Magnificent would be the best way to describe our Corpus Christi Choir. The members are Nancy Becker, Marta Bertoni, William Boerner, Katherine Bautigam, Janet Bromfield, Irene DeMedeiros, Maria Dos Santos, Janet Langer, Franni Luisi, Lisa Madson-Connor, Dolores Mangold, Adriara Mello, Tom Murphy, Christina Nunez, Tom Schmitt, Sindy Seabra, Pat Tobin, Greg Tranchina, Mario Valdellon, Michael Vezzi and the director, Troy Gordon.
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Tsontos Furs was founded by a great friend of mine, Mike Tsontos. Mike was wounded and captured by the Germans in the North African campaign. When he was hit and laying on a stretcher he was next in line to be operated on, when two Germans were brought in wounded. He figured they would be moved ahead of him and was surprised when they took the casualties one by one whether they were German, Italian, American or British. He spent three years in a prisoner of war camp. As the Nazi fortunes declined, the POWs received smaller and smaller rations. He says that on the whole the American and British POWs were humanely treated except for the starvation diets. The German treatment of the Soviet POWs in the next compound was brutal. The Germans treated the Russian POWs like they were not human beings. Mike weighted 200 pounds when he was captured and 110 pounds when he was finally liberated by the advancing American forces. Years later he opened Tsontos Furs and built up a prosperous business.
(Editor’s note: The following is a copy of a letter from Senator Charles Fuschillo and the Long Island Senate Delegation to the LIPA Board of Trustees opposing LIPA’s rate increase proposal. The letter was read into public record at a LIPA public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 6 regarding its rate increase proposal.)
Once again a selfish and intransigent Tea Party brought the nation to the brink of disaster. I’ve gotten dizzy watching House Republicans flip-flop and backtrack in their efforts to win political points.
This is a victory for everyday citizens – from the scores of job seekers who attended my career fair at Hofstra University this month and told me of the importance of unemployment insurance, to the thousands of Americans who tweeted about how this whole charade could bring painful hardship to their families.
Yuletide Greetings were everywhere at the mayor’s annual Christmas party. Among those present we got to talk to were Joyce and Karen Gorycki, Bob and Kyle Teemsma, Rich Forestano, Walter and Joan Hobbs, Vivian Yuan, Jackie Wladyka Emilia Morelli, Meredith and Leah Minkoff, Whitney Kwiatkoski, Shelby Grynberg, Tiana Taliepe, Nick Pontolillo, Janice Cosenza, Dina Schuldner, Pat Lackner, John and Sara Herling, Betty McLoughlin. She’s the president of the Irish American Society. John Carroll, John Colbert, Michael Veezi, Manny Grilo, John Davanzo, John and Kathleen O’Shea, Bob Rosenthal, George Durham, Denny McCrave, Julian Mikowski, Peter Ferreira, Timmy Balos, Tom Mikowski, Andrew Martone, Jr., David DeSilva, Leo-nard Reis, Michael Palumbo, Neil and Joan Young, Mayor Scott and Pat Strauss, Sen. Jack Martins, John Broder and Richard O’Callaghan.
For fans of the television program Seinfeld, one of the most beloved episodes introduces a rebuttal to the year-end frenzy, a made-up holiday called “Festivus.” The brainchild of George’s father, a character named Frank Costanza, the traditions of his invented holiday are exercises in dysfunction but of course, pretty funny.
One of the “traditions” is the “airing of grievances” in which people take a moment to explain to family members how they’ve disappointed them in the past year. As an elected official, I’ve often joked that it might be nice to have people “air grievances” just once a year as opposed to sharing them constantly. To be sure, the most difficult part of this type of service is answering people’s criticisms.
Mr. McMillan’s column brings up a very good and eye-opening point. Our visa system allowed 1.3 million foreign residents to come in legally last year. There is almost a visa for every letter of the alphabet with very high allotments for each. How can we be expected to absorb so many people each year? We need to eliminate nonessential immigration categories that are driving the biggest population explosion in U.S. history.
With all these visas out there it would be a good idea to support legislation that would amend federal law to require at least one parent of children born in the United States be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident before being approved for citizenship as well as eliminate the extended family visa categories and reduce the annual number of family-sponsored immigrant visas to end unnecessary chain migration.
Thank you 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, 270 hot dinners were delivered throughout Nassau County and 22 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 her Art Classes at 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 of their time on Thanksgiving Day to help us pack the meals and to those who helped us deliver them.
Score a big one for common sense. I’m writing to you from Albany because I have some great news. All our hard work has paid off. As of last night New York State has passed a historic $3.3 billion middle-class tax cut and job creation bill.
The far-reaching plan reduces taxes for more than 4 million New Yorkers to the lowest point in more than 50 years and it eliminates the job-killing MTA payroll tax for 78 percent of those who currently pay it. It further stimulates job growth by providing tax credits for hiring young people and by investing heavily in rebuilding New York’s decaying infrastructure. Simply put, it puts jobs and money back into the hands of working people who can dig us out of this recession.
I must have forgotten how much I dreaded impromptu writing assignments because this past month I asked sixth-graders in our district to do just that – write a Thanksgiving essay about what they’re thankful for. Despite jam-packed schedules and “tons of homework,” more than 300 participated. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them at a recent recognition ceremony. While I realize the assignment wasn’t easy for them, it did make it abundantly clear that we can all be thankful that our young people offer us some real promise.
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