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When I think of fall, I think of apples

The chill of fall seems to have come quickly this year. As I stood with my husband and other parents at my son’s football practice, we commented on the brisk air and early sunset. “We should start planning our trip to Lafayette,” I said to my husband. “Isn’t it a little early?” Eric said. “We have plenty of time.”

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Here we go again…

Yep, it’s that time of year yet again – the start to the holiday season, when trick-or-treating turns to turkey with all the trimmings followed by a tree full of tinsel or a twinkling menorah.

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The people’s priest: My memories of Father Gregg LeStrange

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Father Gregg LeStrange. He was there for three important milestones in my life — my wedding and the baptism of both of my children. I know that many of my fellow parishioners at Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville have similar memories of a man who stood tall and proud in his faith, but was infinitely approachable as a friend, sounding board and advisor.

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It’s tax time!

IRS gives top 10 tax preparation tips

It’s that time of the year again, the income tax filing season has begun and important tax documents should be arriving in the mail. Even though your return is not due until April, getting an early start will make filing easier.

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Getting ready for ice-out

It’s 22 degrees and the streets of Camillus are but ruts of slush in January’s unrelenting snows. But inside 24 Main Street, it’s always summer for the Kitts, Kathy and her husband, appropriately, Kitt.

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Do you really need to avoid probate?

Fred recently entered the office of an Estate Planning attorney asking for a trust. The attorney asked Fred why he thought he needed a trust, and Fred responded, “Well, I know I need to avoid probate and I heard that’s the way to do it.” The attorney inquisitively asked, “Have you had any experience with probate?” Fred said, “I’m not quite sure what it is, but I know I need to avoid it because that’s what everybody tells me.”

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Madeline Smoral celebrates 102 years

On Dec. 10, 2010, Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center resident, Madeline Smoral, celebrated her 102nd birthday with friends, family and staff members on the ninth floor of Loretto’s Cunningham skilled nursing facility in Syracuse.

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Minimize your ‘growing pains’

Terry Ettinger gives advice for starting a garden

With the start of spring, many feel a rejuvenation of both spirit and energy. Some will begin scrubbing and cleaning the inside of their homes; others will turn their attention to yard work outside. They will rake up remnants of fall’s harvest of leaves, assess the condition of their perennial shrubbery and begin their shopping list for annuals to add to their home’s landscaping. Among the many tasks homeowners may decide to tackle: growing a vegetable garden.

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Valentine’s Day movie guide

No holiday is more synonymous with romance than Valentine’s Day. Every Feb. 14 couples express their feelings for one another with candies, flowers and a host of other romantic traditions.

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Need to boost retirement income?

Consider variable annuities

Here’s a sobering statistic: 46 percent of workers surveyed had little or no confidence that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years, according to the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, issued by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. So you may want to explore all possible retirement savings vehicles — including a variable annuity.

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Does the new tax law affect me?

Congress and President Obama passed a new tax bill in the last week of December 2010. So, what does it mean to you? In 2001, President Bush, with Congress, enacted massive tax changes that were set to expire on December 31, 2010. Literally, on the eve of the 2001 law expiring, President Obama and Congress extended many of the tax laws implemented by President Bush, and in several areas, even expanded them. If the laws had reverted back to the 2001 levels on January 1, 2011, the top income tax rate would have been 39.6 percent, rather than the current 35 percent, and capital gains could have been taxed as high as 28 percent, rather than the 15 percent maximum in the new law. Perhaps, the greatest changes in the new law, however, related to estate taxes.

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Protect yourself, your family from pertussis

Tips from the Onondaga County Health Department

Are you a grandparent or a child care provider in close contact with a child under 12 months of age? If so, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is now recommending that you get a Tdap shot. A Tdap shot protects you from both tetanus and pertussis (also known as whooping cough).

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Is Your IRA Safe?

Today, in 2011, the first baby boomer turned 65. Statistics show 6,000 to 8,000 individuals per day are now hitting that milestone number. As boomers age, protection of their retirement is becoming a top priority. The largest portion of most boomers’ estates is held in their IRA, 401(k), or other qualified account. The significance of a qualified account is the government allows you to accumulate money without it being taxed. The tax deferral, however, is not forever.

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CNY offers wines to match every taste

Time was when you wanted a taste of wines made in New York you were forced to drive an aimless tract of dirt or two-lane roads looking for tiny signs tacked on to utility poles or posted on sticks roadside. And, frankly when you found one, the wines weren’t really that good. In a slow time roll forward, those fledgling wineries changed. Grapes were grown smarter. The winemaking got better. More new wineries opened. Today, nearly 300 wineries operate in New York, many in the Finger Lakes area. World-class wines are produced and hundreds of thousands of people visit each year.

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Eat, drink and be healthy

How moderate alcohol use can be good for you

You may have heard that moderate drinking can fit into a sensible health plan. It may be benefical in reducing or preventing certain conditions, such as diabetes, stress, depression, poor cognition, and heart ailments such as hypertension, peripheral artery disease, and high blood pressure. Drinking may also help prevent aging effects. Part of the reason is due to alcohol, offers Dr. Mehmet Oz, and most of the reason is the resveratrol that’s found in grape skins, and thus red wines. Some also surmise that moderate alcohol can fend off the common cold. However, too much alcohol can put you at risk for adverse health consequences.

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Thinking of updating your look?

Boomers can look as young as they feel with non-surgical procedures

Baby boomers are entering their “golden years” more active, vital and youthful than virtually any generation before them. So it’s no surprise that many of them want to look as young as they feel.

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Why not the ‘Y?’

Programs promote physical activity, form friendships

Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to go where you can spend time with like-minded people all working towards a goal of keeping fit and active?

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Jordan resident celebrates 100th birthday

Lillian Van Fleet, a participant in Loretto’s PACE CNY (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), of Jordan, NY, recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

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Word Count Online

Sad and Happy Days

There are so many things that I have realized in the course of my time in campus, but that I something that I am sure as hell is pretty obvious to all people who have been keen with what they do and that sort of thing. I am saying that ...

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