I am certain John Owens can respond to the recent critical letter faulting his opposition to the imposition of the new core curriculum in New York State schools. I support Owens’ position. The writer assumes Owens opposes excellence because he describes the psychological factors present in every learning environment. Intelligence, and the willingness to apply it are individual endowments. They need the proper atmosphere. A teacher’s job is to provide those conditions favorable to learning. Owens’ insight in this regard is commendable. Excellence cannot be imposed, least of all by bureaucratic fiat nor corporate competition.
Albany is broken. Elections are no longer controlled by we the people, but rather by special interests that spend millions on their agendas. There’s simply no way average New Yorkers can compete. As a result, we get record levels of corruption and a lower and lower voter engagement. A Fair Elections system of public financing of campaigns and lower contribution puts voters first and returns a healthy democracy to New York Governor Cuomo has included these reforms in his budget, but it’s unclear if they’ll stay there. Senator Kemp Hannon: Will you stand for common sense reforms supported by your constituents and support Fair Elections?
John Moore of Farmingdale, co-organizer of Nassau County MoveOn.org
It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.
There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas (the giving holiday) and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry (often as a kind of object lesson for children) and comfort the lonely.
New York State officials with the departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, came to Village Hall on March 11 for a public meeting on the Farmingdale Plaza Cleaners site. The site, located at 450 Main Street, is listed as a Class “2” site on the state’s list of
Superfund Sites. After lengthy inspections and investigations, state officials indicated that they do not feel there are any health concerns that threaten the public. The actual amount of contamination was far less than expected. Rest assured, the public water supply is 100 percent safe, and the state will continue to monitor and remedy the site and the wells are outside of the plume path.
If you can read this newspaper, thank a teacher. And then get up to speed on the school budget.
The Farmingdale School District has recently released preliminary numbers, and the annual school budget dance has begun.
A few weeks from now, New York’s public school children in grades 3-8 will spend six days taking the poorly designed, expensive New York State Assessments. The overreliance on these tests has pushed school districts to abandon successful curriculum models and confine themselves instead to the limited, unproven and expensive Common Core standards.
“Prepping” for these dreary, mind-numbing examinations greatly reduces the time our kids can spend on appropriate, meaningful educational pursuits. It inhibits excellent teachers from bringing their inspiration and ingenuity into the classroom. The tests penalize children for their creativity and original thinking, and they punish gifted children and those with special needs even more severely. The process also channels tens of millions of our tax dollars out of the classrooms and into the coffers of rapacious testing corporations, who view our children as nothing more than a footnote on their bottom line. These companies also eagerly look forward to gaining access to our children’s confidential personal information.
Finally, the thermometer has cracked the 50-degree mark. Our clocks have sprung forward. A new type of snowdrop—tiny white flowers—is poking out of the lingering snowmelt. Soon we’ll be seeing early bloomers like witch hazel and daffodil.
Faithful readers will have noticed a bumper crop of horticulture coverage creeping into our pages already. Who can resist the vision of bright scarlet camellias in the dead white of winter? Gardening is a favorite hobby of many in Farmingdale, and we want to help you make the most of your plot of earth, whether it’s measured in acres or square feet, whether you prefer flowers or veggies or just a flawless smooth green lawn adorned with precisely carved topiary.
Pictures published in the most recent Farmingdale Observer showing Main Street on a warm weekend were a welcome relief to seemingly endless snow-filled pictures. The photo of a young man with a dog was made even better by its caption; “Rocco, the friendly pitt bull and his guardian Gerard Lombardo.”
In 10 simple words, this caption expressed two very basic, and yet very significant, principles which animal welfare supporters have been trying to bring to the mainstream for many years: First, that animals are more than just property which is “owned;” and Second, that dogs’ temperaments cannot be pigeon holed based upon their breeds.
My family and I have lived in Farmingdale Village now for almost forty years and I continue to be an active participant on committees, an activist for redevelopment, helping organize events and attending village board meetings for over twenty-five years.
I have observed four different village administrations in that time and I have seen the many board members administer the business of our village.
Over those years many things have changed. Our village has seen a number of challenges, from infrastructure to the ups and downs of the economy to malls forcing ‘Mom and Pop’ shops to close on Main Street to numerous vacant store fronts.
In honor of National Red Cross Month, we would like to recognize our Everyday Heroes from Long Island who reach out to help their neighbors when they need it most.
These everyday heroes help disaster victims get back on the road to recovery. They donate lifesaving blood. They help brighten the day of injured service members who are far from home. They take lifesaving skills classes; they then step forward to help a heart attack victim or to save a drowning child.
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