Hold on to your hats. I’m going to do something I rarely do and for which I may not have another opportunity for a long time: compliment the MTA, and in particular thank the Long Island Railroad. Usually when I write about them, it’s to bring to light some egregiously wasteful practice or poor decision that further burdens taxpayers or riders. To be sure, there’s still plenty of that devil-may-care attitude there to fuel columns well into the next decade but by the same token, it’s only fair that I point out when the MTA makes progress.
Senator Jack M. Martins was honored to attend the groundbreaking for the new fire station or the Roslyn Highlands Fire Department in East Hills.
“The Roslyn Highlands Fire Department has a rich history of providing valuable fire services for the communities it serves. This will enhance the volunteers’ ability to provide service when they respond to calls from residents. I want to commend Chief Robert Duchnowski, 1st Deputy Chief Adam Boll and 2nd Deputy Chief Michael Gannon and all the members of the department for their service,” Senator Martins said.
Measures Increase Penalties, Enhance Community Notification and Protection
The New York State Senate passed a package of eight bills to prevent sexual predators from obtaining access to potential victims and help law enforcement and communities keep track of their whereabouts. The bills will help increase the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders and seeks to prevent them from obtaining access to vulnerable individuals.
On Sunday, April 29, Senator Jack M. Martins participated in Helen's Walk to benefit the Helen Keller National Center. The walk takes place in scenic Sands Point, ending at the Helen Keller National Center. "I was glad to participate in Helen's Walk once again. It's a fantastic event for an organization that does amazing work," he said.
I think people in neighboring states could hear New Yorkers breathe a collective sigh of relief this past week as we finally began to see the effects of our new tax cap. More than anything else, property taxes have been the overriding issue in New York for many years, especially since they’ve grown on average more than 6 percent a year for ten years, double the rate of inflation. So, after leading the nation in runaway increases for so long, we finally hit the brakes in 2011 with a tax cap that had bi-partisan support in both houses of the legislature. With limited exceptions, it holds increases in school and local property taxes to two percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
During West Point Day in Albany on April 26, Senator Jack M. Martins recognized a special guest, Sergeant First Class Robert W. Frame of Albertson. Sergeant Frame, a 1998 graduate of Mineola High School, enlisted in the Army in 1998. His proud parents are Walter and Kathleen. Public service runs in the family as Walter is active in the Albertson Fire Department and involved with the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY).
“Sergeant Frame represents something larger than himself. Those who serve like Sergeant Frame serve on so many different levels. It is that multi-generational commitment to serving others that is the backbone of our communities. It’s an honor to recognize Sergeant Frame and his family,” Senator Martins said on the floor of the Senate.
Appearing on 'Your Voice' in Albany, Senator Jack M. Martins discussed the restoration of train service on the Port Washington line, important crime prevention legislation, the success of the Mineola Junior Fire Department and a visit to Albany from a group from Temple Sinai of Roslyn.
Senator Jack M. Martins recently visited the Westbury Library for its “Meet Your Elected Officials” program. Residents were able to ask Senator Martins questions and relay their concerns. He also gave the community an update on the current legislative session.
“I want to thank library director Cathleen Towey, board of trustees president Eric Dobrin and the rest fo the board for inviting me,” said Senator Martins. “This provides me the opportunity to listen to the concerns of the residents as well as update them on our efforts in Albany.”
On April 26, the New York State Senate held West Point Day, which provided an opportunity for the Legislature to meet distinguished cadets and officers from the Military Academy and show appreciation for their service. The Senate also welcomed to the Senate Chamber other guests who have served in the military or are on active duty.
Taxpayers whose state and/or federal income tax returns indicate they will receive a tax refund this year can use the Internet to find out when their refund will arrive.
Both the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allow taxpayers to track the status of tax refunds online through their respective websites. Taxpayers can utilize both refund tracking services approximately 72 hours after they file their tax returns electronically or four weeks after they mail a paper return.
Senator Jack M. Martins participated in the Sewanhaka Central High School District Model UN Conference. Approximately students from five high schools (Sewanhaka, Elmont Memorial, New Hyde Park Memorial, Floral Park Memorial and H. Frank Carey) competed in the SIDMUN Model UN Conference. The students debated crucial world issues as well as important events in history. Students represented different countries and debated various issues, making for an invaluable learning experience.
