Saturday, November 29, 2014

Michael Green on How to Improve Social Progress

By Quinton Chambers

“On January 4, 1934, a young man delivered a report to the United States Congress that 80 years on, still shapes the lives of everyone in this room today, still shapes the lives of everyone on this planet. That young man wasn't a politician, he wasn't a businessman, a civil rights activist or a faith leader. He was that most unlikely of heroes, an economist.”

This quote was presented recently by Michael Green, a social progress expert and co-author of the book Philanthrocapitalism, in a TEDtalk that challenges the way the world measures progress.The unlikely hero that was referred to is named Simon Kuznets and the report he gave, called “National Income, 1929-1932,” became the basis for GDP (Gross Domestic Product). GDP’s main purpose is to measures monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s border in a specific amount of time. Green was not on stage to highlight how history affects us, but rather how we can change our future.

“GDP has defined and shaped our lives for the last 80 years. And today I want to talk about a different way to measure the success of countries," he said, "a different way to define and shape our lives for the next 80 years.”

The new method that Green explained is known as “The Social Progress Index.” Instead of measuring products and money flow, Green’s system measures societal needs and whether they are being met. “The Social Progress Index begins by defining what it means to be a good society based around three dimensions," he said. "The first is, does everyone have the basic needs for survival: food, water, shelter, safety? Secondly, does everyone have access to the building blocks to improve their lives: education, information, health and sustainable environment? And then third, does every individual have access to a chance to pursue their goals and dreams and ambitions free from obstacles? Do they have rights, freedom of choice, freedom from discrimination and access to the world's most advanced knowledge?”

With these twelve components, achievement can be measured rather than effort or intention. So, compared to GDP, which would measure how much money a country spends on healthcare, the Social Progress Index would measure length and quality of life.

Now, behind the red circular stage, that is well lit and in the center of the crowd, a third screen reveals itself; showing what everyone has been waiting for, the chart. The Vertical axis is labeled as Social Progress and the Horizontal as GDP per capita. The highest country for social progress turned out to be New Zealand, while the lowest is Chad. There were a total of 132 countries analyzed. A regression line was then placed along the scattered dots, showing the relation between GDP and social progress. “And what this shows, what this empirically demonstrates, is that GDP is not destiny,” Green says.

Then three points are highlighted: At every level of GDP per capita there are opportunities for more social progress and less risks, poorer countries earn high social progress the more funding they get, yet surprisingly, each dollar of GDP results in less and less social progress, seen as the regression line evens out. Where the line evens out is where the majority of the world’s population ends up, concluding that GDP is becoming less and less useful to guide our development.

Times change, we are not in the 20th century anymore, we are in the 21st and we need 21st century solutions, Green advises, adding that if more people can understand and adapt, then there is a potential to gain a better system of living for the future.

“Imagine if we could measure what nonprofits, charities, volunteers, civil society organizations really contribute to our society. Imagine if businesses competed not just on the basis of their economic contribution, but on their contribution to social progress.Imagine if we could hold politicians to account for really improving people's lives. Imagine if we could work together — government, business, civil society, me, you — and make this century the century of social progress. Thank you,” Green says as he concludes his speech.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pursuing Your Dreams

By Angelica Covino

Every college senior has some direction they plan to follow after they graduate. Some will go straight into it and some may lag behind and need that extra push. On June 12, 2005, Stanford University’s 114th Commencement Address was presented by Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Inc. and of Pixar Animations Studio.

In a video now on Youtube, Mr. Jobs addresses the Class of 2005, their families, and faculty on his experiences in his career. He admits to not have graduated college. He divides his speech into three points: Connect the Dots, Find What You Love, and Death.

Connect the Dots was about how he dropped out of school, dropped the classes he had no interest in and kept the ones he had interest in. Little did he know that these classes would help him later in life.  He went to Reed College, slept in friends’ dorms, used the five cents on the water bottles to return for cash, and went to the temple to get a good meal each Sunday. He took calligraphy classes and enjoyed it very much. He applauds taking them because it helped him distinguish typefaces for the Macintosh computer system.

“You’ve got to find what you love. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, don’t settle,” he says as he began speaking about the formation of Apple.  Jobs speaks of his time with Apple, how he got fired, and started over by creating Next and Pixar. Since Apple bought Next, he went back to Apple. He tells the senior class to work hard, follow your dreams and always keep the faith. He tells them love the work you do and you will live a great life.

The last point he made is about Death. He speaks about his experience with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and how he overcame it. “Live each day as if it were your last on Earth,” he says. He talks about decision making in life. He talks about the importance of the expectations you give yourself and how to prevent failure. Jobs repeats the phrase “Follow your heart,” the theme of the speech.

