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Feb 28 / LaShawn Pagan

New Literary Projects

Apologizing beforehand for the lack of activity on the site, main journalist, and editor for NYC Views and News, La Shawn Pagan, has been busy working on a number of  projects that include, full on investigation, two large photography projects, as well as writing and developing investigative and fiction pieces — just to name a few.

That said, we would like to take this moment to announce the upcoming book, where our editor will be featured. With her essay on the serious issue of  femicide [a homicide resulting in the death of a female], she joins other writers in bringing awareness on serious societal issues.

The book, published by Aignos Publishing, will feature writers from around the globe. 17 men and women who gathered together for one cause: Bring awareness.

No Cholera in Zimbabwe Photo: Aignos Publishing

The official table of content for the upcoming innovative book is as follows:

Africa
Egypt – The Legislation of Book Burning – Ahmed Abdul Latif
Zambia – Zambia: A nation threatened by Gender-Based Violence – Petronella Ndakasha Mujajati
Zimbabwe – There is No Cholera in Zimbabwe – Tendai Mwanaka

The Americas
United States – Failure – Emanuelee Bean
Chile – Cantos for Temucuicui: The People of the Land – Antonino Lautaro Letti
United States – Connie – Paul Guzzo
Mexico – The Foundations of Democracy – Ricardo Félix Rodriguez
United Stated – The Box – Steven Brykman
United States – U-Haul Apocalypse – Tiffany Razzano
Puerto Rico – Femicide – La Shawn Pagán
United States – Religion in America – Father R. Brooks Ledford
United States – An Earthquake in China – Jonathan Marcantoni

Asia/Pacific Islands
New Zealand – Being Psycho in New Zealand – G. A. De Forest
Bangladesh – Bangladesh judiciary becoming controversial? – Emdadul Haque

Europe
Serbia – Try Me, Buy Me: The Media and Consumer Society – Danijela Pantic
Norway – He Came, and He Lost – Per Flåthe
France – Youths are broke, yet living – Barbara Auger
Malta – The voyage to freedom? – Maria Borg Vella
Iceland – Environmental Destruction in Utopia – Halli
Stay tuned for future blog posts on release dates of “The Dance of the Wild Orchid” [a novel] as well as “Five and a Half Years” [ a poetry collection] by La Shawn Pagan.

Additionally, don’t forget to click the “like” button on the Aignos Publishing facebook page for upcoming releases of the fresh batch of talented writers the new publisher has recruited.

Dec 3 / mintzer.rebekah

Butt-Cracker Suite provides trailer park take on original

Butt-Cracker Suite! Photo: Ryan Field, New York Times

Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, the Nutcracker Suite, has long been a staple of Christmastime. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the theater to see dancers perform the famous March of the Sugarplum Fairies and to watch the ballet battle between the Nutcracker and the evil mouse king.

This year, Chris March provides his satirical take of classic. March’s Butt-Cracker Suite!, is as the name implies, is a tad bit different, the sugarplum fairies of the original are now cans of Old Milwaukee, and the young Clara is played by March himself, donning a blond wig and clothing that Honey Boo Boo Child would likely have in her personal wardrobe.

Billed as a “tacky gift that keeps on giving,” the show, set in a trailer park inhabited by all kinds of strange characters, is a campy and amusing way to spend an evening.

The show, directed by March with choreography by Benjamin Franklin has little dialogue, but dancing, music, and visual gags make up for it and keeps the show moving along at a steady pace. The show is literally set in a trailer park, complete with outdoor toilet and beer fridge. Clara, who is left alone by her mom and dad at the beginning of the show, meets the Nutcracker or in this case, Butt-Cracker, who is wearing a trashcan on his head instead of his traditional soldier’s cap.

Clara is then entertained by a series of dances of a wide variety of styles, performed by a talented troop of mostly female dancers. The music is very rarely Tchaikovsky, with a great mix of jazz, pop, and some Christmas classics. March creatively makes use of a wide range of film clips during the show as well, from excerpts of Charlie Brown, to A Christmas Story both serve as interlude of sorts to the dance performances.

With March’s former stint on Project Runway and his ongoing appearance in Mad Fashion, it is no surprise that the costumes in Butt-Cracker Suite! stood out. Besides cans of Old Milwaukee, the dancers dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters and tacky lawn flamingos, to name a few.

The presentation is certainly not a night at the New York City Ballet, but the Butt-Cracker Suite!, is sure to entertain and keep the laughs coming.

Butt-Cracker Suite! is now playing on the main stage at the HERE theater, located at 145 Sixth Avenue, now through December 30.

SPECIAL NYC VIEWS AND NEWS READER OFFER: 

$40 tickets for performances now through December 20th

TO REDEEM:

ONLINE: Click Here and enter code CRACK2

PHONE: Call 212-352-3101 and mention code CRACK2

RESTRICTIONS: Subject to availability.  Offer may be revoked at any time.  Blackout dates apply.

