Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00
I write in response to a letter to the editor written by Democratic Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and published in your paper on August 14, 2013, whereby Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton outlined a dangerously ill-conceived plan by Nassau County’s Democrats to deny funding for the repair of Nassau County’s sewage treatment infrastructure damaged by Superstorm Sandy. To be clear, the actions of the Nassau County Democrats, if left unchallenged, will delay recovery efforts and will place public safety and the environment at risk.
The Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant serves nearly 500,000 Nassau County residents and processes on average 50 million gallons of sewage daily. Flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy devastated this facility, knocking many systems off-line. The damage was so severe that millions of gallons of raw sewage backed up into people’s homes and was released into south shore waters.
The plan advanced by Nassau County’s engineers calls for nearly $722 million to fund rebuilding and storm-hardening efforts. Ninety percent of this amount will be reimbursed by the federal government through FEMA. Blatantly ignoring the advice of Nassau County’s expert engineers that failure to approve the total funding request will delay this vital reconstruction, the Democrats have denied funding for the repair of the Bay Park Facility’s electrical distribution system and other storm hardening measures. The contractors selected for these electrical and storm hardening projects will be the linchpins to the rebuilding process, and the performance of every other contractor depends upon their work. The Democrats know well that to delay these projects is to delay the reconstruction of the plant.
I wonder if the Democrats would have voted differently if raw sewage backed up into their houses.
What is most troubling is that the Democrats justify their “no” votes with false statements on debt and oversight. The reality is that County Executive Mangano has reduced total overall county debt by millions of dollars from levels incurred by his predecessor Tom Suozzi.
As for oversight, both FEMA and NIFA will work closely with Nassau County as the rebuilding process proceeds. Additionally, County Executive Mangano has created the Hurricane Sandy Waste Water Advisory Board comprised of environmentalists, union and community leaders so as to provide unprecedented transparency as to how this process is accomplished. Finally, Nassau County’s elected legislature will aggressively monitor all phases of construction.
Calls for additional layers of bureaucracy by Nassau County’s Democrats are not going to aid in Nassau County’s recovery. It is the job of Nassau County’s elected officials to ensure that our sewer facilities are repaired quickly and efficiently. And though Nassau’s Democrats would look to unelected boards and commissions to do their job for them, I assure you that the Republican delegation will work tirelessly to assist our residents as we recover from this devastating storm.
On behalf of the 1 million residents connected to Nassau County’s sewer system, I urge Nassau County Democrats to approve the funding required to rebuild the Bay Park STP.
Presiding Officer, Legislator, LD 13
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 00:00
First Presbyterian Church is a hub of activity in November as it holds its annual Victorian Fair and holiday luncheon, on Nov. 22 and 23, traditionally the start of the holidays in Oyster Bay.
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, as the hall was being set up for the Victorian Fair, we asked if the rummage sale would be in the basement again. Isa Gutierrez said, “Oh, no. It’s our Granny’s Attic sale, we don’t call it a Rummage Sale.”
True, the Episcopalians, across the street at Christ Church, call it a Rummage Sale, following their English tradition. The Presbyterians have Scottish roots, which was evident on the first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 1. “It is our St. Andrew’s Day Worship, it is close to the actual day, and in keeping with the church’s Scottish roots, people will wear tartan plaids. It’s done in many Presbyterian churches,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Prey.
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
On a crisp November evening, more than 200 people arrived at Chelsea Mansion in East Norwich for the Long Island Jewish Community Relations Council Holiday Party, "Multicultural Visions, Artists Exploring Identity." People from all ethnic and religious walks of life mingled under the heated tent viewing art from six local artists, equally as diverse.
There was Stanley Covington, an African American artist from Hempstead; Paul Kolker, a Jewish doctor, lawyer, and artist from Westbury; Rene Efi Hakimian, a Persian Jew from Great Neck; Simon Zareh a Jewish Iranian art collector from Rosyln; Lisbeh Herrera, a Nicaraguan American artist from Bayshore (her husband and children were present but not the artist); and Manu Kaur Saluja, a Sikh artist from Old Brookville now living in Queens. While guests and many politicians viewed the magnificent art and chatted with the artists, the background was filled with beautiful music played by high school students from Suffolk County Asian American Advisory Board Orchestra. Talk about diversity.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Nicole Giannetti entered her third cross country state meet in her career with one goal in mind: to place in the top 20 and earn an all-state medal. After finishing 38th in 2011 and 26th in 2010, the goal was definitely within her reach.
“She was ranked 25th according to one website, so we knew it was going to be close,” said Coach Kevin Cotter. “After looking at some of the times of her competitors, I told her she could potentially finish in the top 10. If she fell short, at least she would still remain in the top 20 and earn that elusive medal.”
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
News 12 Long Island has selected senior Katrina Garry of Locust Valley as a News 12 Long Island Scholar Athlete for the 2013-14 season. Now in its 27th year, the weekly award recognizes outstanding ability by high school seniors in athletics, scholarship, leadership and service to others.
Garry was interviewed by News 12 about her achievements and this award earlier this month; the segment aired Wednesday, Nov. 6 and can be viewed by heading to www.longisland.news12.com/multimedia/scholar-athlete-trina-garry-1.6394824.