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Mayor’s Message Village of Floral Park: February 9, 2012

The State of New York Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment Group that is responsible for setting the new district lines for the State Assembly and Senate have released their eagerly awaited redistricting maps.  Floral Park’s representation remains relatively unchanged by the senate redistricting, with the proposed State Senate District 7 mostly following the contours of our present State Senate District. Therefore, every constituent within the Village of Floral Park will be represented by the same Senator under the proposed maps.

The senatorial Senate lines were primarily drafted by the Republican controlled Senate, which is led by State Senator Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre.  State Senator Jack Martins’ hometown of Mineola will remain in the same district as Floral Park.  Long Island may even pick up an additional senatorial district, making 9 of the 63 senatorial districts located on Long Island.

The State Assembly redistricting maps lines, which were primarily drafted by Democratic controlled assembly led by Assemblyman Shelly Silver of New York City, could be of much greater concern to Floral Park voters. Floral Park is currently represented by two Assembly Districts with Floral Park residents in the Town of North Hempstead, north of Jericho Turnpike, being represented by Republican Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, while the vast majority of Floral Parkers in the Town of Hempstead are currently represented by Republican Assemblyman Ed Ra.

We were hopeful that the redistricting process would result in the reunification of the Village of Floral Park within one Assembly District.  Not only will that not happen under the Democrat’s redrawing of the Assembly Districts, but the vast majority of Floral Park will be placed into an entirely new district number 22, which joins Floral Park with the communities bordering the Cross Island Parkway to our south.  The proposed Assembly District 22 roughly includes Floral Park south of Jericho Turnpike, Belmont Park, Elmont, North Valley Stream, Valley Stream and Lynbrook.  While our current Assembly Districts tend to follow Jericho Turnpike east through our sister LIRR Mainline communities, the proposed ‘new’ Assembly District 22 tends to follow the Cross Island Parkway south in the areas roughly between Jericho Turnpike and Sunrise Highway.

The Department of Justice’s required demographic profile for the proposed 128,931 resident Assembly District 22 will have 43.15 percent Non-Hispanic White; 25.01 percent Non-Hispanic Black; 18.13 percent Hispanic; 10.65 percent Non-Hispanic Asian; and 242 Non-Hispanic American Indian, making up .19 percent of the new district. If Proposed Assembly District 22 as crafted by the Democrats’ task force members is approved, our current Assemblyman Ra will no longer live in our ‘new’ district.  In fact, Proposed Assembly District 22 currently has no Assembly Member living within this newly created district. Therefore, whoever may ultimately represent Floral Park’s interest in Albany is truly a mystery.

Please be assured that Floral Park’s elected representatives are closely following this process.  Our objective is to simply request that our legislative districts be fairly drawn to include other sister communities that have similar legislative concerns and needs.  While our current Senate and Assembly Districts are in keeping with that goal, whether the ‘new’ Assembly District will cause a dramatic change in the legislative objectives of the representatives in the Assembly is of some significant concern.

We hope that the State Assembly mapmakers are not trying to gerrymander this new district in order to disenfranchise and maybe even punish Floral Park for our proud tradition of letting our elected representatives know and hear our concerns loud and clear.  Obviously, should a new Assembly District including Floral Park be created, Floral Parkers in this year’s elections will need to make sure that anyone who wishes to become our elected representatives in Albany will continue to put our needs at the top of their priorities.  While presidential election results in New York this year may be a foregone conclusion, our local elections, which have a more immediate and direct impact on our community, certainly are not. Therefore, please be sure to register to vote and exercise your constitutional right to vote. Your Floral Park neighbors are depending on you like no other time in our long and proud history!

News

The 36th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow will be held at the Queens County Farm Museum from Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27. It is the longest-running American Indian Pow-Wow and will feature three days of inter-tribal Native American Dance Competitions.

More than 40 Indian nations will be represented. Chanting, drumming and brilliantly-colored, finely-detailed regalia will provide stimulating entertainment for people of all ages. All dance competitions and performances will be narrated for your appreciation of the rich tradition and culture that is being shared. American Indian art and craft vendors will offer a unique array of times for shoppers.

On Monday, July 7, Vincent J. Calamia, 48, of Floral Park, was arrested on charges related to the production and possession of child pornography. The criminal complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that between approximately 2005 and the date of his arrest, Calamia engaged in sexually explicit conduct with minors and possessed and produced child pornography. The complaint further alleges that approximately 10 videos seized from the defendant’s computer depict the defendant engaging in sexual contact with boys who appear to be as young as between 15 and 17 years old.


Calendar

Village Concert

Friday, July 25

Magic & Comedy

Friday, July 25

Irish Kids-Fleah Music Fundraiser

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com