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NEWSMARK
FEBRUARY 2018
www.polamjournal.com

 

ACROSS THE GLOBE

PENCE, MORAWIECKI DISCUSS CENTENNIAL, TRADE, AND NATO. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence spoke by phone, Jan. 12, with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The vice president congratulated Morawiecki on his appointment as prime minister and the people of Poland on the 2018 centennial of Poland’s reassertion of its independence. The leaders expressed their desire to increase bilateral trade and investment on the basis of market principles and shared democratic values including the rule of law. The vice president thanked Poland for its leadership on burden-sharing at NATO and its support for the U.S. troop presence in Poland, and the leaders looked forward to working together to combat threats to international peace and security during Poland’s term on the UN Security Council.

VOX POPULI. Poland’s ruling Law & Justice, and Hungary’s Fidesz parties are both enjoying high ratings in national opinion polls conducted in each country.

Mateusz Morawiecki (Poland) and Victor Orban (Hungary) have mutually strong economic policies, tough anti-migrant policies and both stand strong against recent decrees by other EU member countries. Both Hungary and Poland stand firm against and adamantly reject charges that their policies undermine both the rule of law and democracy. During a joint news conference after their talks in Budapest, Orban and Morawiecki voiced their mutual agreement on what they view as the EU’s infringement on sovereign decisions of individual states.

Prime Minister Morawiecki was recently appointed to his current position. Orban is widely expected to win another four years in Hungary’s upcoming April election.

FINDING: EXPLOSION DESTROYED WING OF ILL-FATED PLANE. A commission investigating the fatal crash of the Polish president’s plane in 2010 said the jet’s left wing was destroyed as a result of an explosion on board. The explosion had “several sources” on the plane, which crashed near the western Russian city of Smolensk on April 10, 2010, killing Polish President Lech Kaczyński and 95 others.

“These conclusions were adopted by the members [of the commission] and constitute one of the key conclusions of [its] technical report,” the commission said.

In April of last year, the commission said that the presidential plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion, and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.

A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.

WILSON COMMEMORATED. The American embassy in Warsaw presented a plaque honoring former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and his contribution to Poland’s independence.

The plaque, which U.S. Ambassador Paul Jones presented to the city of Warsaw, was designed to commemorate Wilson for his role in championing the independence of Poland, regained in 1918 after more than 120 years of foreign rule.

The presentation was made January 8, 100 years since President Wilson’s famous “Fourteen Points” address to the U.S. Congress, in which he called for Poland’s independence.

Point 13 of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points Declaration spoke of the need to establish an independent Polish state, “which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish population, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.”

The United States was the first country to recognize Poland’s independence after World War I. In 1919, President Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1922 Poland conferred upon him its highest state distinction, the Order of the White Eagle.

POLISH DOCTOR DETAINED BY ICE AGENTS. A doctor of Polish descent has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Kalamazoo, Michigan, despite having lived in the U.S. for 40 years and being in possession of a permanent green card.

Lukasz Niec, an internal medicine doctor for Kalamazoo’s Bronson HealthCare, was taken into custody on Jan. 16.

Niec emigrated from Poland with his parents when he was three years old, according to his wife, Rachelle, who told reporters she believed the arrest may have stemmed from two unrelated misdemeanor convictions Niec, now 43, earned when he was in high school: one for destruction of property of less than $100 and the other for receiving stolen property.

“He pleaded guilty,” she told MLive of the Polish Citizen. “He was not notified it could ever be used in a deportation.”

Kalamazoo County court records also show Niec pleaded guilty to a 2008 operating impaired by liquor offense, the conviction of which was later set aside as part of a plea agreement, per local media reports.

In addition, he was charged with domestic violence in 2013 but a jury found him not guilty after a trial, records demonstrate.

Lukasz and Rachelle Niec have been in a relationship for about four years, marrying in 2016, local journalists say. They have one daughter each.

An ICE statement said Niec was arrested for “administrative immigration violations.”

The statement, released by Khaalid H. Walls, an ICE communications director, also said the Niec will remain in custody pending the outcome of removal proceedings.

Speaking from his jail cell said he was perplexed by his arrest.

“I’m not sure of anything,” Niec said. “I mean, I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s hard to say, but … there’s a quite a few people in here with different stories. That blew me away. Mine is probably one of the more extreme ones.”

—  From Polish Citizen, Washington Examiner, and WWMT releases

AMERICAN POLONIA AT A GLANCE

MICHIGAN
ANN ARBOR — “Spoor” (“Pokot”), directed by Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik, will be presented in Polish with English subtitles, Sun., Feb. 4, 4:00-6:00 p.m. on campus, 500 S. State St., in the Michigan Theater. The event, sponsored by the Copernicus Program in Polish Studies is free and open to the public. “Spoor” (2017) is about an elderly woman, Janina Duszejko, who lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what the murderer is, but nobody believes her. 

Free and open to the public.

NEW YORK

NEW YORK — The Kosciuszko Foundation presents “Paderewski and World Politics,” a lecture by Marek Zebrowski, director of USC Polish Music Center, pianist, composer, and historian, Thur., Feb. 8, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

The event at the Foundation, 15 E 65th St., is free and open to the public. Space is limited. Registration required. Call (212) 734-2130.

BUFFALO — Since the mid-1980s a small group of parishioners has been getting together at Saint John Kanty Parish on Buffalo’s East side to make pierogi; the tradition has continued and grown for over 30 years. Under the capable leadership of Diane Czajka, a graduate of Saint John Kanty School, more than 20 volunteers are busy making pierogi, and when Lent starts, baking placek. Cheese pierogi and ’kraut pierogi are boiled and frozen and sold in packages of six. People come from all corners of the city as well as the suburbs to take home some Polish comfort food. The sale takes place in the school cafeteria, “Kanty’s Kitchen,” Saturdays and Sundays starting February 17, before and after weekend Masses: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to noon on Sunday through Palm Sunday, March 25. On Palm Sunday, a light lunch is available and a basket raffle takes place. Proceeds benefit the ongoing needs of the parish’s 125-year-old church building. For further information: www.saintjohnkanty.com

VIRGINIA

ARLINGTON — JTG, Inc. is seeking a Polish Level II Language and Cultural Instructor (LCI) to teach a class from Feb. 20, 2018 to August 13, 2018 at Department of State FSI, Arlington. The candidate must have a minimum of three years’ experience teaching adult learners in a classroom setting with at least two or more students. Must have a BA/BS, MA/MS, or PhD or foreign equivalent degree in any field (related to language or education is preferred but not required). Three years’ experience teaching proficiency-based or task-based curricula and a minimum of one year’s experience administering proficiency-based assessments (DLPT, ACT-FL, OPI etc.). Last, at a minimum the LCI must have an English proficiency level of 2:2 on the ILR proficiency scale.

Contact Gerard P. Schwenk at JTG, Inc., at (202) 486-1886 or (571) 527-2784 for information.

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