“Life can flash out before your eyes, one day you’re happy as can be and the next you’re told there is a tumor on your pancreas and told you have three to six months to live,” he adds, speaking about living his life with a disease that has slight chances of a cure.

That was a close encounter with death for Jobs, who lived another six years. Nowadays, teenagers face life and death more often in cars, or even drug and alcohol use. Time is limited for each person and death is the way to make way for the new and sweep out the old. Be brave and courageous in this life, because the opportunities are countless.

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Remembering 9/11

Carmen Taylor/AP file photo

By Pamela Rodriguez

Me: Hey, it is nice to sit with you today and speak to you.

Damaris: Hey, Pamela, It is also nice to speak with you.

Me: I have a few questions about September 11, 2001.

Damaris: yes, what can I answer for you.

Me: As I am aware, you were supposed to go into work the morning everything happened, correct?

Damaris: yes, that morning I woke up like any other day. I got ready for my commute, I got on the train to head downtown into my office.

Me: When were you aware of what was going on?

Damaris: Well, I got into the train about 7 am, everything was fine at that point. I became aware of what was going on the minute I walked out of the train station.

Me: What was your reaction?

Damaris: Everything was so confusing, I didn’t know what was going on. All I know is that I got out the train and in front of me was a building covered with smoke. My first thought was my family. I knew they were worried so I got in contact with my husband and told him I was ok.

Me: What did you do next?

Damaris: Well, I thought I was going to be able to go into work, considering my building was a couple blocks down. I guess you can say I was a bit in denial of the situation. As I headed to work the next airplane crashed into the second tower; that’s when I knew it was real. It hit me and it hit everyone around me, I saw everyone’s faces. We all knew people in those buildings. Who did this? Was it an accident? Those were the questions running through my head. I went the way back home and headed for the train when I realized they had shut down. At that point I was stuck in the city and I knew my family was worried.

Me: What did you proceed to do?

Damaris: I called my husband, let him know where I was; at that point they were directing us to walk towards the bridge. Everyone was crying, lost, confused, asking questions and feeling out of explanations. I just prayed and hoped that by night time I would be home.

Me: What time did you finally make it home?

Damaris: It was about 9 night time. I was so lost. I had seen way too many things that day to consider putting it together. I remember sitting on my ride back home with my husband quiet, looking out the window at the city I loved being broken. You felt it in the air, everything had changed.

Me: What was it like getting home?

Damaris: Relieving.

Me: Were your other family members there?

Damaris: Yes, my mother and my daughter. I hugged and kissed them and went to bed. I showered and laid in bed and felt lost but grateful.

Me: How do you remember this day today?

Damaris: I remember it as a day when my life changed. The perspective I had changed. Nothing was the same anymore. I appreciated my family more, and simply being safe.

Does Your Personality Match Your Career Path?

By Marissa Grieco

I recently attended a very informative presentation that was involved with the Student Leadership series 2.0 program at St. Thomas Aquinas College.  I am a participant in the Student Leadership Series.  The presentation took place on Wednesday, November 19, at 4:30 in the afternoon in the McNeilis Commons private dining room.  The presenter was  Maureen Maureen, the Director of the Office of Career Development at St. Thomas Aquinas College.  

The presentation was about teaching students how to utilize their personality type to find what career path would be best for them. Many students are undecided about what path they should follow in regard to their major in college. The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator Test is a personality test that students should take to indicate what career path is right for them.  

The students who will be participating in the Student Leadership Series were required to take the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator Personality Test prior to the presentation.  The Student Leadership Series is a program that helps students--preferably in their sophomore or junior year of college who are already in leadership roles on campus--to become a more established leader.  The students needed to complete this test to determine whether or not they have chosen the correct major to correlate to their personality type.

After the students took the test, their answers to the questions were assessed as to what type of personality they have.  The personality types have four letter codes.  The personality type that I have, according to the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator test, is ENFJ.  E stands for Extrovert, N stands for Intuitive, F stands for Feeling, and J stands for Judging.  

We were given two packets: one that describes the meanings of what each letter of the personality type stands for, and the other packet is an assessment of whatever personality type best suited you.  For the most part, it seemed that the students’ personality types matched up to the major they were pursuing.  For example, the career that matched up with my personality type best was Broadcasting in Media, which is the exact career that I would like to pursue.  

