Subscribe to Manhasset News

Mistruths By PSEG-LI

I have been an outspoken critic of the PSEG transmission project since it became known to our community. I have raised several questions with PSEG associated with this project:

• Is the line was necessary based on expected demand?

• Is the line necessary to meet summer 2014 demand?

• Would this line improve reliability in the event a Storm Sandy would to re-occur?

• Has the cost of undergrounding the line been greatly exaggerated?

• Why wasn’t the LIRR train route considered?

I was recently invited by PSEG to meet with several of their executives to address these questions. Based on that meeting, I wanted to share some of the things I learned with the community.

There is a misconception that with this new transmission line, outages will be a thing of the past. This is not be the case. Outages associated with weather events, e.g., Sandy, mostly involved impact on distribution lines, NOT transmission. While these poles most likely would survive a hurricane, the distribution lines are still vulnerable.

PSEG has also cited their projections for increased demand as rational. PSEG is forecasting approximately a 2 to 2.5 percent annual increase in demand over the next decade. This far exceeds the US Energy Information Administration’s projections of between 0.5 percent and 1 percent over this period. Further, no compelling case for this summer was made, which was cited for the urgency to complete this project ASAP. With stable population and demographics in the community, and expected efficiencies due to more efficient appliances and lighting,, and distributed generation (e.g., solar), PSEG’s demand increase forecasts do not make sense.

Excessive cost of undergrounding the line was also mentioned . PSEG indicated that the cost of undergrounding a line was six times the cost of overhead lines. This has not been borne out by the actual costs associated with this project. PSEG indicated that the one mile of buried line through Thomaston, was $4 million. The remaining 4 miles of above ground line was $10 million. That comes to an increased cost ration of less than two.

Assuming the line is necessary, the lowest cost approach would have been to run the line through the LIRR right of way to Port Washington. It could have been done above ground, have minimal impact on the community, could have leveraged existing poles and structures, and would have been the shortest route, e.g., 2 miles vs. 5 miles. PSEG indicated that while this would have been most viable option, the LIRR would not grant sufficient access to get the project done within their time frame.

In summary, PSEG had viable alternatives that would have been acceptable to the community, and could have solicited input prior to starting the project. As they say, haste makes waste.

Bob Young

When Will We Ever Learn?

Once again our leaders are taking us down the path to war with no end game in sight. We are embarking on another disastrous war in the Middle East, ignoring the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan that there is no military solution to end these civil

wars. Further, air strikes will only fuel Arab anger and increase terrorist recruitment. Air strikes may sometimes take out their targets, they always kill civilians. Rather than air strikes the U.S. should use its leverage and power for negotiations. A long term political solution is required that includes the U.N., all parties in the countries surrounding Iraq (who don’t seem to eager to join us) and yes, Iran and Russia. We have our issues with them, but they are power players in the region and have their own reasons to fear ISIS.

We cannot afford another decade of war. It will drain resources desperately needed here at home and take its toll on our democracy. Only the American people can stop another war. Take 5 minutes to call your representatives in Congress (Senators Schumer & Gillibrand & Rep. Israel) at 202-224-3121.

Share this message. Urge them to vote no on this dangerous path to war.

Stanley Romaine

Chair Great Neck SANE/Peace Action

Aggressive Manhasset Park District Policies

I am writing to warn everyone in town about the new aggressive policies of the Manhasset Park District at the Manhasset Train Station.

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 14, I picked up my 78 year old mother from the Manhasset Train Station, where she was due to arrive at 12:58 p.m. At 1 p.m., as my mother was climbing the stairs with her suitcase, a police officer issued me a summons for stopping my car in the “no standing” area.

I explained to him that my elderly mother was climbing the stairs from the train (in fact she walked right past him during this conversation). He was extremely rude to me, and threatened to increase my ticket by another $50 if I tried to drive away before he could finish writing out his ticket. The train station was empty on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I was not blocking traffic. In fact, my mother was one of only a handful of people who got off the train. I resent being bullied by the police in my own town.

It is completely unreasonable to have a train station where residents cannot expeditiously drop off and pick up passengers. I will have my day in court at the end of October (the date on my summons). In the meantime, I encourage all Manhasset residents to contact the Park District to restore civility at the train station. I’m disgusted.

