Broadcaster Summer 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Pound for Your Thoughts click here
Presidents Message click here
Should Your Cemetery Assume Liabilities from Your Funeral Directors? click here
31st Annual Public Affairs Semianr Success click here
Cemetery Trust Funds: Unfinished Business click here
NYSAC Regional Conference at St. Agnes Cemetery click here
Honoring a Legend click here
Gone, But Not Forgotten: Ching Ming Ceremony Pays Tribute to Ancestors click here
Government and Legal Affairs Report click here
Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, 2nd Edition click here
Petroleum Storage Tank Management Seminar Sponsored by MCA click here
NYSAC Cremation Committee Report click here
VA Announces "Second Headstone" Policy to Mark Veterans' Graves in Private Cemeteries click here
Metropolitan Cemetery Association Elects Officers and Directors at Annual Meeting and Exposition click here
Protecting Workers From Summer Temperatures click here
Holland Supply Expansion click here
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file below.
We suggest opening the program prior to clicking on the link below for shorter download times.
PDF File of entire Broadcaster Summer 2008
A Pound for Your Thoughts
By Anthony Carpinello
An old similar saying is often used to wonder what one is thinking about, but when you have a Canadian Geese problem, a pound is exactly what you’ll get. Actually, a pound and a half is what you’ll get.
Believe it or not each goose produces a pound to a pound and a half of droppings a day. Not only do they dirty the ground but, should you have the pleasure of them being hatched on your property, they return to your property every year to breed. Then, those geese make their own nests and lay their own eggs to hatch. Now what??? Your problems have just compounded exponentially.
Many articles have been written regarding our common feathered problem and many other articles have been written about the various control methods. Unfortunately, not many articles attest to success rate, and after all, when families come to us as cemeterians with complaints or concerns about our cemeteries, they do not want to hear about common problems or about how many failed attempts we have tried. They want results and nothing else is acceptable.
Prior to my arrival at this cemetery in June of 2003, the geese problem that existed was not good. Various methods including applicable solutions and pyrotechnics had been applied to no avail. Since cost was the major issue, the use of Border Collies was obviously out of the question. I raised the issue shortly after my employment and had been given the brief history.
So, as the new superintendent, I figured I would attempt to justify the employment of a company using Border Collies to help solve our problem. In order to do so, I had to demonstrate that this issue really needed to be addressed and that the means justifies the end. I put together a proposal showing our current costs to utilize and maintain our street sweeper as well as provide manpower to clean this up versus hiring a company using Border Collies.
Unfortunately, over the next six months, we experienced the situation described in paragraph two. The original geese returned to breed with the geese that they bred, and the next generation of the geese, and so on. I felt like I was in that old commercial from the 1970s that told two friends to tell two more friends, and, so on. The fact of the matter is that flocks of Canadian Geese can double their population within five years if not less.
Our geese population was between 300-500 geese on any given day! There were stretches of field in which you didn’t see grass. Sidewalks? Who needs sidewalks? We had hundreds of yards of goose trails (previously known as sidewalks) because you could not walk more than two steps without tiptoeing through the recycled tulips. (If you don’t know what I mean, see paragraph 2 again).
Now needless to say, embarrassing was beyond the word one could use to describe our staff’s feeling when attempting to sell graves to our families. We felt like pied pipers choreographed to Tiny Tim’s ukulele, leading our poor grieving families to pick out resting places. The complaints were coming fast and furious. Letters went right over my head to our main office. Funeral directors expressed their concern.
I raised the issue of Border Collies again and expressed how the company we would use was willing to solve our problem without us signing any long term contracts, would bill us biweekly to defer our costs, and gave me a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If we didn’t feel they were working, all we had to do was call and service would stop immediately.
The offer was too good to pass up and that was the beginning of the end. Fourteen months after my arrival the “troops” were deployed as the Geese Police showed up one Monday morning with three trucks. It was a sight to be seen. Strategically set-up throughout the cemetery, each handler kept their dog in check. The first dog began it’s “hunt.” Whoosh!!! The flock took flight. No worries though, our feathered friends thought they could land in another section where they graze.
Enter dog number two...Whoosh! Back to the skies the geese went. By the time all three dogs were employed, the sky was filled with geese that had no idea where to go as they circled the cemetery in confusion. The visitors who were there to witness cheered aloud.
Everyone was happy to see immediate results, but in typical New York fashion, there was that ever-present skepticism. “Yeah, yeah, they flew away because the dogs are here but what about when the dogs leave???” I could not win for losing. In a way the New York skepticism had merit, but would their patience allow the process to work? Luckily for me, I learned what these types of companies do with the dogs to make the geese stay away so that I could explain it to them when presented with such questions.
“Darn, I’m gonna quit my job, go get myself some dogs and chase some geese for that money.” “Can’t I just bring my dog to the cemetery and let him chase those geese away, he’s a Rotweiler, and he’s mean.” “If you want, I hunt. I can come down before hours and shoot them for you.” “Yo, Antny, I got a friend wit’ a few pit bulls. You want me to have him bring’em down?”
