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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Hidden Gem: Aerial Yoga at Beyond Zen

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

When you’re getting your “om” on and taking some time for mindful breathing, have you ever wished that you were completely supported in a suspended cocoon? Or to fly through the air like Superman?
 
You’re in luck – Beyond Zen offers Aerial Yoga at their Granger studio. Aerial Yoga combines traditional pilates and yoga poses with the help of a hammock suspended from the ceiling. The use of the hammock allows you to breathe deeper into stretches as you’re fully supported when doing downward facing dog, flying yogi and warrior poses throughout the hour-long class. The practice at Beyond Zen is also highly personalized as there are only five hammocks in the classroom leaving you with one-on-one opportunities with the instructor as she helps you feel comfortable with the hammock and makes sure you’re performing the moves correctly. Read More.
 
So grab some friends and make an evening of it. The schedule and pricing information is available on the Beyond Zen website. 
 
Have you been to Aerial Yoga? We want to see your photos! Tweet or Instagram 
@YPNSouthBend and share your photos using #YPNtalk!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hidden Gem: Winding Brook Park Christmas Lights

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Why walk through a winter wonderland when you can drive? That’s right. You can enjoy bright lights, unique displays, and a beautiful winter night without leaving the warmth of your car. Where is this magical place? Winding Brook Park, located off East Day Road in Mishawaka.

Since 1962, every December Winding Brook Park residents have been encouraged to decorate their houses with beautiful light displays that brightens hearts of all ages. After driving through the entryway, you will immediately be filled with holiday spirit. Due to its popularity (more than 20,000 people pass through every season!), the traffic is slow but that just gives you extra time to take in the magic. You’ll see everything from classic white lights illuminating a warm glow to a giant display of Santa and his reindeer on a roof. The lights will officially be up on Saturday, December 9 until Christmas evening.

Are you planning on driving through the Christmas lights at Winding Brook? We want to see your photos! Tweet or Instagram @YPNSouthBend and share your photos using #YPNtalk!

Five New Year's Resolutions for Young Professionals in 2018

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Every year it’s the same. At some point between stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving dinner and opening holiday gifts, you plan your annual New Year’s resolutions. If you’re one of the 41 percent of Americans who usually make them, then you probably know there are few things in life as frustratingly elusive as following through on a New Year’s resolution.

For the young professional, we’ve devised five resolutions to help you become a better professional and a better citizen in 2018 – and even included some tips to make following through a little easier.

 

volunteer 

Are you looking to boost your mental and physical well being in 2018? Those who volunteer have lower rates of depression and lower mortality rates according the Corporation for National and Community Service. Beyond your own personal health, sharing your time and talents helps to strengthen your community and potentially transform lives. For a list of some local volunteer opportunities visit the YPN Volunteer page.

TIP: Put it on your calendar. Don't wait for a free hour or two to magically appear in your schedule, plan it out. When you treat your resolution as an appointment, you're more likely to follow through.

SAVE MONEY

It’s never too soon to start taking your finances seriously. You should be saving 10 to 15 percent of your income for retirement according to many financial experts. If that sounds out of reach, try taking smaller steps like committing to taking full advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match or paying off specific debts that have been hanging over your head. Canceling subscriptions and setting aside that money for savings is another less painful way to save more in 2018.

TIP: A little goes a long way. Don’t stress if you can’t set aside as much time or resources as you’d originally hoped. Something is better than nothing. 

 

RECYCLE

For a resolution that’s sure to make you and the planet happier for years to come, try recycling. When you reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, you’re not only conserving valuable natural resources, but you’re also helping to prevent pollution and sustaining the environment for future generations. For St. Joseph County residents, a mandated curbside recycling program has made it easier than ever to pick up the habit. Visit the St. Joseph County Solid Waste Management website for more details.

TIP: Make SMART goals. When you’re creating your resolutions it’s crucial to make specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals.

 

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE

Whether you’re looking to get an advantage on your resume or simply want to know a few catchphrases for your next trip abroad, learning a new language is an enriching experience. Acquiring another language builds up brain power, improving your memory and increasing your attention span. Some research even indicated that bilingualism can delay the effects of Alzheimer’s for years.  These days there are many digital tools to make learning a new language not only simple, but fun too. Duolingo, a free, fun and science-based language-learning tool is a great place to start.  

TIP: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. When working to achieve your resolution, remember that making lasting changes takes time. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t immediately reach the finish line. 

 

LAND YOUR DREAM JOB

Struggling in what appears to be a dead-end position? There’s nothing like a new year to spark a job search. Commit to finding a company with a culture that aligns with your lifestyle and don’t settle for less. Take small steps like updating your resume, beefing up your presence on LinkedIn and reconnecting with friends in the industry for a start. When your career gives you energy instead of draining you, you’ll know you’ve found the right fit.

TIP: Use the buddy system. The best way to hold yourself accountable to meeting your resolutions is to share your goals. The support of family and friends when you’re trying something new is crucial. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Cap on Property Taxes a Balancing Act

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (1)

The Indiana General Assembly reacted to protests from voters over rising property tax bills and in 2008 placed property tax caps into law. The caps limit tax bills to 1 percent of the assessed value of homes, 2 percent for farms and rental properties and 3 percent for businesses.

In 2010, voters affirmed that action of the General Assembly by statewide referendum as 72 percent voted in favor of placing the caps into the Indiana Constitution.

The predicted result was homeowners, landlords and businesses would save significant money. Several years later, that has held true and Indiana has vaulted to the front of most business rankings, boasting the best business climate in the Midwest and one of the tops in the country. This is in large part because of the “certainty” that exists in the Indiana tax system.

At the same time, the action has left many state and local government units scrambling. Initial predictions were that there would be more than $500 million in annual savings to the taxpayers statewide, meaning fewer dollars available to governments for the delivery of essential services.

Many lawmakers felt local governments would consider consolidation options, including reducing the number of school or library districts and consolidating emergency dispatch services. Across Indiana, communities have been slow to follow that thinking with just few consolidations occurring.

In St. Joseph and Lake counties, an additional 10 years were granted for full property tax cap implementation to help the counties better deal with outstanding debt obligations. Still, 2017 estimates by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) had $78 million in total savings to the taxpayers.

The City of South Bend, St. Joseph County, the City of Mishawaka, and the South Bend Community School Corporation were hit hardest. Other school corporations, libraries and public transportation agencies also saw major cuts in revenue. Those units are also bracing for more losses when full implementation comes in 2020.

I’m one who has benefited. My property taxes are now lower. But am I better off? The jury is still out on that one.

In St. Joseph County, no consolidations have occurred, and there doesn’t seem to be much appetite for that. Instead the level of services has or will be affected.

It seems daily in the news that taxpayers are wondering about police protection, leaf collection, street paving, soon snow plowing, park services, public transportation, 911 services, the number of students in a classroom, the number of schools in a system or school transportation. I could go on.

The cap of property taxes has a direct correlation to the delivery of each of those services. The same public, of which an overwhelming majority voted for tax caps, has been slow to embrace changes in service levels. It will only get more difficult in the coming years.

While our elected leaders are reducing service levels to meet current budget demands, they must also carefully balance the need to make our communities attractive for new people and businesses. Something must give.

We can’t tax or cut our way to prosperity. We have to find the right balance and must be quicker to embrace change. After all we demanded it in 2008 and affirmed it in 2010.

Also published in the South Bend Tribune