New York State Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, recently released a report detailing a pattern of flawed judgment and a lack of accountability that led to the taxpayer-funded purchase of an unusable ferry boat by a state subsidiary.
Taxpayers took a nearly $900,000 loss on the 59-year-old vessel, which the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC) purchased despite a report from a contractor that “raised serious concerns” about the boat’s condition. Less than 18 months after the July 2007 purchase, GIPEC sold the ferry, the M/V Islander, on eBay for $23,600.
It was the mother of all traffic jams. Cars were packed together, bumper to bumper, transfiguring the New York State Thruway into the biggest parking lot in the world. Literally nothing was moving. This crushing deadlock did not unnerve the thousands of baby boomers, bristling with excitement, who jauntily abandoned their cars and made their pilgrimage on foot to a mud splattered dairy farm in upstate New York to embrace a nirvana of peace, love and music.
Forty summers later the romance of the Woodstock Festival remains, for its memoirists, the crowning moment of the counter-cultural 1960s. The Dionysian energy of the new psychedelic rock music was the match that lit the so-called Aquarian rebellion and the subsequent explosion unleashed several social revolutions whose reverberations can still be felt today.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced the release of $4.3 million of federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to upgrade approximately 900 traffic signals on Long Island by replacing existing incandescent lights with more energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs to reduce energy use and improve the environment. The project includes installing approximately 250 pedestrian countdown crossing signals at key intersections to improve pedestrian safety.
The Nassau County Legislature voted unanimously to establish a new Silver Alert System. The new system is intended to rapidly disseminate information to the public regarding missing seniors or other individuals suffering Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other cognitive disorders.
Important legislation that will improve access to affordable health insurance for young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 recently passed the Senate and has been signed into law by Governor David Paterson.
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.
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