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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

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion. 

 

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “We were scheduled to open last week, and there were a few things that weren’t ready...I got a call from the theater operator, Jay Levinson, and he told me that unfortunately, that day Spiderman had the flu,” he joked. “But, Spiderman is well and Glen Cove is well, and we are coming back strong. This is just the beginning. This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com