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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: July 12, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00

One Other Thing

I’ve been told it’s hard for anyone to take notes when I’m speaking. Apparently, I have a habit of adding just one more thought to or trying to squeeze as much information from whatever topic is being discussed. I guess it’s true because here we are with the senate session over, yet I have a dozen things I want to report to you that didn’t make it into this column yet. Typically, I address events and senate happenings as they unfold, but with so much going on, there aren’t enough opportunities to write about all of them, so my “one other thing” list grows longer.

One of the most important pieces of legislation in this category was our Iran Divestment Act of 2012. If you’re not familiar with the background, I’ll give it to you in a very condensed nutshell. Iran is recognized by the United States as a sponsor of world terrorism and has been much in the news for their illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons.


Editorial: Baseball Nights At Sapienza

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

Ladyfinger cookies. Those were my favorite when I frequented Sapienza Bake Shop on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont. After every baseball game at Averill Park my dad and I would trek over to the bakery for some treats, whether we won or lost.

It feels like a hometown bakery. It looks like a hometown bakery.


Nassau’s Special Districts, Service Providers Mapped By Long Island Index

Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

View Street by Street On Website: Who Provides What Services Where

The Long Island Index, in collaboration with the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center, launched a new tool on its website (www.long­ that for the first time provides public access to maps representing the profusion of special districts that exist within Nassau County’s villages and towns. Visitors to the site are now able to search by street address or village to view any or all of the 240 fire, sanitation, water, library, parks, parking, police, school and sewer districts – as well as areas where local, county, or state government provides these services – and see clearly who provides what services and where. This new tool is the result of a comprehensive project to delineate all service provider boundaries using computer-mapping software, which integrates data on special districts from multiple sources. The maps are intended to give taxpayers and service providers a common and consistent basis for discussing special district issues.


Editorial: Speed Up Or Slow Down?

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

Even though I knew I was attending Hofstra University and knew I wanted to study journalism, the day after my 2005 Sewanhaka High School graduation was as odd as ever. I was fidgety, I was anxious…didn’t want to slow down. I was being told I should by family and friends alike, but wanted to keep busy.

I quickly (yes, quickly) found a job in a warehouse in Lynbrook stocking construction parts, light fixtures; you name it, to get some cash going into college. I was in a rush.


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: June 28, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

Another Step Forward

After the final 24 hours of our legislative session, I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon. On Thursday, June 21, my colleagues and I in the State Senate had a jam-packed day that officially finished up our work for the 2012 session. We adjourned just after 10 p.m., at which time I picked up my bags at the hotel to start home, making the nearly 3-hour drive from Albany to Mineola.  It’s great to be home.

As I reflect on the tone and tenor of the past two years in the state legislature, I am pleased with the progress we’ve made and with having had a hand in it. Last year’s session was a comprehensive adjustment in the way business was conducted in Albany. We truly accomplished a lot, not just legislatively but also in process. Both are important.


Editorial: Remember The Ones Who Got You Here

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00

I remember 2005 on the football field at Sewanhaka High School. It was a hot day and seniors had to wear all black. It was a long day, but at least it led toward something…a new beginning. Although I graduated seven years ago, it sticks in my noggin like it was yesterday.

I thought I had it all figured out…I’m still learning. The things that come with age give one a sense of stableness when attacking the real world, thinking you’re prepared for everything; but curveballs are always in life’s pitching repertoire.


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: June 21, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00

The Triple Crown Of Tax Relief

There certainly must have been a lot of disappointment in the days leading up to the Belmont Stakes as thoroughbred racehorse and Triple-Crown favorite, I’ll Have Another, showed signs of tendonitis and was scratched. I imagine it must have wreaked a fair amount of havoc on the sport, but I think most notable was the widespread, collective letdown that people experienced. Maybe we fall victim to so much press hype but I think it has something more to do with human nature.  People love a winner, especially one that overcomes the odds, indisputably, three times over.

I feel that same sense of Triple Crown anticipation in the New York Senate as we passed a bill last week that would restore the STAR Property Tax Rebate checks.  The bill (S.7447) that I co-sponsored would mean $202 million back in the pockets of senior citizens in the 2012-13 school year and $1.2 billion back to middle class families starting in 2013-14.


The Forest Fire: June 13, 2012

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

It Was Really Great…But It Could Have Been A Game Changer

I have covered the Belmont Stakes three years running now and each one was more exciting than the next. Drosselmeyer won in 2010, long shot Ruler on Ice took the third leg of the Triple Crown last year and Union Rags, after a bad trip in the Kentucky Derby, sat out the Preakness and won by a neck in the “Test of the Champion” on June 9.

But sadly, there was something missing: a chance at greatness.


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: June 13, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

I-STOPping Prescription Drug Abuse

Last week in the Senate, we passed what may be considered the signature piece of legislation for this legislative session – the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act (I-STOP), a bill I was proud to have co-sponsored. Simply put, with the passage of this bill, we have taken an all important first step in comprehensively rolling back the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has plagued families and communities throughout New York State, but no one has felt it harder than us on Long Island.


Editorial: My First Triple Crown? Possibly

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00
I’ve never covered a Triple Crown possibility at the Belmont Stakes…but I will on Saturday, June 9. I’ve covered the race since 2010…but not one of this magnitude. So far, I’m 1-for-2 in torrential downpours during the race…There are talks of 70 degrees and sunny. Fingers crossed.

It’s been 34 years since Affirmed took the crown in 1978. There have been 11 tries for the coveted title since, most notably four years ago when Big Brown fell to Da’Tara, eight years since Smarty Jones was edged out of history by Birdstone and 11 years since Funny Cide lost to Empire Maker on a rainy day in Elmont. War Emblem lost to Sarava in 2002.


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