Ignorance: The Ultimate Kryptonite

My best friend is dying.

She’s smart, funny and beautiful. But her size makes her fragile and when I see her lying in the hospital bed, my stomach feels like it’s tied in a knot. Her’s actually is.

According to the U.S. Department of Health, there are more than 20 diseases and conditions that get under $10 million of funding for research and testing. These diseases may be overlooked by society due to lack of information or because they are embarrassing to talk about—but they’re still life threatening.

My friend eventually got the courage to tell me that she had Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. She was so nonchalant I didn’t think anything was wrong.

But then she missed one day of school. Then two. Then 20. Next thing I knew, I was visiting her in the hospital. She came back two weeks later like nothing happened. She was as lively, energetic and sharp-witted as usual. I didn’t understand how she could act this way. “You’re a superhero!” I told her.

I took my concerns to Google and searched Crohn’s to find basically nothing. Crohn’s research gets little funding—in fact, its funding dropped more than $10 million between 2012-2013. How many people are dying from illnesses because lifesaving research goes without funding? It seems that if there isn’t a huge media campaign or a celebrity trying to support a disease, then it doesn’t matter.

But my friend matters. This year she had to drop out of college in order to be closer to her doctors. Although she’s struggling, she’s fighting her disease just like Superman would. The Kryptonite can be easily disposed of if we just open our ears and become aware. Then maybe we can be the superheroes.

—Mary Awad

Cast Your Vote Today

Dear Friends,

Today, Nassau County’s 12th District will elect its next County Legislator. I will be voting for my friend, Democratic candidate Joseph A. Stufano, Sr. I’d like to take a few moments to tell you about Joe.

First and foremost, I am voting for Joe because he’s not a career politician, nor is he is a political family insider. Instead, he is a public servant. From his time in the Air Force to his his time volunteering with the Farmingdale School District, Joe has demonstrated unequivocally that he is passionate not only about protecting his own family, but ensuring the safety of all children and families.

As a business owner, Joe has contributed to the growth of local economic activity by creating dozens of jobs for our county’s residents and neighbors. As a taxpayer, Joe understands firsthand the challenges facing Nassau County’s families. He views the newly-adopted assessments, tax increases, and fees as mechanisms that only harm our residents. Additionally, Joe realizes that exorbitant fees derived from programs such as the Red Light Traffic Camera Program place undue hardship upon Nassau County’s overwhelmed taxpayers. If elected, Joe will never be a rubber-stamp, puppet politician. He will be the voice of our friends and families, fighting poor fiscal policies and programs that have hurt our families; the Republican-controlled County Legislature’s policies that include the constant nickel-and-diming of County residents through unfair tax hikes, such as the Mangano-approved 3.8 percent property tax increase.

Please join me and elect Joseph Stufano.  See you at the polls!

Wayne Rivenburgh

For polling locations, click here.https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/

Oscar Movies

It’s almost Hollywood’s biggest night. Get ready movies buffs because on Feb. 22, the 87th Academy Awards will be broadcast live on ABC. This year, the amusing Neil Patrick Harris will make his debut as the host of the awards show, being held in Los Angeles at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. But awards shows are not without their controversies. Oscars_022015A  [Read more…]

Support For Stufano

Dear Neighbors,

My name is Frank Ranelli. I have been a resident of Massapequa Park for nine years. Together, my wife and I have raised our son here. During this February’s Special Election for Nassau County Legislature, I will be voting for Joseph A. Stufano, Sr. I’d like to take a few moments to tell you why. [Read more…]

Hungry and Homeless in a Storm

You have shelter, a home. Your shelves have enough food, including cookies and candy. The electric is still working, so you are warm as a blizzard approaches. A day off from school for kids! A day off from going to work! The problem is you are lucky. You are not homeless. You are not hungry. You are not cold.

On Long Island there are many people without the comforts you enjoy, with or without a storm. They do not have enough money to shop for extra food. Currently, even the pantries run by the Long Island Council of Churches are practically bare. The Nassau County Legislature and Executive Ed Mangano have made them so. They should’ve voted in early autumn to fund them. That’s when Rev. Thomas Goodhue made an appeal for help.
But now you can help. Donate food to your nearest pantry. Or send a check to the Long Island Council of Churches.  Most of all, tell Executive Mangano and your representative to do the right thing and give LICC the funds to keep these pantries running and to stop people from being turned away.
 Elaine Peters

National Pie Day

No matter how you slice it, pies are reason to celebrate. Not to be confused with Pi Day (3/14), Friday, Jan. 23 is National Pie Day. Why? Well, why not?

