Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Democrat Todd Kaminsky declared victory in Tuesday’s special election for a New York State Senate seat that could sway the balance of power in the chamber, but Republican Christopher McGrath hasn’t conceded.Kaminsky, a freshman state Assemblyman and former federal prosecutor from Long Beach, leads McGrath, an attorney and first-time candidate from Hewlett, by 780 votes, according to unofficial results tallied by the Nassau County Board of Elections. If confirmed, a Kaminsky win could give state Senate Democrats a majority for the first time since 2009—although that also hinges on whether a handful of breakaway Democrats who caucus with Republicans rejoin their party.“They got close but they didn’t get close enough,” Kaminsky told a crowd of cheering supporters at The Park, a bar in Long Beach, two hours after the polls closed Tuesday night.The special election in the ninth State Senate district, which covers southwestern Nassau County, is to fill the seat vacated by Dean Skelos, the former state Senate Republican majority leader, who was expelled from office upon his conviction on federal corruption charges in December. Skelos and his son, Adam, who was also convicted, are appealing.Kaminsky touted his prosecutorial credentials as giving him the experience needed to bring ethics reform to the State Legislature. McGrath countered that he would keep the State Senate in Republican control, thereby not ceding power to New York City Democrats, who, McGrath said, want to raise taxes on Long Island.McGrath’s campaign maintains that he still has a chance to win once absentee and other paper ballots are counted.“This race is too close to call,” he said in a statement. “It will not be decided tonight. All the votes will have to be counted in the coming days.”Of the 68,324 votes cast, Kaminsky won 33,978, just shy of 50 percent. McGrath won 33,198, or just under 49 percent. Laurence Seth Hirsh, an accountant from Valley Stream running on the Green Party line, came in third place with 772 votes, or 1 percent. There were also 56 write-ins.Kaminsky and McGrath each also had several minor-party lines. Kaminsky also had the endorsement of the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party. McGrath was additionally running on the Conservative Party, Independence Party, Tax Revolt Party and Reform Party lines.The party affiliations of the voters whose absentee ballots are being counted in the race include 1,318 Democrats, 1,169 Republicans, 26 Conservatives and 206 unaffiliated voters.
B&H senior basketball representation will conduct today medical examination and the first joint training as part of preparations for qualification at the European Championship.The best B&H basketball players gathered last night in Ilidža, where the coach Duško Ivanović invited 12 players.Filip Adamović will miss the qualifications, Zachary Wright will not participate either and is questionable participation of Nihad Đedović due to the arm surgery. Muhamed Pašalić will not participate as well.Captain Mirza Teletović due to NBA rules will not attend the first part of preparations, while today should join the team D.J. Cooper, the new American in B&H team.Young B&H players Nedim Buza, Adin Vrabac, Emir Sulejmanović, Amar Alibegović and Jusuf Nurkić will join the representation after the completion of championship for players up to 20 years old.Players will conduct the first part of preparations in Sarajevo, and from 12 July, will host the tournament, in which will participate Israel and Slovakia. 7 days later will play against Italy and Montenegro.Then, B&H basketball players will play two matches with the selection of Sweden.The best B&H basketball players in the last phase of preparations will play in the tournament in Italy, against Italy, Serbia and Canada.Representation of B&H in the qualifications for European Championship performs in the group with Great Britain and Iceland. Qualifications will start on 13 August, with the match against Great Britain in London.(Source: Fena)
CLEAR LAKE — One of the signs of spring officially being here is when Clear Lake has been declared as ice free. That officially happened over the weekend when Water Department Superintendent Adam Theiss announced on Saturday that the lake was officially “ice-out”. That is when a boat can run along the entire shoreline of the lake without encountering any ice. The lake was iced-in back on November 12th. Last year the ice was declared out on April 10th. The earliest that the ice was out was back in 1931 when it was out on March the 5th. The latest ice-out date was April 28th in 1951.
(NNPA)—Local and state governments are just like the federal government. They want to keep their largesse ways and not face the demand for austerity and good fiscal management. When times get tight they seek to get into your pockets via obscene taxation on any and everything they can find. There is no regard for the underserved or populations that can least afford damaging taxation for the sake of keeping massive governmental infrastructures. Many cities and counties are slipping taxes on cell phones like they are luxury items. The truth is cell phones are security items, family management tools and access to the Internet. Black citizens use cell phones as their number one vehicle to the Internet. So, when they start slapping taxes on your child’s phone and you are on a limited fixed income or assistance it becomes terribly damaging. They are doing this with reckless abandon and that is why we are pushing for a federal bill that will declare cell phones interstate commerce and prohibit any further local taxes for at least 10 years.Let’s say you purchase a download through the Internet. You live in Philadelphia and you buy it from a firm in Seattle, Washington. The server used in this transaction is located in St. Louis. What may happen is a triple tax on this transaction. You may pay Philadelphia, Pa. sales tax, Seattle, Wash. sales tax, and a St. Louis, Mo. sales tax all on one transaction. It is becoming crazy and somehow we must bring good management and governance in this new age of doing business.Now comes taxing grocery bags. Washington, D.C. started this under the last mayor. My wife and I no longer shop in D.C. We shop in Montgomery County, Md. However, the Montgomery County Council has just decided to implement their own five-cent grocery bag tax. Shall we now cross the Potomac River into Virginia? Better yet, let’s start getting a handle on this one.The stated goals of the tax are to raise revenue and curb the use of grocery bags. The bags, the county says, are an environmental hazard. Instead, county officials say they want to encourage Montgomery County shoppers to use reusable bags.Unfortunately, the measure misses the mark. What bag taxes like these result in isn’t very “green” at all. And, what might be affordable for one of America’s most affluent counties certainly wouldn’t be affordable for working class communities, let alone the entire state.Eliminating free grocery bags at the checkout means consumers must search for alternatives — presumably reusable plastic or cloth bags. Both options weigh more and take more energy to produce, contributing to greater emissions, not less.As alternatives, plastic reusables and cloth bags must be used repeatedly over time before their environmental impacts are less than that of plastic. If they aren’t reused to that extent, we only succeed in introducing more waste into our landfills. To illustrate, it would take 7.5 years of using the same cloth bag (393 uses, assuming one grocery trip per week) before it’s a better option than a plastic bag reused three times, like to carry lunch and then line a garbage can.And since so many people (nine out of 10 according to market surveys) reuse plastic grocery bags, without them, consumers would naturally replace plastic grocery bags with other, heavier gauge plastics, for household uses. After Ireland implemented its bag tax, consumption of purchased plastic trash bags increased by 400 percent. So, if the goal is to promote less waste in our landfills and use fewer plastics, bans and taxes don’t achieve those outcomes.Bag taxes also skirt the real issue of litter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says plastic grocery bags make up less than 0.5 percent of the litter stream. Junk food wrappers, cigarette butts and paper, all make up bigger portions of litter, but plastic bags make for an easy target because they are visible, white, and often can get blown around. In effect, getting rid of plastic bags is negligible in cleaning up litter. Addressing litter requires more than just banning a product, it requires a change in habits, more recycling, and greater education.A tax on grocery bags is regressive. A growing number of Americans rely on government assistance for food, and taxes like this hurt these groups the most. In a time of rising gas prices, and with the rising cost of commodities driving up our grocery bills, the added financial burden at the check-out for a cause that has an arguable impact on improving the environment just doesn’t make sense.Though well-intended, a bag tax does more harm than help. Non-recyclable reusables are no better for the environment. The worst part is that the tax ends up hurting those that can least afford it. Fight this increased taxation effort whenever and wherever it comes up.(Harry Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: [email protected])