Yes. The above statements are true. I had to endure such comments. OK, except the last one. But that was the mentality. So what exactly is it that these dogs do?
Border Collies are known as the most intelligent dogs on earth. They are skillfully trained to act as coyotes/wolves and to act as if they are “preying” upon the geese. Their handler (who also has to be trained) gives the dog commands on how to approach and chase the geese. For anyone who has not witnessed this, it is quite interesting. The dog slowly and carefully approaches the flock. With commands, he gets closer to the flock and closer to the ground, like a wolf would do when he is stalking his prey. Then upon command, he “attacks” and runs as though he is going to catch the birds, all the while knowing quite well that he is not allowed to dare touch one feather.
Some geese will take to adjacent bodies of water (if they are present on the property) thinking that is a safe haven. Unfortunately for the geese, they need to think again. Yes, these trained dogs will dive right into the water after them to complete their stealth mission. In the winter months, when the water is close to freezing, that may be a different story (depending on the dog) and some dogs might just “stalk their prey” along the water’s edge. In such a case, the handler first uses a noise maker that scares the geese and results in their flight. For larger bodies of water or if the noise maker does not work, it’s time for the handler to employ his kayak and load up his trusty companion into the water.
The geese are smart, they know the difference from being preyed upon as opposed to being harassed by some barking dog that my cousin Vinny has unleashed from his IROC. Besides, what many people do not understand is that Canadian Geese are protected by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. That’s right, they are protected by law. Scientifically, they are migratory birds and with such designation they are protected by the law. The problem being, at this point, they no longer migrate and become residential.
So, since they are now “living here” shouldn’t that change things? That remains to be seen, but what happens if “you hunt,” or you have that everloving pitbull? What happens if you use such methods? You could receive a $15,000 fine and serve up to six months in jail. A little steep for a bird who just dropped a pound and a half of &%$# on your cemetery, don’t you think? But the law is the law and until they change you must play by the rules.
“Well birds do fly; so how do you stop them?”
Well as stated earlier, geese are smart. They know the difference from being preyed upon as opposed to being harassed and animals have that natural instinct as to not be preyed upon.
Eventually the geese think that an area is inhabited by the “coyotes/wolves” and stop coming there.
“But what about you saying the geese return to breed?”
The other part of goose control is what is called “egg addling.” Egg addling is the disruption of a fertile egg and rendering it infertile. OK, so what is that? What happens is that the trained dog handler finds the nest of eggs and shakes the eggs rupturing the yoke therefore making it infertile. The first trick is to find the nest, the second is to not let the goose know that her eggs have been tampered with, so the eggs must be placed back in the original nests and may also be treated with an oil to help disguise the eggs from ever having been touched. With the reduction in hatched eggs now, you have successfully started your first season of reducing your geese population and further reduce the number of geese from returning to your property to breed in future years.
Another interesting fact about Canadian Geese is that they are unlike most birds that know when their eggs have been touched by a human. Most birds will destroy their eggs if they know their eggs have been touched by a human, not Canadian Geese, you paint them like Easter eggs if you choose and they will not know. But, if the eggs are removed from the nest completely or picked up and put into a different nest, destroyed, or have signs of disruption, the mother goose will just sit right back down and hatch a whole new set of eggs.
Unbelievably, each female goose has her own biological time clock which makes her sit on her eggs for 28 days during which time she thinks they will hatch. If that period or the eggs are disrupted, she will lay another four to five eggs. The mother goose will continue up to five times per season until she is sitting on eggs that she thinks will eventually hatch. This is another reason why trained personnel should be involved when attempting to control a goose population.
In addition, since Canadian Geese are protected by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, an egg addling permit must be obtained before any of the above may take place. This permitting process also must be sponsored by a registered goose control company and detailed reports must be kept regarding the number of nests checked and eggs addled. This report is submitted at the end of every breeding season, when the permit is renewed for the following year.
“But where do all those geese go?”
The reason Canadian Geese love our cemeteries so much, is actually a testament to the good maintenance job we are all doing.
Now you must be saying “what does maintenance have to do with geese?” Well, it’s that nice freshly cut grass we are serving up to our feathered friends. Quite ironic when you think about it, here we are spending money to keep the geese away but creating an all-you-can-eat buffet for those same birds. Don’t feel guilty all you bird lovers, we are not the only places teasing these birds. Golf courses, public parks, anywhere that has large expanses of grass they are just another Mickey D’s to geese. Then for all of us who have lakes and/or ponds on our properties??? Well, we are like a Four Seasons Hotel.
Ironically in my case, a majority of the geese took-up residence at our neighboring archdiocesan property, which eventually prompted a phone call to my office. That property manager (which I luckily have a good relationship with) called me one day asking about our geese problem. I explained that we did and what our solution was, which led to the next question, “Does it work?” I paused and then asked him where he thought “my geese” went? That question very quickly turned the conversation into jovial laughter. He first sarcastically thanked me and then requested their phone number.
