Final Project Pitch

I came across two high school-aged kids that are part of the USA Jr. National Karate team. Their goal is to make the Olympic karate team in 2020. They have to travel to different countries every month or so to compete and acquire a certain amount of points to make the team.

Unfortunately, the US doesn’t fund their athletes. So, Adam and Logan garbage pick for scrap wood, then make and sell hand crafted decorations. 100% of their proceeds go to raising money for their travels.

I’ve contacted Adam’s mother, and she was really excited about this. I plan to film them making the crafts and also training…competing if possible. I would also like to do photography, although I’m not entirely sure what I would do for that, so input would be helpful. 


Patchogue hosts fourth annual chili and chowder festival

HOST INTRO: Anticipation was brewing in Patchogue, Long Island, for their Main Street’s closing, until last week when the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce hosted a fall festival. During the festival, there was a chili and chowder contest taking place, and the street was lined with craft vendors. Here’s reporter Annie O’Sullivan with the story.

Radio pitch

I have a few different ideas floating around.

My initial idea: Some animal shelters out in the Hamptons took in about 60 abandoned animals from Texas after Harvey. With all the focus shifting to Puerto Rico and Vegas, I thought it might be a good reminder to people that Texas is still suffering.
I exchanged a few e-mails with someone from the shelter, and I could most likely do this, but I’m waiting for confirmation. I was trying to see if they still had some animals from Texas that have yet to find home. If not, then this obviously isn’t much of a story.

My next idea that I think I’m most likely going to go with has to do with the ecosystem on Long Island and the things that are effecting it. I work in a state park and the guys who work on the farm know a lot about this. They do everything they can to reduce their carbon footprint. I think the sounds on the farm would be good to record, too. (They have chickens)

My back up idea revolves around a hot dog truck in my neighborhood, Charlie’s Hot Dogs. Years ago, it was a hot dog truck parked in a family driveway and people came from all over for their hot dogs. They shut it down a few years back (I believe Charlie himself died), and now they’ve reopened in a local parking lot and loads of people are excited.

alt. photoville assignment

While searching around for an interesting and powerful documentary photography project, I came across Thomas P. Peschak who is an assignment photographer for National Geographic. His main focus is on wildlife conservation, more specifically in the way humans affect marine life, and his photos are stunning.

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Peschak was originally a marine biologist, but realized he would have a greater impact on people with pictures rather than statistics, so he switched his career to become a wildlife journalist. He has published a handful of books loaded with statistics and serious research, along with his photography of sharks, manta rays, and other marine life.

While some of his pictures have a serene, peaceful feeling to them, Peschak’s goal in his book, Sharks and People: Exploring Our Relationship with the Most Feared Fish in the Sea, is to show the reality of human interference with these creatures who have been around for millions of years. Fisheries and the finning industry are huge threats to sharks.

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Shark’s Fin City in Hong Kong

In these photos, Peschak shows some unsettling moments of the finning industry, which is an extremely wasteful and cruel business, and has been banned in over 60 countries. Humans are killing sharks for less than 5% of the animal’s body, and this is clearly depleting shark populations. According to an article he wrote for Time Magazine, Peschak witnessed over 1,000 sharks auctioned off in just one single night and each year. In Sharks and People he writes that roughly 10 million kg of shark fins are auctioned off, equivalent to the weight of 2,000 African Elephants.

Peschak also touches on ways that people are trying to understand and co-exist with sharks.

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A blacktip shark inspects a surfer paddling on a prototype surfboard fitted with a electronic shark deterrent built into its underside. The electronic shield was switched off during the test and the sharks approached closely. Peschak believes that these types of surfboards are a progressive step toward co-existing with sharks.

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Peschak tells Nat Geo that he often sketches out pictures he wants to capture before diving in the water, so he knows what to look for. He never uses any SCUBA gear, just a weighted belt, some flippers and a snorkel, and holds his breath for several minutes, giving him a lot more mobility in the ocean. Peschak has studied sharks long enough to understand their behavior and says they are not dangerous if you know what you’re doing.