It was just a few short weeks ago that Superstorm Sandy was causing us nothing but panic and grief. It was one problem right after another making those few days feel like an eternity, but I think we can agree that it gave us new appreciation for simple pleasures like brewing a cup of coffee or taking a hot shower. As often happens in times of sacrifice, we grew in solidarity with our neighbors, pulling through with a sense that we were “all in this together.”
Then the lights came back on, the heat started working, gas stations came back online and we happily started to forget about Sandy. There were, of course, expensive and inconvenient repairs to be made, and donations to be sent, but for most of us on this part of the Island, life pretty much returned to “normal.”
It is quite amazing to think that December is upon us and that we are already in the second marking period! How fast the school year seems to be flying by.
As all of you are probably aware by now, the board of education revised the 2012-13 school calendar at the Nov. 19 meeting to make up days lost as a result of Hurricane Sandy and the snowstorm. School will now be in session on Feb. 20, 21 and 22. It was reported in Newsday that several airlines are now waiving their change fees for customers who booked tickets for travel during February’s mid-winter break; and it is likely that other travel organizations may follow suit as well.
Thank you all, so much, to everyone who contributed in some way to our project of delivering meals to homebound senior citizens and those in need on Thanksgiving afternoon. Through the generosity of so many, 304 hot dinners were delivered throughout Nassau County and 23 families were provided with the fixings to make their own Thanksgiving meal.
We are grateful to everyone who contributed in some way – by donating food, beverages, or money; cooking a turkey, making a dessert or bread. We are grateful to all the children who made cards or baked in their CCD class, Girl Scout Troop, Youth Group, or classroom. We are grateful to Mrs. White and the art classes of Stewart School in Garden City for the beautiful artwork on the bags in which the meals were delivered. We are grateful to those who gave their time on Thanksgiving Day to help us pack the meals and to those who helped us deliver them.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 58 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
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Local business wins battle. Twenty-three years ago Bed Quarters opened their mattress business on Jericho Turnpike. They built a good little business with personal service and friendly people. Then a huge Sleepy’s opened up right across the street. Sleepy’s had a huge parking area in a shopping center backed by a big ad campaign with TV, radio and print in papers like The New York Times and Newsday. Everybody figured that’s the end for Bed Quarters, but the Sleepy’s has given up the fight and closed their store while Bed Quarters is still here. Nov. 24 was “Support Local Business Day.” Forget the shopping centers and big box stores. Keep money right here at home. The success of Bed Quarters is a case in point. Jim and Bill Canell own the store. Jim lives on Elderberry Road and Bill on Linden Road. Their dad, Greg, is a professor of business at Adelphi. The sons are big hockey fans of the Islanders.
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I was advised not to write this column. I was told it wasn’t politically expedient, that it would most certainly ruffle some feathers. But I’ve always maintained that I would shoot straight with my constituents, and I think I my recent re-election means that most of you appreciate that effort.
That being said, we’ve all had the experience at some time or another in our lives of having worked hard for something – sometimes very hard – only to watch someone else swoop in at the last minute and take credit for our hard work. It’s not only personally frustrating to witness someone else be recognized for something they didn’t do, it’s also disconcerting to watch as they try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Some politicians truly believe that their own constituents are so uninformed that they can make things up and no one will call them on it. That attitude was on display when a local resident from Elmont sent me the recent letter that his Nassau County legislator mailed to constituents.
Football youngsters ages 7 to 14 got the experience of a lifetime on Nov. 17 at Hofstra University…personalized instruction from New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. The kids were beaming with excitement. Not one child was turned away; smiles all around. I’m surprised more events like this haven’t occurred at the school, which has a state-of-the-art practice bubble, where the event took place.
LIPA failed us miserably – from pre-storm preparations right through communicating when power would be restored after the storm. No arguments.
Naturally, as public servants, our job is to take public authorities like LIPA to task and take a good, hard look at why it failed us after Superstorm Sandy. But I participated in this dog and pony show last year after Hurricane Irene and frankly, it accomplished very little except some convenient transfer of blame and lots of finger-pointing. One positive: it’s given me a few months to better see the bigger picture and zero in on where the real problems lie.
As one of the first teachers I interacted with when I started working at Anton Community Newspapers, Denise Maynard gave a good first impression of the teachers in the Mineola School District and is deserving of having her work chosen to be published in an Inter-Disciplinary Press e-book on creative engagements.
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President Obama has been re-elected and I hope everybody, Republicans and Democrats, will support him in the struggles ahead. I also congratulate our two Mineola officeholders, State Senator Jack Martins and from Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy. I get a kick out of many people running for offices that say, “I’m not a politician, but my opponent, he is, or my opponent, she favors special interest but I don’t.” I guess the worst thing you can be is a politician.
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I have been crazy about hockey since I was a little kid following the long forgotten New York Americans. They played in the NHL from 1925 to 1942. They never won anything but they were my guys. In fact, I named this newspaper after them. The news that the Islanders were moving to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn hit me hard. I had followed the Isles during their 40 years at the Nassau Coliseum. I remember when they were the champs from 1980 to 1983 and you couldn’t get a ticket and the last couple of years you could hardly give them away. When Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, was county executive, he attempted to work with Islanders owner, Charles Wang, to build a new coliseum. The Republicans were against it. When the Republican County Executive Ed Mangano was working with Wang for a new building, the Democrats were, of course, opposed. Later, we had that referendum; the voters defeated the proposed bond. Twenty-nine years without a cup saw attendance drop. Unless the Isles were playing the Rangers, they seldom sold out games. I went to lots of games and the rest I watched on MSG. I will sorely miss the Isles, but at least they are still technically on the island and will thus keep their name.
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