U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman the presumed Ranking Democratic member of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia issued the following statement today:
“After learning of J-Street’s current public call for the Obama Administration to not veto a prospective UN Security Council resolution that, under the rubric of concern about settlement activity, would effectively and unjustly place the whole responsibility for the current impasse in the peace process on Israel, and—critically—would give fresh and powerful impetus to the effort to internationally isolate and delegitimize Israel, I’ve come to the conclusion that J-Street is not an organization with which I wish to be associated.
On January 8, 2011 The New York Times ran a story about California and Governor Jerry Brown. It talked about decisions made by Governor Brown when he was governor the first time and the ramifications of decisions he made 33 years ago in response to Proposition 13.
The last time Jerry Brown was governor of California, voters passed Proposition 13, drastically slashing local property taxes and constraining lawmakers from raising any other taxes. Mr. Brown first fought the proposition but then executed it with gusto and sent billions of dollars from the state to school districts and counties to help offset the lost revenues.
That may be the decision that Mr. Brown has come to regret, as his career has come full circle and taken him back to Sacramento 33 years later to confront yet another budget crisis.
“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These three rights are strongly defended and loved by the American people. In fact, we have fought wars and risked lives to protect them. As we recall the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the court case that legalized abortion, we must ask ourselves: what about the rights of the 47 million babies who have been killed since 1973?
During the Second World War, America helped put an end to the cruel concentration camps in Europe. Yet today, an even greater, silent holocaust is waged within our very own borders. Every year, over a million babies are aborted. In short, the most fundamental right, that of life, which is the basis of all the others, is being denied to our own people. Some may ask whether the unborn child is really a human. The answer is yes. Science tells us that the unborn baby has a distinct, unchanging, and unrepeatable genetic code, unique in all of history, from the moment of conception till death.
This past year has been a successful one for the Friends of the Williston Park Library. The Friends were able to give each child a book at the start of the summer reading program. We are in our second year of providing free passes for the Long Island Children’s Museum and the Cradle of Aviation. We hosted several free programs including Mike from “A Photographer’s Place,” Marty Adler – Talks of Brooklyn, Barber Shop Quartet and Merilee Melodies.
The Friends will be making a donation toward the building of a library in Southern Ethiopia from funds raised at the Williston Street Fair. Todd Schlitt, former children’s librarian, has contacted us in regard to this endeavor.
After my last article, I feel it necessary to provide additional information regarding snowstorms of more than two inches. Once the fallen snow reaches a depth of two inches a snow emergency is declared by the mayor.
At that point cars must be removed from the streets or a summonses is issued to the owner of the offending vehicle. According to the village code the emergency doesn’t end until 18 hours after snow has stopped falling. The fine for tickets issued is $150. If the fine is not paid within 30 days the fine increases to $300. Therefore, in case of a pending or actual snowstorm, Please move your vehicle off the street. Besides avoiding a hefty fine, this will allow our employees to plow effectively, to better ensure, as best as possible, safe, passable village roads.
At the conclusions of the last Herricks School Board meeting I turned, approached the newly elected president of the Herricks Teachers Association (HTA) so I could wish him Happy New Year and to see if he in any way would re-consider helping out our community in these extremely difficult times. His rude and insulting response was that he would never speak to me in public or in private. Is this what we have come to? What kind of union leader and more importantly, Herrick’s employees would act like this in public and treat a resident of this community like that? Do we need to fear being able to attend public school board meetings and professing our opinions for everyone to hear? Isn’t communication the key to solving issues? We don’t hide behind a secret veil; we publicly profess our views without personal insult to any individual member of the HTA. Then to be publicly humiliated in front of other residents who witnessed the display of rude behavior, that is where the line of personal attack and insults were crossed.
The United States has spent much of the last decade focused on increased accountability. So far there is relatively little to show for this, but the focus on this area is important and long overdue. Parents and students need to know whether achievement is real and substantial and whether they are fully prepared to take the next step – from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school and from high school to college or career – when schools say they are. The communities that invest their money in their schools need to know this as well.
Much of the attention over the past decade and currently has been on trying to improve the Grades 3-8 assessments. There are, for example, two large multi-state consortia currently working on much more sophisticated assessments for elementary and middle school students which would be implemented in 2014-15. (They will probably look much like the NWEA assessments which Herricks and a number of other districts began using last year.) While it is frustrating that we have to wait until 2014-15 to get assessments which come closer to actually measuring what we want students to know and be able to do, this is progress.
The residents of the Village must give a big round of applause to Tom Gannon, the new superintendent of the department of public works, and his dedicated men for the superb job they did in the village during the recent snowstorm.
Their hard work in moving all the snow around so travel was a bit easier for residents and businesses solidifies why living in the Village of New Hyde Park is a true blessing.
With only a few weeks under his belt as the new “super” he got hit with a major blizzard that crippled half of the East Coast over the Christmas week-end, and Gannon got his first dose of reality in his new position and he handled it like a trouper.
I would like to thank our residents, businesses and the employees of Nassau County for their patience and cooperation during last week’s blizzard. With the storm dumping over 16 inches of snow in our community, County employees mobilized early the morning after Christmas Day to deal with its cleanup. Crews were instructed to plow lanes adequate for travel in both directions. First priorities for snow removal included major thorough fares and access to emergency services. In all, over 100 County employees were involved in clearing roadways and dropping over 2,880 pounds of salt on our roadways. When those County roadways were cleared, snow plowing operations were sent to assist towns and villages who requested such help with residential streets.
As I write, I can hear the wind howling outside on a frigid December evening. Yesterday Williston Park and the rest of the metropolitan area were hit with a storm of major proportions. Village employees, under the direction of Keith Bunnell, worked, in shifts, from Sunday at approximately 4 p.m. until approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday. They were out in force, plowing every street in our village a number of times. They are to be commended for their efforts. Both Keith and Kerry Collins worked more than 24 hours straight to oversee this operation. Thanks to both.
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