WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. April 14, 2017. Republished from WPCNR of the Distant Past.:
He died 2,000 years ago on a cross. There was no CNN, no internet, no newspapers,radio or television. No Twitter or Facebook. No Instagram,Skype, or Google.
Nevertheless the message of the man who died on Calvary (The Place of the Skull) spread around the world without mass communication.
His followers, twelve of them were so devoted to His message of love and code of behavior they became the first pacifist activists who spread a message the man they called their Lord had preached to them.
He was Jesus of Nazareth. He had no last name.
Today He is now known all over the world for the message he delivered.
Whether you believe He is the Son of God, or not, He ranks as one of the foremost influences on mankind. More than Plato, more than Socrates, more than any leader or politician, or entertainer whoever lived.
His selfless acts of embracing lepers, the poor, those who sinned were unique.
Such compassion for the downtrodden was unheard of during the time He lived.
It was a time of slavery. No human rights. No care for the sick. When cities were razed and populations slaughtered or enslaved much like the genocides of today.
Jesus of Nazareth introduced a new philosophy that spread throughout the world after His death by crucifixation on this day (maybe, we do not know the exact date), because the community leaders of his own people thought him a threat to their power. And that fear that this simple man was a threat should be a lesson to us all.
If you live by His philosophy of forgiveness you are a person at peace with yourself. If you accept those who are different from you without fear or prejudice, you are a force for spreading His message of peace towards others and good will.
If you help the poor and the sick because you sympathize with them, you are following His way.
If you stand up for truth, point out what is wrong as He did with the Pharisees. You are doing his will.
If you go about doing good for the sake of doing good, you are following His virtue of selflessness.
Jesus of Nazareth’s message whether divine or a code of how we conduct our lives resonated with millions and it spread.
There is no denying He is one of the great philosophers of the human experience, kin to Socrates, the other giant of antiquity thought.
The above print of “The Return from Calvary” painted by Herbert Schmalz shows the last hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixation around 33 A.D. on Calvary Hill, “the place of the Skull” outside of Jerusalem late in the day He was crucified.
The description on the print describes the somber scene:
The darkness which was on the earth (during His suffering) is clearing away.
One long, dark cloud is hanging over the city like a pall.
The Virgin Mother, weighted down by fatigue and grief, knowing not wither she goes, is being led up some steps, toward “his own” home, by St. John and Mary Magdalene.
In the distance on the top of Cavalry, you can make out the three crosses.
The grief so eloquently captured by this print depicts the very personal loss all of us endure when someone we love passes away, realizing our loss because of all they did for us.
Jesus of Nazareth was a human being who affects us to this day.
One of the great gifts of this man, Jesus of Nazareth, is the celebration of humanity and capacity to care and feel for others that aids persons whether they believe He was the Son of God or not. Or that you will have eternal life if you believe in him.
His philosophies of care, courage, compassion and benevolent action serve their practioners well because they leave a great personal satisfaction in the heart, the mind, and the spirit.
You do not have to second guess yourself, when you do what is right, humane, merciful, and serves the less fortunate without superiority with nothing to gain for yourself. And if you do not do what is right, if you weaken, you always regret it and remember when you failed to do right.
The peace of mind of action is the least of the great gift of Jesus of Nazareth whose death on the cross is marked this day.
If you act as Jesus did, you will be remembered by all you meet fondly and lovingly, and be comforted that you will live in memories of those you have touched with your love and kindness and caring for eternity to the end of the age.
His simple teachings have great power. Use them. Implement them.
They give meaning to our mystery of life.
They give meaning and purpose to anyone’s life.
For 2,000 years they have made a violent world a better place.
WPCNR VIEW FROM THE UPPER DECK. By Tim Leighton From the National Association of High School Associations. April 12, 2017:
Long odds stare at an official before he or she even takes that first step onto a court, field or sheet of ice. New officials face a journey filled with criticism and angst that, ultimately, lead most to quickly and defiantly blow the final whistle on the avocation.
The rewards of officiating aren’t immediately realized in the face of sportsmanship issues that have created an exodus of officials that is at an alarming rate.
National surveys reveal an average of about only two out of every 10 officials return for their third year of officiating. The low return rate is paving the way to a nationwide shortage of officials that has high school administrators scrambling to cover games. It is also prompting high school associations across the country to formulate creative ways to retain the officials they have rostered.
“Year 3 is when we cross our fingers,” said Mark Uyl, an assistant director with the Michigan High School Athletic Association. “It is like the freshman year in college. It is a make-or-break kind of year. Every state association in the country is feeling the effects of an officials’ shortage. It is getting harder and harder, not only to recruit new officials, but to retain them for years to come. That is the challenge that confronts us.”
Solutions can’t come soon enough for Matt Percival, the activities director at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota, in suburban Minneapolis-St. Paul. With game-time looming, it is common for Percival to be scrambling, moving quickly to fill officiating vacancies, primarily at the sub-varsity levels.
Percival said moving games to different days of the week has been implemented, and this travel may continue to ensure that games will be staffed with officials.
“The problem isn’t new,” he said. “It’s gotten progressively worse over the years. One of the most stressful things for an AD is when officials aren’t assigned or don’t show up. When that happens, no one benefits.”
Programs to combat the challenges of recruiting and retaining officials are popping up throughout the country by state associations.
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has offered discounted registration fees to new officials, as well as reduced rates when they return for their second and third seasons of officiating. In 2015, the MSHSL launched a “Thank A Ref” campaign encouraging its member schools to show support for officials.
Schools responded with public-address announcements during games, news releases to newspapers and on-court recognitions. Establishing and strengthening existing mentorship programs with Minnesota officials’ associations is ongoing.
