Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00
My father was a great linguist. He used to sit in his recliner and read the dictionary. He spoke English, German, and some French and Italian. He learned the latter 3 languages while serving overseas in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) as part of America’s Greatest Generation. As a young 20 year-old, his very survival sometimes depended on his ability to communicate with the enemy. It also didn’t hurt when the young G.I. had liberty and may have had an opportunity to meet a young fraulein, signorina, or mademoiselle.
Each time I graduated from grammar school, high school, and college, I received the same gift from my father. It was always the current massive, heavy edition of Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. My children’s generation is fortunate in that they are not burdened with having to lug this anvil-sized anchor around school. They are equipped with iPhones.
In the April 11, 2014 Levittown Tribune story written by Daniel Offner, he entitled it School Board Reveals $18M Proposal. Now, if you take out your iPhone and go to Webster’s online dictionary, you can look up the definition of the word reveal. Under full definition, it reads:
1. To make known through divine inspiration.
2. To make (something secret or hidden) publicly or generally known.
Some may be torn between (a) congratulating the Island Trees Board of Education for its divinely inspired revelation four months after receiving an offer still not shown to the public, and (b) castigating the board for keeping something secret or hidden for four months. After all, the board is a public body and this is public information. At the February 10th Farmedge Property Sale forum at Island Trees High School, the board was asked a direct question whether they had received any bids for the property. The board answered with a resounding no. Two months later, the Island Trees community was presented with the revelation in living color. Why now?
The Farmedge Property Sale debacle has torn the Island Trees community to shreds. All the blue ribbon community panels in the world cannot undo the harm already done, including draining the heating oil and water….during the coldest winter in 20 years….from the Geneva Gallow School. Any apartment building owner who would do this would be called a slumlord. Again, this was done without the public’s prior knowledge or approval. The Island Trees residents spoke loudly and clearly on February 10th at Island Trees High
School, yet 2 months later, we received a multi-colored brochure in the mail heralding the pie-in-the-sky offer from an unnamed developer. In that brochure, you will not find one reference to the June 14, 1969 Flag Day dedication of the Stephen E. Karopczyk
School which was dedicated to one of our own. He is a Medal of Honor recipient who attended school in that very building. Who authorized the brochure and how much did its production cost the taxpayer? When did the board cast a public vote allotting funds for its production? The board was asked these very questions and has not answered them. Who’s minding the till? What happened to shelving this issue and hitting the reset button? Perhaps that will happen on May 20th.
Island Trees Resident