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Editorial: Hail The High Holidays

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

We are in the middle of the High Holidays, two of the most important religious observances in Judaism. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year just passed and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, (which is also the holiest day of the year for Jewish people), begins at sundown on Tuesday, September 25 and goes until sundown of Wednesday, September 26. Hope surrounds the former with meals including honey and apples (symbolizing a sweet new year) and challah bread (representing the cycle of the year) also being served. With reflection and repentance being at the heart of the latter, a number of sacrifices are made including no eating and drinking with the idea that the state of unease the body feels allows one to empathize with how others feel when they are in discomfort or pain. So to all our neighbors at Temple Sholom and the Bellerose Jewish Center, Shana Tova (a good New Year) and Tsom Kal ([an] easy fast).

– Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Phil-osophically Speaking: September 20, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

In The Land Of Make Believe

It happened on the 11th anniversary of 9-11, and yet some still cling to the absurdity that violence in Libya where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were murdered in cold blood was the result of a spontaneous action to some crude YouTube video vilifying the Prophet Muhammad and not the work of al-Qaeda or some other affiliate of the same genre.

When we are children we often play in the world of make-believe. This is entirely natural and is even an affirmative way to prepare ourselves for the realities of adulthood. But living in a world of make believe is unprofitable for adults (ask Walter Mitty), and dangerously foolish for statesmen. The facts are the facts. We live in a country of free speech and that being the case some hateful and nasty things are going to be said about Muhammad, the President of the United States, the Pope, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Protesting against those who hatemonger is one thing; but acts of violence are entirely something else. If we are going to adopt an attitude that it’s understandable that the Muslim world (there are now at least 20 Muslim countries where there have been either acts of violence or threats against U.S. Embassies and interests), reacts with homicidal hostility whenever some birdbrain bigot trashes venerated beliefs about the Muslim religion, than we might as well declare open season on Americans.

 

Turn It Up: September 20, 2012

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 21 September 2012 00:00

The Sound of the Life of the Mind (ImaVeePee Records/Sony Music Entertainment) is the first album by indie-pop trio Ben Folds Five in 13 years. The band’s namesake is best known for being a judge on the reality music show The Sing-Off, contributing music to the 2006 animated film Over the Hedge and penning the 1998 quasi-hit ballad “Brick.” This new collection of songs showcases Folds’ fusion of Billy Joel’s chops, Joe Jackson’s attitude and Todd Rundgren’s pop sense into new winning numbers like the rollicking “Do It Anyway” and the bittersweet lament “Thank You for Breaking My Heart.”

 

Editorial: Pigskin Pride

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 14 September 2012 00:00

Last weekend was the kickoff of the 2012-13 NFL season. While the Giants fell to the NFC rival Dallas Cowboys 24-17 on Wednesday, September 5, the New York Jets laid a 48-28 smackdown on AFC East opponent Buffalo Bills on Sunday, September 9. And while local Big Blue fans remain confident of Eli Manning regaining his footing, Gang Green fans harbor hopes this opening salvo promises more of the same for incumbent QB Mark Sanchez. It’s all well and good but there is a whole other fan base for which the NFL is a sidelight to the main event—those who live and die with the Floral Park Memorial High School Knights football program. Always a source of pride for the local community, this year’s squad will have their fans going mobile to show their support. Given the fact that the team’s home field is being ripped up and a sprinkler system is being installed means the Knights’ home games will actually be on the road. Among the venues where Floral Park residents will get to see their team hit the gridiron are Mitchell Field and Hofstra University. With a handful of these games being played under the lights, this means that local fans will get a chance to cheer on the red and white under unique circumstances in what should be a promising Knights season.

— Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Mayor’s Message Village of Floral Park: September 14, 2012

Written by Thomas J. Tweedy Friday, 14 September 2012 08:35

The proposal to create a clean energy center at Belmont Park is receiving some significant attention and lively discussion. Stewart Manor Mayor James Kelly’s most recent mayoral message strongly endorsed the proposal and noted several advantages to having a municipal utility serving Belmont Park as well as its neighboring villages of Stewart Manor, South Floral Park, Bellerose and Floral Park. Obviously using our successful Four Village Studio arrangement relating to local cable service as a model for local electrical service makes perfect sense.

 

Phil-osophically Speaking: September 14, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 14 September 2012 08:25

What Would Jesus Do?

“The day was drawing to a close, and the twelve apostles came to Jesus and said, ‘Send the crowd away so that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside to lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted place.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘Why not give them something to eat?’ They said ‘We have no more than 5 loaves and 2 fish —- unless we are to go and buy food for all these people. For there are about 5,000 men.’ And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You know what? You’re right. Don’t waste your time and shekels. It would positively be immoral for any of you to spend your hard-earned money on these people. They knew full well they were coming to a deserted place, and should have relied on themselves and brought more food. As far as I’m concerned it’s every man for himself.’ The apostles were astonished by this teaching. ‘But Lord,’ said Thomas, ‘the multitude will surely go hungry.’ “That’s not my problem, Thomas. Better their stomachs are empty than they become overly dependent on someone with authority. Where, in God’s name, would it end?’

 

Turn It Up: September 14, 2012

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 14 September 2012 00:00

The Blanco Sessions (Cow Island Music) is the final album by rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin. Dubbed the Female Elvis during her ’50s heyday, Martin was coaxed back into the studio by diehard fan/Americana stalwart Rosie Flores. Recorded four months before her 2007 death from cancer, these 11 songs show the Virginia native still had plenty left in the tank as she tore into covers of Dave Alvin, Don Gibson and Bill Monroe while also breathing life into early rock & roll gems like “Wham Bam Jam” and “Wild One (Real Wild Child).”

 

Covering All Bases: September 14, 2012

Written by Ronald Scaglia Friday, 14 September 2012 08:16

A Story Worth Three Dollars

As I looked at the bills in my hand, my heart skipped a few beats as I realized that only the singles remained, and the twenties and tens were missing. I had brought some extra cash with me on a trip to Boston to purchase Red Sox and Patriots merchandise. I know Karl Malden used to say, “Don’t carry cash, carry American Express Traveler’s Checks,” but the vendors outside of Fenway seem to prefer cash. So I stood in the McDonald’s frantically looking for my vacation money, which I had been saving in a bank account throughout the summer and had just withdrawn from the bank only two days prior. It wasn’t a whole lot of money. Not even enough to buy an iPad or even a Kindle Fire, but it was enough to take a little piece of Boston home with me.

Unbeknown to me, when I had reached into my pocket to retrieve a dollar for the iced tea I was purchasing, many of the bills I was carrying had fallen out and had landed right by my foot. A patron apparently spotted the money and although he said nothing as I searched, as my head was tilting in such a direction that I would have seen the money, he sprang into action.

 

Editorial: School Springs Eternal

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

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

 

Phil-osophically Speaking: September 6, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

Convention Fever

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.

 

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