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FREE Teams Up With Heart Gallery NYC

Written by Jennifer Gewant and Karen Gellender Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

Members of FREE photography club receive advice from professional photographers as Heart Gallery NYC helps foster children find homes

Family Residences and Essential Enterprises (FREE), an organization based in Old Bethpage, strives to help individuals of all abilities realize their full potential. On Wednesday, June 27, FREE joined forces with Heart Gallery NYC for a special day to help foster children find homes while mentoring differently-abled people involved in FREE’s services.

At the event, members of FREE’s photo club had a rare opportunity to be mentored and critiqued by professional photographers. All photographers volunteer for Heart Gallery, a unique organization that takes professional portraits of children in need of families and a place to call home. The members of FREE’s photo club took portraits of these children alongside Heart Gallery’s experts for their own photography portfolios.


Plainview Firefighters Rescue Exotic Bird From Tree

Friday, 06 July 2012 00:00

On Thursday, June 28 at approximately 6:30 p.m., the Plainview Fire Department dispatcher received a very unusual type rescue call from a home owner on Elmwood Court in Plainview. The caller stated that his exotic bird had flown the coop and was stuck it a tree in front of his house, going on to ask if there was anything the fire department could do. Firefighters were surprised: they’d fielded calls for cats stuck in trees, but never before a bird.


Legislators Fight To Avoid Costly Use Of New Voting Machines

Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman: Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

Schimel, Martins spearheaded push to allow villages, school districts and special districts to continue to use lever voting machines

Reaching across the aisle, working together to save their constituents the considerable expense of a costly state mandate, New York State Senator Jack Martins and New York State Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel fought for legislation that they say “ensures the democratic process will go on in local communities without a costly mandate that would ultimately have to be borne by taxpayers.” The Republican state senator and the Democratic assemblywoman combined forces to pass legislation that allows villages, school districts and special districts to continue using lever voting machines as they have in the past for an additional two years. Without this legislation, local governments and school districts would be forced to purchase or rent electronic voting machines at an exorbitant cost or use paper ballots in conducting their local elections.

SUNY Old Westbury Hosts Forum On Charter School

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 29 June 2012 00:00

Residents concerned about funding, curriculum for proposed Doshi STEM Charter School on SUNY campus

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 15-year-olds in the United States rank 20th in science proficiency and 30th in math proficiency worldwide. Calvin O. Butts, president of SUNY College at Old Westbury, thinks that this tendency for young people to lag behind the rest of the developed world in math and science is especially hurtful in this area.

“I found this to be a constant discussion; no matter what forum, no matter where on Long Island,” said Butts, who serves on both the board of the Long Island Association and as a member of the Long Island Regional Economic Development. High school students aren’t achieving at the level in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math) that may be necessary to prepare them for the careers of the future, and Butts and members of the college’s council feel something must be done about it. Their proposed solution, and the subject of the Monday, June 25 open forum at the student union on campus, is to open a new STEM-focused charter school, slated to open as soon as the fall of 2013.


Library Offers New Digital Services Starting This Summer

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
Being able to download a library book to your tablet or e-reader has been a convenient option for several years now. In theory, it’s great; rather than having to go to the library and hope to get your hands on one of the few copies of the latest bestseller, you can download the book in the comfort of your own home and not even have to worry about any fingerprints (or worse, coffee stains.)

However, at least for Nassau residents, there’s one small problem with this system: when you try to get a hot title from the Nassau Digital Doorway, the system that all county libraries participate in, there may be 200 people in line in front of you. It may not be the hot title anymore if you have to wait several months to read it.


POB BOE Says Goodbye To Retirees, Superintendent Dempsey

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 22 June 2012 00:00
While the latest meeting of the POB CSD Board of Education may have opened with song and dance, the final meeting of the year was a somber affair: the district said goodbye to many retirees, including Deputy Superintendent, Office of Human Resources Arthur Jonas and Superintendent Gerard Dempsey Jr.

The Monday, June 18 meeting opened with a performance of God Bless America by the B-Sharps, the district’s all male a capella group, who went on to perform other songs in their polished, barbershop quartet style. Following the vocal group, the full cast of the high school’s recent production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying took to the stage to perform a medley of numbers from the show.


Caring For The One Who Cares Most

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

Caring for the Caregiver at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church helps caregivers to realize they are entitled to a life of their own

Many people provide regular care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member not for any compensation, but out of love. However, while love may be priceless, the value of the time and energy these people expend is not: The National Alliance for Caregiving estimates that if all those in the United States who currently take care of their loved ones for free were to charge for their services, they would collectively be owed approximately $450 billion in wages per year. Obviously, what many caregivers provide out of the goodness of their hearts has tremendous value, in every sense of the word.

The problem is that while people in need may be saving a cool $450 billion on nursing expenses, there is always a toll to be paid, and in this instance it is the caregivers themselves who invariably pay it. Caregivers often become so busy caring for their relatives that they lack the time to care for themselves, often to the point where their own health is negatively affected. No one thinks that people should stop caring for people they love, but after a while, one has to ask: Who cares for the caregiver?


POB Library Ready To Kick Off Summer Reading Season

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

This year, children are encouraged to ‘Read for the Gold’ from June 25 through Aug. 12

As the weather heats up, children’s thoughts rapidly change from vocabulary and fractions to hitting the beach, splashing around in the pool, or just whiling away some time in the shade with a fruity popsicle. It can be hard to tear their attention away from summer fun in the sun to getting some reading done, but the staff Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library are pros at it: their innovative program, which features interaction with teen role models as well as the usual events and prizes, gets kids all over the community reading throughout the summer.

Most libraries have some kind of summer reading program for children, but the program at POB is special for several reasons. First of all, the staff at the library’s Family Center is given a lot of freedom to change and improve the program, making it a unique entity compared to others throughout New York. For example, instead of adopting this year’s statewide theme, “Dream Big READ,” the staff decided to adopt a more current “Read For The Gold” theme, based on the 2012 Olympics. In addition to making the program stand out from other cookie-cutter programs, library director Gretchen Browne says the little boys especially respond well to the Olympic theme.


POB BOE Votes To Challenge July 1 APPR Deadline

Written by Karen Gellender: Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

Also decides to hold off on building Fern Place parking lot after hearing residents’ concerns

As per usual, there was a lot on the agenda at the Monday, June 4 meeting of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District Board of Education, however the most notable for those following the ongoing saga of the proposed Fern Place School parking lot over the past few weeks was the board’s decision to hold off on building the $80,000 lot in light of extensive community opposition.

Superintendent Gerard Dempsey reported that he and buildings and grounds director Kim Parahus had recently met with fifteen different families from the neighborhood around Fern Place to discuss concerns about building a second parking lot. Though not all residents agreed, many said that parking on the street in front of their homes was not as extensive as it had been in the past, and they did not feel the additional parking lot was necessary.


Nassau County Continues Empire State Games Traditions

Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

In 2011, New York State eliminated all funding for the Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged and Nassau County returned for the second year to help preserve and maintain the games.

“The young student athletes who are able to participate in the weekend of events are truly inspirational to watch,” County Executive Ed Mangano said. “As you see them cross the finish line, you see the smiles on their faces and tears of joy in their eyes. For one weekend, they get to compete with their friends from across New York State, share their stories and continue to build long-lasting friendships.”


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