Monday, March 2, 2015

News Briefs 3.2.15

Good Morning again Friends!

Let me ask you a question. As a New Yorker or as a Non New Yorker, what presence have parks had in your life?

Or, if there's been a lack of parks in your life, did it affect you in any visible way?

This question is at the forefront of my mind after reading an article in the New York Times, "Poor and Forgotten, a Small Bronx Park Gets a Boost" by Lisa W. Foderero.

The writer discusses a small plot of land called St. Mary's Park, in Mott Haven, Bronx. The park has been standing for years- and also happens to be the biggest park in all of the South Bronx.
However, it hasn't been renovated for years, and while St. Mary's still maintains its quaint appeal, it could very much use a facelift.

In fact quite a few parks in NYC could use a bit of refurbishing. It just seemed that the city only had investment dollars for parks in high economy areas such as Dumbo and the Highline. But finally citizens and lawmakers are realizing that clean, well kept park systems are vital to a communities function as well.

The New York Restoration Project will aid St. Mary's crisis- and those that love the park, as well as many other oasis' around the city.
An excerpt from the article shows you some attempts being made to develop these parks and why it is vital.“If you are a child growing up in a community where everything around you is in disarray, with trash and broken things, it sends a message that you don’t count,” said Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project. “If you walk through a well-maintained open space, even in a low-income community, you feel like your city is investing in you.”

Because, in fact, these parks we so easily take for granted actually greatly help our mental health. Especially as New Yorkers, constantly surrounded by buildings, debris, people etc.

Ms. Marton’s group adopted Sherman Creek, a former illegal dump site on the banks of the Harlem River in Upper Manhattan. In the past 10 years, it has created an oasis there, building and maintaining a children’s garden, a boathouse and paths that wend through native plants."

Through parks and places like these throughout the boroughs, we can enlighten a younger generation and provide them with slightly cleaner air to breathe.
Regardless of economy or class,


Visit the article here:

* * * * *

Expletive Deleted, Aesop Acknowledged

Hey, everyone, I’m here with some surprising news: I may have actually learned something from college basketball this week.
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound particularly newsworthy. Even though basketball’s probably my favorite sport by default - baseball’s too slow, soccer’s outdoors, football’s incomprehensible - I still don’t pay much attention to the college scene. But I happened to catch the bleeped-out headlines for this (the eye is naturally drawn to expletives, what can I say?) and ended up following the story on every outlet Google News offered to me.

The news comes out of Vanderbilt University and their basketball team, the Commodores, who played against the University of Tennessee’s Volunteers. No, the story is not about why U-of-T has such a lame moniker for their team. Instead, it focuses on Vanderbilt’s head coach Kevin Stallings. Op-eds are calling for his suspension after he went on a tirade against one of his own players. The most notable soundbite captured on YouTube and Vine clips is the cringe-inducing, “I’ll f-cking kill you!” as the Commodores make their way off the court. If you only read the headlines, that’s pretty much the be-all and end-all of the story. Stallings lost his temper and screamed at a kid and wow, that’s pretty extreme.

But it’s a little more interesting than that. Stallings wasn’t just angry; he was lecturing the player in question for having poor sportsmanship. Really, he didn’t have much to be angry about in the grand scheme of things. The Commodores walked away with a win, something any coach would be proud of, but, again, as various video captured, the errant player was sarcastically applauding the losing Volunteers as the game ended, and when Stallings heard about it, he went ballistic. Other clips show him saying, “We don’t do that! I’ve told you a hundred times!” Sounds like a recurring problem that finally got pushed too far. I think we’ve all been there in one way or another.

No one is disputing that the most infamous comment was uncalled for, not even Stallings, who issued apologies for what he said almost immediately. But knowing the full picture, I get Stallings’ anger. In fact, I think he was right. Nobody likes a sore winner, and acting like one gives the whole team a bad reputation. It’s in bad taste to applaud in someone’s face after beating them in a competition, plain and simple. As head coach, it’s Stallings’ job to maintain his team’s integrity and handle players who break the rules. Even unwritten rules like the ones dictating what constitutes as good sportsmanship.
So you know what? Good call, Coach Stallings. I don’t think human beings cling to the tradition of sports just because we like winning; there’s something more to the games we play, something beyond self-gratifying victories. Sports can bring people together, both in the stands and on the court. When our egos get involved, it becomes so easy to lose sight of the fact that we play, and watch, for the love of the game.

Two more addendums: Vanderbilt has confirmed that Stallings won’t be suspended (the issue will be handled "internally"), and the player he yelled at tweeted he wasn’t offended by what the coach said. All’s well that ends well.

No comments:

Post a Comment