If you’re a person who values common sense, then prepare yourself to be disgusted and angry. I’m about to tell you about a sensible piece of legislation that’s long overdue, but is being blocked by the New York State Assembly, which is shamelessly pandering to its constituents with your tax money. In fact, you may be shocked to learn that we even need this legislation at all, let alone that it’s being systematically stymied by some in Albany.
Currently, New York issues something called Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to our welfare recipients. It works much like a debit card and it allows us to help our needy neighbors in an efficient yet dignified way. The system conveniently provides a Food Stamp and a Cash Assistance component all on one card. As it stands, strict regulations dictate what can be purchased with the Food Stamp allotment. Cash assistance, on the other hand, is intended to pay for items not covered by Food Stamps, such as soap, toothpaste, school supplies and toiletries. To be clear, there are no restrictions whatsoever on the use of the Cash Assistance component. None. It’s doled out like cash.
Americans love catchy phrases and buzzwords, but sometimes such marketing tactics are nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig. That is exactly what corporations are doing when they refer to a newfangled, risky financial transaction that they have named pension de-risking. This is when companies sell off their retirees' pension plans to investment funds or insurers, converting what were federally protected pensions into annuities. This has the impact of stripping defenseless older Americans of legal protections of both the federal ERISA pension law and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, an Adelphi graduate, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
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The Davenport restaurant is known for fine dining, thus it was a pleasant surprise to see at the next table Franie and Frank Luisi. Franie is the lead soloist at Corpus Christi Church and Frank is a high school counselor and an advisor to NCAA college-bound student athletes. With them was Troy Gordon, the choir director.
I read with interest the article “When The Power Goes Out, Generators Power Up” by Christy Hinko in this week’s Mineola American. It vindicates all that I said not too long ago. The information given is backed up by professionals. The major manufacturers were mentioned, except Centurion.
Could you imagine if, tomorrow, school districts across New York State had to absorb more than 400,000 new students? Or picture your local school enrolling hundreds of new students and the effect it would have on class sizes, let alone our ability to provide books and materials, desks and lockers. Our current facilities could in no way withstand that kind of blow. In each district, new schools would have to be immediately built and hundreds of teachers, aides, and support staff would have to be hired. With the average cost to educate a student in New York at over $20,000 annually, you could bet our already sky-high school taxes would zoom to astronomical levels.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace, a graduate of Adelphi University, have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
When Kathleen Rice defeated Denis Dillon in the battle to become the district attorney, we had Republican friends that were assistant DA’s. They figured that Rice would fire them and replace them with Democrats. That didn’t happen. Kathleen said, “We will keep all those doing a good job no matter what party they belong to.” Rice has always worked like that. She has brought down drunk driving. She had a man who was drunk and driving the wrong way on a parkway, crashing into a van killing a little girl and the driver, and convicted him of murder. Instead of the usual five-year sentence, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced for 18 years to life. She has publicly displayed the photos of those arrested for DWI. She is now working hard against texting while driving.
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This upcoming election, Mineola has a chance to control the outcome of the North Hempstead Election. For years now, North Hempstead has ignored Mineola and for the most part, Mineola has ignored the town as we do not use their services. The mayor and village board and residents do not receive the respect from the Town of North Hempstead that a village of our size deserves.
We only receive back approximately $56,000 in sales tax revenue when we should be getting $1.1 million. They pave streets in other incorporated villages but not Mineola, we end up paying for it ourselves.
When walking down Westbury Avenue, there is a large sign touting the "Sheridan Repaving Project," where all the appropriate political names are appropriately placed. Looking north on Sheridan Blvd. you see the east side of the road has been re-paved; the west side is the existing pavement, dings and all.
First thought that comes to mind is, would I want a painter or roofer doing half the work on my house because the other half is "good enough?" Overall, how much money is really saved by doing half the work effort? Yes, less than half the material costs are saved, and some hours to place those materials, but considering most of the expense is in labor to setup and clean up, why would I shortchange the appearance of my home for the nominal extra of doing the "whole" job?
The way in which the North Hempstead Town Board and the Hempstead Town Board recently handled similar situations is, in my mind, a testament to the true distinction between the GOP machine and the North Hempstead Democrats.
Faced with the need to appoint a town clerk in the wake of the Republican town clerk being convicted of harassment charges involving employees in his office, the GOP-controlled Hempstead Town Board took the “typical politics route”— appointing the individual currently running for election as a Republican to the position of town clerk. This gives their candidate a tremendous advantage as an incumbent, with the full power of the office, as she runs in the November election.
Make no bones about it. I have been consumed with nonstop questions and concerns regarding the state education department’s rollout of the Common Core curriculum. I’m approached by constituents with questions at almost every event I attend in our district. But more than answer questions, I’ve been trying to listen because it’s abundantly clear to me that people are truly upset. There’s something wrong and they want something to be done.
To resolve this issue is going to take time and a whole lot of patience. That’s why I was so flabbergasted this past week when State Education Commissioner Dr. John King Jr. announced he was suspending his scheduled town hall meetings to discuss the roll-out of Common Core and answer questions. Apparently, the commissioner was challenged by concerned parents and teachers at a town hall meeting upstate. Blaming “special interests” (i.e. concerned parents) for what he felt was an unconstructive atmosphere, he chose to suspend subsequent meetings including the Long Island event that was to be held right here in Garden City. This was an incredibly poor decision on his part. Anyone involved in government must understand that just because you don’t like the score, doesn’t mean you can take your bat and your ball and go home. This is especially true as Dr. King not only chose the game, he set the rules by which our children will be gauged. It’s wrong.
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