February 2, 2003 - Albany Times Union: India RPCV Dick Beeler rescues wildlife in Florida

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: 02 February 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: February 2, 2003 - Albany Times Union: India RPCV Dick Beeler rescues wildlife in Florida

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, February 08, 2003 - 4:16 pm: Edit Post

India RPCV Dick Beeler rescues wildlife in Florida

Caption: Surgery at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife to a nine-banded armadillo to repair armour after being hit by a car.

Read and comment on this story from the Albany Times Union on India RPCV Dick Beeler who rescues wildlife in Florida as a full-time volunteer at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. After 32 years as a Niskayuna High math teacher, he's been involved in off-beat assignments for the nonprofit Sanibel Island organization that annually cares for about 3,400 sick, injured or orphaned wild animals. Read the story at:

Retired Niskayuna teacher rescues wildlife in Florida*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Retired Niskayuna teacher rescues wildlife in Florida

Feb 2, 2003 - Times Union-Albany NY

Author(s): Marv Cermak

Most retirees in Florida are taking life easy, but Dick Beeler has spent the last four years as a full-time volunteer at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

After 32 years as a Niskayuna High math teacher, he's been involved in off-beat assignments for the nonprofit Sanibel Island organization that annually cares for about 3,400 sick, injured or orphaned wild animals.

He's gone 40 feet in the air to rescue a baby bald eagle that fell out of its nest and wrestled a five-foot alligator needing treatment after being hit by a car.

"Since I never even owned a dog, the fact I love what I'm doing surprises the hell out of me," says Beeler, who also conducts clinic tours and gives educational presentations.

Besides classroom teaching at Niskayuna, he logged 20 years of coaching both the girls' freshman soccer team and the boys' volleyball squad.

Most of his soccer players graduated to a Niskayuna varsity that walked off with three state championships from 1993-95.

He was known in sports circles as a former sports broadcaster at WMHT and for a brief stint covering RPI hockey on WGY-AM. He also was the PA announcer at the annual Niska Day festivities for many years.

Time has also marched on for two daughters who graduated from Niskayuna High. Wendy Beeler spends six months each year working for Antarctic Support Services cooking for scientists and military personnel at the South Pole.

Susan Queary, another daughter, is a CPA in Olympia, Washington where her husband is an Associated Press writer.

Beeler said the need for the animal clinic grows each year because the proliferation of housing developments, malls and golf courses in southwest Florida has left very little sanctuary for the wild animals.

The clinic, staffed with two full-time veterinarians, operates on a $250,000 budget derived from donations and no government funding.

Beeler, who years ago served with the Peace Corps in India, said he gave up being the "world's worst golfer" in favor of his new routine. "Helping animals like osprey, turtles, racoons, owls and you name has been a worthwhile retirement project." Schenectady Assistant Police Chief Lou Pardi officially closed the cover on a 26- year career at his retirement party last week.

He's been out of the department lineup the past two years while waging a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. "I'm in remission and I feel great, but it's time to go," he said Friday.

Pardi recalls collapsing while watching 9/11 TV live accounts of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. He was hit with a rare type pneumonia doctors said was a fallout of stem cell transplant treatment.

"I was in a coma hooked up to a respirator for six days. After coming off life support, I felt as though I was given a whole new second chance at life."

Pardi, 47, says he's uncertain about future plans, but starting work on his master's degree is a good possibility.

He had a string of accomplishments during his police career including serving as the department's first public information officer. He also played major roles in various programs including Neighborhood Watch, the Police Athletic League, Citizens Police Academy, the Hamilton Hill Police Community Center, Child Find, Special Olympics and the bike patrol.

Police Chief Mike Geraci said he knew Pardi well even though he transferred from the Colonie to Schenectady PD just five months ago. "Lou is a good person who was an outstanding police officer," Geraci says.

