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Letter: Of Seagulls and Teachers

Thursday, 13 March 2014 11:17

Regarding John Owens’ mention of the seagull being the state bird of Utah, here is the backstory:

When the Mormons first settled in Utah, they had a plague in 1848 of crickets, probably kaydids, or an infestation of some crop-eating insects, and low and behold, a swarm of seagulls came to their rescue. A miracle! Thus, the seagull is their bird.

See what comes of having teachers read your paper?

Jean Fontana

 

Letter: Ruffled Feathers

Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00

The article “Not Ready For A Swan Song” was inaccurate and politically biased. The mute swan plan is not about killing swans, it is about conserving native waterfowl.

Public comment should be given careful research and thought; it should not be derived from filter-feeding on propaganda. This biased article was published only two days before the comment deadline. Despite the short notice, the article contained information about the public comment period. It is clear that the intent was to influence readers to hastily comment based only on what they read in the Massapequa Observer and not seek any other information. This article was inaccurate, irresponsible, and politically motivated.

 

Letter: What Would Rockefeller Say About Swans?

Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:00

When former Governor Nelson Rockefeller created the Department of Environmental Conservation on the first Earth Day in April 27, l970 it was designed to create a secure energy supply without creating undo damage to the environment. I am sure he never would have imagined that this agency would go rogue and aim to eradicate an entire species of a bird population, namely the mute swans.

The agency has declared war on these majestic and peaceful birds, which up until now were federally protected, based on a report with rather flawed data. By their own admission these “experts” had difficultly conducting their studies and much of their data was extrapolated from other states and research projects dating back to the l997. I have read the report which you can upload on their web site and see for yourself.

 

Letter: Immigrants, Then And Now

Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:44

I found Maryann Sinclair Slutsky’s article on Michael Dowling (“An Immigrant Who Hasn’t Forgotten”) very interesting.

My parents also immigrated from Ireland, with an 18-month-old daughter, after waiting two years for permission to come. My mother was nine months pregnant with me at that time, but decided to come anyway.

 

Letter: Good-Bye Inisfada

Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:45

I read John Owens’ article on Inisfada (“Not Just A Mansion, But A Monument Lost,” http://www.antonnews.com/features/35742-not-just-a-mansion-but-a-monument-lost.html) with nostalgia and sadness. I knew the history of the Brady family, in particular Mrs. Brady.

I miss attending mass, retreats and wonderful holiday events. Inisfada was a very cohesive local community.

The article offered some small amount of closure, so thanks for that.

Germaine Greco

 

Nassau County Comptroller’s Report: January 6, 2014

Written by George Maragos Thursday, 06 February 2014 09:57

Transparency In Government The Public Can See

Confidence and trust in government appears to continue to erode because of political infighting, and the perception of waste, fraud, and limited transparency. This is why my office has taken small yet significant steps to attempt to restore some trust through transparency.

Our latest step came last week when we made available to the public on the Comptroller’s Facebook page all 2013 Nassau County contracts with vendors as well as all the bills paid by the County. In keeping with my office’s prudent standards of controlling costs and promoting innovation, we used the latest social media tools to make this information available to the greatest number of residents by using Facebook, Twitter and Google Docs. Not a single taxpayer dollar has been spent for this important public service.  

 

Letter: Modern Madness And The Mute Swan

Friday, 14 February 2014 10:26

I’m lucky to live only blocks away from our local nature preserve and I’ve gotten into the daily habit of going for walks there. It has a bike path that runs along a stream which at several points widens into a pond before ultimately thinning out to the bay. I usually bring a big cup of coffee and a plastic tipped cigar along and enjoy both while sitting on one of the benches that face the pond.

From this vantage point my mind wanders as freely as the stream and I think of many things. I often reminisce of my childhood - going for bike rides on the path with my family; ice skating and playing hockey on the pond; mischievous adventures in the woods with friends and girlfriends as a teenager. One winter evening I recall being of a certain mindset where the preserve’s moonlit landscape became a netherworld in my mind and was transfixed by the pond which had become a dark abyss; an entrance into the spirit realm and the swans upon it were silver dragons that guarded it.

 

Letter: Use Your ‘Head’ In Youth Sports

Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00

I found it disconcerting that an article titled “Concussions: Stop The Invisible Injury,” which  talked about “concussion prevention,” “fostering an atmosphere of safety first,” “the athlete’s health is first priority,” “protecting an athlete’s future,” “the lifelong impact this injury can have on an athlete,”  and “parents can reinforce a safe sports environment by not promoting or encouraging  moves that might compromise an athlete’s safety,” never once suggested the advisability of simply not allowing one’s young child to endanger his growing brain by playing (tackle!) football, playing other helmet-required sports like hockey, becoming a boxer or playing a brain-rattling (from “heading” the ball) sport like soccer.

The article began with several false premises and assumptions. One is that “a concussion can occur in any sport,” as if it’s as common in basketball as in football. It also said that “a concussion...can occur in both contact and non-contact sports,” as if the incidences are equal in frequency or severity. I daresay concussions are nowhere near as common in baseball as in football.  There’s a good reason that some sports require helmets be worn to protect one’s head and the brain inside the skull.  

 

Letter: Common Core: Good or Evil

Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:13

I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum; I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum; I have serious doubts about some aspects of the Common Core curriculum. I reiterate this thrice because, in more than one public venue, this has morphed into “Paul Manton is 100% in favor of the Common Core curriculum and thinks that anyone who does not share his enthusiasm is an idiot” - thence to diatribes about Obamacare, the war in Iraq, Bill Gates, global warming, and respiratory illnesses in children. I don’t understand the confusion. Is I because I don’t suffer from America’s self-imposed Attention Deficit Disorder and can comprehend the English language above the Third Grade reading level? But permit me to make things perfectly clear. As clear as an azure sky on a summer’s day. Let me remove all doubt as Dickens removed all doubt anent the death of Jacob Marley. There are some things I dislike about the Common Core curriculum and some things about it I like.  

 

Letter: Hack-proof? Ha!

Thursday, 16 January 2014 10:09

John Owens is correct when he says that inBloom’s promise that the student data it collects will be kept safe in its supposedly hack-proof cloud is “a lot less believable since info on 40 million Target customers was compromised.” I’d say that the most appropriate response to inBloom’s hollow assurances and unkeepable promise is contained in the first two letters of their claim “HAck-proof”: Ha! My second response to inBloom’s wishful-thinking promise of its collected-data’s supposed invulnerability can be found inside the phrase Owens used to pointedly point out that inBloom’s “underLYING operating system was built by a company owned by Rupert Murdoch.” So when inBloom says that their student data will be “hack-proof,” they are lying — since they know that is literally impossible in a world of Julian Assanges, Edward Snowdens, Russian hackers and thousands of brilliant conscience-less computer criminals and  identity thieves. I’m guessing that any inBloom official who made such an unsupportable false claim had his fingers crossed behind his back when he spoke those words.

Richard Siegelman

 

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