Friday, 18 January 2013 00:00
On May 20, 1648, at what’s now the corner of West John Street and Cantiague Rock Road in Hicksville, Robert Williams and a small gathering of Christian men met with Pugnipan and other representatives of the Matinecock Indians and acquired the rights to settle the land that became Hicksville, Jericho, and parts of Woodbury. The event was captured in a 1936 WPA mural by Joseph Phsioc and resides in the Hicksville Middle School. Most interesting is what these Quakers and their Indian hosts pledged to one another: “do for miself and in beehalfe of [others] to bargin sell and make over unnto the sayed Robert Williams his ares executors administrators and asines from teme pesuably to ingay forever for us our ares and sucksessers forever also.” Other 17th century Indian deeds in our area read similar.
The peaceful Quaker folk from England granted the right to live in harmony amongst the Indians and their posterity. Their “ares and sucksessers” included Ellias Hicks who, from the Jericho Meeting House, called slavery “the most unrighteous and cruel act anyone can be guilty of short of murder,” and those Quakers in Jerusalem (North Wantagh/South Levittown) who shunned addictive and injurious things like tobacco. And they who signed the Flushing Remonsterance calling for religious freedom and sought negotiation in the face of the Duke of York’s truculence and nonviolent resistance a century later when British troops occupied Long Island and stationed a Hessian force in Jericho. These Christians, first to speak out against slavery, the oppression of the helpless and the poor, and the conspiring to sow discord and instigate wars, would have been far more flabbergasted by our moral condition than our technological capacities.
Our school districts here on Long Island are assuming the necessary measures to ensure the safety of children in light of the recent mass murder of elementary school students in Newtown, Connecticut. Yet evil against children is the new moral stain comparable to slavery in days of old and we - like the Quakers of Jericho, Jerusalem, and Bethpage - see it far and near. Our malls, box stores, and shopping centers with their poverty wages and Christmas Day openings overflow with merchandise manufactured by child slave labor in Third World sweatshops. Our communities, proudly established for soldiers who fought the tyrants and warlords who would subdue us, must confront the fact that our national leaders now wage wars against countries that never attacked us, killing thousands of innocent people - many children. Children grow up in poverty - yes, even in our community - because of rising taxes, falling wages, and billionaire business executives who outsource their parent’s jobs. Too many children in urban (and some suburban) areas attend schools overrun with guns, gangs, and drugs; live in communities that have become havens for people who live destructive and anti-social lifestyles and parasitize off the honest and hardworking.
We have much to learn from the Quakers and their Matinecock brethren who endeavored to plan a future in which their heirs and successors would know prosperity and peaceful coexistence. Still, the outpouring of sympathy for the people of Newtown, Connecticut, from a nation so depraved in its indifference to the plight of the world’s children, is a hopeful sign.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites high school graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees track program is pleased to announce that four members of the team will be participating in the New York State tournament. Students honored include:
Alexa Dolgos with a personal best of 1.37 in the 600 meter run; Alyssa Mustafa with a personal best of 17 feet, 3.5 inches in the long jump and a personal best of 36 minutes 1.3 seconds in the triple jump competition; Andrew Zabala with a personal best of 43 feet 5 inches in the triple jump; and Joe Stanco with 47 minutes 10.5 seconds in the shot put.
— Submitted by Varsity Track Coach Joseph Manna
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Bulldogs Wrestling team finished the 2013-2014 season with an overall record of 18-8. The team defeated Syosset in the Dual Meet Championship playoffs 34-27, and then lost to Plainedge in the second round 48-29. The team had a strong season and was ranked no. 8 in Nassau County. The Bulldogs entered 22 wrestlers in the Nassau County Qualifying Tournament, out of which, eleven of the team’s All-League grapplers qualified for the coveted Nassau County Wrestling Tournament. Six wrestlers also received All-Conference honors, with one wrestler earning a wildcard into the tournament, for a total of 12 Island Trees wrestlers competing.