It’s been 50 years since Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech at the Lincoln Memorial. It was a sacred effort and the words and sentiments he spoke that day are grafted into the nation’s collective consciousness. The ideal of universal freedom is a uniquely American one and the struggle for civil rights under the shadows of slavery and Jim Crow is a compelling and courageous narrative in the volume of liberty in which King was a central figure.
African-Americans have made great strides toward equality under the law and are an integral part of America’s multi-cultural fabric. Over the last few decades their rise has been meteoric: In 1964, 26 percent of blacks graduated high school, now 85 percent do; in 1970 there were 1,469 black elected officials while today there are 10,500; a black middle class is a staple of society and from sports to politics to the entertainment industry discrimination against blacks is virtually non-existent.
The Great Depression was a pivotal event whose causes have generated much heated debate. The consensus was that the stock market crash, fueled by reckless speculation, triggered an unprecedented bank crisis. This explanation became one of those unquestioning verities, an established fact, and a datum of certainty. It also happened to be dead wrong.
Conceit is the queen of human presumptions. What we know is often overlevereged by what we don’t know. Proximity gropes in a fog of uncertainty. Evidence, accumulative and accumulating, needs the luxury of time to purchase perspective and understanding.
It was not until Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz’s A Monetary History of the United States established that monetary contraction was the true catalyst for economic calamity. It was not the loosening but the tightening of the money supply that was the real culprit.
Two old friends standing together,
great sturdy tall bodies
touched by the sky.
In which we sought shelter.
In which we sought comfort
from cloud and sun.
So many souls
waiting to receive the stars
for the light of morning.
Editor’s note: This is a response to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s “County Financial Report Card,” published in The New Hyde Park Illustrated News, Sept. 11-17 edition. Howard Weitzman is running on the Democratic line against Maragos in the November election.
George Maragos continues to mislead the public by falsely claiming that the county’s financial condition has improved on his watch. During Mr. Maragos’s tenure as Nassau County’s fiscal watchdog, the county has undergone three bond downgrades by the credit rating agencies, the county’s fiscal outlook has been lowered from “stable” to “negative,” and the county’s debt has reached a new all-time high. No amount of “cooking the books” and issuing misleading financial statements and press releases can hide this truth, a truth which can be easily verified by outside sources.
The Financial condition of the County continues to improve by all fundamental measures, primarily due to the improving economy and cost controls instituted by the Mangano administration. From residents’ point of view, the County’s improved financial state is reflected in the county portion of their property tax bill, which has not increased in the last four years.
The mid-year financial projections for 2013 indicate that the County will end the year with a $5.6 million budgetary surplus. This follows on the heels of 2012’s surplus of $41.5 million, now confirmed by independent auditors. These budget surpluses are due to increased sales tax revenues from the improving economy (up 10.4 percent year to date) and reduced Social Service costs due to lower unemployment (down to 6 percent, one of the lowest rates in New York
State and lower than that of Suffolk County and New York City.)
It keeping with tradition, the Williston Park Little League will again be hosting a 9/11 observance at Kelleher Field at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Former Deputy Mayor Bill Darmstadt has organized members of the WP Little League in order to hold this solemn ceremony. On behalf of the Village Board I ask all to come down to Keller Field to honor both those who passed away on that fateful day in 2001 and their families, who continue to feel the impact of this tragedy each and every day.
The year is 2021 and a bleak, unforgiving sun is setting upon the human race. Women can’t get pregnant anymore and no one can figure out why. The last baby was born in 1995 and man is on the verge of extinction. Though billions still live, civilization begins to crumble, despair is ubiquitous and the laughter of children ceases to be heard. This inexplicable and universal sterility has robbed life of its holiness, and despite its declining population the world becomes more narrow and claustrophobic: chaos, meaninglessness and ruin prevail.
It seems part of the human condition to become so focused on that which needs correction that we often fail to appreciate our progress. It’s true in our personal lives, our work lives, and certainly when it comes to how we view government. In 11 years of public service I have yet to meet anyone whose first observation about government is how great it works.
To the bee that stung me
while I labored in the garden,
my fears, my penitence, my doubts—
these are my flaws,
a thing of flesh and blood.
As we approach the upcoming school year, we will be celebrating the 85th year of instruction in the Sewanhaka Central High School District. Before our students arrive in September, our professional staff will return on Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 for our Opening Day Program during which we will welcome new and returning faculty and staff. We also will honor our Teachers of the Year and employees who have been with the district for 25 years or more. Our goal continues to be to ensure that each child is provided with an education designed to meet his or her needs. We believe that our professional staff is instrumental in providing for this success. The district will introduce and welcome Mr. Kevin O’Brien, assistant superintendent for finance and Operations. In addition, Ms. Regina Agrusa has been promoted to the position of assistant to the superintendent for pupil personnel services; and Ms. Arlene Mishanie has been promoted to the position of supervisor of special education services.
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