It is now 235 years since the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. Judging by the impact of that event, the year 1776, along with the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492 and the beginning of the Reformation in 1523, is a year that remains enshrined as one of the most momentous dates in history. It is so because the principles it has inspired have shaped not only a nation but also a world. Oceans of ink have been spilled celebrating July 4th so I don’t intend, even if I could, to expand upon its meaning. What I would like to do is remember those in our armed forces who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the theatre in Libya.
Every summer, the Town of Hempstead’s Summer Concert Series, hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, brings talented musicians to perform at the town’s neighborhood parks. Our lineup this year features an exciting range of musical genres, from the smooth sounds of Sinatra and classic rock to the Doo-Wop hits of the 1960s and the sounds of the Caribbean.
Every year, the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce proudly sponsors scholarship awards to local students as part of its community service. The chamber members appreciate the residents who support our businesses and especially wish to encourage the success of our outstanding students. This program recognizes local students for outstanding achievement through an essay contest held at the five local schools.
If there is one thing I hate more than encountering dead ends when I’m driving it’s meeting deadlines when I’m writing. A deadline, like a poltergeist, gnaws its way into the sinews of the soul making those terrible seconds, metronomically ticking away, sound like cannon fire. Then comes that dreaded phone call. It’s the editor. The tone of voice on the other end reminds you of an alarm clock sounding off at 5 in the morning demanding to know what the hell happened to this week’s column??? Well, the last part isn’t quite true. The editor of this paper is unfailingly nice and gracious, but one cannot mistake the urgency of her inquiries — editors, after all, have deadlines too.
Has it ever struck anyone that in every society, from the most primitive to the most sophisticated, the family is immemorially entrenched in the fabric of human existence? That the state of marriage, while not necessarily between one man and one woman is and always has been, until very recently, a union of opposite sexes? That it was seen as a natural institution and not a prevailing convention because it was the only union capable of producing children?
If this was not the case then marriage would have been forsaken long ago or never fostered in the first place, resulting in a more utilitarian arrangement where relations between sexes could occur without boundaries. After experiencing the familial anarchy of recent decades as a result of skyrocketing divorce rates and unwed mothers, we have re-learned what was being largely denied or ignored: The critical role that both a mother and father play in fashioning the psychodynamics of the human personality; that divorce hurts children in powerful and virtually irrevocable ways and it has dire consequences for society. There are cases when the children are better off if the marriage is dissolved, but this has proven to be the exception and not the rule.
The Town of Hempstead proudly takes part in the celebration of our nation’s independence with our Annual Independence Day Celebration and Veterans Salute. The salute will occur on Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m.
The evening will feature a ceremony honoring veterans from throughout the Township who have distinguished themselves in service to their country and their community. The evening will also include a free concert featuring the legendary rock ‘n’ roll group Blood, Sweat and Tears and will conclude with a spectacular fireworks finale. Pre-concert attractions include classic and vintage cars on display from several area car clubs. In addition to the classic cars, there will be an impressive array of military vehicles and armored equipment from the 2nd Marines 25th Battalion of Garden City.
The old priest was good-hearted but hard of hearing. “So Father,” said the earnest parishioner, “What do you think of euthanasia?” The priest shifted his bulky body in his high-backed chair and said, “Well, my son, I think the youth in Asia are as good as the youth anywhere else.”
I begin with a humorous story as an introduction to a very serious and complex subject. The passing of Dr. Kevorkian, a Minnesota pathologist, who not only advocated but performed many “assisted physician suicides” brought this issue home like a forced march over a bloody battlefield. Dubbed ‘Dr. Death’ by the media, an oxymoronic appellation that underscores the macabre caricature he had become during his ill-conceived career. The death of Dr. Death does not mean, of course, that there will be less death in this vale of tears. But it might compel us to become more sensitized to these “end of life issues” without the irresponsible grandstanding of a libertarian run amuck. Kevorkian’s contemptuous flouting of existing laws prohibiting euthanasia, his intemperate language and his positively euphoric zest for his work made him the poster child for a culture of death. He was a willing accomplice in the demise of at least 140 people; Kevorkian was happy to oblige even those who were just depressed and didn’t want to live anymore.
A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on June 7.
The meeting opened with a pledge to the flag. Present were Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy, Trustees James E. Rhatigan, Mary-Grace Tomecki, Dominick A. Longobardi, Kevin M. Fitzgerald, Village Administrator Patrick E. Farrell, Village Clerk Susan E. Walsh, Superintendent of Building Department and Superintendent of Public Works Stephen L. Siwinski, Police Lieutenant Michael Suppe and Village Attorney John E. Ryan.
I read with concern a report in Our Lady of Victory Parish Bulletin that the Village of Floral Park has cited the parish for being in violation of the village’s laws for using the front vestibule of the church during the recent funeral Mass of a young parishioner tragically killed. I am trying to understand what this is all about.
The construction project at the Church has been proceeding in an orderly and safe manner. Our Holy Week, Easter celebration and the celebrations of First Holy Communion used the front entrance without a hitch and such use was approved by the village. Safety precautions were in place. Everyone appreciated the celebrations.
As far as I can see, nothing at the site had really changed since the Easter events. So, why is it now necessary to come down on the parish for using the vestibule for a funeral, which meant so much to our community? I think that village government should show a little compassion to the family, which lost a child and to a parish community, which came together to share in the grief.
I think that the purpose of local government is to serve the community. I encourage our elected officials to work more cooperatively with the religious institutions in our village.
Red Alert – Red Alert, batten down the hatches, uncover the lifeboats and, while you’re at it, damn those torpedoes. The “International Agency for Cancer Research,” a panel of the World Health Organization, has ignited a media firestorm by claiming that the radio-frequency electromagnetic fields that cell-phones emit are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Sounds frightening, doesn’t it? But then being encased in a long tube, some 35,000 feet above the earth, to be propelled through space at 600 mph also sounds a tad risky. Yet millions of people around the world fly every year and we know that the statistics clearly show that it is the safest form of transportation, including walking. But fear, as I’ve noted before in this column, has great, big eyes. Sensationalism, high-wire coverage and hysteria headlines have become as pervasive in the modern world as high cholesterol. And like sex — baby it sells. The apparatchiks can hawk these hyperventilated fears all they want — this consumer isn’t buying. I might have been impressed by things called the “World Health Organization” in my imbecilic pubescent years but having settled into the autumn of middle-aged complacency, pronouncements by self-proclaimed public guardians have more the malodorous scent of ordure than they do hard science.
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