Have a look at all the fun had with the "Going Greener With the Birds" Project this year!
Sargent Liz Rodriguez was honored at our Spring Recognition Luncheon on May 21, 2015. The following note from MG resident, Nancy Eder, was sent to MRHS independently of our plans to honor Sgt. Rodriguez.
Letter of praise for Sargent Liz Rodriguez
by Nancy Eder, Building V
May 5, 2015
On the sunny afternoon of April 29, 2015, as a member of the Grounds Committee, I was dividing some day lilies at Bldg 2. As the sun got warmer, I removed my outer orange jacket and threw it over the handle of my shopping cart. In conversation with a neighbor I wheeled the cart back towards my own building (5) to discover that when I reached the steps, my jacket had disappeared. Clearly it had slipped off the cart within 100 yards that I had just walked. But it was nowhere in sight.
The jacket pocket contained a set of my apartment keys. There was no I.D. in the jacket . . . no name or address indicating that I was the owner of the jacket OR the apartment, but it would be an expensive proposition to replace those keys. I was quite upset.
I ran to the security office and reported this incident and requested that Captain Montalvo look at the recordings for the past fifteen minutes (as if I were the only business that he to attend to.) The person on duty called the main Security office and then told me that Sargent Liz Rodriguez would help me because Captain Montalvo was busy with an important investigation.
I raced over to the main security office, explained what happened to Sgt. Rodriguez, and pleaded with her to allow me to speak with Captain Montalvo directly. Captain Montalvo called me into his office, stopped his work at the computer, and listened to my tale of woe.
Sgt. Rodriguez then left the building saying that she would go out searching for the orange jacket.
Hoping that the person who found the jacket would miraculously appear on his computerized recording of the area, I begged him to check the recent film of the occurrence. But before he was able to call that up on the screen, his phone rang. It was Sgt. Rodriguez. She found the jacket. And within another few minutes she was back in his office, smiling and handing me my jacket.
Where was it? How did you find it?
She had spoken to a few workmen in back of Bldg. 6. They had not seen it. She looked around and saw a covered garbage can with a tiny sliver of orange color peeking out from beneath the cover. Detective. Sleuth. Sargent Rodriguez recognized my jacket.The keys were still inside the zippered pocket. It was no longer necessary to pursue the investigation as to how the jacket disappeared and was picked up and thrown away.
It was sufficient for me to have gotten it back.
My thanks and credit goes to Sgt. Rodriguez who acted quickly, intelligently and with compassion saving me further anxiety not to mention money to change my locks. She might say was all in a day’s work. To me, she saved the day.
An annual and very popular event over the years – the annual reading by the Writing from Life Experience group is planned as a multidimensional event. It is billed as a Readers Theater Performance, during which members of the group will share their writings with the whole community. Light refreshments are included.
MRHS is very proud to co-sponsor this event with Elders Share the Arts and the NY State Council on the Arts. Please join us on
Wednesday, May 20, 2:00 - 5:00 PM Thurgood Marshall Room, 80 La Salle.
MRHS needs your help … by filling out a survey that should take no more than 15 or 20 minutes, if you haven’t done so already. MRHS was recently awarded a six-year NORC contract by the Department for the Aging. Our contract stipulates that we will implement the Health Indicators Project. We are being asked to have 200 Health Indicators surveys completed by residents over the age of sixty. Everyone over sixty is asked to participate, regardless of your health status. We have already completed about 140 surveys, leaving about 60 to go.
The purpose of the Health Indicators Project is to gather data to demonstrate the effectiveness of NORC programs. Many of you have filled out the survey before, but this is a new round of data collecting. Unlike in the past, you do not have to meet with an MRHS staff person to take the survey. You can fill it out on your own at MRHS or at home.
Once the surveys are completed by the due date of June 30, they will be analyzed so that MRHS will be able to determine a health issue of concern, such as falls, diabetes, or heart disease, for additional attention. If your survey demonstrates that you are vulnerable to the health issue of concern, you can voluntarily participate in an evidence-based program that addresses the issue.
