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Mayor's Report: November 26, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Wednesday, 26 November 2014 10:18

Special Thanks To Village Employees

At Thanksgiving, I feel that it is appropriate to pause for a few minutes and to reflect upon those things that we may take for granted and how fortunate we are to live in this wonderful community. In doing so, I would like to acknowledge the many employees of the police, fire and public works departments who will work around the clock on Thanksgiving Day to assure the safety and comfort of our families. I also want to acknowledge the members of the volunteer fire department who remain ready to leave their homes to come to our aid. In addition, I would like to thank the Special Police for their efforts in helping out in the Annual Turkey Trot, thank you to each of these fine people for the sacrifices they make in leaving their families during this holiday time to attend to the welfare of our residents and make Garden City a great place to live.

37th Annual Turkey Trot

The Garden City Turkey Trot Race Committee, will conduct its 37th annual Merrill Lynch Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 27.  You can register on-line at You can also register the day of the race from 8 to 9:15 a.m.


Editorial: Turkey Trot Tradition

Thursday, 27 November 2014 00:00

One of Garden City’s most cherished traditions is the Merrill Lynch Turkey Trot, which is entering its 37th year and will be held on Thanksgiving morning at 9:15 a.m. And while it may make more sense to have it run the day after versus the morning of Thanksgiving as a means of burning off some holiday calories, it’s nonetheless an annual event that’s become a great way for neighbors to connect. It’s popular enough that Mayor John Watras will be running in the turkey trot for the 28th year. And thanks to race organizer Ken Aneser (whose Garden City Turkey Trot Committee was the most recent recipient of the Pineapple Ball Citizen(s) of the Year award), money raised by this event will go to benefit Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association and The Interfaith Nutritional Network (The INN). Participants are also asked to bring non-perishable food to the race to help feed the hungry. You can register on-line at or on the day of the race from 8 to 9:15 a.m.          

—Dave Gil de Rubio


Editorial: No Time To Panic

Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00

One of the bigger stories of the past month or so that the media has made a point of whipping up into hysterical proportions was that of the Ebola pandemic. The fact that a doctor returning from the area of Western Africa to New York City wound up getting quarantined while another physician from Sierra Leone that was airlifted to Nebraska recently died has of course, added to the frenzy. Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed in the case of Winthrop University Hospital, which recently hosted an Ebola presentation at the Garden City Library that was sponsored by the village’s Property Owners Associations. Led by the hospital’s president and CEO (John F. Collins) and Winthrop’s Chief Medical Officer (Dr. Michael Ammazzalorso), this presentation went a long way towards allaying people’s fears. Not only did Dr. Ammazzalorso point out that there are no current active cases in the United States, he also said that preparedness is the key with Winthrop currently being ready with an established containment approach. He also said this kind of awareness is widespread throughout the country, with medical facilities being much more prepared now than they were before. And while he didn’t say this, the best antidote for the misinformation surrounding Ebola is to watch less media coverage.

— Dave Gil de Rubio


Mayor's Report: November 20, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 20 November 2014 08:39

Special Thanks To The American Legion

For Their Veteran’s Day Services

Special thanks to the William Bradford Turner Post of the American Legion of Garden City for conducting the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony on Nov. 11. We appreciate all that they do to honor and remember those men and women who have served in our armed forces in support of our country. I would like to also thank the Boy Scouts for displaying the American Flags along Seventh Street. It was so nice to see everyone on Monday to honor the veterans for their service to our country.

Inside Garden City

I was recently contacted by Juli Corrigan who interviewed me for her website, This wonderful website is dedicated to all things Garden City with a New York City twist. It is an outlet to chronicle her adventures, likes, dislikes and all that goes with it as she explores the local, chic attractions that Garden City has to offer with her own personal eclectic spin.


