Friday, September 26, 2008

New Eastside Cafe Opens

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Community leaders on the near east side are hoping a new business brings another step toward revitalization.

Thursday morning, a cafe inside the John H. Boner Community Center officially opens its doors. It may not sound like a big deal, but many say this is helping an area that needs a lot of attention.

"It's just been really positive to see the communities work together to help change the community," said Jeff Reuter, owner of the J.S. Reutz Cafe.

Fresh fruit, a meatloaf lunch special, and a crowd to boot welcome the J.S. Reutz Cafe. Although it opened on Monday, Thursday is the official grand opening. Located inside the John H. Boner Community Center, it's a place where workers and near east side residents can grab a bite to eat.

"I feel that really to change the entire east side, we have to start somewhere, and this is a good opportunity, and it can really, I feel, change the entire east side," said Reuter.

Reuter lives on the near east side, and worked with the East 10th Street Civic Association to choose his cafe spot for on-going re-vitalization efforts. He's also employing three people who came to the Boner Center for help.

"The way to make change happen is to make change happen," Reuter said.
Along with the cafe, the Boner Center is also working to buy an apartment building across the street and provide housing for people who want to own their home, but they just don't know how to do it.

The Civic Association also planted a garden two years ago on East 10th and Rural as a way to spruce up the community.

It's been a lot of work for people who admit it's frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, very much worth it.

"I won't mislead you and say that there are not days that all of us working here on the near east side, and specifically in community development, do not have those moments if you will. I think the experiences that make the difference would be us here today with the celebration of this opening of the J.S. Reutz Cafe," said Tammi Hughes with the Civic Association.

The cafe officially opens at 10 a.m. The Boner Center helps in a variety of ways by helping people find jobs and job training, and places to live.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gather your Friends - It's HARVEST Time!!

Indy's Premier Food and Wine Event will be held on Friday, Oct 10, 2008 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Ritz Charles, 12156 N. Meridian Street.

Tickets are $75 in advance or $100 at the door. Tickets for designated drivers are $30.00. There will also be a special AFTER PARTY featuring desserts, dessert wines, ports, and lots more. Tickets are $25.00

You may purchase your tickets online, or at The Best Chocolate In Town located at 880 Mass. Ave Indianapolis, IN 46204!

There are also special Harvest room rates at the Residence Inn.

Find out more at 632.6224 ext. 12.

You must be 21 to enter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PETA Writes to Ben and Jerry

September 23, 2008

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's.

Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers-and cows-would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease-America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tips On Finding Your True Career Calling

By Brian Tracy, Author of "21 Ways To Get The Job You Really Want"

In my courses on time management, I point out that the very worst use of time in life is to spend months and years at a job for which you are completely unsuited. Over time, people who are not following their true career callings begin to feel helpless.

Your aim is to become everything you are capable of becoming. Your job is to develop yourself to the point where every day is a source of joy and satisfaction. Your goal is to continually hold up a mirror to yourself and refuse to work at a job that doesn't allow you to utilize your natural talents and skills, while challenging you to work harder and advance in your career goals.

Success comes from being excellent at what you do. The market only pays excellent rewards for excellent performance. It pays average rewards for average performance. But excellence is a journey, not a destination. The market is always changing and what constitutes excellence today will be different tomorrow. So stay on top of the changes in your industry!

All really successful and happy people know that they are very good at what they do. If you are doing what you really enjoy, if you are following your true career calling, you will know because of your attitude toward excellence.

When you have found your dream career, nothing but the best will do. You will go any distance, pay any price, overcome any obstacle to develop yourself to the point where you are really good at your occupation.

When you find your dream career, you will have a continuous desire to learn more about it. You will be determined to join the top 10% of people in your field. You will be willing to pay any price that is necessary to rise to the top. You will be willing to start a little earlier, work a little harder, and stay a little later.

You will take additional courses on the evenings and weekends. You will see technology as an opportunity to do your job better. You will be interested in the various learning programs that you can install on your computer that can help you learn better and faster. You will be hungry for new knowledge in your quest to move upward in your chosen field.