The American Pie Council (yes, there is an actual council for American pie) is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of pie for the body and soul, and urges Americans to perform “random acts of pieness” in celebration. pie

The council has even supplied some of these best ways to celebrate pies:

Eat pie. Whether you bake it or buy it, eat some pie on National Pie Day. Pie is great with lunch or dinner, or as a late-night snack.

Make pie. Bake your favorite homemade pie to celebrate the day.

Teach pie making. Stage classes, demonstrations and samplings at stores and schools.

Hold a pie-making contest. Invite the best pie makers in town to compete for prizes in various categories.

Pass along pie memories. American pie heritage is slowly fading away. Call older members of the family and ask them for pie recipes. Ask them to teach you how to make them. Talk about your favorite pies and the family history behind them. Publish pie memories and recipes.
A slice of piping-hot, freshly baked pie has always been a treat on cold winter days. With holiday celebrations a fading memory, enjoying pie on a chilly winter day is a sure way to warm up January. Mark Friday, Jan. 23, on your calendar, and be sure to enjoy some delicious pie with your friends and family.

Send Us Your Miracle Mile Memories

Do you have fond recollections of family outings to Miracle Mile when you were a kid? Whether it was to a favorite store or restaurant, we would like to share your family’s special times in an upcoming issue of Manhasset Magazine. You could even be quoted in the magazine! Please send us your quote, along with a hi-res (300 dpi) photo, if you have one, to cmaidhof@antonnews.com.

Je Suis Charlie

The deadly attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, that left 12 dead, including the magazine’s editor, four cartoonists and two policemen, struck a chord for people eOPED_Charlieverywhere. It is believed that the gunmen were striking back at the publication for cartoons they published that satirized the Prophet Muhammad.

As journalists, we’re called to objectively point out flaws in elected officials, corporations, and religious and educational institutions. Our investigations provide information and accountability, and protect the public. The editors, journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo bravely took on that challenge everyday, without worrying about who they might offend. Presidents, religious figures, political leaders—no one was off limits for the magazine’s staff, who encountered threats on a regular basis.
People should not have to fear for their lives every time they make a joke or call out the powerful. The Charlie Hebdo attack is a stark reminder that freedom of speech, including that of the press, is a privilege that many will try to oppress. Free speech, whether it’s in the form of a cartoon depicting a religious leader or a film poking fun at a North Korean dictator, must be defended. Without it, we become uninformed, passive and at the very least, quite dull.

Mario Cuomo, 1932-2015

With the passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo, an era in New York politics has come to an end. Op-EdMarioCuomo [Read more…]

Banned Books Week Sept. 21-28

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn, ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom.
— Alfred Griswold Whitney

The week of Sept. 21-28 has been designated Banned Books Week by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. During this time, libraries and schools around the country hold programs and readings to celebrate the “right to read.”

Think censorship and banning books are ancient history, or at least not problems we face here on Long Island? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, there are many myths and misconceptions about censorship that should be challenged. Here are four:

Myth: Censorship occurs primarily in states that would be associated with right-wing conservative views often identified as the Bible Belt.

Reality: Many years ago, the organization People for the American Way, in tracking cases of censorship, listed the 10 states reporting the most incidents of challenges. Only two of the states would be identified with the Bible Belt, in the South. Reported incidents of censorship sent to the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association (ALA) continue to have no geographic pattern. The organizati

on considers censorship to be a national problem.

Myth: Censorship is usually identified with conservative political or religious groups.

Reality: Examples include the Harry Potter series—the principal reason, wizardry—as well as and Tango Makes Three—the reason, supposed homosexuality of penguins. However, groups not usually identified as conservative also censor. A few years ago, the NAACP unsuccessfully sought to have the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary redefine the “N” word and limit it to its offensive connotation. (The publisher refused to limit the definition since over time it has had many different meanings). Concern has also been expressed regarding the depiction of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Some Jewish organizations have challenged its inclusion in the Language Arts curriculum in high schools.

BannedBooks_091914B

and Tango Makes Three: Yes, this is a candidate for banning.

Myth: Censorship in public schools is focused on school libraries and books used in the classrooms.

Reality: In addition to censorship of books, school administrators in many states (not New York) have “for pedagogical reasons,” the final say regarding the contents of official student newspapers. The

Student Press Law Center, which represents students in challenges to their First Amendment rights, reports that more and more students are using the Internet and social media to publish their views without being subject to school officials.

School plays and performances are routinely screened by school administrators. A few years ago, a drama class in Wilton, CT, was prohibited from presenting a dramatic  reading of a cross-section of views by soldiers in Iraq. The students were able to take advantage of several offers to present their reading in theaters outside of their school. They accepted the invitation to present their program at the Public Theater in New York City.
Myth: Current books for children and teenagers which focus on sex, violence and drugs are the principal objects of the censors. [Read more…]