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CSI in the News

March 2010

Table of Contents   

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Faculty & Staff    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   98

Students & Alumni   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  1ϯϴ      


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Brooklyn Calendar Highlights: Activities for Kids and Families March 2010 by Editorial Staff, NYMetroParents

Celebrations in Green Join in the fun this St. Patrick's Day with these family-friendly events. Shenanigans with Pat & Mike: Listen to and sing along with some Irish drumming and guitar playing. Learn about the bodrhan (a traditional Irish drum), make music with spoons (used on the thighs), and enjoy a variety of traditional tunes. March 13 at 2pm. $6; FREE children under 1. Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. 718-2732060. Riverdance: 15th Anniversary Farewell Tour at Radio City Music Hall: The performance is a thunderous celebration of Irish music, song, and dance that has tapped its way onto the world stage, thrilling millions of people around the globe. March 17 and 20 at 2pm and 8pm; March 18 and 19 at 8pm; March 21 at 1pm and 7pm. $39.50 and up. 1260 Sixth Avenue, Manhattan. 212-307-7171. In honor of St. Patrick, visitors to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center can play with some green clay on March 17, 1:30-3:30pm; whip up some Irish dishes like oatmeal cookies or Irish stew each Friday in March at 2pm, 3pm, or 4pm; or make their own charm during Celtic Craft Design on March 6, 7, 20, and 21 at 1pm, 2pm, or 3pm. $6; FREE children under 1. Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island. 718-273-2060.

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Get your Irish up Staten Island! By Ben Johnson March 04, 2010, 10:00AM


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Kimberly Modolo, 12; Juliana DeGeorge, 11; Audra Caffrey, 12; and Caitlin Carr, 11; strike a pose at last year's Staten Island St. Patrick's Parade. The Irish-American rock band Black 47. The musical quartet Four Celtic Voices. See the list below for more ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Staten Island.

STATEN ISLAND, NY -- Leave it to a band named after the worst year in Ireland’s potato famine to hit the nail on the head with their most recent album. Black 47’s “Bankers and Gangsters,” released this week, is in title a timely echo of the populist anger being felt around the country towards big bailouts for everyone but the everyman. But as longtime New Yorker and lead singer Larry Kirwan will tell you, the tune is not meant to be a divider. “Our audience is split between a very left wing and a very right wing,” says Kirwan, who brings his Irish-American rock band to College of Staten Island March 12. “We’ve been seen as having liberal beliefs, but we’ve also always cherished the fact that we’ve a lot of working class and civil service fans: cops, firemen, teachers. For us, we were never playing for the converted. If you were making statements about Iraq, you had to back them up every night on stage.” Currently celebrating its 20th birthday, Black 47 is a thoroughly a New York City creation — a group of able musicians from distinctly varied backgrounds unafraid to mix Celtic musical traditions with hard rock, reggae and more. They’ve played NYC’s bars and beyond for years, touring with critically acclaimed records like 1993’s “Fire of Freedom” and those that received attention for 14 of 162

BLACK 47 Part of the CFA Presents 2010 Season Where: Center for the Arts, College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Blvd.,

bringing up sore subjects, like 2008’s “Iraq.” The new album’s title track, which features a big, bold horn section, is a perfect example of how Kirwan and the band makes their particular musical concoction. “I wanted to do something on the subject that would be up at the same time,” says Kirwan. “You could get morose about it or preachy about it, but I often go with the Yeats saying that ‘poetry should be as cold and passionate as the dawn.’ What he meant is it should be balanced, so if you’ve got a real serious subject sometimes the best way to deal with it is in a lighter way, and vice versa.” Black 47 has plenty of lesser Irish rock peers (i.e. imitations), and the music market hasn’t always treated them kindly, but the group’s big-tent creative philosophy keeps their fans coming back, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. The lead man himself has his own Sirius Satellite Radio show, “Celtic Crush,” and he’s just released a novel named for a Black 47 song, “Rockin The Bronx,” which details the culture shock of an Irish immigrant arriving in New York in the 1980s.

Willowbrook; 718-982-ARTS. How much: Tickets are $30, $35 and $40. More info:, FOUR CELTIC VOICES When: 8 p.m. March 13. Where: St. George Theatre, 36 Hyatt St., St. George; 718-442-2900. How Much: Tickets are $28, $35 & $38. More info:, See Jodi Lee Reifer's list below for more ways to celebrate St. Patrick's Day on Staten Island.

So, does Kirwan engage in any regular Irish traditions this time of year, and how does he feel about being considered an Irish rock band despite his own varied compositions? “We give up drinking,” he chuckles, answering the first question with a joke. “It’s kind of like Irish season gets longer and longer, you know? As much as you can, you hitch your wagon to it. I suppose we get put in the same camp with bands like Flogging Molly and and Dropkick Murphys, but you know, those are great bands. I don’t mind being put in with them at all.”

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Buhler Singers show is musical magic By The News staff BUHLER - A night of music led by the Buhler Singers adds the Crusader Singers and the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade students who attended the Buhler Singers' Kiddie Clinic. The show is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Buhler High School auditorium. The Buhler Singers will present their annual variety show. This year, "Magic on Broadway" features songs from musicals - "Pippin," "Shrek," "Newsies," "The Wiz," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Rent" and "Hairspray." The Broadway theme was chosen as a send-off for the singers, who leave for New York City on Wednesday. Their March 17-21 visit has them competing in the Performing Arts Consultant Festival at College of Staten Island. Also featured will be the Crusader Singers and the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Buhler Singers' Kiddie Clinic. The Kiddie Clinic will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Buhler High School. All students are invited to join the Buhler Singers as they teach the children songs to perform for the Tuesday night show. Kindergarten through third grade will perform "Everybody Rejoice." Grades 4 and 5 will sing "Ease on Down the Road." Sixth through eight grades will add "Little Shop of Horrors." Buhler Singers members will lead each group with choreography and music. To become a participant in the Kiddie Clinic, call (888) 662-8802 or e-mail Stephanie Tucker at The cost for the clinic is $25, and each participant will receive a shirt. Scholarship information and multiple child discounts are available. The variety show, under the direction of Greg Bontrager, will include solo and ensemble acts, plus skits for an evening of music and laughter. General admission tickets are available at the door. For more information, call the high school office at (620) 543-2259.

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Today's Family & Kids Activities in Brooklyn-Mar 14 by Directories Editor

Parents, don't let your children miss out on the fun! Here are some of today's kids and family activities in Brooklyn, from concerts and museums to decorating cupcakes and gardening! Want to see what's going on next weekend or when you have those few days off? Check out the NY Metro Parents' calendar! 2010 Brooklyn Saint Patrick's Day Parade - Park Slope March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn Parade route: Down 15th Street to 7th Avenue; along 7th Avenue to Union Street; up Union Street to Prospect Park West; Along Prospect Park West to 15th Street. David Gonzalez's Sleeping Beauty - Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn David Gonzalez puts a new spin on the classic fairy tale, using live and electronic music, dance, image projections, and lighting to create a magical multimedia world. David Gonzalez’s Sleeping Beauty - Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn Master storyteller David Gonzalez puts a new spin on the classic fairy tale in this world premiere solo performance, using live and electronic music, dance, image projections, and exquisite lighting to create a magical multimedia world in which a beautiful princess is awakened by true love’s kiss. Bowl-a-Thon - Staten Island Zoo March 14, 2010 - Staten Island 17 of 162

A fundraising event for the Zoo. Pay admission yourself or collect some "spare" change from friends and family. Three games, two slices of pizza, and a soda are included with admission. The afternoon will also include music and raffles. The Hobbit - Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island March 14, 2010 - Staten Island Theatre Sans Fil brings J.R.R. Tolkien's award-winning story of Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, and their dwarf friends to life by using more than 50 life-sized puppets, including a 25foot-long dragon and 10-foot-tall trolls and goblins. Recommended for children over the of age 7. Nature Crafts - Prospect Park Audubon Center March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn Teachers/Naturalists lead structured and engaging arts activities for children. Kids create toys, puppets, and more using all-natural materials. Early American Crafts & Games - Prospect Park Lefferts Historic House March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn Learn games, pastimes, and tasks that were common 150 years ago. Science Power Hour - Prospect Park Audubon Center March 14, 2010 - Brooklyn Join a naturalist for cool science activities, featuring a new experiment every month. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) - The New Victory Theater March 14, 2010 - Manhattan An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard's plays. Three actors take the audience through raucous parodies of all 37 of Shakespeare's plays, beginning with a send-up of "Romeo and Juliet," followed by a "Titus Andronicus" cooking show, a rap version of "Othello," and a one-minute version of "Hamlet."                    $OVRIHDWXUHGRQ&LW\*XLGH1HZ<RUN 18 of 162 

Rest in peace, Johnny Maestro, sweet prince of doo-wop By Maura Yates March 26, 2010, 11:51PM

Bull Lyons/Staten Island Advance Johnny Maestro in concert last year at the St. George Theatre. Crooner spent his glory years in Midland Beach.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Nearly every Staten Island girl who has come of age with a party at a catering hall can tip her tiara to the memory of Johnny Maestro, the doo-wop star from Midland Beach and member of the group Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, who recorded "Sixteen Candles." Maestro, who was born John Mastrangelo in Brooklyn but called the Island home from 1957 until 1972, died of cancer Wednesday in Florida. He was 70. Before changing his name to Maestro, he began his career in the 1950s with The Crests, when he sang as Johnny Mastro. In 1960, three of his singles placed on the charts: "Model Girl," "What a Surprise" and "My Happiness." Maestro later joined the Del-Satins, which merged with The Rhythm Method, a Long Island band, to form Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge in 1968. The band got its name after a manager declared it would be "harder to sell than the Brooklyn Bridge," Maestro once said. Among their hits were "The Worst That Could Happen," which band-mate Les Cauchi said earned "gold record" status with a million sales. The group performed that song on "The Ed Sullivan Show," Cauchi said. The groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other hits included "Blessed is the Rain," "Welcome Me Love" and "Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll Never Walk Alone."

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Maestro, along with Vito Picone of Vito Picone and The Elegants fame, and Bobby Cassotto, better known as Bobby Darin, all spent time hanging out at the South Beach Boardwalk in the 1950s, and all went on to score chart-topping hits. Maestro performed locally at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George, the St. George Theatre, the College of Staten Island and a Back to the Beach concert, as well as other fundraising events at Island schools. The band toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, playing arenas, amphitheaters and casinos. Friend and fellow band-member Jimmy Rosica remembered the drill for those road trips: The tour bus would stop first in Hicksville, L.I., to pick up several band members, then in Queens, and finally cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to pick up Maestro and fellow Islanders Freddy Ferrara and Mike Gregorio. "Picking them up was an experience," Rosica said. By the time everyone loaded their gear and got ready to hit the road, "before we even got to the Goethals Bridge, we’d already been in the bus for 14 hours." Locally, Cauchi remembered gigs at the former Crocitto's nightclub and the Lincoln Lounge, along with playing a lot of proms and other Island shows. He remembered Maestro as "one of the premier vocalists in rock ‘n’ roll — and one of the nicest, most sincere perfectionists in music." "Of all the talent, Johnny was the smoothest," said Bruce (Cousin Brucie) Morrow, who worked with Maestro many times. "He probably sounded more like his recordings live than any other performer. He always held true to the music and treated it with great respect." Maestro’s last performance was Jan. 17, when The Brooklyn Bridge was among groups appearing at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. It was billed as "Bowzer’s Ultimate Doo-Wop Party." "As frail and weak as Johnny seemed, I knew he didn’t want to have to cancel," host Jon (Bowzer) Bauman said in an e-mailed statement. "I told him afterward it was the most courageous performance I’d ever seen. As frail as he looked, that’s how strong he sounded. "It was a privilege to have known him, and it was thrilling to have listened to him," said Bauman. A memorial service is tentatively planned for Friday on Long Island, Rosica said, directing fans to the group’s Web site,, for more information.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Faculty & Staff 

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All Religions Agree on Fighting Hunger Paul Virgo The world's major religions might disagree on theology and matters like the foods we ought to eat and the days we should rest on, but when it comes to fighting hunger, they see eye to eye. The holy books say that those who do not have enough to eat must be helped, which, if you are a believer, makes food insecurity a spiritual issue, not just a political or economic one. "In every religion I know, the first or second most talked about issue [in their scriptures] is the number of verses that deal with the poor, the sick, the hungry," Tony P. Hall, director of the Alliance to End Hunger and former United States ambassador to the United Nations food agencies in Rome, told IPS. "Over 2,500 Christian verses deal with this issue. Hunger is an issue that belongs to people of faith. God is very clear on this - we are supposed to take action." Muslims agree. "How can your spiritual state be in comfort when those around you are in need? Being a good Muslim is not just about locking yourself in a mosque in prayer," Mostafa Mahboob of the U.S. section of Islamic Relief told IPS. "You also have responsibilities as a member of your community to those around you. There is definitely a connection between spirituality and hunger. By working to fight hunger, you are putting religious and spiritual teaching into practice." Today 1.02 billion people are undernourished, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and believers are not the only ones to have allowed this to happen -- the whole world has, agnostics and atheists included. Furthermore, religious organizations are in the frontline in fighting hunger. The Catholic umbrella group Caritas International is one of the world's biggest aid agencies. Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs all have important organizations similar to Caritas and Islamic Relief.

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Nevertheless, some commentators have reached the conclusion that, if the scourge of hunger now affects almost one in six in a world of adequate food supplies, millions of people of faith must be neglecting the religious principles they claim to adhere to. "How high must be the pile of statistics of hungry people? How high must be the pile of dead people? How high must be the pile of Bible verses? What will awaken the people of God from their comatose state?," asked Craig L Nessan in his book â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Give Us This Day, A Lutheran Proposal For Ending World Hungerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Prof. Shannon Jung of the Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City agrees that many believers frequently ignore an issue that should be a priority for them. "I would say that people of faith are remarkably disposed to respond to crises such as that which Haiti is undergoing right now, but that we people of faith tend to miss a joyful opportunity to address systemic issues in the food supply system," Jung told IPS. "Sharing with others is a gift that we can give, and one from which we also receive. God created human beings to share and we have a real need to share. We remain spiritually stunted if we do not." Jung believes some religious leaders have a share of the blame because they give hunger less attention than other issues such as abortion or homosexuality. "I do think hunger is a more immediate, obvious and demanding issue than abortion or homosexuality. Hunger penetrates every other issue and impacts the human family far more than abortion or homosexuality," he said. "Sometimes I think churches in affluent nations deal with abortion and homosexuality as a way of avoiding the more serious and challenging issue of their complicity in hunger and poverty -- a complicity that we, the affluent, all share in." Similarly, Richard H. Schwartz, an emeritus mathematics professor of the College of Staten Island and a commentator on Judaism and social affairs, believes many of his fellow Jews are ignoring God's will by not doing more about hunger. "Jews rightfully condemn the silence of the world when six million Jews and millions of other people were murdered by the Nazis," he commented in an essay on Judaism and Hunger. "Can we be silent when millions die agonizing deaths because of lack of food? Can we acquiesce to the apathy of the world toward the fate of starving people?" The religious exponents are also in sync about how people of faith should combat hunger, with three main forms of response advocated. The first is financial support for, and personal involvement in, agencies and campaigns seeking to alleviate hunger. "I think that Jews should be supporting a global Marshall-type plan to alleviate hunger, poverty, illiteracy, disease, pollution and other societal ills, by using some of the money now going for military purposes for this initiative," Schwartz told IPS.

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George McGovern proposed that "every church member, every synagogue member, every Muslim, every Buddhist, ought to make sure that their church has an overseas arm and a domestic arm that reaches out to the hungry" in ‘Ending Hunger Now,’ a book he wrote with Methodist theologian Donald Messer and fellow former U.S. Senator Bob Dole. The second suggested way of responding is political activism to try to pressure decision-makers into doing more to promote food security. "They (churches) can be very effective in lobbying -- they could have a special section where they would organize and petition Congress or petition the state legislatures," said Dole. "It is pretty easy (for politicians) to forget about domestic or world hunger. I know from experience… but we’ve just got to keep pestering people until they get the message." Mahboob backs this position. "Hunger is a human rights issue and any peaceful means to promote it is good, so we should take advantage of political or advocacy channels," he said. "It's reasonable to say that greater pressure from constituencies could help remedy the lack of political force in addressing this issue." The final form of response is via the individual believer's lifestyle -- simpler living with less consumerism and waste. "One of the things that Islam teaches us is to only put on your plate what you can finish. It's not good to waste food. It's disrespectful to God," said Mahboob. "We should respect what we have and be thankful. We are always trying to catch up with what our neighbors have, what car they drive and so on. But Islam says we should not be excessive in our everyday lives and we should share with our neighbors, our fellow humans… If we cut down on waste, we would spend less and have more to devote to those in need." Schwartz even encourages people of faith to convert to vegetarianism, arguing this would free up agricultural resources to feed the hungry because breeding livestock is an inefficient way of producing food. "I believe it is scandalous that the world is currently feeding about 40 percent of its grain to animals, while so many people are chronically hungry and malnourished," he said. "It is urgent that religious communities and individuals scrutinize their life style and turn from habits of waste, over-consumption and thoughtless acceptance of the standards propagated by advertisements and social pressures. "God -- reality itself -- calls us to respond to the cry for food. And we hear it as a cry not only for aid but also for justice." CITATION: Paul Virgo, Religion: Fighting Hunger - A Matter of Faith, Inter Press Service, February 10, 2010

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Prospect looms of a new Ming dynasty By Jamie Lee March 04, 2010, 9:34AM

CSI professor is one of several up for an Oscar for documentary about 2008 earthquake in China STATEN ISLAND, NY – WILLOWBROOK — Among all the glamour and glitz of the 82nd Annual Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday, one unassuming, and largely unknown, West Shore resident will be standing shoulder to shoulder on the red carpet with stars and celebrities. And because of this, a number of extravagant parties and other festivities are scheduled all weekend long for Willowbrook’s Ming Xia in anticipation of the big night. It’ll be a stark change from the College of Staten Island classroom which he’ll be standing in front of tonight before his flight to Hollywood. Ming Xia, of Willowbrook, and a political science professor at the College of Staten Island, is up for an Academy Award for his documentary on the 2008 China earthquake. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COLLEGE OF STATEN ISLAND

But it isn’t the hubbub of the event that has Xia so excited. It’s the exposure for his message that has him brimming with anticipation.

A political science professor at the Willowbrook school, Xia worked as a producer and translator for HBO’s “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province,” which is one of five films nominated for an Oscar in the short documentary category. A native of that rural section of China, Xia visited his home town in the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake that killed 70,000 people, including 10,000 children. He had been asked by a friend, Peter Kwan, to accompany him and two others to the devastated area just 10 days after the disaster to try to document the event. Familiar with the local dialect, Xia, despite dealing with the “heartbreaking scenes” left by the catastrophe, worked as a translator and cultural guide. The group hiked for two days through rubble before finding survivors to speak with. The first story they were told was one of a school collapse that killed more than 120 students, mostly fourth- and fifth-graders. The group stayed with the parents of those children, watching as they created a memorial in front of the decimated school and began marches and protests. It wasn’t easy to document on either a personal or professional level, Xia admits, but the group returned with 58 hours of footage, which required hours of translation and subtitling. Unlike some documentaries, however, there is no commentary. Instead, those affected by the quake tell their own stories, through Xia’s translation. Originally planned with a two-hour run time, the executive producer for the movie and president of HBO 26 of 162

Documentary Sheila Nevins felt the material was Oscar-worthy, so the team re-cut the film to fit into the Academy’s guidelines. Eight months after the May premiere, the nomination came through. Xia will be flying to Los Angeles tomorrow morning – taking a much-deserved day off from his teaching schedule – where he will meet back up with his team and a female survivor from the Sichuan Province who has also been invited. Xia and the others will be honored guests at an HBO party tomorrow and the International Documentary Association gala on Saturday. “We’re going to enjoy the parties and the events,” admitted Xia. “But maybe because I’m from a foreign country and a foreign culture, I don’t look at (the experience like someone else might).” And despite the noteworthy company he’ll have on the red carpet, he’s the farthest thing from starstruck. “I don’t feel like a celebrity,” he said, smiling, when asked. “I’m not a movie maker. My profession is as a professor. For this, I guess you could say that I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for the right reason.” Xia does admit that it’ll be quite the experience, but he is most excited that the film will get additional exposure. “Other people are there because they are stars and have different agendas,” he said. “But for us, we are there for a documentary, and our agenda is to help our movie.” Xia hopes that, win or lose, the American audience will see a glimpse of the real China and a tragic event that happened there. “This is so that the people can pay more attention to what has happened and so the Chinese government can do a better job helping those that still need help and preparing for the future,” Xia said. Alluding to the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Xia feels that the overall message is something that everyone can relate to. “The earth is making a lot of noise right now, and our movie is touching on an important issue: How are we prepared for catastrophes? We all need to be prepared,” he said. Jamie Lee is a reporter for the Staten Island Advance. He covers the West and South Shores and may be reached at © 2010 All rights reserved.

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JBFC Announces Director Of Educational Innovation POSTED BY WESTCHESTER.COM SUNDAY, 07 MARCH 2010

Pleasantville, NY - Holen Sabrina Kahn was named the first Director of Educational Innovation for the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Media Arts Lab, which is dedicated to fostering lifelong learning and teaching 21st century communication. Kahn will work closely with Founder and Executive Director Stephen Apkon and Director of Education Programs Emily Keating, as well as other JBFC Faculty to continue to forge new approaches to teaching, learning, and storytelling in the digital age. She will be responsible for short and long-term creation and strategic design of curricula, as well as represent the JBFC and Media Arts Lab at education and 21st century literacy conferences, nationally, and internationally. In addition, Kahn will oversee course consistency and compatibility, working with over 20 educators who teach at the Media Arts Lab. The Media Arts Lab offers on-going semester long classes, one-time workshops, intensive workshops, and weekend programs for children and adults of all ages. Professional faculty lead courses in animation, editing, acting, scoring, cinematography, and more. Kahn received a BA in 1995 from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002, and has had fellowships at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, Yale University’s Genocide Studies Program, and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada. An award-winning filmmaker, she has worked as a producer and editor on numerous films, videos, and multi-media projects. She has taught at City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, the University of California, San Diego, and Hampshire College. The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a nonprofit cultural arts organization dedicated to: presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy, and making film a vibrant part of the community. Located on a 47,500 sq. foot, three-building campus in the center of Pleasantville, the JBFC is just 30 miles outside of New York City. To learn more about the Jacob Burns Film Center and Media Arts Lab, visit

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West Brighton Albany enforcer sees budget stalemate, envisions role for unions By Judy L. Randall March 11, 2010, 12:40AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A top Albany enforcer seemed to offer scant hope yesterday that the state Legislature would pass a budget by the April 1 deadline, and he suggested that labor unions ultimately would have to "step up" as they did during the city's fiscal crisis more than three decades ago. But Angelo (Butch) Aponte of West Brighton, secretary to the state Senate, stopped short of suggesting union givebacks to help plug the state's $9.4 billion budget hole. Advance file photo

"In 1975, labor unions stepped up to rescue the city from bankruptcy," said the Democrat Aponte, who is in the middle of an appointed two-year term as Senate gatekeeper. "They put their pensions into play. Now? I don't know. We have [labor] leaders who have been through an economic downturn but don't have that history" of having helped to bring government back from the financial brink. Democrat Angelo Aponte of West Brighton, the appointed secretary to the state Senate

Neither, he noted, do their memberships."There has to be a partnership between labor and government," he added. "We are all in it together." Aponte said that because "the numbers have changed" for the worse since Gov. David Paterson proposed his budget in January, it "has caused us to re-look at the numbers and take a pessimistic, or conservative, look at revenues," because past revenue projections didn't materialize. Complicating on-time passage of the budget, he said, is the Passover-and-Easter period later this month and early next, during which little might be accomplished by lawmakers. Still, he said, senators are "mindful of meeting debt-service requirements. If they don't, it will impact the state's credit rating enormously." Aponte said it was "difficult to say" whether the state would have a budget by April 1, the start of the new fiscal year. "The only thing worse than having a bad budget is having a late bad budget," he said. "We have to fashion a budget that, while painful, will maintain core services." Aponte is a former city and state commissioner and one-time College of Staten Island vice president. He said that because education and health care account for 80 percent of state expenditures, deep cuts in those areas are inevitable. "Any cuts" to the New York City schools "will have a dramatic impact," he acknowledged, and said suburban school districts that have been sitting on millions of dollars in rainy-day funds must realize "we are in for a nor'easter."

