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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

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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