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VENICE – Pieter Kohnstam heard the Gestapo before he saw them.

A motorcycle with a sidecar drove down his street, flanking a truck filled with soldiers carrying machine guns. Their engines roared with life, and their sirens wailed.

Just 6 years old the day Nazi officers showed up in his neighborhood in Amsterdam, he knew whatever family they came to see was in danger.

On an August day in 1942, it was his turn.

Kohnstam’s mother had been about to call Gerda Lester, a fashion salon owner who would later help the Kohnstam family escape to Argentina. When the officers came in, he stood in front of his mother, who slipped a piece of paper into his hand.

It might have contained Lester’s name or her number. Kohnstam never found out. It went from his palm to his mouth.

Kohnstam knew to swallow it without being told. In a time when Jews were killed and beaten in the street, he was conditioned to protect himself and those he loved.

“I didn’t know what was on the paper, but I assumed if my mother put it in my hand, it was better off not seen,” he said.

Kohnstam, now 80, educates others about the Holocaust. He wrote his family’s story in the book “A Chance to Live,” which was published in 2006.

He’s currently in Germany with his family celebrating its translation to German.

“I hope that I will do in my little, tiny, weeny, humble part, something to pay back and to express the importance of what people can do and did to others for no reason than to have a different religion or a different color of the skin or a different belief,” he said at his home in Venice.

A friend in Frank

Despite the tumultuous times in which he grew up, Kohnstam found a friend in Anne Frank.

Frank later became famous for the diary she kept after she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in 1942 until 1944. After her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, her father Otto led the effort to publish her account as “The Diary of a Young Girl.”

But before the Frank family went into hiding, they lived in an apartment building on Merwedeplein in Amsterdam, two floors above the Kohnstams. Frank found a playmate and little brother figure in Kohnstam.

She was seven years older than him, almost to the day.

Being on the ground floor, Kohnstam’s apartment had a garden that was hidden from the street. He used to go outside, fill up the wash basin and start splashing around in it.

Frank would see this from her apartment and come running downstairs to play.

“She was a very sprightly girl; she was very alive,” Kohnstam said.

As she got older, Frank would help Kohnstam’s grandma watch him while his parents went out. She used to write while sitting with him and tell Kohnstam about what she wrote.

“I used to make comments that would throw a wrench in her stomach,” he said. “It was a big laugh.”

But over the years, as Frank walked Kohnstam home from school, talk about school and friends shifted to the day’s events.

In 1940, beatings in Amsterdam’s streets became increasingly common. Come 1942, when Kohnstam started school, he went with a yellow Star of David sewn to his clothes. During that year, everything changed.

The Franks and the Kohnstams received an order telling them to report to the SS Nazi paramilitary office. After going there, Kohnstam’s parents were told they and the Franks were to report to a secondary railroad station at midnight.

Both families knew showing up likely meant being sent to a concentration camp.

As his family let the wave of shock set over them, that night, Kohnstam sat on the floor while his family had a meeting.

Otto Frank had invited them to go into hiding with his family, but Kohnstam’s grandma told them staying wasn’t an option.

“If you don’t leave, I will close the apartment, turn on the gas and blow it up. But if you do leave, at least you’ll have a chance to live,” Pieter Kohnstam remembers her saying.

Her words would later inspire the title of his book.

Saying goodbye

On July 6, 1942, Frank said goodbye.

Their apartment was her last stop before going into hiding. With her, she took a red-and-white checkered diary. It was a 13th birthday gift that Kohnstam’s mom had suggested to Frank’s mother, Edith, after she complained of Frank’s papers being all over the apartment.

From his living room, Kohnstam watched her go, his head and nose pressed up against the window pane.

While walking to the annex where she’d spend the next two years, Frank turned her head and waved at least once.

“And that I felt. That affected me. I knew that was serious,”  Kohnstam said.

Days after the Franks left for hiding and Nazi officers showed up to claim possession of the Kohnstams’ apartment and their items, the family began their journey leaving the Netherlands.

Gerda Lester helped the Kohnstams escape to Maastricht, a Dutch city near the Belgium border. While on the train there, Kohnstam’s mother posed as a model, his father a fashion designer and Kohnstam as Lester’s son.

After saying goodbye to Lester, they made their way to Argentina via Belgium, Paris and Spain. From Spain, Kohnstam and his family boarded the ship “Cabo De Buena Esperanza” to Buenos Aires in 1943.

Kohnstam went about three years without knowing what happened to his grandma, Clara.

When his family fled in 1942, she stayed in Amsterdam to get affairs in order and keep a sense of normalcy about the apartment. Kohnstam’s mom worked out a deal with the milkman, where he would take her into hiding if she placed a teapot upside-down in the windowsill. During those three years, she was relocated to seven different hiding places.

