Riverdale's HamletHub http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:53:03 -0500 HamletHub.com Accumulating Snow Developing Could Impact Morning Commute http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4160-accumulating-snow-developing-could-impact-morning-commute4160-accumulating-snow-developing-could-impact-morning-commute http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4160-accumulating-snow-developing-could-impact-morning-commute4160-accumulating-snow-developing-could-impact-morning-commute

Accumulating snow across the tri-state area late tonight

A widespread dry powdery snowfall of 1 to 3 inches is forecast for our area between 1 am to 7 am on Thursday, December 14. Roadways may become snow covered which may create a slippery morning commute. Motorists are urged to use extra caution if traveling Thursday morning.

Maximum hourly snowfall rates are forecast to be less than ½ inch per hour. Blowing snow is possible.

The heaviest snow of 2-3 inches is forecast across Long Island.

Forecast uncertainty:  If the low tracks further south, then less snow will occur.  If the low tracks further north, more snow will occur further north and less along the coast. See below for potential high-end amounts.

Learn more here.

kerry@ducey.org (NOAA) Life Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:54:32 -0500
Emerging Artists Unleashed: LIFEWTR Series 3 Highlights http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4158-emerging-artists-unleashed-highlights-of-lifewtr-series-3-highlights4158-emerging-artists-unleashed-highlights-of-lifewtr-series-3-highlights http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4158-emerging-artists-unleashed-highlights-of-lifewtr-series-3-highlights4158-emerging-artists-unleashed-highlights-of-lifewtr-series-3-highlights

From vibrant outfits to artful sketches, LIFEWTR Series 3 showed how #FashionIsArt and put a spotlight on three emerging artists: Adam Dalton Blake, Tiffany Huang, and Ghazaleh Khalifeh.

WATCH Series 3 highlights HERE.

LIFEWTR bottles are focused on a unique aspect of art. Stay tuned for LIFEWTR Series 4, launching soon!

Need #thirstinspiration this holiday season? LIFEWTR has announced a limited-edition holiday bottle design and gift set designed by Series 1 Design & Art duo, Craig & Karl. Each gift set includes a Holiday-themed bottle and embossed notebook designed by Craig & Karl, Le Pen™ drawing pens, and a keepsake booklet providing a behind the scenes look at LIFEWTR artists.

Purchase your holiday gift set here or here and support #local artists.

LIFEWTR #FashionIsArt Wrapup

Tarad@hamlethub.com (Tara Daly) Life Tue, 12 Dec 2017 02:50:00 -0500
New Charter School to Open in Yonkers http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4159-new-charter-school-to-open-in-yonkers4159-new-charter-school-to-open-in-yonkers http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4159-new-charter-school-to-open-in-yonkers4159-new-charter-school-to-open-in-yonkers

The International Academy for Culture, Arts, Science and Technology Charter School plans to open in September 2018. The school is located at 239 Nepperhan Avenuem in downtown Yonkers, in the St. Casimir Roman Catholic Church campus. 

The school, C.A.S.T., will provide a rigorous cultural, artistic and educational experience open to high school students from grades 9-12,

All religions and nationalities are encouraged to register. C.A.S.T. will also feature a culinary arts program.

In addition to teachers, the school plans to hire supporting staff from the community. Those who qualify are encouraged to apply, especially anyone with a second language skill. 

For information, please contact the following. 

                                                                               Jerzy Lesniak, President

                                                                               Nowodworski Foundation





aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Places Sun, 10 Dec 2017 22:51:13 -0500
Kathy Zamechansky of KZA Realty Group Named Businesswoman of the Year http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4153-kathy-zamechansky-of-kza-realty-group-named-businesswoman-of-the-year4153-kathy-zamechansky-of-kza-realty-group-named-businesswoman-of-the-year http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4153-kathy-zamechansky-of-kza-realty-group-named-businesswoman-of-the-year4153-kathy-zamechansky-of-kza-realty-group-named-businesswoman-of-the-year

Photo Credit: Silvio PacificoLeft to right: Kathy Zamechansky, President, KZA Realty Group; Joseph A. McManus, Male Member of the State Committee and Luisa Benedetto, President, Liberty Democratic Association.

