Critical Road Safety Issues in our Community

Implementing vital safety improvements to our main roads is a core issue that must be addressed.  Several key thoroughfares in our Legislative District are extremely hazardous for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, thus requiring urgent attention.  The most glaring examples are Lido Boulevard in Lido Beach and Austin Boulevard in Island Park. Each year, there are many accidents on these poorly designed roads, too often resulting in resulting in fatalities or serious injuries.  

Notably, for those students who attend Long Beach Public Middle School and High School and who are not provided busing to school, they must walk along a six lane highway with no protection from speeding automobile traffic.  Through the years there have been many accidents involving students both walking and riding bikes headed to and from school. This is not a new problem. The New York Times reported in 2004, that the then President of the Lido Beach Civic Association was fighting for changes to Lido Boulevard since a fatal accident back in 1987. Despite these efforts, little has changed and the accidents have continued.  As recently as this past June, a student was injured by a motorist on Lido Boulevard while riding their bike to Long Beach Middle School. This has been a vital issue for years, with no permanent fix.  

In the same manner, Austin Boulevard continues to be a blighted thoroughfare with narrow lanes, speeding traffic, and poor traffic control.  Beginning over a decade ago, there have been promises to revamp the area, yet each time the project was postponed before shovels hit the ground.  Every time the project has been shelved, more fatal accidents have occurred along that road. In addition to addressing the safety issues, a reconstruction and beautification of this main road will provide the opportunity for new businesses to open in the area.  This project must not be put off any longer.

There have been many proposals and some small, corrective measures put in place over the years. Concrete medians were installed along Lido Boulevard, and the speed limit has been reduced on both roads. Unfortunately, the speed of traffic has not decreased, and the fixes have done little or nothing to resolve the issues. It is finally time to make the difficult decisions and enact permanent solutions to these important roads. The number one priority must be the safety of all of us who travel around our community. Otherwise, we are just waiting for another accident to occur.

Sentencing Delays

While it would be truly sad if Ambrosino’s sentencing got in the way of his “personal obligation”, the delay in sentencing of Ambrosino and Ed Mangano are clearly about not drawing attention to the systematic corruption of the Republican machine in Nassau County before Election Day. On November 5th, we must send a message that we all know who has been plundering our County for years. We need some change in Nassau!

“In a Sept. 27 letter to Judge Joanna Seybert, James Druker, Ambrosino’s Garden City attorney, asked that the Oct. 18 sentencing be postponed because of a personal obligation of his client that weekend, a time-consuming trial of Druker’s in Brooklyn and “an election on November 5th that we are concerned will be influenced by the publicity that will likely attend my client’s sentencing.”

Sentencing of former Hempstead councilman delayed Edward Ambrosino, who pleaded guilty in April to tax evasion, asked that his sentencing be postponed until after the Nov. 5 election.

Roadwork on the Eve of Yom Kippur

While the roadwork on Lido Boulevard is absolutely necessary and appreciated, the timing this past Tuesday could not have been worse. On the Eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish holiday, residents observing must get home to eat a last meal prior to beginning a 24-hour fast at sundown.  Instead, residents were stuck in gridlock as the construction on Lido Boulevard slowed traffic to a grinding halt. The normal short drive from the Loop Parkway to Long Beach took over an hour, and many commuters were late getting home to start the fast.

This was insensitive and disrespectful to our Jewish community. This roadwork should have been suspended long before the evening commute to ensure no disruption to residents commuting home to observe the holiday.  To make matters worse, residents were provided little notice of the planned construction. The only known notification was a social media post and a single road sign stationed inside of Long Beach, with none posted on the Parkways. Our residents deserve better than mere social media posts, especially since many of our residents this affected may not use social media.

Legislator Denise Ford knew about the scheduling at least a week in advance, yet failed to take any action. The scheduling of the roadwork, as well as the lack of notification, displayed apathy to the Jewish residents and the importance of the High Holiday. The residents of the Jewish community in Legislative District 4 deserved better.

