I must take exception to Mike Barry’s recent column trumpeting the County Office of Legislative Budget Review’s (OLBR)’s “verdict” that the County Comptroller’s office sought and received adequate backup for payments to Super Storm Sandy contractors. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The OLBR report clearly stated that their review was limited in scope and not meant as endorsement or criticism of the FEMA funding and approval process in totality (pg. 3). In fact, payments to the largest vendor, Looks Great Services, which totaled over $34 million, were approved for payment based upon an Excel spreadsheet without adequate documentation (pg. 5).
Memorial Day is an opportunity to honor those who have so selflessly fought and died to protect our freedom. It also kicks off the summer season when folks are filling their propane tanks and stocking their freezers with burgers and hot dogs, in anticipation of the good times to come. With this long awaited season come a few annoyances that need addressing. Filling up our vehicles for those long, leisurely drives out east is going to cost us more at the pump, due to the required summer blend of fuel, the sole purpose of which is cutting down on toxic emissions.
And then there are the warnings about the emergence of those pesky cicadas, which will appear on the scene after a 17-year hiatus. Morning doves perched on a tree branch outside my bedroom window are melodious, unlike the cicadas with their endless screeching sounds, and the mess they leave behind upon their demise. A green and weed- free lawn is a challenge during these months, as I find my husband scanning the shelves at the local garden supply center looking for what “really might work.”
Recently there has been a spate of reality shows, such as “Toddlers & Tiaras,” which people either are hopelessly addicted to or simply cannot watch because it makes them physically ill. Those in the latter category will typically say something about how the insanely competitive parents on the show are clearly forcing their children into the arena because they want to feel validated themselves.
Although child beauty pageants are more of a rare and specialized occurrence, especially on Long Island, youth sports leagues are unavoidable. And in a perfect world, kids would play the sport they are interested in, get plenty of healthy exercise, and be supported by caring parents who have reasonable expectations, wanting them to succeed. Although such situations do exist, usually when a child runs down the first baseline, there is a coach or parent yelling, as if the fate of the universe and their concept of self-worth hang in the balance.
Freedom is our cause, but freedom does not come free and many have paid the ultimate price. The America we know would not be the same were it not for the men and women we honor on Memorial Day. All of us at the Long Island State Veterans Home would like to take this opportunity to remember those brave men and women whose ultimate sacrifice has helped to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.
I could hear sounds of children laughing and screaming for joy and as I got closer I realized The Massapequa Street Fair was already in full swing.
The old saying, “Busy as a Bee” comes from the fact that bees pollinate at least 70% of our crops, which is 1 out of 3 bites of food that we eat - encompassing at least 95 varieties of crops.
The world’s bees are in jeopardy of extinction. Bees have been dying off in droves since the mid 1990s. This disaster began in France and kept spreading throughout the world, hitting the U.S. in 2006. It was given a name – colony collapse disorder, or CCD. Much has been made over the so-called mystery surrounding CCD.
Like most, if not all, of your subscribers, I was significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy. My family and I grimaced through 12 days with no power, flitting between houses of relatives and friends in the latter half just to regain some sanity.
Months later, my brother and I still jokingly point to newspaper front pages that bring up the Sandy recovery effort because they seemingly have nothing better to write about and because it is an easily relatable story. Our personal situation was no Long Beach, but even so, our Massapequa home on Overlea St. North put us close enough to the Great South Bay to flood our crawlspace. Still, it just seemed like something I could tell a story about later and mostly forget.
I started writing for my school newspaper, St. John the Baptist’s The Prophet, when I was 14 years old. I’ve written for several papers since then, including my alma mater’s publication The New Paltz Oracle and a now defunct home and green-living magazine called New York House.
In today’s climate of ever-shrinking funding, hard decisions need to be made in order to balance the school budget. As you consider where to make cuts and what programs to eliminate, please consider the following information about school library programs and school librarians.
While all school libraries are important, we believe that school libraries, especially elementary school libraries, and certified school librarians to staff them, are needed now more than ever. As you know, elementary school provides the basis upon which all further education is built. A strong school library program in elementary school will result in the future success of your students as they move toward college and careers.
Spring is a great time of the year. The temperature is rising, the amount of daylight continues to increase and a feeling of renewal fills the warmer air. In our 12th Legislative District, the season brings many exciting events, with one of these being the opening of the Little League season. After a cold winter, the beginning of the Little League season is always a welcome event. With the season having just begun, let’s send the young athletes our best wishes for a successful season while also thanking the coaches and parents who make the games possible.
The spirit of community involvement is demonstrated at Massapequa Park’s annual Earth Day program when many of our local Scout troops, as well as other residents help clean up the village and make it even more beautiful. This year, it will take place on Saturday, April 20. Groups will begin assembling around 9 a.m. in Brady Park. I’m looking forward to joining village officials at the park to support and thank those who will be giving back to our district with their efforts.
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