To the Editor:
My name is Frank Murtagh. I’m co-vice president of the Long Beach-based organization known as ‘Citizens United to Remove Barriers.’ It has always been the mission of this organization to strive for the complete removal of all architectural barriers that limit the mobility and full inclusion of our physically challenged residents.
One of the first and ongoing achievements of C.U.R.B. was and continues to be the placement of a curb cut on every corner throughout the City of Long Beach. This agreement between Long Beach and C.U.R.B. has allowed persons confined to wheelchairs to travel independently throughout the city since the mid 1980s, way before the enactment of the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act.’ For this, the city should be commended. However, after the snowstorms of this winter, nothing was done to remove the snow from the curb cuts. In fact, a lot off residents cleared the snow from in front of their homes, but the snow remained piled high at most corners. This is the responsibility of the city. It has been over two weeks since our last snowstorm and as late as last weekend there were still many curb cuts with snow on them.
It should be noted with regard to snow removal that Nassau County has recently passed a new law that will impose fines on the management company or owner of a public parking lot that allows designated handicapped spaces to remain piled with snow after a storm. Fines imposed can be as high as $100.00 for each offense.
As a wheelchair user and lifetime resident of Long Beach, I hope that in the future a plan can be put in place to insure that all curb cuts are cleared of snow soon after it falls instead of having to wait for the sun to melt it.
Vice President, of Citizens United to Remove Barriers
Helping the Helpers
To the Editor:
This year, when New York State taxpayers complete their tax forms, there will be an opportunity to make a contribution to the Volunteer Fire Fighting and Volunteer Emergency Services Recruitment and Retention Fund simply by checking a box.
The fund was created to provide grants to volunteer firefighters and emergency service groups to recruit and retain volunteers – the lifeblood of these organizations.
With a little support from each of us we can sustain these volunteer departments, which place very little fiscal burden on local property taxpayers. We depend on these courageous volunteers to provide lifesaving and essential services throughout our communities.
Mike Mastrianni, president of the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association, called recruitment and retention of volunteers “probably the most daunting task all of us face. By creating the Volunteer Firefighting and Volunteer Emergency Services Recruitment and Retention Fund, and providing a funding mechanism in statute, much needed assistance can be provided to local volunteer emergency services departments as they struggle to provide the highest quality service to their communities throughout New York.”
Volunteer Firefighters and EMS workers put themselves in harm’s way for us day after day. Everyone should consider making a voluntary contribution to keep their numbers strong.
It is estimated that the fund could raise $1 million per year. Contributions to the fund are generally tax deductible.
[Editor’s Note: Send letters to The Long Island Tribune, Attn: Frank Naudus – Publisher, PO Box 366, Island Park, NY 11558. We look forward to hearing from you.]