During the presentation, Maureen asked everyone if they had any questions about how their majors would match up to their careers.  She explained that this assessment was based on what personality type people who are already in that career have.  For example, one famous person who has the same personality type as I do is Oprah Winfrey.  She is a very famous talk show host and is affiliated with the media, which is what I would like to do in the future.  The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator test is something that I would recommend every college student take to guide them in the right direction.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Brett Gardner: Batting his Way up the Yankee Line-Up

By Marissa Grieco

Brett Gardner has always been the underdog--whether he was playing in college or starting out as a rookie on the New York Yankees.  Gardner is 5’10, weighing 185 pounds.  He was born on August 24, 1983 in Holy Hill, South Carolina.  Most people do not know this about Brett Gardner: he had to overcome a big obstacle that most college kids would not have been able to do; he did not make his college team.

“In 2003, Gardner attended walk-on tryouts for the baseball team at the College of Charleston.  After the tryouts, Coach John Pawlowski told the players that he would contact them if they made the team. Without hearing a word from the coach, Gardner came to the field the next day for the first official practice, wearing his high school uniform,”  according to a Wikipedia account. Gardner had the confidence in himself that he was good enough to play Division 1 baseball for the College of Charleston.  He knew that if he worked hard enough, he would prove himself worthy.  Coach Pawlowski allowed Gardner to practice with the team. 

After this, Gardner became a three-year starter for his college team.  He led the Southern Conference with 85 runs--the all- time record at the College of Charleston--and 38 stolen bases in 2005.  It is truly amazing to think that someone who was not even contacted to be on the team holds the college’s all-time record for the most runs.  It is amazing what type of a person Brett Gardner truly is because he never gave up.  If he had given up, he would never be the star outfielder that he is today.

Gardner had to work his way up in the Yankee line-up; not an easy task to accomplish.  In 2009, Gardner was only making $414,000; which is nothing compared to what other major league baseball players make. Now, in 2014, Gardner is making $5,600,000 per year.  He now has a career average of .265 and an on base percentage of .346.  Judging from these statistics, Gardner knows how to work a walk. 

On October 7, 2014 there was an article written about Gardner on that insults him as well as compliments him.  The writer starts with the statement, “Brett Gardner  is the Yankees’ best hitter.” I would just so happen to agree with that statement; especially since Derek Jeter is now retired.  The writer goes on saying, “The above is probably not a phrase you ever thought you'd read about Gardner, who's known more for the gritty, gutty label that's been attached to him throughout his career than as an offensive force.”

Gardner has had to work extremely hard throughout his entire life to be where he is today.  He has always been criticized; especially all throughout his career as a New York Yankee.  People never thought that Brett Gardner would have much impact on the Yankees’ offense as he would their defense; he has proven those people wrong.  I can truly say that I was a Brett Gardner fan since the day he was signed to the Yankees.  No one really knows what’s in store for the Yankees next season.  All I know is I believe that Brett Gardner will lead them.

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Kids and Social Media

By Kayla Frazier

Remember the days when communication was face to face. The days when kids would be outside playing catch, hopscotch, tag and had to be in the house before the street lights came on. Remember the days before the age of the kids of social media. These were the days where in class students would pass notes to each other as compared to today where it’s just as simple sending a text message.

According to the article “The Age of Insta-kids” by Ylonda Gault Caviness on, studies from Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project say 81 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds use social networks. This is because these children use social media as a form of communication with each other. But of course it’s not just kids that are on these websites. Kids are being exposed to so much information good or bad through the use of their social media accounts. So what does that say about us? How can kids be protected? Is there is no way to be protected?

I was born in 1995, which was a very interesting time period. Kids still played outside and communication was face to face; but as my generation got older, social media became more relevant and more progressive. Technically speaking, my generation was born on a crevice of something that can alter a lifestyle. The first form of Social Media I was exposed to was KOLred, which was the teenage version of AOL; from there it went to Myspace, Facebook,Instagram, Tumblr,Twitter, so on and so on.  I didn't receive my first phone that could access social media until I was the age of 14.

But that has drastically changed. Kids now are growing up and being exposed to all kinds of information at a much younger age than kids from my generation. Kids now have phones as early as the age of 10 that can access all types of social media accounts. But is that necessary; do kids as early as the age of 10 need phones that can access social media accounts? Furthermore, do they even need to be on social media at all, at that very tender age? This is where adults, older siblings, etc come in handy. I think that as time continues, it will be the complete norm that kids are growing up fast; the fact that they will have more and more information at their fingertips can be harmful to them. So how do we protect them.

There are many things anyone can do to make sure their child or younger family member is being protected on social media. First, learn who their friends are; follow them on their accounts and let them know that you will be watching, because at such a young age kids don’t understand the repercussions of what they post on social media can follow them long into their older life.

