Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 16 March 2012 00:00
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.
Saturday, 27 September 2014 00:00
As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what
exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00
East Williston resident Brian Advocate-Ross addressed the Village of East Williston Board of Trustees earlier this month about an alleged drug problem at 386 Roslyn Rd. Advocate-Ross lives next to the house, and alleged to the village that there is “abundant drug use going on there—they’ve got people coming and going all day long, parking all over the place, and I have a little museum of drug paraphernalia that they throw over the fence.”
Advocate-Ross, who said a school two blocks away from the house, is primarily concerned about the safety of his four young children, and said he has called the police at the Third Precinct numerous times and expressed disappointment.
“I’m tired of calling them, they do nothing,” Advocate-Ross said. “My 6-year-old is finding what they throw over the fence and bringing them to me. I’m not going to tolerate it.”
The Third Precinct declined to comment.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said. “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).
Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.