But the fact is that you are where you are and who you are because you have chosen to be there. Nobody can help you or change your situation for you.

The one thing I tell people over and over again is that they must become very good at doing what they are doing if they want to move up. And if they don't have the inner desire to be very good at their jobs, it means they are probably in the wrong jobs.

If you're still not sure about your true career calling, ask the people who are closest to you. Ask them, "What do you think I would be the very best at doing with my life?"

Remember, you have within you talents and abilities so vast that you could never use them all if you lived to be a thousand. You have the natural skills and talents that can enable you to overcome any obstacle and achieve any career goals you set for yourself. There are no limits on what you can be, have, or do if you can find your true career calling.

Brian Tracy is the most listened to audio author on personal and business success in the world today. His fast-moving talks and seminars on leadership, sales, managerial effectiveness and business strategy are loaded with powerful, proven ideas and strategies that people can immediately apply to get better results in every area.

For more info go to: "21 Ways To Get The Job You Really Want".

Monday, September 15, 2008

Should You Attend a Cooking Academy?

When a new culinary school springs up (and there are currently about 750 in the U.S. alone), hundreds of prospective students flock to the campus, hoping they will become the next celebrity chef. But are these aspiring chefs making a wise career move or would they be better off forgoing school and getting a kitchen job in a real-world restaurant? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one and depends on the chef's level of experience.

The Novice Chef

With the surging popularity of restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, high school students are enrolling in culinary schools at record rates. In fact, 38 percent of San Francisco's California Cooking Academy (CCA) applicants in 2004 were recent high school graduates, up from 22 percent in 1997.


Most schools offer programs that range from a few weeks to several years and cover all aspects of the culinary arts: baking and pastry arts, hospitality and restaurant management, and wine studies. These schools also provide students with internships in culinary hot spots and the opportunity to operate all aspects of their on-campus restaurants. Needless to say, attending one of these cooking academies can be a valuable experience for a budding chef.

Students lacking either kitchen experience or culinary expertise will get the most out of classes from the second tier of cooking academies. Why the second tier? These often require little prior experience and cover all the fundamentals.

If and when students decide to attend one of these schools, they should steer clear of the common misconception that once you have a diploma, your restaurant career will take off. Therein lies the greatest disadvantage of any academy: unrealistic expectations.


Many novices don't stop to think about the commitment necessary to succeed in the food-service industry. Even with training, it takes decades for a chef to master his craft. Plus, students who only have school experience will have trouble understanding how strenuous the day-to-day operations of a restaurant can be. Many chefs work 17 to 18 hours per day, 6 to 7 days per week, and finish each night doing the dishes, according to John Foley, a restaurant expert in Northern California and's restaurant advisor.

A second big disadvantage is cost. The CCA, for example, charges about $45,000 for just 15 months of instruction, and that's just for an associate's degree. In fact, a prospective student at a first-tier academy can expect tuition prices to be similar to that of a top university.

In some cases, students may amass a mountain of debt from a school that does not have a good reputation. Many cooking schools are built to make money and operate like a business, says Dan Watts, a former purchasing agent with the CCA. Students, he says, should realize that quality often takes a backseat to quantity in such schools, degrading the cooking academy into merely a diploma factory. Moreover, with the arrival of more schools and higher enrollment across the country, the weight a cooking academy diploma once held has been somewhat devalued.

To learn of a school's reputation, students should ask restaurant professionals if they would hire a graduate from the school they are considering, trying to find a consensus. There's also plenty of useful information on the Internet.

The Experienced Chef

A prospective student with an abundance of cooking experience can benefit from a first-tier school, where they will be able to sharpen kitchen skills as well as learn the financial side of the restaurant business.


Experienced chefs are more likely to be accepted into a top school such as the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), which, in turn, may help them get a job at a top-tier restaurant. Part of the reason the CIA has maintained its reputation despite the proliferation of cooking academies is its nonprofit status. The school, with campuses in both New York and California, continuously reinvests its profits, building elite facilities and hiring only the best instructors. Also, the CIA and other comparable institutions offer their students the ability to pursue a bachelor's degree as well as an associate's degree.