Warn them about the dangers that could happen and the dangers that lurk out there, as any kind of people have access to them now that they are on social media. Lastly, teach them to be themselves. Joining social media, kids are exposed to so much and at a young age can be easily influenced to learn the ways of being something that they are not. Teach them to be firm in their foundation and to not say things that they wouldn't say in person. After all, we want to make the gift of social media a blessing and not a curse.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Pete Rose Story

By Jeremy DeCarlo

I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball.” 
-- Pete Rose

Peter Edward “Pete" Rose, nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” as recognition of the constant effort he put on the field, was a Major League Baseball  player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989. He is considered one of the greatest MLB players of all time but is more famously remembered today for his gambling on MLB games, most notably gambling on his own team, The Cincinnati Reds, while serving as the team’s manager.

Rose was the last MLB player to concurrently serve as the team’s manager. Rose, a switch hitter, is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), and singles (3,215). He won three World Series titles and was the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 World Series, won three batting titles, was the Most Valuable Player of the 1975 World Series, won three batting titles, was the National League’s Most Valuable player in 1973, won two Gold Gloves, was the Rookie of the Year, and made 17 All-Star appearances at five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B, & 1B). In 1976, he won the Roberto Clemente award and is also a member of the MLB All-Century team. Pete Rose is currently banned from baseball and from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose was born April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His uncle was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds and as the Red had recently traded away a number of prospects who turned out to be very good ball players, the decided to take a chance on Rose. Upon his graduation from high school, Rose signed a professional contract. Rose quickly emerged as one of the biggest stars in baseball. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1963.

On July 14, 1970, in the brand-new home of the Cincinnati Reds (Riverfront Stadium opened just two weeks prior to the All-Star game), Rose was involved in one of the most infamous plays in All-Star game history. In the 12th inning, Rose barreled over Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run for the National League. Fosse suffered a fractured and separated shoulder and would finish that season but never again was the same player.

In 1973, Rose led the league with 230 hits and a .338 batting average and won the National League MVP award, leading “The Big Red Machine” to the 1973 National League Championship Series, which they lost against the New York Mets. In 1975 and 1976, “The Big Red Machine” won back-to-back World Series titles, first against the Boston Red Sox (4-3), in which Rose won the World Series MVP award, and then against the New York Yankees (4-0).

In 1979, the Phillies signed the free agent Rose to make him the then-highest paid athlete in team sports, when they signed him to a four year, $3.2 million contract. Rose helped lead the Phillies to two World Series appearances and their first ever World Series title in 1980, beating the Kansas City Royals (4-2), and making the World Series again in 1983,  losing to the Baltimore Orioles (4-1).

In 1984, Rose was signed by the Montreal Expos where he earned his 4,000th hit, becoming only the second player all-time to do so. Rose was traded to the Reds for infielder Tom Lawless on August 15th, 1984 and was immediately named player-manager, replacing Reds’ manager Vern Rapp. On September 11th, 1985, Rose broke Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record with his 4,192nd hit; a single to left-center frilled off San Diego Padres’ pitcher Eric Show. Rose accumulated a total of 4,256 hits before cutting himself from the Reds’ 40-man roster, unofficially ending his MLB career.

In 1989, Rose was accused of gambling on Major League Ball games and on August 24, 1989, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list. In exchange, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding regarding the gambling allegations. MLB commissioner Bart Giamatti died of a heart attack on September 1, 1989, eight days after announcing Rose’s ban from Baseball. Pete Rose ended his managerial career with a 421-373 record.

On April 20, 1990, Rose pleaded guilty to two chargers of filing false income tax returns and on July 19, Rose was sentenced to five months in the medium security Prison Camp at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois and was fined $50,000. He was released on January 7, 1991 after having paid $366,041 in back taxes and interest, and was required to serve 1,000 hours of community service.

In his 2004 autobiography, My Prison Without Bars, Rose finally admitted to gambling on Major League Baseball games and other sports while playing for and managing the Reds. He also admitted to gambling on his own team’s games, but was adamant that he never bet against the Reds. During an interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Rose said, “I bet on my team every night. I didn’t bet on my team four nights a week. I bet on my team to win every night because I loved my team, I believed in my team, I did everything in my power every night to win that game.” Rose has famously autographed baseballs stating “I’m Sorry I Bet on Baseball" and “4,256 Hits, 0 Steroids.”

Though he is banned from most MLB activities, there have been exceptions where Rose has been honored, such as being named to the MLB All-Century team, which was voted on by fans, where he was honored on Turner Field. The Cincinnati Reds also made subtle tributes to Rose within their current Stadium, Great American Ballpark, to secretly honor the banned ballplayer.