The corruption never stops

Tack on another $3.1 million dating back to 2000. More of our money out the window. To add insult to injury for Long Beach residents, the official response submitted on behalf of the City was drafted by an attorney hired by a subject of the investigation, all while other individuals in City Hall were complicit in allowing that response to be submitted.  That is simply not in the interests of the tax paying residents. Thank you to Council Members Mandel and Bendo for their continued efforts on our behalf because the one and only official City response should have been drafted solely with the interests of the city in mind, not the conflicted personal interests of any individual. Unfortunately, the tax payers lost again.

UN Report on Climate Change

The climate crisis is already here. Living on the coast, this is about our home, our community, and our future:

“For some major coastal cities, a historical 100-year flood event will happen annually by the year 2050 even in a low emissions scenario, the report finds... Sea level rise is accelerating, and the world could see 3.6 feet in total sea level rise by the year 2100 in a very high-emissions scenario.”

Scientists agree that we can turn this around, but we must take action. We must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Let’s be a leader in Nassau and make sure our kids have a future here too!

We need a comprehensive investigation in Long Beach

There is still no explanation as to why the investigation by the outside counsel hired by the City Council was cancelled, and no response to the statement by Bendo and Mandel. As recommended by the NYS Comptroller, we must have an independent internal investigation in order to identify all payments made in violation of the City Charter, and then seek to recoup them. We need to find out the whole story and seek reimbursement of all illegitimate payments.,118085

Let’s address climate change in Nassau County!

We are now at a crossroads, and combating climate change is the pivotal challenge of our generation. Living on the coast, we must be hyper-vigilant to ensure a safe and prosperous future for our community. Based on the failure of the federal government to bring leadership or implement serious policy, state and local governments must step in to fill the void. Sustainable, clean energy, such as solar and wind with high capacity battery storage, is the future, and Nassau County must not be left behind as the world moves forward. I support adopting green energy standards for public and private industry, incentivizing renewable industries, and removing government impediments for private transformation. Not only will we be combating climate change, but this will bring the added benefit of new jobs and a boost for the local economy from the renewable energy industry.  Major countries all around the world have committed to a net zero carbon goal by 2050. Why can’t we? In our own backyard, the Town of East Hampton will be fossil fuel free by next year. Let’s show leadership in Nassau and ensure a safe future for our kids!

Long Beach Separation Overpayments

Recently, I've been asked about the overpayments of separation payments made by the City of Long Beach. Those overpayments are outrageous and unacceptable. This practice of overpayments goes back over 25 years, and it must be stopped permanently. In addition to Jack Schnirman returning the money, every cent of all other overpayments must be returned voluntarily, and if not, the city should go after it. Both the Nassau DA and US Attorney in the Eastern District are reviewing the matter, so I await the outcomes of those investigations to learn the entire story and see if any charges are filed.

I’m new to politics and completely independent. I’ll work to stop any corruption or misappropriation of funds because any misuse of our tax dollars is unacceptable. Democrat or Republican does not matter to me, unlike Denise Ford who seems to only call out one side. I will not shy away from holding anyone accountable because we deserve honesty from our public officials. The Republicans have a massive corruption problem as compared to the Democrats, but let’s be clear, even one instance by either side is not acceptable to me. That is why I’m running!

Keep Nassau’s Future Talent Here

We need to prevent an exodus of youth and talent from Nassau County: “One by one, Natalie Sparaccio has seen her friends and classmates leave Long Island and never look back...Colorado, Arizona, Florida, South Carolina. Every few months, another going-away party. Millennials all in search of better jobs, apartments they can afford and a nightlife.” How high rents are driving away LI's millennials

We must build affordable housing that is desirable and affordable for young working adults. This must include proximity to both transit options and walkable downtowns with retail and dining options. Today’s young adult renters are the families, homeowners, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We need to keep the next generation on LI to both protect our property values and ensure that our area has a prosperous future for our children. The increased tax revenue from new housing will have the added benefit of decreasing the tax burden on current homeowners, which we can all appreciate. It is in all of our interests to ensure that young adults can both afford to live here and see Long Island as a great place to live!