- Special Projects
When John Orlando was released from prison last year, he wanted to get his life back. He’d worked for decades as a funeral director, and he wanted to keep doing that. He loved the work, he needed the money, and he wanted the dignity of paying back the money he stole.
“I was guilty. I did it. I deserved to be punished,” Orlando said this past fall over breakfast in a Long Island diner. “If I could get my license back, I could make good.”
But he can’t. Orlando stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his sick cousin who entrusted him with his estate. And when Orlando’s business failed, he couldn’t pay back the people who’d prepaid for their funerals.
He was convicted of three felonies for those crimes, and so he can’t yet get that license back. In 2016, three years after his release, he’ll be eligible to apply for a Certificate of Good Conduct, and if he gets it he’ll be allowed to at least apply to get a new funeral directing license. Until then, Orlando remains barred from the work of dressing bodies, saying prayers and arranging flowers.
What do gourmet ice cubes, the human microbiome and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge have in common? Water.
On this edition of AudioFiles, we explore how co-operative businesses helped the Rockaways get back on its feet after Sandy. We look at how plastic bags and other trash from the Bronx River ends up in our food, and how rogue scientists and engineers are designing infrastructure that can protect cities from rising tides. We’ll also hear music from our in-studio guest, Selam.
Producer: Gwynne HoganAssistant Producer: Julia Alsop
Host: Reem Nasr
Stories by: Allegra Abramo, Natalie Abruzzo, Caroline Lewis, Danny Lewis, Roxanne Scott, Minda Smiley and Steve Trader
For more information about AudioFiles: http://www.audiofilespodcast.com/