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Letter: A Response To Mike Barry’s Column

I must take exception to Mike Barry’s recent column trumpeting the County Office of Legislative Budget Review’s  (OLBR)’s “verdict” that the County Comptroller’s office sought and received adequate backup for payments to Super Storm Sandy contractors. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The OLBR report clearly stated that their review was limited in scope and not meant as endorsement or criticism of the FEMA funding and approval process in totality (pg. 3). In fact, payments to the largest vendor, Looks Great Services, which totaled over $34 million, were approved for payment based upon an Excel spreadsheet without adequate documentation (pg. 5).

Mr. Barry’s column also failed to mention that the actions of the Comptroller’s office with respect to contracts and payments for Superstorm Sandy work are currently being investigated by the Nassau County District Attorney and the New York State Attorney General.

As the former Nassau County Comptroller, I am appalled about the current scandal surrounding contracts and unauthorized payments to companies for Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene debris removal. Comptroller George Maragos should appear before the county legislature to discuss payments that Nassau County has made to various contractors and disclose all records associated with the various contracts.

 It is one of the core responsibilities of the County Comptroller to serve as financial watchdog safeguarding taxpayer dollars, including providing oversight on county contracts.  If the appropriate oversight occurred and proper procedures were followed, there is no reason why Mr. Maragos should avoid making records publicly available and answer questions before the legislature.  

Howard Weitzman

Editor’s note: Howard Weitzman is expected to run for Nassau County Comptroller on the Democratic line in this year’s election.

News

Sabina Lotlikar never imagined she’d find herself competing in a pageant. The 19-year-old from Hicksville was more used to spending her time cooking, playing video games and working out than walking in heels in front of hundreds of people. But that all changed this year when Lotlikar decided to compete in the Miss LI pageant, an experience she describes as unforgettable.

“It was so nerve-wracking because I’ve never done anything like this, but I’m so glad I went through it and was dedicated to it. It was amazing,” she says.

When it comes to photography, it’s been a long road for Hicksville’s John Micheals. What started as a hobby in childhood, has now returned as an irreplaceable form of self expression.

“It’s a way of expressing myself. I’m very comfortable with it. It’s a way of expressing myself and being me without any qualifications,” he said.

Micheals’ journey in photography started with snapping pictures with a Kodak as a kid growing up in Queens. As an undergrad at City College of New York, he took art classes and his photography took a back seat as he became an art teacher. When he retired in 1996, he picked up the camera again, taking classes at Nassau Community College and getting his certificate in photography. He dropped photography again when family priorities arose, and got behind the lens again in 2009.  


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday Aug. 7. We had 33 golfers and a record 8 who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by newcomer Ed Hyne with an impressive 33, his second low net in a row. Charlie Acerra scored a solid 35, and won low overall net with a 26; his best score in 4 years.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 % handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

The fields of Kevin Kolm Memorial Park were filled with nearly 200 soccer players on Saturday for the annual ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event. The event was put together by the Mastermind Unit in sponsor of the Michael Magro Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting pediatric patients with cancer and their families.

“The Mastermind Unit is a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of guys who grew up playing soccer together in Hicksville,” said co-founder Bryan Alcantara. “This is our seventh annual  ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event at Memorial Park.”


Calendar

Personality Disorders

August 25

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com