Colorado Mesa Routs Dixie State in RMAC Football

first_imgOctober 27, 2018 /Sports News – Local Colorado Mesa Routs Dixie State in RMAC Football Written by FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailGRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-Eystin Salum completed 18 of 30 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns and the Colorado Mesa Mavericks pounded Dixie State 45-24 Saturday at Ralph Stocker Stadium in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference football action.Overall, the Mavericks amassed 558 yards of offense on the evening, while Peter Anderson (8 receptions, 126 yards, touchdown) and Pailate Makakona (12 carries, 131 yards, TD) all excelled for the Mavericks.Dixie State’s Michael Sanders (25-37, 355 yards, TD/INT) continued to put up impressive statistics, but his one interception was returned 62 yards for a score by defensive back Antonio Clark.Also excelling for the Trailblazers were tailback Sei-J Lauago (17 car, 98 yards, TD) and receiver Dejuan Dantzler (11 rec, 187 yards, TD).Dixie State returns home Saturrday November 3 for the home finale against Colorado School of Mines as they fell to 5-4 on the season, while the Mavericks improved to 5-4. Tags: Antonio Clark/Colorado Mesa football/Colorado School of Mines/Dejuan Dantzler/Dixie State Football/Eystin Salum/Michael Sanders/Pailate Makakona/Peter Anderson/Ralp Stocker Stadium/Sei-J Lauago Brad Jameslast_img read more

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Brian Moggre and ‘Erkel’ Win $50,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 12

first_imgAs the final week of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continues, Brian Moggre (USA) put forth a stellar double-clear effort aboard MTM Vivre Le Reve, owned by Major Wager, LLC, to capture the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 on Thursday, April 1, at the Palm Beach Equestrian Center (PBIEC).The twelfth week of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Agricultural Services, has CSI4* competition along with a concurrent CSI2* running through Sunday, April 4, the final day of the 2021 WEF. Friday afternoon features the $37,000 1.45m CSI2* and the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series Final. An exciting weekend schedule follows with the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4* and WEF Circuit Champion Parade on Saturday and concludes with the $50,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday.Hunters will be featured on the grass during WEF 12 at the Derby Field at Equestrian Village. On Friday at 8:30 a.m. is the $15,000 International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go, followed by the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open, presented by Restylane and sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby for juniors and amateurs. The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round 1 is on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the top 12 returning for a handy round. All feature classes can be watched for free both live and on-demand on the livestream.In the final grand prix qualifier of the winter circuit, a total of 63 entries challenged the first-round course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) with just eight punching their ticket into the jump-off. The seventh-ranked rider in the world, Kent Farrington (USA), elected to save his horse for the weekend leaving a total of seven combinations to contend over a shortened track.First to return for the jump-off, Nayel Nassar (EGY) paved the way for the rest of pack as he and Lucifer V, a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x Grandeur, put forth a clear effort. Nassar and the Evergate Stables, LLC-owned entry stopped the clock at 40.32 seconds.Fresh off his victory in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, Germany’s Daniel Deusser returned fifth of seven to give it his best shot. He and Casallvano, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Silvana owned by Camilla Hamann and Philipp Widmayer, would post a clear effort but finish just off the leading time in 40.56 seconds.Second last to go, Moggre and the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Ustinov x Chello II, gave it their best shot.“In the jump-off, I did one less stride in the first line and the last line,” said Moggre. “I walked eight [strides] and eight [strides] but he’s got a huge stride. The horses carry across this footing in the International Arena very nicely; they travel the ground well, so I did one less stride, and he got up those sevens just as if he was doing the eight. It worked out for us.”The risky plan paid off as Moggre and his longtime partner “Erkel” added their own double-clear to the leaderboard with the quickest time of the day, crossing the timers in 40.04 seconds. Nassar would end the day in second overall while Deusser claimed third position on the podium.“Erkel is amazing,” exclaimed Moggre after the win. “With seven jumping off, we could put a little pressure on and see what came of it. I asked him to step up to the plate, he did, and I still feel as though I have a good horse for the grand prix on Saturday.“He’s my rock after all these years,” he continued. “All of my firsts, like my first FEI class, first grand prix, first three-star, four-star, and five-star, have been his first time also so he’s a horse that I have a really special relationship with. It’s really nice to see that we’ve still got it.”It is apparent that the relationship between the talented young rider and his veteran partner is extra special. While they have many wins under their belt at the international level, there’s a unique friendship that makes each victory that much more meaningful.“I know him like the back of my hand,” he said. “I trust him, and I know what risks I can take and which ones I should maybe avoid. I think the best part of our relationship is we really know the ins and outs of each other. You can say we know so much about a horse, but I think they really know you too as a rider. That’s a great thing for him and I. He’s incredible.”Moggre will be back in the International Arena on Saturday with his partner to wrap up their 2021 WEF in the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4*.Final Results: $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 121. MTM VIVRE LE REVE: 2009 Westphalian gelding by Ustinov x Chello IIBRIAN MOGGRE (USA), Major Wager LLC: 0/0/40.042. LUCIFER V: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x GrandeurNAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/0/40.323. CASALLVANO: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x SilvanaDANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Camilla Hamann and Philipp Widmayer: 0/0/40.564. AGANA VAN HET GERENDAL Z: 2011 Zangersheide stallion by Aganix Du Seigneur x NaminkaLILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm, LLC: 0/0/41.995. VDL CARTELLO: 2007 Holsteiner stallion by Carani x LordLORCAN GALLAGHER (IRL), Heathman Farm, LLC: 0/4/39.156. UBILUC: 2012 Mecklenburg stallion by Ubiko x LucianDANIEL BLUMAN (ISR), Over The Top Stables LLC: 0/4/42.717. PRESENCE: 2008 Holsteiner stallion by Contendro II x UlibraMARIA COSTA (USA), Ravello Farms, LLC: 0/8/40.328. GAZELLE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x IndoctroKENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & Robin Parsky: 0/WD9. NORTHERN LIGHT: 2011 SWB mare by Plot Blue x ContenderTIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 1/79.1110.CONFU: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Contact Me x CambridgeLAURA KRAUT (USA), St. Bride’s Farm: 1/79.21 Email* More from News:MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes. Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! Tags: WEF, show jumping, Winter Equestrian Festival, Brian Moggre, MTM Vivre le Reve, center_img SIGN UP We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Horse Sport Enewslast_img read more

