Mother nature in charge

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Central Park Bridle path a day after the storm. Friday, 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.

Monday, November 18, 2018. Cold and overcast most of the weekend in New York with temperatures in the 40s and falling into the high 30s at night. But it wasn’t that wintry cold that bites your nose and hands and can get you shivering if your standing still outdoors.

Thursday’s storm was a big surprise. It had been predicted but here in New York we’re so used to getting passed by predicted “huge” storms that it’s hard to take the predictions seriously. Besides it was a weekday.

Thursday late afternoon I had to go over to the Peruvian Connection on 76th and Columbus where they were having a special sale (in all their stores) to benefit the American Cancer Society donating 20% of their sales in all the stores on that day. I left the apartment, driving myself, at 5:15.

The snow had started at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was light for the first couple of hours. It did not look like it was going to be serious. But then around 3 pm it turned wet, and heavy. Soon, as it turned colder it got icier and became accumulating, especially in the tiretracks on the roadway.

Everyone behind the wheel had to be wary. Crossing 79th Street was difficult because there were essentially only two lanes — one east and one west —. And as it was late afternoon on a weekday, there were delivery trucks double parked along the way. So the thoroughfare was not thorough and there was a lot of stopping and going, very very slowly. I got to the 79th Street transverse at 6 o’clock. Ordinarily that is a ten minute ride, max. At the transverse there was a police car with its headlights on telling us that it was CLOSED. The storm had established itself. Mother Nature was now in charge of the city.

I turned down Fifth, and again left on East 78th and headed back to my apartment to put on my black tie and get down to the Park Avenue Armory for the Weill/Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian hospital’s annual “Cabaret.”

East 78th Street between Fifth and and Madison Avenues at 6:15 on Thursday night at the height of the storm.

That was another hour and a half of travel on the now clogged and snowy/icy streets being traveled by thousands of impatient, worried, angry, frustrated travelers and drivers. God knows what it was like to be on the actual pavements moving through the weather melee.

One of the most amazing things about this storm was the damage it did to the trees still with their leaves. The wet snow accumulated on the leaves and literally broke off many of the branches throughout the city. It wasn’t hurricane winds but mainly the small, beleaguered green leaves stuck holding snow that got so heavy that the weight of the snow on the leaves ripped the branches from their trunks. JH got great photos of the evidence the following day.

By very late evening, the snow had turned to rain. By Friday morning, partly sunny, cold and dry most of the snow had been washed away on the sidewalks and roadways, leaving the impression that it wasn’t much after all. Mother Nature again, having the last laugh on us.

The next morning after the rain following the snow and wind, we were left with the fallen leaves mixed like Mother Nature’s casserole of leaves and icy snow on the curbsides.
Worse was the damage from the branches broken from the trees by the heavy icy snow on their leaves.
These flowers survived the storm’s onslaught. Not all of their sisters and cousins did survive.
A group of fallen trees on Upper East Side side streets, some of which covered the roadway and closed the streets from traffic.

Going For the Dogs. Rescues, Corporations, Veterinarians and Philanthropists Saving Animals — Last month at Gotham Hall, they held the 6th Anniversary of the Pet Hero Awards to honor champions of Animal Welfare. Naomi Judd, Tinsley Mortimer and Co-Hosts David Frei and Jewel Morris, CEO and Founder Pet Philanthropy Circle, greeted the audience and honorees traveling from around the world to celebrate the dedication of this year’s winners.

Pet Philanthropy Circle Pet Hero Awards 6th Anniversary, Gotham Hall, NY.

Their focus was on preventing animal abuse, combatting the meat market trade in China, and how Soi Dog Foundation — this year’s People’s Choice Animal Welfare — has virtually eliminated the meat market trade in Thailand. Jeffrey Beri of No Dogs Left Behind described the life-threatening experiences of saving dogs from the meat market in China.

Jewel Morris shared the challenges rescuers face saving animals from kill-shelters and the necessity of educating the compelling merits of spaying and neutering. (ALWAYS; as per DPC). Pet overpopulation is the main reason 2.7 million pets are killed each year in the US. Morris and Dr. John De Young, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Health Organization of the year, are partnering to encourage veterinarians to provide at least three free spay and neuter operations to rescues annually. Three, in my opinion, is NOT enough.

Zoetis accepted the Corporation of the Year Award for their unprecedented generosity in providing free vaccines to vetted rescue groups involved in transporting animals out of Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico.

The Irwin Family; Terri, Bindi, and Robert Irwin, were the Inaugural Humanitarian Family of the Year, championing protecting wildlife in their acceptance speech. Fido Fixers, South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center and Storm, and the Golden Retriever that rescued a drowning fawn whose video reached over 19 million people, were present to accept.

Sponsors included Alex Donner, London Jewelers, SiriusXM.

Lisa Wysocki, David Frei, Jewel Morris, Dr. John de Jong with Storm, Mark T. Freeley, Janis Rosenthal, Christy Baker, Jeffrey Beri, Frank Quevedo, Linda Block, and Daniel Edge
L to R.: Jewel Morris, CEO and Founder Pet Philanthropy Circle, with Annie; and Robert Morris, 2018 Grand Sponsor, with Nicky; Jewel Morris and Alex Donner
Tinsley Mortimer and Beau
L to R.: David Frei and Jewel Morris; Mark Udell, Scott Alper, Candy Udell, Skye Alper, Randi Alper, Beau (the dog), and Sienna Alper
Tinsley Mortimer, John Bradham, Pet Philanthropy Circle Advisory Jewel Morris, and Jerry Rosenthal, Exec Director Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation
L to R.: Dr. John de Jong, President, American Veterinary Medical Association; Naomi Judd and Larry Strickland
Jewel Morris, Linda Block, and Daniel Edge
Janis Rosenthal, President, Soi Dog and Christy Baker, International Adoptions Manager, Soi Dog

This past Veterans Day weekend brought two perfect opportunities to salute and support one historic organization’s work to protect America’s vets as well as our nation’s pets.

From the 65th floor of the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, Amanda Bowman, Susan Cushing and Jennifer Ryan Woods hosted a VIP luncheon celebrating a new perspective on animal rescue entitled, “New Heights: A Salute to American Humane’s Disaster Response and Rescue Efforts” for its heroic work in rescuing animals caught in the devastating paths of Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

L to R.: Robyn Joseph; Abigail Trenk, Susan Cushing, and Liliana Cavendish
Catherine Hart, Dr. Robin Ganzert, and Samantha Haywood
Rhetta Taylor, Dr. Robin Ganzert, and Leezy Sculley
Robyn Joseph, Susan Cushing, and Rosalie Brinton

Later that evening, Amanda Bowman and David Levy hosted an elegant cocktail party at their home in Chelsea supporting both American Humane’s rescue work and its 100+ years of work in assisting the U.S. military, our nation’s veterans, and military animals. Amanda Bowman, who is also an American Humane board member, also arranged for American Humane to be featured in the annual Veterans Day Parade.

The VIP luncheon also included Leezy Scully, Robyn Joseph, Amanda Grove Holmen, Catherine Hart, Abigail Trenk, Cathy Dorego, Rosalie Brinton, Tana Dye, Retta Taylor, Sue Mandel, Liliana Cavendish, Samantha Haywood, Tara Liddle, and Angelique Vizirgianakis.

In addition to the hosts, the cocktail party included Susan and Hunter Cushing, Jennifer and Michael Woods, Abigail and Al Trenk, Paul Katz, Kathleen and Byron DeLemos, Connie Fensterstock, Chuck Elmes, Carol Tabor, Beliz and John Crook, Lee Cohen, Clara DelVillar, Audna England, Richard Errico, Clement Kwok, Marilyn Pelstring, Wendy Samuel, Toni Ann Turco, and Page and Rob Weisenthal.

“For more than century, American Humane has been first to serve those in greatest need,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “Because of our generous champions and supporters, we can continue to rescue our best friends in their worst times and protect those who gave so much to protect our nation and our freedoms. Thank you to all of you!”

Dr. Robin Ganzert, David Levy, and Amanda Bowman
Jonathan Crook, Beliz Crook, and Clement Kwok
Susan Cushing and Katherine Hart
Amanda Bowman, Clement Kwok, and Dr. Robin Ganzert
Rob and Paige Wiesenthal
David Levy and Paul Katz
L to R.: Abigail Trenk and Marilyn Pelstring; Michael and Jennifer Woods
Amanda Bowman, Toni Ann Turco, and Dr. Robin Ganzert
Dr. Robin Ganzert and Kathleen DeLemos

More on animal rescue and American Humane. The devastating wildfires that ignited in California over a week ago are far from over. Hundreds of people have been reported missing and thousands of animals were left injured, scared, and in need of urgent care in the face of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.

American Humane has been assisting local relief efforts by donating pet food and supplies and providing veterinary care to animals impacted by the fires. American Humane which was founded in 1877, has received an urgent request from the American Red Cross to care for displaced pets taking refuge at an emergency shelter along with their owners.

Now more than ever, they need your help. Any amount will help.

To help American Humane continue this work in times of natural disasters, and support all of their lifesaving programs, please consider making an urgent donation today.

Photographs by Annie Watt (Pet Awards); John Sanderson/Annie Watt (American Humane)

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