The Hermanators Ride Against Parkinsons Disease 

On September 9, 2023, the Annual New England Parkinsons Ride will be held. In honor of Jerry Herman ‘72, lifelong friend to so many Beta Pi brothers and longtime supporter of his beloved fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, a group of bicyclists named The Hermanators will ride the course. The Hermanators team is a labor of love organized by Jerry’s wife, Linda, and all funds, raised by the cyclists and non-cyclist donors to The Hermanator team, will benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for research toward a cure. 

Further details to follow will advise how you can make your personal donation and join the fight against Parkinsons.    

It’s a Small World Department 

Paul Zaentz ’69 offers the following as proof it is a small world we live in: 

“Last week I was in Prague celebrating the 40th anniversary of when we filmed Amadeus there. Back in 1983 every business in what was then Czechoslovakia was owned by the communist government which for restaurants meant its employees were paid the same whether they were full or had no customers and therefore there was no incentive to provide good service. There was one exception, the Opera Grill. By the manner in which he treated his patrons, I knew that the elderly man who was in charge of the restaurant must have owned it before it was taken over by the government. The Opera Grill also had a piano player and the first song he played every night was Don’t Fence Me In – I knew that was a political statement. In 2007 when we were in Prague for the premiere of Goyas Ghosts, Milos Forman (Director) took me to one of his favorite restaurants, the Blue Duckling. Last week I ate there 3 times. The duck was superb and the piano player was sublime. At the end of my third meal, I spoke to the pianist and started to tell him about my experiences at the Opera Grill. As soon as I mentioned its name he started to quiver. When I spoke of the piano player he started to cry – the piano player was his grandfather. I got goosebumps.” 

If any reader enjoyed this story and has experienced his own “small world” occurrence, please email it to Morty Cohen at [email protected]. Put “Beta Pi” on the subject line.   

Andy Slavitt Quoted in New York Times 

The writers of a front-page article in the New York Times issue of May 6, 2023, concerning the pending resignation of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky, sought the opinion of Andy Slavitt, Beta Pi ’85, a trusted advisor on healthcare to three Presidents. He was also the former Acting Administrator (Director) of the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

Brother Slavitt was the subject of the leading article in the Beta Pi April 2023 eletter. Now, less than a month later, he was asked to comment on the demands of the job faced by Dr. Walensky at the CDC. The New York Times article read: 

“Andy Slavitt, a key advisor on the White House Covid-19 team in 2021, praised Dr. Walensky’s efforts to do a job ‘that’s easy to criticize and tough to do. 

You show up in an emergency status with a specific job to do,’ he added. ‘It’s almost like a mission, with a beginning and end. Even though she was running an agency, during wartime is different than running an agency during peacetime.’ “ 

The New York Times could not have chosen a better source for information regarding healthcare in the United States. 

Joe Klein Guests on MSNBC Live 

On May 15, 2023, Joe Klein, Beta Pi ’65, appeared as a guest political commentator on MSNBC Live’s “morning joe” show.  

A best-selling author of the novel Primary Colors and a former columnist for both Time and Newsweek magazines, Joe has often appeared on Sunday morning news panel shows for CNN and MSNBC. This particular morning, he was asked to explain why ex-President Trump continues to have favorable ratings despite his well-publicized troubles. 

Joe offers his opinion that the media, by avoiding Trump as a news item and being dismissive of him, is to blame for his continued popularity. He also criticizes the media for failing to confront Trump with “hard” questions during interviews. Also, when they do question Trump, the media should use language the American public understands. For example, do not describe migrants at our borders as “undocumented”, they are “illegal”, and “gender affirming treatment” should be called a “sex change”. The media should relate to the public on their level by using their language.  

Any time you have the opportunity to view Joe Klein on these shows, keep your hands off the remote. His opinions will always be informative and entertaining.