The Liberty Democratic Association welcomed guests to celebrate their 11th Anniversary Awards Dinner last month. The event, held at Maestro’s Caterers in the Bronx, was set to honor five local leaders. Among the honorees was Kathy Zamechansky of KZA Realty Group, who was granted the Businesswoman of the Year Award.

Zamechansky has gained recognition over the course of her 38-year career for her business prowess, versatility, and commitment to positive development the Bronx. As the Owner and President of KZA Realty Group and Kathy Zamechansky & Associates, Zamechansky is widely known as a distinguished leader in real estate, but she has filled many different roles.

The Liberty Democratic Association provides an avenue to be heard in the Bronx County political scene, which Zamechansky is particularly familiar with. She’s gained experience and fostered relationships not only within business and community, but also government, working for and with Congressmen, City Council Members, and even acting as Executive Director of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce at the start of her career.

“Kathy is a robust force in Bronx County. She had to fight the male domination of politics and business in the world and she succeeded,” said Joseph A. McManus, Vice Chair of the Bronx County Democratic Party.

Zamechansky has worked with national retailers like Walgreens and Dunkin Donuts, and aided in the planning, opening and repositioning of retail spaces and shopping centers across the Bronx. She’s led projects for community organizations, finding sites for new charter schools, mental health facilities, affordable and mixed income housing, and senior living developments. Through her work at KZA, she’s helped clients navigate through and past the red tape, providing constant support as the process moves along. She and her team have even assisted in job recruitment, training and placement programs for local residents.

She’s also an active member of numerous local community and business organizations. She serves on the Board of Directors of both the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, and the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce. She is Past President of the Bronx-Manhattan Association of Realtors, and is a member of the Morris Park Association, which has a 30-year legacy of helping to keep the Morris Park Community safe. In recent years, Zamechansky was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women by the Bronx Times Reporter, Realtor of the Year by the Bronx Manhattan Association of Realtors, Executive of the Month by the New York Real Estate Journal, and was recognized as one of the Women in Real Estate by Real Estate Weekly, among other acknowledgements.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as Businesswoman of the Year. The work my team has put in, and the growth we’ve seen across Bronx County has been reward enough, but I’m especially thankful to the Liberty Democratic Association for all of their ongoing support,” Zamechansky said.

KZA Realty Group www.kzarealty.com is a commercial real estate brokerage and development consulting firm based in New York City. Founded in 1998 by real estate professional Kathy Zamechansky, KZA specializes in commercial planning, project management, community and government relations, finance, marketing, and communications. Ms. Zamechansky is the President of the Bronx Manhattan North Association of Realtors and a member of several community and business organizations in the Bronx and Harlem, including the Board of Directors of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Board of Governors of the Bronx, the Manhattan Board of Realtors, the Board of Directors of the New Bronx Chamber of Commerce, the Harlem Business Alliance and the Advisory Board for the Fund for the Future Women Leaders of the Bronx. In 2009, she was named one of the 25 Most Influential Women by The Bronx Times Reporter and was awarded the Realtor of the Year by theManhattan North Association of Realtors (BMAR). She may be contacted directly via cell at (347) 386-9452 or email at kzama@aol.com.

mjdardano@gmail.com (Michael Dardano) Neighbors Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:20:05 -0500
Wartburg Hosts Spiritual Care Volunteer Training Program http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4155-wartburg-hosts-spiritual-care-volunteer-training-program-15119314944155-wartburg-hosts-spiritual-care-volunteer-training-program-1511931494 http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4155-wartburg-hosts-spiritual-care-volunteer-training-program-15119314944155-wartburg-hosts-spiritual-care-volunteer-training-program-1511931494

Left to right: Wartburg’s Spiritual Care Visitor Skills-Based Training Program graduates.

Wartburg hosted a free eight-week Spiritual Care Visitor Skills-Based Training Program specifically designed for volunteers.  The training program was presented by Caroline Cella, MA, of Embrace Caretaking, in partnership with Wartburg.  Twenty participants, from throughout the local communities, successfully completed the program.

