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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: December 7, 2012

Works Of Fiction

I was advised not to write this column.  I was told it wasn’t politically expedient, that it would most certainly ruffle some feathers.  But I’ve always maintained that I would shoot straight with my constituents, and I think I my recent re-election means that most of you appreciate that effort.    

That being said, we’ve all had the experience at some time or another in our lives of having worked hard for something – sometimes very hard – only to watch someone else swoop in at the last minute and take credit for our hard work.  It’s not only personally frustrating to witness someone else be recognized for something they didn’t do, it’s also disconcerting to watch as they try to pull the wool over people’s eyes.  Some politicians truly believe that their own constituents are so uninformed that they can make things up and no one will call them on it.  That attitude was on display when a local resident from Elmont sent me the recent letter that his Nassau County legislator mailed to constituents. 

The letter outlined the slate of road safety projects planned for Hempstead Turnpike and the legislator wasted no time in claiming credit for them. The opening line reads, “I am pleased to announce that my office together with the New York State Department of Transportation has made it possible for improvements to pedestrian safety along the Hempstead Turnpike corridor to be implemented.”  Let me be abundantly clear: at no time was the county legislator ever involved in the heavy lifting, or any lifting for that matter, that made this possible. The fact is it’s a state road, not a county road.  The state, not the county, will be improving it.

With my colleagues, Senator Skelos and Senator Hannon, who also represent communities along Hempstead Turnpike, we worked with Governor Cuomo to commit resources to revamp traffic signals, crosswalks, center medians, and improved signage. The improvements will make Hempstead Turnpike safer, no question about it.  But the point of this column isn’t who gets credit for safety enhancements to a road, it’s about honesty and integrity, virtues oftentimes missing in today’s political world.  

In sending an update on legislative activities one has to wonder why a Nassau County legislator wouldn’t give his constituents an update on county issues.  What is being done to restore county funding for after-school youth programs like GYO?  What about addressing the county tax assessments which saw many homeowners’ taxes increase?  What are they doing to address the annual overspending and deficit borrowing we’ve seen from county government and how can they put us on a course to no longer need NIFA oversight?  It seems to me that there’s plenty to be done and it absolutely can get done when people put aside the partisan bickering to work on real answers.

For those who received the legislator’s letter, you probably already know who wrote it. For the rest of you, I simply remind you that governing is a two-way street that requires your input and your staying informed. Just like Hempstead Turnpike, it can be made better when people are willing to work together. By all means, support local leaders when warranted, but remember that honesty and integrity are essential to holding elected officials accountable.  With them, we can dig our way out of any mess.

News

Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner last week stood fast against paying an “excessive” water bill from neighboring village and supplier Williston Park, following a loss in a second round of legal battles.

 

Tanner said Williston Park sent East Williston a bill for $600,000 last week based on water rate increases East Williston refused to pay while pursuing two lawsuits that contested the rate hikes.

 

Williston Park is seeking $300,000 in interest and penalties following a recent state Appellate Court decision upholding the second of two water rate increases imposed on East Williston. Tanner said East

Williston will only pay approximately $250,000 of the $300,000  Williston Park seeking to recover in unpaid fees based on the two increases.

A lawsuit brought by O’Carroll’s Recovery Room Bar and Grill owner Jeremiah O’Carroll against the Village of Mineola was settled recently. However, Mineola prevailed in its decision on a December 2013 application from O’Carroll to open a second business. He challenged the board of trustees’ denial of his request to open a health food store/shake shop next door to his business.

 

“We settled it by him accepting the original decision,” village attorney John Spellman said. “The restaurant is going to be all one [space]. The agreement said he has to have a permanent opening between the two buildings and a permanent opening between the front space and back space. It’s all the circulation of one business.”


Sports

Mineola runners PJ Diskin, Kaitlin Phelps, and Yuri Karasz were award winners in the Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9.

The Mineola 9U Hurricanes recently completed its summer baseball season as the NJBL 9U Central Division Champions, finishing 10-2-1 on the year and secured a second place spot entering the playoffs.

The Hurricanes beat the North Shore Spartans for the fourth time this season in a playoff win in walk-off fashion as they came from behind to win 4-3 earning the Hurricanes a berth into the championship series. 


Calendar

Leisure Club Opportunity - August 20

International Night - August 21

Check Your Medications - August 22


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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