After meeting a British soldier while playing bridge in 1945, she had him mail a letter to her cousin in London, letting him know she was alive. The cousin wrote to Kohnstam’s stepfather in Buenos Aires relaying the news.

When Clara arrived a few months later, she had nothing but the clothes on her back and a set of Meissen dishes. They had been a wedding gift to Kohnstam’s parents, stored by Lester during the war.

“I remember being at the airport and seeing her come down the plane,” Kohnstam said.

Finding a treasure

When Frank’s diary was found and published, Kohnstam was 11 and living in Argentina.

Someone, possibly Lester, wrote to his grandmother letting her know.

Over the years, Kohnstam has read parts of Frank’s diary. When he tells others of the Holocaust, he often quotes it. He sees Frank’s resilience in the quotes, her optimism that never left. His favorite is from an entry written less than a month before the Frank family was discovered.

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death,” Frank wrote on July 15, 1944.

“One thing they couldn’t take from us was hope,” Kohnstam said.

But Kohnstam has never read his old friend’s diary cover to cover.

He lived enough of it himself.

Kohnstam never wanted to talk about his experiences.

His family knew about his experiences, his wife Susan said. They tried to get him to write a book and tell others. He refused. He didn’t think it was important to share.

This changed in 1980.

Spurring action

While living in New Jersey, he woke up to find swastikas on his driveway and car. And it wasn’t just his house that was targeted — but the local rabbi’s house, too.

When the community’s rabbi didn’t stand up, Susan and Pieter Kohnstam led the charge. The town came together to condemn the vandalism.

“That got me out of the closet,” Kohnstam said.

While it turned out to be local kids who drew the defamatory symbols, Kohnstam finally wrote the book his family had been begging him to write after moving to Venice in 2003. It was published in 2006.

When teaching others about the Holocaust, where six million Jews and five million non-Jews were killed, survivor stories are the most impactful part of education, said Sandy Mermelstein, the senior educator at the Florida Holocaust Museum.

As the number of survivors starts to dwindle, stories of those who fled the Holocaust but never went to a camp are an essential part of Holocaust education. They humanize the Holocaust, sharing their fear, loss and uncertainty felt, Mermelstein said.

While the concept of 11 million killed is nearly impossible to grasp, survivors and refugees who speak give the students the stories behind the number.

“It wasn’t this giant statistic. It was one, plus one, plus one, plus one,” Mermelstein said.

Erin Blankenship met Kohnstam about 15 years ago at a reception for the first exhibit she set up at the museum.

The exhibit, “Fragments: Portraits of Survivors,” featured 115 photographs of those who survived, along with a brief written statement about their story. Among these was Kohnstam, the curator of exhibitions and collections said.

He wrote about seeing people killed in the street and rounded up, and the fear he felt seeing this as a child.  

“I have this with me constantly. It doesn’t go away, and it doesn’t disappear. That’s what I’m living with. That’s what is burned into us,” he wrote on April 29, 2001.

When “A Chance to Live” was published years later, Blankenship went out to lunch with Kohnstam. She said she’s thrilled to see it being translated to German because memoirs teach students about the Holocaust around the world.

“We teach the Holocaust one story at a time, one individual at a time,” Blankenship said.

The book has already been translated into Dutch. For its German translation, the city of Fürth, Germany, invited the Kohnstams to visit July 15 to 27, all expenses paid.

For Kohnstam, this will be his second time in the region of Middle Franconia, where Fürth is. It’s the region where his father moved back to after the war, where he traces his family history generations back.

After the trip, Kohnstam will continue speaking to schools and universities. 

“I’m just a little fish in a big pond, but I’m doing something, and I’m a messenger.”

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FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2014 file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country’s national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men’s 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The IOC’s ruling 15-member executive board will meet Sunday, July 24, 2016 via teleconference to weigh the unprecedented step of excluding Russia as a whole from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games because of systematic, state-sponsored cheating. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

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Kate Samuelson For Mailonline



The life of a world-class supermodel is certainly a busy one.

And just days after showcasing her gym-honed body in lace lingerie for Autograph at MS, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the face of yet another high-profile campaign.

The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari’s latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection.

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The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari's latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection

The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari’s latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks.

Rosie, who is engaged to actor Jason Statham, poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses.

In one of the shots she is adorned with a pink Bulgari fur as she leans on a pile of boxes. In another, she smiles enigmatically as she poses on an orange chair.

In a recent interview with FEMAIL, the toned star shared the secrets behind her incredible figure – and her tips for staying on the clean-eating bandwagon.

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks

Rosie poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses

Rosie poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses

Upgrade your arm candy with a red handbag like Rosie’s

Bvlgari Serpenti Forever Bag

Get it at Selfridges in a range of colours!

Visit site

Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a series of campaigns under her belt, and for her latest venture she turns her hand to arm candy as the face of Bulgari’s Fall 2016 handbag collection.

