Two recent house fires, one in New Jersey and one right here in Levittown, have prompted me, in the interest of fire safety, to review both of them.
The fire in South Plainfield New Jersey two weeks ago took the lives of four young children and one adult and scarred the lives of the members of that volunteer fire department’s members. They witnessed horrors there that they will long remember. The other house fire took place in Levittown on Feb. 24 and in that fire, three children and one adult escaped with very minor injuries. The Levittown F.D. volunteers responded quickly and extinguished the fire.
At the height of the gasoline crisis in 2008, I wrote a letter to Senator Schumer on Jan. 17, 2008. In the letter I stated I wasn’t an economist, and didn’t have to be, to know that high gasoline prices would hurt the economy.
I outlined the approach we had to the gas shortage of the 70s, rationing, purchasing gas on odd/even days by license plate numbers (yes, there was a day for letters only), etc. As of this writing I have not received a reply saying it is a good or bad idea or any suggestion he had to remedy the problem but we are right back where we were in January 2008 with high gasoline prices. Whatever the reason, be it speculators in the stock market, oil companies or an oil embargo, is it possible that just the threat of rationing gasoline would bring the prices down? I don’t know but my guess is we will never know and I haven’t seen anyone in Congress offering any other idea?
On behalf of the officers and members of the Hicksville Veterans of Foreign Wars, William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211, I would like to thank the Hicksville community members, businesses, organizations and local elected officials who supported us by attending our 77th Anniversary Dinner Dance and/or sponsoring an ad in our 77th Anniversary Journal. Without your support, we would not be able to continue the programs we have in support of our veterans. We will continue to work closely with the Hicksville community and our elected officials to ensure that all our veterans needs are addressed.
On Sunday, Feb. 5, we were informed by a civic member about a loitering problem that had developed on a dead end block, Alicia Street, which was occurring mostly at night. The activity was such that drug trafficking was/is highly suspected.
On Monday, Feb. 6th, we notified Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia and her secretary Emma Rosasco of the situation and inquired about the procedure to procure a streetlight on the block to help deter the activity. Our liaison POP Officer, PO Paul Lamonaca, at the 8th Precinct was also notified of the situation.
On Tuesday evening, Feb. 7th, a surprised civic member called to report that a new streetlight was installed on the dead end block and was operational!
The 21st Century will be the Asian Century. We’ve known that since the 1980s when Toyota replaced GM in the parking lot, Sony replaced RCA in the living room, our hospitals and engineering firms became increasingly staffed with Chinese surgeons and Korean technicians and our local businesses came increasingly to be owned and operated by Indian and Pakistani businessmen. Indeed, since crime, poverty, illiteracy and homelessness dramatically decreased in Singapore, China, Taiwan and South Korean whilst increasing in Western countries – the U.S. in particular. Since the proportion of Asian populations who can speak English – the language of science, diplomacy and international trade – increased as America became increasingly confronted with issues of bilingualism.
America’s decline as a world power does not necessarily mean that the good life won’t be possible for our grandchildren (although we must accept the reality that many will have to look overseas to find the American Dream they couldn’t obtain here).
Our Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights were written by men well-schooled in the ideas of the French and Scottish Enlightenments. They were men who respected human reason and who despised superstition, prejudice and ignorance. These European intellectuals were in awe of Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Paine, and all Americans whom they had previously mocked as “Yankee Doodles.”
They saw that despite our being in the midst of a war for our very existence, we calmly, humanely and bravely proclaimed, “all men are created equal...with certain unalienable rights...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Is that just ancient history or are we still the awesome people who sing of their land as the “land of the free and the home of the brave?”
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “Denenberg Asks AG to Investigate Privatization of Sewage Plants,” that appeared in the Thursday, Jan. 14, edition of The Roslyn News. This is the second of two letters from Claudia Borecky. The first letter appeared in last week’s edition.)
County Executive Mangano is proposing to sell or lease three of the County’s sewage treatment plants (STP), Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, to fill the county’s budget gap. He stated in a Long Island Press article, “In this case, we have the ability to protect the taxpayer, increase efficiencies and protect the environment.”
In last week’s letter, I discussed how Nassau County will lose its ability to protect the taxpayer and sale of our STPs will mean a huge increase in our sewage tax bill. Research has also shown that the quality of service often declines when operated by a private system. Although faith in the private sector to outperform government agencies is ingrained in the American psyche, facts disproving that belief are steadily mounting. Private companies seek to maximize profits, often by cutting corners to reduce costs. This can greatly impair service quality and maintenance. Over 60 percent of governments that brought functions back in-house reported this as their primary motivation.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to “Denenberg Asks AG to Investigate Privatization of Sewage Plants,” that appeared in the Friday, Jan. 13 edition of the Levittown Tribune. This is one of two letters from Claudia Borecky. Her letter next week will address how she thinks privatizing will affect the efficiency of the sewage treatment plants and the affect on the environment.)
County Executive Mangano is proposing to sell or lease three of the County’s sewage treatment plants (STP), Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, to fill the county’s budget gap. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued on Feb. 16, 2010 seeking Public/Private Partnerships (P3) to help fix the County’s fiscal woes. Morgan Stanley won that bid and was paid $24,750 (a bid under $25,000 does not require NIFA approval) to help prepare Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), to seek qualified bidders to purchase or lease our STPs. Three viable entities were found:
It’s that time of year again. Long Island school districts begin the frustrating process of budget development where residents believe their votes have little impact. Taxes seem to go up each year, while there are constant threats of cuts to children’s programs, especially after school activities and buses. The 2012-13 budgets will likely be more frustrating than in recent decades due to the two percent tax cap, State budget deficits and child poverty on Long Island.
For years we’ve heard that Long Islanders do not get their fair share of state school aid but the recent rise in child poverty on Long Island helps underscore a much more serious problem: its negative impact on our children’s education. It is well known that socioeconomic factors have almost twice the impact on a child’s education than the quality of their schools. Teachers routinely complain that the kids that need the most help have (apparently) missing parents. What Albany doesn’t realize is that a growing number of working class families on Long Island tend to have both parents working, often at more than one job. If instead these working class families got an appropriate level of state school aid, perhaps they could spend more time with their children and truly have a beneficial impact on their education.
The next public meeting of the Oyster Bay Town Board will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 10 a.m. in the Town Board Hearing Room, Town Hall East, 54 Audrey Avenue in Oyster Bay. The regularly scheduled meeting for Sept. 27 has been cancelled.
Meetings of the Oyster Bay Town Board begin with public hearings. These are items that, under law, require a public hearing before the Town Board. All such hearings are advertised in advance as to the date, time, place and subject matter. Public hearings are held on a wide range of issues including proposed local laws, amendments to the Town Code, rezoning and special use permit applications, and traffic regulations. Decisions on these hearings are generally reserved and the record is left open for a minimum of two weeks to allow residents who could not attend to submit their comments in writing, either by letter or e-mail, to be part of the official record for that hearing. Letters can be sent to any Town official at Town Hall East, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay, NY 11771. E-mails can be sent by clicking on the Contact Us link on the left side of this Web page.
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