Recently, you received your official 2010 U.S. Census form.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that for every person that is not counted, Westbury will lose more than $2,000 per year (or a staggering $20,000 per person over the next ten years) in grants and aid. That will cost Westbury millions and millions of dollars for our schools, senior and youth centers, roadways and other important services and projects. That would be a lot of money for us to lose out on, but fortunately we do not have to, as full and complete count is totally within our control.
Preparing tax returns can be frustrating and confusing, but we can help. Hempstead Town’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program offers free tax assistance to senior citizens.
The Town of Hempstead Department of Senior Enrichment, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, operates the VITA Program. Through this program, volunteers are trained to assist seniors in completing their basic income tax returns.
Assemblyman Tom McKevitt announced the beginning of a new sex offender relocation notification system. The new system is being added to New York State Emergency Management Office’s NY-ALERT system, which already sends out notifications about different topics including severe weather, missing children, transportation delays or public health advisories.
Return Questionnaire By April 1
Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove) would like to remind residents that April 1 is Census Day and the short, 10-question forms you will receive by mail must be postmarked and mailed by the April 1 deadline. Residents who fail to respond can expect a call or visit from a census taker.
Lavine said, “Every resident’s participation is not only required by law, it’s vital to our community’s future. The results of the national population tally decide the allocation of more than $400 billion in federal funds each year – money our community depends on for schools, hospitals, roadways, fire and police stations and more. Without doing your part by filling out the census forms, our infrastructure could suffer and critical funding for health care, day care and job training could dry up.
Perhaps a more reasonable question to ask is whether or not the Westbury School Board is amenable to extending the contract of the superintendent, which is about to expire. There may be doubts about this question being answered in the affirmative, and may be the reason why Clark-Snead is apparently considering an offer(s) being made to her by a prominent school district that is in need of her service. I know this to be so because I was one of a cross section of community residents that members of the board of that district interviewed as part of their background checking process. The members of this school board are apparently impressed with Clark-Snead’s remarkable résumé just as we in Westbury were impressed when she was awarded the job 10 years ago after a long, exhaustive national search. As a member of that interview panel, I was delighted to learn that Clark-Snead was a disciple of the Comer Process, a concept that was introduced to the district by former Superintendent Dr. Robert Pinckney, who resigned from the position at the end of August 1999. But that was not all; Clark-Snead’s credentials and performance blew away the competition, and left an indelible imprint in the minds of members of the interview panel.
The Special Olympics, Best Buddies International and other organizations are encouraging people to spread the word to stop using the “R-word.” According to the Special Olympics and Best Buddies International, they are working to “raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.” This campaign was started by members of colleges and high schools in order to rally their schools and communities to pledge to stop using the R-word.
Westbury residents should now be hearing and seeing a lot of advertising, news articles and other information about the upcoming 2010 U.S. Census.
The concept of conducting a census dates back to Roman times, where it was deemed necessary to count, on a periodic basis, the number of people living under the Imperial realm. The United States has been conducting a national census every 10 years since 1790, when the very first U.S. census was performed. The matter of counting all of the people who live in the nation may sound to many to be an unnecessary and trivial exercise. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
New York State Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R, I, C – Glen Head) criticized Governor David Paterson for his proposed 2010-2011 Executive Budget’s rosy revenue predictions, which overestimate total tax receipts by $1.35 billion and would deepen an already-staggering two-year budget deficit to $9.05 billion, according to figures from the Minority Ways and Means Office.
In addition, forecasts suggest that the economic recovery already under way nationwide will not begin in New York State until the middle of this year due to a sharp downturn in available tax revenue as well as overspending by Albany. The drop-off in revenue comes despite a $1 billion tax hike passed last year, mostly on personal income. New York State derives 55 percent of its total revenues from personal income tax receipts, according to the Division of Budget.
“Governor Paterson and his appointed budget office may try to paper over our state’s deficit problems, but facts are stubborn things,” said Montesano. “The latest figures suggest that the Empire State’s economy has gone from bad to worse – just as many of my Republican colleagues predicted when they spoke out against a bloated, $134 billion spend-a-thon in 2009 that raised taxes and devastated the private sector. We can never tax our way out of red ink, especially during an economic slowdown.”
The newly-elected assemblyman continued, “The revised $9.05 billion deficit demonstrates that Albany must reduce the size of state government and cap property taxes in order to protect homeowners from negative budgetary effects. We need to get back to supporting small businesses that put people back to work – and get away from the heavy-handed taxes which Albany relies on as its only revenue enhancer.”
“I applaud First Lady Michelle Obama for her efforts in raising national public awareness and tackling the epidemic of childhood obesity. I thank President Obama for establishing a Task Force on Childhood Obesity.
“As a longtime nurse and the chairwoman of the Healthy Families and Communities Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the child nutrition programs, I believe it is important that we examine practices which can help increase access to child nutrition programs and to more healthy foods for our children in schools. Given the current harsh financial realities for many families in my district and throughout the nation, many schools have an increasingly important role to play since they provide students with more than half of their food and nutrient intake on school days.
Albany is playing games again, and it looks like those of us who enjoy our state parks might be the losers!
The governor’s 2010-2011 budget calls for a 20 percent cut in the amount allotted for [New York] State Parks. What that means is that programs are going to be cut, and many state parks, including Heckscher, Valley Stream, Hempstead Lake and others here on Long Island, may be closed and dramatic cuts in hours and available services will be made at Connetquot and even at Jones Beach and Bethpage. Both environmental programs and recreational programs such as the State Parks Summer Run Series and State Parks Winter Run Series could be on the chopping block.
Compounding the problem is that none of the bureaucrats in the governor’s office seem to be willing to give the public any firm official word as to what is planned.
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