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Ramadan 101

first_imgDINA SAYEDAHMED To the Editor:Recently, close to 1.6 billion people began celebrating the month of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, trademarked by the sun-up to sun-down fast. In America, Muslims will fast approximately 17 hours. No, we won’t die. And no, we probably won’t lose weight either.But what is Ramadan? What is its purpose and significance, why does its date shift every year, and how can you, as a non-Muslim, be considerate of your Muslim friends who might be observing? Below are a few pointers that can hopefully give you a glimpse into Ramadan and help you understand what the big fuss is.Purposes of Ramadan: Muslims believe that the Holy Qu’ran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan, beginning on the Night of Power. To commemorate this occasion, Muslims engage in 29-30 days of spiritual revival, which includes fasting every day from worldly pleasures (food, water, and sexual intercourse) from dawn to dusk, increased nightly prayer and charity, and intense reading and studying of the Qu’ran.Some Muslims don’t fast: Fasting is only obligatory upon Muslims who have reached puberty and are able-bodied. Muslim women who are pregnant, for example, or Muslims who are chronically ill or require regular doses of medication throughout the day are not required to fast. If your Muslim friends aren’t fasting, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily “breaking rules.” They might just have a valid excuse.Save us a cupcake from the office party: We’re not fasting forever. We can still enjoy your treats after sunset!Ramadan shifts: Last year, Ramadan started and ended a little closer to the spring, and the year before that, closer. Because Muslims follow the lunar calendar, Ramadan shifts a few days every year. Luckily for us, that means that in a few years’ time, Ramadan will shift back to the winter months and we won’t have to fast for 17 hours.It’s not that serious: Well, it is. But there is also plenty of room for celebration. Muslims use the month of Ramadan to gather with friends and family over the breaking of the fast. Common traditions include wide assortments of food and cultural sweet, which is why most of us don’t lose weight.And last, take it easy on us: We’re coffee-deprived.last_img read more

