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Fighting For School Funds

Restore state high-tax to this year’s levels. That’s the most important message that the Farmingdale School District’s Legislative Action Committee tried to get across when members of the committee recently traveled to Albany to present the Farmingdale School District’s 2013-14 legislative proposals. According to Farmingdale School District officials, Governor’s Cuomo’s proposed budget would remove $1.4 million in high-tax aid to Farmingdale.

“That’s a big number considering we have a 2 percent tax cap,” said Assistant Superintendent for Administration Barbara J. Horsley. “We’re asking, just return the high-tax aid. Just make it what it was.”

Horsley added that while Farmingdale is fighting for its fair share, it’s an issue that affects many Long Island school districts. 

She said that of the $50 million in high-tax aid removed from Governor Cuomo’s executive budget, $37 million of it comes from Long Island. And while efforts are being made to stop this cut in this year’s budget, there is also concern for the future.

“We’re worried that it’s a trend,” said Horsley, adding that programs could be at risk if Long Island continues to see a decline in aid from New York State.

The Legislative Action committee consists of students, teachers, administrators, community members and members of the Board of Education. Horsley said that committee members go to their lawmakers in the fall and when more budget information becomes available, a group travels to Albany to meet with lawmakers representing Farmingdale as well as members of the Education Finance Committee. Horsley said that in addition to getting Farmingdale’s message to state officials, the committee also is a learning experience for students who participate on it. Farmingdale School District Superintendent of Schools John Lorentz said that Farmingdale students well represented the school district.

“The Legislative Action Committee is dedicated to representing the pressing needs of our community,” said Lorentz,. “Our students were able to listen to their peers, faculty, and administrators, and create succinct and well thought-out proposals for the legislators they met with.”

The committee also proposed to legislators an agenda requesting additional educational funding from the state and federal governments. One aspect of their discussion emphasized the importance of ‘Teacher Center Programs.’ Students urged legislators to continue funding the program because of its core principles, which emphasize teacher mentoring and staff development. The main objective of the program is the enhancement of student learning, the foundation of any educational system.

Budget discussions are now underway, and a budget must be adopted by April. The next school board meeting will be held this Thursday, March 20.

News

There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.

Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.

It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.

An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.


Sports

It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.

“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 


Calendar

Board of Education Special Meeting

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Movies on the Green: The Nut Job

Thursday, Aug. 28

Warbirds Legends Weekend

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com