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Calendar of Events
Last Updated: June 21, 2016
The following articles - and more - can be found in our print edition:
The Leader Endorses Tom Suozzi in the Democratic Primary for US Congress
After a close 54-46 race in 2014, incumbent US Rep Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) decided to retire, rather than face another challenge in 2016. That means that for the first time in 16 years, there is an open race for the North Shore congressional district.
The 3rd congressional district runs along Long Island's North Shore from Whitestone, Queens to Smithtown, Suffolk County, taking in all of Locust Valley, Glen Cove, the northern parts of the Town of Oyster Bay, and all the Town of Huntington. The district breaks down 12% Queens; 50% Nassau and 38% Suffolk. With a slight Democratic enrollment edge, the district has been rated as “even” and “fair fight” by the respected Cook Political Report and the Almanac of American Politics.
That is why five Democrats have entered the race for the June 28th primary: former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi; former North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman; Suffolk Legislator Steve Stern; North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan; and attorney Jonathan Clark. With the primary now less than three weeks away, the race is heating-up.
Two of the candidates bring serious credentials to the race: Tom Suozzi served two terms as Nassau County Executive and four terms as Mayor of Glen Cove; Jon Kaiman served five terms as Supervisor of North Hempstead and one term as Chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority ("NIFA").
The other candidates are much less impressive: Steve Stern is a career politician who spent over a decade in the mind-numbing Suffolk County Legislature, where he voted to appoint an openly “dirty cop” James Burke - now a convicted felon - as Suffolk's Police Chief, and voted to bankrupt the County with give-away contracts and fiscal gimmicks. When Suffolk County Executive Bellone recently called upon the DA, Tom Spota, to resign for turning the DA’s office into a “criminal enterprise,” Stern, ever the slick politician, was nowhere to be found. And Anna Kaplan has been a nasty, caustic presence on the North Hempstead Town Board.
Tom Suozzi has proven abilities as a leader and visionary. Under Suozzi's administration in Glen Cove, the revitalization of Glen Cove's downtown began, and plans for the clean-up of the Glen Cove Creek and the Garvies Point ferry were made. During his tenure as Nassau County Executive, Suozzi took the dilapidated County Building - a historic structure built under then-Governor Theodore Roosevelt - and carefully restored it to its former glory. Suozzi has gathered the most impressive endorsements - from Congressman Joe Crowley in Queens to former Suffolk County Executive Pat Halpin - and has worked closely with leaders from Hillary Clinton to Sen Chuck Schumer.
The Leader strongly endorses Tom Suozzi in the June 28th Democratic Primary for US Congress.
More Local Schools with Lead in the Water
With the scandal of lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, lead poisoning in children has become a topic of urgent interest throughout the country. On June 16th the New York State Senate passed a measure that protects children from potential lead poisoning found in the water at school buildings. Newark, New Jersey officials started testing the drinking water at schools in March and found high levels of lead. Many schools throughout the tri-state area started testing the fountain water.
Last month Northport area schools found twelve school water fountains with high lead levels and turned the fountains off. Water coolers were installed in schools until the piping of the fountains can be changed.
School districts in the vicinity showing high lead levels in recent testing were Locust Valley, Carle Place, Jericho, Westbury, Port Washington, and Syosset. Other schools districts as far as Riverhead have tested high. Schools in the Deer Park, Fire Island and New Suffolk districts use filtered or bottled water only. The water fountains tested had levels of lead above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines. Many schools have not tested in years.
The new bill creates a standard testing protocol. School districts and the Boards of Cooperative Educations Service (BOCES) requires that periodic tap testing by the New York State Department of Health would be implemented. Buildings that were built after 2014 will
be exempt from the testing requirement.
Schools that test negative for lead will receive waivers. The ones with water that contain unacceptable amounts of lead will be eligible for financial assistance to help with the costs of testing and remediation, the Senate office said in a press release. “There’s not a more important place to start this overall and ongoing effort to better address lead contamination than within our schools to protect children,” Senator Tom O’Mara, (R-58th District), the bill’s sponsor, said. “The increasing incidents of lead contamination in school drinking water systems demand that we take short and long-term actions to strengthen testing, reporting and remediation requirements.”
According to State Senator Carl Marcellino, (R-Syosset), co-sponsor of the new bill, stated, “Until now, public schools in the state were only required to test the conditions of their building once every five years to identify hazards such as potential lead contamination. There was also no comprehensive plan for testing all water in schools and eliminating contaminants that are found, and no way to make the test results widely available to residents.”
According to the state Department of Health, lead harms the growth of young children, along with their behavior and their ability to learn.
Even low levels of lead can lead to problems such as; hyperactivity, lower IQ, slowed growth, hearing problems, anemia, and damage to the kidneys, according to the EPA. Children six years old and younger are at the highest risk for the negative effects of lead.