Say No to Saggy Pants, Says Sen. Eric Adams

In an article in the New York Post, State Senator Eric Adams (D-Queens), a former NYPD police officer, wrote poignantly about student dress codes. As Victory Education Partners pointed out, the article attempts to lobby Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to adopt a resolution banning sagging pants in the classroom.

As Sen. Adams wrote,

School is more than ABCs and 123s. It’s the beginning of developing how to interact in a social setting. When you walk through the halls of our schools, you see children showing their behind, the cracks of their behind, their underwear, young girls showing their G-strings. And the institution that’s supposed to be responsible for developing well-rounded young people is not stopping it.”

He expected that people would challenge him and say “What’s the big deal?” He goes on in the article to explain, “It is symbolic of the erosion of basic, normal decency. People shouldn’t be displaying their pubic hairs. That is not normal, acceptable behavior in young people that we are grooming to be in a professional environment. You can’t dress the same on the corner as you can in corporate America — you’ll be unemployed.”

He pointed out that the role of the schools, whether they are public schools, Victory Education Partners, or other organizations, is to teach right from wrong. Even if the kids go around the corner and ignore the rules, they will still have been told and taught what they are.

As he wrote, “Young people have always established themselves in an anti-establishment way — I don’t care if it’s wearing long hair, wearing bell bottoms, wearing miniskirts. But there was always an adult that said, “Cut your hair, make that skirt longer.” There was always a way to correct it, and that’s the role of our schools.”

In powerful language he explained that,

“This is the broken window of social behavior — when you ignore people walking the streets showing their ass.”

What do you think?


Nepali Artists Turn Mount Everest Trash Into Artistic Sculptures

In an effort to promote awareness about littering on Mount Everest, fifteen Nepali artists have created 75 sculptures from garbage collected on the mountain’s slopes. They spent one month crafting 1.7 tons of trash, including empty oxygen bottles, gas canisters, food cans, torn tents, ropes, crampons, plates and twisted aluminum ladders, into figures such as a yak and wind chimes.

The artwork was recently displayed at an exhibit in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

“Everest is our crown jewel in the world,” said Kripa Rana Shahi, director of the Da Mind Tree art group. “We should not take it for granted. The amount of trash there is damaging our pride.”

The 29,035-foot mountain has been scaled by nearly 4,000 people, the first being New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. The government has several limitations and policies to ensure minimal littering on the slopes, but activists have admitted that effective monitoring is extremely difficult. Climbers have confirmed this, explaining that the mountain is covered in garbage which is buried by winter’s snow. It is exposed only in the summer, when the snow melts.

The garbage used in the recent art exhibition was collected in 2011 and earlier this year by Sherpa climbers, porters and long-haired yaks. The yaks were recognized in some of the works, which are now on sale for prices ranging from $15 to $2,300. The proceeds will be split between the artists and the Everest Summiteers’ Association, which sponsors garbage collection from the slopes.


Frank Storch Helps Hurricane Sandy Victims in Baltimore and Beyond

While overseas Frank Storch, Baltimore community leader, heard that a hurricane was approaching his hometown of Baltimore.

Baltimore Braces for Hurricane Sandy

“I got a call on Thursday saying there was a big storm happening. I said to myself, ‘I have to be back in Baltimore,’” said Storch.

Despite having to spend an extra $2,000 to change his flight plans, Storch and his wife returned to the US on Sunday, ready to chip in however necessary to help his neighbors and friends in Baltimore.

“I got back,” he said, “and I spent the next several hours going to every Home Depot and drug store to get batteries and flashlights.”

From his home Storch distributed the flashlights and batteries to about 500 people who came to his door on Sunday night, and several hundred more on Monday night, until there were no more remaining.

Luckily the Baltimore community was not hit as hard by Sandy as other parts of the East Coast like New Jersey and New York.  Realizing that he could help people in dire need in the New York area, Storch sprang into action. On Wednesday evening, after hearing that there were still many people in the New York area without electricity, water and other basics, Storch tracked down five truckloads of supplies including 120 generators, and drove them to Far Rockaway, an area devastated by the violent storm. In coordination with the community rescue group Hatzalah of Far Rockaway,  Storch arrived in the Queens neighborhood and began distribution of supplies.

“You get there and you do it. You just get the job done,” Storch said.

“It is really a heartwarming story,” he said, noting the reaction of the residents when he arrived who would be able to have at least some relief from the pressures inflicted on them by Sandy. “It was just so beautiful.”

Storch also had to coordinate his actions with the Community Emergency Response Team, CERT. Without their permission Storch and his crew would not have been able to enter the area. Even with their caravan of trucks and van, they were only allowed to enter because Far Rockaway was considered “bad, but not dangerous.” Thanks to Frank Storch’s initiative and the help of all those he recruited to help him, the effects of Hurricane Sandy were to some extent mitigated.