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Senator Phillips Secures $220,000 for First Veterans Defense Program on Long Island

Continuing her support for veterans across Long Island, Senator Elaine Phillips announced today that she has secured $220,000 in funding in the 2018-19 state budget for a new Veterans Defense Program (VDP) on Long Island. The Veterans Defense Program provides training, support and legal assistance to attorneys defending veterans and service members.


“Of the nearly 94,000 veterans on Long Island, 30% or 28,200 are at high risk of having PTSD, TBI or depression and many are at significant risk of arrest as their trauma symptoms can lead to criminal conduct according to studies by the Veterans Administration,” said Senator Elaine Phillips. “Sadly, a growing number of veterans with service-related mental health illnesses are becoming lost in the criminal justice system. This important funding will help those in need by providing legal assistance and ensuring attorneys have the skills and training to defend those who risked their lives to defend us.”


Prior to this funding New York only had two Veterans Defense Program offices, one located in the Capital Region, the other in Western New York.


“Senator Philips was instrumental in obtaining this funding for a new Long Island office with an attorney and case manager for the Veterans Defense Program,” said Gary Horton, Director of the Veterans Defense Program. “We greatly appreciate Senator Phillips’ leadership support, which will help many justice-involved veterans suffering from mental health conditions to obtain a treatment-oriented approach leading to recovery and family restoration.”


The Veterans Defense Program, a branch of the New York State Defenders Association, provides training and legal assistance to attorneys defending veterans and service members in the family and criminal court systems with a treatment-oriented mitigation approach leading to family restoration and reintegration into society.


The VDP attorneys provide legal assistance, research, and consultation, and advises public defense attorneys representing veterans on military culture, mental health illnesses, and legal approaches focused on treatment and sentencing mitigation. The VDP assists attorneys from pre-trial motions to sentencing and re-entry, guides defenders on obtaining military or mental health experts and provides justice-involved veterans with mentoring and expert referrals.


“As elected officials, we must continue to provide fundamental resources to those who serve our country – not just during their time of duty, but when they return to civilian life, too,” Senator Phillips said. “Thank you to the Veterans Defense Program staff for providing this important training to keep our veterans safe and give them the services they need upon returning home.”


In addition to funding for the Veterans Defense Program, the Senate helped secure $645,000 in additional funding to expand the Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Services Peer-to-Peer Program. The budget also included:


  • $500,000 for the NYS Defenders Association Veterans Defense Program;
  • $450,000 for the Veteran’s Mental Health Training Initiative;
  • $100,000 for the Veterans Justice Project;
  • $50,000 for the Vietnam Veterans of America New York State Council;
  • $200,000 for Helmets-to-Hardhats;
  • $25,000 for the Veterans Miracle Center; and
  • $125,000 for Veterans of Foreign Wars NYS Chapter Field Service Operations.


Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

Registration Now Open for Town Summer Recreation Program

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino announced that registration for the 2018 Summer Recreation Program is now open for children ages 4 – 12. The program runs from Monday, July 2nd through Friday, August 10th. This affordable summer recreation program includes exciting activities such as sports, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, sprinkler party, pizza party, Carnival Day and Crazy Hat Day. Children may also sign up for field trips to locations such as Adventureland, Splish Splash, a Day at the Movies and more (off-site activities depend on age and parental permission and require an additional fee).


The program is separated into the following age categories: early childhood (Ages 4, 5 and 6); juniors (7-8); intermediate (9-10); and seniors (11-12). While the Summer Recreation Program offers a full day of activities for your child, it is broken up into a morning session (9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.) and an afternoon session (12:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). All children must be picked up for the lunch hour as there is no supervision during that time. The Summer Recreation Program operates in the following six parks: Marjorie R. Post Community Park in Massapequa; Ellsworth W. Allen Town Park in Farmingdale; Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park in Plainview; Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and Beach in Oyster Bay; Syosset-Woodbury Community Park in Woodbury; and Harry Tappen Beach in Glenwood Landing.