Not as simple as you thought, eh? But in the end, it is well worth it. Take a chance.
There are many companies located throughout the country that provide these services. I used the Geese Police, Inc. of Howell, NJ. They are in five different states but after a quick Google on the Internet I found a number of others that may also be right around the corner from you.
CCC Supplier Member Geese Police, Inc. may be reached at (866) 664-3373. To find out more about their services visit www.geesepoliceinc.com.
Anthony Carpinello is superintendent for the Cemetery of the Resurrection, Trustees of St. Patrick in Staten Island, NY. He may be reached at (718) 356-7738 or by email at email@example.com.
Dear Cemeterians and Members of the New York State Association of Cemeteries:
On behalf of the Association, I would like to extend greetings to all, as our Association has sent this issue to all regulated cemeteries throughout the state, as well as to our membership. We hope you find the information in these pages helpful and we invite you to complete the enclosed membership application and join us in our efforts to be a strong voice for all cemeteries, large and small. Feel free to contact me or any of our committee members with your ideas or questions and visit our website, www.nysac.com for additional resources.
Our Association is active in many areas. We are presently supporting a bill that would enable municipalities to assist cemeteries within their borders. Our 31st Annual Government and Legal Affairs Seminar held in Albany was very successful. Our Regional Seminar Committee, chaired by JoAnne Ryan, held a very well-received meeting at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands encouraging members and non-members, cemeteries large and small, to get together and share information. Our state regulators provided a wealth of informative materials. A similar meeting is being planned for Western New York this fall. Stay tuned. See inside for more on these and other actions of our Association.
I look forward to spending time with many of you at the Cranwell Resort in beautiful Lenox, MA at our annual fall conference. If you haven’t been there, please try to attend; it is a truly lovely setting for what promises to be a great meeting! I hope to see many, many of you in September.
Thank you one and all for your support of our Association!
Should Your Cemetery Assume Liabilities from Your Funeral Directors?
By Steve Marshall, Bollinger Insurance
After being involved with insuring the cemetery industry for the past 22 years, it has been my experience that as a business custom, most cemeteries do not require certificates of insurance from their funeral directors. Most cemeteries view funeral homes as customers who direct business to their cemetery, and because of this close arrangement most cemeteries do not want to upset their funeral directors.
Despite the long-standing custom of not requiring funeral directors to evidence insurance, this practice should change, especially in lieu of the litigious society we now live in. I have been recommending for years that cemeteries require certificates of insurance from funeral directors the same as you would for monument companies, vault companies and outside contractors. The premise of risk transfer should be consistent for any and all companies, including sole proprietors. If that outside party brings potential liabilities and risk into your cemetery, they should provide a certificate of insurance naming the cemetery as additional insured. The additional insured request should be the minimal requirement imposed. We suggest to our clients that they go beyond the requirement of “additional insured” status, but further recommend the additional insured be on a “Primary and Non-Contributory” basis, “Waiver of Subrogation” in favor of the cemetery and to obtain “Indemnity” and “Hold-harmless Agreements” whenever possible.
Recently, several of our cemetery clients that operate crematories have been asked to provide evidence to their funeral director customers, including naming them as an additional insured. This request highlights our original premise for requiring the party that brings potential liabilities to the other party to evidence insurance, and further name that party as “Additional Insured”. If a cemetery performs a cremation for a funeral home then the cemetery should evidence a certificate of insurance and name the funeral home as additional insured. Conversely, if the same funeral home performs a funeral on your premises, you should impose your insurance requirements on them. The requirement for certificates of insurance should not be one sided but rather it should be reciprocal in cases where a cemetery is providing cremation services to a funeral director. Not all cemeteries in New York have crematories, however, most funeral directors perform traditional burial services at cemeteries and thus bring risk to cemeteries.
It is recommended that you check with your insurance broker or advisor regarding the limits of insurance and requirements that you should obtain. This applies not only from funeral directors, but also all outside contractors and suppliers.
31st Annual Public Affairs Semianr Success
By Theresa Joyce, Mt. Hope Cemetery Association
Thirteen first timers were welcomed to the 31st Annual Public Affairs Seminar held on May 5th and 6th, 2008 at the Desmond Hotel in Albany. Continuing the tradition of the exchange of ideas between cemeterians, suppliers, regulators and lobbyists, the two day program offered many opportunities for discussion.
The Cemetery Board Meeting allowed attendees to address directly the “new” Board, including Dept. of State designee, Rosemarie Longo; Dept. of Health designee, Lisa McMurdo; Dept. of Law designee, Amy Karp and Antonio Milillo, Esq., Counsel to the Cemetery Board.
Richard Fishman, Director of the Division of Cemeteries, provided an interesting overview of current regulatory issues. Topics included fuel surcharge applications, pre-need sales allocations to permanent maintenance funds, the increasing municipal regulation of cemeteries and pet cemeteries, among others. Cemetery Division staff, Chester Butkiewicz, Mike Seelman, Mary Lee Hedrick and Howard Carr, were also in attendance.
