Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
I want to take a moment to clear some things up. There’s been speculation in the New York and Washington media the last few weeks that I would be running for Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s congressional seat here on Long Island, as she is retiring after nearly two decades of service. While I am honored by the outpouring of support encouraging me to do so, I will be continuing my work with the New York State Senate.
I admit that I am tempted to try to bring some common sense to the three-ring circus that’s set up tent in Washington. You may recall that I ran against the incumbent Ms. McCarthy for that very seat six years ago and since that time, Congress’ inability to get anything done seems to have only gotten worse. But it wasn’t that long ago that Albany suffered the same malady. Thankfully we’re turning that around but the bi-partisan progress we’ve made in our state capitol is in no way safe.
The reality is that Albany is the real arbiter of our day-to-day lives here on Long Island. Everything from the mass transit, to the taxes we pay, to how our children are educated, is ultimately decided there. Not that long ago, the system was broken, as a lopsided government raised our taxes more than $14 billion. Long Island commuters were hit with an unfair commuter tax, while city residents got a pass. Property taxes spiraled upwards as our school aid was routinely diverted to other parts of the state. Even our STAR property tax rebates vanished while scandals became the weekly sideshow. Here on the island, businesses fled and our neighbors followed. There was no balance in our capitol. Long Island was openly ignored, so we always got the short end of the stick.
I wanted that to stop, so I ran for state senate. I went to Albany to try and rid us of that tone-deaf dysfunction so we could right the ship. Together with some like-minded people we struck down the MTA payroll tax, restored the STAR rebates for homeowners, and
recaptured Long Island’s fair share of school aid for our children. We even lowered the state income taxes of 4 million middle class New Yorkers to the lowest they’ve been in 58 years. Low and behold, a Republican senate worked hand-in hand with a Democratic governor and a Democratic assembly to actually get things done. We showed the nation that a balanced government works best.
We are finally overcoming the bemused resignation that was so common in Albany and we’re making cooperation between political parties primary to the people’s business. But that can be undone in the blink of an eye. That’s why I’m not running for Congress.
I refuse to give up what we fought so hard to accomplish.
Make no mistake, there are those who would love nothing more than to return one-sided, New York City-centric dominance to Albany so they don’t have to think, or negotiate, or explain a darn thing to anyone. But the great philosopher Voltaire wrote that
“Democracy is noisy,” and believe it or not, it still works. True progress is achieved only when both sides have to work with one another. We can’t afford to return to unchecked complacency.
There’s still a lot to do in New York but I feel more hopeful and confident than ever. I still love being your senator, I like a good fight, and I love it when the dust settles and we get things done.
I want to thank all of you who wrote to me and especially those who called me personally about a Congressional run, but it’s just too important to the suburbs of New York that both parties continue to have a voice in state government. We are still getting our own house in order and I remain committed to that task.
Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:00
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.
Friday, 19 September 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 18 September 2014 00:00
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.”
Thursday, 11 September 2014 00:00
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.