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From The Desk Of Senator Jack Martins

Putting Our House In Order

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.


News

Mineola Street Fair coordinators are canvassing the downtown area to enlist local businesses for the fourth annual Mineola Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event on Saturday, Sept. 14 at noon, with an Oct. 5 rain date. Opening ceremonies begin at 1 p.m.

 

“We’ve been walking the streets trying to get more businesses involved,” Chamber vice president and Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lubrano said. “It’s the same struggle every year but at the end, it all comes together.”

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com