Nina Vincoff

An Alternative To A Bond

Upon learning about the proposed $25 million bond for upgrading the three Manhasset school facilities, it is our opinion that dollars spent on larger rooms in science and the arts, air conditioning in the cafeterias, and two sports venues is an imprudent use of our taxpayer dollars, especially in light of the demographic studies which forecast diminishing student population, based on the current number of homes within Manhasset.

We feel that we have been deceived by the 2% tax cap. The school budget should include dollars allocated for school property repairs and renovations. We believe that if $1,000,000 were in the school budget for these purposes each year, the school would have $20,000,000 over 20 years without the need for issuance of bonds.

We are aware that 46 additional homes will be built on the property of the former

St. Ignatius retreat house, which is in our school district. Although this development will most likely increase the student population somewhat, it will also increase the tax base, with at least $500,000 going toward school taxes, which can fund necessary projects.

To specifically address the proposal to enlarge science rooms, for example, we believe better quality teachers are necessary for success, not larger rooms. Quality teachers create great schools, not wider walls and floors.

One creative idea which can address school crowding at the secondary school level is “split sessions”. Middle-school students can attend school during periods 1 – 9 (approximately 8:00 to 3:00) while high schools students can attend school periods 3 – 11 (approximately 9:30 to 4:30). Not only would there be an abundance of space during 4 periods each day for classes to “spread out”, but this would also free up field space for sports teams — with sports beginning at 3:10 for middle school and perhaps at 4:40 for high school. As for high school students, research has shown that teens learn better when school starts later, which would be an additional bonus of their starting classes at 9:30. Teachers would work the same number of hours during two “shifts”.

Consider the benefits split-sessions would bring to the cafeteria. Middle school students could have their lunch 4th, and 5th periods, and high school students could have their lunch 6th, 7th and 8th periods. Overcrowding, noise, long-lines, stress and overheating would be alleviated in the cafeteria, and there would be very little need to install expensive air conditioning.

One more bonus of “split-sessions” at the secondary school — perhaps the middle school will feel more like a separate middle school when those students start the day without sharing the halls with high school students.

Logistics can be worked out with school buses. This would be much less expensive and more flexible than permanently remodeling the secondary school. “Split-sessions” would also address the overcrowded and unsafe driving and pedestrian conditions during drop-offs and pick-ups. Perhaps bus service for high school students can be limited to 1.25 miles or more from the school, while elementary school children bus distances remain the same.

Logistics can also be worked out with sports teams. Since we will have more available fields with two sessions, more high school teams can be invited to our fields due to our later starting time of 4:40. With some ingenuity, these ideas can work.

With regard to renovating Memorial Field and the tennis courts with money from the proposed $25,000,000 bond, we suggest that donations raised through the Booster Club and our athletic organizations be used to fund these projects, not additional taxes through a bond.

With regard to the fine arts rooms (music and art) being expanded as part of the bond, we believe that these expansions are not sorely needed. Our students have continually performed strongly in these areas in their current facilities without consequence.

There are creative ideas that can be implemented without issuing a $25,000,000 bond.

Our taxes already include previously issued bonds from 2008, among others. We say enough layering of taxes upon taxes. It’s also interesting to note that once we repay our bonds, our taxes never fall.

Denise Anna Friscia

Vote For Martins

RE: “Vote for Haber,” letter by Linda D’angelo, Sept. 4 edition of the Manhasset Press:

Ms. D’angelo’s letter incorrectly describes the New York League of Conservation Voters’ stance on the candidates in State Senate District 7.

NYLCV—one of the state’s largest environmental organizations—has endorsed Jack Martins because he has consistently fought for a better environment in Nassau County.

This year alone, Senator Martins was a key supporter of all three of the environmental community’s top priorities: 1) the Community Risk and Resiliency Act; 2) the Child Safe Product Act; and 3) reforms to the Brownfield Cleanup Program.

Martins is committed to improving the safety and security of drinking water through the formation of the Long Island Commission on Aquifer Protection (LICAP). And he has pledged to renew and improve programs to clean up contaminated land and grow the Environmental Protection Fund if he is re-elected.

Both candidates in this race sought NYLCV’s endorsement. They both filled out detailed candidate questionnaires about their track records and environmental platforms. They both sat down for interviews with our Long Island Chapter, which is comprised of Nassau and Suffolk County residents, small business owners and environmentalists.

After a careful review, NYLCV’s Long Island Chapter recommended endorsing Jack Martins because of his proven environmental leadership. Our Long Island Chapter was particularly encouraged by his passionate advocacy to improve the quality of drinking water and Long Island’s local waterways.