We’re dying to get our hands on each and every one of these luxury handbags, but if we had to pick one piece it would be the classic ‘Serpenti Forever’ one in a rich crimson hue featuring “Serpenti” embellished head closure and an acrossbody chain strap.

A great way to inject some colour into your wardrobe, this handbag is also just the right sizes to fit all your daily essentials in whilst leaving your hands free!

Follow the link on the right to get it now at Selfridges, or for more choice check out our edit of similar styles in the carousel below, including picks from Liquorish, Michael Kors, Aspinals and Asos.




She said: ‘To keep motivated I find that alternating work outs and mixing interval, low and high intensity training really helps. I love to mix in Pilates and fun dance classes too.

‘If you’re short on time try skipping – I love it as it gets the heart rate up immediately and works out so many parts of your body. It’s a great cardio alternative that also helps tone at the same time.’ 

The model and actress added: ‘Never miss meals for the sake of saving calories. Breakfast is really important for me and sets me up for the day.

The 29-year-old opts for a protein-based breakfast of eggs with spinach and, after workouts, she drinks a healthy green smoothie and always tries to drink two litres of water before lunch.

‘Try and maintain a good balanced diet,’ she added. ‘I’m a real foodie but when I’m at home I try and cook very nutritious, organic and basic foods and when I’m out I’ll enjoy myself, but try and make healthy choices.

‘I try to avoid carbs if I have a lingerie shoot or red carpet event and try to drink as much water as I can to keep hydrated.’ 

As well as her ever-successful modelling career, the beauty has designed a line of lingerie and cosmetics for MS in the UK.

Rosie also boasts a successful movie career with roles in 2011′s Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and Mad Max: Fury Road.

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On October 2000, in the sunny French city of Nice, the 105-member European Convention drafted the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Drawn up by the committee of former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the document only referred to the “cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe”. The European Parliament had rejected a proposal from Christian Democrat MEPs and Pope John Paul II, to include in the text Europe’s “Judaeo-Christian roots”.

In the 75,000-word Charter there is not a single mention of Christianity. Since then, a wind of aggressive secularism has pervaded all EU policies. The European Court of Human Rights, for example, asked to remove crucifixes from classrooms: they were allegedly a threat to democracy.

The city of Nice — where exactly sixteen years ago Europe’s rulers decided to eliminate the Judeo-Christian roots from the (never approved) EU Constitution — has just witnessed the bloody manifestation of another religion: radical Islam. “Nature abhors a vacuum”: This is the truth to which our élites do not want to listen; Islamism rises from what William McGurn, George W. Bush’s speechwriter, called “Europe’s feckless secularism“.

You can see it not only in Europe’s churches, three-quarters empty, and the boom of Europeans converting to Islam, but also from what is happening in Europe’s schools. The trends do not support Viktor Orbán‘s vision for a Christian Europe.

A few days ago, Belgium, which was recently targeted in terror attacks, decided that religion classes in French-speaking primary and secondary schools will be cut in half starting in October 2016, and replaced with an hour of “citizenship classes“: lessons in secularism. In Brussels, half the children in public schools already choose to take classes in Islam.

In France, the Socialist government imposed a “secularism charter” in every school, banning Christianity from the educational system. That charter is the manifesto of the “révolution douce” (“soft revolution”), France’s extreme secularism. It is an attempt to eliminate any claim of identity. A Jewish yarmulke, a Christian cross and an Islamic veil are treated the same way. This secularism is what has been rightly defined “the Left’s blind spot with Islam“.

It is a secularism that has also gone mad. The Yves Codou elementary school in the village of La Môle, for example, celebrated “Parents’ Day” instead of Mother’s Day, in order not to upset gay couples. Municipalities have already changed the enrollment form for schoolchildren by eliminating the words “father” and “mother”, replacing them with “legal manager 1″ and “legal manager 2″. It is George Orwell’s “Newspeak”.

After two major terror attacks in 2015, France, instead of promoting a cultural “jihad” based on Western values, responded to Islamic fundamentalism with a ridiculous “Day of Secularism” to be celebrated every 9th of December.

It is not that this secularism “exacerbated” cultural tensions, as many liberals say. It is that this secularism severed French culture from the very ideals that created the West. Severing it made this culture blind to the incompatibility of Islamism with secular-minded values. A French teacher, Isabelle Rey, after the massacre at the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, wrote that

“many of our students do not share our dismay at the events. We can pretend to have a the consensus, but it is an fact that a significant portion of our population believes that the journalists deserved their fate or that the Kouachi brothers [the murderers] died as heroes”.

This narrow secularism has also prevented France from openly supporting Eastern Christians under Islamist oppression. The music group “The Priests” had planned to advertise an upcoming concert in Paris with a banner on a poster that said proceeds would go towards the cause of Christians persecuted in Iraq and Syria — but the company operating the Paris subway system initially banned the ad, saying it considered the banner as a violation of secularism.

