Great Neck residents, who were already angered by the Planet Fitness plan to take over the now shuttered New York Health & Racquet Club facility in The Gardens at Great Neck found an additional reason to be angry at the nationwide chain last Wednesday evening, Oct.16, when representatives of the firm requested a postponed their appearance at the Village of Great Neck Plaza public hearing less than two hours before it was to start.
The audience, numbering little more than 50 and a considerably less than the standing room only crowd that attended the first Plant Fitness public hearing on Sept. 18, was visibly upset when Mayor Jean Celender announced, just before the 8 a.m. start, that the company had requested a postponement until Wednesday, Nov. 6 to continue its conditional use application. Celender, herself, seemed upset, as she apologized profusely to the residents who quickly left the room.
As the Village of Great Neck introduces legislation calling for an eight-month moratorium on processing and issuing permits for on-site smoking businesses within the village, the landlord and tenant of the recently approved hookah lounge at 431-435 Middle Neck Road requested a modification to its conditional use permit. The village has cited health concerns regarding non-tobacco products and the hookah lounge landlord and tenant have responded to those concerns, asking to modify their conditional use permit by eliminating outdoor smoking.
As armed officers from the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office stood guard, along with a county police officer, alleged “slumlord” Sharok Jacobi failed to show in court at the Village of Great Neck last Wednesday evening, Oct. 16. In March 2012, Jacobi had been convicted of 19 potentially life-threatening violations of health fire and safety codes. In addition to being ordered to pay $17,050 in fines, Jacobi was to serve a jail term of possibly up to eight months (15 days for each of the counts he had been convicted of). And the court has directed that the he correct significant health and safety violations, and restore the property at 127 Steamboat Road to one that will support single-family occupancy.
Recognizing the rising interest in, and prevention of bullying incidents among every segment of the population, young and old alike, the Village of Great Neck designated October 2012 as Anti-Bullying Awareness Month. Mayor Ralph
Kreitzman signed the proclamation at a September board of trustees meeting, with the proviso that this was a part of the village’s commitment to stand up against bullying and end the year-round struggle among America’s youth.
The Great Neck Park District is set to include surveillance cameras for the Village Green in the upcoming 2014 park budget. Park District Commissioner Robert Lincoln told the Great Neck Record that “so far we have included funding (for these security cameras) in our 2014 budget.” Lincoln said that they already have such security cameras for the park district’s Parkwood Sports Complex on Arrandale Avenue.
Park District Superintendent Peter Renick said that the cameras at Parkwood are through-out the complex, including cameras at the Parkwood indoor tennis courts. These cameras have been in place for the past two years. Renick explained that the cameras at the Parkwood complex are “strategically placed” to help avoid “incidents” and to watch for possible thefts and misplaced property.
The Nassau County Police Robbery Squad detectives report the arrest of an elderly man in connection with the armed robbery at the Chase Bank in the Village of Great Neck on Friday morning, Sept. 27, at 9:30 a.m. Raymond Young, 70, of Memphis, Tennessee was arrested on Sunday, Oct. 16, in connection with the bank robbery at 675 Middle Neck Road.
Young was charged with robbery, first degree and criminal use of a firearm, first degree. He was arraigned on Oct. 7, in First District Court in Hempstead.
The Village of Great Neck will introduce a proposed new law on Oct. 15, one that will call for a six-month moratorium to allow the village time to consider banning a permit for any new business that will permit smoking of any kind on the premises. The plan for a moratorium follows this past summer’s controversy following the permit given for a hookah lounge to open in the historic “wedding cake” building on Middle Neck Road. Village code, written many years ago, permitted, subject to certain conditions, a business such as a hookah lounge, where non-tobacco products are allowed to be smoked. It fell within the definition of a restaurant.
The village’s board of trustees believes that the village needs the time to study this issue, with regard to the health issues caused by smoking not only tobacco products, but non-tobacco products as well. The believe that the health impact on the community must be considered.
As Election Day draws closer and the Town of North Hempstead will soon have a new supervisor, several pressing issues have surfaced. With Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth seeking the office as a Democrat and Town Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio running on the Republican ticket, three major points stand out: transparency in government, problems with the town’s building department and the question of what the town does for the villages.
All along both candidates have emphasized a real need for transparency in government. Discussing the issue with Bosworth, she reiterated the need for a very open government, with town board meetings streamed live on the Internet, as well as eventually televising them on public access channels. She also spoke of making better use of the town’s website, with pertinent news regarding village boards.
Residents across Nassau County are being hit with sharp school tax rate increases, leaving politicians pointing fingers and school administrators blaming a broken property assessment system and specifically, valuation reductions on commercial properties. In Great Neck, many residents approached were not surprised at all. Although several had not yet opened their tax bill, many explained that they expected increases since they had followed the issue in the Great Neck Record.
These residents displayed a real understanding of the state-mandated tax cap, how the school district strictly kept to the cap, and how outside pressure forced the tax increase.
Nassau County Police Third Precinct Commanding Officer Inspector Sean M. McCarthy reports a “persistent burglary pattern” in several areas in Great Neck and police are asking for help from the public. According to police, these areas include a part of the Village of Great Neck, east of Middle Neck Road to East Shore Road, and areas of the Village of Russell Gardens and University Gardens, west of Middle Neck Road and mostly north (but a small part south) of Northern Boulevard.
Police report that the crimes most often in the evening, between 6 and 10 p.m. The burglar generally enters by breaking the glass of a rear sliding glass door
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