Almost a year ago, Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, was murdered allegedly by a group of high school boys on a hate-crime spree. Shortly after the murder I was invited to participate as one of six panelists in an online forum sponsored by Newsday.
High school rugby is alive and well on Long Island. The LIU19 Colts rugby club is a community-based club open to all students from ninth to 12th grade. Middle school students are welcome to come and learn the skills of the game but we cannot promise playing time as we do not schedule teams in their age bracket at the present time. High school rugby in the U.S. is strictly a spring sport. The Colts winter practice starts after Thanksgiving when the football season ends and consists of one two-hour session on Saturday or Sunday mornings at 11 a.m. depending on weather conditions. Once the season gets under way in March we go to a Tuesday and Thursday 5 p.m. practice at Glen Cove. The Colts play a 10-game schedule and field an A and B side each week. Everyone gets a full game every game day during the season. The Colts draw players from schools in Nassau County, Eastern Queens and Western Suffolk.
I am proud to announce that my proposed 2010 county budget freezes county property taxes. There will be no increase in county taxes next year and the county portion of your total property tax bill will represent only 16.9 percent of the overall property tax bill. That’s down from 22.7 percent the day I took office in January 2002.
I was reading recently how Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss is now devoting himself to promoting the education of “civics” in our schools in order to give our children real-world knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom about how to run our government. I never realized that Mr. Dreyfuss and I had so much in common and I enthusiastically join his call to bring back civic education.
We hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather and later part of the summer now that the rain has gone away. The rain this season was good for our gardens, lawns and flowers, but as drier weather continues, many of us will continue watering and using irrigation systems to keep our properties green.
I just got back from vacationing in the Pacific Northwest with some old Long Island friends who had relocated there. The very folks that the summit was concerned about. As I read the recommendations—affordable housing and downtown redevelopment—something bothered me. I agree with them, wholeheartedly, yet I couldn’t help feeling that something was being overlooked.
The per capita cost of health care in the U.S. is the highest of any industrialized nation in the world. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. ranks 37th in the world in the quality of health care.
We are extremely disappointed with the lifting of the injunction on the expanded bottle bill provisions. Federal Judge Batts’ decision last week to immediately implement the terms of expansion as described in the governor’s budget will create nothing short of chaos in the marketplace.
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America, several artists joined together to produce a soft cover book entitled 9/11: Artists Respond. The book of graphic art showcases the artists’ responses to the terror that befell the world. One nine-frame piece by Jeph Loeb and Scott Campbell entitled “Please Stand By…” features a girl of about eight years of age watching cartoons on television. By the third and fourth frames, the image on the screen changes to a live feed of the Twin Towers ablaze. As the little girl stands transfixed, stuffed animal in hand and her face less than 12 inches from the screen, the commentator announces, “We interrupt this program to take you live…” the little girl turns away and calls, “Mommy…” The next three frames show her mother dropping a basket of laundry. Then, with her face contorted in anguish, the mother embraces her daughter to shield her from the unrelenting images. The final frame is a close-up of the little girl asking, “Mommy, when are the cartoons gonna come back on?”
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