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He said cuts in the health care system would run the gamut from nursing homes to assisted living facilities to upstate hospitals currently "operating at the margins." Aponte also painted a bleak economic picture nationwide, saying the Wall Street "rebound" is "dry, really flat, with no jobs." "It's like saying the patient went from being extremely critical to being critical but stable," said Aponte. "But the patient is still critical. The economic tsunami is about to hit: Forty of the 50 states will be buffeted by it," including New York. He said New Yorkers are "fortunate" to have Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch leading budget efforts because of his "history" during the 1975 crisis, with labor unions and in city and state government. Yesterday, Ravitch proposed a five-year financial plan that included borrowing up to $2 billion over each of the next three years and creating a financial review board. Aponte said he wasn't sure whether lawmakers would go for a financial control board -- to which they'd have to sign off and which would reduce their ability to control the flow of school aid and other monies. He said the Paterson scandals notwithstanding, "the governor has been consistent in his budget message from the beginning" about not spending what the state doesn't have. While Aponte called the investigations of the governor "a distraction," he said lawmakers "are really focused on the critical issues." "The state Senate and the Assembly are moving forward to see how deep the budget crevice is," said Aponte. "They know they have to make cuts without tearing the safety nets of the people who can ill afford to be back on the streets." He gave shout-outs to four of the borough's six-member state delegation for their focus on budget issues, including state Sens. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) and Assembly members Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) and Matthew Titone (D-North Shore).

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Alison Bernstein Receives American Council on Education's Lifetime Achievement Award By Ford Foundation Posted March 11th, 2010 by Ford Foundation

Alison R. Bernstein, vice president of the Ford Foundation's Education, Creativity and Free Expression program, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Council on Education (ACE) on March 6. NEW YORK, 11 March 2010 — Alison R. Bernstein, vice president of the Ford Foundation's Education, Creativity and Free Expression program, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Council on Education (ACE) on March 6. The award paid tribute to her remarkable career in academia, leadership in the field, and committment to strengthening higher education. Bernstein was presented the award at the ACE's Women's Leadership Dinner in Phoenix, Ariz. "Alison has supported women, especially women of color, throughout her career and has worked tirelessly to provide leadership training and career development opportunities to ensure their success in higher education administrative positions,” ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said in a news release. Bernstein is responsible for grant making in education, scholarship, media, religion, arts and reproductive health and rights at Ford, where she has served 13 of her 28-year tenure as program vice president. She has also held leadership and teaching positions at Princeton University, Sangamon State University (now the University of Illinois, Springfield) and Staten Island Community College (now the College of Staten Island, City University of New York). The American Council on Education is a leading higher education organization in the United States that represents and coordinates nearly 2,000 accredited colleges and universities, as well as higher education-related associations, organizations and corporations. The 92-year-old organization's member institutions serve 80 percent of college students today. News Source : Alison Bernstein Receives American Council on Education's Lifetime Achievement Award

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Physicians buoy Island economy By Frank Donnelly March 12, 2010, 1:27AM

Anthony DePrimo/Staten Island Advance Dr. Vincent Calamia of the Amboy Medical Practice, talks with assistant Shawn Hynes.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- Staten Island doctors and their staffs not only save lives and treat sick patients, they pump more than a half-billion dollars into the borough's economy, a survey says. According to a study commissioned by the state medical society, the 437 private doctors' offices here in 2008 accounted for $579 million in gross revenue, including $22 million in sales to suppliers and other businesses. "This translates into real money going into the local economy to pay the rent or mortgage, buy groceries, put gas in the car and buy from local retailers," said Dr. Leah McCormack, president-elect of the state medical society and a Queens-based dermatologist. "While the focus of local physicians and their staff is alleviating pain and getting people better, we seldom recognize that these team members also ... are part of the local economic backbone," she said. Dr. McCormack said the group will distribute the results of the $50,000 study, which breaks down doctors' financial impact on 61 New York counties, to lawmakers, regulators, the governor and patients. They want legislators to consider private-practice doctors' contributions to local and state economies when weighing health-care reform and health-spending cuts. Doctors contend that high malpractice-insurance premiums and stagnant service-reimbursement rates are driving scores of physicians out of state.

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"It's not just a doctors' issue, it's a local economic issue when we're being frozen from getting increases from insurance companies," said Dr. Vincent J. Calamia, president of the Richmond County Medical Society. "The bottom line is that private-practice physicians are a huge portion of small business throughout the state and particularly on Staten Island. It's a huge [economic] driver." Among New York industries in 2008, private-practice physicians placed second in total business establishments, sixth in total employment, seventh in total personal income and 13th in total corporate sales, said the study. Statewide, private-physician practices employed almost 330 thousand people and generated more than $4.5 billion in state tax revenue and almost $4.7 billion in local tax revenue. Those numbers are expected to increase. On the Island, the collective 4,416 private-practice physicians and staff members account for about 3 percent of workers in the borough, said the study. In 2008, they earned nearly $396 million, or more than 6 percent of total income garnered on Staten Island. Doctors and their staff shelled out more than $115 million in local and state taxes, including sales, gasoline, property and income taxes, the survey determined. The $579 million in gross revenue borough doctors took in was lowest among the five boroughs. Manhattan topped the chart at $6.3 billion. However, Staten Island was in the middle of the city pack, at $1.3 million, when considering the average amount each doctor's office puts into its county's economy. Dr. McCormack said the study was compiled from data obtained from various public sources, including the federal Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Jonathan Peters, a professor of finance at the College of Staten Island, worries that the health care sector plays too large role in the borough's economy. Staten Island's two hospital systems employ another 7,700 people. Peters said Census Bureau data for 2006-08 estimates that 26 percent of workers on the Island -- a significantly higher number than determined by the medical society -- were employed in health care. "It's a very, very weak job base. I'd be happier if we had a more diverse job base outside of health care, education and not-for-profit companies," said Peters. "I consider this more of a secondary sector as compared to trade, commerce and finance." Peters said health care depends on government spending and patients securing insurance benefits through other jobs. Medical program cuts or deep job losses in other industries could hamstring a health care-reliant economy. "Where do you get the money to pay for health care?" he asked.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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City Tech To Hold Program on Progress Of Brain Research by Brooklyn Eagle (, published online 03-15-2010

Student-Run Mind Games And Serious Medical Talks DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -- In celebration of Brain Awareness Week (BAW), New York City College of Technology (City Tech) will offer a symposium to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research, on Thursday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the college's Atrium Amphitheater. Titles of the talks include: "Alzheimer Disease: Mechanism of Fading Memories," "Taurine Modulation of Insulin" and "Neurotransmitter Regulation of Hemodynamics: Novel Role of GABA." The symposium's organizers are City Tech Biological Sciences Professors Nasreen S. Haque and Niloufar Haque and Biology Professor Abdeslem El Idrissi of the College of Staten Island. The day before the symposium will be devoted to fun-filled student activities focusing on the brain's role in who we are. There will be mind games, IQ tests, virtual images, films, an information desk, coffee tasting and cup cakes galore (courtesy of human anatomy and physiology students), arts and crafts, dance lessons and performances. Students will give talks on the effect of food and drink on the brain, coordination and the brain, learning-memory and behavioral patterns, among other topics. "Our students will be the teachers on this day," says Professor Niloufar Haque. "We have students from other colleges coming in to participate, including Touro College, St. Francis College and City College." New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) is the largest public college of technology in New York state. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The College enrolls 15,400 students in 60 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs. An additional 15,000 enroll in continuing education and workforce development programs. Located at 300 Jay St. in Downtown Brooklyn, City Tech is at the MetroTech Center academic and commercial complex.


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[March 16, 2010]

The New York Times Announces ESOL Teacher of the Year Award Winner NEW YORK --(Business Wire)-- The New York Times announced today that Meg Frost is the winner of the 2010 ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Teacher of the Year Award. Ms. Frost is a lead ESOL teacher at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. During the selection process, the committee noted her collaborative efforts with civic and volunteer organizations to engage her students as well as her commitment to furthering their professional development.

Now in its fourth year, the ESOL award program recognizes educators who have consistently excelled in helping adult students learn English and develop the skills they need to create successful new lives in the United States. In addition to the winner, The Times is also recognizing four outstanding ESOL professionals. The honorees are Caryn T. Davis, CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) instructor, College of Staten Island; Thomas A. Miller, teacher and teacher trainer, the Riverside Language Program; and Hsiao-wei Yang, ESOL instruction coordinator, The Door. The Times will give a special acknowledgement to the late Dr. Linda Ann Kunz, adjunct associate professor, The English Language Center, LaGuardia Community College, for the important role she played in the lives of students and her leadership in the ESOL/adult literacy field.

"The New York Times is pleased to present Ms. Frost the 2010 award for her outstanding work in the ESOL adult education field," said Diane McNulty, executive director, community affairs and media relations, The New York Times. "She and our other honorees represent the extraordinary work ESOL instructors are doing in this field to help students build new lives and become successful contributors to our city and country." Ms. Frost and the honorees will be recognized at a special ceremony at The New York Times Building on Tuesday, March 16. Ms. Frost will receive a $2,500 cash prize and a commemorative plaque. Ms. Davis, Mr. Miller, Ms. Yang and a 40 of 162

representative for Dr. Kunz will receive certificates and gifts from The Times. Later this spring, CUNY-TV's "EdCast" program will air interviews with Ms. Frost and the three honorees. All ESOL teachers who provide instruction to adult students in New York City, Nassau and Westchester counties were eligible for consideration. The nomination period ended on Feb. 5, 2010. Nominators included students, teaching colleagues and administrators. The winner and honorees were chosen by a selection committee of distinguished ESOL advocates: Susan Dalmas, Queens Library Susan Gitman, The New York Public Library David Hellman, City University of New York Paul Kim, the Mayor's Office of Adult Education Elizabeth Lewis, Brooklyn Public Library Martin G. Murphy, Long Island Regional Adult Education Network Robert Nechols, Westchester Community College Elke Apelbaum Savoy, NYS TESOL To learn more about the winner and honorees, please visit The Web site also hosts additional information about The New York Times Community Affairs department programs. About The New York Times Company The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2009 revenues of $2.4 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including, and The Company's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment. This press release can be downloaded from

Copyright 2010 Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC) - All rights reserved

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Lecture at Wagner College tonight covers sociology of disease By Tevah Platt March 16, 2010, 3:18PM GRYMES HILL-- Among the most prevalent theories discussed in today’s college classrooms is social constructionism, which poses that categories like "race" and "gender" aren’t fixed descriptions of reality, but are the shifting products of social forces, historical contexts, and human choices. That notion gives scholars pause, too, over concepts of health, where words like "epidemic," "obesity," or even "disease," can be charged with political and cultural, as well as scientific meanings.

A new book edited by Ananya Mukherjea examines the concept of epidemics.

Sociologist Ananya Mukherjea will speak on the sociology of epidemics tonight as part of Wagner College’s Academic and Cultural Enrichment Lecture Series. The discussion: "The Sociology of Pandemics: The Way Social Power Shapes the Trajectory of Disease" will be held at 7 p.m. in Spiro Hall of the Grymes Hill campus. The event is open to the public.

Dr. Mukherjea, a professor from the College of Staten Island’s Women’s Studies Program and Department of Sociology, will speak about the intersection of gender and medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, flu, depression and obesity, all of which have been labeled as "emerging epidemics." Dr. Mukherjea edited "Understanding Emerging Epidemics: Social and Political Approaches," a collected volume published last month to offer empirical and theoretical approaches to the sociological study of health. The term "emerging epidemic" is a bit controversial, according to Dr. Mukherjea, who said her book examines the concept of epidemics, the politics of managing them, and "behavioral or psychological conditions such as depression and obesity that are called epidemics but may or may not be." Proponents of the weight-acceptance movement, among others, have argued that the "obesity epidemic" is bogus, that evidence fails to correlate moderate obesity with poor health, that the measure of obesity is arbitrary, and that attitudes toward obesity are tainted by cultural concepts of class, beauty and social status that favor thin people. Alexa Dietrich of Wagner College’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology will be the respondent at tonight’s event, sponsored by Drs. Amy Eshleman and Jean Halley of Wagner College. © 2010 All rights reserved.

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News New Presidents or Provosts: Arapahoe CC, Manhattanville College, North Carolina A&T State U., St. Mary's College of Maryland, Spalding U., U. of Maryland-Baltimore March 16, 2010 • Linda Thompson Adams, dean and professor of nursing at Oakland University, in Michigan, has been selected as provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at North Carolina A&T State University. • Diana Doyle, executive vice president of learning and student affairs at Community College of Denver, in Colorado, has been appointed president of Arapahoe Community College, also in Colorado. • Tori Murden McClure, vice president for external relations, enrollment management, and student affairs at Spalding University, in Kentucky, has been promoted to president there. • Jay Perman, dean and vice president for clinical affairs at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, has been chosen as president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore. • Gail M. Simmons, dean of science and technology and professor of biology at the College of Staten Island, in New York, has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at Manhattanville College, also in New York. • Joseph R. Urgo, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Hamilton College, in New York, has been named president of St. Mary's College of Maryland. — Doug Lederman

© Copyright 2010 Inside Higher Ed

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NATURE NOTES ~ It's Really Cold Out There Article published Mar 18, 2010 Al Burchsted

The cold winter across the northern hemisphere has triggered a new rash of claims that global warming is a media and political hype. While we in Connecticut shovel and Florida crops freeze, the southern hemisphere is baking in their summer, our western states are experiencing more storms than usual, and Vancouver has had one of its warmest winters on record with hummingbirds failing to migrate south to the U.S. The northern hemisphere has had the second largest amount of snow cover on record, Arctic ice has become thicker than it has in five years, but the Antarctic ice sheets and South American glaciers are melting at their fastest known rates.

Warming and Cooling Cycles are the NormWhen we look at the geological and weather data, it is obvious that temperatures vary in cycles. The periods of these cycles range from 24 hours to millions of years. Although the forces that cause this cycling are too numerous to describe here, they include the daily rotation of the earth, yearly movement of the earth around the sun, multi-year cycles of sunspots, changes in atmospheric levels of gases over hundreds to millions of years, and sporadic volcanic and meteorite activity.

Climatologists generate simplified computer programs to examine the effects of many of these and attempt to predict future changes in climate as a result of these cycles and possible perturbations of them, but their models are simpler than the real world and, like all computer models, are constrained by the researcher's understanding of the interactions and choice of which factors to include in the equations. Thus, the models predicting the scope of the influence of human generated perturbations on climate (such as increased CO2) may suggest a stronger or lesser influence than would actually occur depending on how close the sum of the model represents the real world situation, and I am not going to discuss the influence of CO2 on climate here other than to say it does have an effect on warming trends, but probably not as dramatic as the media and World governments imply.

Weather Can Be Cold in a Global Warming CycleAs strange as this seems, the bulk movement of air masses can cause southward movement of Arctic air and northward movement of Antarctic air resulting in cooling of high latitude regions during the winter and summer as a result of other areas becoming intensely warm. To explain this, we have to look a bit at the movement of air through the atmosphere. In this age of television and nightly weather reports,

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most of us are aware that: Weather patterns move generally in a west to east direction because the moving air above it, the jet stream, is pulled to the east by the friction of the earth's rotation. This is the Coriolis effect. The jet stream can suddenly plunge southward, carrying cold Arctic air deep across the U.S.often into Florida as it has done this year. What many of us are not aware of is: As air warms near the equator, it rises above the cooler air in the middle atmosphere and spreads out from the equator toward the poles. When this air cools at the poles, it drops back to the earth's surface, pushing the jet stream southward. The warmer the air at the equator, the stronger this effect is, and the farther south the jet stream moves.

How el Nino Affects US WeatherWhen the temperature of the Pacific Ocean is higher than normal, the warm water pushes eastward across the Pacific (because water also exhibits a Coriolis effect), warming the air above the ocean, and climatologists say there is an el Nino event. The stronger the el Nino, the warmer the air becomes at the equator, and the farther south the jet stream is pushed.

Because of the el Nino, the warm air over the Pacific rises and moves toward the North Pole. The Coriolis effect pushes this air mass eastward so that when it cools over the North Pole, it begins to descend over the Bering Sea and Alaska. This pushes the still warm Pacific air onshore along the Canadian and northwestern coasts, giving them a warmer, wetter winter than usual. The Coriolis effect carries the descending mass of cold air over the western Canadian Rocky mountains, pushing Arctic air southeasterly across the plains provinces and states, driving snowstorms and cold temperatures deep into the south and across the eastern part of both countries.

As a result of a slow-developing el Nino over the past several years, the jet stream has stayed much farther south than in previous years. Thus, although the Earth's overall temperature is warmer than normal this season, our past several summers and winters have been cooler than normal. With the el Nino strengthening this past summer, we are experiencing this winter much more cold and snow than usual, and our local weather does not reflect the planet's thermal load. Present predictions are that this year's el Nino may continue to intensify over the upcoming summer. If so, this will continue to drive the jet stream southward and we can look for another cooler than normal summer followed by another colder and wetter winter. Yet, the overall effect is that the Earth's average temperature would become even warmer than usual.

It is possible that the widespread snow coverage over the northern hemisphere will reflect enough solar radiation that the el Nino will not continue to intensify and our summer and winter

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temperatures will return to normal. But the el Nino did not diminish with last year's increased snow cover, and our best computer models do not predict next month's weather reliably-let alone next summer and winter's weather. Perhaps as we learn more about the manifold interactions and tweak our predictive programs, we can come to a better understanding of weather patterns and make reliable predictions-both of weather and climactic changes.

Albert Burchsted is a field biologist recently retired from the College of Staten Island, part of the City University of New York. He lives in Niantic and can be reached via e-mail atÂ

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NJ transit agencies' overtime up By LARRY HIGGS â&#x20AC;˘ TRANSPORTATION WRITER â&#x20AC;˘ March 18, 2010

Two state transportation agencies both relied heavily on increased overtime spending to move the masses last year, payroll records showed. Workers at both NJ Transit and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority saw more money in their takehome pay and from overtime in 2009 than in 2008, an Asbury Park Press analysis of payroll records found.

help close a $300 million revenue gap. "We will be reducing services by four percent across the board," Bassett-Hackett said. "Some of the reduction will come in union and nonunion employees." Overtime is more cost-effective than hiring new workers, with their benefit and pensions costs, said Joe Orlando, Turnpike Authority spokesman. Most of the authority's overtime increases are due to snow removal, he said. Jay Corbalis, a policy analyst for NJ Future, said NJ Transit has to look at personnel to help close a budget gap and loss of state subsidies that have the agency proposing 25 percent fare increases.

And workers at both agencies augmented their base salaries with overtime measured in the tens of thousands of dollars for many. Overtime at the Turnpike Authority increased by $3.1 million between 2008 and 2009, to a total $13.6 million. Overtime at NJ Transit was up by $4.6 million for the same time period, to a total of $118.5 million.

"Reducing operating costs and personnel is a large part of what NJ Transit will have to shrink to handle that loss of state subsidy," Corbalis said.

"The increase in overtime coincided with service increases and additions," said Penny BassettHackett, NJ Transit spokeswoman. "We've increased s ervice significantly on both rail and bus sides and we need to staff to maintain that service."

While upcoming reductions are praiseworthy, it's hard comparing authorities and agencies to determine which has the best operating practices and is the most efficient, said Jon Peters of Fair Haven, a professor of finance at The College of Staten Island.

Rail and bus operations had the highest overtime, followed by NJ Transit police. Prior to the recession, NJ Transit broke its own ridership records in fiscal year 2007-08 with 259.7 million passenger trips. With a 4 percent drop-off in ridership as the economy tanked, NJ Transit plans to cut 200 jobs to

Comparisons difficult

"The general question is, are the people getting the highest return on their dollars sent to government agencies?" Peters said. "It's hard to answer, there are a lot of irregularities. Different agencies have different structures and it's hard to get a grip on who has the best practices." While overtime is seen as preferable to hiring more

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help by both agencies, experts disagreed whether overtime is an accurate gauge of efficiency. "The question has to be, is it necessary? What's the purpose of the overtime?" Peters said. He also questioned how the agencies' salaries compare to those paid in the private sector. "The problem is we have salary creep in government and authorities." Use of overtime isn't an indication of bad management and is commonly used by t ransportation agencies, said Martin Robins, executive director of the Voorhees Transportation Institute at Rutgers University. "A need to cover a particular assignment was there, the numbers don't tell everything," Robins said. "It's micromanaging in the extreme to look at the cases and say that is a bad management judgment." NJ Transit's calculations reflect that the agency had 11,833 positions in 2008 and grew to 11,841 positions in 2009, Bassett-Hackett said. By contrast, payroll records showed the Turnpike Authority has reduced positions from 2,315 in 2008 to 2,270 last year. The Turnpike Authority â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which operates both the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has reduced staff by 483 positions since 2003, when it merged with the New Jersey Highway Authority.

