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Pelham Residents Remember Top News Stories of 2011

PELHAM, N.Y. – The endless local and nationwide breaking news headlines of 2011 won’t be forgotten anytime soon.  Perhaps, to many Pelham residents, it was the Mother Nature-related stories that have been most memorable, as well as protester movements around the world.

“I’m thinking the tsunami in Japan because it had to do with so much life,” said Kit Portrake, owner of Times Treasures and Antiques. “It was people, animals – a lot of loss.”

The devastating March 11 earthquake that was measured at a 9.0 magnitude killed more than 15,000 people and left thousands of others injured or missing. The natural disaster also caused a national and local debate about the safety of nuclear power plants, such as Indian Point in nearby Buchanan.

“After the event in Japan, you understand just how fragile life is,” Portrake said. “We could be here today and gone tomorrow, all of us. That’s important.”

For Chuck Calhoun, who was shopping at DeCicco’s Food Market Thursday, the most significant events of the year were the other natural disasters around the world.

“The earthquake in Japan, massive tornados in this country, and the entire country of Thailand being flooded – they were all very significant,” Calhoun said.

While Mother Nature had a loud presence in 2011, Pelham residents also said uprisings around the world were among the most memorable news stories.

“It’s all of these revolutions – the Egyptian Revolution, the overthrow of Gaddafi, and the troops coming back supposedly,” said Miguel Santo about revolutions in Egypt and Libya, also mentioning civil uprisings in Bahrain, Syria, and Yemen.

Almost all of the revolutions, uprisings, and protests utilized Facebook and Twitter as a major form of communication and a way to organize.

Chuck Crowley, a Pelham resident eating lunch at M.A.D. Café Thursday, felt that Occupy Wall Street will continue to have a “very far reaching effect.”

"I think that people are frustrated," said Crowley. "So many people, younger generation folks, are having difficulty getting jobs – having difficulty envisioning a real American dream for themselves. How are they going to buy a house? How are they going to save up for retirement?” He added that many people relate to the Occupy movement’s general message saying,  “you better change things right now.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DailyPelham . Contact Pelham reporter Patrick Stapleton at pstapleton@thedailypelham.com .

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