“An individual’s spirituality is an integral part of their well-being,” said David J. Gentner, Wartburg President and CEO.  “We recognize and welcome the cultural, spiritual and religious diversity of each member of our Wartburg family.  Through our newly introduced Spiritual Care Visitor Skills-Based Training Program, we affirm our commitment to provide attentive and compassionate care to all our residents.”

“This new initiative enables us to provide quality one-on-one visits with our residents at Wartburg.  Spiritual Care Visitors are especially trained to listen and provide encouragement, support, and hope to those who find themselves experiencing the losses that come with aging,” noted Rev. Carol E. A. Fryer, Wartburg Director of Spiritual Care and Church Relations.  “We anticipate that our residents will receive numerous benefits from spending quality time with our volunteer visitors as they develop meaningful relationships.  These volunteers will help ensure Wartburg’s mission - to provide ministries of healing and hope nurturing the body, mind and spirit of those entrusted to our care – remains constant.”

The weekly two and half hour classes, held in Wartburg’s Gatz Conference Center, presented in-depth training on topics including: faith sharing, communication skills, aging and illness issues, interactive exercises, discernment and grief.  During the final session, trainees visited with residents in Wartburg’s Waltemade Skilled Nursing Facility, utilizing the skills that they had developed during their sessions.  Upon completing the training program, participants are qualified to be volunteer Spiritual Care Visitors at Wartburg under the supervision of Pastor Fryer.  The Spiritual Care Visitors will be assigned residents with whom they will meet regularly.  They will gather as a group with Pastor Fryer for support and debriefing.

“Spiritual care visitors do not replace chaplains,” said Ms. Cella.  “They succeed with ongoing supervision and continued education and faith Formation.  Their pastoral care skills will increase with practice, as they bring comfort to residents of all faiths at Wartburg.”

Please contact Rev. Fryer at cfryer@wartburg.org or 914-513-5162, if you are interested in becoming a Spiritual Care Visitor at Wartburg.

Wartburg, located in Westchester County, NY, offers integrated, comprehensive senior residential and healthcare services.  Unlike conventional retirement communities, Wartburg provides a wide range of services to both residents living on their beautiful 34-acre campus and people in their own homes. From independent, assisted living and award-winning nursing home care to inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, home care and adult day care services, their continuing care approach has earned them a trusted reputation in Westchester. Wartburg also provides caregiver support at every stage.

Wartburg was named one of the "Best Nursing Homes in New York State" by U.S. News & World Report for the seventh consecutive year in 2017. In addition, Wartburg received the 2016 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award from the American College of Health Care Administrators and the 2015 Legacy Award from the Westchester County Chapter of the Links.


mjdardano@gmail.com (Angela Ciminello) Neighbors Fri, 08 Dec 2017 08:19:30 -0500
Winter Weather Advisory for the Bronx Saturday through Saturday Night http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4156-winter-weather-advisory-for-ridgefield-saturday-through-saturday-night4156-winter-weather-advisory-for-ridgefield-saturday-through-saturday-night http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4156-winter-weather-advisory-for-ridgefield-saturday-through-saturday-night4156-winter-weather-advisory-for-ridgefield-saturday-through-saturday-night

NOAA has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for our entire area except Saturday into Saturday night. The advisory is in effect from 6 am Saturday through 6 am Sunday for Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, and southern Connecticut, and in effect from 6 am Saturday through 1 am Sunday for northeast NJ, Manhattan, Bronx, and the Lower Hudson Valley.

The heaviest snow will likely fall across Long Island and southern Connecticut late Saturday morning through Saturday evening. 
NOAA reports maximum hourly snowfall rates are forecast to be less than 1 inch per hour.  Some rain may mix in with the snow across the South Fork of Long Island, lowering snowfall accumulation. 
Forecast Uncertainty: If the low moves further offshore than forecast, then there will be less snow. A low track closer to the coast will shift heavier amounts farther west towards NE NJ and the Lower Hudson Valley. 
Please visit NOAA here for the latest information.
Please continue to monitor NOAA winter weather webpage for the latest winter weather graphics at here.
kerry@ducey.org (NOAA) Life Fri, 08 Dec 2017 04:28:14 -0500
Metro-North to Impose Alcohol Ban for Weekend SantaCon Event http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4157-metro-north-to-impose-alcohol-ban-for-weekend-santacon-event4157-metro-north-to-impose-alcohol-ban-for-weekend-santacon-event http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4157-metro-north-to-impose-alcohol-ban-for-weekend-santacon-event4157-metro-north-to-impose-alcohol-ban-for-weekend-santacon-event

