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Op-ed: Common Sense- One of the good ones retires

Rep. Peter King of Long Island announced his retirement upon completion of his 14th term last week. I have literally known him for decades, going back to when he was Nassau County comptroller and also as a candidate for statewide office. 

Peter is often described as an independent, outspoken voice for his constituents as well as the nation as a whole on homeland security and terrorism issues. He certainly was all of those things. For me though, he is one of those rare public officials who never forgot where he came from. Son of a police officer, he retained through his long career admiration for law enforcement.

Growing up in Queens, he never forgot his humble background. In fact, he liked returning to his old Queens neighborhood to have breakfast at his favorite diner and enjoyed getting out to a Mets game as often as his schedule would allow.

His work in Congress on security issues in the years following 9/11 played a major role in creating and defining the Department of Homeland Security. And in this capacity, he ensured that New York, arguably the most at-risk portion of the nation, would receive the resources necessary to protect itself from further terrorist threats. He did the same in the wake of Superstorm Sandy when Congress was taking too much time responding to the Northeast’s needs.

After a long and rewarding career in public service, we should not be surprised when an elected official decides to retire. Peter’s daughter Erin, an elected official herself, recently moved with her husband and children to North Carolina, where her husband was starting a new job. I feel certain that the desire of Peter and his wife to spend time with their grandchildren who would not be living locally anymore factored into their decision. They are normal people doing normal things to keep close to their loved ones.  

Peter King will be missed in government and missed by his Long Island community. I wish this humble man the best for the future.

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The Brooklyn Conservative Party presented author Norm Champ on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Wicked Monk in Bay Ridge for a book signing of his new book, “Mastering Money: How to Beat Debt, Build Wealth, and Be Prepared for Any Financial Crisis.”

Champ is a partner for investment funds in the New York Law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

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I saw a post on social media from Liam McCabe calling for a town hall on bike lanes. He notes that he constantly sees people speeding on their bikes down sidewalks directly across from the “bike lanes.”

I think we could all add something, ranging from there are too many that see near zero use to protected lanes creating traffic havoc.  

In liberal Park Slope a few weeks back, the community board’s attempt to hold a town hall-like discussion on a Ninth Street bike lane became chaotic. I suspect that those who support the criss- crossing of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights would get an earful if a town hall went forward.  

I wonder why there has not been one hosted by our local Democratic councilmember? Is it possible that he is afraid of what the result would be of a large meeting to discuss the re-making of our community’s streets? 

There should be a town hall. It would be an opportunity for the many residents who choose not to fight their battles on Twitter and Facebook to have their voices heard.

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