Next, our lobbyists from the firm Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, brought everyone up to date on proposed legislation, including a new bill supporting municipal aid to cemeteries. Committee Chairman, Frank Giglio, reminded everyone to be as generous as possible to contribute to our vital Legal Fund.
Paul Elvig, ICCFA Past President and member of their Government & Legal Affairs Committee, spoke on the importance of seeing our operations through our families’ eyes and of the liabilities inherent in dealing with an increasing number of cremations. An experienced cemeterian and regulator, Paul held everyone’s attention.
An economic and market review, provided by Robert Weissenstein of Credit Suisse, concluded Monday’s program. It was followed by a cocktail reception, dinner, and after dinner entertainment provided by James Featherstonhaugh, who contributed a thoughtful commentary on the “goings-on” in Albany and ended with a heartfelt tribute to those in attendance for the passion and effort they put into their work.
Tuesday’s program began early with a presentation on the New York Worker’s Compensation System: Past, Present and Future. Their overall message was for us to enjoy the lower premium this year because our knowledgeable panel of industry experts cannot see how it can be sustained.
The final session, “Ask the Lawyer,” began with a PowerPoint presentation on “trip and fall prevention and liability” and continued on to include questions concerning the death care proxy, designations, ownership titles and many others. As usual, questions flew and everyone left, already looking forward to next year’s seminar.
Thanks to John Toale, Seminar Chair, and Beth, Jill and staff for their work to create an excellent conference. Thanks to our supplier and cemetery sponsors and to all of our speakers for their participation.
See you next year!
Cemetery Trust Funds: Unfinished Business
By Steven G. Sloane, Cemetery Consultant
For more than a decade, an idea has been floating around to help the small cemeteries with the investment and management of their trust funds. Cemeteries with large trust funds can usually afford to hire professional investment managers to help them grow their funds. Cemetery IP Funds, LLC (CIPF) is now ready to provide institutional quality investment management to cemeteries of all sizes in New York.
For many years, the New York State Association of Cemeteries and the Bank of New York attempted to create a master trust. The idea was for cemeteries with smaller funds to pool their money and have the opportunity to earn more interest income and enjoy higher growth potential for their trust. Because of many reasons, this idea never became a reality.
Now there is good news - Cemetery IP Funds, LLC is a company owned by Steven G. Sloane, a fourth generation cemeterian with vast experience working with cemeteries in New York and around the country. Cemetery IP Funds, LLC has partnered with Wachovia Securities, LLC and their FUNDSOURCE® program to provide cemeteries, regardless of size, with professional investment management.
CIPF will be opening accounts in the FUNDSOURCE® vehicle with a reduced fee structure that would normally not be available to the small institutional investor. CIPF has picked these managed portfolios because of the variety of the funds available and a proven record of success.
CIPF will offer three FUNDSOURCE® funds for the cemetery to choose. CIPF will allow you to select a portfolio based on your tolerance for risk: conservative, moderate or aggressive. Cemeteries will also receive interest income and reports showing the progress of their account; everything cemeteries need to manage their funds. (See ad on page 7 for more information on Cemetery IP Funds, LLC.)
NYSAC Regional Conference at St. Agnes Cemetery
By JoAnne Ryan, Cemetery of the Highlands
On Thursday, May 15, 2008, the New York State Association of Cemeteries (NYSAC) held their second annual Regional Cemetery Conference at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.
Begun in 2007, the Regional Conference is designed to reach out to all cemeteries, large and small, which may not have the means to attend the NYSAC Public Affairs Seminar or Fall Conference.
This year’s conference was moderated by members of the NYSAC Board of Directors. David Ward of Grever & Ward, Inc., a landscape architect and cemetery planning firm located in Orchard Park, provided an informative segment on cemetery planning and making the most out of limited burial space. Along with a slide presentation, David availed himself to answer questions regarding the use of unusable burial space for cremation gardens.
Richard Fishman and Leonard Breen from the New York State Division of Cemeteries were on hand to answer regulatory questions and concerns. Packets containing the law book, new treasurer manual and sample forms were put together and distributed by Colleen Kelly, also from the Division of Cemeteries.
Rick Touchette of St. Agnes Cemetery provided a very warm and friendly venue to host this event. A trolley tour of St. Agnes Cemetery was also provided and enjoyed by all.
The conference committee and NYSAC wish to extend their sincere appreciation to all of the speakers and to Rick and his staff for their warm hospitality. We are looking forward to sponsoring more of these conferences in and around each region of New York State. If anyone has any suggestions on locations or topics, please contact the NYSAC office.
Honoring a Legend
By Lisa France, Maple Grove Cemetery
Family, friends and fans turned out on May 4, 2008 for A Tribute to LaVern Baker. A memorial marker was dedicated at Maple Grove Cemetery for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who thrilled audiences with hits like “Jim Dandy” and “Tweedlee Dee.” A pioneer in Rock and Roll music, Baker was remembered fondly for her talent, creativity, and love of performing. “I’m honored and flattered to be here to honor our sister,” said Eddie Brigati, Jr., a singer with the famed group The Rascals, who attended the event. “Had she been anyone, she would deserve to be recognized [with a marker] but the fact that she was who she was it’s not an accident that we are all here.”
