New York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino held a Community Forum at the Glen Cove Public Library last week to give people an opportunity to ask questions and get answers about anything on their minds in an informal setting. The event drew a good-sized crowd despite the rain, and several people came prepared with questions.
The biggest concern on the minds of a lot of people was hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to release natural gas deposits and how the waste from that practice could affect Glen Cove and its residents. The discussion began smoothly but turned into a heated debate at several points as residents mentioned their fears about the health implications and mistrust of the government.
A large crowd including parents and students attended the North Shore School Board meeting on Feb. 16 to hear a further discussion on budget cutbacks for next year. To adopt a budget that complies with the tax cap, North Shore Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick said that cuts to extra-curricular clubs and athletics teams are necessary.
“This is the first year we are faced with significant cuts,” said Melnick. “In making these recommendations they have not been made lightly. We’re trying to be equitable to all students and we’re maintaining a strong program for the students.”
Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi is proud to announce that the City of Glen Cove was recently chosen by America’s Promise Alliance as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in America. Glen Cove is the only community on Long Island and one of five in New York State to receive this award. Winners were chosen from over 300 communities in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. To celebrate this great honor of being chosen as one of the 100 best communities, the City of Glen Cove, the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and Glen Cove Schools will join with local organizations that provide services to youth to host a “Celebration of Youth” on Thursday, March 15 at the Finley Middle School. Grades Kindergarten through fifth grade and their families will arrive for the first session from 4:30-6 p.m. The second session, from 7-9 p.m., will be for grades sixth through 12. Pizza and other refreshments will be served. There will also be a D.J. for dancing, award presentations, crafts, face painting, games and much more. This event is FREE and all are welcome.
Patio Daddy-O and Livestock played to a crowd of nearly 200 at the Sea Cliff Firehouse Saturday night for the sold-out IZOTE benefit concert, which raised over $7000 in funds for people in El Salvador to get cataract surgery.
“We would like to sincerely thank Patio Daddy-O, Livestock, the Sea Cliff Firehouse, Aratas Deli and all the partygoers for making it such a fun event. All the money raised will go directly to our cataract surgery project. The party and donations by friends raised over $7000, which is enough for us to provide 150 cataract surgery operations for rural people in El Salvador,” said Risa Procton of the IZOTE foundation.
IZOTE is a nonprofit corporation that assists impoverished communities in El Salvador through projects promoting literacy, health and ecological conservation. According to Procton, by the time most El Salvadorians reach the age of 40, they have developed cataracts, and most do not have access to the operation due ill-equipped hospitals. In June, members of the organization will travel to the country after having acquired surgical eye instruments and supplies to perform operations at San Pedro Hospital.
On Jan. 23, Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi, Esq. President of the North Shore School District Board of Education, testified to the joint fiscal committees of the New York State Legislature in Albany. The testimony delivered was in response to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) decision to ramp-down and demolish the power plant located within the District’s boundaries in Glenwood Landing.
Genovesi emphasized in her statement that the solution for the taxpayers lies only with the state legislature and said, “…[t]here is the potential for our district to save and shelter its students and its core programs from the perfect storm and it rests with the state legislature. Since LIPA remains a state agency under this state’s jurisdiction, I urge the members of the Fiscal Committees to hold LIPA accountable.”
Genovesi recommended that the legislature include a solution in the state’s fiscal plan and pointed the committee to the proposed legislation by Senator Marcellino testifying that this proposed bill “would provide for a ‘glide path’ rather than a ‘cliff’ in relation to the forecasted property tax loss. It would allow for a phase-in of tax cuts for the property over a period of 10 years, while a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) continues to help the district better manage the cuts. This would be a win-win in that the taxpayers would not see a significant impact on the local property tax base while the ratepayers would continue to see rate reductions during this same period.”
She added, “ [t]his reasonable bill should be added into the state’s fiscal plan so that the North Shore School District and any others throughout the state who face a utility’s closure would not have the significant tax loss.”
Residents of the Landing will soon have more restaurant choices with the opening of a pizzeria next door to an Italian restaurant in the commercial block that has had some vacancies for the past few years.
The City of Glen Cove Planning Board held a public hearing Tuesday and granted conditional approval for a special use permit for the take-out pizzeria, located at 5860 Landing Road, adjacent to the restaurant that is currently being renovated on the corner.
The applicants had previously come before the board to apply for the permit but had to go to the zoning board to figure out the parking variance; they said a parking study has been completed and they are ready for final approval.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and new Police Commissioner Thomas Dale announced this week that they want to save almost $20 million by restructuring the county’s police presence.
Mangano will submit a plan to the County Legislature that would change four of Nassau’s eight police precincts into Community Policing Centers, where two officers would be on duty 24 hours a day, he said. The county executive said the restructuring would eliminate “100 desk jobs” and not change the current assignment of 177 patrol cars as they now cover neighborhoods.
Commissioner Thomas Dale, who just joined Nassau’s force about a month ago, added, “This plan saves taxpayers significant dollars while streamlining duplicative work, redistributing workload and assigning more officers to POP and special patrol… Residents should know that response time will not be impacted as police officers will remain in their current neighborhoods and additional officers will be assigned to our neighborhoods.”
There are easier tasks than the one facing Kevan Abrahams. As a Nassau County Legislator, he will be grappling with the issues facing the cash strapped county and in particular will be deliberating on a budget which may call for more layoffs of county workers, reduction of services and changes for Nassau police precincts. As the Democratic Minority Leader in the legislature, he will be one of the more prominent figures as those discussions take place, a position that requires he walk a political tightrope as he leads the opposition to some of those proposals while also trying to get Republican County Executive Ed Mangano and the Republicans in control of the Legislature to give consideration to his party’s suggestions and input. And, he will also do so while getting a feel for his new role as he has just taken over the position of the Minority Leader in the Legislature after being chosen by his party last November. Yet, despite all of this, there is a calmness and confidence about him as he takes this all on, something that he attributes to many years of experience in both politics and finance.
Last week the North Shore School District Board of Education held a meeting at the middle school café to present the preliminary budget to a large audience of North Shore residents. Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick opened the meeting by clearing the air about what might have been forefront on peoples’ minds.
“This board has made it clear to me that they in no way wish to override the tax cap,” he said.
This preliminary budget proposed a budget-to-budget increase of 1.85 percent; before presenting the budget to the board, $1.7 million in cuts were already made, and another $1.4 million would need to be cut to stay within the budget. Because so much has already been cut, and the goal of the board is to keep in line with their mission statement of keeping as many programs as possible, he said most of the cuts would have to come from staff and benefits.
As proposed, the 2012-13 budget would cut one administrative position and 15 to 19 teaching positions. Some of the other significant cuts would come from interscholastic activities at the middle school level and co-curricular arts.
On Thursday, Jan. 12, County Executive Edward Mangano announced the ‘soft launch’ of “Nassau Now,” the County’s newest mobile and web application for residents to use an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet to contact Nassau County directly. The government app features requests, events, information, news alerts, traffic advisories, and forms.
The system is up and operational; it is being monitored by system administrators to collect data about how the service is being used and tally the volume of inquiries being submitted through the new application. Mangano expects that there could be some ‘bugs’ to work out of the system within the initial 60 days, but is confident that this will streamline the process and eliminate a lot of liabilities resulting from nonemergency reports, such as a request for pothole repair. The county will assess the service in a couple of months and identify any issues with the software that need to be corrected.
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