Clergy to speak out on cross burning

A Peekskill-based interfaith ministers group will co-sponsor a “forum”: tomorrow on the recent cross burning incident in Cortlandt.

Several members of PAPA — the Peekskill Area Pastor’s Association — will speak at the forum, 7 p.m. at the Town of Cortlandt Community Center (Westbrook Drive, off Route 6).

“This is a critical time for us to come together — it is everyone’s responsibility to stand up to discrimination,” said the Rev. Adolphus C. Lacey, pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Peekskill and president of PAPA. “The fact is that this appalling act is an assault upon the entire community and it will not be tolerated.”

Also scheduled to speak are: Monsignor Patrick Keenan of St. Columbanus Church; Rabbi Claudio Kupchick of First Hebrew Congregation; Zead Ramadan of the Hudson Valley Islamic Community Center; and the Rev. Jeannette Phillips of the Park Street AME Zion Church.

Of course, government leaders and school officials will also participate.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.