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McCarthy: ‘It’s Time For A Change’

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8 that she would not seek re-election. The former nurse has been battling lung cancer since last year.

 

“It just hits you,” she said. “There’s an expression called “chemo-brain,” which makes you kind of forgetful and tired. I said jokingly ‘That’s great. I can see myself sitting next to my chairman and fall asleep by accident.”

 

The Mineola resident said that cancer was not the reason she decided to not seek re-election. Ending her run in Congress entered the picture after the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn.

 

Sandy Hook, two decades after the tragedy she and her family faced when Colin Ferguson killed six (including her husband, Dennis) and wounded her son Kevin on the Long Island Rail Road, cut her to the core. 

 

“That hit right at the sole of my heart,” she said. At the same time, McCarthy saw others galvanized by their tragedy as she had been by hers, and taking up her cause.

 

“A lot of the victims got involved and became voices of reducing gun violence,” she noted. “Other voices are speaking up now. We need another face up there.”

 

McCarthy, 70, grew up in Mineola and watched its revitalization—especially downtown. She sees a bustling village and says “we need to look to the future.”

 

“Businesses will come and stay,” she said. “I know there’s always been controversy on building new apartments but that’s where the future is. Young people can move into those apartments. They’re right near the train.”

 

A nurse and homemaker at the time of the LIRR shooting, McCarthy did not see herself fighting her way on to Capitol Hill. Now, however, she can’t imagine any other path.

 

“I loved nursing, but one of the things that I found working in Congress is that it’s just like nursing,” she said. “It’s taking care of people.”

 

In a phone interview with Anton Newspapers, McCarthy noted that she’ll be back in Congress in a couple of weeks. She finished her final round of chemotherapy and radiation last September at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

 

“I actually felt worse [at the end of chemo than] during the whole treatment. I was getting antsy wanting to get back to work,” she said. “The doctors would always say ‘let’s give it another week.’ The next week would go just into another week.”

 

While McCarthy loves her job, the typical 70-hour workweek that most congresspeople tackle may be too much, she said.

 

“I thought about this for quite a long time,” she said. “It was getting harder. And when I go back, I know I’m not going to have the energy I had before.”

 

However, McCarthy still plans on being active after her run as congresswoman ends. With her cancer battle, the former nurse says she may tackle health issues in the community.

 

“I couldn’t imagine not being active,” she said. “I think that’s why a lot of politicians hang on so long: because they don’t know what else to do. But I would say to those ones, ‘there is a life out there.’”


News

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.

As the night sky fell on Memorial Park last Thursday, Mineola residents and officials paused to remember the almost 3,000 lives that were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

 

Mayor Scott Strauss, a former NYPD EMS worker and 9/11 first responder, was one of the many who rushed into Manhattan after the attacks, searching the rubble for survivors. He was part of the rescue effort that saved the lives of Port Authority Police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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