Block parties abound this time of year. A good one was held on Beebe Road from Garfield Avenue south to First Street. Among those we had a chance to talk to were Catherine, Tony, George and Marinos Pantelides, Fernando and Lauren Mora, Cathleen Lynch, Pat Yasparro, Pam Zezima, Vala Podlesak, Noah, Ben, Melanie and Sadie Lichaa, Christine Kelly, John, Dee, Connor, Danielle and Gavin McLaughlin, Denise, Jeff, Sidney and Brent Klass, Rui Manuel, Carlos and Matias, Felipe, Luis Carlos and Amelia Concalves, Karina Teixeira, Stephen Modica, Michele Zaransky and Julia and Jessica Perrino.
There are many benefits in clustering for a district our size. Of course, as with anything in life, there are cons as well. The most obvious is that many children will have to travel a greater distance for their entire school career. As you begin to formulate your decision on whether to support the Oct. 26 bond here are some clear advantages to clustering:
Full district clustering provides Mineola with the most educationally equitable and financially beneficial configuration. Dividing Mineola in half in a north/south model would have many negative long-term consequences and inevitably one school would be perceived as “better” than the other.
On Sunday, Oct. 10 at Bethpage High School, arena football kicker and Mineola resident, Craig Pinto, will be kicking field goals for 12 straight hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., with two goals in mind. First, he will be attempting to set a world record for most field goals kicked within that time frame, by having to make 500 field goals, all from 40 yards out, but Craig’s main focus is to raise money and awareness for celiac disease.
Carolyn McCarthy had little interest in politics before Colin Ferguson killed her husband and badly wounded her son in the LIRR Massacre. She soon became a well-known figure fighting for gun control and accepted the Democratic nomination to run for the House of Representatives. Since then she has branched out to fight for difference causes such as the struggle against childhood obesity. She also has fought for universal health insurance and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Health Reform Bill. As a nurse, she was particularly interested. She said, “I know this bill is not perfect, but the kinks will be worked out before it goes into full effect in 2014.” She also has battled to improve schools and to stop drunk driving. McCarthy said she thinks all cars will have breathalyzers by 2015. She has made little headway on gun control, but at least she has gotten even the NRA to agree to close the loophole that allowed the mentally unbalanced to purchase firearms. She lives in Mineola and has served 14 years in congress. Her Republican opponent in November will be Francis Becker.
We respectfully disagree with this reflection on Mineola PTA organizations and their countless parent volunteers.
In response to recent letters by Artie Barnett and John McGrath, I offer my own thoughts as a resident of a school age child in Mineola regarding the subject of school closings.
First, I’d like to point out that there are many members of our community including myself who are not altogether sold on any of the current proposals. Many of the residents I encounter whether at the pool, the library or other public places have expressed discontent with the reconfiguration process and its latest outcomes. I have heard sentiments describing the reconfiguration proposals as being “too drastic” or “… do we live in the city that Willis should have a rooftop playground?” While the importance of saving money is recognized by the majority, it is felt that the concessions which go along with the purported savings will take away from the quality of education that our residents and generations of Mineola children have long enjoyed. Now, it appears that the financial mistakes of the past are dictating the consequences of our future school children.
In all of the discussions about how the school district reconfigures, let’s not lose sight about why we need to reconfigure. Although it is very early to calculate these numbers, here is what the 2011-2012 budget looks like now.
Davenport’s Restaurant was the happy scene when John and Jean Kuskowski, along with her mom June Lettieri, son James and his wife Barbara, celebrated their grandson, James going off to the University of Pittsburgh to start his college career. Good luck to him. Also at another table were Ken and Robin Ford who, along with his brother Steve, owns Willis Hobbies.
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