Tapped In: School Move; Express Train; Christmas Clean-Up; Free Counseling

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Compiled by Paul Bisceglio and Whitney Harris SCHOOL MOVE TO BE DECIDED JAN. 16 The Department of Education (DOE) has moved its Panel for Educational Policy vote on the relocation of Innovation Diploma Plus (IDP) from Dec. 20 to Jan. 16. The controversial vote will decide whether the high school will remain co-located with four other schools in the Brandeis Education Complex at 145 W. 84th St. or move to a soon-to-be-vacated building in Washington Heights. The move was condemned by education administrators and local elected officials when it was proposed in October because they believed that the DOE was isolating IDP's students, who are transferred to the high school because of poor performance elsewhere, to favor Success Academy, the education complex's one charter school that hopes to expand in the building. DOE maintains that the move would be advantageous to students because they would have shorter commutes and be closer to the school's partner nonprofit community development organization. EXPRESS TRAIN DERAILS Passengers on the A express train recently were stranded near 81st Street Station when the train's last car derailed. According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, an undetected broken section of the rail caused one wheel assembly of the southbound train to jump the tracks around 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, leaving over 400 straphangers waiting underground as a second train came to their rescue. The accident caused subway delays from uptown Manhattan to Brooklyn throughout the day by forcing the A and D lines to run on the local track. No injuries were reported, and service returned to normal in the evening. CHRISTMAS TREE CLEAN-UP The Department of Sanitation (DOS) is currently running a Christmas tree collection for mulching and recycling. Through Saturday, Jan. 19, the department is encouraging residents to leave their trees by the curb in front of their homes for pick-up. Tree stands, tinsel, lights and ornaments should be removed, and the trees should not be placed in plastic bags. According to DOS, the trees will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields and community gardens throughout the city. The Department of Parks and Recreation is also holding a "Mulchfest" next weekend, Jan. 12 and 13, at designated sites around the city. Residents can bring their trees to be chipped into mulch that will be used as ground cover for the city's plants, and free mulch will be given to anyone who brings a bag to transport it. THINKING OF SUICIDE? FREE COUNSELING AVAILABLE In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, the Samaritans of New York reminds the New Yorkers that it operates a free, confidential, 24-hour suicide prevention hotline in the city at 212-673-3000. "The focus on the details of the tragedy, the memorials and the politics of gun control must also be accompanied by the need for greater access to mental health services for those who are depressed, experiencing trauma and/or experiencing some form of mental illness," Samaritans said in an e-mail, noting that their service alleviates the intensity of the feelings that those in crisis experience and reduces their risk factors for suicide. Samaritans of New York, part of the international suicide prevention organization that has centers in 42 countries, is the longest-running suicide prevention program in the city. They have answered over 1 million calls from people in crisis, and provide suicide prevention education programs for health providers and support groups.

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