Pets: The Poop on West Side Dog Parks June 16, 2011
P.S. 75 Rallies to Save Art Program
Page 14 Since 1985
Cracking Down Move to tighten laws against nutcracker, a sweet alcoholic drink that teens are buying on the streets
â€˜Song of the Silk Roadâ€™
Where Cheesy Meets Over Easy
By Megan Finnegan Page 6
Cavett, on fame and his first West Side walk-up P.16
See page 8
express STREET HONORS EDUCATOR SIDNEY MORISON—On June 8, West 92nd
Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue was co-named “P.S. 84 Sidney Morison Way” in honor of lifelong educator Sidney H. Morison. Morison, who passed away in October 2009, spent his career teaching throughout New York City and served as principal of P.S. 84, the Lillian Weber School, from 1969 to 1995. After retiring from the Board of Education, Mr. Morison continued to teach as a professor at City College, Bank Street College and Barnard College. Council Member Gale Brewer, P.S. 84 Principal Robin Sundick and Morison’s wife Jacqueline were among those who attended the street co-naming ceremony, which took place on Wednesday morning in the P.S. 84 schoolyard. Students of both P.S. 84 and P.S. 87 participated in the community celebration, which included a color guard and a student musical tribute. The co-naming signage will be placed at the southeast corner of West 92nd Street and Columbus Avenue, where P.S. 84 is located. —Lisa Chen NEW PROTECTION FOR HOTEL WORKERS—
agement don’t know the right steps to take.” —Megan Finnegan
WOMAN MISSING ON UPPER WEST SIDE—Michelle Walker,
22, disappeared in front of her home at 870 Columbus Ave. on Monday, June 6, police said. She had just returned from school, though it is unclear which school she attends. She is described as 5-feet 6-inches tall, 130 pounds and wearing a black, long-sleeve striped shirt with blue jeans and brown shoes at the time of her disappearance. Police do not suspect foul play but ask anyone with information to call 800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential. —Ashley Welch PANORAMIC THEATER—The
New York Led by Choirmaster Preston Smith at the piano, the Perley Children’s Choir from The Classical Theatre presents free Church of the Ascension on West 107th Street perform at a recent concert. Consisting of outdoor performances of The children ages 8 to 14, the choir will be on tour this summer, singing at houses of worship, School for Husbands, Molière’s civic functions and social events. 17th-century comedy that tells the story of a young woman who rejects her guardian’s desire for marriage JASA ART RECEPTION—The Jewish gram that hosts forums on life’s bigger and coaches a more attractive suitor on Association for Services for the Aged questions, will talk with Cavett about how to be a good husband. In the manner (JASA) hosts a special exhibition and “Celebrity, Fame, and other small topof the “panoramic theater” that New York reception in honor of artist Angelo ics.” Cavett will sign copies of his latClassical is known for, audiences follow Romano, who recently donated more est book, Talk Show: Confrontations, the performance through Central Park as than 60 pieces of his original artworks, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen the play progresses, for approximately June 23, 5:30—7:30 p.m. at JASA’s Secrets, after the interview. Thursday 90 minutes. Currently running Thursday Cooper Square Senior Residence, 200 June 23, 7 p.m. New York Society for through Sunday until June 26, 7 p.m. Play E. 5th St. Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., tickets Romano is an internationally recog- from $25, socratesinthecity.com. begins at West 103rd Street and Central nized Spanish-born painter, with works Park West. —MF —Catharine Daddario on permanent display at El Museo del Barrio and Hostos Community College, and at other museums, cultural centers and schools in Spain, Brazil and across the U.S. His colorful works are done on canvas, as well as on Monday, June 20 old bottles, light bulbs and • Community Board 7 Parks & cookie tins, assembled togethEnvironment Committee Meeting, 7 er into new, fantastical shapes. p.m., Community Board office, 250 W. 87th After the initial reception, the St. works will be distributed to JASA’s Senior Centers and Wednesday, June 22 other facilities for permanent • Community Board 7 Special Land display. 212-273-5222. Use Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m., —MF Community Board office, 250 W. 87th St.
Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Betty Little introduced a bill last week that would require hotel and motel owners and operators to provide comprehensive sexual harassment awareness training, approved by the State Department of Labor, to their management and staff. The training would make employees aware of their rights, provide a clear system for reporting incidents and complaints, provide a workers’ bill of rights and protect those who speak up against employer retaliation. “The behavior of hotel guests will always be unpredictable, and recent events have demonstrated that there is a clear need for sexual harassment awareness and prevention education and training for hotel employees,” Rosenthal said in a statement. “Many hotel workers are women who are new to the country and speak limited English, making them particularly vulnerable; it is essential that they be provided with specific protections under the law.” “The 30,000 members of the Hotel Trades Council unfortunately see inappropriate behavior all too often,” said A student performer from the High School for Arts, ImaginaPeter Ward, president of the tion and Inquiry takes part in a production of Euripides’ ElecHotel Trades Council, the hotel tra at the Clark Studio Theater in the Lincoln Center Institute workers union in New York for the Arts in Education. City. “Often, policies don’t
An electrifying PlAy
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• we s t s i d e s pirit
June 16, 2011
FAME & TALK SHOWS—The Socrates in the City program presents “What Is the Price of Fame?,” an interview with television talk show legend and New York Times columnist Dick Cavett. Eric Metaxas, founder of the pro-
This schedule is current as of Tuesday, June 14. For more information, including full agendas, please contact the community boards directly. Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee: 212-362-4008, cb7.org.