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Hudson County Community College Foundation ‘Subscription Dining Series’ Is Back with…

first_imgThe Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Foundation invites area business people and residents to enjoy world-class dining experiences through the Fall 2020 Subscription Dining Series.Subscribers will savor exquisite, three-course luncheons in the elegant Banquet Room of the nationally-acclaimed HCCC Culinary Arts Institute (CAI) at 161 Newkirk Street in Jersey City, just two blocks from the PATH Transportation Center. × The menus are planned and prepared by the College’s Executive Chef and the award-winning team of HCCC  professional chef-instructors and students. Menus include appetizers, entrées, and desserts as well as non-alcoholic beverages. The $750 fee is for a table of up to four guests to dine from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on five Fridays – October 16, 23, and 30, and November 6 and 13. Beer and wine are available by the glass or bottle and must be paid by cash or credit card at the time of service.Proceeds from the series will provide deserving HCCC students with the financial assistance to pursue their academic and career goals. More information and registration are available by contacting Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Vice President for External Relations and Senior Counsel to the President, at 201-360-4009, or by visiting www.hccc.edu/foundationdonor.The HCCC Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) corporation providing tax exempt status to contributors. Founded in 1997, the HCCC Foundation has furnished scholarships to more than 2,300 HCCC students over the years. Additionally, the Foundation contributes seed money for the College’s physical expansion, new programs, and faculty development.  The Foundation also provides cultural enrichment for area residents, and the HCCC Foundation Art Collection that now includes more than 1,250 works of art by nationally and internationally renowned artists.last_img read more

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Holly Bowling Debuts Phish’s “Miss You” In Honor Of A Lost Life [Audio]

first_imgHolly Bowling is unlike anyone else on the road right now. Playing the music of Phish and the Grateful Dead, the classically-trained pianist captivates audiences nationwide with her takes on jam band giants. Recently, she stopped by the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains, Pennsylvania to honor the life of Jeff Haraschack.The set included special guest appearances from Mike Miz and Justin Mazer on “Bird Song,” which lead into “Estimated Prophet” and into the debut of “Miss You” from Phish’s most recent Big Boat. “Miss You” was written by Trey Anastasio for his late sister, who passed away in 2009. Relatable to all in the room, it was a beautiful nod to the fans there to celebrate the life of their friend.Set List: Holly Bowling | River Street Cafe | Plain, PA | 3/15/17Buried Alive, Cold Rain & Snow > Bathtub Gin > Piper > Steam> * If I Could, Stella Blue **, Bird Song > *** Estimated > Miss You #E: China Cat Sunflower > I Know you Rider# first time preformed by Holly* w/ Piper tease** w/ Mike Miz & Justin Mazer*** w/ Cold Rain & Snow tease[cover photo via Holly Bowling Facebook]last_img read more

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Tri-military celebration honors Veterans Day

first_imgArmy, Navy and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) units gathered at the Clarke Memorial Fountain on Tuesday to participate in a Veterans Day celebration in honor of all of those who have served in the United States military. From 4:30 p.m. Monday until the ceremony Tuesday, midshipmen and cadets stood vigil at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, known by students as “Stonehenge,” to pay respects to service members. The ceremony began with an introduction of the official party, followed by a benediction by Fr. Peter Rocca and the playing of the national anthem.Lieutenant colonel Christopher Pratt, commanding officer of the Notre Dame Army ROTC and professor of military science, recognized the cadets and midshipmen.“Although most have yet to serve, [the cadets and midshipmen] represent the absolute best and brightest of this country and have chosen a path of service to this great nation that less than one-half of 1 percent of Americans make these days,” Pratt said.Pratt also acknowledged the cadets and midshipmen in regards to their identity as students of Notre Dame.“In addition to their academically rigorous schedules, [the cadets and midshipmen] get up early and stay up late for their military training,” he said. “The 24-hour vigil they just completed is not only a tribute to Veterans Day, but a testament to their commitment, strength and character.” Pratt then introduced the keynote speaker, Major Patrick Gibbons, who is retired Marine Corp and executive director of academic communications. Gibbons began by speaking about the purpose and the importance of celebrating Veterans Day.“Unlike Memorial Day which honors those who gave their life for the country, Veterans Day is designed for all of those who have served or are currently serving around the world, about 20 million Americans,” Gibbons said. Although only a small percentage of Americans comprise the military, Gibbons said, many of them become heroes after serving.Americans do not become heroes just by serving, but many of them achieve a heroic status later in life by changing lives as educators, business people, parents and coaches, Gibbons said.“And I think what causes it is that common bond [the veterans] got in the military, while they were in uniform,” he said. “There was a willingness to serve others; there was a dedication to become better people and better citizens. It was the ability to get along with people from many different backgrounds and the desire to be forces of good in the world.”Gibbons then spoke about the current military conflicts facing the United States.“Today, the nation is involved in its longest war; this is its 14th consecutive year,” he said. “These days it remains unclear what victory would actually look like in this new type of warfare we are fighting, and the war of terrorism we are facing all around.”The nation owes a great debt of gratitude to those who serve or who have served, Gibbons said, as many come home seriously wounded by both visible and invisible damage and also often need jobs and job training in order to assimilate back into their civilian lives.In the divided nation we live in, the military unites us in paying respect and honoring people who have served or who are serving now in the military, Gibbons said.Gibbons closed with a prayer, asking God to watch over the cadets and all serving in the military and their families. He was then presented with a plaque from the staff, cadets and midshipmen of the University tri-military as a thank-you for sharing his experiences and speaking in honor of Veterans Day.Fr. Rocca ended the ceremony with a closing prayer that called for peace in their time.Tags: Clarke Memorial Fountain, ROTC, tri-military, Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Hot Shot! Saturday Night Fever Original Stars Reunite at 54 Below

