Anti-theist Christopher Hitchens and Christian Dinesh D’Souza may initially appear to have nothing in common.Hitchens argues the merits of evolution, while D’Souza argues for the existence of a supernatural power. In the absence of evidence, Hitchens doubts, while D’Souza defers to faith.But despite their opposing views, both figures had one thing in common — they approached religion from a purely logical, factual perspective when speaking to a sold-out audience in Wednesday’s debate at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.Hitchens said religion is merely a man-made attempt to make sense of the world.“Religion was our first attempt to make sense of our surroundings. It was our first attempt at health care, in a way,” Hitchens said. “It was our first attempt at psychiatric care, at dealing with terrible loneliness of the human condition.“It is the worst attempt, but partly because it was the first.”Hitchens said evolution and the big bang theory should be used to explain the world and human existence. Meanwhile, D’Souza pointed out flaws in evolutionary theory and said religion is the best explanation for essential human questions.“Evolution doesn’t explain the presence of life on the planet,” D’Souza said. “Evolution merely explains the transition between one life form and the other.”D’Souza said evolution also fails to explain human evil, rationality and in particular, morality.“Think of a couple of moral facts. Think of simple things. Getting up to give your seat to an old lady in the bus. Giving blood,” he said. “Now if we are evolved primates who are programmed to survive and reproduce, why would we do these things?”Hitchens said humans do good deeds because they wish to.“I’ll tell you why. It gives me great pleasure to do so,” he said. “I enjoy the sort of people it makes me come in contact with. And I like giving blood.”But D’Souza said these moral characteristics exist because humans were made in the likeness of God.“Those are the characteristics of the creator who made it that way,” he said.D’Souza also said he favored religion simply because it was the more likely explanation.“If we see a fine tuned universe, what’s more likely? Someone fine tuned it or it fine tuned itself?” he said. “Let’s go with the best explanation,” D’Souza said. “If you go to a village and 95 percent of the people in the village say we know this guy named Bill. Five of them say, ‘We’ve never met Bill.’ And three of them say, ‘There is no Bill.’“Is it more likely that the 95 percent are right and the other three percent just don’t know the guy?”But Hitchens said the position of faith “has to be discarded first.”“The only respectable intellectual position is one of doubt,” he said. “[Atheism] is a refusal of faith and a refusal to use it as a method of reasoning. What we don’t know, we don’t claim to know.”But D’Souza said the atheists and believers actually have more in common than one might think.“The believers position, no less than the atheist, is an attempt to grapple with the facts to make sense of the data,” he said. “Faith is not a substitute for reason. Faith only comes in when reason stops.”The difference, D’Souza said, is in how believers and nonbelievers choose to apply their faith.“The atheist who says there isn’t, just like the believer who says there is, is making a leap of faith,” he said.But Hitchens said he is more comfortable not making assumptions.“If there is any such judge [in the afterlife,] I will be able to say at least I never faked belief,” Hitchens said. “At least I wasn’t a hypocrite.”
Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff donated blood at an American Red Cross blood drive on Saint Mary’s campus Wednesday. According to the Red Cross, recent snowstorms led to the cancellation of blood drives and 1,000 units of blood have gone uncollected. “The blood supply is at critically low levels due to this issue, so we encourage everyone who is able to give blood to do so this Wednesday,” said Jennifer Kornexl, blood drive coordinator for Saint Mary’s College. The drive was held in the Earley Conference Rooms of the Student Center Basement. Kathy Strycker, Goshen team supervisor for the Red Cross, said the drive was a success. “We’ve been very impressed,” Strycker said. “We’ve had 23 people donate this first hour. We hope this sets the tone for the day. We had a goal of 74 units, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have 95 people sign up.” “I’m surprised by how many people signed up and by how many are returning donors,” senior Christine Gallic added. Despite a previous experience of fainting while donating blood, sophomore Julia Fletcher donated blood for her second time Wednesday. “It’s a really good cause, and I want to help out any way I can,” Fletcher said. Kornexl said donating blood is important because one donation can save up to three lives. Senior Kelly Zenere said donating blood is a way to give back to the community. “I feel like I’m giving back with my body,” Zenere said. “To me, it’s the biggest way to give back.”