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P.S. 75 Rallies To Save Arts Program By Lisa Chen When asked about a recent field trip to MoMA, 5th-grade students at P.S. 75 don’t just describe what they saw. They talk about the art using words like “volume,” “texture” and “perspective” to describe the pieces that they saw. “We got to see ‘The Starry Night,’ and lots of work by Van Gogh and Picasso. It inspires you to make better art,” a student named Zuhri remarked thoughtfully. At P.S. 75, the Emily Dickinson School, at 735 West End Ave., students learn about art through the Collaborative Community Program (CCP), one of many programs offered by Studio in a School, a group that brings professional artists to classes in New York City. The CCP is part of a three-year grant that the school received that provides weekly art instruction to students. Currently in its last year of the grant, the P.S. 75 community is scrambling to make the program self-sustaining and retain the art program at their school. To help raise funds for the program, P.S. 75 will host a Family Art Night from 6-8 p.m. at the school on Thursday, June 16. Student artwork will be on display for the public to peruse, with student
docents leading tours. The school’s PTA is hoping to raise $55,000 at events like this by September to continue the Studio program, and is currently seeking grant opportunities, donations and local business partnerships to keep the program afloat. Without the funding, P.S. 75 will not be able to offer the art classes come September. As part of the CCP, students receive instruction from art educators and professional artists. Art teacher and former District 3 Arts Coordinator Karen Abramovitz and teaching artists Kelly Martin and Yayoi Asoma work together on the curriculum and to provide instructions to the students. Having attended many art open houses at P.S. 75, Council Member Gale Brewer attests to the program’s success and importance. “Karen Abramovitz is extraordinary, and keeping her at the school is an important part of maintaining the program,” Brewer said. “And the program means a lot to the students, and that makes it special.” Students progress in the program from sketching to portraiture, and eventually to sculpture.
Studio in a School teacher Maira Fernandez said that the program has given the students a heightened understanding of art. “When I ask them to ‘read the painting,’ they understand,” Fernandez said. “Even students who have trouble academically can talk about the art in an intellectual way.” Parents and staff emphasize the program’s unifying force in a particularly diverse school community. A Title 1 school, P.S. 75’s student body is 51-percent Hispanic, 28-percent Black, 14-percent Caucasian and 7-percent Asian. Seventeen percent of students are English-language learners, and 17percent receive special education services. However, all 700 students participate and benefit from the art program. By sharing and talking about their own artwork, shy students are drawn out of their shells, while English-language learners quickly grasp a new vocabulary. “The program offers multiple entry points for students with different talents, as well as those with different challenges,” P.S. 75 Principal Bob O’Brien said. “It offers everyone a chance to create, and to make references to their own
P.S. 75 is hosting a Family Art Night June 16 to raise $55,000 so they can continue their art program next year. lives while drawing inspiration from other artists at the same time.” Students are certainly hoping the program will continue. Despite his upcoming graduation to middle school, 5thgrader Timothy hopes to continue doing art in his spare time and to teach others the methods that he has learned. “Art is so amazing that we should pass it on to other people,” he said. For more information, visit ps75pta.org.
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• W eS t S id e S p ir it
Move to tighten laws against nutcracker, a sweet alcoholic drink that teens are buying on the streets of Harlem
• we s t s i d e s pirit
By Megan Finnegan New York State is cracking down on frosty, fruity, boozy drinks sold on the streets of northern Manhattan. Often called “nutcrackers,” these illicit concoctions are made from large amounts of alcohol—gin, rum, vodka, sweet liqueurs—and sugary mixers like fruit juice or Kool-Aid. The frozen versions made with crushed ice, especially popular in the summer, are called Finding Nemo—a reference to the animated film—and both varieties are often given an extra dose of flavor with Jolly Ranchers, alcohol-soaked fruit or gummy candy. Whatever the flavor or color, they’re sweet, potent and often hawked to kids as young as 13 years old. Senator Adriano Espaillat has been working on combating the illegal sales of these drinks since his days in the Assembly, when he teamed up with then-Senator Eric Schneiderman on a bill to increase penalties for people caught selling them. The Senate recently unanimously passed a bill approving these harsher penalties. It now awaits passage in the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Nelson Castro of the Bronx and is expected to pass. “Any time there’s a street festival or some kind of big event, you see these kids walking around with these big foam cups full of nutcracker,” Espaillat said. “Kids drink this cold, sugary drink that gets them drunk. To sell it to minors is particularly egregious.” In what Espaillat said could very well be a large-scale, highly profitable industry, the drinks are often made in large batches and then distributed, sold out of minivans and coolers on the street or the subways, and sometimes stocked at bodegas, grocery stores and even barber shops, usually for $5 to $10 a cup. Sometimes it boils down to a one-man operation, with a person mixing drinks at home and then selling them to select customers. Some purveyors and customers use social media to find where to buy the drinks. People chat with their friends on Twitter about where to pick up their favorite colors and flavors. A 34-year-old New Jersey resident named Evan F., who declined to give his last name, said in an email he often
Nutcrackers made with large doses of alcohol are being sold illegally to children. comes to buy nutcracker on the streets in Washington Heights. He’s been getting them from the same place for a few years, and pays $10 a pop for a rotating variety of flavors. “They have a different flavor, almost like a tropical drink,” he said. “People make them and sell them in Jersey as well.” Evan said he doesn’t normally see young kids drinking nutcracker, but Espaillat said local law enforcement and community leaders recognize it as a serious problem, and it’s not just limited to the neighborhoods where it’s sold. “Kids from the West Side, kids from middle-class families come up to northern Manhattan to buy this nutcracker drink,” Espaillat said. Lynnette Velasco, spokesperson for City Council Member Inez Dickens, said that their office is well aware of the dangers of marketing drugs and alcohol to kids. Dickens, who represents parts of Central and East Harlem, Morningside Heights and the Upper West Side, often fights for public health issues in the city council and supported the 2009 law that banned candy-flavored tobacco products, on the grounds that they were often marketed to kids. Velasco said that the Council Member recognizes the problems associated with selling nutcracker on the streets.