To maintain orderly travel and safe station and terminal operations during this weekend’s SantaCon event, alcohol will not be permitted on MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad trains and in stations from noon on Saturday, December 9, through noon on Sunday, December 10. The timeframe overlaps with the Long Island Rail Road’s usual ban on alcohol between midnight and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

MTA police officers will be on duty at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, and stations throughout the region, as well as on trains to enforce this restriction. The police will confiscate alcoholic beverages and issue summonses carrying fines or imprisonment. Violators may also be subject to removal from the train or station by police.

This temporary alcohol ban is in effect to ensure the safety of customers and train crews.

For more information about Long Island Rail Road Rules and Regulations, visit: http://web.mta.info/lirr/about/Rules/Rules.htm

For more information about Metro-North Railroad Rules and Regulations, visit: http://web.mta.info/mta/police/rules_mnr.html

kerry@ducey.org (Metro North) Neighbors Thu, 07 Dec 2017 06:12:06 -0500
HamletHub wishes our readers a joyful Thanksgiving! http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4154-hamlethub-wishes-our-readers-a-joyful-thanksgiving4154-hamlethub-wishes-our-readers-a-joyful-thanksgiving http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4154-hamlethub-wishes-our-readers-a-joyful-thanksgiving4154-hamlethub-wishes-our-readers-a-joyful-thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! On this celebratory day of gratitude, we want to thank YOU, our readers, for providing us the honor of being a part of your daily lives.

Our mission, to make towns better by sharing local stories, is achieved because of you - your contributions and comments truly put the unity in our community

May you have a Thanksgiving filled with the joy of family and friends. 

Thanks to Norman Rockwell for the timeless work of Thanksgiving art.

kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Life Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:43:31 -0500
LIFEWTR gave an emerging NYC artist worldly recognition http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4152-lifewtr-gave-an-emerging-nyc-artist-worldly-recognition4152-lifewtr-gave-an-emerging-nyc-artist-worldly-recognition http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4152-lifewtr-gave-an-emerging-nyc-artist-worldly-recognition4152-lifewtr-gave-an-emerging-nyc-artist-worldly-recognition

It's very exciting to see people holding my artwork in their hands. I think it's great that LIFEWTR is supporting emerging artists and designers because, in the beginning, it's very hard to find people who believe in your mission

 - Tiffany Huang

HamletHub has been presenting our readers with a series of engaging and empowering videos from LIFEWTR, a bottled water that uses every bottle to showcase new and emerging artists.

LIFEWTR’s Series 3 turns its focus to fashion and celebrates the designs of three talented emerging designers who bring their creative visions to life through incredible outfits.

Meet Tiffany Huang, a Taiwanese designer born in the USA with a specialization in sustainable/conscious textiles.

In partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), this series explores the different ways in which fashion is its own unique form of art.

Watch this video and quench your thirst for inspiration.

Learn more about LIFEWTR here.


kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Thu, 16 Nov 2017 07:01:24 -0500
Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! live on-stage at White Plains Performing Arts Center http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4151-junie-b-in-jingle-bells-batman-smells-live-on-stage-at-white-plains-performing-arts-center4151-junie-b-in-jingle-bells-batman-smells-live-on-stage-at-white-plains-performing-arts-center http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4151-junie-b-in-jingle-bells-batman-smells-live-on-stage-at-white-plains-performing-arts-center4151-junie-b-in-jingle-bells-batman-smells-live-on-stage-at-white-plains-performing-arts-center

Junie B. is coming to the White Plains Performing Arts Center
Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! live on-stage for two performances only!

Friday, November 24 @ 11am & 2pm

Wowie, Wow, WOW! Junie B. Jones is coming to White Plains!

If your kids are impatiently waiting for the holidays, you’re in luck! The White Plains Performing Arts Center is presenting Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! to kick off the holiday season. On Black Friday, take a rest from holiday shopping, and enjoy a fun filled show of hilarious hijinks from everyone’s favorite first grader.