A new condominium-style development on Notre Dame Avenue will be the latest in a string of luxury off-campus student housing complexes around the University’s perimeter. Darby Row, a project by Holladay Construction Group, is set for completion in June 2012. Doug Hunt, a 1967 Notre Dame graduate and senior partner at Holladay Construction Group, said the firm is focused on providing a small-scale, quality residence complex aimed at students. “It’s about quality, not quantity,” Hunt said. “This is a high-end condo development with 35 total bedrooms — 16 two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom [units]. The primary target for our development is undergrads, but there are no restrictions.” Hunt said Darby Row would have a distinct layout. Each two-bedroom apartment will share a common area with another two-bedroom apartment in the development. “There’s a common area with a living room, kitchen, washer, dryer, then there’s stairs down to two bedrooms — basically a garden apartment — and stairs up to another two bedrooms,” he said. “Each [pair of bedrooms] is technically an apartment under the city code, but really the idea is that the common area will be shared by two pairs of bedrooms … four students in four bedrooms with a common area.” Monthly rent for the two-bedroom units will start at $725 per bedroom, Hunt said, and three single-bedroom apartments will be offered at $895. Leases will be for 12 months, but Hunt said tenants would most likely be able to sublet for the summer. While more expensive than other off-campus options, Hunt said Darby Row apartments would have excellent amenities and features. “They’re going to be well-furnished, roomy and have the amenities I think students want, both to enjoy their non-study life as well as their study time,” he said. “They’re going to be in a nice setting, the building exteriors will look nice and it will be a secure environment.” Hunt said the combination of small details and features will make the development attractive to students. “I think the amenities are important — things like granite countertops, big screen TVs, good finishes, ones that are attractive and durable,” he said. “It’s just the day-to-day environment we’re trying to create.” Constructing quality off-campus housing is not just about turning a profit or offering students a comfortable living environment, Hunt said. The new development can also improve engagement between South Bend and students by attracting students off campus. “I think it’s important for Notre Dame students to have a good experience off campus as well as on,” Hunt said. “Providing a quality [housing] environment is part of that. The better experience students have, after they graduate, they’re more likely to come back, stay and build families and businesses.” A model unit will be available by Jan. 1, 2012, Hunt said. Students interested in the development can contact Rent Like a Champion, the marketing agency for Darby Row, for more information.
Dr. G. David Moss, a senior consultant in the Office of Student Affairs, updated Campus Life Council at its Friday afternoon meeting on progress in the department. Moss said there is currently confusion on how to report acts of discrimination on campus, and his office is working on a one-place stop to report issues of “harassment, discrimination, sexual violence, sexual assault [and] sexual misconduct.” “We are hoping to have that in place this academic year,” he said. The Office of Student Affairs highlighted diversity for staff this year, and the department required additional diversity training for hall staff and multicultural commissioners. Moss said the First Year of Studies office also used training videos for first-year faculty members. “Iris [Outlaw, director of Multicultural Student Programs and Services] has created a video that we can use to facilitate discussion,” he said. “That will be the cornerstone of our work with residence halls and residence hall staff.” The video, coupled with engaging conversation, is necessary to improve upon the University’s acceptance of diversity, Moss said. “We want to celebrate diversity, [but] we don’t want to do it in such a way that it creates wedges between people,” Morrissey Manor rector Fr. Ron Vierling said. “I think we need to do a better job of preaching Catholic Social Justice based upon the first principle, which is human dignity.” One way to build up human dignity is through the residence hall staff, Moss said. In order to accomplish this, Outlaw said the University should consider revamping its resident assistant selection process. “Some institutions have a class that their [resident assistants] have to go through,” she said. “Four to five hundred students apply, but they have to go through a semester-long course or a six-week course.” Such a class would help dissuade students from using the position as a resume builder, Outlaw said. Also, chosen resident assistants would form diversity programs during the class that they could implement in their dorms during the academic year. Moss said the Student Affairs Office has already taken steps toward this goal, most recently by reviewing the websites of 70 departments and halls to make sure their online presences appear inclusive. Moss is scheduled to attend an upcoming Undergraduate Studies council to discuss implementing a statement on all course syllabi that demonstrates the University’s commitment to diversity. The clause would read similar to the sentence, “This class values inclusivity and diversity.” The office is also looking into the establishment of a new course, “Introduction to Cultural Competency,” that may be required for all incoming freshmen in the future, Moss said. The class is currently going through a pilot stage with nineteen freshmen. Moss said he wants to create more interest on the topic, and his office is looking for any opportunities to help progress the message of diversity.