June 16, 2011
“The reason [Dickens] is against these types of things is because the children get a hold of it, but it’s not good for adults either,” Velsaco said. “In minority areas you have high instances of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension,” and the ultra-sugary drinks only contribute to those public health issues. The National Center on Addiction and
“I’ve seen some incidences where young girls have been carried out on people’s shoulders,” said Sen. Espaillat. “I’ve been told that they’re lacing this drink with a hormone used for mating horses. This is what I’ve heard in the street.” Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, which is currently finishing a comprehensive study on the effects of adolescent substance abuse, has spoken against teen alcohol consumption of any kind, and also categorizes the problem as one of public health. Susan
Foster, the vice president and director of policy research at CASA, said nutcrackers and other similar drinks exacerbate the dangers to kids. “Teen substance abuse at its core is really a health issue,” said Foster. “The sugary flavors mask the taste of alcohol and makes it more powerful. The danger of this is that it will make them more likely to get addicted.” Foster explained that in recent years, scientists have established that nine out of 10 drug and alcohol addicts began drinking before the age of 18. “The adolescent brain, because it isn’t fully developed, makes teens more prone than adults to take risks,” Foster said. “The part of the brain that has to do with emotions develops earlier. The part of the brain that has to do with judgment, impulse control, the sort of the braking system, is slower to develop.” Alcohol further impairs judgment and interferes with brain development, which is why kids are at greater risks to become addicted. There are also issues on the street when kids drink heavily. Many studies have shown that the risk of sexual assault increases with heavy alcohol consumption. “I’ve seen some incidences where young girls have been carried out on people’s shoulders,” said Sen. Espaillat. “I’ve been told that they’re lacing this drink with a hormone used for mating horses. This is what I’ve heard in the street.” While it is already illegal to sell alcohol to minors or for anyone to sell alcohol without a license, the new law increases the penalties for such infractions with a specific eye on nutcracker dealers. Penalties for selling alcohol to minors can include the revocation of licenses—for instance, a bodega that can legally sell beer but sells nutcracker under the table could lose its license to sell beer if caught—increased fines and longer jail sentences. It also specifically allows for the revocation of a barber’s license if the establishment is caught selling illicit alcohol. “This has to be looked at as a public health issue,” Foster said. “Historically, we’ve looked at this as a behavioral issue—kids will be kids, it’s a rite of passage. We need to do everything we can to keep kids from using alcohol and other drugs as long as we can.” Espaillat agrees that it’s time to seriously curtail this behavior. “This neighborhood has gone through a lot,” he said. It’s unacceptable “to now have 13-, 14-year-olds getting drunk illegally by some guy who wants to make a buck.” N EWS YO U LI V E B Y
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WEST SIDE SPIRIT
Cavett, Still Going Strong & Still Laid Back Upper West Sider on fame and his first apartment
By Megan Finnegan Dick Cavett made his career out of asking the right questions, but these days he has a lot to say about his own life and experiences, and people are listening. The iconic host of his eponymous 90-minute talk show pioneered the longform interview when The Dick Cavett Show aired on ABC from 1968 to 1975, and on public television from 1977 to 1982. Cavett interviewed nearly every Hollywood, music, literary and political heavyweight of the era; some of his most well-known segments were with Groucho Marx and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He’s co-written two books on his life, and his latest book is a chronological collection of his latest endeavors, his Opinionator column for the New York Times website, titled Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets. The book came together after his column proved a hit on the site, and has received praise for its wit and style, which Cavett acolytes came to appreciate from his legendary interviews. “I was asked to write a column and
see how I liked it, about three years ago, for the month of August, two a week,” said Cavett. “The first three came easily, and I thought, well that’s everything I know or will ever have to say. And I still owed five more.” Cavett writes about a variety of topics, from reminiscences of Elizabeth Taylor graciously assisting with his magic rope trick at a party to commentary on current events and recollections of a network television era that’s now long gone. Next week, Cavett will submit himself to an interview with Eric Metaxas for the Socrates in the City forum at the New York Society for Ethical Culture to talk about the price of fame and ponder the bigger questions in life, much as he often asked his own guests to do on his show. “I think fame has become, is it an identifiable name: do you know who Donald Trump is, do you know who Ghandi was, do you know the supporting cast of a good series show? But it also applies to murderers, swindlers, people who send pictures of their penises to constitu-
Dick Cavett will speak at the Socrates in the City forum next week. ents—not that anybody would, I’m just making that up,” Cavett said. As a man who’s sat across the couch from countless famous people and certainly qualifies as one himself, Cavett has observed the nature of fame from a unique perspective and said that it’s defi-
nitely a harder burden to bear these days. “You’re subject to so much tweeting and so forth,” said Cavett. “And fake stuff—the ability to Photoshop, you can put a picture of the Archbishop flashing at school girls—probably school boys— and have it be convincing, and the person would have to deal with it and deny it. Fame is a little pricklier now than it’s ever been. There’s the loss of privacy and the ability to walk down the street and scratch yourself and not be recognized doing it.” He also says that people were famous for being famous long before the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian claimed that mantle. “I don’t know who gets credit for being the very first person to say this, I know it was back in the ’60s,” Cavett said. “Someone said, I think about Zsa Zaa Gabor—it’s almost impossible to think of any movie she’s ever been in. What she’s well known for is being well known.” Cavett has been a long time Upper West Sider—he can recite all of his past continued on page 10
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Crime Watch Idiot Spree
A man attempted to steal a 2005 Nissan Maxima from the MTP Parking Garage on 59th Street last Saturday. According to police, the perpetrator caused damage to the front passenger side door by hitting a pillar before exiting the car and fleeing on foot. The suspect then entered a residential building on West End Avenue, where he exposed himself to front desk security, saying, “Jump on this.” After leaving the building he ran toward West 60th Street and entered another residential building. Security then called the police, who arrived and arrested the man.
Three Apples in One Day
An unidentified person stole three
Apple MacBook laptops from Louis D. Brandeis High School Wednesday, June 8. The computers were left on a rack in the back of an empty, unsecured classroom. The means by which they were stolen are unknown. Police searched the area, but did not find the perpetrator.
Four males assaulted a female Wednesday, June 8, at the Gin Mill, 442 Amsterdam Ave. One of the men hit the female over the head with a bar stool, while two others punched and kicked her arms and legs. Once they were outside the bar, one of the men, waving a knife in his right hand, threatened the victim, saying, “I’m going to kill you.” The female called the police, who arrived and arrested the four males.
