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Letter: What Do We Really Want?

King James I understood it in 1621 when he said he’d govern England not by the common will but by the commonweal. This point has eluded us today and not merely because we’ve confused the common will with the commonweal, but because the former, having been usurped by individualism, no longer seems sufficiently definable to sire a public consensus. 

 

We no longer seem to have any idea what we want but we are steadfast nevertheless in wanting it and oftentimes expect someone else to subsidize it or at least suffer to endure the inconveniences therewith. We want lower taxes but are unwilling to cut services, salaries of public employees, or zone for the industries that might broaden the tax base. We want our grandchildren to live here but are opposed to zoning for any diversity of housing stock that might give them affordable dwellings. We want good quality schools but reject, baby-and-bathwater, any endeavor to reform education. We want the benefits of efficient and low-cost unified municipal government but won’t relinquish our local yokel hodgepodge of special districts. We want cell phones but not cell towers. We don’t want homeless families but are against low income rentals. We want to live in suburban domiciles that consume more electricity per person than their counterparts sixty years ago, but are opposed to nuclear power stations, coal-burning plants, a natural gas barge, or offshore windmills. We complain about traffic, parking, congestion, and fuel costs but drive everywhere - even to the store two blocks away. We acknowledge that houses-of-worship, museums, civic organizations and charities significantly improve the quality and meaning of life in the community, but only a very small minority bother to donate their time, money, or effort to support them and they’ll doubtless just sigh and shrug their shoulders when these things pass from the scene. 

 

This generation wants a host of mutually exclusive demands and interprets anything less as the death knell of its American Dream. But perhaps its interpretation is the problem. Back in the 1950’s and 60’s, ordinary people who remembered the soup kitchens, bread lines, and sidewalk evictions of the Great Depression and the rationing, blackouts, and “we regret to inform you.....” Western Union telegrams of the War years, moved into suburban homes. To them, the good life was about good schools, close-knit neighborhoods, safe streets, quiet nights, and raising families. Now it’s about cars, boats, flat screen TV’s, Florida timeshares, and garages so overflowing with store-bought items that there’s no room for the family’s three SUV’s. And none of those things will bequeath a sense of common values, sire a consensus, or foster a commonwealth. 

 

Paul Manton


News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


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