But for now we just want to concentrate on having the surveys completed. So we will be hosting another “Come Fill Out A Survey, Part 2” day on Monday, May 18, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. You can come to MRHS, enjoy some refreshments, and fill out a survey. MRHS staff people will be available if you need help. At the end of the day everyone who has completed a survey will be entered into a raffle for a $25 Gift Certificate to Bettolona’s Restaurant. It should be fun and you’ll be doing your part to help out the MRHS Community!
"Mental Illness Is Not A Normal Part of Aging" is the name of an informative article on a blog from the National Council on Aging. Please click here to access the piece.
Research shows that mental illness, especially depression, is under-treated in the older adult population. Medicare covers treatment for mental health services.
MRHS has resources available if you would like more information about accessing mental health care, such as through SPOP. SPOP is a nearby agency that provides mental health services specifically for older adults.
On Tuesday, May 5, PBS ran a segment on end-of-life decision-making among African-Americans. You can view the segment itself on the PBS website by clicking here.
The importance of being prepared in advance should an emergency occur, especially having a health care proxy, cannot be emphasized too strongly. As in past years MRHS and the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association invite you to participate in “Decision-Making Day.”
Attorney Frank Colella, will discuss wills, advance directives, the New York Health Care Proxy, the living will, powers of attorney, and procedures for organ donation. By preparing, you can ensure that your wishes are met in an emergency. Advance Directive forms will be provided.
Friday, May 8 at 1:00 PM
Tuttle Center, 100 La Salle, #MC
MRHS Film Committee Presents:
First Wednesday Films
Next screening on May 6 at 7:30 PM
Featuring: Killer of Sheep (1977) 1 hr., 23 min.
Landmark urban drama of African-American life in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles through the eyes of a slaughterhouse worker. Paints a picture of economic exclusion and muted hopes dusted with moments of transcendent joy. Directed by Charles Burnett. Not rated.
From Michael DeBorja, MRHS Film Committee Member:
The First Wednesday of the month movie on May 6 at 7:30 pm seems very apropos in the wake of recent protests in African-American urban communities.
See https://mrhsmovies.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/killer-of-sheep-dir-charles-burnett/ for movie photos, scenes and music.
The following is adapted from a 2007 review by Roger Ebert:
Surely I should have seen that what Burnett chooses to show is, in fact, a larger statement. In this poetic film about a family in Watts, he observes the quiet nobility of lives lived with values but without opportunities. The lives go nowhere, the movie goes nowhere, and in staying where they are they evoke a sense of sadness and loss.
The film centers on Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders), a slaughterhouse worker who labors to exhaustion at his work and then returns to jobs at home: fixing the sink, putting down new linoleum, raising the kids. In this is he joined by his wife (Kaycee Moore), a beautiful but tired woman, who freshens her makeup to welcome him home, even though he can hardly notice. Burnett regards their faces, lives, children, friends, neighbors, in a loosely strung-together series of episodes that don't add up to much, while they somehow add up to everything. His black-and-white images and deliberate editing create a sense of serene resignation; this is how it is, and ever shall be.
"Killer of Sheep" became a legend while hardly being seen. I cannot remember, indeed, why I was able to see it in 1977. Filmed by Burnett for $10,000 as his master's thesis at the UCLA film school, it did not find distribution because Burnett could not afford the rights to the music on his soundtrack. Now, 30 years later, the film has been beautifully restored by UCLA, and blown up from 16 to 35mm, while retaining its original music (the rights cost $150,000). The movie's Web site, www.killerofsheep.com, tells the story and describes the extraordinary music selection: Etta James, Dinah Washington, Gershwin, Rachmaninov, Paul Robeson, Earth, Wind & Fire.
Surely, if he wanted his film seen, Burnett could have used cheaper music? Not at all, because on a deeper level he wanted his film to be a demonstration of the breadth of music by and about African Americans. One shot at the end, with a backlit Stan and his wife (never named) dancing wearily to Dinah Washington's "This Bitter Earth," demonstrates that it had to be Dinah Washington and no one else, singing that song and no other.
