News: from Lorna


It's only the fourth of June and already so much has happened. It seems that June just blasted in.

It's a very different situation from this time last year when I was recovering from my broken wrists - such a dark, awful time.

On the 1st my friend Helen Rogers and I went again to the graduation ceremony at Sing Sing Prison. I'm quite involved with the Hudson Link organization which takes college education into Sing Sing through Mercy College. It's called Hudson Link because Sing Sing is in Ossining, New York right on the Hudson River - has some terrific views of the river.

As always, it was a very moving to see the twenty-five men, wearing their tasseled mortar-board caps and black robe with the colors of their degree, over a smart shirt and tie but always the ubiquitous green prison trousers. Family members and friends were there as well as the Commissioner of Prisons, Brian Fischer and Steve Forbes who gave the Address - and a very funny one it was.

Very often people will be somewhat annoyed that a man in prison is receiving a college education (it's all donations, not government funded) because they will think, "why should this person who has been a tear in the fabric of society, get an education when I can't afford to go to college or to send my kid there.

All very understandable reactions. However, the fact is that it costs about $37,000 for an inmate to get a college degree in prison and about $55,000 a year to house him in jail. Of those who have received a degree and have since completed their prison sentences and been released, there hasn't been one case of recidivism. So it's a huge saving to the tax payer as well as sending an educated man, who is determined to be a force for good in society, out into the world. Of course many who graduate will not see the outside of those prison walls for years but even so they are able to be an influence on the other inmates and also a power of example and a guide to their own children.

It was an extremely festive atmosphere with great food!

On the 2nd of June I was asked, at the very last minute to be the auctioneer at a fund raiser for the Jed Foundation. The Jed Foundation was established ten years ago by the parents of Jed who committed suicide while at college. They set up this fund to help schools and colleges better recognize and help at-risk kids. What an evening! The speeches and videos were really moving. There was one clip in particular where you saw all these kids walking about either with buds in their ears, on the phone or texting. Nearly every single kid walking on the campus had a device in his/her hand. And at one point it said that Mary-Lou had 330 friends on Facebook but no one to talk to! It was saying how more and more isolated kids are becoming.

It was a very powerful evening.

Then yesterday I went out to Coney Island with some friends. We walked on the board-walk, the beach was beautiful, so wide and clean. Then we all screamed our heads off on the Cyclone. the cars are so old and it rattles on the wooden slats, some of which are missing - it's a wonder it's still operational - but what a thrill.

We ate some Coney Island food - a hotdog and corn then came back on the train.

This morning I was picked up at the crack of dawn and driven out to Summit, New Jersey to speak at the Founder's Day breakfast.

That's all for now folks!


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