Rose still holds out hope that one day he will no longer be banned from baseball and can finally be recognized in the MLB Hall of Fame, a honor which is widely supported by fans; however, no MLB commissioner to date has reversed a ban given to players involved in gambling controversies, such as both Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was also famously banned from baseball.

Rose continues to voice his disgruntled opinion of his ban, famously stating in an interview: “I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. And to be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice. I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked up beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball.”

Jackson continues to be widely supported by fans to be reinstated posthumously; however, Pete Rose does not want to die before being reinstated by the commissioner. Rose will continue to apply for reinstatement and continue to voice his opinions, and continue to be a widely debated and controversial topic in Major League Baseball.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Response to a Police Call: “Active Shooter”

By Quinton Chambers

Moments define an experience, and an experience can define a lifetime, but one can still ask what makes an event or experience memorable? Is it because of the adrenalin rush you get, the purpose of the event, who was around you at the time, or was somebody’s life on the line. No matter the reason, we can all think of at least one experience that has made us either reflect on life and appreciate all that we are given, or cause us to change something dramatically.

Such an event came unexpectedly for 18-year-police officer Chris Chambers on Thursday, July 24, 2014. While completing tedious paperwork in his office, Chambers received a call over his radio stating that a gunman had opened fire inside a psychiatric unit within Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. Being an officer in the neighboring town of Havertown, Chambers was able to respond. With lights blaring and mental preparation in process, Chambers raced to the scene.

The situation occurred after a social worker took her psychiatric patient to an appointment with his psychiatrist. Then, for whatever reason, the patient decided to shoot his social worker in the head, killing her, then proceeded to hold his psychiatrist at gunpoint.

Chambers arrived in time to team up with three other officers to form the secondary response team; their mission, to clear all rooms that were on lockdown and evacuate any civilians in those rooms.

“When I entered the building it felt like I was on autopilot," Chambers recalled. "All of my senses were in HD, my vision, my hearing, the clarity was amazing. We train for active shooter response on a regular basis…I can say my training definitely kicked in.”

Approximately 18 rooms and 40 relieved civilians later, working in tandem with other officers, the building was clear. After the Incident was over, Chambers found out that the patient’s psychiatrist ended up stopping the patient from killing more people by shooting him with a firearm he was legally carrying. The psychiatrist definitely helped law enforcement that day because the rogue patient had 100 rounds of ammunition on him, most likely with intentions to kill many.

When asking Chambers what he took away from this situation, he kept referring to his training, which makes sense, because in his field of work training could make the difference between life or death. “The training I have gone through definitely has prepared me and my fellow officers for this type of response,” he said.

Ultimately, experience is everything and practice makes perfect, so every moment we encounter change helps to shape us and bring us back to reality, showing us that life can be unpredictable and to hold on for the ride.

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Arthur Ashe: Inspirational on and off the Court

By Connor Durkin                              

I believe that for athletes to be truly great, historic and inspirational they need to not only be a hero on the court, but off the court, as well. Arthur Ashe is a perfect example of an amazing athlete whose off the court contributions made him into the American hero he is remembered as today. Arthur Ashe was the first black tennis player to win the U.S. Open and the first black American to be ranked No. 1 in the world. Ashe`s activist engagements against apartheid in South Africa and on HIV and AIDS virus is another reason why he was an inspirational hero in our history.

Arthur Ashe was born July 10, 1943 in Richmond, Virginia and did not have an easy childhood, losing his mother at the age of 6. He first picked up a tennis racket at the age of 7 and just ten years later, he won the junior national title and was awarded a tennis scholarship to the University of California.

Ashe`s groundbreaking year came in 1968 when he became the first black male to win a title and was also the first person ever to win both amateur and U.S. Open national championships in the same year. One of Arthur Ashe`s most historic wins was in 1975 when he defeated the heavy favorite Jimmy Connors to win the Australian Open. Ashe is one of the most if not the most historic and inspirational tennis player because of the barriers he broke as a tennis player.

Although Ashe is widely known for what he was able to accomplish on the court, what he did off the court made him into an inspirational hero. Ashe was plagued with health problems in the later years of his life and found out that he contracted the HIV virus from a transfusion of bad blood that was given to him during his second heart operation. Ashe became a huge activist for raising awareness on the disease, giving a speech to the United Nations on the need for AIDS awareness. He also founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the defeat of AIDS.

