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Glen Cove Schools Address Safety Concerns

District assures parents that measures are being taken to ensure safety

The focus of the Dec. 17 Glen Cove City School District Board of Education meeting, held at Robert M. Finley Middle School, was on school safety. The meeting took place on the first day back at school after the horrific shootings that occurred in Newton, Connecticut just three days earlier. 

The board of education honored the victims with 27 seconds of silence, and Superintendent Dr. Joseph A. Laria opened with a statement regarding safety procedures and other measures being taken to insure all of the buildings in the district are safe and secure. 

“I spent the entire day in the schools doing a systems check. The schools are safe and secure and in compliance with the SAVE legislation and in compliance with the drills in terms of lockdown procedures,” he said. “We had an emergency administrators meeting this afternoon and I asked the principals of each building to develop a punchlist of items that we could improve upon.”

He said that he plans to meet with Mayor Suozzi, Police Chief Whitton, the director of security and the director of facilities next month to assess what is currently being done correctly in terms of safety procedures and what could be improved. 

Dr. Laria noted that while generally he feels the schools are safe and secure, there are several areas that could use improvement, such as adding trained security guards at the elementary schools.

“We are hoping the unthinkable never happens here,” he said.

Resident Janet Blatt addressed the high school’s open campus policy, stating that she didn’t think it is necessary, or safe, for students to be allowed to order lunch and have it delivered to the school.

Douglas Oko, who said he has a 5-year-old at Gribbin Elementary School, addressed his concern with the lack of safety precautions at that specific school. He said he felt the buzzer system was inadequate and that a security guard should be present in the parking lot.

Another resident also brought up the lack of security on the school grounds.

“There needs to be a visual deterrent,” he suggested, adding that presence could come from either security guards or auxiliary police patrols.

Parents raised concerns about unlocked doors at the various elementary schools and the middle school, and the principals were quick to assure them that the doors were now all locked from the outside, and all other security measures were being taken. Other concerns included security during after school activities and when students from other schools are in the district’s buildings for various events.

All concerns were noted by the school board and the administration as matters to look into further to see how to improve the security and ensure safety.

Mayor Suozzi was also present, and assured the school district, “the city is on your side…this is not just the school’s responsibility but the community’s as well. We will be here to guide you and do what we have to do to protect the children. That’s the most important job we have right now.”


News

Glen Cove residents may see a 1.64 percent increase in the tax levy next year, the amount proposed at last week’s public hearing. Mayor Reginald Spinello and the Glen Cove City Council held an initial reading of the proposed budget for 2015, and will take final vote on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the next city council meeting.

 

“It’s very easy for a first time mayor to raise the taxes and blame it on a prior administration, and that is not what I am doing,” said Mayor Spinello. “In the past three administrations there were budgets with increases of  almost 28 percent to down to 12 percent, but it’s a different time now...I think that the residents are certainly going to feel relief. I put together a budget...that I believe is fair and reasonable and a good budget.”

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

 

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The Town of Oyster Bay, in conjunction with the New York Rangers, will once again host a special Try Hockey for Free Program on Sunday morning, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon at ithe Ice Skating Center located in Bethpage Community Park, 1000 Stewart Ave. 

 

The event will allow youngsters a unique opportunity to sample the sport of ice hockey. Four morning sessions will be available. Session times are 8 to 9 a.m., 9 to 10 a.m., 10 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, North Shore High School quarterback Michael Floccari shattered a school record and tied a Long Island record for the most touchdown passes in a game. This accomplishment ties him with E.J. Clark from Seaford High School (1977) and Joe Capobianco form Lawrence High school (2011). 


Calendar

Harvest Square Dance - October 24

Fall Festival - Octobner 24 - 25

Peace, Politics and Projectiles - October 26


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