George Washington famously stated that “government is not reason and eloquence but force” and therefore must be limited in its scope. True enough. But in addition to it not being reason or eloquence, it isn’t humanitarian either. In the Nov. 26, 2010 issue of this paper, Robert McMillan correctly pointed out that traffic cameras have demonstrably been found to save lives. He also said, “The cameras are not installed to raise money for local governments.” I don’t doubt the former. If, however, the latter is true, then local governments won’t object to donating fines collected from traffic cameras to some 501(C)3 charitable organization (I’d be happy to provide a list).
Let’s be honest with ourselves. All-too-often government agencies function as though they exist for no other reason than to perpetuate their own existence; to provide political patronage jobs, union featherbedding, and endless litigation fodder for law firms like the kind for which Mr. McMillan is employed. Government action to save lives? Since when has government ever cared about the preservation of human life? Cigarettes and alcohol addiction kill thousands of Americans every year. Phillip Morris and other tobacco companies have been responsible (albeit, a shared responsibility) for the loss of more American life than Al Qaeda. But federal, state, and local levels of government handsomely profit from cigarette taxes and taxes on alcohol products. If government was serious about protecting its citizens, tobacco and alcohol would be illegal or, at the very least, the government in its moral outrage would refuse to be a party to profiting off these industries much as Quakers refused to grow tobacco on their farms and abolitionists refused to purchase raw materials obtained through slave labor.
(Attorney General and Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo released this letter on Nov. 17 to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, requesting that the New York State Unified Court System take appropriate steps to ensure that election-related litigation involving three undecided State Senate races be resolved expeditiously and fairly.)
Dear Chief Judge Lippman:
For reasons which follow, I write for the purpose of requesting that the New York State Unified Court System take appropriate steps to ensure that election-related litigation involving the three undecided State Senate races be resolved as expeditiously as possible.
Today, more than two weeks after Election Day, several lawsuits have already been commenced, and numerous courts, election workers and lawyers throughout the State are busily engaged in the process of resolving the elections at issue.
(Editor's note: This letter is in response to a letter that appeared recently in the Hicksville Illustrated News. The writer, Beverly Hughes, is an employee of a company located adjacent to the Twin County asphalt plant in Hicksville. This letter was sent to Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Jon Venditto and fellow board members. )
2010 marks a sad anniversary. It is 25 years ago this year that the Twin County facility began producing asphalt. (They opened in 1983 as a rock-crushing operation.) During these 25 years this plant has been a constant source of problems for residents who live north and south of the plant and it has been a blight on the entire Hicksville community.
Ms. Hughes’s letter sums up what it has been like to have Twin County as a neighbor for 25 years. Odors, noise, smoke and dust are a part of our daily life and deprive us of the simple enjoyment of our homes. There is also no doubt that there could be serious health implications for those of us who live and work near the plant. On several mornings recently when the plant was operating and I was walking my dog on Duffy Avenue it was difficult to breathe. The decision to allow an asphalt plant to operate in the middle of two residential areas defied all logic 25 years ago and still does today.
(Editors Note: The following is a letter sent to Andrew Cuomo and the Hicksville Illustrated News.)
Most New Yorkers do not know about hydrofracking. This letter, based upon my own reading and information from the Wilderness Society’s recent 2010-2011 issue, should make them understand that the human cost and the dangers it will unleash are reasons why we should not allow it. Called fracking, for short, it is the taking of natural gas buried within rocks and bringing it to the surface for use as energy. How? There is a rock formation called the Marcellus Shale. It lies within two-thirds of Pennsylvania and stretches from upstate New York into West Virginia. The problem is that it does tremendous damage to the land and water.
Currently, there has been a rush to drill for this so-called “bridge fuel” that can transition us to non-polluting, renewable resources like solar and wind energy. In New York, however, a moratorium has been imposed until the environmental impacts can be determined.
“Greenhouse” gases: pleasant-sounding name for carbon dioxide, methane, and other carbon-based gases that threaten to destroy ecosystems, play havoc with weather patterns, raise sea levels worldwide, and inundate much of Long Island.
We know we’re producing way too much of these gases. We know we need to cut back. And we even have a slew of programs designed to do so. State programs, county programs, town programs, programs from the utility companies.
So, “How’re we doin’”?
This is the problem: we simply don’t know.
When we got up to go to St. Ignatius Church in Hicksville on Sunday, Oct. 17 there was a very strong smell of something burning (plastic?). We smelled it all around Hicksville and Jericho. I talked to the cashier at Waldbaum’s in Jericho who said she lives in Levittown and she smelled it and it gave her a sore throat. I am still a little dizzy from it. I called the Hicksville Fire Department and they said they didn’t know and where should they send the fire trucks. It was very potent and dizzying. I wish someone could tell us what it was. Thanks for taking the time to read this as everyone in church smelled the odor outside. It wasn’t burning leaves either. A few people at 7:30 mass said it made them gag. Thanks for taking the time to read this and maybe you could shed some light on this.
I am writing to you in hopes of getting our voices heard concerning the Twin County Recycle Plant, 385 W. John St., Hicksville. I work for Sam Ash Music, 278 Duffy Ave., Hicksville. We have made numerous complaints regarding this plant to the NYS DEC. We are constantly being rained on by asphalt, dirt and dust. We cannot see out of our car windows; we have to change window wipers often because of the tar on our cars. Just imagine what we are breathing in through our air intake ducts. The smell inside our building is sometimes unbearable. Yesterday I used half a bottle of Windex to get the soot and debris off of my windows before I could drive home. We at Sam Ash Music are subject to this for nine to 10 hours a day and I can only imagine what the families in this community are going through and what are the long-term effects of this pollution. I understand Twin County Recycle Plant is planning on opening another plant. I can’t believe this is acceptable and nothing is being done to stop this. Please look around and see if you would live or work here. Any help would be greatly appreciated by the workforce and people of this community.
Being a teenager in the ‘60s was truly an unforgettable experience. The sound of the neighborhood basement bands was on every corner and most of us were teenage wannabe rock and roll stars. There was a band called the Commandoes, which led the pack, and this was Howie Blauvelt’s band.
This group of young musicians was way ahead of the rest of the area bands at the time. They won the Nassau County Battle of the Bands and also appeared at the New York World’s Fair.
There are pros and cons to privatization. The pro is the supposed efficiency of the free market. The con is that price becomes “what the traffic will bear” with profits for stockholders a necessary consideration.
Public utilities and services cannot raise their rates without external review and scrutiny. A bus line cannot be eliminated simply because a CEO deems it not cost effective. While nothing is perfect, a public utility can, at least, be held accountable for service and rates.
The members of Locust Valley Fire Department are set to host their 3rd Annual Pasta Dinner fundraiser to benefit the Nassau County Fire Fighters Operation Wounded Warrior (NCFF-OWW).
The dinner will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Locust Valley Firehouse. Admission is $10, children under 12 are free.
Also this year, we are very honored to have as our guests, the family of Navy Seal, Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy from Patchogue and Gary Williams, the author of the recently released book Seal of Honor about the life of Lt. Michael Murphy.
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