March 4, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 19 Wyckoff Wanderings Retreat for clergy spouses planned The Church Relations Ministry of Christian Health Care Center is holding a Winter Clergy Spouses Retreat Day for spouses of area clergy from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 5. The retreat will be held in the Christian Health Care Center Auditorium, 301 Sicomac Avenue, Wyckoff. The topic is “Balancing Roles: Avoiding the Bumps of the Teeter-totter Life,” presented by Amy L. Flavin, MS, LPC, director of Restore and Renew, LLC, and a clergy spouse for 28 years. Flavin will discuss how clergy spouses address the challenges of balancing their personal lives with the demands of their public images. Focal points will include the use of one’s power, defining the supportive role, and how to discern the difference. Continental breakfast and hot buffet lunch will be served. Contact Diane Cioffi at (201) 848-5839 or via email at WEF Spring Fling set The Wyckoff Education Foundation will be hosting an evening of food and music on Saturday, March 7 at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 467 Grandview Avenue, Wyckoff, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. This event will benefit the more than 1,800 children who attend the Wyckoff public schools. The casual night out will feature the music of local favorite “Mary’s Basement” and food from Blue Moon and The Market Basket. There will be a special auction with some favorite prizes including catered dinners from Aldo’s and The Market Basket, a New York City weekend getaway, and a sports enthusiast’s ticket package. Tickets for the evening are $45 each and are available through the web site or by calling (201) 891-9336. Food and music will be provided. Anyone unable to attend can still make a donation by contacting the WEF. Mass and breakfast offered A special Lenten Family Mass will be held at Saint Elizabeth’s Church in Wyckoff on Sunday, March 15 at 10 a.m. A Pancake Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria after Mass. In keeping with the parish’s outreach program, each child is asked to bring a bag of candy to use to fill Easter baskets for families in need. Advance reservations are requested for the breakfast, which is open to all families. Tickets purchased in advance are $6 per person or $24 maximum per family. Children under age three will be admitted are free. Tickets at the door will be $7.50. Parents can make reservations at Saint Elizabeth’s Parish Office, 700 Wyckoff Avenue. Additional information is available at (201) 891-1122. Temple to host Visotzky The Temple Beth Rishon’s Distinguished Speaker Series will feature Dr. Burton Visotzky on Sunday, March 15 at 10 a.m. Dr. Visotzky, an Appleman professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, will be speaking on “Engaging the Others: Judaism Faces Christianity and Islam in the 21st Century.” He will give a first person account of his involvement in the growth of Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim dialogue locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Visotzky will report on “dialogue visits” of various Muslim and Arab leaders to the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his own travels to meet with Arab and Muslim leaders in Washington, Cairo, Doha, and Madrid during the past five years. This event is sponsored by the Fred Emert Memorial Adult Education Fund. The program will take place at Temple Beth Rishon, 585 Russell Avenue, Wyckoff. Breakfast will be served promptly at 10 a.m., followed by Dr. Visotzky’s presentation. There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. The cost for Temple members is $10; non-members, $15. RSVP to the Temple Beth Rishon office by March 12 at (201) 891-4466. Free haircuts benefit charity Shear Perfection Hair Studio of Wyckoff is offering a free haircut to anyone that would like to donate 10 inches or more of their hair to Locks of Love. Locks of Love provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children who are suffering from long term medical hair loss. Haircut appointments are necessary and will be scheduled in late March. To register or for more information call Shear Perfection at (201) 891-0205. This community service project was organized by a local third grade student. Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at library Children of all ages are invited to come to the children’s room of the Wyckoff Library during the month of March. Participants will be making special bookmarks to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Call the library at (201) 891-4866 for all program information. Ladies Night Out set The Wyckoff Reformed Church Nursery School will be holding its Fifth Annual Ladies Night Out and special fundraiser on Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. in Heneveld Hall. The event features many prizes and over 20 vendors. The admission fee is $5 and light refreshments will be served. The church is located at 580 Wyckoff Avenue in Wyckoff. Contact Teri Limperopulos at (201) 847-1330 for more information. Letters to the Editor (continued from page 17) Koster’s “hate America first” brand of revisionism is shameful and disturbing to see published in Midland Park. May I suggest Berkley or Havana for the publication of his future rants. Thomas Healy Midland Park Dear Editor: Midland Park public schools are about to create a calendar based on the logic that students must graduate on a Friday. I asked a school trustee, who assured me that, no matter what, our kids must graduate on a Friday. Why not insist on a full moon also? A reflection of lost common sense among our elected board of education members bothers me intensely. Then I spoke with another board member who redeemed my faith in the board