Having just watched season one of the cable television series “The Americans.” in which Russian spies kill our own FBI agents in Washington D.C., I question the wisdom and the “fairness” of the Oyster Bay Town Board’s waiving of parking and beach permit fees for Russian diplomats; while charging American citizen Town of Oyster Bay residents, who live in Plainview, Old Bethpage, Oyster Bay, East Norwich, Hicksville, Syosset, Jericho, Massapequa, Glen Cove, Farmingdale, Woodbury, Locust Valley, Sea Cliff, Bayville, Brookville, Muttontown, Mill Neck, Bethpage, Lattingtown, and other fine, upstanding communities, $60 for annual automobile beach stickers.
Growing up in Farmingdale in the 70s with health-conscious parents, we did not did not eat much in the way of processed, prepackaged foods, especially baked goods. One of few exceptions was Entenmann’s coffee cakes, which were made locally. Mom and Dad went for the pecan roll, though we kids were always hot for the crumb-topped coffee cake. (The chocolate-covered donuts, sadly, were never in play.)
Memorial Day has passed, marking the official start of the summer season, a season that is above all about warm sunshine.
The sun is an astonishing presence in our lives. It is a primary, primal, life-giving force on this planet. Humans, like many species, are drawn to bask in its warmth. We miss it in winter, falling prey to sadness—officially seasonal affective disorder—in the months when Apollo’s chariot arcs low in the sky.
On February 10th, over 500 concerned citizens packed the Island Trees High School auditorium to voice their concerns and their anger at the notion that someone would dare to attempt to sell school property including a building dedicated to a Medal of Honor recipient. American Hero Lt. Stephen E. Karopczyc was first wounded in action and later that same day killed in action in Vietnam 47 years ago. That building was dedicated on Flag Day, June 14, 1969. Was the Karopczyc family contacted by the district and told that their son’s school would be razed? Of course not.
At that February meeting, we were assured that this notion was in its infancy stage. What we weren’t told that night was that an appraiser, a realtor, and an attorney, all with strong political ties to one another, had already been hired by February 10th. The Huntington Three was assembled and this community was none the wiser...not yet. Many have said that this Farmedge Property Proposal was ill-conceived from the outset and destined to fail. Others feared that this troika would succeed in redesigning Island Trees. The February 10th forum and its aftermath was the precursor to May 20th’s results.
We all remember springtime in high school and how it wasn’t always the rising temperatures that made us sweat. Finals time is stressful for students from all grades, but especially for those high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Just the thought of the math Regents exam sends algebraic chills up our spines, culminating in a Pythagorean Theorem-sized anxiety attack. We remember those long nights of last-week cramming, with a steady diet of Mountain Dew and leftover Easter candy keeping our minds lubricated in wide-eyed hyper-sensitivity.
I’m a journalist, author and psychoanalyst. I have written editorials and have been editorialized myself in Newsday, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. When I read Michael Miller’s “Viewpoint” (“American’s Deserve a Life After 6 p.m.,” The Weekend, April 30-May 6),I recognized it as one of the finest editorial pieces I have ever come across.
I recall the first time I watched the infamous Cadillac commercial Mr. Miller referred to, and how persuasive and really evil it was. For those who have not seen the ad, it was a 60-second spot of a handsome actor walking through his luxury home, past his built-in pool and approaching his new Cadillac. All the while he discusses how ridiculous the lazy French are for taking off “all of August!” and how Americans are so smart to be willing to sacrifice all their time and energy to work and buy and work and buy.
“Elitist”. That’s a moniker with which I am frequently affixed and insofar as I contend that rule by philosopher-kings, cultured aristocrats, and scholarly noblemen bequeaths more enlightened governance than democratically-elected lawyers and other chattering classes, the charge is not wholly unwarranted. But that’s not the variant of elitism to which most are referring.
Citizens of a certain sarcastic mindset tend to view national elections as the bad punchline to an ill-timed and poorly-worded joke. These non-voting John and Jane Q. Publics believe winners and losers are decided long before the election in a back room somewhere down a dank alleyway.
This very well might be true. And even if it isn’t, the prevailing thought is that those who are elected usually pander to the special interest groups and lobbyists who made their election possible. It is enough to make any voter think twice about taking the walk of shame to and from the voting booth. It comes closer to home than national elections for some voters, as local elections can leave an acrid aftertaste as well.
The United Teachers of Island Trees would like to take this opportunity to offer our support to Mr. Michael Rich, Mr. Paul Giambona and Mr. Brian Fielding as they attempt to gain positions on the school board of The Island Trees School District. The aforementioned gentlemen possess a similar mindset with regard to our community and the means by which to achieve success. They are enthusiastic and motivated and are prepared to put their ideas in motion if and when they are elected to these very important positions.
The Board of Education recently appointed Dr. Tonie McDonald as the new Superintendent of Schools for Levittown. Dr. McDonald spent many years working in Levittown as a teacher, chairperson and central office administrator. She will return to Levittown on July 1, 2014 following a four-year tenure in the Plainedge School District as Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administration. I am sure you will join me in wishing much success to Dr. McDonald as she leads the Levittown Public Schools into the future.
Dr. James Grossane
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