UN Official updates on recruitment of Child Soldiers

Radhika Coomaraswamy, the UNSR for Children in Armed Conflict/Photo by La Shawn Pagan (file)

UNITED NATIONS – Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, updated members of the press on the details her recent visit to Myanmar and Somalia and the action plan that would prevent further recruitment of children as soldiers.

“The objective of my visit to Myanmar was to witness the signing of an action plan — as part of this process, the Secretary-General requested the Security Council submit a list of names that commit violations against children,” she said to reporters.

After what she said was a five-year negotiation process, an 18-month action plan was signed. The plan, demands for armed forces of Myanmar to immediate release child soldiers within the next 18 months.

“The action plan is quite specific, it is an 18 time frame, it is a commitment to cease child recruitment immediately,” she said.

Coomaraswamy also noted that this plan commits governments to: identify children as soldiers; vetting procedures, to set an awareness-raising plan to further prevent recruitment of children; to strengthen disciplinary action toward perpetrators of recruitment; to give access to military bases, prisons and other areas where children may be located; as well as commits the country to facilitate the access to the UN bodies.

“There’s a detailed 18-month time table, and we hope they stick to this time table,” she said. “We hope that this will signal a transformation.”

In addition to the action plan, the government of Myanmar has set up a committee to prevent the recruitment of children as soldiers as well as an International Labor Organization (ILO) complaint system.

During her visit, Coomaraswamy met with high level officials, as well as with former child soldiers.

On Somalia, the envoy said that a similar plan to that of Myanmar was signed. The Somali National Armed Forces is set to release children from their forces. She noted that the Minister of Defense, Hussein Arab Isse, also agreed to an action plan that will prevent further killing and maiming of children.

Moreover, Coomaraswamy announced that this will be her last press conference as the Special Representative for Children in Armed Conflict, saying that she will be retiring from her post at the end of July.

“I will be returning to my country for a little and then teaching at NYU law school,” she said.

Lotus Lantern Parade

Lotus Lantern Parade - Photo by La Shawn Pagan

Buddhist leaders pray during the annual Lotus Lantern Parade, photo by: La Shawn Pagan

Eastern, Central Asian and North American communities gathered to celebrate Buddha’s birthday with the traditional Lotus Lantern Parade this past Sunday, May 6.

With a significantly smaller gathering on 14th street Union Square Park, compared to last year’s celebration, Buddhist monks, nuns, and their apprentices gathered to pay homage to the founder of the peaceful lifestyle.

“The spirit to care not just for ourselves but for others, on an awareness of our interlinked fates lies at the heart of Buddhism,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement released by his office.

Local leaders and members of the New York City, Japanese, Korean, and Sri Lankan Buddhist centers were present to start off the Lotus Lantern parade. Gathering in the center of Union Square to a growing crowd of New Yorkers, they chanted for peace, hope and security as well as thanking their teacher for founding the holistic lifestyle.

NY Senator works to ensure readiness for State school kids

photo: La Shawn Pagan (file)

New York State Senator Martin J. Golden (R – BK) joined some of his colleagues on May 2 in Albany to ensure a legislation that will improve school children in the State is approved.

“I am pleased to promote this legislation today because the millions of children in day care in our state deserve the best possible preparation for school,” said Golden in a statement released by his office.

According to the legislation (§.5650C), the appointed New York State Commissioner of Education is to evaluate and report on early education and day care centers to enable further improvement on the readiness of children for school.

“I hope the Assembly will pass this bill so that the commissioner can prepare the study on how we can continue to improve on the great education of students in New York.”

Additionally, the bill that was submitted to the assembly requires a study that will assess the key issues and roadblocks in overseeing the child care system that plays a strong role in education.

On bin Laden’s anniversary, local leader say “we must remain vigilant”

Photo: Baltic-Review

One year after the assassination of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Armed Forces inside a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, Republican Congressman Michael G. Grimm, speaks out on the impending terror threat Americans still face, even after his death.

“Last year’s death of Osama bin Laden brought long-awaited justice for the American people,” said Grimm in a statement released by his office on May 1. “One year later, we are no safer than we were that day from the looming threat of terrorism, and thus we must remain vigilant.”

Grimm’s statement pointed out the continuing sophistication of terrorists and the need to be “one step ahead of them,” to ensure the safety and security of the American people, while saying “today is not a celebration instead we should remember our loved ones lost on 9/11.”

After a decade-long search, President Barack Obama announced the capture, and death of bin Laden as “the most significant achievement to date” in the fight against al-Qaida.  Recent reports are that al-Qaida is plotting a revenge attack on the United States.