and agreed that we should not base our entire calendar on a Friday graduation. If graduation on a Friday is paramount, and the calendar does not naturally end on a Friday, why not graduate on Friday anyway? There are consequences to basing a calendar on any premise. Remove the graduation on a Friday premise and it becomes a lot easier to come up with an intelligent calendar. Is a Friday graduation worth sacrificing evenly spaced breaks throughout the year? Or keeping schools closed until Sept. 7? Is it worth keeping the schools open when classrooms become unbearably hot? I don’t think so. I don’t understand why we can’t have it all, but have been assured by a board member that we simply can’t. It would be wonderful if our schools opened on Sept. 2. The February break followed by a late April break would also be ideal. Eight weeks should separate the breaks regardless of where Easter falls. Then whatever day the school closes, let it close. If it happens to close on a day other than a Friday, the students could still graduate on the Friday of that week. The tentative plan is to open schools on Sept. 7, cut February break, and take off the last week in March to coincide with Easter. That makes no sense. It is a very long time from March to the end of the school year. I understand that school boards can’t please everyone, but it makes a great deal of sense to have evenly spaced breaks, if nothing else. A well timed break has health benefits, both mental and physical. A board of education member assured me that our children must graduate on a Friday or the sky will fall because of our in-house graduation party. Many surrounding towns host elaborate in-house parties and do not insist on graduation on a Friday. It just doesn’t add up. I spoke with Rich Venditti, the board of education president. He said the real problem is that nobody has come to the board meetings to voice an opinion about the calendar. He is correct. I think that I am Mr. Venditti’s biggest fan. I love his intelligence. Mr. Venditti always begs the community to challenge the board. The problem is that the meetings (and I mean this with the greatest respect) are so boring. That is why we rely on the common sense of our elected representatives. I would love to see a board webpage where people could post opinions or participate in polls. My plea to the board is that they don’t base every calendar decision on graduation having to be on a Friday, that they keep our February break, and have a late April break. I think that would please more people. Mary Bradley Midland Park Calendar concerns (continued from page 4) recognized as their school’s most valuable team members. During the all-day Academic Decathlon competition, students were interviewed, gave a speech, wrote an essay, and took written tests in six subjects. They also participated in a Super Quiz, the only public event of the day. One of the unique features of the Decathlon is that each school team represents a range of achievement levels as indicated by grade point averages. Each school’s nine member team and their alternates consist of students that have A, B, and C grade averages, and they compete only against students in their own grade categories. According to Glenn Koegel, the state director of the Academic Decathlon of New Jersey, the decathlon consists of a series of interscholastic competitions to encourage, recognize, and reward academic excellence. It allows students of all levels to participate in team competition in academics in the same way that athletes compete in an athletic decathlon. He advised that there are local, regional, state, and national competitions. The two schools in the regional high school district have experienced consistent success in the academic decathlon. In 2005, the two schools placed first and second in the regional competition and Indian Hills represented the school district in the state competition. In 2006, Indian Hills finished first for the sixth consecutive year and placed second in the Super Quiz that year while Ramapo finished second and both teams qualified for the state decathlon competition. Indian Hills finished first out of 20 participants in the state competition that year, while Ramapo finished second overall, but first in the Super Quiz. That year, Indian Hills finished second in the Super Quiz. In 2007, Indian Hills finished first in the northwest regional competition for the seventh consecutive year, and first in the Super Quiz on climatology. Ramapo finished first among Division I teams and fourth overall out of the 15 schools that participated in the decathlon that year. Indian Hills finished first in that state academic decathlon and second in that Super Quiz. The team represented New Jersey in the National Academic Decathlon in Honolulu, Hawaii that year, and finished seventh along with several individual awards. In 2008, Indian Hills, for the eighth consecutive year, placed first in the regional competition of the New Jersey Academic Decathlon. The team also won first place in the Super Quiz that focused on America’s Civil War. In addition, the team was awarded a plaque for being the highest scoring team in Division 2. The Academic Decathlon of New Jersey recently announced that B. Franklin Reinauer, its founder and staunch supporter and board member, recently passed away at the age of 92. Decathalon Conduct policy (continued from page 6) than his or her attorney and, therefore, the student refused to participate in any conference with school officials or counseling activities required by the regulation. The Policy Committee planned to consider that question at its next meeting. Meese said she intends to challenge the policy and regulation in court if they are adopted in their present form, and said she believes she has the standing to do so as a parent.