Saint Mary’s Office of Campus Ministry officials said they anticipate many Belles will volunteer in the South Bend community during the 2013-14 academic year. The faith-oriented office is launching a new volunteering initiative after a successful one-year pilot program, junior Kaitie Maierhofer said. Campus Ministry collaborated with the Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) to provide dorm residents opportunities to volunteer in specific nonprofits and to engage in service-learning experiences, Maierhofer said. She said Le Mans will serve Hannah’s House, Regina will partner with the Center for the Homeless, and Holy Cross Hall will work with Hannah and Friends. The freshman dorm, McCandless, is set to take on Hope Ministries. Each of the four dorms has one or two ministry assistants (MAs) who will mediate and encourage relationships between their residents and the communities they serve, Maierhofer said. Haleigh Ehmsen, a sophomore and MA for Holy Cross Hall, said Saint Mary’s campus ministry appointed MAs to help students find opportunities for service and expression of faith. “[MAs] work in collaboration with Campus Ministry and the Residence Life Staff to offer programs that engage the residents in their faith and spiritual journeys within their daily lives,” she said. “The MAs are also responsible for coordinating social outreach opportunities with their community partner. They provide a positive influence and pastoral presence as they celebrate the joys and challenges of the residents’ lives.” Maierhofer said she is the MA for McCandless, though she originally wanted a position as a resident assistant. “I kind of wanted to be an RA to help others – especially the freshman getting acclimated to the Saint Mary’s lifestyle,” Maierhofer said. “One of my roommates thought I would be better as a ministry assistant in order to get the residents spiritually settled. An RA is more like a parent, I feel more like a guide.” Maierhofer said she wants to connect her dorm’s residents with their designated non-profit to help develop relationships with the communities they serve. “We actually just set a date for the volunteer director, Emily Jensen, and one or two of the residents [of Hope Ministries] to give talks to the residents [of McCandless] about ‘Hope’ and how it’s helped them,” Maierhofer said. “Because SMC is so small, we can get a lot more intimate with this community-oriented organization.” Ehmsen agreed that personal relationships are key to sustained volunteering. “This year, our focus is on getting students involved in these communities by establishing personal relationships,” Ehmsen said. “Interaction is the answer. Our presence there benefits the Hannah and Friends community as well as our own. It’s really a learning experience for all.” Maierhofer said interest in Campus Ministry’s volunteering efforts has increased, especially among first year students. “Multiple freshman approached me the first day of classes already asking about what sort of volunteering organizations, community service they could do in the area,” Maierhofer said. “Our ice cream social had around 200 students in attendance, much more than any year we’ve hosted the event before. Plus, we are – or are very close to – running out of spots on the freshman retreat.”
