Each year in April, millions of people around the world participate in Autism Speaks’ global Light It Up Blue campaign during Autism Awareness Month. It is a time to recognize and shine a bright light on those affected by autism, and to promote their contributions to our families, communities and society at large.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of complex disorders of brain development. These developmental disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism currently affects one in 88 children, and for many it is a lifelong disorder.
While I’m in total agreement with John Owens’ “Buttafuocoed” views about Long Island, I have some disagreements with John Collins’ reaction letter published last week (“Joey’s Legacy”).
Collins is absolutely right when he says that “[Long Island] lacks political leadership that has any sense of vision for this area. The politicians are too vested in partisan politics and patronage. They lack the intelligence, experience and commitment to develop any bold, creative solutions to Long Island’s challenges...how dysfunctional the governmental process is in both counties. It is a half-century history of one stupid decision after another.”
Once upon a time, there was a cobbler whose child ran around town without any shoes.
“Look at her,” one villager whispered to another. “Barefoot again! Is he such a workaholic he can’t make his own daughter one pair of shoes?”
“Maybe he’s lazy,” continued a third. “Or greedy, and wants to keep all the merchandise for himself.”
“In any case,” they all agreed, “it’s disgraceful.”
As communities today struggle to recover from the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, let’s take a look at how one community on Long Island faced a financial crisis during the 1969 recession…
During the summer of 1969, the cost of living was soaring and meat was increasingly more expensive. Middle-class consuming families were choosing to buy cheaper cuts; while, many working-class families as well as senior citizens on fixed incomes were finding it impossible to afford even the cheapest cuts of meat like hamburger. Unwittingly following in the footsteps of thousands of housewives before them, two women in Levittown kicked off a consumer protest that gained national attention.
Home prices fluctuate annually throughout Nassau County due to market conditions. In some cases, the price fluctuations may be uneven within the same area or amongst individual homes. The annual property re-assessment process, from the creation of the tentative roll to the end of the grievance process, is intended to deliver a final roll, which is as fair as possible, and free of errors. The grievance part of the process is intended to give homeowners the opportunity to point out and correct any errors in their individual assessment.
Last week, state lawmakers brought back the good news that proposed school aid funding would be restored to Long Island districts. It is always a fight for Long Island to get its fair share of school aid and this year proved to be no exception. In fact, it is even worse considering the damage that was caused by Sandy to the area, and yet many Albany lawmakers still proposed taking away funds. Therefore, our local state representatives Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, Senator Charles Fuschillo and Senator Kemp Hannon should be recognized for their efforts. Long Island still is not receiving a fair share, but thanks to the efforts our local lawmakers, at least the cuts are not devastating.
When there is a presidential election, there is usually a “buzz” about it. Folks seem to get excited about national, state and even county elections. However, when it comes to local politics, particularly school issues, the interest level seems to be one of apathy. Many complain about school taxes, but it seems that few actually attend their school board meetings and participate in them. This is perplexing as school boards and the budgets they pass often have the greatest impact of property taxes as well as the quality of education afforded to children.
When I was elected County Executive, in the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades, I knew I would need some creative ideas, call it a new way of thinking, to help people who had lost their jobs get back to work.
Recognizing that jobs are the key to a growing economy, I instituted job fairs to link the unemployed with businesses and corporations in need of workers. I also invested funds in job training and retraining centers with our local towns. In partnership with the County’s Industrial Development Agency, I offered incentives that helped create and retain more than 3,500 private sector jobs. My administration worked hand-in-hand with businesses and corporations to ensure they–and their employees—stayed in Nassau County.
Building on my efforts to help put people back to work and reduce citizens’ reliance on social services, I launched a free job-finding application–Nassau Works—that notifies job seekers of job opportunities. This innovative jobs platform provides a comprehensive and integrated social and mobile job solution that connects job seekers and employers. This new platform is offered to County businesses for free to help reduce their recruiting costs and ensure they gain access to qualified candidates. One of the largest databases of available jobs on the Internet, Nassau Works also allows seekers to view job openings in the geographic proximity of their smartphone.
Available at www.NassauWorks.com or at the App Store for your mobile device, this app quickly gets your search underway, and is as easy to use as pushing a button to find jobs or for employers to instantly distribute job listings to every corner of the digital landscape.
Job seekers can choose to receive job notifications via text message on their phone, e-mail or through social media networks such as Twitter. Nassau Works is also integrated with Facebook, so job seekers can easily see if any of their friends are connected with the hiring company. Through the site, seekers can request a referral from a friend to the hiring company, making the chances of getting the job 20 times higher.
Going forward, all of the County’s economic development compacts through the IDA will require that businesses post job openings on Nassau Works, thereby expanding the database.
This innovative jobs platform is the perfect complement to the initiatives I have already instituted. Utilizing this technology, Nassau County will gain access to data and analytics that offer unprecedented insight into the County’s local employment needs, and will help steer key decisions that will provide the foundation for future job growth. It is a vital tool in today’s economy.
A parade is always a special event for a community - no matter how big or small the community is. In small towns, all across the country, residents eagerly look forward to a parade through their town, as do citizens of New York City when Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or any other special event rolls around.
As Assemblyman Joseph S. Saladino raises his right hand and is sworn in to a new term in the New York State Assembly, he is looking ahead to a new year of working in Albany with legislative leaders to solve the problems facing Long Island. Assemblyman Saladino is focused on 2013 to provide funds for storm victims in the region.
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