I was amazed to see our local volunteer firefighters in action on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 5:30 a.m. at a blazing fire on Clover Avenue. While the residents of our village slept comfortably, these men and women were putting their lives on the line to save the lives of one of our families.
With bright lights all aglow, the inviting sound of Christmas carols and the warmth of family gatherings we are often unmindful of the terrible fact that we are a nation at war and have been since September 11, 2001.
Democracies and long wars go ill together. The electorate is impatient for success and death wears heavily, regardless of the season. In a speech given at West Point, the president of the United States informed us that he is ordering 30,000 more troops to the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, half a world away.
This week, the State Senate tackled New York’s budget deficit without tax-hiking mid-year school cuts, enacted much-needed reforms to its pension system, and brought much-needed accountability and transparency to this state’s public authorities.
On Dec.9, in another effort to save the world from itself, international leaders will be meeting in Copenhagen to discuss imposing carbon restrictions to reduce greenhouse gases being released into the environment.
The following are trustee reports from the Nov. 17 Floral Park village board meeting.
Trustee Tweedy thanked residents for picking up leaves on their property, bagging them and putting them out for sanitation to pick up on yard waste days. “It has been a great help,” Trustee Tweedy said. “Please do not rake leaves into the street as it can cause catch basins to back up and flood in the event of heavy rains.”
As the most successful multicultural society in history, America allows us to directly experience the strengths and possibilities of a pluralistic culture. But there also exists, in the milieu of diversity, the element of division and fragmentation that create differences difficult to bridge.
This is especially true when, socio-economically, trends suggest that instead of moving away from what divides us we are moving into the maw of a more sustained and divisive disunity. Class politics, based on hard economic realities, is the fault line of American democracy.
Legislation that would help reduce costs for local governments passed the state Senate last week, announced Senator Craig M. Johnson (D-Nassau). The measure would allow municipalities to save money on health insurance, highway maintenance, staffing, procurement and financing.
“This is good legislation that will help contain costs and ease tax-hiking unfunded mandates on municipalities,” Johnson said. “It is my hope that this will be the first of several significant steps we take to help local governments reign in spending and reduce the burden to property taxpayers.”
The single, most astonishing public event of my lifetime was the fall of the Berlin Wall and, in the next dizzying months, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day.
It is hard to believe that earth-shaking, wall-shattering event was 20 years ago. It’s an anniversary to remember, to celebrate and reflect on. It marks not only what the United States as leader of the free world had overcome, but it also puts a spotlight on the qualities we will need to face the immense challenges ahead. History moves inexorably forward, there is no respite for the weary - for there is always a daunting mountain to climb, an unruly ocean to cross and a burning desert to endure. Yesterday it was Soviet Communism; today its Islamic terrorism and tomorrow it will surely be something else.
For the 2009-2010 school year, the Sewanhaka Central High School District eliminated late bus service for all of its students. Even after the school district announced that there was a surplus from the 2008-2009 school year of several million dollars, the $150,000 needed to fund the late bus service was not to be restored by the school board.
Parents and taxpayers attended board meetings to plead their case to no avail. These same parents and taxpayers reached out to local state officials searching for assistance. Assistance came in the form of a $150,000 grant specifically for late bus service from the office of Senator Craig Johnson. I would like to thank Senator Johnson for responding to the needs and concerns of his constituents. Senator Johnson and his staff listened to taxpayers and found a solution.
I extend a heartfelt thank you to the voters of the 9th Legislative District for re-electing me to the county legislature. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your legislator.
The election results were especially gratifying in view of the negative campaign waged against me this year. I am especially grateful for my friends and colleagues in government from across the political spectrum who spoke out against the personal attacks. Your support and words of encouragement helped me to remain focused on the major issues confronting our residents and communities in these difficult economic times.
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