(Editor’s note: The following is a copy of a letter from Senator Charles Fuschillo and the Long Island Senate Delegation to the LIPA Board of Trustees opposing LIPA’s rate increase proposal. The letter was read into public record at a LIPA public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 6 regarding its rate increase proposal.)
Once again a selfish and intransigent Tea Party brought the nation to the brink of disaster. I’ve gotten dizzy watching House Republicans flip-flop and backtrack in their efforts to win political points.
This is a victory for everyday citizens – from the scores of job seekers who attended my career fair at Hofstra University this month and told me of the importance of unemployment insurance, to the thousands of Americans who tweeted about how this whole charade could bring painful hardship to their families.
Yuletide Greetings were everywhere at the mayor’s annual Christmas party. Among those present we got to talk to were Joyce and Karen Gorycki, Bob and Kyle Teemsma, Rich Forestano, Walter and Joan Hobbs, Vivian Yuan, Jackie Wladyka Emilia Morelli, Meredith and Leah Minkoff, Whitney Kwiatkoski, Shelby Grynberg, Tiana Taliepe, Nick Pontolillo, Janice Cosenza, Dina Schuldner, Pat Lackner, John and Sara Herling, Betty McLoughlin. She’s the president of the Irish American Society. John Carroll, John Colbert, Michael Veezi, Manny Grilo, John Davanzo, John and Kathleen O’Shea, Bob Rosenthal, George Durham, Denny McCrave, Julian Mikowski, Peter Ferreira, Timmy Balos, Tom Mikowski, Andrew Martone, Jr., David DeSilva, Leo-nard Reis, Michael Palumbo, Neil and Joan Young, Mayor Scott and Pat Strauss, Sen. Jack Martins, John Broder and Richard O’Callaghan.
For fans of the television program Seinfeld, one of the most beloved episodes introduces a rebuttal to the year-end frenzy, a made-up holiday called “Festivus.” The brainchild of George’s father, a character named Frank Costanza, the traditions of his invented holiday are exercises in dysfunction but of course, pretty funny.
One of the “traditions” is the “airing of grievances” in which people take a moment to explain to family members how they’ve disappointed them in the past year. As an elected official, I’ve often joked that it might be nice to have people “air grievances” just once a year as opposed to sharing them constantly. To be sure, the most difficult part of this type of service is answering people’s criticisms.
Mr. McMillan’s column brings up a very good and eye-opening point. Our visa system allowed 1.3 million foreign residents to come in legally last year. There is almost a visa for every letter of the alphabet with very high allotments for each. How can we be expected to absorb so many people each year? We need to eliminate nonessential immigration categories that are driving the biggest population explosion in U.S. history.
With all these visas out there it would be a good idea to support legislation that would amend federal law to require at least one parent of children born in the United States be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident before being approved for citizenship as well as eliminate the extended family visa categories and reduce the annual number of family-sponsored immigrant visas to end unnecessary chain migration.
Thank you to everyone who contributed in some way to our project of delivering meals to homebound senior citizens and those in need on Thanksgiving afternoon. Through the generosity of so many, 270 hot dinners were delivered throughout Nassau County and 22 families were provided with the fixings to make their own Thanksgiving meal.
We are grateful to everyone who contributed in some way — by donating food, beverages, or money; cooking a turkey, making a dessert or bread. We are grateful to all the children who made cards or baked in their CCD class, Girl Scout Troop, Youth Group, or classroom. We are grateful to Mrs. White and her Art Classes at Stewart School in Garden City for the beautiful artwork on the bags in which the meals were delivered. We are grateful to those who gave of their time on Thanksgiving Day to help us pack the meals and to those who helped us deliver them.
Score a big one for common sense. I’m writing to you from Albany because I have some great news. All our hard work has paid off. As of last night New York State has passed a historic $3.3 billion middle-class tax cut and job creation bill.
The far-reaching plan reduces taxes for more than 4 million New Yorkers to the lowest point in more than 50 years and it eliminates the job-killing MTA payroll tax for 78 percent of those who currently pay it. It further stimulates job growth by providing tax credits for hiring young people and by investing heavily in rebuilding New York’s decaying infrastructure. Simply put, it puts jobs and money back into the hands of working people who can dig us out of this recession.
I must have forgotten how much I dreaded impromptu writing assignments because this past month I asked sixth-graders in our district to do just that – write a Thanksgiving essay about what they’re thankful for. Despite jam-packed schedules and “tons of homework,” more than 300 participated. I had the pleasure of meeting many of them at a recent recognition ceremony. While I realize the assignment wasn’t easy for them, it did make it abundantly clear that we can all be thankful that our young people offer us some real promise.
Year by year, Long Island loses ground, yet we seem to resist making changes. I wonder: What will it take to get us moving?
Back in 2004, the first Long Island Index uncovered the extent of the Brain Drain. The exodus of talented young people, and the underlying need for more affordable housing, received much public and media attention, and in a poll later that year, 72 percent of Long Islanders rated the lack of affordable housing as either a “Very Serious” or “Extremely Serious” problem. Yet in the years since, we’ve made hardly any progress.
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