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Three days on roof, survived Hurricane Katrina

NOTE: INFORMATION HAS BEEN RECEIVED ON 4/21/13 WHICH CALLS THE VERACITY OF THIS ACCOUNT INTO QUESTION.

Mount Airy resident survived Hurrican Katrina

Watch video interview here

Jo Quasney is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina. Of French Creole heritage, Quasney is a native of New Orleans who was living alone in her house in the eighth ward when the hurricane struck on August 29, 2005.  Quasney bred birds and had no way of transporting or finding shelter for the birds when New Orleans residents were advised to evacuate so she stuck it out. Her neighborhood began to flood after she heard an explosion that she attributes to a Halliburton company oil barge breaking through a levee. (For a discussion on the cause of the breech, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ING_4727)

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NCCC Raven team plants trees

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NCCC Ravens at work


April, 31years old, Ryerss Horse Farm Retiree

April, 31 years old, retired at Ryerss Farm

Gregory Marincola volunteers at Ryerss Farm, a “retirement” community for old and formerly abused horses, located on nearly 400 acres of land in Chester County. http://www.ryerss.com There, Marincola visits with the first horse of his wife, now deceased, a half Tennessee Walker, half Paint who was called to Ryerss from her place on the waiting list when she was 31 years old.

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I’d like to introduce you to my three horses that I have up here at Ryerss. I’ll show you a picture.  [Pointing to photos on wall] This is my wife, Andrea, who has passed away, and this is our horse, “April,” when she was a baby. She’s like two years old there. And to the right we have Vicki, who has passed away, and our little pony Mindy, who has also moved to the other side. And, again, this is April, a bit older now; she’s still living, she’s still with me. This is their wall of fame here at Ryerss and you can see it’s all the horses that are here now, who have been through here and passed on and some of their owners. This is open to the public. They can come in here and look at the horses and get an idea what’s going on….This is Arian’s April’s Dawn, my wife’s first horse and we got her when she was two years old. We kept her at home until she reached the age of  thirty-one. DID YOUR WIFE RIDE HER? Yeah… She’s strictly a pleasure horse and she’s half Tennessee Walker and a half Paint. We had put our horses on a waiting list here at Ryerss and a year after my wife passed away, I got the letter, it was time for them to come home. So this is where she lives now. Gregory Marincola, with April, at Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines, South Coventry Township, Chester County, Pa.

Watch video here

Wife's horse April, 31, retired at Ryerss


Was near death, now teaches balance, Tai Chi and shenanigans

Geroge Warner

I am the only child or Roscoe and Virginia Pauline Warner… HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHYSICAL THERAPY? Football injury in high school. Then I went to Shepherd University played four years as starting center at Shepherd. So if I messed up, everybody knew it and the play was toast.  ARE YOU STILL ACTIVE ATHLETICALLY OR SPORTS-WISE? Keystone Senior Games. I did ten events. Shot-put, discus, hammer throw, foul shooting, badminton, tennis, swimming…. March first I will be seven decades. But I was getting all ready last summer and I just didn’t feel right. And in February my intestines blew. And so I went from playing tennis to emergency surgery. Eight days of induced coma. During the coma (I’m sure it was sometime there) I went, ‘God, are you sure you got the right guy?’ And he didn’t answer. And then he came back in and He says, ‘George, I will take you home some day but I got some things for you to do.’ ‘God, please tell me it’s a long list.’ During that time I felt no fear, anxiety and it’s true. I think they did shift work between God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit- you know, around the clock. And the surgeons told my wife, ‘There’s no way he’s going to survive this’ because I had pneumonia, peritonitis …and it wasn’t to be my time. So since that time I teach a class once a week- balance, flexibility, isometrics, tai chi and shenanigans.  And I do it for free. CAN YOU SHOW US A SHENANIGAN?  Do you want my wife to really do me in? [To his wife] Young lady, do you know what a shenanigan is? George Warner of Hershey, PA spending New Year’s in Carlisle, PA.

Watch video interview here.

 

 


Police Seargent to citizens: Get organized

Police officer tells community to take charge

HOW CAN WE HELP [YOU,] THE POLICE, DO YOUR JOB? The way citizens can help out the police department- we're supposed to work in partnership with each other. I would suggest that the best way is just to be visible. First, call us, 911, if you see anything that is suspicious or out of hand and the police can come and investigate it. But also, as a community, there's more that you guys have to take on your block. So it would be better to get organized and work with the police. You guys are out there every day, you're coming home from work, from school and play. You can just form up, you can have meetings on the corners that you identify as problem corners and inform us that you're doing it. Take charge of your block.

HOW DO THE PSA'S WORK?

The PSAs are police service areas and we've been up and running with the PSAs for at least two years already. Basically, we can identify problem areas, we can bring in specialists such as L&I, Abandoned Autos, on the specific problems you're having in the neighborhood. 

I NOTICED A YOUTUBE CHANNEL WHERE YOU HAVE VIDEOS,MAYBE SURVEILLANCE CAMERA? DO YOU KNOW IF THEY'RE EVER HELPFUL IN APPREHENDING ANYONE? With the technology these days, everything is helpful. If it's verbal, by telephone, or if it's video the detectives or police can definitely use it.

Philadelphia Police Seargent Michael Kennedy with daughter Lori after a Town Watch Meeting he helped lead at the 14th police district headquarters on Haines Street in Germanown, Philadelphia.

Watch video interview here.


Road kill? Not toadlets being saved by Toad Detour

Saving toadlets

WHY ARE YOU MOVING THE TOADS ACROSS THE STREET? 

