Monday, January 31, 2011

Tip Line Utilization

Between 2006 and 2010 there have been 259 calls to the Tip Line in Genesee County.

In the same period there have been 80 in Orleans and 25 in Wyoming.

In Monroe there have been 208 calls between 2007-2010.

You can save a life by calling 585-343-1932 or 1-800-851-1932 to report underage drinking confidentially.

Carol Nicometo, GCASA Community Specialist, receives Birchwood Village 'Resident of the Year' Award

This photo was taken by Mike Pettinella of The Daily News and published in the Daily this morning.
Our own Carol Nicometo, right, was honored with the Joann Gardner 2010 "Resident of the Year" Award on Thursday night. She has demonstrated GCASA's values in her selfless service to her neighbors, and the Birchwood Village board of directors recognized her for it at their annual dinner at Terry Hills.
Laura Bohm, administrative assistant at Birchwood, is pictured with Carol as she displays her award.
Mike Pettinella's article, "'Phenomenal' neighbor wins Birchwood Village award," was published in The Daily News this morning. Click here to read.
Go Carol!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

GCASA Foundation Second Annual Evening of Jazz - Gap Mangione and the Big Band, April 30, 2011, GCC

GCASA committed to professional education

GCASA has a long history of providing internships to students from various behavioral health disciplines.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, GCASA is providing 11 internships to students from 6 different colleges and 7 different progams.

GCASA has students from GCC, MCC, SUNY Brockport, Nazareth, and Keuka College. In the past GCASA has had students from UB, Roberts Weslyan, Daemon, and a number of other colleges.

GCASA is committed to preparing professionals for the future.

For more information contact, Kim Corcoran, GCASA's Director of Human Resources at 585-815-1801, and/or David Markham, L.C.S.W.-R, Executive Director at 585-815-1800.

Teens found dead in apartment with empty Four Loko can

New link to vote for two Genesee County schools

Byron-Bergen Elementary School (see yesterday's Batavian post on the subject) and Batavia's Robert Morris Elementary (see blog post, "Whether they know it or not, Robert Morris staff and students are combatting community disorganization") are both in the running for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh grant. Both schools hope to use the money for playground improvements.

In the interest of cooperation, B-B and RMS are encouraging people to vote for both projects. They have provided a link that will make it easier to do so:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

'The Batavian' continues to support Genesee DFC in international contest

An article based on our recent press release was posted yesterday on The Batavian by Billie Owens. She also published an article for us back in December, when we first started to get the word out about our selection as one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Out of the Box Prize.

We thank The Batavian for their support. Click here to read the article.

'Bud in a Bottle' to be released next month

Time Magazine published an article yesterday about a new line of marijuana soda to be released in Colorado in February.

Click to read.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Golden Globes and 'influential' behavior

This video is a mild example -- and I do mean mild -- of some of the off-color humor that characterized actor/comedian Ricky Gervais' monologue and comments as host of the 2010 Golden Globes. Some were highly inappropriate, most irreverent, all reaction-provoking. Other stars' comments were very similar in that regard.

A lot of talk has been going around about the use of language in political circles -- especially by Sarah Palin in the wake of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (see Thursday's post). Can we argue that, just as political figures should be held to higher standards of accountability in what they say, so should those in entertainment?

I think most people would say that we are talking about two very different situations here. To insist that there be no irreverent humor in entertainment -- especially on the part of those whose job it is to make people laugh -- would probably be unrealistic and oversensitive. Sure, one can go too far with it, but generally speaking, we can probably afford to "lighten up" a bit more with entertainment than with politics -- as long as it is understood that there is a time and a place for irreverent jokes.

My concern, however, is not with the overall irreverence of Gervais' (and others') comments. Rather, I am concerned with the questionable behavior of many of the stars throughout the night. A number of statements and words that came out of people's mouths -- including Gervais' -- were censored. Non-subtle sexual references were made on at least a couple of other (that is to say, non-censored) occasions.

Christian Bale, in concluding his acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actor award, went over his allotted time to make some apparently inappropriate comment to Robert De Niro. Whatever the comment was, it took about 5 seconds to say and was thoroughly censored.

Paul Giamatti, in accepting the award for his performance in "Barney's Version," talked about how grateful he was to have worked on a movie where he could get paid to drink and smoke; he did specify what he was drinking and smoking, but this part was censored.

