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Written by West Side Spirit on . Posted in News West Side Spirit, West Side Spirit.


Compiled by Megan Bungeroth & John Friia

Volunteers Needed to Help Crime Victims
The Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC) of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital works with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, training community volunteers who assist them in emergency rooms. The CVTC is currently looking for a new crop of local volunteers who act as advocates for victims and help them navigate the process of seeking help and treatment following a sexual or domestic assault. Volunteers must be over 18 years old, live within 20 minutes of St. Luke’s (114th Street and Amsterdam Avenue) and Roosevelt (59th Street and 10th Avenue) hospitals, be willing to commit to the program for at least one year, and be available for all of the following training dates: Oct. 11, 13, 14, 20 and 21. To get more information or register for training, call Christopher, the volunteer coordinator, at 212-523-4494.

Panel Discussion: Close
This year marks the 41st anniversary of the uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. To commemorate the anniversary, the Riverside Church Mission & Social Justice and the Riverside Prison Ministry are holding a special panel discussion for a call to end mass incarceration and the closing of the super-maximum security penitentiary.

The panel discussion with be emceed by Asha Bandele and will include social justice activist Cornel West, Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander and a call from imprisoned activist and author Mumia Abu-Jamal.

During the 1971 riot, prisoners took security guards hostage for five days, demanding better conditions in the overcrowded prison. At the end of the uprising, a total of 39 people—29 inmates and 10 guards—were dead.

Prior to the panel, there will be a book signing with authors Michelle Alexander and Marc Lamont Hill and a gallery of literature relating to the discussion.

The event takes place Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at Riverside Church, at 91 Claremont Ave. in Morningside Heights. Tickets for the discussion are $10.

Hits Upper Broadway
The 19th annual Upper Broadway Autumn Festival will hit the streets of the Upper on Saturday, Sept. 15, on Broadway between 110th and 116th streets, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s festival is sponsored by the Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, a coalition of religious organizations that works with homeless New Yorkers to get them into permanent, stable housing and employment. It is co-sponsored by the Broadway Mall Association, which cultivates the plantings along Broadway between 59th and 168th streets.

Over 200 craftspersons, antiques dealers and artists will display their wares at the festival, which will also feature food stalls offering gourmet treats from 18 different countries. The event is free and open to all. For more information, call 212-764-6330.

Playground Named for Commissioner
Last week, the city renamed a playground on West 70th Street between West End and Amsterdam Avenues in honor of Matthew P. Sapolin, former commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

The playground was renovated in 2003 to install equipment accessible to children with disabilities. The $1.1 million project included the construction of a garden with accessible bridges, musical instruments and basketball courts with adjustable backstops.

“Sapolin was a champion for the disabled community, and it is especially appropriate that we name this playground for him as it is the home of a great many accessible play elements that all children can enjoy,” Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe said in a statement.

Commissioner Sapolin, who became blind at age 5 as a result of bilateral retinoblastoma, passed away from complications due to cancer last November. He is survived by his wife, Candra, and his children, Toscany and Trevor.

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