The basic facts of the news story are that retired NYPD officer Michael Elardo’s hit-and-run killing of 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin has resulted in his being fined $2,500 and sentenced to possibly up to four years in prison. Case closed, and justice is now officially deemed to have been served. But I don’t view it that way, and here are some of the reasons I consider this verdict an injustice.
After Mr. Elardo hit Bryanna Soplin with his car, he left her dying in the street and fled, not turning himself in until 42 hours later. So, technically, this was not a case of “hit-and-run,” but a hit-and-drive-away-like-an-irresponsible coward-rather-than-like-a-cop-with-a-conscience case. If he had immediately stopped and administered his policeman’s training first aid to Bryanna, or driven her to the nearby hospital, perhaps her life could have been saved.
I am tired of political ads that are only mudslingers. The local and national news, especially on television, should be devoting at least five minutes a day to informed, unbiased reportage. They all seem to report on the same hot button issues about people in the entertainment industry, such as their marital affairs. When it comes to candidates, they report on their missteps: lack of morality, fidelity, and ethics. They do not tell us about the candidates’ voting record, values, supporters, and views on issues, past and present.
Most people watch television for some news. If only the sensational and negative news predominate, they are getting no real news. I call this censorship. The local and national news stations should be presenting factual reporting, not hype. They have failed the public. Where is my five minutes a day? Why aren’t they doing this?
As the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, memories of the destruction produced by the storm still haunts most Long Islanders.
While our beaches, ports and most homes have been rebuilt, little has been done to curb the causes of such mega storms.
Recently, a friend of mine told me about the trees that are designated for demolition along South Oyster Bay Road. The removal of these 180+ trees, which is currently underway, spans the distance between Syosset and Bethpage. A debate surrounds this issue, with residents on one side and county officials on the other. Those in favor of the demotion state that the trees, which are at least 40 years old, have uprooted sidewalks along South Oyster Bay Road. This poses a serious safety concern for those who walk there. Those opposed have stated that trees lend a charm and beauty to the area; they have also argued that trees help the ecosystem, as well as offer shade from the heat. As anyone who has driven along the roadway knows, rush hour traffic can be hampered by the angle of the sun at that time.
South Oyster Bay Road has 40-year-old trees lining the roadway. They are mainly beautiful sycamores. They form a canopy of shade across the road, give home to nesting birds, put oxygen into the air we breathe, and add to the beauty of Hicksville, Plainview, and Syosset. They are also slated for slaughter, a cutting down due to the shortsightedness of our politicians.
Walkable sidewalks can be erected without cutting down these valuable assets, a legacy to our communities. Why doesn’t the Town of Oyster Bay look at the ways other towns in the United States have managed to keep their trees and replace the sidewalks in a 21st Century fashion?
Why must we always cut rather than conserve?
— Elaine Peters
When we first moved to Hicksville in the early ‘90s, I remembered feeling a sense of pride over the fact that the town in which we lived had its very own museum.
Mind you, I have passed the sign on the road that announces “The Hicksville Gregory Museum” at least a thousand times. I’d never had the time to visit, for I was working full time; my days off were spent running errands, doing housework, or spending time catching up on mail. Once I became a parent, I had very little spare time to do much of anything, let alone visit a museum. Truth be told, I didn’t even know where it was located.
My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting with New York State Senator Kemp Hannon on Sept. 4 to discuss our significant concerns with the Common Core Curriculum. The senator graciously agreed to meet and spent almost an hour with us, listening to the issues associated with the curriculum.
By now, I am certain that most readers are familiar with some of the problems inherent with the curriculum. Chief among them are the lack of input from educators, early childhood experts and a completely unproven and untested curriculum, despite dubious claims by the creators that they are internationally benchmarked. The absence of such expertise is readily apparent, given the inappropriate expectations imposed upon our youngest students and the subsequent pressure placed on students and teachers alike to produce high marks on state testing.
Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn, ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom.
— Alfred Griswold Whitney
The week of Sept. 21-28 has been designated Banned Books Week by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. During this time, libraries and schools around the country hold programs and readings to celebrate the “right to read.”
It was a very sad day for Hicksville residents when their beloved Crossroads Restaurants closed. Crossroads has been a big part of Hicksville for many years.
The food was always delicious. The waiters and waitresses were very friendly and did their jobs well. The owners always come over to your table and welcomed you.
“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”—Abraham Lincoln
I always chuckle whenever I see that quote posted on someone’s Facebook page with a picture of our 16th president. Of course, Honest Abe said no such thing, but the gag effectively calls to mind one of the prevailing crises of the nonstop communication age we live in. There’s misinformation everywhere and unfortunately, we spend more and more of our time deciphering what can and can’t be believed.
To be sure, that’s been true since the invention of the printing press and while American history is littered with its share of snake oil salesmen and Ponzi schemes, it definitely seems to be getting worse. Regrettably, with the rise of the internet, a ten-year old can publish something online that proliferates virally to such an extent that millions will share it without once checking if it’s true.
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