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Letter: Tobacco Control Program Should Not Have Been Cut

Friday, 08 April 2011 00:00

As a New Yorker I was disheartened to hear that the New York State Tobacco Control Program has been slashed to $41 million. This will no doubt be a disservice to the people of New York.

 

From the Desk of Senator Jack Martins: April 8, 2010

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 08 April 2011 00:00

The On-Time Budget Closes $10 Billion Gap

Times are indeed changing in Albany and for the better. Not only do we have an on-time budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, but we went through the process with both sides of the aisle working together and the budget passed with overwhelming support in the legislature.  Most importantly, we passed a fiscally responsible budget that closed a $10 billion deficit without raising any taxes or fees.

It is quite a change from years past when our state government found a way to overspend and overtax in the middle of a financial crisis. Quite frankly, we couldn’t suffer another year of those past practices and so we made a commitment – we would balance the budget, not on the backs of our taxpayers, but by cutting spending.

 

Letter: Will the Town of Hempstead Accept Help By Humane Society?

Written by Lucia Donofrio Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00

At the last town board meeting, advocates pleaded with town Supervisor Kate Murray to accept help from the Humane Society of the United States, as town spokesman, Mike Deery originally stated in Newsday’s Tuesday, March 22 issue of The Column By Joye Brown’s entitled “Issues Dog This Shelter.”

Instead, the town retracted and now declares they have proposed to form a committee that they can oversee.

Waiting for the town to select their own committee, and then waiting more to determine whether this committee is effective at reforming the shelter can take months, possibly years. Advocates have been crying out for reform since last October and believe it is futile to ignore the help of the Humane Society of the United States in lieu of a private committee.

Shelter animals will continue to suffer unnecessarily as they remain stuck within the confines of the Hempstead Town shelter, as they wait in limbo to be rescued. The town shelter has been alleged of willful neglect and abuse for decades, as suggested by the recent YouTube release of a 17-year-old video showing town employees laughing and making fun as a shelter employee was going to kill a kitten.

Taxpayers’ in Hempstead Township pay $7 million annually to help their shelter animals. Do not punish the town’s animals any further and stop creating more smokescreens.

No committee that the town proposes to create and oversee will compare to immediate help from proven successful volunteers with an established outreach network and the Humane Society of the United States.  The town must let the real experts in.

Michelle Mond

 

Letter: Is Kate Murray Really A Fiscal Conservative?

Friday, 01 April 2011 00:00

If you go to Supervisor Kate Murray’s web page, it states “residents can at least count on one level of government to be fiscally responsible and accountable.” The recent investigations into the operation of the Wantagh Animal shelter has shown that Kate Murray is not very eager to be accountable to the public or fiscally responsible.

Kate Murray and the Town Council have approved budget increases at the animal shelter, year after year, to 7.1 million dollars in 2010 and 6.64 million dollars in 2011. 

 

From the Desk of Senator Jack Martins: March 25, 2011

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00

Revenue Is Not the Problem; It’s the Spending

Throughout the budget process this year we have remained true to our commitment – to address the over $10 billion deficit by cutting spending, not raising taxes.  New York State does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.  To get our economy moving and create new jobs, we need to get government off people’s and businesses backs – hence spending cuts, not new taxes. 

We can’t tax our way out of this recession. Governor Cuomo gets it. I get it.  Unfortunately, there are others who don’t.

As we head into the final lap of budget discussions in Albany, it is increasingly clear that special interest groups plan to defend their stranglehold on New York State’s purse strings by stepping up their propaganda. These groups are committed to maintaining the historical status quo and will fight, tooth and nail, to block the change we were elected to implement.

 

Around the Town: March 18, 2011

Written by Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00

Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling Program

After a cold and snowy winter, we are all looking forward to warmer, sunnier days. With the arrival of spring just around the corner, boating season is fast approaching, and removing the shrink wrap that protects vessels from ice, water and debris is part of a springtime ritual for many boat owners. As the time for boat launching approaches, Hempstead Town is pleased to remind boaters of our boat shrink wrap recycling program.

While shrink wrap serves a vital role during boat storage periods, the non-biodegradable plastic covering can clog landfills and find its way into local waterways when it’s discarded in the spring. The Town of Hempstead’s shrink wrap recycling program is making it easier for boaters to protect the planet and enjoy boating at the same time.

 

From the Desk of Senator Jack Martins: March 18, 2011

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00

State Budget Needs Budgeting

I often say that many elected officials in Albany look at the state from 30,000 feet. They see the quilt pattern of the various terrains, they see communities, but they don’t see people.  Much the same way, many of these same elected officials oftentimes make decisions without having an understanding as to how the decisions will impact people directly.  I don’t believe that there is any sinister motive, just a lack of perspective and understanding. 

As a father and husband, as a businessman, and as a former local mayor, my perspective is somewhat different. I have seen first-hand how decisions made in Albany can impact our counties, towns, villages and schools as well as our residents and businesses here in our Long Island communities. I have seen how state mandates oftentimes add layers of unnecessary and wasteful spending that our local governments would like to be rid of, but can’t.

 

Letter: Planned Parenthood Calls on Senators to Reject Political Agenda of House Members

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00

Last month’s vote by the House of Representatives to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding reflects the pursuit of an extreme political agenda by the Republican House leadership.

It is also an outrageous assault on the millions of Americans who rely on Planned Parenthood for primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, birth control, HIV testing, and STI testing and treatment.

This amendment does nothing to reduce the deficit; it does nothing to improve the economy. Its surest outcome is to take health care away from American women who cannot afford to pay for it on their own.

 

Letter: Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf Seeks Support Against Proposed Funding Cuts

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00

Governor Cuomo has proposed to eliminate funding for 4201 Schools (for deaf/blind/physically challenged students) for the 2011-12 school year. As a result, Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf students, and those from 10 other 4201 schools, are in jeopardy! A child who is deaf, blind or physically challenged did not cause the state’s $10 billion deficit. It is wrong to abandon the state’s more than 100-year commitment to these special schools through which these students become productive citizens. It is also wrong to shift these costs to the more than 45 school districts, which send students to Mill Neck Manor!

 

Letter: Serving Is a Privilege

Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00

Serving in the House of Representatives and Senate is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators who would serve their term, go home and back to their work. The following is submitted for reform:

Term limits – one six-year Senate term and three two-year House terms.

No tenure/no pension – A congressperson collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when out of office.

The present and future Congress shall participate in the Social Security program. All future funds shall flow into the Social Security system and Congress shall participate in the system the same as the American people.

 

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