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Council of Negro Women will honor founder, activists By Staten Island Advance March 21, 2010, 6:02AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) is hosting its 28th annual luncheon and celebrating its fifth Harambee Celebration Saturday, March 27 at 11:30 a.m. in the Staaten. Tickets are $60 for adults and $30 for children under 18 years old. To purchase a ticket, contact Paulette Crosland at 718-370-8311. Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk, vice president of student affairs at the College of Staten Island (CSI), will be the guest speaker. The first African-American to hold the post of vice president at CSI, she is a scholarpractitioner who continues her research into the influences that affect the success of African American students and the practical applications that will help narrow the gap in college attendance and graduation rate between them and white students. Harambee, which means "pulling together" in Swahili, is a Kenyan tradition of building community through events that range from fund-raisers to development activities. The NCNW was founded by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator, who encouraged members to "... have confidence in one another, thirst for education, respect the use of power, have racial dignity, live harmoniously with our fellow men and to realize we are responsible for our young people." The NCNW will honor members of the community for their outstanding service. In addition, high school students will receive the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Acheivement Award for their essays on service to school, community or church. The Women's Bar Association will be honored for its commitment to strengthening the community of women so they can give back to the community and fulfill their personal goals. Anne Taylor, president of the association and court attorney in Brooklyn Criminal Court, will accept the award. The Staten Island Hurricanes Football League was founded by brothers Anthony and Sam Barnes to provide positive role models and a beneficial outlet for young boys in the community. The teams have competed in and won numerous championships, the most recent being last season's midget division, 14 to 15-year-old boys, clinching the Little League National Football National Championship. Marilyn Damon of St. George, who retired from the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a physical therapist assistant, is an accomplished soprano. She has performed in numerous recitals, singing both classical songs and Negro spirituals. She volunteers her time and talents to many civic and social organizations. Melvin Issac, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, is a therapeutic art teacher who works as a Uth Turn outreach coordinator and mentor at St. Philip's Baptist Church, Port Richmond. Uth Turn is a prevention and intervention program for at risk youth. Issac helps young people discover and enhance their artistic abilities. Kamillah M. Hanks is the executive director of the Downtown Staten Island Council, a nonprofit organization that works for the economic development and economic revitalization of the North Shore business district and surrounding neighborhoods. As director, she is spearheading a youth council, ArtSpaces and the Downtown Drive-in Movies. Shawn Denise Landry is youth organizer and intern coordinator for the Liberty Partnerships Program at the College of Staten Island. She is one of the co-founders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Step Up - Speak Out youth summit, part of her dedication to the value of a well rounded education and communication skills. The students who exemplify a thirst for education and strive to become adults who make a difference are:

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Kellie Alexis Bute, 16, a junior at Michael J. Petrides High School where she is a member of the Air Force JROTC and the Key Club, a service organization; Adrianne Charles, 15, a sophomore at Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, New Springville, where she is a member of the peer mediation group. A member of Girl Scout Troop 6513, she volunteers at Clove Lakes Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, Castleton Corners. Kidane Kinney, 16, a junior at Curtis High School where she works on the school newspaper and yearbook and plays lacrosse. Chairwomen of the event are Paulette Crosland of Westerleigh, who is a retired banker with JP Morgan Chase, and Carolyn Spann of Tompkinsville. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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State seeks to cut $$ for GED testing By Amy Padnani March 22, 2010, 2:12AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- State officials have proposed a drastic cut in funding for GED testing, making it difficult for Staten Islanders to gain access to an already beleaguered system. The proposal comes weeks after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn vowed to help thousands more people across the city realize the benefits of a GED, a certification of high school-level academic skills, through a three-tiered outreach plan. According to officials, the state Board of Regents proposed a $1.5 million, or 38 percent, reduction in funding, to $2.4 million from $3.9 million, to help close the state's $9 billion budget deficit. The money is typically used to reimburse testing centers for the cost of renting classrooms, hiring proctors and other administrative tasks. "It's a pretty devastating cut for not a lot of savings," Ms. Quinn said. "And it will have a tremendous impact on people's ability to take the tests." NO OTHER PLACE A spokesman from the state Education Department said there was no other place to trim their budget. "There aren't any other measures that we can take at this time," said Jonathan Burman, the spokesman. "Terminating the contracts is painful for all, but we thoroughly vetted all alternatives and this was our only option." Last year, 55,796 people across the state took the GED, 2,317 of them from Staten Island, according to Burman. Of those, 48 percent passed.

AP file photo "It's a pretty devastating cut for not a lot of savings," said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. "And it will have a tremendous impact on people's ability to take the tests."

Though it costs centers $20 to process each exam, there is no charge to people who want to take it. That means people repeatedly taking the test without studying for it, contended Donna Grant, director of the adult learning center at the College of Staten Island, which issues 97 GED exams per year and has a waiting list of 150 applicants. People are only allowed to take the tests three times per year.

Many times, Ms. Grant said, people will take a practice test and find that they're at a third- or fourth-grade reading level. But instead of enrolling in a basic education, they sign up to take the test and fail. "People are taking the test who are not prepared to take the test," Ms. Grant said. "I think the state feels, in the financial straits they are in right now, to continue to pay $20 per test, particularly for people who are going to take the test over and over and over again who are not in a prep program, that it's sort of ridiculous. I see the state's side, I really do. But there are states that charge a fee of test candidates so they wouldn't be so quick to take the test again every time they fail." Ms. Grant said rather than cutting funding, there should be a push to get people into prep programs. Without that, testing centers are liable to offer fewer tests, making it harder for people -- dedicated or not -to find a way to take them.

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It's already difficult for borough residents to find a place to take the exam, said Prince Cobbina, a personal advocate with the Achievement in Career and Education program, a GED prep program based at CSI. "We have to outsource students to Brooklyn and Manhattan," he said. "It's going to make it hard for us. It takes so much motivation just for them to come to classes, then we have to send them across the water to take the GED."

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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College Board Awards 2010 Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing Posted March 26th, 2010 by collegeboard

Six teachers have been awarded the fifth annual College Board Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing. The grants recognize exceptional teachers for using innovative methods to inspire their students to write.

NEW YORK —Six teachers have been awarded the fifth annual College Board Bob Costas Grants for the Teaching of Writing. The grants recognize exceptional teachers for using innovative methods to inspire their students to write. The award was created to support teachers and to thank Bob Costas, the Emmy Award–winning broadcaster and author, for his generous public service work on behalf of the National Commission on Writing. Each winner receives a grant of $3,000. “We are honored to recognize these exceptional teachers for their innovative practices and for the powerful impact they are having on the lives of young people,” said College Board President Gaston Caperton. “Writing is a difficult subject to teach, but a critical skill for success in college and the workplace. We applaud these teachers for going above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate the value of strong writing skills.” One grant recipient or teaching team was selected from each of the College Board’s six regions:

Midwestern Region: Keri Grady, an English teacher at Saint Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, Ohio, teaches multimedia journalism. Her students write and produce stories to educate their audience and illustrate their perspective on contemporary issues. Her curriculum includes oral history projects and writing children’s books to learn about narratives. The students develop presentations in print, broadcast and electronic media, and publish on the Internet using websites, blogs, a community wiki, podcasts, and streaming audio and video. “Embedding writing tasks within an engaging task like video production is like shredding veggies into the brownie mix — sneaky, but effective,” she said.

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Middle States Region: Nancy Kaplanis a world journalism teacher at the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, which is located in New York City. Kaplan’s students collaborate with student-writers from other nations to produce an international report on topics including the war in Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and teen life in various cultures. Students from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Belarus, Switzerland and Germany have contributed articles to the school publication,The International Insider, on subjects ranging from global warming to a profile about a local poet. To prepare for their writing and editing work, students in Kaplan’s classes study journalistic writing, narrative nonfiction, rhetoric and interviewing techniques. They learn about the production process, from pitching a story to seeing it published. Southwestern Region: Lynne Dozier, an AP® English Language and Composition teacher at Klein Forest High School in Houston, Texas, sponsors the student art and literature anthology called theAquilas Stilus, which means “the eagle’s pen” in Latin. The student publication is in its 17th year, and manuscripts are chosen in order to reflect the diverse voices and creative talents across the high school. Each edition involves more than 300 students, who act as editors and staff members, writers and artists. More than 300 copies of the anthology are distributed each year to students, patrons, teachers and administrators. The anthology is also entered in regional and national contests. Western Region: Eric Gutierrezof Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., uses blogging to encourage his seventh-grade history students to organize and articulate their ideas about historical and current events. Posting their work online gives added incentive, he said, for students to improve their critical thinking and writing skills. When the students present facts and analysis in each assignment, they benefit from constructive criticism offered by their peers. This grant will help Gutierrez expand to an international collaborative website for students around the world to share their writing on historical and contemporary subjects. Southern Region: Gabriel Ortiz, education program director at Oasis Middle School in Bradenton, Fla., developed writing as an outlet for students attending the charter school. Ortiz leads two major projects in the Writing Workshop at Oasis: a school book and a theatre production. The school book,Seen but Not Heard, allows students to share personal stories. The book is used as a fundraiser and also as a mentor text for other children. The theatrical series,Take!is a drama production examining issues teens are facing.

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New England Region: Patricia Pflaumer, an English Language Arts teacher at Abington High School in Abington, Mass., leads an effort called Students Write to Be Heard, or SW2BH. The goal she sets for her students is for them to have written work published during the school year, whether in a literary magazine, school newspaper, or writing conference or contest. Through Students Write to Be Heard, Pflaumer’s students learn about the query and editing process. They develop writing skills as well as confidence and pride in their talents, especially when they are recognized outside of class.

The National Writing Commission  The College Board established the National Commission on Writing in 2002 to create more national support for the teaching of writing. Costas, an eight-time Sportscaster of the Year, has supported the commission’s work by producing a national public service announcement encouraging young people to develop strong writing skills. Teachers of grades 6–12 from any discipline, in both public and nonpublic schools, are eligible for the Bob Costas Grants, as are writing programs that take place within schools or the community. For more details about the annual award program,

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Mayor's man favorite for Charter post By Peter N. Spencer March 30, 2010, 12:09AM

Peter McDermott / Irish Echo Sources tell the Advance that Francis S. Barry, (above) one of Mayor Bloomberg's closest aides, is poised to become the director of the Charter Revision Commission.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- One of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's closest aides is the leading candidate for director of the Charter Revision Commission, a move that could spell trouble for Staten Island leaders who are seeking more local control. Numerous sources tell the Advance that Charter Revision Commission Chairman is ready to tap Bloomberg top policy adviser and speechwriter Francis S. Barry for the most critical staff position on the panel, which has been charged with reviewing and proposing changes to the Charter, the municipal equivalent of the U.S. Constitution. Several City Hall insiders and close observers of the Charter revision said the selection would be bad news for the Island and other boroughs, which are seeking more input on land use, traffic and other issues. "If they choose someone from inside the mayor's circle, we are going to get exactly what the mayor wants," said Jeffrey Kroessler, a historian, author and political science professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice who used to be at the College of Staten Island. The executive director is one of the few full-time, paid positions on the Charter revision commission, serving as both a key consultant and chief of staff to the chairperson, overseeing the panel's day-to-day operations. "The person they appoint will determine whether the commission is going to be serious about the issues and intent on seeking changes, or just a vehicle that is trying to push through a pet peeve of the mayor, like 58 of 162

getting rid of the public advocate," Kroessler said. Kroessler and others believe the mayor wants nothing to do with decentralizing city government. On the contrary, they said he would love to take community boards out of the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP), especially in wake of the battles fought over the Atlantic Yards and waterfront development in Brooklyn. Some cautioned not to jump to conclusions about what Barry's appointment would mean, citing Goldstein's reputation as independent. It is noteworthy, one insider said, that Goldstein appointed CUNY General Counsel Rick Schaffer as General Counsel to the 2010 Charter Revision Commission over Anthony Crowell, the mayor's counsel. "Barry is the preference for a number of [Charter commission members]. He has a great working knowledge of the Charter," the insider said. Barry was the research director for Bloomberg's 2003 Charter revision commission, which proposed nonpartisan elections. He served on that commission with GOP County Clerk Stephen Fiala, the lone Island representative on the current commission. The non-partisan referendum in 2003 failed, prompting Barry to write a book, "The Scandal of Reform," which argues that good-government groups undermined the efforts. Barry was also a press officer and policy analyst at the city's Campaign Finance Board. He joined Bloomberg's staff in 2002. It is unclear whether Barry will be given free rein to hire his own staff, or Goldstein will do so himself. The panel gave Goldstein, who is the Chancellor of the City College of New York (CUNY), sole authority to name the executive director and any Charter revision commission staff at its first meeting, which was March 18. Islanders will have an opportunity to weigh in as to what direction the commission will take during a public hearing in the borough. That hearing has been tentatively scheduled for April 6 at Curtis High School in St. George. The commission hopes to wrap up all of its hearings in time to get referendums on this November's ballot. City Council Minority Leader James Oddo (R-Mid-Island) and colleague Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore) want the panel to slow down to give the issue of local control a fighting chance. Appointing someone so close to the mayor would severely hurt those chances, they said. "Someone who is fed by the administration is going to have an awfully difficult time professing his objectivity," Ignizio said. "It's like a new book on the Titanic. Maybe it's got some new pictures, but the ending is the same."

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Alma Baseball begins Spring trip with a 5-4 loss to College of Staten Island The Alma College Baseball team began the 2010 season on Monday afternoon in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and dropped a tough 5-4 decision to the College of Staten Island (NY). The Scots will resume play tomorrow, when they take on Eastern University (PA) at the Ripken Sports Complex. Starting Pitcher Jr. Sam Shipman (Traverse City, MI/Traverse City) went five scoreless innings and did not give up a run. Staten Island was able to score four times against Scots Pitcher Jr. Corey Brohl (Richmond, MI/Richmond) in the bottom of the eighth inning, leading up to an exciting last frame. After the Scots were not able to score in the top of the ninth inning, Staten Island came to bat with a chance to win. Alma lost the game on a game-winning walk-off home-run by the Dolphins that that gave them the 5-4 victory. Box Score Posted: Mon, March 1st, 2010 at 8:40PM Â

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Women going to the ‘ship By Spence Packer Assistant Sports Editor Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 Updated: Monday, March 1, 2010

The women’s basketball team continued their trend of beating teams in the post-season by exactly 20 points. Wednesday’s semi-final game against the College of Staten Island, which was held at City College, ended with a final score of 82-62. The Bearcats came out shooting approximately 31 percent as opposed to the Dolphins superior 37 percent. However, the Bearcats bested the Dolphins with regards to free throws making 60 percent, approximately 17 percent better than the Dolphins. The first half of the semi-final was CUNY MVP and Baruch star Monique Salmon’s first half back in the game after an ankle injury. In that half, she hit four out of 12 field goals and six out of seven free throws. In the second half, the Bearcats hit approximately 57 percent of their field goals, compared to the Dolphins’ 33 percent. Yet Baruch hit about 54 percent of their free throws as opposed to CSI’s 80 percent. The game ended with a score of 82-62. The three captains of the team, Christina Kelly, Kalea Davis and Salmon each shot 14 points. “We had too many turnovers,” said Davis. The team had 22 turnovers as opposed to their average 20. Despite coming out slowly and having more turnovers than usual, the team stayed focused, pulled together and managed to make a scoring run in the second half for a positive result. The final game against Hunter College will take place on Feb. 27, at 3 p.m.

Denis Gostev | The Ticker

After a season of dominace, the women find themselves competing for a championship against Hunter after beating CSI, 82-62.

Joseph, reflecting on the remainder of the post season, noted, “If we fail it’s because of us, not because of what another team will do to us. We have to understand that we control our own destiny.”

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The View From the Cheap Seats Sports Heroes are Everywhere; If You Know Where To Look by Eddie Mayrose (, published online 03-04-2010

There were seven minutes left in the CUNY Women's basketball semifinal when the College of Staten Island suddenly found itself in a battle. What had looked to be an easy win was now in jeopardy as visiting York had whittled a twenty two point deficit down to ten and taken hold of the momentum of the game. Then CSI senior guard Mallory Ameneiros, with five of her ten teammates on the bench in street clothes, decided that this was not to be her last college game. It was a decision she'd made twice before, but this time, it was made on the court; not in a doctor's office. Ameneiros, a basketball lifer, had enjoyed a stellar career at St. Peter's Girls High School; one of the city's best programs, before coming to CSI. A point guard with terrific court sense and a feathery jump shot, she missed most of last season after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in December and undergoing reconstructive surgery in January. Despite the severity of the injury, an exhaustive rehab stint had her ready for the team's opener on November 18th; the first game of what would be her final season. Or so she thought. Early in that game, Ameneiros tore the ACL once again as well as the medial meniscus in the same knee. Devastasted, she resigned herself to the fact that her college basketball career had ended and, as a team captain, set about the business of supporting her coaches and younger teammates. "We missed her terribly", said CSI assistant coach Tim Shanahan. "We were now without a true point guard and forced to shift players out of position. Worst of all, though, was losing Mallory's leadership on the floor." What the CSI women didn't know at the time, however, was that Amaneiros' injury would be the first of many that would gradually whittle the roster down over the course of the year. By mid-season, the Dolphins, who somehow remained near the top of the standings, were dressing just eight players. Then their captain visited her doctor. Assured that she could do no further damage to the knee and that pain management would be her only issue, Ameneiros informed her stunned coaches that, in fact, she still had some basketball left to play. And, on January 13th, less than two months form the injury, she returned to the CSI lineup, albeit cautiously. "My doctor warned me that I won't be able to be the player I once was. Ill go to do something on the court that I know I'm capable of doing but my knee won't allow me to. I've had to just come to grips with it, but its still hard." She played sparingly at first, as she and her coaches tried to figure out how much she could handle. That plan went out the window when two more women went down for the season, sending CSI into its first round playoff game against York with an active roster of just six. A solid first half that saw the Dolphins build a sizable lead soon gave way to a second stanza that was less than impressive. As York crept closer, there was a sense that CSI was running out of gas; that the fast pace and depleted roster would be too much to overcome. Enter Ameneiros. "I knew I wanted to attack. I figured I would attack and get fouled and be able to build the lead further and further. My coaches also told me to keep driving because they weren't really pressuring the ball or playing help defense. So that's why I drove to the basket every chance I got." The plan worked to perfection as Ameneiros hit all ten of her foul shots over those final seven minutes and carried her teammates into the next round. That CSI fell to Baruch in the semi finals is a minor detail when compared to the lasting impression left by Ameneiros on her coaches and teammates. "We came to CSI at the same time", said Shanahan, "so I've seen how much she's grown. To see how Mallory supports her teammates, works with our younger players and provides such leadership, it makes you so happy that she was able to come back because you know what it meant to her." "She's a wonderful person who's become one of my favorite players." As for Mallory, the last month of her basketball career is something she'll treasure forever. "Every game I played after I re-tore my knee the second time was a game I never thought I'd get back. I'm really grateful that my doctor cleared me to come back and give it a shot. I was well aware that at any given moment I might not have been able to physically push any more, so that's why I took advantage of every second I was on the court." A fortunate thing, I guess, for everyone associated with the women's basketball program at the College of Staten Island. It's an old saying among athletes that there's nothing better than being called a "great

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teammate". Try and find someone who won't say that about Mallory Ameneiros. © Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2010 All materials posted on are protected by United States copyright law. Just a reminder, though -- It’s not considered polite to paste the entire story on your blog. Most blogs post a summary or the first paragraph,( 40 words) then post a link to the rest of the story. That helps increase click-throughs for everyone, and minimizes copyright issues. So please keep posting, but not the entire article. arturc at

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It's all about community at Tennis Center By Danny Colvin March 04, 2010, 3:54PM

Jan Somma-Hammel Mat Buxbaum, left, and Jim Barton blend their distinctly different talents for the benefit of the tennis community.

WILLOWBROOK - When you walk into the Staten Island Community Tennis Center you know instantly this place was not a misnomer. Through a myriad of activities — women’s leagues, group/individual instruction, students/kids feasting at the bagel counter — there is an organization to this busy universe where above all — to borrow a tagline from Cheers — everybody knows your name. Community is exactly what this 12-court (six indoor/six outdoor) facility housed snugly on the College of Staten Island’s Willowbrook campus exudes and that mantra seeps down from the head: Randall Manor’s Jim Barton and Castleton Corners’ Mat Buxbaum, the two most visible owners and day-to-day honchos. “It is like a community,” says Barton, a teaching pro whose history dates back to the early ‘70s and a rivalry and playing partnership with legend Claude Schoenlank. “We encourage the (CSI) students to get involved, the (CSI men’s and women’s) teams have developed very nicely, and everyone and everything works well.” Because of Barton-Buxbaum and the other owners’ mindset and foresight, the SICTC has not fallen into the financial/apathetic pitfalls of other city boondoggles where absentee owners allow the clubs to literally crumble. “These are seven partners, friends and family, who took a huge gamble,” added Barton. “But more than just a business, we love the game and saw a desperate need for indoor courts on Staten Island.”

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Like Rome, the SICTC was not built in a day either. The bureaucratic hoop jumping and CSI’s early wariness made the tedious process nerve-racking. But, like in William Shakespeare‘s play, “All’s Well That Ends Well.” Barton and Buxbaum realized a dream ... and a career. The pair brought its enthusiasm and experience from a defunct West Shore Tennis Club — where Barton first taught an intuitive Buxbaum in one of the junior programs — and made this idea work from Day One, nearly seven years ago. “It all happens with a tremendous staff,” Buxbaum says of instructors Chris Kim, Paul Ricciardi, Carissa and Kathy Sommerlad, Vlad Sergeev, Konstantin Trofimovich, and Arthur Velnick, who are aided by a knowledgeable and courteous front desk of Sandy Kane, Mort Wasserman, Karen DeMary, Taylor Maron, and Carol Brady. “We’ve developed a relationship of trust and used a long-term approach and I feel Staten Island has benefited.” Whether it’s hosting USTA Eastern Section junior or Staten Island Men’s/Women’s Singles tourneys, the midday or weekend open courts, the popular eight-week summer junior program, the Saturday night pasta/tennis parties, the 6 a.m. Sunday NYJTL clinics, or just accommodating those Filipino priests and friends, they all call SICTC home. “We bring different things to the table,” Barton admits about the symbiotic father-son relationship between Buxbaum and him. “Mat is young and energetic, I bring more experience. We have different styles on the court. Sometimes we don’t agree but in the end we get it done.” “The people who work here and those who come to play here make this a great job,” adds Buxbaum, who remains active in the SITA tournaments. “I never thought I could make a livelihood out of tennis until this. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.” Besides their friendly and skillful dispositions, the duo belies the complexity and skill needed to make an operation like this work. To make everyone — students, the college administration, the Dolphin teams, the customers/camps/tourneys, employees, the Island community — happy is a juggling act. “Sure, it takes planning and many times thinking on your feet to accommodate,” admits Buxbaum. “But in the end, we try to make it work out. “The people who come through here make this job worthwhile. I look at all the young kids who have developed into high school players and the men/women who play during the week. It’s nice to develop the kind of relationship where you get to know (your customer) them and vice versa. It’s lasting and satisfying. Why would I want to do anything else?”

