In Other Words

In Shakespeare's 1597 'Romeo and Juliet', “love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions.”1

Well before Shakespeare, Plato2 had refined what the ancient Greeks identified as six types of love. Eros ‘love’, was uncomfortable even feared by the Greeks, because they understood that kind of love was dangerous and could get them into the most trouble. Evidently, the Greeks were right.

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For some, learning about other cultures is the stuff of textbooks and documentaries. But Elmont residents need only step outside to find more than 100 different countries represented there, from Guyana to Haiti to Peru. "Elmont is the most diverse zip code in the entire country," said resident Marsha Darling, professor and director of the Center for African-American and Ethnic Studies Programs at Adelphi University. "That is part of our strength." The community’s strength was the focal point of Elmont Online’s 1st Annual Roundtable Discussion on Empowerment, Opportunity and Social Justice, held on Feb. 11 at the Elmont Public Library. Darling served as a panelist, alongside WBAI-FM’s TalkBack! radio host Hugh Hamilton, Assemb. Thomas Alfano (R-North Valley Stream) and Elmont Memorial High School graduate Randall Clarke.

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There is a lot of exuberant talk about a Soccer1 Field of Dreams in Elmont but residents have been down this road before.  Fact is the last bit of premature exuberance was supported in part by this writer – The Casino.

After reading, listening and reading again I must say there is not much here to report.  A proposal (one of three) has taken on a virtual life - like Manti Te'o girl friend, and reasoned residents are taking a wait and see position.  The merits of a minor league US soccer field as an engine of sustainable economic growth is questionable.  There are many examples of failed US soccer stadiums and wildly successful sport stadiums with negligible to outright negative economic and social impact on the residential communities that surround them.

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Mirza At Sustainable Development Press Conference The residents of Elmont have been demanding solutions to their economic decay for almost a decade.

In February 2005, after seeing the solid proof of how Sustainable Long Island can help bring the much needed change, I introduced and brought them to Elmont. Despite a heavy snow storm, about 14 Civic and Community leaders, such as Norma Debatolo and Sandra Smith came out that evening to learn about the possibilities. In June 2005, I arranged a follow up meeting at the American Legion. It was participated by more than 60 residents and community activists. To assure the residents that we meant business Rev. Patrick Duggan - Deputy County Executive for the Economic Development also joined the Sustainable Long Island.

That night, Elmont learned how communities like New Cassel benefited from the concept of Comprehensive Economic Development through sustainable planning and progress. Over $100 million has been invested into the future of New Cassel by the County, Town of North Hempstead and others through this process.

On July 31, 2007 County Executive Tom Suozzi and the Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray held a press conference to kick off the visioning and planning process for Elmont.


Enough of just complaining and pointing fingers and "fighting with the problems". Let us be part of the solutions now! Enough of the fast-food restaurants and drug stores. the Time to have a supermarket on Hempstead Turnpike for Elmont is now!

Let us do our civic duty and come in great numbers to the Elmont Public Library on Wednesday, September 5th at 7:00 pm. Let us take our future and destiny in our own hands. Let us decide how Hempstead Turnpike can be revitalized, let us shape the future of our communities.

Ali A. Mirza
Secretary - Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development.

EOL Note: Ali Mirza is the Democratic candidate for County Legislature. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I know we've come a long way, 
We're changing day to day,
But tell me, where do the children play?

Tonight, I had the privilege of being part of a panel discussion that was hosted by the Sewanhaka Central High School District PTA. It was a great discussion. 

We discussed the horrors of Sandy Hook, bullying and our children. 

As a father of three beautiful children, I cannot fathom the agony of the families who lost their child. The suffering of these families and the senseless killing of the innocents far eclipse any drop of understanding of the depth of the mental illness of the gunmen of Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine. I apologize to my God, but I can't muster understanding or forgiveness of what occurred.

I can, however, do whatever I can, as an elected official, a father and a neighbor to prevent these senseless acts of violence. 

While I have no psychological training, I would like to post some random thoughts and observations that are not based on studies nor supported by empirical data. 

We must learn to say no to our children. Our world cannot sustain the mentality of yes at any cost. We don't deserve flat screen Tvs, designer clothes, exotic vacations at any cost. We deserve the opportunity to work. With work, we can choose to spend our money, save or invest. 

We are not what we wear, what we drive or where we live. We are who we are and who we choose to become. The rest are simply clothes, cars and houses. 

We must return to a time where it was ok to discipline. Where teachers and police officers were respected and even feared. Where respect modeled our behavior and disciplined us to behave like human Beings.

Life is tough at times. The struggle to interact and succeed at being human isn't always easy. The internet is no substitute for human interaction. You cannot hug your child on Facebook. 