It is true, of course, that celebrities are not necessarily role models. Still, if someone is a high profile figure whose example, good or bad, is made available to people of all ages worldwide, he/she should realize that his/her deliberate bad behavior (especially in a high profile atmosphere like the Golden Globes) has the potential to set a bad example on a broad scale.

I think the media would probably do well to focus more on that aspect of last night's Golden Globes ceremony. In my opinion, their exclusive focus on the humorous jibes of its host only distracts readers from the more important issue.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sarah Palin: "blood libel" -- full video

This is not an endorsement of Sarah Palin's speech, nor is it the opposite. It is simply an effort to make the speech available and to invite reasonable discussion on the matter.

A friend of mine responded to this video yesterday by asserting that our public figures should be held to a higher standard of accountability for what they say and how they say it. The idea behind this is that their poor choice of words trickles down and influences our youth, including bullies.

For those of you who don't know, the term blood libel comes from a medieval superstition holding that Jews kidnapped Christian children and used their blood for religious rituals. Some thought Palin's choice of words was in poor taste, given that Gabriell Giffords is Jewish.

Comments welcome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NYU professor says public schools should open up political discourse to students

On Monday afternoon, Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor of history and education at New York University, responded to comments and ideas surrounding the recent shootings in Arizona with his reflections on the state of political discourse in America's public schools.

His article is entitled "Arizona shooting: Don't blame Sarah Palin -- get public schools to discuss politics," and was published in Christian Science Monitor on Jan. 10, 2010 (online at 3:01 p.m. ET).

Many have been arguing that outbursts of violence like the one we witnessed a few days ago are traceable to heated political rhetoric; Zimmerman, however, believes that the real problem runs deeper than that. His basic argument is that our public schools are sheltering students too much from controversial issues.

"We’ve stripped the schools of almost anything that’s divisive, contentious, or controversial," Zimmerman says. "Is it any wonder that many of our citizens can’t engage in reasonable political dialogue?"

He doesn't seem to be placing the blame on teachers so much as on the system by which they are employed. Educators are not only not trained to engage the students in civilized, reasonable discussion on "hot-button contemporary issue(s)," they are actually told not to do so. Teachers can even -- and have even -- been fired for bringing these issues up in the classroom. In effect, they are restricted to instructing students in the memorization of mere facts.

As a result of this state of affairs, according to Zimmerman, American public schools "have left millions of Americans unequipped to engage in rational politics."

What do people think of this? I certainly think Zimmerman has a good point. With the recent bullying epidemic and with outbreaks of school violence in the last decade, there is a strong need in general to teach kids how to resolve and/or deal with their differences peacefully and rationally. As far as what Zimmerman is talking about goes, I think we just need to approach this sort of thing with due caution. Whether or not discussions about controversial issues can be successfully carried out in a classroom is going to depend on various factors such as the age and impressionability of the students, etc.

Click here to read Zimmerman's article. Comments welcome.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily News article #2: 'Local tobacco control advocates travel to Albany'

Four area youths -- two from Genesee County, two from Wyoming County -- are in Albany today, armed with education and ready to equip our state leaders in the fight against tobacco advertising.

Click to read.

Daily News article #1: 'GCASA earns three-year license'

Today's edition of The Daily News includes an article on GCASA's Supportive Living Program, which has earned a three-year re-certification from OASAS.

Click to read!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ted Williams video

Here is the video that made Ted Williams famous. Vocal talent can definitely be a protective -- or, in this case, redemptive -- factor.

It's never too late!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New study finds correlation between heavy texting/networking and risky behavior in teens

A new study, led by Dr. Scott Frank, indicates that teens who text frequently and spend an inordinate amount of time on networking sites like Facebook are more likely to engage in risky behaviors; these behaviors include drug use, binge drinking, sex, and texting while driving.

This is according to an article by Associated Press Medical Writer Mike Stobbe, published at 4:09 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Click to read.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Why do smoking cessation drugs work?

Reuters reported on 01/03/11 on a study which appears in the January, 2011 issue of the journal, Archives of General Psychiatry, which describes speculations about why smoking cessation drugs, bupropion (Zyban, Wellbutrin) and varenicline(Chantix) work. You can access the Reuter's article by clicking here.