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Softball looks for a ‘frosh’ start By Lillian Rizzo Managing Editor Published: Monday, March 1, 2010 Updated: Friday, March 5, 2010

As the Bearcats get ready for the 2010 season, the edge that will put them above the other CUNY Athletic Conference teams comes down to mainly one thing: options. With 19 players now on the squad, all of them are talented in multiple positions and have different things to offer to the new dynamics of the women’s softball team. “The big plus about our team is that everyone is versatile and everyone can play different positions,” said assistant coach Penny Weiner. “We still don’t know who will be starting, [so] everyone gets a fair shake in deciding.”

Denis Gostev | The Ticker

With five new freshman on the team, and two key players returning, the Bearcats are looking to regain the prominence they once had in the CUNYAC this season.

They finished last season with an overall 19-21 record, plagued by the loss of two key players and small numbers. They ended their playoff run against Hunter in the third-round shut out 3-0. “I think we have a lot of players. If injury takes its toll on us, we know we have a solid bench,” said captain and senior Melissa Pena. The shortstop of last season finished with the leading team stats. She posted a .477 average, 15 RBIs and a .533 slugging percentage. Not only has the team increased by five players, two women from last year will be returning, whose departure left the team weakened and unable to make the finals. Ashley Brandow was a “pivotal player” as a freshman, said Weiner, but transferred out of the school last year. She is returning this year to Baruch and will be back on the team. As the team lost Brandow last year, they also lost Idelissa Lluveres to an injury. She is now ready to take the field. Aside from these two comebacks, recruiter and assistant coach Anthony Rodriguez found five freshmen to join the team as well. “The returning players have been a really good mix with the freshmen,” said Weiner. Pena feels the team’s biggest challenge is learning how to play together on the field. Nevertheless, Weiner feels “the chemistry has been very good” among the women. Ending last year on a sour note, the Hunter Hawks and the College of Staten Island continue to be the main teams to beat this season. “We know that Staten Island will be Staten Island and Hunter will be Hunter,” said Weiner. “These are traditionally good programs and we don’t expect anything less. We are looking forward to the challenge and playing them.” But the players’ confidence doesn’t have them focusing on what teams to watch out for. “We don’t like to worry about what other teams are doing,” said senior Dania Ghrawl, an outfielder last season. “Our defense is the best, our fielding is amazing and we have really big hitters this year.” Hunter and CSI are not the only CUNYAC opponents to look out for. Weiner says John Jay gave them some competitive games last year (although Baruch defeated them in round two last season) and Brooklyn College is going to be a better team with a new coach. Still, Weiner, assistant coach for nine years, is singing the same tune of confidence as the players. “I believe we are going to turn some heads.”

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The team will have an influx of five pitchers; two are freshmen, and two new outfielders. Pena believes that once the team gets used to playing with each other, they will gel by the playoffs and see the championships. However, bringing home the CUNYAC trophy is not the Lady Bearcats’ only priority. “We are looking to get the respect we deserve from the athletic department,” said Ghrawl, as she crossed her fingers. “Everyone keeps saying ‘This is the year, this is the year’ and we just want to prove them right.”

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CYO cheerleading competition set for tomorrow at CSI By Staten Island Advance March 05, 2010, 7:46AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The much-anticipated CYO cheerleading contest takes place tomorrow, starting at 9 a.m. at the College of Staten Island’s Sports and Recreation Center, Willowbrook. Tickets can be had at the door for $10 or by calling 718-420-0829. The program begins with the high school varsity competition: First up is Notre Dame, followed by St. John Villa, St. Joseph Hill, St. Joseph by-the-Sea and Moore Catholic. Junior varsity is up next, featuring St. Joseph by-the-Sea. The elementary varsity teams vie for the glory starting at roughly noon. St. Christopher’s novice team starts the show. They will be followed by the “small” teams of St. Adalbert, Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Sacred Heart, St. Charles, Holy Child and St. Patrick. Next come the “large” elementary varsity teams of St. Joseph-St. Thomas, St. Rita, St. Clare, Our Lady Help of Christians and Holy Child. The debs take the stage starting at 3 p.m. Novice teams kick off the show, with St. Charles, Our Lady Queen of Peace, St. Adalbert and St. Patrick. The regular teams go in this order: St. Charles, then Blessed Sacrament, Holy Child, St. Clare, Our Lady Help of Christians and Our Lady Star of the Sea.

Staten Island Advance/Derek Alvez St. Joseph-St. Thomas won in the elementary school novice division in the CYO Cheerleading competition last year.

The biddys will perform beginning at 6 p.m. Three teams from Our Lady Star of the Sea go first, followed by St. Adalbert, Our Lady Queen of Peace, another Our Lady Star of the Sea Team, St. Rita, Our Lady Help of Christians, Blessed Sacrament, St. Clare, Holy Child, St. Joseph-St. Thomas and St. Christopher. Spectators will notice, when they enter the venue, signs indicating which directions the teams will be facing as they perform the routines. This will help people select seats for viewing. © 2010 All rights reserved.

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St. Joseph Hill brings it on at CYO Cheerleading Competition By Peter N. Spencer March 06, 2010, 6:25PM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance St. Joseph Hill High School varsity reacts as they learn they just edged out St. Joseph by the Sea 272-270 to take first place in the CYO Cheerleading competition at the College of Staten Island.

It was the Staten Island cheerleading equivalent of the Miracle on Ice, when the upstart U.S. hockey team beat the heavily favored Russians in the 1980 Olympics. Except, the gymnasium at the College of Staten Island in Willowbrook may have been even louder when the varsity squad of St. Joseph Hill pulled off a surprising upset of borough heavyweights St. Joseph-by-the-Sea at the 54th annual Staten Island Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) Cheerleading Competition today. When the announcement was made that the Arrochar girls team edged out their rivals from Huguenot by two points, 272-270., the gym erupted in cheers and high-pitched shrieks. Groups of Hill cheerleaders clung to each other, jumping up and down; others rolled on the mat in rapture; while some cried tears of joy. Prior to the announcement that her team had won, Hill coach Michelle Lynch, who was training the varsity squad for the first time this year, said she was pleased with their performance. "I think my team did an awesome job," Ms. Lynch said. It's been a rough year. We've had a lot of injuries."

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This year's competition included about 1,200 athletes, from first graders through seniors in high school, and about 4,000 screaming fans. Moore Catholic, Graniteville, came in third in the large squad division, with 245 points. Notre Dame Academy, Grymes Hill, won the small division with 260, ahead of St. John Villa, which scored 242. Sea will have an opportunity for revenge, when it faces off against the same squads in two weeks at a competition in Fordham University. That will include teams from the Archdiocese of New York, which includes Westchester County, the Bronx, Manhattan and counties upstate. Island cheerleading squads always fare well at the state level, partly because the borough competition is so fierce. Teams here prepare all year round - with tryouts starting in April leading to summer camps and intense winter practices - for three minutes of glory at the CYO competition at CSI. "It is the single largest sports event on Staten Island. There is nothing like it," said Joe Panepinto, who has overseen the cheerleading competition for 31 years. But parents also praise the sport because it helps teach their children focus, discipline and teamwork. They also learn about charity through fund-raising drives, and bond with each other in a way that doesn't often happen in other sports. "It's great for them. They have too much time dedicated to this team to be distracted by other things," said Anne Burgio of New Springville, whose daughters Taylor, 10, and Brittney, 9, are cheerleaders for the St. Rita's School varsity squad. And despite its name, cheerleading is hardly a spectator sport. Most of the girls involved at the upper levels train 40 hours a week. They suffer bruises, breaks, sprains and pulls just like their counterparts in other sports - as evidenced by the numerous knee-braces, ankle wraps and bandages yesterday. "The girls work really hard, especially in the weeks leading up to the competition," said Prince's Bay resident Dawn Ghirardi, whose daughter Nicole is in her third year on the Moore Catholic varsity team. Ms. Ghirardi admitted, however, that she was a bit taken aback the first time she experienced the deafening sound of the crowds at the CSI gym. "It gets really crazy, but I love it," she added.

Here's a photo gallery of today's competition:

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Hundreds of youngsters taking part in Staten Island CYO cheerleading competition By Staten Island Advance March 06, 2010, 8:30AM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance Moore HS varsity cheerleader team in the CSI parking lot as they arrive at the CYO cheerleading competion.Seen here are, Stephanie Cianci 18, Sara Jacobi 16, Kaitlyn Penzynski 15, Noelle Falco 14, Jenna Telese 14, Samantha Bono 15, Jasmine Fiore 17, Tara Baiano 15, Amanda Lynch 16.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Make way for the real March Madness. The 54th Staten Island Catholic Youth Organization Cheerleading Competition is taking place at the College of Staten Island's Sports and Recreation Center in Willowbrook today and hundreds of the borough's most talented youngsters will be taking part. Click here to see what teams will be competing.

We'd like to invite coaches, participants, relatives and friends to share their photos and video for all of Staten Island to see. Just go to and to upload to our online home.

To see the Photo Gallery Click Here

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Staten Island youth sports roundup for March 14, 2010 By Staten Island Advance Sports Desk March 15, 2010, 9:40AM ICE HOCKEY Red Devils win, 10-8 BAYONNE — A.J. Bellman and Nick Pellicio scored two goals each as the Red Devils beat the White Stars 108 in a Force Youth Hockey League Mite-Squirt game. Austin Benscher netted two for the losing team. YOUTH BASKETBALL St. Teresa’s wins in semis St. Teresa’s defeated Epiphany (Manhattan) in Catholic Youth Organization Tyro Downstate semifinal play late Saturday. *** Joey Tucker and Dylan Simpson combined for 20 points as the JCC topped Holy Family 31-20 to win the Small Fry B title of the Steve Fertig Memorial Tournament at the South Shore JCC. Alice Harrison and Jamie Moriarity led the defense as Staten Island Academy defeated the JCC 14-4 in a third-place girls’ Varsity contest. Steve Fertig Memorial Tournament Boys Small Fry B JCC 31, Holy Family 20 Girls Varsity SIA 14, JCC 4 Mike Mouton Tournament Boys Small Fry B Holy Family 28, St. Rita’s 16 FLAG FOOTBALL Rams topple Dolphins Michael Early ran for two TDs and quarterback A.J. Fontanarosa had one as the Early Plumbing Rams downed the Dolphins 18-12 in a 9/11 Memorial Flag Football League Junior contest. Gavin Touhey (INT) and brothers Sean and Ryan Greaves starred defensively. 9/11 Memorial Flag Football Big Nose Kate’s Falcons 39, Packers 6 Prime Estates Chargers 34, All County Outdoor Services Redskins 14 Mc-Fer Service Station Raiders 22, Sunrise Baking Chargers 16 Total Concept Border Repair Giants 26, Barbara Corregano Realty Cowboys 14 Azzara Funeral Home Eagles 36, Ariana’s Catering Bills 8 Early Plumbing Rams 18, Dolphins 12 Giants 50, Bears 42 SWIMMING Hill posts victory

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St. Joseph Hill defeated Our Lady Star of the Sea/Staten Island Academy 180-126 in a Staten Island Grammar School Swim League meet at the College of Staten Island’s Willowbrook pool. Triple winners for Hill were Emma DeFreitas, Hannah DeFreitas, Sarah Afif, John Afif, Hailey Brereton, Timothy Brereton, Alec Sperandio, Christian Hoyek and Joseph Onah. Our Lady Queen of Peace dunked Petrides 197-164. OLQP had three wins apiece from Gemma Cammarata, Peter Clark, Victoria Moylan and James Pepel. Francesca Gallelli, Allison Zaets and Alex Cozzo had wins for Petrides. Notre Dame Academy defeated St. Ann’s 229-176. NDA’s Catherine London, Colleen Connors, Meghan Wren, Olivia Schubert, Katherine Fafian, Olivia Flagiello, Hallie Tiburzi and Mia Flagiello had three wins each. Nicole Cusumano was the lone St. Ann’s triple winner. St. Charles bested St. Teresa’s 203-144. The Oakwood school’s triple winners were Matt Hederman, Steve Lagomarsino, Kim Spina, Drew Babicke and Taylor Orsino. SI Grammar School Swim League SJ Hill 180, OLSS/SIA 126 OLQP 197, Petrides 164 NDA 229, St. Ann’s 176 St. Charles 203, St. Teresa’s 144 GYMNASTICS Sconzo grabs firsts DEER PARK, L.I. — Athletic Edge’s Madison Sconzo won firsts in the vault (9.150), uneven bars (6.550), balance beam (8.90), floor exercises (9.375) and the all-around (33.975) in Level 7, 6-10s competition at the Heartland Classic. Bella Mannas took second in every event in the same age group. Gina Tucker (Level 8, 36.8), Giuliette Gaudioso (Level 4, 9-10s, 37.55) and Mary Girgis (Level 4, 6-8s, 35.85) finished first all-around for JCC Richmond Gymnastics, which finished second as a team in Level 4 and Level 7. Heartland Classic Athletic Edge Level-7 Ages 6-10 Vault: 1. Madison Sconzo, 9.150; 2. Bella Mannas, 9.05 Bars: 1. Sconzo, 6.550; 2. Alex Matarrazzo and Mannas, 6.30 Beam: 1. Sconzo, 8.90; 2. Mannas, 8.225 Floor: 1. Sconzo, 9.375; 2. Mannas, 9.175; 3. Matarrazzo, 8.975 All-around: 1. Sconzo, 33.975; 2. Mannas, 32.75; 3. Matarrazzo, 31.675 Ages 11-up Floor: 3. Isabella Kwasnik, 9.325 All-around: 5. Kwasnik, 35.2 JCC Richmond Gymnastics Level-8 Bars: 1. Tucker, 9.5 Beam: 3. Tucker, 9.4 Floor: 3. Tucker, 9.125 All-around: 1. Tucker, 36.8 Level-7 Vault: 3. Alexandra Haimowitz, 9.075 Bars: 3. Sabrina Loiacono, 7.8 Floor: 3. Haimowitz, 9.4 All-around: 4. Haimowitz, 35.175 Level-6

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Vault: 3. Rheannon Loffredo, 7.9 Bars: 3. Loffredo, 7.25 Level-4 9-10 All-around: 1. Giuliette Gaudioso, 37.55 6-8 All-around: 1. Mary Girgis, 35.85 TENNIS Racquets finish second The Richmond Racquets 12-under silver team lost to the first-place National Tennis Center 36-18 to finish in second place in the USTA Eastern Metro Region Winter League Junior Team Tennis League. The local squad, whose lone win was Meisha Woseley’s 5-4 victory in girls’ singles, will play in the Regionals April 26 at the Riverside Park Clay Courts in Manhattan. Singles: Girls: Meisha Woseley (RR) def. Victoria Bialezak, 5-4. Boys: Nasser Ghaffar (NTC) def. Sam Vagner, 5-4; Pete Siozios (NTC) def. Kemal Aziz, 7-2. Doubles: Girls: Bialezak and Michelle Sorokko (NTC) def. Chloe Trang and Miriam Aziz, 7-2. Boys: Alden Radoncic and Ghaffar (NTC) def. Philip Belmatch and Aziz, 8-1. Mixed Doubles: Adam Borak and Martina Czoermik (NTC) def. Vagner and Aziz, 5-4. BASEBALL Jack Cust Indoor Tournament RCBC Americans 8, Tigers Sports Club © 2010 All rights reserved.

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After the storm, College of Staten Island baseball team left with a big mess By Danny Colvin March 16, 2010, 9:50AM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance The left field fence at the College of Staten Island baseball field was badly mangled in this weekend's storm.

The wild and unrelenting winds, which wreaked havoc throughout the Island, did not leave the College of Staten Island baseball complex unscathed. “Mother Nature threw us a curveball,” said Dolphin coach Mike Mauro after surveying Saturday night’s damage to the Willowbrook field. CSI’s new $5,000 infield tarp was “ripped to shreds” and three poles in the left-field bullpen area were “taken right out of the cement.” MORE STORM COVERAGE Staten Islanders to get power back by Thursday City finally hears Staten Island's cry for help PHOTO GALLERY: After the storm Across the city, 90,000 still without power Pols make case for SI to be declared a disaster area “We had spikes, which held the tarp down, create six-inch holes and the 25-pound bags (also anchoring the tarp) were tossed around like confetti. “The storm was really amazing. I was there on Saturday — a double-header with NYU-Polytech was postponed — and everything was fine. But when I came back on Sunday, it was incredible how strong the

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wind was.” But it could have been worse. The field, according to the second-year mentor, is in top shape. “I’ve been on the phone with the athletic department and the Building and Grounds people have done a great job maintaining the field.” The Dolphins do not play until Saturday, going to Riverdale to face Mount Saint Vincent in a non-conference twinbill. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed, but I feel optimistic about playing on Tuesday,” Mauro said about a home doubleheader against New Paltz. “There’s some work to be done, but I have faith we’re going to play.”

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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College of Staten Island swimmers back at nationals By Staten Island Advance Sports Desk March 18, 2010, 9:52AM MINNEAPOLIS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Three College of Staten Island swimmers competed yesterday as the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships opened at the University of Minnesota. Junior Nikolay Shevchenko (1 minute, 53.75 seconds) finished 23rd and sophomore Vladislav Romanov (1:55.44) was 35th in the 200-yard individual medley. Shevchenko swims the 100 butterfly today and 200 butterfly tomorrow. Romanov has the 100 backstroke tomorrow and the 200 back Saturday. Also yesterday, Pavel Buyanov (21.84) was 45th in the 50 freestyle. The junior will try for his third straight national title in the 100 breaststroke tomorrow and the 200-yard breaststroke Saturday.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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SIA File BUYANOV: Going for third national title

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CSI swimmer Buyanov falls short in quest for third straight title By Staten Island Advance March 20, 2010, 11:05AM MINNEAPOLIS — The third time wasn’t the charm for College of Staten Island swimmer Pavel Buyanov in the 2010 NCAA Division III Championships Friday night at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The two-time reigning national champion in the 100-yard breaststroke fell short in his bid for a third title when the junior finished fourth in the event with a time of 55.27 seconds. Kenyon College’s David Lazarus won the event in 54.70 followed by College of New Jersey’s Myles O’Connor (55.15) and Whitworth’s Rory Buck (55.25). Buyanov, who set an NCAA record of 54.27 during last year’s championships, was seventh in the preliminaries after a 56.27 performance. Meanwhile, fellow Dolphin Vladislav Romanov was 16th in qualifying for the 100-yard backstroke with a 50.83 clocking before improving his performance in the consolation final. The sophomore finished in 14th place while completing the race in 50.72 seconds. Lastly, junior Nikolay Shevchenko (1:53.19) was 17th in the preliminaries of the 200-yard butterfly and did not qualify for the event’s finals. BASEBALL Wagner 11, Richmond 9 Advance file photo Pavel Buyanov finished fourth in the 100yard breaststroke.

RICHMOND, Va. — Junior Brian Martutartus blasted a two-run homer in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Seahawks to a comefrom-behind victory at Pitt Field.

The host Spiders (8-8) held a 4-1 lead after three innings before Wagner (2-7) jumped ahead 5-4 in the fifth with three runs on Gaby Ramirez’s two-run double and Martutartus’ run-scoring single. After the Seahawks stormed ahead 8-7 in the eighth on Vin Avella’s two-run homer, Richmond countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame. However, the Grymes Hill squad forced extra innings when Martutartus — who led off the top of the ninth with a double — scored on a one-out error. David Rees, who allowed two runs (both unearned) on one hit in three innings, issued a two-out walk before closing out the game to improve to 2-1 on the year. Jon Lucas, Avella and Ramirez had two hits apiece. WOMEN’S LACROSSE St. Francis (Pa.) 13, Wagner 12, OT LORETTO, Pa. — Seahawk junior Karen Vitkus scored with 34 seconds left in regulation to knot the game at 11 and then Wagner notched the first goal of the extra session on Krista Malayter’s tally. However, the Red Flash picked up scores with 12 seconds remaining to lift St. Francis (Pa.) to the win in both teams’ NEC opener.

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Malayter finished with three goals while Carolyn Clark and Dana Marchitelli added two goals apiece. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Staten Island youth sports roundup for March 21, 2010 By Staten Island Advance Sports Desk March 22, 2010, 10:01AM GYMNASTICS De Meno sisters shine NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Annadale residents and sisters Brittanie and Lauren De Meno excelled at the New Jersey State Championships at Rutgers University. The De Menos — who represent the American Gymnastics Academy in South Plainfield, N.J. — both qualified for the Region 7 championships in three weeks in Chesapeake, Va. Brittanie, age 17, competing in Level-10, scored a fourth place on the vault (9.150); fourth on floor exercises (9.175); eighth on the balance beam (8.35) for a fifth-place all-around score of 35.175. Lauren, age 12, had an all-around score of 34.775 while competing in Level-9. In Level-8, Danielle Scribani was sixth on floor (8.85) and had an all-around score of 33.7.

Staten Island Advance file photo by Derek Alvez With a fifth place finish in the all-around competition, Brittanie De Meno qualified for the Region 7 competition.

*** SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Emily Kuhn, a 16-year-old Silver Lake resident, made the New York State Regional team after earning an overall score of 34.0 at the Level-9 New York State championships. YOUTH BASEBALL RCBC sweep ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Lorenzo Quinn had four hits and six RBI and Devin Agosto notched the victory with three innings of relief as the Richmond County Baseball Club topped the Howard County Raiders 17-8 in the Annapolis Open 11-under division championship game. Annapolis Open Richmond County Richmond County Richmond County Richmond County

Baseball Baseball Baseball Baseball

11, Calvert 3 9, Gambrill 3 5, BBC 0 17, Howard County 8

SOCCER Horizon a winner GLEN COVE, L.I. — Christopher Treglia scored three goals and Piero Fratto netted a pair as the Silver Lake Horizon downed the North Shore Crazy Eights 6-1 in a State Cup boys’ under-9 game. *** Alexis Krumrey scored three goals while Julia Deale and Christina Brennan netted one each as the Staten Island Alliance Fury downed Brooklyn United 8-1 in a Cosmopolitan Soccer League girls’ under-10 game at Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

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State Cup Boys Under-9 Silver Lake Horizon 6, North Shore Crazy Eights 1 Silver Laka Adriatic 6, Plainview/Old Bethpage 2 Cosmopolitan Soccer League Girls Under-10 SI Alliance Fury 8, Brooklyn United 1 YOUTH SOFTBALL Blue take two OLD BRIDGE, N.J. — The New York Panthers Blue won 2 of 3 games during the Old Bridge Friendly 12-under tournament yesterday. Danielle Messina hurled a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and Jamie Holmes (two hits, three RBI) supplied the offense as the Panthers blanked the Port Washington D-backs 9-0. In another contest, winning pitcher Shannon Damon (six Ks) had two hits and two RBI and Nina Russo knocked in two runs as the Panthers downed the Warren Lady Diamonds 8-2. Old Bridge Friendly N.Y. Panthers Blue 8, Warren 2 N.Y. Panthers Blue 9, Port Washington 0 Bergen 7, N.Y. Panthers Blue 6 TENNIS Aziz moves on BOGOTA, N.J. — New Springville resident Kemal Aziz reached the quarterfinals of the boys’ 10-and-under division of USTA Eastern Section Level 2 before dropping a 6-0, 6-1 decision to top-seeded Grant Amerling of Carmel, N.Y. at the Bogota Tennis Center. ICE HOCKEY Titans capture crown Steve Doyle scored three goals and Frank Lewery excelled in net as the NY Titans captured the March Madness Pee Wee Tournament including a 7-0 win over the Prince William Panthers in the final. TAE-KWON-DO Big day for Smith Twelve-year-old Dimitri Smith, representing Conroy’s Exclusive Tae-Kwon-Do, captured gold in sparring and forms in the yellow/green belt division of the N.Y. Sport Tae-Kwon-Do Commission at Queens College. In the same division, Josef Horvath, 11, took a bronze in fighting and sparring. Vincent Amoia, 12, took a silver in forms in the blue/brown belt division Chazz Chambliss, 8, won a silver in sparring in the red belt division, while Brooks Ingram, 21, won a gold in sparring. In the brown belt division, Michael Cottone, 8, and Joseph Cottone, 11, both took bronze in fighting. Duane Connor, 28, captured a gold in fighting in the blue belt division, while Andrew Mazza, 14, netted bronze in fighting as a black belt. The team is coached by Master Michael Gregotowicz and his asssistant Sean Jackson. FLAG FOOTBALL

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A-Team prevails Joe Irlinger, Jesse Matuza, Andrew Russo, Bobby Alberino and Paul Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agnese each scored a toucdown as the A-Team Fitness Cowboys topped the Paper Solve Software Cowboys 32-22 in a 9/11 Memorial Flag Football League Major contest. The Azzara Funeral Home Eagles improved to 3-0 with a 26-12 win over the Early Plumbing Rams in Senior Minor/Freshman play. 9/11 Memorial A-Team Fitness Cowboys 32, Paper Solve Software Cowboys 22 Azzara Funeral Home Eagles 26, Early Plumbing Rams 12 Towne Deli and Pizza Saints 24, Falcons 0 SWIMMING Sacred Heart rolls Steven Driscoll, Casey Ann Riley, John Paul Hoey and Elizabeth Althoff were each triple winners as Sacred Heart topped Petrides 200-156 in a CYO swim meet at the College of Staten Island. *** Ariel Okhtenberg, representing the Blue Arrow Swim Club, placed first in the 50, 100 and 200 yard breaststroke at the Metropolitan Junior Olympic Trials.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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UWO tennis splits double dual Northwestern Staff â&#x20AC;˘ March 23, 2010

Robbie Price was the only University of WisconsinOshkosh tennis player to win both of his matches as the Titansâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; split of a double dual against College of Staten Island and Grinnell College on Monday. The Titans cruised past Staten Island, 9-0, then fell to Grinnell, 7-2, for their second loss in three matches after an eight-match winning streak.

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Staten Island sports bulletin board: Info on hockey, softball and tennis leagues By Staten Island Advance Sports Desk March 26, 2010, 9:30AM NYIHA spring league The New York Ice Hockey Association JV spring league for boys and girls begins April 12. Seventh and eighth grade students as well as high school students from a school without a hockey program are eligible. Full teams will be accepted and individuals will be placed on teams. Contact Dan Enriquez at 718-966-6050. Softball players needed A Varsity Premier League men’s softball team needs position players and a pitcher. The league begins April 11 with all games played on Sundays at 11:30 a.m. at several locations. Interested players should call 646506-6784. Youth hockey registration Staten Island Roller Hockey (215 Schmidts Lane, Castleton Corners) will hold registration and open skate for individuals and complete teams on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for high school division (ages 14-19). Call Mike Cartolano at 347-733-2652. Softball league The James and Joanne Tabeek Memorial Softball League is accepting teams for its weekday and Saturday men’s and coed divisions. There are also openings for its Sunday doubleheader division. Call 718-987-2818. Tennis classes The Staten Island Community Tennis Center, located at the College of Staten Island in Willowbrook, is offering beginner classes for adults and children on Tuesdays and Saturdays beginning April 20. The cost is $160 for eight weeks. For registration or information, call 718-982-3355. © 2010 All rights reserved.

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Rain does a number on college sports schedule By Bernie Augustine March 30, 2010, 1:23PM The rainy and windy conditions have led to the postponement of several college sporting events involving borough teams scheduled for today. The College of Staten Island's baseball game slated for 4 p.m. today at NYU-Polytech has been called off with no makeup date announced. The Dolphins also called off tomorrow's softball doubleheader at Richard Stockton; no makeup date has been announced. The men's tennis match at the National Tennis Center will be played indoors. Wagner College's baseball game at Rutgers has also been washed away. The game will be made up back at Rutgers on May 4. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Staten Island Advance file photo by Hilton Flores CSI teammates Steve Hession and Devon DiCasoli, right, will have to wait another day to get a shot at NYU-Polytech.


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Meetings held over proposed MTA service cuts  Monday, March 01, 2010  Eyewitness News  NEW YORK (WABC) ‐‐ The MTA is proposing a wide array of service changes and levels of service  changes.    Fare changes include discontinuing or reducing the half‐fare discount for eligible students. It's also  proposed to discontinue or reduce the full‐fare discount for eligible students.    The Rockaway/Broad Cannel resident rebate program could also be discontinued.    Subway service changes could include:    Discontinuing "G" service between    Court Sq and Forest Hills‐71 Ave at all times.    Discontinuing "W" service, extending "Q" service to Astoria during the hours the "W" line currently  operates, and operate "N" local as well.    In Manhattan north of Canal St., Discontinue "M" service, and extend "V" service from the Broadway‐ Lafayette St. to Metropolitan Ave.    Discontinuing Staten Island Railway baseball special service.      MTA bus service changes could include:    In the Bronx, discontinuing the Bx14, Bx18, Bx25, X32, BxM4A, BxM7B and the Barretto Park Pool bus  services.    Discontinuing the Bx20, Bx33, Bx34, and Bx55 on weekends.    Discontinuing the Bx34 overnight. Reduce operating hours on Bx17, Bx20, Bx32, Bx33 and Bx55.    Re‐route or discontinue portions of the Bx5, Bx8, Bx26, Bx28, Bx30 and Bx41.    Extending a portion of the Bx39.    In Brooklyn, Discontinuing the B23, B37, B39, B51, B71, B75, B77, X29, X37 and  X38.   

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Discontinuing the B2, B24, B69, X27 and X28 on weekends.    Discontinuing the B7, B31, B45, B57, B64, B65 and B67 overnight.    Reducing the operating hours on B2, B9, B11, B13, B16 and B24.    Reroute or discontinuing portions of the B1, B3, B4, B8, B12, B13, B48, B64, B69, B70, and Q24. Extend  portion of B57, B61, B69, X27 and X28.    In Manhattan, discontinuing the M6, M18, M27, M30, B39, B51, X25 and X90.    Discontinuing the M8, M21, M22, M50, Bx20 and Bx33 on weekends.    Discontinuing the M1, M8, M16, M22, M50 and M66 overnight.  Reducing the operating hours on the M11, M20, M21, M98, M100, M116, Bx20 and Bx33.    Reroute or discontinue portion of M1, M3, M5, M9, M10, M15, M21, M22, M42, M98 and M104.   Extending portions of the M5 and M20.   In Queens, discontinuing the Q14, Q42, Q74, Q75, Q79, Q89, QM22, QM23, X32 and X51.    Discontinuing the Q31 and Q76 on weekends.    Discontinuing the Q30 overnight.    Reducing the operating hours on Q26 and Q48.    Discontinuing a portion of the Q24.   In Staten Island, discontinuing the S42, S60, S67, X6, X9, X13, X16, X18 and X20.   Discontinuing the S54 and S76 on weekends.   Reducing the operating hours of S54, S57, S66 and X1.   Reroute or discontinue portion of S40/90, S52 and X14.   In Nassau County, discontinuing the N3, N17, N26, N28, N53, N65, N66, N67, N87, N88, N93, N94 and  N95.    Rerouting or discontinuing portions of the N1, N2 and N23.    Reducing operating hours on the N14 and N62.   On the LIRR, discontinuing weekend service on West Hempstead branch.  Reducing weekday off‐peak & weekend service on Port Washington branch from half‐hourly to hourly.  

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Discontinuing service to Belmont station except for Belmont Stakes.    Discontinuing service between Greenport and Ronkonkoma except during summer weekends.   There are seven remaining public hearings on the proposed MTA service cuts.  Tues, 3/2/10   College of Staten Island Springer   Concert Hall, 1P Building   2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island     Tues, 3/2/10   Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel   Phoenix Ballroom   135‐20 39th Avenue, Flushing, Queens     Wed, 3/3/10   The Paradise Theatre   2403 Grand Concourse at 187 St, Bronx     Wed, 3/3/10   Brooklyn Museum   Cantor Auditorium,    200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn     Thurs, 3/4/10   Holiday Inn‐  Suffern 3 Executive Boulevard, Suffern     Thurs, 3/4/10   Fashion Institute of Technology   Haft Auditorium, Seventh Avenue   at 27 Street, Manhattan     Monday, 3/8/10   County Center‐Riverhead   Suffolk County Legislative Auditorium   Evans K. Griffing Bldg 300 Center Drive,   Riverhead, Long Island     The MTA board vote is scheduled for March 24th.  (Copyright ©2010 WABC‐TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.) 

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Locations for MTA Public Hearings on Service Changes, Student Fares Updated 5:00 PM EDT, Mon, Mar 1, 2010

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will host a series of nine hearings throughout the MTA’s service territory beginning on Monday to collect public comment on a series of proposals for service changes and changes to student fares and crossing charges. These changes would help to close a $750 million budget shortfall due to State funding cuts and loss of tax revenue. “We’ve had to make tough choices to reduce our cost structure,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder. “But we also have had to look at service cuts. I know that service changes are painful, and we’ve sought every way we can to minimize impact on our customers. We encourage everyone to participate in our public hearings." Members of the public can learn more details about the proposed service changes, and the methodology used to identify which cuts to propose, by visiting the MTA’s website at, and clicking on the Public Hearings icon on the lower left portion of the homepage. All hearings begin at 6 p.m., Registration to speak will close at 9 p.m. The hearings will be held at the following dates and locations (transit and driving directions can be found on the MTA’s website):

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Monday, March 1 White Plains Performing Arts Center 3rd Floor, City Center, Westchester 11 City Place White Plains Chateau Briand 440 Old Country Road Carle Place, Long Island Tuesday, March 2 College of Staten Island Springer Concert Hall, 1P Building 2800 Victory Boulevard Staten Island Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Phoenix Ballroom 135-20 39th Avenue Flushing, Queens Wednesday, March 3 The Paradise Theater 2403 Grand Concourse at 187th Street The Bronx Brooklyn Museum Cantor Auditorium 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn Thursday, March 4 Holiday Inn-Suffern Empire Ballroom 3 Executive Boulevard, Suffern Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium Seventh Avenue at 27th Street Manhattan Monday, March 8 County Center-Riverhead Suffolk County Legislative Auditorium Evans K. Griffing Bldg 300 Center Drive, Riverhead, Long Island

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Public comments are also being accepted via email though, and regular mail by writing to MTA Community Affairs, 347 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017. First Published: Mar 1, 2010 4:46 PM EDT

Find this article at:

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Š NBC Universal, Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

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Staten Islanders expected to sound off at MTA public hearing By Staten Island Advance March 02, 2010, 3:51PM

Advance file photo/Bill LyonsThe S60 bus is among bus routes that would be discontinued under an MTA proposal.STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Upset with the MTA? Here's your chance to sound off against the transit agency which has proposed service cuts and layoffs to deal with a massive $750 million budget gap. A public hearing is scheduled for tonight at 6 at the College of Staten Island's Center for the Arts. A number of elected officials are expected to speak before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., and members of the public are encouraged to arrive before 6 if they wish to have the opportunity to ask questions of expert staff members on hand at the registration tables. Speakers can register until 9 p.m. Public comments are also being accepted via email though, and regular mail by writing to MTA Community Affairs, 347 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017. Proposed cuts on Staten Island include: -Discontinuing the X16, X18 and X20 express bus routes, due to low ridership and high operating costs -Restructuring Hylan Boulevard express routes for greater efficiency. The X1 will no longer run during rush hours, and the X6 and X9 routes will be cut. -The X13 and X14 routes will be consolidated.

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-The S60 and S67 local routes will be cut, and the S40 will no longer serve Howland Hook. The S42 will be cut, but part of its route will be served by a rerouted S52. -Weekend service will be cut on the S54 and S76 routes, and the hours of service will be reduced on the S54, S57 and S66 on weekdays, and the S57 on weekends, due to low ridership in the first and/or last hours of service. -The Staten Island Railway's Ballpark Station will be closed. The College of Staten Island is located at 2800 Victory Boulevard, Willowbrook.


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Let the MTA hear you By Staten Island Advance Editorial March 02, 2010, 8:08AM The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, facing deficits as far as the eye can see, is back in what has become an annual rite: Hearings on proposed service cuts and/or fare hikes. This time around, the MTA’s trying to fix the hole in its finances with service cuts alone. That’s not to say the service cuts the agency is proposing won’t hurt, however. The agency proposes to do away with service altogether on a number express bus and local bus routes, including the S42, S60 and S67. And the MTA wants to curtail or consolidate service on a number of other express and local bus lines. Regular riders these lines have undoubtedly heard all about these proposed cuts. But if you are one of the riders who will be affected, what can you really do? The truth is, probably not much. But there is something: You can show up at a hearing tonight at the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts on the college’s Willowbrook campus. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Speakers can register up until 9 p.m. Let’s hope the hearing goes well into the night. We know what you’re thinking: What good will going to the hearing do? The MTA has already made up its mind about these service cuts, and these hearings are merely a pro-forma exercise, conducted only because the agency is required to hold public hearings whenever it is contemplating fare hikes or service cuts. While that may be true, we hasten to point out that, occasionally — just occasionally — the impassioned pleas from speakers at these hearings can make a difference. Last year, for example, the testimony from countless nurses, doctors, and staff members from Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home persuaded the MTA to save the S54 that runs along Brielle Avenue in front of the institution. The Sea View people rightly claimed that they would be left with mile-long walks on several deserted roads without the S54; the MTA listened. Weekday service on the S54 was ultimately spared. We’re not guaranteeing protests will get the same happy result with your route that’s on the MTA chopping block. But we are saying that the thousands of riders affected by these cuts, and all those who support them should go to the hearing and make their case. Who knows? Even the MTA can be moved once in a while. Hold the agency to its duty to listen to the people and respond in accordance with its public service mandate. We also know that if the hearing is sparsely attended, MTA officials will take it that few people care about the service cuts, and those cuts will be implemented for sure. By all means, be skeptical about the MTA and its hearings. In truth, you’re probably right to be. But go to the meeting and be heard first. There’s plenty of time to be cynical later.    ‹6,/LYHFRP$OOULJKWVUHVHUYHG

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MTA's public hearings on service cuts begin in Queens, Staten Island

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces a nearly $800 million budget gap, officials have said. To help make up the shortfall, the MTA has proposed shutting down or scaling back dozens of local and express bus lines and eliminating two subway lines.

By Pete Donohue DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Tuesday, March 2nd 2010, 4:00 AM

Under MTA plans, students - who now get three free rides a day - would pay half fares in September and full fares the following September. The MTA also plans to save millions of dollars by streamlining service provided to disabled riders. A small percentage of riders now receiving door-to-door van rides would instead by taken to a nearby bus stop or an accessible subway station.

Sipkin/NewsLocals will get a chance to voice their concerns on MTA service cuts at the first public hearings Tuesday night in Queens and Staten Island.

The first public hearings in the city on MTA service cuts - and plans to charge students for trips - will be held Tuesday night. One hearing will be held in Queens, while a second will take place simultaneously in Staten Island.

The hearings begin at 6 p.m. at the College of Staten Island on Victory Blvd. and the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, on 39th Ave. in Flushing. Hearings will be held Wednesday night in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and in Manhattan and Suffern, Rockland County, on Thursday night. The last session is Monday in Nassau County.

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Updated 03/02/2010 02:43 PM

Riders Rally Before Public Meetings On MTA Service Cuts By: Roger Clark

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is holding its first two hearings on proposed service cuts and plans to charge students for trips, but riders are already speaking out. Hearings will be held simultaneously tonight in Queens and on Staten Island. The agency has proposed eliminating the W and M subway lines, as well as dozens of local and express bus routes in an effort to close a nearly $800 million budget gap. The agency has also been under fire for its proposal to eliminate free student MetroCards. Astoria straphangers who are served by the W held a rally at the 30th Avenue subway station this morning, demanding that the MTA keep the train rolling. If the W vanishes, the Q train would be extended to Astoria. But riders still don't like the idea of losing the W. "This neighborhood is united in saying we can't have these false choices. You can't say to us on the one hand, 'We want to encourage people to use the train system,' on the other hand, 'We are going to cut service,'" said Costa Constantinides of the Long Island City Alliance. "The N train is a great train, but [having] both of them is better and people have to get to work." One elected official said riders must speak out tonight. "Everyone who's affected by these cuts should get out to Queens tonight to make their voice heard,” said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. “But secondly, we're calling attention to the fact that this is the one set of subway tracks in and out of northwestern Queens; it’s our lifeline, and to eliminate one of the trains that runs on it is ridiculous. You look for an area that's under-served, not a growing, vibrant area like this one. We need better service, not less service." However, some locals told NY1 that they were unaware of tonight's meeting, and one transit user even told the station he did not think his attendance would make a difference. Just last week, the agency announced plans to cut more than a thousand jobs from its payroll. Tonight's hearings get underway at 6 p.m. at the College of Staten Island and the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel. Registration to speak ends at 9 p.m. New York Yellow Pages Auto Dealers Auto Repair Bar Childcare Chocolate

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Tensions at MTA's Public Hearings Updated: Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010, 10:47 PM EST Published : Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010, 10:47 PM EST MYFOXNY.COM - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority continued its public hearings to listen to comments from riders about proposed service cuts and elimination of student fares. One by one, angry commuters and local officials gave MTA board members an earful about the agency's plan. Tuesday's hearing were held at the College of Staten Island and the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Queens. The MTA has said the cuts are needed to help close a $750 million budget shortfall due to a reduction in state funding and loss of tax revenue. The agency is holding more hearings before the board will vote on the proposed cuts. Wednesday, March 3 The Paradise Theater 2403 Grand Concourse at 187th Street The Bronx Brooklyn Museum Cantor Auditorium 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn Thursday, March 4 Holiday Inn-Suffern Empire Ballroom 3 Executive Boulevard, Suffern Fashion Institute of Technology Haft Auditorium Seventh Avenue at 27th Street Manhattan Monday, March 8 County Center-Riverhead Suffolk County Legislative Auditorium Evans K. Griffing Bldg 300 Center Drive, Riverhead, Long Island Public comments are also being accepted via email though, and regular mail by writing to MTA Community Affairs, 347 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017.

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Overflow crowd attends MTA hearing By Staten Island Advance March 02, 2010, 8:04PM

Bill Lyons/Staten Island Advance The S60 bus is among bus routes that would be discontinued under an MTA proposal.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- Staten Islanders have a lot to get off their chests. At least when it comes to the MTA. An overflow crowd of more than 1,300 people has turned out for a public hearing at the College of Staten Island's Center for the Arts. Speakers can register until 9 p.m. A number of elected officials are expected to speak before the MTA board. Public comments are also being accepted via email though, and regular mail by writing to MTA Community Affairs, 347 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10017. Proposed cuts on Staten Island include: -Discontinuing the X16, X18 and X20 express bus routes, due to low ridership and high operating costs -Restructuring Hylan Boulevard express routes for greater efficiency. The X1 will no longer run during rush hours, and the X6 and X9 routes will be cut. -The X13 and X14 routes will be consolidated.

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-The S60 and S67 local routes will be cut, and the S40 will no longer serve Howland Hook. The S42 will be cut, but part of its route will be served by a rerouted S52. -Weekend service will be cut on the S54 and S76 routes, and the hours of service will be reduced on the S54, S57 and S66 on weekdays, and the S57 on weekends, due to low ridership in the first and/or last hours of service. -The Staten Island Railway's Ballpark Station will be closed. The College of Staten Island is located at 2800 Victory Boulevard, Willowbrook. --Š 2010 All rights reserved.

112 of 162 'Comment of the Day' By Staten Island Advance March 03, 2010, 4:49PM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Today's "Comment of the Day" was posted by user speakthemind, to a story about the MTA public hearing last night at the College of Staten Island about the proposed service cuts to the borough's transit system. A raucous overflow crowd of more than 1,500 Island transit riders and bus drivers showed up to tell transit officials that, this time, there's no fat left to trim. Despite the impressive showing, speakthemind felt the hearing was just a formality: "BREAKING NEWS: MTA to Island Thanks for wasting your time, we came, we listened, WE DONT CARE. Best of luck Love the MTA" Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Advance file photo/Hilton Flores More than 1,500 people attended the MTA hearing at CSI on the proposed bus service cuts. A number of them directed their displeasure at MTA Chairman Jay Walder.

Island to MTA: No more cuts! By Maura Yates March 03, 2010, 1:53AM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance More than 1,500 people attended the MTA hearing at CSI on the proposed bus service cuts. A number of them directed their displeasure at MTA Chairman Jay Walder.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- There were some who believed that last night's MTA public hearing was a done deal. There was no reason to show up; the cuts to the borough's transit system were carved in stone, the cynics said. But Staten Islanders would have none of that. A raucous overflow crowd of more than 1,500 borough transit riders and bus drivers -- in the spirit of yesterday's Advance editorial "Let the MTA hear you" -- showed up at the College of Staten Island to tell transit officials that, this time, there's no fat left to trim. "Staten Island should not be the ATM for the MTA and then kicked to the curb," said Rep. Michael McMahon (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn). Attendees waved posters and chanted, "No more cuts!" Others were turned away at the door. About 90 took to the microphone during the six-hour meeting. "I do not have the money for cabs," said Eleanor Abrams, who uses a wheelchair. "It would cost me $20 to go from Mariners Harbor to the ferry. Want to send me a limo?" To illustrate the plight of disabled passengers, she flourished a list of bus routes she has taken, and 114 of 162

wheelchair lifts that have been broken when she wanted to travel. During one ride, she said, "The ramp went up and got stuck in midair. I had to wait for the Fire Department to come get me." Said Chris Waymer of St. George, who relies on the S42, "I take this as an attack on my family." His children, mother and siblings are also bus riders. If the S42 is taken away, "I'm going to have to walk off the hill, leave earlier or fight for space on the bus," Waymer complained. "It's crowded enough during rush hour. I don't think they get that. Imagine an already-packed bus and sticking 200 more people on, the kind of mayhem that's going to cause. That's going to turn ugly quickly." As one speaker noted, "The X1's so crowded, the bus driver stands."

