Mount Loretto before the Spring warmup

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“The weather was so-so. But it’s fun to see Nature, go to the beach, and get some fresh air,” said Riki G.

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The photos show the grayness of the day and a sun that couldn’t quite make it out.

“The geese were being annoying, so I said ‘Shut up geese,’ ” said Meredith A.

The Canada geese can be seen in the pond and along the shoreline.

“I found a seashell, and I  have sand in my shoes,” said Riki. “It feels weird.”

No deer were seen,  but footprints of a deer were, bringing us “one step closer to seeing a deer,” said one participant.

Offerings from the sea — driftwood and smooth stones — were placed at the grotto.

The landscape has only a touch of color, but after this warm weekend, we expect there will be a lot more buds opening on trees and flowers and with it a more colorful scene.

Meredith Arout, Riki Garcia, Andrew Moszenberg with Kathryn Carse. Photos by Merdith Arout, Aaron Bialer and Kevin Distefano.








WrestleMania WarmUp at Lifestyles

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The build up is peeking. The card is set. Or is it? What will John Cena and the Undertaker do?

At Lifestyles, Sal DiBenedetto interviewed our own contenders — The Destroyer (Kevin Distefano), Joey Whispers (Joe Padalino), The Darkness (Aaon Bialer), Joey The Wrath (Schiavone). Dangerous Alan Russo, Anthony ‘The Animal’ Arragona, Thomas ‘The Tiger’ Lema. Cena and the DeadMan got nothing on us. Get ready for WrestleMania 34.


Willowbrook Mile Ribbon Cutting

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Geraldo Rivera helped cut the ribbon to Willowbrook Walk, a mile-long path to honor people who suffered at Willowbrook State School, today, September 14.

The reporter who exposed the horror of Willowbrook was joined by William Fritz and Michael Kress of the College of Staten Island (CSI); Diane Buglioli, Co-Chair of the event and Deputy Executive Director of A Very Special Place; NYS Assemblyman Michael Cusick; and many others, including Bernard Carabello, a former resident of Willowbrook State School who now works a patient advocate for the NYS Office of People With Developmental Disabilities.  

“I came to this place as a local reporter for Channel 7, Eyewitness News,”  Rivera told

Photo: Meredith Arout for Life-Wire News Service.

reporter Joseph Padalino. “I had some doctors who told me I had to come and see how bad conditions were here.  They got me a key so I could get in and film the conditions, which I did.”

“The problem wasn’t that people didn’t care.” Rivera continued. “The problem was that the whole notion that you could mass-produce care for the developmentally disabled the way you mass produce cars was very deeply flawed.  It was doomed to fail.  It was very archaic and it was primitive and thank God it’s now part of distant history.”

“I’d been at Willowbrook for 18 years!” Carabello told reporter Dolores Palermo. He said it was “bad, bad.  The worst place I ever lived. Geraldo came and asked for me at Willowbrook. And that’s how I got out.  He got me out. Now I work for OPWDD. I’m an advocate. I advocate for people who can’t talk for themselves.”

“I’m just so proud to be a part of this,” Cusick told reporter Gregory Perosi. “…because this will show the history of Willowbrook and what it has become.”

Mr. Padalino observed that if not for people like  Rivera, “I would have been in Willowbrook, but I wasn’t. Thank you very much, Mr. Rivera.”

The Willowbrook MIle is a self-guided tour of the former campus of the State School.  It spans the campus of the College of Staten Island and New York State properties that still house services for people with disabilities.  Stations on the walk include a commemorative Memorial Garden Plaque, Building 29 which housed more than 100 residents, The Willowbrook Archives and Special Collections at CSI, the Institute for Basic Research, and the Elizabeth Connelly Center.

For more information on the Willowbrook Mile and to download their brochure, visit there website at

– This article was written by the Life-Wire News Service staff, with specific contributions by Anthony DiFato, Anthony Buscarello, Jonathan Chernok, Anthony Kefalinos, Joseph Jones, Dolores Palermo, Joseph Padalino, and Gregory Perosi with Kathryn Carse and Edward Gregory.

High Schoolers Take the Field in Annual Senior Game

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Today, recent graduates met on the field at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in St. George for the 5th Annual High School Baseball Senior Game and Autism Awareness Fundraiser. The game, hosted by 1 on 1 Physical Therapy, raised awareness for autism by honoring Julianna Russo and Anthony DiMasi.  The contest also honored the memory of coach Gordon Rugg, by retiring his number, 21.  Life-Wire News Service video coverage is coming soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy the following moments by our photography crew.


Collecting Seaweed on the Galician Coast

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Porto-Muiños is a company that collects and packs seaweed, for consumption and cosmetics to many countries including the United States. NWNPhoto, our news bureau in Spain, accompanied a Porto-Muiños diver to cook and collect seaweed.

According to Jose Martínez Photographer (in Spanish), “I really like the experience. To take living things in your hands is wonderful, a special feeling. I enjoyed trying seaweed. Barnacle-flavored seaweeds are my favorite. There was also one that tastes like green cucumber. I’m curious. I want to eat a meal cooked in seaweed. I would like to know how the cosmetics made with seaweed, and visit the facilities of the company.”

Photographer Carlos Martínez added (in Spanish), “I love to go to photograph seaweed. I was impressed by the waves, landscape. I thought of the danger that exists for divers and also for people who collect barnacles that were in the same area. I have not eaten seaweed because I do not like eating raw sea stuff. I liked seeing and hearing Anton (the diver). I’m curious about diving.”

On the Porto-Muñios website, there are many recipes with seaweed.

Carlos Marti’nez, NWNPhoto; Tino, Porto-Munios chef;  Ant—on, NWN Porto-Muni–os diver; and Jose Marti’nez, NWNPhoto. Barizo, Malpica (Spain).

NWNPhoto, an agency of photographers with intellectual disabilities located in various Spanish cities, partners with Life-Wire News Service by sharing photo features that capture life and culture in Spain. These photographs were taken in Barizo – Malpica (Galicia, northwest Spain) by NWNPhoto Photographers: Jose Martínez and Carlos Martínez, for Life-Wire News Service.

-This article was written by Anthony DiFato and Steven Filoramo and edited by Edward Gregory, based on text provided by NWNPhoto.


“True Smile” Brothers at JCC’s ReelAbilities Fest

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In the film, True Smile, two brothers ride a tandem bike from Spain to Morocco.  The brothers, spoke with Life-Wire News Service’s Samuel Stone at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) on Manor Road, Staten Island as part of the ReelAbilities Film Festival on March 16th, 2016, hosted by Christina Tesoriero, Director of Special Needs Services for the JCC.

This introduction was written, in part, with the words of Gregory Perosi, edited by Edward Gregory.


Holy Week Procession in Ferrol, Spain

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Our Lady of Captives Procession, Holy Week 2016, Ferrol, Spain. This 400-year-old tradition is the first photo-feature by our Spanish news bureau, NWNPhoto, an agency of photographers with intellectual disabilities working for new opportunities for inclusion, creativity, fun and cultural understanding through photography.

Photographs by Dani Bellas and Robertinho Romero of NWNPhoto for Life-Wire News Service.

NWN Photography: Dani Bellas (left) and Robertinho Romero (right).