LIPA caused us all a lot of grief in the week following the hurricane. There were thousands of people who remained without power after Hurricane Irene and it seemed as if my office heard from each and every one of them. We literally logged hundreds upon hundreds of angry calls and e-mails and most had virtually the same complaint: There was no power and LIPA wasn’t telling them anything. People who were already very upset by not having electricity had their frustration further exacerbated by LIPA’s unbelievable lack of communication.
Unfortunately, in regards to power restoration, all my staff could do was continuously contact LIPA with the complaints and wait for status updates we could share with residents. I did promise myself though that as soon as the lights were back on I would draw attention to LIPA’s utter failure to keep us informed.
It’s difficult to write about the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Representing a district that suffered a tremendous loss of life that day, one that saw so many of our first responders involved in rescue efforts, I thought it best to avoid platitudes that bring very little comfort to those still suffering. Instead I will simply share some observations on where we stand now.
September 11 will go down as one of the defining historical events in our nation’s history, much like Pearl Harbor or John F. Kennedy’s assassination. These events spur people to action and generally shape policy for years to come. In this case, it sparked an unprecedented war on terrorism, both at home and abroad. It reminded us just how precious life is, it emphasized that which unites us, and it gave us an appropriate appreciation for public servants who protect us personally and who protect our way of life.
Tragedy struck close to home with the drowning death of NYPD officer Patrick Luca in a kayak accident. Thank heaven his 5-year-old Caden is okay. Our condolences to his widow Stephanie. They also have a young daughter, Brea. Officer Luca is the son-in-law of our neighbors Ken and Gerri Aiello.
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Bobby and Jeannie Franz live on Barwick Boulevard. They have two kids Tim, 10, and James, 6. Bobby is a fireman and works for Albertson Hardware.
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We’ve had hail the size of baseballs, an earthquake, and now Hurricane Irene. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to tell us something. Metaphors aside, each incident serves as an intense reminder that preparation is always the best prevention. Along those lines, we’ve heard debate for a number of years as to whether Long Island is prepared for a hurricane. I think this past weekend we demonstrated that we are.
I’ve been making my way around our district to assess the damage and I’ve seen flooding, downed trees, and many residents and businesses without power as of this writing. Yet, while I ate breakfast in the dark this morning, I was thankful that except for some isolated incidents, we proceeded without major injury or catastrophe.
One size definitely does not fit all or at least it rarely does. It’s a lesson big government needs to remind itself. Case in point would be the State Board of Education’s recent efforts to redesign how our teachers are evaluated.
You may recall that New York was fortunately awarded $700 million from the federal government’s “Race to The Top” program, which seeks to improve student scores by holding teachers more accountable. The idea is a good one and certainly no one wants to turn away much-needed monies for our schools, but as usual, it’s in the implementation of good ideas that problems arise.
After eight years as a mayor and these past eight months as a New York senator, I thought no instance of financial inefficiency could shock me anymore. I was wrong. This past week the Port Authority proposed fee hikes so extraordinary, so out of touch, that they took my breath away.
Citing the need for more revenue, the Port Authority proposed increasing tolls on Hudson River crossings: the George Washington Bridge, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. For E-Z Pass drivers entering New York from New Jersey, they urge increasing tolls from $8 to $12. Those unfortunate drivers paying cash would be slapped with a $7 increase, making their trip rise from $8 to $15.
If you had a good friend who has dutifully been there for you and your family and your neighbors for her entire life, and she was having her 76th birthday, how would you celebrate?
On Aug. 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, creating the safety net that’s helped millions of retired and disabled Americans stay out of poverty and contribute to the economy for several generations now.
Lutherans are one of the largest Protestant communities in Mineola. A group of dedicated Christians met Sept. 11, 1921 to lay the cornerstone of the Lutheran Church of Our Saviour on Willis Avenue. We can recall Pastor Arthur Doege in the early days and Pastor Robert Mursch. The current pastor is the Rev. Albert Triolo. They also are home to the Children’s Noah’s Ark. On this Sept. 11, there will be a large commemorative celebration following religious services held at the Inn of New Hyde Park.
Moyous Outdoor Market was at the corner of Willis Avenue and Mineola Boulevard where KFC is located today. A few may recall this colorful spot with its bananas hanging in the windows and it’s many Greek and Italian specialties. Moyous closed about 50 years ago.
I love those local history books that show what our neighborhoods used to be like. I enjoy contrasting photos of wide open spaces, dirt roads and potato farms to where today stand shopping malls, highways, and supermarkets.
It’s fascinating because this super-development actually didn’t begin that long ago. It was only after World War II, when our servicemen settled here with their families, that Long Island’s population boom began.
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