The BFF of Socrates Sculpture Park
by Nancy A. Ruhling
Aug 17, 2018 | 9049 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Audrey’s the director of public programs for Socrates Park.
Audrey’s the director of public programs for Socrates Park.
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Balancing on Virginia Overton’s sculpture.
Balancing on Virginia Overton’s sculpture.
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Taking a treetop view.
Taking a treetop view.
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A comet’s tail of hair streaking in the air behind her, Audrey Dimola power-pedals to the front gate of Socrates Sculpture Park on Cherry Bomb, her single-speed Schwinn. She jumps off her burgundy “chariot of fire,” which is her constant commuter companion, and jubilantly raises her arms in a “V.” Because she loves her job. (She’s the park’s director of public programs.) Because she loves her life. (She’s a poet, performer, curator, local arts advocate, community organizer and artist.) Because why not? (She’s a proponent of passion and the positive power of the present moment.) Audrey, for reasons that will become obvious, calls herself Wildfire. She grew up with the park, which was right by her childhood home. In fact, not only are she and Socrates Park BFFs, but they also are the same age: 32. Audrey made her debut on August 12, 1986, and Socrates held its first exhibition on September 28, 1986. That, she says, cannot be a coincidence. After she securely stores Cherry Bomb, Audrey takes a walk in the park. Well, given that it’s Audrey, it’s more like a run and a climb and a wade in the water. Audrey, who is colorfully, clashingly and chicly clad in a low-cut leopard print top and black tights abloom with the kind of pink cabbage roses typically seen on old-lady wallpaper, kicks off her black flip-flops and scrambles up a tree, stopping near the top. Then she sunbathes for a second on the park’s signature stone stage – it doesn’t seem to bother her that it’s a chilly, grey day threatening rain. Next, she plants herself in a border of rhododendrons, softly stroking their leaves. Oh, she has to go to the water! She sits by the skyline, drinking in the view, then leads the way to the park’s baby beach, where she perches on a rock like a statue as the waves do a dance around her toes. The left foot’s toenails wear green polish; the right’s are painted yellow. Her cropped fingernails echo them, alternating yellow, green, yellow, green like flashing traffic lights. She’s just about to head to her office, which is across the street, when she realizes that she hasn’t spent any time on Virginia Overton’s balance beam. So she scales the swaying sculpture and walks serenely across, toes pointed like a ballerina’s. Although Audrey’s been in the park thousands of times – that’s where her job requires her to be, hooray! – it’s as if she’s seeing it for the first time every time. That’s because Socrates has always been Audrey’s sanctuary. “I feel free when I’m here,” she says. “And whatever was going on in my life, I would come here to sit by the river and write.” Audrey, a self-described child ham, planned to have a creative career. But by the time she was studying at Hunter College, her creativity had all but come to a halt, so she settled on what she thought would be a safe degree, in media studies, and got a job with a Long Island City arts magazine, where she quickly rose to the position of managing editor. Two years later, she switched to a blog, producing stories about the neighborhood. After a year, she became a project manager for an Astoria-based tech start-up. “I loved all these jobs because I got to do a lot of things, and I learned a lot,” she says. But in 2012, Audrey began a series of jobs that didn’t feed her passion. “I did things on the side, like writing books,” she says, adding that she published “Decisions We Make While We Dream” that year. “That’s how I kept myself going.” Audrey, who calls herself a “sojourner,” finds that long walks are conducive to her creativity. “I consider myself a messenger,” she says. “Writing, especially writing poetry, is my lifeblood. Everything speaks to me. That’s why I walk around with my marbleized notebooks — to find beautiful moments of aspiration.” Eventually, Audrey found her way back into project management. She wrote her second poetry/prose book, “TRAVERSALS,” got engaged to an artist and moved to Brooklyn. “In 2015, I called everything off – I left the guy and the job and I crashed-landed with my parents at my childhood home,” she says. “The first thing I did was go to Socrates’ Halletts Cove Beach. All I could think was, ‘I’m almost 30. What the hell have I done? I’ve shattered my life, and I can’t fit back in my old life. I guess this is the beginning of the real story.’” At first, Audrey’s life was more like a sequel than a new beginning. She had more time than money so she took any and every job that came her way. It was her mother who suggested that she contact Socrates. It just so happened that the park was looking for a part-time public programs coordinator, and it just so happened that Audrey was the candidate chosen in April 2016. “That’s when my life literally changed forever,” she says. Later that year, when the director of public programs decided to leave, she encouraged Audrey to apply for her position. “She saw me with a capital S,” Audrey says. “And she made me realize I had a place at an arts institution.” In January 2017, Audrey became the director of public programs. In that role, she has produced a variety of free public events ranging from musical performances and dances to yoga classes and kayaking. “Working at Socrates is such an incredible opportunity,” she says. “I feel aligned with the original energy of the space, and I feel it’s my responsibility to uphold it.” Audrey, who has just published her third book, “WILDLIGHT,” and is getting ready to write number four, says she and Socrates have had such a long history and are so in sync that she can’t see herself being anywhere else. “This,” she declares as she stands on the stage and looks out over the park’s lawn, “has become my life.” Astoria Characters Day: The 2nd Family Reunion is September 23. A free, public event, it is sponsored by Bareburger and Salt & Bone. Nancy A. Ruhling may be reached at Nruhling@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @nancyruhling and visit astoriacharacters.com.
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Sackstein Sacktein & Lee, LLP Sponsors the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival
by cjleclaire
 Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP
Aug 16, 2018 | 4360 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

August 25–26, 2018: the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival in Nassau County on Long Island

This year, Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP takes pride in being the lead sponsor of the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival. Our attorneys and staff are very committed to serving the people where we work and live, and we strongly believe in the principle of giving back to our communities.

