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SM Residents Question Proposed School Budget

Written by Marilou Giammona: Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

Elmont superintendent holds town hall meeting at SMCC

In a bid to answer the many questions surrounding the proposed 2012-2013 budget for the Elmont Public School District, Superintendent Al Harper keynoted a town hall meeting at the Stewart Manor Country Club on Wednesday, May 30. Harper requested the meeting, following a May 15 vote that shot down a proposed budget that would increase school taxes by nearly 6.9 percent, exceeding the state’s 2 percent cap on property tax increases.

“I am indebted to you for giving me 20 minutes of your time,” Harper told the standing-room-only audience. Under a law approved by the state last year, an increase in annual school taxes beyond the state’s tax cap requires at least 60 percent voter approval. The May 15 vote fell short of that supermajority, yielding nearly 57 percent approval, Harper said, adding that nine out of the last 10 years, the Elmont school budget passed with more than 60 percent voter approval.


GC Schools/PTA Host Third Annual Afternoon Tea

Written by Elizabeth Menges Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

On May 3, Garden City Public Schools and the Garden City PTA welcomed nearly 120 senior citizens and past parents to its Third Annual Afternoon Tea. The afternoon’s festivities were free to Garden City residents and included delicious food and various teas served by volunteer high school students. The event took place in the high school cafeteria, cleverly transformed into a lovely venue, and included a K-12 art display, and incredible entertainment from the district’s talented elementary, middle and high school musicians and performers.

The ladies of Garden City dressed for the tea in elegant dresses and fancy hats with suit-coated gentlemen on their arms, a sight perfectly matched to the opulently decorated tea tables, each one a different English garden- or spring-themed wonder of tablescaping. District administrators and members of the board of education mingled and conversed with the guests.


Garden City Hosts Memorial Day Parade And Ceremony

Written by Marilou Giammona: Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:22

Political dignitaries, local clergy and community members salute fallen heroes

Under the auspices of the William Bradford Turner Post 265 and the American Legion Auxiliary, Garden City hosted its annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony on Monday, May 28. The parade stepped off from Cherry Valley and 10th Street at 10 a.m. and wound its way to the Garden City War Memorial on 7th Street, where spectators gathered to remember and salute our nation’s fallen war heroes.

In his invocation, Dean Pickens of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, gave thanks “for the torch of liberty, which has been lit in this land” – liberty that has been hard won by the many men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for our nation. The speeches that ensued paid homage to not only those who did not return home but also their families.


Garden City Belmont Festival Continues To Gallop Along

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Tuesday, 05 June 2012 14:02

Annual village event rides into its family-friendly fifteenth year.

According to, horse racing in the United States and North American continent dates back to 1665, when a course named Newmarket was established on a section of the Hempstead Plains that crossed over into what is now East Garden City. Fast forward nearly 450 years later, and between the upcoming Belmont Stakes and the Garden City Belmont Festival, the horse racing connection remains as vibrant as when New York’s then-colonial governor Richard Nicolls presided over that first race.

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary that the Garden City Belmont Festival is being held. What started out as a parade, has more recently evolved into a family-friendly event held on the eve of the third leg of the Triple Crown. When it started in the late 1990s, this affair was inspired by a similar gala thrown in another New York State racing mecca—Saratoga.


Call Of The Wild

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:00

Tanner’s Pond expands hours as it continues to serve as a premiere community nature preserve

There’s a part of Tanner’s Pond Road that’s about as nondescript as any byway you might find abutting any number of suburban sumps around Long Island. An abundance of greenery frames the perimeter of this area that sits across the street from a row of lovely homes with carefully landscaped front yards. About the only item that might catch your eye is the fact that a sturdy, black wrought-iron barrier rather than a beat-up chain-link fence serves as the barricade between this piece of Nassau County property and the streets of Garden City. A concrete apron that breaks up the curb leads to a pair of gates that happens to be openly inviting on this perfect summery Saturday afternoon.

Closer inspection reveals posted signage that provides a phone number for anyone with inquiries about volunteering or wishing to report any problems should call. Topping this message is the name Hickory Hollow Alves Arboretum. You’ve arrived at what most village residents know to be the Garden City Bird Sanctuary.


Parents And Addiction Experts Call For I-STOP Legislation

Written by Ronald Scaglia: Thursday, 31 May 2012 00:00
“Mommy, help me. How did I get into this? Get me out of this.”

Maria Basmas recalls those heartbreaking words that her son, Christopher, spoke to her while he was in the throes of an addiction to prescription medication, specifically Xanax and Oxycodone. She recalls the painful ordeal that her family went through as her son struggled to do simple tasks that most people can do effortlessly. She recalls the pain she felt as she helplessly watched her son have difficulty walking, speaking, getting out of a shower and holding a spoon. And most painfully, she recalls the awful day last October when her son lost his battle.


Lifetime SM Resident Remembers Fallen War Hero

Written by Marilou Giammona: Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
As the village of Stewart Manor works to put the finishing touches on its upcoming Memorial Day observance, residents will once again be reminded that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and not merely backyard barbecues. Political dignitaries, local clergy and residents will gather on the lawn of the Stewart Manor Country Club on Saturday, May 26, amidst a trio of memorials that honor fallen Stewart Manor residents, to remember those who have lost their lives to secure our freedom.

Among the memorials is a plaque that honors former Stewart Manor resident Lt. Thomas Lyons McVeigh, Marine Corps, who perished during the Korean War. Garden City Life recently had the opportunity to catch up with lifetime Stewart Manor resident Barbara McVeigh, sister-in-law of Lt. McVeigh. McVeigh’s late husband, Brian, also served with the Marines in the Korean War.


GC Residents Pass School Budget

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00

Supermajority vote needed for passage is achieved thanks to 1,820-1,044 win

On May 15, the Garden City Board of Education kicked off its meeting with a mini-ceremony recognizing student accomplishments, including those who won medals at the Long Island Math Fair. The evening ended on a high note as residents voted to pass the proposed 2012-13 school budget by a tally of 1,820 approvals versus 1,044 rejections. Also, by getting the proposal passed by this margin, the 60 percent supermajority vote was garnered in order for the budget to pass as mandated by the New York State Department of Education. In addition, incumbent trustee Tom Pinou took over Hastings’ at-large seat with 1,571 votes. Newcomer Robert Martin received 1,424 votes approving his ascendancy to the East trustee seat.


Garden City School District Budget And Election Results

Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00
School Budget Passes:

Yes: 1,820
No: 1044

BOE Trustee Election:

Robert Martin – 1,571
Tom Pinou – 1,424

(Both Martin and Pinou ran unopposed. Pinou will fill the at-large seat of Laura Hastings, who stepped down due to term limits and Martin will be the trustee from the East.)


Taking A Hike

Written by Dave Gil de Rubio: Friday, 18 May 2012 00:00

GC Daniel Gale ad coordinator goes on Grand Canyon walkabout for charity

According to, May through September are considered the most dangerous months of the year to be traipsing through this geological marvel. And while most of the warnings regarding the dangers of heat stroke, dehydration and sunburn apply to the Inner Gorge, where temperatures can hover around 106 degrees in the shade, (of which there’s none), donning Timberlands and attempting to hike any of the foreboding terrain that constitutes the Grand Canyon is still quite a formidable task. But this is exactly what Kevin Wohlers intends to do when he laces his boots up on May 19, hits the Grandview Trailhead, a more temperate but no less difficult rim-to-rim hike and takes the first steps towards raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.


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