At a recent Town of Oyster Bay board meeting, a Massapequa resident thanked the board for the efforts of the town to help clean up after Sandy. While there was enough criticism to go around after the storm, particularly directed at LIPA as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s call that the New York City Marathon should go on, there are also many leaders who should be credited for their work.
Therefore, I’d like to take this opportunity to commend Rep. Peter King for his efforts to secure Sandy aid from the federal government. When legislation that would have provided Sandy financial aid was stalled in the House of Representatives, King took on members of his own party and demanded that the legislation be passed. While his efforts could have hurt him politically with members of his own party, the Congressman showed that the interests of his constituents were more important than politics, and he helped to secure much needed funding for the area. Well done, Congressman.
- Ron Scaglia
Recently, there has been an increase of crime in the Massapequas. Vehicles left at the railroad station have had the catalytic converters stolen from them. Personal property has been taken from the inside of vehicles parked on the streets. Some residents have been the target of phone scams. This doesn’t mean we still don’t have a great town. It just means we have to use a little more common sense.
Be Able To Agree?
Election Day should have marked an end to some of the shouting that’s taken hold of our politics. However, with the fiscal cliff crisis in Washington only narrowly averted, and more legislative brinksmanship apparently on the way, that may have been too much to hope for.
However, there is one thing on which all sides should be able to agree: Common sense on immigration issues.
This week, Massapequa took another small but significant step forward in the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. The walking track and the basketball courts have been reopened at Burns Park. Although the fields remain closed, it is still nice to go to Burns Park and see the entrance open and not blocked by barricades for the first time since the storm hit.
My grandmother used to tell me, “To get sick it happens one, two, three - but to get better takes a lifetime.” Those of you who are battling the flu, which is going around Massapequa, can attest to that. It also applies to the recovery efforts from Sandy. The storm first rolled in on Sunday, Oct. 28 and was gone by the following Tuesday, leaving terrible destruction in its wake that will take a long time to overcome. There is still a long recovery process to go, and it will take time, but each day we see a little bit of improvement. The reopening of Burns Park is just another example of how Massapequans are coming together, to not only overcome, but to rebuild our town even better than it was before.
The reopening of the park shows that things are getting better. Here’s hoping that by next holiday season, the destruction of the storm is just a very bad memory.
When I interviewed Tim Van Patten, executive director of Boardwalk Empire, about growing up in Massapequa, I was amazed when he told me that he has encountered folks in Los Angeles who know of Massapequa.
When you live in a community and encounter all that it has to offer on a daily basis, it is easy to take it for granted. Don’t take the Massapequas for granted. We have many wonderful shops, beautiful parks, a golf course, and even a preserve running right through the middle of our communities. And if all of that is not enough, Bethpage State Park is just a stone’s throw away. As we enter the winter months, stop by Bethpage and go sledding (if we get snow), walk through the preserve on a crisp, winter day, take a walk around the track at Burns Park or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at one of our fine establishments. We have many great things in Massapequa. Enjoy!
- Ronald Scaglia
On Meet The Press (12/23/12), NRA executive Wayne LaPierre stated, “The NRA would coordinate a national effort to put former military and police officers in schools as volunteer guards.” I have great respect for the military and police officers who have served their country at home and abroad. They deserve to have a secure and trouble free retirement. However, this is not the case for many of these troubled officers. The suicide rate for those returning from war zones and those who put their lives in jeopardy on the streets of our cities exceed the average suicide rate for the rest of our nation. More solders committed suicide than were killed in combat in 2012. This is a problem our nation should also be addressing. All the training afforded by the NRA will not rid the turmoil that exists within those former police and military officers. Hopefully, mental tests can determine those that should not become armed guards within the school systems.
When tragedies occur, it is the names of the perpetrators that stay in most people’s minds, but not the victims nor the heroes. Unfortunately, we can recall the names of the shooter in the Newtown tragedy, but how many of us know the names of the police officers who charged into the building to rescue the trapped children and educators? To those of you who can recall the terror that was wrought on the LIRR in Dec. 1993, you probably remember the name of the gunman, Colin Ferguson, but do you know the names of the individuals who subdued him and stopped him from taking even more innocent lives?
For some of you, 2012 was a good year. There are always weddings, graduations, engagements and births to celebrate. For those of you who had a blessed event this year, may the next year continue to be as joyous.
However, for many of us in Massapequa, 2012 was difficult, to say the least. A monstrous storm destroyed many homes and even those who escaped major destruction still had the heartbreak of watching friends and neighbors deal with the devastation. We also lost two longtime public servants in Peter Schmitt and Harry Jacobson. Here’s hoping that 2013 is much better, filled with peace, prosperity and good health for all of us in the Massapequas.
Happy New Year!
The standard thing to do in this case would be start with “my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, CT and their families,” only that would be dishonest because I don’t pray. That’s not an anti-religious statement; I respect the kind of intellectual puzzle that prayer can present, that simultaneous desire for both total humility and divine attention, but it’s never been something that I do personally.
All I can do is participate in the dialogue everyone says we should be having on gun control. However, I tire of each side making a cartoon villain out of the other, and it’s especially bad this time around; after such a particularly senseless attack, targeting the most innocent possible victims, proponents of stricter gun control practically can’t help viewing advocates of gun ownership as evil monsters with children’s blood on their hands, while gun advocates, feeling cornered, are doubling down even more on their dogma of individual freedom as the bedrock of the American spirit. The severity of the event that necessitated that we address this issue now makes it especially unlikely that anyone involved will have a cool enough head to make the right decisions, but there’s no choice.
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