Hhhart beat summer 2012

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HHHART BEAT ____________________________________________ Newsletter of the Half Hollow Hills Active Retired Teachers

_______________________________________S_um__m_er_, 2_0_1_2_________________________V_o_lu_m_e_2_5,_N_o_. 4__

HHH Teachers Association, 6268 Jericho Turnpike, Unit #10, Local 2701, NYSUT/AFT/AFL-CIO, Commack, NY 11725-2810___

-----The President's Message----

Our annual meeting on May 9th was Neira, NYSUT Vice President, spoke she urged

enjoyable, informative, and successful! Elections everyone to shout "We're mad as hell and we're

of officers for the next three years were held. and not going to take it anymore!"

since there was no contest, our Secretary,

A new feature of this convention was the

Malinda Dobrins, cast one ballot for the presentation of winning videos made by high

slate. The officers are Joan Petroske, President, school students in the Truth To Power contest.

Eileen Lohrey, Vice-President, Malinda Dobrins, These highlighted human justice issues such as

Secretary, and Ellen Keuling, newly elected as abolition of child labor and slavery in India and

Treasurer. Dick Lee, as Chairman of the Election Pakistan and the leaders in those movements.

Committee, presided over the proceedings.

Others revealed persecution of religious minorities

Our guest speakers were current HHHTA and women, and efforts to provide small loans to

President, Richard Haase, past president, Mel women and poor people in Bangladesh. The

Stern, and past president, Dick Lee. Many of the students' work was very professional. State

retirees present had not met Rich before. He was Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, was cheered for his

very knowlegeable, open to questions, and has courageous defense of our defined benefit

a great sense of humor. Rich informed us of the pension plan. He spoke about 401(K) plans

current situation related to the budget and its effect saying that they were never meant to take the

on teacher layoffs and transfers. He spoke place of pensions and that adoption of such

about negotiations with Central Office options would undermine retirementsecurity for all

personnel and the problems related to teacher teachers and related personnel.


I attended the pension and Retirement

Mel, our Political Action Coordinator, gave Committee where Resolutions were voted on.

us a run-down on actions in Albany and One of those approved was the Retirement

nationally and the importance of retirees being Option Modification which would permit teachers

involved in the political process, voting, and to make a one time Change of Beneficiary. This

supporting Vote-Cope which works to protect would be helpful to those who have remarried,

teacher concerns. Dick provided information on divorced, or who are in other situations. It

our various benefits and answered questions of was presented on the convention floor and

members regarding the Health Advocate Program, approved and becomes part of NYSUTs

Medicare, and insurances.

Members agenda.

conversed over refreshments and renewed

On May 31st many members attended the


annual meeting/luncheon of Retiree Council #20 at

In April, I attended the NYSUT Captain Bill's in Bay Shore. It was a perfect day

Representative Assembly in Buffalo as a Senior on the Bay, a great lunch, an opportunity to

Delegate. The theme of the conference was acknowledge Carol Hall, a retiree from North

"Reclaim the Dream -- Vote!" Teachers from the Babylon, who received NYSUT's Community

host union, Buffalo Federation, were very upset Service Award for 2012, and a chance to hear

about the Teacher Assessment Plan proposed Floyd Cameron, NYSUT's Director of Retiree

by State Ed Commissioner, John King, and they Services, who probably is most informed about

submitted their own, which was rejected. They the effects of legislation already passed, and

staged a walkout when Commissioner King what's on the Governor's agenda which may

came on stage and carried placards that impact negatively on retiree and in-service rights

proclaimed "Students are more than test scores!" and benefits. Most impressive.

