Thursday, October 06, 2005

Here And There

A Patchwork Quilt Of Ideas, Thoughts, And Head-Scratchers

Murray-Mail-Meter Tops $400,000
Yet another mailbox stuffer from Town Hall, as the latest Murraygram arrives in homes around the Town. Only 3 photos of Kate in this 4-pager (someone apparently slipped up), a "let's review" guide of that which they've told us at least a dozen times before -- "Tax-Freeze" Budget; Cutting Taxpayer Costs (but not for YOUR Sanitary District); and, did we mention Hempstead Town's highest credit rating?

Yes, all stuff we, the taxpayer, should know. Problem is, we know about it already. We've read the papers, received the press releases, logged on to the Town's website, and plodded through the umpteen other Town mailings on the very same subjects.

Clearly, the public benefit of the latest in the series of Murray mailings fades in comparison to the political self-promotion, making most suspect "Supervisor Kate Murray's Budget Review and Fiscal Update," which looks, smells, and reads as campaign literature mailed under the guise of Town update, and all at the taxpayers' expense.

And so we add to the unofficial till another $32,400.00 in taxpayer financed postage for personal gain, bringing the Murray-Mail-Meter to $421,200.00. Again, that's for postage alone. Add in the cost to taxpayers of material and production, and we're talking nearly $580,000.00 spent by the Town since May of this year on what would otherwise be campaign literature paid for by the candidate.

Hey, its your money!
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From PARCnassau, An Update On Cedar Creek
This past week the Long Island Press published a follow up article on the Health Hazards that deteriorating conditions at the Cedar Creek Sewage Plant present to the Public.

We are very concerned not only for the residents of Wantagh-Seaford but for anyone who may have used the county parks of Cedar Creek and Wantagh. Air borne particles from the plant could have affected thousands.

To read the two articles copy and paste these two links into your web browser:

Long Island Press: Cedar Creek Health Hazard

Long Island Press: Nassau Legislature reacts

Then let your opinion be heard. Please go to the following community web site and take its survey on your feelings about this issue. Wantagh, Long Island website

Bruce Piel
Park Advocacy & Recreation Council of Nassau (PARCnassau)
246 Twin Lane East
Wantagh, N Y 11793-1963
(516) 783-8378
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Good Guys At GOP
Lest you think all we do at The Community Alliance is blast the GOP, here are just a few of our local Republicans who do more than tow the party line -- much more.

State Assemblyman Thomas W. Alfano - "Education First." That's the mantra of Tom Alfano, and no one has done more to advance the cause of our children here on Long Island than Tom.

While in the minority in the Assembly Chamber, Alfano is the champion of community when it comes to securing much-needed funding for our public schools, as well as for programs that promote the welfare of our kids, such as dental clinics, gang intervention and education, and summer programs for "at risk" youth.

Some 6 years ago, Tom developed a youth enrichment program known as Mentors and Leaders, promoting education and public service. In our opinion, there could be no better mentor than Tom Alfano.

Tom Alfano is not running for higher office this year. Too bad. We could use this leader - a man who fashions more bipartisan support in Albany and at home than anyone we know - in a more visible and critical role along the political food chain. Indeed, we would have liked to see Tom Alfano appointed to succeed Rich Guardino as Hempstead Town Supervisor. He would have cleaned the house that Mondello built. We suppose that's the very reason Tom didn't get the job!

Tom Alfano personifies what it means to be a true public servant, putting people before party, service before self. We applaud him and say, "Thank you!"

Hempstead Town Councilman Edward A. Ambrosino - Just when you thought we had nothing good to say about Town of Hempstead government, along comes Ed Ambrosino. Ed is a bright spot on the Town Board, a man who, when first elected, offered no assurances other than "give me a chance to get the job done."

While the job, in most communities around the Town, is far from done, when the cause of community does move forward in Hempstead Town's 2nd District, it is largely because of the efforts of Ed Ambrosino. A doer in the face of frustration, Ed hammers away at the "let them have blight" Town Hallers, looking to move off center to redevelop the very face of community.

Granted, Ed could be more vocal and less apologetic for the Town's failures publicly, but he's a relative newcomer who understands that you sometimes have to work within the system to change the system. Behind the scenes, Ed Ambrosino is helping the communities he serves to get the job done, applying appropriate pressure combined with public support in beginning to address quality of life issues long-neglected on the homefront.

Like Town Clerk, Mark Bonilla, Ed Ambrosino is a fresh face with innovative ideas, breaking from the pack of "good old days" politics at Hempstead Town Hall. Watch for Ed to go places, and not only in the local GOP.

Town of Hempstead Receiver of Taxes Donald X. Clavin, Jr. - What can we say? We like Don Clavin. Don has always been a friend of community and among those select few who truly care about the constituency they are elected to serve.