first_imgIt was a hot night in the city when original Saturday Night Fever stars Orfeh, James Carpinello and Paige Price put on their boogie shoes and headed to 54 Below. The reunion on August 31 made us wish the talented cast was still belting out tunes from the golden age of disco on the Great White Way. After all, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen these professionals strutting, singing “Stayin’ Alive” and striking that iconic SNF pose (see Orfeh, Carpinello, Price and Paul Castree below). View Commentslast_img read more

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Festival Recap: Bridge Day 2018

first_imgEvery year on the third Saturday of October in Fayetteville, West Virginia (or Fayettechill as some call it) – adventure sports meets county fair for one big hoedown. Bridge Day, if you have never been, is truly a sight to behold.Bridge Day must be a logistics nightmare to put on. Most events that we attend are held in parks, along rivers, and in the mountains. Bridge Day, however, is held on… a bridge. The longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere, in fact. High above the New River, the New River Gorge Bridge draws tens of thousands of people to West Virginias largest single-day festival.This isn’t a pedestrian bridge either. Three hundred and sixty-five days a year it is extremely illegal to cross the bridge on foot. On any other day, the New River Gorge Bridge allows over 16,000 cars a day to freely cross. All of this normal traffic must be diverted early in the morning so the bridge can be closed and secured by authorities. All of the vendors (over 150 of them) are lined up in order so everyone can drive in and set up seamlessly.The New River Gorge Bridge is within a days drive of two-thirds of the countries population. For this reason, among many others, Bridge Day draws a huge crowd. The draw isn’t just for the vendors. Although, there are a lot of excellent vendors. The main draw is to watch the BASE jumpers. Bridge Day is the only day of the year when it is legal to BASE jump off the bridge.Jumpers come from all over to hurl themselves 876 feet down towards the earth below. Bridge day is the oldest and largest legal BASE jumping event in the world.This event was a fitting way to wrap up our 2018 tour. The people were wonderful and the weather was better than expected. We’ll miss you all this winter but we’re ready for snow! Give us a wave and a smile if you see us in the van.There is one way for this tour to be a reality, our sponsors! Sending a thank you shout out to our title sponsor Nite Ize, and all of our other awesome sponsors that make this happen: Crazy Creek, National Geographic, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, Lowe Alpine, Old Town, Leki, HydraPak, UCO Gear and Wenzel. If you like the gear that keeps us groovin’ click here to enter for a chance to win.last_img read more

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Kaká Has The World At His Feet

