In response to Susan Lerner’s opinion piece in Newsday on July 3, entitled “Voters Are The Losers In Nassau Fight,” The League of Women Voters of Nassau County believes in many of the same principles Ms Lerner proposes. As a nonpartisan organization, the league has repeatedly spoken before the county legislature and to the temporary advisory redistricting commission for a fairer and more transparent process for redistricting than is currently being considered by this advisory commission.
The league believes first that the advisory commission should conduct hearings to receive input from residents about how the process should occur and suggestions on how district lines should be drawn. Then, after the commission creates proposed districts, there should be additional public hearings to discuss them. These hearings should be in all three towns and two cities in Nassau County and should occur at a variety of times (day and evening) and at multiple locations in order to accommodate as many people as possible. Equally important is that all meeting locations be handicapped-accessible.
The real story of this past Independence Day was not the parade in Massapequa, which, as usual, was a big success. Instead, it was the unveiling of the plaque honoring John Capano, the deceased federal agent and Massapequa resident. Capano, it goes without saying, was an extraordinary individual, a man of uncommon courage. Abroad, he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Here at home, he had a long career in law enforcement, one that ended in tragedy. Remembering local heroes is one of the more attractive qualities of the Massapequa area. And so, congratulations to the Town of Oyster Bay for this worthy gesture. Along with a similar plaque to Sgt. Jason A. Santora, such public memorials will inspire future generations of young Long Islanders.
It is difficult to express my disappointment that the Assembly did not pass our CPR in Schools bill (S2491/A3980) to ensure that all students learn CPR before graduating from high school. In August of 2006, my 14-year-old daughter, Leah, went into sudden cardiac arrest while trying out for the volleyball team at Bethpage High School. Thankfully, Leah’s life was saved by her coach. However, to think that her fellow teammates could have saved her life as well after a short CPR lesson is empowering.
I am truly thankful to my representative, Senator Kemp Hannon, for sponsoring and helping champion the passage of the CPR in Schools legislation in the Senate. He is well aware how important this bill is to saving lives.
Aqua NY, which for years, was the major water supplier to customers in the Massapequa area has now been acquired by New York American Water. As reported in a recent issue of The Massapequan Observer, the new suppliers have gone public to assure customers that water rates will not change. Let’s hope so. We have also been contacted by anonymous readers delivering warnings about the ways of large corporations. In the entire controversy, residents in the Massapequa Water District obtained 5,400 signatures demanding the halt of groundwater contamination plume to local water supply wells. That vigilance is impressive and should always be reinvigorated if necessary.
When the past Democratic Party Nassau County Administration proposed the 13 percent general tax increase, the opposition lambasted the measure.
Many voters finally accepted the argument that the tax increase was avoidable. As a result, the Republicans gained control of the county executive office and the Nassau County legislative body. The 13 percent tax increase was eliminated, along with the home energy tax of $38 million, which would cost homeowners about $8 a month.
This Wednesday, July 4 is the nation’s 236th birthday. Some things about Independence Day have remained the same. People associate the day with fireworks. That has been true from the beginning, even though they were called “illuminations” back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some have changed. Independence Day was about far more than loud noises. It was once common practice for people to gather at a picnic and then for a local resident, usually the town lawyer, to get up and read the entire Declaration of Independence, right from “In the course of human events” to “we pledge our sacred honor.” We can think of only a few places where that is performed today and usually, it is only a portion of the document, not the entire text. There are probably millions and millions of college graduates who can’t even tell you who wrote the declaration not to mention what it says. The old practice of actually reading the declaration is one in dire need of revitalization.
Next week, Americans all across this great land will celebrate our nation’s 236th birthday. I’ve written previously that the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. It’s the beginning of summer and the coming months ahead are filled with the promise of warm days, golden sunshine, fun days at the beach, barbecues, picnics, and afternoons of relaxing in a hammock or lawn chair as a gentle summer breeze cools and refreshes.
Another unique aspect of the holiday is that it is a time to celebrate. Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day require a bit of solemnity – and rightly so I might add - in honor of all those who have given their lives for this country. However, Independence Day is a chance to be happy and celebrate all that is great about our country. While we should always remember the sacrifices of those who have protected our way of life, as well as those who are presently doing so, whether it is July 4th, Memorial Day or any average weekday, it’s also okay to spread some cheer on this patriotic day.
This month, Massapequa High School will hold its graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2012. Seniors will be congratulated on their achievements. They will also be receiving plenty of advice, mostly unsolicited. Here’s one more piece of advice. Many graduates will be going off to college, new places with numerous amenities, including large libraries, with hundreds of thousands of volumes. Take advantage of those libraries and what they have to offer, namely the world of possibility.
Due to the trials that both Nassau and Suffolk counties are experiencing with financial woes, I’d like to comment on an important sector of our population, our seniors. These daytime centers where they congregate on a daily basis are extremely important to their well-being. To sanction cutbacks and possibly limited availability would be devastating to them. I am employed at a daytime senior center. There are two cooks and we help prepare hot meals to our seniors on a daily basis. Aside from the usual senior center activities of bingo, cards, entertainment, outings and various classes, there is a daylong event that takes place once the summer months are here. On Fridays, a group of us accompany folks to Lido Beach for a day of fun and making memories.
As we were going to press, The Massapequan Observer received the same sad news as other local residents: Harry Jacobson, one of the giants of recent village history had passed away. From the time he moved to Massapequa in the early 1950s, Harry did more than just help to raise his growing family. He eagerly served the village in a range of capacities, providing leadership and educating a rising generation of leaders, also.
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