Tributes to Craig Lagnese, who’s untimely death prompted many tributes to him. He was a teacher at Herricks High School and the head of the Herricks Teacher Association.(HTA).
Having been in Herricks for over 20 years, it wasn’t until I met Craig that I saw the person who I believed could be the leader that we desperately needed. Craig worked tirelessly to help everyone. It was because of his honesty and fortitude for righteousness that so many members became involved in the HTA.
We need strong leadership as exemplified by the existing Fire Commissioner Rick Stein...he has held leadership positions in the NHP Fire Department, NYC Fire Department, and Fire Island Fire Department, as well as the Police Auxiliary, the Elks, the Lions, the Boy Scouts, the courthouse, and he has been the man in the red suit at the NHP Christmas town tree lighting ceremony for over 30 years!
When Anthony Vaglica told me he was planning on running for fire commissioner, I knew he was making the right decision for New Hyde Park. His business expertise will help him make positive changes in the fire department that are sensible and cost effective.
The taxpayer will benefit from having Anthony Vaglica as the new fire department commissioner in New Hyde Park. We need a commissioner who knows how to balance the needs of the volunteers with the safety of our community.
Fran Lisio, New Hyde Park
I have known Anthony Vaglica for nine years, first as a customer, then a friend. He is one of the most helpful people I know. Anthony is quick to lend a hand and I have never doubted anything he has ever told me.
Anthony Vaglica will make an excellent fire commissioner and the Fire Department will be lucky to have him.
Eileen Amoriello, New Hyde Park
Anyone can throw their hat in the ring and want to fill this prestigious seat but it takes a man with integrity, dedication and a total committment to the overall goals of the firefighters and taxpayers to achieve and succeed in this position; and Rick Stein has done that for the past five years.
There are weeks I feel like I should wear a football helmet to the office. That’s because whenever powerful, special interest groups feel I’ve somehow threatened their status quo, they launch attacks. This past week a number of local teachers’ unions targeted me as the “deciding vote” in favor of the tax cap and, in that vote, as having participated in an attack on our children’s education.
I’d like to set the record straight. The tax cap passed the Senate with a near-unanimous 57-5 bi-partisan vote and was enthusiastically signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. It limits increases in school and local property taxes to 2 percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
We have been busy in the district with continued training in the Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching which will be used as the teacher evaluation tool for all staff in September of 2012. Teachers continue to meet and discuss the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Mathematics. New York State will be deciding next year as to whether they will continue their own state testing system or adapt the consortium assessment called PARC (Partners for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers).
As our nation commemorates Veterans Day and we reflect on the incalculable sacrifices made by American servicemen and women, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know about a significant challenge facing our nation’s returning veterans, and what I think Congress must do to honor its responsibility to our heroes.
Unemployment is not a problem unique to veterans. However, veterans are disproportionately impacted by the struggling economy. While the national unemployment rate is a too-high 9 percent, for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, unemployment is shockingly above 12 percent.
Before my wife can comment, I’d like to disclose right up front that I have yet to clean out our garage, but I did attempt to help a friend with his this past week. It was an attempt because just as we began his annual “toss or keep” fall ritual, we were surprised by the scurrying of little feet around the garage.
My friend, doing what any self-possessed, confident guy does, immediately decided not to mention it to his wife, and then armed with a leaf blower and a broom set out to evict the unwelcome visitor. His crusade grew exponentially as he emptied the garage of all patio furniture, bicycles, rakes, and every seasonal ornament known to man in an effort to locate his new-found nemesis. I was systematically assigned guard duty at various locations as he tried to scare the mouse out of hiding. Somewhere about mid-morning I yielded to futility and left only to return that evening to a driveway full of junk and news that the mouse had gotten away.
For the second consecutive year I have voted for a no-tax-increase budget for Nassau County. The 2012 Budget, which passed 11-8 along party lines, decreases spending from the previous year. This is the first time in anyone’s memory that the county budget contains less spending from the prior year.
The 2012 Budget resulted from a cooperative effort between County Executive Mangano, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority and the Legislative Majority. Nassau faced a $310 million deficit for 2012 due to a $115 million increase in pension and healthcare costs, unfunded state mandates, reduced sales tax revenue and a backlog of tax certiorari refunds.
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