first_imgBy Dialogo May 03, 2010 Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite has no doubt why he is able to walk: God’s grace. Leite, known as Kaká in the soccer world, is one of the highest-paid and most talented players on the planet, yet the Brazilian’s career almost was over as quickly as it started because of an accident about a decade ago. “I had gone to visit my grandparents in Caldas Novas in Brazil, and there I slipped on a swimming pool slide,” he told the London newspaper The Sun. “When I fell into the water I hit my head on the bottom of the pool and twisted my neck, which caused me to fracture a vertebra. The doctors said that I was lucky even to be able to walk normally. Back at home, we always thanked God because we knew that it was ‘His’ hand that had saved and protected me.” Kaká, 28, recovered from sustaining a nearly paralysis-inducing injury when he was 18 to emerge the country’s next great soccer star. He began his professional career with São Paulo, where he scored 23 goals in 59 games from 2001-2003. He was so dominant as an attacking midfielder he was named to the 2002 World Cup at age 20. A few months later, he reveled with his teammates after defeating Germany for an unprecedented fifth title. Next month, Kaká can secure his legacy even further by leading Seleçao to the World Cup title in South Africa, four years after the team was upset by France, 1-0, in the quarterfinals. But it won’t be easy. Brazil is in Group G, which is called the group of death because the consensus is it’s the toughest of the tournament’s eight pools. The top-ranked Brazilians open against 106th-ranked North Korea on June 15 before facing 27th-ranked Ivory Coast on June 20 and third-ranked Portugal on June 25. “In the World Cup, there is no formula,” he told reporters, “no recipe for success.” Kaká parlayed his 25 minutes of play in the World Cup eight years ago into an €8.5 million (US$11.2 million) deal with Italian Serie A power AC Milan. In seven seasons with the Rossoneri, he played in 193 matches, scoring 70 goals en route to Serie A titles in 2003 and 2004, a Supercoppa Italiana championship in 2004, a Champions League crown (2007) and a UEFA Super Cup and a FIFA Club World Cup in 2007, the year he was named FIFA World Soccer Player of the Year. “Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have played some great soccer … but they are not yet the most prominent players in their national teams,” Pelé told reporters following Kaká’s 2007 season. “Kaká has been playing at this level for Brazil for four years now, he helps out in midfield and he is also a great example off the pitch. He’s the complete player.” In 2009, he transferred from AC Milan to Spanish power Real Madrid in a six-year deal worth more than €65 million (US$86.5 million). Real currently sits three points out of the top spot in the Primera Liga. Kaká has scored seven goals in 20 games. He’ll have an even bigger challenge in South Africa, where he’ll carry the hopes of a nation of about 200 million on his shoulders. “I don’t want people to be saying of me, ‘Look, that guy says one thing and does another,’” Kaká, who has scored 26 goals in 73 games for the national team, told The Sun. “I seek to be a role model. I seek to demonstrate what God has done for me and that ‘He’ can do it in their lives as well.”last_img read more

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Residents Strive To Inspire & Spread Hope In Struggling Long Island Communities