Ashe wanted it to be understood that he attributed his struggle to succeed as part of the African American struggle to succeed. When he was denied a visa to South Africa to compete in the South African Open, he used the opportunity to raise awareness of apartheid. He was even taken away in handcuffs for his involvement at a protest over the U.S. treatment of Haitian refuges. All these examples show how Ashe was an outstand citizen and was not scared to show his opinion.

It’s clear that Arthur Ashe made huge accomplishments both in the game of tennis and in his own personal life. From winning three grand slam titles to setting up multiple foundations, Ashe is definitely a very inspirational athlete to many. For an athlete to be truly historic, they have to do more than be an athlete but to also be an outstanding citizen, and Arthur Ashe was just that.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rockland Boulders' Jerod Edmondson Hits Can Am League History

Jerod Edmondson at bat   (photo:

By Connor Durkin

After seven years of shopping around the Can-Am League, Rockland Boulders star Jerod Edmondson had a record-breaking season while he helped the Boulders rally to win their very first Can Am League championship. Edmondson hit a clutch two run RBI in the seventh inning to help secure the Boulders 4-0 game six win over the New Jersey Jackals for the championship. 

“It was a perfect game that you could not have planned out any better,” said Edmondson in a post-game interview.

Edmondson had a historic season where he became the all-time hit leader in Can-Am League history while setting a new career mark for runs scored.

On September 8, 2014, at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair, New Jersey, the Rockland Boulders shut out the New Jersey Jackals in game six, to win their first Can-Am League championship in franchise history. The Rockland Boulders became the first team in Can-Am League history to win a championship series after being down two games to none. Both Stephen Cardullo and Carlos Guzman hit solo homers, while Bo Budkevics tossed seven scoreless innings in the clinching sixth game. In the seventh inning, Edmondson singled between first and second to score both runners.

“It was a big spot and I was trying to put something out there, it meant a lot to me considering it’s my eighth year,” Edmondson said commenting on the 2-run single hit in the 7th inning.

Jerod Edmondson, who born March 8, 1984, is an outfielder from Johnson City, NY. Edmondson attended Saint Anslem in New Hampshire and followed that up with eight seasons in the Can-Am League. His best year was with the Pittsfield Colonials in 2011, when he hit .315 with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs.

Edmondson came to Rockland via a trade with the Newark Bears before the start of the 2013 season. He was reunited with coach Jamie Keefe, whom he played for in 2011 with the Pittsfield Colonials.

I asked about his relationship with Jamie Keefe and how has it developed over the years.

“Jamie has been one of the best coaches I have ever played for, and what he’s done with this organization in two years is amazing,” Edmondson said.

In his first two years as a head coach, Jamie Keefe has won coach of the year and led the Boulders to their first Can-Am championship after three losing seasons.

Edmondson says one of his best experiences with the Boulders was being able to play on the same team as his younger brother Chris. After making an immediate impact on the field leading in home runs, RBIs and being second in batting average, Chris’s contract was purchased by the Atlanta Braves. Chris became the first player in Boulders franchise history to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization.

“It was awesome for me. We’ve always been just far enough apart in age that we never got to play together. I talked to him and he decided to play here. It was probably one of the most exciting things for me. I couldn’t have been more proud to see him play that way. As a brother and a coach I couldn’t wish him anything better,” Jerod said.

Jerod doubled as the team’s first baseman and hitting coach.

Jerod continues his pursuit for the big leagues after coming off a very historic season for him. In the 2014 season Jerod became the all-time hits leader in Can-Am League history while setting a new career mark for runs scored. Edmondson also broke multiple franchise records, becoming the single season leader in walks with 51 while putting his name at the top of eight career Rockland records including hits with 219, runs batted in with 138, doubles with 50, and stolen bases with 30.

I asked how it felt to break the all time-hit record in the Can-Am League as well as other records.

“Very old,” he jokingly said to me. “It feels amazing to have set those records. We`re all here for the same reason and that is to get to the next level.’

Edmondson, at 30 years old, stills feels confident that another team will take notice of his play and sign him to a professional contract.

“I know if I keep playing good, someone will give me the opportunity to play for their organization,” he said.

Beau Monde Guitars and Jam Shop to Host Open House for Autism Awareness

By Michael Morano

The owners of Beau Monde Guitars, Lou Bottone and Harry Jacovou, have over 30 years of musical expertise and have been involved with teaching music to individuals with Autism throughout a portion of their careers. Due to Bottone and Jacovou’s desire to give back to the community, Beau Monde Guitars will be hosting a Jam Shop Open House event for Autism Awareness on November 22, 2014 from 1 to 4 pm at 285 Livingston Street, Northvale, NJ.

