Under sunny skies, the heat beat down on the basketball courts at the Dutch Broadway Elementary School in Elmont. The Henry Viscardi School Cougars waited patiently for their game to begin. The Cougars weren’t taken on any ordinary team; they would be taking on the Nassau County champion Elmont Memorial High School Spartans.
The Long Island Senate delegation joined Governor Andrew Cuomo on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury on Thursday, July 27 as the Governor launched the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council to act as the conduit between state government and the business community to spur economic development.
As part of an initiative to get make New York State more business-friendly, Governor Cuomo has created 10 regional economic development councils. Long Island is one of the regions. The Governor appointed Kevin Law, president of the Long Island Association, and Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University, to co-chair the council.
Long Island's two freshmen Senators - Senator Jack M. Martins and Senator Lee M. Zeldin - are currently appearing on the Cablevision show, Meet the Leaders. The theme of the show is a day in life of a Senator and includes footage of Senator Martins and Senator Zeldin going about their days in Albany. The two Senators then spoke about their first year in the Senate during an interview with the show's host, Patrick Halpin, at Cablevision's studios.
The show is airing until August 12 on Channel 118 on Cablevision on:
On a hot and sunny summer afternoon, Senator Jack M. Martins visited Kaos Farms, located at 10 Old Westbury Road in Old Westbury, an authentic farm that harvests organic crops.
Senator Martins met with farmers Howard “Skip” Wade and Walter Hegarty as well as Lynette Frey and Mary Callan of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Senator Martins also met with Lisa Ott, president of the North Shore Land Alliance.
Kaos Farms grows all-natural crops of produce and vegetables in a spacious farm off Old Westbury Road. Kaos Farms is in its second year of operation and now offers a limited number of CSA shares to local community members.
The summer is here, the senate is out of session, and I’ve been able to spend more time in the communities of the Seventh Senate District, meeting with local residents and hearing what’s on their minds.
Senator Jack M. Martins is partnering with Long Island Cares as well as local communities to collect food for those in need during a drive from August 1-21. There will be Long Island Cares drop boxes for food collection throughout the Seventh Senate District for those wishing to donate food.
Long Island Cares the Harry Chapin Food Bank was founded by the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin. It is dedicated to providing food for those in need with the assistance of Long Island’s communities.
After visiting Long Island Cares, Senator Martins wanted to help the food bank. He reached out to all the villages in the Seventh Senate District to ask if they help host the food drive by placing a food collection box at their village hall.
Senator Jack M. Martins visited the children’s summer reading program at the Bryant Library in Roslyn. Senator Martins spent some time with the children, discussing the summer with them. The Senator then read a book with the children – “The 10 Things I Can Do To Help My World” by Melanie Walsh. The story was how even little things can make a big difference.
New York State now has a “Good Samaritan” law that encourages a witness or victim of a drug or alcohol-related overdose to seek medical attention by removing the fear of prosecution. The bill was co-sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins as a means to potential save a lives.
“When someone is suffering from a drug or alcohol overdose, it’s vital that the person get medical attention immediately. This measure eliminates the fear of being prosecuted for possession and will potentially save lives,” said Senator Martins.
“A person who, in good faith, seeks health care for someone who is experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose or other life-threatening medical emergency shall not be charged or prosecuted for a controlled substance offense,” the new law states.
One of the great attractions at the 3on3 Basketball Tournament held on July 16th was the 1st annual "Senator Jack M. Martins 7on7 Football Tournament" for college and high school students. The chairperson for the tournament was Elmont resident Donald Pierre-Louis who worked overtime to make the tournament a huge success. Football stars from Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park, North Valley Stream and New Hyde Park participated in the games.
Senator Jack M. Martins was back in Elmont to support a cancer research fundraising effort at Averill Park in the form of a Street Hockey Marathon! The 3rd annual hockey marathon is entitled "Playing for a Cure." Young people and adults throughout Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park and South Floral Park play hockey and raise money for cancer reasearch for charities like 1 in 9. Senator Martins was joined by 1 in 9 Director Gerri Barash and hundreds of local Elmont residents in the effort.
"This is a great cause and it's a lot of fun," said Senator Martins. "I'm very proud to have supported the effort and to cheer on our Elmont hockey players!"
Senator Jack M. Martins was in Great Neck to tour the Great Neck Water Pollution District. Senator Martins received an up-close look at the district’s new state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility. The facility is currently under construction as is undergoing an upgrade and expansion.
The upgrade and expansion of the District’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is expected to yield significant water quality and other environmental benefits to the waters and coastal areas of both Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound.
The construction of the new facility, which started in 2010, will be fully completed December 14, 2013. The District’s facility will be meeting all required guidelines and regulations by the June 14, 2014 deadline.
On Saturday, July 16, the Elmont community came together for the annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament at the Dutch Broadway School. The tournament was a resounding success as volunteers made the day fun for all the participants. The event was sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins and Senator Dean Skelos. Watch the highlights here!
New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns announced assistance for low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecast for the state in the comingdays.
New York State has set aside $3 million in funding through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that will provide air conditioning units for more than 3,700 households.
Eligibility for the program is determined by:
1) LIHEAP low-income guidelines. (For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $48,000.)
A bill sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins to give ambulances and other emergency vehicles better protection was signed into law. The bill legislation gives ambulances and other emergency service vehicles the option of using rear projecting blue lights to prevent the possibility of being struck at night.
Previous law allowed for blue lights to be affixed to police and fire vehicles. Senator Martins’ bill gives ambulances the same protection by allowing ambulances to be equipped with blue lights so that emergency service vehicles that are responding can easily be seen. Studies have shown that the blue light is the most noticeable light, and as a result, provides the highest level of safety.
New legislation is now in effect in New York State that strengthens the enforcement against drivers who use handheld electronic to text while driving. The legislation was sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino, supported by Senator Jack M. Martins and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The new law makes texting while driving a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop drivers solely for engaging in this activity.
Before this law, it was illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle was in motion, but it was a secondary traffic offense -- meaning a driver had to be stopped for another violation in order to receive a ticket.
When I write these columns, I find it helpful to think about the friends and neighbors that I’ve met throughout our district. I envision this column as sitting together over a weekly cup of coffee and having a healthy, steady exchange about what’s happening in Albany. To be sure, so much of what I have carried upstate about good governance was born of these everyday sessions. Sharing this particular week’s column is indeed a pleasure.
It was 7 a.m. Saturday at Dutch Broadway School, where over 200 volunteers were putting up banners, assembling tents, setting up hoops and putting the finishing touches on the 2011 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Months of preparation, that began this past February, were being executed by high school and college students with precision and efficiency that local civic leaders marveled at. “This is what Elmont is all about,” said Tournament Sponsor, Senator Jack M. Martins.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently congratulated Nick Ruscillo for his acceptance to SUNY Maritime College. The Carle Place resident was nominated by Senator Martins for the Cadet Appointment Program. The program allows elected officials to nominate candidates for a full tuition scholarship.
“Nick is a terrific young man. He has a bright future and I was proud to nominate him for the Cadet Appointment Program. He has a great upbringing, which is a credit to his parents, and I am certain he will succeed at SUNY Maritime,” Senator Martins said. “I congratulate and commend him.”
On Tuesday afternoon, July 12, Senator Jack M. Martins spent the afternoon with the Gloria Dei Independent Seniors of New Hyde Park at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
The group meets every Tuesday for a luncheon and to discuss issues that are important to seniors and the community. Senator Martins was happy to visit and to discuss this past Legislative session Albany.