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York In the hamlet of Roosevelt, on the South Shore of Long Island, is the home of Soldiers in Sobriety. It’s a two-story house on East Raymond Avenue, an anonymous building set on the quiet side street. Dorothy Henderson, an ex-drug dealer who now helps women rebuild their lives after drug addiction, owns the house.Many of the residents have children and are trying to regain custody after seeing their worlds crumble from addiction. Others are trying to earn enough money to start a family. Soldiers in Sobriety is a safe house, providing housing, support meetings and cooked dinners, as well as the camaraderie that comes from shared experience.Josephine Hodge, a 52-year-old resident at Soldiers in Sobriety, says that the house has helped her recovery from a crack cocaine addiction.“We may have come here as broken women, but we want to leave here 100-percent whole,” Hodge says, sitting at the kitchen table in the two-story house. “We have to want the best for ourselves.”This house was Henderson’s dream, a long-term goal that she put into motion after she started attending Hempstead Council of Thought and Action, or COTA, meetings, six years ago. COTA began in January 2008, and Henderson started attending soon after she was released from prison that year for drug dealing. Henderson is one of the COTA originals, one who was inspired to take control of her life after years of “dipping and dabbing” in the drug trade.COTA is a grass-roots movement developed by Suffolk County’s Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis in 2008 while she was working as an assistant District Attorney for Nassau County. It is a response to communities that are economically or socially repressed – often both – and works to change the mindset of residents through council meetings where members can discuss the week’s events and evaluate what needs to change. Mention-Lewis says she hopes COTA becomes a grassroots movement that changes the culture of communities where drug dealing, gang violence and prison sentences are common problems.During her own time in prison, Henderson, now in her late 50s, became a Credited Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor, which gave her the credentials to open the house. She also had a powerful force on her side: Mention-Lewis.For Henderson, Mention-Lewis is more than a friend. She is on Henderson’s “board of advisers,” a mentorship term that COTA members use. A COTA member’s board of advisers provides advice and accountability. It is made up of those who will celebrate the successes of a member and help to manage the weaknesses.Robin Harris has known Henderson for 15 years and has seen the change that COTA has made in her friend’s life. “If there wasn’t a COTA out there, it could have gone either way,” Harris said. “She’d been out in the streets for 20, 30 years. If there wasn’t a COTA for her to come back to, I don’t know if she would have had something to help her turn her life around.”Henderson is like many COTA members working to help others who are trying to rebuild their lives. She brings up the COTA mantra repeated at the end of every meeting: Your thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become character and character becomes destiny.COTA has expanded from its Hempstead roots, opening meetings in Wyandanch and North Bellport in Suffolk County. These newer COTAs are beginning to bear fruit.“Through COTA, good men become visible again,” Mention-Lewis said. “It gives them hope, it gives them focus and direction, and it gives them networking and helps them find their purpose.”Each council meets weekly and works to focus members, while connecting them with local business owners or community members who can provide employment or mentorship.The neighborhoods COTA serves have a lot of common problems, often related to crime and gang violence. Each is isolated from the stereotypical Long Island narrative of prosperity and suburban comfort. They are racially and economically separate. And this, say researchers, is what creates a vicious cycle.“Suburban regions that are more racially segregated have higher crime rates overall,” said John Logan, a sociologist from Brown University who devotes much of his research to studying American racial segregation.Segregated communities tend to have areas of concentrated poverty, and their residents have “few legitimate ways to make the lives that everybody is aspiring to, and I think that breeds crime,” said Logan from his office in Rhode Island.In 2010, Logan published a study co-authored by Florida State University’s Brian Stults that chronicled the persistence of segregation in suburban and metropolitan areas. They found that Long Island is one of the most segregated suburban areas in the United States, ranking it tenth according to a measure they devised for assessing integration.According to Logan, there are a number of reasons for the persistent segregation on Long Island.“Segregated housing patterns crystallized on the Island after World War II, promoted by restrictive covenants that prevented blacks from living in certain communities, most notably Levittown,” he said.As a prosecutor in Nassau, Mention-Lewis spent a lot of time in these high-crime, segregated areas. She hung out with the youth in high school cafeterias, getting to know them and talking to them about what compels young people to become involved in criminal activity or to join violent gangs.Her own childhood had followed a similar path. She was “the roughest girl you’ve ever met in your life,” she said in an interview.Mention-Lewis grew up on the streets of Roxbury, Mass., spending time on the streets with people twice her age. “I used to carry a knife–not because I would cut anybody, I just liked knives,” she said.Her mother eventually uprooted the family, moving them to Cape Cod. Away from the ghetto culture, Mention-Lewis flourished. She went to college and then to Hofstra Law School, graduating in 1993.It was while working in Nassau County that Mention-Lewis began to visualize the impact that something like COTA could have. And when she came to the Suffolk County Police Department in September 2012, she took COTA with her.She launched the Wyandanch COTA in September 2013.Graffiti is smeared over the sides of Long Island Rail Road trains that hurtle regularly through Wyandanch—at least 64 times a day. Each time, the crossing gates come down, preventing traffic from continuing down Straight Path, Wyandanch’s main drag. Cars edge closer to the barriers, waiting for the green. Once set free, drivers attempt to avoid the roadwork.Men stand outside storefronts, staring down the streets, greeting friends and watching the traffic file past.Since July 2013, some big changes have come to this hamlet of 11,647 in the Town of Babylon. Wyandanch Rising, a large construction site, has risen out of the former dirt parking lot of the LIRR station. An American flag waves at the top of four floors, the highest building in this run-down community.Signs