I am angry. I am sad. I am resolute. The tragedy of Newtown is the tragedy of each and every community in every corner of our country. It could have happened anywhere. It is not a partisan issue, or a regional issue, and knows no ideology.
Everyone’s asking, “What’s happening to this country of ours?” But answers require a good, hard look in the mirror and won’t be found in Washington DC, or state capitals. Instead, they reside directly in us, and unfortunately that makes people uncomfortable. That’s too bad. We’re going to have to get past this discomfort, or we condemn ourselves to a future of burying the innocent.
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 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
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Franwin Pharmacy hit a home run during Hurricane Sandy. Owners Allen Sankovich and Bob Somerfield had their own generators and never lost power, while CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen’s were all closed, Franwin was open to serve the doctors and customers filling prescriptions. Their pharmacy, which opened in 1930, also carries a full line of surgical supplies like walkers, canes and braces.
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.
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