"So they don't keep keep running over and don't keep dying out. Because they're so small it takes them a while and they keep on getting run over by cars" Volunteer boy.

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"This week is the peak week for the toadlets to be migrating back to the woods. The toads are coming from the reservoir. That's where they were born a few months ago. The adults mated in the reservoir and this is the product of their experience. This is what would be called a reverse migration. The adults left [the reservoir] after they were done mating. And these are the babies migrating from the reservoir to the woods.The detour is set up each night from 7 to 9 pm. We have a permit for about a month." WHAT GROUP IS DOING THIS? "The toad detour. Last night we counted two thousand toadlets and there were also a few thousand that we didn't count They were all over the street. So you have to be very careful where you step."  Lisa Levinson, Toad Detour, on Port Royal Avenue and Hagys Mill Road in Roxborough, Phladelphia, near old Philadelphia Water Department reservoir. Levinson is a co-founder and the director of Public Eye: Artists for Animals, "teaching compassion for animals through the arts." Watch video here.


Building homes - love in action

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On a recent Saturday, Linley Kirkwood, community outreach coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County and a Chestnut Hill resident, led a “Love in Action Tour” for prospective volunteers in North Hills. (Upper Dublin, Montgomery County, PA)

Habitat, which builds and rehabilitates homes around the world in partnership with the families who need them, also has active affiliates in Philadelphia and other neighboring counties.

This tour started in the home of a vacationing wheel-chair bound homeowner whose house was the first ADA-certified project for the Montgomery chapter. After an introduction and the showing of a short, moving video about the work Habitat does, Kirkwood dispelled some common myths about Habitat:  former President Jimmy Carter did not found Habitat but he was an early and, still is, ardent supporter. Habitat does not give away houses; homeowners make a down payment, contribute sweat equity and pay a mortgage made reasonable by the contribution of labor, land and material.

Despite being one of the wealthiest areas in Pennsylvania, Montgomery County, the local housing authority, according to Habitat, figures there are more than 5700 substandard homes. Leaking roofs, faulty plumbing or electricity,  and pest infestation plague the inhabitants. Habitat estimates that about one third of  county residents pay dearly for housing  - nearly one third of their income.

Kirkwood related examples of how the padlocks on the doors of bedrooms inside houses or apartment buildings that appeared to meet standards belied the fact that each room was home to a whole migrant worker family.

Several participants at the orientation already had Habitat experience. Kapil Kulakkunnath, a young electrical engineer, worked on a project in Brazil last July.  A retired gentleman was just days back from volunteer work in Portugal, his third international venture.

Kirkwood showed a short work safety video then led the group outdoors  to see the handsome-looking homes farther up the street built by Habitat through the efforts of faith groups. The tour ended at a “hole in the ground” from where a building foundation was emerging.  For a week in May, 54 women who want to learn construction skills will descend, but not all at once, for a motivational and high energy “Women Build” program to put up the framing.

From the enthusiasm of the tour participants, it seems likely that in the weeks to follow some of us may well be found lending a hand converting what began as a hole in the ground into a new home for a family in need.

Watch video here.


Sending Books to Prisoners

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Brenda Cook of Wynnefield Heights and other women from the Sharon Baptist Church ministry package books destined for prisoners at Books Through Bars in West Philadelphia. The 20 year-old all volunteer organization responds to inmates' requests for all kinds of books- detective novels, history, home improvement, computer science."We send quality reading material to prisoners and encourage creative dialogue on the criminal justice system, thereby educating those living inside and outside of prison walls." from http://www.booksthroughbars.org

Watch video here


Vancouver librarian volunteers in Galapagos

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Sally Taylor, a university reference librarian from Vancouver, Canada is finishing up an 8-month stint as a volunteer librarian at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos. She spoke via Skype from her home in the town of Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz about her work which includes finding materials for staff and volunteers and emptying the dehumidifier. She’s also had the opportunity to do touristy things like a cruise to see flora and the albatrosses nesting on the island of Española. The station is advertising for a volunteer librarian to succeed her. Sally blogs about her adventures on the equator at http://blogs.ubc.ca/galapagos/

Watch Skype interview here.


Peace High School Students talk about guns and Martin Luther King Day

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WE WOULDN’T BE CELEBRATING MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY IF HE WERE STILL ALIVE AND NOT ASSASSINATED BY SOMEONE WHO WAS A LITTLE CRAZY, WITH A FIREARM. I’M THINKING THAT IT’S TIME TO REPEAL THE SECOND AMENDMENT. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE BUT NO RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE ARIZONA SHOOTING AND THE VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTINGS?

“Most of us agree that the second amendment should be revised as to who’s allowed to carry a gun. We learned that in certain states you can carry concealed weapons. There’s no law against it. They force some colleges to allow students to carry concealed weapons…. There should be some sort of test to pass, not just filling out paperwork.” Breanna Hawkins, right.

“We’re actually learning about that in our English class. We have a lot of opinions about what happened what should have happened … Maybe it’s time for the police to also step up and go through the streets and find those people that are selling the guns and people that are buying them illegally. Most teenagers that have firearms are getting their guns illegally from the streets.” Brittany Moldey, left.

Brittany and Breanna, eleventh graders at the Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice in Mount Airy, were welcoming prospective students and their parents on Saturday as part of their required community service. On Martin Luther King Day, Parkway students will help paint the lunchroom and others are volunteering to cook with younger children at the Waldorf School, also situated on the New Covenant Church campus in Mount Airy.

Watch video interview here.