NYLCV is proud to endorse Jack Martins in District 7 and we encourage voters who care about clean water and environmental progress to support Jack Martins for State Senate on Election Day.

Marcia Bystyrn,

President

New York League of

Conservation Voters

Volunteering For Adam Haber

One of the first things people notice about Adam Haber, is the way he can fill a room. Standing over 6 feet tall he’s not a small guy, but then again neither is the office he’s running for. As I’ve gotten to know Adam over the past two months while working on the campaign for State Senate, it’s become more and more obvious to me that he brings more than sound bytes and “one-liners” to the table. Beyond his proven business expertise as a successful entrepreneur, 20 plus years of experience in finance, and achievements balancing the Roslyn school budget, speak to Adam for five minutes and you’ll see intangibles that most politicians sorely lack. [Read more...]

Support Jack Martins For Senate

I am a longtime resident of Manhasset, and it is early, but I think it’s time to start thinking about who we should choose to represent us in the New York State Senate (7th District) election come this Fall. Our present Senator, Jack Martins, has done an exemplary job helping to improve the conditions in our community. Senator Martins had experience as the Mayor of Mineola when he first went to Albany in 2011 and he made good use of that background. [Read more...]

Maragos: $79.6M Budget Deficit

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released the 2014 mid-year financial projections which indicate that the County will end with a $76.9 million budgetary deficit for the primary operating funds. The shortfall is due primarily to a sharp decline in sales tax revenues, lower State and Federal Aid and above budget spending for Police overtime. Offsetting the shortfalls are increased revenues from Rents and Recoveries, lower spending in Social Services, lower debt service costs and a $12.7 million pickup from Governor Cuomo’s commitment to reimburse the County for the County’s 10% share of Superstorm Sandy recovery expenditures.

“The projected deficit is primarily the result of an estimated $90 million shortfall in sales tax revenues from lower economic activity after the prior year’s surge from Superstorm Sandy recovery spending, and a shift to online shopping,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “The Administration, NIFA, and the Legislature must find areas to reduce expenses immediately in order to end the year in balance.”

Under the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority (“NIFA”) presentation basis, which excludes revenues from financing sources such as borrowing, the County would be ending the year with a negative $206.7 million. The NIFA deficit is primarily due to an anticipated $75 million in bonding for property tax refunds and the projected $76.9 million budgetary deficit. The same factors will cause the County’s Structural Gap (the difference between recurring operating revenues and expenses) to widen to $242 million, from $99.1 million in 2013. This will be a major reversal in the year-over-year fiscal improvements achieved since 2009.

The projected $76.9 million budgetary deficit will reduce the unreserved fund balance for the primary operating funds to $49.6 million, down from $126.5 million at 2013 year-end. This projected 2014 year-end fund balance will represent 2% of the prior year budgetary expenditures, well below the County’s policy of at least 4 percent.

“Immediate steps are required by the Administration and NIFA to cut costs and reduce borrowing so that the County ends close to budget and the other fundamental fiscal trends are not reversed but continue to improve,” emphasized Comptroller George Maragos. “Swift actions will avoid the unpleasant consequences that will arise from our projections, should they be allowed to materialize.”

Penta And Future Legislation

Regarding Chuck Idol’s Op-Ed piece (The Truth About the Poison in PSEG’s Poles, July 16-22, 2014) I would like to add that here in the Town of North Hempstead, we are also very concerned with the use and lack of warning signs on utility poles treated with Pentachlorophenol (penta.)

Recently I put forth legislation before the Town Board to require utilities to remove decommissioned and damaged poles, also known as “double poles,” within 60 days of the installation of a new pole, or face a fine up to $500. Due to my great concern about the health hazards of penta, I also proposed an amendment to this legislation that would require the utility company to place a penta warning sign on any newly installed pole. This warning sign, similar to what landscapers are required to do when applying harmful pesticides, would warn against touching the pole and would also advise immediate hand washing should anyone come in contact with the pole.

This law will come before the Board for a vote On Aug. 12.

Judi Bosworth

Supervisor

Town of North Hempstead

Haber’s Our Man

From School Board To Senate

I am looking forward to this Nov. 4 Election Day, and the opportunity to vote for one of my best friends, Adam Haber, for New York State Senate, District 7. [Read more...]