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Speed Cameras And The Constitution

By Tom Liotti
In the 1980’s the State of New York allowed for the establishment of Traffic Adjudication Bureaus. They exist in New York City, Suffolk County and throughout much of the state but not in Nassau. The reason is that the Hon. Frank Santagata, our Associate Village Justice in Westbury for 28 years and a Past President of the Nassau Bar Association, convinced local lawmakers that the Adjudication Bureaus would violate the Constitutional rights of defendants because there was no plea bargaining and the burden of proof was by clear and convincing evidence not beyond a reasonable doubt. There were no prosecutors just administrative judges and police officers who acted as prosecutors. Frank argued that this was a denial of due process of law and that it was overriding the function of local village, town and district courts. [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: The Aftermath

By Fred Moreno

Many people look forward to the day after Thanksgiving, more commonly known as Black Friday, because it is the best day of the year for Christmas sales and bargains. When I think of Black Friday, I think of the annual battle I have with my wife regarding the recently consumed Thanksgiving dinner. It’s your classic, “I told you so” confrontation.

This year the argument began on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, when I warned my bride that she was making way too much of everything for the amount of people we were hosting. Her retort was that if she listened to “cheapo” me, she would have to send out for Chinese food directly after dinner or our guests would suffer the ill effects of malnutrition. [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: Not Again!

By Fred Moreno

Every year I ask the same question: “Why, why, why JoAnn do we have your family come for Thanksgiving year after year, after year, after year?” Her response is always the same. “Because we have your family over for Christmas year after year, after year, after year.”

I’m sick of this Thanksgiving and Christmas ping-pong game. I had it up to my baked Adam’s apple with this nonsense. I wouldn’t mind if I get along with my wife’s family, but I don’t. And there’s so many of them not to get along with—32 of them to be exact, but who’s counting?

The obvious space problem is compounded because I refuse to have anyone eating in the dining room. I don’t want our carpet stampeded and stained. As a result, we dine in the family room using only my poker table. So we eat four at a time in eight different shifts. Hey, you want to have the holiday at my house, you eat by my rules. [Read more...]

Isma Chaudhry Takes The Helm

By Maryann Slutsky, Long Island Wins

Shattering molds is nothing new to Isma Chaudhry. For more than a decade, she has been dedicated to breaking down stereotypes about Islam and Muslims on Long Island.

It only makes sense, then, that Chaudhry earn the mantel as the first woman president of the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI) in Westbury.

In fact, her new role as president of ICLI makes her the first woman in the tri-state area to be named president of a mosque. In response to her election, Chaudhry said, “I’m very humbled and very honored to be serving my community and the community at large in that capacity.” [Read more...]

Immigrant Influx Hurts Government

Tom Liotti, Westbury Village Justice

Congress has failed to give new immigrants a path to citizenship. They continue to sneak into the United States while escaping from violence and poverty in their native countries in Central America and Mexico. Their plight is now ours but the inability of Congress to deal with this immense problem is bankrupting local governments and school districts.

In 1848 Abraham Lincoln suggested in the Congressional Debates of that era that we might solve the slavery problem by sending them all back to Africa at an estimated cost of $300,000. The problem was then resolved by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment which freed the slaves throughout the nation. [Read more...]

My Halloween History

By Fred Moreno

Everyone has a “least favorite list.” Mine includes the Yankees, Barney Frank, lentils, Bill Maher, kids who say, “I’m seven going on eight” and did I mention the Yankees? But number one on that list has to be Halloween. Here’s why:

Once upon a time in a not-too-distant land, there were massive battles between my mom and I come the end of October, battles I very rarely won. My mom insisted that I join “everyone else” and get involved with the trick-or-treating nonsense.

“I don’t want to wear a costume!” I would wail. But to make my mom happy, I’d grab a sheet from the hamper and make my rounds as the “Dirty Casper.” Because I was seven, I was allowed to go around the corner by myself. I took advantage of it by making a left while my fellow ghouls made a right. I went to our local candy store, bought 50 Tootsie Rolls, returned home and said it was the most fun I’ve ever had. [Read more...]

Advocates Saving Our Children

By Tom Liotti

The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai, 17, from Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi, 60, from India, two extraordinary child advocates, is a timely counterweight to a world engulfed by war and pestilence. Each has a courageous story which has resonated throughout the world and has no doubt been heard by all except for the extremists whose answer to poverty is war and more killing. [Read more...]

This Is Where I Leave You

By Fred Moreno

After channel surfing last Tuesday, I was disappointed to learn that “Wheel of Fortune” was pre-empted. Not getting my daily dose of Vanna was unbearable, so I decided to take my Vanna somewhere we haven’t been in over a year — the movies.

We ran over to one of the Westbury theatres to catch the 8:05 p.m. show. Two steps into the lobby, I froze in my tracks. “JoAnn, am I seeing things or does that say $11.50 a ticket?” For 23 bucks I could have rented 23 movies from that red vending machine in the supermarket.

I didn’t want to disappoint my Vanna so I reluctantly took out my wallet. Then it hit me. We’re seniors. Maybe that will save me a few bucks. When I asked if there was a discount I was told that there was, but — are you ready for this — a driver’s license was not accepted as proof of age.

I think I scared the guy in the ticket booth when I screamed, “I usually don’t bring my birth certificate to the movies. How ‘bout I take out my dentures?” [Read more...]

Frog Hollow

By Tom Liotti

Frog Hollow also known as Carle Place is part of the unincorporated Town of North Hempstead. Carle Place and it’s renowned school district extends from Ellison Avenue on the east between Old Country Road and Jericho Turnpike and all the way over past Glen Cove Road to the Mineola line. The Village of Westbury is also part of Carle Place and vice versa.

The Village part of Carle Place also includes all of the area between Ellison Avenue and Carle Road plus the land northwest of Northern State Parkway up to Glen Cove Road. Approximately 40 percent of the Town of North Hempstead is in unincorporated areas. Zoning and land use are controlled by the Town of North Hempstead in the unincorporated part of Carle Place outside of the village. [Read more...]

Test Less, Teach More

Steve Israel 3rd NY Congressional District

Last week I announced a way to reduce excessive standardized tests as part of Common Core while preserving the quality of learning and teaching in our classrooms. My proposal was developed over the course of several months by school superintendents and educators throughout our communities.
I believe we are testing our kids to extremes and robbing them of their creativity and curiosity. Classrooms are meant to be challenging incubators for learning and expression, not test-taking factories. Unfortunately, many classrooms today are void of teaching innovation and critical thinking because teachers and students are burdened by preparing for excessive standardized tests that promote learning through retention rather than learning by experience. [Read more...]