Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00
In many respects, Levittown and the growth of suburbia and the middle class in the three decades after World War II was a hybrid of politically charged goals and interests from both liberals and conservatives.
Liberals once championed the oppressed and downtrodden. Not anymore. The right of affluent gay professionals with secure incomes and no family obligations to throw themselves lavish weddings in Phoenix’s most palatial catering hall means more to them than
Arizona’s homeless or jobless residents. The animal rights of cows is a greater concern than the low pay and working conditions of meat-packing workers; than the young people with college degrees who need food stamps to purchase beef. The rights of some deadbeat to get stoned on marijuana whilst awaiting the welfare check’s arrival is of greater import than families working three or four jobs to pay for those who won’t work one.
Conservatives, on the other hand, have abandoned traditional family and community values. When they champion a corporation that pays its CEO millions of dollars, pays its employees the minimum wage, and drives Mom and Pop stores out of business with unscrupulous practices, that’s hardly a championing of family and community values. Nor is a fetish-like preoccupation with gun stockpiling and tobacco smoker’s rights whilst hospitals, schools, firehouses, and nursing homes close their doors.
Neither Left nor Right, liberals nor conservatives, Democrats nor Republicans are interested in the trade, labor, tax, immigration, housing, or educational issues that circumscribed “the American Dream” decades after World War II, which Levittown was the quintessential example. They have abandoned the working people, the Common Man, and the notion of a stable, prosperous, and tranquil social order for everyone.
But just because liberals have abandoned the oppressed, downtrodden, and poor doesn’t mean we have to abandon them. And just because conservatives have abandoned working families and traditional values doesn’t mean we have to abandon them. The fact is, traditionalism can be quite progressive and the progressive can be quite traditionalist. Ultramodern, hi-tech Singapore, for example, went from Third World poverty to First World prosperity by embracing traditionalist Confucian values and adapting them to the modern world. At the other end of the technological spectrum, the ultra-traditionalist Amish have created communities free of the guns, gangs, drugs, homelessness, unemployment, broken homes, and crime that plague many communities that pride themselves on being “modern”. We can do better.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
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.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
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.