The Town of Oyster Bay Board held its first meeting of 2013. Town Supervisor John Venditto wished everyone a Happy New Year before the board got down to rather mundane business. First was a public hearing to consider hydrant rental by the Oyster Bay Water District for 2013.
“Each year we go through the routine,” remarked Venditto.
No residents spoke at the public hearing, which ended quickly, and a resolution pertaining to the decision was approved later. In all, the board passed 40 resolutions. Among them:
The hundreds who gathered in Mineola for the last meeting of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission on Jan. 3 didn’t throw any tomatoes at the front of the room, but some came close. For more than four hours, approximately 50 speakers lambasted the map proposed by the Republican side of the commission, generally characterizing it as a transparent power play with no consideration for the public good or even the law. The Democratic commissioners were not completely spared the public’s ire, but most of the anger was directed at the Republicans; the Democrats’ map, proposed at nearly the last minute on Dec. 31, was praised, although somewhat tepidly, as a fair plan.
Considering that hundreds of angry people were crammed into the Legislative Chambers demanding answers from the Republican commissioners, who by and large didn’t respond, it’s remarkable that tempers didn’t flare more.
It’s only a theoretical possibility, but if a Republican-drawn map for new legislative districts is adopted, Republican incumbents Michael Venditto and Joe Belesi could face each other in a Republican primary this year. The proposed map would place both Venditto and Belesi in the same district.
“There still a lot of speculation and it is still speculation at this point,” commented Venditto about the proposal. “It is not a given that either map proposed by the Republican or Democratic commission members will be the accepted map.”
The issue of redistricting county legislative districts has been a controversial political issue going back to the 2011 elections, when Democrats went to court to stop Republicans from adopting lines drawn by the GOP.
Following the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a full-scale assessment of Long Island’s utility resources and management is still in progress. According to officials at Nassau-Suffolk Water Commissioners Association (NSWCA), lack of adequate preparation and leadership caused failures in nearly every major utility from power to gas to communications, there were no failures or interruption of service among Long Island’s 21 commissioner-run water districts, including South Farmingdale Water District.
At a recent NSWCA meeting held in Hicksville, NSCWA President Robert McEvoy commented, “I’m proud to announce that we (locally run water districts) were the only major utility on Long Island that did not fail to service during Superstorm Sandy.”
After serving in the New York State Assembly for six years, the 17th Assembly District will shift drastically beginning next year. Whereas the district previously went from the western Nassau border to East Meadow, it now extends from East Meadow to the eastern border of Nassau, including a huge portion of Farmingdale. Tom McKevitt has represented the district since early in 2006 and will continue to do so with the new boundaries. So what has impressed him within the new district?
“Farmingdale Library is an incredible facility and I hope to do many events there in the future,” said McKevitt.
This year marked the 71st anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale presented its annual Dropping of the Roses ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7, honoring five Pearl Harbor survivors present for the ceremonial blessing of the roses. Hundreds attended to pay honor and respect to those who perished and those who fought.
This year, Richard Abeles, USS Dale; Gerard Barbosa, USS Raleigh; Bernard Berner, Schofield Barracks; Seymour Blutt, Hickam Field; and Michael Montelione, Schofield Barracks were the guests of honor. Remaining survivors on Long Island, like Frank Castronovo, of Elmont, were unable to attend, due to health issues.
Hiram Cowhey, a second-grader at Northside Elementary School in Farmingdale was selected to perform on Sunday, Dec. 16, as part of the Olympic Ice Show’s Holiday Dreams On Ice cast. The show was held at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.
“It was awesome skating with all the big girls,” Cowhey told the Farmingdale Observer afterward. “And Ross Miner knew how to spell my name.” He has been ice-skating and taking lessons in Bethpage for more than two years. His mother, Shivonne said, “We like him [Hiram] skating in these events so he gets to see the progression within the sport, and the more advanced skills and routines; we also enjoyed watching the show.”
News of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT, struck fear in parents around the world. Although 90 miles away from the tragedy, local schools, including those in the Farmingdale School District, checked and rechecked their safety procedures and policies.
Superintendent of Farmingdale Schools, John Lorentz said, “In the wake of this heartbreaking event, district administrators and staff have reviewed all safety and security measures to assure the community that our students and staff are safe in our schools.”
The Farmingdale School District music department was recently selected as the recipient of the highly prestigious New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Presidential Citation Award, the highest honor recognizing school districts with comprehensive and exemplary music programs. NYSSMA grants this award to districts that are models for music education. Each year, NYSSMA is permitted to select a maximum of two districts from the entire state as recipients of the Presidential Citation Award.
“The Farmingdale School District continues to provide the highest quality academic and extracurricular programs possible in order for our students to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said Farmingdale School District Superintendent John Lorentz. “Earning the highest ranking from NYSSMA is a testament to the outstanding work of our music teachers and students. It is an honor to have NYSSMA recognize the accomplishments of the district’s music program.”
With all the time lost due to Hurricane Sandy, it was inevitable; members of the Farmingdale Board of Education took the superintendent’s recommendation to hold classes on what would have been the balance of winter recess, Feb. 19-22. The decision was made at the recent board meeting held on Dec. 5.
This will allow the district to keep intact the state-mandated 180 days of instruction. This is key because any district that falls under that number loses state aid, in this case, $100,000 a day. This will also allow the district to keep one snow day aside should the need arise in the coming months.
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