What is the substance that binds a people, a culture, and a way of life into a common purpose and a common future? Is it a creed, shared ideals or a communal history that congeals diversity into unity? While the United States is the most successful multi-cultural nation in the world, criticism abounds about immigrant populations that are not as eager to Americanize as their forebears. The school curriculum and the political and social forces in our culture once served as a bridge for immigrants between the land of their birth and their adopted country. Now it’s a one-way ticket to monolingualism — usually in a language other than English.
Mayor Tweedy wanted to share a story as to why living in a full-service village can be very special. At the Department of Public Works (DPW), there are a myriad of details and coordination that need to be executed daily. These functions are essential for keeping our village, and our lives within it, healthy, cleanly and safe. But occasionally, something is missed and needs attending to by one of our department supervisors.
The Mideast, was there ever a time when its blustering winds grew still or its roiling spirit found peace? The war drums — they’re beating — beating with the fury of ancient hatreds. In the world’s largest tinderbox, overtaxed centrifuges crank unabated and unimpeded in underground Iranian bunkers. In an inexorable march toward madness, energy stored in atoms is being converted into heat to ignite a chain reaction capable of producing a nuclear warhead. An Iranian bomb feels like a cold shiver down the spine of the civilized world.
With the clock ominously ticking, interminable negotiations, biting economic sanctions and even a covert war to eliminate the regime’s nuclear scientists have not succeeded in derailing their killing machines. What is called soft power has failed; muscular diplomacy is all that remains.
In the South, if you were to make a plan that isn’t particularly sound or useful, you might hear someone utter, “That dog don’t hunt.”
For example, if a husband planned to golf on his wedding anniversary, that’s definitely “a dog that don’t hunt.” His decision to smooth things over by telling his wife he’ll take her along - even more so. If she responds with tickets to a Broadway show on Super Bowl Sunday – well, you get the picture.
The Village of Floral Park has once again been recognized for our leadership and proactive role on important issues impacting our community. One of our top priorities remains making sure Floral Park does not shoulder an unfair share of our region’s aircraft noise burden. Our colleague Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki was prominently featured in a recent New York Times article, entitled “A Plan to Restrict Flight Paths to Hush the Blender Over Long Island,” which included an extensive discussion of the Federal Aviation Administration’s intention to adopt regulations, which could severely restrict flight paths of low flying helicopters over Long Island.
Fifty years ago, the eloquent political activist Michael Harrington published a book called The Other America. It was a powerful indictment of America’s capitalist culture that Harrington claimed left 25 percent of its population in poverty. A rhetoritician with few peers, Harrington was an enormously influential thinker. The Other America is said to have inspired Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the erection of its twin pillars: Medicare and Medicaid.
In 2012, the “Other America” still exists but in a guise that was neither expected nor desired when Harrington’s book was published in 1962. In modern America, subsidies are dispensed freely and happily as if they were the holy sacraments handed down by the high priests of progressive politics. More than one in every five Americans, some 67 million are dependent on federal aid for housing, food, income, health care and education.
Somewhere back in the unfathomed depths of ancient human history, a conscious effort was made to leave the confines of the envelope of the North African Continent, where the species originated, to venture forth in the world, an exodus that would lead our race to the far corners of the earth. The conqueror Alexander the Great would lead a great army over 20,000 miles, much of it on foot, over daunting mountain ranges and desert terrain to propel a still inchoate civilization toward cultural unity and globalization. From a small Republic, Julius Caesar built Rome into the greatest empire the world had ever seen. Christopher Columbus and his fellow mariners discovered and then bridged a vast ocean to join the Old World to the New World. In that New World, 13 fledgling colonies situated at the Atlantic rim of the Northern Hemisphere would build a civilization upon an immense wilderness creating, in Jefferson’s words, a Continental Empire of Liberty.
You might call it a pedestrian “no-man’s land,” a 16-mile stretch of roadway where an average of five people die each year. It’s not Manhattan’s Broadway or the Bronx’s Grand Concourse, nor is it notorious Queens Boulevard. It’s actually here in our backyard, Route 24, better known as Hempstead Turnpike.
The Tri-State Transportation Campaign has identified the turnpike as the most dangerous road for pedestrians in the region for the last three years. This is an unfortunate distinction, but one that is finally drawing attention to a problem many of us have at least intuitively recognized for a long time. If you live, work, or even regularly drive there, you know it can be dangerous.
The ideological fires are burning hot in the White House. In stoking the flames, however, one needs to remember that the same fire that warms you and cooks your food can also consume you. This is the lesson that the Obama Administration is painfully learning as it awkwardly retreats from its requirement that religious employers cover contraception in health plans.
As with its “Affordable Health Care Act,” the administration has recklessly challenged the “separation of powers” clause, which is one of the centerpieces of constitutional government. Under the initial Health and Human Services regulation, all religious institutions except houses of worship would be required to cover birth control, including hospitals, schools and charities. If this isn’t a clear breach of the “free exercise” of religion clause then I don’t know what is.
A regular meeting of the Floral Park Board of Trustees was held on Feb. 7, at 8:30 p.m.
Trustee Rhatigan reported that last week the Building Department filed their annual report with the state on the Department’s activity for 2011. The Department reported that 125 residential and commercial building permits were issued; 14 permits were issued for in-ground pools, garages and accessory structures; 566 permits were issued for fences, signs, above-ground pools, pool renewals, electrical and plumbing permits. They also issued 261 certificates of completion and certificates of occupancy. The estimated construction cost for the year was $6,560,250. Other than permits, the Building Department issued 162 ‘in lieu of’ certificate of occupancy letters and approved 16 renewals for expired permits. The months of January and February are historically quiet at the Building Department with respect to building permit activity. This time is filled with fire inspections, multiple housing inspections and contacting property owners about their expired permits.
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