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.
As much as the organizers of the Hicksville Fire Department’s Holiday Fire Safety Open House would like to think, fire safety took a back seat to fire engine rides and Santa. A good turnout of more than 500 people attended the open house.
The members who donated their time handing out fire safety information, answering questions do hope they helped make the holidays in Hicksville safer. It was the first time the department offered fire truck rides. All the thanks go to the Board of Fire Commissioners for their approval. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know folks are not going to turn out just to get fire safety information. Fires hit the other folks, not us. Right? That is the prevailing opinion all over.
Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joe Muscarella announced that beginning Friday, Dec. 16, the town will have free firewood available for town residents.
“Starting Friday, Dec. 16, and continuing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through mid-March 2012, Town of Oyster Bay residents can come to the town highway yard, 150 Miller Place, Syosset, after 3 p.m. on Friday and between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, to pick up a trunk full of cut, but not split wood,” Muscarella said. “No vehicles with commercial plates will be permitted. Residents should be aware that while the bins are filled each day, the wood goes quickly.”
The Trainmasters of Babylon, West Island Model Railroad Club, and Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers, all have open houses scheduled.
The Kiwanis Club of Hicksville and the Kiwanis Foundation of Hicksville want to thank the community for actively supporting our 11th annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast held on November 20th. Through the generosity and kindness of many community members, businesses and organizations we were able to provide the food pantries at Holy Family, Our Lady of Mercy, St. Ignatius, United Methodist and St. Brigid with much needed food, paper goods and money. We thank all of the Kiwanis members for their active participation and hard work in this endeavor. In addition, a special thank you to our Key Club members from Hicksville High School who participated in assisting us with this event and their advisor Tim Betts. In addition, we also want to thank Legislator Rose Walker and Assemblyman Michael Montesano for attending and giving us their support.
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