The MHSAA website is dotted with photos of officials posing with mentees and sharing their purpose statements.
The South Dakota High School Activities Association advertises the need for officials with a classified adstype section on its website, identifying games that need officials.
“We are losing officials because of sportsmanship issues from participants, coaches and fans,” said Pete Vrieze, commissioner of the Middle Border Conference in northwestern Wisconsin. “We certainly lose officials to other things as well, but for the most part, on-court issues are driving newer and younger officials away. They say ‘the heck with it’ and aren’t interested in spending their free time in oftentimes volatile situations.”
Veteran officials and officiating administrators agree that establishing strong mentorship programs are vital to helping new and younger officials cope with negative on-court situations. Those relationships
help provide stability to a new or younger official and provide a sounding board to help get through troublesome times.
“When things go south for an official, you’ve got to have that sounding board, someone that knows and understands what they are going through,” Uyl said. “The biggest thing you do as a mentor is listen and then reinforce all of the positives of officiating. Ninety- to 95-percent of the officiating avocation is a great, great thing.”
Vrieze oversees the mentorship program as the director of basketball operations for the Minneapolis Officials Association, a pioneer organization in Minnesota that for decades has provided football and basketball officials for the MSHSL.
“As officials, if we don’t get a pat on the back once in awhile, it can be a discouraging thing,” Vrieze said. “We need mentors with passion, someone that wants to help others. We aren’t interested in veteran officials that are worried about losing their assignments to new and younger officials. We need officials to have the mentality that I need to train officials not to replace me, but to work with me.”
Not advancing through the officiating ranks quickly enough is also contributing to the avocation’s struggles to maintain a strong roster of officials.
“We are in the ‘I’ generation and them asking why I wasn’t there yesterday,” said Harry Kitts, a retired Minnesota educator who officiated and was an assignor for more than four decades.
Kitts officiated for four years in Iowa before beginning his officiating journey in Minnesota in the 1969-70 school year. Most of the officials in that era were educators who would work games following the school day. If officials weren’t available, coaches would be recruited to work games.
Working a doubleheader was commonplace, too. There was no such thing as just a varsity assignment as is the case now. If you were a varsity-caliber official, you were also required to work the B-squad game prior. Kitts said officials accepted all and any assignments given to them, unlike today when officials present specific criteria of the games they will work to their assignor.
Despite his experience in Iowa, Kitts was not assigned a varsity game in his first season in Minnesota. His first varsity game would not come until his second season. He credits working with a veteran official who gave him his chance to show his skills. Kitts would move on to work 20 MSHSL state tournaments.
“Officials are too anxious these days to sprint right to the top and to do a state championship game right away,” Kitts said. “Officials need training. They must learn and work their way up, just like anything else. When officials don’t feel like they are climbing the ladder quickly enough, they often quit out of frustration.”
State association administrators remain focused and diligent that the campaigns to recruit and retain officials will be a success.
“Our success and experience in officiating give us the confidence moving forward,” Uyl said.
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the New York State Assembly. April 12, 2017 UPDATED April 19, 2017:
The state of New York released its final 2017-18 School Aid totals per School District Tuesday, and White Plains Public Schools share is going up 1.7% to $24,984,900, its highest aid ever.
Acting Superintendent of Schools told WPCNR the $328,176 increase would not be assigned to any specific expenditure but would be used to supplement funding of any increases in state aid approved specific expenditures.
WPCNR MILESTONES. From the White Plains Historical Society. April 11. 2017:
The White Plains Historical Society at its Annual Dinner will honor Christine Roithmayr as the Society’s 2017 “Citizen Extraordinaire” Thursday May 4th 6:00pm-9:00pm at the Woman’s Club of White Plains, C.V. Rich Mansion, 305 Ridgeway.
New York State Assemblyman David Buchwald will introduce Ms. Roithmayr at the award ceremony.
Ms. Roithmayr is being acknowledged for her outstanding work for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, as well as her charitable work as President of the Woman’s Club of White Plains Foundation, her leadership of the ‘100 Acts of Kindness’ volunteer projects and many other contributions in support of our White Plains community.
“We’re glad to have this opportunity to recognize Ms. Roithmayr who has devoted a lifetime of positive, unselfish giving to our entire community and greater area,” said White Plains Historical Society president John Vorperian.
The event will also have a multi-media presentation “Theodore and Franklin, New York’s Royal Family – the Roosevelts” by St. John’s University Professor Howard Ehrlich. A past Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Professor Ehrlich has been directly involved with Sagamore Hill, the historic Long Island home of Theodore Roosevelt.
Catering will be provided by Caperberry Events of White Plains. Tickets to the Historical Society’s Annual Dinner may be purchased online at www.whiteplainshistory.org.
WPCNR WEST SIDE STORY. From The Salvation Army. April 10, 2017:
The Salvation Army White Plains Corp is holding its 125th anniversary Gala Thursday , April 20, 2017, 6:30PM to 9:00PM at the White Plains Crowne Plaza Hotel, 66 Hale Avenue, White Plain s, NY.
This year’s honorees are NY Giant Legend and Pro Football Hall of Farner Harry Carson and Local Community Volunteer Barbara Vrooman.
The Corps’ Inaugural Gala titled “Remembering Our Past, Reshaping Our Future” celebrates the Salvation Army White Plains’ storied history and current commitment of assistance to all of the City’s residents and Public Safety Personnel. In that spirit, the Corp selected to highlight and commemorate these two worthy individuals Harry Carson and Barbara Vrooman for their own noted charitable activities and energetic actions in aiding others.
Gala tickets are $125.00 per person. A special limited edition keepsake journal is being prepared for this monumental event with listings beginning at $25.00. There will also be a silent auction that evening.