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From The Desk Of NY State Senator Jack Martins: January 4, 2013

Happy Holidays

I received an email from Afghanistan in late October; actually from one of our local guys from New Hyde Park who is currently stationed there.    

He serves in what is uniquely known as one of the Navy’s “Force Reintegration Cells.” It’s not what you might think, though. His unit actually distributes small grants and community funding for local projects, most of the time using the former insurgent fighters as laborers on the projects. Each leaves the fight “honorably” and each represents one less fighter or suicide bomber for the Taliban.  As he notes in his message:

“As a native New Yorker, I was very skeptical at first, but I have to admit, that the program is working. We’ve peacefully removed 5,000 insurgent fighters from the battle space…

He goes on to quietly describe his wife’s busy schedule without him and how he can’t wait to come home to Long Island for the holidays.   

I saved his email for you because I was struck by his sense of purpose, hope and his very noble desire to peacefully effect change. He represents us – America – to the world and I’m glad he does.  And as immense as his work is, he most appreciates the opportunity to be home with loved ones for the holidays.

So that’s my, or maybe I should say our, message this holiday season.  We are still very blessed to be with people we love this holiday season, and that alone is a wonderful gift.  Even with all the heartache we’ve seen lately, there are still good and hope-filled things happening.  God willing, we won’t lose sight of that.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday, whatever you celebrate, and may the new year be a better one, a safe one, with much peace and good health.

News

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com