Like everyone who got to know Peter Schmitt personally, I have been deeply saddened by his sudden passing. Just last Sunday I was with him at the annual Sons of Italy Italian Feast where we chatted for hours with people both young and old.
As the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, Peter was unequalled as a committed and dedicated government leader. And as a friend – a father and husband – he was as fine a man, as I’ve ever known.
Now that I’m an honest woman, as they say, people have started to ask about whether or not my husband and I are planning to have a baby soon. I don’t know the answer to that myself. Sure, I want a baby—babies are so adorable that I turn to mush every time I see anything that looks even remotely like a baby. I coo whenever they show a baby during a commercial, even though I know they’re just trying to sell me overpriced soap.
However, am I ready? First, there are financial concerns. I feel like I should wait until I have money safely invested in a house before I take on the responsibility of caring for another person. At the very least, I don’t think I could safely carry a baby up and down the steps to our two-floor walk-up, so if I had a baby in my current apartment, I would never be able to go outside.
It is with much excitement that I assume the role of editor at the Massapequan Observer. As my predecessor Joe Scotchie wrote last week, I have lived in Massapequa for many years, and I am thrilled to be reporting on my community. Since I moved to Massapequa, I have often said that both Massapequa and Massapequa Park are great communities. Whether enjoying lunch at All-American, a shake at Krisch’s, or just a walk down Park Boulevard, Massapequa has some many unique and charming things to enjoy and some terrific people who live here. And now I get to realize the dream of so many journalists by becoming the editor of my hometown paper.
Last week, the New York Institute of Technology hosted three events in which Paul Burrell, who was the butler to Princess Diana, was the guest of honor. I attended one of these events, and was eager to do so as I have always found Diana to be a fascinating historical figure. Despite her fame and fortune, she gave of herself to help others who were suffering. She was an individual who was truly working to change the world for the better and tragically, she was taken from us much too soon. During his presentation, Burrell spoke of this.
“It’s it better to give than to receive because when you give there are no strings attached,” Burrell recalls Diana saying.
While I was driving west on Boundary Avenue at the intersection of Rt. 135 in Massapequa on Sept. 14, a man driving east in a Town of Oyster Bay Code Enforcement car quite clearly had a cell phone in his ear in violation of Nassau County law, which requires a hands-free device.
Already, youngsters in the Massapequa area are back in school. It seems young people today face a double whammy: Television and computers. There’s not much choice with the latter contraption, as young people need the Internet for homework assignments. Still, there is a better way. The real jewel of Nassau County is its public libraries, with the finest system in the nation. That includes the Massapequa Library and its many thousands of fine volumes. When we say libraries, we do not mean electronic devices, but old-fashioned texts. Young people should spend as much time there as possible. The recent history of Massapequa is full of successful artists, musicians, entertainers and authors who spent much of their youth at the county’s various libraries and then went on to become creative talents in the larger world.
I want to thank you [Angela Anton] and Anton Community Newspapers for selecting me as a finalist in the Military Heroes Essay Contest. The flight aboard the B-17 was a wonderful and enlightening experience. Those who served aboard that aircraft during World War II were truly remarkable and heroic young men.
The Village of Massapequa Park has now agreed to purchase land from Nassau County on Sunrise Highway for a new cell tower. It’s a tough call, but, in fact, the village’s hands were tied. Mayor Altadonna has expressed concerns over possible health matters with the new structure. But what can the village do? The notorious 1996 Federal Communications Act – one passed by a Republican congress and signed into law by a Democratic president – allows companies to install such cell towers, even over local objections. Village officials in Massapequa are hardly the first ones to express misgivings over this unprecedented power grab by the federal government. Over the years, numerous mayors and trustees in Nassau County, many of them invoking the 10th Amendment, have voiced the same objections. The 1996 FCC Act runs roughshod over the delicate balance of power that once existed in our federal system. The fact that there are health concerns makes it even more frustrating to local officials. The FCC law is still young, but someday it will have to be revisited.
Recently I set out to run a few errands; I needed to take heavily traveled Hicksville Road, which is one lane in either direction. I quickly realized the small van in front of me was driving at about 20 MPH. I looked in my rear view mirror and there was a caravan of cars and trucks behind me. Just as I expected, the van’s driver was on his phone. He was oblivious to all the honking that was going on behind him. There was no escaping him until I drove up to the intersection. I wanted to give him a disgruntled look but I knew it was fruitless since he wasn’t remotely aware that the symphony of blaring horns was being directed at him.
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