Today we opened our doors to 4,897 excited students and a staff that eagerly anticipated their arrival. The class of 2025, our new kindergarteners, entered briskly with all the high hopes and dreams of their parents, as the seniors, class of 2013, returned with the enthusiasm and visions of being accepted to their reach schools. Between these bookends we have a commitment of an invigorated staff to leave no stones unturned in making their dreams possible. We move forward together to begin another chapter in the history of our district, with an eye on building on our successes of the past.
When I was growing up, Golden Anniversaries—50 years of wedded bliss—were quite rare. Nowadays, they seem to come about almost every weekend. Is it because people are living longer, or because marriage is a better way to spend a lifetime? I am not sure.
Lorraine and I introduced Mel (my close friend) to Elaine (Lorraine’s college sorority sister) in 1961. Last week, we attended their 50th anniversary party in Annandale, Virginia. Tempus fugit.
When I look at birds I see more than just winged, feathered creatures. I sometimes catch a glimpse of their infinite beauty. It started in the early ’90s when I was looking at some terns on a cloudy Cape Cod beach. Later, perusing a bird identification chart, I began to marvel at the realization that small changes in the color of feathers on similar sized birds in the same bird family sometimes meant there were different species. And there were so many different kinds of birds! I was bedazzled.
One morning a few years ago, I was on a Florida peninsula near a tidal lagoon. There I spent 40 unforgettable minutes watching a reddish egret. The bird had once been hunted to near extinction in the U.S. by the early 20th century. It had almost been eternity’s bird. I was surrounded by bone-white sands, mangroves, some tall bare ash colored trees, a number of which were lying on the ground with their enormous root systems exposed. This landscape served as a theatrical set, enhancing the bird’s beauty.
Normally I try to limit the subject of these editorials to locations strictly within the Plainview-Old Bethpage area, however Variety Child Learning Center in Syosset is obviously important to this community as well. You may not have been aware, but the VCLC building suffered massive flood damage earlier this summer, most of which was not covered by insurance. Fortunately, local carpenters pitched in to repair the worst of the damage so the school could still open for the 2012-13 school year, but there are still more repairs to be done.
As Tropical Storm Isaac heads for the United States I am interested in the name, Isaac. I was fortunate to have met all four of my grandparents. Both grandfathers were named Isaac and both were born in Poland.
They were not at all similar in their business lives, but both were very religious and well-versed in the Torah. Isaac, after all, was the son of Abraham, destined to be sacrificed on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Only the sight of a goat by Abraham saved his life.
Since my children are all grown and have children of their own, I have no great use for my basement floor anymore. It is usually musty and dank down there and I often have to empty the filled dehumidifiers. Therefore, I don’t go down there much.
But the other day when I ventured down to the lower floor, I spied something of value. It was a picture of my father, mother, sister and myself. It was created by a Korean artist in 1959. I was stationed at Yongsan in Seoul, Korea and at the time I was feeling a bit homesick. I requested a picture of my family be sent to me, which it was. I entered the artist’s studio and he and I planned the picture while he sat on his haunches, Korean-style, and we designed the operation.
New Yorkers are debating the many serious issues related to the extraction of natural gas from shale deposits that underlie parts of upstate New York. Recent news stories indicate that the state Department of Environmental Conservation may soon begin to permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing in our state on a limited basis.
We need a program that will ensure New Yorkers are protected from harm and cleanup costs are covered if contamination from drilling happens. We simply cannot afford to cross our fingers and hope accidents won’t occur.
Here it is, the middle of August, and the world has lost all its pleasures of sports entertainment.
Gone are the Olympics with all of its competitive juices in an international arena. Gone are the lovely little girls dancing on a 4-inch beam and flying and twirling across the mat doing fantastic tricks. Gone are the heavily-muscled young men whacking a volleyball across the net and whacking each other in congratulations. Where are the sturdy, lean runners sprinting at record-breaking speed and winning the silver and gold? What can replace all this action on the channels of our poor, depleted television sets?
The Nassau County Soil and Water Conservation District has long provided cost- effective, efficient, and valuable services to all of the people of Nassau County. Since the district opened in 1977 it has been serving residents, businesses, nonprofits, agencies, schools and municipalities with environmental expertise and assistance. Like all conservation districts throughout New York State and the nation, it is a proven public-private partnership that leverages local taxpayer dollars by bringing in funding from grants, state matching funds and other sources. Yet, Nassau County may soon become the only county in the state without a Soil and Water Conservation District. The steady decline in funding over the last four years has depleted the district’s small reserves and it is in danger of closing.
Last Saturday, beautiful Lorraine and I went into Manhattan to see a double header. No, not two baseball games or two movies; we went in intent on seeing two plays, on or off Broadway.
Thanks to the Long Island Rail Road and getting a parking spot at the Hicksville station, we made the 11:53 a.m. train to Penn Station. After the train, we stood on a huge taxi line, but it moved quickly, so we jumped into a cab to speed us to 54 East 59th Street. The play we wanted to see was Harrison, Texas, or three plays by Horton Foote.
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