*Members: If you have any announcements that you would like to post on the ROBS web site, please contact Nick Siciliano at
             News2@robsny.org. Announcements will be posted each month on this page. If you miss any previous month's announcements,
             you can view them at the Archives page of this web site. You can also read more news in our Newsletters. In addition, if you have
             your own web site, and would like to share it with other members, let us know and we can include the link on the ROBS site.

  IN THE NEWS                                                              MAY - JUNE 2011
POSTED 5/20/11
Reprinted from NYSUT NOTES
by Dorothy Zuckerman, NYSUT Retiree Services Consultant
email: dzuckerm@nysutmail.org

     The Clayton Act of 1914 declared that “The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce.”   Workers were not to be treated as though they were no more than a piece of merchandise to be traded in the marketplace.  Unionism grew, workers’ rights were fought for and defended; major gains were made against managements at bargaining tables.  In recent years we have seen these achievements eroded by legal rulings, company decisions, stockholder demands.  Union busting has become a growing force. The decline of the labor movement started in the private sector, led by the corporate ideology that workers were no more than a commodity – “things” to be put in or taken out to meet the demands of production. Workers were no different than widgets or onions. This corporate ideology has now reached out to the public sector.
      “1200 fewer Teachers!” scream the headlines; attack public pensions –they’re too costly!;    tenure is an obstacle to progress!  Public employees are held to blame for all the disruptive woes our country faces today.  Constant threats of job loss and unrelenting economic demands have forced unions to make major concessions. Like a magnetic force, more and more programs are taken away from public institutions and turned over to private managers. The recent attacks on public sector workers are an attempt to destroy unions and to assert corporate control.   Anti-labor activists see a world where money and the marketplace are the controlling factors.  In their view, public education and public services would have value only as they can be controlled by the world of business and commerce. In 2010, during the strike at the Mott’s apple juice company, a plant manager was overheard to say during negotiations that employees were “a commodity like soybeans and oil, and the price of commodities goes up and down.”
     This is a crucial time in our lives and in the lives of our brothers and sisters who are in service.  As union members, we fought bravely to gain and maintain our rights and working conditions.  As retirees. we are proud of who we are and what we have done.  We must continue to work together to maintain our dignity and our strength.
     Or would you rather be an onion?
POSTED JUNE 27, 2011

     ROBS Members, Long Island Authors Sheila and Letty Sustrin, have been invited to do a "Summer Fun Story Time" for children, on Saturday, July 23, 2011 at 1 P.M. The event is at Borders in Bohemia, 5151 Sunrise Highway. The twins will be reading, "The Teacher Who Would Not Retire Goes To Camp," as this is the perfect time of the year for children to enjoy this funny book about Mrs. Belle and her life as a camper. Bring the grandchildren, or any kids you know, to have a fun time. After the reading, there will be a coloring project, and all children will receive a Mrs. Belle Pencil. For further information, Sheila and Letty can be contacted at 631-586-8150, or by e-mail: twinniesls@optonline.net
POSTED 6/3/11

To:  Our extended BHS family
From: Harriet Helman, Chris Veech, Judi Hearst Weissman and Patti Monsen
Re: Brentwood High School Retirees Reunion at La Casa Cafe Restaurant

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
     We’re excited to tell you that we have a definite date for the BHS Retirees Reunion. Based on your response, the reunion is going to be on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Here are the details:

Place:  La Casa Cafe Restaurant at Crab                 Meadow Beach, Northport, NY
Time:  12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Date:  Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Cost:  $35 which includes tax and gratuities, payable at the door, cash only

     La Casa Cafe is on the water with all seats looking out at the Long Island Sound. There is a small boardwalk, a friendly and cozy bar, and benches and chairs outside. A walk on the beach would be a nice way to end our afternoon. The cuisine is Italian and our lunch would include a selection of appetizer, a salad and bread bar, a choice of entrees, coffee, tea or soda, and dessert. Specific menu choices for the entree will be sent in August.
     We already have over 60 colleagues who are attending and hope, if you’ve not yet responded, you can join us.
     If you were waiting to hear about a definite date and can now attend, please contact Harriet a.s.a.p.: Harriet Helman: Ainthair2@aol.com

You can also reach Chris or Judi via email:
Chris Veech: ChrisVeech@aol.com
Judi Hearst Weissman:
     We look forward to hearing from you! It truly will be wonderful to see everyone again!
     Link to restaurant directions:
Directions to La Casa Cafe
Warmest Regards,
Harriet, Chris, Judi, and Patti

Printer friendly PDF flyer with above information

POSTED 6/16/11

      On June 4, Carmela Criscione and Phyllis Goodwin attended the second annual NYSUT Journalism Conference at NYSUT headquarters in Latham. There they were presented with the Journalism Awards won by the ROBS Newsletter and website.
     Best Feature Story - Award of Merit, Headline: "That Which is Lost is Found Again: A Brentwood Story"
Author: John Sherin
Editor: Carmela Criscione
     Best News Story - Award of Merit, Headline: " Equal Justice For All: A Citizen's Responsibility"
Author/Editor: Carmela Criscione
     Best Website - First Place
Webmaster: Gloria Hanneman
Web Editor: Nick Siciliano
     Congratulations to all!

