Tuesday, April 19, 2005

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church - Cemetery for All God's Creatures

U.S. Newswire : Releases : "St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Staten Island, to...":

Continuing in the Episcopal tradition of honoring all of God's creatures, the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew on Staten Island will consecrate a special cemetery for pets on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. Named The Cemetery for All God's Creatures, all are invited to join the service at 11 a.m., which will include the interment of various pets.

The Cemetery is located at the church, 40 Old Mill Rd. in Richmondtown on Staten Island.

Joining the Rev. Michael Delaney, rector, will be Bishop Catherine Roskam and Bishop E. Don Taylor. Elected officials and government representatives, veterinarians, parishioners, neighbors and pet-lovers will also attend.

Prayers and readings will include those from We Thank You, God, for These, Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets by Episcopal Priest the Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in New Rochelle, and Anthony F. Chiffolo.

Among the ashes of pets to be interred during the service:

-- Gizmo, one of St. Andrew's own church 'mouser' cats.

-- Merlin, Gizmo's litter mate

-- Fluffy and Rusty, dogs owned by a parishioner.

-- Truth, the dog owned by the late Bishop Walter Dennis of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

There are 850 plots in the cemetery; each plot can hold the cremains of four pets.

NTSB Report on Ferry Crash

NTSB Abstract MAR-05/01:

Executive Summary
About 1520 on October 15, 2003, the Staten Island Ferry Andrew J. Barberi, owned and operated by the New York City Department of Transportation, was near the end of a regularly scheduled trip from Manhattan to Staten Island when it allided with a maintenance pier at the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Fifteen crewmembers and an estimated 1,500 passengers were on board. Ten passengers died in the accident and 70 were injured. An eleventh passenger died 2 months later as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Hundreds of emergency personnel and dozens of emergency vehicles, including several vessels, responded to the accident, dispatched by the New York City Police Department, the New York City Fire Department (including emergency medical services), the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Damages totaled more than $8 million, with repair costs of $6.9 million for the Andrew J. Barberi and $1.4 million for the pier.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the assistant captain’s unexplained incapacitation and the failure of the New York City Department of Transportation to implement and oversee safe, effective operating procedures for its ferries. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the failure of the captain to exercise his command responsibility over the vessel by ensuring the safety of its operations.

Staten Island Zoo celebrates Earth Day - Staten Island Advance - - Staten Island Advance - Staten Island Zoo celebrates Earth Day:

Neither cockroaches nor red worms have ever swallowed a small child, but for some reason both species haven't exactly endeared themselves to the public in the same unabashed manner as say, kittens or puppies. Saturday, the cold-blooded creatures shed their bad raps at the Staten Island Zoo's Earth Day fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Curtis High School 2005 Hall of Fame Inductees

Curtis has announced this year's inductees into it's Hall of Fame. It's quite a distinguished group - honorees include a General, a Bishop , a pair of distinguished doctors, a high powered businesswoman and an author.

Gen. Herbert L. Altshuler, Class of 1963
Episcopal Bishop Robert Marshall Anderson, Class of 1952;
Albert E. Davenport, Class of 1938
Gwendolyn Fleming, Class of 1942 (posthumous)
Emily Genauer, Class of 1927 (posthumous)
Pamela Liebman, Class of 1980;
Robert J. O'Connor, Class of 1938
Timothy Turvey, Class of 1963.

SILive has more information on this years inductees.

The Curtis School Newspaper is online, though I couldn't find any mention of the Hall of Fame ceremony.

Friday, April 08, 2005

At Staten Island Academy, a dream realized

At my Alma Mater a ball field is dedicated to to a victim of the terrorist attacks if 9-11... - Staten Island Advance - At Staten Island Academy, a dream realized:

Alexander Robbins Steinman's memorial 'field of dreams' opened yesterday at Staten Island Academy in Dongan Hills, and the friends and family members who brought it to fruition are certain his spirit will imbue it.

Paraphrasing another of her brother's favorite movies, Rachel Steinman Kelleher told family, fellow alumni and athletes at the opening ceremony that the chance to watch students enjoy the nearly eight acres of newly renovated baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse fields would be 'an offer [his spirit] couldn't refuse.'

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Errors of Omission at the S.I. Advance?

A few days ago, in response to a reader's query, I disclosed that I had nothing to disclose - that I had no relationship with the oft-linked to Staten Island Advance (other than that of subscriber). I mentioned that the Advance website got the majority of linkage because they offered the most complete coverage of local news. That may be true of the slightly odd and offbeat stories I like to cover here - but when it comes to hard news there sometimes seems to be a reluctance to tell the whole story.

Over the years I've noticed odd details being left out of news stories - descriptions of criminal suspects, causes of death, identities of important players and places in a particular story. It only seems to be certain items that lack full coverage - other times the reporters go out of their way to get every last detail - though it seems most local car accidents and small scale drug busts get better coverage than some robberies, assaults and murders (not to mention the Advance's curious apathy towards organized crime stories - but that's a rant for another day). I've often wondered if these incomplete reports were due to deadline pressures, lazy reporting or purposeful suppression of information. A comparison of today's Advance and the New York Times raises the question again - though I'm not sure it does anything to help answer the question.

The Story: A young man is tragically killed, likely murdered, outside a local tavern.

The Headlines:

New York Times
S.I. Man Is Stabbed to Death in a Dispute at a Bar
(note: this is the headline that appeared in the print edition - the online version simply states "Staten Island Man, 18, Is Stabbed To Death"

Notice the difference. The New York Times - most people's paper of record (at least on actual news items as opposed to the generally hard left op-ed pages) - considers the tavern to be a major part of the story. The Advance mentions the bar in passing a few times but never identifies it. The Advance does mention a couple of nearby shops - a hair salon and pizzeria - but fails time and again to refer by name to the bar where the altercation is thought to have started.

The Times, on the other hand, identifies the bar, identifies and gets a "no-comment" from the bar's owner and interviews the occupant of an apartment above the bar. They also mention the same pizzeria.

So, why doesn't the local beat reporter at the Advance supply the same information? Are the Times reporters simply better at their job? Does someone at the Advance want to protect - if only temporarily - the tavern or someone associated with the tavern? I have no idea why it happened and I only suggest the idea of a "cover-up" hypothetically because the omission of that readily available information instantly makes the reader wonder why? Like an obit for a young person that simply states "died at home" the lack of information leads to speculation - often totally off the mark.

Do I think the Advance is covering up something in this story? No, not really - nothing important to the average reader at any rate. Is the Advance still the best source for local news? Yes, if only because of the general indifference of the other papers. Does it still bother me that they were out reported on a story that happened in their, and my, backyard. A little bit.