Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Two Nuts Roasting Near An Open Fire

Murray & Santino Incinerate Oceanside Foodtown

Just days after the Dynastic Duo of Hempstead Town, Supervisor Kate Murray and Senior Councilman Anthony Santino, knocked down the Oceanside Motel's sign and tore down its walls, the pair took a blow-torch to the neighboring Oceanside Foodtown, burning the building to the ground. "We are marking the end of the Oceanside Foodtown’s 'reign of appetizing' on this community," announced Murray. "This unwelcome neighbor is gone and in its place we will build yet another unnecessary and non-revenue raising local parking lot."

Murray and Santino had spearheaded the torching of the long abandoned Foodtown. The vacant building was, in its heyday, the home of sordid sales of canned goods, including the dreaded string beans and notorious creamed corn. In April of 2004, town officials directed the town attorney's office to move forward with a plan to order 365 deli platters and convert the site to an annex of the Coliseum Deli. In May of this year the court signed an order clearing the shelves of the former supermarket of everything from pasta to glazed ham, and word went out at Town Hall to begin preparing Maletov Cocktails. "The town has moved aggressively to burn down the Oceanside Foodtown, and it's very gratifying to be able to see this place go up in flames now," said Santino. "We've worked hand-in-hand with arsonists, gang warlords, and the homeless to make Oceanside an even seedier place to live, and removing the remnants of the supermarket by conflagration is an important part of our commitment to destroy the community."

As black smoke rose over Oceanside, 126 companies with 1029 pieces of equipment responding, Murray waxed poetic, the glow of the searing flames reflecting in the Supervisor's glistening eyes.

“Sure,” said Murray, roasting a marshmallow on the charred remains of what was the Foodtown checkout counter, “hammering that wrecking ball through the walls of the Oceanside Motel was awesome, but nothing beats a 5-alarmer to get the blood flowing. Care for a wiener on a toasted bun?”

Murray and Santino indicated that the town is preparing to build a parking field – number 1,478 in a series -- at the location. Construction is tentatively slated for later this fall, the cooling of the ground below the former Foodtown’s foundation permitting. The Supervisor and Councilman said that the parking lot would be aesthetically attractive and coordinate with recent work the town has performed on local streetscape enhancements and building fa├žade beautification. “Oh, screw that,” said Murray. “It’s a f---n parking lot. Asphalt. Concrete barriers. Parking meters tied in to the Property Tax bills of every man, woman and child in Oceanside’s glorious Parking District. You expected maybe Nirvana? Who’s kidding whom? You want those uneven brick paved walkways with weeds sprouting in every direction? Or those new plantings that no one from the Town will ever water? Granted, the Victorian lighting does give residents the opportunity to pay more into the Town Lighting District’s coffers, something Tony tells me residents would enjoy, but God Almighty, do we really need another (expletive) parking lot here?”

“We’re continuing the town's efforts to make Oceanside's downtown even more desolate and unattractive,” declared Councilman Santino, popping Jiffy Pop over red hot embers, as firefighters lugged hoses across the sidewalk.

"Councilman Santino and I want to thank Oceanside neighbors for working with us to rid this community of the Oceanside Motel and the Oceanside Foodtown," concluded Murray. "Today is the beginning of a new and promising Master Plan to build a parking field for every family in this neighborhood and throughout Oceanside. Tomorrow, we sack Nemo’s. After that, who knows?”
- - -
POSTSCRIPT: At 10:30 AM today (November 15th), the Hempstead Town Board holds its monthly meeting.

There is an item on the Administrative Calendar (meaning, without public comment) to bond $24,000,000 to finance highway and road improvements, as well as millions of dollars in other bonds (meaning, Property Tax increases) -- for heavy equipment, light equipment, a truck washing station, and the list goes on and on. What? No parking lots?

At the Town Board meeting to be held on December 13, 2005 at 10:30 AM, there will be public hearings on Resolutions regarding the annual compensation of the office of Supervisor, Councilmembers and Town Clerk. Do you think there will be anything left over for a raise for Kate's Dad, Brothers and sundry other relatives? Well, they can always float a bond!


  1. So many fire companies responding, and still the building burns to the ground.

    I think the firefighters enjoy the fires almost as much as these little boys enjoy playing with their fire truck toys. Toys that WE pay for with our tax dollars.

    Isn't it time we cut off their allowance? How about a Regional, or at least County-wide, Fire District? Too much waste, graft and greed on Long Island. Is it any wonder that our taxes are sky high, and those who can, leave?

