The Life-Wire News Service crew offers their tips on simple was to save the Planet on Earth Day and every day.
Aspiring scholars from Lifestyles for the Disabled traveled to St. John University’s Staten Island campus to collaborate on projects that taught them about the “Mysteries of the Ocean.” At their final class, they take a few minutes to share what they learned about “The Talents of Fish” and other underwater creatures with Lifestyles videographer Meredith Arout. Sannurha Vertus shares her talent for singing.
Life-Wire News Service had a spectacular first full year. Here are our most popular stories of 2016.
Our crew reviewed the PBS/BBC documentary Koko: The Gorilla Who Talks. Koko lives at the Gorilla Foundation with Penny Patterson, who taught her sign language. -Anthony Pabon
Eric’s video helps people understand what it is like to live with Down Syndrome. We are all the same inside. -Joseph Padalino
People with disabilities can do anything, even in fashion. I photographed model Madeline Stewart – she is so sweet. Because I’m short, the other photographers let me move to the front row. At the runway show, I stayed in one spot right in front and didn’t move. I also met model Shaholly Ayers and singer Meredith O’Connor – I loved the dress she was wearing. -Meredith Arout, photographer.
History comes alive in Great Performances’ Hamilton’s America on PBS. You get to see all the actors and actresses put their heart into it in behind-the-scenes interviews. We reviewed the documentary, and our colleagues Larry Oliveri and Meredith Arout covered the premiere. Check out their interviews with star of the show. Lin Manuel-Miranda, Ron Chernow and many others. -Salvatore DiBenedetto, reviewer.
I remember how tired I was and how my feet hurt. It was different. I never thought I’d cover the Emmys, but I did it. Please check out my photos. -Meredith Arout
She did a magnificent job. I hope to work closely with Meredith in the near future. -Joseph Padalino
It was an experience for me. I got to interview people from all over Africa and I enjoyed it. -Anthony Kefalinos
It got really bad when I lived at Willowbrook. I hope it never comes back. Geraldo’s interview tells us how things are better now. Never again. -Anthony Buscarello
I think this video inspires everyone to help people with disabilities find housing. Don’t give up the fight. Watch this video and learn hat you can do. -Joseph Padalino
This is a Catholic parade for Good Friday in Ferrol, Spain. I found it interesting and some people find it unfamiliar.
MakerSpace is an interesting place to work. They have tools and machines you can use to build all kinds of interesting things. When I was there, I met a guy making a replica of rhythmicon, an instrument that only two exist in the world. -Anthony DiFato
The Life-Wire News Service crew found fall photo opportunities everywhere at Staten Island’s Wolfe’s Pond Park. Our photographers offered their thoughts on many of their images.
The trails at Mount Loretto Unique Area are now open for all people. Staten Island Deputy BP Edward Burke and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s Universal Access Coordinator, Carole Fraser chat with Life-Wire’s Joseph Padalino and Anthony Pabon about the park and and the newly accessible trails in the following video from the September 22 ribbon cutting ceremony. (Photo: Meredith Arout for Life-Wire News).
On a clear and warm first day of Autumn, Joseph Padalino cut the ribbon to new accessible
trails at Mount Loretto Unique Area. Flanked by the politicians and officials who made it all possible, Padalino let out a whoop of delight.
“I think it’s a very good park for people with disabilities like me,” observed Padalino, who uses a wheelchair. “It’s a very tranquil place to meditate. People feel at peace in that park.”
Padalino attended with a contingent of participants and staff from Lifestyles for the Disabled, one of a number of organizations represented, including Protectors of Pine Oak Woods and the Independent Living Center.
“When we build a trail to be accessible, it’s for everyone,” Carole Fraser, Universal Access Coordinator for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), told Padalino. “It isn’t only for people with disabilities, it’s for people with small children in strollers. It’s for older adults and everyone to come and enjoy these spaces together. Everyone can come and be more accepting of each other.”
Steve Zahn, Regional Director for the DEC, thanked State Assemblymen Ron Castorina, Jr. and Michael Cusick; Ed Burke, Staten Island Deputy Borough President; and NYC Parks officials for their efforts to improve the Pleasant Plains park.
The festivities took place on a long, wide gravel path flanked by mowed grass and goldenrod. The program was followed by a walk down the path to a deck on a bucolic pond where everyone can enjoy the ducks and, when there is more water, some fishing.
“Did you know that Staten Island has 12,000 acres of parks and natural areas,” Burke told reporter Anthony Pabon. “That’s a third of Staten Island. So we’ve done a great job of protecting parkland and natural areas like this.”
In addition to the trail at Mount Loretto, improvements in access at New York State parks in the area also include amenities at Butler Manor Woods, North Mt Loretto State Forest and Lemon Creek.
”We have everything here, deer, raccoon, woodchuck, skunk,” Ray Matarazzo of the Protectors of the Pine Oak Woods told reporter Rachel Chernock. “The big thrill of the day was the bald eagle. They’re always soaring overhead.”
Mount Loretto Unique Area is at 6450 Hylan Blvd. on Staten Island. Call 718.482.4942 for information.
- Rachel Chernock, Anthony DiCostanzo, Anthony DiFato, Kareem Ellison, Steven Filoramo, Anthony Kefalinos, Andrew Moszenberg, Anthony Pabon, Joseph Padalino, Dolores Palermo, and Gregory Perosi with Kathryn Carse and Edward Gregory.
Read “A facelift for state lands: More accessible trails, walkways, parking” at SILive.com.
At Kamp Kiwanis, campers can have fun against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. It is a place where people of all ages and abilities can be at one with nature.
During late August, campers from Lifestyles for the Disabled enjoyed campfires, arts and crafts, salsa dancing, swimming, fishing, games and more at the camp near Rome, New York. The Kiwanians keep a full program for their guests with special themed days, which this year included a Welcome Luau, Fiesta, Harry Potter Day and Medieval Day.
“I never fished in my life,” said camper Anthony Pabon. “It was a good experience, but at first I thought, ‘ I really don’t want to do this.’ The sun was beating down on you, and I didn’t think fishing was really my thing.
“It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to be off a boat. But we were on land, fishing off a pier. We used worms for bait. I didn’t catch a fish, but I enjoyed it even though it was hot and sticky.” he added.
The counselors come from all across the world, from England to Jamaica. They were energetic, fun, and they helped with the team aspect of activities.
“I liked their singing,” said camper Joseph Jones.
-This article was written by the Life-Wire News Service staff, with specific contributions by Meredith Arout, Anthony DiFato, Joseph Jones, Anthony Kefalinos, Dolores Palermo, Anthony Pabon, Joseph Padalino, and Samuel Stone with Kathryn Carse and Edward Gregory.
Photos by Meredith Arout, Anthony Pabon, Brian Best, Gregory Perosi, and William Bush for Life-Wire News Service.