Letters to the Editor
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From Our Chairman
After reading the article “I’m Not Irish” in the March issue and hearing from so many of my Irish friends and my four Irish daughters-in-law, I wanted to write a retraction on behalf of the Martinelli family. But no words of mine could better sum up the situation than the words that an old friend of mine, Edward C. Hawkins, sent to me that he had sent to the writer:
In 1762—fourteen years before the birth of our nation—a group of homesick Irish expatriates and military men stationed in New York City decided to march on St. Patrick’s Day. Reveling in the freedom that would become the spirit of America, parade participants wore the green, sang Irish songs, and played the pipes to Irish tunes…all symbols of pride that were banned in Ireland at that time. The parade was profoundly meaningful to Irish immigrants who had fled their homeland, but never gave up their faith, culture, or heritage.
Today, two things remain the same. We are still proudly marching on the streets of New York City, and the St. Patrick’s Day parade is still a lasting testament to our unwavering pride of being Irish. And what is truly remarkable is that the awe-inspiring duty of keeping this annual parade alive has been passed from one generation to the next. From fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, organizing the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade has been done by volunteers…often entire families work together throughout the year to make the parade possible.
The above paragraphs are taken from John Dunleavy’s 2008 letter to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee.
As for other remarks in your article: Hallmark tells me that the only reason they do not have greeting cards for the Polish Jews, Indian Hindus, and the Turkish Muslims is there is no call for them. They also inform me that St. Patrick’s Day is their fifth best card sales after Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Easter. As for Oktoberfest, it is a fifteen-day festival and San Gennaro, who was the patron Saint of Naples, is an eleven-day celebration. There are other parades on Fifth Avenue: the Easter parade, the Puerto Rican Day parade, the Veterans’ Day parade, the Columbus Day parade, the Gay Pride parade, the Salute to Israel parade, and the Steuben Day parade.
On St. Patrick’s Day, I will ask my fellow Irish Catholics to pray for you.
Ed Hawkins’s letter sums up the matter—and I hope symbolizes the apology to all our Irish friends from the Martinelli family and Westchester Magazine.
Angelo R. Martinelli
Chairman of the Board, Westchester Magazine
Oops: In last month’s story on the county’s public high schools, we incorrectly cited the Eastchester graduation rate as 79 percent. We regret the error. The correct graduation rate, 99 percent, was listed in the accompanying chart, and the online version of the story has been corrected.
Additionally, we learned that there were some discrepancies between the SAT scores reported to us by the schools and the SAT scores reported by the College Board, which administers the exam. In fact, there were discrepancies in 14 of the 45 scores reported. While most of the discrepancies were minor, all but one were in the schools’ favor (Rye Neck High reported an average 1 point less than the College Board’s average), five were greater than 40 points, and two—Pleasantville and Westlake—greater than 100 points.
The reasons for the discrepencies? They vary. When contacted, an official from Pleasantville, which had a 204-point discrepancy, explained that the scores they reported exclude the scores of their special-ed students, adding that this is the manner in which they have been reporting their data over the last several years. An official from Lakeland, which had a 47-point discrepancy, explained that the school reports an average of only the highest combined scores of each section of the test from each student (most students take the SAT multiple times), which is what, he says, colleges use for admission. A Croton-Harmon official wasn’t quite sure of the reason for its 45-point discrepancy.
Also, two of the schools mistakenly under-reported the percentage of their faculty holding graduate degrees: Ardsley’s rate is 100 percent, while Westlake’s rate is 98 percent.
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