Did you attend the Tribute to support and honor our NYPD officers as well as fallen officers? Or attend the Family Fun Day sponsored by the South Shore BID at the various Richmond County Savings Banks sites?  Did you dance till you dropped last weekend—ballroom, Latin, Country line dancing?  Or take a hike through Fresh Kills?  If you have photos of you or your family or friends at any of these events and would like to share, I will be happy to post them.

SSG Michael Ollis is a native Staten Islander who gave his life for his country at the age of 24.  He served one tour of duty in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. He left for his third deployment in 1/2013 and was due home in October. On 8/28, the base in Afghanistan where Ollis was stationed was attacked by insurgent forces. In the course of meeting the enemy, SSG Ollis stepped in front of a wounded Polish officer in order to protect him from an insurgent wearing a suicide vest and was killed. Naming the new ferry after this home grown hero is a small measure of gratitude that could never compare to his ultimate sacrifice.  It can ensure that for years to come people from all over the world will know his story, honor him and remember his courage.  Read more about SSG Michael Ollis, and please sign a petition at the following site.  https://www.change.org/p/new-york-city-department-of-transportation-name-the-new-ferry-after-ssg-michael-ollis

NYC Summer STEM 2015 is a FREE program designed to provide current 2nd, 7th & 10th graders with the opportunity to participate in an innovative, engaging, and fun summer learning program designed specifically around science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program also includes other enrichment opportunities, such as arts and physical activity.  The elementary program at PS 19 runs from 7/6-7/30 Monday through Thursday from 8:30-2:15pm. The middle and high school program at IS 51 runs from 7/6-8/6, Monday through Thursday from 8:30-3. Breakfast and lunch will be served at both programs. Apply online specific to your child’s grade. Visit the site as follows for more info and to apply.  http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/Science/NYCSummerSTEM  Applications must be received by 6/15. 

The New York Public Library sponsors a variety of programs and events all the time. Thursday, 6/11, attend Open Lab at the Mariners Harbor Branch at 3:00.  Adults 50+ can learn about e-mail, how to cut and paste, learn about Twitter.  First come, first served.  Also on Thursday, at the Port Richmond branch, attend a one-on-one resume workshop at noon.  At the West Brighton branch, for children 7-12, paint your favorite superhero. Pre-registration required. Call or sign up at the branch!  Friday at 3 at the Mariners Harbor branch, Family Yoga time for all ages. Saturday at 10 at St. George, learn how to create your own website.  At 1 at West Brighton, attend an EZ knitting and crocheting workshop.  Check out their website for many more offerings at the library nearest you.  www.nypl.org/events

Saturday from 9-10 a.m., participate in low-impact cardio followed by balancing stretches and meditation to raise heart rate, burn calories, reduce stress, and work out every muscle at the Conference House Park From 11-12, every Saturday, meet at the Visitor Center for nature-inspired arts and crafts for kids of all ages. From 4-6, a showing of “The Birdman of Alcatraz” will take place in the Conference House Museum.  A $5 donation is suggested which includes popcorn, cookies and refreshments.  From 8-10, view the film “Maleficent” on the Pavilion.  Lots to do at the Conference House this weekend!

The Greenmarket returns to the Mall this Saturday 6/13 and every Saturday through 11/21 from 8-3. Local baked goods, meats, seafood, cheese, fruits and veggies will be available as well as cooking demos.

On Sunday 6/14 at 3, at St. John's University, 300 Howard Ave., attend a FREE concert “Saluting the Flag in Song and Dance” celebrating the 240th birthday of  the U.S. Army, and featuring a full Richmond County Orchestra, Riverside Opera Company singers with the New American Youth Ballet and Dawn Daniels' Irish Step Dancers, 40 troops, a 30 x 50 foot flag and a cake.  SUNDAY IS FLAG DAY!  LET ALL OF US HONOR OUR AMERICAN FLAG! 

Boardwalk Days are back at South Beach.  Every Sunday through 9/6 from 4-8 enjoy FREE events featuring music and food at the beach. Bring your blanket or beach chair (or rent one at the Boardwalk Grill) and settle in for a tuneful afternoon and evening.  These events are presented by Boardwalk Events Initiatives Group and The Vanderbilt with the South Shore Kiwanis Club.  Check out their site for more info. BoardwalkDays.com.

Sunday from 10-6, attend the Atlantic Salt Maritime Festival, its third FREE public festival at 561 Richmond Terr. in New Brighton. The centerpiece will be the US Coast Guard training ship Eagle, which will be open for tours.  (It will arrive on Saturday at 1:30.) The festival will feature music, entertainment, and free food and beverages in addition to cadet-guided tours of the Eagle. Staff from the Noble Maritime Collection, Alice Austen House, Staten Island MakerSpace, and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce will offer activities for children and adults.

On Sunday, 6/14 from 1-5, sample some of Victory Blvd.'s fine restaurants at the Victory Blvd. Merchants Association Stroll. At 12:30 p.m., a flag raising will take place in front of Salmon Real Estate. The Restaurant Stroll will start at Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe.  Tickets will be sold at Alfonso’s and Cool Ice on Victory Blvd. or any merchant displaying the VBMA logo in their window.  At 5, there will be a mixer at The Beer Garden with more food and drink specials followed by raffles donated by merchants.  Tickets can be purchased for $15 at their website or $20 after 6/10 on their website.  http://www.victoryblvdmerchantsassociation.com/stroll 

If you currently carry reusable totes on your shopping treks, you are to be applauded.  The Citizens Committee for New York City will host a reusable tote giveaway at the Staten Island Ferry bus depot from 5-6 p.m. on Monday, 6/15 to discourage plastic bag waste and stimulate dialogue about the City Council’s proposed fee (which is opposed by Staten Island’s three-member delegate). 

Do you have any special plans for the weekend that you care to share?  Remember to fly the American flag from your home, apartment or business on Sunday. You can call me at 646-258-9696, leave a comment below or e-mail me at joan.coogan@gmail.com

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