I must have forgotten how much I dreaded impromptu writing assignments because this past month I asked sixth-graders in our district to do just that – write a Thanksgiving essay about what they’re thankful for. Despite jam-packed schedules and “tons of homework,” more than 300 participated. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them at a recent recognition ceremony. While I realize the assignment wasn’t easy for them, it did make it abundantly clear that we can all be thankful that our young people offer us some real promise.
Year by year, Long Island loses ground, yet we seem to resist making changes. I wonder: What will it take to get us moving?
Back in 2004, the first Long Island Index uncovered the extent of the Brain Drain. The exodus of talented young people, and the underlying need for more affordable housing, received much public and media attention, and in a poll later that year, 72 percent of Long Islanders rated the lack of affordable housing as either a “Very Serious” or “Extremely Serious” problem. Yet in the years since, we’ve made hardly any progress.
Ring those bells. Bell ringers are needed by the Salvation Army from now to Christmas eve. They collect money for the poor every holiday season. If you can help, call Sidney Glee at 485-4900.
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Food and fashions were the themes for the taste and fashion night of the Chamber of Commerce. Laurie Scala of Channel 4, NY, was the coordinator for the little girls who were the hit of the show. Bill Greene introduced the women and men modeling furs by Tsontos and tuxedos by Foresto’s. Among those we had a chance to talk to were Jerry Olsen, Dom Foresto, Bill Greene, Tony Lubrano, Ruth and Bill Stuart, Frank Cussano, Dot Campbell, Manny Grilo, Fran Cisco, Luis Miguel Silva, Bob Rosenthal, Ron and Kathie Figalora, Lou and Diane Casale, Sheri Wilgosz, Joel Harris, Bryan Strauss, Bill Gresalfi, Gary Mazur, Senator Jack Martins, Mayor Scott Strauss, John Spellman, Gary Katz, Mary Kirby, Rita Aidala, Kathy Monachelli, Ruth Kazdan, Carol Capurale, Jody Gowen, George Crowley, Bob Drescher, Bob Shoule, Michael Albert, Shane Fritsche, Kathy and Nayda Vsoskerijion, Michael Andrea, John and Roseann Peritore, Christy Laville and Donna Durham.
Anton Community Newspapers invites you, our readers, to share your favorite holiday memories with us. When families gather to celebrate the season, the inevitable stories are told that begin with: Remember when… So, whether they are heartfelt, humorous, inspirational, or all of the above, send them our way. We will be printing them in our upcoming Holiday Guide special supplements.
Recently, I attended the Town of Hempstead’s Firematic Awards ceremony with Trustee and fellow firefighter Paul Cusato. The Town of Hempstead honored many firefighters and our own First Assistant Chief Jeff Clark was among them. Congratulations Chief!
The Halloween Party at the Community Center was great! The children were in costumes and enjoyed the rides, snacks, and food and the DJ. I want to thank Anna Athans and Marta DeSousa from our Recreation Department for putting it all together. Anna and Marta got tremendous help from students from Mineola High School, the Mineola Junior Fire Department and many village employees. They all worked together for another successful community activity. Great job to all those involved.
There are weeks I feel like I should wear a football helmet to the office. That’s because whenever powerful, special interest groups feel I’ve somehow threatened their status quo, they launch attacks. This past week a number of local teachers’ unions targeted me as the “deciding vote” in favor of the tax cap and, in that vote, as having participated in an attack on our children’s education.
I’d like to set the record straight. The tax cap passed the Senate with a near-unanimous 57-5 bi-partisan vote and was enthusiastically signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. It limits increases in school and local property taxes to 2 percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Senator Jack Martins should be commended for understanding that hydraulic fracturing poses a grave threat to New York State in his column Let’s Look Before We Leap on Nov. 1. Fracking threatens our air, water and food. Senator Martins must call for a ban on fracking!
A controversial new method of natural-gas drilling, embraced rapidly across the U.S., has contaminated water supplies with radioactive waste, according to an investigation by The New York Times. Fracking produces hazardous wastewater, which can contain radioactive substances as well as toxic chemicals, making disposal difficult and dangerous.
Crime doesn’t pay. Three years ago the New York Times broke a story about almost every person that retired from the L.I.R.R. received disability payments. Then the story seemed to disappear. Several times we asked in the column, “what happened?” Now we see that detectives were watching these “disabled” people play tennis, jog and shovel snow. Arrests have been made and more will follow. We were particularly interested because we knew one of the two doctors allegedly involved. We always thought he was a good guy, but you never know!
When I was elected Senator, I would have never guessed that I’d participate in a hearing regarding high school cheating. Yet this past week, there I was with the Senate Higher Education Committee, examining the actions of several high school students who allegedly paid a former student to take the SAT college entrance exam for them.
By way of background, students aren’t required to take the SAT in their home school where they are known to the test proctors. In order to accommodate the large numbers taking the exam, students can use any test center in the country, provided they present home school identification. That’s why a former Great Neck student was apparently able to use fake ID to take the exam for current students. In turn, they would pay him a dollar per point with his average score somewhere just above 2000.
Senator Jack Martins should be commended for understanding that hydraulic fracturing poses a grave threat to New York State (Let’s Look Before We Leap,” Mineola American, Nov. 2, 2011). Fracking threatens our air, water and food. Senator Martins must call for a ban on fracking. This is the only safe way to deal with this dangerous practice.
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