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Red Bull Heist
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Cavett continued from page
addresses—and recently moved back to the neighborhood. He started in a “roachinfested walk-up” in 1958, on West 89th Street, and moved to a couple of different spots in the area, as well as on the Upper East Side, and has landed now a block and a half away from his very first apartment. “There’s a feel about it that I like,” said Cavett. “I like the stores, the number of them, the variety of them, and the proximity of the park cannot be overestimated.” He often gets lost in the park, trying to get from one side to the other, but doesn’t mind. “It’s very recreational to be lost and found, even if you’re found in the wrong place,” he said. Caring for a loved one?
ery nearby. When he returned, he found the padlocks clipped, the doors closed and 98 cases of Red Bull missing. Police canvassed the area but didn’t find any of the missing caffeinated beverage. Blotter compiled by Ashley Welch
When not browsing independent bookstores or finding his way out of the park, Cavett continues his career-long tradition of making guest appearances on popular TV shows and movies—he was in Forrest Gump and Annie Hall as himself and has also appeared on Broadway—with a spot on HBO’s Bored to Death. His character ends up rolling around on the floor with Jason Schwartzman, which Cavett called “great fun.” Cavett still lives by the advice he got from Tonight Show host Jack Paar back when he started his own show. “He said, kid, don’t do interviews,” Cavett recalled. “That’s question and answer, David Frost with his clipboard, what’s your favorite color, what’s your favorite movie, what’s your most interesting guest. Make it a conversation— that’s the difference. That’s what makes a show good, when the conversation gets going.” Overwhelmed?
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June 16, 2011
By Allen Houston Upper East Side author Mingmei Yip is a busy woman. In addition to being a celebrated writer whose third novel, Song of the Silk Road, was recently released, Yip is a master calligrapher and is classically trained on the Qin, a traditional Chinese instrument, which she plays in concert several times a year. The Chinese-born writer’s novels typically center around a strong female character, such as the Buddhist nun in Petals From the Sky or the last courtesan in China in Peach Blossom Pavilion. She has lived in the East 90s with her husband for the past decade. West Side Spirit sat down with her to talk about the art of writing and her latest novel. West Side Spirit: What is your writing process like? Do you write every day? Mingmei Yip: At this point I don’t have to write every day anymore. But when I do write, I work very long hours. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. Writing is actually very, very hard. The hardest thing is that I have a lot of energy for the first chapter of the book, but then the problem becomes how do you fill 400 pages and make sure every sentence has its own unique rhythm. It’s important that each sentence is aesthetically appealing to people. Do you do any outline before you start working? No, I’ve never used an outline because it’s too constrictive to me personally. I always end up going in a different direction than the one I start with. I do keep a notebook and a pen with a light by my bed, because if I get an idea while I’m working on a novel, I want to make sure and write it down. If I don’t, I’ll forget it or it starts to feel faded the next day when I start back to work.
Mingmei Yip with her new novel. I was paid for my writing was when I was 15 for an art review that I wrote for a newspaper. Later, I became a professor of music in Hong Kong and then I got married and we moved to Cleveland. I couldn’t find a job teaching Chinese music in Ohio. At that point, I decided I was going to write a novel. Did your first novel come easily? Not at all. In my whole career, I’ve met two people who wrote a novel and got an agent and publisher right away. Most people struggle for a very long time. It took me a lot of rejections and 14 years for my first novel to get published.
You come from a very colorful background. Tell us about your family. My mother’s family owned the Pepsi-Cola plant in Vietnam and my father was a professional gambler who gambled away everything, including all of my mother’s jewelry. Addiction to gambling is such a destructive behavior.
After such a long period of rejection, what motivated you to keep going? Actually, at one point I did almost give up because I got so many rejections. It wasn’t because of the humiliation of it all but because I questioned whether this was how I should be spending my life. Was I doing the right thing? What if I waste 20 years of my life and never get anywhere? But that was all very temporary. I finally sold my first novel, and now it’s been published in more than a dozen languages. I get fan mail from all over the world and that’s one of the most satisfying things. Someone in Australia wrote me a letter saying that whenever he’s depressed, he takes my book down and reads it and it makes him feel better. That’s a very gratifying feeling.
How do you start writing? I’ve always loved to write. The first time
For more information, visit mingmeiyip.com.
How long does it take you to write a novel? It takes six to nine months to write, but the editing takes much longer because I’m a perfectionist. I usually go through 10 or 11 drafts before I give a copy to the editor.
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June 16, 2011
WEST SIDE SPIRIT
The Poop on West Side Dog Runs When it comes to play areas, beauty is in the eye of the owner
By Marley Gibbons Most Manhattan dogs spend the majority of their time cooped up in apartments, often bored and alone. They frequently rely on the kindness of neighbors or professional dog walkers for their daytime outings. But walking slowly on a leash only goes so far toward keeping them fit and happy: To maintain their physical and psychological wellbeing, they rely heavily on the dog runs that dot the city’s parks. Gary Rosenberger, a financial journalist who is a long-time owner of rescue dogs and a strong canine advocate, believes running is essential for city pooches. “Dogs need exercise to stay sane,” Rosenberger said. “When it’s time to leave the dog run, the owner has to chase the dog around with the leash… the dog doesn’t want to leave.” Uptown Manhattan has plenty of places for dogs to run and play. (For a list of dog runs throughout NYC, visit nycgovparks. org/facilities/dogruns.) But dogs and their caretakers have many well-founded opinions about which is the best. An informal survey revealed several of the area’s most
The dog run at 72nd Street and Riverside Drive. popular runs. For Christina Vernado and her peppy Bichon Frise, it’s all about attitude. Vernado prefers the dog run in Riverside Park at West 105th Street because people are not as protective of their dogs. “This is where they learn how to be around other dogs,” she said. At the 105th Street run, the energy is high and the views are great: Dogs of all
sizes chase each other in circles and owners play along or sit at sunny picnic tables, with the Hudson River as a backdrop. Robert Druck is the owner and founder of Dog Run Fun, a canine “play group” and walking business. He said Upper West Side dog runs—and particularly 105th Street, which is the biggest in the area— are the best because people are less “uppity” about the rules. According to Druck, a three-dog-perperson rule is enforced in some runs because owners complain, concerned that large groups with walkers can quickly turn into unsafe packs, potentially starting fights and preying on other lone runners. But holding dogs outside to wait their turn doesn’t exactly inspire calm, says Druck. Other owners wait until they know a large group will be there so their dogs can be more social. Luckily, most dog runs have an enclosed area for smaller dogs. The dog run in Morningside Park is “a bit of a secret,” according to dog walker Marina Gorey. The shady, wood-chipped spot is a short walk down the stairs and the path from the 114th Street entrance to
Morningside Park. Finding it the first time is a bit tricky, but the hilly trek is perfect for energetic dogs and walkers. Further downtown, the Riverside Park dog run at West 87th Street has a much calmer vibe. In addition to the dog bowls, water access and plastic bags offered at most dog runs, West 87th has a tub for cold hose-water baths on hot summer days. Owners can also use the raking tools provided there to clean up dog waste, a refreshing alternative to the hand-ingrocery-bag technique. Dog walker Max Boingeanu prefers the 87th Street one for its tranquility. Near the 72nd Street spot is the dog-friendly Boat Basin Café, where dogs and their humans can enjoy the sunset and a cool beverage together. For East Side residents, the Carl Schurz Park on East End Avenue at 86th Street is a favorite. Dog lovers will enjoy this park’s annual “Halloween Howl” dog costume competition. Owners should be familiar with dog run rules and etiquette before venturing into any dog run. A list of rules can be found at centralparknyc.org/visit/general-info/dogsin-the-park/. Vernado also suggested that owners “understand that this is a place for dogs to be dogs.” She discourages bringing expensive toys, as they can easily be taken or ruined by other dogs. It appears to be a dog-eat-toy world out there.
