When Bruce the Blog Listens, People Talk
BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
With age comes wisdom, which teaches us the hard way that life is anything but simple and neat. For Joy Costa, that life lesson came abruptly and early, when she was 22. Her then-three year old son Mikey was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) the past five years, Joy and her close family – including stepdad John Boggi of Michael Robert Salon in Yorktown — have collected many thousands of dollars to help find a cure, through a variety of fundraisers, including a car wash and cut-a-thon, both of which they will reprise in the coming weeks.
The car wash is Saturday, Aug. 17 at Mahopac Volunteer Fire Dept. on Route 6, from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The Cut-a-Thon, at Michael Robert Salon, owned by her stepdad, John Boggi, is Nov. 3 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All proceeds will be donated to JDRF. Call (914) 528-4247 for reservations.
Here, in her own words, are Joy’s thoughts about the blessing that is her son Mikey.
“Oct. 15, 2008: I remember it like yesterday… I took Mikey to the doctor. He was constantly thirsty, irritable and couldn’t control his bladder. I thought maybe he had a UTI (urinary tract infection). He was very thin, not gaining any weight. (more…)
August 14, 2013 | BruceApar
By Bruce Apar
Who doesn’t remember Moe Green in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterwork “The Godfather”? He was the Las Vegas casino owner who tells Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) he’s not intimidated by Michael’s father or by his family.
The actor who portrays Moe, Alex Rocco, passed away July 20 at 69, but his smooth, colorful characterization lives on as a juicy morsel that contributes to the movie’s immortal status. The same holds for another featured player, Al Lettieri, as predatory Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo, who makes your skin wince whenever he’s on screen. That’s great acting, and a lot more complicated to pull off than it appears to the eye of a non-actor.
Mr. Lettieri died at 47 from a heart attack a few years after release of “The Godfather”. Some years ago, at a business lunch in Los Angeles, I met his son, Tony, and told him how much I admired his father’s performance.
I appreciate fine actors more than ever these days, as a student of the craft at Howard Meyer Acting in Pleasantville, N.Y. Much of what he teaches sounds counter-intuitive to a neophyte like me, but it definitely works.
When I mentioned in his first class that I had listened to an interview with Dustin Hoffman as I walked my daily mile that morning, Mr. Meyer gave me an assignment for future walks: listen to nothing.
I reported back to him that not only was my walk quieter but also a minute quicker. Plus, I “wrote” in my head a bit of dialogue to open the next episode of my cable TV show, using Bert and Ernie puppets from Sesame Street.
The teacher approved of my progress in shedding the earbuds as I walked, but he wasn’t yet fully satisfied. He told me on future walks to think about nothing. Have you ever tried that? It’s exceedingly tricky to rid your mind and purposefully draw a blank.
Strange as it may sound, not thinking is central to the actor’s training and technique. I’ve been trying hard to think of nothing on my walks, although the effort has not exactly produced desired results.
Acting demands that you open yourself to all possibilities, vacate all inhibitions and preconceived notions. It’s not a bad prescription for life in general, no matter your line of work.
In warmup exercises, Mr. Meyer tells us to “relax and release the tension” to achieve inner stillness that allows the character to take shape and inhabit your being.
That’s why I’m being told on the daily walks not to try to be productive.
If you think that’s easy, think again. Or maybe not.
Bruce Apar owns and operates APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley agency for advertising, content, marketing and public relations. Follow @HudsonValleyWXYZ and @BruceTheBlog on Twitter and Facebook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at APAR All-Media.
July 29, 2015 | admin
BY FRANK J. RICH
The above 1940s turn of phrase could mean a number of things by the way it was said, but it always meant to ask the obvious question: declare yourself as we see you, or not. In looking over the holiday numbers, largely in an effort to gauge the opportunity for local businesses, I’m led to a bicameral view of the marketplace during this excited annual buying season. Specifically, is s/he buying or not, and why?
The indicators all point to the health of one key metric—DPI, or disposable income. Lower unemployment rate (5.8% v. 6.9% in ‘13), revolving credit growth (>3.2% v. 2.3% in ’13), DPI growth (3.2% v. 2.3 in ’13), significantly lower fuel costs (>15% in ’14 and falling), and increased consumer confidence. All good. (BOA, Merrill Lynch) (more…)
December 15, 2014 | BruceApar
The East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) hosts the largest awards dinner for teams annually in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). The EHYSL Dinner of Champions has become a July tradition that extends back almost to the league’s founding four decades ago.
