Everyone enjoys reminiscing. It is practically impossible to attend a wake and not overhear reflections upon the “good ol’ days”. However, I don’t think anything stirs up the memory pot better than the holiday season. Growing up in Mineola with a loving family made my childhood Christmas memories most enjoyable.
Shortly after Halloween, household preparations would get into high gear. My mother, being of German descent, was not the least bit politically incorrect when she announced each year that it was time to give the house a “German cleaning.” Family members would quip, “The holidays must be approaching; Mom is out Simonizing the driveway.”
It may not be one of the more noble holiday traditions but I guiltily admit that one of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to settle down on the couch next to the fireplace with a bag of cookies and my dog to watch the endless stream of Christmas movies
on TV. My wife and kids usually shun the endeavor and remind me that we’ve watched them, literally, dozens of times before. Yet this annual ritual gives me comfort, so I continue.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace, a graduate of Adelphi University, have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
The good news is that Yopp’s Service Station on Mineola Boulevard, which for more than 50 years has been repairing brakes, carburetors, alternators, tires and batteries, will again have gas—that’s good news for us that have trusted and liked Fred Yopp, as we did his dad and uncle.
I’m going to get straight to the point. Superstorm Sandy slammed into the south shore of Long Island on Oct. 29, 2012. On that date, more than 400 days ago, millions were left without power, and tens of thousands were displaced.
Now I’m reading newspaper articles that are making my stomach turn. Apparently only four (that’s right, four) of the 4,178 Superstorm Sandy-ravaged Long Island homeowners who qualified for federal housing reconstruction aid have actually received a check. Let me elaborate. More than 10,000 homeowners asked for help. Thus far a few more than 4,000 have heard back and only four have actually received a check. We watched press conference after press conference at which eager politicians promised help and took credit for new funding and here we are more than a year later and only 4 people have received a check.
In reading this article from a recent Mineola American called “Counselor’s A Key In College Readiness,” I was surprised to see that of all the criteria the author mentioned that he found critical in the search for the right college for prospective students, cost was not even mentioned.
Starting the search early, determining the individual’s strengths and personal qualities that appeal to particular schools, considering the social and career factors, are all well and good but to ignore the cost to the student and the parents is really putting the cart before the horse.
John Owens’ column reported the Board of Regents announced that on the upcoming April statewide tests, they’d take “10 minutes off the English exam.” Owens wrote, “Of course, in context, it’s not much. Our kids still can expect to sit through nearly three hours of testing.” He’s right, but I’d like to amend his “not much” to “too much: 10 minutes too much.” Because allowing kids to leave the testing room 10 minutes early will do more harm than good — and here’s why: I think the Board of Regents needs some Common Core courses intended to improve both critical thinking and problem-solving, given their foolish plan which stipulates that “students in grades 5-8 will be allowed to leave testing areas 10 minutes earlier on one day ... if everyone in the class completes the exam in less than the time allowed.”
This is a comment on the article “Land On The Village Mind” by Rich Forestano in the Mineola American, Dec. 4-10.
My main comment will be regarding the lot on 2nd Street west of Roslyn Road which abuts the Western Beef lot. Comments have been made that local businesses need it as a parking lot. The following will show that this assumption is entirely false. I will mention each business in this area.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
Happy people filled the Jericho Terrace for the “Taste and Style” of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce. Among the 319 people were Dr. Vincent and Marie Conte, John Davanzo and his daughter Mary, Mayor Scott Strauss, Dennis Walsh, Pat Salmon, Terrence Timlin, Chamber President Bill Greene, Ray Sikorski, Bob Rosenthal, Paul Cusato, Tony Lubrano, Steve Ford, Marty and Joy Wyler, Dorothy Campbell, Dolores Mangold, Lillian Barnola, Will Havron, Tom Jeffersberg, Gary Katz, Rich Forestano, John Carroll, George Durham, Regina Cuchino and Senator Jack Martins.
I read Rose Kulfan’s letter to the editor “Pension De-Risking The New Buzzword?” in the Mineola American, Nov. 13-19 issue. I have not heard much about what she mentioned but it does fit much of what is happening.
It is fair to say that the Jesse Jameses of today do not rob trains anymore. I have heard about all of the fees with the I.R.A’s. I would avoid today’s money market and mutual funds. Capital One Bank is pushing its investment department. I would not put my money there or any other similar place. Chase Bank is paying me one hundredth of one percent APR on my savings account. Non-compounded, it would take 10,000 years for the interest to double its value. Capital One brags that it pays five times as much: one twentieth of one percent. Big deal.
You may recall that I recently called for the resignation of New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King. The initiatives he has undertaken in his brief tenure as Commissioner of the State Education Department, including his roll-out of the Common Core curriculum, testing, teacher evaluations, and gathering of student data, are shaping up to be among the most controversial issues I’ve ever dealt with as a public servant. It’s easy to see why. These changes have created confusion among parents, anxiety for our children, and put life-long educators at odds with the department of education in Albany. This was only exacerbated when he canceled town hall meetings on the issue.
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