Sweden, one of the European countries more infiltrated by radical Islam, is listed as “the least religious” nation in the West. According to Statistics Sweden, just 5% of Swedes are regular churchgoers, and one in three couples that get married chooses a civil ceremony. How did Sweden get there? Many years ago, the Swedish government banned any religious activities in schools except for those directly related to religion classes.

Not only has secularism no answers for terrorism; it also leaves Europeans unsure about what is worth fighting, killing, and dying for. If you believe, as the secularists do, that our values are mere accidents of history and that the highest good is comfort, then you will care nothing for the future of civilization.

The symbol of this Euro-Secularism is the Oude Kerk, dating from the 13th century, and one of the most famous churches in Amsterdam. The empty church is now used for exhibitions and can be rented for gala dinners. In front of it there is “Sexyland”, offering “Live F*ck Shows”, a coffee shop for drugs and an the Erotic Supermarket for dildos. For seven euros one can also visit the church.

The symbol of Euro-Secularism is the 13th century Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. The empty church is now used for exhibitions and can be rented for gala dinners. In front of it there is “Sexyland”, offering “Live F*ck Shows”, a coffee shop for drugs and an the Erotic Supermarket for dildos. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Welcome to Amsterdam, where the most practised religion is Islam.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

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The Maltese participants in the summer school at Rhine-Waal University, Germany, (from left) Edward Duca, William Hicklin, Jessica Edwards, Rebecca Galea, Francesca Vassallo, Julie Anne Cassar, Maria Attard, Rebecca Tong, Sarah Galea, Silvia Verdolini and Danielle Farrugia.

The Maltese participants in the summer school at Rhine-Waal University, Germany, (from left) Edward Duca, William Hicklin, Jessica Edwards, Rebecca Galea, Francesca Vassallo, Julie Anne Cassar, Maria Attard, Rebecca Tong, Sarah Galea, Silvia Verdolini and Danielle Farrugia.

Forty-six participants from 10 countries, including Malta, took part in a nine-day science communication summer school in Rhine-Waal University in Cleves, Germany.

The summer school’s name reflects its educational approach to include arts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem). It provided participants an insight into the most important and recent topics related to science communication. Participants learnt and discussed about applying dialogue techniques, organising events, using journalistic tools, managing social media, working with policymakers, public speaking, and merging arts with sciences.

The participants’ and speakers’ diverse background made Steam a powerful networking hub. They shared experiences and opinions, established new areas of cooperation and developed their creativity and communication skills.

Many participants considered the summer school a valuable opportunity to learn about professional science communication and possible career options, become more confident in their current jobs.

In addition to hands-on experiments and insightful lectures, participants took part in many social and public engagement events, including Science and Cinema, Bright Club, which merges science and comedy, and a field trip to the science museum Nemo in Amsterdam, to make learning about science communication even more practical and inspiring.

The summer school was funded by the Erasmusplus programme and was held in collaboration with Creations, an EU-funded project that creatively takes science into schools. The project is a collaboration between the University of Malta, European Union of Science Journalists’ Associations, Haaga-Helia University, Rhine-Waal University, Science View and University of Edinburgh.

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Two decades after starting as a simple Game Boy video game, Pokémon continues to capture widespread interest, never more so than with the release of the latest smartphone-based game app, Pokémon Go.

“I’ve never seen an app bring so many people together,” said Bailey Atkins, a player from Mount Airy.

The Pokémon game, a Japanese creation, originated in 1996 and has been a popular video game franchise since that time. This latest smartphone-based incarnation of the game involves players using their phone to track and locate Pokémon, small monsters, who can be trained to compete in battles. Various cultural, historical and even business locations in towns are deemed Pokéstops, places where players can access additional tools for the game.

“It’s fun and it engages the community,” said Annie O’Brien, administrative coordinator at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, a Pokestop in Yadkinville.

O’Brien said since the game was released earlier this month, folks have been coming by the arts center to play the game. O’Brien, as well as several other employees at the arts center, also are playing. She said there is a lot of nostalgia for the characters, especially for those who have been playing the Pokémon games since their inception. The connection to local landmarks was a feature from another smartphone game called Ingress that O’Brien said she used to play several years ago. O’Brien lives in Winston-Salem and said the game is also a great way to explore new places right in one’s own town. She and her boyfriend recently went to a park in Winston-Salem where there were around 70 other players enjoying the game.

Locations in Mount Airy are reporting the same results.

Amy Snyder, from the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, said museum visitors and staff have noticed increased activity in the museum’s courtyard.

“We’ve definitely heard it’s a (Poke)stop,” said Snyder.

Snyder said recently a museum visitor came through the doors and told staff there were about 20 people in the courtyard playing the game.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to entice them into the museum yet,” noted Snyder.