  2. Mind you, the Foodotwn store was one block from the Salamander Fire station, which houses Oceanside's hook and ladder truck and six blovks from the Columbia Engine Co., which houses three pumper trucks.

    That give you an indication of how fast this fire went up. The chief of a company from a neighboring town told me arson is suspected.

    What troubles me is that in Oceanside and other communities within the Town of Hempstead there are significant numbers of abandoned commercial properties. They pose hazards to the welfare of our communities and threaten "our suburban quality of life." Will Kate Murray and Anthony Santino do anything about it? Don;t hold your breath.

  3. Narrow-mindedness and an unwillingness to accept truth over myth has not served Long Islanders well.

    Too many of us so blinded by that suspension of belief and displacement of reality the powers on Long Island have drummed into us for generations, that we can barely see the forest for the trees. In fact, we can no longer see the trees, which is even more pitiful.

    Fact: We do not need more than 100 fire districts on Long Island, with more apparatus than NYC and Los Angeles combined;

    Fact: The Departments do not need bigger, better and more, or reserve accounts (as if the firehouse was going to burn down) in the millions of dollars;

    Fact: While our firefighters deserve our praise, and the benefits of perks and incentives such as property tax breaks, pension credits, and even a party or outing once in a while as a "thank you" for their service, the abuses - whether lavish six-figure banquets or vacations at posh resorts where the only fire burns in a torch behind the tiki bar - are unacceptable.

    Fact: Our property taxes are outrageous, by any standard, and we must begin to tackle them - at least some of them - before we completely erode the tax base and face the loss of our homes.

    We complain about school taxes, yet refuse to examine alternatives. We squawk about the Sanitary Districts, yet decline to take control over them. Now, it finally comes to light that our fire districts are taking advantage of the taxpayer - and in some cases, ripping us off. Watch us do nothing about that, too.

    It is unfortunate that our Long Island has come to this - overtaxed with little or no say with how those tax dollars are spent - but given the "head in sand" approach of the pinheads who run agencies, departments and towns, and the foolhearty voters who support them, it is certainly no surprise.

  4. Hmmm where have I seen this post before???

    OOH that's right in the next article same posting almost exactly the same??

    You sir are a pinhead if you believe ALL of these problems just systematically just came to light?

    Read the article in Newsday is it FACT as you call it that ALL fire departments are abusing the system, is it FACT that ALL of the sanitation districts are RIPPING US OFF, is it FACT that we have no other alternatives to these problems???

    Here's the answer JACKASS stopping your bitching in posts like these get your head out of the sand and actually go out and investigate & get involved to see where YOUR tax dollars are going!!!

    And you call it FACT that we don't need 100 Fire Districts, fine then whats the solution then I know where do you live we'll start by closing the ones closest to your house!!!

    How much is it going to cost the taxpayers instead of shooting off your mouth come up with some figures for us "FRIEND" on who & what will be impacted by consolidating Fire Districts??

    And who will they be replaced by??

    Are you a "VOLUNTEER" firemen???

    When was the last time you volunteered for anything???

    That is half the problem so many people want the services but don't want to pay the price what do you think everything is owed to you ???

    And no I am not talking about the lavish trips, or corrupt departments out there so don't even rebutle with that ok!!!

    A perfect example of how half sided Liz Mooores article is -

    She states that some departments are GIVEN pension plans and that it could give a benefit of $200,000 when they retire??

    The other half she left out was that it could be up to that much if the individual joined at age 18 and remained an active fireman until the age of 60, 42 years then they COULD make a lump sum amount of that much - $200,000 divided by 42 years= $4,761.90/year or $200,000 divided by 15,330 days (42yrs)= $13.05/day - WOW isn't great $13.00 per day & THAT IS IF YOU JOIN AT 18 AND REMAIN EITHER ACTIVE OR ALIVE UNTIL YOU REACH THE AGE OF 60???

    Seems fair to me huh then again what is a volunteer fireman's life worth these days, I guess you would have to ask the families of those men & women who leave their homes to answer a call and never come back???

    Dwell on that and maybe read a little more into Liz Moore's Newsday article, it's only half truths being told, do you really think anyone would read the Article if it was more than just bad things that SOME departments are doing with the money??

