Poor Barry Goldwater— he just couldn’t catch a break. It was 1964 and Goldwater, running for president, was being pilloried for uttering this now famous, or infamous line, depending on one’s point of view: “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” It was a line given to him by Harry V. Jaffa, disciple of Leo Strauss, the influential political philosopher. But as soon as he said it, Goldwater owned it and it dogged him throughout the campaign as his opponents quoted it as proof that the Arizona senator was himself an extremist.
I have great news for the almost 45,000 Hempstead Town veterans who fought to defend our nation’s freedom. The veteran’s booth at Hempstead Town Hall has reopened and is serving more clients than ever.
After being closed this past summer by the governor and the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, we are pleased to say that thanks to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, veterans, as well as their spouses and children, can again come to our counseling center every Thursday at Hempstead Town Hall, to discuss veteran benefits and other veteran issues.
Spring is here awakening a world of color and life that shimmers in the light of day. The sights and smells of the freshly born season appear, unhurried at first, but soon suffuse everything around it in an ancient ritual older than history itself.
Among other grand events, it is a sure sign that the American pastime is back. “Baseball made me understand,” mused the author Phillip Roth, “what patriotism is all about.” Roth made this observation, when he and thousands of others simultaneously rose from their seats to listen to the soaring notes of our National Anthem.
Preparing tax returns can be frustrating and confusing, but we can help. Hempstead Town’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program offers free tax assistance to senior citizens.
My wife, Sonia, and I are animal lovers. Growing up on a farm, Sonia has lived with animals in a richer and more intimate way than most. As Whittaker Chambers movingly noted in the prologue of his great book, Witness, nothing more reflects the struggle for life and the certainty of death then life on a farm. If the local laws governing livestock allowed farm animals in our village, we would surely have had our own little menagerie. My neighbors, I’m certain, are eternally grateful for the existence of such laws.
The heart of the famous Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, was wedded to the sea. He sailed with Columbus on his second voyage to the Americas and he was the first Westerner to reach Florida. After finding gold in what is now Puerto Rico, he became intrigued over tales told by the natives of a wonderfully sumptuous island north of Cuba. These legends, interestingly enough, had nothing to do with gold or land. No, these whisperings told of something, perhaps the only thing he ever lusted for more than riches and fame.
With spring quickly approaching, the Town of Hempstead is preparing for another year of S.T.O.P (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) Programs, which will be brought to communities throughout the township. Last year, we introduced a new mercury collection initiative in partnership with Covanta Energy. The mercury program diverts a dangerous toxin from our regional waste stream while adding an environmental safeguard to our water quality and air supply.
Marching triumphantly into Nate Bennett Pavilion Hall, they swept into Hempstead Town like a crisp breeze of fresh air. Young, bright-eyed, bristling with intellectual curiosity, the world seemed to belong to them or, at least, its future. They were among America’s best and brightest — the spiritual descendents of Edison, Einstein, Salk, Crick and Watson and a host of other scientific luminaries.
Keeping our planet healthy takes a joint effort. That’s why I am proud to announce that the Town of Hempstead will hold an “E-Cycling” Day on Saturday, March 13 in Levittown from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. This is your chance to get rid of your unwanted computers, televisions, DVD players and VCRs and help the environment at the same time. The event will take place in the Town of Hempstead municipal parking lot area, located just off Division Avenue behind the Tri-County Market (Hempstead Turnpike) in Levittown.
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