The new game is not without some controversy. O’Brien said she and her friends have laughed about some of the jabs being made at the game.

“I know there have been a lot of memes online making fun of it and the fact that there’s so much political strife right now and people are just caught up playing this game,” she said. The game can serve as a nice break from real world challenges, O’Brien said. Not only that, but she said she sees the interactive nature of the game as a way to connect others and mobilize people in a positive direction, or at the very least give them a way to interact with others in the real world to discuss current events.

Safety has been another concern with Pokémon Go. There have been multiple news reports since the game’s release of people being injured because they were walking near traffic or other hazards and paying more attention to the phone than their surroundings.

There have also been reports of drivers crashing their vehicles while playing the game, though there don’t seem to have been any local instances of this.

Yet city Police Chief Dale Watson said Friday that the increasingly popularity of the game highlights the need for players to “exercise caution and pay attention to where they’re at, their environment” — being alert at all times.

“And as always, there’s safety in numbers,” he said.

City officers are definitely seeing an influx of people playing the mobile game, especially later in the evenings downtown, which is benefiting that part of town, Watson said.

He added that from his point of view, Pokémon Go is luring more people outside for a wholesome pastime.

“It’s getting them moving,” the police chief said, “and having a more active lifestyle, which is a good thing.”

The game itself issues a warning at start-up for players to be aware of their surroundings. As Chief Watston said, playing as a group is another way to safely enjoy the game, said Atkins.

“Me and my friends always go out and play together,” she said. “We meet up in the afternoon and it’s always a ton of fun. You need people to look out for you while you’re playing. I have seen people playing alone, but mostly during the day. Many of my friends who play Pokémon Go have noticed a few creeps out messing with other players, but the community is so tight that other players will come to your defense and stand up for you.”

Public places like parks are a nice option for players. Yadkin County native Anna Thomas said she has been playing the game with her children. They reside in Davie County now and she said Rich Park is a favorite playing spot for her family.

“They have several Pokéstops at the park and you can walk the nature trails while looking for new Pokémon,” Thomas said.

The walking aspect of the game has been praised as a way to encourage physical activity. Most popular smartphone games only require small movements of the fingers to play, while the Pokémon Go app requires physical movement from one place to another.

“I like the fact that it is so interactive. It really feels like you are hunting the Pokémon and you don’t even realize it requires all of the walking that it does because you’re having such a fun time playing the game,” Thomas said. “My favorite part is playing the game with my children and other friends and coworkers that play the game. It is so much fun to play in a group. Especially if you go out and play with your friends and their kids. My youngest son likes it the most.”

The Elkin Municipal Park and downtown areas of Mount Airy, Yadkinville, Elkin and Boonville also have been among the popular areas for local players.

The Boonville and Yadkin County Library in Yadkinville are both Pokéstops and librarians in the area said they are hoping the new game could be a way to drive traffic to the library.

Yadkin County Branch Librarian Malinda Sells said once their summer reading program has concluded, they hope to come up with ways to encourage Pokémon Go players to come in to check out books while they are visiting downtown Yadkinville. Angie Walker, branch librarian in Boonville, said they have added a sign to the front and back doors of the building to let players know they are a Pokestop and inviting them inside to check out a book.

Businesses and towns also are seeing the new game craze as a way to drive tourism.

“Pokémon Go is a new and exciting way to appeal to multiple generations to attract them to a location,” said Boonville Town Administrator Sarah Harris. “Boonville has started to see some foot traffic downtown in search of Pokéstops, Gyms, and Pokémon. Some of the Pokéstops include the Boonville Community Public Library, Boonville Fire Department, and the Information Kiosk at the corner of Hwy. 67 and U.S. 601. We are currently in the process of adding some more Pokéstops in downtown Boonville. The app is a great way to get out and be active. So lace up your sneakers, grab your phone and explore Boonville.”

Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

[email protected]


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Recorder News Staff


* Mayor Mario Villa may resign to become the deputy director of the Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties Private Industry Council, in perhaps as few as two weeks.

PIC Executive Director Raymond K. LeRoux said this morning that he and Villa have had an “unofficial chat” about the mayor’s taking the deputy director’s position, but that Villa has not indicated a definite interest in the job to him.

LeRoux, who will make the decision on who is hired after he consults with the PIC board, praised Villa’s background and said he would “absolutely” consider the mayor a strong candidate for the job if he is interested.

* By Labor Day, the search for a person to replace city school Superintendent, Daniel J. Greco, should be narrowed down to three finalists.

Joyce Gorman, president of the city Board of Education, offered that goal after the selection process began last week with the selection of 15 applicants who would be interviewed.

And although board members may differ somewhat on the exact qualifications the ideal candidate must possess, all have agreed the person selected will have several years of classroom experience.

The search for his successor began shortly after his announcement, and at a special meeting last week the board called finalists from 44 persons who submitted applications.

