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.
Tributes to Craig Lagnese, who’s untimely death prompted many tributes to him. He was a teacher at Herricks High School and the head of the Herricks Teacher Association.(HTA).
Having been in Herricks for over 20 years, it wasn’t until I met Craig that I saw the person who I believed could be the leader that we desperately needed. Craig worked tirelessly to help everyone. It was because of his honesty and fortitude for righteousness that so many members became involved in the HTA.
We need strong leadership as exemplified by the existing Fire Commissioner Rick Stein...he has held leadership positions in the NHP Fire Department, NYC Fire Department, and Fire Island Fire Department, as well as the Police Auxiliary, the Elks, the Lions, the Boy Scouts, the courthouse, and he has been the man in the red suit at the NHP Christmas town tree lighting ceremony for over 30 years!
When Anthony Vaglica told me he was planning on running for fire commissioner, I knew he was making the right decision for New Hyde Park. His business expertise will help him make positive changes in the fire department that are sensible and cost effective.
The taxpayer will benefit from having Anthony Vaglica as the new fire department commissioner in New Hyde Park. We need a commissioner who knows how to balance the needs of the volunteers with the safety of our community.
Fran Lisio, New Hyde Park
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