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Mayor's Report: August 21, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:17

A Friday Night Promenade-Seventh Street

During the summer months Seventh Street will be closed on Friday evenings so that residents and visitors can enjoy the “Friday Night Promenades”, from 6 until 10 p.m. The band Fivestone, (with music of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s) will be performing on Seventh Street, adding to another fun-filled summer evening.

I encourage residents and visitors to come down to Seventh Street to enjoy outdoor dining, live entertainment, face painting, balloon animals and much more. Shops will also remain open during the evening for your convenience.

This week, Queen Elsa will be on Seventh Street with her sister Anna.

 

Editorial: Riding A Green Tide Of Knowledge

Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00

With all the talk about American teens lagging behind their international peers regarding knowledge of science and technology, the Garden City-based Cradle of Aviation has addressed this intellectual gap by hosting Green Teens, a hands-on science camp the past six summers that teaches high school students about myriad environmental topics. Thanks in part to a $150,000 grant from National Grid, the museum has become a certified Nature Explore Classroom and among the subjects these eco-warriors in training have learned about are hydropower and conservation. Groups are small and run to about 10 in number with 10-minute one-on-one instruction being the method of choice. The manner in which this knowledge is conveyed varies. It goes from simple and straightforward instruction to using crafts to get a point across. By taking these complex topics and breaking them down in a manner that makes them more easily understood, not only are these teen science lovers leveling the intellectual playing field with kids in other countries, but raising awareness about climate change, arguably one of the most controversial and important global issues of the day.

— Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Editorial: Thinking Global And Eating Local

Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00

When it comes to overcoming cultural barriers, food (and music) wind up being a pretty consistent way to go. And while Garden City is a quick 20-minute ride from Queens, which is arguably the most culturally diverse region in the world, the ability to sample exotic fare, in this case Peruvian food, will be in the village’s backyard—at least for one weekend. It turns out that the Cradle of Aviation will be hosting the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival on Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17. SUMAQ means delicious in the indigenous language of Quechua, one of the groups native to Peru. Among the fare you’ll be able to sample are anticuchos (cow heart skewers), paiche (Amazon fish with coconut), chancho al cilindro (pig cooked in a cylinder) and picarones (Peruvian donuts). In addition, Peruvian folk and Latin music will be performed as you embark on this foodie excursion. With all this being so close, it’s nice to that you can experience all of this without getting your passport stamped or even having to leave Nassau County.

—Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Editorial: Putting On The Ritz

Thursday, 07 August 2014 08:52

When you think of the Garden City Hotel, images linked to elegance, exclusivity and four-star status immediately leap to mind. This year is the hotel’s 140th anniversary and during the near decade and a half of its existence, its seen its share of good and bad times. It’s been rebuilt four times, hosted presidents, dignitaries and ordinary folk of every stripe, and become the go-to for luxury accommodations on Long Island. During the entirety of its existence, the Garden City Hotel has resided in the heart of the village, providing a degree of panache and status to the surroundings while bringing in a steady source of revenue. While Fortuna Realty Group President Morris Moinian bought it for $42 million in 2012 and subsequently poured $30 million worth of renovations and counting toward its restoration, he and his staff have also made inroads into developing more of a relationship with the Village of Garden City. With all these positive developments going on, expect plenty more longevity with this crown jewel of a landmark.

— Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Mayor's Report: August 7, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 07 August 2014 09:55

Police Department News

Each week in this column I will be including information from Commissioner Jackson of our Police Department. This week he has asked that I include the following:

Nearby Community Burglaries

Residents should be aware of recent burglaries that have occurred in the evening hours in a nearby community, where a subject is seen ringing doorbells and when there is no answer, proceeds to the rear of the residence to forcibly enter the home. Please make sure that all of your doors are locked and if your house has an alarm, please be sure that it is set. When someone rings your doorbell, please check to see if it is someone that you are expecting and/or someone that you know before opening the door. If you suspect something, please call the police by dialing 911.

 

Mayor's Report: July 31, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 31 July 2014 09:53

Awards: Boy Scouts

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of attending a Court of Honor to recognize Eagle Scout recipients, Richard T. Masters and Thomas L. Ferris. It was an honor to present proclamations on behalf of the Village of Garden City for Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor. I commend these young individuals for their achievements and the positive contributions that they have made to their communities.

 

Editorial: Good Neighbors Working Together

Thursday, 31 July 2014 09:49

Adelphi University and the Village of Garden City have always had a very complementary relationship over the years, particularly given how the school is located within the perimeter of the village. That connection has been further strengthened with the implementation of a pilot internship program instituted by Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi. When Mayor John Watras initially brought up to Suozzi the idea of using interns back in the spring, it just so happened that the latter had worked with them during his previous professional life as mayor of Glen Cove. Currently, four Adelphi University students are part of an eight-to-10-week program that finds the quartet working with different village department heads every week. The goal is not only helping them gain real-life work experience in a municipal setting, but to chart spending trends through the compilation of data and in the process, find ways of having the village save money through charts and reports. Should this program prove fruitful, there are talks of expanding to other nearby schools including Hofstra University, LIU Post and Nassau Community College. It’s certainly the kind of "working smarter, not harder" approach going forward that behooves everyone in the long run.­

—Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Editorial: Just A Bit Outside

Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00

Consistency winning in sports is one of the most desirable and difficult goals to attain. But for this year’s Garden City Little League District 29 champions, it was certainly unfinished business the team was looking at before its run wound up ending during the Section 5 double elimination tournament. It turns out the team wound up going pretty deep during a stretch run as an 11-year-old team in 2013. This year, Garden City ripped through squads from Garden City South, Franklin Square, Floral Park, and Franklin Square on the way to wrapping up the District 29 championship. And while the next round found the Garden City 12-year-olds starting out positively against Downtown and Rockville Centre, New York City teams Throgs Neck and Staten Island’s South Shore National ended Garden City’s current run. And while this year’s District 29 victors wound up going the way of the Buffalo Bills early ‘90s Super Bowl contenders, it’s a feat that’s no less impressive, especially given the young age Garden City’s ball players are.

—Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Mayor's Report: July 24, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00

A Friday Night Promenade - Seventh Street

Every Friday during the summer, Seventh Street will be closed for the “Friday Night Promenades”, from 6 until 10 p.m. I encourage residents and visitors to make it a point to come down to Seventh Street to enjoy outdoor dining, live entertainment, face painting, balloon animals and much more. Shops will remain open during the evening for your convenience. Please be sure to check out this column each week to see what other fun activities are added to this exciting event every Friday evening.

 

Editorial: Leaving Commuters In A Lurch

Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00

It’s been two decades since the LIRR went on strike back in 1994. Thankfully, it was resolved relatively quickly with the work stoppage starting on a Friday night, being settled the next day with trains up and running by that Sunday evening. With the gulf between the MTA and eight unions seemingly insurmountable, the LIRR’s roughly 300,000 daily commuters will wind up with the short end of the stick. While it would be easy to criticize LIRR workers for not accepting a 17 percent raise over seven years and a requirement to pay toward health costs (new employees would contribute towards health and pension costs), management has neglected to negotiate a contract since the last one expired in 2010. At the end of the day, most local businesses (save cab companies) will suffer and workers unable to telecommute or find alternative means of transit may well end up losing time off or in some instances, employment. All of which does not bode well for an economy struggling to get back on its feet. Regardless of where the dust settles, it’ll be the taxpayer that winds up paying the fare.

—Dave Gil de Rubio

 

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