For more than three decades, our attorneys have had a prominent standing throughout the New York City area, and we have offices in Garden City, Flushing, Brooklyn and Queens. It has been our pleasure to assist numerous clients and their families. We primarily focus our practice on personal injury law, which involves helping individuals who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence recover compensation for pain and suffering, disability income and other related damages.

What is the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival?

SUMAQ is a word that translates as “delicious,” and it is from the language of Quechua, spoken by indigenous peoples of Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

The Peruvian Food Festival is being held both indoors and outside the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on August 25 and 26, and is New York's largest outdoor Peruvian food festival. Through a variety of activities, the festival celebrates Peruvian cuisine and culture. Renowned Peruvian chefs will be preparing their gourmet dishes. Their experience is extensive and they boast impressive accomplishments such as being winners on the Food Network Channel show Chopped, learning culinary skills under top Peruvian chefs in world class restaurants and refining their regional dishes to high levels of mastery.

In addition to the delicious Peruvian cuisine, artisans and crafters will display their artwork, and you can see traditional dancing and colorful costumes worn in Peru.

Come and enjoy the celebration!

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Why You Have Legal Rights in Construction Accidents Involving Falling Objects
by cjleclaire
 Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP
Aug 16, 2018 | 2446 views | 0 0 comments | 97 97 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Can Injured workers and families who have lost their loved ones pursue lawsuits?

By December of 2017, a construction site at 61 Ninth Avenue in Chelsea had been repeatedly cited for construction code violations.

On December 18, a 54 year-old construction worker was standing on the sidewalk when an anchoring bracket came loose. Scaffolding from 10 stories above him plummeted to the ground, striking him on the head. The worker’s body lay sprawled on the ground. He was unconscious, suffering from a debilitating head trauma. Paramedics rushed the worker to the hospital, but he died an hour later.

Worst of all, the accident was completely preventable. The New York Daily News reported that for seven months, since May 2017, inspectors had visited the work site and cited the general contractor for multiple violations, many of which dealt with scaffold issues.

What recourse do families have under New York law for fatal construction accidents caused by falling objects?

New York Labor Law 240, also referred to as the “Scaffold Law,” offers legal protection to construction workers who suffer injury and families who lose loved ones in height-related accidents. The general contractor and property owner are strictly liable and can be held accountable for injuries that occur due to unsafe work conditions. This not only applies to workers who fall from heights, but also for workers who suffer injury from falling objects and debris when working under a scaffold, ladder or roof.

Failure to tie down materials, replace worn out parts, failure to install guardrails or to ensure workers have hard hats or other safety equipment when involved with work done at heights are in violation of Labor Law 240.

Compensation can help offset financial burdens

Construction workers take risks daily at construction sites. Their families trust they will come home safely, but when the worst happens, the shock and loss can be overwhelming. Even so, there is no need to suffer economic hardship. You can recover compensation for medical costs, future lost income and other related expenses.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLPhttps://sacksteinlaw.com, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss construction site injuries and death, and the prospects of taking legal action.

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Company Security and Surveillance: Where Should Employers Draw the Line?
by cjleclaire
 Stephen Hans Blog
Aug 16, 2018 | 835 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Are Your Security and Surveillance Policies Violating Privacy Laws?

Companies have the right to protect against internal theft or property destruction. They also have a responsibility to evaluate productivity and ensure their resources are used efficiently and effectively. If a company faces litigation, gathering evidence becomes a priority. As a means of gathering information, companies often use surveillance systems, whether gathering information related to production, theft, property damage, or for litigation purposes.

Types of Surveillance

Installing cameras for video surveillance is one approach to surveillance. Putting GPS tracking on company vehicles is another form. Monitoring software is also available to install in company computers and cell phones.

What Types of Legal Precautions Should You Take?

According to Business News Daily, employers should post signage, which states that the premises are monitored by security cameras.

For computer monitoring, when the employee uses a company device, there are virtually no ramifications for installing monitoring software to monitor what employees are doing at work. Employers have the right to know whether the employee is working on tasks related to the job and what tasks are getting done. It is better for employers to require that employees use the business’s computers because they would not have the same right to install monitoring software on a device the employee owns.

Where employers can run into trouble is when they acquire too much information of a private nature. Finding out an employee’s medical information would violate HIPPA or could lead to a lawsuit that claimed violation of the Genetic Information Act.

Spying on employees who are exercising their right to discuss unionizing, collective bargaining, wages or work conditions is an unfair labor practice and should not be done.

GPS tracking on company vehicles is legal because the vehicle is company property and employers have the right to know where their property is. However, GPS tracking on laptops and phones may cross a legal line by gathering information about employees’ activities when they are not working, which violates their privacy rights.

It is wise to consult with an employment lawyer to make sure that your surveillance policies do not put your business at risk.

Stephen Hans & Associates http://hansassociates.com/ provides extensive legal experience to business owners regarding employment related issues.

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