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June 16, 2011
WEST SIDE SPIRIT
New World Meets Southern Rhone
the floral notes really jump on the palate. Wildflower bouquet up front gives way to notes of endive and mango with a mild, white pepper finish. So, when you reach for a bottle of white to pair with those grilled scallops at your summer barbeque this year, try something other than your typical California Chardonnay. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Hearty and sassy grapes result in new take on undiscovered classic To start with the most well-known of these varietals, Viognier has already begun to stake its claim in the American wine market. Sometimes unfairly thought of as an alternative to a full-bodied Chardonnay, this grape definitely has an identity of its own. The Cline Cellars Viognier 2009 ($9.99 at Beacon Wines and Spirits, 2120 Broadway at W. 74th St., 212-877-0028) is a great introduction to anyone nervous about trying something new. The scents from the glass may remind you that this wine is from an area known for big-bodied Chardonnay, with lots of mango and pineapple. On the palate, however, there are no buttery or vanilla-laden notes. It’s all lush tropical fruit with more mango and By Josh Perilo papaya flavors up front, and a refreshing grapefruit and green herb finish. Now, for those strange varietals that I mentioned before that you may not have heard of: Marsanne and Roussanne. In the blends that hail from the Rhone, these grapes are the more complex varietals of the bunch. They tend to be used to add perfume and floral accents, while the Viognier delivers most of the fruit. In Australia, this equation has been turned on its head with the John Duval Plexus White Marsanne Roussanne Viognier 2010 ($32 at Yorkshire Wines, 1646 1st Ave. at E. 85th St., 212-717-5100). The two lesser-known grapes take centerstage. The nose starts with powerful scents of lilac and lavender. The palate, while not overly fruity, gives up some grapefruit in the middle, but it is the herbal frontof-palate, and the peppery finish, that are the main event here. In the U.S., we’ve taken the underdog
and lifted it up as well. The Zaca Mesa Roussanne 2007 ($23.50 at 67 Wines and Spirits, 179 Columbus Ave. at W. 68th St., 212-724-6767) shows what this underappreciated grape can do by itself. Scents of orchid, magnolia and papaya leap out, but
Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.
Where Cheesy Meets Over Easy At lunch time, this grilled cheese mecca has lines snaking around the atrium of the Citicorp Center, so use my strategy: breakfast. There are no lines at the small takeout window, and your sandwich might cost $3 less than some of the lunchtime offerings—like three cheese melt ($7.95) or beef ‘n’blue ($8.95). Order the roasted tomato and Monterey jack frittata with pork sausage on a buttermilk biscuit ($5.50). I’m fussy about biscuits, and this brown) are inside ($5.50). I usually think one is made from it’s gross when my teenage son scratch and tastes stuffs french-fries in his hamit, fluffy and dotburger bun, but I think he’s 601 Lexington Ave. ted with herbs. onto something because the (Atrium of Citicorp Center The combo of a crunchy “tot” (note, singular) fat spicy breakfast works well with the high qualat E. 53rd St.) sausage patty with 7 a.m.–10:30 a.m., Breakfast ity ham and fried egg inside lacy frittata is like the brioche bun. Eating these 212-759-MELT a tough-talking unusual ’wiches at a table in road worker dating the outdoor atrium should start an elegant damsel. The pair has chemistry. any day sunny side up. So does the trio of egg, smoked ham and shop tots, slathered with melt —Nancy J. Brandwein sauce—a coral sauce spiked with pickles and cayenne—and, get this, the tots Got a snack attack to share? (which really resemble a McDonald’s hash Contact firstname.lastname@example.org DANIEL S. BURNSTEIN
By Josh Perilo I will be taking a short reprieve from my recent jag on sparkling wines to write about another tasting I went to this week. I noticed an interesting trend that really pleased me, and I wanted to comment on it and, hopefully, help push it along. For the last couple of decades, the Southern Rhone Valley in France has been known in the U.S. for a handful of red wines, most notably the Châteauneuf-duPape. This red import is actually a blend of many grapes (there are 13 permitted to be used, actually), with the major players being Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. In the American marketplace, this wine is essentially the mascot for that lush and hilly southeastern French region: big, spicy reds with a lot of fruit that are great on their own, but match well with food. More and more, however, I’ve been starting to see the other side of the Southern Rhone showing up in wine stores. I’m speaking of the underrepresented white wines from the Southern Rhone. Like the reds, these wines are blends as well. The major grapes that are used here are Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. These are not your typical crisp, chill-to-freezer-temperature white wines. These are big and bold with lots of body and character; wines that could wrestle any Cali Chard to the ground without the help of an oak barrel. What I noticed at this tasting, however, wasn’t a proliferation of white Rhone wines, but of the white Rhone varietals being transplanted and grown in New World areas. California and Australia are starting to churn out their own versions of these hearty and sassy grapes, and the result is a refreshing new take on an old and undiscovered classic.
