New York State Senator Craig M. Johnson, (D-Nassau), and representatives from Austim Speaks addressed the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance during an Oct. 23 hearing in Albany on the insurance industry’s role in the treatment of Autism. A video of his statement can be found at www.craigjohnson.nysenate.gov. Johnson’s prepared remarks are below:
“Hello and thank you for this opportunity to discuss this very important subject. In particular, I really want to thank the representatives from Autism Speaks for allowing me to join them this morning.
“Though I am a member of this committee, I sit here today as an advocate.
“I am here to implore members of the Insurance Committee to pass Senate bill 2366, which I believe – as 51 other of my colleagues do – to be vitally important legalization that would finally require private health insurance companies to pick up some of the medical costs associated with the treatment of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“I am a co-sponsor on the bill, which was drafted and is being carried by my good friend, Senator Chuck Fuschillo from Long Island. The very fact that I traveled here today from Long Island to talk about a bill that is being carried by a member of the minority conference shows how important I believe this legislation is.
Cablevision-owned Newsday is charging $5 a week for access to newsday.com effective Wednesday, Oct. 28, a fee it is waiving for subscribers to Newsday’s print edition or Cablevision’s Optimum Online Internet service.
I can understand why Cablevision is trying to boost its bottom line. News-gathering is a labor-intensive process, and what’s the sense of giving the final product away ‘for free,’ even though online advertisers are contributing financially to the undertaking?
County, town, city and judicial elections are this Tuesday. I have some very definite opinions about the political campaigns that as you read this are maybe hitting you with last-minute automated calls and postcards that all look alike. Our local political campaigns may spend more and more but they have been saying less and less and engage fewer and fewer voters at a time when we need to build a public vision like never before. Perhaps you’ve picked up on that sentiment from little hints I’ve dropped here and there in previous essays.
It’s the last issue before Election Day, and fair is fair and I’m putting it all aside for another time. By then, perhaps I will have found some inner peace and will write about the puppies and clouds and cheesecake I always think will be the subject, until something gets me going. And this week, I really got going.
Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legislation to create a nationwide network for locating missing adults and senior citizens with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental impairments.
The Silver Alert Act would create a program, modeled after the AMBER Alert, which would provide federal coordination and assistance through the Department of Justice to local and state law enforcement to assist efforts to locate missing senior citizens throughout New York City and across the country. Schumer said a nationwide alert network is critical because missing adults can cross state and county lines.
He is sponsoring the National Silver Alert Act (S. 557), which will encourage and integrate systems throughout the United States to help identify and locate missing seniors with cognitive impairments. The bill will also authorize grants for these organizations. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives.
Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove) would like to remind the community that his district office in Glen Cove is once again participating in the National Cleaners Association’s (NCA) Coats for Kids program. Members of NCA collect, clean and distribute donated winter coats to children in need as the cold weather approaches.
“In these difficult times, it is important for neighbors to look after neighbors. I am proud to join with the National Cleaners Association to help ensure that no child is without a warm coat this winter,” said Lavine.
The assemblyman will be accepting new and gently worn jackets and coats in all sizes through Dec. 15. Donations can be dropped off in the bin located outside the assemblyman’s office at 70 Glen Street, Suite 100, Glen Cove.
For further information, call the office at 676-0050.
Governor David Paterson has designated the week of October 19 – 23, 2009 to be School Board Recognition Week. This is the 18th year this event has been celebrated. In order to recognize the trustees of the Carle Place School District, the Carle Place PTA Council would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the dedicated members of our board of education for their tireless efforts.
A school board trustee spends endless hours on the job. This requires someone who is not only dedicated, but is also willing to make great personal sacrifices. In addition to concerning themselves with the administration of the district, our board trustees are highly visible members of our community, attending many sporting events, musical concerts, award ceremonies and a variety of other school functions.
We extend our gratitude to our current board of education - Barry Dennis, John DiFrisco, Peter Fitzgerald, Tom Kane and Larry Zaino – as well as the many members who came before them. Their efforts help make our district a truly special place for our students, parents and staff.
As an expression of our appreciation, the Carle Place PTA Council has donated $100 to the Carle Place Educational Foundation on behalf of the board of education.
Carle Place PTA Council
Westbury High School will hold its annual Homecoming celebration on Saturday, Oct. 17.
The day will begin at 8 a.m. with the usual pancake breakfast, sponsored by the high school PTA, in the cafeteria of the high school. The breakfast will feature “all you can eat” pancakes, served with bacon, eggs, sausage and a cold beverage for a mere $6. Coffee, tea, fruits and assorted pastries will also be on sale.
Following the breakfast will be the Homecoming Parade along Post Avenue featuring local civic groups, community associations and the members of the elementary, middle and high schools. The parade begins at noon, and will culminate at the high school sports field prior to the football game between the West Hempstead Rams and the Westbury Dragons. Kick off is 1:30 p.m. and half-time activities will feature the presentation of the royal court.
The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade will be longtime Westbury resident Dr. Darrell W. Pone, author of We’ve Come This Far By Faith and Dr. Pone’s Ten Keys to Success. This year’s theme will be “Westbury Back in the Day,” and will focus on the decade of the 1920, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
The day’s activities will conclude with the senior class dance at the high school from 7 to 11 p.m.
Come and make a day of it, the weather promises to be nice, so bring the entire family and enjoy!
Vice President Westbury PTA Council
Nothing happens in a vacuum.
What I mean by that is this: Most every event or development that unfolds in society is somehow, someway connected.
Take, for instance, the recent news about an initiative Suffolk County law enforcement officials launched to try to rein in the alarming increase in heroin use among Long Island youth. The anti-heroin initiative, part of the county’s Police Department’s PoliceSmart program, includes visits to Suffolk schools. Among other things, it features graphic images depicting the real lives of heroin users.
Much attention has been paid this summer to the proposed Lighthouse Project, which is designed to refurbish the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum and develop the 150 acres surrounding the arena. Public comment has centered around the project’s economic benefits to Long Island, with admonitions to prevent negative impact on water supply, air quality, waste disposal and traffic.
It is also important to note that this project includes housing construction, 20 percent of which will be designated as affordable, sometimes called next generation or workforce housing. Many speakers at the recent public hearing referred to the statistics showing that young people are leaving Long Island at an alarming rate because they cannot afford a place to live, thus causing an eventual stagnation of the local economy.
Affordable/next generation/workforce housing, with rental units as well as those for sale, should certainly be constructed in the first phase of the project and scattered throughout the area. Affordable housing as part of the Lighthouse Project will be a positive step towards reducing the “brain drain.” Let’s keep our young people on Long Island.
Director, Affordable Housing Committee
League of Women Voters of Nassau County
I am writing in response to the letter from Rose Ryan in which she says she has “been getting the run around” from the Town of North Hempstead and that they have not returned her phone calls.
I have, in fact, had near weekly conversations with Ms. Ryan since she first contacted our office in mid-July. Councilman [Robert] Troiano also had the opportunity to speak with her to give her a status report on what the Town was doing to address her concern. The town has taken her request to have stop signs installed at the intersection of Tennyson Avenue and Bryant Street very seriously.
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