Beau Monde Guitars is an owner-operated full-service musical instrument retailer specializing in sales, lessons, repairs and rentals. Autism is a mental condition often presented from early childhood. It is characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

According to the CDC, or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 68 children born in the United States has been identified with Autism. Jacovou has been emotionally connected with the autistic community ever since losing a family member years ago. Since opening the shop, he has made it one of his main priorities to help the cause.

The Jam Shop is an organization that offers opportunities to learn about music and instruments for children living with Autism and other special needs. “I’m so incredibly thrilled to be hosting an event that will bring the community together for a good cause,” said co-owner Harry Jacovou. “I believe it’s important to shed some
light on autism and the open house will be great fun.”

The Jam Shop Open House event is free to the public, and will consist of a variety of activities and entertainment including face painting, arts and crafts, and various music demonstrations. Some other features of the event will include lessons from Jam Shop instructors, Mike Morgan and Dan Iucci, for all young aspiring musicians. According to Iucci, "The kids do all the creating, and we just run with it. Jam Shop really breaks the kids out of their shell more quickly than other programs. It's more of a learning experience." Free food and beverages for parents and children participating in the event will also be provided.

There will be the opportunity to participate in a raffle, in which all proceeds will be donated to Autism Awareness. The prizewinner of the raffle will receive a brand new Fender guitar as well as free guitar lessons from Bottone or Jacovou. Overall, the event’s main priority is to generate more awareness for this disorder that continues to impact children every day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Journey to China

By Karina Maldonado

The most memorable moment for anyone can be a difficult question to answer.  I myself cannot pinpoint which memory is my absolute favorite.  When I asked my best friend Summer this question, I assumed she would not give me one specific memory.  But being able to travel to China was by far the best and most memorable experience for her.

The most memorable moment for her was when she studied abroad in China for her junior year of college at SUNY Albany.  In the summer of 2012, she traveled to the other side of the world to volunteer in Asia.  At first, she did not want to go on the trip because she had to be away from home and be in a country she hardly knew.  It can be scary traveling to a country you have never been to.  With the support of family and friends, she took a leap of faith and traveled to China with a few students from school.  In China, she helped elderly, disabled, and underprivileged communities and was exposed first hand to the Chinese traditions and language. 

The most phenomenal memory she was able to acquire from her entire trip was her experience at the Great Wall of China in the city of Beijing.  She was fortunate enough to visit one of the eight wonders of the world and attempted to capture its beauty in pictures.  Climbing up the wall was a thrill to her because it gave her a surge of adrenaline.  Each step further up the wall offered a gorgeous scenic view.  Not many people can say they have visited the Great Wall of China. 

In the end, she was happy she decided to go to China.  It opened her eyes to new and exciting traditions. In her opinion, going to China made her a better person.  She mentions to me that no one should pass up on an opportunity to travel.  It gives travelers a new perspective on other people and cultures. 

Beau Monde Guitars to Host Autism Awareness Event


Contact: Lauren Morales


NORTHVALE, NJ -- Beau Monde Guitars, a local music shop at 285 Livingston Street, is partnering with St. Thomas Aquinas College public relations students to host its inaugural “Jam Shop Open House” on Saturday, November 22 from 1 pm-4 pm. This free event--complete with music demonstrations, family fun activities, and food--will raise money for Autism Speaks, a cause that shop owners Lou Bottone and Harry Jacovou are personally connected to.

“In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we want to hold an event that will give back to all children within our community, especially those with special needs,” Bottone says.

“We take pride in the fact that our Jam Shop program has been well received within the community and we are able to give children with special needs a musical outlet!” added Jacovou, who has become increasingly connected with the autistic community since losing a family member earlier this year.

Bottone describes the Jam Shop program as “a musical journey for children five and older that offers a platform to learn about modern music and its instrumentation and integration with the visual arts.” The program’s mission is to keep a child’s focus and creativity at their highest potential, allowing them to learn by association.

Jam Shop instructors Mike Morgan and Dan Iucci say, “We believe music is the universal language that not only invigorates the senses and sparks creativity, but is also a vessel for socializing throughout a child’s most important years of development.”

Children attending the event are invited to participate in Jam Shop demonstrations, along with enjoying free crafts, face painting, games, and refreshments. Bottone and Jacovou are also sponsoring a raffle to raise donations for Autism Speaks. Jam Shop group lessons and a Fender Squier Bullet Statocaster guitar are among the prizes.

