As our nation commemorates Veterans Day and we reflect on the incalculable sacrifices made by American servicemen and women, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know about a significant challenge facing our nation’s returning veterans, and what I think Congress must do to honor its responsibility to our heroes.
Unemployment is not a problem unique to veterans. However, veterans are disproportionately impacted by the struggling economy. While the national unemployment rate is a too-high 9 percent, for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, unemployment is shockingly above 12 percent.
Before my wife can comment, I’d like to disclose right up front that I have yet to clean out our garage, but I did attempt to help a friend with his this past week. It was an attempt because just as we began his annual “toss or keep” fall ritual, we were surprised by the scurrying of little feet around the garage.
My friend, doing what any self-possessed, confident guy does, immediately decided not to mention it to his wife, and then armed with a leaf blower and a broom set out to evict the unwelcome visitor. His crusade grew exponentially as he emptied the garage of all patio furniture, bicycles, rakes, and every seasonal ornament known to man in an effort to locate his new-found nemesis. I was systematically assigned guard duty at various locations as he tried to scare the mouse out of hiding. Somewhere about mid-morning I yielded to futility and left only to return that evening to a driveway full of junk and news that the mouse had gotten away.
For the second consecutive year I have voted for a no-tax-increase budget for Nassau County. The 2012 Budget, which passed 11-8 along party lines, decreases spending from the previous year. This is the first time in anyone’s memory that the county budget contains less spending from the prior year.
The 2012 Budget resulted from a cooperative effort between County Executive Mangano, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority and the Legislative Majority. Nassau faced a $310 million deficit for 2012 due to a $115 million increase in pension and healthcare costs, unfunded state mandates, reduced sales tax revenue and a backlog of tax certiorari refunds.
A bill authored by Senator Charles Fuschillo, Jr. and co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins that enables individuals with autism spectrum disorders to receive insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The new law will save families with autism tens of thousands of dollars a year in out of pocket costs for autism treatment and therapies which many insurance companies refuse to cover.
The New York State Senate Committee on Higher Education, chaired by Senator Ken LaValle, held a hearing at Farmingdale State College surrounding the recent incidents of alleged cheating involving six past or current Great Neck North High School students accused of paying a former student to take the SAT for them.
One common theme among the Senators and those who testified is that cheating creates an unlevel playing field for a test that may well determine what college a student attends. Among those testifying was Great Neck North Principal Bernard Kaplan, who correctly pointed out that none of the alleged cheating incidents occurred in Great Neck North and Great Neck South High Schools, the two schools in the Great Neck School District that serve as testing centers for the test.
On Saturday, November 5, I will be at village hall from 9 a.m. until approximately noon, available to any resident who would like to stop in for a chat.
Over the first year and a half of my term, I’ve tried to be accessible to all. Until now it has been difficult in being able to work in the office on a Saturday morning. I am hopeful that I will be able to do this on a somewhat regular basis.
As a long-time resident of New Hyde Park, I am writing in support of continuing Marianna Wohlgemuth as a Board Member for the Western Nassau County Water Authority.
Mrs. Wohlgemuth has been an advocate and civic leader in our community for over 22 years. She has been diligent in her efforts to benefit our quality of life by keeping our neighborhood clean and safe. She does not receive a salary, money or any other perks from her advocacy; she does not seek personal gratification, has never sought a job from the Town of North Hempstead or asked for political favors. Marianna is successful in what she does because she owes no favors and does not rely on the town to put food on her plate.
At last month’s meeting at Town Hall there appeared to be a lot of people against the town’s acquisition of this property. There are currently over 10 acres of land with a large pool, tennis courts and open space which have not been open to the public for the last five years. The town is trying to acquire this property in a “tax-neutral” manner and provide all its residents with another beautiful facility. At the meeting, it was clear that some of the opposition was based on incorrect assumptions which need to be clarified.
At a recent town meeting I observed some opposition to the possible acquisition of the Roslyn Country Club property mostly because of fears about its cost to the taxpayers. However, our represenatives are assuring us this will have little to no impact on the overtaxed tax payer. It will be revenue neutral because of an existing catering facility and membership dues.
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