While Memorial Day has come to mark the unofficial start of summer, the day has a solemn significance. It is the day when we as a community pay tribute and honor to the 56 young men from New Hyde Park that have given their lives in defense of our country.
Many of these young men were just out of our high schools. They never had the chance to return to New Hyde Park to enjoy the American Dream they fought to give us. Once we as a community let the sacrifice and memory of these young lives become lost in our own self-centered pursuits, we will have truly lost our communal spirit.
On May 20, residents of the Sewanhaka Central High School District (New Hyde Park Memorial HS, Elmont Memorial HS, Floral Park Memorial HS, H. Frank Carey HS, and Sewanhaka HS) will be asked to vote not only for the 2014-15 school budget, but also for a 20-year, $86.6 million school bond.
Before accepting this bond debt, voters should be aware of what the bond will cost them, and how their money will be spent.
The Town of North Hempstead’s beautiful shoreline is among our town’s most valued environmental and recreational resources. As our waterfront meanders from Little Neck Bay to Manhasset Bay to Hempstead Harbor and out into the Long Island Sound, none of us are ever too far from a scenic waterfront view.
Manhasset Bay and Hempstead Harbor are among the prime destinations in the town for residents to enjoy the waterfront. North Hempstead’s Town Dock in Port Washington is frequented by scores of residents annually, who moor their boats here or enjoy a stroll along the water.
Thousands visit North Hempstead Beach Park each summer for entertaining town events and to experience the sun and the sand.
In the inaugural year of its “master teachers” program, New York State, in partnership with SUNY schools, has honored a total of 319 science, math and technology teachers—including 42 on Long Island—with the Master Teacher designation. Congratulations to Mary Blondrage and Jason Gutlaizer of the Sewanhaka High School District. These star educators will become peer mentors, sharing their techniques through seminars, workshops and one-on-ones with other teachers—especially the newest ones.
Master Teachers show excellence not only in subject matter and teaching, but also by cultivating thorough understanding of the students and the community in supporting STEM studies. Many people may not be aware of this program and its $60,000 four-year fellowship. Citizens can nominate a teacher for the spring cohort (and teachers can sign up for email notification when applications open) at www.suny.edu/masterteacher/. We have no doubt that in coming years we will see more Sewanhaka, New Hyde Park and Herricks teachers earn the title.
Each May, all constituents of school districts across New York State are given the important task of reading all the pertinent facts and details regarding their school district’s school budget. They also get the information regarding the residents, who are running for a trustee position, and who will represent them in the decisions, which affect the quality of the educational services we can provide for our students.
This year, the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District has created a budget that continues to adhere to the tax cap as proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Our budget has been developed with the collaborative efforts of our budget builder administrators under the guidance and leadership of our board of education and the assistant superintendent for business. After six months of thoughtful conversation, expenditure analysis, cost cutting budget allocations, we have reached the lowest budget-to-budget increase of 1.55 percent.
For years, catering companies on Long Island withheld tips that were meant for waiters and other workers. When it was ruled illegal in 2008, workers filed suit for millions of dollars in lost pay dating back to 2004. State Senator Jack Martins, who had not previously received contributions from the catering industry, took $56,000 and sponsored legislation to grant caterers immunity from lawsuits that had already been filed. The Great Neck Record published my letter which addressed this situation.
With the Village of New Hyde Park’s Operation Main Street in its final phase, its obvious they have a plan intact: to bolster the local economy and aesthetics of this small one square mile village. However, a village economy and strength is only as strong as the community around it. New Hyde park is on a major upswing, but we aren’t there yet. Residents must spend time and money in the village.
Whether it’s buying a bagel, grabbing a slice of pizza, or dropping off dry cleaning, bringing the kids to the park. Patronizing local business is the core to a strong community. It allows the local businesses to ‘give back’.
Nassau County’s animal protection agency just launched a new website feature that offers another way to report animal cruelty, and at the same time announced cash rewards of up to $5,000 for folks who turn in abusers. Officials were joined at a press conference by Miss Harper, a rescued pup whose ears and a leg had been cut off.
The Nassau SPCA has never offered rewards before, in part due to a perennial shortage of funding. But the county has seen a disturbing rise in animal cruelty, officials said, and the outrage sparked by incidents such as the death of 13 dogs in a garage fire in
February opened a floodgate of donations—some $15,000 so far.
Thank you to the New Hyde Park Illustrated News in providing the public with as much information/facts as possible regarding the Sewanhaka Central High School District bond proposal. There is still important information, however, that has not been made available to the voters. They need to have access to this information so that they can be aware of the financial impact the bond will have on them during the next 20 years.
There are three major questions that the board needs to answer:
Alas, after 21 years of keeping us in good spirits and good company with his “Late Show” humor, David Letterman announced his retirement this past week. In his honor, I’ll share highlights from our state’s new budget in Letterman style with a “Top 10” countdown entitled: Top 10 — I mean 12 — reasons to like the new, New York State budget
12. This year’s budget is the fourth, consecutive, on-time budget we’ve delivered. That hasn’t happened in nearly four decades. For a little historical perspective, that’s further back than the Knicks’ last championship. (Sorry. I couldn’t help it.)
11. Moody’s Investors Service wasn’t so moody after all. They rated the new budget a “credit positive.”
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