Category Archives: Politics

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham High School students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am EST; one minute for each student shot and killed last month in a Parkland, Florida, H.S. It was part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with student shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence.

Bellmore-Merrick Students Walkout to Protest Gun Violence: Déjà Vu

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
March 14, 2018

Today, over a hundred Wellington C. Mepham High School students walked out of class from 10:00 to 10:17 AM, one month after a teen used a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas H. S. in Parkland, FLA.  

  • Click each photo for larger version – SLIDESHOW link also at end
North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a Parkland, Florida, H.S. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 AM; one minute for each student shot and killed last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

2018 National Student Walkout: 17 minutes

Mepham’s walkout was part of a nationwide protest to show solidarity with student shooting victims, and to demand U.S. lawmakers enact regulations and laws to reduce gun violence.

By 9:45 AM, several Nassau County patrol cars were parked on Camp Avenue in front of Mepham. School administration had requested police “just in case.” But neither the officers nor the school security guard, standing a distance from the walkout, needed to interact with protestors.

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. Security Guard in red jacket watches as Mepham High School students, protesting gun violence, walk out of class for 17 minutes; starting 10:00 am.  ( © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Several adults drove or walked to Mepham and stopped to look at the protest held at the west side of the school building. The most visible focal point from the street was four students standing on a bench and holding up big handmade protest signs. 

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham to watch students walkout to protest gun violence.

[Photo digitally altered to remove color from car/driver] North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14, 2018. CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, drove to Mepham H. S. to watch students walkout to protest gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

CRYSTAL PHOTIOU, of Bellmore, stopped her car in front of Mepham to watch the protest. When asked why she was there this morning, Photiou said:

“I wanted to see the kids. I wanted to see our future. That’s why I came.
“We have to do this. We have to support them. Absolutely.”

Midway through the walkout, a car with a man and woman in it stopped in front of the school. The driver said they’d come from the student walkout at Calhoun High School – which, like Mepham, is in the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District. Smiling, she added there were so many students protesting outside Calhoun it looked like the whole school was participating in the walkout.

Déjà Vu: Vietnam War 50 Years Ago

The Vietnam War started not long after after I was born. By the late 1960’s, protests, notably including student protests, were helping turn public opinion against having American troops in Vietnam, which significantly helped lead to the withdrawal of our last troops by 1973.

I first began to understand the cost of the Vietnam War in 1968 when I was a junior at Calhoun High School. A military draft seemed guaranteed in the near future (in fact, the 1st draft lottery for Vietnam War was held Sept. 1969), and one of my closest friends, Tom, a senior, waited anxiously to find out if he was accepted into a military band, considered a safer assignment than the alternative. My senior year, a small but earnest group of students held a walkout to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. And in Calhoun’s Main Lobby, the plaque commemorating graduates who died serving in Vietnam had even more brass nameplates than expected for a school our size.

When I was an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz, Vietnam War protests were an inescapable part of life on campus, starting with the protest songs during Orientation Week concerts, just weeks after and 50 miles away from the Woodstock festival…  including a sit-in at the Administration Building around the time of the Kent State massacre, May 1970…  and continuing until our troops totally left Vietnam, shortly before I graduated.

North Bellmore; New York; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S.  students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

North Bellmore; NY; USA. March 14; 2018. Protesting gun violence, Mepham H. S. students walk out of class, as part of a nationwide walkout in solidarity with shooting victims, and a demand for U.S. laws to reduce gun violence. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Signs of the Times

Properly motivated lawmakers – who replaced incumbents, when necessary – can pass regulations and laws that both keep Second Amendment rights intact and also help significantly reduce the amount of gun violence, which is significantly, outrageously worse here than in other countries.

Today’s National Student Walkout to Protest Gun Violence is a hopeful step in the right direction. On March 24th there’s the March for Our Lives Rally in Washington, DC, and local communities. After that it’s time for the next steps.  

#ENOUGH  Protect Kids Not Guns  #NeverAgain 

Mepham Students Walkout:  SLIDESHOW | GALLERY

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Hempstead, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN, New York State Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL, and Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA pose for photo shortly before Lt. Gov. swears-in Gillen, at Hofstra University.

Inaugurating a New Era for Long Island

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
January 3, 2018

Sunday, New Year’s Eve, I turned off the TV and headed to bed soon after watching the ball drop in Times Square. But this unusually low-key start to 2018 was necessary, for by lunchtime the next day, I’d covered the Inaugurations of three Democrats – LAURA CURRAN, LAURA GILLEN, and SYLVIA CABANA – replacing three GOP office holders here in Nassau County. 

Hempstead, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. Center L-R, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor JUDI BOSWORTH and BRIAN MUELLERS, member of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen’s Transition Team and a former Nassau County legislator, discuss program before the Swearing-In ceremony of Gillen and Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. Center L-R, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor JUDI BOSWORTH and BRIAN MUELLERS, member of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen’s Transition Team and a former Nassau County legislator, talk before Swearing-In ceremony of Gillen and Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana, at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though it was New Year’s Day morning, close to a packed house at Hofstra University’s Adams Playhouse watched New York Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE swear-in Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Hon. MICHAELLE SOLAGES swear-in Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana.