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German for Children NEW YORK STATE ACCREDITED AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM • LOW TUITION • AP German Prep Minimum Age: Four Years Children’s Class Meets Once A Week From 4:30 - 6:15pm No Previous German Required Classes Start In September
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WEST SIDE SPIRIT
new york family
Sleepless in the City
When new parents struggle to help their baby sleep, a qualified professional can make all the difference By Leah Black
knew I was desperate when I asked my cousin how she got Sula to sleep through the night. Sula is her 2-year-old Weimaraner. I was willing to look anywhere for help in getting a good night’s rest for my son and I, even from a dog. Months of sleep deprivation as a new mom will do that to you. It will also result in behavior you never could have envisioned pre-parenthood, like crying hysterically at 4 a.m., throwing stuffed animals at your husband’s head and calling 911 because you accidentally locked your baby in the apartment. It all started when my son was a newborn. After the one-week honeymoon phase in which Avi lounged around in a perpetual slumber and my husband and I congratulated ourselves on having a great sleeper, he woke up and seemingly wouldn’t go back down. So, when I learned about Smooth Parenting—a sleep consulting and parent-coaching service in the city that helps your baby sleep through the night—I
jumped at the chance to work with the woman behind it, Diana Blanco. On the phone, I told Blanco my story, which I was sure would be one of the worst she’d heard. Though he was 5 months old by then, Avi was still waking anywhere from three to five times a night, taking minuscule 40-minute naps,
Welcome To The Family!
For great parenting resources, fun weekend events and savvy shopping tips, sign up for our weekly email newsletter at newyorkfamily.com. and getting up as early as 4:30 a.m. Neither he nor I had slept through the night since the day he was born. “This seems like a pretty typical situation to me,” she said. “It should be easy to fix.” I hung up the phone feeling relieved, and tried to control my excitement when
Hot Tip of The Week
Free Uptown Family Festival Mosey over to Morningside Park this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. for an afternoon chockfull of festivities. Both the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Children’s Museum of the Arts will
host kiddie crafts, and be sure and catch the xylophone melodics from P.S. 180. Canned food items will be collected for local food banks. For more info, visit nyckidsfest.com.
a week later Blanco came for a visit. Blanco was everything she had seemed like on the phone—sweet, smart and passionate about baby sleep. Certified by the World Coach Institute and a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, she reminded me of a gentler version of the Supernanny. “[As parents], we all know in our heart what to do, but we hear and read so many things about what we are supposed to do that it gets confusing,” she told me when I shared the varying strategies I’d used thus far to help Avi sleep. To prepare for our session, Blanco had given me a sleep log to fill out. It involved charting Avi’s daily schedule, including when he slept, how he fell asleep, his general moods, when he nursed and the activities we did. Blanco had studied the log with the careful eye of a detective. Settling down on my sofa, she pulled a thick file out from her purse, complete with charts and stats detailing his sleep patterns. Then, Blanco presented me with every parent’s dream: a customized sleep plan. It involved a set schedule—including naps that were spaced close together and a temporary super-early bedtime of 5:45 p.m. It was ambitious: Avi was to take two to three hours worth of naps a day, and sleep for 11 to 12 hours at night. Could my adorable, terrible sleeper really do that? Blanco was confident. Despite her many success stories, however, I was nervous the afternoon Blanco left our apartment. It wasn’t easy implementing her plan in the following weeks. But after just two days of doing
most of what she said, Avi went from waking four to five times a night to waking just once, and in the course of two weeks, his naps lengthened to over an hour each. It took a few more months for him to sleep through the night—my own inhibitions got in the way of that. Still, by the time I was ready to make it happen and cut out his last night feed, Blanco was right by my side. “I’ll stay by you until you’re all getting a good night’s sleep,” she wrote me in an email, offering advice and support along the way. Today, Avi is a year old and a great sleeper—something I never thought I’d be able to say. Blanco knows how much a good night’s sleep can change a family, which is why she loves her job. “When you have a client say, ‘It changed us, we have a happier child, a happier family’… I never felt so fulfilled in cooperate America,” she said. For more information, visit smoothparenting.com.
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June 16, 2011
WEST SIDE SPIRIT
SATURDAY, JUNE 18 MUSIC
Sea Goddess Song—Southern Italian folk music, dance and theater company I Giullari di Piazza and Brazilian guest percussionist Dende perform in “Honoring the Sea Goddess,” with Neapolitan, Sicilian, Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Dominican music. Cathedral of St. John the Divine/St. James Chapel, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., stjohndivine.org/seagoddess; 8 p.m., $25.
Witchita Love—Repertorio Español presents the world premiere of the off-beat romantic comedy Locuras en Wichita, a play in which a Puerto Rican woman and Mexican man fall in love when they meet at an assisted-living home in Kansas. 138 E. 27th St., repertorio.org/wichita; $25.
Angelina on Stage—The Vital Theatre Company resumes performances of Angelina Ballerina: The Musical, a family-friendly show based on the well-known children’s book about a dancing mouse.
Monday, June 20
Green Photography—The Museum of the City of New York presents Moveable Feast: Fresh Produce & the NYC Green Cart Program, an exhibition that documents the NYC program that provides communities with access to fresh fruits and vegetables via hundreds of independently owned, mobile produce stands known as Green Carts. Featuring new photography by LaToya Ruby Frazier, Thomas Holton, Gabriele Stabile, Will Steacy and Shen Wei, the exhibit chronicles the initiative over the course of a year. The photographs capture not only the Green Carts, but also the stories of the vendors, customers and the communities in which they are located. 1220 5th Ave., mcny.org.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21
SUNDAY, JUNE 19
Dicapo Opera Theatre, 184 E. 76th St., angelinathemusical.com; 1 p.m., $29–$49.
