In today’s tough economic times, as public schools face more and more criticism and an increase in choking unfunded mandates, school districts must come to terms with these new conditions and tighten their belts as they work towards maintaining educational standards. For the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education, being fiscally prudent as they focus on providing the best possible education for each individual child, this has now come to include a new look at fees for allowing outside organizations to use school facilities. With the priority of education at the top of the list, the district must now be very certain that school district dollars are not spent on other-than-school activities.
The answer now rests on the actual increased charges for outside organizations to use school facilities.
In order to avoid businesses seeking permits for possible smoking-related establishments in the Village of Great Neck Plaza, the mayor and the board of trustees are seeking a moratorium that would enable them to take the time to do an analysis of businesses in the downtown area. Plaza Mayor Jean Celender reports that the village has applied to the Nassau County Planning Commission, requesting comments on the plan for an eight-month moratorium on conditional use permits to on-site smoking businesses.
The proposed law states that the village found that many studies “documented the harm that is caused by smoking tobacco products” and that there are “other smoking activities which appear to be comparably harmful yet which may be insufficiently regulated.” The moratorium cites that hookah smoking “appears” to be associated with medical conditions, suggesting that “cigarette smoking and hookah smoking have similar effects …”
A string of natural disasters has plagued the Great Neck peninsula the last several years and local officials are working together to find more efficient methods of cooperation and communication. At last Wednesday evening’s Great Neck Village Officials Association meeting, the Town of North Hempstead presented a new program, a town emergency communication system, a program offered to the villages, virtually at no cost.
Ellen Birnbaum, the town’s director of inter-rmunicipal coordination, explained that this new town initiative is of “high quality,” yet at a low cost. The initial system would be free to each village, with charges only for uses such as mass phone calls.
And armed man robbed the Chase Bank at 675 Middle Neck in the Village of Great Neck last Friday morning, Sept. 27, at 9:30 a.m. The Nassau County Police’s Third Precinct Robbery Squad reported that the amount of the proceeds taken are as yet undetermined.
Amidst complaints and questions, residents are anxious to know when the work on East Shore Road will finish and traffic will be able to return to its normal ebb and flow, without the interruptions due to the work on the sewer connections.
With a mandate to eliminate nitrogen from the surrounding water, the Village of Great Neck and the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District are combining their two sewer plants, with both soon to be under the jurisdiction of the GNWPCD. Work involving pipes and connections are part of the process and East Shore Road, in the Old Village, has been torn up for a year and everyone wants to know when it will be over. GNWPCD Commissioner Steve Reiter told the
Great Neck Record that the work is “almost done.”
While there has been much concern, and much confusion, over students’ results in last year’s state assessment tests, Great Neck Public Schools Superintendent Tom Dolan discussed the issue with the school community last Monday evening, Sept. 16, at a session just prior to the school board’s public action meeting. Noting the odd coincidence that the state had predicted a 30 percent drop in scores this year and that is just what happened, Dr. Dolan addressed the issue of a very different way of scoring and said that the scores, thus, were not comparable to scores from years the last few years.
When Jon Kaiman stepped down from his job as Supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead on Sept. 23, he had a new job waiting for him: Governor Andrew Cuomo had appointed him special advisor for Long Island Storm Recovery, at $150,000 per year.
Two days later, Cuomo announced he was giving Kaiman another new job: Chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA). But it’s hardly patronage; the NIFA job is unpaid.
The Planet Fitness chain’s plan to take over and renovate the health club site in the shopping mall on Great Neck Road ran into several large stumbling blocks last Wednesday night at a public hearing at Great Neck Plaza’s Village Hall.
A standing room only crowd of over 100, most of them members of the soon to close New York Health & Racquet Club, were already unhappy over the loss of their exercise facility. The knowledge that Planet Fitness had no plans to continue swimming, child care, personal training, organized classes and other amenities did not soothe their anger as several corporate representatives presented details of Planet’s intentions.
“Other than marrying the woman I married and having my kids, volunteering at the Alert Fire Department is the best decision I ever made,” says Mike Green, a 37-year veteran of the department. As a trustee and safety officer for the company, he is the point person in utilizing the regional grant money to keep the Alerts at full operating power.
Chief Laurence Jacobs of the Vigilants commented: “Training for our firefighters and EMTs is on a very professional level … We believe that the experiences and the training can really help young people in making career decisions. They learn a lot about management, organization and decision making ... things that can apply to various endeavors...and how to stay calm and focused in emergencies.”
Recruiting a sufficient number of volunteer firefighters has always been a troublesome problem for local fire departments, but now 13 area companies have banded together to form a unique coalition to do something about it.
Helped by JSK Public Safety, a small private grant writing company, units include Great Neck Alert, Great Neck Vigilant and, Manhasset-Lakeville have been awarded a half million dollar three year grant from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) to boost and support their recruiting efforts.
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