Your article on page 3 on the School Transportation Referendum (Manhasset Press, 12/4/97 issue) says that the board voted 5-0 to reject a proposal to bus all students to middle school and high school and that that had been requested by one Terrace Manor parent. By way of background, 27 parents of Terrace Manor had signed a petition in July to have the Terrace Manor Middle School children bused and 15 of those parents and I met with Mr. Chudd, Jay Scotto-Friedman and Dr. Petraglia in July. At that meeting these parents were advised that the state sets the conditions for busing. Terrace Manor went to the state representatives we were directed to by the school and he advised that, although our situation was dangerous too, the state's very narrow guidelines for a "child safety zone" were not met. He states that in his own area of Albany, the state's criteria were also not met, although his area was dangerous, and that he now had full busing in his area due to a special referendum by the local school board. Only after this development did the one person, who was representing 27 petitioners, go back to the board to ask them to consider busing for the entire middle and high schools which was represented to her by Albany as the only way left to go.
We agree with Mr. D'Antonio in his common sense approach of possibly reducing the distance for transporting the SR school children as Roslyn School District has recently done or appealing to the state for further review. And we also agree that a request for a larger "feedback from the community' should have been made before an either/or referendum was scheduled.
Dr. Jung's letter on this same subject mentions that with regard to busing "this policy was recently challenged by a community member and the school district has to have a referendum..." My understanding is that a community member asked what the policy was and why there was a difference for Shelter Rock School. No policy was challenged. If an individual cannot ask a question of our school system without repercussions totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, then we really should close our school doors or change our administration.
None of the parents involved here want any change to what is now policy for Shelter Rock School. All they ever wanted was to request that their children in Terrace Manor not have to cross many dangerous streets to get to school. No one wants to deprive anyone else of a safe journey to and from school.
Phyllis J. Clark
In this day and age when so many are bemoaning the failure of our young people here in Manhasset to adhere to the time honored virtues of the past, I was most pleased to encounter a group of young men, to wit, the Diamondback Patrol of Troop 97 of the Boy Scouts, who epitomized the provisions of the Boy Scouts oath. In helping a neighbor, they certainly were trustworthy, courteous, kind and helpful in extending aid and assistance to me and my family. It's a wonderful thing for an old Scout of a couple of generations past to find that the Scouts of today are certainly the equals of their predecessors in holding to the virtues of Scouting.
James H. Fletcher
At long last we can announce the opening of a youth center in Manhasset. The Gus Potter Memorial Youth Center ("Gus's Place") will initially be 1800 square feet in the lower level behind the parish hall of the Congregational Church, 1845 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset. The center will open on the weekend of Jan. 24, 1998 with a Square Dance in the parish hall to kick things off. All are invited. Hours for the center will be 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Two staff people will be present whenever the center is open.
This would not be possible without a few key volunteers who have freely given their time and talents for 18 months, and without the support and generosity of the community as a whole. In particular several donations of furniture, carpeting and funds have been made and we would like to thank those who have directly helped make the center a reality. A few of our more generous donors include:
Community Reformed Church, Rotary Club of Manhasset, Hohn Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. S. Kalagher who donated funds; Mr. and Mrs. T. Smith and Paul Iskyan who donated carpeting; the Daliendo family who helped and donated accessories and a ping pong table; Mr. and Mrs. John Minogue who organized a softball game fund raiser; Mr. and Mrs. Michael Anglin who donated a bumper pool and card table; Mrs. Alice Guariglia who volunteered and organized last summer's beach parties; the officers of the Manhasset Youth Council who served as volunteers in many ways.
The entire community seems to be behind the center. Support has been enthusiastic from almost everyone we've spoken to about it. I can't help feeling that we're all pretty lucky to be living in a place where so many people are concerned about the community, have warm hearts and giving natures. Manhasset is a wonderful place to live.
We wish a joyous holiday season to all of you!
Charles Gueli The Manhasset Youth Council
Help! Now is the time to come to the aid of..Santa Claus. The Post Office receives literally thousands of "Letters to Santa" from children of all ages. Our postal folk do their level best to help the darlings and, in the spirit of good, clean fun, they classify the pleas as "needy, greedy and funny" requests.
The boys and girls write to me jolly old elf, not only for toys, but for basic human needs such as clothing and food. They ask for "a good warm blanket for the baby, my new little brother, and maybe a sweater for me, big so I'll grow into it," for "a Daddy so my Mommy will smile again. Our Daddy went away last year and he never came home again. There are three of us and we haven't heard Mommy laugh since he left. We're at Grandma's now, so could you send the new Daddy here, please. And could you also send some sweaters--a small, a medium and a large. That costs a lot and we haven't got much money until the welfare check comes next week."
Now is the time to come to the aid of St. Nicholas. All you need to do is call Iris Clarke, customer relations, at 1-718-321-6897 at the Flushing, Main Street Post Office and tell her you want to answer a "Dear Santa" letter. She will give you a choice of a boy or a girl of whatever age you desire. Then she'll send the letter to Bob Trombley at our Maple Place Post Office and you can collect it there.
Some of the missives would tear at your heart strings and some make you giggle. The hope and faith of these youngsters is more real than the real world in which we live. (Were we ever that innocent and trusting? Yes, we were. Too bad we grew up as we grew older.)
The Manhasset Press will print a sample of each of the post office categories next week.
By the way you are not limited to one child. Take two, three, they're small. Think of all your child or grandchild is going to receive this year. (I got "Sing and Snare Eric" last August for our grandchild's birthday, having spotted it in Uncle Sidney's Nassau Stores on our "Main Street." The "other" darling (her birthday was in June) loved it so she didn't want to leave the party. So Grandma went back the next day and got one for her for this Christmas, betting herself one dollar American that this doll would be Christmas 1997's to 1996's Tickle Me Elmo, and it is.
Christmas is for giving. Give a needy child (or two or three) one thing that he/she asked for. You'll feel better for doing so and God (yes, Virginia, there is a God) will thank you and love you more for a gift freely given with love to one of those he loved best, a child. Faith and hope are fine in their place but the greatest of all is caritas . So call Iris after you put down this newspaper.
An Elf (working for Santa) albeit an old one.
The Silver Fox