Junie B. Jones, First-Grader, is super-excited about the upcoming Holiday Sing-Along and Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. Too bad tattletale May keeps ruining all of her fun. When Junie B. draws May's name for Secret Santa, she comes up with the perfect plan to teach her nemesis a lesson! Will the Christmas spirit of peace and goodwill interfere before Junie B. can give May what she deserves?

Created for young audiences and performed by adults, Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! is holiday hilarity for the whole family, based on the best-selling book series by Barbara Park. “When I first read the script I literally laughed out loud.” says Director, Ariana Moses. “It’s a great Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) piece because it really speaks to kids, much like the original book series does.”

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! stars John Cedric Anderson, Emily Ann Banks, Alexandra Imbroci-Viera, Chris Manetakis, Sergio F. Marroquin, April Elle Nuovo, Jenna San Antonio, and Alexander Scelso. It is directed by Ariana Moses and stage managed by Allison Schneider.

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! will play the White Plains Performing Arts Center on Friday, November 24 at 11:00 am & 2:00 pm. White Plains Performing Arts Center is located on the third level of City Center off Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street in downtown White Plains, minutes from the White Plains Metro North Station. For tickets visit the theatre box office Monday-Friday (11am-6pm), purchase the tickets online at wppac.com or call 914-328-1600. For Group Sales, please contact boxoffice@wppac.com

Come spread some holiday cheer at this family friendly comedy!

Tarad@hamlethub.com (Kathleen Davisson) Places Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:31:43 -0500
Yonkers Xmas Tree Lighting This Week http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4150-yonkers-xmas-tree-lighting-this-week4150-yonkers-xmas-tree-lighting-this-week http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4150-yonkers-xmas-tree-lighting-this-week4150-yonkers-xmas-tree-lighting-this-week

Yonkers takes the lead in starting the Xmas season. Prior to the infamous Black Friday which signals the beginning of the holidays, Yonkers will have it's annual Xmas tree lighting. 

The event will take place at the Cross County Shopping center on Saturday, November 18th at 6:30 pm. 

aseward100@aol.com (Ardina Seward) Events Mon, 13 Nov 2017 22:14:59 -0500
Faith has Power: Teaching Preschool, "Bad Kids" and the Election http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4149-faith-has-power-teaching-preschool-bad-kids-and-the-election4149-faith-has-power-teaching-preschool-bad-kids-and-the-election http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4149-faith-has-power-teaching-preschool-bad-kids-and-the-election4149-faith-has-power-teaching-preschool-bad-kids-and-the-election

Thomas Merton once wrote, “Contemplation is life itself…It is spiritual wonder.” A friend of ours wrote the essay that follows as a reflection of his year spent as a preschool teacher. In it, he contemplates life, relationships, and yes, the US election, all from the lens of a year spent as a preschool teacher. It is part one of a series of reflections on the meaning of a “first” by young people who are experiencing a beginning.

I spent the last five years working in various forms of early childhood education, and just concluded, over the course of the past school year, working a salary job as an assistant preschool teacher.

Some of the things I’ve learned from working with kids would be either difficult or pointless to convey to my peers – how to keep track of which pairs of shoes belongs to which child in a class of ten, the face a toddler makes right before they pee their pants, or the entirety of the lyrics to the theme song of the kid’s show “Paw Patrol.” But one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is about the distinction between bad people, and people who do bad things.

I have heard it said that no one is truly “bad,” and that people just do bad things with varying frequency. This was probably said by someone who has not taught preschool, because I can assure you, there are definitely “bad” kids, and I have taught them. These kids are scary! They are also, I am happy to report, incredibly rare.

But there is quite a supply of good, or at least okay, kids, that do bad things on a regular basis. In early childhood, they do those things because they are frustrated, confused, or unable to express their true needs.

The problem is, though, you can’t usually tell those kids apart from the bad ones.

