September 11 defines us as New Yorkers. Our village commemorated that day this year as we have every year since that first sorrowful anniversary. The Floral Park Fire Department assembled in their dress blue Class A uniforms, marched and stood at silent attention at Headquarters at 8:46, then again at 9:03 a single fire bell tolled, echoed by the majestic Methodist Church bells, marking each impact on the Twin Towers. In the afternoon, an ecumenical service of remembrance was celebrated at the Methodist Church. In the early evening a closing ceremony was held at Reliance Firehouse on Holland Avenue; honoring all who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others. The service, like all that day, was well-attended by members of our fire department, surrounding fire departments, representatives and EMS personnel from New York Presbyterian Hospital and many Floral Park friends and neighbors. This quiet reflective service was punctuated by bagpipes, readings of psalms and contemplative silence. The service’s brevity and dramatic calm promoted an introspective mood and concluded the village’s ceremonies of this most difficult and painful day.
So we’re getting more drama at the United Nations this week as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas makes a unilateral push for statehood. It’s a ruse for world attention since the United States has made it clear it would veto such a move as long as the call for Israel’s destruction persists. And persist it does. But it’s a move on the international chessboard that will put the spotlight on the Palestinian Authority’s effort to end the Israeli occupation and create a homeland for the Palestinian people. At least that’s how they deftly but erroneously state the proposition. While statehood for the Palestinians will not become a reality anytime soon, it’s altogether possible that the PA will receive non-membership status from the General Assembly, putting it on par with the Vatican.
We continue to again discuss our 2007 Belmont Task Force Statement of Principles. These principles are based on fairness and equity. Recent press releases regarding NYRA’s Saratoga Race Course and that NYRA property’s development makes our seventh principle, being a good neighbor to your neighbors more timely than ever before.
A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.
Trustee Rhatigan reported that there was no slow down in activity for filing building permits at the Building Department during the month of August; they received 17 new building applications.
The Zoning Board of Appeals met on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at which four cases were heard. There is a backlog of cases due to the summer recess. The ZBA is currently accepting applications for the November calendar as the October calendar is already full.
As I write this message, it is Thursday afternoon Sept. 1. Full power restoration appears to have been accomplished throughout the village as LIPA crews installed new feeder lines energizing the last homes without power in the West End. There were outages extending from several hours to several days in every area of the Village. By Sunday evening nearly 20 percent of the village was without power. At the outset of Irene, our singular focus was the safety of our residents. While most of us were asleep Sunday morning, our Police and Public Works crews were dispatched and operating in 40-50 mph wind-driven rain, assessing damage and addressing the needs to keep us safe. As night became day, roads needed to be secured and others cleared of debris for emergency vehicles. Trees resting upon homes, blocking roads or affecting electric service needed to be removed. Fifteen trees were felled during the storm. Additional trees will be removed in the coming days. We anticipate total tree losses due to Tropical Storm Irene to number between 35-40. Most importantly, however, there were no injuries to our neighbors, police officers, public works crews or volunteers. One minor injury was sustained to a member of our fire department. All in all we fared well with this storm.
The one thing about the military, which rings absolutely true, is that you don’t need them until you need them. As America wearies over fighting two wars, breaking news that U.S. troops will be reduced to 3,000 in Iraq began to sizzle on the airwaves. These tidings will be welcomed by those who have found the death of American soldiers on foreign lands intolerable and an opportunity to reduce expenditures in an economy savaged by bad news.
It was 50 years ago this month that Adolph Eichmann, after a four-month trial in Israel, was convicted of what we call today “crimes against humanity.” Israel suspended, for the first and only time, its anti-capital punishment law to hang Eichmann, who was one of the prime architects of the “Final Solution.”
The case has continued to fascinate me on several different levels. There was the dramatic and daring efforts by the Mossad, Israel’s legendary intelligence agency, to find and capture Eichmann, which they did in 1960, 15 years after the war. Eichmann had been living a normal life in Argentina raising his family as if nothing unusual had ever happened in his life. As head of the “Transportation Administration for the Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” he had been responsible for bringing Jews, men, women and children, to the concentration camps for the expressed purpose of destroying the entire race. The SS industrialized death on a massive scale, dehumanizing their victims and finally putting them to death. Millions of Jews would suffer and die in these camps; Auschwitz and Treblinka became names that have reverberated in the consciousness, leaving a bleeding and indelible scar on human civilization.
My name is Jake Early. I am currently a Life Scout in Troop 482 in Floral Park, trying to attain the highest rank in Scouting, Eagle Scout. In order to attain this rank, I must complete a leader service project.
The theme of my project is brain aneurysm awareness. This project means the world to me since brain aneurysms have greatly affected my life. In 2002, my aunt passed away due to a brain aneurysm and more recently in 2008, my grandmother suffered from a brain aneurysm and miraculously survived.
Public safety is one area where Floral Park has exerted its rights as a community. The quality of life we enjoy is a function of the sense of security we feel. This week’s principle from our 2007 Statement of Principles addresses safety and security. Safety and security may be the area of greatest concern, an area where the most negative impacts may be realized by the development of an Indian casino at Belmont Park.
A regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Aug. 16, 2011 at 8 p.m.
Trustee Rhatigan reported that during the month of July the Building Department issued 18 building permits totaling an estimated $386,900 in construction costs. There were also 11 plumbing permits, 11 electrical permits, five fence permits and 18 miscellaneous permits issued.
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