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Paul Arfin “The Suffolk County Comm on Creative Retirement”

June 25, 2004 @ 12:00 am EDT


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userimageThe Intergenerational program addresses the needs of the very young and the elderly in a unique setting that benefits both of those groups. The director of the program, Paul Arfin, gave an overveiw of the program and how it works. The Suffolk County Commission on Creative Retirement is a group that County Executive Levy is establishing in his office. Mr. Arfinwill be Chairman of the Commission. He discussed ideas on how to involve more retirees in government and community service; how to counteract the negative stereotyping of generational groups; and how to better prepare retirees for their retirement years.

The text of Mr. Arfin’s talk is provided below:




            Terry and I are committed to solving Long Island’s major problems by mobilizing support to exploit Long Island’s great assets.


            We are confident that within the next five years through the application of SIMPLE COMMON SENSE SOLUTIONS Long Island can end congestion by using toll roads and ferries, reduce taxes by reducing bureaucracy through merger and consolidation, expand advanced education facilities to meet the region’s need for trained personnel, provide workers’ housing by rezoning for smart growth and mixed use of our surplus state hospitals and airports, and improve use of our decaying downtowns, single level strip malls and brown fields.


            We are organizing “Long Island Benefactors” to fund special projects such as the Long Island Historical Pageant, the Long Island Collection of

Print, Films and Music, and a Long Island Data Bank to record gifts of $10,000 and up.  Recognizing that the best prospects are past donors, the purpose of “The Benefactors” will be to create a climate of philanthropy to stimulate needed major gifts by giving recognition to major donors.


            The first project of the Long Island Benefactors is a multi-media historical operetta based on Newsday’s “Long Island, Our Story.”  Aimed at Long Island’s fourth and seventh grade students, required by the state to be exposed to local and American history, it will utilize Newsday’s book as its researched basis for 16 theatrical segments which include Indians, Flushing Remonstrance, Walt Whitman, Whaling, Teddy Roosevelt, Irving Berlin, Grumman and Republic planes, the LEM, Lindberg, Robert Moses, Alicia Patterson, Joan Whitney Payson, William Sidney Mount, Alfred and William Levitt, Felix Grucci, Dr. James Watson, and William K. Vanderbilt


            The goal is to present Long Island’s exciting heritage of world renowned accomplishments to foster regional identity and pride.  The $7,000,000 refurbished Patchogue Theatre for the Arts, with its 1200 seats, is the site for the pageant to be shown week days and Saturdays.  We are analyzing films and music for background film presentation as well as a light and sound show.  Start up would be sometime in 2005.


            The “Long Island Historical Pageant” is designed to stimulate interest and enthusiasm for Long Island’s outstanding people and events that have made the island the Nation’s Number One Region.  In agriculture, Long Island at various periods has been first region in pickles, potatoes, Peking ducks, lawn sod, Blue Point oysters and cranberries.  Today, Long Island is first in number of horses, sport boats, marinas and golf courses.  Long Island is the NATION’S NUMBER ONE REGION in sports event attendance and the Hamptons have made it the nation’s NUMBER ONE RESORT.  It is one of the world’s great fishing capitals, with Montauk holding 30 of the world’s records for sports fishing.  Long Island reached the top with the U.S. Open and has the Belmont Stakes, Hamptons International Horse Show, and U.S. National Tennis Center.  In November, Touro broke ground to create the NATION’S NUMBER ONE LAW CENTER , building a $27 million campus adjacent to the 40 County, State and Federal courtrooms.  And Central Islip became the NATION’S NUMBER ONE REVITALIZED REGION when the 25,000 mental patient warehouse facilities were transformed by Ron Parr into a mixed use development of houses, condos, college, law and recreation center.  Long Island is FIRST IN LIBRARIES with FAMILY PLACE CENTERS, for children and toddlers in Centereach, now replicated in cities across the U.S.


            With these many attributes already in place, Long Island can definitely be the NATION’S NUMBER ONE REGION!