decorating the edge of the site show an idyllic image: a drawing of two apartment complexes facing each other, each with different facades and designs. A park sits in the center, complete with water fountains, smiling joggers and carefree children running free.This is a stark contrast to the current picture of Wyandanch, a hamlet that stands as one of Suffolk County’s most economically challenged areas. Straight Path is an open-air drug supermarket, residents say. Gang shootings are not uncommon: national gangs such as MS13, Bloods, Crips and a local gang called Niggas In Charge are all represented.But on a Wednesday night, a conference room in the small modular building across the train tracks from Wyandanch Rising–the Wyandanch Resource Center–is filled to capacity.It’s COTA night, and there are 30 to 35 members present, ready to talk about their weeks. There are ex-gang members, probation officers, young men recently released from Riverhead jail. There are police officers, construction workers from Wyandanch Rising, and resource center employees. There is Mention-Lewis.People filter through the doors of the resource center, greet one another, sign in on the small sheet posted outside the conference room and take a seat, being sure to pick up one of the Dunkin’ Donuts on the way in. The doughnuts must be from out of town, because this hamlet has no Dunkin’ Donuts.One of the regulars is Joseph Byrd, a man who brings together the two newest features of Wyandanch: the construction building and the council. He is working as a site assistant for the Albanese Organization, a company based in Garden City that is developing the site.Byrd, 53, a COTA member, has gone through the pre-apprenticeship construction training class at the resource center and is now working as a site assistant for the project. But for 30 years, Byrd was behind bars for being an accessory in a murder. He went to prison at 21 and left behind a daughter, missing out on most of her life because he “lived by the codes of the street.”He left prison at 51 and eventually found his way to COTA after struggling to find employment. Byrd is now working for the project that he hopes will restore the hamlet.“They’re bringing about job opportunities,” Byrd said from the trailer that houses the construction office. “Hopefully, it’ll bring about unity and see people socializing better.”The site supervisor for Albanese is Robert Kipp, a former Army captain who served for seven years and worked with counter-insurgency forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is not from Wyandanch, but he said that he sees both the construction project and COTA offering change. Albanese is using trained workers from the resource center, many of whom are COTA members, and Kipp said this is what is needed for the community to grow.“I understand that in order for this building to be successful, there needs to be some social change,” he said. COTA might just be the social change that is necessary, he said.He pointed out similarities between what the council does and what he did in counterinsurgency. Both work to provide security and to change how locals think.“If it’s adopted by the whole community, it can change the mindset,” he said.The 35 people who regularly attend Wyandanch COTA are just a start.“What’s said in COTA, stays in COTA,” is one of the rules for the meetings. Each member takes a turn to speak about anything that has happened in the past week, legal or illegal. This forum creates a sense of accountability. And whatever one person is struggling with, the facilitator or other members can offer advice or support.The council makes its home in hamlets where illegality is a norm, where alerting authorities has deadly consequences, where gang activity is constant, and loyalty to the point of jail or death is encouraged. Because of this, Mention-Lewis has sought to change the language on the streets, and to do this, she created her own vocabulary.The “imposter” is the side of one’s conscience that tries to put up a front, to be tough—the side that often makes wrong decisions.Suffolk County Deputy Police Commissioner Risco Mention-Lewis speaks at a news conference while County Executive Steve Bellone and Police Commissioner Edward Webber look on.Every attendee becomes a member after his or her third meeting and they are required to create a “corporate plan,” a step-by-step future-planning document that includes short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Each member becomes the head of his or her own corporation, and the corporate plan is designed to lay out the direction. Members need to select a board of advisers, too.“Rocks in your backpack” is a term members use casually, as if the words were part of the street vocabulary. “Rocks” are the habits and behaviors people develop as a response to a difficult situation. People carry these rocks around, emotional baggage that affects the way they see or deal with the world.At the Wyandanch COTA meetings, everyone tosses these phrases about. At the North Bellport COTA, which started meeting in February 2014, the COTA lingo is still unfamiliar.Like Wyandanch, Bellport is divided by train tracks. Cars driving east on Montauk Highway will soon hit Station Road. Take a left there, and drivers will arrive at Brookhaven Avenue, the heart of North Bellport, where the abandoned houses sit, some covered with graffiti. But take a right on Station Road, drive past Woodland Cemetery, and enter Bellport Village, which offers quaint antiques shops and a beautiful waterfront vista.The North Bellport COTA does not have the numbers that Wyandanch has, but those who come, come regularly.“Good evening and welcome to COTA,” the facilitator says as the meeting begins, much the same as Hempstead and Wyandanch. Each member deconstructs his or her past week, celebrating the highs and analyzing the lows.Floyd Thomas, 19, has been coming to Bellport’s COTA every week, bar one, since the beginning of the movement. He is on probation for criminal mischief–he caused property damage with a BB gun–and was getting in trouble at the end of last year. That’s when his probation officer told him to start coming to COTA. Since then, Thomas has developed affection for the meetings.“I can talk, I can laugh about it,” he said, describing the weekly council sessions. “You can always vent to someone here.”He doesn’t want to be on probation, he said, doesn’t want to be in the system. He wants to change. And he has seen his perspective start to shift. He is now looking for work, trying to separate himself from the “rough” neighborhood that is his home.Mention-Lewis takes every opportunity to lift the conversation, to teach a lesson in the conversation.“What truth will you tell yourself to live the life you want?” she asks a COTA member who is trying to right his life from criminal activity. “Crime can never be Plan B for you again.”“Once you come to COTA,” she tells him, “you never have to be alone again.”last_img read more

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