In recent days there has been much speculation that the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), a so-called watchdog agency, which sat idle for much of the past decade, will attempt to take control over Nassau’s finances. Yet this watchdog, appointed by Albany politicians, slept silent for the past eight years as the former County Executive mismanaged finances, spent recklessly and gave away indefensible union contracts, which run until 2016 that taxpayers simply cannot afford.
Miraculously NIFA awoke when I, a Republican, became County Executive. I inherited a $286 million deficit – the equivalent of a 43 percent property tax hike - worsened by these labor contracts that promise wage increases which exceed the cost of living standards by hundreds of millions of dollars, guarantee no layoffs, and ensure that employees continue to make no contribution toward health insurance.
My friend, Ralph Kolodny, professor emeritus at Boston University School of Social Work, commented on the brutality of the schoolyard in children’s lives. He said, “We tend to forget the pain that normally characterizes interaction among children. Oddly enough,” he added, “the work of the imaginative journalist or novelist often provides a more accurate picture.”
At year’s end we all get introspective and philosophical!
Resolutions and persistent statements are flying all over the place and directly into our lives. Most will be forgotten and misplaced sometime in January, but their value is unmistakable.
Nestled in a group of stores with white facing and red trim sits one very unique store. I know because I go there twice a week and see the magic. Above the store it says Anita Greenhaus, Physical Therapist.
“Be careful- don’t fall, we can’t afford it!”
These are the words of warning that my beautiful wife Lorraine blesses me with every day. Whether I am going out to bring in the newspapers, or take out the trash or the yellow recycling barrel, these warnings ring in my ears. Usually I am watchful and circumspect in my approach to the dangers and hazards of suburban living, so these cautionary words are not necessary.
“The strange, uneven bill of the skimmer has a purpose: the bird flies low, with the long lower mandible plowing the water, and snaps the bill shut when it contacts a fish.”
In a few weeks my wife and I will be on Longboat Key, Florida for our sixth winter. Almost every morning during the past winters I’ve crossed the street to Whitney Beach. After walking for one-third of a mile there is practically always a collection of shorebirds that I call the “assembled multitude.” This mass includes gray-headed laughing gulls, royal terns with long orange bills, some sandwich terns with yellow on the tips of their black bills, a few Forster’s terns and black skimmers.
Fresh from a “shellacking” (his own words), the United States and its President moved into a congressional Lame Duck situation. This is not good for either party.
Many of the congressman and senators will be gone as we start the new political year. Yet according to our Constitution, they are still active in the legislative process. Each party is trying to fulfill its standard position. It is a matter of living up to stereotypes that are centuries old. It is almost a heritage of the past.
At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2010, doctors who treat Medicare patients are scheduled to absorb a 25 percent pay cut – a cut that threatens the ability of seniors to see their physicians and receive the care they need. It is up to Congress to stop this pay cut and ensure that doctors are not driven out of Medicare.
How can a loving father review a play written and produced by one of his children?
I gave myself this extremely arduous and demanding task after attending the opening performance of Clemenza and Tessio Are Dead at The Shell Theater at 300 West 43rd Street.
I am writing in response to the article: “NC Planning Commission Holds Public Hearing” that ran in your Nov. 26 edition. For starters, from comments made by a Taubman representative at the hearing, one might conclude that the mall is coming, and sometime soon, when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth. The most recent court decision rendered in June 2009 specifically directed the developer to resubmit a new set of plans along with an updated environmental impact study, upholding both the Town of Oyster Bay and the community’s position in opposing the project.
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