(Editor’s note: this letter was sent to the Town of North Hempstead Board and to Anton Community Newspapers for publication.)
The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset, the only League in the Town of North Hempstead, takes issue with the vote taken by the North Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 that created a redistricting committee made up only of appointees of the town’s nine-member council. The League has long-believed that redistricting should be decided by an independent commission that draws fair lines and is devoid of partisan gerrymandering.
It was most disturbing to read the article “Congress Passes FAA Re-Authorization Bill” in the Feb. 16 issue of Port News. What made it so disturbing, in addition to all of the adverse results this decision will have on the Port Washington community, is Senator Chuck Schumer’s abject reversal of his position by casting his “Yes” vote. With his affirmative vote he demonstrated that in reality he spoke on the issue of helicopter noise, pollution, etc., out of both sides of his mouth all this time!
As a member of the voting public (and yes, an active Democrat) Mr. Robert McMillan’s February 9 op-ed piece regarding photo ID requirements for voters should be understood for what it really is, espousing the right wing’s desire to restrict voting by minorities or those less wealthy. Not surprisingly, people belonging to such groups are disproportionately more likely not to have photo IDs, often because they cannot afford them. Because these groups are perceived as more likely to vote for Democrats, within the last decade or so there has been a concentrated effort by the right wing to restrict the ability to cast a ballot, perhaps the most precious right we citizens possess.
Like many of you, I’m up early, reading the news and making breakfast before the rest of the family wakes up. Later, I manage to grab a few minutes to get ready between my wife and (four) children before embarking on daddy’s a.m. taxi service. This day, I’m a little late to an 8 a.m. meeting with union officials to discuss issues impacting them, but I’m sure I’ll make up the time somewhere in the day’s schedule. By 9:30 a.m., I’m at a grammar school in another part of the district explaining how a bill becomes law to 200 fourth-graders. They prove remarkably well-informed and pursue an analysis as to what recent legislation is likely to work and what they believe will not. I take mental notes.
Next up, I have the honor of introducing Governor Cuomo at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, where he is giving a presentation on his new budget. He stirs the pot and immediately following, I listen to many people sharing many opinions. Then I’m off to a 12:30 p.m. meeting (I haven’t made up that lost time yet, in fact – I’m falling further behind!) with the Manhasset Men’s Club where I give a speech and host a Q&A session about what’s happening in Albany and what this year’s goals are. At 2:15 p.m. I’m at Westbury High School for “Pizza and Politics.” My office established this program to encourage high school students to discuss their views on current events and to encourage careers in public service.
I just read about the Air Traffic situation by Linda Portney Goldstein in the Feb. 2 issue of Port Washington News and I find it so interesting. I have lived for five years now in the Landmark senior housing and when I sit in my living room at night, I can see light after light of the jets coming in. This never happened in the past. In the summer, since we are on top floor, I can often hear the helicopters, especially in evening.
I used to feel so smart! When my children were young, doing their homework at the dining room table, they would turn to me with questions about everything.
“How many “s”es are there in the word Mississippi?”
“Does the Latin word ‘versus’ have an English meaning?
“How many syllables does the word “syllable” have?
And when they asked, I knew the answers. It was win/win — I felt smart, and my kids were impressed. Even their friends were impressed.
(Editor’s note: at the Jan. 26 Village of Manorhaven board meeting that is referenced in this letter, a public hearing was held to consider the adoption of Introductory Local Law A – 2012, “Tax Cap Override”).
On Jan. 26, I attended the Village of Manorhaven Board of Trustees meeting to express my concern about a proposed local law that would permit the village to exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap for this year’s budget. Following is a summary of my comments made to the board.
I understand what the board is trying to accomplish with this local law. I recognize the village budget for the fiscal year beginning June 1 has not been formulated yet and that it won’t be adopted for several months. I know some budget costs are unpredictable and even volatile.
I live on Mill Pond Road. I am right across from the gray house that keeps the small boats that sail in the summer. I would like to know who is responsible for the care of the gray house. I took a walk around it on Saturday. The paint is all peeling and the roof shingles are on the ground. Also, what bothered me is that there are rat and raccoon holes in the front and in the back of the house. All summer we had big problems with the rats running across the road and coming in our yards. They even find their way into our BBQs.
While our name expresses our concern for the past, the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society wishes to make it known that we are also very much concerned with Port Washington’s future.
The coming of the railroad to Port Washington in June of 1898 transformed our then quiet hamlet into a vibrant transportation hub — conveniently connecting a new and desirable living environment with New York City. The location of the train station on Main Street, then called Flower Hill Avenue, quickly encouraged the expansion of Port’s business district on that street from its original waterfront location on Manhasset Bay eastward to Port Washington Blvd. and beyond. This bustling commercial development also enhanced our community, making it all the more attractive for people to come, live and work here. And now, just about 114 years after the trains arrived in Port, Main Street and its relationship to its adjacent residential areas and the greater community call for our attention. Parking and density issues, antiquated zoning laws and physical design issues have for many years undermined the many benefits of our downtown. These are major quality of life matters that are long overdue to be addressed.
On July 6, 2011, the trustees of the Village of Flower Hill, in the presence of a substantial number of village residents, voted against paying insurance benefits for the mayor, deputy mayor, and the trustees. In spite of this vote, the taxpayers are still paying for the elected officials insurance costs. The 2011 yearly health care cost for each elected official was $18,513.83. Since 2006, the elected officials have been receiving these benefits. The total cost for each year is as follows:
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