Blooming Grove - Yesterday I was mortified and saddened to see that a publication that I have always respected and sometimes write for, posted a story about some poor hatefull fool who put an antisemitic sign on his property. On the basis of this one individual, the nearly 20,000 residents of Blooming Grove were likened to Nazi Germany. REALLY? I would like to know how that is not even more hateful than the one individual with one sign. In my many years living in Blooming Grove I have, honestly with the exception of about four people, found all of its residents to be kind, forgiving, and inclusive, and welcoming to our numerous Black, Latino and Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Asian neighbors, many of which are and have been officials. It's a darn good rate of positivity for any community. We have a very inclusive community both as to race, ethnicity, religion and even diverse political views. Yes, in recent years there has been some friction over a handfull of Ultra Orthodox leaders who have allowed laws to be broken and building codes ignored. But on the contrary, the greater Blooming Grove communty and officials have often reached out for compromises and to develop better understanding of how the areas where we have a few cultural differences can find a middle ground, and balance a need for more housing with a need to protect the environment and visual resources. I have watched at least 95% of our residents reach out and be friendly to their neighbors, and our officials reach out and help the Village of South Blooming Grove whenever the need arises!
If ANYTHING could cause divisiveness and make residents feel bitter against their neighbors it would be baseless claims such as in that story. And we hope that the hateful person who put up the sign was reported to the Blooming Grove Police, and that they will take some kind of action to prevent it from happening again. We love our new neighbors, especially watching them enjoy the open space and recreation that is accessible here...walking to the lake and watching the baby swans, riding scooters and bicycles, enjoying the fresh air and variety of birds and other animals, gardening and mowing their lawns just like the rest of us. Other than this editorial I am going to treat that story like the very bad error of two individuals, the one who wrote it and whomever let it slip into publication. My usual response to friction is that if you plant enough flowers there won't be room for the weeds. But occaionally there are weeds...and like them this very misleading story and the problems it could cause needed to be addressed. Sadly the hateful story will reach a hundred thousand readers or more, while this publication will probably reach 10,000. But 10 times 10,000 is 100,000, and so we go on being the good people of Blooming Grove..
If I have to spend another year or whatever years it takes, promoting what we love about our town and its kind and resourceful approximately 20,000 people, I will gladly be one of those taking that torch and then pass it on.