2008-06-13 / Columnists

Dorothy Dunne

Unjustly Imprisoned For 22 Years
News Events/Travel Editor/Host • WNYX - TV Morning News • 12:00 noon on UHF Chs. 35 & 26 Monday - Friday

Alan Newton graduated from Medgar Evers College at age 46. He had spent 22 years of his life behind bars for a crime of rape, robbery and assault that he never committed. I was at the celebration party of his graduation and had the honor to meet this inspirational man. He is unbelievable ..no hatred, no bitterness, only forgiveness in his heart and gratitude for finally being freed through legal battles and DNA findings, pursued by the Innocent Project. He now plans to continue his education by attending law school. Mark Cornell, CEO of Moet Henessy USA, sponsor of the celebration, arranged for a full scholarship to be awarded to Mr. Newton to further his career to attend law school. I interviewed him for tv with his brother, Ray, who called him every day and visited him as much as he could to keep up his spirits. His family stood behind him all those 22 years. Quite a story and quite an evening. And…….an amazing man. We wish him well.

At the James Beard Foundation Awards at Lincoln Center, Grant Achatz was declared TOP CHEF. He is a Chicago chef who was diagnosed with tongue cancer last July and then cancer free by December. His restaurant Alinea, ultimate home cooking, was named Top Restaurant by Gourmet Magazine.

The Gramacy Tavern, NYC, was named one the nation's outstanding restaurants for contemporary American cuisine. Gavin Kaysen of New York's Café Boulud was named Rising Star Chef; Frances Moore Lappe was honored for her 40 year old book "Diet for a Small Planet" to highlight the need for affordable high quality food. A tasty, elaborate, elegant affair.

Slovenia, a beautiful county situated in the middle of Europe between Germany and Hungary hosted a trade show and press conference that was incomparable. They most certainly displayed their love, as in SoLOVEnia to their guests. This nation came out of Yugoslavia. Its capital Ljubljana, is that size of New Jersey, where President Bush and Putin of Russia met in 2004. They have the Julian Alps, largest caves, castles, open museums, Port of Roses, and it is the home of the Lipica Stables. I was so impressed with the beauty of the country as seen in their video, but also with the warmth and graciousness of their people, as well as their food. They treated us to a seven course luncheon accompanied with a different wine for each course, among the variety of the foods were cooked tongue, with black radish which I hadn't had since a child and roasted goose, that was I thought better than filet mignon. Everything was so superb and we can't forget dessert, cake and ice cream with pumpkin oil, and sweet desert wine. My compliments to the chef, Vesna Carman from the Restaurant Pri Danilu in Slovenia. It was a memorable lunch and one that makes you want to run off the Slovenia asap.

Soles for Souls. 22 million people are barefoot in the world, but Eneslow shoe store on Park Avenue NYC invited people who donated a pair of shoes to food and drinks. Of course the shoes went for the barefooted people around the world and will be recycled. Eneslow is a shoe store known for comfort shoes. They cater to people who have trouble with their feet, such as a deformity, injury, or just for comfort. They build the shoe around your foot and help you to walk better. Nice affair for a nice cause.

Images of Love/ LEAVE OUT VIOLENCE was a Photo Auction at the Design Center to raise money to teach children exposed to violence and abuse in the home, school or on the street to turn violence into LOVE.

Revelry by the River is sponsored by NYSERDA programs that save New Yorkers $570 million in energy costs. They developed the "Green Collar" workforce of qualified energy professionals which provides financial incentives and technical assistance creating trained professionals who are changing the face of New York State. This was a celebration of sustainability at Stuyvesant Cave Park on the East River. I met the prominent Sculptor, Fred George, who conceived the SOLAR PEACE SCULPTURE that is composed of 80 oil barrels with a solar panel each attached on a wheel 58 ft. tall.

The first proposed site is to be at East 23 Street and the FDR Drive. It is designed to bring attention to the world's dependency on fossil fuel and is a wake up call to economies to pollution, poverty inequality and oppression. Change to the Green source of energy.

You can donate to become a physical part of the sculpture. Log on:http./ solarpeaceschulpture.

Take your pleasure …………..seriously. Attend these beautiful fundraisers and help others and the world while you are helping yourself have fun. It makes one happy to think he may have contributed to another's happiness.

TRAVEL: I well recommend you visit Slovenia. It is a very welcoming country. Mediterranean Cruise MSC $599 int/ $699 OV 7nts. Italy/France/ Spain/Morocco//Rome,Italy/Genoa, Italy.

Give me a Call or email; dorothydunne@ yahoo.com and ………..AWAY WE GO!!!.

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