Receiver of Taxes cannot be said to be the most enviable or glamorous post (although, we suppose, it is better to receive than to give, at least from government's perspective). That said, Don has made the most of his time. When not counting our money, Don reinvented the Tax Statement. Where once we couldn't tell where or to whom our money went, thanks to Don, we now have a clear, concise and often painfully straight-forward tax bill, showing us, in glaring yet simple detail, who gets what from our wallets.

From the absurd amount of those levies to the outrageous percentage of those increases, homeowners now know exactly what they pay and to whom - from the County to the Town to the Town's Sanitary Districts to the Schools. Don's "bottom line" on that Tax Statement trumps "holding the line" oratory every time, and we owe him a debt of gratitude on moving the Town light years forward on that score. [Now let him try to collect! :-)]

Its no secret that Don Clavin has ambitions beyond the office of Receiver of Taxes. [Wouldn't you?] Don's a candidate this November for Nassau County Comptroller, looking to unseat Howard Weitzman. His campaign thus far has been the most interesting, and cutting edge, of all the County and Town races, although we'd like to see and hear more substance (on core issues such as Clavin's 4-Step Audit proposal) to go along with the handcuffs and wooden Weitzman placards. After all, Howard Weitzman did help lead Nassau County out of the financial wilderness, and the voters deserve more reason than rhetoric in deciding the future of the County's fiscal integrity.

Don Clavin is touted as a Watchdog. He is. [In fact, he's probably watching right now!] We like watchdogs - as we do Don Clavin - for regardless of the outcome of the County Comptroller's race, Don Clavin is up and coming on the political landscape, and will, deservedly, make both a name for himself and a positive mark on our Long Island.

Yes, these are but a few of the venerable Republicans who serve us well. While not revolutionaries, by any stretch, they do portend a movement poised to create an exit strategy for the old guard GOP who had held a stranglehold over the County (witness the debacle at the County Clerk's office, where, under continuing GOP rule, it takes more than 2 years to get a copy of a recorded Deed, Mortgage and Note mailed to the homeowner. And that's with Karen Murphy taking her work home with her!), and still hold that seemingly iron-clad grip (got any WD-40?) on Hempstead's Town Hall, where government is about as transparent as the muddy Mississippi.

There are other GOPers who deserve praise for breaking ranks where the public good demands. So far, most still fly under our radar here at The Community Alliance. Of course, the same can and must be said for many Democrats in office. We'd love to hear from all of you, and for you to join in our crusade to return the suburban ideal to Long Island's quality of life!
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Ready, Set, Be Prepared
The City of New York, Office of Emergency Management, has published and distributed a 16-page household preparedness guide entitled, Ready New York. [It should be noted (Kate, take heed) that while there is a brief introductory note from Mayor Michael Bloomberg (another among our Righteous Republicans), there is not a single photo of Mike on any of the guides' 16 pages.]

Anyway, the guide sets forth, in language us New Yorkers can understand, how to prepare ourselves and our families in the event of emergencies of all kinds, whether the likely, such as carbon monoxide, utility disruptions or nor'easters, or the unthinkable, such as radiation poisoning, earthquake, or bio-chemical attack.

While hard copies of Ready New York are only being distributed to residents of NYC, the complete content is available for viewing and download online by visiting the NYC Office of Emergency Management website at

We should all be prepared, and should be asking our elected officials why Long Island is not in sync with NYC in coordinating measures that, in the event of an actual emergency, could save time and lives.
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Are You Registered To Vote?
Election Day (Tuesday, November 8th) is less than 5 weeks away. You can't vote if you are not registered to vote where you currently live.

Here's the election timetable from the Nassau County Board of Elections:

To Be Eligible to Vote in the General Election
Mail Registration: Application postmarked no later than Oct. 14th and received no later than Oct. 19th.
In-Person Registration: At the board offices no later than Oct. 14th. If person became a naturalized citizen or was honorably discharged from the military since Oct. 14th, then last day to register in person is Oct. 28th.
Change of Address: If already registered, notify the board of change of address no later than Oct. 19th.

Voting By Absentee Ballot
November 1st: Last day to postmark application or letter for absentee ballot.
November 7th: Last day to apply for ballot in person. Also, last day to postmark ballot. Must be received by Board of Elections by Nov. 15th.
November 8th: Last day to deliver ballot in person to Board of Elections.

Voting for Military Personnel
October 28th: Last day for Board of Elections to receive application for absentee ballot if not previously registered.
November 1st: Last day for Board of Elections to receive ballot application if previously registered.
November 7th: Last day to apply in person if previously registered.

Not registered to vote? Click here to download a Voter Registration form.

Questions about your registration or polling place? Contact the Nassau County Board of Elections at 400 County Seat DriveMineola, NY 11501-4800 516-571-2411 * fax: 516-571-2058, or visit the website at

On November 8th, you CAN make a difference -- but only if YOU VOTE!

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