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From the desk of NY State Senator Jack Martins: March 13, 2012

That Dog Don’t Hunt

In the South, if you were to make a plan that isn’t particularly sound or useful, you might hear someone utter, “That dog don’t hunt.”

For example, if a husband planned to golf on his wedding anniversary, that’s definitely “a dog that don’t hunt.”  His decision to smooth things over by telling his wife he’ll take her along - even more so.  If she responds with tickets to a Broadway show on Super Bowl Sunday – well, you get the picture.

In my 10 years as an elected official, first as a mayor, now as a senator, I’ve seen quite a few bad ideas, these proverbial dogs that don’t hunt.  The most recent among these was the reported possibility that waste water from hydro-fracking in upstate New York might be processed at treatment plants on Long Island. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the issue, hydro-fracking involves injecting water and sand along with chemicals into rock formations at high pressure to fracture the shale and release the natural gas trapped within it.  The resulting flow back of liquid slurry is a dangerous mixture of chemicals that could, if not handled properly, contaminate the underground water supplies of nearby communities.  The process has not been approved in New York and is currently a source of debate, much of it centering on that liquid slurry.

In fact, in April 2010, the State Department of Environmental Conservation concluded that hydraulic fracturing would not be permitted in the drinking watersheds for New York City.  That’s probably one of the reasons why New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports hydro-fracking.  His city’s water supplies are already protected.

So the obvious question is why on earth would we accept millions of gallons of that wastewater here at our Long Island treatment plants?  Long Island is surrounded by saltwater, so we derive all of our drinking water from groundwater.  In fact, Nassau and Suffolk counties depend on a sole source aquifer for drinking water and consume an estimated 375 million gallons of water per day just from this source.  Clearly, communities like ours that rely almost exclusively on a single water source can’t afford the possibility of hazardous waste seeping into their supply.  

Now, there are certain things I am willing to accept from upstate.  More money from Albany in education aid to our schools would be one, additional funding to rebuild our deteriorating roads would be another.  Contaminated waste water would not be.  That’s why I introduced a bill (S.6583) that would ban the treatment, storage or processing of that drilling fluid as well as any waste resulting from the exploration, development, extraction or production of crude oil or natural gas, in areas that rely on a single water source such as Long Island. 

You’ll often see me stress in this column the need for people, especially in government, to listen to each other’s ideas.  It’s not just that I’d like to see us return to a more civil discourse, but the fairest solutions to the most difficult problems are usually compromises.  And I think it’s safe to say we’ve seen a lot more of that mindset in Albany this past year than we have for a long time.  

But there are occasions when some ideas are simply not palpable to me or to my constituents. Those dogs don’t hunt and this is clearly one of them. 

When it comes to hydro-fracking, my philosophy is simple: we can’t let economics trump environmental safety.  I hope you’ll agree that protecting our water supplies is job one and that this bill merits your support.  

News

Winthrop University Hospital employee Jeffrey Brenner, a hyperbaric technician with the Life Support Technologies group in Mineola, recently received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Louis J. Acampora Heart Saver Award at a dinner at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The award is named for a Long Island teenager who succumbed to a sporting injury that is understood to have been preventable if a cardiac medical device had been immediately on-scene and applied. 

 

“I hope that I have made a real difference in my town and the world around me to help prevent death and improve the quality of people’s lives” said Brenner.

The Wheatley School recently hosted an Item Writing Workshop for more than 100 language teachers representing districts across New York State.  The workshop was sponsored by the Foreign Language Association of Chairpersons and Supervisors (FLACS), the professional organization that has assumed responsibility for the creation and administration of the FLACS

Checkpoint A and B Exams (formerly the NYS Second Language Proficiency and Regents Exams).


Sports

After consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up in the men’s golf Player of the Year for the Skyline Conference, Christian Bleck of St. Joseph’s took home first place in a rather unlikely turn of events. 

 

After a herniated disc caused the Chaminade High School alum to miss every event after the first week of the season until the conference tournament, Bleck returned—without even having the luxury of practicing a full 18 holes—and competed with the best players the conference has to offer. 

Cross-Country Crowned Champs

The Mineola Mustang boys cross-country team won the division 4A championship recently at Bethpage State Park.  This is the first championship for the program since 1974, ending a 40-year championship drought. 

 

Mineola defeated Seaford, who also entered the undefeated in division competition, 38-20.  Overcoming rain and high winds throughout the race, many Mustangs ran personal records for the 5K in route to the victory.


Calendar

Mineola School Meeting - November 20

Fools Rush In - November 21

Mustangs Face Roosevelt - November 22 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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