So what did you do this weekend?  Hmmm, can I guess? You shoveled snow!  Friday night the snow began and continued with blowing drifts through early Sunday morning.  Many of you got your shovels and snow plows ready and began digging out on Saturday.  I did the same.  On Sunday morning, I was patting myself on the back for getting back to the gym and starting my routines again.  All the time I had spent on weightlifting machines gave me the strength to shovel without too much residual pain.  I actually felt alive since the sun was out and many neighbors were helping clean off the walkways and sidewalks of neighbors in need.  I posted in Facebook, “Where are all the angels from last year’s snow storms--those young men looking to earn some money.”  None of the young’uns appeared.  That brings me to the question:  Why aren’t those young kids helping their neighbors and their own families?  I heard some responses on Facebook: “They are studying for exams.”  “My husband never made them help.”  “Money is handed to the kids nowadays by their parents.  Why should they work?”  “They are busy with video games.”  “My wife coddles these kids.”  When I was a kid, we all worked on family projects whether it be painting rooms, shoveling the 100’ sidewalk and two-car driveway to performing regular chores that were done every day.  What do you think?  Do your kids help around the house?  Did they shovel this weekend?  Are they considered privileged?  I’ll share your comments with my gentle readers (you can remain anonymous if you prefer).If you have a child who was born in 2012 and who lives in New York City, you can begin to register for New York City’s FREE all-day universal pre-kindergarten program.  The deadline to apply is March 4.  You can apply online at  by calling 311 or in person at the District 31 Family Welcome Center located at the Petrides School. “Pre-K For All” runs five days a week from September to June in District 31 public schools as well as at most Catholic schools and other community sites.  

The College of Staten Island's Continuing Education & Professional Development will hold a FREE Open House on Wednesday 1/27 from 4-7 at the St. George Library, 5 Central Ave.  Train for a new career and transform your life. In a few months, you can become a personal trainer, pharmacy technician, dental assistant, EKG technician, etc. RSVP at 718-982-2182 or 

Attend FREE Kick Boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Tai Chi at the Chaun Center 11 Sylvia St. on Wednesday at 7 p.m.  Call 718-948-4131 for further information.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Arden Heights Blvd. Jewish Center at 1766 Arthur Kill Rd. invites the public for a FREE presentation of the movie, "Above & Beyond"  by Nancy Spielberg about Americans who rescued Israel in the War of Independence.  Si Spiegelman, who fought in the War of Independence, will be a guest speaker. There will also be an Exhibit on American "Machal" volunteers, 1947-1949.  Please RSVP at 718-948-6782 if you wish to come and please bring your friends. 

The Staten Island University Hospital Medical Van will be at the Cassidy Coles Senior Center, 125 Cassidy Pl. on Friday, 1/29 at 10 a.m. for FREE Health Screenings for blood pressure, BMI and SBIRT, along with information on how to live a healthy lifestyle. 

The Protectors of Pine Oaks will hold its Winter 10-Mile Greenbelt Walk on Saturday, 1/30 from 9:15 to 4.   Dress warmly and bring lunch and beverage. Meet at the Greenbelt Nature Center at the corner of Rockland and Brielle Avenues.  Call 718-351-3450 for more information.

The Zimmer Club Annual Free Youth Conservation Program for boys and girls 10-17, takes place on Saturday at 9:15.  Your children will be introduced to activities that bring conservation topics to life such as environmental conservation, estuary systems, Blue and Greenbelt management, hunting, fishing (both salt and fresh-water), boating, first aid, camping, gun safety, archery, marksmanship, and how to use a compass and read a map. ALL CLASSES ARE FREE.  The Zimmer Club is located at 4411 Arthur Kill Rd. Register at or email 

A Gallery reception of Kristi Pfister's 'Sweetgum' will be on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Wagner College Gallery, 631 Howard Ave. The exhibit and reception are FREE.  For more information about Kristi Pfister, go to

On Saturday at 2 at the Brighton Heights Reformed Church, 320 St. Mark’s Pl., the Church’s Health Education Committee presents a FREE health talk on Men's Health. Dr. Alexander Sokol will present topics that will include urological and reproductive health. Question and answer session to follow. This health talk series is secular in nature, and open to all people. All men and those who love them are encouraged to attend.   For further information, call 718-448-0165.

A opening reception for the exhibit "Photographs and Prints by Vincent Verdi and Ann Marie McDonnell" will take place Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum, 420 Tompkins Ave. To learn more about the artists, Vincent and Ann Marie, check out the following

Don’t miss our Borough President’s third annual OPEN HOUSE at Borough Hall on Sunday, 1/31 from noon to 3 for “Direct Connect Sunday” where a detailed display about projects and initiatives rolled out during 2015 as well as the 2016 agenda will be presented.  All Islanders are invited to attend; no registration is needed.  I attended the first Open House in 2014 which BP Oddo had in lieu of a traditional swearing-in ceremony.  It was a great opportunity for us to meet our new BP who made us feel right at home.  We viewed the wonderful murals throughout Borough Hall, enjoyed refreshments, toured his offices, chatted with the BP and his staff and had an enjoyable afternoon.  “Up close and personal” is how I describe BP Oddo. 

Have you seen the LEGO Americana Roadshow, at the Staten Island Mall.  The replicas of The White House, Independence Hall, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court Building, the Washington Monument and many more are exhibited Monday through Saturday from 10-9 and Sunday from 11-6 and will remain on display through 1/31. This is the last weekend!

The exhibit "Random" with featured Photographer: Richard Xuereb continues through 2/14 at CPG Gallery (Creative Photographers' Guild), 814 Terr.  Exhibiting Photographers: Richard Capuozzo, Willie Chu, Bruce Cohn, Joyce Coletti, Connie J. Frisch-Cherniak, Robin George, Robert Haber, Marilyn Kiss, Gail Middleton, Paul Nueckel, George Roos, Virginia Ross, Joan Velazquez, Fritz (Steven) Weiss, Richard Xuerub. Admission is FREEHours are Saturday and Sunday 1-5. Call 718-288-2405 or visit http// for more info. 

If you would like to post photos of your snow events or you shoveling, send them to me and I will share with my gentle readers.  You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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Will the Borough president be serving those yummy black and white cookies at his open house? I love those black and white cookies. He served them a few years ago and I will not go again unless he has those black and white cookies.

Posted by Kyle Magillacuddy on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 1:28pm

I also love those black and white cookies, but I can't say for sure what the BP will be serving this year. (He did not coordinate with me. Lol!) Don't miss the Borough President's Open House, though. It is a good thing when an elected official wants to speak to his constituents on a one-to-one basis.

Posted by Joan Coogan on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 2:59pm

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