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Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: March 18, 2011

Written by Dr. John Bierwirth Friday, 18 March 2011 08:34

Possible Costs of Proposed Shifts

In Special Education

Six months ago we heard that the New York State Budget Department was quietly trying to re-write the State Aid formula for certain special education expenses in order to shift certain costs from the State budget to local districts. This was apparently being done without the knowledge of State legislators.

When Governor Cuomo announced his budget proposal, including proposed State Aid to school districts, he did not mention any proposed changes in the funding of certain special education programs. Accordingly, Newsday and every other paper in New York only ran charts showing proposed cuts in State Aid. That was over a month ago.


Letter: Village Elections Set for March 15

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00

It is important to remind all of our residents that the Williston Park Village elections are once again upon us, and, as American citizens, we have the privilege of voting for the candidate of our choice.

Last year Mayor Paul Ehrbar appointed Barbara Alagna to fill the trustee seat vacated when trustee Swenson-Dowd was appointed Associate Justice. 


Letter: Vote for Barbara Alanga

Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00

I will keep this short and sweet. Dedicated, experienced and committed candidates are the cornerstone of local government. Barbara Alanga  has it all.

A vote for Barbara as a trustee in  Williston Park is a vote for the future of the Village of Williston Park.  

Xavier Fleming


The Mayor’s Corner: March 4, 2011

Written by Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00

NYCOM Conference Very Informative

This past weekend Deputy Mayor Terry Thomann, Trustees Barbara Alagna, and Kevin Rynne, Village Clerk  Julie Kain and myself attended the Annual NYCOM Legislative Conference in Albany.

While we were only there two days, a great deal of information was obtained. We met with our local legislators, which allowed us an opportunity to discuss concerns and needs of the village with them. A number of seminars were held during the conference which provided valuable information pertinent to issues confronting our village. we all felt the trip was extremely beneficial to helping with village affairs.


Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth

Written by Dr. John Bierwirth Friday, 04 March 2011 00:00

No Choice-It Needs to Be Fixed-But How?

Bert Lance, President Carter’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget, liked to say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. With New York State government there is no choice. It is broken and it needs to be fixed.

There are clearly many different ideas about how it should be fixed. Many are worthy of serious consideration, including ones which may have been viewed as too radical at other times. Hopefully, the discussion will be thorough, open and rational and, hopefully, it will focus on real solutions rather than ideological promises.

No one can guarantee that any solution will solve all problems for the foreseeable future but any plan worthy of serious consideration should actually fix something.


Letter: McDermotts for Barbara Alagna

Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00

This letter is an endorsement of Barbara Alagna for Trustee of the Village of Williston Park.  My husband Jim and I have known Barbara for more than 10 years.  She served as secretary to the Board of Trustees of the Village when I was Deputy Mayor.  Barbara was reliable, well organized and competent at her job.  Through this position she learned about village government and the procedures needed to run the Village effectively.


Letter: Acquire Cross Street School

Friday, 25 February 2011 00:00

Lewis Carroll wrote, “The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to talk of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings.” I believe that is a great lead into a letter to the editor. The tough winter of 2010-11 is slowly, ever so slowly passing and there are signs that the economy might be turning around. Major league pitchers and catchers are reporting to Spring Training and our Little League is completing registration for 2011. Soon swarms of young ball players, including some grandsons and daughters of mine will start playing as proud families and friends stand by as avid fans. So, I feel we should now talk and plan for other things, especially the future of our ballplayers and the entire Village of Williston Park. Last year I proposed that the Village buy the Cross Street School from the Mineola School District. It could be done by straight purchase or condemnation. It would be expensive, but it would enrich the value of our homes and guarantee future ball players permanent places to play. The acquisition can be done with some innovative planning and a bond issue. The long-term cost per household would be negligible, especially with the sale of the existing village hall to supplement the deal. Acquisition will guarantee the future use of the building and the ball fields. I listed things I thought the property could be used for – a new Village Hall, large library, senior, youth and general meeting rooms, auxiliary fire equipment garage area and especially the playing fields. If you want a good example on how well such an acquisition works, visit the Mineola Village Hall. That was a school and now serves Mineola very well for many uses. My proposal stirred some hearts and minds; some opposed, but more in favor. At the time I naively believed we had a pledge from the school superintendent that we could always use the ball fields. But now I see that the district has forgotten that pledge and plans to rent the building to a private school. That may be a sound economic move for the school district. But, it is questionable that once that lease is signed whether the new, private tenant will allow the village to use the fields. In our litigious society, we could not fault a new tenant for limiting the use of the ball fields to avoid even the remote chance of being included in a lawsuit involving the fields. Also, the lease of a property is usually a precursor to its sale. I believe it is time we stopped talking and started acting. If you believe this idea is sound, I ask you to become part of an action committee to acquire the property for the village. If you would like to talk about this idea and join in this effort, call me at 294-9842 (H) or my office (516-746-7371) or my cell, 516-946-1195 or by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Alan J. Reardon

Former Judge of Village of Williston Park


The Mayor’s Corner: February 11, 2011

Written by Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar Friday, 11 February 2011 00:00

Questions Asked…Questions Answered

In this past week’s newspaper, a resident asked two questions in the form of comments regarding village performance/decisions. The questions are reasonable and a response seems appropriate as others in the community may have the same questions. Open dialogue is good, as it promotes worthwhile discussion.

The first question asked, questioned the village plow techniques during the recent snowstorms. The concern raised, indicated that it appears that the work crews have changed philosophy and no longer plow curb to curb but rather plows three feet away from each curb. While it appears that this may be the case, in actuality the plow trucks attempt to place the plow blade as close as possible to the curb, depending on weather conditions. The first storm, whose remnants remain, was a challenge to our experienced staff.


Letter: The Vindication of Ronald Reagan

Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00

The embrace of President Reagan’s memory 100 years after his birth was hardly predictable in his time.  In a 1976 episode of “All in the Family,” Archie Bunker’s revelation that he had cast a write-in vote for Reagan for president was a laugh line.  During the first two weeks of his presidency, Reagan bluntly condemned the Soviet government as amoral, and the Washington Post in turn criticized his supposedly simplistic “good-vs.-evil approach” to the Kremlin.  A 1987 article in American Heritage magazine entitled “Presidential Follies” juxtaposed the evolving Iran-Contra scandal with the most notorious scandals in American history.  The article was punctuated by an Edward Sorel cartoon of our 40th president plummeting into hell with other presidents perceived as tarnished.

Such criticisms and caricatures, acceptable then, are conspicuously out of place today.  Reagan had the vision and character needed to confront the great issues of his time, which equipped him to effect a sea change in policy while enduring the criticism that naturally comes when leaders steer a fundamentally new course.  He entered the White House on the heels of several presidencies that had ended with some level of disappointment.  Some questioned whether the office had become too much for one man.  Those questions were laid to rest by the time of Reagan’s retirement.


Letter: Thanks to the Merchants

Friday, 18 February 2011 00:00

I would like to thank the many merchants on Plandome Road who helped make the Valentines Day Weddings at Town Hall such a special celebration.

Because of the generosity of Manhasset Bagels, Buttercookie Bakery, Mykonos, La Bottega, Louie’s Manhasset Restaurant, Dunkin Donuts and Gino’s Pizza, we made each couple’s wedding day sweeter and more memorable. 

These wonderful vendors showed us how much they care about our community.  Let’s all thank them by shopping locally!

Leslie Gross

Town Clerk of North Hempstead


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