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance Staten Islanders sign up to speak at the MTA hearing at CSI on the proposed bus service cuts.

"When you take away from Staten Island, you're taking away from the poorest people. When you take away from Manhattan, they can just walk another block [to find another bus or train]," said S42 rider Sharon Valentine of St. George. For Mamie Anguiano of Great Kills, the S54, which no longer would run on weekends, is "a way of life for me." A nondriver, she relies on the bus to get to Hylan Boulevard. Otherwise, "It's a long, long walk," carrying groceries or running errands. "I understand ridership is low, but [running buses] once an hour instead of twice an hour would be better than nothing." The proposed cuts, which include the elimination of some local and express bus routes, as well as cuts to Access-a-Ride paratransit service and the elimination of student MetroCards, are part of an effort by the MTA to suture a $750 million budget gap. The hearing venue, the College of Staten Island's Center for the Arts, was itself a source of frustration, with a long line of traffic waiting to enter the Willowbrook campus and nowhere to park near the auditorium. The MTA had to provide a shuttle to get bus riders from the city bus stop on Victory Boulevard to the concert hall in the center of the sprawling grounds. "It's really not the appropriate place," said City Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn). "It shows how particularly vulnerable this community is to cuts." The meeting coincided with Albany's legislative session, so the borough's state senators and Assembly members were unable to attend. Speakers addressed the panel of MTA officials, which included New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast, Staten Island Railway Chief John Gaul, MTA Board Members Allen Cappelli, Jeff Kay and Mitchell Pally, Corporate and Community Affairs Director Chris Boylan and Richard DeVito, Transit's chief transportation officer and head of labor relations. Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726, which represents the borough's bus operators, distributed 200,000 fliers to get riders to show up for last night's hearing. "There should have been 5,000 or 10,000 people, since 15,000 people are losing their buses," said their president, Angelo Tanzi. "There should have been riots out in the street," he said. At the same time Manhattan is looking forward to three major new subway projects, "they are shutting down bus service on Staten Island for a lot of people who need it to go to school, to work and to church," said the union's Larry Hanley. "It's important for the people who are affected to talk to the people who make the decisions about transit," Cappelli said.

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During last year's service cut hearing, a vocal crowd of bus riders who work at Sea View Rehabilitation Center and Home spoke out against cuts to two bus lines that serve the center, without which they would have had to trek up Brielle Avenue on foot. One of the two lines was spared in the current round of cuts. This time around, Cappelli said, the hardship that will ensue for riders who live on some of the Island's steepest hills came through loud and clear: Riders of the S42 and the S60 "left an impression," he said. But while board members professed empathy, "In my heart, I believe they're going to cut anyway," Tanzi said. "In the end, Staten Island is going to lose some of the things we need." Tanzi said he doesn't yet know how the cuts will affect his members, but he says he thinks the situation could still get worse. "My understanding is this is just the beginning. If things don't change in the next six to eight months, this is going to be an ongoing thing until the economy improves."

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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03/03/2010 11:04 AM

S.I. Residents Object To MTA Cuts To Borough's Transit By: Amanda Farinacci

Angry straphangers on Staten Island told the MTA at a Tuesday night meeting that they are sick and tired of being shortchanged when it comes to mass transit options. Borough Reporter Amanda Farinacci filed the following report. For many North Shore residents, taking the S42 bus line is the only way to go through neighborhoods known for steep hills. Many residents do not have cars, and getting up and down the roads on foot can be difficult for senior citizens and small children. Yet the S42 is one of the lines the Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to cut to ease its budget gap. "People who can't take this bus are going to have to go a steep and heavy hill, which is okay to do in the summer but you can't really do it the winter," said one Staten Islander. "And it's just one of the cuts that are going to be done in Staten Island, where there are relatively, vastly few amounts of transportation alternatives." Under the MTA's plan, the S42 is one of 17 local and express bus lines that will either offer limited routes and schedules or go away completely. The proposed cuts drew more than a thousand people to the College of Staten Island in Willowbrook on Tuesday night for a marathon MTA public hearing. Attendees complained about the borough deals with $11 tolls on the Verrazano Bridge, a lack of a subway system and overcrowded existing buses. "I think it's totally unacceptable," said one local at the meeting. "The MTA cries about its deficit every single year. It's time that they find another way to close the gap aside from service cuts and fare hikes." Besides saying how the budget cuts would affect them, locals also wanted to know exactly how the MTA is facing such a massive deficit. "Why are we paying more as a whole? Whether you ride the bus or not, your taxes are paying for these services and yet these services are being reduced," said a resident. "What is being done with the money? The public would like to know. And also, what is being done to prevent this from happening again and again and again?" MTA Board member Alan Cappelli, the group's only member from Staten Island, said he understands the frustration and that the agency is listening to what people have to say. "I'm hoping that we will be able to spare some of these cuts that I think are just terrible for everybody," said Cappelli. Many other residents at the meeting shared the same hope. New York Yellow Pages Auto Dealers Auto Repair Bar Childcare Chocolate

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Disabled upset about lack of MTA public hearing access March 3, 6:09 PM

NY Government Examiner

Michael A. Harris

An advocacy group for New Yorkers with disabilities say that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority failed to consider accessibility when choosing venues for public hearings on service cuts making it next to impossible for them to voice their concerns. The Disabilities Network of New York CIty noted that most of the public hearings are at venues that are not near accessible subway stations and that bus routes into the surrounding areas are at best inconvenient. With paratransit services set to be significantly cut, the organization called the choice of venue inexcusable. "I think that it shows people with disabilities are simply not a priority for the MTA," said Lawrence Carter-Long, the organization's executive director. His organization held two workshops to educate seniors and the disabled about the proposed cuts, the hearings and how to deliver effective testimony and so Carter-Long said that he's disappointed that many won't have the opportunity to do so. "We've repeatedly reached out to the MTA and asked that they meet with us and discuss our agenda and nobody has ever so much as responded. Clearly we're not even on their radar screens." In past years, venues like the Pennsylvania Hotel and Brooklyn Marriot, which are near accessible subway stations have been used for public hearings, but advocates say that the venues being used this year are far from easy to get to. This year Carter-Long says that venues like the Brooklyn Museum, Sheraton LaGuardia East, College of Staten Island and Paradise Theater are difficult for those with mobility impairments to get to. "Especially when there is a disability issue [Access-A-Ride] on the table it is imperative that we are able to voice our concerns directly to the MTA." Carter-Long's organization is travelling the city with a TV camera filming people's thoughts and will submit a DVD to the MTA as well as post it on the web and send to the news media. Will the DVD have an impact? "I would certainly hope that seeing the outrage from a diverse cross section of the very people who would be left stranded if their proposal were adopted will make a lasting impression and help them to see the error of their ways," he said. "Sadly given their track record I wouldn't hold my breath, but remain hopeful." "The venues themselves are accessible to the disabled," said MTA spokesman Kevin B. Ortiz. He said that finding venues large enough to accommodate the high number of people expected makes it difficult. "While we also strive to find venues with accessible subway stations, sometimes that is simply not possible." Ortiz pointed out that all of the venues are accessible by buses, all of which are accessible and that people with disabilities are given the courtesy of testifying at the beginning of each hearing so that they don't have to sit around for hours.


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MTA divided - but not conquered By Maura Yates March 04, 2010, 12:16AM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance While Queens residents had an audience with MTA Chairman Jay Walder and six of the MTA's 16 board members Tuesday night, an overflow crowd of Staten Islanders (a number holding signs like these two gentlemen above) got to vent to New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast and three board members, Allen Cappelli, Jeff Kay and Mitchell Pally, among other MTA brass including Staten Island Railway Chief John Gaul.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- The MTA's decision to host multiple public hearings across the city as transit riders brace for service cuts meant the MTA's leadership and board members were divided, and only a handful could attend either forum. While Queens residents had an audience with MTA Chairman Jay Walder and six of the MTA's 16 board members Tuesday night, an overflow crowd of Staten Islanders got to vent to New York City Transit President Tom Prendergast and three board members, Allen Cappelli, Jeff Kay and Mitchell Pally, among other MTA brass including Staten Island Railway Chief John Gaul. OTHER PROBLEMS The double booking wasn't the only logistical problem, as state Sen. Diane Savino, stuck in Albany for a legislative session and unable to attend, objected to the location of the borough's meeting at the College of Staten Island. She proposed moving future meetings to a more easily-accessible venue like the St. George Theatre, so more residents, and board members could attend. Last night's hearings were divided between the Bronx and Brooklyn, and another two will be held tonight in Manhattan and Suffern, N.Y.

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"I find it insulting that Staten Islanders cannot even get their own hearing," she said in a statement yesterday. "There were 1,500 Island residents attending last night's hearing, desperate to protect their bus service. Five board members listened to 400 Queens residents, while we apparently only merited three. I call on the full board to come and hear how these proposed cuts will devastate Staten Island, in a venue accessible by mass transit and with a greater capacity, like the St. George Theatre." Cappelli, who attended every fare and toll hike hearing throughout the city last year, save for one on a similarly double-booked night, said he wished he could have heard from riders in Queens as well and also thought the St. George Theatre might be a more accessible venue. Sen. Savino urged Island bus riders to sign her online petition against the cuts, and to complete a survey of conditions of the borough's express buses. The petition and survey can be found at Meanwhile, Borough President James Molinaro proposed a new tolling idea that would spare most residents while raising more revenue to undo some of the proposed cuts to borough bus lines. By hiking the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge cash toll $1 to $12, he said, the MTA could raise $77 million a year, which could offset some of the service cuts. The bulk of Islanders who use the bridge use E-ZPass, he said, and therefore wouldn't be affected, while tourists and visitors would have to pony up. "I'm not going to cry over people from Ohio or Wyoming who would have to pay a dollar more," Molinaro said. In addition, an increase in E-ZPass use to avoid the hiked toll would help ease traffic flow and improve air quality from cars queuing up to pay the toll.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Snubbed on the charter By Staten Island Advance Editorial March 07, 2010, 6:38AM The New York City Charter is to city government what the U.S. Constitution is to the federal government. The difference is that the Constitution has been successfully changed — amended — only 27 times since it was adopted in 1789; that number includes the original 10 amendments the Founders put forth in the Bill of Rights. The city’s constitution, conversely, has been revised and tweaked and massaged countless times throughout the city’s history, usually according to the desires of the mayor in charge at any given moment. So, every few years, it seems another Charter Revision Commission is convened and the members of these panels, given the mandate of perfecting city government, always feel they have to change something, if only to justify the commission’s existence. Predictably, they also usually aim to please the mayor who chose them for this prestigious mission. Many idealistic New Yorkers like the idea of altering the bedrock document of city government regularly, but this periodic modification can be problematical. The high-minded notions put forth by these panels don’t always translate well into practical reality. Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed another Charter Revision Commission, the third of his two-plus terms as mayor, last week. Reportedly, this latest edition of the panel will take another look at term limits for city officials, and, possibly, eliminating the five borough presidents, and overhauling the city budget process, among other issues. Given the mayor’s professed fondness for Staten Island, and the critical importance of these issues here, we had hoped the mayor would appoint a number of Staten Islanders to the panel, to give us a greater say in how the city is run. We had even hoped that those multiple Staten Island members of the commission would be able to sway fellow members to recommend decentralizing city agencies to give officials in each borough the power to make their own decisions about such things as transportation and land use. And about when borough public schools should close in extreme weather conditions. The mayor, however, gave Staten Island just one appointment on the 15-member commission. He is Steven Fiala, the estimable former City Council member who is now the Richmond County Clerk. We have no doubt about Mr. Fiala’s abilities and commitment to Staten Island. His stellar resume, which includes a previous stint on the 2004-2005 commission, is proof of those things. But we are bothered that he is the only Staten Islander on the panel, in light of the issues it will take up. And we disagree strongly with his and Borough President James Molinaro’s assessment that having one Staten Islander on the commission is not a problem. That Mr. Fiala thinks Staten Island has not been short-changed is worrisome. We never thought there should be a quota, but we do think this borough, with its unique concerns and issues, should be treated fairly — perhaps even more than fairly, because Staten Island has issues that none of the other boroughs have. Had Mr. Fiala been at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s public hearing at the College of Staten Island on Tuesday, he may have better understood why Staten Islanders feel short-changed, not just in terms of transit, but a lot of other things, and justifiably so. The commission can and will take all the testimony it wants at public hearings. However, it’s behind

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closed doors that the decisions that will affect the people of this borough for years to come will be made. That’s exactly why we and many other people here insisted that the panel must include more than one Staten Islander who has been in the trenches and knows the issues on the ground. (Manhattan, by the way, has six appointees.) This borough is short-changed in the Manhattan/Brooklyn-centric grand scheme of things, from road and traffic conditions to huge disparities in cultural funding. Not to mention health care. Staten Island represents 6 percent of the city’s population, but we get nowhere near our fair, 6-percent share of the city’s resources or amenities. Sadly, that’s just not a concern to the college presidents, master planners, corporate executives, and other big-thinking VIPs who will serve on the commission. This is no knock on the other members of the commission, all of them fine New Yorkers with distinguished reputations. However, history tells us that these commissions gravitate toward theoretical and universal solutions in their quest for the “perfect” system of city governance. That doesn’t work. This charter commission has to be grounded in the real world. It is not textbook, one-size-fits-all governance the people of this borough — or even the people of the Bronx and Queens — need. People need real-world governance and in this growing city with radically different needs in different boroughs, attention must be given to that reality. We fear these borough-by-borough differences will be lost on the other commission members. And we fear that Mr. Fiala, for all his earnestness and intelligence, will have his Staten Islander’s voice drowned out amid all the high-minded discussion. We hope events prove us wrong. But for now, we are extremely disappointed in the mayor’s treatment of this borough on this issue. Staten Island, given its strong support for him in the past, deserved much better. © 2010 All rights reserved.

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Construction worker injured in fall at Curtis High School By Doug Auer March 09, 2010, 11:03PM

Doug Auer/Staten Island Advance A construction worker was hospitalized after falling into an empty swimming pool at Curtis High School, where he was doing renovations.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --- A construction worker doing renovations on the Curtis High school swimming pool fell off scaffolding earlier today and into the empty concrete basin, police said. The accident happened at about 5 p.m. inside the St. George school and the victim — whose identity wasn’t released — was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton. He suffered non-life threatening injuries, authorities reported. After tumbling into the 12-foot deep end, the man wasn’t moving, according to police radio transmissions. “He had just started working here today,” said a school official, noting that the project was being undertaken by AJS Construction. The firm couldn’t be reached for comment. The renovations began in September, closing the pool and forcing swim teams to practice and compete at the College of Staten Island, Willowbrook. The pool is expected to re-open by the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

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Yesterday was the second time in as many days that police responded to Curtis High School. On Monday, cops swarmed the building after a false report of a shootout was made by a school safety agent.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Strike up 'Pomp and Circumstance': Graduation rate takes 3 percent jump By Amy Padnani March 10, 2010, 12:14AM

Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance Their numbers are legion: Susan Wagner High School Class of 2009 marches into the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George for commencement ceremonies.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Staten Island students are earning high school diplomas in record numbers, with the borough's graduation rate jumping nearly three percentage points, officials announced yesterday. About 70 percent of borough students graduated from high school in June 2009, up from 67.3 percent in 2008. It's the first time Staten Island high schools have seen such a drastic increase in recent years; for about three years, the borough's graduation rate was stagnant at 67. Citywide, 59 percent of students graduated in that time frame, up from 56.4 in 2008. Officials said that's 6,200 more students who earned a diploma compared to the previous year. State and city officials attributed the rise in graduation rates to better programming for students to keep them engaged in the classroom, additional funding for resources and a recognition by students that a high school diploma is key to success in life. Graduation rates are calculated based on how many students earn a Regents or local diploma within four years.

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Most of the Island's schools saw gains, except for Port Richmond High School, which dipped several points. The College of Staten Island's High School for International Studies got a stellar rate for its first graduating class, with 95 percent of students graduating. Staten Island Technical High School maintained the 100 percent graduation rate it first attained in 2008. Jeanne Johnson, the co-president of the Staten Island Federation of PTAs, said she believes the graduation rate has increased as a result of creative programming principals have implemented in schools. At her son's school, the Ralph R. McKee Career and Technical High School, she said Principal Sharon Henry has offered more tutoring and after-school assistance. McKee's graduation rate increased from 57 percent to 61 percent. "I just think with the principals being in charge, they can customize the programs they're offering the students so they can reach children who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks," she said. "The teachers also tell them this is not the type of world where you can drop out of high school and get a job. Children see their parents are losing their jobs, they see people with a college education losing their jobs. So what are they going to do without a high school diploma?" Indeed, dropout rates declined one percentage point on Staten Island, to eight. Concord High School, a transfer school which students typically enter in sophomore or junior year, had a one -point increase to 28 percent for four-year graduation rates, a one-point drop for students who graduate in five years, at 54 percent, and a three-point increase for students who graduate in six years, at 65 percent. State officials said they have long been appealing to the federal Education Department to include five- and six-year graduation rates in accountability measures when gauging the success of a given school. Rates for almost all groups of students showed improvements citywide. Nearly 25 percent of specialeducation students graduated compared to 22.5 percent in 2008. More than half of Hispanic students graduated in four years for the first time; that number rose to 51.8 percent compared to 48.7 percent in 2008. Additionally, 44.6 percent of students citywide earned Regents diplomas, which entail tougher standards, such as passing a certain number of Regents exams. About 40.9 percent of students earned Regents diplomas in 2008 and 30 percent earned them in 2005. City officials said they were pleased to hear the news, since the Regents diploma will become the state's standard in two years. State officials attributed much of their success to funding, and stressed the importance of securing some of the $700 million in Obama administration Race to the Top funding to improve education. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Soldier arrives home from Iraq just in time to see his son born By Kiawana Rich March 12, 2010, 11:45PM

Jan Somma-Hammell/Staten Island Advance And baby makes three: The Marke family, Safet, Erion and Blerta.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Mission accomplished. A soldier from West Brighton made it back from Iraq in the nick of time to witness the birth of his son, who jumped the gun by six days. "This is one of the biggest moments of my life," said first-time father Safet Marke, 27, as he held 7-pound, 10-ounce Erion, who enlisted for life at 41 minutes past 1400 hours yesterday — that’s 2:41 p.m., for the rest of us — in Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton. The Army reservist had raced the clock. "He was in Atlanta and she was already dilated two and a half centimeters," said Marke’s sister, Arieta Resiti, 32, of West Brighton. "He said, ‘I don’t know if I can make it. Do you think the delivery can wait?’" Happily, everything turned out fine. "I was surprised to see him come in. He just walked in and came over and hugged me," said new mom Blerta Marke, 19. Baby Erion had been expected to debut on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, but doubtless took it upon himself to expedite his father’s two-week leave. Fortunately, Marke, who’d been scheduled to arrive home tomorrow, was able to snag an earlier flight.

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Marke is a first lieutenant assigned to the U.S. Army’s 37th Finance Detachment, where his responsibilities include providing funding for capital projects in Iraq: Schools, hospitals, water treatment plants and the like. In civilian life, Marke, who holds a master’s degree in environmental science, works as an immigration officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. When his stint in Iraq ends, he expects to get a promotion with a raise, just the thing for a new dad. Mrs. Marke, who plans to earn her nursing degree from the College of Staten Island, said the reality of motherhood hasn’t quite sunken in. "I still don’t feel like parents yet," she said. Since Erion’s arrival, a steady stream of relatives has visited bearing balloons, chocolates and flowers for the 18-month-marrieds. There are plans afoot for a big party before Marke returns to Iraq. Ms. Resiti’s 8-year-old, Ariana, spoke for all: "I think it’s great to have the new baby," she said. Bestowing a hug, she added, "And I think it's really nice to have my uncle here."

