Too many American’s didn’t get a raise this year, and I don’t think Members of Congress should either. That’s why I supported and helped pass legislation to freeze Congressional salaries for the fourth year in a row.
As our economy continues on a slow recovery, Long Island families are still trying to do more with less. Too many middle class workers have been caught in a job search for far too long, and those who do have jobs are worried about keeping them. Although the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent last month – the lowest it’s been in three years – we still have a lot of work to do. I believe we need to focus on how to get the American people raises before we pass our own.
Persistence takes many forms.
Not all persistent behavior is human or mortal!
Three days ago, I readjusted a picture in the bathroom. It was a present from my cousin, Maury the artist, and it kept tipping over until it was askew. It would disturb my equilibrium every time I encountered it. Just a little tip at the bottom right edge would align it properly. But three days later it was obstinately crooked again. Was I fighting an unknown devil who was trying to torture me?
Speaking of constant, dogged forces, I must declare the will of my grandchild Alexander. Even though he is two-and-a-half years old, when he takes your hand and wants to direct you someplace, you had better go. He will not release your hand until you follow him to his destination. He is very strong for his age and he will win out eventually.
The Celery Fields in Sarasota are 300 acres of water and wetlands that are a birding “hotspot.” Last winter they were undergoing extensive renovation, making some areas inaccessible. However there was a huge flooded area where my wife and I found an avian feast.
Late one February afternoon, I bring our car to a halt on the side of an empty road there and whisper to my wife that there’s a large raptor unusually close to us. A red-shouldered hawk is on a post about 25 feet away. It takes all our stealth to get out of the car and take our binoculars from the trunk without scaring off the bird. Using the car as cover we settle down to watch the hawk.
The red-shouldered looks at us through one large eye, determines that we are no threat and looks away. It’s exciting to be this close to a bird that we don’t often see. The added tension that it may fly at any moment makes us drink in its features. The deeply hooked bill is bright yellow at the base; the breast a pale rust; and the belly is darker with broader reddish streaks over white. The red-shoulder is red/brown and looks like it’s made from shoe polish. The dark back seems to be layered in sections. The long tail has alternating black and white bands. The legs are thick and yellow. Three times the red-shoulder flies to the ground pawing at something, first with its right foot, then its left. There’s something in these acts, which transforms the raptor into something of a comic figure.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “Denenberg Asks AG to Investigate Privatization of Sewage Plants,” that appeared in the Thursday, Jan. 14, edition of The Roslyn News. This is the second of two letters from Claudia Borecky. The first letter appeared in last week’s edition.)
County Executive Mangano is proposing to sell or lease three of the County’s sewage treatment plants (STP), Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, to fill the county’s budget gap. He stated in a Long Island Press article, “In this case, we have the ability to protect the taxpayer, increase efficiencies and protect the environment.”
In last week’s letter, I discussed how Nassau County will lose its ability to protect the taxpayer and sale of our STPs will mean a huge increase in our sewage tax bill. Research has also shown that the quality of service often declines when operated by a private system. Although faith in the private sector to outperform government agencies is ingrained in the American psyche, facts disproving that belief are steadily mounting. Private companies seek to maximize profits, often by cutting corners to reduce costs. This can greatly impair service quality and maintenance. Over 60 percent of governments that brought functions back in-house reported this as their primary motivation.
Local residents can expect to see even more hikes in their school and local taxes, now that the New York State Supreme Court has sided with County Executive Ed Mangano and his plan to force our schools to pay back tax assessment refunds.
In 2010, along with my Democratic colleagues in the Nassau County Legislature, we voted against pushing the responsibility for the County’s assessment mistakes on to our local schools and municipalities. But every Republican legislator voted in favor of this. Now our schools are left to decide whether they cut programs and services our children depend on or raise taxes.
Twice before dawn, I peer out the window into darkness–no rain and no palm tree leaves swaying. Lookin’ good. My birding class, which I teach at the Longboat Key Education Center in Florida, has their first field trip scheduled in a few hours on a beach across the street. When I go out to the beach at 7:40 a.m. the wind is gusting at near 20 mph and temperature is in the low 50s. There isn’t a bird to be seen. The walk is untenable. This is the first birding class I’ve taught and the retired college professor in me knows this is no way to begin.
We literally go to Plan B, a nearby 32-acre tidal wetlands, Durante Park. There, almost immediately, is a great egret in a tidal pond, which flies but gives us a good view. A few starlings are perched on a tree. Feeding in Sarasota Bay is a wood stork, which is on the endangered species list. Encouraging.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “Denenberg Asks AG to Investigate Privatization of Sewage Plants,” that appeared in the Friday, Jan. 13 edition of the Levittown Tribune. This is one of two letters from Claudia Borecky. Her letter next week will address how she thinks privatizing will affect the efficiency of the sewage treatment plants and the affect on the environment.)
County Executive Mangano is proposing to sell or lease three of the County’s sewage treatment plants (STP), Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, to fill the county’s budget gap. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued on Feb. 16, 2010 seeking Public/Private Partnerships (P3) to help fix the County’s fiscal woes. Morgan Stanley won that bid and was paid $24,750 (a bid under $25,000 does not require NIFA approval) to help prepare Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), to seek qualified bidders to purchase or lease our STPs. Three viable entities were found:
How do you say “goodbye” to a person you have known for 57 years? My good friend and colleague Gary passed away last week. His passing is a great loss to me and to the world.
We met as entering freshmen in New York University College of Dentistry in 1955. They seated you and called your name in alphabetical order. He was Greene and I was Greenberg and so we spent four years of dental school side by side.
Gary was neat and self-contained but I was a “wild one” from the Bronx. We got on famously. In his sophomore year Gary married a dark, long-haired, vivacious beauty named Sue. I was an usher at the wedding at the Diplomat Hotel (now extinct).
While it is true that the issues related to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” are not simple we should not be influenced by much of the misinformation that has been disseminated and we should base our decisions on the facts and develop a regulatory regime which can assure safety and environmental sensitivity.
It is ironic that natural gas development, which can reduce carbon emissions by a third compared to oil and a half compared to coal, is caught in an emotional debate over environmental impacts. As businessman and publisher Mortimer Zuckerman pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, using data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, this abundant new gas source has reduced our oil imports from 60 percent in 2005 to 47 percent today. Recent events in the Middle East should reinforce the need for a U.S. energy policy based on domestic natural gas.
It was like a dagger in the heart.
“Your kitchen is so dated,” was the remark that belittled the Greenberg kitchen. It was true that we were living with the original cabinetry from the builder when we moved into our new home on April 3, 1983. How do you get outdated so quickly?
The cabinet doors still close well and they still manage to hold our spices and cans of tomato soup. The wine cabinets and the varied types of glasses are ensconced comfortably. Vitamins and fish oil fit comfortably into their space. The knives and forks and spoons all lie in their spots.
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