The finalists, five of whom are from outside New York, will be contacted during the course of the next several days and asked to come to Amsterdam for interviews beginning Aug. 2.

* John Brisbin, director of the Amsterdam Free Library, said he was very grateful to receive a loan of 400 children’s books from the Mohawk Valley Library Association, but the library’s collection is so old and tattered that a major infusion is needed.

“We’re so glad (MVLA) answered our SOS,” Brisbin said. “But, helpful as these 400 books are, they’re only a thumb-in-the-dike solution to the problem. Not only do we have too few books in the library, but the books we own are too old, too tattered, too frequently mended.”

* Recent fundraising events pushed the medical trust to help Amsterdam resident Carmella “Carm” Marcellino to the 25 percent mark, a spokeswoman for the Amsterdam Savings Bank said this morning.

Pauline Caldarone said the trust account had a balance of $26,372 at the end of the business day Tuesday, more than one-fourth the $100,000 target figure set up by the committee to help Marcellino.

A radiothon sponsored by WMVQ FM-98 generated more than $1,000, a canister drive of local supermarkets brought in over $2,000, and a yard sale netted over $2,000.

Area businesses and organizations have banded together to help defray Marcellino’s six figure medical expenses for the liver transplant she needs to cure a rare form of cirrhosis of the liver. Her insurance is expected to fall more than $1,000 short of meeting the medical costs.

Jeff Weber, WMVQ FM-98 vice president and general manager, said pledges from the radiothon totaled $1,125 as of Monday morning, adding the station will continue to accept donations on behalf of Marcellino. The radiothon ran from Friday through Sunday.

The canister drive, which netted $2,010, was headed by Anthony Greco of Carmichael Street.

* The Pride in Amsterdam Committee’s work is having a ripple effect throughout the community, co-chairwoman Kathryn Blase told the group at its recent meeting.

Blase said some of the property owners contacted by the committee to clean up their vacant lots have done so, and others have adopted the committee’s idea of brightening up the city with flowers and other plantings by lining outside walls and driveways with them.

Montgomery County Court Judge Howard Aison, a member of the Act IV Teen Center Board of Directors, has announced that the center will donate $500 to the Sea Rams swim team of the City Center if team members become active in a project with the Pride in Amsterdam Committee.

Blase said she will develop a project for the swimmers, which may include cleanup work and writing letters to those with overgrown or litter-strewn properties.

Blase’s husband and co-chairman, Dr. William C. Blase, said he is looking into the possibility of further dressing up the city’s windmill, located near Thruway Exit 27, with brightly painted wooden flowers. Workers from the Kreisel Home Improvement Co. in Amsterdam volunteered their time last weekend to repair the structure, and Dr. Blase said the flowers would make it even more attractive.

* Daniel Richard Zielinski, son of Rich and Anne Zielinski, McNeir Ave., Amsterdam, was baptized July 13 at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church by Rev. Joseph Markowicz.

Godparents are Kate Morrison and Don Rzasa, the baby’s cousin.

Maternal grandparents are Bill and Elaine Teeter. Paternal grandparents are Al and Sylvia Zielinski. Paternal great-grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Bob Cisek, all from Amsterdam.

First published July 23, 1986


* A private fact-finding session is slated for July 28 in Amsterdam for further contract negotiations for Amsterdam’s police and fire department personnel. Both the police and firemen are seeking salary increases and added fringe benefits for the current year, and the city, while yielding on some matters, is insisting it cannot afford to pay the increases and benefits requested.

Information released today by Joseph Jacobs, the city’s Corporation Counsel and its chief negotiator in the contract talks, specifies requests by the Teamsters Union, representing the police and firemen, and the city’s attitude toward the requests.

Contract negotiations between the Teamsters and the city for the current year have been conducted since March, Jacobs said, and to date, the two sides have failed to reach agreement.

* The Kresage Co. of Troy, Mich., expects to open a K-Mart discount store in the former W. T. Grant building on Rt. 30 in late September or early October, the firm said.

Ann Wolff, a spokesman for the chain, told the Recorder negotiations for the lease are not yet complete, but “we have every reason to expect it to be signed.” Wolff said no expansion of the 65,000 square foot facility is planned.

That the signing of a lease is near was confirmed by Michael Gordon of BPM Gordon Co., 99 Washington Ave., Albany. “It’s imminent,” Gordon said.

He added that the name of the plaza will be changed, although no new name has yet been decided on. Up until the bankruptcy of the W.T. Grant Co., the place was known as the Grant City Plaza.

The plaza has only recently become the property of the BPM Gordon Co. For about a year, title has been held by the Pioneer Savings Bank of Troy, which took it over after its original owners ran into financial difficulties. Neither Gordon nor the bank would reveal the time of the plaza’s sale to BPW Gordon Co.