Bottone and Jacovou are also giving back to the local college community by allowing St. Thomas Aquinas College public relations students to co-coordinate, publicize, and participate in this event. Professor Elaine Winship says, “Beau Monde is offering my students an invaluable opportunity. This is an experiential learning project, a resume builder, and an awesome cause to support!”

Stop by Beau Monde Guitars’ “Jam Shop Open House” on November 22. In the words of Bottone: “I have always had this vision of raising awareness through music. It will be an incredible thing to finally see this concept come to fruition.”


Beau Monde Guitars is located at 285 Livingston Street in Northvale, New Jersey. Beau Monde is owned and operated by Lou Bottone and Harry Jacovou. Both are passionate about music and hold over 30 years combined music experience. The store carries a variety of instruments and offers individual and group music lessons, as well as rentals and repair services for all instruments. The store is open from 10 am to 6 pm on Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Reach Beau Monde Guitars at 201-660-7844 or online at

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Facing the Rise in Drug Deaths in Our Communities

By Lina Diakite

After the multiple deaths and rising awareness of heroin and other drug use in Rockland County, I interviewed a 22-year-old Nanuet High School alum about the growing problem. The alum, who would rather remain nameless, feels the problem started recently within the county and has only gotten worse.

Since Nanuet High School recently put up a banner alerting students about the troubles and deaths from these drugs, many people had their own opinion on it. The high school alum states "this wasn’t a problem when I was in high school, and it wasn’t just something the school didn’t know about, we just weren’t doing such harsh drugs, we knew better."

It is not only in Nanuet where this is happening, all over Rockland people are losing their life over these drugs. I asked the alum if they knew someone that was or is using these drugs;  "unfortunately I know someone that is currently using and someone that was and passed from them. I never thought I would be affiliated with someone that did such a things, but I guess things and people change."

I then asked how or if she has tried to help her friend from using. "It’s easier said than done, you want to trust your friend when they say they’ll stop but the next time you see them you realize nothing’s changed," she says with her head down. "They need more help than from me, but I think the most important thing is to not give up on them."

The growing use of these drugs has caused police to crack down, schools to raise awareness to students, and even local news to spread the word about the problem. I asked the alum how they think the problem could be fixed. "The approach that is being taken now is all we can do," she continued, "being aware of the dangers of these drugs is all we can do to stop it; we almost need to scare any more people from touching it."

I asked the former Nanuet student if they were to give advice to a current student about the drug what she would say. She answered by saying "well, this problem is not only with younger teens in high school but it definitely should be stopped and the problems should be well informed at that age." She continued, "If I did have to give a student advice I would simply tell them, it’s not worth your life and friends and family, and you will lose at least one of them."

As hard as it was for the alum to reveal the information about her friend and people that have died from the drug, she said she felt better telling a sad story so people would understand the harm of doing it.

For more information:

A Memorable Experience in Nicaragua

By Lauren Morales

I had the pleasure of interviewing Australian international student and athlete Maddison Lord. Maddison has been living in the U.S. and playing women soccer for St. Thomas Aquinas College for three years and in this interview we discussed her experience so far.

LM: What made you come to STAC?:

ML: I always wanted to live in New York. I had an agent back home post my recruitment videos for soccer and when I heard back from St. Thomas Aquinas College I knew I wanted to give it a shot.

LM: What is your most memorable moment living in the states so far?

ML: The opportunity STAC gave me to work within Bridges to Community and build houses in Nicaragua. I know it didn’t take place in the states, but the opportunity was so memorable.

Fortunately I could relate to Maddison’s’ response because I accompanied her on the class trip to Nicaragua. While we were there she repeated several times how she never wanted to leave. I continued to question Maddison by asking her,

LM: Who is the most memorable person you met in Nicaragua?:

ML: It’s hard to say just one person. I would have to say the children of the community as a whole were the most memorable. Even though they didn’t have much, they were some of the happiest kids I have ever seen. I look at pictures of them often and it always brings a huge smile to my face.

LM: If you could go back and do it all over again, what would you change or do differently?

ML: I would go back with the ability to speak more Spanish. I had the best time of my life, but if I could just communicate a bit more with the people I feel like that would have been the only thing that could have made my trip better.

LM: How has your trip influenced your everyday life back home or in the states?

ML: I used to online shop almost every day. Since I’ve been to Nicaragua I am much more conscious of what is necessary and what is excessive. I am much more grateful for the life my parents have given me and I am eager to make a difference.
Maddison’s experience in Nicaragua and charitable trips like hers should be widely noted if not participated in. The opportunity opens the eyes of people of any age to the realities of life outside of the United States. This class is still offered at St. Thomas Aquinas College and is recommended by students like myself and Maddison Lord.