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Letter: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.

In the wake of the Superstorm Sandy, Long Islanders rallied to help one another. Neighbors checked in on each other, lent tools and shoulders to cry on, and took in friends and relatives who needed shelter. A church in Massapequa offered their sanctuary to a synagogue that was badly damaged and hauled 94 bags of groceries to our Freeport pantry, knowing that many people lost food due to flood and power outages. Church World Service quickly delivered a truckload of disaster response kits—packed by churches across the nation—to our Riverhead office. The United Church of Christ had clean-up suits, gloves, goggles, and masks delivered to us in Freeport to help folks muck out homes. The Islamic Center of Long Island collected food and blankets for the LICC to distribute in Hempstead. All sorts of people did everything they could to help.

Long ago the prophet Isaiah said that the worship God most wants us to offer is the work of defending “the widow, the orphan, and the sojourners among you”—in other words, the most vulnerable members of our society, the people the LICC helps every day, those whose lives were a disaster even before the storm. Jesus taught that nations will be judged on the basis of how we care for “the least of these” brothers and sisters.

Thank you for everything you have done this year to help your neighbors in need.

The Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue

Executive Director

Long Island Council of Churches

http://www.liccny.org


News

A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.

 

All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.

 

Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.

 

Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.

 

In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.

 

“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”

 

With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.

Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.

 

The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.

 

The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “

 

At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.

 

Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.

 

Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.

 

The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.

 

Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county. 

 

The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year. 


Sports

Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.

 

In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs. 

Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.

 

Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games. 


Calendar

Lazy Days Of Summer - July 26

Flea Market - July 27

Darlene Prince and the Bragg Hollow Band - July 28


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com