Make no bones about it. I have been consumed with nonstop questions and concerns regarding the state education department’s rollout of the Common Core curriculum. I’m approached by constituents with questions at almost every event I attend in our district. But more than answer questions, I’ve been trying to listen because it’s abundantly clear to me that people are truly upset. There’s something wrong and they want something to be done.
To resolve this issue is going to take time and a whole lot of patience. That’s why I was so flabbergasted this past week when State Education Commissioner Dr. John King Jr. announced he was suspending his scheduled town hall meetings to discuss the roll-out of Common Core and answer questions. Apparently, the commissioner was challenged by concerned parents and teachers at a town hall meeting upstate. Blaming “special interests” (i.e. concerned parents) for what he felt was an unconstructive atmosphere, he chose to suspend subsequent meetings including the Long Island event that was to be held right here in Garden City. This was an incredibly poor decision on his part. Anyone involved in government must understand that just because you don’t like the score, doesn’t mean you can take your bat and your ball and go home. This is especially true as Dr. King not only chose the game, he set the rules by which our children will be gauged. It’s wrong.
The way in which the North Hempstead Town Board and the Hempstead Town Board recently handled similar situations is, in my mind, a testament to the true distinction between the GOP machine and the North Hempstead Democrats.
Faced with the need to appoint a town clerk in the wake of the Republican town clerk being convicted of harassment charges involving employees in his office, the GOP-controlled Hempstead Town Board took the “typical politics route”— appointing the individual currently running for election as a Republican to the position of town clerk. This gives their candidate a tremendous advantage as an incumbent, with the full power of the office, as she runs in the November election.
We are now more than a week into the government shutdown and no end in sight. So things are not exactly hunky-dory in the nation’s capital. Both political parties are at loggerheads and the frustration of the American people continues to mount.
First things first: Despite the fact that there have been 17 shutdowns since the mid-1970s, it was foolhardy for Republicans to come to the table with “a take no prisoners” attitude. I have as many reservations about Obamacare being another government boondoggle as the next guy. But there is no sense in ignoring the political arithmetic. The Democrats have the White House and the Senate. That’s a deal breaker when it comes to defunding Obamacare, no matter how long Ted Cruz wants to filibuster on the floor of the Senate.
On Sept. 11, the Williston Park Little League honored the both those Williston Park residents who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and their families. Former deputy Mayor Bill Darmstadt and John Hogan were instrumental , once again for putting this honored tradition together. The somber event is a reminded that we must never forget those who perished that day.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Willistons once again sponsored the Williston Park Street Fair. As usual, this spectacular event attracted thousands. The weather was fantastic, the food selections were many and the numerous vendors were quite varied with the items being sold. While many of the chamber members were involved in putting the event together, kudos go out to Lucille Walters who was the instrumental player in ensuring a successful day. This fair has grown over the years and this year’s event exceeded expectations.
As a friend and neighbor of Ellen Birnbaum for over 20 years, I have seen her grow and flourish into a wonderful representative of our community who has the best interest of us all at heart. For that reason, I am proud to support her as a candidate for Nassau County Legislature in the 10th District.
Ellen has lived in Nassau County her entire life and in Great Neck for 32 years. She has the pulse of the community at her fingertips and is fully immersed in all of the important issues in our neighborhood. I have always found Ellen to be someone who you can count on to “get the job done.”
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District was one of the only five districts in the state to be selected for the Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant. The purpose of the grant is to allow reward school districts such as ours, to share our expertise, strategies, and materials with other districts in the state that are struggling. The commissioner of education in conjunction with the governor, created this award so as our district mentors others, we also have the opportunity to improve our own practices and strategies as well.
After serving ten years as your town supervisor, I am stepping down to join the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo as Special Advisor to the governor. I have also been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) as its chairman.
In the coming months and years ahead, I will be handling storm recovery for the State of New York focusing on Sandy’s impact on Long Island and the resources and policies that are being so dedicated. In regard to NIFA, I will lead the board that conducts oversight over Nassau County’s Finances. NIFA was established in 2000 by Governor Pataki to oversee and monitor the budgeting and fiscal operations of the county as a result of the county’s financial turmoil.
Twelve years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the tensions haven’t gone away. But the progress in resolving them hasn’t stopped, either. And it may surprise you to note that Nassau’s Muslim community is leading the way.
The Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) in Westbury, which was the first mosque built from the ground up on Long Island, has worked through the years to bring all Long Islanders together. A leader of those efforts has been Dr. Faroque
Khan, member of the ICLI board of trustees and a founding member.
Crack of the gun, they’re off!
Left, right, left…
Waves of swimmers
Slicing through crystal waters.
To cacophonous applause tossed like
crazy laps beyond them, bouncing off walls—
drowning the void between air and space,
pledging deafening sorority that promises
to go on forever past the finish line.
The new school year is well under way.
I admit that I personally dread the week it begins. Maybe because I remember that sinking feeling as the days of summer would wind down and we prepared for homework, books and bedtimes. Nowadays, it’s the never-ending lists of school supplies and the coordination of jam-packed calendars that puts a damper on things.
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