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From The Desk Of Legislator Richard Nicolello

Written by Richard Nicolello Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00

Melanoma Awareness Month 

I’d like to remind all readers that May is “Melanoma Awareness Month” in Nassau County.  Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and causes the most deaths of any skin disease. As the season heats up, help us prepare for the sun-drenched summer months. 


Phil-osophically Speaking

Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

The Fifth Horseman

Deregulation --- it has become the catchword for reformers about everything that is wrong with our world. With this one unrighteous, iniquitous act our economy in 2008 was sent into a tailspin from which it has still not recovered. Like original sin, deregulation has polluted the soul of the economy and the unholy and ungodly effects have left in their wake a bloodied economy.


Like a lot of mythmaking, this story has a compelling narrative fraught with storybook villains and good old-fashioned cupidity.  The evidentiary standards for such conclusions would never stand up in a court of law. In the court of public opinion, however, it is virtually a slam dunk case. But who needs evidence when you have as an appetizer a juicy story of plutocrats who had thickly buttered their greed on a doughy slice of American naiveté? It’s the grassy knoll factor of these stories that are so enticing to the public imagination. Malevolent forces conspiring to wreak havoc upon the good have always found a large and susceptible audience. This November it will be 50 years since President Kennedy was assassinated and still 4 out of 5 Americans believe that it was a conspiracy despite there being overwhelming evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.


Mother And Child

Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00

I remember clearly

the cute little form of our child

born at the bright edge of morning.

How everything was a gift

building on this prolog,

the transfer of blood and love.


I remember what it is

to feel your belly

before our child was born,

the transfer of warmth and love.


How you talked and sang

soothing melodies 

in the still calm night, your words 

reaching to cradle our child 

in outstretched arms

was music flowing through me, too.


All the mysteries

folded into a delicate bundle,

wrapped in satin and

lined with Queen Ann’s lace.


The easiness of the first meeting,

our child known, seeing your joy—

tiny hands wrapped around your fingers.

Now the long hair already,

such forward little feet,

how promise and love wake to body.


Despite the rift of years, 

the warmth continues to move inward,

still bringing me to my knees.

The heart pushes the flesh,

we all move into the uncertain seed

of the unknown.

But how like cloud is the realm of love.


Stephen Cipot

Garden City Park


Boston Marathon

Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00

For the victims and their families

The mind seizes,
falls back in the
face of this horror,
unable to gain a foothold.
How sudden the light
fractures, the
condition of pain and sorrow
are too powerful. 


Herricks Senior Named Art Award Winner

Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00

Herricks High School Senior, Priscilla Kim, was recently chosen as the winner of the 2013 Nassau County Art Supervisors Association Senior Art Scholarship Award. The Art Scholarship Award is given to a deserving senior who has consistently demonstrated exemplary talent and passion in two-dimensional visual art forms.


“One of the goals of the Art Supervisors Association is to encourage our young artists.  Our mission is to honor and recognize an outstanding senior from each member district in Nassau County who will likely pursue further studies in the fine and visual arts,” said Mary Passero, Herricks School district related arts and business chairperson and immediate past president of the art supervisors association.


Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00


The story was lost in the miasma of events that pelted the national landscape like steely droplets of rain.  Kermit Gosnell, an abortionist practicing his grisly trade in Philadelphia, is on trial for the murder of one woman and 7 infants. Gosnell, who once plied his trade, in back alleys, had a reputation for cavalierly performing abortions at any stage of pregnancy. The legal limit in the city of brotherly love is 24 weeks, but in Gosnell’s clinic, who had the time to consult a calendar? 


They were a busy bunch as the hundreds of fetal body parts that were found strewn all over the clinic clearly demonstrated. The modus operandi of this crack team of terminal specialists proceeded as follows: Gosnell or a staffer would induce labor and deliver the baby alive. They would then slash the helpless infant, Jack the Ripper style, with scissors through the neck and spine. Though Gosnell’s clinic was a veritable human abattoir, they euphemistically referred to these gut wrenching executions as snippings. In this pitiless fashion, Gosnell ended hundreds of pregnancies and in the process mutilated a number of women. 


Letter: Nassau Is Safe

Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

To All Nassau County residents, Nassau is one of the safest counties in the nation with overall crime at historic lows. We would like to keep it that way, but we need your help. Some crimes are difficult to prevent, but one crime you can help prevent is property theft, which happens largely from automobiles. Protect yourself by always locking your car, even in your driveway, and never leave your pocketbook, wallet, keys, and electronic devices visible from outside the car. 


Remember, if you see suspicious activity, dial 911.


Steven Skrynecki


Chief Of Department


Nassau County Police


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins

Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Hands down, one of my favorite movies of all time is Forrest Gump and it popularized what I believe to be one of the most concise nuggets of wisdom ever: “Stupid is as stupid does.” It basically means that people’s actions are a pretty good measure of their intelligence. Even when there are those widely considered to be intelligent, if they regularly do stupid things, it’s better than even money that they’re not that bright.   


I thought this insight on perfect display this past week as I read about the high school English teacher in Albany who asked his students to pretend they were Jew-hating Nazis for a writing assignment. His foolishness may only be matched this year by the Manhattan teacher who gave fourth-graders math problems based on how many daily whippings a slave received or the Georgia educators who were teaching elementary school division using the number of beatings per day abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass received. 


Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 26 April 2013 00:00

The Money Pit

It’s the pits. I’m talking about home construction. It disrupts your life, discombobulates your home and empties your pockets. It even plays havoc with your schedule. I’m writing this on the fly, with a friend’s computer, only because for days I can’t get to my own computer that is buried under a small mountain of furniture so they could do my floors. I knew I should have invested in a laptop.


From The Desk Of Superintendent Robert Katulak

Friday, 19 April 2013 00:00

Spring is finally here and certainly welcomed after such a rough fall and winter weather season. As our schools gear up for a tougher testing season than ever, we remind our students and the community that a child’s education is more than just a snapshot in time. As a District of professional educators we are supportive of the Common Core Learning Standards and the State-wide initiative of getting our students to be career and college ready. However, by the same token, we need to pause and question the sensibility of having our 3-6 grade students sit for exams that our State Education Department has informed us, that we will see across the state a 30 percent drop in scores. As a team of educators we question one another asking, “Did our students get less smart in a year’s time or will we be asking students to answer questions on materials and skills which they have not yet been taught?”


As teachers, administrators, parents and community members we must remember that education involves the “whole child.” There is no bubble grid that places the answers for a student’s Science project, a New York State Music Association singing or instrumental performance or the problem solving ability of students to answer real life questions, such as: How can we as students personally reduce solid and liquid waste in our school cafeterias on a daily basis? 

Accountability is necessary in all walks of life and professions. Just as we would not ask a plumber to take an electrician’s test, we should only be testing our students on what they have been taught. 

More will follow, as our educational community and parents lobby our elected officials to examine this process more closely.


Smell the flowers, take a nice walk or bicycle ride and enjoy spring! Thanks for your continued support of our educational endeavors.


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