Just yesterday, the Amsterdam Area Chamber of Commerce, revealed that the Kresage Co. would locate a store in the former Grants site, but would not reveal what the store would be. It has been widely expected to be a K-Mart, however.

John Reardon, executive vice president of the chamber, said the chamber in 1974 made approaches to a number of national firms, including Kresge, Sears, Montgomery Ward, Woolworth’s and others about their relocating stores in the Amsterdam area.

* Mrs. James Somerville, Wilson Avenue, has returned home after vacation at Watchhill, R.I. and New York City.

* Mr. and Mrs. Perry Vickers were surprised with a housewarming party recently at their new home on Perth-Johnstown Road.

The couple received gifts and money. Refreshments were served.

* Richard Betz and Greg Deitch won the duplicate bridge game this week at the Good Will Club. Mrs. Edward Picinich and Mrs. John K. Stewart took second place. Third place went to Mrs. Alex Finlay and Mrs. Grace Kipp.

* The board of lady managers of Sarah Jane Sanford Home for Elderly Women entertained women residents at a luncheon recently at the White Holland House with about 33 participants.

Mrs. John Thomson, entertainment chairman, and her committee, planned the annual affair.

At a recent board meeting, members accepted two applications for residency, presented by Mrs. William Orr.

Mrs. Orr and Miss Dorothy Niles reported on the death of 82-year-old Mrs. Martha Habla.

Mrs. William Hotaling reported on various home problems. It was noted that Mrs. Hotaling filled the porch boxes with flowers in memory of her mother.

A resident, Mrs. Mildred Gaugler, has supervised changes for the upper back porch, which will be used as a retreat on hot days.

It was announced that Steven Osowicki, staff member, is retiring for health reasons.

* Donations this month were from Mrs. Karl Weber, William Blain, Mrs. Steven Osowicki, Mrs. Martha Saulwater, Miss Elizabeth Wilson and Mrs. Alfred Vertucci in memory of Mrs. Habla.

* Mrs. Gordon D. Shaw, a former resident of Amsterdam, published her second book recently. “Sometimes The Stones Are Very Lively” is a humorous, religious type book. Jean Shaw describes the problems when a small church struggles with change and growth. A joyful, optimistic book, it was released on a nationwide basis by Zondervan Publishing Co. June 1. Her first book was “Please Don’t Stand Up In My Canoe.”

Mrs. Shaw, a Lynch High School graduate, earned a BS degree at Simmons College in Boston, Mass, and an MS degree from Northern Illinois University.

* Betsy Suhr, daughter of Frederick and Lucy Suhr, of Chopin Parkway, will participate in “Art a la Carte ’76,” a program operated by Mid-Continent Council of Girl Scouts in Kansas City, Missouri.

Miss Suhr, who is a member of senior troop 82 in Mohawk Pathways Girl Scout Council Inc., was chosen from 100 applicants for the cultural arts experience.

She will join 51 girls from the United States and Argentina for the event.

The educational department of the prestigious Nelson Gallery in Kansas City, Mo., will staff the classes. Participants can choose: sculpture, painting, drawing, textile arts, graphic arts, 20th Century arts, puppetry and filmmaking. The participants will reside at the living center of the Kansas City Art Institute. “Your Future in Art” will also be explored by the girls.

* Waves of American Bicentennial History will splash against the banks of the Mohawk River here tomorrow when New York State’s Bicentennial Festival Barge passes beneath the New Amsterdam Bridge around noon.

Packed with historical detail and display, the barge is scheduled to dock for two days of festivities adjacent to the Fonda-Fultonville Bridge and the fairgrounds. The barge will be open to visitors on Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Docking at Fonda at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, the barge’s 20-member crew will be welcomed by the New York State Bicentennial Barge Committee of Montgomery, Fulton and Schoharie Counties. A welcoming dinner is planned for the crew at the Fonda Shrine of Catherine Tekakwitha.

A gala festival is planned at the Fonda Fairgrounds to accompany the bicentennial barge. Featured for the duration of the barges’ visit, the festivities include more than 100 crafts exhibits, and displays from industries throughout the three counties.

* When Evelyn McMartin was a resident of Amsterdam, she was known as an interior decorator. Now a Floridian for seven years she continues as an interior designer, but has added a new dimension, graphoanalysis, to her business.

Graphoanalysis is the study of handwriting, and Mrs. McMartin, who now operates Evelyn McMartin Interiors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is a certified master graphoanalyst.

Once her hobby, her expertise in analyzing personality from handwriting, is now an important part of her decorating business which she operates with her daughter, Sharon McMartin.

“I use handwriting to determine which colors are best suited to my clients’ personalities. Different personalities have different color preferences which are reflected in their handwriting,” she says.

After studying traits and personality of her customer, she proceeds to build an atmosphere around the client’s total personality. This individuality is expressed not only through colors, but also through specially designed fabrics, wall coverings and mirrors.

