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Immigration: Moving Along

Finally (maybe) there’s some good news on immigration reform. There seems to be real movement in Washington on the issue. It seems that now that the people are leading, our leaders are following.

First, a group of eight United States senators revealed a bipartisan immigration plan to reform our broken immigration system. Some of the principles outlined are far from perfect, but the fact is that several conservative Republicans have committed in writing and in public to allowing immigrants an earned path to citizenship, a central tenet that’s necessary to real reform. 

Not to be outdone, President Barack Obama countered with a plan of his own.

He noted that it is just not practical to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders. His proposal provides undocumented immigrants a legal way to earn citizenship that will encourage them to pay taxes, play by the same rules, and come under the jurisdiction of the law. In the Obama plan, after national security and criminal background checks, paying a penalty, and learning English, immigrants will be able to earn a path to citizenship. Also, his proposal will put an end to punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own and let them earn citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education.

We’ve heard President Obama say the right things before. We’ve even heard his usual opposition in Congress say many of the right things before, too, though admittedly not lately.

What’s important and different this time is the palpable sense that something seems to be happening—that public mood and public moment seem to be in sync.

And that’s good for Long Island. We already benefit from the fact that immigrants come here from around the world to work and contribute. We’ll benefit even more when the system starts working right.

The specifics of this plan are going to be important. We know that there are many politicians who’d prefer a plan that’s designed to punish immigrants and—in the words of Mitt Romney—”encourage them to ‘self-deport’.” We know that many politicians are fine with simply doing nothing at all about this vital issue. And we know that both types of politicians will be weighing in.

So it’s up to us—all of us—to speak out and make sure that we do not miss this opportunity to deliver real change to a broken system.

Dig out. It’s time to get to work.

Maryann Sinclair Slutsky is the executive director of Long Island Wins, a communications organization promoting policy solutions to local immigration issues. The website is www.longislandwins.com.

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