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From The Desk Of Assemblyman Charles Lavine: December 27, 2013

Hope For The New Year

As we look to the year ahead with promise and hope, it is difficult to assess where we are now and where we are headed without first grasping the importance and relevance of the last three months of 2012.

Perhaps 2013 will be remembered as the year in which the Long Island community came together to repair the structural, physical and emotional damage incurred in October, November and December of 2012: when neighbor to neighbor we worked to rebuild our island, to find a way to improve electric service and infrastructure; to give our veterans a plan for the future, return our residents to good jobs, provide our neighbors food for their tables, and to protect our children and loved ones from mentally ill people with guns.

It seemed that the collective conscience of Long Island was riveted on doing what each one of us as individuals believed was the right thing. We didn’t always agree, but we worked hard to take the lessons learned and turn them into something positive.

We opened our homes and our arms to those suffering the devastating effects of Sandy and we weighed options for how to better protect our Island from future storms. We created programs to help our veterans return to life before war and give them hope for a better tomorrow, and we found ways to put people back to work and improve not only the economy but the housing market as well.

During the first weeks of 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a sweeping package of gun-control measures which expanded a ban on assault weapons and made New York the first state to change its laws in response to the murders of innocent children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

We worked hard to give people hope - something to believe in; and that is really what a new year is about. A new year gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. We get the choice to clear out all the negatives and replace them with positives. It gives us an opportunity to look back at what didn’t work and figure out a new game plan.

It is a time for reflection and introspection - a time to re-examine ourselves as people and see if we can’t be just a little bit better. We get a chance to readjust our thinking by looking back with a clearer understanding of what took place and knowing what we would do differently to improve the outcome.

Each Jan. 1, we get a crack at being better than we were the year before and doing our small part to make the world a more respectful and accepting place for our children and grandchildren. We can look back at 2013 as a year of rebuilding, recommitting and remembering. It was a year in which we laid the foundation for 2014 using the cornerstones of pride and compassion.

It was a tough year, but we are stronger for the experience and ready to move ahead. Here’s to 2014 and what I hope will be a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

News

In a little-known chapter of New York City’s history, the name of police officer Phillip Cardillo is spoken in hushed, revered whispers. Though he was tragically killed in the line of duty back in 1972, the burning embers of his memory are still fanned by a passionate few who wish to finally obtain for the fallen hero the elusive recognition that he truly deserves.

At their Oct. 8 meeting in Mineola, the Nassau County-based Association of Retired Police Officers (ARPO) held a heartfelt ceremony, as both Cardillo as well as the driven NYPD detective who has fought for justice in his name for the past four decades, were honored as the true heroes that they are.

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.


Sports

A number of awards were given to runners in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich area at the Oct. 18 Oyster Bay Town Supervisor’s 5 Kilometer Run, including 23-year-old Justin Nakrin of Oyster Bay, who finished in 12th place overall and second in the 20-24 age group, and 43-year-old Daniel Valderrama of Oyster Bay, who scored in 17th place overall and second in the 40-44 age group. Maggie Reid of Locust Valley earned first place honors in the 15-19 age group.

The indomitable 81-year-old Nina Jennings of Mill Neck was the oldest woman to finish the run, taking first place honors in the women’s 80-84 age group in 35 minutes, 11 seconds, a pace of 11:19 per mile. She was the fastest of all of the five finishers—male or female—who were 80 years old or more.

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.


Calendar

Ghastly Grounds

Thursday, October 30

Trick Or Treat

Friday, October 31

Long Island Baroque Ensemble

Sunday, November 2



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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