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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: June 6, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

Degrees And Debt

Sometimes I look at my four daughters and catch my breath, not just because they’re beautiful (although I think they are), but because I wonder how in the world my wife and I are going to pay for their college educations. It’s not just us. It seems as if every couple we speak to has precisely the same dilemma. And almost everyone’s response is the same: get anxious, then get angry about tuition rates, and then try to ignore it for lack of a better answer.  It’s not much of a plan, but unfortunately many people are pinning their hopes on scholarships and loans.

So today, I’d like to share my own thoughts about the student loan crisis, which has been drawing national attention as of late and how I think we’re responsible for a bit of this mess.  I think it’s a worthwhile discussion for us to have here at home on Long Island, and of course, I welcome your thoughts should you care to email me.  


The Forest Fire: May 30, 2012

Written by Rich Forestano: Friday, 01 June 2012 00:00

Sending Ike Down Could Help Him In The Long Run

When he came onto the scene in April 2010, he reminded me of former New York Mets first baseman John Olerud, but with more power and decent speed. I envisioned a trio of him, Jose Reyes and David Wright as the constants of the Mets infield for the next decade. How wrong was I, with Reyes now in Miami?

If there’s one thing I think the Mets should do, at least for a “little while” with former first round MLB draft pick and current first baseman Ike Davis, is to send him down to the minor leagues.


Editorial: Before Cell Phones, We Had Westgate

Friday, 01 June 2012 00:00

You thought the headline should have ended with “Beepers” right? Not quite…at least in Elmont. Before humanity was swarmed with smartphones, PalmPilots and tablets, how did people stay in touch? Well, concerning my days in Elmont and friends, it was Westgate.

Westgate is a tiny street that runs north and south between Hempstead Turnpike and Argo Avenue, which also connects to Virginia Drive. A small traffic island, with about 10 or 12 trees sitting in the middle of the street. To cars driving by, a simple divider; to children…a meeting ground.


Editorial: Remembering, Or Perhaps Glad To Forget, The Alva T. Stanforth School

Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
I didn’t grow up when it was open. I didn’t attend seventh and eighth-grade there, but it was an eyesore that attracted problems and cast a shadow over a community that prides itself on upholding the image of the neighborhood.

It’s been a few years since the building was taken down, and in reflecting on what was the abandoned Alva T. Stanforth Junior High School, it’s a good thing it’s long gone. It closed after the 1984-85 school year.


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: May 23, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00

When The Rules Change

Something unfair is going on. It’s not only unfair, but at the risk of sounding cliché, it strikes me as distinctly un-American. It’s been written about here and there, but has mostly gone unnoticed by the media and the few outlets that have covered it, in my opinion, have missed the point.

For anyone who has ever used catering facilities, whether local halls, caterers at hotels or even at synagogues and civic organizations, you’ll recall that your bill normally includes a “service charge”–a percentage of the overall bill. That charge has become the center of much discussion.


Editorial: What To Do During Belmont Stakes Week

Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00

Being a native of Elmont, if there’s one thing to always get excited about, it’s Belmont Stakes Week. There’s so much to do and to block out time to do it becomes a welcomed task.

From June 2-9, there are endless amounts of activities ranging from the Belmont Stakes Parade on June 2, to the film festival on June 6 and of course, the Belmont Stakes on June 9.


The Forest Fire: May 15, 2012

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00

Make The ‘Wright’ Choice

His story was too good to be true. He grew up as a New York Mets fan and was drafted by his favorite team in 2001, making his professional debut in 2004 at third base at Shea Stadium.

He has been the face of Flushing and with Jose Reyes now playing shortstop for the Miami Marlins, there’s one clear fact that should be carved in stone: The Mets must keep David Wright.

General manager Sandy Alderson is trading in signing big name free agents for building from within the Mets minor league system, hoping developmental prospects come along faster than expected. The Mets have indicated they want to cut payroll, but how far?


Editorial: Staying In-House Is The Way To Go

Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00
When Ernie Accorsi retired as New York Giants general manager in January 2007, fans were clamoring for the Mara and Tisch families to go after big-ticket names like Bill Parcells and current Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli to take the reigns of one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. Yet, in true Giants fashion, they stayed in-house and filled the void with an up and coming front office nobody: Jerry Reese.

Accorsi was credited with pinpointing sure fire NFL stars like John Elway and most recently, eight years ago with Eli Manning. It was a safe bet to say no one could make a mark like Accorsi in New York.


From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: May 9, 2012

Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00

Signs Of Progress

Hold on to your hats. I’m going to do something I rarely do and for which I may not have another opportunity for a long time: compliment the MTA, and in particular thank the Long Island Rail Road.  Usually when I write about them, it’s to bring to light some egregiously wasteful practice or poor decision that further burdens taxpayers or riders. To be sure, there’s still plenty of that devil-may-care attitude there to fuel columns well into the next decade but by the same token, it’s only fair that I point out when the MTA makes progress.     

I suspect that those commuters from Port Washington, Great Neck, and Manhasset, that rely upon the LIRR’s Port Washington line, have already donned their party hats and noisemakers, but in case you don’t know why, I have the honor of informing you that the Long Island Rail Road is restoring weekday service on the Port Washington line to its pre-2010 conditions. Trains will now run every half-hour as opposed to every hour, a move which should be applauded.


Editorial: A Telling Tale Of A League Based On Violence, Secrecy

Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00

I like to consider myself an NFL know-it-all, even with just two years experience covering a pro team. But in the end, like every person who decided to try their hand at crafting rhetoric for criticism…they started off as a fan. And as a former fan, I say the March 2 bounty scandal that’s surrounding the New Orleans Saints, which led to an indefinite suspension for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and a one year ban for head coach Sean Payton, is a sad reality in a grueling, paranoid, secretive, alpha-male sport: There are skeletons in the NFL’s closet and they busted the lock.

Saints’ coaches knew of players placing high-priced bounties on opposing players. Unacceptable? Yes. Surprising? Well, that’s for you to decide.


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