Whitestone Parish Has Nothing To Hide

A long-time TNH reader says she was disappointed in an editorial that criticized a Whitestone Parish meeting open only to members.

I have been a resident of Whitestone and a parishioner of The Church of Holy Cross for 34 years. I am also a reader of both your Greek and English publications. On the whole, I have found your reporting fair and objective. Therefore, I was disappointed in your editorial “Blacklisted in Whitestone” (Jun. 28).

The piece was not based on objective and unbiased reporting, thereby lacking merit and credibility. Your editorial would have been better-served had you cited infringement of your First Amendment rights by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Regulations, amended June, 2014. Instead, the op-ed was filled with sensationalism and exaggeration.

The editorial’s position implied there is a cover-up in the Whitestone Parish because Father Anagnostopoulos asked your representatives to leave a general assembly meeting that was for members only (GOA Regulations, amended June, 2014, Article 31, Section 3).

On the contrary, our parish, priest, and parish council have nothing to hide. The agenda for the June 22 general assembly meeting was well-known to the community at large, and published and mailed to all parish members in good standing (GOA Regulations, amended June 2014, Article 31, Section 2).

The main issue on the agenda was the expansion of the existing school to accommodate the growing number of children and families in our community, the funding for that expansion, the acknowledgment of the individual whose estate is prepared to fund the initial step to begin that expansion, and the approvals for the project by Community Board 7 and the Board of Standards and Appeals.

You criticize the singular action of the priest, but nowhere do you commend his efforts, or the efforts of the parish council and the parishioners on behalf of this Herculean endeavor. It should be a matter of pride in the Greek Diaspora that so many young couples today want to send their children to Greek-American schools.

Being a graduate of Manhattan’s old Saint Elefterias Day School in the early 1960s, I know firsthand the impact a good school has on its students. The support of such endeavors should be praised, not smeared.

Your “obligation to keep the community informed” is well-served only if you present an issue in a newsworthy and objective manner. Your newspaper should encourage objective reporting, promote constructive dialogue, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas. In this manner you will help unite and strengthen the Diaspora, not tear it apart.

Bess Kalamoutousakis

Whitestone, NY

Dear Ms. Kalamoutousakis,

Thank you for sharing your point of view with us, which we, in turn, have published here to share with our readers. We continue to strive to provide objective reporting in our news stories, and to voice our opinion where it belongs – in editorials and other opinion pieces. We encourage a healthy exchange of ideas, as that helps to enrich the collective knowledge and understanding.

 

Constantinos E. Scaros