April 22nd marked the 34th annual Earth Day. Earth Day celebrates the environment and all of its glory. For my final project my group mates and I documented the festivities going on not only at Hofstra University but around the country. Here are the links to a Storify which showcases some of those events, an Infrographic with important facts about the environment, a slide show of events at Hofstra, man on the street interviews and finally, an article surmising the days events.
Gun violence has significantly risen over the past few years. With more mass shootings being documented, deaths due to gun violence and gun possession have steadily increased. Click here or on the screenshot to see some of these harrowing statistics.
In Malaysia, March 8th, 2014 will forever live in infamy. On that day Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing less than an hour after it’s takeoff. The plane was carrying a total of 227 passengers and twelve crew members.
The plane was headed to Beijing Capital International Airport when all of a sudden it vanished. A full scale worldwide search and rescue mission was initiated but no wreckage of the plane has been found. There are several theories on what happened to the plane.
One theory is that Flight 370 was hijacked by two passengers of Iranian descent who boarded the plane with phony passports. However on March 24th, 2014, the Malaysian Government said that they were presented with evidence that allowed them to confidently conclude that the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.
Now one month later searchers for the plane picked up signals that coincide with ones emitted by an airplane’s black box. Maybe finally, the families of the passengers will get answers to the mystery that is Flight 370. I hit the streets of North Woodmere, New York to get residents’ views on this television like drama.
Tonya J. Powers is a national news correspondent for Fox News Radio. She is primarily based in their New York Bureau in Manhattan but at times she is required to travel to places like Washington D.C. to find stories and report the news. For example, on Monday, March 24th, she was working on stories about the September 11th memorial museum opening and the trial of ex Al-Qaeda member Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. Powers has worked at Fox since September of last year. Prior to working at Fox News Radio, she was the news director and anchor of the morning show for Newsradio 600 WREC in Memphis. As a college associate at Fox News Radio, I had the opportunity to shadow Powers for the day and see firsthand what it is like to be one of the voices for the one of the most recognizable news organizations in the world. Click the link or the above photo to hear Powers talk about her career and to see a slideshow of the day I spent with her.
The Long Beach Public School District, held one of their most important board of education meetings in recent memory Tuesday night. To give some background, the Long Beach Board of Ed. is made up of five trustees serving a three-year term. They gathered to talk about a variety of topics. Two topics that stood out greatly were hearings on alternative Veterans Exemptions which would give school tax relief to any veteran and the report of the Superintendent of Schools. This report focused mainly on the elementary schools budget. This is an important subject because there have been arguments about whether or not East School, an elementary school in Long Beach would be subject to closure. The Board’s presentation presented by Dr. Ken Graham the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, outlined everything from improvements to the curriculum, personnel costs, new equipment purchases as well as any other necessary costs required to run the four elementary schools. And with every Board meeting the public is entitled to address the Board on any topic on the agenda no matter their standing in the community. To see a slide show of pictures from the event click on this or the photo above
On a warm Saturday afternoon Jennifer Lebowitz is not relaxing. She is leading a meeting at the Bishop Milloy Recreation Center in Point Lookout to discuss the heroin epidemic that has been estimated to have killed 8-to-15 residents within the last year. Lebowitz says she started the group because she felt “Moved to do it” after the most recent deaths.
Meetings like this are important and necessary in order to stop this problem. Dozens of concerned citizens spoke one-by-one about how heroin is destroying the community. Topics ranged from the deaths of family members to ideas about preventing the dangerous drug from reaching kids.
As tough as these topics are to hear, it is necessary to talk about. You can’t fully understand how bad this problem is until you hear the sadness in someones voice as they describe how they lost a family member or a close friend to a heroin overdose. After an hour of talking, the large group divided into three focus groups. Each one with a specific task. Chris Sullivan said the goal of this entire meeting should be to “educate the community” and I agree. The citizens of Long Beach need to know about this growing problem. They should be educated about the warning signs of heroin use or ways to prevent heroin use.
Long Beach is a community that has faced trying times this past year. They were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, many lost their home and are still struggling to put it back together. Sandy also impacted the heroin problem. Elizabeth Lebowitz said Sandy, “Made everything worse.”
Parents had to pay more attention to where they were going to live so they may missed signs their children were sending them. Young people who were unable to cope with the destruction of their homes and upheaval of their lives turned to heroin to ease the pain
Meetings like this one, which came together rather quickly, show how serious this problem is. The people who showed up demonstrated the urgency necessary to combat this problem. Heroin use can no longer be a taboo topic only discussed in the dark corners of the city. The turnout at this meeting was exceptional, (about 50-60 people) the passion and enthusiasm in the speakers voices as they spoke about wanting to end heroin use was incredible to witness. I believe that this was a great first step.
Obviously this problem cannot be solved overnight. This is a marathon not a sprint and their will probably be hard and painful times ahead but Long Beach is a resilient community. If this meeting was any indication, then I believe Long Beach is on the right track to ending this epidemic. For more information about this group check out their Facebook page.