On the calm, cloudless morning of Aug. 6, 1945, 29-year-old Tsutoma Yamaguchi arrived in the city of Hiroshima to meet a business associate. He remembers hearing the buzz of the aircraft above right before a blinding flash and a shattering, deafening boom changed his world and the world around him.
Shocked and uncomprehending, Yamaguchi awoke to a shattered, ruined landscape which just minutes before had been a thriving Japanese city. The towering fireball that arose from Hiroshima that morning had, at its core, heat three times greater than the surface of the sun, vaporizing everything within a mile radius. Within minutes, some 80,000 people (including 20 U.S. airmen who were being held prisoner) were dead; some 100,000 more would later die of their wounds and radiation poisoning.
We regularly put the reins of tomorrow in the capable hands of our youth. But, too often we fail to acknowledge that the hopes of past generations for a healthy, productive society were pinned on the shoulders of our present-day matriarchs and patriarchs, the progenitors of our history, our heritage.
For that, we owe them our eternal gratitude.
The Apollo 11 moon landing was an epic event symbolizing America’s spirit of adventure and achievement. In fewer years than the average person’s lifetime (just 66 years), American aviation had leapt from Orville and Wilbur Wright’s 17-second airborne flight over North Carolina to an implausible manned lunar landing 238,000 thousand miles away.
Not quite mid-distance between Kitty Hawk and the moonwalk, a daring aviator piloted a small monoplane christened the “Spirit of Saint Louis” in a nonstop trans-Atlantic flight that captured the imagination of the world like almost nothing before or since.
The New York State Senate recently passed legislation (S.5471) that will protect unemployed workers by extending their health insurance benefits from 18 months to 36 months, Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), announced.
“In this current economic climate, it is more important than ever to alleviate some of the stress felt by families facing unemployment,” Johnson said. “This legislation will ensure that hard working New Yorkers who have lost their jobs recently through no fault of their own can continue to have access to their healthcare during this transitional period.”
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who generously gave up their day to make my annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament a great success. In all, over 60 residents worked tirelessly on registration, food, brackets, refereeing, clean-up and judging at the tournament. Over 2,000 young people, parents, grandparents and community members came through the tournament and took part in the many activities I sponsored throughout the day.
Six people were the true backbone of this effort and did an extraordinary job coordinating this event — Michael Soudmand, Mystique Rivera, Darian Bryan, Tolulope Jegede, Joe Scopelitis and Marvin Lee. These six college students made this day one to remember for our community. They have my heartfelt thanks and that of our greater community’s children.
Assemblyman Tom Alfano announced the passage of a package of bills to protect consumers against abusive and unfair debt collection practices by strengthening guidelines on how firms may collect debts, prohibiting harassment of consumers, providing debtors a legal right of action for damages and increasing state regulation of the debt collection industry. Alfano pointed to numerous consumer complaints through his office of outrageous harassment of consumers throughout the 21st district.
“There are so many sub-contracted collection firms that essentially terrorize families with outrageous claims and threats on a daily basis. These bills not only give important safeguards, but collection firms have to follow the law and not make it up as they go along,” Alfano said.
The following are trustee reports from the July 14 Floral Park Board of Trustees meeting.
Trustee Tom Tweedy asked residents and business owners to maximize their efforts in recycling paper and cardboard. Recently, the price the village receives for recycled paper and cardboard tripled.
Newspaper and cardboard should be tied and placed next to your blue box. Paper recycling includes shiny inserts, white paper, regular mail, cardboard, including cereal boxes with waxed insert bag removed, shoe boxes, corrugated cartons, telephone books, magazines and paper grocery bags, soft and hard covered books, shredded paper in a paper bag, corrugated carton or clear plastic bag. Empty corrugated cartons must be flat and tied. Not acceptable are plastic coated paper, carbon paper, blueprints, window envelopes, adhesive-backed notepaper or pizza boxes. If you have questions regarding any recycling issues, call the Department of Public Works at 326-6320.
“The stalemate in the New York State Senate has ended. With the gridlock over, more than 130 important bills that affected localities across this state and allowed them to hold the line on property taxes have been passed.
“This included legislation that was critical to Nassau’s fiscal health, and the extension of the Power for Jobs program, which is responsible for more than 240,000 jobs across New York State.
This month, Nassau County, in cooperation with the Lustgarten Foundation, is hosting a ceremony and building illumination for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Over 37,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year –which is why our goal is to raise awareness in order to prevent and fight this disease. According to the National Cancer Institute, the overall 5-year relative survival rate for 1999-2005 was 5.5 percent. We must work together to thwart pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is rarely discovered early. There are no warning signs and screening tests are often ineffective. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is not usually found until it spreads to other parts of the body. Out of all the people who have pancreatic cancer, 90 percent are above the age 55 and 70 percent are older than 65. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in both genders.
The job reports for June are in and the news is not good. In fact, it’s bad. Unemployment has climbed to a steep 9.5 percent - the highest level in 27 years. Meanwhile, part-time employment is growing among those who were previously full time. As cumulative income diminishes, it translates into less saving, higher interest rates and less money circulating in the economy.
If these storm clouds have a silver lining, it is that employment usually is (hold your breath) “a lagging indicator.” This factual tidbit must be a mighty comfort to those who don’t know where their next paycheck is coming from.
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