At the conclusion of the April 4 Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education Meeting, the district was challenged to go back over the numbers in the proposed budget and find the funds to retain a social worker at the Kindergarten Center, and to potentially hire a new guidance counselor for JFK High School. At the final budget meeting on April 7, it was clear that the district business office had gone over the numbers after all; while they could not find enough “efficiencies” to cover the full cost of both positions ($145,770), the $83,440 reduced from the budget allowed members of the board to feel comfortable voting “yes” to both budget additions, which they had felt compelled to vote down at the previous meeting.
“In 2031, BlindSight will be created,” said sixth-grader Sophie Heinman to an audience of her peers at Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School at a special assembly on April 4. As a part of the Toshiba Exploravision science competition, a team of Project Challenge students—Philip Danziger, Lexi Fryman, Sophie Heinman and Tommy Venezia—needed to not only come up with an idea for a useful invention, but anticipate how science will change 20 years in the future. The group created BlindSight—a device that would utilize projected advances in nanotechnology to enable the blind to see, and allow people to store memories as data that they could later recall. Out of 4,800 teams to enter in the fourth-through-sixth-grade division, only six, including the BlindSight Team—were recognized as regional winners.
Former teen singing sensation and Plainview mother of two Lisa Matassa may often be credited with bringing the country music sound to Long Island- especially now that her EP, Me Time, will soon bring her very own “Long Island Country” style to local radio stations. However, on March 31, she brought a lot of Hollywood-style glamour to Long Island as well. The release party, which featured the premiere of the music video for the single I Don’t Feel Anything as well as a full live performance of the album by Matassa and a team of A-list musicians, brought more flash, excitement and star power to Carlyle at the Palace in Plainview than anyone- except maybe the organizers- had expected.
The evening of Monday, April 4 was an eventful one for the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District; not only did it include a Board of Education Recognition Ceremony, featuring the announcement of the 2011 Valedictorian and Salutatorian, but the board held their last major budget discussion of the season as well. The budget discussion featured many in-depth and, at times, philosophical discussions between board members about the merit of various positions, as the board made difficult decisions concerning which programs to maintain and which to cut for the following year.
In addition to continuing their discussions on the proposed 2011-2012 budget at their March 28 meeting, the Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education discussed comments on the first draft of the district’s new anti-bullying policy, formed with the help of the district’s DASA (Dignity for All Students) Committee. Board members discussed issues raised by parents who had posted their comments on the school’s website, as well as their own concerns about how the fight against bullying behavior should best be conducted.
The Plainview Old Bethpage Library Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on Monday evening in room C & D of the library. After meeting with their lawyer, Lawrence Tennenbaum, for over an hour to discuss staff performance and salary negotiation, the room was opened up to the public.
On Jan. 19, 2008, 16-year-old Brian Assa died in a car accident on Woodbury Road in Plainview. After his son’s death, Jerry Assa started the Think First Foundation, Inc. to talk to teens about taking their safety seriously, not only for their own sake, but for all those who care about them as well. However, Assa is hopeful that pending legislation may see to it that fewer teens share his son’s fate; so much so, that he said that he ended all of his talks on a recent trip to Washington D.C. with the same comment: “If this had been passed three years ago, I wouldn’t need to have the Think First Foundation today, because my son would still be alive.”
“I can’t get no satisfaction from the judge,” sang Chuck Berry in a lyric that may well articulate emotions around Nassau headquarters this week after an injunction County Executive Edward P. Mangano was seeking against NIFA’s takeover was denied in New York State Supreme Court and plans for major budget cuts began in order to fill what NIFA views as a deficit.
State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond issued a 30-page decision dated March 11, 2011 in favor of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), dismissing Nassau’s efforts to prove that the control period enacted on Jan. 26 of this year was unconstitutional.
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