Take a Road Trip Across Elvis’ America from the Back Seat of His Rolls

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Independent Lens’ The King, takes us on a journey from Elvis Presley’s humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi to mega stardom, and we discover America along the way, premiering Monday, January 28, 8 to 10:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS.

Elvis’ legacy has influenced musicians, people, and our culture.  Eugene Jarecki,

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Eugene Jarecki

director/writer/producer, uses Elvis as metaphor for race, class, culture and capitalism by inviting people to step into Elvis’ 1963 Rolls-Royce.  We get candid thoughts, reactions and music from a diverse cast, including Nashville’s EmiSunshine, Rosanne Cash, bluesman Leo Bud Welsh, Aston Kutcher, New York Rapper Immortal Technique, gospel singers of Stax Music Academy and many others.  “We wanted the film’s cast of characters to reflect the rich tapestry of the American family,” explained Jarecki.

The documentary shows us a broad spectrum of Elvis’ life and about his role as “The King.”  When the filmmakers put people into Elvis’ car, it brought out emotions and their pure reactions.  The show was very honest about Elvis and American society, but by the end, it became less about Elvis and more about politics.

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Mike Coykendall (left) and M. Ward (right) in Eugene Jarecki’s “The King.”

It was a very interesting and informed look Elvis and the American Dream.  Watch the film for yourself and tell us what you think.

-The Life-Wire Crew, including Joseph Padalino, Joseph Jones, Salvatore DiBenedetto, Dolores Palermo, Steven Filoramo, Nicole Lemily, Gregory Perosi, Anthony DiFato, Meredith Arout, Michael Halbreich, with staff member Edward Gregory. 

To visit the Independent Lens web page for The King click here.

The King - Ind Lens review Jan 2019.jpgPhoto: (front row, left to right) Joseph Padalino and Gregory Perosi, (back row, left-right) Meredith Arout and Salvatore DiBenedetto, by Anthony Pabon.

Fair Finds Disability Resources for Transition to Adulthood

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Individuals seeking adult services for disabilities and their families learned about what is available at the Family Resource and Transitions Fair, this past October 5. The gathering of service providers, sponsored by the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council, was held at the College of Staten Island for families of people transitioning from school to adult programs.  Emphasizing the rights of individuals to stand up for themselves, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is shifting towards more person centered services, which were a major topic of interest this year.

Our crew covered the event with interviews and photos at the College of Staten Island.

-Written collaboratively by Steven Filoramo and Eddy Gregory.

Reporters: Gregory Perosi, Andrew Moszenberg, Antonio Pabon, and Steven Filoramo.

Photos: Aaron Bialer, Meredith Arout, and Antonio Pabon.

Kiwanis Aktion Clubs Converge on Rochester

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Volunteers from across New York descended on Rochester to share their ideas at the Kiwanis Aktion Club statewide conference this October.  Lifestyles’ own Kiwanians were among the groups represented who talked about leadership, their club activities, and why they give their time.

“Kiwanis Aktion Club members serve their communities,” explained Eric Schwacke.  “We’re here to serve. What can I can say – it’s a family.”

“With all that the Aktion Club members do, it’s a great feeling,” said Dennis Gable, advisor to the Staten Island contingent. “I’m very happy to be a part of it and to be involved with Lifestyles Aktion Club.”

Lifestyles was represented by Eric Schwacke, William Bush, Michael Cilmi and new member Kenneth Tobin, along with staff advisors Paula and Edward Gregory.  

This year, the Lifestyles group collected toys for children, raised money at a 60’s dance to send people to Kamp Kiwanis, and gave clothes and holiday gifts to residents of Project Hospitality. Other Aktion Clubs at the conference included Ontario County, Newark, Waterloo, Brighton, Brockport, and Gates.  The state clubs also conducted bake sales, clothing drives, arts and craft supply collections, car washes, disaster relief packages, and more.

The Gregorys made the most of crossing 300-plus miles of the state. They guided the four young men to some of the highlights of Central New York, taking in Lake Ontario, the Rochester Museum of Science and the Corning Museum of Glass.

The Aktion Clubs are Kiwanis groups of people with disabilities volunteering to support others.  There are more than 500 Aktion Clubs with more than 12,000 members worldwide.

  • Article by Eddy Gregory with Eric Schwacke and Meredith Arout.
  • Photography: Eric Schwacke
  • Video: Michael Cilmi, reporter, Eddy Gregory, producer.

Mandela Fellows Visit to U.S.

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More than twenty scholars of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders from countries all over sub-Saharan Africa spent the month of July learning what they could about nonprofit organizations and how they serve people here.  Fellows Omo from Nigeria and Jerrat from Cameroon shadowed a few programs within Lifestyles for the Disabled.

Life-Wire reporters Michael Cilmi and Joseph Jones had an opportunity to interview Omo and Jerrat.  They interviewed the pair about their work with the disabled community and their experience in the U.S.  Please listen at the link below and online at Lifestyles Radio.

Here are some images of their visit by our photo crew:

 

 

 

Field Day Fun at Ocean Breeze Athletics

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At Lifestyles we are all work and play. Check out Ed Burke, Deputy Borough President, singing the praises of the beautiful Ocean Breeze Athletic Facility with Anthony DiFato. And look at all these happy people running, jumping and dancing freely at Staten Island’s premier fitness and competition center. A good time was had by all.