Hempstead, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, Hempstead Town Supervisor-Elect LAURA GILLEN, New York State Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL, and Hempstead Town Clerk-Elect SYLVIA CABANA pose for photo shortly before Lt. Gov. swears-in Gillen, at Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. L-R, Hempstead Town Supervisor LAURA GILLEN, N.Y. Lt. Gov. KATHY HOCHUL, and Hempstead Town Clerk SYLVIA CABANA pose for photo shortly before Hochul swears-in Gillen, at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. NYS Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL (in green dress) and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE (seen partly behind podium) swear-in LAURA GILLEN (center) as Hempstead Town Supervisor, at Hofstra University (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. NYS Lt. Governor KATHY HOCHUL (in green dress) and Congresswoman KATHLEEN RICE (seen partly behind podium) swear-in LAURA GILLEN (center) as Hempstead Town Supervisor, at Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

U.S. Senator CHUCK SCHUMER was a speaker at both the Town of Hempstead and County County Inaugural ceremonies.

Hempstead, NY, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. L-R, U.S. Senator CHUCK SCHUMER and Hempstead Town Democratic Leader LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN pose for photo after Schumer spoke at Swearing-In ceremony of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen & Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana at Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, NY, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. L-R, U.S. Senator CHUCK SCHUMER and Hempstead Town Democratic Leader LAUREN CORCORAN-DOOLIN pose for photo after Schumer spoke at Swearing-In ceremony of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen & Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, KEITH CORBETT and LAURA CURRAN are on-stage before start of swearing-In of Laura Gillen and Sylvia Cabana, at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, NY, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. L-R, KEITH CORBETT and Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN are among dignitaries on-stage before swearing-In ceremony of Laura Gillen and Sylvia Cabana at Hofstra University.  © 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. R-L, NYS Senator JOHN E. BROOKS, Nassau County Comptroller JACK SCHNIRMAN, N.C. District Attorney MADELINE SINGAS, and Hempstead Town Councilman BRUCE BLAKEMAN are among dignitaries on stage at Swearing-In of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana at Hofstra University. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Hempstead, New York, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. R-L, NYS Senator JOHN E. BROOKS, Nassau County Comptroller JACK SCHNIRMAN, N.C. District Attorney MADELINE SINGAS, and Hempstead Town Councilman BRUCE BLAKEMAN are among dignitaries on stage at Swearing-In of Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Hempstead Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana at Hofstra Univ. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

About an hour after that, and even though it was a bone-chilling 14 ℉ / -10 ℃, a thick arc of bundled-up onlookers stood thisclose together in front of the Theodore Roosevelt Legislative & Executive Building to witness Gov. ANDREW CUOMO administer the Oath of Office to Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

 

Mineola, NY, USA. January 1, 2018. Speaking at podium is U.S. Sen. CHUCK SCHUMER, and left of him is Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN, as she's sworn-in as County Executive, in front of Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building,. (© 2018 Ann Parry,  Ann-Parry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. January 1, 2018. Speaking at podium is U.S. Sen. CHUCK SCHUMER, and left of him is Nassau County Executive LAURA CURRAN, as she’s sworn-in, in front of Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building,. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, LIUBA GRECHEN SHIRLEY, Congressional candidate for District 2 on Long Island, and SUE MOLLER, 2017 candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, pose for photo outside Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, after swearing-In  of LAURA CURRAN as Nassau County Executive. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, LIUBA GRECHEN SHIRLEY, Congressional candidate for District 2 on Long Island, and SUE MOLLER, 2017 candidate for Hempstead Town Council District 6, pose for photo outside Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building, after swearing-in of LAURA CURRAN as Nassau County Executive. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Mineola, New York, USA. January 1, 2018. L-R, Nassau County Legislators DEBRA MULÉ, 55, (Freeport - 5th District - Democrat) and JOSHUA LAFAZAN, 23, (Syosset - 18th District - Independent) are in Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building after attending outdoor historic swearing-In of Laura Curran as Nassau County Executive. Lafazan is a registered Independent and Nassau County's youngest ever legislator. Mulé has Curran's former Legislative seat. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Mineola, NY, USA. Jan. 1, 2018. L-R, 1st term Nassau County Legislators DEBRA MULÉ, 55, (Freeport – 5th Dist. – Dem) and JOSHUA LAFAZAN, 23, (Syosset – 18th Dist. – Independent) are in Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building after outdoor swearing-In of Laura Curran as County Executive. Lafazan is County’s youngest ever legislator. Mulé has Curran’s former Legislative seat. (© 2018 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com

It was a doubly historic day for Long Island. Before Laura Gillen took office, Town of Hempstead hadn’t had a Democratic Supervisor in over a century; plus, Laura Curran is the very first female Nassau County Executive.

Town of Hempstead/Nassau County Inaugurations: VIDEO

Nassau County Executive Inauguration:  GALLERY

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