Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to speak with William F. Buckley of National Review and television fame. During our conversation, Mr. Buckley said to me, “If you ever want to get something done, give the job to a busy man.”
I have never forgotten that advice during my 42 years as president of the Levittown Property Owners Association (LPOA), 17 years as director of Nassau County Police Activities League Track and Field, my 12 years as director of Girls CYO Basketball at St. Bernard’s, or my eight years on the Board of Directors of Red Devil Football. Bill Buckley’s advice works!
Andy Booth is a fine American, a fine Levittowner, and a decent human being. I wish there were 100,000 more people like him. But none of these virtues immunize against departures from reality. It’s clear from his recent letter to the editor that he knows next to nothing about the country in which he dwells.
Suggesting that Americans are free to “find the job of their choice” is - albeit unintentionally - a slap in the face and insult to the intelligence of the hundreds of thousands of previously middle class Americans (including Levittowners) who daily deal with the toxic fallout from outsourcing, downsizing, debt, bankruptcy, unemployment, underemployment, over-qualification, food stamps, homelessness, and food pantries. All victims of our “free enterprise” system. Saying that one is free to “go to the school of their choice” seems unlikely given the parents who work two or three jobs and can still only afford to send their kids to a public school overrun with guns, gangs, and drugs and “educators” who teach hippi pop culture psychobabble instead of serious academic subjects.
At this most thankful time of year, we would like to wish the entire Island Trees community a very Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Naturally, Thanksgiving means a lot more than football, pilgrims and pumpkin pie. The holiday is centered on giving thanks for all of our blessings.
However, when it comes down to it, the holiday revolves around people – family, friends, and loved ones. It’s about all of the essential people in our lives and the blessings they give us.
The electoral process is at the core of our democratic way of government in the United States of America. From Presidential elections all the way down to local government contests, the will of the people is central to our way of life. Accordingly, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the Nov. 8 elections. I am honored to have been re-elected to another term as Hempstead Town Supervisor and I am eager to embark upon new challenges and maintain key priorities over the next two years. Thank you!
A veteran is someone who will miss his sister’s or brother’s wedding.
A veteran is someone who will miss his son or his daughter’s baseball game. Just keep this in mind, we wake up in the morning and go to work or out to play. One can go to school of their choice; one can find a job of their choice. One can do what one would like to do (almost); one can wear the clothes any way we choose. That is why we call America the greatest country.
Parents are the most powerful and needed force in educating children. They set the expectations for future success. After all, a child spends about 900 hours a year in school and 7,800 hours at home. Naturally, a parent’s job is not an easy one, especially today when we’re all pulled in a million different directions in our work and home lives. We all try to prioritize what’s important and how to manage all of these priorities, including our most important priority – our children. It’s like anything else in life – if you put a lot of time and energy into your children – the fruits of your efforts will be bountiful. If you do not, most of us know how this story ends. I’m asked over and over what parents can do to help their children succeed. Read to your children from infancy through the elementary grades. Read to them, read to them, and read to them some more. This modeling and practice will not only emphasis the importance of reading, but will enable your child’s vocabulary to grow exponentially, as well as create a tremendous foundation of knowledge. Equally important, reading to children creates a powerful parent/child bond – a connection that will provide a lifetime of memories for child and parent.
A recent article on the Internet, from November 1, 2011 (that can be found at www.tinyurl.com/lischoolscores) is a preliminary promulgation of NYSED Assessment score rankings pitting Island Trees against eight contiguous districts. These districts were not “cherry-picked.” There was no flawed methodology, skullduggery, or black magic used during this research.
There’s an old axiom; “numbers don’t lie, people do”. If you were to place IT in the center of a map, you could draw straight lines to Plainedge, Hicksville, Wantagh, Levittown, Bethpage, etc. If you were to drive from the IT business office, you could arrive at any of these eight other districts within 10 minutes.
Imagine living in a community that has no churches, charities, museums, sports leagues, art galleries, historical societies, fraternal organizations, youth centers, or senior citizens services. Hard to imagine except in the worse inner-city slum or in some rural backwoods? Not really. These institutions depend on volunteers to keep their doors open and fewer and fewer people volunteer.
In a society where people watch a few hours of TV a night, spend hours Facebooking people they’ve not seen in 20 years about what they had for lunch, and sufficiently wired into computer games in their cell phone to resemble the autistic in their disconnection with the rest of the world, it’s difficult to get people to donate a few hours a month in the community. (I’ll doubtless receive flack about the autistic comparison, but I have a profoundly autistic nephew. It kills me that he’ll never hold a job, enjoy the eloquence of literature, get married, or wonder at scientific discovery. Yet in many ways, those who chose to isolate themselves from the rest of their community out of apathy are no less tragic).
Many years ago, I was engaged in the process of gaining an Irish passport. Ireland grants citizenship to descendants. For example, if your grandparents were born in Ireland, you could apply for citizenship based on descent from Irish grandparents. At the time, I was looking into opportunities in Europe, but unfortunately the international rules and regulations were impossible to overcome.
However, I found out dual citizenship in one of the European Union countries was a way around the red tape. The application process required specific documentation - birth and marriage certificates - tracing back the lineage to Ireland.
Statement of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer
Today’s decision by the state Board of Regents to seek a federal waiver from the strictures of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is welcome news for school districts across this state that were facing unrealistic expectations, such as requiring 100 percent proficiency in English/Language Arts and mathematics by 2014.
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