The event was held at Verdi’s of Westbury, and was the brainchild of members of the youth department of the church as part of their fundraising activity. According to Rev. Emmerson Griffith, the group worked assiduously over the past several weeks to ensure that the event was successful and that patrons got their money’s worth.
Governor David Paterson has declared the week of Oct. 25 to 29 to be School Board Recognition Week. School board members have been described as having the most important volunteer job in the country yet face the toughest challenge in elected American government. They are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our public schools.
Our school board trustees are individuals who spend countless hours on the job, making many personal sacrifices in order to best serve our children. In addition to concerning themselves with the administration of the Carle Place School District, listening to staff and student concerns; our board trustees are highly visible members of our community, attending many sporting events, award ceremonies and numerous other functions, which take place throughout the course of the school year. Our board members always keep their eyes on the goal of student achievement.
The recent decision by United States Southern District of New York Judge, Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan in U.S. v. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani in blocking the testimony of government witness Hussein Abebe due to the way he was identified and located through duress and harsh interrogation of Mr. Ghailani by the CIA, shows this nation as one of laws and our Constitution as a model beacon for all the world to see. As the learned and courageous Judge Kaplan noted, “The Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction.” Judge Kaplan may be criticized for his decision, but instead he should be hailed as a true patriot. We need more judges like him.
Thomas F. Liotti
Westbury Village Justice
As we all know, distracted driving has become a very serious problem for our state and our country. In New York State at least one out of five motor vehicle crashes has distracted driving listed as a contributing factor. In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver and more than 440,000 were injured.
As commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, I was honored to be invited recently to attend U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s second Summit on Distracted Driving in Washington, D. C. Also participating at that meeting were leading national transportation officials, safety advocates, law enforcement agencies, industry representatives, researchers and victims affected by distraction-related crashes. Together we addressed challenges and identified opportunities for national anti-distracted driving efforts.
I recently submitted to the Nassau County Legislature a Proposed No-Property Tax Increase Budget for next year that includes ending the so-called “County Guarantee,” which has been bankrupting our great county for years. You may be aware that Nassau County assesses homes and businesses for not only itself, but also for school districts and towns as well. When a business or homeowner successfully challenges their taxes, they are rightfully awarded a refund. However, the “County Guarantee” is a law that requires Nassau to pay back not only its share of the refund, but also the school district and town share as well. Therefore, Nassau is refunding one dollar for every 20 cents it actually receives in error.
To let the people of Westbury know, I wrote a letter to The Westbury Times in July, “Shame on Our School District.”
Well the Westbury School District did go out to the middle school and look. They went on Aug. 26 and again with me on Aug. 30. I also had a representative from Senator Craig Johnson’s office with me. I must say thank you to all. There has been a cleanup at the middle school and there is still more to go and that is in all schools.
(Howard Weitzman is the former Nassau County Comptroller.)
No matter who won the last county election it was clear the County would be going down a tough financial road. A difficult economy, falling tax receipts, an increasing structural gap along with the political difficulty in raising additional revenues have combined to create a perfect storm for all local governments. But the new Mangano administration seems to be drowning in a fiscal tsunami, without a tree to climb. His rescue plan is based on an old copy of Tom Gullota’s guide to County government – borrow, over estimate revenues, under estimate expenses, sell property, and if that’s not enough borrow more.
Hurricane Earl has raised some concerns about how LIPA prepares for major, forecasted weather events that impact our area. Like any responsible utility, LIPA and its service provider, National Grid, prepare for hurricanes and other major storms based on various sources of information, including forecasts provided by national weather services, local and regional government entities, media outlets, and prior operating experience.
I’ve just completed my third reading of school board trustee Karin Campbell’s letter that was published in the Sept. 2 edition of the Westbury Times, the contents of which, I believe, should not be ignored since to my mind, it contains some pretty serious charges that if true, are likely to have legal implications that could affect the board’s ability to function. I guess I was looking for some of the reasons others have suggested why trustee Campbell’s allegations are not worthy of a public response from the administration, or any uncomfortable feeling from the public. To the contrary, I do not believe it would be prudent for the community to casually dismiss Campbell’s assertions as the concoctions of a disgruntled provocateur, especially since the happenings in the district over the summer would make it easy for us to do so. The fable of “the boy who cried wolf” comes to mind, but the danger therein, considering the outcome of this story, is a chance that the community should not be willing to take.
While the mainstream media continues to function more and more like a U.S. version of Pravda, the American people are waking up to the out-of-control and unsustainable spending, and government intrusion into the lives of its citizens that, if not corrected, will enslave our children and grandchildren with a debt from which they can never recover.
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