The program cost is $400 per child and $200 for each additional child in the same immediate family. The last day to register for the Summer Recreation Program is June 15, 2018, based on availability. Those interested in registering may contact the Recreation office at (516) 797-4125, extension 1, to request an application. Completed applications may be brought in person or mailed to the Town of Oyster Bay Parks Department, Attn: Summer Recreation, 977 Hicksville Road, Massapequa, New York 11758. Completed applications must include a check or money order payable to the “Town of Oyster Bay” (no cash will be accepted) in the appropriate amount, as well as a copy of the child or children’s birth certificate(s) and a copy of the family’s most recent tax or utility bill.


For more information about the Town of Oyster Bay Summer Recreation Program, please contact Diane Ramos at (516) 797-4125, extension 1 or e-mail Information is also available at


Visit the Town of Oyster Bay website


Assemblywoman Miller Helps Feed Pets in Need

Baxter;s Pet Pantry

Assemblywoman Melissa Miller thanked Erin Kennedy, a teacher at Rhame Avenue Elementary School, and her students on Monday, April 9 for participating in the 7th Annual Legislative Pet Food Drive sponsored by Long Island Cares.

Assemblywoman Melissa Miller is pleased to announce the success of the 7th Annual Legislative Pet Food Drive, which collected hundreds of pounds of food for Baxter’s Pet Pantry, a Long Island Cares program. Since 2009, Long Island Cares has distributed food to help less fortunate families on Long Island care for their pets.


“Pets may come in all different shapes and sizes, but something all pets have in common is the unconditional love they show the owners who care for them,” said Miller. “I have two dogs, Kushi and Hugo, and three cats, Catsby, Polly and Bunny, and it warms my heart to know I am able to help other families on Long Island care for their pets. There are people out there who will put the needs of their pets before their own. By providing them with food for their best friends, we are not only helping take care of the pets of Long Island, but also our neighbors. I am so happy I was able to partake in this year’s drive and can’t wait to do so next year.”


Visit Assemblywoman Miller’s webpage

Senator Phillips Attends The Safe Center LI’s 8th Annual ‘Many Faces Of Family Violence Conference’

Senator Elaine Phillips recently attended The Safe Center LI’s 8th annual “Many Faces of Family Violence Conference,” which brings together professionals and stakeholders from the social work, law enforcement, child protection and education communities. This year’s conference focused on sexual violence and also featured workshops throughout the day on various forms of interpersonal violence, including child abuse, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking.


“The Safe Center LI is to be commended for their unparalleled commitment to assisting victims of domestic violence in our region and for hosting events such as this to continue educating those who work collaboratively to protect all victims of violence,” said Senator Phillips. “In the wake of a tidal wave of sexual abuse and misconduct allegations sweeping the country, this annual conference is critical for bringing awareness not just to sexual violence, but to all types of interpersonal violence that are prevalent in our society and providing a means to restore hope for victims of abuse.”


“We at The Safe Center are grateful to Senator Phillips for securing important funding for the Center as well as for her presence and welcoming remarks at this year’s conference,” Joshua Hanson, Associate Executive Director of the Safe Center LI said. “Her support of the 2018 ‘Many Faces of Family Violence Conference’ underscores her commitment to be a leader on issues of interpersonal violence and community safety.”


Early this year, Senator Phillips’ legislation requiring the removal of firearms from individuals convicted of domestic violence was signed into state law.


“During meetings with the Safe Center LI last year – representatives stressed that bringing New York in line with federal regulations is paramount in their efforts to protect domestic violence victims and prevent further tragedies,” said Senator Phillips. “Numerous studies have shown the direct link between domestic violence and deadly gun violence and I was proud to advance this common sense legislation that closes the gap in federal law, protects women from their abusers and will save countless lives. By keeping firearms out of the hands of those who are convicted of domestic violence – we are protecting victims who are known to be at risk.”


