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AT Y OUR SERVICE ¯ Public Affairs and

Employee Communications 130 Livingston Street, 9th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

Team Up for Asthma Walk, June 5

"Improve life, one breath at a time" is the American Lung Association (ALA) theme for "Asthma Walk," set for Sunday, June 5, starting at Battery Park. Registration starts at 9 a.m., the three-mile walk at 10. Let's organize a NYC Transit team to lead in the fight against asthma. A recent ALA Kick-off highlighted these disturbing facts: · In New York City, more than 300,000 of 1 million asthma sufferers are children. Asthma is the leading cause of school absences. No public school has 'asthma free' zones where there is no risk of asthma triggers: fumes, smoke and cockroaches.

· Blacks and Hispanics have the highest asthma incidence and mortality rates; women are three times more vulnerable to asthma than men. To join NYC Transit's Asthma Team call 718-694-3450. To learn more about asthma go to, or call ALA at 212-889-3370. "Asthma affects so many of us and it's time we become more proactive," says Occupational Health Services AVP Dr. Michelle Alexander.

Transit Transit

CABLE ACCESS Queens Public Television Manhattan Neighborhood Network Staten Island Community Television Brooklyn Community Access Television Bronxnet Brookhaven LI Cable (TCI) (PATC) Great Neck/N. Shore CHANNEL Time Warner Ch. 35 Ch. 56 Ch. 34 Ch. 57 Cablevision Ch. 67 Time Warner Ch. 34 Cablevision Ch. 67 Ch. 70 Cablevision Ch. 49 TIME SLOT 3:30 pm Sat. 10:00 pm Thurs. 10:00 pm 2nd & 3rd Sat. 8:30 pm every other Mon. 6:00 pm Thurs. 10:00 am Fri. 6:00 pm Thurs. 10:00 am Fri. 5:30 am Sat; 11:00 am & 2:30 pm Mon; 11:00 am & 2:30 pm Wed; 11:00 am Fri. 11:30 pm Sat. 8:00 pm every Sun. 3:30 pm every Mon. 7:30 pm every Thurs. 8:00 pm every Wed. 10:00 pm Thurs 3:30 pm Sat.

Enter Drawing for Broadway Show Tickets

SVM, the company that brings MTA employees discounts to Broadway shows and more, will conduct a drawing for two or more pairs of tickets (depending on employee response) to: the Broadway musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. To enter the drawing, simply e-mail your name and office phone number to [email protected] before June 10. Winners will be announced on June 13 and contacted by SVM with ticket information. To view a full selection of SVM offers, visit TENS or the MTA NYC Transit extranet, or paste this link into your browser: You can also contact SVM for its SVM Guide at 212-660-1888, or via e-mail at [email protected] Just mention that you are an MTA NYC Transit employee.

Cablevision of Long Island, Woodbury Cablevision of Westchester WNYE

Ch. 71 Ch. 71 Ch. 25

At Your Service

Published by MTA New York City Transit · Lawrence G. Reuter, President Produced by the Department of Corporate Communications, Paul J. Fleuranges, Vice President · Charles Seaton, Director, Public Affairs · Barbara Orlando, Editor Sylvia S. Isabel, Writer · Gary Jenkins, Art Director · Philip J. Bartley, Manager Photography · Felix Candelaria, Mike Coughlan, Photographers George I. Watson, Director of Printing · Printing, NYC Transit Print Shop

Send your comments to Newsletter Editor, 130 Livingston St., Rm. 9070, Brooklyn, NY 11201.


At Your Service April 2005



N e w Yo r k C i t y Tr a n s i t E m p l o y e e N e w s l e t t e r, A p r i l 2 0 0 5

April marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, started in 1970, the year President Nixon signed off on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act. Given Earth Day's focus on protecting natural environments and avoiding environmental pollution, Earth Day New York's 2005 theme is "Smart Choices for a Better Tomorrow." See coverage beginning below of various NYC Transit programs. · April is also Donate Life Month, started by Congress in 1983 as "National Organ Donation Awareness Week." In March 2003, former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson expanded the concept, reflecting a growing need for organ, tissue, bone marrow and blood donations. Coverage of NYC Transit's role is on page 6. --Ed

Saving Paper Cuts Costs, Helps Environment

By Dennis Ramdahin, System Safety Specialist, Capital Program Management


or many companies, including NYC Transit, one of the big, unrealized goals of the computer revolution is reduced use of paper. At Capital Program Management (CPM), for example, consumption of standard copy paper increased from roughly 10 skids to 15 per quarter, a 50% increase, from 1995 to 2002. Not only is this apparent trend counter to good environmental management, but wasting paper increases overhead. "It is time we seriously focus on paper reduction as part of our Environmental Management System efforts," says CPM Senior Vice President and Chief Engineer Connie Crawford. "We generally consider paper a cheap commodity, but it actually costs us more than we think. And while the technology exists to use far less paper, we're using more than ever." To reverse this trend, last fall Crawford established a working group, headed by Materials Manager Margaret Hall, System Safety Specialist Dennis Ramdahin and TIS Manager Lesley Prosper, to explore both "best practices" in industry for paper reduction, and opportunities unique to CPM. In December, Crawford announced a major expansion of paperreduction initiatives that started in 2002. She also urged employees to join the effort "to ensure rapid and effective implementation." Along with an awareness campaign, the program cites specific ways to reduce copying and faxing, and proposes Information Technology (IT) initiatives.

CPM guidelines for using paper efficiently include: · Write concisely, proofread and spell-check before printing. · Allow small, handwritten changes on internal documents. · Print or copy only what you really need. · Recycle unused backs of paper for printing drafts. · Set computer defaults to two-sided printing. · Avoid printing junk copies, party flyers, e-mail notes and memos. · Purge and update distribution lists. The team also decided to explore paper-saving possibilities through Information Technology. Among the simplest, Les Prosper implemented a procedure that limits certain documents sent globally to a non-printable format.

Team Ideas

The working group identified many ways in which paper was being wasted. Among them were unnecessary printing and copying of party flyers and other announcements, and the multiple reprinting of large documents to correct one or two errors. In one industry example, Dow Europe reduced paper consumption in six weeks by 30%, simply by discouraging unneeded information.

Checking Supplies: Materials Manager Margaret Hall says toner cartridges (up to $300 for color) hike copying costs. On average, CPM restocks 15 skids of standard copy paper every 90 days. That's 600 of boxes along wall, or 3 million sheets.

continued on page 2

This Issue... 2-3 Eco Briefs 4-5 Applause for Awards 6 Blood Donor Recogonition 7 Employee Stars


Eco Briefs

Saving Paper

continued from page 1

A pilot program with the Controller's Office in also in the works, to develop a paperless KRONOS Web-based timekeeping system. It would give employees access to their timesheets on the Intranet, with a password to log on to the system to update, sign (via digital signatures) and submit their information. A predetermined workflow would e-mail documents to the person who approves them, eliminating paper timesheets, and carrying them around.

Building a Fleet of Fuel F

ollowing the Department of Buses' nearly complete shift to a clean-fuel bus fleet, a similar transformation is under way with NYC Transit's service vehicles. Of 79 cars and SUVs purchased in the last 18 months, 63 are alternative-fuel or electric. NYC Transit was one of the first agencies in the City to buy hybrid cars (the Toyota Prius) when they came on the market in 2001. Says Assistant Chief Fred Schwarzwald of Support Fleet Services at East New York, " Buses has followed that commitment to fuel efficiency and a cleaner environment ever since. The conventional vehicles purchased are platforms not available in alternative-fuel models." Support Fleet's latest deliveries include 34 four-wheel-drive hybrid SUV Ford Escapes - rated at 33 miles per gallon in city driving, nearly twice that of its older four-wheel drive SUVs. The unit has also purchased 14 GEM (Global Electric Motors) electric carts, its first vehicles designed for use inside depots and shops. "Whenever an alternative-fuel platform that fits our needs becomes available, we will evaluate it," says Schwarzwald. "We have a commitment to this market and to maintaining our lead role in using new technology vehicles."

Choosing E-mail

Similarly, the COLD project (Computer Output to Laser Disk) proposes to have very large documents such as contracts, distributed electronically and made accessible to authorized personnel via the Intranet. As with KRONOS, user names and passwords would be generated to maintain the system's integrity. An informal survey reports a preference for receiving contract books electronically (see below right). Still another plan will use software selected by the MTA called Constructware to standardize MTA contract requirements and simplify overall management of construction projects. CPM has similar pilot initiatives under way with other project-management software packages. Says Design Manager Tom Thottukadavil, "We should be able to reduce paperwork substantially in a couple of years when the new MTA program is fully adopted." "It's in everyone's best interest here to begin using paper more efficiently," SVP Crawford concludes. "The less we waste, whether it's time, paper or other materials, the lower our overhead and the better our environment."

Paper Production Facts

· It reportedly takes three pounds of harvested trees to produce one pound of paper · In the US, 500 million acres ­ inearly three times the size of Texas ­ is used to grow wood for paper. · Paper production is the third most energy-intensive manufacturing process, consuming 11.5% of all energy used by the industrial sector. · In typical paper manufacturing, making one sheet uses more than 13 ounces of water. · Paper makes up more than a third of the waste sent to municipal landfills where, among other impacts, it breaks down to produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. · Less than half of office paper is recovered and recycled. -- Jackie Cefola, Alliance for Environmental Innovation · On average, US citizens use 27 times the paper used annually by people in the developing world. -- International Institute for Environment and Development

Fuel-savers at East New York: Drivers and maintainers like them: from left: Toyota Prius, GEM electric cart, new Ford Escape hybrid SUV.

Surveying Paper Use

To evaluate a proposal to have contracts and other huge documents distributed electronically, CPM surveyed more than 250 employees who now receive hard copies of contract books routinely. Results so far show the following: 9% read the entire document 18% read the entire document sometimes 73% read only the sections pertaining to them 69% prefer electronic distribution 21% prefer a hard copy 10% prefer to receive both From follow-up interviews, a majority of those who prefer a hard copy were motivated primarily by a fear that they lack the necessary computer skills to deal with big electronic copies.


At Your Service April 2005

Efficient Vehicles

Inquiring Photographer

While visiting Buses' East New York Truck Shop, At Your Service asked maintainers, whose experience is mainly on the Toyota Prius, these questions:

Groundwater Restoration Successes

By Eric Jones, Construction Administrator On-Call Projects, Capital Program Management


How do you find working on hybrid vehicles compared with conventional cars? Would you buy one? Are they the wave of the future?

Richard Daley, NYC Transit 20 years, East New York, 8 years The Prius is more technical. You're not just working with hand tools, but special tools for the electronics and you need special training. The cars are very good quality. I would buy one.

hen the "Clean Water Act" passed in 1977, the US began an era of greater responsibility for protecting its water resources. As one consequence, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and US Environmental Protection Agency issued extensive regulations in 1985 and 1988 respectively, governing petroleum storage tanks both underground (USTs) and aboveground (ASTs). The regulations established procedures and set deadlines for replacing or upgrading existing tanks to meet corrosion, spill, overfill and leak detection requirements. Suspected leaks/spills that could contaminate groundwater or soil had to be investigated and remediated.

In cooperation with the DEC, NYC Transit launched an ambitious UST Program. Its main tasks were to upgrade or replace more than 350 antiquated tanks, and to remediate any contaminated subsurface soils and groundwater. Capital Program Management (CPM) was given primary responsibility for the UST Program, with support from the DEC, Law Department and System Safety, along with Buses and Subways. In 2001 CPM completed the tank work with all tanks brought to a state of good repair. CPM contractors also trained the user departments for using the new tank systems. Environmental restoration efforts have also succeeded. CPM has received DEC "no further action" letters for more than 90 leaks and spills that were investigated and remediated. We have also recovered more than 250,000 gallons of leaked petroleum products and treated millions of gallons of contaminated groundwater. An initial list of 60 targeted facilities is down to 23, and remedial activities at these facilities are progressing smoothly.

John Chimel, NYC Transit 20 years, East New York, 8 years The technology has come a long way since the first one - more inside space, faster, more family oriented. There are no unusual problems with hybrids except that the US is behind. Other countries have more models. As a wave of the future, I don't think we have a choice.

Harvey Perez, NYC Transit 26 years, East New York, 23 years They're different, with the combination of gas and electric (electric from 0 to 14 mph, then gas). They're computer-oriented. Toyota provides a scanner that pinpoints what's wrong. It's a great little car and very efficient. I would buy one, especially for city driving. It's the wave of the future big time. Peter Cangialosi, NYC Transit 26 years, East New York, 17 years We don't do a lot as the cars are just coming off warranty. They have quirks, like all cars, but Toyota is working on them. It's a nice car. The new ones are bigger, with plenty of speed, good fuel economy, especially in the city. I'd buy one if I had the money. They are part of the wave of the future. What's else is down the road is hard to say.

Tank Remediation at Coney Island Yard

One of CPM's larger UST projects reclaimed about 6,500 square feet at Coney Island Yard. It included removing five abandoned USTs and more than 3,000 tons of petroleumcontaminated soil, plus some 40,000 Restoring Land: Removing gallons of petroleum residue abandoned tanks and contaminated soil reclaimed 6,500 square feet at (heating and lube oil) and contaminated groundwater. Railroad Coney Island Yard tracks and a forklift ramp had to be removed, then replaced after the area was cleaned, back-filled and paved. Completed last October, the project required close to eight months and $1.4 million. The area is now a parking lot, but a storage building is planned.

At Your Service April 2005



ESP Honors New and Past Winners


he latest Employee Suggestion Awards (ESP) continued one of NYC Transit's most rewarding annual events: recognizing resourceful employees whose ideas have improved operations with cost savings, increased productivity and enhanced safety or security. The event also highlighted some of ESP's top money savers, 23 employees whose nine suggestions have saved NYC Transit more than $8.5 million in the past five years. The ceremony at Brooklyn's Borough Hall recognized a record 68 suggestions, and 83 participating employees. Along with ESP certificates, the winners received a total of $57,244 in cash. The estimated annual cost-savings from these suggestions was $539,386. While thanking all participants, President Lawrence G. Reuter was pleased to announce that 49 of them were first-time winners. "We count on our repeat winners, while we are always looking for broader ESP participation," he said.

Machines; 3) Maintenance Supervisor Nigel Henry and Telecommunications Specialist Grigoriy Sheynkman, $4,770 for a modification of the Emergency Booth Communication System's dialing format, and 4) Maintenance Supervisor Richard J Scheuermann, $3,000 for suggesting Light Emitting Diode (LED) flashers in place of incandescent point-to-point flashers. Next are: 5) Electronic Specialist Barry Gohari, $2,430 for designing a tool to build bill-handling Unit Money Shields to prevent theft from MetroCard Vending Machines, and 6) Maintenance Supervisor Joseph Sima and Power Cable Maintainer Larry Soodeen who split $2,225 for simplifying fiberglass tubing replacement at the Roosevelt Island bulkhead. Other employees who received $1,000 or more are: from Subways Maintenance Supervisors Eugene DeWaters and Regi Philip; Electronic Specialists Rafael Musheyev and Igor Gaber; and, from Buses - Mechanical Maintainer Gregory Sakhno and Chassis Maintainer John T. Burke.

Some Top Money-savers: front, Ron Soborowiki, Subways; Michael Minott, Subways; Lorraine Perez, Buses ParaTransit; James Cassamassa, Antonio Vasquez, and Ismael Rivera of Subways. Back, Bromley B. Williams, John Miles, Clive Adams, John D'Alessandro, Benny Thomas, Robert Massa, Bobby Marrain, Steven C. Ilardi and Sherwin Archer, all from Subways.

A top award of $10,950 went to Civil Engineer Vijay P. Irukulapati, part of a Maintenance of Way technical support group for Track units in the field. He developed software that automates the geometric calculations needed to align tracks on curves. "The program is more accurate, quicker and can be done by anyone on a crew, not just one or two engineers," he explains. ESP Inspires Others Vijay didn't know about ESP when he developed his idea in 1999, but is grateful that a supervisor recognized its importance and submitted it. "The Suggestion Program should be more widely known," he says. "People are asking me about it. We have a lot of smart, hard working employees who might be inspired by what happened to me for something I did to improve the system." The others whose suggestions received awards of $2,000 or more are: 1) Air Brake Maintainers Robert Massa, John Olsen and Ray Sanin of Car Equipment shared $6,579 for restoring a worn pilot valve in the R44s' master controller and brake valve (the part costs about $5,000 to replace); 2) AFC Computer Specialist William Mausser, $6,200 for simplifying installation of additional foreign languages on MetroCard Vending


Top Money Savers Among the ESP top money savers since 1995, a team from Maintenance of Way including Edouard Giha, Bobby Marrain, Ismael Rivera, Dale A. Shaw and Bromley B.Williams takes the cake. Their MetroCard Vending Machine communications system saved $4,880,000 in 1999. Benny Thomas of Car Equipment designed equipment for car-to-car coupling for the Red Bird Reef Project that saved $385,340 in 2001. Robert Massa of Subways-Rolling Stock Maintenance of Way designed a welding procedure for repairing worn brake shoe heads that saved $455,000 in 2001. And ParaTransit's Lorraine Perez identified and revised a software flaw than allowed over-billing by Access-ARide vendors, saving $2 million in 2003. (The full list is on TENS.) Congratulations to all the ESP winners. Let's keep this win-win program going strong. For more information, contact your department's ESP liaison (listed on TENS) or ESP at 718-694-4549.

At Your Service April 2005

2004 STELLAR Safety Awards Given

New York City Transit has achieved a 58% reduction in its employee lost time injury rate (LTIR) since 1995, noted NYC Transit Executive VP Barbara R. Spencer at the agency's eighth annual STELLAR Safety Awards presentation. That was the year DuPont Safety Training was implemented along with related safety initiatives. Those gains include an 8% decrease in the LTIR in 2004, to a rate of 2.67 lost time injuries per 100 employees. "This is good, but not up to our goal of 1.04," said Spencer. "We need everyone to work together in 2005 to continue striving toward our objective--a reduction in our lost time injury rate in every department."

Arts for Transit's Bloodworth Wins Sloan Award

Artist Sandra Bloodworth, a dedicated and visionary director of the MTA's acclaimed Arts for Transit program, has won one of six highly selective Sloan Public Service Awards for 2005. The awards, for exceptional service to New York City, were presented by the Fund for the City of New York in a ceremony opened by Mayor Bloomberg at Cooper Union's Great Hall in March. "Each of these special people has exerted a powerful impact, well beyond the bounds of their job descriptions, on the people of New York City," said Dr. Mary McCormick, the Fund's Sandra Bloodworth and president.

Mayor Bloomberg

A painter who helped community arts groups through the Mississippi Arts Commission before coming to New York, Bloodworth became director of the popular public art program in 1996 when it was about three years old. Since its start, the Arts for Transit staff has managed the design, selection and installation of 152 pieces of art, by both famous and emerging artists, in 140 subway and train stations. Bloodworth has also played a role in determining some of the system's more recent design elements. In describing Bloodworth's achievements, the Fund for the City of New York wrote in its awards program: "Working against great odds, with immense fiscal constraints and decades of indifference to maintenance, she has charted a return to the original subway founders' vision of a network ennobled by touches of grace and beauty." Bloodworth brings this distinction to the MTA for the second straight year, joining NYC Transit Senior Director Larry Gould of Operations Planning, who won a 2004 Sloan Award for his transit planning skills. Bloodworth's honor represents only the ninth time that Sloan Awards have been given to MTA or NYC Transit employees since the program began in 1973.

Stellar Performance: With Barbara Spencer (right) and Cheryl Kennedy, Track & Infrastructure Chief Al Wojcik hefts Subways' big STELLAR trophy.

As it was a year ago, Subways was the 2004 winner among Operating Departments, with a 9% reduction in its LTIR. Track and Infrastructure Chief Al Wojcik, standing in for Senior VP Mike Lombardi, accepted the big STELLAR trophy. Also similar to last year, Labor Relations won the STELLAR Award among supporting departments, presented to VP Ralph Agritelley for a 100% reduction in its LTIR. System Safety VP Cheryl Kennedy noted that the STELLAR Award for Improved Customer Injury Rate was withheld because both Buses and Subways experienced increases. System Safety's Director of Hazard Assessment, Jim Wincek, announced the new Sustained STELLAR Award. It will be presented annually to the Operating and Support Departments with the most improved employee LTIR per 100 employees over five years. Again, Subways won with an impressive 50% LTIR reduction when comparing its rates for 2000-2004 with 1995-1999. Barbara Spencer's EVP Office won the Sustained STELLAR Award among Support Departments, with a 56% reduction in its LTIR rate.

Transportation Historian's Telly Award

When Transit Transit News (T2) showed off its Telly Awards at its 10th Anniversary event, another 2004 Telly came to light; the work of transportation historian Joseph M. Calisi of TIS, who got his start with T2 from past Public Affairs VP Al O'Leary. Calisi won a Telly Award for a story he filmed in Inner Mongolia, China, about the waning days of mainline steam railroading in the world. This was the last place where steam was used in mainline service as the primary locomotive power. Those steam engines are now gone but the images remain on tape and in his memory. Calisi filmed his report during vacation trips in 2002 and 2003, using his own digital video equipment. The film includes his Joe Calisi (r) with Al O'Leary stand-up reporting on site, and script. His key collaborator was Transit Transit Editor Chris Abramides, who also won a Telly for his efforts. "Chris did the magic to make the story come to life," says Calisi. Observes Transit Transit Producer Winston Mitchell, "It's a great story and the photography is beautiful." Belated congratulations, Joe, and Chris.

Division Winners The Divisional Award for the SVP's Office went to Operations Planning and Chief Keith Hom, with a 100% reduction in its employee lost time injury rate. For Buses, the Division winner was Brooklyn and 2004 Division General Manager Ken Daube, with a 23% reduction. In Subways, the Division of Track/Infrastructure took the trophy, accepted by Al Wojcik, for a 25% drop LTIR. Cheryl Kennedy congratulated all the winners, and reminded everyone of the standing goal: Zero lost time injuries systemwide.

At Your Service April 2005


Blood Drive Expands Outreach

By Barbara Orlando, Editor With April designated National Donate Life Month (see cover note), NYC Transit's Blood Drive invited prospective bone-marrow recipients Nicole Gioia and Ronald Rose to share their stories (see below) at its April 27 Blood Donor Recognition Program, 9 a.m. to noon at 2 Broadway's 20th floor conference room. Our own Michael Mantell of the Controller's Office inspired the Drive's Michael Mantell expanded outreach. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, he survived because a brother was a perfect match for a stem cell/bone marrow transplant. "Few people who need bone marrow transplants are that lucky," says Mike, who pushed for the Blood Drive's partnership with the National Marrow Donor Program, and now urges employees to join the National Bone Marrow Registry. "So much of this is genetics, and we're in great need of minority donors," he argues. No matter what your cultural background or beliefs, what could be wrong with saving another person's life? It could even be a child's life! Mantell's personal efforts also reached the TWU's Roger Toussaint who responded: "The president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 fully supports the Authority's stem cell/ bone marrow initiative." You start with family members. [Unlike Mike Mantell, whose brother was a match, Rose's daughter and two brothers are not.] Next, you look for ethnic makeup, birthplace of ancestors, nationality and other factors. With Rose, a lot is based on the fact that African Americans share particular genes that other people do not, so people of true African descent are more likely to find matches among their population. Similar genetic rules apply to people of Asian or European descent. Yet, as Dr. Alexander notes, "looking for a match is always a bit like playing lotto, especially for people with rare blood types." "If we neglect drawing from our own population, we neglect ourselves," says Rose philosophically. "It's a family affair. New Yorkers have always been about helping people."

Nicole Gioia

During the horrible events of September 11, 2001, recalls Nicole Gioia's father, "I told a fellow employee, 'After today, nothing will ever be the same.' At the time, I did not realize how personal that statement would be! "Later that day, Nicole [then 10] came home complaining of a pain in her neck and shoulder. We felt her neck, and Nicole Gioia found a rather large lump," her dad continues. After managing to see a doctor that 9/11 afternoon and taking Nicole to the hospital, he writes, "Unfortunately, by the next morning we had the news that every parent has nightmares about. Our little girl - our baby - was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma!" Nicole required immediate surgery, but after that emergency, the Gioias, who live in New Jersey, were assured that Hodgkin's is highly treatable. Following a six-month protocol, a doctor declared her "cured," but her cancer returned in just a few months, and then again. This is how Nicole, now 13, became a patient at Memorial SloanKettering and, like Ronald Rose, a prospective bone marrow recipient. Nicole plays the piano, has studied dance and is a natural athlete. With her cancer in remission, she is going to classes, playing softball, basketball and starting tennis. Like Rose and Mantell, she is an advocate for the National Marrow Donor Program, and for NYC Transit's Blood Donor Outreach. For more about her, visit her website at For more on the Blood Donor Program, or a related personal situation, call 347-643-8169.

Ronald Rose

A year ago this month, Ronald Rose, an urban planner born in Harlem, raised in Brooklyn and living in Seattle, was enjoying himself late on a Saturday at a big ballroom, dancing salsa. About 2 a.m. he suddenly felt light-headed, took the cue and hurried home. Getting up for church the next morning was his last memory for hours. He passed out and was rushed to University of Washington Hospital. During a day of observation, blood tests showed a Ronald Rose platelet count above a million; 150,000 to 450,000 is considered normal. This was the start of his "tremendously bad luck." Nine days later, after an apheresis donation to replace his platelets, a bone marrow biopsy and other procedures, he was released with "lots of meds" but no clear diagnoses. An odyssey to leading cancer centers ended in July with a diagnosis of MDS (or myelodysplastic syndromes). In September he came home to New York, near his mother, old friends from Boys' High School in Brooklyn, and Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center. Though his illness was discovered at an early stage, it means life depends on finding the right match for a bone marrow donation. A bone-morrow coordinator at SloanKettering helps guide his search. As Dr. Michelle Alexander, Assistant VP of Occupational Health Services, explains, a bone marrow match is a person with the same blood type whose genetic makeup (DNA) closely resembles yours.





At Your Service April 2005

Jazz Band on the Bus

By Tania L. Breton, Intern, Public Affairs Five talented men can be found driving NYC Transit buses by day, and using their experience to create smooth jazz and R & B in their off hours. The bus operators of the Michael J. Quill Depot in Manhattan, practice their music during their lunch break on a parked 40-foot Orion bus. It's no wonder the name of their group is "Orions." "Many guys relax during their lunch break," says Mark Young who plays keyboards for the group. "But the bus is the quietest spot in the

depot. It's peaceful and we have a lot of fun." They have arranged their busy bus schedules so they can practice two days a week. "It's a break. It's relaxing," says Brian Edmundson, equipment maintainer and singer. "Instead of going out to get a sandwich, I sing a little bit and relieve some stress." These music men get their inspiration while on the job. They write their own music and use the scenes they see and hear while driving to make different beats or get ideas for songs. "There's a universal rhythm that takes place," notes Alfred Jenkins, the bass guitar player. "To be a part of that, one feels connected."

The band that includes Joe Acevedo and Bernard Eason has been playing for about a year. After the hustle of each morning's rush, they can't wait to practice. They say it is much easier and more relaxing to drive after band practice. So in their spare time, these bus operators can be found moving and grooving to their own beat.

Transit Employee and Son Create Board Game about Budgeting

By Raheem Brown, Intern, Public Affairs


hen Trevor Ollivierre Jr. (TJ) was nine, and approached his dad, NYC Transit station cleaner Trevor Ollivierre Sr., about his idea to create a realistic board game for their family to enjoy, the Ollivierres had no idea it would create such a buzz. Called All Around Spending, the game was inspired by TJ's interest in Monopoly and teaches the importance of budgeting. The family has sold more than 430 games since its beginning in 2002.

Schools such as P.S. 287 in Brooklyn and the Francis School on Staten Island have used All Around Spending to help teach money management. TJ attributes the game's popularity to "being a fun, learning game that families can enjoy without arguing over real estate and money," a problem when he and his sister, Monae, played Monopoly. The biggest challenge is still marketing. "Most toy manufacturers want to market games developed by their own people, not outsiders," says Trevor Sr. The Ollivierres are promoting All Around Spending by selling t-shirts, water bottles and a miniature version of the game ­ Monae's idea. A NYC Transit employee since 1987, Trevor Sr. would like to use his experience to help other aspiring entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Trevor Jr., now 11, wants to go to law school and Monae, 13, wants to help impoverished families. The Ollivierres hope that All Around Spending's success will inspire others, as it has inspired them, to set high career goals and to budget wisely. Anyone interested in purchasing All Around Spending can call Trevor Ollivierre Sr. at (718) 934-8849.

Up to four people play All Around Spending and, unlike Monopoly, each player starts with a bank loan of $600 that must be paid back with interest. "This simulates a real bank transaction," Trevor Sr. explains. As the players move around the board, they incur realistic expenses such as a supermarket ($70), transportation ($40), cleaner /laundry ($30), barbershop ($24), restaurant ($30) and medical ($100). Players can also land on salary squares, picking up cash and a lesson about the importance of working. The uniqueness of All Around Spending is that it is hand-made. Each player's figure is made from clay. The spinner, which determines each move, is made out of a paper clip and the board and box are made from cardboard. Trevor Sr. says, " I purchase some of the supplies from an art store, buy quantities of dice, and it takes me about 30 minutes to make a game." All Around Spending is selling well largely because of Trevor Sr.'s ability to get press coverage. The game was first featured in the New York Daily News "Your Neighborhood" column in September 2002. Coverage followed in the Staten Island Advance, Amsterdam News, Brooklyn Courier and Newsday among other local papers. Even Essence and Black Enterprise magazines have expressed interest. Both magazines' editors advised Trevor Sr. to create an e-mail address and web page to help meet the interest a national magazine article would bring.

At Your Service April 2005



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