So much has already been said about Robin Williams’ death by suicide that there really isn’t much left to say. While shining a light on the serious issues of substance abuse, mental illness and suicide helps to remove the stigma attached, journalists and radio and TV personalities have an obligation to their readers, viewers, etc. to report the news in a responsible way. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
I heard a DJ on the radio say that he heard that the people who were close to Robin Williams are now saying that warning signs of suicide were there. The DJ then went on to ask the question, “why didn’t those people get him some help?” It is public knowledge that Robin Williams was seeking help for both his addiction and his severe depression. However, “help” doesn’t fix the problem overnight or miraculously make a person feel instantaneously good again. “Help” requires hard work over a period of time. Sometimes when a person is in such a depressed state, they start to feel hopeless, which means that they don’t believe there is any hope that things will ever get better. At that point, they may decide that asking for or accepting further “help” will not do any good. They just want to do something that will end the pain.
As fighting rages between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza, many of us find ourselves faced with questions and concerns. What can we do? How can we help? How can this horror go away?
These were the questions on people’s minds as Dr. Asaf Romirowsky, Middle East Analyst and Historian, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the Mid-Island Y JCC in Plainview about the current Mid-East conflict.
Last year, I was selected as a Nassau County Senior Citizen of the Year. When I was in Albany receiving my award, I was told that Jack Martins, my state senator, wanted to meet me in the Senate chamber. He was very courteous, gave me a tour of the room, and told me the history of the chamber. In all fairness, Michelle Schimel did the same in the Assembly, but she already had my vote; Jack Martins didn’t. The extreme partisan politics in both Albany and Washington make it very difficult for any of us, voters as well as legislators, to cross party lines.
Lately, however, it seems that in New York State there is much being done across the aisles. The budget has been passed on time four straight years, and passed virtually unanimously this time around. It seems that I, and a lot of others, should judge our state representatives by the quality off their minds, rather than the color of their banner.
I have been very impressed with the fresh ideas Adam Haber has brought to our School Board. He pushed us to refinance our debt, consolidate our bus routes, and renegotiate our broadcast rights with Cablevision. These ideas were all unique to Roslyn, and they started with Adam Haber. I voted to put him on the Board of Education five years ago because he promised he would find new ways to save money, and he delivered. We haven’t cut teachers, we’ve preserved and added programs, and our district has boasted the lowest budgetary increases in Nassau each year he’s been on our Board.
Nothing, it seems, gets people’s dander up as much as kittens in peril.
Our sister paper, the Massapequa Observer, last week told of the Town of Oyster Bay closing a nonprofit no-kill cat rescue shelter for code violations, after neighboring businesses complained about odor.
The tale has brought our offices a flood of calls from across Nassau—Massapequa to Mill Neck, Floral Park to Farmingdale, Port Washington to Plainview. Our two stories on the rescue shelter’s closing have unleashed a torrent of comments—some in support of the shelter, some in support of the businesses (but all in support of the kittens)—on the Massapequa Observer Facebook page (www.facebook.com/massapequaobserver). Passionate pleas for animal welfare mingle with calls for the business owner to correct code violations. It’s a lively debate with many points of view and at times it gets contentious — and we couldn’t be happier about hosting a platform for the public.
A recent proposal put forth by New York State Senator Charles Schumer to alter the North Shore Route for helicopters has the potential to undermine the quality of life for Floral Park and her neighboring communities in Western Nassau, including Bellerose, New Hyde Park, Garden City and Mineola.
The North Shore Route is a path utilized by helicopters exiting from New York City heliports to locations on the East End of Long Island. The current route takes choppers over the Long Island Sound at an altitude of 2,000 feet and is designed to minimize the noise footprint on residential communities. Nonetheless, a helicopter inevitably must arrive at its destination, which in the case of the North Shore Route means it must transition from water to land.
Your “Train In Vain” editorial (July 16-22) referred to “genuflecting” to the MTA’s leaders — ”those six-figured salaried credits to humankind.” From that, I am inferring that you were implying that for salaries in the $100,000-to-$999,999 range, the public has a right to expect better leadership, and leaders. I agree with that, and feel even more strongly about the countless corporate executives being paid (not “earning”) seven-figure and eight-figure (millions and tens-of-millions of dollars annually) salaries. I refer to recent news stories stating that: “The head of a typical large public company earned a record $10.5 million, an increase of 8.8 percent from $9.6 million in 2012.”
The story also said, “A chief executive now makes about 257 times the average worker’s salary, up sharply from 181 times in 2009.”
With all of this new state-of-the-art sporting equipment, we’re made to believe that high school sports have actually been made safer over the years. But, when we hear the chants and cheers; the utter excitement of the local crowd as the pigskin is sent hurtling into the air towards the Island Trees Bulldogs’ top receiver, it almost makes us, the spectators, forget how hard these teens are really hitting each other.
That is why in 1982, the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research was founded, to use data and research to prevent these catastrophic sports injuries from occurring. Through their research, scientists have developed the modern sporting equipment we use today to try and prevent further injuries in the game.
I have lived in Roslyn for 29 years. I have been very impressed with the fresh ideas Adam Haber has brought to our School Board. He pushed us to refinance our debt, consolidate our bus routes, and renegotiate our broadcast rights with Cablevision. These ideas were all unique to Roslyn, and they started with Adam Haber. I voted to put him on the Board of Education five years ago because he promised he would find new ways to save money, and he delivered. We haven’t cut teachers, we’ve preserved and added programs, and our district has boasted the lowest budgetary increases in Nassau each year he’s been on our Board.
It can be difficult to function in the summertime. Oppressively humid air hangs heavy, transforming Long Island into Wet Island. Add disease-carrying winged creatures to the mix and we’ve got a reason to pray for a winter chill.
The horror...the horror.
Last month, elected officials pleaded with the federal government for help in fighting a particularly nasty breed of blood suckers — the Asian tiger mosquito. Among its talents, the Asian tiger mosquito is known to carry dengue fever. While this breed of mosquito has been found on Long Island, none were found to be carrying the dengue virus, which is far more prevalent in year-round tropical climates.
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