With years of experience hiring and firing staff, John Foley swears by the graduates he's hired from the CIA. In 1991, Foley hired a Wisconsin dairy farmer turned CIA graduate to be his new chef. "He taught me so much about food, the procedures, the workings of a line, and how to serve 450 people on any given night," he says.

Foley, however, isn't nearly as confident in the CCA graduates he's dealt with. Ten years after that very successful hire, Foley interviewed a CCA graduate and asked, "Where did you learn to cook?" The interviewee answered, "I went to school at the CCA." Foley sighed and said, "Yes, but where did you learn to cook?" The difference in the quality of schools, according to Foley, is that the first-tier schools like the CIA give students incomparable instruction along with a realistic picture of the restaurant business.

While experienced chefs may already have excellent kitchen skills, they may not have the necessary business know-how. Schools such as the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College teach students how to start a small business. Classes focus on the financial side (accounting, marketing, purchasing) as well as management (human resources, supervision).


There are few downsides to attending a top-tier school, but the financial burden can be significant. In addition, there's always the trade-off of spending a year or so in school versus continuing to gain valuable experience in the real world. Poor instruction is also a risk, though the more elite schools are almost always staffed by experienced and capable instructors.

Attending a cooking academy can be a smart career move for both the experienced and the novice if the student is realistic about the hard work that follows graduation.

A student's dedication will make or break the journey; a cooking academy degree won't.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Treating the Troops

Last weeek I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Brenda Woodall and Annie Hendricks, two lovely women who are dedicated to honoring those who serve our country and comunities, and who never have to utter that silly platitude about how much they "support the troops".

Members of Operation Treat the Troops send homemade cookies and other items to soldiers overseas and they've been doing it since Operation Desert Storm. They fit perfectly MY definition of heroes...ordinary people doing things that make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others. Having spent 22 years in uniform, I can attest personally to the powerful effect that a package or letter from "back home" has on the morale of young (and not so young) men and women separated from their families and possibly in harm's way.

Below is an excerpt from an e-mail I received from Annie, telling about some of Treat the Troops' activities:

Treat the Troops is a charity that has been sending homemade cookies to our troops at war since Desert Storm. We do this to send them a little bit of comfort from home and to remind them they are not forgotten or alone. Each volunteer (crumb) is responsible for raising the funds for supplies and postage for each solider they adopt.

Brenda Woodall and I have adopted an ER Unit that is located in Al Asad, Iraq. There are 4 women and 18 men running the ER Unit. Not only do they help our soliders but they tend to the local Iraqi citizens. We have heard of our cookies cheering up an Iraqi boy who had to spend his 16th birthday in the hospital to encouraging a solider who was missing his home.

Right now we are selling a cookbook Heavenbound, The Roadtrip of Denny Woodall to raise funds for postage. Denny Woodall is Brenda Woodall's son and my brother. He was tragically killed last October on I-65 South in Columbus. A driver impaired by drugs smashed into the back of his 1967 VW Beetle and he hit a tree. The driver left my brother on the side of the road to die and kept driving. He left enough of his car behind that they later found the other driver in Scottsburg.

Denny's dream was to be a chef and own his own restaurant so to honor his dream we have created this cookbook. There are 300 recipes from breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and appetizers. They are easy and delicious recipes that come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Each book cost $16.00 including shipping and handling. To order a book send your name, address, and check to:

Treat the Troops
c/o Brenda Woodall
7942 Bolin Drive
Nineveh, Indiana, 46164

Make checks out to Treat the Troops. All proceeds go to postage due to Second Helpings being so generous in flooding us with supplies for cookies, candy, and personal items for the troops.

We appreciate everyone's help, support, and time in reminding our troops they are not alone or forgotten. Attached is a picture of some of the boys from the ER Unit.
God's peace,

Annie Hendricks
To learn more about this wonderful program, to join in, or to get their wonderful cookbook (I bought 20) please visit their website at: