Neighborhood Chatter: Mandated Phys Ed, Sounds of Drums, Roosevelt Island Art

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Mandated Physical Education Pretty soon it might be mandatory for New York City schoolchildren to play that dreaded game of dodgeball, or some similar activity. On Thursday, Feb. 7, Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito, Robert Jackson, Letitia James and Gale Brewer held a press conference on the steps of City Hall, with Women's City Club and American Heart Association, urging the Department of Education to make physical education mandatory. The Women's City Club released a report that showed New York's inadequacies with physical education classes in public schools, including a shortage of PE teachers. The Women's City Club also recommends a plan of improvement by necessitating mandated PE time and space in school buildings. Sounds of Drums Come celebrate Black History Month with the performances of "The African Drum," a children's show featuring shadow puppets and real actors that has been entertaining children with drummers, storytellers and large puppets for many years. Learn the magic of African folktales like how the turtle got its shell and how the animals got their colors, told through the lens of the little girl Kijana. Families can enjoy this performance on weekdays until March 8 at the National Black Theater at 2031 Fifth Avenue and East 125th Street. The show is recommended for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Paying a Parking Ticket: It'll Cost You! Drivers beware: without any apparent notice, the service charge for paying an average $115 New York City parking ticket online has increased from $2 to $2.86. According to driver advocate and parking watchdog Glen Bolofsky, who runs, that's a 43 percent increase. "In essence, the city is charging its citizens a premium for something that actually eases the city's workload, streamlines costs and reduces man hours," Bolofsky said in a statement. Drivers who think that they do not deserve a parking ticket can report it on through "Worry Free Parking," where users can contest tickets that they receive through the city. It's worth a try. guarantees that it can reduce or dismiss their customers' tickets. Roosevelt Island Art on Display Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association has compiled an exhibit of paintings, drawings, photographs and other artworks by its members. The art will be on display at Stonehenge-Luce nonprofit annex, a pop-up gallery at 1149 Second Ave. between 60th and 61st streets. The exhibit will be on display through Feb. 16, and admission is free. The Roosevelt Island Visual Art Association (RIVAA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the work of artists throughout the Roosevelt Island community. Their gallery has hosted dozens of exhibits, and played host to screenings and readings.

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