Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
When I became a new dad many years ago, I asked a friend whom I admired how to be a good father. Without missing a beat, he responded simply, “Love their mother.”
As husband to a mom of four and son to a mom of five, I live (you can already guess) in a mom-centric zone, and over time that lesson has become abundantly clear to me. So I thought I’d take a break this week from the usual legislative topics and instead reflect upon the powerful love we celebrate in the middle of May each year.
One need only look around to see that family life is changing fast but even so, I’d say moms are the rock upon which stable families are built, often at great personal sacrifice. And family life is microcosm of how we treat one another in general.
My friend was right then and he’s right now, so in the aftermath of Mother’s Day, we might consider some ways to help moms wherever and whenever we can throughout the year, every day.
In that light, I wanted to bring your attention to two special Long Island programs you might not know about: Momma’s House, with several locations around the island, and Catholic Charities’ Regina Residence in Merrick. These two homegrown residential programs are dedicated to meeting the needs of young, unwed mothers and mothers-to be who unfortunately do not have the support systems necessary to raise their children. This is especially stressful on Long Island with its notoriously high cost of living, where rent or child-care eats up entire paychecks.
Going it alone is simply not an option for these young families. That’s why these programs, supported by people like you, step in to see to the physical, social and emotional well being of both the moms and their babies. They provide structured living environments with scheduled meal times, shared chores, and even study times. They also provide counseling and childcare so the women can finish their educations and find meaningful work. There are even mentoring programs that match the young ladies with successful working women in their communities who become personally involved in their development. It’s in homes like these that the skills for successful family life are learned and over the years, these combined programs have literally sent thousands of young women into the world as confident, independent and loving mothers.
The creativity and dedication shown by Long Islanders in programs like these are perfect examples of the type of citizenship that makes Long Island thrive. That the young women there remain motivated to keep growing and learning in the face of adversity is a testament to the unique power of motherhood.
So maybe this year, now that the flowers have faded and the chocolate’s gone (you probably ate it anyway), you might consider celebrating your own mother or grandmother by volunteering at or supporting the work of these two special Long Island Institutions. You can visit Momma’s House online at www.mommashouse.org or Regina Residence at www.catholiccharities.cc to learn more.
Thank God that “mother” is also a verb, not just a noun. To all the moms reading this column, thank you for the love that is uniquely yours to give and may you know that love and respect for all you do extends well beyond your own children.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.
East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.
Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.
“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”
Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.
The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.