Last week, when I was helping to serve lunch at the INN soup kitchen in Hempstead, one of the first families on line was a mom and her 8-year-old son Timothy. When Timothy got to the front of the serving line, I told him we had a great lunch for him: chicken cutlets, pasta, and mixed vegetables. Tim’s eyes widened as we filled his plate with food.
He confided that he was really hungry and then admitted that he hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning. All of the soup kitchen volunteers know that many of our guests are having their first meal of the day. We also know that for some of them, this might be their only good meal of the day—especially for our senior citizens.
A new school year is always an exciting time, with so very much to look forward to, with so much to learn, so much to do, so many friends, old and new. And, most of all, it’s a time to look to the future and make your plans, both small plans and big dreams. So much to do! So much to anticipate!
Work hard! Study hard! Be one of the ones who make the dreams come true for the future!
- Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
I celebrated a birthday last week—although celebrate might be too strong a word. I did stay up until almost 9:30 that night, a full hour later than my usual nodding off time. I knew right away it was my birthday because my son Josh called me from London to make sure we had a fire extinguisher handy to put out all the candles necessary for one who’s over the hill and heading into the sunset at a ferocious pace. He called at 5 a.m. our time, lunchtime on the other side of the pond. I didn’t mind because I’m always up early—it’s a character flaw I’ve not been able to correct.
We would like to take this time to thank the Great Neck Park District for the wonderful array of weekend evening concerts that were featured at the beautiful Steppingstone Waterside Theatre this summer. Over and over again, we have heard from park district residents that this summer was the best ever, with the most enticing, most professional productions.
Please do check out the Steppingstone Waterside Theatre stories in this and the next issue of the Great Neck Record and see what is in store for you as the summer winds down and Labor Day weekend is coming up. We promise they will be evenings to remember!
- Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates believed so strongly that a wise person should lead a frugal life that he even refused to wear sandals. Yet Socrates loved to go to the marketplace to look at the great variety and abundance of the goods being sold there.
One day, a friend asked him why he was so intrigued with all the goods on display. According to legend, Socrates replied, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”
For a year now we have known that Great Neck Park District Superintendent Neil Marrin would be leaving, going off to follow his dreams in the field of education. But we sort of kept putting that out of our mind, enjoying the regular contact with such a professional, reaping the benefits of the beautiful parks Neil headed, and marveling at how such a busy, busy man could still take the time and effort to be such a very, very nice man!
Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), announced the passage of a comprehensive legislative package that will expand and increase access to services for seniors on Long Island and across New York State.
Included in this legislative package are bills to make thousands of seniors eligible for the EPIC program who were not previously, establish new safety procedures for seniors who disappear from care and a measure sponsored by Senator Johnson that would expand the deadline for seniors to apply for property tax exemptions.
“After a lifetime of hard work and providing for their families, our seniors deserve fundamental protections and services in order to continue to lead healthy and active lives,” Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau) said. “My legislation would expand the opportunity for seniors to get the tax relief for which they are entitled. While more needs to be done, this package will help more seniors stay in their homes and in their communities.”
The plan includes:
(S1839) Increasing eligibility levels for the EPIC program. The historic expansion of EPIC eligibility will ease the financial burden for tens of thousands of seniors across New York who rely on costly prescription drugs. As drug costs have risen, they have become the largest single source of out-of- pocket healthcare costs for seniors.
(S949) Senator Johnson’s legislation that would expand the deadline for seniors to apply for property tax exemptions. The bill additionally directs the relevant municipality to send out a second copy of the notice of exemption 30 days prior to the filing deadline.
(S5376-A) Create a missing vulnerable adult alert system (the Gold Alert) for New York State.
(S5376-A) Authorizes the Office of Children and Family Services, in cooperation with the Office of the Aging, to track and report on the incidence of elder abuse.
This is part of the Democratic Majority’s commitment to providing for and protecting our senior citizen community. More reforms and services benefiting senior citizens have been passed since the Democrats took the majority than in the last several decades combined.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 13.4 percent of New York’s population consisted of individuals age 65 or older.
Dennis Bozzi, president/CEO of the New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (NYAHSA) said, “As the baby boomers begin entering their senior years it is more important than ever that the state begin developing the infrastructure that will allow people to “age in place” and remain independent as long as possible. NYAHSA applauds the State Senate for advancing this package of bills that will expand access to important programs like the NORC and provide consumer protections and financial support to seniors that will allow them to remain in the community as long as possible, delaying or eliminating their need to utilize institutional care.”
Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, Coalition resident and executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association said, “The Coalition and its seven member chapters thank the New York Senate for passing the Gold Alert legislation and taking this important step in protecting its residents. As the leading advocacy and support organization for Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association and this Coalition have actively pursued this legislation. Today, we are one step closer to providing greater peace of mind to the more than 320,000 New York families touched by this disease.”
Justin Cunningham, executive director for the Statewide Senior Action Council said, “The members of New York Statewide Senior Action Council applaud the State Senate for moving forward on this comprehensive package of Pro-Senior bills. Each individual bill in its own way seeks to protect and maintain the health, safety and economic security of New York’s growing senior and elder population.”
Laura Cameron, executive director, NYS Association of Area Agencies on Aging said, “These bills lay a foundation of improved access to information and services for senior citizens and the increasing number of baby boomers reaching age 60. Census 2010 projects the age 60+ population at 3.65 million, or 18.7 percent of New York State’s population. This comprehensive package of bills is critically important to seniors because they would expand access to programs and services that enable them to live independently with dignity in their homes and communities.”
A comprehensive strategy to build safer roads and highways on Long Island and across New York State, which will cut costs for municipalities and improve the quality of life for all residents, passed the State Senate last week, Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), announced.
This legislative package will help communities put into motion:
Transportation enhancements that improve safety, access and mobility for all travelers, regardless of age or ability.
Healthier lifestyles through alternative transportation methods.
Solutions to urban sprawl.
Preservation of natural resources.
“This is a blueprint that will help Long Island and the rest of New York State plan better and plan smarter,” Senator Johnson said. “I am proud of this legislative package, which will help make Long Island more pedestrian friendly, less congested and more environmentally sustainable.”
Complete Streets legislation (S5711B) directs the Transportation Department to consider bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in the planning and development of state, county, and local transportation facilities and programs. The power remains in the hands of municipalities to determine if and what planning is appropriate given their specific needs.
Accommodations would include measures such as bicycle lanes, lane striping and paved shoulders suitable for use by bicyclists, as well as crosswalks, pedestrian control signals, curb cuts, ramps and the sharing of road signage.
This legislation is an opportunity to improve health conditions for those who choose walking or bike riding as an alternative to driving. According to a 2009 national report, Dangerous by Design, New York State had the third highest number in the nation for pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people aged 65 and older.
The State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act (S5560B) outlines requirements for state infrastructure agencies to fund infrastructure projects in accordance with smart growth criteria. These agencies will have to ensure that public funding is granted for construction projects which use, maintain, or improve existing infrastructures and protect natural resources. New construction projects will also have to adhere to smart growth principles.
Smart Growth planning promotes economic development while preserving natural lands, protecting water and air quality, and reusing already-developed land. This means reinvesting in existing infrastructure, reclaiming historic buildings and revitalizing New York’s communities.
This legislation, (S6819) allows for building permit fee reductions for houses that are universally designed to be accessible and adaptable. People with physical disabilities and the elderly would especially benefit from this new legislation that will help them age in place.
These bills were major priorities of the Long Island Lobby Coalition, a collection of groups and organizations that advocate for legislation to improve the quality of life for Long Island residents.
Every so often we go through a stretch when people keep asking: “Where were you on Tuesday, we couldn’t reach you?” Here is another reminder.
Have you been looking for us on Tuesdays? Please be advised that the editors and staff of the Great Neck Record are generally not in the Great Neck office on Tuesdays; we are in the Anton Community Newspaper offices in Mineola, in production.
The warm sunny days of summer are still here, perfect for enjoying the outdoors. And, for many of us, that means sports —- tennis, golf, swimming, biking, ball games, just to name a few. Children and adults join lively summer teams, camps provide all sorts of sports activities for youngsters, and country clubs proudly sport their own teams too. How about sharing some of this sports news with your neighbors!
The Great Neck Record loves local news, and so we would love to feature stories and photographs about your teams and leagues, your club, or your children’s camp sports. Just sent us the copy and we will take care of the rest.
Our sports pages are waiting for you!
—-Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
My youngest son (29), Josh, was in for a visit last weekend. He works for Microsoft in their London office and comes back to the states two or three times a year for conferences. As I was driving him back to Laguardia to catch a plane for Atlanta we were talking about jobs.
Josh told me what his typical day was like and I was describing mine. I told him that I see customers all over Long Island and drive over 125 miles a day. I’ve known many of my customers for so many years that we have become good friends. When I visit them, we talk about family, sports, the weather, business conditions, etc. I also try to bring with me a good joke to tell—because I love making people laugh.
With just the trace of a smile, Josh remarked, “Dad, you tell them jokes and they still buy from you?”
“Of course,” I replied. “You know how much I love a good joke.”
“Dad, if only you knew one.”
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