Dozens of people were in attendance to pay homage to a woman who began her career known as “Little Miss Sharecropper” and ended up the second woman ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a 1989 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. One of our most honored guests were a couple from Australia, Barry York and Joan Garvan and their children Joey and Hannah. Barry is a historian and a fan of LaVern. They traveled to the United States and came to Maple Grove Cemetery to pay tribute to LaVern.
Nancy Cataldi, historian at Maple Grove, explained that while Baker died in 1997, her grave had been bare with no marker. “I thought it was kind of sad,” said Cataldi, who would often pass the grave while conducting walking tours at the cemetery. “I spoke to Linda [Mayo-Perez, Maple Grove Chief Executive Officer] and we discussed it and said why don’t we try and raise some money.” Fundraising occurred over a three year period and thanks to a number of generous donations, a beautiful marker was dedicated which included the dates of her birth and death (November 11, 1929 – March 10, 1997) along with the titles of two of her best known hits and the inscription “A Song In Our Hearts Forever.”
The tribute began with a brunch provided by Dream Street Catering held at the cemetery’s newly constructed and picturesque The Center where Maple Grove’s Spirits Alive Actors mingled with the guests, portraying a variety of individuals who are buried at Maple Grove. Helen Day portrayed Mrs. Daggett, wife of a very successful cosmetics firm founder who lived in the early 20th century and said the opportunity to interact with attendees in character was one she treasured. “I think it really brings the spirit of all of those who are buried here to light,” she said. “People start to think there are some real people here who led interesting lives and are not to be forgotten. Today is a great tribute to LaVern Baker who was certainly a star of those here and it’s wonderful to do this for her and commemorate her life.”
Maple Grove CEO, Linda Mayo-Perez, offered the welcoming remarks and read a submission from Terry Stewart, President and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who made a generous donation for the marker and referred to Baker as “an innovator, an originator, and a strong woman in the boys club of early rock and roll.” “LaVern lived a serving, entertaining and proud life and has left behind a legacy that any of us would be proud of,” Mayo-Perez read. Stewart joined a group of several other benefactors including legendary radio personality “Cousin Brucie” Morrow who provided magnanimous gifts in support of the marker. Morrow, who is a Radio Hall of Famer, also forwarded a letter of support.
A musical program included moving performances by Eddie Brigati, Jr. and the Michael Jazz Trio whose members, 14-year-old Matthew, 12-year-old David and 7 year-old Jordan, represented a new generation of performers influenced by Baker’s music. Rev. Leverne Tillary, who shared with those gathered that his mother was a fan of Baker’s music and henceforth his name, offered a stirring prayer and hymn before blessing the marker. With Baker’s music playing softly in the lobby, attendees were also treated to a table set up with memorabilia including classic 45s of her hits, posters, photos, and an old record player. Helen (Bligen) Tinsdale said the day was a poignant one for many present. “It’s important to honor our ancestors who forged theroad for us,” she said. “Particularly those who didn’t necessarily receive the recognition while they were here on this planet.”
LaVern Baker’s brother, Jimmy Glover, said his sister would have been thrilled with the outpouring of love shown to her during the event. “This would have been awesome for her,” he said. “Words can’t describe what she would have thought of this day.” In addition to being a talented singer and songwriter, Glover said his sister was extremely charitable. In 1969, she traveled to Vietnam and the Philippines and ended up remaining for 23 years during which time she entertained troops serving there. Her brother said it was only fitting that she be recognized for her contributions to the music industry. “It’s very important to remember the pioneers because those songs...they were real songs,” he said.
Gone, But Not Forgotten: Ching Ming Ceremony Pays Tribute to Ancestors
By Lisa France, Maple Grove Cemetery
The second annual Ching Ming Ceremony was held at Maple Grove Cemetery on April 5, 2008 and drew members of the Chinese community who came to honor their deceased loved ones.
In the Chinese language, Ching means “pure” or “clean” and Ming means “brightness” and the Ching Ming Ceremony serves as an important ritual for those who utilize the day to clean the graves of loved ones and pay homage to them. In the culturally diverse community that is Queens, New York, the event at the cemetery has become a touch stone for those Asian residents who are unable to travel back to their native lands where their family is buried. Maple Grove President and Chief Executive Officer Linda Mayo-Perez said that while Ching Ming is for the most part celebrated in China, some cemeteries on the West Coast have begun to observe Ching Ming because of the large Asian populations residing there. The ceremony, held at Maple Grove, marks the first time the celebration was offered on the East Coast. “For those who are not familiar with Ching Ming, it’s an opportunity for them to learn about another culture’s ceremony,” she said. “For the folks that are familiar with it, hopefully they will appreciate the fact that we are going to be offering it every year and it’s a way for them to participate with us.”
