Take a walk with me around Jersey City Heights

My new city is kind of a large one. Here are some shots I took walking the dog around Jersey City Heights.

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Carnival on Central Avenue.


Strange graffiti name, but ok.


Pretty trees!


Fencing in the Heights!


Yoga in the Heights


Is that a water buffalo on the left?


My kind of a lawn care. Fake lawn rug. Needs some ironing, too!


View of the World Trade Center

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Take a Shot of ACV Every Morning to Cleanse

I just did this. It was ROUGH, but I’m hoping it gets rid of the mucus causing this unbearable cough.

Take a Shot of ACV Every Morning to Cleanse.

via Take a Shot of ACV Every Morning to Cleanse.

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Great #Colombian music mix!

Great music mix by DJ Cal Jader, but this isn’t just any Colombian music mix. It’s NUEVA musica de Colombia. So get your “modern Colombian” (global bass and more) on by listening below via Mixcloud. Also, check out everything Cal Jader has to offer on his radio show/record label/website, Movimientos out of the U.K.

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NYDN photo by Jen Pottheiser

NYDN photo by Jen Pottheiser

Seriously! How cute is Eric LeGrand’s service dog, Willie?

As some of you who follow college football may know, LeGrand, who used to play football for Rutgers University, suffered a career-ending injury in 2010 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He is still unable to walk on his power, but he has regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body.

Well, Willie, a black labrador retriever, helps LeGrand on a daily basis in an effort to get him back on his feet. Read about it in the New York Daily News.



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On #SXSW: Post by @Conrazon

Words by me here —> I don’t do SXSW. It comes at a bad time of year for me (it’s the time of year I break down from awful winter and go island hopping.) But my friend Natalia Linares, who works in the business of music, does. Check out her latest post on this ever-growing conference:

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#PuentesFuentes: “Community support is about collaboration, not competition!”

Words via Conrazon‘s blog:

Salute to Chief Boima and Dutty Artz for this post that laid out a lot of things I’ve been thinking about the last 5 years I’ve been to Austin for SXSW.  I urge you all to mediate on this and figure out how we can continue to build space with each other both in our communities and at gargantuan event$ happening nationally.

Read more here.


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When ‘zero tolerance’ goes too far

Photo via NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/1nGKpQT

Photo via NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/1nGKpQT


Dontadrian Bruce (pictured above), age 15, is a student at Olive Branch High School in Olive Branch, Miss.

On Feb. 3, assistant principal Todd Nichols summoned him out of class. Nichols showed Dontadrian a photo he had posed for during a recent biology project, in which the boy had his hand up displaying three raised fingers – his thumb, forefinger and middle finger. “You’re suspended,” said Nichols, “because you’re holding up gang signs in this picture.”

Three days later, a disciplinary committee confirmed Dontadrian’s punishment: “Indefinite suspension with a recommendation of expulsion.”

Wait, what? The above photo was taken by the boy’s mother, Janet Hightower. It recreates the “incriminating” image: “He’s a good child,” she insists. “I know what he does 24 hours a day.”

Dontadrian also says he had no clue that this gesture was affiliated with the Vice Lords, a Chicago-based street gang with active Deep South chapters. He claims he was holding up three fingers to represent the number on his football jersey, like the other players did during practice.

Read more about Dontadrian’s hand gesture and how, per U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, “[exclusionary] discipline is applied disproportionately to children of color and students with disabilities,” here via PolicyMic.

Carlos McCray, a professor in Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, is familiar with cases like Dontadrian’s. His research links discipline with achievement in urban schools and, most recently, he commented on a case (also in Mississippi) in which a 5-year-old who was nabbed by police for wearing the ‘wrong color’ shoes.

McCray co-authored this book on hip-hop culture, values, and school: http://amzn.to/1ixvIRd

McCray co-authored this book on hip-hop culture, values, and school: http://amzn.to/1ixvIRd

McCray’s research found educators are subscribing to the utilitarian principle, thinking, “If I can get a few of these problem students out of the classroom, then I’ll be able to teach everyone else,” it’s effectively ushering a number of students out of school.

That line of thinking is flawed, McCray said, again pointing to the numbers. The New York Times looked at Baltimore public schools and found that in 2004 alone, there were 26,000 school suspensions and expulsions.

“That’s very problematic,” he said. “Research shows the more students are suspended or expelled, the more they’ll end up dropping out. Thirty percent of sophomores who drop out have been suspended three times more than their peers who remain in class. While we talk about the achievement gap, we also have to talk about the discipline gap. How can students learn when they are not in class?”

Great question. Read more about McCray’s work here via Inside Fordham.

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Sepia clouds

Sepia clouds

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