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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

Motivate Teens To Read

 

Communities value their libraries, and at the Levittown Library, the library staff, in turn, truly appreciates their patrons. Employees at the Levittown Public Library, with a talent for knitting, demonstrate their commitment to the community’s teens by making “amigurumi”—small knitted or crocheted stuffed toys—for use in the reading program. 

YES celebrates “A Taste of the Town”

Who says you have to travel into Manhattan for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and drink? YES Community Counseling Center hosted its 7th Annual “A Taste of the Town”, featuring many of the South Shore’s finest culinary establishments. All proceeds from the event benefited YES, a non-profit community-based organization providing services to children and families in the community.


Sports

The Island Trees Squirts Rockets U-6 team met with town officials, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes at the 2014 Island Trees Soccer Club Opening Day Parade and Ceremony held at Stokes Elementary School. Pictured also with the Rockets U-6 team is President Joe Badolato, Event Coordinator Keri Cinelli, Equipment Commissioner Chris Blum, Travel Commissioner Mike Rich, Vice-President Brian Fielding and Rockets U-6 Coach Gina Weyland.


With six second half goals, the Farmingdale State Rams men’s soccer team picked up a 6-0 conference victory over the Sarah Lawrence Gryphons on Oct. 11, to improve to 5-8-1 overall, 2-2-1 in the Skyline. The visiting Gryphons fell to 2-9, 0-5 in conference play.


Calendar

Hempstead Town Firematic Awards - Through October 16

First Presbyterian "Hand In Hand: Jews and Arabs" - October 19

Island Trees Board - October 22


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