By district standards, the agenda at the Monday, Aug. 8, Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education Meeting was fairly light, but the recently received results of the New York State Grades 3-8 Assessment gave the board plenty of weighty material to discuss. While board members debated the merit of the additions made to the tests in the past year, bigger questions about the value of testing as an educational tool in general may have been lurking in the background.
The meeting began with a moment of silence for the Navy SEALS recently lost in Afghanistan. Board President Gary Bettan then announced that there will be three workshop-format board meetings coming up on the following topics: Academic Standards on Oct. 17, School Climate on Dec. 5, and Financial Issues on Jan. 23. There will be no public participation at these workshops, but residents are encouraged to provide feedback during public participation at the following board meeting in each case.
The $400 million bond plan to replace the 39-year-old Nassau Coliseum and construct a minor league ballpark at Mitchell Field was spurned by Nassau County residents in public vote on Aug. 1. According to the Nassau County Board of Elections, the margin was 88,389 (57 percent) opposed to 66,829 (43 percent) in favor.
Charles Wang, who bought the New York Islanders 11 years ago for an estimated $190 million, said he was extremely saddened by the outcome.
Hosted by the Long Island GLBT Services Network, many donors made the complete event possible, from the venue and services of the Carlyle on the Green, to Andrew Scott Events and Floral, Top Tiers cakes by Jason Ellis, All Star Limousine Service, Ltd., Todd Barrie Music & Entertainment, and JoVon Photography.
“The development of the Hub is critically important to the Nassau County economy,” Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos said at a July 21 press conference. “It currently supports hundreds of jobs and has the potential to create thousands of construction jobs and permanent jobs as well as increase tax revenues.”
Maragos said that he conducted a review to determine the economic feasibility of the current proposal to develop the Nassau Hub and retain the NY Islanders hockey team. At this point in time, he said, a comprehensive analysis cannot be completed as the lease agreement with the Islanders is still under negotiation and several significant terms have yet to be resolved such as revenue sharing, revenue guarantees, cost overrun protections and the Islanders’ commitment to remain in Nassau County.
On Friday, July 22, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Steven Jaeger ruled against the plan by the Republican-controlled Nassau County Legislature to redistrict the Legislature for the 2011 elections. The judge said that, according to the Nassau County Charter, the redistricting must wait two more years.
The plan to redistrict the county’s 19 legislative districts was voted on and passed in the Legislature on May 24, along party lines, and the Democrats, in turn, filed a lawsuit against the plan. Presently, the Republicans hold an 11-8 majority in the Legislature.
Leonora Petrina made it look easy again this year. The internationally ranked Bayport superstar crossed the finish line on the track at Farmingdale High School in 16:39 (one second faster than in 2010), scoring a 52-second victory over Laura Cummings of Bay Shore in the 28th annual Runner’s Edge Long Island Women’s 5 Kilometer Run. Petrina also won the Paula Wunderlich Memorial Award as the first member of the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) to finish.
Emily Brust of Mastic scored as the top Wheelchair finisher. A total of 394 women of all ages and levels of ability (a nice increase over the 348 total finishers in 2010) successfully completed the event on what was a very hot morning, and a couple of dozen young women age 12 and under completed the 1/4 mile Fun Run (once around the track) that preceded the 5K.
This winter, the state fiscal watchdog NIFA took over Nassau County’s finances. Now, six months into the “control period” this summer, the authority’s attitude has apparently been heating up to match the seasons.
Meeting July 14 at The Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Uniondale, NIFA’s board of directors employed an impatient and chiding tone, delivering a clear message: Nassau County’s efforts to rectify what NIFA considers to be a financial disaster in the making are not good enough.
Before the dedication ceremony for the new 9/11 Memorial Park, located right across from the Plainview Diner on Old Country Road and Hope Drive, Concerned Citizens of Plainview-Old Bethpage President Carol Meschkow remembered her own experience on the morning of September 11, 2001. The attacks, she said, felt surreal and incomprehensible.
“As the day began to wear on and more and more information was brought to the forefront- [and I] saw more and more people I knew who were touched by the event- I thought we had to do something,” said Meschkow.
That’s what Margaret Flitsch of Poughkeepsie did when she began to wonder about the origins of the majestic eagle sculpture that had been in her family for 50 years. Her grandfather, Albert Fritsch (the family members’ names are one letter apart) a mechanic for the Pennsylvania Railroad, had taken the sculpture home when the station was remodeled in the 1960s, but the family had never known precisely where it came from–although Flitsch had her suspicions.
Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School has officially pronounced Andrew Ren the valedictorian and Ari Turkiewicz the salutatorian of the Class of 2011. The district is proud of both boys for their continued hard work and outstanding record of academic excellence throughout their high school careers.
Not only has Ren successfully completed the most challenging curriculum the district has to offer, completing 12 Advanced Placement classes, he has been awarded an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Commendation, DECA State Award, the Silver Medal in the Long Island Math Fair and an Honorable Mention in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. He was also awarded a Silver Medal in the National Spanish exam and is a scholar athlete.
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