Video Wire

Darius McCollum Needs Help, Not Injustice

Posted on Updated on

Commentary written collaboratively by Aread Diaz, Anthony DiFato, Kareem Ellison, Frank Faretra, Matthew Ianelli, Joseph Jones, Michael Smith, with Edward Gregory.

Darius McCollum, a convicted train thief with Asperger’s Syndrome, will be getting mental help, instead of jail.  Will it be the kind of help he needs; will he be locked in an asylum; or will he be treated and released back into society?  What kind of help he gets, the courts will decide.  Life-Wire News Service has some opinions on the subject.  Here’s what we think:IMG_0626

Darius McCollum needs justice, not injustice from the justice department.  In fact, they put him in jail for a mental disorder that they know nothing about. How can you lock someone in an institution when he needs help? Being in a psych ward is like being in Hell, and that’s not fun.  Most people don’t or won’t understand his love for the transit system and calling him a thief.  Sometimes it’s hard to understand his mental disability. –Joseph Jones.

If he has a disorder, they should allow him to go to the hospital for his disorder.  They should help people when they have a disorder, not put them in jail. -Kareem Ellison

He needs help because he stole trains. Be good to yourself and others.  Do not send Darius to jail; he needs psychological help.  –Frank Faretra.

He’s a good bus driver and I seen lots of buses and I’ve seen a lot of people drive them.  Sometimes I see people drive the trains.  He needs a job, a career and mental help. –Michael Smith.

He should go to the hospital because he steals buses and trains, so he can get better.  –Matthew Ianelli.

People spend a lot of time talking about him as a notorious criminal.  But all he does with these vehicles is what the normal bus drivers do; but people say he does it better.  –Anthony DiFato.

He’s not that bad at all.  He needs help. If he doesn’t get his help, he could spend the rest of his life in jail or an asylum.  -Aread Diaz

We encourage the judge and the justice system to do what’s right for Darius McCollum.

Find out more at Free Darius Now Online.

Here is our recent review of the documentary: Off the Rails: Story of a One-Track Mind.

Coney Island Day Trip

Posted on Updated on

On a hot day toward the end of August, a group and their staff decided to head off to one of the famous summer destinations in New York.

Coney Island.   FullSizeRender_3

“I loved it,” said Janet D. “I want to do it again.”

She and Kamila B came to the Media Department to be interviewed about the trip that also included Becky C and Chris K along with staff Stephanie DiStefano and Patricia Salemmo.

And if Brooklyn’s world famous beach side amusement park wasn’t enough,  the anniversary of its equally world famous roller coaster, The Cyclone, was being celebrated.

“It sounded like a train,” said Janet.

“Because it’s made out of wood,” added Kamila.

They saw a lot of excited families and tourists, some speaking foreign languages, all lining up for a ride.

No they didn’t take a ride, this excursion was exploratory only – they took in the rides, the boardwalk, the beach scene and they stumbled upon a  cool art exhibit.


And of course, they couldn’t go to Coney Island without a stop at Nathan’s Famous. They didn’t sample the famous hot dogs or frogs legs, but they did enjoy chicken sandwiches and burgers.

The other rides that caught there eye were the iconic Parachute Jump, now defunct and a landmark,  and the Wonder Wheel.

“The Wonder Wheel is older than the Cyclone,” said Michael Mazzone, Media Department staff.

“It’s 99 years old,” said Andrew M after a quick Google search.

In addition to being a ferris wheel, some cars “slide out” over the water, said Kamila.

“What would you like to ride on a future trip?” asked Joseph Jones.

“I don’t like rides,” said Kamila, shaking her head. But she liked the look of the Parachute Jump.

“The teacup is too fast for me. It makes me dizzy,” said Janet. “I like the bumper cars.”


One unexpected highlight was discovering Coney Art Walls, an exciting outdoor exhibit of street art.

“You could spend all day there,” said Stephanie of the murals painted on cement walls like handball courts.

“How did you get there? Did you take the D train,” asked Andrew Moszenberg.

“We took the van over the Verrazano,” replied Janet.

“When we got there around 10, it was quiet, but by the time we left, the boardwalk and beach were packed,” said Stephanie.

Michael Cilmi, Anthony DiConstanzo, Anthony DiFato, Riki Garcia, Joseph Jones, Andrew Moszenberg, Greg Perosi and Eric Schwacke contributed to this story with Kathryn Carse.