Mountain of Music—Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts presents the open-air premiere of John Luther Adam’s Inuksuit, a large-scale piece for 99 percussionists, as part of Make Music New York. Morningside Drive at 110th
Bryant Park Film Fest
HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presents Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Jack Nicholson stars in the movie about a revolt against the evil Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) at a mental facility. Lawn opens at 5 p.m. Films begin at sunset, typically between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. The Lawn, between 40th and 42nd streets & Fifth and Sixth avenues, free. forms music from her new CD Now & From Now On. Cover includes free edamame, popcorn and beverages. Miles Cafe, 212 E. 52nd St., 3rd Fl., milescafe. com/ny; 8:30 p.m., $19.99.
Street, millertheatre.com; 5 p.m., free.
THURSDAY, JUNE 22 JAZZ
Jazz Serenade—Eliane Amherd per-
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facts are irrelevant to those who unilaterally declared “sharing doesn’t work” (one can just imagine them teaching children this bad lesson!). The very conservative EXPERIMENT to create two cross-town shared paths deserves a chance. One of those routes uses the 102nd Street cross-town mixed-use connector of the loop that already exists today, and really is no change at all. Thousands of cyclists use the park and deserve reasonable accommodations. A 5-mph shared cross-town route deserves a try, and the Conservancy should be applauded for working with park users to create it. Cyclists have been Weekend Warrior Warnings Page 16
West Side Filmmaker Goes to Hell and Back
Central Park Water World
By Megan Finnegan Page 4
there is nothing socially beneficial about the experience for you, for the most part. It’s just an intrusion on your life. And while we—at certain times—could, would and should put a friend-in-need up for however long they need it, it is not by any means de rigueur. The problem is, it’s hard for most of us to say no to a friend. This is one of those times when a white lie may save you both from painful awkwardness. If the friend desires to stay longer than you want him to, the best thing may be to simply tell him you have someone else coming to stay at the end of the week—or that your apartment is being painted, or your bathtub reglazed. After our iced mocha lattes, I finally convinced Julie that she would not be a horrible person if she asked her friend-turned-houseguest to leave. We began to strategize. “Hey, what about bedbugs?” said Julie with a sudden gleam. “What if I told him I think I have bedbugs? Would that work?” “No,” I said emphatically, “some things are too horrible to fib about. It’s bad karma. Besides, next thing you know he’ll tell someone else you have bedbugs and that will be the end of your social life.” Although, I thought to myself, there is one good thing about bedbugs. You don’t have to feel bad about trying to get rid of them. Jeanne Martinet, aka Miss Mingle, is the author of seven books on social interaction. Read her blog at MissMingle. com.
LET T ER S
To The Editor: I attended this West Siders : meeting (“Get Your Bike Out Of My Park,” June 9) and was shocked by the rude behavior of many of East fights West over support the CB8 members. The of Central Park bike path Conservancy politely pointed out that there has been a shared path for walkers and cyclists connecting Central Park West and the loop drive at 106th Street and that there have been no complaints and everyone gets along. Such Info: Mort & Ray Productions: 212-764-6330 • www.mortandray.com
period” before the guest(s) gets settled into the host’s office or living room. And the host should have no guilt about setting limits. What are these limits? When you’d like to put out the welcome mat, but don’t want to be a total doormat, how long should you let someone stay? How do you know, until someone is actually in your home, how much you will be bothered (or not bothered) by his presence? We’ve all heard the saying (generally attributed to Benjamin Franklin) about fish and houseguests smelling after three days, but this maxim is really only half true. A really great guest who has come at the perfect time—when your work is slow, or the kids are off at camp—can stay for a week and it can be more pleasurable for you than a difficult guest who has arrived at an inopportune time and stays for only one night. A visit from a couple with several very small, very precocious children can make a half a day seem like a month. If you live in east Texas and hardly ever have houseguests, a two-week visit from good friends can feel like heaven; however, if you live in a place like Manhattan, where most people’s living space is cramped and the flow of houseguests never-ending, you may opt for a strict two-nights-only rule. There is no question that the friend who needs to stay with you because they are having a problem of some kind—be it divorce or demolition—is often the trickiest. You feel horrible saying no, and yet
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By Jeanne Martinet The other day I ran into my friend Julie on the street. She looked exhausted. “I haven’t been home for two days,” she told me. “Why not?” I asked. “I have no privacy there anymore!” she confessed. It turned out a friend had asked her if he could stay in her apartment “for a few days” while the contractors were finishing up the renovations on his own, newly-purchased apartment. “Contractors?” I practically yelled at her. “My god, Julie. You know what ‘a few days’ means to contractors! It could be weeks… even months. What were you thinking?” “I know, I know,” said Julie, putting her hand up to her forehead in despair. “It’s been over a week already, and he doesn’t show any signs of leaving. He keeps talking about how upset he is that they put the wrong flooring in and how they have to rip it all out. He’s very apologetic about it.” I steered her into a nearby coffee place. “You’re the one who should be apologetic, Julie, when you tell him he needs to leave.” The unwanted houseguest is a common problem for people who live in places like New York City, where it’s almost impossible to find a cheap place to stay— and which happens to be the preferred destination for so many vacationers. I have heard numerous stories about people who come to visit for a few days and settle in for a month. This is why host/ guest pre-communication (“hospitality foreplay”) is so important. The host needs to define the terms of the “guest-ation
killed on the transverses and badly need a safe route to be able to ride across the park on a few designated surface paths. The transverses should be restricted to motor vehicles, as they aren’t safe for cyclists. By the numbers, cars cause many times more death and injury than cyclists. But to most members of this committee, their perception of cycling has no relationship to facts, and they would prefer yelling at cyclists to sitting down like good neighbors and working things out.
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Elder Abuse Is All-Too-Common Crime By Jessica Lappin and Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. At the Amsterdam Nursing Home in Harlem, elderly residents—away from their families and loved ones—look to nursing aides for care and support. Although Jose Ramos was entrusted with protecting the nursing home’s elders, he instead preyed on a helpless victim and violated her in unthinkable ways. Last month, Ramos, a certified nursing assistant at the Manhattan facility, was sentenced to seven years in state prison for sexually abusing a disabled and speech-impaired resident. In another case, a 98-year-old wheelchair-bound man suffering from Parkinson’s disease was exploited by Harry Abrams, with whom he shared an office. Abrams claimed the senior was like a father to him, but after the victim broke his hip and was admitted to a nursing home, Abrams illegally accessed the victim’s bank account information and stole $400,000. Abrams was sent to jail and had to provide full restitution to the victim. This week we observe Elder Abuse Awareness Day—a time for us to recognize the toll that elder abuse takes on hundreds of thousands of older New Yorkers. We cannot let our seniors suffer in silence.