Last year, Senator Phillips secured $50,000 in state funding for The Safe Center LI to continue to make crisis intervention services available to victims of domestic violence through a 24-hour hotline, as well as providing education and training at schools, community functions and public and private agencies to prevent abuse and guide victims to help.


Additionally, the 2018-2019 state budget included landmark sexual harassment legislation championed by Senator Phillips that provides new safeguards and protections to all workers in New York. The legislation prohibits secret settlements and mandatory arbitration, protects contract and freelance workers, and requires the adoption of a sexual harassment policy by employers. The law also bans taxpayer-funded settlements.


“These new laws, coupled with collaborative partnerships between lawmakers and organizations like The Safe Center LI, will provide New Yorkers with the safeguards and protections needed to combat sexual and domestic violence,” Senator Phillips said. “It was an honor to attend this year’s conference, and thank you to Executive Director Cynthia Scott and the Board of Directors for to continuing to hold open and informative discussions on these important issues.”


Visit Senator Phillip’s webpage

Assemblywoman Miller Helps Feed Pets in Need

Team Orchid

Assemblyman Brian Curran recently honored members of Team Orchid as part of his annual Youth Leadership Event. Pictured with Nassau County Legislator Deborah Mule.

Recently, Assemblyman Brian Curran honored Team Orchid of Plaza School in Baldwin as part of his Second Annual Youth Leadership Event.


“I am very proud to honor this group of outstanding young people from Baldwin,” said Curran. “They are putting their time to good use, learning about the world around them and preparing themselves for potential careers in a number of creative areas. I am very excited to see what the future holds for these young leaders.”


What started as a homegrown character education program five years ago has evolved into a multimedia platform in which children can report “the good stuff” in the world (school) around them. In their GOOD STUFF CAFÉ, a creative space in the school’s basement, Team Orchid members give up their recess to take school stories from inspiration to publication. Students are immersed in interviews, reporting, literary responses, informational/creative writing, social activism, web design and photography as they learn to see the school around them as a collective community. In this student-directed environment, they write on purpose and with purpose so they can tell the story of their learning.


The members of Team Orchid in attendance were: Makaila Abeny, Michael Alfaro, Neuville Brown, Naz Buyukkaya, Ian Chan, Chayse Charles, Jaylen Desir, Asia Dowe, Ryan Foderingham, Caiden Kitchen, Alvin Lopez, Edwin Lopez, Caitlyn Membreno, Jillian Rickford and Erin Timmes.


Visit Assemblman Curran’s webpage


Senator Phillips Meets With Library Directors And Staff To Discuss Issues Important To Local Libraries

National Library Workers WeekAs part of National Library Workers Week, Senator Elaine Phillips recently met with Library Directors and staff from throughout the 7th Senate District to discuss issues important to local libraries.


“As State Senator, and as a former Mayor, I wholeheartedly understand the importance of public libraries and support all efforts to ensure they receive the necessary resources to remain viable in our local communities,” Senator Phillips said. “Our libraries not only provides books, but they offer residents numerous resources that may not otherwise be available. Thank you again to our dedicated library staff and volunteers who provide outstanding services and educational resources to our community.”


This year’s enacted budget continues the Senate’s longstanding support for libraries and the community resources they provide by securing $5 million in operations funding above the Executive Budget and $10 million in additional capital funding for a total capital increase of $20 million. This funding will enable public libraries to continue providing the numerous services and materials needed and used by residents throughout our region and state.


