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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

On June 6, Elmont School Board President Aubrey Phillips was reappointed to a three-year term on the Nassau County Executive Committee of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association. Phillips is a member of the Nassau County delegation’s Legislation Committee. In light of his desire to maintain his concentration with this committee, Phillips announced that he will not be seeking a nomination as an officer on the Elmont School Board in the coming school year.

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Richard Mastrocola, Esq.On Sunday, March 5, 2006, the Parkhurst area and the Elmont community suffered a tremendous loss.  While he was able, Richard Mastrocola actively participated in the civic life of the community.  He followed a motto “next to family, there is nothing more important than neighbor.”

Richard served on the Parkhurst Civic Association Board and used his legal skills to the advantage of the group.  He guided updating of the Constitution and Bylaws.  He is credited with inclusion of Peter Street in the Parkhurst Civic Association boundaries in 1996.

Richard was deeply involved in all facets of the Association’s life.  He particularly enjoyed helping to plan Block Parties and was a regular financial booster.  He was adept at securing speakers for meetings and in 1997 was nominated for the American Legion Community Service Award.  He spearheaded posting of  “Welcome To Parkhurst “signs.

Richard served many years as a Parkhurst Civic Association delegate to the Community Coalition Council (CCC).  This involved him in the Topless Bar case, the Malibu Planet (Image One) code enforcement case and the Elmont Road Drainage Ditch case among others.  He was instrumental in improving recognition of the Elmont community with Welcome signs at Meacham Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike and on Dutch Broadway at 237th  and 238th Streets.  He served as President of the CCC for a time and pioneered a single Candidates Night to include all of the Civic Associations.

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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.

I would like to express my gratitude to the entire Elmont Community who patiently waited on line to cast their vote for the budget and the candidates.

I am very proud of Elmont and impressed with the direction our school district has taken.

Our students continue to strive for excellence.

As a member of the board I will continue to cooperate with the district on the two very important issues of maintain high education standards and fiscal responsibility.


Pamela Byer


"We want to reassure the community that we received the photo from Mr. Ciotti's legislative office already altered and printed it not knowing Mr. Mirza had been removed.

We would like to let the community know that we pride ourselves on our high integrity. We condemn the practice of submitting photos that have been altered or tampered with."

Joe Rizza

Elmont UFSD Board of Education Meeting

I attended the Elmont Union Free School District Board of Education meeting which was held at the Stewart Manor Elementary School on January 16, 2007.As I walked in I immediately noticed that certain people sat in certain groups. I felt as though people were separated by invisible lines of demarcation. This feeling stayed with me throughout the entire meeting as I noticed that even the Board was fragmented.

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For those of you who do not know me I am Tania Lawes, a resident of Elmont with two wonderful children.  Many of you supported my petition to run for the Library board, and on May 16th went to your local elementary schools (some for the first time) to exercise your right to vote. 

Too many do not realize the importance of each voice and how one vote can make a difference.  So many have died and suffered to bring us to where we are today, and  I am proud of our community for coming out to support the candidates.  I am honored to serve this community as your library board member and encourage all of you to stay involved and informed.  Let me hear your voices.  Thank you again for all your support and well wishes.



Tania Lawes

Altered Image
As submitted to Elmont Herald by Ciotti's office
What I see here is a blatent disregard for decency.  It appears to be a politician running scared who will stoop to any level to eliminate his opponent even to digitally removing him from a picture.  This must be exposed especially when Ciotti claims that he is "for our community." Is the deceit on the part of the newspaper or on Ciotti's staff or both?
Mr. Chrichlow

Sure.....a drop of magic eraser accidentally fell on one spot, and magically eradicated just one person and the matching name......sure, it could happen.........
Name Withheld
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Albany church celebration linked to historic issuing of Emancipation Proclamation

ALBANY -- Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church will hold a Watch Night service on New Year's Eve, much like its congregation did 154 years ago.

The Watch Night service's importance in the African-American community is linked to Dec. 31, 1862, or "Freedom's Eve," the day before the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863.

On New Year's Day 1863, according to President Lincoln's promise, all slaves in the Confederate states were legally free. But few were actually freed on that day -- given that the proclamation applied only to states that seceded from the Union, and the Civil War didn't end until 1865. Lincoln's proclamation applied only to those slaves who had already escaped to the Union side.
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The entire Elmont community lost a true public servant this past weekend in Richard Mastrocola. He fought a courageous battle with illness while still working with community leaders on issues that matter to families in our neighborhoods. He is someone we will all miss- but will never be forgotten.

Rich was a straight shooter who listened, questioned and worked with everyone to build a better community. His work will continue through the Elmont Community Coalition Council which he helped begin many years ago. That is a testament and legacy he gives to alt of us.

I got to know Rich through his many charitable and community service projects throughout Elmont. In fact, it was Rich Mastrocola, through his workthrough Parlthurst Civic Association, who encouraged my work on the issue of education. I fondly remember Rich commenting to me about the needs of ourcommunity and challenges we face each and every day. I can also remember him pushing me to do more for Elmont and challenging elected officials to never settle. It was sound advice.

Rich Mastrocola was a different kind of leader. He listened, watched and conthbuted in a meaningful way in everything he touched. When Rich Mastrocola spoke, you listened. The quality of his ideas and the thoughtfrjl way he expressed them made him a powerful force for good in Elmont. I, for one, will miss his many contributions to the community.

Thank you Richard for everything you did for Elmont.  Your courage in your life's battle is a symbol for all of us to never give up.


Re: Statement made on September 29, 2005 that “You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”

Recently, I read a transcript containing your statement, partially referenced above, which in essence suggests the validity of genocide, in which genocide is defined as “the planned killing of groups of people.”  Your statement suggests that all black babies are a threat to our society and present no value except that they are potential criminals.

Is this not the ideology made popular by Aryan Supremacists, in Europe, during the early 1930s?  I am happy to say that my family is not made up of criminals, and along the way I have associated with African Americans who are productive and valuable members of society.

However, I was somewhat devastated that such a statement/idea could have been publicly stated, and is now being explained and defended.  There is no defense to the suggestion of destruction and annihilation of a race of people.

I am an educated Black woman with a son, whom I love, and who I intend to be a productive member of this society.  Why don’t you explain to me, why I should have been made to abort my child?

May God have Mercy upon your soul!


Dale A. Black-Pennington
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