Is there anything in life more shattering than a fall from grace? To see one’s reputation splintered into so many little fragments, to be ruined beyond restoration and chastened without recompense is a weighty cross to bear. The scorn of public obloquy withers with the heat of a burning desert sun. We can empathize with Antigone and Creon, both of whom stood for legitimate but mutually exclusive principles that led to a fatal collision, a tragic denouement. But that was a matter of circumstance or fate; but to suffer by one’s own actions, through one’s own grievous fault, because of some inherent weakness or flaw like we see in Macbeth or Dr. Faustus is an entirely different species of destruction; spiritual death by one’s own hand always is.
We read Greek and Shakespearean tragedies because they are often dark mirrors of our own soul. Long centuries have not sapped their power, nor have their sinews withered on the vine of time: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves that we are underlings are lines that haunt us with the relevance they have for today. The literary critic Walter Kerr called tragedy of our own making “an investigation into the possibilities of human freedom.” How we choose can make all the difference and those choices are as real as the warmth of summer and the cold of winter.
Once again, the MTA’s Long Island Rail Road has been found to be wasting taxpayer’s money and its workers wasting a lot of time on several routine construction projects on Long Island. According to the MTA’s own inspector general, who reviewed staircase replacement projects in Great Neck and Deer Park as well as a fence replacement in Manhasset, LIRR workers started their workdays too late, ended their work days too early and wasted too much time in between, a complete “triplification” of waste, mismanagement and inefficiency.
At the Great Neck staircase project, for example, LIRR workers took 115 days over six months logging 5,677 hours of labor costing New Yorkers $261,000 for a project that was budgeted to have taken 10 weeks and about 2500 hours of labor at a cost of under $100,000, which is two and a half times less than what the Great Neck staircase project ended up costing. This is not surprising to our LIRR mainline communities, however, which saw the LIRR’s Third Track mega project spiral out of control from about $400,000 to more than $1.6 billion without even one bulldozer rumbling through our neighborhoods. MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota should be ashamed that he wants to resurrect the Third Track construction mega project boondoggle, given the MTA’s chronic history of underestimating how much taxpayer money is needed and how long its construction projects will take to complete.
It’s been said that the American people want things to be fair. I believe that’s true, which is why fairness has been such a hot topic of debate throughout this presidential campaign. It’s axiomatic that a system of economic incentives inevitably leads to differences among individuals. But they are differences that should be welcomed since the worst form of inequality, as Aristotle noted long ago, is to make that which is inherently unequal, equal.
An aptitude for business and finance is no different than those talents exhibited in music and athletics. The best or most popular will earn great sums of money. The titans of finance are no exception. Starting around the mid-19th century, modernization and industrial growth made products such as oil, steel and later the telephone and the automobile indispensable. Capitalists such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford became fabulously wealthy supplying these products more efficiently and cheaply. This concentration of wealth caused many to fear that the U.S. was developing into a Plutocracy. That these products and inventions immeasurably improved the lives of the ordinary man was little noticed or remarked upon; instead it was the widening gulf between the so-called haves and have-nots that became most conspicuous and decried during the Gilded and Progressive eras.
Unemployment is a problem across the nation. Need to find a job? Look no further than the Elmont Chamber of Commerce’s 2nd Annual Job Fair on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Elmont Memorial High School (EMHS).
(Police Chief Charles Gennario of the Rockville Centre Police Department, is a member of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and submitted this letter on behalf of the Task Force.)
Prescription drug abuse in the nation is at an unparalleled height and it’s having a detrimental impact on our society. Nassau County is no different than the rest of the country and we are seeing ever-increasing abuse in our communities. It is affecting people of all ages, but is having the greatest impact on our youth.
As noted on the second page of this week’s issue, the new deadline going forward for Floral Park Dispatch/Three Village Times, as of next week’s issue (Oct. 12), will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. for the following week’s paper. This deadline is for all submissions: articles, photos, announcements, letters to the editor, obituaries and calendar items. As always, please consider the deadline on Wednesday morning to be the last-minute deadline, as we prefer to receive submissions earlier rather than later.
As a tyke I was a walking ad for a detergent commercial. Like many little boys I was a magnet for grime, mud, muck, dust —- you name it. My mother, young, inexperienced and perhaps a touch anxious, would become alarmed when I plowed into unsterile environments only to be reproached by her mother to leave me alone because I needed “to eat 2 pounds of dirt in order to be healthy.” As it turns out Grandma, God rest her soul, may have been onto something.
Today, I smile when I think of this bit of nostalgic lore but I also wonder at the magisterial complexity of life on this planet. That might seem quite a leap, but it’s really only a small step in considering how our species, sometimes in unsearchable ways, has interacted with organisms both visible and invisible that surround and shape what we have become and who we are today.
To those of you who have been subscribing to Three Village Times, I appreciate your feedback, comments and following of local news in the Elmont, Franklin Square and West Hempstead areas. To the dedicated subscribers to the Floral Park Dispatch, I will push myself to create a fair and balanced approach to news coverage in the area, while keeping a hometown feel that we at Anton Newspapers work so hard to create.
Congratulations to Christopher Schnepf for being selected as H. Frank Carey High School’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year. Chris has always kept me up to date with school happenings, sending information, photos and the like. I commend his dedication for bringing a light to Carey and the Sewanhaka Central High School District. I’ve been editor of Three Village Times since 2010 and the one constant name I see scrolling across my email inbox on a daily basis is his and the messages’ content always fit to print, highlighting the school and most importantly, the students.
Good luck the rest of the year.
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