| IN THE NEWS NOVEMBER 2014
SUFFOLK COUNTY HISTORIAN SPEAKS TO BRENTWOOD SCHOOLS RETIREES
By John Sherin
Judge Peter Fox Cohalan shown here in former chambers at the state Supreme Court building in Riverhead, was named Suffolk County Historian in May of 2012 by the County Legislature. He currently occupies donated office space at the Suffolk County Historical Society in Riverhead, filling the job as an unpaid volunteer. It’s the first time the post of Suffolk County Historian was filled in nearly five years.
Received with rapt attention by all those in the Brentwood Public Library meeting room, he spoke with considerable knowledge about the history of Islip and the historic role his family has played in the history of Long Island.
His interest in history came from his father, who once wrote a book about Aaron Burr, and his grandfather, he said, as well as from his own family history.
“I got started because one of my family members was the first Catholic priest on Long Island back in 1839, and I was very interested in his career,” Mr. Cohalan told the legislative committee prior to his selection.
This relative was the co-founder and second pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in Sag Harbor, back in 1845, adding that St. Andrew’s was the first Catholic church on Long Island.
From there, his interest in local history expanded into other areas. He’s researched the African-American communities that settled in Sag Harbor in the 19th century, and intends to continue “playing up” the history of various diverse segments of the county’s population.
Cohalan traces his family’s American roots to the American Revolution, when his Irish ancestors fought against the British under Lafayette, the French General allied with George Washington. A former Islip Town Supervisor (1971 – 1979) and Suffolk County Executive (1979 – 1986), Cohalan retired from the New York State Supreme Court where he served the people of this County for more than twenty five years. Continued.......
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LOW VOTERS TURNOUT'S APPALLING
By Chris Veech
Posted in Newsday.com, Letters: Opinion. November 14, 2014
I was appalled by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's comments blaming low voter turnout on President Barack Obama ["Cuomo blames lower vote count on Obama," News, Nov. 7].
From Cuomo's perch in Albany, where he only thought of his own re-election, which was really never in doubt, he let other hardworking Democratic candidates go it alone without his long coattails. Arrogantly, he stated: "You know what? State Senate, it's hard to motivate people about a State Senate."
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|A BRIDGE TO TOMORROW: ROBS GENERAL MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
By John Sherin
It was our wish today to welcome the new retirees and provide a quality experience similar to the one we extended last year. On that occasion everyone was comfortable, engaged and upon leaving were ready for more. This year we looked to find and recruit talented new Executive Board leaders to take on our educational, philanthropic and informative mission.
One thing on which we were all agreed was the degree of gratitude we felt for another retirement school year. Some came to us for the first time, while others with less than five years immersion in their redirection
experience raised hands when asked. Members this year also had come for ten or more beginnings, while a noticeable number of familiar faces indicated by their presence they’d enjoyed decades of membership.
Breaking into smaller groups, we were given pens, post-its and paper, on which all were asked to enumerate the our most prioritized aspirations.
All of us had at one time worked for the Brentwood School District in careers for which we were most grateful. Life is a continuum of past, present, future rounded with a beginning and end. Unfolding in life experience from the inside out we’ve learned how each of us is as different from one another as we are the same. Moving forward now with renewed feelings of hope, fear, love and longing we are faced with the universal human condition of not having any idea of what may lie ahead.
We called our suggested task a “Bucket List” and were informed by one participant that they didn’t believe in bucket lists yet gave us their list of priorities anyway. We asked that the post-its be attached to a “Yellow Brick Road” comprising a metaphoric life (road) stretching across the gap on a bridge joining past and future. Everyone shared orally with their small group what they’d included on their list. Continued .............
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Eleanor Bazata, retired clerical and mother of Arlene Gernon (nurse at NMS), passed away on Friday, 11/21. The wake will be at Grant's Funeral Home in Brentwood on Wednesday only, 11/26, from 2 - 4 and 7 - 9:30. There will be a memorial service at the funeral home on Friday, 11/28, at 10:30 followed by burial at the Brentwood Cemetery.
|RENEW YOUR ROBS 2014-2015 MEMBERSHIP
Just a reminder to our members to renew your ROBS membership for the coming year. You can download the Membership Application
here and mail it along with your check for $25 dollars to Marge Kirchner, 666 Hawkins Road East, Coram NY 11727. Make checks out to ROBS.
If you are not currently a member, please go to the Membership
page of this site to learn more about the many benefits of joining ROBS. You can also download the application from that page.