All teachers are upset by the plan to publish

(by Joan Petroske, continued on page 8)

teachers' assessment scores. When Maria

- - - Keep In Touch - - -

The following

news clip from the March

20, 2012

Ted and I are enjoying a summer here in New issue of The Coloradoan was sent to us by

York after a sunny winter in Florida. This is William Lauer regarding Dorothy Lauer:

known as" the good life", earned after an even

better life of teaching American and British The headline reads "SILVER STRONG- 81-year-

Literature at Half Hollow Hills High School - East old Fort Collins woman to hit 2,000th Curves

and West. Last summer (2010) we sailed down workout". and the article states ..."Dorothy Lauer is

the Danube from Vienna to Budapest. the Wonder Woman of Fort Collins' silver haired


Gracine Ehrlich Dunn generation. Although she has arthritis, has had

two knee replacement surgeries and a hip

My wife Cathy and I have been enjoying going replacement, on March 29, Lauer ,81, will

to our home in Myrtle Beach. There is a beautiful complete her 2,000th Curves workout since 2004.

pond behind our home that features ducks and

beautiful scenery. We spent some time there this Exercise is her medicine, her social outlet and the

summer with our daughter, my brother and his gasoline that fuels her day... Lauer performs a 30-


Peter L. DiGennaro minute circuit workout six days a week... Lauer

has become an ambassador and cheerleader for

Every time I get the HHHART Beat I'm amazed women of all ages and exercise levels... Before

at all that the retirees do. No wonder we had joining Curves she could barely reach past her

such a good faculty

Peter E. Reilly knees when trying to touch her toes. Now, her

hands are flat on the floor....

Gary and I are still seeing the world, (most (Ed. note : Keep up the good work)

recently the Baltic, Easter Island and Mongolia.),

as well as maintaining antique mall booths in

West Virginia to market some of our collections of

vintage books and paper ephemera. There just

isn't enough time to go everywhere and see

everyone we would wish to. Paul Kreyling

Retired, moved to South Carolina and enjoying

life. Volunteering at a free medical clinic for

uninsured patients.

Linda Julia

Teacher Retirees 2012



I have started my own business, Educatix of

America, Inc. It provides professional

development, consulting services, as well as

conferences and workshops. Also, I adjunct in

the English Department at St. Joseph's College,

New York. Essentially, I feel that retirement's

greatest challenge is that a retiree never gets a

day off!

Joan M. O'Hanlon

I remember all of our happy times and difficult ones in our efforts to help teachers and children. Thank you for your continued effort. Since leaving I have had two new lives ? one in Montana and now in beautiful New York State. Im 82, well and happy. I have a carriage barn with an apartment if you ever want to visit.

Dolores Cederberg

Hats off to all who produced the last edition of HHHART Beat! Well done! Sheryl Lindenbaum

Paumanok Christine Pastrich

Districtwide Susan Mandel

West Hollow Florence Burger (para) Sandra Russell

High School East Glen Cochrane Dr. JoanthanStrumpf

High School West Marlene Berotti (para) Barbara Winick

Mark your calendars the HHHART Fall Luncheon

September 12th

- 2 -

Welfare Trust Fund Benefits

Dick Lee, Trust Fund Administrator

"A Discount Dental Plan with Special Rates for HHHART Members"

We just negotiated special rates for our members from one of the largest dental discount companies in the region, EDP Dental Plan (for Long Island residents) and their national affiliate, Key Dental (for off of Long Island residents). With more than 2,000 local dentists and 87,000 dentists across the country in the network, it's easy to find a participating provider. If your dentist is not a participating member of the EDP or Key Dental Plan, they will notify your dentist and offer to enroll her or him in the program.

EDP's and Key Dental's low cost plan saves you money on all dental procedures from cleanings and exams to implants and braces. The discounts are given to the patient up front at the time of service to make it simple for the member.

The regular yearly cost for this plan is:

Individual Coverage


Individual + one dependent $179.00

Family coverage


The yearly cost of the Plan for HHHART members is:

Individual Coverage


Individual + one dependent $129.00

Family Coverage


Below is a sample savings chart for common dental services for EDP members:


Usual Fee

Member Price


Routine 6 Month Check Up $60



Filings (one surface)




Adult Prophylaxis (polishing) $90



Panoramic x-ray




Full Mouth X-Rays




Root Canal Molar (general dentist) $900



Porcelain Crown (+lab)


$495 + lab


Orthodontics (Braces)


25% off


Upper Denture (+ lab)


$575 + lab


Sealants (per tooth)




Interested HHHART members may get further information on the Plan, a list of participating providers and an application for membership at:

For L. I. Residents - (EDP Dental Plan) (1) 877-327-8376 or (631) 272-5230 or

For off L.I. Residents ? (Key Dental Plan) (1) 800-539-4550 or

When calling or going on line be sure to identify yourself as a HHHART member.