Visit Senator Phillips’ webpage

Town Tax Office Helps 20k Homeowners Deduct $120 Million On 2017 Income Tax Returns

Surrounded by dozens of tax office staffers, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin recounted the almost 20,000 concerned taxpayers who were served by his office during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve as homeowners scrambled to prepay their 2018 property taxes ahead of the January 1st deadline when the new federal tax code would take effect. The property owners mobilized to “beat the clock” on the new code in order to be able to deduct the 2018 property tax payments on 2017 income tax returns before the federal government imposed a $10,000 cap on deductions. As a result of the efforts of Clavin’s staff, Hempstead Town residents will deduct $118,047,794 in 2018 prepaid property taxes on their 2017 income tax returns. Celebrating the effort of his staff, the Receiver presented tax office workers with a 4-foot tall trophy, replete with a “piggy bank” topper, to commemorate the income tax savings that his team of government employees helped to facilitate for town homeowners. Joining Clavin and office personnel at a celebration was Hempstead Town CSEA Local 880 President Charles Sellitto and a taxpayer who took advantage of the program which has allowed her to deduct prepaid property taxes.


“When property owners were desperately seeking relief from the overwhelmingly negative consequences of the newly minted federal tax code, Hempstead Town workers in the Receiver’s Office threw out a lifeline to homeowners,” stated Clavin. “Municipal employees at the tax office worked overtime, came to the office on weekends, canceled planned vacation days, skipped lunch breaks and went the extra mile to help taxpayers prepay their 2018 property taxes so they could deduct the payments on 2017 income tax returns. Because of their efforts, over 20,000 taxpayers will deduct almost $120 million on their income taxes. I am proud to present my staff with a trophy for their Herculean efforts on behalf of Hempstead Town taxpayers.”


Indeed, Clavin’s office staff opened the doors to the Receiver’s Office between the hours of 8 a.m. through 6 p.m., commencing the day after Christmas and continuing each weekday through December 29th. What’s more, the Receiver’s Office took the unprecedented step of opening the office for payments on a weekend; Saturday, December 30th and New Year’s Eve, Sunday, December 31st. Finally, tax office staffers and other town personnel worked during the weekend before Christmas to prepare property tax data in response to a Governor’s Executive Order that directed local Receivers to accept the prepayment of certain 2018 property taxes.


“Town of Hempstead workers are the finest employees anywhere,” exclaimed Clavin. “They are caring, dedicated and embody the true spirit of the phrase ‘public service.’”


Clavin’s office was flooded with a stream of homeowners looking to prepay taxes on the day after Christmas. In fact, over 1,000 property owners lined up at the tax office in frigid temperatures to prepay taxes, ask questions and receive information on the prepayment of property taxes.


December 27th saw a line of over 2,000 property owners wrapped around the block surrounding the Receiver’s Office. Clavin capped off a frenetic week of tax office assistance to residents by hosting a New Year’s Eve session of tax collections, replete with coffee and donuts instead of the more traditional New Year’s Eve fare of champagne and noisemakers.


“I never thought I would be spending New Year’s Eve at the tax office,” stated Clavin. “However, it was a really rewarding experience to be able to help taxpayers during a very difficult time.”


“I was proud of the men and women who work in the Receiver’s Office, along with other town employees, who responded in a selfless and dedicated manner for the benefit of our taxpayers,” said Sellitto. “I am happy to join with Don Clavin in saluting the members of his staff who made a ‘Happy New Year’ a reality for many homeowners.”


The Receiver presented the trophy to his staff and closed the celebration by saying, “I couldn’t pick a better group of people with whom to work. They have made a tremendous and positive contribution to our residents, helping them to be able to deduct $120 million in 2018 property taxes on their 2017 income tax returns. Congratulations!”


Visit Receiver of Taxes Clavin’s webpage

Saladino and Johnson Offer Additional Free Boating Safety Seminar

After completing two highly successful Boating Safety Seminars, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino and Councilwoman Michele Johnson today announced plans to offer a third Boating Safety Seminar on Saturday, May 19th from 8am to 4pm at the Oyster Bay Community Center, located at 45 Audrey Avenue in Oyster Bay. The seminar is moderated by the Department of Public Safety Bay Constable Unit, and will include topics related to safe operation, regulations, responsibilities of boat ownership and operation. The seminar is free for Town residents.


