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Schools Look To Boost Security After Newtown

Farmingdale Schools Superintendent John Lorentz told a larger-than-usual crowd at a board meeting earlier this month that security has become his top priority since the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT.    

“We are reconsidering all of our security procedures with a very different mind then we’ve had in the past,” Lorentz said.

For starters, the district will be accepting bids from independent security specialist firms to advise the district and set forth a comprehensive security plan.

Other measures taken include the proposed hiring of six new security aides to be dispersed throughout the district. All those hired would be retired police or corrections officers.

The district has already revised policies in terms of building access. Visitors must now be buzzed into a school building by school personnel.  

The school will use its construction consultants to figure out ways to make buildings more secure with locks and communication devices. Also, school staff continue to be trained in terms of response and action in case of an emergency.

A variety of opinions were expressed by residents regarding the idea of hiring armed guards at schools.

“By arming a security officer, you’re saying that you’re not going to stand for anything and it’s going to be known to the public and it’s going be known to many of these criminals,” said Anthony DiPaolo.

“To take it to an extreme level of ridiculousness with having armed personnel in schools I grew up in... absolutely not,” said one parent.  

Some residents suggested that aides should be trained in self-defense, rather then armed with a weapon. Alexander Melton, a senior at the high school, said armed guards should be posted outside of the school, but not inside.  

In other district business, Assistant Superintendent Paul Defendini explained to residents the difference between the school district tax levy and the actual tax bill. While this year’s tax levy remains capped at 2 percent, there are other factors outside the district’s control that affect actual taxes paid.

This mainly includes the differences in the property assessment system for those living in Nassau and those residing in the Town of Babylon.

The facility advisory committee continues its meetings with architects to implement energy conservation measures in the district. The committee hopes that actual work will begin next fall.

The board is optimistic that state aid should be on track for next year, although the hit that state revenues have taken due to Hurricane Sandy could impact funds.

Later this month, the legislative action committee will be traveling to Albany to meet with assemblymen and state senators.

- Even as they try to make cuts, there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight in the BOCES budget, where the district is facing increases of around 5 percent in administrative costs, as well as increases in the actual charges for usage of classes.

The next public meeting of the Board of Education is Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. at Howitt Middle School.

News

These days Long Island residents are trying to save a buck whenever and wherever they can, especially when it comes to property taxes. To try and lend a helping hand, Republican Sen. Kemp Hannon and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano recently teamed up for a property tax exemption workshop at the Farmingdale Public Library.

 

Communications Director Randolph Yunker with the Nassau County Department of Assessment explained that the workshops, which are held throughout the year in various communities, are a collaborative effort to bring the Nassau County Department of Assessments operations from Mineola to different communities, such as Farmingdale. He added that applications were on-hand in case any attendees were first-timers or pursuing a renewal of an existing exemption. 

If you stopped by the Farmingdale Public Library this past week, perhaps you noticed all of the paintings and art pieces currently on display. For the entire month of July, the library will feature the many styles of artist/poet Ruth Lawrence.

 

“I’ve been exhibiting for quite a few years,” said Lawrence, “I am always happy to show my work.”

 

Lawrence, 87, of East Meadow, said she first began painting at just 12 years old. She recalls, at the time her sister had been dating someone who worked at an art supply store, and had gotten her some oil-based paints as a present. 


Sports

Throughout the summer, the Farmingdale Observer will feature the box scores from the Farmingdale Baseball League Inc.’s 9/11 Baseball Tournament. 

July 6

Farmingdale Greendogs 7 - Seaford Vikings 6 (8U)

 

Syosset Cubs 18 - Plainview Hawks 1 (12U)

Runners and walkers from Farmingdale and all over Long Island and beyond are invited to join in the fun on one of the most unusual 5 Kilometer courses on Long Island at the Saturday, August 9th Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint.

 

The Run presents the Long Island running community with an opportunity to traverse a unique combination of paved paths and runner-friendly woodland trails at the Sands Point Preserve. 

 

The leading Nassau County law firm of Lynn, Gartner, Dunne & Covello has signed on to be the new lead sponsor of the event, with partner John Dunne and his wife planning on running the 5K distance. The Lynbrook Runner’s Stop will be back as the presenting sponsor.  


Calendar

Wounded Warrior Dinner - July 16

Youth Council Concert - July 17

Roller Rebels Tryouts - July 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com