Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Mariano Rivera distributes backpacks and school supplies to kids in Wilmington, Delaware

8/14/17, "Yankees legend 'pitches' in to help Wilmington students prep for Opening Day," WDEL.com (AM/FM), Sean Greene

"Much as he secured 662 saves in his Major League career, Mariano Rivera gave Wilmington children a great finish to summer with a backpack giveaway Monday."...

[Ed. note: Per Baseball Reference, Mo had 652 regular season 'saves' and 42 post season 'saves' for a total of 694 total career saves. He also had a few 'saves' in his All Star game appearances. The 'save' stat doesn't well describe the difference Rivera made. Pitching in the post season is great, but among other things it means you have shorter off seasons. While he was working under the brightest lights against the game's best, other relievers were relaxing on the couch resting up to pad the next year's regular season stats. Rivera twice pitched into November (2001 and 2009).]

(continuing): "Rivera, a future Hall-of-Fame member of the New York Yankees stopped at Rodney Square, taking some time to throw a few cut (wiffle) fastballs, and stocking up students with back-to-school essentials.

Born in Panama, Rivera started his first foundation 19 years ago to help education efforts for impoverished families in both the United States and abroad.

Last year, Rivera opened up the Public Foundation here in Delaware, that focuses on youth-oriented programs through education, health, social, and economic development.

"It's a passion of mine. The Lord as blessed me as a lot, and I remember where I came from. I have to give back. That's what really pulls at my heart, to give back to the community, and help as much as I can. Delaware is a special place for me."

But why Delaware? The 19-year veteran closed 2 of the Yankees victories over Wilmington's beloved Phillies in the 2009 World Series, and while there were "NY" hats at Rodney Square, there would surely be more at Times Square.

"My spiritual parents live here. The people who have loved me, and taken care of me, and who have been there for me. When we come here, we're always looking for things to do for the kids here. They're the people we want to bless."

Before the volunteers handed out the backpacks, Rivera gave a half-dozen of the kids a chance to hit two pitches off of him.

Kevin Beaver of Trainer, Pennsylvania smacked a solid shot to win the contest, but said afterwards he hadn't seen Rivera pitch before.

Perhaps a sign of baseball's popularity declining, but goodwill gestures never will. Rivera closed out the appearance with plenty of smiles for students that are one step closer to being ready for their school's Opening Day." image from WDEL AM/FM

Added: "Mariano Rivera Foundation Gives Backpacks to Delaware Children," newsworks

8/14/17, "Baseball icon gives backpacks, supplies to Wilmington students," newsworks.org


UPDATE: 8/24/17, Backpacks for needy kids stolen in New Rochelle, NY. New Rochelle Daily Voice says Mo will host the giveaway: "Despite the thievery, the backpack giveaway, hosted by Yankee legend Mariano Rivera is still scheduled for Saturday afternoon at New Rochelle City Hall." Despite Rivera's scheduled appearance it sounds like the group who paid for, assembled, and stored the backpacks in this instance was Hope Community Services, not Mo's foundation.

8/24/17, "Back-to-school backpacks for needy students stolen in New Rochelle," Lohud.com, Colleen Wilson

"About 250 backpacks filled with school supplies for needy students have been stolen from the storage space of a local nonprofit.

The bags, which were valued at about $10,000, are part of an annual drive to raise money and school supplies for local economically disadvantaged students.

Carol Troum, executive director of Hope Community Services, said they suspect the break-in took place Monday night or Tuesday morning.

"We were so upset and so angry," Troum said. "It made me so sad."

After discovering the bags were missing, Troum said they called city police, who sent two officers and, later, detectives, who are doing an investigation.

Since news of the stolen bags surfaced, which was first reported by CBS New York on Wednesday afternoon, Troum said they have received an outpouring of support from the community, with people offering to donate new supplies or money.

"As we were feeling so horrible this morning, the phones started ringing off the hook," Troum said. 

"It was just so gratifying. Instead of focusing on the bad guys who stole from us, we have this wonderful feeling of community support it really is amazing — it kind of restores your faith in people."

If you want to help, call Hope Community Services at 914-636-4010."


Friday, August 04, 2017


Joe Lhota is called "Mariano Rivera of the MTA," rescued MTA and region after Sandy storm-Gothamist, 8/3/17

"(New MTA President) Foye got a standing ovation at a Port Authority board meeting Thursday, calling Lhota the "Mariano Rivera of the MTA" who "literally rescued the MTA and the region after Hurricane Safety." (last parag.)

Aug. 3, 2017, "Lhota Announces New Leadership To Implement Subway Rescue Plan," Gothamist.com, Emma Whitford

"Newly-reinstated MTA Chairman Joe Lhota announced the creation of two new top MTA positions on Thursday, to be filled by Pat Foye, previously executive director of the Port Authority, and Ronnie Hakim, who's served as interim MTA executive director since former chair Tom Prendergast retired in January.

Foye, appointed to the Port Authority by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2011, championed the governor's infrastructure priorities while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's appointee, John Degnan, pushed for more funding to overhaul Penn Station. In his new post at the MTA, Foye will serve as the MTA's president in a brand new Office of the Chairman. Hakim, who has also previously served as executive director of NJ Transit, will serve as the MTA's managing director.

Foye will be in charge of "innovation and modernization" projects, while Hakim will manage daily subway operations, according to the MTA. Together the two will be responsible for implementing Lhota's recently-announced $800 million subway rescue plan. Lhota, who took his own MTA post unsalaried while remaining Senior Vice President of NYU Langone Medical Center, won't be committing himself full time to the agency.

Janno Lieber, former head of the MTA Capital Construction Company, will also join the Office of the Chairman as Chief Development Officer.

"Pat and Ronnie are veteran transportation professionals who together with Janno form the dynamic team the MTA needs at this moment," Lhota stated Thursday.... 

"I think Pat is a great choice," Andrew Albert, a nonvoting member of the MTA board, told Gothamist. Appointed by the New York City Transit Riders Council, Albert is currently the board's longest standing member. "It's a real one-two-three punch."

Albert, who has been critical of Cuomo's flashy and debt-fueling infrastructure priorities, said that he did not think the appointment of another Cuomo ally would result in further deference to the governor. "I would think that one of the conditions under which Joe Lhota took the job was that he gets to bring in the people he wants and he gets the resources they need," Albert said....

Cuomo, for his part, has spent the last few months flip flopping his MTA messaging, variously denying and demanding control of the transit authority (which he effectively controls). Board members have recently raised the alarm about the MTA's finances. A new $32.5 billion capital plan is projected to increase the MTA's overall debt by $5 billion over the next five-to-seven years: from $38 billion to roughly $43 billion....

Foye got a standing ovation at a Port Authority board meeting Thursday, calling Lhota the "Mariano Rivera of the MTA" who "literally rescued the MTA and the region after Hurricane Safety." Afterwards, the board skipped its customary question-and-answer session with the press."...


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