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Letter: For Fair And Transparent Redistricting

Friday, 20 July 2012 08:27

In response to Susan Lerner’s opinion piece in Newsday on July 3, entitled “Voters Are The Losers In Nassau Fight,” The League of Women Voters of Nassau County believes in many of the same principles Ms Lerner proposes. As a nonpartisan organization, the league has repeatedly spoken before the county legislature and to the temporary advisory redistricting commission for a fairer and more transparent process for redistricting than is currently being considered by this advisory commission.

The league believes first that the advisory commission should conduct hearings to receive input from residents about how the process should occur and suggestions on how district lines should be drawn. Then, after the commission creates proposed districts, there should be additional public hearings to discuss them. These hearings should be in all three towns and two cities in Nassau County and should occur at a variety of times (day and evening) and at multiple locations in order to accommodate as many people as possible. Equally important is that all meeting locations be handicapped-accessible.


Letter: MTA Chairman Maligns LIRR Third Track Megaproject Opponents

Friday, 20 July 2012 08:23

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota is once again trying to unfairly malign the communities from Queens Village to Hicksville for their successful campaign to derail the unwanted and unneeded $1.5 billion LIRR Third Track Megaproject boondoggle. According to Newsday, Chairman Lhota , addressing the Long Island Regional Planning Council meeting on July 10 (Newsday 7-11-12 “MTA Chief Cites LI “NIMBY” Mentality”), acknowledged that the third track proposal was “quite controversial” and the opposition, he said, had been “textbook NIMBY,” but the MTA would continue to work with local and state legislators to advance the project.

Once again we have to ask, “Say it ain’t so, Joe?”  MTA Chairman Lhota, who was nowhere to be seen or heard during the Third Track public hearings, has been misinformed or has chosen to ignore the hundreds of pages of well-reasoned testimony and documents that were presented by the concerned citizens of the negatively impacted communities. Shame on Mr. Lhota and his MTA bureaucrats for refusing to recognize and acknowledge that the LIRR Third Track Megaproject was given a full and fair public hearing and the local communities won the debate fair and square.


Letter: A Midsummer Classic

Friday, 20 July 2012 08:22

On Saturday, July 14, the “Senator Jack M. Martins Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament” took place at Elmont’s Dutch Broadway School. Once again, the tournament was an overwhelming success as our young people displayed their athletic ability, sportsmanship and teamwork. This event exemplifies the togetherness of the community and what can be achieved when community members come together.

The classic wouldn’t be the success it is without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers. Year-round, their hard work and dedication goes toward making this event better each and every year. I want to thank all the volunteers for their efforts. I also want to thank the members of the community for being a part of the event as well as the sponsors for their support. Lastly, I would like to thank the 6,000 participants who attended, making for the biggest turnout in the tournament’s history.


Editorial: Basketball Benefactor

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00

It seems as if every other day there’s mention on WFAN or ESPN of some athlete ending up getting their mugshot taken for a wide variety of crimes and misdemeanors. So it’s refreshing to hear about a jock that’s taking the time to give back, particularly on the local level. Such is the case with San Antonio Spur Danny Green, who this week just got through hosting a basketball camp at Floral Park Memorial High School.


Phil-osophically Speaking: July 12, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00

The God Particle

It’s a concept so abstruse and mind-boggling that it has become material for comedians generating lines such as this: So they’ve announced the Higgs boson, but no word on pricing or whether they will ship it by Christmas.

When you can’t quite grasp what they’re talking about, having a sense of humor helps. But it’s no laughing matter when you consider the investment involved. Hundreds of physicists and engineers world-wide have devoted more than 40 years and $10 billion to track down this most elusive subatomic particle. Now, with 99.9 percent certainty, they claim to have found the Higgs boson itself. Looking for something that no one had ever seen is par for the course in physics; a working hypothesis will do when hard evidence is unavailable. Higgs boson, (Higgs for the physicist Peter Higgs and boson for particles), was located not by bloodhounds since it has no scent, but with the help of an enormous collider that straddles the French-Swiss border and measures 27 miles in circumference and uses enough electricity to light up an entire city.


Editorial: ‘America’s Love Affair With The Midsummer Classic

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

Ever since 1933, Major League Baseball has taken a break in roughly the mid-point of its lengthy season to play the All-Star Game. This annual event has the American and National League stepping between the lines fielding squads jam-packed with superstars. What once was played for bragging rights has more recently had home-field advantage in the World Series tied to it to ensure a greater incentive to win after the 2002 game was declared a tie after both squads ran out of players to substitute. Like much of professional baseball’s history, this particular game possesses a rich vein of memories be it Pete Rose destroying Ray Fosse in a home plate collision in 1970, the National League racking up 21 strikeouts in 1984 (including some newbie named Dwight Gooden striking out the side) or last-minute sub Derek Jeter taking A-Rod’s spot in 2000 and becoming the first Yankee to win the award with a three-hit performance.


Phil-osophically Speaking: July 5, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

Supreme Confusion

Where does one start in commenting upon one of the most surprising and beguiling decisions in the history of judicial annals? This past week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that it is constitutional to impose a mandate to carry health insurance. According to Justice John Roberts, who surprisingly wrote the majority decision upholding the law, its constitutionality is not found under the Commerce Clause, which was the principal legal basis the Obama administration was invoking to justify the health care overhaul, but under Congress’ constitutional power to tax.

The subtleties and nuances of the court’s decision are intriguing. In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3, which enumerates the powers delegated to the Congress, it states that Congress is empowered to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.” Sure enough, disputes rose over the range of powers the Commerce Clause bestowed on Congress, especially since it was so often paired with the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” a combination that enormously increased congressional control over the life of the economy.


Editorial: Mom, Baseball And Apple Pie

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

This July 4 marks the 236th anniversary of our nation’s birth. While this national holiday invokes images of sultry temperatures and endless fireworks displays, there is definitely a connection to the notion of the American triumvirate of mom, baseball and apple pie that pops up throughout this annual celebration. Traditionally, the Fourth of July is an excuse for families to come together given how the entire country benefits from it being a federally mandated day off. And usually, moms serve as the familial engines who keep these yearly assemblages going.


Phil-osophically Speaking: June 28, 2012

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

Diving Into Shallow Water

For years, the idea of the euro was unloved, unwanted and unwept for. Europe never desired a common currency; it was something foreign to their way of doing business. Take the Germans, they loathed the idea of surrendering their cherished D-mark, which had become more than a measure of currency; it was an heroic symbol of post-war recovery, a Phoenix rising from the ashes of war transforming charnel houses into palaces of wealth. Most other Europeans felt the same as the Germans. Even the economists and the bankers were deeply skeptical that a single currency would be some sort of magic wand fostering European integration and solidarity.

So what happened? If everyone was against the euro, then who was for it? The politicians, who else? The idea of a united, democratic Europe was a delicious prospect to savor. A European economic engine firing off all cylinders was theoretically capable of surpassing the Promethean might of the United States. Salivating at the notion of frolicking in the empyrean precincts of the gods, Europe dove head first into shallow water.


Editorial: Turning The Page

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00

Every year, the month of June represents the closing of one chapter in a person’s life and the start of another one. For younger boys and girls, that could mean either moving from one level of Little League baseball to the next, or for 12-year-olds, the conclusion of that segment of hardball with the pony leagues and its longer base paths and stronger competition on the horizon. June is also a favorite wedding month, where scores of single people trade a carefree solitary existence for a life shared with a potential soul mate that in most cases involves having children and battling life’s obstacles as a combined unit.


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