There’s no shortage of gumdrops, lollipops and marshmallows – or creative fun for kids – at this year’s Annual Gingerbread University Holiday Workshop, hosted by the WE CARE Fund of the Nassau County Bar Association. On Saturday, Dec. 3, children of all ages will have the opportunity to decorate their very own gingerbread houses at the Nassau County Bar Association, 15th and West Streets, Mineola. Upon successful completion of the course “curriculum,” graduating students will receive their creations as well as a diploma in the Degree in Gingerbreadology.
When I was elected Senator, I would have never guessed that I’d participate in a hearing regarding high school cheating. Yet this past week, there I was with the Senate Higher Education Committee, examining the actions of several high school students who allegedly paid a former student to take the SAT college entrance exam for them.
By way of background, students aren’t required to take the SAT in their home school where they are known to the test proctors. In order to accommodate the large numbers taking the exam, students can use any test center in the country, provided they present home school identification. That’s why a former Great Neck student was apparently able to use fake ID to take the exam for current students. In turn, they would pay him a dollar per point with his average score somewhere just above 2000.
All veterans are invited to join the official dedication ceremony of the Nassau County Courts Veterans Part on Thursday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. This innovative program is a cooperative effort led by Nassau County Administrative Judge Anthony Marano, designed to provide specialized services and resources to assist veterans involved in the Nassau County criminal justice system.
When I first heard about hydro-fracking a few years back, I thought it was going to be played on my children’s X-box and cost me at least $100. While I happily discovered it wasn’t another video game, what I did learn gave me cause for concern.
Hydro-fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, a unique process that allows us to collect natural gas from shale (rock) formations deep below the earth’s surface. Typically, a company will drill a very deep hole, anywhere between 5,000 to 20,000 feet. They then pump millions of gallons of fluid into the rock formation itself, creating great pressure which ultimately fractures the rock and releases the trapped gas. Given that the United States sits on trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, this technology initially seemed to be an answer to our country’s perpetual energy crisis.
There are times that I feel as if I am being buried alive, one tablespoon of tabloid dirt at a time. It would be redundant to name the culprits. Besides, they all blur together in blaring headlines accompanied by a steady beat of sneering and self-righteous talking heads.
I wonder what young people think of the endless parade of public figures —government officials, businessmen, entertainers and professional athletes—crashing and burning before their eyes. Then again, maybe they have other things on their minds.
Wally is a friend of mine. He’s 90 years old and a World War II veteran. He’s also a gentleman who long ago stopped worrying about what people think. Don’t get me wrong. He’s as sharp as a tack. It’s just that he speaks his mind and doesn’t sweat the outcome. You could be mayor, senator, or President of the United States, you work for him and he prides himself on “giving it to you straight.” I guess that’s a fringe benefit of a long life. It’s also why I have always valued his opinion.
Nobody likes to spend excess money, and one way to alleviate extra spending is to conserve water in the home. By closely monitoring the amount of water one uses, and implementing easy and simple changes in the home it becomes possible to lower water bills.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to use water-efficient home plumbing products such as aerated showerheads, energy efficient clothes washers and 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets. The New York State Building Code requires the installation of these water saving plumbing fixtures in newly constructed homes, however, the existing fixtures in older homes may not be water-efficient. An aerated showerhead mixes water and air, which utilizes less water but results in a similar water flow to that of a normal shower head. By saving approximately sixty percent of water that would normally be used, aerated showerheads will lead to savings on both water and heating bills.
I’m a typical Long Islander, which means I sometimes feel as if I live in my car. Clearly, life here is heavily shaped by our reliance on our vehicles. But over 100,000 Nassau residents also rely on our buses daily to get where they need to be. That’s why it’s especially important that we’re all aware of what’s happening with Long Island Bus and how it stands to impact friends and neighbors. To that end, I shared these concerns in a letter to Governor Cuomo last week.
To summarize, Nassau County and the MTA, both with fiscal constraints, couldn’t agree on a cost-sharing formula for the MTA’s continued operation of Long Island Bus service. As a result, they decided to sever their decades old service relationship effective Dec. 31. The county then chose a vendor, Veolia Transportation, to take over bus service as of Jan. 1, 2012. Their proposed contract will go before the County Legislature’s Rules Committee for a vote sometime later this month.
Another pharmacy was robbed this weekend for prescription painkillers. That makes four such robberies in Nassau County this year. While it may not seem like a lot, after four innocent people were killed in a tragic Medford pharmacy robbery, one is too many.
The underlying issue behind these robberies is prescription drug abuse. The bottom line is that this abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Simply put, it has become a health crisis. Prescription drug abuse is a complex problem and requires a complex solution. Together, we need a focused effort to address it.
I say I have an “enthusiasm for efficiency.” My wife says I just love saving money. Either way, this desire to find savings in government spending can sometimes be stifling.
That’s because, as we work to improve policies that may be harmful or burdensome to our taxpayers and constituents, we often encounter entrenched interests determined to make it difficult every step of the way. Yet, every once in a while, common sense makes a comeback and those moments are what make my service to you very satisfying.
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