On Jan. 24, we residents of South Strathmore were blindsided at a Town Hall meeting regarding the construction of a second story addition to the western end of the Apple Shopping Center just yards from our homes.
We had come, once again, to voice our concerns about any expansion of this commercial property, which reaches so deeply into our neighborhood and into our very lives. Instead, we found that our town officials, the proprietors of the shopping center, the lawyers, the planners and maybe even the residents of Strathmore Village already seemed to have agreed that this was a “done deal.” Only we residents of South Strathmore were surprised.
At the hands of absentee commercial landlords, and arrogant utilities we have endured fires, floods, electrical explosions, the decimation of the little woods that was supposed to buffer our backyards from the busy commercial property above us, the construction of a two-story industrial concrete wall in our neighbors’ backyards, the subsequent collapse of that wall, the misery of months of the clean-up and the construction of yet another three-tiered concrete wall in its place.
According to Mr. Catell, since 2008 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has been conducting a comprehensive review “of fracking’s environmental impacts and has proposed stringent standards for controlling and mitigating them.” The New York State DEC Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) supports the issuance of thousands of fracking permits that have been sold across the state, but according to the Sierra Atlantic Winter 2011 newsletter, the SGEIS, “…lacks a full formal health impact assessment.” Issuing fracking permits before conducting a full evaluation of public health risks, threatens to expose New Yorkers to the carcinogens identified in other states soon after gas drilling began. It is unacceptable to ignore the absence of this important SGEIS component and for the DEC to consider monitoring health issues after drilling has begun before formal regulations approved by the legislature are in place. The potential for human exposure to carcinogenic pollutants is a serious concern. A conservative, cautious, protective regulatory approach is required. The DEC is responsible for the strict oversight of people’s health and the environment. Why haven’t state health officials spoken up on behalf of the people of New York State? If the DEC overlooked the SGEIS human health impact assessment component and supports the sale of fracking permits, how can we rely on them to assure our safely? Will the DEC complete the SGEIS with a full formal human health impact assessment before the legislature approves the regulations?
On July 6, 2011, the trustees of the Village of Flower Hill, in the presence of a substantial number of village residents, voted against paying insurance benefits for the mayor, deputy mayor, and the trustees. In spite of this vote, the taxpayers are still paying for the elected officials insurance costs. The 2011 yearly health care cost for each elected official was $18,513.83. Since 2006, the elected officials have been receiving these benefits. The total cost for each year is as follows:
The League is extremely disappointed that there has been no change in the legislatively-controlled LATFOR process that produced the proposed state legislative district lines. The League for decades has called for an independent commission to draw fair lines devoid of partisan gerrymandering.
Competitive elections are the lifeblood of democracy and these proposed lines are drawn to ensure political incumbency of the parties in power for the next decade. It is therefore no surprise that they have been the subject of so much criticism given the inherent self-interest of the process. One of the first, and clearest, critiques of the lines comes from our colleague Bill Mahoney at NYPIRG, who looked at a rising population inequality among all the districts. His analysis makes evident that the process has resulted in even more gerrymandered lines in the state Senate than those produced through previous cycles of political gerrymandering.
(Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to the Superintendent of Manhasset Schools, Charles Cardillo, and to the Manhasset Press for publication.)
Thank you for the presentation the other night regarding APPR. Having worked in the private sector for decades, I am familiar with performance reviews, especially when you are in a position that requires measurable results, such as sales. It appears that performance reviews for teachers will be based on measurable results as well, namely test scores.
In Manhasset, we show very successful student performance, as I witnessed last week at the National Junior Honor Society induction, where approximately half the eighth grade were awarded their certificate. Are we to assume that this is the result of superior teachers? I know we have many fine teachers, however there are other factors that culminate in our children’s academic successes. Academic success is built into the culture of our community by the expectations we set for our children, our parenting, and our children’s own abilities and determination. In Manhasset where many families have the resources, we compensate for poor teachers or difficult curriculum by getting our children tutors or providing them with our own time and knowledge to fill in the gaps. Giving children more tests to evaluate teachers is an injustice to our children and an incomplete and misleading indicator by which to judge teachers.
Recently our father Arthur J. Schultheiss died. He spent many years in the Manhasset community, serving as the mayor of Munsey Park for 10 years. One of the people on the village staff at that time was a fellow Marine, Willie Mead. They did not serve together but they shared the bond of the USMC. Willie was the first person to come to the services and pay his respects. He brought us a replica of the ‘Schultheiss Circle’ street sign, the road outside the Village Hall named in honor of Dad. Willie flew the flags in Munsey Park at half mast the day Dad was buried. And when the funeral procession drove past the Village Hall around Schultheiss Circle, Willie Mead stood at attention saluting. A photo of him is attached. In the weeks since Dad has died, we have thought about Willie saluting our father more than anything else. Willie Mead is a true gentleman and we would like to thank him for the tribute and his friendship to our Dad.
A miracle is unfolding in the backyards of the houses along Crabapple Road in Flower Hill. On Monday morning, Jan. 9, I woke to the sound of several LIPA trucks that were beginning the process of upgrading electrical wiring along a line that separates Flower Hill from Munsey Park starting at Port Washington Boulevard and running west.
For years our neighborhood has been suffering from ongoing blackouts. Every time it rained there was a real fear of loss of power and in fact last August when there was no rain or wind power was lost, accompanied by a temporary surge that destroyed tens of thousands of dollars of electrical appliances in houses up and down Crabapple Road. In the past I had written a number of letters to LIPA (some printed in the Manhasset Press) complaining about these power losses as well as the old and decrepit wiring.
I read your Jan. 5, front page article about Gary Ackerman with interest. Even in a holiday message the congressman sounds like the misguided liberal that he is. The article quotes Mr. Ackerman as saying: “We’re not getting done what we were sent to do.” Considering the state of our economy, do the people of Manhasset really want more liberalism?
In fact, the Democrats did get what they wanted. Leading with such legislation as ObamaCare to socialize our health care system, plus billions of dollars of the people’s money to stimulate the economy. Result: a clear failure. Then President Obama and his fellow Democrats went on to subsidize individual firms who obviously supported them financially at the expense of the people. (Remember $535 million Obama gave to Solyndra.)
As we put the holiday decorations and presents away, we reflect on all the abundant good graces at this time of the year. In the spirit of this sentiment, I was struck by an incident, which contrasted with the tone of the season.
On Christmas Eve our family made its usual plan to attend the 4 p.m. Family Mass at St. Mary’s Church.
Having been cooking and preparing most of the day for the evening celebration, we made sure to leave home in what we assumed was ample time to secure seats. We arrived at church at 3:25.
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.
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