Will Life Imitate Art?
Just the other day I rented my favorite film of all time Cinema Paradiso. A poetic tribute to a little movie theater in an small village square in southern Italty. The theater was a refuge for all the towns people to escape into the fantasy of the screen.
It so reminded me of our Sag Harbor Cinema where neighbors meet neighbors to enjoy the “movies”. The Sag Harbor Cinema in the center of our little village.Â The sign that beckons us to an innocent time of long ago.
In the movie, a man who won the lottery “bailed out” the little movie theater when it was not possible for the original owner to keep it going. I hope and pray that someone, or some power from above, can help us save and retain the meritsÂ of our own Cinema Paradiso, – -the Sag Harbor Cinema.
Indeed I am hoping beyond all hope that life, in this case, will imitate art.
Responsible to Support School
We were pleased to read the recent tribute you wrote honoring the hard work and dedication of the beloved principal of Sag Harbor Elementary School – Ms. Joan Frisicano. We can never fully express how indebted we are to her. It has been her vision and leadership that has transformed a good school into a stellar one, and positively impacted the lives of thousands of children in our community.
However, the recent “letter to the editor” by Jo Rizzo left us sad and dismayed. The Sag Harbor School system has become a popular go-to target for all whose singular purpose seems to be to reduce their tax bill. Sag Harbor Elementary is a blue ribbon school envied by other communities because of the exceptional staff and wonderful programs it offers. Countless families move to Sag Harbor to take advantage of our outstanding schools, while others who live outside the district pay to send their children here.
Firing staff and cutting programs will decimate the heart of the school and irrevocably erode the education of our community’s children. While Ms. Rizzo was so offended by the salary of our librarian, she neglected to mention that this educational professional has 30 years experience, and has three masters degrees. She has dedicated her career to helping educate our children, and we should be grateful to her.
At the most recent Board of Education meeting there was a presentation on the outstanding AP test scores achieved in this district – which consistently outperformed the other districts on the East End. So it is puzzling that Ms. Rizzo referenced Manorville as a district to copy in their cost cutting efforts. A district that has not achieved the same level of academic success as Sag Harbor. Again, demonstrating the popular theme in some circles that it’s all about spending less, with no eye towards delivering a quality education.
There was another suggestion about increasing class size. But we would be foolish not to recognize the direct correlation between class size and academic achievement. It is proven that smaller class sizes provide better results. And let’s not forget, smaller class sizes usually save money in the long term. How? Because it creates an early intervention opportunity that actually has proven to decrease the percentage of students who require classification and additional educational services.
Yes, Ms.Rizzo that there are seats on the board up for grabs this year. We are confident that parents and other concerned citizens will not support or endorse candidates whose only agenda is to blindly and irresponsibly cut the school budget, with little regard or care for its negative impact on the education of our children. We still hold out hope that all citizens of this community feel a fiduciary responsibility to support a public educational system that provides the absolute best education we can afford to offer. The future of our community depends on it.
Kim Marcelle and Chris Tice
Co-presidents, Sag Harbor Elementary School PTA
After reading Larry Darcey’s epistle (“Against War”, Letters to the Editor, The Sag Harbor Express November 20, 2008), I was brought up strict Irish Catholic, attending parochial school, attending Mass every morning before school, confession twice a month and wearing stockings with our uniform so not to show any legs.
Myself and millions more, Mr. Darcey, would love to live peaceful and snug in our own little worlds, but sadly, as I’ve mentioned before in many of my letters, ironically, that dream seems far away.
If I remember correctly, Mr. Darcey, you did not even feel free to celebrate Christmas last year —Â For shame, the birth of our Lord.
Perhaps, Mr. Darcey, you missed your vocation by not becoming a priest who might have risen to to become Pope. Stranger things have happened.
God bless AmericaÂ — Land that I love.
Florence Mullaney O’Connell