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A recent letter to the editor on the subject of additional polling sites for school elections raised the issue of our town being divided into political factions. Other letters to the Port Washington News on school matters have pointed to alleged bad feelings between parts of our town arising from different income levels. In addition, seniors have been pitted against younger residents. In brief, there is in Port Washington a growing sense of civic divisiveness arising from school matters.

Because of this, I think it is a good time for us to reflect upon all the things that bring us together in Port Washington: We come together in a wonderful Port Library. We come together to see quality shows at the Landmark Theater. We come together to swim and play ball at Manorhaven Park, to enjoy our bay and its adjoining shores, restaurants, Town Dock and many marinas. I have traveled the globe and have no doubt that I live in one of the best places in the world.

I have always liked Port especially because of its diverse population - people of many faiths and ethnic backgrounds and with many diverse and special talents. This is definitely not a one-dimensional or boring town, but one that always challenges us with the much faceted beauty of its people and landscape.

Lately, however, our public school system - which has been such as effective melting pot in bringing us all together - has become the focal point for harmful divisiveness. Yes, we need oversight of the school board. Yes, we need to be sensitive to the needs of our seniors and others who are having a rough time with high real estate taxes. However, we definitely do not need leaders or voices that shout and harangue and who distort our beautiful diversity and plant seeds of disunity among us.

Isn't it about time to celebrate and be thankful for our beautiful town and not tear it apart because of wrongly perceived divisions among us? Please, everyone, let's discuss these school issues with calm reason, compassion and love for each other.

Joe Bellon


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