POLITICAL ARENA

Assembly honors moon landing anniversary

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In honor of the 50-year anniversary of the moon landing, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz sponsored a resolution in the lower chamber to honor the Apollo 11 mission, which culminated with Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” on July 20, 1969.

The resolution was supported by a bipartisan coalition of more than 60 Assembly members, according to a release, to honor the 240,000-mile journey started by President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge.

“As a child I distinctly remember the awestruck inspiration I felt as I watched two American astronauts become the first people to ever walk on the moon’s surface,” Dinowitz said, in a release. “It was incredible as our country was unified behind this incredible scientific effort, and we felt like we could accomplish anything we set our minds to.

“With less computing power than a modern cell phone, we were able to send three human beings into space, land two of them on the moon, and return them all home safely. This is the mentality that we need to have again as we explore solutions to climate change and other immense challenges that face our society.”

Armstrong was joined on the moon by Buzz Aldrin, while Michael Collins remained in orbit.

Armstrong died in 2012 at 82, while Aldrin — now 89 — has retired to Satellite Beach, Florida. Collins, 88, would spend a year in Richard Nixon’s cabinet before later becoming a consultant.

NASA would land five more teams on the moon through 1972.

 

Williams wants to protect affidavit ballots

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is calling on lawmakers to explore revamping so-called “affidavit” ballots to ensure minor technical mistakes don’t disqualify what otherwise would be legitimate ballots cast in an election.

The issue came to light during the Queens district attorney race, which as of last week was separated by about dozen votes, with more than 100 affidavit ballots called into question.

Such ballots are cast on a provisional basis when someone shows up to a polling site and it can’t be immediately determined whether they are eligible to vote.

If the voter is later determined to be eligible, his or her vote will count.

But some affidavit ballots are being discounted in the Queens race over technicalities, the public advocate said.

“All sides should agree that every eligible voter deserves to have their vote counted, and that incidental errors at poll sites should not be an excuse to deny that vote,” Williams said, in a release.

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