I am appalled and disgusted by Congress’ failure to approve the federal assistance legislation to help the millions of victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Long Island and all the other communities that were devastated by this storm are struggling to rebuild and recover. They need help, and they need it now.
The whole country continues to mourn the deaths of 20 children and six adults who died in last month’s school shooting in Newtown, CT. And while we wait for the motive to emerge and policy proposals to surface, we can speak out now on behalf of families who need greater access to mental health treatment and other social services that ultimately will prove more effective in protecting and strengthening all of us; children, adults and our communities.
As the head of a human services organization, I believe it is part of our mission to inform and educate the public on important issues facing today’s families in a balanced and professional manner. As the result of this tragic event, there will be a temptation to look for quick answers; overly simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions.
While Long Island is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to share with you what is happening in our village. Power has been restored to all residents and, for the most part, debris has been removed. We continue to progress with leaf pick-up and are in the process of catching up with all that was neglected as we focused on the aftermath of the hurricane.
Part of our typical preparation for the holiday season is the installation of lights across Main Street and the hanging of lit candy canes along Conklin Street and Route 109. For the past several years, this work has been done by personnel from the Town of Oyster Bay and prior to that by outside electricians hired by the village. Because of the hurricane devastation, TOBAY personnel have had to concentrate their efforts restoring power to streetlights and municipal facilities in Massapequa and Bayville. Private electricians are also committed to working on restoration efforts. For this reason, these entities were not available to the village to put up the holiday lights – understandably so. The trustees and I felt that this was a small sacrifice considering all that others are experiencing.
As holiday cards begin arriving, many Northeast residents will notice envelopes decorated with the American Lung Association’s Christmas Seals — a critical cornerstone in the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air for more than 100 years. The Christmas Seals campaign was first introduced in 1907 as a way to stamp out tuberculosis. Today, the seal continues to be an important means of funding our mission to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
While the Christmas Seal looks like a postage stamp, it has no monetary value; yet, the donations that stand behind each seal are invaluable. The seal helps fund our ongoing efforts to combat lung diseases like lung cancer, asthma, influenza and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Throughout the years, the Christmas Seal has supported our work to fund lung disease research, eliminate smoking on airplanes, strengthen the Clean Air Act and help generations quit smoking.
It’s hard to imagine that the advantage could be so great since relatively few people use these putters. Tiger Woods doesn’t like them and you hardly ever see them employed by casual players. The golfing community seems to be coalescing around the idea that there’s something wrong about these ungainly putters, and that they shouldn’t be part of the game.
(Editor’s note: This is a letter addressed to the Farmingdale Soccer Club.)
I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the generous donation of food that you have provided to our church. Your gift will help us in our mission to help those in need receive at least one hot meal a week. Lisa and Lou Bell informed me that one of your board members Brian Mulcahy had called with an offer of food that was donated at the Turkey Soccer Bowl and indeed they brought boxes filled with food that following Sunday. We were able to help restock our church’s food cupboard and then some.
Your help comes at an important time of the year. We wish you and all the members of your board a Merry Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year.
Soup Group coordinator at Farmingdale United Methodist Church
Assemblyman David G. McDonough is reminding local residents and businesses to take advantage of National Grid’s new Hurricane Sandy Emergency Economic and Community Redevelopment Program for their gas customers. The program will be providing eligible customers with assistance as they work to recover from the storm’s devastation.
“Residents and businesses across the community and across Long Island have been overwhelmingly supportive of those affected by the storm,” said McDonough. “As we work to restore a sense of normalcy, it is important that those affected take advantage of the full array of resources available to them. While aid is available through private organizations and insurance, residents are also encouraged to file an application with FEMA before the Dec. 31 deadline and other agencies such as National Grid.”
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Assemblyman David G. McDonough is reminding Long Island residents and businesses to be on guard against repair scams and those who may try to exploit unsuspecting homeowners who suffered property damage. Despite the outpouring of support from volunteers and charitable organizations, there are still those who may try to take advantage of affected parties.
“It is important that we protect ourselves against those trying to exploit this disaster for personal gains,” said McDonough. “There are many reputable organizations that are able to assist those affected by the storm.
The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.
The eight-day Festival of Lights, the celebration of Hanukkah, begins at sundown on Saturday, Dec. 8 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 16 this year. May the candlelights of the holiday shepherd in a better world for all mankind.
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