I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season. Like most, the holidays represent a special time for me. Whether it is decorating the tree, hanging the stockings, or enjoying a holiday meal, it is all made more enjoyable by the presence of loved ones.
Along with the annual traditions and the time I get to spend with my family, my favorite part of the holidays is the spirit in which it brings. Through acts of kindness and a willingness to lend a helping hand, this time of the year seems to bring out the best in people. The charity you see is truly amazing and makes me proud to represent people that are so willing to give during these tough economic times.
Have you made any New Year’s Resolution for 2011? If not, here is an idea for a sustainable one.
There is always a room, a closet, or some other area in your home that is full of stuff. It’s stuff that you avoid dealing with like the 800-pound gorilla in the living room. But when you resolve to tackle it with the intention to pass it on, it will happen.
I was very saddened to hear about Goldman Bros., a beloved business here in Hicksville, which will be closing its doors. Personally, I have bought shoes and clothing there for years. I also know my grandfather, who owned a bakery at the time, used to shop there because they had certain long johns he would wear specifically during the cold nights when baking.
I love trains. I love everything about them.
I was about 7 when my dad took me down to the basement early Christmas morning to show me the brand new Lionel electric train set that Santa had supposedly left for me. It was complete with Plaster of Paris mountains and tunnels that my dad made. He also constructed small towns and villages with traffic cops and mailmen and lots of townspeople that he hand painted all by himself. I don’t know how he found the time since he always worked two jobs, sometimes working through the night. I’m still amazed at how he kept this clandestine project from us, but he did.
My dad led me to believe that Santa had done all this so he didn’t really receive the credit he deserved, yet he seemed ecstatic just watching me. Perhaps just watching me was his Christmas present.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Hicksville for their support and for exercising their right to vote during the recent fire commissioner election.
I am ready to get to work and am humbled by the vote of confidence the community of Hicksville has bestowed upon me. I would also like to personally thank all of my family and friends who worked tirelessly on my campaign. Whatever your effort, big or small, it was so much appreciated.
Holiday gifts can make a difference when they are green. Ceramic or metallic mugs for coffee or water, a share of a llama or bee colony or any other gift of nature are some to be had. You can look at arborday.org/gift ideas for something special. Also, you can purchase replicas of animals, crafts and clothing made from recyclable products and sustainable materials at many environmental sites (www.NRDCGreenGifts.org is one). Of course, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) offers Fair Trade Coffee, chocolate and other goodies. Just Google any organization such as The Nature Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, Sierra Club, etc. and you will find other green treasures.
On Dec. 14, the residents of Hicksville will be electing a new fire commissioner to fill the vacancy presently held by Robert Manson who is not running for re-election. We are asking you to come out and support Ex Captain John Menig. John is a lifelong resident of Hicksville and has been an active member of the fire department since 1980.
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.
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