"Killer of Sheep" was one of the first 50 titles on the Library of Congress list of American films worthy of permanent preservation. You have to be prepared to see a film like this, or able to relax and allow it to unfold. It doesn't come, as most films do, with built-in instructions about how to view it. One scene follows another with no apparent pattern, reflecting how the lives of its family combine endless routine with the interruptions of random events. The day they all pile into a car to go to the races, for example, a lesser film would have had them winning or losing. In this film, they have a flat tire, and no spare. Thus does poverty become your companion on every journey.
The lives of the adults are intercut with shots of the children at play. One brilliant sequence shows a kid's head darting out from behind a plywood shield -- once, twice, six times. The camera pulls back to show that two groups of kids are playing at war in a rubbish-strewn wasteland, throwing rocks at one another from behind barriers. A boy gets hit and bleeds and cries. The others forget war and gather around. He's not too badly hurt, and so they idly drift over to railroad tracks and throw rocks at a passing train. All of the scenes of children at play were unrehearsed; Burnett just filmed them.
They have few toys. One child puts on a grotesque rubber Halloween mask and wears it all day, and gets roughed up because, somehow, the mask obscures the fact that a child is inside it. At home, Stan works on projects, complains to a friend he cannot sleep, projects deep discouragement. Sitting at the kitchen table, he presses a tea cup against his face and says it reminds him of a feeling just after sex. That kind of tender thought has little place in his world.
We see him at work, herding sheep to their deaths, then stringing them up on a conveyor belt, cutting their throats, watching them bleed. Later, he throws away their inner parts. It is a hard and horrible job. Is there a connection between the sheep, who are content before their ends, and the children at play, happy because they know no better, unaware of the dead-end that poverty will bring to some (not all!) of them?
Other scenes. Two men want to involve Stan in a crime. He and his wife send them away. Kids playing in an alley stare as two big boys climb over a back fence with a stolen TV set. We can tell they witness such things all the time. Stan buys a used auto motor, and then the sort of thing happens that is always happening to Stan. He's running, running, just to stay in place.
Born in 1944 in Mississippi and raised in Watts, what Charles Burnett captures above all in "Killer of Sheep" is the deadening ennui of hot, empty summer days, the dusty passage of time when windows and screen doors stood open, and the way the breathless day crawls past. And he pays attention to the heroic efforts of this man and wife to make a good home for their children. Poverty in the ghetto is not the guns and drugs we see on TV. It is more often like life in
MRHS Tuttle Center, 100 La Salle, #MC
$1.00 suggested donation
Great Decisions 2015
On Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00 PM the Great Decisions Program will continue the 2015 program with a discussion on the topic “India Changes Course.”
Gil Morahg is the program facilitator for this evening’s presentation. Meetings are in the MRHS Tuttle Center.
Join us as our “Going Greener with the Birds” project and many Morningside Gardens groups host a full day of activities as we join with many other communities around the world to celebrate 2015 International Migratory Bird Day. Cameras, binoculars, data sheets, food, fun provided – COME and JOIN US!
Saturday, May 9 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM at MRHS.
All participants on this day will be able to get an “official” MG GGB 2015 Souvenir magnet thanks to the MHHC collaborating neighbors and groups! Borrow a digital camera and help us document all the events to be featured on our website!
9:30 – 11:00 – 3rd Annual Bird Watch − sponsored by the MHHC Grounds Committee.
11:00 – 1:00 − ORIGAMI BIRD making in the Plaza with the help of volunteers from Origami USA.
1:00 – 2:30 − “Going Greener with the Birds” team help make/eat “Bird-of-Paradise" smoothie bowls!
2:00 – 3:30 − Movie: "March of the Penguins" – A great movie you must see at least once!
3:30 – 4:30 − Bird Songs and maybe even Bird Macarena Dancing end the day led by MHHC “song birds”!
A place to share information.