GOOD

Gift benefits missing children center

Nancy Troast Waldeck, a best-selling local author, and the Scriptor Publishing Group will present a $250 donation to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children - New York / Mohawk Valley (NCMEC-NY/MV) on Monday, Nov. 19.

Waldeck was the 6th grade teacher to Sara Anne Wood, who vanished on Aug. 18, 1993, as she walked her bike along the rural road in the Town of Litchfield on her way home from the Norwich Corners Presbyterian Church where her father was the lay pastor. She was never seen again. Child predator Lewis S. Lent Jr., of North Adams, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to Sara’s abduction and murder and is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence in a Massachusetts prison. Sara’s body has never been found.

Her disappearance and search efforts ultimately led to the creation of the NCMEC-NY/MV office. The other seven authors featured in the book - "Rise Above: 8 Stories of Life Transformation" - are from all over the country, but together they voted to donate the proceeds to the center, where they will be used to support the main purpose of the Utica office as the only geographically targeted poster distribution center in the United States.

In addition to Waldeck, another connection to the cause is Kelli O’Brien Watson, owner of Scriptor Publishing Group. Watson volunteered for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for 15 years as school coordinator for the Ride for Missing Children and as president of the advisory board.

Find Rise Above: 8 Portraits of Life Transformation is a collaborative book of stories about overcoming obstacles and transforming your life. It is available on www.amazon.com. To learn more about the book visit www.scriptorpublishinggroup.com.

 

UGLY

Day care battleground outrageous

And we wonder why civility in this country is in the toilet?

In St. Louis, Missouri, documents filed last week charged two day care workers with encouraging at least six 3- and 4-year-olds to engage in fistfights in 2016. The mini-pugilists - egged on by the workers for 35 minutes - resulted in tears and a black eye for a 4-year-old on his birthday.

As a result, Mickala Guliford, 28, and Tena N. Dailey, 22, face a felony charge of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk. Both have been fired and a summons was issued last Monday for both to appear in court Dec. 3.

The charging documents claim that on Dec. 7, 2016, Guliford and Dailey were in charge of a class at the Adventure Learning Center in St. Louis, where they “encouraged and directed the children to engage in fistfights with each other.” According to the Associated Press, the fights lasted 35 minutes and involved at least six children, equipped with a padded glove on one hand. The fights were captured on the center’s surveillance video and by one fighter’s 10-year-old brother. A video shows one child crying after a fight, and Guliford “jumping up and down with excitement.”

The fight gave one 4-year-old a black eye and red marks and swelling on his face, charges say. It was his birthday.

This is pathetic. In a world already lacking in civility, teaching kids to be combative is absolutely horrifying. If found guilty, these two women should never be allowed near children again.

 

GOOD

PrattMWP prof's artwork explosive

Sometimes our region's most talented folks fly beneath the radar. It's important that we know who they are and how very fortunate we are to have them here.

Serena Perrone, for example.

Perrone is an assistant professor of printmaking and drawing at PrattMWP College of Art and Design and is well known throughout the art world. She has work in permanent collections at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Public Library, Yale University Art Gallery, Cleveland Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Smith College Museum of Art, RISD Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Library of Congress.

This week it was announced that her artwork at PrattMWP has been purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and will enter the museum's permanent collection. The work -“A Volcano Pilgrim in Exchange for Fire” - is a series of prints that match up to form a continuous line. The entire work expands 25 feet and displays landscapes of volcanoes.

The piece was inspired by the poetry of Craig Arnold.

“These images of active volcanoes located in Italy, Peru, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Japan are paired with fragments of text culled from the travel blog of the late poet Craig Arnold in the days leading up to his death in April of 2009 in Japan, while hiking volcanoes and conducting research for his next book of poetry which was to have been titled ‘An Exchange for Fire,’” she said.

Perrone is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She began teaching at PrattMWP College of Art and Design in 2016 and currently works as a visiting critic at the Rhode Island School of Design.