A WCBS news broadcast to ponder and act on

By Bette Dewing

Thank you longtime friend and nearby neighbor, Marcus C. for alerting me to WCBS local coverage of the St. Ignatius Loyola school kids singing carols on the church front steps. Indeed, they were seen and heard briefly numerous times during Lonnie Quinn’s weather reports. And the weather was blessedly pleasant, so this welcome event could be held outdoors. (Incidentally, I so believe several choir members singing on the steps before a service might prompt passersby to go inside).

More later about this much-needed peace on earth goodwill concert, but this recent newscast aired other news we need to know about and act upon, like the Salvation Army’s request that the public donate money or instruments to keep the Harlem School of Music’s Phil Ramone Orchestra for Children up and running.

Other news that needs infinitely more coverage is the fire that destroyed a block of small stores in Queens and damaged the adjacent apartment. And now, the popular Upper East Side restaurant Jacques, at 200 East 85th St. and nearby homes are the latest victims of a fast-moving fire on Dec. 14. Fires are always disastrous, but especially when neighborhood stores and livable affordable homes are on the endangered species list. Worse, of course, is when lives are lost or grievous injuries occur. Infinitely more must be said and done about prevention; the media, especially, must repeatedly stress the critical need for working smoke detectors. And now some warnings are needed about dry Christmas trees and faulty decorative lights.

The newscasters also interviewed grieving parents who are now working against the drunk-driving crime which killed their beloved young son, who was walking with other Boy Scouts in Manorville, Long Island;/when he was brutally and senselessly struck down. And oh how drunk driving, and indeed irresponsible drinking in general, needs to be opposed. Too little is said about the violent and regrettable behaviors due to excessive drinking.

That’s a lot to think and act on. Again, how we need media to remind us! And how we need more media fare like the Loyola school kids singing Christmas carols. Not covered was the Christmas pageant that occurred later, and was planned in large part by the eighth grade graduating class. Reportedly, the place was packed with adoring family members. Ah, an important aside about grandparents and the extended family: this year they are included in my friend Marcus and his wife Cathy’s Christmas photo greeting card. May it start a long overdue trend.

Of course, the trend most needed is for more TV coverage of peace on earth and joy to the world events all year long. That’s not to mention talk shows which further good relationships between family, friends and neighbors - not only at holiday get-togethers. Hey, it’s not an impossible dream. Oh, and bring back “The Waltons” reruns!

And here’s to communication skills that enable “the getting along” being taught by schools and faith groups. Included would be family and friend holiday conversations on how to stay vitally connected during the year, especially, but not only, for those who disperse to faraway homes.

Ah, how could I forget how the ‘‘family rich” need to include the ‘‘family poor,” especially, but not only, during this holy day/holiday season. This has nothing to do with income. And faith groups with love for one another’s creeds should enable this cause, as well as enabling disabled persons to attend faith group services, with ample time spent with those unable to travel.

But enough of all these spoken directives already. Let’s all do a lot more singing together and also alone – songs of peace and goodwill, what else? All year long, of course.