Mastering the jigsaw puzzle

Posted on Updated on

Anthony DiCostanzo, one of our puzzle masters is at it again. He connected the 300 pieces of this Colosseum puzzle in less than four hours.

Anthony DiCostanzo shows off his finished 300-piece Colosseum puzzle. (Christopher Macina/Lifestyles)

What interests him about doing puzzles? Pretty much the basics.

“Putting the correct pieces in the correct order,” he said, is what gives him satisfaction.

He shared a bit about the Colosseum with the Media Department too. It was built in Rome AD 72 and was known as the Flavian Ampitheatre. It could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 people for gladiator contests and other spectacles.

By Joseph Jones with Kathryn Carse/Photos by Christopher Macina



We Rock the Spectrum – Staten Island

Posted on

Life-Wire’s own Anthony D. took an inside look at a sensory gym located here on Staten Island.  James Grosso, Owner of “We Rock the Spectrum” talks about the idea behind the gym and the different equipment and activities they have. “The gym is made for all kids, the gym is for every child for all abilities.” said James Grosso.

Batter up for Autism Awareness

Posted on

On a recent warm but breezy summer night, Staten Island High School seniors played against each other for an Autism Awareness Fundraiser event.
The sixth annual event held at the College of Staten Island pitted private against public school players. It was a chance to play against each other one last time before the graduates head off for their next adventure.
Sponsored by One on One Physical Therapy, the event highlights both a popular sports activity in the borough and a concern for the children, adults and families affected by autism here.
Staten Sen. Diane Savino was one of the community representatives who contributed to the fundraiser with a donation. Life-Wire News correspondents Sal DiBenedetto and Dolores Palermo interviewed her and One on One co-owner Joe Saraceno and director Steve Barth. Meredith Arout and Yoni Chernok photographed the event.

The Trikes Arrive at Lifestyles

Posted on

Tricycles delivered to the courtyard of Building 15 created quite a buzz on Thursday. The eight NuvoTrikes were unloaded, sat upon and given a couple of quick test runs. The three-wheelers also piqued the curiosity of some of the members of the Media Department. Greg P got some background information by interviewing Chris Trifaro, who started the Tribro Cycles company with his brother Mike. Other Media Dept. members spoke to Scott Salinardi, director of programs, about how the program developed.

Greg: How did you get the idea for these bikes?
Trifaro: My brother’s son used to ride his big wheel around. And used to walk after him. So he said, “I have to get a tricycle or something to get some exercise with him.” And he asked me, and I welded something together for him. And then people saw it, and they wanted one. So we ended up going to a manufacturer; we got a patent. It took a few years and now we’re here.

Lifewire: Did Lifestyles purchase the tricycles or did someone donate them?
Salinardi: We bought them ourselves because it’s good for the program. They give us another feature to our exercise program and we can have some fun at the same time.

Lifewire: How did we make the connection with this company?
Salinardi: They came to the Hungerford Transition fair in May. We introduced ourselves and got to try their bikes.

Lifewire: Will using them require a crossing guard for safety?
Salinardi: Staff will be part of establishing the safety routines.

Lifewire: The tricycles have flags, are any other safety features planned?
Salinardi: Helmets are being purchased.

Lifewire: Is everyone going to try it out?
Salinardi: Yes, the tricycles are for everyone. They can be used for On the Go. Departments like the Greenhouse may be able to use them. And there are a few places we hope to take them. We can take them to the boardwalk, to Clove Lakes Park and the Conference House. 

In addition to Greg, Riki G, Joseph J, Eric S, Anthony D, and Mike C contributed to the interview.


Memorial Day Tribute from Lifestyles

Posted on Updated on

Memorial Day brings Fleet Week into our harbors, and at Lifestyles for the Disabled we took time to both think about the sacrifice of men and women who join our military services and to visit those serving today by touring the guided missile destroyer USS Lassen and the cutter USCGC Katherine Walker berthed at the the USS The Sullivans Homeport Pier in Stapleton.

Welcome  Home

Every hero’s dream

To  come home
From  the war
Their loved  ones
On this special
Day  wishing
Happy Memorial  Day
Welcome  home

By Sal DiBenedetto

Don’t forget these Memorial Day Events

Memorial Day Parade, Monday, on Forest Avenue beginning at 11:30 a.m. Here are the details.

And Fleet Week celebrations continue on Staten Island and all over the city.


The Memorial Day Run, Monday, 9:30 a.m., South Beach