Mayor of Long Island community bans smoking on public sidewalks

I tried to embed the video of the My Fox New York report, but for some reason or other it did not work. Click here to read the article, and to see the two videos available on the subject.

National Institude on Drug Abuse director Dr. Nora Volkow discusses results of the 2010 household survey

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Batavia Youth Bureau offers Youth Connection

The Batavia Youth Bureau will offer the first Youth Connection, a program for 10- to 16-year-olds, on Saturday. It will take place at Batavia Middle School from 1 until 4 p.m.

According to this morning's Daily News insert, which was published at 12:44 a.m., this program is designed to keep youth active and will be offered "several times a month."

Click to read.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jan 4 post -- part 3: Vote for the Genesee County DFC on Community Tool Box!

We got an e-mail from Christina Holt, associate director for Community Tool Box services, a couple of weeks ago. She e-mailed all of the Out of the Box finalists with a reminder to get the information about the contest out into the public and encourage people to vote. She used the Batavian article promoting our Coalition as an example of how to do so. Hopefully that means we're doing well!

As of Dec. 20, according to Holt, they had received over 1400 votes. If you haven't voted already, we would encourage you to do so; also, please ask family and friends to vote as well!

Click here to see our submission and to vote.

Jan 4 post -- part 2: The biology of bad habits

Associated Press Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard wrote an article entitled "New Year's resolutions? Brain can sabotage success," which was published on Yahoo! News yesterday at 2:15 p.m. ET. He raises some interesting points about the extent to which bad habits -- which, of course, include alcoholism, drug use, and smoking -- become embedded in our brain activity, making it hard to quit.

However, "[t]hat's not an excuse to give up," Neergaard says. "Understanding how unhealthy behaviors become ingrained has scientists learning some tricks that may help good habits replace the bad."

Click here to read the full article.

Jan 4 post -- part 1: Robert Morris playground project gets second chance

The December Pepsi Refresh Project is over, and Robert Morris did not get the grant (please see Dec. 30 post). But because of their high ranking, they have been entered into the January contest. They are currently #3 in the rankings, and need our votes.

To vote, go to and click on the tab that says "Vote for this idea," or text 73774 and enter 104607 in the message.

Monday, January 3, 2011

GCASA's Supportive Living receives three-year re-cerfitication

Our Communications Director, Pam LaGrou, sent an e-mail earlier today regarding the success of GCASA's Supportive Living Program in obtaining "the highest possible re-cerfitication score for their licensing certificate" from OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services). Because of the quality of GCASA's residential services and the dedication of the staff, Supportive Living has at least 3 years to continue thriving.

A press release was just sent out to the media, and hopefully there will be an article in the papers about this soon. I will keep you posted.

First post of 2011 -- part 3: The media, celebrities, and children's view of marriage

You can hardly turn on the t.v. or pick up a magazine nowadays without being alerted to the breakup of some celebrity couple's marriage. These could be movie stars, athletes, musicians, or any other type of high profile entertainment figure.

A Reuter's article published last week draws attention to the fact that young children often look to these people -- especially sports stars -- as role models; the article is appropriately titled "Soccer scandals 'shaping kids' view of marriage," and was edited by Paul Casciato (no author is identified). According to the Dec. 29 article (which was published around 8:10 p.m. ET), kids get the idea that "marriages are not meant to last."

Certainly, these celebrities need to be more aware of how their actions affect the perceptions of our youth. But the media bears more than a little bit of the blame as well. How much influence would these scandals have, after all, if they were not routinely sensationalized by so many major news sources?

Click here to read the full article.

First post of 2011 -- part 2: 2010 commercials

I came across an article on Yahoo!'s TV Blog entitled "The 13 Most Talked-About Commercials of 2010." It was written by Lindsay Robertson and Tara Ariano, and published last Tuesday.

I picked a few videos that illustrate some of the key tools used in the media to attract consumers. You'll notice that all of them use humor and/or star power to promote goods and services.




First post of 2011 -- part 1: Recall of kids' CD's

Happy New Year everyone!

This news is a few days old, but I think it deserves a place on the blog regardless. Who would have thought things would come to the point where parents would need to monitor CHILDREN'S CD's so closely?!?

Click to read.