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Letter: Facts Over Opinions

I read with great interest, and then with dismay, the letter to the editor from my friend Norman Gersman, attacking long time Great Neck resident Howard Weitzman who is a former mayor of Great Neck Estates and former County Comptroller. It is important for readers to understand that Norman was one of George Maragos’ campaign operatives in 2009 and has held a series of County jobs ever since. Also, Norman refers so glowingly to the column by Mike Barry praising and defending Comptroller Maragos’ record … without indicating that Barry is a well-known and consistent supporter of Republican officials and candidates.

In the interest of full disclosure, I serve as President of the Great Neck Democratic Club and am actively involved in Howard Weitzman’s campaign to regain his position as County Comptroller.

After reading Norman’s letter, and knowing his political leanings and employment history, I’m reminded of the adage that “you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.” In an effort to deflect attention from the horrendous state of the county’s finances, and a lack of any notable achievements by Comptroller Maragos, Norman has concocted fanciful and baseless claims about the state of the County at the end of the Suozzi administration in 2009 and places the blame on Howard Weitzman. Aside from the fact that Comptrollers do not control the County’s spending or revenue collections (if you accepted Norman’s statements, then Comptroller George Maragos is responsible for the growing deficits the Mangano administration has created), the deficit that Mr. Maragos claims then Comptroller Weitzman left is a figment of his imagination.

There were no deficits in the County’s 2009 financial statements signed off on by Comptroller Maragos. What does appear in the County’s 2009 audited financial statements is a budget surplus of $2.6 million. In addition, after 13 bond rating upgrades during his time in office, the County was given a stable rating outlook by the rating agencies when Howard Weitzman left office. Today, four years later, after multiple bond rating downgrades, the County has been assigned a negative outlook by the same rating agencies. Who are you going to believe, Maragos, his supporters in the media and on the County payroll or the rating agencies?  Facts count for a lot more than opinions.

Steven Markowitz

News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30



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