Tags: Mother Teresa, saint mary’s, Saint Teresa, Teresa of Kolkata In honor of Mother Teresa of Kolkata’s canonization Sunday, Saint Mary’s students reflected on the life of the saint, who visited the College in 1974.According to a 1974 article in the South Bend Tribune, Mother Teresa came to both the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses and gave a speech at O’Laughlin Auditorium. The Sisters of the Holy Cross and Fr. John J. Egan, then head of Notre Dame’s pastoral institute on social ministry, sponsored her visit.Ministry assistant for Le Mans Hall senior Helen Kovach said it is exciting to know that a saint from her lifetime visited campus.“I’ve served Mass in [O’Laughlin], and it’s cool to know she was in there too,” Kovach said. “It’s like walking in the footsteps of a saint.”Kovach said Mother Teresa was an inspiration for service.“She’s an awesome new saint,” Kovach said. “A real inspiration for our time on how you can serve others.”Junior Marta Thuente said she wished she was there when Mother Teresa visited because the recently canonized saint influenced Thuente’s career choice.“[I’m] kind of sad we missed out on it,” Thuente said. “Growing up I read a graphic novel about the life of Mother Teresa. Reading it inspired me to go into nursing.”Senior Rachel Faircloth said it was great that Saint Mary’s has a connection with the newly canonized saint.“She was an amazing woman and it’s awesome that someone who was canonized came to Saint Mary’s and has a connection to us,” Faircloth said.Faircloth said Mother Teresa’s messages were not exclusive to Catholics.“You don’t have to be Catholic to understand her teachings,” Faircloth said.Senior Adrienne Bruggeman said Mother Teresa’s visit was good for the College because she was a living example of the teachings of the Catholic faith.“It shaped the character of our college,” Bruggeman said.Senior Margaret Davis said the visit was a positive experience for the College because Mother Teresa was a role model for faith by her small acts of service.“I think being in an all women’s Catholic college, that she can come here and share her life experiences to be inspirational and show that ordinary people can do great things in the world,” Davis said. “She’s given me hope that I can do small daily things to help others.”Junior Caroline Beecher said Mother Teresa had a large influence on the world.“She had a big impact on people outside the faith as well as Catholics,” Beecher said.
In the week leading up to Commencement, Saint Mary’s seniors participated in various bonding activities, including tours of historical sites on campus, a formal dance and a trip to a Chicago Cubs game.Senior Maggie Pacana said Senior Week encourages students to embrace their final moments at the College.“Senior Week is the last chance for us to make memories with our friends on campus before we all part ways,” she said. “All my friends are going to different states, so this is the last time we’re all going to be in this one hub.”Seniors received letters from the Saint Mary’s community expressing gratitude for their contributions to the College before participating in canoe races and other outdoor activities on Saturday, Pacana said..Seniors attended a formal dance on Sunday.“It’s like a prom equivalent, a final last dance,” Pacana said.Pacana said Monday featured an alumnae brunch in the afternoon, where seniors mingled with Saint Mary’s alumnae and began networking. The Outstanding Senior, Alex Winegar, was honored.Editor’s Note: Winegar is a former Associate Saint Mary’s Editor of The Observer.“It’s the initial networking event where we can start to meet alumnae and reach out to them,” Pacana said. “That’s really, really beneficial, because no matter what field you’re going into, there’s always going to be a Saint Mary’s girl who will be willing to help you out.”Pacana said students had the opportunity to tour Saint Mary’s historic sites.“Also on Monday are Riedinger house tours and tours of the Madeleva archives in the afternoon, which is nice because you can get a more personal view at different, more historical parts of campus,” she said. Pacana said she will travel to Chicago to see a Cubs game and eat dinner in Wrigleyville on Tuesday.“I’m from the Chicago area, so it’s like my home team,” she said. “I’ve actually never been to a Cubs game though, which is weird, considering I live a half an hour from Chicago. We take the bus in together, but then we get some time to ourselves to go get dinner. Since we’re in the Wrigleyville area, my friends and I will scout out different places there to get food.” There was a senior reflection discussion on Wednesday morning, followed by a special dinner.