Mrs. McMartin, who is the former Evelyn Voorhees of Broadalbin, is in Amsterdam with her daughter, Sharon, and visiting her son, James McMartin, and Amsterdam area friends.

First published July 23, 1976


* Joseph V. Revella, supervisor of special education, member of the staff of pupil personnel services for the Amsterdam City School District will act as consultant for a workshop on special education for the Saratoga City School District.

The workshop, which will be held Tuesday, July 26, is being conducted under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

This workshop is designed to develop and improve the instructional program in Special Education classes and to provide enrichment experiences for students in these classes.

* Local high school students and two from Long Island leave July 29 by jet from Kennedy Airport, New York City, to attend a summer school program in Vichy, France, sponsored by the American Institute for Foreign Study of Greenwich, Conn.

The group will be chaperoned by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barca, Division Street. Mrs. Barca is a French teacher at Roosevelt Junior High School.

Students attending are Patty Schwartz, Wendy Bullard, Kathy Polochacz, Marcy Dunning, Cathie Crawford, Donna Quattrocchi, Marlene Sapia, Carol Noonan, Kathy Nadler, Carla Skodinski, Mary Jo Belardi, Benita Martuscello, Lesley Quinlan, Patty Draws, Philip Barca, Peter Lemkin and Laura Heinzerling.

The students will attend language classes at Vichy over two weeks and after they have received course completion certificates they will travel to Paris for a four-day stay, visiting places of interest, before returning home on Sept. 5.

While en route to France, the group will land in London where they will spend July 30-Aug. 2 before crossing the English Channel to continental Europe. Then they will tour this chateau country of northern France by train, which will take them to Vichy.

The course was open to any American high school student of, the French language. The group consists of 13 Lynch High School Students, two from Bishop Scully Catholic High School and two from a Long Island high school.

* A neighborhood carnival for the benefit of muscular dystrophy victims will be held on Tuesday, July 26, at 39 1/2 Milton Ave. Mark Dylong, son of Mr. and Mrs. Felix Dylong Jr., will serve as ringmaster, assisted by his friends.

The carnival, which begins at 1 p.m., will feature bowling, penny pitch, fortune telling and a puppet show, Shoo-Shoo, the turtle, and Vince, the rabbit, will also be present. There will be a bake sale and entertainment by “The Dynamics.”

All proceeds will go to aid the fight against dystrophy and related diseases afflicting millions.

Last year, more than 12,000 carnivals were held by children across the country, and over $213,600 was raised for research and patient service programs.

First published July 23, 1966

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Posted Jul. 23, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Crain Communications, the publishers of PRW, Plastics News Europe and organisers of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe exhibition and conference, have announced that the event will move to the new venue of the RAI Amsterdam in The Netherlands and will be held on the 29-30 March 2017.

The inaugural Plastics Recycling Show Europe had to be postponed following terrorist incidents in Paris in November 2015 and then Brussels in March 2016.

The strong support received from the event’s exhibitors, partners and prospective visitors in the wake of these events was a key driver in ensuring the event went ahead in March 2017, and with security remaining an overriding consideration, the decision was made to move the event to RAI Amsterdam.

Steve Crowhurst, managing director of Crain Communications, said: “The Plastics Recycling Show Europe has had a difficult start, but the support for the event has been clear from day one.

“We look forward to working with our exhibitors, Plastics Recyclers Europe and our other partners to make the 2017 show in Amsterdam a real success.”

The organisers conducted extensive research among all exhibitors and those who had registered to attend the event, from which three clear trends emerged: firstly, exhibitors were strongly supportive of the event; secondly the whole industry remains eager to see a dedicated event for the European plastics recycling sector and thirdly that RAI Amsterdam was the preferred venue.

A further factor in the choice of venue was the RAI’s commitment to recycling and sustainability as recently evidenced by its winning of the International AEO Sustainability Award. The RAI also offers the potential to expand the event in response to growing exhibitor demand.

Industry body Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) said it would continue to support the exhibition and conference: “This fair, which is the first in Europe entirely dedicated to plastics recycling, demonstrates the strength and importance of plastics recycling for both the European economy and the development of the circular economy,” said Ton Emans, Plastics Recyclers Europe’s president.

“We are looking forward to sharing our expertise as well as knowledge and demonstrating it to all interested parties.”

The Plastics Recycling Show is a pan-European free-to-attend exhibition and a conference designed specifically for plastics recycling professionals. It brings together key players from the plastics and recycling sectors to showcase innovative technology, share best practice, network and do business.

A broad cross section of the industry will be represented at the event including plastics recycling machinery and equipment suppliers, plastic material suppliers and compounders, pre-processors, plastics recyclers, waste management specialists and industry associations.

The conference will examine a wide range of industry themes including the economics of plastics recycling, the regulatory background, materials, processing, technology and innovation.

For more information visit the Plastics Recycling Show Europe’s website

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