This past week was the American Heart Association’s National CPR and AED Awareness Week. It is an occasion to remind us all how vital it is to be trained in CPR and in the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator). When someone falls victim to sudden cardiac arrest, every minute without bystander CPR decreases 7-10 percent. The interval between the 911 telephone call and the arrival of Emergency Medical Services personnel is usually longer than five minutes. Without CPR being initiated, and the use of the life-saving shock delivery of an AED, a victim simply will not survive.
Rescue Ink, a nonprofit organization on Long Island, was formed in 2007 by several longtime friends who were united by their love and admiration of animals.
“We met because we were all doing the same thing in our spare time: rescuing and finding homes for abandoned and abused animals,” the group explains in a statement on its official website. “None of us did it for money; we did it because we cannot stand by while anyone mistreats an animal!”
Acetaminophen has made it into the headlines again as the FDA has again warned of possible liver toxicity with uses of dosages which are in excess of those that are currently recommended. This is an important distinction as it speaks to using acetaminophen wisely. Most of the problems are a result of lack of awareness by the consumer that this over-the-counter medication can cause liver injury and the lack of awareness that many over-the-counter medications used for the treatment of the common cold, fevers and/or generalized aches and pains contain this compound.
Healthcare issues have always been at the forefront of my policy initiatives, both as County Comptroller and during the 35 years spent in the healthcare field. Throughout my two terms, I have been a squeaky wheel when it comes to finding ways to trim the escalating costs of Nassau County’s health benefits. Several years ago I persuaded the County Legislature to eliminate the practice of offering two family health benefit policies to one family, to lengthen the number of years of employment required to vest lifetime retiree health benefits and to increase the health benefit buy back amount to encourage employees with other coverage options to drop County health benefits.
This means that convicted drug dealers with extensive criminal histories could be taking care of children at a day care center or as a nanny, teaching at a school, or working at a nursing home or at some other position of trust.
Nassau County Legislator Dave Mejias (D-Farmingdale) reminds parents that there is a great deal they can do to keep their teenagers safe on Prom Night and ensure that it is a positive experience.
“Parents can help to ensure that Prom Night is a great experience for their children,” Legislator Mejias said. “It requires some forethought on their part, a commitment to discussions prior to the event with their children, and knowledge of who they plan to spend the evening with, and where, if anywhere, that they plan to go after prom. Knowledge is power when applied for parents, and informed parents can help keep teenagers safe on what should be one of the best nights of their young lives.“
Originally designated as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our great nation. There are varying stories in American lore of exactly how the holiday began. Over two dozen cities and towns around America claim to be the original birthplace of Memorial Day. There is even some evidence that the ritual of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers began with women’s groups of the Confederate south during the Civil War. New Yorkers will be proud to learn that the debate was settled in May of 1966 when then-President Lyndon Johnson declared the birthplace of Memorial Day as Waterloo, NY. Most historians agree that the holiday began in many separate places largely during the American Civil War when communities planned and organized dates to honor the fallen soldiers by decorating their graves.
This process started on April 15 with the tea party demonstrations all over America. These demonstrations showed to the world that the governed do not like the change that has taken place. For the first time since Ronald Reagan, the silent majority is speaking, and the change that will take place will not be comfortable for the people who have ignored them for the past generation.
We are asking local residents to help Massapequa High School students win $10,000 from the Allstate Foundation for teen driver safety education. Go to www.actoutloud.org, click on Massapequa to vote for the students. Massapequa High School is one of 20 high schools in the nation-the only one in New York State-as a finalist for this prize.
A group of Massapequa High School students worked to enlist as many students as possible to think deeply about driving safety. There were many teachers involved and many students involved but mostly this is a student-led project that has grown long legs.
Beginning with Awareness Week in March, students have attended assemblies and discussed safe driving in many classes including drivers' education. A group of students in our Academy submitted their ideas about promoting driving safety to Act Out Loud and now Massapequa High School (MHS) is one of 20 high schools in the nation (the only one in New York State) to be competing for a $10,000 award for MHS teen driving safety. Our Academy Program encourages students to take real-world problems and use the knowledge and skills learned in school to find solutions.
The students' idea is to enlist as many students as possible to contribute to this project. We are at 160 and climbing right now. Many student projects have been posted on www.actoutloud.org (click on Massapequa) and more projects are coming in on a daily basis. Students are really excited about contributing to this cause as driving is something all teenagers look forward to.
We plan to continue activities throughout the spring as May, June and July are the months with the most teenage driving accidents. In addition to the website, we are creating a window display at the Sunrise Mall and launching a social networking campaign to ask everyone (not just students) to vote for Massapequa from May 11-22. The school with the most votes wins.
MHS students are interested in using this award to purchase a drunk driving simulator which would be used year after year to educate students to how easily accidents can happen and be prevented by making the decision not to drink and drive. Students are also extremely interested in spreading the word that driving distractions - cell phones, texting, putting on makeup, having too many passengers, are large causes of accidents that are easily preventable as well. Our school is committed to continuing this promotion from year to year to help teenagers everywhere with student-created projects featured on a website. We have found that student excitement has increased as they see their work published on the Internet.
Although we are in Nassau County, we hope all of New York State will vote for us. Please help us spread the word.
Last month, I joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at Martin Viette Nurseries in East Norwich to kick off the “Grown on Long Island” campaign to promote the purchase of locally grown produce and horticulture items. Long Island is home to plenty of farmer’s markets, garden centers, farm stands, and wineries, giving all of us easy access to fresh local fruits, vegetables, jellies, juices, homemade baked foods, wines, and beautiful flowers, plants and other garden items.
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