boy,” an 8-bit handheld system featuring interchangeable cartridges that revolutionized the industry.

High tech not your gig? No doubt you spent time waiting in line at the post office to buy a Continue Reading “How Has Your Life Changed in the Past 30 Years?”

This is What’s Preventing You from Saying that “Something Important” You Want to Let the Whole World Know

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You have something important to say. Admit it. You’re not different than anyone else. We all have something important to say. Your “something important,” though, is different than everyone else’s. Yours is unique. Yours has never been said by anyone else at any other time in history. How can this be? The answer is simple: there’s only one of you, only one of you to ever exist, to think what you think, to discover this thought, idea, solution – this “something important” – in a way no one else could have possibly done it. You are unique. That makes your “something important” unique. And that’s why Continue Reading “This is What’s Preventing You from Saying that “Something Important” You Want to Let the Whole World Know”

Can You Turn Certain Defeat into Victory in Less than 40 Seconds? Follow These Four Easy Steps and You Can!

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Everyone dreams of being the hero. You can imagine yourself being in the right place at the right time. There’s no reason you can’t be that person – the only person – who knows what to do when the going gets tough.

Everyone dreams of snatching victory from certain defeat… and everyone, including you, can do it..

If only you have the time…

Face it, we all know we can make the right decision if we only had all the facts. But rare are the opportunities that offer enough time to gather the facts.

You can’t control the calendar, you can’t control the clock, you can’t control the stopwatch.

And who doesn’t fear what they can’t control?

It’s normal, so sit back and relax. You’re no different than anyone else.

The clock is the clock. The bad news is your rivals have long known this. They’ve used it to Continue Reading “Can You Turn Certain Defeat into Victory in Less than 40 Seconds? Follow These Four Easy Steps and You Can!”

The Secret to Winning: Look for Patterns of Success

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Would you like to know the secret to winning? It’s a system you can easily learn. It works every time. There’s only one trick. I’m guessing you already know what it is.

I’m a Frank Sinatra fan. That means, like any other Sinatra enthusiast, the song “My Way” inspires. (You can read my thoughts on that in “Ruling the World My Way.”) I thank my parents for this, for it was listening to their records that convinced me the Hoboken Hero deserved my attention.

Of course, I was born too late to experience Old Blue Eyes at his vintage best, but I was Continue Reading “The Secret to Winning: Look for Patterns of Success”

The Power of Losing Positively

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“Into each life some rain must fall.” Do you recall when you first heard this time-honored adage? Recording artists from Ella Fitzgerald to the Ink Spots to Queen have crooned serenades featuring this famous phrase. It was referenced in Steve Martin’s movie “My Blue Heaven.” But the true source of this inspired wisdom harks back to the early America of the nineteenth century. For it was, in 1842 – undoubtedly on a dark and dreary day – that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sat down at his desk and penned his classic poem “The Rainy Day.”

What might have moved Longfellow to write these words? Perhaps he still mourned the loss of his first wife Mary, who died in 1831. Maybe he had become despondent over his near decade long courtship of Frances, the woman who would eventually become his second wife. What ever the source, the expression packs power. It’s the kind of power the Continue Reading “The Power of Losing Positively”

New Tax Law Shows Cuomo Tone Deaf to Needs of Greater Western New York

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Many overtaxed residents of Greater Western New York looked at the 2017 Tax Reform Law as an opportunity to spur Albany into finally aligning its policies to make our state more business friendly. Our region has been particularly hard hit.

A December 28, 2017 report from Channel 13 said several Mark’s Pizzeria locations closed. A local stock market analyst said these closures were the result of the new minimum wage law which requires all fast food chains with at least 30 locations to up their hourly rate to $12.75. Mark’s closed just enough locations to leave it with 29 stores. Coincidence? The founder of Salvatore’s Pizza told 13WHAM they won’t be expanding because of the 30 store rule.Continue Reading “New Tax Law Shows Cuomo Tone Deaf to Needs of Greater Western New York”

How to Convince Everyone You’re Really Smart (Without Actually Doing Anything Really Smart)

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Confirmation bias is a terrible thing to waste. So don’t.

If you’re the least bit curious about what I just said, then this column is written just for you.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ recent book Win Bigly defines confirmation bias as “the human tendency to see all evidence as supporting your beliefs, even if the evidence is nothing more than coincidence.”

Have you heard the expression “First impressions are lasting impressions?” A simple explanation shows the truth of this adage. It goes like this:Continue Reading “How to Convince Everyone You’re Really Smart (Without Actually Doing Anything Really Smart)”