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Editorial: Garden City Trojans' Arms Race

Thursday, 06 March 2014 11:21

Any high school baseball coach faced with the prospect of losing 11 seniors might panic at the thought of having to go forward with those kinds of depleted veteran numbers. But then again, Coach Rich Smith isn’t just any other high school baseball coach. Going into his 42nd year with the Garden City High School baseball program, Smith’s secret weapon just might be the fact that he has three southpaws in his pitching rotation for the first time in the four plus decades that he’s been coaching the Trojans. Lefties are prized for their ability to keep hitters off balance due to the dearth of hurlers who throw from that side of the bump. Between the additions of Carey and Bellmore to Garden City’s conference and the abundance of less-experienced players filling out the Garden City roster, the trio of Dave Butler, Brian LoRusso and Matt Rogers just might be the leg (or in this case arm) up that Coach Rick Smith just might get.

—Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Letter: A Plea For Privacy

Thursday, 06 March 2014 11:22
By now I am certain you have all heard of Common Core. Though the intent may have been good, the resulting standards and implementation have been a complete debacle.

At no time were early education or developmental specialists consulted in designing the standards. Special needs children have been completely forgotten. The result is a set of expectations for our youngest students which are not only developmentally inappropriate, but completely at odds with what we know of cognitive development. Ironically, Jason Zimba, the mathematics standards writer for Common Core, reports that these standards were designed to prepare students for a two-year college, and that graduating seniors would be unprepared for a freshman calculus course. How can we consider these standards to be superior if our graduating students will be even less prepared for STEM fields than they are now?

 

Mayor's Report: March 6, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 06 March 2014 11:24

Village Election­—March 18

The annual village election will be held on Tuesday, March 18, from noon until 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 351 Stewart Ave. Village residents will be voting for the following candidates:

Nicholas P. Episcopia        Trustee—2-year term

Brian C. Daughney           Trustee—2-year term

Robert A. Bolebruch         Trustee—2-year term

Theresa A. Trouvé            Trustee—2-year term

Since the incorporation of the village in 1919, members of the board of trustees in Garden City have been elected by a non-partisan vote of residents in accordance with the policies of the Community Agreement.

 

Editorial: No Aid From Albany

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:09

The last board of education meeting I attended also happened to be the initial recommendations for the proposed budget for the 2014-15 year. Amid the myriad figures and statistics bandied about, perhaps the most disturbing had to do with something called the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA). According to the New York State School Boards Association, “Since the 2009-2010 school year, the state has deducted from each school district’s state aid allocation an amount now known as the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) to help the state fill its revenue shortfall.” Essentially, the GEA takes money that should be going to school districts and puts it in the state’s own budget. During the three years the GEA has been operating, Garden City has seen its state aid reduced by a grand total of $3,141,513. It’s a disturbingly high number, pointing at the continued dilemma Long Island communities face­—that of more tax money going up to Albany than what comes back downstate in the form of state aid. Unless this formula is changed, the words "affordable living" and "Long Island" will become a quintessential oxymoron.­­

— Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Cartoon: February 27, 2014

Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:39
 

Mayor's Report: February 27, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 27 February 2014 09:23

Village Election­—Tuesday, March 18

The annual village election will be held on Tuesday, March 18, from noon until 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 351 Stewart Ave. Village residents will be voting for the following candidates:

Nicholas P. Episcopia - Trustee—2-year term

Brian C. Daughney - Trustee—2-year term

Robert A. Bolebruch - Trustee—2-year term

Theresa A. Trouvé - Trustee—2-year term

 

Editorial: Building For The Future

Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:12

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiatives are all the rage in American education nowadays given the fact that there are 29 and 22 industrialized nations where high school students performed better than U.S. students in math and science respectively in 2012, according to the public-private partnership National Math + Science Initiative. Luckily, communities like Garden City have embraced the challenge particularly in the field of robotics competitions. At the 10th annual Long Island Qualifying Tournament that was held at Central Islip High School on Saturday. Feb. 1, several Garden City First Lego League (FLL) teams, including the Crazy Creators and Thunder Chickens, made quite an impression. With more than 100 teams competing for 42 spots at next month’s Long Island Championship, five of those spots were captured by Garden City teams. It’s clearly apparent that at least in this small corner of the world, the United States will be holding its own on the global STEM stage in the future.­

 — Dave Gil de Rubio

 

Cartoon: February 20, 2014

Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:19
 

Mayor's Report: February 20, 2014

Written by John J. Watras Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:13

New York State Fiscal Stress Test Results

New York State Comptroller DiNapoli recently released the results of his latest fiscal stress monitoring assessments. The results categorized villages into four categories, “significant stress”, “moderate stress”, “susceptible to stress” and no designation. The assessments were made as of May 31, 2013 using a series of financial ratio calculations. Garden City scored 50 percent on the rating scale; a rating that put us in the “susceptible to stress” category. Had we scored 45 percent or below, we would not have received any stress designation.

 

Editorial: Tough Choices

Friday, 14 February 2014 00:00

Mention the term Common Core and not surprisingly, you’ll generally wind up with a visceral reaction. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Garden City Board of Education opened a work session up to the public with Common Core being the topic discussed. Dr. Teresa Prendergast, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, wound up moderating and delivering a thoroughly comprehensive Common Core presentation with handouts and slide, during which time she dispelled myths and rumors about this highly controversial state-mandated program. One of the primary points she made was the fact that much of what Common Core is teaching has been getting covered by the district’s current curriculum. By all accounts, administrators and teachers are doing a yeoman’s job in trying to work with state mandates and making sure that Garden City’s students are comprehending the material and putting their best foot forward.

 

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