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.
Recent Op-Ed pieces in prominent newspapers have suggested that with proper regulatory oversight, hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” can be accomplished safely in New York, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and bringing much needed economic benefits to hard-hit areas of the state. If the issue was that simple, and if the statements were true, surely everyone would be in favor.
But the facts don’t support these statements, and the issue is not as simple as the TV ads would have citizens believe. Fracking is an inherently dangerous and destructive extreme form of energy extraction that brings with it a myriad of serious environmental and economic problems. Now that we have the opportunity to see how fracking has actually impacted citizens in Pennsylvania and other states, we can more easily distinguish fact from fantasy and make smarter choices for New York.
I would like to thank the more than 1,300 Hicksville residents who voted in Tuesday’s election. One of the most important freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this great country is the right to vote. We vigorously debate issues and then express our opinion peacefully at the polling place.
I want to thank all those who worked tirelessly on my campaign. No one runs a campaign by themselves. It takes grass roots supporters and a team effort. The residents of Hicksville exercised their right to vote in this local election to choose a candidate that will work towards maintaining safe potable drinking water for our residents. I appreciated all those residents that expressed their confidence in my abilities and cast their vote.
I would like to take the opportunity to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to come out and vote in the water and fire commissioners’ elections on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and especially those who had the confidence to cast their vote for my re-election. Regardless of whom you voted for each and every candidate who ran for election was willing to give of their time in serving you the taxpayers in Hicksville. It has been my pleasure in serving you and I look forward to continue my dedicated service to you the next three years as your water commissioner.
Thanks to your support and votes I am very honored to have been elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners on Tuesday, Dec. 13.
It was a very humbling and proud moment for me and for my family. The men and women of the Hicksville Fire Department have worked extremely hard to serve the citizens of Hicksville, and because of that you enjoy the protection of one of the finest fire departments in the country. I will join a very distinguished membership on the Board of Fire Commissioners and I look forward to helping the department continue that fine tradition of service as Fire Commissioner. Once again, thank you very much for your support and I wish each of you a safe and happy holiday season.
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