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Letter: Part Two: Selling Off the County’s Sewage Treatment Plants

Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00

(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.

 

Letter: Hikes in School and Local Taxes?

Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00

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.

 

A Bird’s Eye View: January 19, 2012

Written by Michael Givant Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00

Florida Birding Class Gets a Bonanza

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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.

 

Letter: Selling Off the County’s Sewage Treatment Plants

Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00

(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:

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 19, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 20 January 2012 00:00

Dr. Gary S. Greene

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).

 

Letter: With Care, Fracking Can Work in NY

Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

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.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 12, 2012

Friday, 13 January 2012 00:00

Cabinets

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.

 

Letter: The Alarmingly Dangerous Impacts of Fracking on Health

Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00

 As representatives of many voices in the breast cancer community on Long Island, our coalition urges Governor Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State since 25 percent of chemicals used in the fracking process have been demonstrated to cause cancer or mutations. Hydrofracking companies use products containing 13 different known and suspected carcinogens. Two of those carcinogens, benzene and ethylene oxide are linked with breast cancer as cited recently by a report released by the Institute of Medicine.

Moreover, 37 percent of chemicals in fracking fluids are endocrine disruptors which alter hormonal signaling and in doing so can place cells on the pathway to tumor formation. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals has been implicated in cancers of the breast, prostate, pituitary, testicle, and ovary.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: January 5, 2012

Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 06 January 2012 00:00

MMXII

MMXII is the year 2012 spelled out in Roman numerals. Roman numerals are usually placed on cornerstones of new buildings to express the meaning and solemnity of the upcoming edifice.

Two Thousand and Twelve comes to us with a host of questions and insecurities, but it also affords us the ideas of optimism, faith and expectation. These are international, national, plus personal wishes for improvement in the upcoming year.

 

Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: December 29, 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011 00:00

Sitting Next To

We left Hicksville Station at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon on our way to see Seminar, a Broadway play on 45th Street at the Golden Theater. Our seats were in the rear-mezzanine, but they offered a great view of the stage.

Sitting next to me was a tall fellow and his date. When we spoke he had this smooth, rich, husky bass voice. It was quite impressive. He laughed at all the right places so I assumed he was well-read and up-to-date.

 

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