Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00
I was advised not to write this column. I was told it wasn’t politically expedient, that it would most certainly ruffle some feathers. But I’ve always maintained that I would shoot straight with my constituents, and I think I my recent re-election means that most of you appreciate that effort.
That being said, we’ve all had the experience at some time or another in our lives of having worked hard for something – sometimes very hard – only to watch someone else swoop in at the last minute and take credit for our hard work. It’s not only personally frustrating to witness someone else be recognized for something they didn’t do, it’s also disconcerting to watch as they try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Some politicians truly believe that their own constituents are so uninformed that they can make things up and no one will call them on it. That attitude was on display when a local resident from Elmont sent me the recent letter that his Nassau County legislator mailed to constituents.
The letter outlined the slate of road safety projects planned for Hempstead Turnpike and the legislator wasted no time in claiming credit for them. The opening line reads, “I am pleased to announce that my office together with the New York State Department of Transportation has made it possible for improvements to pedestrian safety along the Hempstead Turnpike corridor to be implemented.” Let me be abundantly clear: at no time was the county legislator ever involved in the heavy lifting, or any lifting for that matter, that made this possible. The fact is it’s a state road, not a county road. The state, not the county, will be improving it.
With my colleagues, Senator Skelos and Senator Hannon, who also represent communities along Hempstead Turnpike, we worked with Governor Cuomo to commit resources to revamp traffic signals, crosswalks, center medians, and improved signage. The improvements will make Hempstead Turnpike safer, no question about it. But the point of this column isn’t who gets credit for safety enhancements to a road, it’s about honesty and integrity, virtues oftentimes missing in today’s political world.
In sending an update on legislative activities one has to wonder why a Nassau County legislator wouldn’t give his constituents an update on county issues. What is being done to restore county funding for after-school youth programs like GYO? What about addressing the county tax assessments which saw many homeowners’ taxes increase? What are they doing to address the annual overspending and deficit borrowing we’ve seen from county government and how can they put us on a course to no longer need NIFA oversight? It seems to me that there’s plenty to be done and it absolutely can get done when people put aside the partisan bickering to work on real answers.
For those who received the legislator’s letter, you probably already know who wrote it. For the rest of you, I simply remind you that governing is a two-way street that requires your input and your staying informed. Just like Hempstead Turnpike, it can be made better when people are willing to work together. By all means, support local leaders when warranted, but remember that honesty and integrity are essential to holding elected officials accountable. With them, we can dig our way out of any mess.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.
East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
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 they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.
“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”
Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.
The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.