    And do I think we need all of the fire trucks more than twice that of LA & NYC - Damn straight especially when Liz Moore is counting ALL apparatus including CHiefs Cars, Pickup Trucks, Utility Vehicles, Racing Trucks, Ambulances, Light Trucks, Fire Engines, Ladder trucks, Heavy Rescue Trucks for both Nassau & Suffolk Counties, Let me see the numbers of LA & NYC when they do the same comparison of vehicle counting???

    You won't see that in Newsday, remember "if it bleeds it leads" no one would watch the news or read newspapers if it didn't have blood, crime, or corruption!!!

  5. And now, dear ncres4change, you'll read this comment on this blog:

    While you are certainly entitled to your opinions, whatever they may be and from whatever ill-conceived source they may come from, and to a forum through which you may express yourself (although you are wearing mighty thin on this one), you will not be permitted to exercise this privilege by use of profanity, personal attacks, or references to tactics employed by the Third Reich.

    We will, to be sure, allow certain latitude in postings -- as we no doubt take in our blogs -- but where offensive language becomes a substitute for reasoned thought (or even half-baked ideas), we have to draw the line.

    It is unfortunate that a poster in a succeeding blogspot labeled you an "ignoramus." Indeed, it is an affront to ignoramuses everywhere!

    Ignoramus, for your information, was the name of a character in George Ruggle's 1615 play of the same name. The name was derived from the Latin, literally, "we are ignorant," from ignorare, "not to know," from ignarus, "not knowing," from ig- (for in-), "not" + gnarus, "knowing, acquainted with, expert in." It is related to ignorant and ignore.

    While we bemoan the use of any language that belittles or denegrates, given the commentary posted by you in the wide and generous bearth provided, all we can say is, "If the shoe fits..."

    Comment, suggest, ideate, even complain, but please, think before you write. As mother often said, it is better to keep your mouth shut and appear to be a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt!

  6. No much to say, so little time. So much to understand, so little time. So much to think about, so little. Of course, that's one of our basic problems these days, isn't it - so little time left in our harried, busy lives for us as individuals to seek out the truth for ourselves; instead, we are more and more often forced to listen to the processed and reduced 'truths' we have to hear on the news, read in the papers, or watch on television.

    Is there financial waste or misspending in the fire service on Long Island? Before we say yes or no, let's remember one thing: the brave men and women who leave their families when the gong sounds, be it during dinner, services, or the middle of the night, are generally using the equipment that has been provided for them by the taxing authorities; the firehouses are generally constructed by the taxing authorities; the vehicles are purchased by taxing authorities. These taxing authorities - fire districts - are run by publicly elected officials. Does everyone know that the second Tuesday in December, every year, is the annual election of Fire District Commissioners, across the whole of New York State? When was the last time YOU voted in this election? It is these commissioners who decide what to spend, when to spend it, how to spend it. They go on trips to Vegas for 'commissioner' conventions, supposedly to learn what they can about how to run a fire district. Yeah, as if some guys who's a sanitation worker in his real job, or some other low-level menial labor, really has the business aptitude to understand what it takes to run a multi-million dollar fire district. Not to belittle these folks in their day-to-day oursuits, they are all hard working, family supporters. But let's be honest, if they know so much about running multi-million dollar businesses, why are they picking up garbage for a living?

    It is here, with the Commissioners, that we must start, just as we must start with the School Boards to control spending in the schools, and the Sanitation Commissioners to control costs in the Sanitary Districts - by the way, some of these same Fire Commissioners are also publicly elected Sanitation Commissioners - bet you didn't know that either - and as Sanitation Commissioners, they even draw a salary. You think they know any more about running multi-million dollar Sanitation Districts than they do about running multi-million dollar Fire Districts? Maybe that's why Districts like Sanitation 6 charge way more per household than the Town of Hempstead.

    Newsday's series of articles is revealing many interesting facts, some wholly truthful, others misinterpreted, still others simply out of context, but while they have singled out individual firehouses, fire companies, and districts as examples of what they call abuses and excesses, one must take careful note that the same names seem to keep coming up, again and again and again. And while these departments may very well have spending out of control, one must ask a very good question: can I do it better myself? It is always easy to sit back and pass judgement; to develop the plan, and then to execute it properly is a whole different matter.

    A friend of mine ran for Fire Commissioner in our district a few years back, and lost the election. Not for lack of trying, you understand, but partly because the residents don't know, and they apparently don't care - turnout was around 5% - at least not until Newsday starts writing articles about the fire service.