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Assessor Delays Vets Tax Break

Written by Rich Forestano & Daniel Offner Friday, 18 April 2014 00:00

Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, 1,100 military veterans and Gold Star families in Farmingdale will have to wait for their tax break until next year.


The Farmingdale School District is among several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Earlier this year, school board trustees uanimously voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year. 


Local Law Requires CO2 Detectors

Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00

In the aftermath of a fatal carbon monoxide leak at Legal Seafoods in Huntington, the Village of Farmingdale passed new legislation requiring all residential and commercial properties carry a carbon monoxide detector. 


“The whole idea behind this is public safety,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.


On April 7, Farmingdale Trustees unanimously voted to amend village code as a proactive measure to prevent future harm from carbon monoxide poisioning.   


Board President Apologizes

Written by Chris Boyle Wednesday, 16 April 2014 00:00

During a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, President Shari Bardash-Eivers addressed a controversy that had erupted among parents in the district surrounding comments that were made online about student data mining. Initially proposed as a component of New York State’s Common Core Learning Standards, data mining is used to gather information on students through a company called InBloom. However, the proposal to allow data mining through the use of InBloom was defeated by state lawmakers. 


For Eivers, the controversy had come about after she had made comments on social media sites regarding parents who were opposed to student data mining. Many referred to her comments as “insensitive,” for use of the terms “paranoid” and “ignorant” whilst noting that the same parents opposed to data mining seemed to have no qualms about activities such as using Google or their credit cards online—acts which she said carry many of the same risks. 


Hail To The Chief

Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 11 April 2014 00:00

On April 4, members of the Farmingdale Board of Fire Commissioners appointed three new Chiefs of the Farmingdale Fire Department. After 14 years of service with the department, the newly minted Chief Patrick Tortoso is ambitious about his new title. 


“I wouldn’t be here without my members' backing,” Tortoso said.


At the ceremony, Frank Romano, ex-Chief of the Farmingdale Fire Department, gave his final rundown of the 997 calls the department handled in 2013, before handing over the proverbial reigns to Tortoso. 


“You guys always did a standup job,” Romano said congratulating his commrades. “This has been a rewarding experience.” 


High School Celebrates Language Week

Written by Rebekah Sherry Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

Farmingdale High School recently celebrated National Foreign Language Week, with food, fun, and festivities that made the week all the more special for everyone involved. 


Foreign Language Week is a time for schools across the country to not only acknowledge the various dialects in our nation, but to embrace the culture they accompany. In Farmingdale, students celebrate by specifically recognizing languages that are taught in the district, including: Spanish, French, Italian and American Sign Language.


Flight Honors Missing Men

Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:00

On April 7, 1944, 11 men training for combat in Nazi-occupied Europe departed from the Westover Air Base in Mass., aboard a four-engine B-24 liberator for a high altitude gunnery and bombing drill over the Montauk Gunnery Range, off the Atlantic coast of Long Island. The plane and its crew were never heard from again. 


Now, exactly 70 years later, the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale is honoring the lives of those men as well as nine others who disappeared off the coast of Long Island aboard a similar B-24 aircraft. In honor of the missing flight crews, the American

Airpower Museum flew one of its aircrafts over the Atlantic Ocean, where it dropped two sets of flowers for each of the two missing B-24 flight crews. 


Resident Novelist Katie McKnight

Written by Youseph Rasheed Saturday, 05 April 2014 00:00

Local author, wife, and proud mother Katie McKnight, 44, recently published her debut novel, Secrets Revealed, a suspenseful romance drama that has been a top seller for her publisher.

Secrets Revealed tells the exciting story of Broadway actress Melanie O’Shaughnessy and her new heartthrob Hollywood husband Ryan Carlisle. “Melanie has been keeping a secret for ten years and now someone from her past returns and threatens to reveal the secret,” explained McKnight. “She fears a public scandal but what she doesn’t realize is that someone near to her is masterminding a plan for murder. What she should really be fearful for is her life.”


Fire District To Vote On Benefits

Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 02 April 2014 00:00


Members of the South Farmingdale Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners recently voted to hold a special referendum on June 3, making the volunteer fire department the first on Long Island to let voters decide whether the district can redefine its existing Length Of Service Award Program [LOSAP] benefits for volunteer firefighters.


According to South Farmingdale Fire Commissioner Thomas Mastakouris, the referendum looks to change the existing LOSAP program from a defined benefit to a defined contribution rate, while freezing LOSAP service credits for existing volunteers. 


“This would save [district] taxpayers hundreds of thousands while not taking away from our volunteers,” Mastakouris said.


Community Expo Attracts Hundreds

Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00


Over the past 12 years, members of the Farmingdale Community Summit Council have invited a variety of local civic organizations and retail storefronts to the annual Expo and Health Fair.


According to President Ken Ulric, the council first formed in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, to perform a memorial service for members in the community. The council also erected a permanent monument to memorialize the tragedy. 


“Once we did that, we stayed together to improve the quality of life for residents here in town,” Ulric said. 


Capital Improvements On The Ballot

Written by Chris Boyle Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

When it comes time for Farmingdale residents to exercise their right to say 'yay' or 'nay' on the school district’s 2014-2015 budget come May 20, they may notice a little something extra on their ballots; namely, whether or not the district can extract the funds from their reserves to continue a series of capital improvement projects that they’ve been working on since 2011.


At the Farmingdale Board of Education budget workshop on March 26, special attention was given to the school district’s recently completed and current capital work, which consists of a five-year facility plan that was originally adopted by the Board of Education during the 2011-2012 school year; the plan contained $28 million of needed capital improvements, Defendini said.


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