HHHART. . .On The Road

We so enjoy the newsletter regaling the travels and exploits of our colleagues. We, too, are still following in the footsteps of the adventuresome.

In July, 2010, we enjoyed a two-week cruise on the Volga from Moscow to St. Petersburg. It was the hottest summer on record and the 95 temperatures and the late sunset (11 p.m.) afforded the Russian people ample opportunity to swim in the river.

Our fondness for the water has not diminished, so this past spring (2011), we boarded a four-masted Clipper Ship in Nice and sailed to ports along the French and Italian Rivieras from Marseilles to Rome, with stops in Corsica and Sardinia. What a majestic sight to see the sails catching the wind, the canvas billowing out, a mountain of white against the azure blue sky, and to listen to our Captain playing Amazing Grace on his bagpipes as we sailed out of the ports.

As I write this, we are preparing for a cruise on the Elbe, from Hamburg to Prague with a side trip to Poland

Good health to all and Happy Traveling. John and Barbara Samoske

In October/November of 2010, I went to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand for 18 days with one of my friends. It was a great trip - stayed at lovely places, saw many fascinating sites and had delicious food (got to eat really good "pho soup"). The group of people were a fun lot. Vietnam was interesting in that the government is communistic, but the economy is capitalistic; e.g. one can start one's own business, people have to pay to go to the doctor and they have to pay for their children's books and to go to the public schools. People of the North and South were very happy to see and meet Americans. Ha Noi is still very conservative and has more charm than Saigon, now called Ho Chi Min City, which reminded me of Chinatown, USA, with skyscrapers. The amount of luxury resorts and buildings going up in Da Nang and Hue (remember those names

from the 60's and 70's?) is quite unbelievable. In Da Nang we traveled on a highway that was once an airstrip for our American planes and the nearby hangars are still there. In Ho Chi Min City we went to the "Hanoi Hilton" where many of our servicemen were jailed. Not a nice place is an understatement.

Outside of the city in the jungles I went to a place called the Chu Chi Tunnels (remember the tunnels where the Viet Cong hid?) The tunnel openings ran about every 25-35+ feet underground and had meeting rooms, sleeping quarters and even a hospital. I went down into 3 of the 4 tunnels that were open to us. The openings to go up & down were quite narrow easy for me, not for a chunky person. The air vents for the tunnels were made to look like termite mounds so our servicemen would not be suspicious. There was also a place to show the 8 kinds of traps the Viet Cong made for our soldiers to fall into as they walked through the jungle. They are too horrible to describe. I shuddered to think how the servicemen suffered. H,umans can create such horrendous tortures, worse than those silly teenage horror movies.

Cambodia has so many temples (wats) to see. Naturally I was anxious to see Angkor Wat, but it is so tourist ready that seeing the other wats, which are still in their 'primitive state', were much more interesting. Thailand, of course, is much more developed business wise with the silk and rice industries in particular. I must say they and the Cambodians hate the Chinese because of the numerous invasions. We learned about Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge, who directed the killing of over a million Cambodians.

In northern Thailand, I rode an elephant through a tropical forest. It was fun though I kept feeling that I was going to slide off the little bench. Also I was in an open fenced area in a preserve with 2 tigers - twin girls 18 months old. There were 2 attendants with me. I petted both tigers and even rested my head on one of them. The first tiger I petted decided she wanted to get up and play and I didn't want her to play with me! The other one didn't want to play either; just rest as it was midday when it's hottest and they are not as energetic. I had my pictures - that was enough. No need to be a newspaper story.

Joan Vanecek


HHHART GENERAL MEETING On a misty, foggy day, Wednesday, May 9th a HHHART General Meeting was held in the Dix Hills Library. Our retirees are a hardy lot and there was a fine turnout.. We had time to meet and greet each other, sample the delicious goodies set up by the HHHART Board, and vie for the raffles displayed.

Our President, Joan Petroske, chaired the event giving an overview of our activities such as the RC #20 and CORTLI luncheons, the August 5th theater party, the HHHART annual luncheon on September 12th. On June 25th, there will be a meet the congressional candidates in the area.