A recent New York study estimated that nearly a quarter million older New Yorkers are suffering from some form of abuse, and that financial exploitation is the most common. Elder financial abuse alone costs older Americans more than $2.6 billion a year, according to “Broken Trust:
Researchers estimate that for every known case of elder abuse, there are 24 more cases that go unreported. Elders, Family, and Finances,” a March 2009 study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute. But that is only a rough estimate. Despite this pervasiveness, elder abuse remains a hidden crime that often goes undetected, unrecognized and unreported. Cases involving high-profile victims such as Mickey Rooney and the late Brooke Astor brought the issue to our attention, but most abused seniors suffer in silence. Researchers estimate that for every known case of elder abuse, there are 24 more cases that go unreported. Because these sorts of cases so often
go unreported, we ask anyone with information on elder abuse to call the DA’s Elder Abuse hotline: 212-335-8920. While prosecuting cases when they come to light is important, it is even more critical that we work to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place. This requires the help of both the public and private sectors. Often, by the time financial scams are detected and reported to law enforcement, the funds have been depleted and cannot be recovered. In these instances, prosecution can punish the wrongdoer, but no one can undo the damage that has been done. To address this issue, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has reached out to banks to help them develop systems and protocols to monitor seniors’ accounts and stop these criminal schemes before the funds are lost for good. Additionally, a number of city agencies, organizations and medical groups have formed the New York City Elder Abuse Network, which promotes advocacy, education and services to prevent and address elder mistreatment. Unfortunately, the current budget crisis mean that programs vital to protecting seniors are now on the chopping block. Case Management Services, a program that funds the front-
Stamping Out Lung Cancer By Philip Ardell I am sick of lung cancer. It killed my wife Cynthia. It killed two of my cousins. It killed several friends. The leading cause of cancer death among women today is not breast cancer. It is lung cancer. The leading cause of cancer death among men today is not prostate cancer. It is lung cancer. Many of these victims are in their twenties and thirties. Too many are veterans and minorities. Each year, more people die from lung cancer than breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers combined. Thirty years ago, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer was 15 percent. Today, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 15 percent. It is rarely caught early, so treatment is usually futile and costly: the money goes mainly toward palliation and end-of-life care. If you think only smokers get lung cancer, you are mistaken. Eighty percent of new victims are non-smokers or former smokers. Even if everyone in America stopped smoking today, lung cancer would still lead all other cancers in mortality. Because We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m
it’s thought of as a smoker’s disease, lung cancer lacks the cachet of compassion the other cancers get, and so, thanks to stigmatization and misunderstanding, it continues to thrive. It is the most expensive cancer in human and financial costs. My wife was a non-smoker. Cynthia was an educator, a school administrator, a lawyer and a singer. She sang Berlin, Gershwin, Porter and other golden-age Tin Pan Alley composers at senior residences in Manhattan such as the Esplanade, the Atria, the Isabella Geriatric Center and the Jewish Home and Hospital. She sang at Emerson (MA) hospital rehab the day before she had brain surgery to remove a metastasized tumor. If she could do that, I decided that I could go to Washington and lobby against lung cancer. I lobbied for the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act (LCMRA) of 2011. On February 2, I went to the offices of Senator Gillibrand, Congressman Nadler, and others. I asked them to co-sponsor LMCRA because it is the best step we can take as a nation to attack this plague.
The LMCRA is critical in changing the situation. Do we screen for lung cancer? No. Do we have universal protocols for treating patients? No. Do we dedicate money for research to a degree anywhere commensurate with the toll lung cancer takes on our citizens and economy? No. Lung cancer gets a pittance compared to breast cancer—about one-tenth, although last year four times as many people died of lung cancer as breast cancer. And mortality numbers do not improve across demographic and ethnic groups—women, African Americans, Hispanics—either. (Sources: National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Institute of Health). A screening procedure has recently tested successfully. It can identify people at high risk even before they exhibit evidence of lung cancer: smokers, former smokers and people exposed to various contaminants such as radon and environmental and chemical pollution. The LMCRA will dedicate money to funding research to develop more protocols for screening, prevention, treatment
line defense against elder abuse, is slated to be cut by 30 percent. This would mean the elimination of home visits and personal attention to seniors, which are essential for protecting abused elders. Even in the best of financial times, protecting against elder abuse is an enormous undertaking. The federal government recognized the urgency of this mission when President Obama signed the Elder Justice Act into law in March 2010. This legislation provided a comprehensive approach to combating elder abuse, neglect and exploitation at the federal level, and offered a powerful tool to protect seniors from abuse. But over a year after it was signed into law, the Act remains unfunded. Child abuse cases cause outrage and condemnation on a daily basis, and rightfully so. Now it is time that elder abuse is also recognized as a despicable crime that deserves our immediate attention. If you suspect elder abuse, please, do not let it go unreported. Our city’s grandmothers and grandfathers are depending on you. Jessica Lappin is an East Side City Council Member and Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is the Manhattan District Attorney.
and—eventually—cures. It authorizes all federal health agencies (including those in the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments) to coordinate resources for early detection and treatment. It has been drafted through a bi-partisan, bicameral effort. But all its good will be for naught if it fails, or even if it passes but is not funded by this congress. Significant private funding won’t come until there is significant public funding. You can help by emailing or otherwise contacting your legislators and telling them that it’s past time we mobilize as a nation to defeat lung cancer. Urge them to become co-sponsors, or at least support it through passage and funding. The most efficient way to take action is to email or call your members of congress at 877-727-5068. You can get additional information from the Lung Cancer Alliance at 800-298-2436. We all need to be sick of lung cancer. It won’t go away if people stop smoking. That’s wishful thinking. If the Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act dies of neglect, so will hundreds of thousands of Americans this year, next year and for years to come. Philip Ardell lives on the Upper West Side.
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