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The Power Washer Approach

I  somehow blew up my brother-in-law’s power washer last week.  I don’t  know  how  it  happened, but you know the feeling.  You try never to borrow  anything  but when you finally do, not 20 minutes in, the otherwise indestructible  machinery  that’s  been well-used for 15 years suddenly and inexplicably  starts sputtering and belching smoke like a wounded Godzilla.

 

It’s a shame too. I was trucking right along, smoothly blasting away muck and  grime and basking in the glow of my rejuvenated siding when I suddenly  heard  a  bolt  blow  clean  off  the side of the machine. So my meticulously  planned three-hour task turned into a full-day excursion as I headed  to  the  Home  Depot  to  educate myself on the wide world of power washers and  where  I  bought  new  ones  for  both  my brother-in-law  and  myself.  Lesson  one:  better  not to borrow anything expensive, for Murphy’s Law will surely intervene.

 

But  that  old  adage aside, my column is actually about the process. If  you’ve  ever  used a power washer you know how strangely satisfying the experience  can  be.   To be sure, it’s slow and tedious work that requires careful  attention  so  as  not to let the water’s force damage what you’re cleaning.   But  as  you  progress inch by monotonous inch, you’re rewarded with a renewed  surface gleaming back at you.  And if you’re like me, you occasionally  power  the  washer  down  to step back, admire your work, and reassess the details of your approach.

 

In  reality, this is precisely how so many of life’s challenges have to  be  managed.  I think power washing might be the perfect chore by which to  teach  our teenagers the value of slow and sustained effort.  It’s also what  came  to mind this past week as I spoke at the WOR Business Breakfast at  the  Jericho Terrace. I was invited by  WOR  and  CNBC contributor Ron Insana to speak with more than 100 local business owners  about  the business environment and what’s being done to help it flourish.

 

I  asked  Richard Bivone, Nassau Chairman of the Long Island Business Council  and  Nick Terzulli, Director of Business Development at the Nassau County  Industrial  Development  Agency  (IDA)  to join  us.   The session immediately  took  off  because our passionate business owners have no problems telling you what needs improvement. But that’s the kind of honest  discussion  that  has  been  lacking  in New  York’s business policy-making  for far too long. In the past, officials took businesses for granted and let New York City special interests dictate the discussion. 

 

We all agreed though that we’re finally turning that corner. We’ve delivered on-time, balanced budgets with no  business  or  personal  tax increases.  We cut personal income taxes to their  lowest  level in over 50 years, kept state spending to less than 2 percent  growth  and even established a real property tax cap.  In essence, we’ve  maintained  state  finances  much  as  a  successful  business would maintain its own.

 

But  we  also agreed that we have to strike while the iron is hot and incentivize existing businesses to stay, while convincing new ones to open in  New  York.   That  simply  can’t  be  done  until  we tackle New York’s notoriously  excessive  regulations.   I’ve  already  reviewed thousands of pages of what appear to be ambiguous and often duplicative regulations, but untangling  this  mess, with an eye toward simplification is very appealing to  me. Much like the power washer, it’s slow and steady work, taken inch by  painstaking  inch.   The  reward will be an attractive business environment that’s better for all working people. 

 

I’ll be hosting a series of Senate hearings  where  business  people  can  share their insights and expertise. Just  like  this  week’s WOR breakfast, the more frank the discussions, the better. In  the meantime, I urge any small business or would be start-ups to  reach out  to  the Long Island Business Council (516-396-0600) and the  IDA  (516-571-1945).  These are business people just like you, and they’re dedicated to helping in whatever way they can.

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
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