Participants boarded buses in Flushing and filed into The Center at Maple Grove, a stunning, newly opened facility where sunlight streamed in the windows and underscored the uplifting event. Musicians played softly as those gathered in the Center’s Celebration Hall took their seats and expectantly awaited the commencement of the ceremony. Holding Ching Ming was the brainchild of Fred Fu, Director of the Flushing Development Center and a member of the board of The Friends of Maple Grove Cemetery. “Maple Grove really wanted to do something for the community,” he said. “I thought that since Maple Grove wanted to do something, it was a very good idea to have Ching Ming here to allow all the people to come and memorialize their ancestors.” In addition to Maple Grove and the Flushing Development Center, the event was also co-sponsored by the Queens Borough President’s Office, TD Commerce Bank and Buddha’s Light International Association, New York.
After opening remarks and recognition of the sponsors, Mr. Fu introduced local politicians, Council member John Liu and Assembly member Ellen Young who both offered brief remarks. Entertainment then followed with musicians, a harmonica player and a traditional “Changing Face” artist who thrilled the crowd. Incense was lit on an ornate altar and Venerable Yung Ku offered a blessing and led Buddhist chants. Cindy Lin, President of Buddha’s Light International Association, said the day had a family atmosphere and served as an opportunity to expose the younger generation to an important tradition. “The young people grow up here and they don’t know their grandparents and their great grandparents,” she said. “This is a very good way to educate our young people on how to remember [their ancestors].”
A processional was formed and the group headed outside with each person receiving a stick of incense which they placed in holders under a tent. Balloons were distributed and everyone was encouraged to write an inscription. The Venerable recited a prayer, chimes were rung, a moment of reflection was held and the balloons were released. Many in the crowd were moved and there were tears and smiles as the inscribed balloons floated to the heavens. Flushing resident Vivian Zou brought her five-year-old son Christopher and said since she was unable to travel back to China to pay tribute to her deceased parents, the Ching Ming Ceremony at Maple Grove Cemetery offered her the opportunity to honor them. Despite being thousands of miles away from her country of origin, she said she still took comfort in the activity. “The world is one world so that’s why we came,” she said. “Christopher never met my parents so when I wrote on the balloon I told him ‘Grandma and Grandpa know who you are.” After we let it go, he asked me ‘Did they get the balloon?’”
The event ended with refreshments and a tour of The Center at Maple Grove.
Government and Legal Affairs Report
June 12, 2008
The NYSAC Government & Legal Affairs Committee has been working on the legislative year. We are currently monitoring 222 bills! Listed below are the bills that were introduced by NYSAC this session:
A1329-BRODSKY/S3791-LEIBELL-Abandoned Cemetery Maintenance by Cemetery Corporations – 2/5/2008 Passed Senate, referred to Assembly Corporations Authorities and Commission on 1/23/08 in the Senate
S8437-Flanagan-Provide that any municipality may appropriate and provide funding, goods and/or services to a public cemetery corporation-referred to Rules Committee on 6/6/08-Brodsky has introduced the bill in the Assembly. Its number is A11516.
Effective November 21, 2007, the cremation certification course was approved in order to establish training and requirements for the maintenance and operation of crematories within New York State.
The Division of Cemeteries is currently drafting additional “Financial Reporting Requirements” to be included in the annual report that all regulated cemeteries must file. We will be reviewing the draft when it is completed.
I hope all of our members and suppliers who contributed to the Legal Fund last year, can once again show their generosity this year. The Legal Fund helps to fund our legislative agenda and to give us a voice in Albany. This money pays the majority of our legal expenses.
I look forward to seeing you at the Cranwell.
Frank F. Giglio,
Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, 2nd Edition
Everybody loves a great story, and Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery has many of New York’s great stories to tell. Everyone who was anybody in nineteenth century New York wanted to be buried there, and they were. As The New York Times succinctly put it in 1866 “It is the ambition of the New Yorker to live upon Fifth Avenue, to take his airings in the [Central] Park, and to sleep with his fathers in Green-Wood.” They came by the thousands and the hundreds of thousands, first as tourists, then as permanent residents: Civil War generals, artists, inventors, murderers and their victims, the famous and the infamous. And they have continued to come to Green-Wood for over 170 years, bringing their lively stories and dark secrets with them.
In 1998, The Green-Wood Cemetery, in order to tell its story, published Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure, by Jeffrey I. Richman. The 242-page book, with hundreds of illustrations, many in color, tells the remarkable story of Green-Wood, one of only five cemeteries in America that have been designated a National Historic Landmark, and many of the most fascinating of the individuals who are interred there. Green-Wood, a green oasis in urban Brooklyn, stretching across 478 acres of rolling hills, trees, lawn, ponds and gardens, is the final resting place of almost 560,000 people, including conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein, inventor Samuel Morse, reformer Horace Greeley, political power Boss Tweed, DeWitt Clinton, painters from Asher B. Durand to Jean-Michel Basquiat and many other famous figures.