44 division champion teams and four scholarship recipients were honored on July 11 and 12 at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. A crowd of nearly 1,400 attended over the two nights. Present on July 12 was New York City FC defender Maxime Chanot, who gracefully posed for photos with seemingly every player at the dinner.
“I don’t know of anybody in soccer who holds a dinner as large as this one to honor their champions,” commented EHYSL President Jim Purdy. “We thank and honor our coaches and volunteers whose patience, direction and soccer expertise allow our children to enjoy this great game. We also want to recognize and especially thank the parents who write the checks, do the chauffeuring, nurse the bumps and bruises and cheer on the sidelines, no matter the weather.”
The coaches of the 44 champion teams discussed their squad and introduced the players. A common theme for many of the squads is the players were unhappy with how they had done the previous season so the kids worked really hard and put together a championship season. Special kudos to the Boys-Under-14 Liberty Red Devils, who went from 0-10-0 to 10-0-0 in Division 4.
All four scholarship winners decided to continue their education at colleges in New York State. The Michael Goldberg Memorial Scholarship Award recipients are Linzy Dineen (Syracuse University) and Alexa Franceschi (Mount Saint Mary College). Michael was a 15-year-old boy playing in the EHYSL for the Chappaqua Soccer Club when he died of leukemia and his family started the scholarship to honor his fulfilling yet brief life.
The Dan Herbst Memorial Scholarship winners are Birch Lazo-Murphy (Syracuse University) and Emily Mildner (Utica College). The scholarship namesake also died from leukemia, in 2001. Dan was a longtime soccer journalist and author, past president of the Yorktown Soccer Club and in his first term as EHYSL President when he passed away at age 48.
“These four scholarship winners exhibited excellence not only on the soccer field but in the classroom and in their communities as well,” concluded President Purdy.
With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.
Boys-Under-16 Dover Terminators, who have won three consecutive division titles.
Members of the EHYSL Board of Directors with NYCFC defender Maxime Chanot in center.
July 19, 2017 | admin
WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE WINS PRESTIGIOUS 2017 INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR COACHING CONNECTION
The League for Innovation in the Community College showcases the college’s program providing individualized support to help students cross the finish line.
The League for Innovation in the Community College has named Westchester Community College’s Coaching Connection Program as a 2017 Innovation of the Year winner. Established more than thirty years ago, the League’s Innovation of the Year competition was devised as a way to recognize significant innovations at member colleges. These innovations reflect capstone achievements and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentation at some of the nation’s top community colleges. The award is designed to recognize faculty, staff, and administrators who have created and implemented innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the institution’s ability to serve students and the community.
Westchester Community College is among 53 colleges named for this national competition in 2017.
The Coaching Connection Program provides a personal connection with students to support them through graduation and beyond. Through collaboration with curriculum chairs, faculty and staff, coaches provide targeted outreach to students in need of support services and make referrals to resources across campus while also following up with students to ensure they received individualized support.
Westchester Community College President Belinda Miles stated that, “The Coaching Connection initiative contributed to a 42% increase in our IPEDs graduation year in just two years. This award honors the dedication, commitment, and excellent work of our faculty and staff on behalf of student success at the college.”
In the last two years, Westchester Community College has graduated two of its largest classes since 1946. The college is growing its curriculum, reaching further into the communities to provide access to learning and opportunity, and is laser focused on providing excellent student-centered services.
“Our Coaching Connection Program is one of several initiatives that connect students with necessary services to help students make progress through the curriculum and graduate on time. We are committed to meeting students where there are and our goal is to be a true partner with our students as they fulfil their academic journeys here at the college” stated President Miles.
For more information on the award, read here: http://special.league.org/league/competitions/innovations/display/mdisplay/detail.cfm?ioy=2017&ioyid=215
June 15, 2017 | admin
Several members of certain Empire Medicare plans recently completed a six-week walking program in Tarrytown in coordination with the Arthritis Foundation.
The “Walk with Ease” program teaches participants how to make physical activity part of their everyday life. While designed to help people with arthritis better manage their pain, the program targets anyone who wants to increase his or her physical activity. Participants walked along the Westchester RiverWalk. Several pledged to continue incorporating walking into their fitness routine after the program ended.
Walking has been shown to improve arthritis symptoms, physical function, gait speed and quality of life. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of adults don’t walk enough. (more…)
July 26, 2013 | admin