Written by Gary Simeone Friday, 03 May 2013 00:00
Clark Botanic Gardens had its official reopening last Wednesday, six months after it was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Town Councilman Thomas Dwyer and Town Clerk Leslie Gross and other officials were on hand to re-open the 12-acre living museum and educational facility in Albertson with an official ribbon cutting ceremony.
"Clark Garden is a beautiful place that our residents can enjoy all year round,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “I am thrilled to be able to re-open this facility in its entire splendor.”
The Garden was established in 1969 on the former estate of Grenville Clark, a noted attorney and advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It contains hundreds of labeled trees and more than 5,000 species of plants.
The Botanic Garden lost over 50 trees as a result of Sandy and had a lot of structural damage to its surrounding property including broken walkways, railings and benches. Parts of the grounds were totally impassable in the weeks after the hurricane and indigenous plant and wildlife was severely affected.
“We had over $40,000 worth of damage with the loss of trees and everything else,” said Parks Commissioner, Jennifer Fava. “We are working hard through the spring to get everything back in order but it definitely will be an ongoing process.”
The Garden has over 30,000 visitors walk through its doors on annual basis and holds exciting events, including a Winter Wonderland, Halloween Spooky Walk and the 8th annual EcoFest, which took place last Saturday and Sunday to raise awareness among residents about environmental preservation.
“The festival is a real treat for the family,” said Councilman Thomas Dwyer. “It will have great music and wildlife displays for the children and the beautiful scenery of a botanical garden for parents to enjoy. It will be an even more special occasion this year after the devastation caused by Sandy.”
The re-opening of the Clark Botanic Garden would not have been possible if it were not for donations from private donors. One of those donors was Dr. Harvey Manes who donated $10,000 to Clark’s restoration effort.
“I read the article about all of the trees that were effected and I thought it would be a great opportunity to donate some much needed funds,” said Dr. Manes.
Other contributors included Environmentalists Patti Woods of the Grassroots Environmental Education and Frank Morris of The Sierra Club.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A new proposal by interim Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of approximately 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.
Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.