Impatience is rampant these days, with harried drivers blaring horns to speed up traffic. The car horn was designed to alert other automobile drivers to potential hazards, i.e. swerving into oncoming traffic, drifting into the next lane, etc.
I am thinking of that movie and saying to myself as many of you are: “I’m madder than hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” It seems as if all of government has been a complete failure and that we should start all over. I am just so tired of politicians who put their own egos ahead of their constituents without any new ideas and characterizing themselves as saviors when really they are quite ordinary and mediocre. We’d be better off letting scientists, computer experts, statisticians and mathematicians run government than the generalists who profess to know everything but in reality know so little even about management.
The Town of North Hempstead is an incredibly diverse place made up of so many different ethnicities and backgrounds. One of the great things about this Town is that we often recognize these different cultures and celebrate what they bring to the table.
We have the opportunity to honor the history of African-Americans each year during Black History Month. This is a time when we should all look back on all of the great African-Americans that have shaped the history of our great nation by making major impacts in science, education, government, sports, entertainment, arts, business, social activism, philanthropy, spiritual leadership and community activism.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
This simple observation made by Albert Einstein captures our concerns with New York State’s rollout of Common Core. It’s what caused parents and educators to come together in opposition to artificial metrics of whether our children are “college and career ready.”
It’s why hundreds of you joined me at a forum this Fall at Mineola High School to demand that the Common Core rollout be rolled back. It’s why we worked so hard to ensure that our children’s privacy is protected. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get it.
I guess I rained on the parade and I have to admit, it felt pretty good.
I’m talking about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ill-conceived plan to raise taxes to purportedly pay for universal pre-k in New York City public schools. On its surface, it’s a noble idea and one that would eventually bridge gaps of inequality for future New
Yorkers. Honestly, who wouldn’t be in favor of improving the education system? I guess that’s why the mayor made it one of his core campaign promises even though he knew full well that enacting it was totally out of his control. What he continuously failed to point out is that responsibility for making such an aggressive plan actually work falls squarely on the shoulders of state legislators and Governor Cuomo in Albany. And it’s no secret that together, we’ve spent the last four years fervently trying to lower taxes—not raise them.
While I believe that the creation of affordable housing is a good thing, it also has a serious downside if too much of it is concentrated in one area. This downside is the cumulative effect on school taxes.
Being a long time resident in the Westbury School District (34 years) I am no stranger to the persistent rise in school taxes. In recent years, this rise has been exacerbated by the amount of affordable housing being located in the New Cassel section of Westbury. The evidence can be easily seen by looking at the increasing number of new students being enrolled in the Westbury Schools.
In a recent article to The Westbury Times my good friend Larry Kirton touched on one of those “third rail” issues when he made reference to the land swap deal involving the North Hempstead Housing Authority, and the Town of North Hempstead in exchange for affordable housing in New Cassel. Third rail, because the term affordable housing often conjures up all sorts of speculation among people in some communities, and is an issue best avoided by politicians in sections of their constituencies in order to escape the wrath of voters at the polls.Kirton opined that if this deal goes through it would create yet another opportunity for this section of the school district to continue to overcrowd our schools. My recollection however, is that the terms of the deal is to provide affordable housing for senior citizens; not the general population, which in that case would not create the situation feared by Kirton.
My thanks to the Executive Director of the North Hempstead Housing Authority for his response to my recent Letter to the Editor of this paper. He clearly outlined that the Grand Street School site development plan proposal is new housing for seniors and not for families. His statement puts forth the first official accounting to the public-at-large of the development and goes far beyond my factual information from what was reported in the land swap article “Petrus Park on Path to Reopen” in the December 22, 2013 of the Port Washington News If the proposal survives revision, is approved as stated, and is affordable for New Cassel seniors as the only occupants, then this affordable housing will have more value than the affordable housing that was built along New Cassel’s Prospect Ave.
No doubt you’ve seen the full page ads that Target recently placed in major newspapers around the nation. The massive retailer was apologizing to the 110 million customers who likely had their credit information stolen in one of the largest security breaches in retail history. If you shopped at Target before Christmas (unnamed members of my family practically lived there) then you may have been affected. By Target’s own admission, the hackers may have stolen credit and debit information from 40 million shoppers and personal data from another 70 million. Under pressure from the U.S. Attorney General’s office, they’re even offering a year of free credit monitoring to all of their customers in the hopes of mitigating the situation. Yet none of that, however well-intentioned, will fix the damage now.
I am writing this response to the letter to the editor printed in the Jan. 23, 2014 edition of The Westbury Times that stated “it is reasonable to expect that any affordable housing planned, created and developed by the NHHA will (not) take into account the destructive impact of more housing for families with school age children on the school district’s infrastructure.”
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