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Welcome to TheFiveTowns.com

Rivki: Bad Hair Days

Slovie Jungreis Wolff:  Ben Affleck's Divorce and Marriage Lessons

 

Daily Thought

The true teacher is most present in his absence.

It is then that all he has taught takes root, grows and blossoms.

The student despairs for his teacher’s guidance,
and in that yearning, the student’s mind becomes as the teacher’s mind, 
so that they become one.

Maamar Vayomer Lo 5728, 5732, 5737.

 

 

 

The Diary of a Political Candidate: A Party Indeed

A Bissel Torah

Lenore Suri Davis Stern

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2015, the primary election.  Wedged between Monday Labor Day and Sunday night Rosh Hashanah, day after school starts, the day before 9/11 commemorations… get the word out, to vote.

YOUR SUPPORT IS INTEGRAL.  To Donate Time and Money, click here.

***

Republican Party.  Democratic Party, Green Party, Working Families Party.  Did you ever wonder why they are called parties and not associations, organizations or committees?  They are indeed parties.  A group of like-minded people who socialize and fraternize throughout the year, year after year.  Parties.

Candidates are nominated by their parties based on the money raised and sweat equity worked for the party.  Those who want to rise within the parties, bring tables of people to party functions, they go out in all kinds of weather to get voters to sign petitions, they shake hands and kiss babies day after day, and give up time with their families.

Candidates are not necessarily qualified for their positions;  they have worked their way through the ranks and made friends with the right people.  There is a return expectation that when the candidates are elected that they return the favor to the party by throwing business back at prominent party members.   Call it favoritism, cronyism or nepotism, it is returning a favor.  That’s a fact of life, naturally so.

So why have politicians of late been snagged by this favoritism?  In one instance, there are competitive bids that are required in many government contracting areas, and if the job is not given to the lowest qualified bidder, then favoring a friend or relative’s company is at the expense of the taxpayer, and that is where actions go awry or astray.  Favoritism cannot be at the taxpayer’s expense.

I have mentioned before that the election process in Nassau County is controlled by the Nassau County Board of Elections.  Two of their employees filed patently false objections to my signatures, objections that are patently false on their face, but meant to force me to distraction.  Who decides on the validity of these objections?  Yes, the board of elections as a first step.  So you have board members filing objections against me, and you have board members deciding if their own objections are valid.  How do you think they are going to rule?  I am awaiting their decision.  Party fraternity.

In NEDARIM 62  we see how Rabbi Tarfon mourned all his life for having abused his power of the Rabbinate as a prominent torah scholar.  Rabbi Tarfon was in a field of a farmer who was having trouble all year with a thief who was stealing his produce.  The farmer sneaks up on Rabbi Tarfon and puts a bag over him and brings him to the edge of the water, arguably to drown him.  Rabbi Tarfon hears the water and realizes that he was about to die and screams out “oy to Rabbi Tarfon…” the man hears who it is and lets him go and runs away.  Rabbi Tarfon, realizing that he used his influence and title as a great rabbit get himself out of his predicament mourned that he used the crown of Torah/”abused” the crown of Torah to get out of his mess and regretted it is whole life.  He should have thought of another way, like money, to get out of the situation. 

As I age, I appreciate Shabbos that much more.  NEDARIM 60:  Most other religions have their Sabbath on Sunday, so they can rest for their goal of maximizing work goals.  The Jews have their Shabbos on the last day of the week, their goal is to make it to their day of spirituality, they work to elevate themselves on the Shabbos.

On this celebratory day of Tu B’av, on the eve of Shabbat Nachamu, the mourning period having passed, let’s bond with your family and friends and make it a great PARTYING Shabbos.

Lenore Suri Davis Stern

 

A MOMENT WITH COUNCILMAN ANTHONY J. SANTINO

          I had heard wonderful things about the senior of our two Town of Hempstead councilman in the Five Towns, Tony Santino, and I thought it was about time I spoke with him to find out what he’s up to.  I have to admit at being a bit lazy about our leaders, I used to plop in to Mayor Parise’s office and we would have a quick snack and he’d catch me up on the goings on.  Of course, Mayor Parise is sadly gone, and I went about searching for another long time Long Islander and had a lovely conversation with our Councilman.

          I admit that I really enjoy speaking with old time Long Islanders.  I like to hear their stories of growing up on the island, and how they came about serving our community.  Councilman Santino’s family was from Corona, Queens.  At a young age, he moved to East Rockaway, where he lives to this day.  It is because he was raised here on Long Island that he had an instinctive sensitivity to the fact that there were certain parts of his constituency that were not part of a library district, and who had to pay to borrow books.  Fifteen years ago, he took up this cause and ensured that every Town of Hempstead resident has free library access….a model law that’s been copied around New York State.

His earliest memories of politics included watching the 1964 Republican National Committee Goldwater/Rockefeller meeting on t.v. and decided to get involved in politics by joining Norman Lent’s run for the United States Congress.  As a 16 year old, he rode his bike from East Rockaway to Baldwin to stuff envelopes and hand out balloons for the candidate[ rumor has it, the Councilman is the fastest balloon tier in the county].

          Our conversation took a turn to the state of the County, where it’s been recently, and where it’s going, especially with recent hits by the economy and hurricane Sandy.  In the time that he has lived on the island, he is most happy to see its diversity in two senses.  On the one hand, the people have changed from its homogeneity in the early1900s to more races, creeds and colors that add to the diversity of the Long Island population.  On the other hand, he is happy that Long Island has evolved from its mostly leisure/recreation/bedroom community [work in NY, reside on LI] reputation, to a serious contender for work/residence/play.  Which leads the Councilman to another serious concern.

          While residents are happy with increasing property values on Long Island, this increase threatens the very core ability to keep and attract young workers and recent graduates.  If the younger workers cannot afford housing, current Long Island businesses cannot find workers, nor can Long Island  attract new businesses.  Towards this concern, the Councilman feels that communities such as Rockville Centre have the right idea, of taking business districts and encouraging development of apartment buildings that have studios and one bedrooms aimed at youngsters.  Rockville Centre has the nouveau restaurants, movie theatres and businesses that are attractive to the younger demographic.

          Councilman Santino is often in the Five Towns at different events, meetings and affairs.  It is important to him that he hears from the residents what is on their minds, good and bad.  He  is conscientious about addressing the concerns of those who reach out to him and his office.  He maintains an active social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, and his own site, www.AnthonyJSantino.com.  He knows how our community suffered under hurricane Sandy, and continues to work with the county and state to improve the major roads in our neighborhood to ensure the emergency routes into and out of the Five Towns stay sound in the event of future emergencies.  This is the Councilman’s main balancing act.

          With the recent recession and the hit from hurricane Sandy, there has been a great strain on balancing services to the community with budgetary constraints;  it is a very delicate balance.  The Councilman is working with the Town, County and State to get funding to restore bulk heading on the our precious beaches, raising roads to prevent flooding, remediation of waterways and community repair zones, and doing this all while keeping the Town financially sound.  This is the Councilman’s greatest satisfaction and greatest challenge, being ‘the steward of the residents' money,” while the Town of Hempstead maintains one of the highest credit ratings available to a municipality from Wall Street.

 

 

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TheFiveTowns.com Honored by Village of Cedarhurst

November 3, 2010

Cedarhurst Mayor Parise Honors TheFiveTowns.com for its community work.  Left to Right:  Trustee, Ari Brown, Mayor Andrew J. Parise, TheFiveTowns.com Editor Suri Davis-Stern, Village Administrator Salvatore Evola

 

 

 
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