Since the Schenectady force has three remaining assistant chiefs, Geraci said Pardi's position will be scratched in favor of hiring another patrol officer. "I need cops on the street," Geraci said. Schenectady City Council meetings are interrupted on occasion by jeering from an irate taxpayer or two in the audience, but there was a new twist to the unexpected last week.

A brief silence while agenda issues were being sorted out was broken when a baby belonging to a woman visitor in the chambers began crying.

Council President Frank Maurizio, a master of witty come back lines, apparently couldn't pass up the opportunity for levity. "That's the way I feel sometimes," Maurizio said, breaking up most everyone.

Most of the council meetings get bogged down at times by rhetoric from some of the elected representatives pontificating on a mundane topic. Every now and then, unusual comments from the public during the privilege of the floor take the boredom out of routine sessions.

Last week, a critic suggested that the mayor, council members and city department heads should be subjected to mandatory annual lie detector tests.

"There are tests for alcohol and drug abuse all over the place, so why not lie tests? You couldn't fire those who fail the test, but it's something to consider," the speaker said. He suggested the results of the test could be reported by the news media. Council members did not comment on the idea. Nominations for the Schenectady City School District Hall of Fame, which honors lifetime achievements of graduates, closed for 2003 last Friday.

Bob Pezzano, a prime mover of the project, said the nomination committee will need about a month or so to decide on inductees.

Through the years, a number of prominent grads have been selected including Father Hugh Hines, past president of Siena College; John Sayles, a nationally known author/movie director; Richard Ketchum, NASDAQ president; Don McNaughton, past CEO of the Prudential Insurance Co.and Brig. Gen. Michael Kussman, past administrator of Walter Reed Hospital.

Last year's inductees included Telford Taylor, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials from 1946-49.

During the trials, 209 Nazi leaders were indicted for crimes against humanity and 37 of them were sentenced to death.

Tom Della Salla, a nominating committee member, said Taylor wrote the entry covering the Nuremburg Trials for the World Book Encyclopedia. He said when Taylor died in 1998, he was eulogized as "One of the most important men of the century."

Incidentally, just last week, the school district's Athletic Hall of Fame Committee announced four new inductees headed by Jim Barbieri, a member of the Schenectady team which won the 1954 Little League World Series.

In '66, the Linton High graduate was with the Los Angeles Dodger team that wound up playing the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

The other inductees are former Mont Pleasant High basketball greats Dick and Walt Suprunowicz and Bill Kirvin. The Suprunowicz brothers became collegiate standouts -- Dick at Syracuse and Walt at Holy Cross. Kirvin was a big gun at Xavier of Ohio.
More about Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

Read more about Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife at:

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

C.R.O.W. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. Established on Sanibel Island in 1968, it receives native wildlife from around southwest Florida. Thousands of patients are treated annually, representing hundreds of species including birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

C.R.O.W. has a complete wildlife hospital at the center of its 12.5-acre sanctuary, and is staffed with a full-time veterinarian and wildlife rehabilitators. Once recovered sufficiently in the intensive care section of the hospital, the patients are moved to outdoor enclosures set in beautiful natural surroundings, where their transition back to nature is gradual and comfortable.

The primary mission of C.R.O.W. is the rescue, care, rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. Inherent in this mission is the education of adults and children to insure their peaceful coexistence with their wild neighbors.

Under the direction of a full time staff veterinarian, professional rehabilitation specialists at the C.R.O.W. wild animal clinic provide high quality medical, surgical, dietary, and physical therapy to more than 3000 patients annually, representing nearly 200 different wildlife species.

Much of the trauma experienced by wildlife is a direct result of interaction with humans. An important part of the C.R.O.W. mission is to increase public awareness of the perils to which wildlife is subjected in the face of continued land development and human population growth and activity.

C.R.O.W. seeks to prevent these environmental hazards through a variety of educational programs designed to help us respect and protect our native wildlife populations and to preserve the delicate natural balance required by the habitat they must share.

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