Cheers: Believe it or not, to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for achieving what has seemed for a long time to be an impossible task — getting more people to use New York Stewart International Airport as their arrival/departure destination of choice. According to the authority, passenger volume at the recently renamed airport through August had already surpassed last year’s total, which was the highest in eight years. The arrival of Norwegian Air and its popular, low-cost international flights is seen as the primary reason for the increase. Through August, Stewart handled 452,959 passengers, compared to 448,323 passengers in all of 2017. The Port Authority estimates that passenger volume will top 600,000 this year. In its first full year, Norwegian carried more passengers than any other airline at Stewart. In addition to kudos for landing Norwegian, airport managers brought in additional revenue last week offering the spacious facility as a paid parking lot for planes that brought delegations from around the world to the United Nations. Keep it up.
Cheers: To RECAP and its growing program of cafes in Orange County. A third one opened recently at 34 Mill St. in Middletown. It serves, as do the others, as a job-training site that prepares recipients of public assistance for culinary careers. The Mill Street Cafe partners with RECAP’s Trust Center and New Life Manor programs, offering real-world experience and training to participants as they re-enter the workforce. The real-world experience includes food service, menu planning, budgeting, catering, and operating a small business, as well as resume and job-interview preparation. An on-staff job developer helps trainees apply for and maintain employment. The Mill Street Cafe offers breakfast from 8 a.m.- 11 a.m, lunch from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The phone number is 421-6275. The second cafe in Middletown is the Fresh Start Cafe located on the Community Campus at 38 Seward Ave. It is takeout only and orders can be made by phone, 956-2233. The third cafe is in Newburgh at 280 Lower Broadway. It is open from 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. The phone number is 863-0100. A program for the body and soul.
Cheers: To long-suffering New York Mets fans, who had the bittersweet privilege of rooting for Jacob DeGrom, arguably the best pitcher in baseball, as he displayed his mastery all season long, only to be rewarded with a mere 10 victories for his efforts. DeGrom, who recorded his 1,000th major league strikeout on his last pitch of the season, has the lowest earned run average in baseball. The ERA is perhaps the truest measure of a pitcher’s effectiveness, since being good on a team that doesn’t score runs doesn’t always result in wins. In DeGrom’s case, he wound up with 10 wins and nine losses, even though he gave up an average of only 1.7 runs per game. The hope for Mets fans - and it’s a reasonable one - is that their ace will at least be rewarded with the Cy Young Award, which goes to the best pitcher in the league. It would be well-deserved.