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Author: Jonah Triebwasser

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In RadioRotary’s weekly 30 minute interviews, two entertaining professional radio hosts, Sarah O’Connell and Jonah Triebwasser, chat with Rotarians and non-Rotarians, people who live by Rotary’s motto, “Service above Self.” Guests are humanitarians who work on many levels in programs that address such important issues as poverty, education, health, the environment, and employment and vocations. Each interview provides timely information that focuses on improving the quality of life for everyone, both here and abroad.
494 Episodes
Mount Beacon Crashes Recalled (Aired on March 9 and 10, 2019)
Photohistorian and local history activist David Rocco visits RadioRotary to tell about the project to mount a plaque in Veterans Park, Beacon, NY, to commemorate two airplane crashes on Mount Beacon. Mount Beacon, named for its role in the use of a fire atop the mountain during the American revolution that would notify Washington’s army of British advances toward West Point, is the highest peak of the Hudson Highlands. In 1935 two Navy reservists lost their lives when their biplane crashed high on the mountain; then, ten years later, a twin-engine Navy plane carrying 6 Navy aviators, including legendary Captain Dixie Kiefer, also crashed on the mountain, killing all aboard. Mr. Rocco has been spearheading a group that is mounting a commemorative plaque. Mr. Rocco has been involved in a number of local projects, including developing the Walkway on the Hudson, a local dog park, and restoring the Mount Beacon fire tower. Recently Mr. Rocco has taken 10,000 photographs documenting the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge with the new Mario Cuomo Bridge, including six showing the dramatic explosions used to bring down the last span of the Tappan Zee structure.Learn more:Mount Beacon Eight Remembered: Historical Society: Rocco Tappan Zee Bridge Exhibit: Rocco on Facebook: Indestructible Man: Valley
Grace Year, an Intentional Community (Aired on March 2 and 3, 2019)
Abby Nathanson revisits RadioRotary to talk about the new Grace Year program that allows recent college graduates to spend a year of intentional living, focusing on spirituality, religion, and justice. Ms. Nathanson previously was interviewed on RadioRotary about another program that she has instituted, EPIC (Engaging People in Change), which provides leadership training for high-school students in northeastern Dutchess Country. Both programs are run from a base in Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook, NY, although they are nondenominational, not especially Episcopalian. Grace Year is a year-long opportunity to live in a small community of young adults as they prepare for lifelong journeys of sustained leadership for the common good. Each of the five fellows, who are fully funded by local nonprofits and donations, spends 32 hours each week working with local organizations and also develops an independent project. During the year, the fellows live together along with Ms. Nathanson in the Grace Church vicarage. Applicants for the 2018-2020 year can apply at or by phoning Ms. Nathanson at 845-420-4280.Learn more: Grace Year: Year Program (Instagram): Justice (Instagram): Episcopal Church in Millbrook: ServiceNew GenerationsQuality of LifeYouth
Literary Connections for Nonreaders (Aired on February 23 and 24, 2019)
RadioRotary’s co-host Jonah Triebwasser interviews three members of the staff of Literacy Connections of the Hudson Valley: Debra Paskowski, Katherine Stikkers, and Marian Thompson. A surprising number of adults are unable to read English, either because they did not learn to read as a child or perhaps they grew up speaking a language other then English. Literacy Connections helps resolve reading problems in various ways. The Book Buddy program, which brings adult readers into elementary schools where they read along with children or have children read to them, gets children on the path to reading success.  For most children, the transition from first-grade struggling to third-grade proficiency is the key to lifelong reading success. Other volunteers and staff members work with adult nonreaders or with those for whom English is not their first language. For the past 18 years, the largest fundraiser for Literacy Connections has been the annual Spelling Bee for high-school students and adult teams. Various organizations, such a Rotary, pay to sponsor a team. The Spelling Bee is one of the major annual events in the mid-Hudson valley, fun for both participants and the audience. Learn more: Literary Connections of the Hudson Valley: Buddies: (inability to learn to read: English as a Second Language:
“Ancient Documents” and County History (Aired on February 16 and 17, 2019)
By New York State law, every county, city, town, and village in the state must have a historian. Will Tatum, Country Historian for Dutchess County, visits RadioRotary to describe the many ways that he and his fellow historians promote the story of our own past. Dutchess County, settled in Colonial Days, was most famously the site of battles and developments in the Revolutionary period, but also hosted many of the major players in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of this history took place in the taverns and inns that have graced the county over its long history; a program called “The Dutchess County Historical Tavern Trail” takes advantage of these, some still operating as taverns or distilleries, to provide an enjoyable way to learn more about county (and national) history. The program also describes the “ancient documents,” which are—despite the name—the historical records of the county, not available online. Learn more: Dutchess County Historian: Documents (of Dutchess County): Country Historical Society:, City, Town, and Village Historians: Country Historic Tavern Trail: CountyEducationHistory
What Rotary Membership Means (Aired on February 9 and 10, 2019)
RadioRotary interviews Suffern Rotarian Larry Palant, membership chair for Rotary District 7210, about changes in Rotary membership opportunities and ways to increase membership in Rotary clubs, including new types of clubs that have been invented to make membership easier for the very busy young professionals. Today, about half the clubs in the eight-country District 7210 meet weekly for lunch, but increasingly as members from the spread-out hamlets and villages of the Lower Hudson Valley have less time to travel to a meeting for lunch, clubs are meeting for breakfast, dinner, or just for drinks. For example, some clubs meet for lunch two or three times a month, then have a dinner meeting that supports a local charity. The e-club, with members from around the world (but still in the District) is a popular option, while Mr. Palant also describes a new “passport club” concept, in which members only meet four times a year, but can use their passports to work on projects with other Rotarians in between meetings. Increasingly also, clubs are accepting corporate members, usually so that several employees of a corporation can be sponsored as members of a local Rotary Club. Learn more: Rotary District 7210: Rotary: Ideas: Rotary Membership: District 7210Rotary Membership
Better Living Advice: Ellie Savoy (Aired On January 26, 27,2019)
Millbrook Rotarian Ellie Savoy visits RadioRotary to talk about the ways that her program for healthful living, outlines in her International best-seller Stop Dieting and Start Living has changed her life and the lives of her many clients. Once 30 pounds overweight and a yo-yo dieter, Ms. Savoy had reorganized her life by making health a Priority, by avoiding Pretending, by focusing on the Perception of what works and actual time available for health, by attacking wellness with a Plan for meals and appointments with yourself, and by approaching the problem with Passion. Among her newer endeavors has been Workplace Wellness programs for corporations that want to improve the health of their employees, creating a culture of wellness at the job. Some of her most important times are avoidance of processed food in factor of what is natural and organics; and also making sure that the biggest beverage in your life is water, consumed abundantly. Read her book for more tips—or if you are looking for something to listen to while jogging or walking you dog, listen to the audio version and hear Ms. Savoy read the book in her charming English accent. Learn more:Ellie Savoy’s Website: Rotary: Wellness: Foods: of LifeSelf-Help
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