On the Air at Ditmas I.S. 62

March 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

These students have it covered.

Budding journalists at Ditmas I.S.62 are getting an early taste of the ins and outs of television production with the Ditmas News Network (D.N.N.), which is tied to the school’s media program.

All the segments are written and produced by the students with the help of teachers David Liotta, Michael Downes and Angelo Carideo, with script editing help from English teacher Dr. Rose Reissman.

Although Liotta—who joined the program in 2011 to help launch the station—is new to being a teacher, he seems to be enjoying the experience.

“It can be fun…fun and frustrating,” he adds with a laugh. « Read the rest of this entry »

Cooking Collards at the Hattie Carthan Community Market

December 11, 2011 § Leave a comment


As summer comes to a close, the Hattie Carthan Community Market is making the best of the final good weather.

Just Food Chef Yonnette Fleming led a cooking demonstration for youth at the market on Saturday and offered an easy and fast method for preparing collard greens.

Fleming’s approach was a departure from Southern collards, which is a more commonly known method for cooking the leafy vegetable and which takes at least an hour to make.

Preparing the greens Brazilian-style was an appropriate way for Fleming to demonstrate the goal of these cooking demos: to give youth the intelligence to understand food better, and to give them unique and creative ideas for cooking with fresh foods.

The meal contained only three ingredients–collard greens, red onions and garlic–and only the red onions were not locally grown. Throughout the demonstration, Fleming emphasized the importance of the services that the market provides for the community.

While bodegas are scattered among various neighborhood street corners, the area has only a few bigger grocery stores and very few options for fresh, organic produce. Market manager Fai Walker said the farmer’s market fills that hole by providing locally-grown produce right across from the housing projects.

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Pratt Nixes “Juggle This!”

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pratt jugglers

Britt Mosely and Melissa Uhl, students at Pratt and members of Jugglers Anonymous, were disappointed Pratt cancelled the festival

[As seen in the Fort Greene – Clinton Hill Patch]

After ten years of bean-bag tossing, club-juggling and unicycling, Pratt Institute has announced it is no longer willing to host the annual juggling festival organized by the school’s resident jugglers, Jugglers Anonymous.

“Juggle This” was the first juggling festival held in New York, partly due to the fact that such a large venue is necessary to accommodate so many jugglers, according to Jugglers Anonymous founder Matt Guzzardo. Because the festival was run by a student club, they have been able to use the Activities Resource Center (ARC) for open juggling, workshops and lessons throughout the weekend and Memorial Hall for the Saturday show, which was attended by about 500 people this year and attracts performers from around the world.

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The Surrogacy Culture Wars

May 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Renee Sanchez is going to have Daniel Garcia’s baby. This would not be out of the ordinary if it weren’t for the fact that Renee is not the mother, she and Daniel are not a couple, and Daniel happens to be gay.

Daniel and his partner, Brent Sikkema, hired Renee as a surrogate mother. The embryos implanted in Renee’s uterus were created with Daniel’s sperm and eggs from an anonymous donor. The transfer took place in New York on April 19, and Renee discovered that she was pregnant with the couple’s child nine days later.

As a certified nursing assistant (CNA), Renee was working mostly with hospice cases, helping people “die with dignity” before she decided to become a surrogate. “My last two patients died within three months of each other,” she says. “I didn’t want to do that kind of work anymore.” « Read the rest of this entry »

Prague Through the Lens of a Bosnian

December 18, 2009 § Leave a comment

Ivana Milošević spends the Tuesdays and Thursdays of her maternity leave on Školská in Prague 2. The building holds two dance studios, a law firm, and the office of the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF). Milošević is not a dancer or a lawyer but a documentary filmmaker, and so she spends her working hours with the mostly-female members of the IDF in this cozy room.

The office is cramped with bookshelves, desks, and a couch near the doorway. One wall is covered in shelves of DVDs, and bundles of posters and brochures are piled on the floor. There is a bustle of activity as people bring more boxes of them in and continue the piles wherever there is room. “It’s a little crowded in here today,” she says, her lips upturned in a small smile. She ducks around the piles and people as she gathers her coat and pushes a hair behind her ear. Her voice is quiet among the sound of Czech conversation.

Milošević is a creative documentary filmmaker in Prague. Her work is considered part of the ‘new wave’ of Czech documentary film, and she is part of a new generation of documentary filmmakers in the country, even though she is not Czech herself. She calls Bosnia (where she is from) her ex-home and Prague (where she lives at present) her home completely now, but she still takes advantage of these two different identities in her work and her life in the Czech Republic. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Noga Group

December 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

Peace in the Middle East is not on the menu at the Woolworth Tower Kitchen on Wednesday nights, but the diverse music suggests otherwise. When Avram Pengas and his band, the Noga Group, play for almost four hours straight, singing in four different languages throughout the night, it’s hard to imagine that bridging cultural gaps through music isn’t their ultimate goal. But it’s not. There are six people in the group, and they represent almost that many different cultures, playing music and just having a good time.

“Arab people can be suspicious of Israelis sometimes,” Pengas says, “but then they come see us play and they realize—we’re the same people, we’re like neighbors.”

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