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Great Getaways

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio, Thursday, 09 January 2014 13:10

Winter escapes close to home

So the holidays are over, winter has come and we’re all in a position to get smacked with a hefty case of the seasonal blahs. Until the first rays of spring arrive in a few months, the following are suggested retreats that don’t involve getting on a plane or going beyond Long Island and the five boroughs.

East End Escape

Most people perceive the Hamptons, North Fork and all points around the tip of Long Island as being strictly reserved for summer jaunts. Truth is that even though the temperature is considerably lower this time of year, it’s far less crowded and tailor-made for that get-away weekend. Among the places you can stay are:


Attention Big Data: Hands Off Our Kids

Written by John Owens, Friday, 03 January 2014 00:00

Don’t mess with the moms. Okay, nor the dads. But especially the moms. Because they are not going to get tired or get shooed away. Just ask Deborah Abramson Brooks and Allison White.

“My daughter is a minor, and it is my job to protect her,” said Brooks, whose nine-year-old daughter is in the fourth grade in Port Washington public schools.


Where The Price Of Computers Is Free

Written by John Owens, Friday, 27 December 2013 00:00

Where do laptop computers come from? China? Korea? Cupertino, Calif.?

For thousands of needy people around Long Island, their computers come from Jon Zimmerman’s garage.

“I started giving equipment away because I felt bad that some kids could access the internet and some couldn’t,” said Zimmerman, who runs the group Comp4Kids.


A Mother’s Tragedy Gives Birth To A Mission

Written by John Owens, Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:13

Lois A. Schaffer’s story will break your heart. If you are a parent, it will break your heart many times more. Five years ago, Schaffer’s daughter Susie was shot and killed in the kitchen of her St. Louis home by two teenage burglars.

As novelist Joan Didion put it, “What greater grief can there be for mortals than to see their children dead?”

But Schaffer has channeled her grief into a cause and a new book, The Unthinkable: Life, Loss, and a Mother’s Mission to Ban Illegal Guns, published on Dec. 18, the fifth anniversary of Susie’s death.


Mastering Math Shouldn’t Be Optional

Written by John Owens, Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:14

I had lunch with your kid’s math teacher’s boss last week. What was on the plates doesn’t matter, but what was on the menu is very important.

The Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors hosted Jill Diniz, curriculum manager and lead writer for the New York State Education Department’s Common Core Mathematics Curriculum Project. Her employer is Washington, D.C.-based Common Core, Inc. Diniz, who lives in Vero Beach, Fla., came to Nassau to explain how to implement the Common Core math standards in our local schools.

Right up front, she made it clear that the Common Core approach is very different from what we have been doing.


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