I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those for their generous donations to pay for my attendance at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law and Crime Scene Investigation in Washington, DC this winter. It is nice to know that there are those who are willing to dedicate so much to local students and are supportive of someone such as me in my educational goals.
The program was a week long in Washington, DC and was the experience of a lifetime. It was an honor to be sponsored by so many generous members of the community and I want to thank each and every one of them. My thanks go out to: Antonietta D.Bruno, P.C., Charles G. McQuair, Esq., Sylvia E. DiPietro Esq., LLC, Charles Parisi, Esq, Nick DiLeo, (CAM Associates Insurance), Hon. Joseph A. Suozzi (former Glen Cove mayor and supreme court judge), John W. C. Canning (former Nassau County Legislator and current practicing attorney), Koeppel Martone & Leistman, LLP, Michael A. Montesano, Esq. and Vincent P. Taranto Esq. (Glen Cove City attorney)
Thank you all for being so generous for what has been a great educational experience in my life. I wish you were there for the challenges and the fun of this program. I look forward to working with you all one day.
Like him or not, Tom Suozzi worked to champion property tax reform. Long Islanders had someone from here bringing their frustration to a statewide bipartisan commission on the reduction of property taxes, which he chaired. You’ll read the basics of his report findings in Take Us to Your Leader this week on Page 3. Being such a volatile issue, he became a self-proclaimed victim of the tax revolt he was hoping to lead, suffering from angry taxpayers who wanted to express their emotions locally. And many schools don’t like some of the ideas that arose - primarily property tax caps.
But now, in a new era, North Shore Schools and their lobbying advisor from the NY State School Boards Association concur with the bipartisan report that impossible costs and harmful laws are coming from the state level to hurt local schools or wallets. They see an answer in a bill to lower school costs and taxes that comes from a senator in Westchester. It is very significant for a board of education to seek to influence such major changes. If there is a solution in the legislation reform for which they are lobbying, North Shore, Nassau and the whole state should join them -- or else ask what happens without change.
Dear Mr. DiNapoli:
It is with both a sense of shock and outrage that I read your address to the NYS and Local Employees’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) participants printed in The Update Fall 2009 publication. In this newsletter, you wrote referring to the retirement fund investments, “… our diversification and long-term investment strategies helped us weather the storm better than most, (investors) and our pensioners’ benefits remain safe and secure.” You gave the NYS Teachers Retirement System (NYSTRS) participants a great deal of comfort by this statement. You also subjected most NYS residents, who have watched our IRA and 401(k) investment values cut in half, to be envious of your investment prowess and successful commitment to the NYSTRS fund pensions. Why I feel compelled to write and to provide full and honest transparency for all New York residents to understand is NYSTRS participant investments are never at true risk of loss like the rest of us and that your investment strategies for the NYS Common Retirement Fund lost $44 billion or 26 percent of its value last year (Governance & Accountability Institute’s Insights Edge, June 2009).
How is it the Fund lost $44 billion last year and the pensioners’ benefits are safe and secure? How is it that this same Fund in which you are the sole trustee for investment management does not have risk of investment losses like the rest of us? Comptroller DiNapoli, isn’t it time to tell everyone the real truth; the NYS Teachers retirement fund is not at true risk because the NYS Mandate to every NYS school district of November 2009 requires a contribution in some cases equal to or greater than 1 percent of the annual school district’s budget for two years to make up for the shortfall. Your investment losses must be shared by every New York State resident who pays local school district taxes. By the way, this is not the first time New Yorkers have had to bail out the NYSTRS Fund. Comptroller Carl McCall did it during his tenure as NYS Comptroller.
Long Island taxpayers are being crippled by soaring school taxes, cuts by Albany of NYS subsidies and now required/demanded to pay for your poorly advised investment management. As a private citizen, community organizer and overtaxed homeowner I am appalled at reading that teachers should be grateful to your office for the safety of their retirements when all of us have to pay for it. In an election year, all of us will be more conscious of politicians who do not give us full disclosure; of politicians who are adding to and not relieving our local tax burdens.
The heartbreaking news of the catastrophic earthquake that hit the small island nation of Haiti on Jan. 12 has caught the attention of people the world over. The great melting pot that is New York has a large Haitian community and many of our neighbors are suffering in heart and soul along with their friends and relatives on the devastated island. Many people with no personal connection other than a concern for their fellow man are looking to aid the victims of this enormous natural disaster.
The Red Cross has announced that monetary donations are what is most immediately needed. I would ask all who would like to help to contact one of the following organizations, which are established and responsible, to make a donation:
The American Red Cross: From a cell phone, text the word HAITI to the address 90999 to make a $10 donation or call 1-800-REDCROSS (733-2767).
Doctors Without Borders: http:// doctorswithoutborders.org
The Clinton Foundation: http://www. clintonfoundation.org/haitiearthquake
MercyCorps: https://donate.mercycorps. org
Thank you all in advance for your generosity.
I would like to take this opportunity to mention that my term on the IDA had expired on Dec. 31, 2009. Mayor Suozzi decided not to renew my term on the board. Obviously I was saddened by his decision. Sitting on the board of the IDA has been thoroughly gratifying and rewarding, knowing I was part of the decision making process for the future of our city. I wish the IDA and its members success in the future and hope that they always think first about Glen Cove’s sustainability for the future. I am sincerely proud to have had the opportunity to sit on the IDA for almost four years.
I hope your readers will not interpret the following to be a “kinder, softer and gentler me” as it pertains to my on-going relationships with Assemblyman Charles Lavine.
I say this because I thought your readers might be interested in knowing I actually had a “face to face” meeting on Jan. 8 at 9:30 a.m. with Assemblyman Lavine and his communications director, Carla Santella. For those who know me, such an event would be historically and traditionally out of character. But, in fact it did happen.
2010! The beginning of a new decade is a time to look with optimism toward the future. It is a time to savor the joy of spending the holidays with our family and friends, and to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves. For me, it is also a time to reflect on the progress we have made toward making Glen Cove an even better place to live and work, and to look forward to continuing that progress in the coming year.
I have never been more proud of the Glen Cove City Court system than I am today. I’d like to thank all the court employees who, by working hand in hand with the Glen Cove City Police Department, help provide a safe, secure community for all of us to raise our families. We pledge, as always, to ensure that every citizen is treated with respect and fairness in our courtroom.
On behalf of myself and New York Blood Services I would like to extend my thanks to Pastor Simpson and the First Presbyterian Church of Glen Cove for allotting their time and space for the Dec. 28 blood drive.
Although the turnout was less than expected, every drop counts in the lives of blood donor recipients. Many thanks again to the church and those who came out to donate their time and blood for those in need.
This Christmas, among other ones, will remain near and dear to my heart. The reason this Christmas was so very special was because the tree that was donated as the city’s Christmas tree was my very own. When I was born, my grandmother Michelina planted it for me. I am now 20 years old and so was my tree. Always being a symbolic memory of my late grandmother, it was important to my heart.
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