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.
Carolyn McCarthy’s announcement that she will not run again is understandable as she fights lung cancer. She has served faithfully for 16 years in Congress. She has been a friend of our family for many years and was good enough to call me about her decision. At my request, she got Congress to pass a resolution honoring America’s nuns. Carolyn has remained in her same home in our middle class village rather than move to some richer area. We can only thank her and wish her success in her battle. Carolyn told me that she seems to be winning.
No doubt you’ve seen the full page ads that Target recently placed in major newspapers around the nation. The massive retailer was apologizing to the 110 million customers who likely had their credit information stolen in one of the largest security breaches in retail history. If you shopped at Target before Christmas (unnamed members of my family practically lived there) then you may have been affected. By Target’s own admission, the hackers may have stolen credit and debit information from 40 million shoppers and personal data from another 70 million. Under pressure from the U.S. Attorney General’s office, they’re even offering a year of free credit monitoring to all of their customers in the hopes of mitigating the situation. Yet none of that, however well-intentioned, will fix the damage now.
You can read the latest communication from the Commissioner of Education John B. King, Jr. by clicking on the following link http://usny.nysed.gov/docs/reflections-on-the-core.pdf . With respect to state testing, Commissioner King informs us that the state education department has reduced the number of questions and testing time on the federally required assessments for grades 3-8. In subsequent news, the SED has received the waiver requested from the federal government so that eighth graders taking ninth grade algebra and the algebra Regents exam will no longer be required to take the eighth grade New York State math test.
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 Lou's popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
Danger meant little to New York City cop Gavin Duffy. He dressed like a hobo, would mingle in large crowds looking for pick-pockets, drug dealers and any other type of crime never knowing if he might be stabbed or shot. He was injured on the job while apprehending a criminal. He retired as a sergeant and is now living in Mineola with his wife, Irene, and sons Cody and Tyge. Irene is a school teacher.
I’d like to commend residents for keeping their vehicles off the streets during the recent snow storm. The majority of residents followed village regulations regarding snow emergency stipulations. While it can be difficult to comply, it is necessary to keep our village roads empty so that plowing can be done in a safe and efficient manner.
During and after the storm I received phone calls and emails from residents as to where cars could be parked legally during a storm event. Village policy allows vehicles to be parked in village parking lots when snow is predicted or actually falls.
It’s a new year and much is already being made over Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech. As one of the most powerful people in New York, liberals, conservatives and everyone in between were waiting to hear the tone and substance of the speech, sizing up where the supposed “battle lines” will be drawn.
The governor’s position is magnified because it’s a re-election year for him, and it is rumored that he has presidential aspirations. Naturally, a big win at the home-state polls this year would strengthen his position among Democratic frontrunners, so it’s easy to see why this speech carries a heck of a lot of baggage. So far, in his first term, he has tried to maintain some balance, but Cuomo’s unfortunately coming under increasing pressure from New York City Democrats, led by newly-elected Mayor Bill DeBlasio, whose ultra-liberal agenda doesn’t necessarily mesh with the goals of the state. Indeed, the new mayor made many promises, some of which will be impossible to keep unless Cuomo yields to that pressure.
“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” So wrote the British historian Bertrand Russell, and if you’ve read the papers this week you may think he was absolutely right. Years of education do not translate into intelligence let alone an enlightened insight into truth.
I write specifically about the American Studies Association (ASA), a nationwide organization of university professors. In an effort to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, its members overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel’s academic institutions from collaborations with the universities here in the United States. Among local institutions affiliated with the ASA are New York University, Cornell, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook. To be fair, the administrations of many of these affiliated universities have slammed the boycott but are just sitting on the sidelines.
The competition and mystique that surrounds the effort to gain entrance to four year colleges and universities by graduating high school seniors is almost a blood sport. To hear some parents and students talk, it is almost a matter of life and death, or at the worst, embarrassment.
The implication is that if a student is not accepted to a suitable four year institution all is lost. There is obviously no hope for this student. And what in God’s name are mom and dad going to say at the various cocktail and graduation parties they will be attending?
Will there be that pregnant pause when they say their son or daughter is heading to the local community college?
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi University, 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.
I had the wonderful experience of seeing the second Wheatley Winter Concert of this season. The chorale, honors string ensemble, symphonic orchestra, symphonic band and jazz band all sang and played expertly. Thank you to the amazing students who participated and to their outstanding teachers who prepared them and conducted the program, Angela Luftig, Stan Orlovsky, Peggy Ho and Steve Fitzko. It was a beautiful evening of music. In keeping with our “All In” theme for the year, the program focused on one common subject, Americana. In this way, students studying American history in their classrooms would be exposed to many periods of American history through a musical lens.
The student-musicians researched their pieces, composers and the time frame in which they were written. For example, a sampling of our student performances follows: a choral selection “The Bells,” based on an 1849 poem by American poet Edgar Allan Poe and arranged by John Leavitt; the song, “Brother, My Brother,” by Jack Murphy and Frank Wildhorn, was inspired by the tensions between the southern and northern states that escalated into the Civil War; “Americans We” was written in 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression, when the composer Henry Fillmore wanted to bring music to the country and ignite spirit and pride in Americans. As noted in the Concert program, “Music usually reflects the environment and time of its creation. We increase our appreciation of music when we understand its historical context.” The thematic selections of the evening supported this type of connection to academic learning, while at the same time created an emotional experience that only the arts can provide.
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