Go out and play. Shut off the iPhone, the iPod and the computer. Know what it feels to catch a ball, ride a bike or swing on a swing. When you fall from your bike, you will get hurt and bruised. Get up. The pain fades. The exhilaration of getting up again will stay with you forever. 

Learn how to do long division, memorize your times tables and look up words in the dictionary. Learn how to think and not just push buttons.

Don't google the answers to life. Live it instead. 

It's ok to have family values. It's better yet to live your life according to those very same values.

Shut off the TV and read. Every night. When you're finished reading say a short but honest prayer to the God of your choice. 

Most importantly, we must change the ground rules. The world we live in has challenges that we never faced before. It also has opportunities we could never grab.

We all deserve a chance at those opportunities. I don't care what the color of our skin is, whether we have little money or the name of our God. 

Seize the opportunity to be human. Seize the moment.

For real. Not in virtual reality. Recognize that technology is a tool, not a master.

Lastly, reach out to the children who are suffering and who need our help. Connect to them. Save them from the pain and despair of isolation. They need us to connect to them for they can't connect to us.

By doing that, you may have saved many lives, and improved the life you have chosen for yourself. 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Edward Ambrosino
Sent from my iPad

Image Berthenia was 7days old when on November 13, 1907, Paul Cornu flew the first helicopter. It flew for only twenty seconds and got five feet up in the air. Today Berthenia Garnett is 100 years old. Born in Willington SC, November 6, 1907 she later relocated to McCormick where she met the late William Garnett and married December 19, 1928. Mrs. Garnett has 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren & 1 great-great grandchild.

She’s is a member of the Jamaica Square Improvement League, and has been a memberEmanuel Baptist Church since 1941. She was a very active member of the Deaconess Board, Missionary Circle, Flower Circle as well as the Choir until her health declined.

Elmont Online Congratulates Mrs Garnette. She represents the dignity resilience, longevity and long suffering of a people.

Anyone who attended the Elmont Board of Education re-organization meeting, held on Tuesday evening, July 3 at the Elmont Road School, may have been troubled by some of the things that were said by board members as well as members of the audience.

While, as a society, we may feel we are now above such things as sexism, there, at the Elmont board meeting, came proof that maybe we still have some strides to make.

From a member of the board as well as some members of the audience there came a suggestion that board vice president Elsy Mecklembourg-Guibert, board president Pamela Byer and newly sworn in board member Carol Parker Duncanson can't think for themselves. Those who made this suggestion believe that the three trustees vote only the way fellow board member Aubrey Phillips tells them to vote.

The fact that this suggestion, which is an insult to women, was made in a public forum was unfortunate and that it was made in a building belonging to a public school district is flat out wrong.

To insinuate that Guibert, Byer and Duncanson are nothing but pawns used by Phillips to forward his agenda is an insult to Phillips, but it is even a bigger insult to the those three women and women in general and displays a sexist attitude that belongs in narrow-minded views that our society has risen above.

Women hold some of the most important positions in our society and rightly so. They hold elected positions, positions of leadership and, whether you agree with some of their decisions on the Elmont School Board or not, Guibert, Byer and Duncanson are leaders in the Elmont community and should be treated as such.

Guibert, Byer and Duncanson were all elected to serve the public as were Phillips and other board members Frank Ragona, Lorraine Ferrigno and newly sworn in board member Michael Jaime. The public put these residents on the board because they believed in their individual abilities to improve education in Elmont. But, while they were elected individually to the board, they have to work as a team to accomplish this goal.

In order to work as a team, each member of the board has to respect his or her fellow board members. That clearly did not happen last week. Instead of being portrayed as Phillips' puppets, Guibert, Byer and Duncanson should be thought of, not even just as women, but as community leaders who are capable of doing one of the most important jobs a community can ask of its citizens - setting policies that will affect the education of the community's children.

The Elmont Board would be well served to realize that each of its members, whether it's Phillips, Guibert, Byer, Duncanson, Jaime, Ragona or Ferrigno, are volunteering their time to act in the best interests of the children of Elmont and their parents and guardians. That in itself deserves respect.


Republished from Three Village Times

"We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."

Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

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For some it's an After Thought!

"Highlights of Sept. School Board Meeting" which ran above the fold on page 1 of the September 28, 2007 Elmont Herald is indicative of what is wrong with the public discussion of Public Education in our community. For some in Elmont, Public Education is an after thought.

Since the July 3, 2007 Reorganization Meeting of the Elmont School Board, the Elmont Herald and some of its supporters have focused their collective energy on one issue - the board's decision not to include it as an official paper of the District.

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NEW YORK - a public school teacher was arrested today at JFK International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator. At a morning press conference, the Attorney General said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," the Attorney General said. "They desire solutions be means and extremes and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret codes names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns' but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest President Bush said, "if God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes."

White House Aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the president.

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