As the first full week of school comes to an end, we are given the chance to stand on the cusp of two seasons. With summer 2012’s end comes a farewell to crazy weather patterns, the London Olympics and the senseless incidents of random gun violence. Coming up on the horizon is an election shrouded in enough vitriol that to call it contentious would be a significant understatement. But despite these dark clouds, the other commonality we’re all sharing is the start of a new school year. And when it comes to education, this is one area that the Floral Park-Bellerose School District and the Sewanhaka Central High School District have plenty of reasons to be overflowing with optimism. The numerous accolades and awards that the student body regularly pulls in are way too numerous to list in this limited space. But given the fact that Sewanhaka High School’s recent graduating class raked in close to $8 million in scholarships is only further validation that school does indeed spring eternal in the Village of Floral Park.
— Dave Gil de Rubio
I was asked about it wherever I went. Every family member, friend, colleague, passing acquaintance and even those who genuinely despise me asked if I had watched the Republican Convention last week. The answer is no, I did not. In fact, I never watch either the Republican or Democratic convention.
My interlocutor stares like the proverbial deer in your headlights, as if the Pope had announced he’s skipping Christmas Mass. This pregnant pause is usually followed by, “I thought you were a political animal.” Aside from my annoyance about being relegated to a branch of zoology, the labeling hardly seems justified.
Blackberry Light (Rockingham Records) is the sixth full-length outing by Charlie Mars. Known to most for being the beau of West Wing/Weeds actress Mary Louise Parker, Mars is a full-fledged singer-songwriter oozing with talent. With his languid drawl and picturesque lyrical imagery, his sound falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Jack Johnson and Jazon Mraz.
That’s Why God Made The Radio (Capitol) is not only the Beach Boys’ 30th album, but represents the 50th anniversary of the band’s founding. A solid addition to the group’s lofty canon, this Brian Wilson-produced collection of songs contains the expected infusion of gorgeous harmonies used to coat the upbeat first half of wistful nostalgia and a more introspective second half gilded by lush arrangements.
A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on August 21 at 8:30 p.m.
The meeting opened with a pledge to the flag. Present were Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy, Trustees James E. Rhatigan, Mary-Grace Tomecki, Dominick A. Longobardi, Kevin M. Fitzgerald, Village Administrator Patrick E. Farrell, Village Clerk Susan E. Walsh, Superintendent of Building Department and Superintendent of Public Works Stephen L. Siwinski, Police Lieutenant Michael Suppe and Village Attorney John E. Ryan.
This weekend represents the last hurrah for the season—Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer. This federal holiday that was set up as a means of paying homage to the economic and societal contributions of the working man/woman is usually marked by parades, barbecues, pool parties and a myriad of athletic events. This three-day respite from all work-related matters may be a cue to some that they shouldn’t wear white beyond Monday but more importantly, it’s a chance for families and friends to spend some quality time together before the ensuing chaos of school and autumn is upon us. Between gas prices and traffic, it’s the perfect time for a staycation. So whether it’s at the Floral Park Recreation Center or Stewart Manor Country Club, it’s a perfect time to get together with those you care about and enjoy each other’s company before life’s madness ensues.
— Dave Gil de Rubio
People watch sports primarily for the thrill of competition. The idea of two individuals or two teams seeking supremacy is innate and inexpugnably grafted into human nature. When this competition is interwoven with history and graced with ritual these contests resonate with our deepest emotions. This is the great allure of the Olympics, the very apotheosis of athleticism. The symbolism surrounding the Olympics is sumptuous and exuberant: The five colored Olympic rings representing the unity of the five inhabited continents, the passing of the lighted torch, Leo Arnaud’s stirring Olympic anthem, the flag rising triumphantly to the national anthem, the laureled head, the awarding of the Gold, Silver and Bronze all capture the drama and spectacle of the games.
They say you never forget your first and for me that was intern Stephen Levine, who helped make my initial summer helming the Floral Park Dispatch a lot easier than it could have been. Stephen is a Floral Park native and as such, was a Godsend when he appeared on the doorstep of Anton Community Newspapers about a month after I started at the end of April. Currently attending Adelphi, it really helped that he was transitioning from being the sports editor to the editor-in-chief of The Delphian, the university’s student-run newspaper. What admirable writing skills he had were honed over the summer as he covered everything from Floral Park’s Annual Belmont Street Fair and the recent filming of the CBS drama The Good Wife that was shot in the village hall (and whose story is in this week’s issue) to the Malone Mulhall charity basketball game and student scholarship winners of the Hasbro Community Action Hero and Got Milk awards. Throughout it all, Stephen has been unfailingly polite and reliable to the point he was referred to as Stephen “On the Scene” Levine. Along the way he soaked up any tips he could while churning out some pretty impressive copy. While his last day was on Thursday, August 23, Stephen may contribute the odd story in-between carrying a full class-load and manning the helm of The Delphian. In the meantime, look for future stories by him about the Operation Wounded Warrior 9/11 Motorcycle Ride and the 85th anniversary of the Stewart Manor Lutheran Church.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Even the most attenuated of historical perspectives must give one pause when reflecting upon this year’s presidential ticket which consists of an African American and a Mormon running for President of the United States and two practicing Catholics running for vice-president. White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant America, the ruling elite for so long, has yielded to a multiculturalism that would have seemed inconceivable just one short generation ago.
The intriguing mix of ethnicity and faith that characterizes this year’s respective national tickets provokes the most interesting reactions, especially when it comes to Paul Ryan’s Catholicism or, to put it another way, how Mr. Ryan reconciles his role as the principal architect of today’s budget cuts with Catholic social doctrine about feeding the poor. A former altar boy, Ryan’s conservative budget known as “Path to Prosperity” has run afoul of the United States Conference of Bishops who are philosophically and temperamentally partial to the notion of redistribution, the ideal vehicle, as they see it, in giving succor to the poor, the hungry and the dispossessed. Despite the plethora of evidence that proves the most significant and durable benefits to the general populace are not mechanisms of redistribution but rather those resources that bring capital and productivity into the equation, Mother Church remains in thrall with government programs responding to symptoms of poverty and want rather than its causes.
Ignition (Black Vinyl) is the first album by cult band The Shoes in 18 years. While the Zion, Illinois quartet’s name may cause some head-scratching, its power-pop nuances—delectable harmonies, jangly guitar and hooks a go-go echo elements of The Beatles, Raspberries and even Tom Petty.
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