After the latest school shooting—one that claimed the life of an Oregon teen—it was revealed an Oklahoma-based company is marketing the “Bodyguard Blanket,” a foldable, bright-orange pad that can be strapped onto a child’s chest or back. The product promises to protect against “90 percent of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.”
The Bodyguard Blanket is not a post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy, it is real life. Let this soak in: We now live in a country where school shootings are so routine that businesses see them as an opportunity to fill a niche and make some money. Ever industrious, America seems more prepared to flex its capitalistic muscle than figure out how to stop these mass murders.
I’m writing to inform readers of a simple and effective step we can take to protect our seniors from identity theft — removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
One in five Americans above the age of 65 fall victim to financial fraud. In New York alone, approximately half a million seniors have been prey for scammers.
Growing up in Floral Park in the 70s with health-conscious parents, we did not eat much in the way of processed, prepackaged foods, especially baked goods. One of few exceptions was Entenmann’s coffee cakes, which were made locally. Mom and Dad went for the pecan roll, though we kids were always hot for the crumb-topped coffee cake. (The chocolate-covered donuts, sadly, were never in play.)
For a while, every day we drove past the Entenmann’s factory outlet on Roslyn Road and Jericho Turnpike. In the morning, a line of eager shoppers formed outside the doors. Inside was a carb heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view), with Entenmann’s classics alongside exotic cookies and snack brands established by the LI company’s new parent in Mexico. But the writing was on the wall, or more properly the door. About a week after our first visit, the outlet closed.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has come under fire for delays with veterans’ benefits and care at their facilities. While I have already called for a criminal investigation into wrongdoing at the VA, I am writing to inform readers of my bill that would enact a common-sense solution to ensure veterans aren’t left waiting for claims.
Currently, New York veterans wait an average of 297 days to receive disability compensation and benefits, a time table that falls far short of the 125-day goal the VA has set for filling these claims. This is unacceptable.
Spring has indeed finally sprung! We now see the welcoming sights of flowers blooming, trees bedecked in their beautiful foliage and, of course, kids playing. We will also see some new sights around the Village this spring as well. The LIRR is completing its Stair Replacement project at its Floral Park Station. We see the new aluminum banister and canopy supports being installed. These structures also support the new stainless steel handrails. The canopy will be a more robust, colorfast fiberglass product. The LIRR anticipates the entire project to be completed by July. The work is progressing well and will provide a safer and more easily maintained access to the platforms. Work on the station platforms, damaged by the severe winter, will commence during the summer.
Memorial Day has passed, marking the official start of the summer season, a season that is above all about warm sunshine.
The sun is an astonishing presence in our lives. It is a primary, primal, life-giving force on this planet. Humans, like many species, are drawn to bask in its warmth. We miss it in winter, falling prey to sadness—officially seasonal affective disorder—in the months when Apollo’s chariot arcs low in the sky.
Living a stone’s throw from the LIRR Main Line for 48 years has given me a front row seat of various iterations of the Third Track Project costing from $195 million to $1.2 billion.
In the same 30-year period various iterations of replacing the Westbury Ellison Avenue Bridge have been put forth. Thank goodness there will be a new bridge soon. But how soon? Hopefully sooner than it took to eliminate the Mineola Roslyn Road at-grade crossing—eight years.
On behalf of the Board of Education, we would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this past week’s school budget and bond referendum votes. The Floral Park-Bellerose School District had record high voter turnout of 3,000 voters, and we appreciate all of you who took the time to educate yourselves about the issues and come to the polls. The overwhelming success was an inspiration and demonstrated our community’s strong belief in our public schools and the students who attend them. Thanks to your continued support, not only can all of our present programs at the elementary and high schools be continued, but planning can begin for the much needed repairs to our five high schools. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank the many residents who helped to spread the word about the importance of the Sewanhaka Central High School District bond referendum.
By now, I’m sure you’ve seen or heard the phrase, “Bring Back Our Girls.” It’s the rallying cry of a movement to pressure the international community to rescue the 280 teenage schoolgirls who were brazenly kidnapped from their Nigerian classrooms on April 14. The words have been tweeted over one million times across the Internet and have generated numerous Facebook pages that count hundreds of thousands of followers. Even the “old” media has joined in as 24-hour news outlets vie to be the first to flash photos of celebrities holding the words emblazoned across their chests.
These kidnappings are just the latest in a long list of atrocities perpetrated against the Nigerian people by the deadly extremist group Boko Haram who further outraged the world with a video broadcast threatening to sell the girls into slavery. New Yorkers in particular, always leaders in social justice, were enraged at this blatant human trafficking. Today, with this column, I hope to tap into that rage to bring your attention to a problem we have right here at home.
India, the world’s largest democracy, has voted for change. With the election of Narenda Modi and his Bharatiya Party, 1.3 billion people have chosen a path they hope will lead to fewer government handouts and greater economic growth. The victory of Modi to move away from the country’s left-centered politics was stunning and involved all castes and regions.
Tired of stagnation, taxation and entitlement politics, India is turning away from the oppressive regulations which has delayed the building of factories that has destroyed opportunities. Perhaps the most refreshing thing about this upheaval is that young people (100 million new voters between the ages of 18 and 24) are demanding change and forging ahead into the maw of a more unfettered entrepreneurial world.
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