The first edition of this book totaled 6,000 copies. Because all of those have sold, the cemetery has now issued a second, revised edition. Though much of the text is unchanged, many of the images have been updated to reflect the remarkable number of restoration projects that have been completed since 1998. With the help of donations, Historic Fund memberships, and grants from foundations and New York City, bronzes and marbles have been cleaned, statues have been recast, and missing pieces have been replaced on many of the monuments pictured in the book.
The second edition of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery: New York’s Buried Treasure is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or directly from Green-Wood.
Petroleum Storage Tank Management Seminar Sponsored by MCA
By Theresa Joyce, Mt. Hope Cemetery Association
On Wednesday, April 2, 2008, over 70 cemeterians were guests of the Metropolitan Cemetery Association at Koenigs in Floral Park, Queens, to hear representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation discuss regulations of Petroleum Bulk Storage for facilities with a total storage capacity of over 1,100 gallons of motor and/or heating fuel.
An informative program put together by regulators, inspectors and enforcers covered the following topics: tank registration, tank color coding and labeling, spill prevention, cathodic protection, tank and piping leak detection and required daily inventory reconciliation.
Attendees learned that the Energy Policy Act signed into law on August 8, 2005, mandates inspections every 3 years, whether by DEC, EPA or a local agency, such as the health department. Operator training will be required by August 2012.
Thanks to the MCA and its President, Chet Day of Kensico Cemetery, Ken Taylor of The Green-Wood Cemetery and Richard Fishman of the NYS Division of Cemeteries and Rosemarie Longo of the Dept. of State for spearheading the effort to increase compliance among Cemeteries.
So, do you document your monthly test of your electronic leak detection system?
Do you know how your required overfill prevention device works?
Web addresses for the applicable DEC regulations are available on our web site.
Your State Association is looking into providing a similar educational opportunity. Stay tuned.
NYSAC Cremation Committee Report
The Cremation Committee met four times via teleconference on the following dates: June 30, 2007, September 19, 2007, October 17, 2007, April 30, 2008.
The Committee has given attention to the following Action Items, with their respective status.
1. Created a NYSAC Crematory Operators Training Program in compliance with NYS Not-For-Profit Law Section 1517(j) and 19NYCRR, Part 204. This training program was produced with consultant Mr. Steve Sloane and has been approved by the New York State Cemetery Board. Completed
2. Created and approved a NYSAC Crematory Operators Training Implementation Plan and budgets. Completed
3. Both aforementioned items are pending NYSAC Board approval. Pending
4. Provide draft language to Mr. David Fleming to refine or adjust the Not-for-Profit Law 1517 (i) DISPOSITION OF CREMAINS. Action Item – Closed?
The committee recommends that the NYSAC Board have the Government and Legal Affairs Committee place this project temporarily on hold, pending other legislative action; e.g. creation of a new NYS Uniform Cremation Authorization Form.
5. The Committee has recommended that the Board give direction to the Government and Legal Affairs Committee to put forth legislation that will create a NYS Uniform Model Cremation Authorization Form for all New York State crematories. This model form will be extremely similar to, if not exactly the same as, the CANA Model Cremation Authorization Form with our specific New York State regulations included. This model form will be presented to David Fleming by mid-May 2008. Working
Joseph P. Dispenza
Editor’s Note: As of June 15, 2008 a NYS Uniform Model Cremation Authorization Form is under development.
VA Announces "Second Headstone" Policy to Mark Veterans' Graves in Private Cemeteries
[From the May 21, 2009 ICCFA on-line newsletter]
On May 13, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs published an amendment whereby a government-furnished headstone or marker would be provided for veterans’ graves in private cemeteries that were already marked. Previously, the VA could not provide a marker where the grave already had one. This “Second Headstone” policy is now permanent and also retroactive for eligible veterans’ deaths occurring on or after November 1, 1990, when Congress abolished the marker cash allowance benefit.
The announcement points out that the “VA does not pay the cost to install a Government headstone or marker in a private cemetery, nor does VA have jurisdiction over policies established by private cemeteries. Therefore, the applicant must obtain certification on VA Form 40-1330 from a cemetery representative that the type and placement of the Government-furnished headstone or marker requested adheres to the policies and guidelines of the private cemetery where the grave is located.”
Metropolitan Cemetery Association Elects Officers and Directors at Annual Meeting and Exposition
Officers and Directors of the Metropolitan Cemetery Association were elected at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the MCA held June 5, 2008 at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho, NY. More than 150 cemetery and supplier members were in attendance.
Officers and Directors elected were:
President, Domenick Castiello from Mount Hope Cemetery
Vice President, Marisa Tarantino from Washington Cemetery
Secretary/Treasurer, Phillip J. Tassi from Ferncliff Cemetery
Director, Frank Mangual from St. Raymond’s Cemetery
Director, Larry Barnett from Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Director, Joseph P. DiTroia from U.S. Columbarium Company, U.S. Cremation & Fresh Pond Crematory
Suppliers displayed and introduced their products and services to the attendees. Raffle prizes were donated by suppliers and cemeteries. The raffle raised $3,000 of which $1,500 was donated to the local chapter of Make a Wish Foundation and $1,500 was donated to St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, Queens.
