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Phil-osophically Speaking: January 17, 2014

Written by Phil Guarnieri, Phgrnr@aol.com Friday, 17 January 2014 10:14

Forbidden Fruit

A few years back, I wrote an article on the decriminalization of marijuana. The next weekend, I attended a retirement party in which a middle-aged woman, professionally distinguished and temperamentally conservative, told me she read the article and then with a wink and a smile gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up.

I felt somewhat aghast because the last impression I wanted to give was that legalization of marijuana is something to celebrate. I think legalization is more of a necessary evil than a great blessing. When Colorado, on January 1, became the first state to legalize marijuana sales for recreational use, it unleashed a fusillade of oracular disputations; giving a chance for those in favor of the measure to dilate grandiloquently on its libertarian virtue and, those opposed, on its multifaceted evils. That such a philosophical asymmetry exists between the two sides is not necessarily a deficiency of ratiocination but rather the inherent perplexities of human behavior that surrounds this question.   

 

From The Desk Of Senator Jack Martins: January 16, 2014

Written by Jack Martins Thursday, 16 January 2014 11:17

Everyone’s Got The Gimmies

It’s a new year and much is already being made over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech. As one of the most powerful people in New York, liberals, conservatives and everyone in between were waiting to hear the tone and substance of the speech, sizing up where the supposed “battle lines” will be drawn.  

The governor’s position is magnified because it’s a re-election year for him, and it is rumored that he has presidential aspirations. Naturally, a big win at the home-state polls this year would strengthen his position among Democratic frontrunners, so it’s easy to see why this speech carries a heck of a lot of baggage. So far, in his first term, he has tried to maintain some balance, but Cuomo’s unfortunately coming under increasing pressure from New York City Democrats, led by newly-elected Mayor Bill DeBlasio, whose ultra-liberal agenda doesn’t necessarily mesh with the goals of the state. Indeed, the new mayor made many promises, some of which will be impossible to keep unless Cuomo yields to that pressure.

 

Stow On The Go: Believe In The Power Of Organizing: January 10, 2014

Written by Cristina T. Lopez-O’Keeffe Friday, 10 January 2014 00:00

January Edition: Less Resolution And More Revolution

One thing I always tell my clients when they are about to start working with me as an organizer is that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets a lot better.  They think I’m joking until we are about two hours into a session and there is a gigantic pile of belongings that used to reside inside a closet sitting in the middle of their bedroom floor. I am usually standing somewhere on the other side sorting and taking inventory of what needs to be done while the client is getting a good look at all their private “treasures” and feeling very anxious.  

I don’t set out to create anxiety but it is part of the process. The mess has always existed only now it exists on the bedroom floor instead of inside the closet. Facing the disorder, seeing the chaos, can be alarming. But we need to be alarmed to take action sometimes. We need to really see the problem so that we can face it and, eventually, solve it. We need to make the mess in order to clean it up.

 

Letter: Thanks For Fundraiser Support

Friday, 10 January 2014 00:00

The Floral Park Memorial High School PTSA would like to thank these businesses and families for their support. Fabulous raffle prizes are a key element of any successful fundraising event. Their generous donations have allowed the PTSA to host Supermarket Bingo Night. We raised money to fund our scholarship awards for graduating seniors and other programs for the school.

 

From The Desk Of Senator Jack Martins: January 9, 2014

Written by Jack Martins Thursday, 09 January 2014 10:17

U Of H: The University Of Hypocrisy

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” So wrote the British historian Bertrand Russell, and if you’ve read the papers this week you may think he was absolutely right. Years of education do not translate into intelligence let alone an enlightened insight into truth.

I write specifically about the American Studies Association (ASA), a nationwide organization of university professors. In an effort to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, its members overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel’s academic institutions from collaborations with the universities here in the United States. Among local institutions affiliated with the ASA are New York University, Cornell, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook. To be fair, the administrations of many of these affiliated universities have slammed the boycott but are just sitting on the sidelines.

 

Letter: Village Of Floral Park Named Safest City In New York

Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00

On Dec. 16, 2013, the SafeWise Report released its “50 Safest Cities in New York” list. To compile this report, SafeWise used the most recent FBI crime data from 2011 for municipalities with a population of at least 15,000, and other ranking factors, like unique safety initiatives and security programs implemented within the past few years. From the hundreds of cities in New York, they narrowed the list down to 50 and assigned rankings according to how the city met their criteria.

 

The Village of Floral Park has been honored as the safest city on their list, stating the following in their report:

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00

Fat Chance

 

I’ve always been fond of the saying, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” It’s the kind of advice you would expect to find in Montaigne’s Essays. But alas, it’s nowhere to be found in any of his priceless gems. Indeed, attribution is impossible since I

have no clue of its author. But it’s pithy and wise and therefore fitting of Montaigne, whose essential message to his readers is that we don’t have to justify or validate our existence. If you can manage your own life, Montaigne confides to us, you have done the greatest task of all. He understood that ruling your own spirit can be more challenging than ruling a state. 

 

Phil-osophically Speaking: November 22, 2013

Written by Phil Guarnieri, Phgrnr@aol.com Friday, 22 November 2013 00:00

Hang On, Help Is On Its Way

We’re from the government and we’re here to help you. These ten most feared words in the English language viciously pound the eardrums in the wake of the egregious Obamacare rollout. Every step menaces with pitfalls and booby traps of higher premiums, higher deductibles, co-pays, penalties, mandates, hidden taxes and subsidies. It’s an awful mess with the Democrats hoping that a civil war for the soul of the Republican Party distracts public attention from this never ending boondoggle.

While the Republican Party has been making a yeoman’s effort to stab themselves in the back at a time they should be reaping benefits from the health care meltdown in Washington, no amount of bickering within the GOP can overshadow the calamity afflicting the president and his party over what was supposed to be the crowning achievement of his administration. Enrollment rates for the eponymously named Obamacare have been shatteringly low. At least 12 Democratic senators running next year in Red States have charged the White House as if they were the French demonstrators storming the Bastille in 1789. The guillotines have not yet been deployed, but knives are sharpened to cut ties with the president over Obamacare if a quick fix is not imminent. None of these senators wants to have the angry, minatory index finger of the electorate rudely pointing at them for screwing up their health care plan. Senators tend to like their jobs and the country does not seem to like any part of Obamacare, at least this side of Sandra Fluke and her free contraceptives.

 

Letter: They Were There When We Needed Them

Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00

A good portion of recent network news has been about the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. It is one  year later and so many NY/NJ residents are still waiting for promised relief from this  natural disaster.  Neighborhoods were destroyed, life as they knew it changed…forever.

Fortunately, the Village of Floral Park weathered the storm better than most of Long Island.  I vividly recall driving throughout the village and walking through the streets of the West End, where I witnessed extreme damage.  Our public services: fire, police and public works were  running, despite Village wide power outages in excess of a week and gas lines reminiscent of the 1973 gas shortage,.

 

Letter: Be Sure To Vote On December 4

Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00

The Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education will hold a bond referendum on Dec. 4. The bond referendum enables the district to issue debt to bring the district’s infrastructure into the 21st century.  The district’s excellent financial position will allow borrowing at favorable rates and approximately 40 percent of the debt will be covered by state aid.  This will allow the district to proactively plan and schedule repairs which will avoid costly emergency repairs, for which the district would receive no state aid, and avoid disruption to student routines.

A committee was formed in October 2012 with representatives from each school community.  The plan calls for renovations to buildings and athletic fields within the five-component district, improving heating, ventilation and air conditioning, upgrading technology and security, and constructing new gyms, cafeterias and auditoriums.

 

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