Issuu on Google+ Vol. 15/Number 2 Parents question school safety By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER A small but vocal group is “up in arms” about school safety in New Rochelle. At a Jan. 8 Board of Education meeting, a handful of parents accused school officials of failing to comply with safety requirements mandated by state law, and being evasive and dishonest about school security. “The [school] district is not in compliance with the SAVE law,” said Adam Egelberg. “There has been no district safety plan since 2009. The police contact listed in the plan passed away in 2008. There is incorrect and conflicting information about lockdown procedures in the 2009 plan.” Egelberg said he took “great offense” to the administration’s actions in the last few weeks, and urged school officials to “start doing their jobs right tomorrow.” Amy Ecker said she believed that her children are getting an excellent education in New Rochelle’s public schools. She said she also understood that the individual school principals have been tasked with making their buildings safe. But she said that puts them in an unfair position. “The [safety] plans are out of date. We need short-term and longterm plans to improve communication. Where is the safety plan? Who SAVE, continued on page 13 January 18 & January 25, 2013 Iona Prep opens new physics lab The Iona Prep community recently celebrated the completion of the school’s new physics lab with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The new lab is equipped with hydraulic tables so students can work while sitting or standing, a threepiece chalkboard, and four flat-screen televisions. In keeping with the latest technology, the televisions are equipped with HDMi so students can link their computers to the screens during experiments and other group activities. While the classroom has been open and in use since the beginning of the school year, Hurricane Sandy forced the postponement of the initial ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for Nov. 1, 2012. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic Sandy repairs may delay waterfront openings Ex-NFL player visits New Ro By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER While New Rochelle escaped the worst of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, the massive storm that slammed the tri-state area Oct. 29-30, 2012 didn’t leave the city entirely unscathed, officials said. Addressing the City Council during its Jan. 8 meeting, City Manager Chuck Strome said the city’s waterfront parks took a significant hit. As a defensive player with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, Donovin Darius didn’t have many chances to carry the ball. But on Jan. 11, the former safety carried his message to third and fifth graders at Ward Elementary School. “I first met Donovin when his daughter started here, and we developed a relationship from there,” said Ward Elementary Principal Franco Miele. “He’s a great guy and he has a positive message for the kids.” Darius, who is now a motivational speaker, said he discovered his ability to inspire people after his playing days ended. He started the Donovin Darius Foundation in order to “educate, equip and empower youth and others for success through character and mental development and healthier lifestyles.” By encouraging youngsters to strive for excellence, he hopes to create “a legacy of children who learn leadership skills that will positively change the culture.” He began the last of three presentations at Ward Elementary School by greeting some of his youngest fans. As he made his way around the SANDY, continued on page 11 A tree blocks a street by the Boulevard behind City Hall post-Sandy. According to City Manager Chuck Strome, beaches and waterfront parks may experience delayed openings this year due to damage sustained by the hurricane. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic Wisconsin cop shares insight on ‘active shooters’ By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER Lt. Dan Marcou, a retired Wisconsin police officer, didn’t coin the term “active shooter,” but he said he encountered a few in almost 33 years on the job. He also said he knows exactly what it takes to stop them before they strike. Authorities define an active shooter as someone who is currently engaged in the act of unlawfully shooting at random or targeted victims. During a three-hour lecture on Retired Wisconsin police officer Lt. Dan Marcou recently shared his insight on “active shooters” in light of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting. Contributed photo Jan. 10 at Iona College in New Rochelle called the “Five Phases of the Active Shooter,” Marcou said preventing a deranged gunman who is hell-bent on killing as many innocent people as possible from fulfilling his mission takes an “effective act of courage.” Sometimes, it’s up to an “honorable gunfighter”–often a cop–to end a rampage, Marcou said. Other times, its up to a civilian–be it a lawyer, a social worker, teacher or family member–to see ACTIVE, continued on page 9 auditorium, the shrieking youngsters clamoring for his attention jumped to give him high fives. The raucous reaction ebbed as Darius laid the ground rules for the rest of the afternoon, but quickly resumed as he showed some of his NFL game highlights. “That didn’t happen overnight,” said Darius, a first-round draft pick who was selected 25th overall. Darius, 37, recalled how he grew up in a rough neighborhood, where drug dealers camped out on one corner and gangs claimed another. “Every day, I had the opportunity to make a decision. Did I want to be like them, or did I want to do the right thing?” the father of three said, adding that determination and a positive attitude help him prevail. Darius also explained the difference between “dream makers” and “dream breakers.” Dream makers are the people who offer encouragement and support; the people who inspire you and help you achieve your goals, he said. “Dream breakers” are negative individuals who tear you down and cheer when you fail. Dreaming big, encouraging othDARIUS, continued on page 3

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