Supervisor Saladino stated, “This Boating Safety Seminar offers participants the fundamentals of safe boating operations. The course is recommended for all boaters and required by New York State for all personal watercraft operators.”


Too many people take their boats out onto the water without proper preparation,” said Supervisor Saladino. “The boating safety tips offered at this course can help save lives by ensuring boaters are properly prepared before they leave the dock.”


“History has shown us that too many people take their boats out onto the waters without proper preparation and training to,” said Councilwoman Johnson. “The tips offered at this Boating Safety Seminar can help save lives by ensuring boaters are properly prepared before they leave the dock.”


Participants must be a minimum of 10 years old to participate in the seminar. Classes are free, but advanced registration is required. Safe Boating Courses are required for motor boat operators born on or before May 1, 1996. The course is also required for personal watercraft (Jet Ski) operators, who must be a minimum of 14 years of age. For registration or additional information, visit or call (516) 677-5350.


Visit the Town of Oyster Bay website

New Hyde Park Fire Department Installs 2018 Officers

New Hyde Park Fire Department Installation DinnerNassau County Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello joined with other elected officials to congratulate ex-Chief Ann Mulloly at the New Hyde Park Fire Department Installation Dinner. Ex-Chief Mullooly, the first female Chief of the Department, was honored for her distinguished service. Brian Sherwood was installed as the new Chief. Brian served two prior terms as Chief, before taking up the reins of leadership again.


Pictured above (left to right) are Incoming Chief of the New Hyde Park Fire Department Brian Sherwood, Presiding Officer Nicolello, Outgoing Chief of the New Hyde Park Fire Department Ann Mullooly, Village of New Hyde Park Trustee Richard Pallisco, and New York State Assemblyman Edward Ra.


Visit Presiding Officer Nicolello’s webpage


Councilman Macagnone Announces Soldier Collection Drive

Oyster Bay Town Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone announced that the Town of Oyster Bay is participating in a 2018 Soldier Collection Drive in an effort to gather needed supplies to be sent to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces serving around the globe. The drive will take place Tuesday, May 1st through Friday, July 6th.


“The Town of Oyster Bay is proud to support our hometown heroes by collecting supplies for those stationed around the globe,” said Councilman Macagnone. “Each year, residents and Town employees open their hearts and wallets to purchase much-needed supplies for those protecting the freedoms we hold dear. This program serves as an important reminder to our uniformed service personnel that their daily sacrifices are not forgotten.”


Individuals interested in donating to the Solider Collection Drive may drop-off items at Town Hall North in Oyster Bay; the Department of Public Works (CSEA entrance) in Syosset; Town Hall South in Massapequa; and at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage. Items needed include:


  • Antibiotic & Cortisone ointments
  • White Socks
  • Visine
  • Athletic T-shirts (black or brown only)
  • Pepto Bismol tablets
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Band-Aids
  • Deodorant (no spray cans)
  • Toothpaste/ Toothbrushes
  • Powder
  • Razors
  • Body lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Body wash
  • Feminine Products
  • Baby Wipes
  • Travel Size Items
  • Sunblock/Insect Repellent (no spray cans)
  • Soap
  • Pre-Sweetened Drink Mixes
  • Protein bars
  • Peanut Butter
  • Beef jerky
  • Nuts
  • Microwave pastas & soups
  • Lollipops/Hard Candy/Mints
  • Tuna fish (pre-mixed packets) no cans
  • Dog Biscuits


***Letters & notes to soldiers are also welcome***

**We are no longer collecting shoe boxes**


In 2017, the Town of Oyster Bay collected more than 1,800 pounds of supplies for troops. For more information on the Solider Collection Drive, please contact the Office of Councilman Macagnone at (516) 624-6618.


Visit the Town of Oyster Bay website