Years ago, when my dad moved to Florida because he couldn’t deal with New York winters, he gave me his favorite cold weather coat—a Mighty-Mac. It was a great coat, with a fur-lined hood and deep pockets on both sides. No matter how low the temperature got, I felt warm and secure in my Mighty-Mac.
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Governor David Paterson proposes to close a growing multibillion dollar budget deficit by, in part, making deep cuts to human services including community-based children’s mental health services. On Oct. 27, I testified before the New York State Finance Committee on the deadly combination of cuts to children’s mental health and the New York State Office of Mental Health’s (OMH) plan to refinance outpatient clinics (also known as “clinic reform”). Following is a portion of my testimony.
The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program is hosting a free event this Sunday, Nov. 15, noon to 4 p.m., at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Avenue in Lake Success. Visitors will be greeted with art exhibits, artisans at work, musical and dramatic performances, arts and crafts demonstrations and workshops, a holiday gift sale of one-of-a-kind art and crafts by Adult Program teachers and students, refreshments, giveaways, discount coupons, and free raffles.
This wonderful event is an ideal opportunity to savor the wide range of programs offered by the Adult Program right here in our community. And it is a wonderful opportunity to meet the faculty. Eighty faculty members and Adult Education Advisory Committee members are volunteering to make the day a success.
Among the free “classes” that day are PC and Mac computer, foreign languages, fitness, knitting, writing, history, guitar, bridge, canasta, and mah jongg. Get a preview of upcoming spring courses, special events, and trips, including an overnight trip to Washington, DC. View performances of singing, acting, and dancing, scheduled every half hour.
Please do come! Not only will you have a great time, but you will see just what is available for you in your own home town!
—-Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
How many families on your block won’t be having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey and all the trimmings? Not because they don’t like turkey, but because they can’t afford to buy one. And they can’t afford the side dishes that make that meal so special.
Maybe every one of your neighbors can afford to put on a big spread for Thanksgiving, but just a few blocks away, just a few miles from your dining room, there are families who won’t have as much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving as you and me. How do I know?
I know because last year The Interfaith Nutrition Network provided more than 3,000 turkeys to families in need. Each of those families also got a bag of groceries so they, too, could have a complete holiday dinner with all the good things that most of us take for granted.
I also know that because of the tough economic times we’re going through many families that were making ends meet last year aren’t doing as well this year. At the soup kitchen where I volunteer each year on Thanksgiving Day, we expect an increase of 25 percent more guests than last year.
If you’ve had some blessings in your life, please consider sharing them with those who haven’t been as fortunate. We need donations of: canned soups, canned vegetables, stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, canned yams or potato mix, gravy mix, dry pasta, rice, and canned fruit. If you happen to have a coupon for a free turkey, that would be really helpful too.
On this day in particular, “Let no one go hungry, while there is food on our table.”
Did you march in the Great Neck Halloween parade this past weekend? Were you in town? Did you see those adorable little munchkins all dressed up? For the fifth year, the Village of Great Neck Plaza and the Business Improvement District hosted a wonderful Halloween parade for the children, closing Middle Neck Road to vehicular traffic and providing “treats” for the little ones. It was a great day!
Coming right on the heels of the Plaza’s annual AutoFest and Street Festival and then the Great Neck Park District’s Harvest Festival, it has been a couple of super “hometown” weeks here in Great Neck.
Different times during the year various municipalities, villages and organizations sponsor local festivities —- crafts fairs, antiques shows, etc. Each one is a special event, drawing our neighbors and friends from all over. Each event draws a large, festive crowd with fair-goers of all ages enjoying each and every day.
Great Neck may, at times, seem like a bigger city, but, really, we are quite a wonderful little hometown. And we’re proud! How nice for us all, in this modern, high tech, busy, frantic world, to be able to step back once in a while and just “smell the roses.”
Aren’t we lucky to live in Great Neck!
No one wants to eat at a soup kitchen. Yet for many who have run out of other choices, it is a lifeline that keeps them going through rough times. I see their faces every week: the homeless veterans, the senior citizens living on fixed incomes, mothers with small children, fathers who have no jobs in this recession.
For many of the children we feed, this is their first meal of the day. For many of the senior citizens, it may be their only meal of the day. You can see their eyes widen when they take their trays and get to the front of the serving line; and a volunteer hands them a plate heaping with hot, nutritious food and a cup of chicken soup chock full of vegetables and noodles. Each meal also includes a salad, bread and butter, fruit, dessert, and beverage.
This coming Tuesday, Nov. 3, is Election Day! Even though there are no national of state elections, on a more local level, the town and the county, there are quite important elections at stake. It is crucial to vote!
Your quality of life very much depends on just who is elected on Nov. 3. Yes, your vote counts! Yes, one vote can make a difference. It sure does matter whether or not you vote!
Go to the polls next Tuesday and let your vote count. Vote and have a say in just what happens right here in your neighborhood! - Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
This is the final installment of my three-part series helping you to prepare for the unexpected. In previous columns you learned about the NY-ALERT program as well as how to make an emergency plan. In this installment, you will learn how to prepare an emergency kit.
Be prepared for the unexpected by assembling a kit of emergency supplies. You should plan to make it on your own for at least three days (72 hours). It is important that you and your family think about the kinds of resources you use on a daily basis and what you might do if they are not available.
Keep in mind that an emergency situation can force you and your family to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home for a long period of time. So consider getting two emergency kits, a home emergency kit and an emergency go-bag. In your home disaster kit you should put everything you will need to stay where you are and make it on your own for a period of time. The emergency go-bag should be a lightweight smaller version that you can easily transport and take with you in the event that you must leave your home. The following is a list of recommended items to include in each emergency kit
The Recognition Our Board of Education Deserves!
This year, New York State School Board Recognition Week is Oct. 19 to 23, this week! And it is our privilege to take this opportunity to congratulate our Board of Education on their incredible dedication and to thank them for their hard work in ensuring the best possible education for each and every child in our school district.
Thank you, thank you to Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz, Vice President Fran Langsner, and trustees Donald L. Ashkenase, Lawrence R. Gross, and Susan Miner-Healy. You are truly the ones who put the “great” in Great Neck!
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