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Letter: Vanishing Bees, Vanishing Humankind

Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

The old saying, “Busy as a Bee” comes from the fact that bees pollinate at least 70% of our crops, which is 1 out of 3 bites of food that we eat - encompassing at least 95 varieties of crops.

The world’s bees are in jeopardy of extinction. Bees have been dying off in droves since the mid 1990s. This disaster began in France and kept spreading throughout the world, hitting the U.S. in 2006.  It was given a name – colony collapse disorder, or CCD.  Much has been made over the so-called mystery surrounding CCD.  


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: May 10, 2013

Written by Jack Martins Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

What’s GENDA?  

Most of us know that nothing is perfect. This includes government and more specifically, the laws it creates. Every elected official comes to this realization sooner or later, even if they don’t have the guts to tell you so. You could take any law on any given issue and there will always be pros and cons. What may be perfectly fair and just to some, may leave others feeling nothing but the negative impacts.

Yet there are plenty of people who believe that some form of utopian government can be achieved in which all of our most complex problems can be resolved through legislation and unfortunately, there are plenty of politicians who see no advantage in disagreeing.


Over 60 . . . And Getting Younger: May 10, 2013

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

Quibbling with Shakespeare

Who am I to make or think of making changes in Shakespeare’s plays? I have just taken a course in Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies. If only the Great Bard would make minor adjustments, the tragedies could become comedies and vice versa -- a comedy is a play that ends happily, a tragedy ends on an unhappy situation.

In “Romeo and Juliet,” if Shakespeare had left out the poisonings in the final scene, Romeo and Juliet could have gone off happily into the sunset and live till their golden wedding anniversary. Such a nice couple, why kill them off so haphazardly? Everyone would leave the theater in a positive mood.


Letter: On Budget

Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00

I read the article “How To Read A School Budget,” and thought it contained some good information. I read it with interest as I currently serve on the financial advisory committee for the East Williston School district.

The only comment I would take exception with is the following: “for the most part, these costs [salaries and benefits] are uncontrollable.” In my opinion, this is not accurate and highly misleading. Salaries and healthcare benefits are controllable through contractual negotiations. However, I do agree that retirement costs are outside of the school district’s control, but these costs typically represent less than 20 percent of employee salaries.  

Stephan A. Leccese



From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: May 3, 2013

Written by Jack Martins Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00

From The “Dept. Of Bad Ideas”

I am convinced that somewhere there exists a dingy, grey room, tucked away in the bowels of a huge Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) office building, hidden from any sunlight, deprived of any fresh air, pipes incessantly dripping and smelling of mold and mildew, with the words “Dept. of Bad Ideas” carefully stenciled onto its glass door. There, the excuse-ridden agency hatches the illogical follies that are to be foisted upon sensible taxpayers and hapless commuters. Among the classics that have sprung from the brain trust located there:

Charging Long Island Railroad (LIRR) commuters $10 to refund tickets that actually cost less than the refund fee itself (incredibly, this still stands despite my petitions for common sense).


Letter: Save Our Libraries

Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

In today’s climate of ever-shrinking funding, hard decisions need to be made in order to balance the school budget. As you consider where to make cuts and what programs to eliminate, please consider the following information about school library programs and school librarians.

While all school libraries are important, we believe that school libraries, especially elementary school libraries, and certified school librarians to staff them, are needed now more than ever. As you know, elementary school provides the basis upon which all further education is built. A strong school library program in elementary school will result in the future success of your students as they move toward college and careers.


Letter: The Core Curriculum And ‘Teaching to the Test’

Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

When I was in high school in Levittown in the 1970s, I took all the “advanced” regents courses. Every question I had in class, every curiosity I needed to address, and every manifestation of my hunger for knowledge was met with a “don’t worry, that won’t be on the regents”. 

I didn’t study English, social studies, or chemistry; I studied to take the English regents, social studies regents, and chemistry regents. Whilst students in the “less advanced” programs were exploring academic subjects in whatever direction their imaginations led them, I was training to be a game show contestant filled with much data and little knowledge. 


From Long Island Wins: April 26, 2013

Written by Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

Older Than You Think

I’ll spare you the family photos of the Eiffel Tower and the parking lot where King Richard 111 was buried, but I’m just back from a family trip to France and England.

There’s nothing like going abroad to pick up a new appreciation for a great American habit of mind: we are people of the present. Americans tend to believe that we can and should remake the world anew in our own image, and that all solutions come from bringing the freshest possible thinking to today’s challenges.


Prices Too High, We Won’t Buy: The 1969 Long Island Meat Boycott

Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

As communities today struggle to recover from the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, let’s take a look at how one community on Long Island faced a financial crisis during the 1969 recession…

During the summer of 1969, the cost of living was soaring and meat was increasingly more expensive. Middle-class consuming families were choosing to buy cheaper cuts; while, many working-class families as well as senior citizens on fixed incomes were finding it impossible to afford even the cheapest cuts of meat like hamburger. Unwittingly following in the footsteps of thousands of housewives before them, two women in Levittown kicked off a consumer protest that gained national attention.


Letter: Very Bad, But No Worse

Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

While I’m in total agreement with John Owens’ “Buttafuocoed” views about Long Island, I have some disagreements with John Collins’ reaction letter published last week (“Joey’s Legacy”).

Collins is absolutely right when he says that “[Long Island] lacks political leadership that has any sense of vision for this area. The politicians are too vested in partisan politics and patronage. They lack the intelligence, experience and commitment to develop any bold, creative solutions to Long Island’s dysfunctional the governmental process is in both counties. It is a half-century history of one stupid decision after another.”


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