“On Wednesday there is a senior reflection event in the morning,” Pacana said. “It’s in Haggar Parlor, so it will … be a nice formal talk about our time here and how to use that moving forward. We have our favorite meal in the dining hall for dinner, and I think we voted for chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, or at least that’s what I’m hoping for.”Pacana said Senior Week offers something engaging for everyone.“Our class of 2017 board for student government has been doing an awesome job of reaching out and trying to figure out what our class wants to do and organizing everything really well for us,” she said. “Everything was pretty affordable, and they fit a lot of things in while leaving time for us to still do things on our own, which is nice because it’s still that sort of last weekend, and you do want to do things with your friends. The week is a nice balance of class activities and personal activities.”Pacana said she feels honored to leave her handprint in the Le Mans Hall tunnel.“There’s cream colored paint all along the tunnel, but starting closer to Le Mans, there are hand prints from the Class of 2012 onward,” she said. “Students make the hand prints and then write their name and grad year under them. I walk past them all the time, so just having my hand there is fun to think of. It’s interesting to think of younger students that I know here seeing my hand print in Le Mans and remembering me.”Pacana said the annual Opening of the Circle event takes place Thursday. Students will reflect, pray and join hands with classmates as they prepare to leave the women standing next to them, according to Pacana.“Freshman year, we have the Closing of the Circle, which is closing us into the Saint Mary’s community, and then senior year we have Opening of the Circle, which is opening us out into the full community,” she said. “I still remember that freshman year experience.” Pacana said although the week is full of events, the time will pass quickly.“It’s just going to fly by,” Pacana said. “It sounds like there’s so much to do in the week but that’ll make it go by really quickly. I’m excited for the week, as it’ll be nice to enjoy this time with my friends but also start preparing myself for what’s to come.”Tags: Closing of the Circle, Commencement, Opening of the Circle, Senior Week
Annie Smierciak | The Observer Darryl Heller, director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center, speaks about the significance of language in the LGBTQ community Tuesday night at Saint Mary’s Student Center’s conference rooms.Jason Wilkinson, executive director of the LGBTQ Center in South Bend, and Darryl Heller, director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center, came together to speak on the issues.“The fact that we’re together in some areas would never happen,” Wilkinson said. “There are issues in every community.”“There’s homophobia in the black community, and there’s racism in the white gay community,” Heller said. “It’s about continuing to work and break down those barriers that keep us apart.”Wilkinson said he became passionate about language due to his upbringing in a Pentecostal Christian home.“My entire family was very into the Church,” he said. “It was preached very heavily that if you were a part of the LGBTQ community, you were going to hell.”Wilkinson said he always knew he was gay, but if he were to say anything to his family, he knew he would be disowned. This led him to become depressed and attempt to commit suicide three times.Wilkinson said he noticed when the Church talked about gays, it always talked about them in the context of males — never females. This led him to realize language — especially the careful selection of terms — is essential.“More letters get added to LGBTQ all the time,” he said. “That’s why our slogan at the LGBTQ Center is now ‘All are welcome.’ Even if you’re not a part of those letters, you are still welcome to come help out.”Wilkinson started off his portion of the presentation by telling the audience he uses the pronouns “he” and “him.” He said addressing people with respect is one of the most important things they do at the LGBTQ Center. In our society, he said, you can no longer assume how people identify.Pronouns such as they, them, theirs, zie, and hir are all growing in popularity, he said.“We as a society are used to ‘they,’ ‘them’ and ‘theirs’ when talking about multiple people,” Wilkinson said. “However, now people who identify as this don’t consider themselves either male or female, or they identify as both.”However, Wilkinson warned not to ask people about their preferred pronouns.“When you ask someone about their preference, you’re disregarding who they are,” he said. “It’s like if you’re talking to a transgender person and you’re saying, ‘I’m calling you she, but I really could call you he.’“Some people may say to themselves, ‘Today, I feel more female’ or, ‘Today, I feel more male.’ So my suggestion is to stick to first names until otherwise told differently.”Wilkinson said another language issue involves the use of terms like “homosexual.” Wilkinson said although it is commonly used, this term is actually quite offensive in the LGBTQ community.“Homosexual is such a clinical term,” he said. “It makes gay people feel unwelcome.”Heller said “homosexual” is a dog whistle term — a coded term that is targeted toward a specific audience. He compared this word to the use of the term “terrorist.”“When you hear the word ‘terrorist,’ for most people, the first thing that comes to mind is Muslim or Middle Easterners,” Heller said. “Instead of saying, ‘I don’t like terrorists,’ people find themselves saying, ‘I don’t like Muslims.’”There is a current debate on whether the tragedy in Las Vegas was an act of terrorism, Heller said — because the shooter was not associated with any group, some say it was not terrorism. However, Heller said when a similar situation happened in another location and the man was a Muslim, it was immediately labeled an act of terrorism, even though he was not associated with any groups except the U.S. Army.“The word is made to sound neutral, but there’s a particular audience,” he said. “We have to be really careful about how we think about it and how we use terms like that. Context really does matter.”Another dog whistle phrase is “Black Lives Matter,” he said. Heller was a co-founder of a Black Lives Matter chapter in South Bend, launched in response to Ferguson.“People associate the term with radical, angry, black people,” Heller said. “However, Black Lives Matter was founded by three black queer women. The term is meant to encompass the full intersectionality of the black community. It’s pro-marginalized.“The thought of Black Lives Matter is that when black women are free, everybody is free. When people respond to Black Lives Matter, they’re saying all lives matter. If you fight for freedom of black lives, you’re fighting for the freedom of white lives.”Another dog whistle term is “gay man,” Heller said. Many people think of a white man, but there are black gay men too, he said.“We truncate and marginalize folks unconsciously,” Heller said. “The critical part of changing the world we live in is making what is unconscious conscious and being very thoughtful about that.”Heller also discussed Donald Trump’s remarks concerning football players who have chosen to kneel during the national anthem. Trump has said kneeling during the anthem was a “total disrespect of our heritage” and “a total disrespect of everything that we stand for.”“Who is the ‘our’ and who is the ‘we?’” Heller asked. “Do we have a homogenous perspective on that? If the quote does exclude people, who is excluded?”The word “diversity” can also be problematic, Wilkinson said.“I hate the word ‘diversity’ — we’ve lost what diversity is supposed to be,” he said. “When we’re inclusive, we’re not discounting someone. It’s not just about acceptance, there’s a place for their voice to be heard.”Heller agreed with Wilkinson and said “acceptance” implies mere tolerance, whereas “inclusivity” is welcoming and even essential.“We cannot just tolerate, otherwise the dominant culture, society and values will carry the day, and that’s not inclusive,” Heller said. “It means being proactive. We have to go out and work hard to make it happen.”In order to be an ally, people should use their words carefully and respectfully correct others, Wilkinson said.“I’ve known people who have moved from cities because they feel unsafe because of what another person has said,” he said. “It may not have anything to do with me or how I feel, but I say something because maybe someone else is wishing they could say something.”Senior Taylor Thomas said she attended the workshop because she knows she is transphobic.“My goal here was to work on tendencies I have to work on,” Thomas said. “The only way to do that is to come here and understand the community. I want to force myself into uncomfortable situations so I can grow as a person.”Tags: allyship, Civil Rights Heritage Center, language, Language Matters Workshop, LGBTQ Saint Mary’s students, faculty and staff filled the Student Center conference rooms Tuesday for “Language Matters: An Ally Workshop.” The department of gender & women’s studies, the Student Diversity Board and the department of psychological sciences sponsored the event in order to educate allies about civil rights issues and LGBTQ communities.Associate professor of psychology Bettina Spencer said the workshop responded to an apparent need.“It grew out of a response for people wanting information,” Spencer said. “People wanted to have discussions on these topics but were nervous. This workshop tries to give people tools to have difficult discussions.”