We hope you will be joining us, and to our current members, thank you for your renewal.
Beverly Bienemann, a retired Special Education teacher who taught at Brentwood West Middle School, died at her home in Smithtown on Saturday morning, Nov. 8.
The arrangements for Beverly are:
Wake at Branch Funeral Home
190 E. Main St., Smithtown
Tuesday & Wednesday
2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00.
Funeral mass at St. Patrick's Church, 280 E. Main St. Smithtown at 10:30 AM.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations in Beverly's name to the Cenacle Retreat House, Ronkonkoma. www.cenaclesisters.org/ronkonkoma
SHEILA AND LETTY SUSTRIN LAUNCH THEIR LATEST BOOK
Please join Sheila and Letty for the launching of their latest book: The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Loses Her Ballet Slippers
, on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 12:00 Noon. Click on the flier for more details.
|How are we doing?
We'd like to hear from you.
Please visit our
Letters to the Editor
Page where you can share your views and comments
View the "In Memoriam" page with the list of our Brentwood colleagues who have passed away. This list will be updated on a yearly basis.
Executive Board Meeting
General Membership Meeting
NYSUT Regional Conference
RC 21 Website: http://rc21.ny.aft.org/
||WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW
||Check out the Famous People and Events on that special day in October and see what else happened!
Historical People and Events for November
|November, 2014 Holidays, Bizarre, Unique, Special Days
Bizarre and Unique Holidays
|All About November
November in History
|ROBS HISTORY PROJECT - John M. Sherin
|Why did we do it?
What was our purpose in taking on such an open ended “History Project”;
for which we evolved a script of questions and got answers from over 150 subjects for two decades?
We couldn’t answer the question in 1994 when people would ask “What are you going to do with the interviews?”
All we could say was that for educational purposes we had to document our record now or lose the chance to preserve so many poignant accounts, funny stories and touching tales told by exemplary educators. We knew these dedicated public servants might shortly, for reasons yet unknown, be leaving Brentwood for good.
So, we decided to let time sort out the details. We began scheduling appointments. We asked questions and listened saving for generations the essence of what it meant to have been an educator or employed, in this large public school system during the second half of the 20th century. Brentwood remains an exemplar to all others; a diverse microcosm of America reflecting 124 districts on Long Island while simultaneously resembling thousands across the U.S. We’ve accomplished something here to be proud of. Whether we were interviewed or not, ours is a claim of service that few professionals in the State of New York or elsewhere have positioned themselves to share in the way we have.
the practice of sitting with a subject for an hour and giving them a hundred percent focused attention seemed somewhat daunting to a number of friends and colleagues. So much so in fact that many declined our repeated invitations to speak with us as they left careers or retired from full employment. Despite all assurances that we were not about investigative journalism or invading privacy, they deferred. Now, twenty years after we began, some are saying they may be ready. “Better late than never” we say. However, to all among you who were willing to share not only your classroom experiences and personal stories, but precious memories from your lives along with your fondest hopes for the future, we say “Thanks”. Thanks for allowing us to continue the process by paying it forward as we share these interviews with the Brentwood community and countless professionals and researchers near and far. Through an acceptance of ROBS offer of collaboration with Archivist Dr. Geri Solomon and The Long Island Studies Institute
at Hofstra University our History Project lives on in academia as well as in the collection of the Brentwood Public Library, thanks to Director, Thomas A. Tarantowicz.
Enjoy unlimited visits to www.robsny.org
where you can watch and listen to segments from featured Interviews in the ROBS History Project
Section on our Announcements Page
each month. Return here to listen and learn again and again.
|THIS MONTH'S FEATURED HISTORY PROJECT
You can also view any of these past interviews by visiting History Project Interview Archives
Baker Bazata, Eleanor
Baker Bernhardt, Ruth
Laub, Dr. Herb
Sustrin, Letty and Sheila
Walker Lloyd, Shirley
|THE TOWN CRIER - MarilynDePlaza@aol.com
Marilyn De Plaza
The Town Crier" was set up a number of years ago so that the retirees of the Brentwood School District could have an email center to stay in touch. Since I began to send out all sorts of information, retirees from all over the country have sent me their email addresses. Some have asked, "Do you have any idea where so and so is?" Others have sent proud news of their accomplishments, their family news, photos,etc. and sadly, we often get bad news. Many retirees whom I have never met write me to thank me for keeping this connection going, as everyone remembers the Brentwood years with warm feelings.