I had to discipline the kids I worked with when they misbehaved, because that’s how preschool works. But I had to maintain a positive attitude towards those children after I was finished implementing whatever consequence I felt was appropriate for their actions. I had to keep playing with them, I had to answer their questions, and I had to have polite conversations with them about whatever was on their mind at the time. (If you’re wondering what was on their respective minds, it was usually some combination of princesses, dinosaurs, and the menu for snacktime. I was quick to tell them that my favorite princess is now, and has always been, Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.” But I digress.)

Children are, at the end of the day, people, and there are some children I get along with better than others. But as a teacher, it is imperative for me not to exhibit favoritism, nor to treat the children I work with unequally based on my personal feelings towards them, so I spent a lot of the first four months of the year gritting my teeth and trying to hide my personal feelings towards some of the more badly behaved children in my class.

In particular, if you spoke to me at all during the hectic and beautiful year that I taught preschool, I probably mentioned to you a child that I jokingly referred to as my “nemesis.” The child in question constantly called other children names or instigated them into yelling matches, asked to sit on my lap purely for the purpose of farting on me, pretended to forget the names of everyone in the class, declared loudly on a regular basis “I don’t love you, Mr. Drury,” and once tried to sit on the head of a classmate who was, at the time, still standing upright. (Somehow, no one was hurt.) Dealing with him was quite a hassle, and easily the most difficult part of my job description during that school year.

I tried everything – discipline, harsher discipline, positive reinforcement, an attitude so falsely cheery that I was sure the children would see through it – but nothing could stop him from causing mayhem wherever he went in my classroom, even as all of his classmates rapidly matured and improved their behavior to a standard far above his.

On one of the last days in the school year, we worked with live butterflies. We had watched the caterpillars crawl around their habitat, drawn pictures of them in their cocoons, and then released the newly formed butterflies on the playground. Three of the twenty or so butterflies that we had in the habitat weren’t flying away, and the children were all asking me why. I didn’t have a clear answer myself, but, as a former science major in college, I felt the need to foster scientific inquiry among my students.

“That’s a good question, friends. Some of the butterflies don’t want to leave, and I’m not sure why. Who thinks they might have an answer?”

My nemesis raised his hand, with a slight frown on his face, and I called on him. “Maybe their wings are broken because I shook the cocoons yesterday.”

I was taken aback. Truthfully, I had forgotten he did as much; in the grand litany of his misdeeds from the day before, absently jostling the container with the cocoons in it was pretty minor by his standards. But he was showing an emotion that I didn’t quite recognize on a three year old’s face, and especially not on his – was it remorse?

This incident occurred pretty late in the school year, so it’s difficult to tell if the (subtle, but positive) change I noticed in his behavior was meaningful or likely to continue. But he went a few days in a row without hitting anyone on the playground, and actually offered to share toys with his friends a few times. He started hugging me more often, and even told me once that he’d miss me after the year ended. (He quickly followed that statement up with a proclamation that he’d miss his other teachers more.) I don’t know what he’ll be like next year, because I won’t be working there anymore. But here’s the point of this story:

I was his teacher rather than one of his contemporaries. As a result, finding ways to deal with his bad behavior was literally my job, and I was forced to keep up hope that my “nemesis” would do better. If I had met him in my personal life, I would have abandoned that hope far earlier and probably stopped spending time with him. But because I was forced to keep working with him for an entire year, eventually, his behavior did improve, if only marginally, as a result of my hope and my desire for a positive change in his attitude.

Faith has power. We don’t often have hope that the people who wrong us can eventually learn to be better. Don’t get me wrong – at some point, cutting out toxic relationships is necessary for everyone. But there’s a big difference in how you see the world when you distance yourself from someone because you are saying “I think you are beyond help” as opposed to saying “I have faith that you can get better some day, but helping you get there is not good for me.”

I opened this piece by saying that there are genuinely “bad people” in the world, and I do think that. But I think the proportion of people that are genuinely “bad” as opposed to misbehaving is comparatively small. It is crucial that we address people in our lives that we know and respect when they do things that make us upset, rather than assuming they are beyond our ability to help and distancing ourselves from them as a result.

