Notes from the Neighborhood

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Wellness for Seniors The elder support organization DOROT offers inexpensive wellness classes for seniors on the Upper West Side. This May and June, they will be holding regular sessions as well as one-time workshops to promote mental and physical health. On Tuesdays from 10?11 a.m., a licensed social worker facilitates a group chat to discuss memories and life experiences; from 12:15?2 p.m. on Tuesdays there is a "senior café" with coffee, tea and cookies on the 7th floor. On Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:30 a.m.?12:10 p.m., a martial arts instructor leads gentle exercise classes that focus on increasing immunity and spinal flexibility. There are also tai chi, stretching, Zumba chair and yoga classes available on a weekly basis. Other sessions and workshop topics include singing, meditation, movement, comedy, heart health, gardening and chats with doctors from Weill Cornell Medical Center. The wellness classes are $5 per class, with scholarships available. Participants should arrive 15 minutes before class starts and wear sneakers or flat rubber-soled shoes. All sessions take place at 171 W. 85th St., second floor. For more information and a complete schedule, call Katie Girardi at 917-441-3743. Homebound seniors can participate in many classes via phone.   West Side School Gets Grant for Arts The Adolph Ochs School, P.S. 111M, was recently awarded a $50,000 grant to establish an educational theater and literacy program. The school, on West 53rd Street, is a federally designated Title I school, and 91 percent of the students' families live below the poverty line. The grant from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children will be used to implement a theater curriculum and drama studies in the early grades, in collaboration with the group Story Pirates, which uses kids' ideas to create and perform skits and plays. The school is committed to using drama education to strengthen literacy and engagement in the classroom.   UWS Graduate on Olympic Team Last month, the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team announced its new lineup, and a recent graduate of the Dwight School on the Upper West Side was among them. Race Imboden, who graduated in 2011 and took a year off to focus on fencing before attending Notre Dame, will be joining the team for the 2012 Summer Games in London. He qualified for the team after his fourth World Cup event in the Men's Foil division. Imboden began fencing at age 9, after a stranger saw him playing with toy swords in the park and suggested the sport to his parents. He qualified for his first major international team by age 16 and earned a bronze medal in the 2012 Cadet World Championships. He's won many competitions since, and earlier this year he was one of the youngest competitors to medal in the Senior World Cup competition. Imboden said that he's thrilled to compete in England, his mother's home country, and credits his parents' support and sacrifice as well as The Dwight School's flexibility for helping him achieve his Olympic dream.   Local School Fair P.S. 9, at 100 W. 84th St. between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, will be holding its annual Spring Fair on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m.?4 p.m. There will be rides and games for kids, crafts, science activities and a variety of food for sale. Proceeds from the fair support school programs.   Pesky Insects Topic of Town Hall In some pockets of the Upper West Side, residents have been plagued by mosquito infestations in recent years, despite the city's attempts to eradicate the populations by flushing the sewers and encouraging landlords to eliminate sources of standing water. Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, who said that she hears about this issue continuously from her constituents, will be hosting a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 17, from 7?9 p.m. at the Goddard Riverside Community Center, at 593 Columbus Ave., to address this problem as mosquito breeding season approaches. Pest management specialists and representatives from city and state agencies will be available to answer questions and share what they are doing as well as how residents can combat the itch-inducing insects. For more information, call Rosenthal's office 212-873-6368 or email   Brewer Intros Safety and Transit Bills Upper West Side City Council Member Gale Brewer introduced three new bills to the council last week, all focused on public safety and transportation. Addressing the recently renewed concern for the safety of hotel staff members, one bill would require hotel owners and proprietors to equip their staff with silent alarms. The two other bills are aimed at accommodating electric vehicles: One would make the installation of electric charging stands eligible for revocable consent from the city, intended to streamline the process and encourage investment in these structures; and the other would establish a pilot program to install 10 vehicle charging stations throughout the city. This would be followed by an analysis of their use to determine whether more charging stations would be utilized.

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