Editorial: Going Long For The Homeless

Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:34

In our sports-obsessed society, too often it's the misadventures and misdeeds of jocks that normally get barrels of ink. So it’s nice when you get a chance to write about athletes, particularly younger ones, doing something selfless for the less fortunate among us. In this case, Garden City’s Brendan Schick, a junior offensive lineman that plays for the Chaminade High School football team, is the impetus behind a recent food drive. Schick, whose father is friends with a number of homeless people in New York City, wound up having one of them pass away a week before Chaminade’s Oct. 25 game. Schick the younger then got nearly every member of his squad to bring in at least one food item, while cash donated by other players was used to purchase more canned food to donate. He even reached out to teammates on both junior varsity and varsity squads and coaches on both teams to donate to the cause. In the end, everything that the Chaminade team collected was given to Hempstead’s Mary Brennan Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) at a time of the year when so many families go hungry. It winds up being that kind of heart-warming holiday story that scores extra points in this day and age of the entitled athlete.

—Dave Gil de Rubio


Mayor's Report: November 13, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 13 November 2014 09:26

Our Young People And Halloween

Regrettably, all too often our young people are criticized for the negative behavior of a relative few. I am pleased to let you know that this Halloween was virtually free of vandalism demonstrating that our young people do care about their village. On behalf of the parents, I thank residents for providing delicious but safe “treats” for the children. A good day was had by all.

Annual Leaf Removal Season

The department of public works and recreation and parks began collecting leaves on Thursday, Oct. 30. Collections began in the Eastern Section and will continue toward the Eastern Section and then to the north and then the south of the village. Residents can put out leaves and I will continue to update you in this column. During the leaf collection season, the village’s website will be updated weekly to allow residents to track the collection process. The notice will be listed on the Home Page under “Notifications and Alerts.”


Mayor's Report: November 6, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:24

Fall Festival Street Fair And Homecoming - Huge Success

This year’s Fall Festival Street Fair and Homecoming Parade was a huge success. The village had one of the largest turnouts ever. It was very gratifying that so many children as well as adults took part in the activities.

I would like to thank everyone who had a part in planning the day, as I know this was a lot of work, but it was very much appreciated by those who attended.


Editorial: Always Room At The INN

Thursday, 06 November 2014 10:23

Recently, The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) honored Michael Ambrosino of Ambrosino Consultant Corporation during The INN’s annual luncheon. What was remarkable was how this event wound up raising a record-breaking total of $180,000 on behalf of guests of The INN. For those of you not familiar with The INN, this Hempstead-based private social service agency is a working model of how to unite the community to overcome the challenge of hunger and hopelessness. With The INN’s singular principle being that anyone who comes seeking help at the organization’s soup kitchens will be treated with dignity and respect in addition to not only receiving a hot, nutritious meal, a warm welcome and access to whatever additional support services are available, these volunteers are truly doing God’s work. This is particularly heartening given the fact that homelessness and hunger continue to be an ongoing problem in our country. Thankfully, the INN winds up being a working model of how to unite the community to overcome the challenge of hunger and homelessness here on Long Island. For more information about The INN, please visit

—Dave Gil de Rubio


Editorial: Homecoming: Nobody Does It Better

Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:47

When it comes to homecoming and fall festivals, few do it as well as the Village of Garden City. This year’s events were particularly impressive. Never mind the fact that the Garden City Trojans crushed the Mepham High School Pirates by a score of 56-21 in the day’s football game. Under gorgeous weather that was seemingly special ordered, the usual array of Girl Scouts, marching bands, twirlers, kickline, cheerleaders and de rigeur homecoming king and queen were led by the 2014 Grand Marshal, former Garden City High School athletic director Nancy Kalafus. Throw in the hordes of Garden City residents past and present who came out bedecked and crimson and there’s no question that community and school spirit don’t have any shot of flagging any time soon. It’s the kind of family-friendly event that’s a constant rule rather than an exception whenever you talk about Garden City.

—Dave Gil de Rubio


Mayor's Report: October 30, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:54

Autumn Splendor

In this delightful time of year with the leaves on the trees changing colors and the holidays coming, we invite you to visit the autumn display on the village green located at Hilton and Stewart Avenues. We thank our village recreation/parks department for this splendid decoration.

Automatic Water Sprinklers

As a reminder, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 result in two consecutive odd days. All residents with automatic sprinklers should remember to reset their clocks at this time to comply with the village lawn watering regulations. Lawn watering is permitted between the hours of 5 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.


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