I was recently speaking with one of my staff via cell phone as he walked his dog late in the evening. Unfortunately, we had to stop our conversation about a half dozen times as he waited for the noise from overhead aircraft to pass. So to those who ask me about airplane noise, yes, I do understand how aggravating it is. To be sure, I live with it every day, like most of you.
The problem becomes especially clear as many of us spend time outdoors with family and friends during the summer. Not that we don’t hear it when we’re in our homes. We do, but being outside just makes the problem that much more obvious. I guess you could call it par for the course when living next to three major airports, but it was never this bad, never this loud. That’s why I want you to know that I’m working to get something done about it.
Since New York State’s lawless legislature and gutless governor have proven themselves unwilling or impotent to remove sleazy, shameless Sheldon Silver from his position as Assembly Speaker, someone has to do something to “punish” him for his egregiously unethical role in the disgraceful Vito Lopez affair. It appears that I may be the only person who can do it; so I’m hereby demanding publicly that Mr. Silver give me back the “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need, and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber” t-shirt that I gave him as a gift on March 3, 1995. This was in the early days of his role as Speaker, and I had no way of knowing how embarrassing his tenure would turn out to be. I know it is unethical to ask someone to return a gift you voluntarily gave them, but Mr. Silver has demonstrated that he is not governed by ethics anyway. So, Sheldon, either resign your speakership or return my shirt!
For the past few years, it seems like New Yorkers have been dealing with one weather-related disaster after another. We’ve seen heat waves, flooding, and you don’t need to tell New Yorkers about hurricanes and tropical storms. Unfortunately, climate scientists predict that extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy will become even more common if we don’t cut our global warming pollution.
As a New Yorker, I expect our legislators to do everything in their power to protect us from another Superstorm Sandy, but the NY senate, especially Senators Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein, failed to reach an agreement to expand clean and renewable solar power in New York. I can’t image how this common sense issue failed to pass.
In a continuing effort to make Nassau’s roads the safest in the nation, the County Legislature approved the Complete Streets program that ensures Nassau will consider all users of roadways, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders in planning and design of new and current roadways.
By including Complete Streets principles in the design and construction of future road projects, Nassau County will be able to accommodate and facilitate safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. These design principles include paved shoulders and bicycle lanes, suitable to encourage bicycle riders. Other designs would improve sidewalks, signage, crosswalks, pedestrian signalization and traffic calming methods designed to allow pedestrian and motor vehicles to safely coexist.
The selfishness we’re witnessing in Albany right now has to stop.
You know I’ve written in this column many times that New York State has made real progress these last three years. Things are far better than they used to be simply because Republicans and Democrats alike are finally working together. Despite the accompanying noise, there’s really no magic formula. Legislators with common sense have finally realized that you can’t always get everything you want and that most times, the reasonable middle ground also happens to advance the people’s agenda very nicely.
But I’m not “feeling the love” lately.
Admittedly, I do not have a green thumb. If our home is verdant it’s entirely by my wife’s efforts but I do recall once reading some gardening advice that seemed useful: you can’t get rid of weeds by simply pulling them out. You must plant something in their place to prevent their return.
I think of that advice when I hear people complain about some politicians. I believe “disgusted” is their term of choice, and certainly the media has uncovered plenty of unsavory behavior for us to be disgusted about. Still, I’m bothered by that cynicism because I know firsthand that most elected officials are honest and good people who take their public service as a point of pride. Nonetheless, I certainly understand where that cynicism stems from, especially when you read the sordid affairs smeared on the pages of New York’s newspapers these days.
This summer marks a milestone for success in the fight against heart disease. It has been 10 years since you have been asked “smoking or non?” in New York restaurants and bars.
The Clean Indoor Air Act established smoke-free workplaces. The CIAA has been helping protect New Yorkers from the dangers of secondhand smoke for a decade. Experts estimate secondhand smoke causes up 128,900 heart attacks annually. Studies around the world show heart attack rates drop immediately following the enactment of laws like the CIAA. By keeping smoke out of workplaces, we are making positive steps in the fight against our number one killer — heart disease.
I recently read the article, “Where to Find Horseback Riding on Long Island,” in the July 3 - July 9 issue. I wanted to let you know that LIU Post in Brookville has the North Shore Equestrian Center, one of the oldest facilities of its kind on Long Island. The equestrian center is open to both students and any L.I. resident who wants take horseback riding lessons. LIU Post also has a student equestrian team. You can find more information on the North Shore Equestrian Center at www.northshoreequestriancenter.com
For the past 92 years, the Hicksville Water District has been providing top-quality service to residents and works hard to ensure absolute customer satisfaction. The district’s history parallels the growth and development of Long Island and the rise of public water suppliers in Nassau County. The Hicksville Water District has had a trajectory of dedicated local residents leading the organization to ensure optimized usage of Hicksville’s water resource.
“We are very proud to have our own local water source to serve our community,” said Hicksville Historical Society President Mike Christodoulou. “From an economic standpoint, having our own water, rather than importing it from upstate New York, allows us to have more control of our water quality.”
We’ve worked hard in the past to protect and preserve our community, and now we need to do it again. On Tuesday, Aug. 20, a referendum will be held on the Town of Oyster Bay’s proposed sale of its public works complex on the Long Island Expressway Service Road. This sale would bring in over $32 million to the town while protecting the suburban open space we so dearly cherish.
Unfortunately, the Taubman Company, which has been trying for 17 years to shove a mega-mall down our throats, is once again reaching into their deep pockets and trying to stop the sale. That’s why we need everyone to come out and vote YES, in favor of the sale on Aug. 20.
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