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Letter: Keep Guns – Like The One I Carried In Vietnam – Off The Streets

After the horrific massacre of 20 innocent children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, a majority of Americans support stricter gun laws regarding assault weapons and background checks. The dysfunctional US Congress, however, is unlikely to make progress due to perceived power of the NRA, which is supported by gun manufactures and survivalists.

It is time for each state to take appropriate action that can best protect our children and other citizens. In his State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo took the first step by proposing to close loopholes in the state’s ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, as well as universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Cuomo said this is not taking away people’s guns, noting that he owns a shotgun for hunting. Nor is it taking away people’s handguns to protect their homes. It is an effort to keep military weapons, like the one I carried in Vietnam, out of the hands of the general public. If gun advocates must use military weapons, like the AR-15 or the Bushmaster, I suggest the use be restricted to secure gun clubs where they can be stored and used for target practice.

I also believe that common sense gun control legislation must be combined with appropriate support and resources for the mentally ill. It will take years, if not decades, to get dangerous assault rifles and oversized magazines out of circulation, even with aggressive buy-back programs, which virtually eliminated similar massacres in Australia. Better mental health programs are not only the humane things to do, but in the long run they will also reduce overall costs to society. It is cheaper to support the mentally ill versus the cost of incarceration and the risk to public safety.

Phil Heckler

Hicksville resident

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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