Student assessment, achievement, and the constantly shifting climate of education in general in New York State was the focus of Wednesday’s meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, and as could be expected, parent reaction to these occasionally radical changes were mixed at best.
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Joan Ripley gave a presentation on the new assessments that are being given to Farmingdale students in the 2013-2014 school year. At the core of the discussion was what the administration is looking at in terms of student performance as the district continues to transition to the Common Core Learning Standards, and what the district is doing with that information to improve the overall student learning experience.
“We’re going to continue to fight,” were the words Hofstra Law Professor Stefan Krieger used last October, when he told The Farmingdale Observer about the eight-year-old legal battle between nine Hispanic residents and the Village of Farmingdale, over the redevelopment of 150 Secatogue Avenue.
Once regarded as the epicenter of the Latino-American community in Farmingdale, 150 Secatogue Ave. was home to a 54-unit apartment complex, before being bought by developers with Fairfield Properties, in 2006, for the construction of upscale apartments on the site. While the location was private property, at the time, the plaintiffs had claimed the village and property owners had failed to keep the building up to code, giving the village authority to sell the property and evict tenants, citing health violations for their reasoning to close off the property.
Farmingdale residents with a hankering for crunchy spring rolls now have an outlet to remedy their cravings. Long Island’s first Vietnamese restaurant, The Rolling Spring Roll, opened shop on Main St. in Farmingdale, last July, giving local foodies a chance to experience something unique without leaving the neighborhood.
Joe Bui, the restaurant’s owner and chef, said that he came to the Village of Farmingdale with the goal of giving residents a taste of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
“I wanted to create an alternative to lunches and dinners that people normally have,” Bui said. “This is the kind of food that I want to present to people, and that they get a craving for.”
Just a day after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State address, Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, visited the students and staff at
Farmingdale State College for a special presentation to help decipher Cuomo’s speech.
New York State Assemblyman Chad Lupinnacci and Farmingdale State College President Hubert Keen also attended the presentation on Jan. 9, to learn more about some of the changes in state finance for 2014.
Farmingdale’s Main Street is one step closer to aquiring a new eatery, after village trustees voted to approve permits for the upcoming Village Diner, scheduled to open next month on the site of the former Bollinger’s Family Restaurant, at 282 Main St.
The Village Diner will be a welcome addition to the business landscape of Farmingdale, said Mayor Ralph Ekstrand.
“Originally, it was going to be called ‘The Town Diner,’ but because we wanted that village feel, we asked if they could change the name,” he said. “We like that home town feeling, and we’re looking forward to sitting down and eating some burgers and milkshakes there.”
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was sworn in to a second term on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School. When a paper Bible couldn’t be located, he took the oath of office with his hand on an iPad that had the Bible on-screen. Here is his speech, abridged due to space limitations.
Allow me to start off by saying thank you, Gov. Cuomo, for taking time to join me on this special day. I am deeply honored by your presence. Colleagues in government, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, family and friends: Thank you for celebrating with me today.
Sen. Charles Fuschillo, a Republican state senator representing a sizeable portion of Farmingdale since 1998, announced that as of Jan. 1 he is leaving office to run the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
“This was a hard and bittersweet decision to reach,” said Fuschillo. “The almost 16 years I have spent serving the residents of the 8th Senate District were some of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life.”
Fuschillo, 53, said his is proud of Senate accomplishments during his tenure, including New York State’s landmark Do Not Call Registry, the Clean Indoor Air Law, stronger penalties for drunk drivers and protections for individuals with autism. New York State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos called Fuschillo a key ally, but appreciated the attractions of this opportunity.
While many enjoyed a relaxing sabbatical, this holiday season, the Farmingdale Fire Department was hard at work. On Dec. 28, firefighters were called to a blaze at 11 Vernon Street that emerged from inside the basement of the house.
Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Tortoso was the first to arrive. Storming into the first floor of the house, Chief Tortoso secured the building, making sure nobody was trapped inside.
At the scene, Fire Squad 924 Captain Ryan Tortoso led his crew to stretch a hose line to the back of the house, where the bilco doors were left open in order to vent out the smoke.
The nation’s new Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has a provision that could put local fire departments—as well as local governments—at considerable financial risk. Firefighting departments with 50 or more members could be forced to provide health insurance for their volunteer firefighters or else pay substantial fines.
“It would really hurt the volunteer fire departments,” said William F. Murray, president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association of Southern New York.
The health care law has specific insurance requirements for employers with 50 or more employees. While the U.S. Department of Labor terms these firefighters “volunteers,” the Internal Revenue Service classifies volunteer firefighters as employees.
Students returning from their two-week hiatus, will find that the cost of lunch at Farmingdale High School and Howitt Middle School has increased for the first time in nine years. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Farmingdale school district will increase all full priced school lunches by .25 cents. This will not affect the school breakfast program, nor will it affect students who qualify for free or reduced price meals.
“The Farmingdale school district is committed to providing all students with nutritious, well-balanced meals in a welcoming environment while striving to maintain low school lunch prices,” said Assistant Superintendent Paul Defendini, in a letter to parents in the school district.
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