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Letter: Dorian Gray Runs For Office

“A picture does [not] say a thousand words” unless you are looking at Dorian Gray. The politicians have started early this year due to the primary season. Noted media guru Marshall McLuhan once wrote that “the medium is the message.” That being the case, what is the medium deployed by our politicians and what is the message?

Currently blighting our environment are political signs, illegally posted on both public and private lands. These signs tell us the name of the candidate, the office they are seeking and their political party – but that is all. The point is that candidates pray that signs will increase their name recognition causing voters to cast their ballots for them irrespective of their otherwise lackluster records.

Delusions of grandeur coupled with obscene campaign contributions build these candidates into truly minor, local celebrities where brainwashed voters are hoodwinked into electing them on the basis of party loyalty, pretty faces, road signs and false, negative advertising.

Question: But what do these insulting road signs which obliterate the landscape, distracting us from traffic conditions, really tell us about these arrogant candidates? Answer: As in the case of most political advertising, they tell us nothing.

Road signs and campaign stickers are the cheapest form of advertising but not needed by candidates with legitimate name recognition and those with big money available for paid television advertising. Question: So what does this mean for voters trying to navigate safely through this mine field of junk advertising? Answer: It means that you have to be more than informed. You must be a psychologist as well to determine why candidates seek public office and whether they have the qualifications, knowledge, insight and courage to solve the problems which we face. We should need them more than they need us. Slogans do not suffice.

Most candidates secure nominations and even elections for all the wrong reasons. They have flown below the radar throughout their careers avoiding controversy and have joined the local church and Kiwanis Club. They want a title, paid vacations, pensions and medical insurance. Their mediocrity then becomes our mediocrity. Road signs are a symbol telling us that candidates expect that they can get by with a smile and a handshake. In the past that is all they needed.

— Thomas F. Liotti

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com