POSTED 5/28/11
 Daniel Benitez, head custodian at North Middle School, passed away yesterday morning. Following are the details:

Moloney Funeral Home
132 Ronkonkoma Ave.
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY
Sunday and Monday
2-5 pm and 7-9 pm

Service - St. Patricks RC Church
Smithtown, NY
Tuesday, 9:45 am
      Funeral to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rte 112, Coram.
     Condolences may be sent to Joe and Chrissy Perine, 77 W. 1st Street, Ronkonkoma, NY. 11779. 

POSTED 6/11/11  
     This column will be in today's NEWSDAY. Joe Governale wrote this beautiful piece about his son, Tim. It was in NEWSDAY online last night. Below is the link to the online article.

POSTED 6/13/11
Jack Sobocinski, the husband of Carole Sobocinski, passed away yesterday morning after a battle with melanoma. Carole is a retired teacher from Northeast Elementary School. 
Viewing 2PM-4PM, 7PM-9PM
Tuesday, June 14th
McLaughlin-Heppner Funeral Home
336 Marcy Avenue
Riverhead, NY 11901
Tel: 631-727-3388

Funeral Service 11AM
Wednesday, June 15
St. John the Evangelist RC Church
25 Ocean Avenue
Center Moriches, NY 11934
Tel: 631-878-0009

Immediately following:
Internment Service at St. John Cemetery
546 Saint John's Place
Riverhead, NY 11901
Tel: 631-727-2030

POSTED 7/6/11
       Irene Fleischman passed away on July 4. She was a secretary at Pine Park and her husband Ike (deceased) was a custodian at North Elem. Her children attended the Brentwood schools.
      Her funeral will be Thurs. 7/7 at Eternal Light Route 441, Boynton Beach, FL, Condolensces may be sent to her daughter Marian Chiaiese 1311 Emerson Dr. NE, Palm Bay, Fl 32907. Her other children are Cyd Zvonik and Mark.



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May 24
General Membership Meeting
West Islip Library
10:15 AM

June 21
Awards Luncheon

RC 21 Website: http://ny.aft.org/rc21

Sheila & Letty Sustrin
Children's Books Authors

John M. Sherin
Local /Regional
(Jigsaw Maps)600
Geography Manipulatives


Complete Team Building Kits
Teaching Cooperation/ Collaboration
Emotional Intelligence (EQ)


Alida Thorpe
Island Vision Photography, Inc.

Rick Mundy
Watercolor Prints of L.I., Adirondacks, NYC...

Gloria Hannemann
Hardwood Flooring and
Home Improvement


Elmon Kazandjian
NYC Art Gallery

Rose Marie Brousseau
Brentwood Rotary Club

Ronda Brooks
Children's Social Skills Groups


     Why did we do it? What was our purpose in taking on such an open ended “History Project”; the one for which we’ve evolved a script of questions with corresponding answers from over one hundred and fifty dedicated volunteers for nearly two decades?
      We couldn’t answer the question in ‘94 when people would ask “What are you going to do with the interviews?” All we could say was that for educational and informational purposes we had better document our record or lose any chance to preserve innumerable poignant accounts, humorous stories and touching tales told to us by exemplary educators and dedicated public servants, who shortly and for reasons unknown might soon be leaving our Brentwood for good.
     We decided to let time sort out the details as we commenced making appointments to ask questions and simply listen. Listen we did as this project evolved saving for subsequent generations the very essence of what it means to have been an educator or employed in a large student centered public school system during the latter half of the twentieth century. Brentwood remains an exemplar to all the others; a diverse microcosm and accurate reflection of the approximately one hundred and twenty seven neighboring school districts on Long Island and the thousands across this country. We’ve accomplished something here, something we can all be proud of having been part of, whether we were interviewed or not, ours is a claim of service that few other professionals in the State of New York are positioned to share in a like manner.
     INITIALLY the practice of sitting for an hour with the Subject of our interview and giving them one hundred percent of our focused attention for that period of time seemed a little threatening to many of our friends and former colleagues. So much so in fact that many declined repeated invitations to be interviewed as they left careers behind or retired from full time employ with the District. Despite all assurances that this was not to be about investigative journalism or invading their privacy, they’ve deferred. Until now, almost seventeen years after we began, some say they may finally be ready. We say, “Better late than never”. However, to all those among you who were willing to share openly not only your classroom experiences but personal stories, precious memories from your lives and fondest hopes for the future, we say thanks for allowing us to be able to continue the process of giving as we now are able to share interviews with you, with the community and with countless regional professional educators and researchers through tentative acceptance of ROBS offer of collaboration with The Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University.
      Commencing early next month (Nov 2010), you’ll be able to enjoy unlimited visits to www.robsny.org/ where you’ll see and hear segments from the History Project Interviews featured here in the ROBS History Project section on the Announcements Page archived each month thereafter for those wishing to return again and again.


THE TOWN CRIER -  MarilynDePlaza@aol.com

Marilyn DePlaza
"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.

POSTED 5/27/11
     MARILYN BICKWID, who retired from North Elementary School in 1990, passed away suddenly in Florida 2 weeks ago.

POSTED 6/11/11
     John Segelke, the husband of Helen Segelke, who was a guidance counselor at the Brentwood Freshman Center and East Middle School, has passed away.
   Visiting Sunday, 2 - 4:30 and 7 - 9 pm at the Overton Funeral Home, 172 Main Street, Islip. Funeral Service Monday, 9:30 am at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 754 Montauk Highway, Islip 
     In lieu of flowers, donations in John's name may be made to Hospice Care Network.

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