It started even earlier this year. No sooner were Halloween decorations put away than began the blitz of drugstore Santas and catalogs from retailers eager to seize the first Christmas dollar. I happen to be a big fan of Thanksgiving so I find it a pretty sad state of affairs when people rush away from their turkey dinners to stand in bone-crushing lines for a flat screen TV. I try to remember that everyone marches to their own drum, but alas, it seems our venerable holiday might soon become known as “the day before Black Friday.”
The news that day was dark indeed. A near-riot broke out as consumers battled for $2 waffle irons while elsewhere parking-lot marauders robbed shoppers of their goods. In one store, bargain hunters stepped over a fallen heart-attack victim to continue their spree but the year’s most bizarre performance belongs to the consumer who pepper-sprayed other patrons to get an Xbox 360.
It is frequently remarked that our best thoughts come to us while we are in that quasi-dreamlike state, just before we helplessly saunter off into the deep, soothing catacombs of delirium that constitutes sleep. I’ve often experienced an inchoate thought that crystallizes in my quasi-somniferous brain, only to be left to drift aimlessly in the nether regions of consciousness waiting for the morning light to commit these cerebral sunbursts to paper. Too often, however, I awake to find that these meanderings have vaporized along with the disappearing darkness.
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.
Despite their youth, our students show remarkable wisdom and empathy, not just for those struck by misfortune but for their families who navigate everyday challenges with love and sacrifice. I am struck by their heightened awareness of issues that we would consider adult realities, and by their uncanny ability to boil it down to what really matters. I couldn’t do it any better, so here are just a few observations from your local sixth graders on what we should be thankful for.
The Floral Park Memorial High School Boys and Girls Lacrosse Teams held a fundraising social at Village Hall on Friday, Nov. 18. The proceeds will be used for the teams to participate in a tournament in Disney World in the spring. It was a successful fundraiser, a wonderful event and a real team effort! We would like to thank all the parents for their support.
The electoral process is at the core of our democratic way of government in the United States of America. From Presidential elections all the way down to local government contests, the will of the people is central to our way of life. Accordingly, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in the Nov. 8 elections. I am honored to have been re-elected to another term as Hempstead Town Supervisor and I am eager to embark upon new challenges and maintain key priorities over the next two years. Thank you!
“While stands the Colosseum, Rome shall stand; when falls the Colosseum, Rome shall fall; and when Rome falls – the world.” Those famous words describing ancient Rome were written on the office wall of the executive director of Mitchel Field when the Nassau Coliseum was being constructed in 1971 (New York Times 12/5/1971 “A Colossus Rises on Hempstead Plains”). When the Nassau Coliseum opened in 1972, built for under $32 million, that Nassau County leader understood the enormous impact the new arena at Mitchel Field would have on its Long Island community.
I am opposed to any type of casino, coliseum, or sports complex being built at Belmont Park and to express my views about what should be done with at least some of the open space there, I would like to see a major portion of the development turned into senior housing.
The north end of the property, in the area of the Floral Park-Bellerose School District would be a perfect location, acting as a buffer between the beleaguered residents of the West End of Floral Park and the other situations at the track, posing absolutely no threat to the school, the neighborhood, or to traffic congestion.
This past week, I had the rare opportunity to provide testimony to the members of the Long Island Development Council at one of two recently scheduled forums. Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz is prominently quoted in his group’s press release concerning their meetings that the “public participation process is crucial to our success!” It was therefore quite ironic and disappointing that Hofstra President Rabinowitz, who is co-chairman of the group, which held the meeting at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, did not even bother to attend the meeting held just down the street from Hofstra. When given the opportunity to present as Floral Park’s representative, I told the panelists that Floral Park has been a hosting community of Belmont Park, our 430-acre neighboring state-owned property, since Belmont Park’s opening Day in 1905. The panelists learned that Belmont Park is adjacent to one of our elementary schools as well as our junior and senior high school campus, with over a mile of peaceful residential neighborhoods separated by a fence. They learned how Floral Park proudly accepts the responsibility as a hosting community along with its associated burdens for over a century.
A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on Nov.1, at 8 p.m. Prior to the start of the board meeting, Mayor Tweedy asked for a moment of silence in memory of Phyliss Kelleher, mother of Fire Chief John Kelleher and ex-Fire Chief Kevin Kelleher, brothers who have nobly served the Village of Floral Park and sons of an equally civic-minded mother, Phyliss Kelleher.
Mayor Tweedy announced that before the start of the public hearing and board meeting, there was very important and enjoyable business to attend to. Community Service Awards were presented to four most deserving young ladies and gentlemen.
When newsmakers release a report late on a Friday afternoon, chances are it’s usually not something that puts them in the best light. Stories released in the classic “Friday afternoon dump,” as the cynical strategy is called, are purposely intended to be a one-day story published over the weekend. Such may well be the case of the Long Island Economic Council’s release on late Friday Oct. 14 of its proposal it subtitles “Nassau Hub Transformative Project,” but which could be subtitled “Dump into Belmont Park All Pet Projects.”
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