Richard D. Fishman, Director, Division of Cemeteries, updated the members on cemetery and legislative issues.
A plaque was presented to outgoing director, Richard J. Moylan, from The Green-Wood Cemetery and to outgoing president, Chester S. Day, from Kensico Cemetery, in appreciation for their service to the Association.
Chet expressed his appreciation to the MCA for the opportunity to work with and for the members of the Association over the last 13 years during which time the membership increased from 175 to 300 members and many accomplishments were achieved.
Newly elected President, Domenick Castiello, thanked John Toale and Frank Mangual for co-chairing this event. He also thanked Chet Day and Richard Moylan for their service on behalf of the membership and he thanked the membership for their support and encouraged them to share any ideas to make the Association better.
Service awards were presented to Charles Helly from Flushing Cemetery for 40 years of service and to Charles L. Lauber from Linden Hill United Methodist Cemetery for 25 years of service.
Anthony Lauriano, a professor from St. Francis College, spoke on “The Art of Ancestry/ Genealogies.”
Photographs of the event may be viewed on the MCA website www.my-mca.org.
Protecting Workers From Summer Temperatures
By Valerie A. Geasor, CPCU, The Treiber Group, LLC
While I’m sure most of you are aware of these tips, it bears repeating to ensure your workers are protected from the heat.
STAYING HYDRATED: Throughout the work day, fluids are naturally lost through sweating. Obviously, the higher the temperature or the more intensive the labor, the quicker the body loses water. It is important to remember that thirst is not the benchmark for loss of fluids. Once you are very thirsty, it is a sign that dehydration has already begun. Therefore it is extremely important to ensure all your workers are replenishing fluids throughout the day. Water or sports drinks should be readily provided by the employer. It is most important to recognize that preventing dehydration to begin with is the best protection as opposed to re-hydrating after dehydration has begun. Don’t wait for the signal of dehydration before fluid intake begins.
REST PERIODS: Workers should be given shorter work periods with more frequent breaks with the most stressful work planned for the early morning hours before the sun is at its peak. If possible, provide breaks in naturally or artificially shady areas or areas cooled by fans or air conditioning. Working under intensive heat conditions can cause breathing problems, heart issues, or fainting which could result in a fall and subsequent head injury. Let employees know they can take a break if they start feeling overheated.
If workers have a long job in one area, consider setting up a portable tent or awning so that they are working out of direct sunlight.
TRAINING: Train your supervisors and workers on the signs of heat stress and basic first aid to alleviate a worker who has succumbed to the heat until professional help arrives. In these training sessions, go over the steps workers must take to protect themselves as well as the signs of heat stress. Some of the typical symptoms include rashes, nausea, muscle cramps, headaches etc.
SKIN CARE: Provide sun block for your employees with a high sun protection factor and remind them to use this as needed. Employees will tend to use this more if provided by the employer. Obviously, required safety helmets must be worn and if working where a helmet is not required, encourage the use of hats. Remind workers to protect their lips as well and provide them with lip balm sticks. Repeat applications throughout the day.
STAYING NOURISHED: Remind your workers that it is important to eat even though their appetite might wane in the heat. Provide a place where workers that “brown bag” their lunch can keep their lunches cool to prevent spoilage. Maybe consider providing some fruits during a break which provides nutrition as well as additional fluids. Encourage eating cool lunches as opposed to hot lunches during extreme conditions.
CLOTHING: Breathable clothing is best while not compromising the minimum protection standards required at the cemetery. Make sure workers are not in sleeveless shirts or tee shirts. Shirts to at least the elbow are best, long sleeves even better. Possibly consider supplying the proper clothing for the employees during the “dog days” of summer that include UV protection. Consider adding towels or purchasing the safety helmets with the cloth backing to protect the back of the necks of your workers. Encourage the use of sunglasses and, when goggles are required, consider providing those with UV protection.
Finally, remind your workers to take these same protective measures home with them. When working around the house, or having a long day outside, these same principles apply and will let them know you care about them 24/7, not just when they are on the job.
Holland Supply Expansion
Holland Supply, Inc. (http://www.hollandsupplyinc.com/), a leading manufacturer of Cemetery, Burial Vault, and Funeral equipment and supplies, has recently completed construction on a 12,000 sq. ft. addition to its facility. Holland Supply has experienced continued growth and the addition will be used for increased manufacturing, assembly and storage capacity.
Randy DeWilde of Holland Supply explains, “The expansion will enable us to continue our customer driven focus. With a greater variety of quality manufactured products offered directly to our customers, and shortened lead times, we will be meeting our goal of improved customer satisfaction.” 1-800-527-8818, firstname.lastname@example.org