Senator Martins is pictured with the Model UN Conference delegation from his family's home country of Portugal - Chukwudi Kanu, Sean Charles, Michael Braun, Saul Ellison and Akan Brown.
Senator Jack M. Martins spent a recent morning visiting with the Manhasset High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). The goal of FBLA is to prepare students to be active participants in the dynamic, ever-changing business arena. The students discussed with Senator Martins the issues affecting New York State. Senator Martins explained that a major initiative of the Senate and the Governor is creating a more business-friendly environment to boost the economy and create jobs.
Senator Jack M. Martins attended the Mineola Junior Fire Department 10th Annual Installation Dinner on April 21. The officers installed included Captain Christopher Strauss, Lieutenant Matthew Barroca and Lieutenant Daniel Dempsey. Ex-captain Mike Fernandes was named the Junior Firefighter of the Year.
The Mineola Junior Fire Department has been highly successful in producing future firfighters in large part to the guidance provided by advisors Bill Gresalfi, Gary Mazur, Scott Strauss, Rob Connolly, Lou Santosus, Jack Fernandes, Joseph Tartaglia, Rich Ueland, Atnhony Natale, Michael Stack, Bryan Strauss, Jack Wolf and Tyler Wolf. Other members of the department who provide crucial support are Chief Joe Pratt and Steven "Chief" Stolarik.
As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, you know it must be spring in New York City when the mayoral candidates declare war on the suburbs. No sooner did we repeal the onerous MTA payroll tax than candidate, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, trotted out his plan for a new and improved commuter tax. I know, I know, it’s not really new. Multiple candidates in every mayoral race suggest it, but Mr. Stringer gets the prize for being the first this year. It’s a sharp political move for them when you think about it: advocate for a tax on those who can’t vote for (or against) you anyway.
On Saturday, April 21, Senator Jack M. Martins hosted the New York University College of Dentistry "Smiling Faces, Going Places" Mobile Dental Care Program to provide free oral health screenings to children and adults in the Seventh Senate District from 11 am to 3 pm at the Roberta Nixon Housing, 72 Harbor Homes, Port Washington, New York 11050.
The dental team provided oral screenings, which include a general inspection of the mouth. At the conclusion of the screening, each patient received a "goodie bag" filled with a new toothbrush, toothpaste and oral healthcare information.
Senator Jack M. Martins, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, recently presented a Senate Resolution in honor of Diana Merenda for her years of service as Mayor of the Village of Plandome Heights.
Diana faithfully served the village, first as a member of the Planning Board, then as a village trustee and, since 2008, as Mayor. She decided to retire this year.
Senator Martins presented Diana with a copy of the resolution, which was adopted by the New York State Senate on March 20, in front of her family at a meeting of the Nassau County Legislature. During that meeting, Legislator Judi Bosworth also presented Diana with a Legislative Citation.
In the latest edition of "Your Voice," Senator Jack M. Martins discusses his bill to help veteran-owned businesses compete for state contracts, the ucpoming Helen's Walk to benefit the Helen Keller National Center on April 29, the visit to Albany by the young musicians from the Elmont School District, opening day of the Little League season, the Boy Scouts and the great work done by the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition.
Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed Rabbi Michael White, members of the professional staff and a group of young leaders from Temple Sinai of Roslyn in Roslyn Heights to Albany. Rabbi White and the young men and women visited the State Capitol to speak about issues that are important to the youth, including bullying and cyberbullying, which Rabbi White called a “corrosive epidemic.”
Rabbi Michael White from Temple Sinai in Roslyn Heights went to Albany with a group of teens from the community to talk to Senator Jack M. Martins about bullying the cyberbulling, which is a major problem facing teens.
"Bullying, in any form, should not be tolerated. It is hurtful and can hamper a student's ability to focus on their studies and hurt self-esteem. It's difficult enough being a teenager without having to be bullied. Those that would bully a classmate need to be made aware of the damage they can cause other families. I want to thank the community for recognizing this problem and raising awareness," Senator Martins said.
Senator Martins invited Rabbi White to deliver the invocation for the April 17, 2012 Session of the New York State Senate.
Senator Jack M. Martins welcomed nursing students from Molloy College to Albany as he met with them to discuss issues important to nursing. "I commend these student for choosing such a noble career as nursing. I wish them much success and look forward to meeting with them again to discuss healthcare issues that are important to all of us," said Senator Martins