As a (taxpaying) resident of Nassau County I am writing to let my fellow residents know that at least one of their politicians is truly their advocate and very well worthy of his position.
That person is our Nassau County Legislator, Richard Nicolello. I was in somewhat of a legal battle with Nassau County, one that was dragging on for a year and a half and seemingly had no end in sight. After one phone call to Mr. Nicolello’s office my situation was resolved.
With the first column of 2012, on behalf of the village and my family, I wish all a happy and healthy New Year and congratulations to Williston Park Library Director Donna McKenna who is expecting twins.
As was noted at the last village board meeting, Joe Camisa, a village employee for more than 16 years and an Auxiliary Police Officer, passed away last week after a short but serious illness.
At the time of his death he was the Commander of the Williston Park Auxiliary Police Unit. In this capacity Joe gave a lot of himself to the Village of Williston Park. Those who serve with the Auxiliary Police are volunteers who are working mostly nights, weekends and holidays providing an extremely valuable service to our community. Since the early ’90s, Joe was an active participant with this group and gave freely of his time and energy. He will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go to out to his wife Dorine and three children.
New Hyde Park, for those who live here know it is an incredible town of individuals who care. For the most part one needs little fanfare to realize the true spirit of community that exists in this little town that sits on the boarder of Queens.
While there are many individuals one can point to, that go the extra mile - this writer wishes to draw attention to a young man, a family, a group of committed Americans who lucky for us, live in New Hyde Park.
I first met the Connor family, Joe and Mary – the source of strength and example for their eight children many years ago. Joe, a very straight, this is the way it is individual, captured your heart after a few words of conversation. Mary, smiling, calm and unassuming, was sure of her mission – and quietly went about it. Thus - a family who were schooled in charity, gave roots to the Gladiator Fund.
While it is true that the issues related to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” are not simple we should not be influenced by much of the misinformation that has been disseminated and we should base our decisions on the facts and develop a regulatory regime which can assure safety and environmental sensitivity.
It is ironic that natural gas development, which can reduce carbon emissions by a third compared to oil and a half compared to coal, is caught in an emotional debate over environmental impacts. As businessman and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, using data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, this abundant new gas source has reduced our oil imports from 60 percent in 2005 to 47 percent today. Recent events in the Middle East should reinforce the need for a U.S. energy policy based on domestic natural gas.
I love the holiday season but like many of you, there are some time-consuming, tedious aspects that I can do without. Shopping is definitely not my bag but, more than anything else, the jumble of lights that patiently waits for me in the attic, tangled beyond recognition, is what annually unsettles me. Regardless, I have been officially designated the master de-tangler of all twisted strands in our household, and it’s a title I hold proudly.
As I sit down with a cup of coffee to contemplate my approach, they seem as great a hassle as any obstacle I routinely face in Albany and I usually spend several hours procrastinating, asking myself why I didn’t take more care in putting them away. I know that I could simply throw them all away and buy new ones but I resist the temptation as I know full-well the problem will re-create itself next holiday season. No, there’s nothing to it but to put on some holiday music and begin the task of patient untangling, testing strands and bulbs as I go. Some things are tedious and just take time.
I want to thank all the taxpayers, friends and neighbors who came out and voted in the highly contested Fire Department election on December 13 and voted me back for another five years as New Hyde Park Fire Commissioner. In addition, I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation for all the people who worked behind the scenes to see that my message and word reached the majority of the voting public.
I can assure you that myself and the New Hyde Park Board of Fire Commissioners will continue to serve our community in the manner we have for the past five years and will set even higher goals for ourselves to prove that the residents interests are forefront in our minds and safety and education for our volunteers will continue to gain momentum as we move forward in the New Year. Securing grants and additional monies from the state and federal government as we have recently, will allow us to keep taxes at a minimum.
As representatives of many voices in the breast cancer community on Long Island, our coalition urges Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State since 25 percent of chemicals used in the fracking process have been demonstrated to cause cancer or mutations. Hydrofracking companies use products containing 13 different known and suspected carcinogens. Two of those carcinogens, benzene and ethylene oxide are linked with breast cancer as cited recently by a report released by the Institute of Medicine.
Moreover, 37 percent of chemicals in fracking fluids are endocrine disruptors which alter hormonal signaling and in doing so can place cells on the pathway to tumor formation. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals has been implicated in cancers of the breast, prostate, pituitary, testicle, and ovary.
Recent Op-Ed pieces in prominent newspapers have suggested that with proper regulatory oversight, hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” can be accomplished safely in New York, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and bringing much needed economic benefits to hard-hit areas of the state. If the issue was that simple, and if the statements were true, surely everyone would be in favor.
But the facts don’t support these statements, and the issue is not as simple as the TV ads would have citizens believe. Fracking is an inherently dangerous and destructive extreme form of energy extraction that brings with it a myriad of serious environmental and economic problems. Now that we have the opportunity to see how fracking has actually impacted citizens in Pennsylvania and other states, we can more easily distinguish fact from fantasy and make smarter choices for New York.
Scholars have pondered for years the meaning of Christmas.
It has been described as a time of giving, caring and loving. The thing that most stands out, however, in my mind are the words to a very old song that was included on a Christmas album. I have no idea of the name of the song, but the words, as closely as I recall, went something like this….
We honor the peacemakers that all shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Of all things good with the world
In every season, good is everything.
To marvel at the Word unfurled with
Truth and grace altogether awakened.
He came to us when we floundered
To deliver a precious message.
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