I have been doing this more and more frequently in the wake of the 2016 US Presidential election, which has meant having a lot of uncomfortable conversations with friends and acquaintances of mine about racism, religion, homophobia, gender, and systems of violence. It hasn’t always been fun, but it is important to remember that people cannot and should not be reduced to their worst behaviors if we want them to do better and learn from their mistakes. When we essentialize an entire human being as one of the stupid things they have done or said, we inhibit them from growing past that moment.

None of this is to minimize the importance of standing up for yourself. I’m a big believer in the value of self-advocacy. But we live in a world that glorifies meanness, cruelty, and apathy towards others as stand-ins for self-advocacy, and I don’t think cruelty is ever a good thing. We should aim to help people do better when it is possible, and it’s possible more often than one might think. And in instances where people are incapable of improvement on a meaningful timeframe, we should aim to deny them the opportunities and the platform with which to cause harm, rather than aiming to cause them harm ourselves.

I got hugs from most of my students on the last day of school, and my “nemesis” was no exception; in fact, he kissed me on the cheek so many times that his dad and I had to work together to physically pry him off me.

“I’ll miss you so so much, Mr. Drury!” he cried happily.

“I’ll miss you too, kiddo,” I replied. “You’re a good kid.”

 And I meant it.

mcalarney.23@gmail.com (Drury McAlarney) Life Sun, 12 Nov 2017 11:33:38 -0500
Tire Theft on 246th St http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/publicsafety/4148-tire-theft-on-246th-st4148-tire-theft-on-246th-st http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/publicsafety/4148-tire-theft-on-246th-st4148-tire-theft-on-246th-st

This is definitely not what you want to see. A local resident who parked on 246th St woke up this morning to an unpleasant sight: their car on jacks with two tires missing. The car, a gray Honda, was parked in a heavily trafficked area between two large apartment buildings. Local residents expressed surprise that the thieves were able to complete their project without detecting notice. 

Community Affairs at the  50th Pct. was not available for comment.

mcalarney.23@gmail.com (Cia McAlarney) Public safety Sun, 12 Nov 2017 11:14:07 -0500
Veteran's Day/Armistice Day http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4147-veteran-s-day-armistice-day4147-veteran-s-day-armistice-day http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4147-veteran-s-day-armistice-day4147-veteran-s-day-armistice-day

There are probably few of us around anymore who remember that Veteran's Day, prior to 1954 was called "Armistice Day" to commemorate the signing of the treaty that ended World War I. This war, "the war to end all wars," had stunned a world accustomed to peace with its truly modern horrors of technological killing. 

The last living veteran of this "great war," Florence Green, died in England in 2012. She was 110 at the time of her death. 

As each latest conflict consumes the world stage perhaps it is good to remember how we began to be inured to the devastating destruction that is part of a modern war. Wilfred Owen was an English poet who was tragically killed in action barely one week before this war ended. This poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est" is perhaps his most famous, and it speaks to us across the decades since of lived experience of war:


Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, 
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. 
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling 
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, 
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling 
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 
In all my dreams before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. 
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est 
Pro patria mori.
mcalarney.23@gmail.com (Cia McAlarney) Life Sat, 11 Nov 2017 04:46:26 -0500
Thank You Veterans http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4146-thank-you-veterans4146-thank-you-veterans http://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4146-thank-you-veterans4146-thank-you-veterans

On this Veteran's Day I am thinking of my friend, Richard Waldron. Richie was a life long resident of Riverdale who went off to the Viet Nam war as a Marine at the tender age of 16. He served with distinction, returning home as a full Sergeant to a country that was openly hostile to the fact of his service. 

Richie died two years ago, still haunted by the memories of his time in-country, consumed by a lung cancer that had its roots in his time in Viet Nam. I remember Richie because he was my good friend, a man with a gift for insight and the bluntness that goes with it. I think of him too today as I look at my own 16 year old son, living in gratitude that answering a call to serve will not be a part of his early life experience.

And I remember other family members and friends, my father Richard (Army ROTC, Intelligence and Artillery), my brother-in-law Doug (Army Intelligence), my cousin John (Army), my father-in-law and his twin brother, both World War II veterans, and all the countless others who gave of their youth in service to an ideal. 

Thank you for your service, my friends.  

mcalarney.23@gmail.com (Cia McAlarney) Life Sat, 11 Nov 2017 04:22:25 -0500