I have known Anthony Vaglica for nine years, first as a customer, then a friend. He is one of the most helpful people I know. Anthony is quick to lend a hand and I have never doubted anything he has ever told me.
Anthony Vaglica will make an excellent fire commissioner and the Fire Department will be lucky to have him.
Eileen Amoriello, New Hyde Park
Anyone can throw their hat in the ring and want to fill this prestigious seat but it takes a man with integrity, dedication and a total committment to the overall goals of the firefighters and taxpayers to achieve and succeed in this position; and Rick Stein has done that for the past five years.
There are weeks I feel like I should wear a football helmet to the office. That’s because whenever powerful, special interest groups feel I’ve somehow threatened their status quo, they launch attacks. This past week a number of local teachers’ unions targeted me as the “deciding vote” in favor of the tax cap and, in that vote, as having participated in an attack on our children’s education.
I’d like to set the record straight. The tax cap passed the Senate with a near-unanimous 57-5 bi-partisan vote and was enthusiastically signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. It limits increases in school and local property taxes to 2 percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
We have been busy in the district with continued training in the Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching which will be used as the teacher evaluation tool for all staff in September of 2012. Teachers continue to meet and discuss the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Mathematics. New York State will be deciding next year as to whether they will continue their own state testing system or adapt the consortium assessment called PARC (Partners for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).
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.
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