My office released a report which found many troubling demographic trends. The study found that the Nassau County population has remained stagnant since 2000 and will decline by 3 percent over the next 10 years, while the ages 60 and over population will be increasing from about 22 percent of the total population today to more than 27 percent. More worrisome is that our young adults between the ages of 10- to 19 years-old and our children between 0 to 9 years are declining at alarming rates. This highlights that about 11 percent of our young adults go off to college and do not return for local careers, and our 0- to 9-year-old school-age children population will decline by more than 60,000 by 2024 compared to 2000. These trends will have serious negative consequences on our local economy, our schools, property taxes and housing values.
As the Thanksgiving grocery list nears completion and turkeys are reserved at farms and food stores, a lumbering giant casts a large, round shadow over that Thursday of food, family, football and forty winks.
With rosey cheeks, long white beard and an overweight man’s gait, Santa Claus continues his annual mission: to crowd the national consciousness as soon as the calendar flips from October to November, completely eclipsing Thanksgiving in the process. Many folks talk about a “war on Christmas,” arguing that the phrase “happy holidays” robs them of their Yule
Tide pride. But the real national travesty can be seen on television daily—an endless parade of the red and green horror show that is Christmas consumerism.
West Africa has an Ebola outbreak. It has become global. Hysteria abounds. It is not theirs alone. It is now humanity’s outbreak which has no borders. However, in fact, everything in the world today transcends borders: from the Internet to capitalism to climate change to wars.
Michael Miller wrote a piece in last week’s edition that was viciously anti-Christopher Columbus. It would have made his intelligent and sophisticated cocktail party, too-smart-to-like Columbus types proud. Michael even pointed out in the column that after Columbus landed in the New World, that “millions died.” Now Michael, Columbus made his voyage in 1492. Columbus died in 1506. That’s 14 years to kill millions. I think that would qualify as a holocaust. But I have never heard of the Columbian Holocaust. I would bet that Michael Miller went to public schools his whole life who supported this ridiculous theory that explorers were evil-doers and that we are benefiting from their evil deeds done on the backs on native Americans who are still today victims of our savage European ancestors. Just wanted to let you know that at my daughter’s Catholic school, everybody celebrated Columbus for days leading up to Oct. 12, recognizing his bravery and determination and courage, and nobody pouted or wrung their hands like Mr. Miller seems to when he thinks about Columbus Day.
James J. Di Maio, MD
Many confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day, but the difference is easy to remember.
While Veterans Day is observed each Nov. 11 to honor veterans who have died, the holiday also thanks and honors all men and women who have served honorably in the military—in wartime and peacetime. Veterans Day is, for the most part, to thank living veterans for their service to the nation, acknowledging their contributions to national security and defending the freedoms of our country. All veterans, both living and deceased, who have served honorably, sacrificed and done their duty, are celebrated.
In contrast, on Memorial Day, we remember and honor only military personnel and veterans who died while serving their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.
In case you haven’t noticed by the abundance of fundraising walks or pink that’s popping up everywhere, be it in the world of sports (bats, cleats) or fashion (tons of ribbons), we’re neck-deep in Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make no mistake that awareness for this disease is crucial and comes in the form of early detection, genetic susceptibility or making lifestyle choices. According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, it will claim approximately 40,000 American lives this year and more than 228,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. and nearly 2,200 of those are men. It’s easy to get caught up in becoming a slacktivist when you think sporting a pink ribbon for the month is making any kind of inroads against this disease when the reality is that discussing the causes and prevention of breast cancer it's a productive way of battling cancer. For many, it’s easy to become an annual version of the ice bucket challenge.
Dave Gil de Rubio
The basic facts of the news story are that retired NYPD officer Michael Elardo’s hit-and-run killing of 13-year-old Bryanna Soplin has resulted in his being fined $2,500 and sentenced to possibly up to four years in prison. Case closed, and justice is now officially deemed to have been served. But I don’t view it that way, and here are some of the reasons I consider this verdict an injustice.
After Mr. Elardo hit Bryanna Soplin with his car, he left her dying in the street and fled, not turning himself in until 42 hours later. So, technically, this was not a case of “hit-and-run,” but a hit-and-drive-away-like-an-irresponsible coward-rather-than-like-a-cop-with-a-conscience case. If he had immediately stopped and administered his policeman’s training first aid to Bryanna, or driven her to the nearby hospital, perhaps her life could have been saved.
Recently, a friend of mine told me about the trees that are designated for demolition along South Oyster Bay Road. The removal of these 180+ trees, which is currently underway, spans the distance between Syosset and Bethpage. A debate surrounds this issue, with residents on one side and county officials on the other. Those in favor of the demotion state that the trees, which are at least 40 years old, have uprooted sidewalks along South Oyster Bay Road. This poses a serious safety concern for those who walk there. Those opposed have stated that trees lend a charm and beauty to the area; they have also argued that trees help the ecosystem, as well as offer shade from the heat. As anyone who has driven along the roadway knows, rush hour traffic can be hampered by the angle of the sun at that time.
It recently came to light that the Nassau County Department of Public Works has begun a project to remove close to 200 grand old trees along roads spanning Syosset, Plainview, Hicksville and Bethpage. According to the department, the decision was made to remove these 30- to 40-foot behemoths and their far-reaching roots after years of complaints from residents about buckling sidewalks and damaged roadways.
My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting with New York State Senator Kemp Hannon on Sept. 4 to discuss our significant concerns with the Common Core Curriculum. The senator graciously agreed to meet and spent almost an hour with us, listening to the issues associated with the curriculum.
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