MGN ImageNEW YORK — It has become a grim ritual outside New York City’s hospitals: workers in protective gear loading the bodies of coronavirus victims into refrigerated trailers.A surge in deaths in the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S. has overwhelmed the city’s permanent morgues and filled storage spaces in many hospitals to capacity. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending 85 refrigerated trucks to serve as temporary morgues, the city said.It’s been that way for days at Brooklyn Hospital Center, where a worker Tuesday wheeled out a gurney carrying a body covered in white plastic, a forklift operator carefully raised a body into the trailer and undertakers came to claim the remains of yet another of the city’s nearly 1,000 coronavirus dead.The hospital said in a statement that the “unprecedented crisis calls for extraordinary measures” and that extra storage is needed “to accommodate the tragic spike in deaths, placing a strain on the entire system of care — from hospitals to funeral homes.” “Grieving families cannot quickly make arrangements, and their loved ones who have passed are remaining in hospitals longer, thus the need for this accommodation,” the hospital in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood said.The city’s medical examiner’s office has also started operating a makeshift morgue, as it did after the Sept. 11 attacks, to provide emergency capacity as the city’s permanent facilities fill up.The city’s coronavirus death toll more than doubled in the past four days, surging from 450 on Friday to 932 as of Tuesday morning.For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia and can be fatal.The city and FEMA have delivered refrigerated trucks to various hospitals, while the Office of Chief Medical Examiner has been guiding them on how to properly move and store bodies, officials said.“To see the scenes of trailers out there and what they’re doing with those trailers — they’re freezers, and nobody can even believe it,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday.At some hospitals, like Lenox Hill in Manhattan, the trailers are being parked on city streets, along sidewalks and in front of apartments. Cars and buses passed by as bodies were loaded Tuesday outside Brooklyn Hospital Center.Cellphone videos posted on social media over the weekend drew attention to hospitals using trailers to store bodies. An image from one video of the activity outside Brooklyn Hospital Center appeared on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Post.“It’s hard to believe this, but this is for real,” said the man shooting the video, his voice quaking. “Lord have mercy, help us Lord, this is for real.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) South Riding, Va., photographer Kathleen Furey, was a previous finalist with her photograph, “Swan Lake.” Image via the Audubon Community Nature Center.JAMESTOWN – Audubon Community Nature Center is awarding cash prizes to winners of its 2020 Nature Photography Contest.“The Contest categories leave the field wide open for whatever fascinates you as a nature photographer. Don’t be shy. Search out something that captivates you, and take your best shot” said this year’s judge, Alex Shipherd.Cash prizes of $200 will be awarded to winners in both the Youth (ages 8 to 18, or still in high school) and Adult (ages 18 or older, or out of high school) divisions in all three categories of:Wildlife Portraits: any wild animal. No photos of animals in captivity, such as pets, zoos, or rehab animals. Macro Abstracts: anything that is natural/wild such as flowers, insects, leaves, water droplets, eyes/feathers of animals, close-up textures in nature, etc.Habitats and Landscapes: places that any wild animals live in and/or waterfalls, sunsets, mountains, etc.Audubon Community Nature Center will print the winning photographs to exhibit in the Nature Center, and winners will be named in a news release that is widely distributed, including to their local media.The six winning photographs and 12 finalists — six youth and six adults — will be displayed indefinitely on the contest website along with the photographer’s name and city/state/country.Deadline for submission of photographs is August 31, 2020.Full details of the competition as well as images of previous winners and finalists can be found at ACNCPhotoContest.com.Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, N.Y., and Warren, Pa. While the Nature Center building is closed due to COVID-19 per New York State restrictions, the public can visit the 600-acre nature preserve from dawn to dusk daily.To learn more about Audubon, call (716) 569-2345 or visit AudubonCNC.org.Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.