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Falsification of test scores has been swept under the rug By Letters to the Editor/Staten Island Adva... March 15, 2010, 4:25AM By JACK GORDON, WEST BRIGHTON Diane Ravitch, America’s pre-eminent educational historian, delivered a blistering indictment of our mayor’s school reforms recently in a talk at the College of Staten Island. At one point, she indicated that much of the “cooking of books” of test scores that has gone on at both the state and city levels in the past — all clearly unethical — might even be illegal. It will be expensive and time-consuming to clean up this mess. This is troubling. But not as troubling as the lack of collective will on the part of the City Council and the Staten Island Advance to bring attention to the problem.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Free financial literary workshop to be held in Port Richmond By Staten Island Advance March 18, 2010, 6:17AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Current and prospective business owners are invited to attend a free financial literary workshop that will be given in Spanish on Tuesday at the Port Richmond Branch of the Public Library. The event, which runs from noon to 2 p.m., is partnered by the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation Immigrant & Minority Entrepreneur Program and the Small Business Development Center at the College of Staten Island. To register, the Spanish speaking contact is Marisol Paulino from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 718-477-1400 or Paula Coyle at 718-477-1400 or Eileen Sullivan at 718-982-2560. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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MTA softens plan to cut service for Staten Island commuters By Maura Yates March 19, 2010, 6:00PM

Advance file photo Riders wait for both express and local buses to Brooklyn and Manhattan on Narrows Road South.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Desperate riders screamed; the MTA listened. Some of the worst service cuts proposed for local and express bus routes could be reduced, it was announced Friday, after the MTA heard loud and clear from a city full of angry straphangers at a round of public hearings last month. For borough bus riders comes a measured bit of good news on the S42, S60, X1 and X9 routes. The original plan to discontinue the S42 route through the hills of New Brighton called for running S52 buses along Westervelt Avenue, St. Mark's Place and Central Avenue to cover part of the route. That plan is still in effect, but additional rush hour and evening S52 service will now operate along the existing S42 Clyde Place branch from 5 to 8:45 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and midnight. The change will keep service available for riders furthest from the ferry terminal, and some 350 weekday riders will no longer be impacted. The S60, which is the only transit option for residents of steep Grymes Hill but has the fewest riders of any route in the city, faced complete elimination, until desperate residents sounded off at the hearing at the College of Staten Island, expressing their dependence upon the bus to get around. In a move expected to save 210 weekday riders, the S66 will be rerouted on weekdays along Clove Road, Howard Avenue, Arlo Road and Highland Avenue to continue serving those riders. The change will tack on about six extra minutes travel time for ferry-bound S66 riders, and passengers who board on the segment of

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Victory Boulevard that will no longer be served by the S66 will have to use another Victory bus. Grymes Hill residents will still face discontinued service on weekends. Express bus riders who had railed against a plan to cut X1 service during rush hours complained that buses are already filled to the brim before the cuts make it even harder for commuters to squeeze into a smaller number of buses. The revised proposal will keep X1s running during peak hours, but at reduced levels, and all rush hour X1s will terminate at 23rd Street. More X3s will run during rush hour, coordinated with the X1 to serve Lower Manhattan. The X6 will still be discontinued, but the X9 will be retained during peak hours, and service on other routes will be revised to make room for former X1 and X6 riders displaced by the changes. The originally proposed package of service cuts totaled $101 million, and were meant to chip away at the MTA's nearly $800 million budget gap for 2010. The modified cuts announced Friday will reduce the cost savings by $8 million, meaning that much more will be added to the $400 million budget shortfall not yet addressed. But the revised changes were designed to lessen the impacts of some of the most painful cuts. "The enormous public reaction to the proposed cuts reminds everyone how fundamental the transit system is to New Yorkers and how painful any cut can be," said MTA Chairman Jay H. Walder. "While our budget deficit forces us to move ahead with most of the cuts, we were able to take a number of the most painful cuts off the table based on what we heard from our customers." To plug the gap, the MTA also plans to reduce its administrative payroll by 15 percent, along with other budget-trimming measures. "I commend the MTA and Chairman Jay Walder for having heard the thousands of Islanders who came out to save what little mass transit options we have," said State Sen. Diane Savino. "Today Island commuters, seniors and students have won a major battle. Yet the war still remains until every seat is safe from these draconian cuts, which commuters simply cannot afford to lose," she said. MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli cautioned that the final details won't be set in stone until the board meets for a vote on Wednesday. "We're making some progress, but the details are still very much in flux," Cappelli said, adding the board will discuss the proposals in greater detail during Monday's committee meetings. "We're facing an extraordinarily difficult financial situation caused largely by the state government taking away money that was supposed to be dedicated to mass transit," he said. "We're fighting to get as much of this restored as we can." A proposal to eliminate free student MetroCards will be discussed later in the spring. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Overtime up at NJ Transit and Turnpike Authority By LARRY HIGGS â&#x20AC;˘ GANNETT NEW JERSEY â&#x20AC;˘ March 19, 2010

Two state transportation agencies both relied heavily on increased overtime spending to move the masses last year, payroll records showed. Workers at both NJ Transit and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority saw more money in their takehome pay and from overtime in 2009 than in 2008, a Gannett New Jersey analysis of payroll records found. And workers at both agencies augmented their base salaries with overtime measured in the tens of thousands of dollars for many. Overtime at the Turnpike Authority increased by $3.1 million between 2008 and 2009, to a total $13.6 million. Overtime at NJ Transit was up by $4.6 million for the same time period, to a total of $118.5 million. "The increase in overtime coincided with service increases and additions," said Penny BassettHackett, NJ Transit spokeswoman. "We've increased service significantly on both rail and bus sides, and we need to staff to maintain that service." Rail and bus operations had the highest overtime, followed by NJ Transit police. Prior to the recession, NJ Transit broke its own ridership records in fiscal year 2007-08 with 259.7 million passenger trips. With a 4 percent drop-off in ridership as the economy tanked, NJ Transit plans to cut 200 jobs to help close a $300 million revenue gap. "We will be reducing services by 4 percent across the board," Bassett-Hackett said. "Some of the reduction will

come in union and nonunion employees." Overtime is more cost-effective than hiring new workers, with their benefit and pensions costs, said Joe Orlando, Turnpike Authority spokesman. Most of the authority's overtime increases are due to snow removal, he said. Jay Corbalis, a policy analyst for NJ Future, said NJ Transit has to look at personnel to help close a budget gap and loss of state subsidies that have the agency proposing 25 percent fare increases. "Reducing operating costs and personnel is a large part of what NJ Transit will have to shrink to handle that loss of state subsidy," Corbalis said.

Comparisons difficult

While coming reductions are praiseworthy, it's hard comparing authorities and agencies to determine which has the best operating practices and is the most efficient, said Jon Peters of Fair Haven, a professor of finance at The College of Staten Island. "The general question is: Are the people getting the highest return on their dollars sent to government agencies?" Peters said. "It's hard to answer; there are a lot of irregularities. Different agencies have different structures, and it's hard to get a grip on who has the best practices." While overtime is seen as preferable to hiring more help by both agencies, experts disagreed whether overtime is an accurate gauge of efficiency. "The question has to be: Is it necessary? What's the

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“Be Counted!:” CUNY Opens Census 2010 Help Centers 22/03/2010 17:00:39 City University of New York March 22, 2010 | The University  “Be Counted!” campus help centers are opening this week at colleges and offices of The City University of New York as part of the University’s comprehensive partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau to help ensure that every New Yorker is counted in the 2010 Census. CUNY’s “Be Counted” assistance centers are open to all seeking to obtain Census forms in multiple languages. Assistance with responding to the Census questionnaire will also be provided. The Centers will be staffed for up to 15 hours per week. They will be open from March 22nd through April 15th. “CUNY has been working closely with federal census officials for the past year and a half by hosting training sessions on many campuses and helping students apply for census employment opportunities,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “We encourage full participation in the census count to ensure that all segments of our society are represented in the decision-making processes of our democracy.” Participating colleges and offices include: Borough of Manhattan Community College, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, City College, Medgar Evers College, Hunter College, the College of Staten Island, Hostos Community College, CUNY Express, CUNY in the Heights, and the University Office of Admissions Services. Complete details, including hours of operation and addresses, are available at the census site at: CUNY will continue to publicize the importance of the 2010 Census by promoting census awareness and employment opportunities through CUNY’s website (, public service announcements through CUNY-TV, CUNY Radio, campus newspapers and email blasts. In addition, CUNY will assist New York State’s efforts to raise awareness of the importance of an accurate census count by distributing New York State-brochures, palm cards and posters to campuses. CUNY is also partnering with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund in distributing promotional materials for their census campaign, ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR! (It’s Time, Make Yourself Count) that target awareness of the 2010 Census in the Latino community. Materials and access to NALEO’s on-line network of information were distributed to campuses in February and early March. As part of its long term efforts, college presidents were asked to appoint a Census Coordinator to work with Census Bureau officials and Census 2010 employment opportunities for students were heavily promoted via the CUNY website. As recently as last month, an email blast went out to the CUNY college community about hiring opportunities leading up to the official count. Starting in the fall 2008, CUNY provided space for recruiting, testing and training of Census employee applicants for address verification, canvassing operations and staffing local offices and, since mid-November 2009, the Census has been recruiting and testing for supervisory and non-supervisory positions in specific

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geographic areas where their applicant pool is in need of candidates. This is particularly important because New York City has the highest percentage of hard-to-count residents of any city in the nation. Individual campuses also worked to ensure that 2010 Census will count every New Yorker: Brooklyn College partnered with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in a Census forum in February 2010 with representatives from the Mayor’s Office, the U.S. Census Bureau and Councilmember Charles Barron Baruch College, John Jay College and the City College have provided opportunities for the distribution of Census Bureau materials at student activities; Lehman College hosted the 2009 Beta Awards with BronxNet. The theme was the importance of the accuracy of the Bronx Census count in 2010; York College hosted a Census event with New York State Senator Malcolm Smith to discuss the 2010 Census with the southeast Queens community and the College has provided space for other community meetings on the Census; Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College hosted a 2010 Census series for the campus and the community. The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in  1847 as The Free Academy, the University’s 23 institutions include 11 senior colleges, six community colleges,  the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY  Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the  CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves 260,000 credit students and 269,808 adult, continuing  and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500  high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five  boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of  Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than  1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by, the University’s website. 

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CSI to host free career fair April 15 By Staten Island Advance March 29, 2010, 6:15AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The College of Staten Island will host a free career fair April 15 in the Sports and Recreation Center, (Building 1R). The recruitment event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is open to all college students in the tri-state area. Sponsored by the Career and Scholarship Center at CSI, the fair will focus on jobs, internships, and graduate schools. It kicks off at 8:30 a.m. with a coffee and tea service. Recruitment will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., with a break at 1 p.m. for lunch. Summer employment, paid and non-paid internships in all academic areas, as well as full-time and part-time positions will be available. All College of Staten Island undergraduate, graduate, and recent alumni, as well as students from other public and private colleges in the tri-state area, are welcome to attend. The Career and Scholarship Center at CSI recommends attendees wear professional attire and keep business etiquette and interview-style conversation in mind during the fair. Free parking is available in Lot 6, adjacent to building 1R, on the school's campus, located at 2800 Victory Blvd., Willowbrook. Michelle Rossman is a reporting intern at the Advance. She may be reached at Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Students & Alumni 

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Daniel Jakubowski honored as an Eagle Scout By Jamie Lee March 25, 2010, 10:16AM Boy invites one of his role models, Pioneer employee Owen Reiter, to be part of the party

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Daniel Jakubowski, 19, left, and Owen Reiter at St. Teresa’s R.C. Church, Castleton Corners, at the Eagle Scout induction ceremony.

STATEN ISLAND, NY – CHARLESTON — Eagle Scout ceremonies are a time for dedicated Boy Scouts to bask in the successes of their dedication, surrounded by family, close friends – and a bus driver from Charleston. At least, that’s the way it was for one newly-inducted member of Scouting’s elite fraternity. When 18-year-old Meiers Corners resident Daniel Jakubowski was honored this past Saturday night for reaching the rank of Eagle Scout, he brought with him his father, Dave; mother, Clare; and brothers, Justin, 17, and Robert, 12. But he also invited the man who drove him to and from the Michael J. Petrides School in Sunnyside from first- through fifth-grade. For 12 years, Charleston resident Owen Reiter, a retired police officer, drove a bus route for the Pioneer Bus Company, inadvertently making an impact on every student he ferried safely to and from their homes. “Owen always took the biggest steps towards taking care of the bus and the kids,” said Dave Jakubowski, whose middle son, Justin, was also bused by Reiter. “He did the right thing, all the time. He always did what needed to be done.”

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And those connections cannot be undone, no matter how much time passes. “We’ve always kept in touch with him,” said Daniel Jakubowski. “He was a big part of my life. At times, he’s come out to dinner with my family, and he was at my high school graduation (from St. Peter’s High School in New Brighton). We’ve never really had a bad conversation, and he’s always helped me out in some way.” Reiter says that it started with casual conversation and the exchange of Christmas cards, but it was a civil -service connection that really brought his family and the Jakubowskis close. Dave Jakubowski is currently a member of the FDNY. His father had been a police officer, and his fatherin-law had been a fireman. “At one point, Daniel’s mother told me that I was some sort of role model for him, which really moved me,” said Reiter, who has three sons and four grandchildren of his own. “He comes from a family with (a collection of heroes), and that fact that he seemed to think that I was some sort of role model, given the company, felt really good.” So, the Jakubowskis, their favorite bus driver and his wife, LaDonna, watched on Saturday with a great sense of pride as two new Eagle Scouts were added to Troop 37 at St. Teresa’s R.C. Church in Castleton Corners – Daniel Jakubowski and Steve DeLillo. (Troop 37 now boasts more than 70 Eagle Scouts in total, including current state Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore).) “I walked out of that event, and I was moved,” said Reiter. “One of my grandsons is in kindergarten right now, and my first thought was that I have to get him into Scouting.” And while Reiter tries to help his family head down the path that Daniel Jakubowski took, the College of Staten Island freshman is following in the footsteps of both his father and his favorite bus driver. Currently taking liberal arts classes, the teenager is hoping to steer into civil service himself. “Hopefully get to be a fireman,” said Daniel Jakubowski. “It would fit with the Eagle Scout mentality. And civil service runs in my family. Hopefully, I’ll catch on somewhere and work my way into a leadership position where I can really make a difference.” © 2010 All rights reserved.

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Golden Gloves victories for two Staten Island boxers By Stephen Hart March 26, 2010, 11:26AM Staten Island boxers went 2 for 3 on the first night of the 83rd annual Daily News Golden Gloves tournament last night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Marcus Browne and Anthony Caramanno, both members of the Cops 'N Kids boxing program, added open division titles to the novice crowns they won at MSG two years ago. But Alex Kuper lost via TKO in the third round of his 178-pound novice bout. Browne, a 19-year-old Clifton resident who trains out of the Park Hill PAL, was methodical in wresting the 178-pound open title from 29-year-old defending champion David Thompson. Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance Marcus Browne, going toe-to-toe with a man 10 years his senior, took home the 178-pound open title Thursday night.

Browne showed flashes of power, most notably with sweeping right hooks to the head throughout, but often found himself in clinches with Thompson. But instead of getting frustrated -- as he did in a 165-pound open loss in last year's final -- he took what his opponent gave him. The result was a comfortable three-round victory on points.

"It was a so-so performance by me ... I'd give it a 6 1/2 out of 10," said Browne, who his sights set on the Golden Gloves Nationals in Salt Lake City in May, then a run at the next U.S. Olympic boxing team."I didn't let my emotions get the better of me this time." Caramanno, a 19-year-old Huguenot resident who trains at DeMarco's Gym in Tottenville, was impressive in winning a three-round decision from 22-year-old Jordan Rodriguez. After winning the novice title in 2008, Caramanno lost in the open semifinals last year. But last night, the College of Staten Island sophomore left no doubt in winning the 114-pound open class. After outpointing Rodriguez with a stick-and-move approach through two rounds, the mercurial Caramanno got drawn into a flat-footed slugfest in the third round -- and more than held his own. "I was a little gassed in the third round, that's why I stopped moving as much," admitted the Monsignor Farrell HS grad, whose corner was yelling at him to "get back on the bike." "Yeah, I guess it was a bad decision by me to go toe-to-toe, but I feel confident that I can punch with anyone," Caramanno said. "It was a great feeling to win the novice, but winning the open proves that I'm a better fighter now." Kuper, a 25-year-old South Beach resident and real estate agent, was the first Island fighter in action last night. Kuper likely outpointed Manhattan opponent Michael Spiegel in the first round of their 178-pound novice fight. "But I got tired in the second round," admitted Kuper, who trains at Rustam's Boxing Club in Annadale.

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Hilton Flores/Staten Island Advance Anthony Caramanno, a novice champ in 2008, avenged his 2009 open division loss with a win in the title bout last night.

Midway through the second round, the long and lanky right-hander found himself in the corner, when it appeared he slipped and fell. Still, the referee signaled a standing eight count against Kuper, who lost his momentum. After winning the second round, Spiegel scored three standing eights in the third -- the last coming with 43 seconds left, bringing a halt to the bout. "I saw who he had beaten and took him seriously," said Spiegel, a 26-year-old personal trainer, of Kuper, who had won four decisions entering the finals. "Then, after I let the first round slip away, reality started setting in and I knew I had to pick up the pace." "I tried my best. I'm proud of myself,"said Kuper, who had a large contingent of family and friends cheering him on. "I absolutely want to be back here next year." Two more local fighters are slated for championship bouts tonight -- Idrissa "Skip" Kamara and Hamzah Al Nuzaili, both of Cops 'N Kids.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Your Soap Box: Danielle Hernandez, Willowbrook By Jamie Lee March 11, 2010, 11:50AM “I’ve lived in Willowbrook my enitre life. I live here with both my parents and my younger brother and sister. We recently redid our house, but [the rest of the neighborhood] has basically stayed the same for as long as I can remember. It hasn’t changed very much at all. In fact, the only thing that really changes is the newspaper delivery boys. “I recently graduated from the College of Staten Island, and I work at Edible Arrangements [in Bulls Head], so commuting to work and school has been ridiculously easy. And I consider myself very blessed for that fact because I have friends that commute hours and hours and hours to school and work. I do plan on living a bunch of places [as I get older], but [Willowbrook] will always be home. I think I’ll always continue to return here to visit.” — Jamie Lee If you live in Willowbrook, tell us what you like — or don’t like — about it. E-mail Please put “Soap Box” in the subject line. © 2010 All rights reserved.

Danielle Hernandez, Willowbrook

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Unsung heroes fuel success of Unity Games By Jack Minogue March 13, 2010, 1:25PM

Staten island Advance file photo by Hilton Flores Evan Pickman is one of the tireless volunteers making the Unity Games a successful venture on Staten Island.

Want to see how unique, how special this community is? Spend a couple of hours next weekend at the Petrides School, the principal site of the eighth annual Unity Games. You’ll see kids grouped together by color — of their basketball shirts, not their skin — enjoying the camaraderie of teammates who, in most instances, they didn’t know until they put on their uniforms. But what’s just as impressive is the generations that have come together to help the founders Jacob Carey, a surgical technician, and Dr. Mark Sherman, an orthopedic surgeon, take the Games beyond their wildest dreams. Start with the "retired" people: Former Curtis HS baseball and basketball coach and intermediate school principal Bert Levinson, who handles the scheduling of games and officials and meals, and Evan Pickman, the former College of Staten Island basketball coach, who runs the daily contests, a clinic and uses his NBA contacts to get a player or two as guest speakers. Drop down a little to Tony Navarino, whose retirement as Island CYO director hasn’t diminished his passion for helping kids and who helps with scheduling and setting up workshops. Then, there’s Wagner College women’s basketball coach Gela Mikalauskas, whose entire team will help on the basketball courts.

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Drop down a generation to Tottenville High School football coach Jim Munson and former CSI basketball standout Gerard Nicholson. Munson will be doing workshops on a major school problem: bullying. Nicholson, who, as a member of the Police Department is involved with Island intermediate schools, will team with some of his colleagues, past and present, to offer workshops on topics like gangs, diversity, youth law and Internet safety. Wander farther down the hallway and you’ll find Pickman’s wife, Miriam, with her traditional giant banner on which every athlete will get to make an artistic contribution. Get there early next Saturday and you will find Ingrid Ebanks, from the Beacon program at Dreyfus Intermediate School, making certain every seventh and eighth-grader has a uniform shirt, pants, socks and a headband. Ingrid, who also handles the buses, will have help: Pete and CC Diamond and Steve Kessler. Stop by Friday afternoon and you’ll find Petrides athletic director Mike Duffy setting the stage. Then, there’s Chris Brennan (Monsignor Farrell) who works for the NBA and always seems to come up with NBA goodies to be used as prizes, and Lois Schwartz who oversees the volunteers. All of the above and others who play "minor" roles are reasons the Unity Games have long since outgrown Petrides. With help from former Tottenville HS basketball coach Mike Reape, some games will be played at the Jewish Community Center Saturday and Sunday, and courtesy of Joyce Strype and Erika Rautenstrauch, at the West Brighton YMCA on Saturday. Neither organization will charge for use of their facilities. That’s more than can be said for the city Department of Education. But that should come as no surprise. Fortunately for the kids and this community, unlike the D of E, there’s no shortage of individuals and organizations who don’t put a dollar sign on everything. STILL TIME TO REGISTER Seventh and eighth-graders may still register for the Unity Games on Sunday morning at 9 at Petrides. They will need to be accompanied by a parent and bring sneakers and shorts since the evaluation of players for their assignment to teams will also take place at that time.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Motherhood:Second calling comes after tragedy By Judy L. Randall March 14, 2010, 10:00AM

Jan Somma-Hammel/Staten Island Advance Cathy Eisengrein is ready to embark again on motherhood. The New Springville woman lost adopted daughter Gloria Joy to cancer.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Cathy Eisengrein cherishes the memory: While reading to her baby daughter in the hospital, shortly before she lost Gloria Joy to cancer, her darling girl called her "Mom Mom" and offered up kiss after kiss. "It was a gift," said Ms. Eisengrein. "It was as if she was consoling me." The book they were reading, "A Mother for Choco," is a favorite of adoptive families, for it portrays a baby bird in search of a mother. "I wanted her to know, 'I love you; I am your Mommy; I am taking care of you," recalled Ms. Eisengrein of that precious moment. A mere eight months after traveling to Guatemala to adopt Gloria in 2008, Ms. Eisengrein, a single mom, suffered a loss no parent should have to bear. Soon after she felt a hard mass when she touched her daughter's belly, doctors diagnosed Gloria with Stage 4 cancer of the liver. Despite what appeared to be initially effective rounds of chemotherapy, the cancer spread to Gloria's lungs and brain, triggering seizures. Gloria was just 15 months old when she died. Said Ms. Eisengrein: "I really thought she would be miraculously healed. That she'd be in the Olympics one day and they'd be doing her personal story on TV. And she would be saying, 'Oh, yeah, I had cancer when I was a baby and now I'm a skater.'" Surrounded by a super support network of family, friends and co-workers in the days and weeks that followed Gloria's death, Ms. Eisengrein, who possesses the generous heart of a born mother and a deep

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spiritual faith, became convinced she was meant to adopt again. A native Staten Islander now living in Willowbrook, Ms. Eisengrein, 45, grew up in Westerleigh, holds a degree in elementary education from the College of Staten Island and is a project administrator with Manhattan-based Hunter Roberts Construction Group. When little Gloria's medical bills mounted, Ms. Eisengrein's co-workers pitched in with donations. Ultimately, her employer paid all expenses not covered by insurance and encouraged her to adopt a second time. With single-parent adoptions easier abroad than they are here in the United States, and adoptions currently closed in Guatemala, Ms. Eisengrein set her sights on Nepal, which welcomes singles seeking to adopt. She hopes to be matched with a baby girl in the coming weeks and travel there in the near future. To help defray the cost of a second adoption, her co-workers again took up a collection. And Ms. Eisengrein is hosting a spaghetti supper at her church, Gateway Cathedral, Richmond Valley, on March 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. (Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children 8 and younger.) She also has received the support of several Island businesses that have contributed raffles for the fundraiser, including RisquĂŠ, a Meiers Corners hair salon; Panera Bread, New Springville, and Ricky's Candy, Cones and Chaos, New Springville. In addition, this time she has enlisted the help of Illinois-based Lifesong for Orphans. Those wishing to donate to Ms. Eisengrein's adoption fund may do so through Lifesong and receive a tax deduction. All funds sent to Lifesong go to cover adoption costs. Lifesong is a 501C-3 non-profit, with approvals from the Internal Revenue Service and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Lifesong for Orphans; Attn. Eisengrein #1146 Adoption; P.O. Box 40; 202 N. Ford St.; Gridley, IL 61744. In the meantime, Ms. Eisengrein has named her hoped-for baby girl Priya ("blessed") Grace. "I want to be a mommy and raise a daughter," said Ms. Eisengrein. "Of course, if they call and say, 'We have a boy for you,' I'll say, 'OK, just give me an extra day to go out and buy some boy clothes.'" Judy L. Randall is a news reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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March 17, 2010

Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore, MSPT, DPT Honored by Cambridge Who's Who for Excellence in Physical Therapy

Dr. Dianna Marie Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Amore

-- Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore Specializes in Treating Children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism -STATEN ISLAND, NY, March 16, 2010 /Cambridge Who's Who/ --Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore, Physical Therapist for the New York City Board of Education, has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in physical therapy. A former hospital volunteer, Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore found her calling in physical therapy for children. She currently lends her talents to the Staten Island District of the New York City Board of Education. Tasked with overseeing 25 children and attending to nine per day, Dr. D'Amore excels in treating children with developmental disabilities and autism within the school community. She also treats children through New York State's Early Intervention program. She derives fulfillment from using her skills to help others, and attributes her success to drive, determination and strong familial support.

