Westbury’s own Lt. Col. Spann Watson, a Congressional Gold Medal recipient who, during World War II served as a P-51 Mustang pilot with the famed Tuskegee Airmen’s 99th Fighter Squadron, passed away at Winthrop-University Hospital on April 15. He was 93 years old.
In 1941, Mr. Watson, a 25-year-old man from South Carolina joined nearly 1,000 African-American aviators for training at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and broke the color bar banning black pilots in the United States military. It wasn’t until March 2007 – nearly 66 years later – that he was recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal. One of the country’s most distinguished and highest honors, the Congressional Gold Medal is considered the congressional equivalent to and holds the same degree of prestige as the Presidential Medal of Freedom (awarded personally by the president), yet in our nation’s history, fewer have been awarded.
Standard & Poors Financial Services LLC (S&P), the world’s global leader in municipal bond credit rating, this week granted the Village of Westbury a bond rating upgrade from the current A1 rating issued by Moody’s Investor Services. S&P granted the village a AA- rating in connection with the village’s latest bond offering. In issuing the upgraded rating, S&P cited the village’s “strong financial position,” “moderate debt burden,” and “still-strong” unreserved fund balance as key factors to its rating.
One hundred years ago, the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest building; 95 percent of people were born at home, and there were only 45 states in the union. These are only a fraction of the changes Rose Romano has witnessed in her 100 years of life.
“I don’t feel any different,” Romano said at her recent 100th birthday party. “I think going to the senior [center] had something to do with it.”
The Village of Westbury and Lowe Properties, the owner and proposed developer of the Westbury movie theater redevelopment project, last week agreed on an amendment to their previously-executed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).
The amendment became necessary when Lowe advised the village several weeks ago that it was abandoning a key element of its proposal: the construction of a parking deck over the Madison Avenue municipal lot. The parking that would have been provided by that deck and lot was supposed to provide the applicant with the minimum number of parking spaces deemed necessary by the village to allow the project to move forward. Once Lowe announced that it had decided not to build the deck, the future of the project was thrown into doubt.
Rumors that Dr. Clark-Snead had accepted a position in a New Jersey school district began circulating locally in late February and, on March 26, the website NewJersey.com posted an article that appeared in the Teaneck Suburbanite newspaper confirming Dr. Clark-Snead had been appointed superintendent of the Teaneck School District, effective July 1, 2010.
A member of the village’s board for a decade, Peter Cavallaro began his mayoral term in April 2009. As Cavallaro approaches the anniversary of his first year in office, The Westbury Times sat down with him as he reflected on his transition from board trustee to mayor, his first year at the helm and what’s in store for 2010.
Cavallaro, a private practice attorney for over 20 years with experience in corporate and municipal law, land use and zoning, was first elected to the village board in 1999. Prior, he served as a member of the village’s planning board for almost 12 years. As trustee, he served as commissioner of both public works and personnel and was an audit and claims commissioner and building department liaison.
With a 39-37 lead at the end of the third quarter in a game against Newark Central High School, from the Rochester area, on Saturday, March 20, the Westbury High School Green Dragons were just one quarter away from playing for the state championship. However, Newark would outscore Westbury 18-9 in the final quarter, ending the Green Dragons’season. However, the loss can’t take away from the outstanding seasons coach Dave Graff and the boys had.
On Friday, March 19, as part of Women’s History Month, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and junior and seniors at Westbury High School explored the life of three famous African-American women through an interactive program offered by Cablevision’s Power to Learn, a multi-faceted initiative dedicated to integrating technology into education, and the AETN Biography Channel. Also participating in the program was A&E Television Networks Chief Historian Dr. Libby O’Connell.
In last week’s Village of Westbury election, Beaumont Jefferson was elected to the board after running unopposed. He will complete the year remaining on the term he was appointment to last July after former trustee Peter Cavallaro was elected mayor.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Viviana Russell recently joined U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and a cadre of local and state elected officials to host a community briefing to announce a $892,000 North Hempstead grant award to help meet capital costs for the proposed New Cassel Community Center.
“This all started with a visioning process where this community made it clear what they wanted from government,” said Kaiman. “They wanted a Main Street with a pharmacy, a bank, and a supermarket. They also wanted more housing and a community center. I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand for walking the walk with us.”
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