Two Presidents

Raffle Winners and Others

Joan then presented the current President of the Half Hollow Hills Teachers Association, Richard Haas, who gave a very interesting, informative talk on the challenges facing teachers today, relations with the Board and parents, changing education, and trying to talk about reform not demonizing teachers. Eighty-five percent of Half Hollow Hills teachers are in their 30s and 40s. This was followed by a Q and A on a variety of topics. Everyone was very impressed by Richs demeanor and the discussion.

Following this talk, a motion was presented to accept the HHHART slate of officers, running unopposed. Malinda Dobrins cast one vote for the slate. Dick Lee discussed our life insurance plan which is unique to HHHART, the Health Advocate Plan and the dental plans that are being considered at this time.

Mel Stern followed with a discussion of Vote Cope and other issues. He reiterated that VoteCope monies may not be used to support a political party but are used for candidates who support legislation beneficial to the education community. The tax cap is devastating to education, i.e., in some districts, the full-day Kindergartens have been cut. Public pensions are under attack. The Triborough Law (the old contract remains in place if there is no new contract) could be eliminated if there is a new NY State Constitution. He shared a sad fact with us: about 70% of teachers dont vote.Barbara Arbuss


Political Action Update by Mel Stern

NYSUT Political Action Committee Coordinator

Most of us have been around long

enough to remember the tumultuous years during

the 70's and 80's when we had to continually

fight for fair wages and benefits and the neverending battles to protect collective bargaining rights. We are now back where we started from and worse!!

Public sector employees have become the scapegoat of the current recession, taxpayer angst and the difficult employment climate. We were "respected public servants" once when our salary and benefit packages were far lower than what our contemporaries were earning but we struggled and survived and eventually retired with

Once again, we want to thank you for sending us news for our Keep In Touch, Reflections, and On The Road columns.. We look forward to publishing your in our 2012-2013 issues. We enjoy sharing HHHART news and, apparently, you do too.

Please join us for our theater matinee on August 5th and at our always popular HHHART Fall Luncheon on September 12th, at Orlandos in Commack.

dignity and with the satisfaction of a rewarding career educating our students.

Have a good, healthy summer.

Norma, Barbara & Sandy

The current political climate favoring the

diminishment of our collective bargaining rights and pension benefits demand our undivided attention and a response from us that will mobilize and unite us to fight back! The failure to win the recall election of Governor Walker in Wisconsin (with 36% of our own union members voting to support Walker) coupled with momentum throughout the

FYI continued

Be sure to vote and, if you aren't registered, register. The deadline for registering for the state primaries is in August and the date for the national election is in September.

nation to destroy unions just cannot be ignored.

Just a reminder: you should have received in

This summer I will be a participant in NYSUT's endorsement process as we try to mobilize our members to defeat state and national lawmakers who work against our interests and

the mail your membership renewal application for July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. If you did not receive it, contact the Teachers Association.

support those who appreciate, respect, and Corrections/Additions ? HHHART Directory

understand the importance of our profession and OUR UNION. We must not underestimate the strength of the ultra right-wing elements throughout the country - and their almost unlimited funds

Rosanne Brandt 9363 Sandpiper Lane West palm Beach, FL 33411

thanks to the dreadful Citizens United Supreme Court decision and billionaires such as the Koch brothers who will ultimately destroy everything we have worked so hard to attain.

Marie Kossman (2addresses) 26 Candlewood Lake Dr. Sherman CT 06784

We must FIGHT BACK! Join me and other union activists this fall: at phone banks, letter writing campaigns and neighborhood canvasses

14600 Glen Cove Dr #304 Fort Myers, FL 33919 jmckossman1@

to work together to elect pro-education and prounion lawmakers. We can and must survive the battle but we need to do it together.

Karen Meehan Bert Anania Gloria Bauer

kmmeehan52@ alouana@ gjbauer2@

As always, thanks for all your hard work and support.

Thelman Heit Donald Bianchi Peter Klement

thelmaxheit@ donbianchi32@ pkbigdog@

Christine Pastrich cpastrich@

William Sefick WJSPORT46@

-6- Jon Strumpf


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