Apr 30 / LaShawn Pagan

Cinderella in Brooklyn!

Cinderella in Brooklyn! (photo courtesy of Tabnick Communications)

The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College is showcasing the classic tale of the humble servant girl Cinderella.

What’s been reviewed as a burst of “energy, song, and special effects…their spirit is contagious,” by Leslie Bennett of the New York Times can now be seen on Sunday May 20 at 2pm.

In this new version of the classic tale, Cinderella dances and sings her way from her evil step mother’s kitchen to the heart of her Prince Charming with the help of Mortimer the mouse and her fairy Godmother.

With tickets going for $7 the entire family can enjoy this new take of the classic tale. For more information; or to reserve tickets contact:

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Walt Whitman Theatre at Brooklyn College
(take No. 2 or 5 trains to Brooklyn College/Flatbush Avenue)
Box office: 718-951-4500, web: http://www.brooklyncenteronline.org/
Facebook:  Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts

- Performances sponsored by Target

Apr 30 / LaShawn Pagan

Jules at the Laurie Beechman Theatre

Jules at the Beechman Theatre

Hello readers:

There is a new show in town, Broadway town and we’re giving special offers for those NYC Views and News readers!

Produced by Third Eye Theatre Company, Jules is a three person drama set in 1941, featuring David-Sabella Mills, Cameron Hansel, and Art Brown. The setting is “Billy Rose’s Nightclub” in Manhattan during the final performance as Broadway’s most famous cabaret film star of all time; female impersonator: Julian Eltinge.

Jules, has enjoyed the rewards of being one of the most influential film stars of his lifetime, having played at the at the Palace, profiled in beauty magazines, as well as having theatres named after him, and owning the most lavish mansion in Hollywood.

Written by Michael Levesque, directed by Andrew Glant-Liden, with music by Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Julian Eltinge, under the direction of Tim DiPasqua, this drama is not to be missed.

Performances are limited, don’t miss out: May, 10 and 17 (9:30pm) May 14 and 21 (7pm) at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street. Save *$5 on your entrance ticket with the special offer given to NYC Views and News readers, to redeem the ticket **discount go here and enter code TETCJ512.

*Please note there is a $15 food/drink minimum in addition to the price of your ticket that is payable at the show the night of your performance.   The food/drink minimum will be added to your tab and payable at the end of the performance.

**RESTRICTIONS: Service fees for each ticket applicable to online orders.  Offer may be revoked at any time and is subject to availability. Not valid on prior purchase. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions; restrictions may apply.  All ticket holders are required to pay a $15 food/drink minimum at the show.

Mar 16 / LaShawn Pagan

Councilmember Viverito speaks out v. Kelly

New York City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito D- District 8- East Harlem (photo: yahoo)

In response to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s “stop, question, and frisk” policies, councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents district eight, responded today to her constituents.

“As you know, months ago, our community released the Youth Violence Task Force Report, which provided ten key recommendations for stemming the tide of violence that has affected El Barrio/East Harlem,” said Viverito. “This report was created by the community’s youth, many of whom were desperate to take ownership of an issue that impacts their life chances in every way. We are already in the midst of implementing these strategies, which include implementing the ‘violence interrupters’ model in our neighborhood.”

This comment was in direct response to Kelly’s accusations of her and fellow elected officials not doing enough to find solutions to violence in the Upper East Side/Harlem section of Manhattan. Additionally, Viverito noted the possible reason why Commissioner Kelly did not know about the measures taken in her represented district, was because of such little media coverage on the youth violence task force report.

Commissioner Kelly stood by the NYPD counter-terrorism-program and other crime stopping programs. According to reports by the Associated Press (AP) a strategy portion of those programs consists of undercover police officers eavesdropping on conversations at coffee shops, local grocery stores, as well as infiltration of Muslim student groups in the city, and monitoring of those individuals who have changed their names from a traditional sounding Arabic name to a more Americanized one.

In response to the unfair treatment of the “black and brown” community she represents, Viverito, added: “if the Commissioner and others would only take the time to hear us, work with us, and most importantly open their minds to alternatives, I am confident that we could together build a better tomorrow for all New Yorkers”

Let’s make Kony Famous

Joseph Kony (center) leader of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) a guerrilla army in Uganda, here with a few of the young girls captured by the LRA, which are most likely being turned into sex slaves.

KONY 2012
(Click on this link)

I have reported before on the MediaGlobal News website on Child Soldiers, although my focus was Latin America, particularly Colombia – I believe that all forms of child soldiering should cease, no matter where in the world they stem from.

So I’m joining the cause to bring Joseph Kony into fame so people can see his face, know who he is and join the international community in bringing this man to justice.

Watch the half hour long film, made by Invisible Children and then you decide if this man’s actions should come to an end.