2018-08-30 / Columnists

Babylon News & Muse

•I have an amusing story about a new acquaintance. She is a very intelligent woman from Tucson, Arizona. We were introduced by a friend and found that we had a lot in common. We talked for quite a while, and at some point she asked me where I lived.

“Babylon,” I replied.

Her eyes opened wide, “Really? I’ve never met anyone from Mesopotamia before now!”

I know you’re not supposed to laugh at a person’s mistake, but I have to admit that in this case, I laughed until tears streamed down my face. When I explained the reason, my new friend joined me in laughter.

I’ve always been proud of my hometown. Babylon is indeed a place to be proud of… I know that many of my friends and classmates have moved away over the years. It’s hard at times not to consider moving to a place with lower taxes and a lower cost of living. I’ve thought about it a few times, especially since most of the younger members of the family have moved elsewhere on the East Coast. (Can I include Pittsburgh as East Coast?)

We live in a small town, and having grown up here, I know many other residents. I have to say that when a friend or neighbor tells me they are moving away, I feel a little betrayed. I can readily understand why they want to move, but I feel that I have many more reasons for them to stay! Trump’s “tax cuts” may have helped the wealthiest people, but in New York and California they have eliminated a tax break that has existed for many, many years in New York by restricting the amount we can claim on real estate taxes. Since New York has chosen to collect school taxes based on property taxes, real estate taxes are higher than almost anywhere in the U.S. I can only hope that NYS can find a way to remedy this problem, or we can expect a lot more residents to be moving out of state.

•The full moon in August has four different names, given by Native Americans, long before NASA came to be. It’s known as “the red moon” due to summer fog, which gives a slight reddish hue to the moon. It is also known as the “grain moon” and the “green corn moon” due to the harvesting ceremonies of Native Americans in August. Native American fishing tribes also called it the “Sturgeon moon” because of the abundance of sturgeon at this time of year.

•This Thursday night, August 30, the Babylon Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the first Community Block Party, which will include shutting down Deer Park Avenue from just south of Main Street to Railroad Avenue from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. There will be music, games, and shopping in the closed-off areas, including food sold by local merchants. A second Community Block Party will also be held on September 20, with the same sites and hours, as well as parking restrictions, Stop down…I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll like!

•We have Labor Day Weekend on the horizon, and then the beginning of school for most local districts. Babylon School students will start on Thursday,

Sept. 6, and classes are cancelled on the following Monday and Tuesday (September 10 and 11) due to the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

•On Sunday, September 9, the Babylon Beautification Society will hold its annual Country Fair in Argyle Park. (Sept. 16 is the rain date.) The Society is asking people to donate books for the event. They can be dropped off at the Village Sanitation Department until September 7.

I’d like to wish happy birthday to both Tom Weinschenk and Sharon Donohoe!

Readers can submit articles and photographs to us for News and Muse. They can be mailed to the Babylon Beacon c/0 News and Muse, 65 Deer Park Ave., Babylon NY 11702, or emailed to acjnews@rcn.com. Please put News and Muse in the subject line.

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