Physical Therapist for the New York City Board of Education

Cambridge Whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Who is an exclusive membership

Dr. D'Amore earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008 from Mary Mount University and her Master's and Bachelor's Degrees from CUNY College of Staten Island. She is affiliated with the National Honor Society and was recognized with a Mary McMillan Award for outstanding service in the field of physical therapy. In her free time, Dr. D'Amore volunteers in her local church as a Eucharistic minister. She also offers therapy services to the elderly and homebound. She aspires to become the rehabilitation supervisor for specialneeds and autistic children within the next five years.

organization that recognizes and empowers executives, professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the world.

About Cambridge Who's Who Cambridge Who's Who is an exclusive membership organization that recognizes and empowers executives, professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the world. From healthcare to law, engineering to finance, manufacturing to education, every major industry is represented by its 400,000 active members. Cambridge Who's Who membership provides individuals with a valuable third party endorsement of their

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accomplishments and gives them the tools needed to brand themselves and their businesses effectively. In addition to publishing biographies in print and electronic form, Cambridge Who's Who offers an online networking platform where members can establish new business relationships and achieve career advancement within their company, industry or profession. For more information, please visit our site: Cambridge Who's Who. ### Read more press releases by Cambridge Who's Who: • • • • • • • • • •

Carol A. Reeves Honored by Cambridge Who's Who for Excellence Robert Melchiorre Joins the Ranks of Leading Professionals Carol L. Cook is a Recognized Leader in Student Advisement and School Counseling Jarvis Garetson Uses GPS Technology to Increase Farm Production Charles L. Gelfman, MD, Honored by Cambridge Who's Who for Excellence in Healthcare Mark Loukhton Celebrated for Professional Efforts in the Field of Business Consultancy Brenda Montreuil Honored by Cambridge Who's Who Marina Nudelis Honored by Cambridge Who's Who for Excellence in Pharmacy Studies Bindu V. Gulati, DDS, Recognized as a Leader in the Dental Industry Cambridge Who's Who Recognizes Joseph R. MacDonald for Excellence

Press Release Contact Information: Ellen Campbell Cambridge Who's Who Public Relations 498 RXR Plaza, West Tower Uniondale, NY USA 11556 Voice: 516-535-1515 x1266 E-Mail: Email us Here Website: Visit Our Website

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Family supports young athletes in memory of son By Staten Island Advance March 21, 2010, 6:01AM STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Frank J Reali III Family Foundation will present its "Heart of a Champion Award" on Monday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in Li Greci's Staaten. Tickets are $100. Call the Frank J Reali III Family Foundation at 718-420-2331, e-mail, or visit Being honored for their "larger than life achievements" are: Joe Causi, Megan Ajello, Scott Lo Baido, Mary and Dick Cibelli, Dr. Frank Scafuri III, Dr. Michael LaCorte and Dr. Philip Roth. "Brooklyn's Own" Joe Causi of WCBS-FM 101.1 has been a staple in New York radio since the early 1980s when the College of Staten Island graduate debuted at Disco 92-WKTU. Megan Ajello, a ninth grader in Bishop Ahern High School, is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and tireless volunteer. She has given her time to numerous organizations including the Crossroads Foundation by collecting pennies in baby bottles, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and March of Dimes' Celebrity Bowl. Scott LoBaido, a self taught artist, has dedicated his talents to promoting patriotism. In 10 months he painted "Flags Across America" by driving across the country and painting a large American Flag on a rooftop in each of the 50 states. His goal was to ensure that all soldiers flying home from war would be welcomed by the sight of a flag. With the help of Where to Turn, LoBaido has also painted 51 flags throughout Staten Island on walls that were once covered with graffiti. Mary and Richard Cibelli worked together from 1961 to 1979 at Island Pharmacy. They have three children and three grandchildren, and were both involved in Scouting at Our Lady Queen of Peace. Mary Cibelli was devoted to women with breast cancer, specializing in mastectomy, as a certified fitter and purchasing agent. She became the first woman to be inducted to the South Shore Rotary Club. She is a committee member of the American Cancer Society of Staten Island and a lifetime member of the Deborah Heart & Lung Association. Richard Cibelli has served as president of the South Shore Rotary and chairman of the board of the South Shore Rotary Foundation and is a member of the board of directors of Meals on Wheels, Dr. Frank Scafuri III is chief of infectious diseases at Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton. He also has a solo practice both in West Brighton and Annadale. He is on the board of directors for the Forest Avenue Business Improvement District and Community Health Action of Staten Island. Dr. Michael LaCorte has been a pediatric cardiologist for over 30 years and is the director of Schneider's Children's Hospital Consultation Center in Brooklyn and Ocean Breeze. Dr. LaCorte has extended his practice to include detailed knowledge and recommendations regarding bloodless surgery for those patients and families whose faith requires this consideration. Dr. Philip Roth is chairman of the department of pediatrics and director of neonatology at Staten Island University Hospital. He has been a longstanding member of the Society for Pediatric Research, Greater New York March of Dimes program services committee which he chaired for several years. He is an associate professor of Pediatrics at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center and a member of the faculty of Wagner College physician's assistant program. Fran and Frank Reali founded the foundation in memory of their son who died in 2007, at age 36, from sudden cardiac arrest (SCD). SCD affects more than 400,000 people every year in the United States and is the leading cause of death among young athletes, according to the National Athletic Trainers' Association.

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To help reduce these numbers the Reali Foundation with the help of Staten Island University Hospital began a testing program at the hospital in conjunction with Schneider's Children Hospital, and North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center. The program provides 8th graders contemplating high school sports with an echocardiogram and EKG as baseline testing. Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore, MSPT, DPT Honored by Cambridge Who's Who for Excellence in Physical Therap Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore, Physical Therapist for the New York City Board of Education, has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for demonstrating dedication, leadership and excellence in physical therapy.

A former hospital volunteer, Dr. Dianna Marie D'Amore found her calling in physical therapy for children. She currently lends her talents to the Staten Island District of the New York City Board of Education. Tasked with overseeing 25 children and attending to nine per day, Dr. D'Amore excels in treating children with developmental disabilities and autism within the school community. She also treats children through New York State's Early Intervention program. She derives fulfillment from using her skills to help others, and attributes her success to drive, determination and strong familial support.

Dr. D'Amore earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2008 from Mary Mount University and her Master's and Bachelor's Degrees from CUNY College of Staten Island. She is affiliated with the National Honor Society and was recognized with a Mary McMillan Award for outstanding service in the field of physical therapy. In her free time, Dr. D'Amore volunteers in her local church as a Eucharistic minister. She also offers therapy services to the elderly and homebound. She aspires to become the rehabilitation supervisor for special-needs and autistic children within the next five years. About Cambridge Who's Who Cambridge Who's Who is an exclusive membership organization that recognizes and empowers executives, professionals and entrepreneurs throughout the world. From healthcare to law, engineering to finance, manufacturing to education, every major industry is represented by its 400,000 active members.

Cambridge Who's Who membership provides individuals with a valuable third party endorsement of their accomplishments and gives them the tools needed to brand themselves and their businesses effectively. In addition to publishing biographies in print and electronic form, Cambridge Who's Who offers an online networking platform where members can establish new business relationships and achieve career advancement within their company, industry or profession.

For more information, please visit our site: Cambridge Who's Who.

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From the Shores Editor By Marjorie Hack March 25, 2010, 11:17AM Sometimes, it’s not something you accomplish that gives you overwhelming joy and enlightenment; it’s something someone else does. Saturday night, my son, Charles, showed me his letter from the College of Staten Island: He has graduated. His journey to this moment was unlike that of his brothers, or his parents, or his uncles — and it served as a reminder to me that there is no one right way to get from Point A to Point B: Every child is different. And that can be a tough thing, as a parent, to remember.

Marjorie Hack

Charlie’s favorite thing was never school, though he did fine. He’s a smart guy, but sitting behind a desk, doing homework and reading were not his strongest suits growing up. Give him a soccer ball, though, and he was super-exciting to watch. Get him as a friend and you knew you’d have someone watching your back forever.

Members of Charlie’s extended family had gone off to college through the years, and despite some initial bouts of homesickness, all learned to love where they went. Charles, however, was not happy having picked the University of Delaware where he had earned a partial scholarship to play Division 1 soccer. I thought the school was beautiful and had plenty to offer. I wanted him to stay; he wanted to come home. I pondered; I wrestled with myself. I am more than able to dig in my heels when I am sure I’m right. I wasn’t sure this time, though, so I gave in. Something told me that Charles needed to meet something other than a brick wall. He came home in May of 2007, at the end of his sophomore year, with the caveat from me that he enroll at the College of Staten Island full-time — and find a job as well. That’s a lot to put on a 19-year-old’s plate, but I needed not so much to let him back into the nest, but to find a way to better prepare him to fly. Thanks to a wonderful reference, Charles was offered a job at the front desk of the Hilton Garden Inn. He enrolled at CSI, knowing he had many credits to make up, having lost some in the transfer between schools. And he had one more thing he had to answer to: Me, right behind him, telling him he was not permitted to stretch out his college experience for years on end. The young man who handed me the letter from CSI a few days ago bears almost no resemblance to the boy who came home from Delaware in 2007. He is a smarter, savvier, more confident version of that person, though, and at 22, one of the best managers of people I’ve ever seen. We were originally a family of five; Charlie’s father died when Charlie was just 8 years old. I look at myself and Charlie’s two older brothers — who are also the lights of my life — and, after watching how quickly my youngest has changed in the past three years, I now say, “Hmm, if he keeps going at this rate, the little guy could very well get the best of us all!” Full steam ahead, Charles Austen. The world is now waiting for you.

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Parents, please feel free to share stories of your children and your discoveries as parents. Your stories, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure, are wonderful, and we can all learn from your experiences, which helps build stronger communities. You can e-mail Or call 718-816-8350. I have more time to talk on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, than Monday or Tuesday. Thanks for reading.

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Islanders promoted at NYPD ceremony By Jeff Harrell March 27, 2010, 6:20AM

Family Photo Attending the NYPD promotion ceremony at One Police Plaza in Manhattan are newly promoted Detective First Grade Joseph Cavitolo with his family -- sons Vincent and Michael; daughter, Ashlee, and wife, Jean Marie.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Detective First Grade suits Joe Cavitolo just fine. The 48-year-old Bay Terrace police veteran, who has served as one of NYPD's official spokesmen in the office of DCPI for the 13 years, was among several ranked officers promoted yesterday during a ceremony at 1 Police Plaza. "Besides the increase in pay?" Cavitolo replied when asked how the promotion would affect his duties. Cavitolo will remain assigned to the NYPD's office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, a position he has maintained since 1997, after spending seven years as a patrol officer in Park Slope's 78th Precinct. He plans to kick off his bump in rank with a celebration at his home tonight. "We're going to have family and friends over for dinner," Cavitolo said. Also promoted was Assistant Chief Raymond Diaz, who also has Staten Island ties. Diaz, a graduate of the College of Staten Island and a 40-year NYPD veteran, served in the Mid-Island's 122nd Precinct in New Dorp; the South Shore's 123rd Precinct in Tottenville; and the Island's Auto Larceny Unit, Auto Crime Division and Field Training Unit. Chief of Patrol James P. Hall, Assistant Chief Carlos M. Gomez, Assistant Chief Owen J. Monaghan, and Assistant Chief Thomas P. Putrell were also promoted.

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Jeff Harrell is a news reporter for the Advance. He may be reached at

Š 2010 All rights reserved.

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Brave heart By Andrea Boyarsky March 29, 2010, 5:27AM

Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel Danielle Bernabe of Great Kills applies onitment to her son Jaime's scars that are a result of surgeries for his congenital heart defect.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - Danielle Bernabe watches her son run around their Great Kills home with the energy only a 7-year-old can muster. In most ways, Jaime is like other kids his age: He likes to play on the computer and enjoys hanging out with his cousins. But Jaime’s slight frame bears scars of the battles he’s faced in his short lifetime. There are the ones on his chest from multiple surgeries to fix his underdeveloped heart. The belly button-esque mark on his neck indicates where a tracheostomy tube was inserted to help him breathe. Jaime has hypoplastic right heart syndrome, a condition in which the structures on the heart’s right side are underdeveloped. He is one of about 36,000 children born each year with a congenital heart defect (CHD), according to the American Heart Association. For some, the defect is mild and there are no outward symptoms. Other babies become ill soon after birth. Sometimes, symptoms don’t present themselves until later in childhood. When I found out, I didn’t believe it. At first I didn’t understand,” said Ms. Bernabe, who learned her son had hypoplastic right heart syndrome from a sonogram during her eighth month of pregnancy. “When I started seeing cardiologists and they said I had to deliver at a special hospital, that’s when it become real.” CHDs received national attention last March when Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) along with Sen. Thad Cochran (R -Miss.) and Representatives Zack Space (D-Ohio) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) introduced The Congenital Heart Futures Act. Main portions of the bipartisan legislation, which increases awareness, education and research into

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congenital heart disease, were included in a health care reform bill passed in the Senate in December.

Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel Anna Fiorentino''s twin sister died from a smililar heart defect shortly after birth 28 years ago.

Despite the prevalence of congenital heart disease, research, data collection, education and awareness are limited,” Durbin said in a statement. “This legislation will expand research and broaden its scope to help those currently living with congenital heart disease and perhaps, one day, find cures.” There are many types of CHDs, ranging from those that don’t need treatment to others that require many surgeries. Dr. Michael LaCorte, chief of pediatric cardiology at Staten Island University Hospital, explained that multiple factors can cause CHDs, including genetics and environment. The defects occur early on in a baby’s development, as the heart is typically fully formed five to six weeks after conception. The most common CHD is a ventricular septal defect, a hole in the wall that separates the heart’s lower chambers, said LaCorte, who is one of Jaime’s doctors. Other heart defects, like hypoplastic right heart syndrome, are less prevalent. CHDs are usually diagnosed by a fetal echocardiogram given to women at high risk due to age or family history. They can also be picked up by a regular sonogram, although sometimes defects go undetected during pregnancy, noted LaCorte, who is also assistant chief of staff for Brooklyn and Staten Island at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Long Island. After birth, babies with CHDs may appear cyanotic (blue), experience respiratory difficulty or have a heart murmur. "There are instances where it’s not picked up right away at birth and may be picked up when a child is older due to a murmur,” said LaCorte. “More serious ones [CHDs] are usually figured out before or after birth.” After Donatella Fiorentino was born 28 years ago, she started turning blue. An echocardiogram showed she had hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which parts of the left side of her heart were underdeveloped. Two weeks after birth, she underwent a relatively new surgery at the time. Little Donatella did not make it more than a few hours past the surgery, but her twin sister Anna holds the newborn close to her heart. The Dongan Hills woman, who has not had heart problems, wears a HopeHeart necklace from the Congenital Heart Information Network to remind her of what was lost and also inspire her 158 of 162

to help others. “I always wanted to do something,” said Ms. Fiorentino, who originally studied to be a scientist and graduated from the College of Staten Island Honor’s College with a degree in bioinformatics. “I’m the one who survived,” she added, “and I felt like I had to do something beneficial.” Although Ms. Fiorentino no longer works as a scientist, she still hopes to educate people and raise awareness of CHDs. She’s hosting a fund-raiser April 9 at The Looney Bin Comedy Club in Travis to benefit Little Hearts, Inc., a national organization that provides support, education, resources and networking to families affected by congenital heart defects. Jaime’s mom — whose brother Rob is an old friend of Ms. Fiorentino — plans on being in attendance for the fund-raiser and is glad awareness is being raised for something that has dramatically altered her life. For the past seven years, Danielle Bernabe has been in and out of hospitals more times than she can count. She’s watched as Jaime underwent multiple surgeries, nearly suffocated before her eyes and needed a trach tube. The stay-at-home mom with strong family support has big hopes for the future. In August, Jaime’s tube was taken out and he is able to breathe on his own. Both mother and son will be heading to school in September, as Jaime, who had been home-schooled, enters third grade and Ms. Bernabe studies to become a nurse. According to LaCorte, the survival rate for children with CHDs has greatly improved through the years. A new field of cardiology has emerged for adults with congenital heart disease as more people are living into 30s, 40s and beyond, he added. “More and more people are living normal lives,” said LaCorte. “More people are living longer with congenital heart defects.” Andrea Boyarsky is a features reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at ‘Have a Heart’ benefit Danielle Bernabe’s son Jaime was born with the right side of his heart underdeveloped. The 7-year-old has endured numerous surgeries to fix his heart. When Anna Fiorentino and her twin sister Donatella were born 28 years ago, Donatella had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Despite surgery on the left side of her heart, the newborn died. Danielle and Anna have teamed up with Soul Joel Productions to present “Have a Heart Come Out and Laugh,” a comedy show fund-raiser to benefit Little Hearts, Inc., which provides support, education, resources and networking to families affected by congenital heart defects. When April 9 at 8 p.m. Where Dugout Pub & Grill 1614 Forest Ave., Port Richmond Who Anyone 21 and older can attend. Price $15 cover includes top comics from around New York City. There will also be raffles and prizes and a band performing after the show. More information 718-948-3804 Ms. Fiorentino’s blog also offers information on the event.

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Friends keep Hannafin's memory alive through NCAA Tournament By Charlie R DeBiase March 30, 2010, 9:47AM It’s hard to believe it’s been 26 years since Tom Hannafin and Vinny Polimeni met for lunch at a Forest Ave. pub to kick off a NCAA Tournament tradition that still exists today. The tradition has evolved into a great tribute to Hannafin, the city firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. As legend has it, Hannafin and Polimeni skipped a few afternoon classes at the College of Staten Island so they could catch the opening-round games of the 1984 NCAA Tournament. The duo was later joined by friends and fellow basketball junkies Jay Zieris and Gerard Nicholson. “The greatest day of the year,” is the way Polomeni put it, referring to the Thursday games. “We sat there until the last buzzer sounded just around midnight.” Hence, ‘12-to-12,’ as they now call it, was born. The venue changed year to year, but the concept remained the same. As the years went by, the number of participants, which eventually included Hannafin’s brothers, John, Pat and Pete, grew. All that changed when Tom Hannafin perished, but the group decided to keep the tradition alive in honor of the fallen firefighter. “John Hannafin has taken the tribute to a new level,” said Polimeni of the former Notre Dame Academy girls’ varsity basketball coach. “Now, each year, the day starts at Tommy’s grave.

SIA file Tom Hannafin, left, and Jay Zieris each played for the College of Staten Island in the 1980s.

“(Zieris), Tim Hepworth, John and Mike Coughlin, Matt Olsen, Dave Del Rio, the Hannafins and myself haven’t missed a year. We toast Tom at precisely 12:20 — time of the first tip-off — and go back to John (Hannafin’s) house where there are no invites. Just an open door.” “About 10-12 guys make it their business to come to the cemetery. They plan taking the day off months ahead and it really means a lot to me,” added John Hannafin. “This (day) is my way of honoring my brother. “Some people have golf outings or something like that, but this is my tribute. “It’s nice to keep the tradition going with the friends he grew up with and from CSI. We eat, drink and watch a million games all day. That’s the way he had it.” According to Polimeni and John Hannafin, some years, between 40-50 people will pop in, all sharing great memories of Tom Hannafin, not to mention breaking down everyone’s high school and college basketball careers. Can you imagine the stories? “Tom is still alive in that room,” said Polimeni. “Just call it Tom Hannafin Day.” Participants have included all the aforementioned, as well as, Kevin and Denis Coughlin, Jerry Curran, 160 of 162

Mike Nicotra, Don Bacci, Richie Parlente, Frank McLaughlin, Bobby Pearsall, Louie Brennan, John Manzi, Mike Sanborn, Billy Althoff, Joe Flack and Jack Esposito. Greg De Biase made his first appearance this year and gained instant fame when he defeated the heavily favored Zieris in the annual, 16-man hot shot contest in John Hannafin’s basement. “I call it the He-man Woman Haters Club,” laughed Zieris, who quickly shook off his one-point loss to De Biase. “It’s a great time.” Pearsall won the hot shot contest, which was run smoothly thanks to the assistance of John Hannafin’s sons, John Jeremiah and Steven. Hepworth, meanwhile, the former St. Peter’s HS basketball star who recently guided Xaverian HS to the CHSAA junior varsity AA intersectional championship, won the collegiate nickname contest. In that ‘event,’ the participants must know the most nicknames for the teams in the tournament’s 65-team field. Some say Hepworth studied ahead of time, which is against the rules, but the allegation wasn’t proved. Not yet, anyway.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

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Staten Island Bridges Command takes home inagural 'PAPD Madness' title By Staten Island Advance Sports Desk March 30, 2010, 10:01AM The first-ever Port Authority Police Department “PAPD Madness” Basketball Tournament took place in early March and the team from the Staten Island Bridges Command won the inaugural title. Overall, 16 teams from all 12 commands of the PAPD competed in the double elimination tournament at Fastbreak Basketball Center in Tottenville. The tournament was dedicated to the memory of three people in the PAPD family who were lost in 2009: Johnny Ray, 16-year-old son of Sgt. Raul Morales (of SIB); Daniela Harris, wife of retired Sgt. Nat Harris and P.O. Melba Boyles. Staten Island Bridges wore red just like Moore Catholic, where Ray played football and baseball before he was killed in a tragic car accident last year. No one wore No. 4, which was Ray’s number for the Mavericks. SIB was led by former College of Staten Island basketball standouts John Cali and Joe O’Leary, the tournament coordinator. CSI is also where Harris played and starred in college. Cali, a former CUNY Player of the Year and two-time CUNY Tournament MVP while at CSI, had 27 points in a 66-50 win over Port Authority Bus Terminal A in the championship, while O’Leary had 26 points. In the semifinals, Cali poured in 48 points to lead SIB past Newark Airport’s A squad, which featured Farrell product Tom Hassel and former York College standout Stanley O’Neil. The day’s best game was easily a four-overtime matchup between eventual winner Bus Terminal A and George Washington Bridge in the quarterfinals. Two teams from JFK and PATH, as well as Bus Terminal B, Newark Airport B, Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, Word Trade Center, LaGuardia Airport, Port Newark and Special Operations also participated. While Fastbreak provided the perfect place, Crown Trophy made the awards — including memorial plaques for families of the three the tourney was dedicated to. Major League Screen Printing made the team shirts while Tottenville Bagels supplied the food. W’s Tavern hosted the post-tournament gathering. “It was a great day of camaraderie for everyone on the job who came and played or helped out,” said O’Leary, who hopes to use the event as a fundraiser for charity in the future. “This is something we would like to do every year.” © 2010 All rights reserved.

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March 2010  

CSI in the News - March 2010

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