Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 14 September 2012 00:00
The four public hearings scheduled so far will take place Thursday, Sept. 20 at Long Beach City Hall at 6 p.m.; Monday, Sept. 24 at Elmont Public Library at 7 p.m.; Thursday, Sept. 27 at Glen Cove Landing School at 6 p.m.; and Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the Nassau County Legislative Chambers in Mineola at 6 p.m.
“We’re disappointed that there are a few locations left out, but we’re glad that we have four meetings as of today,” sand Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, commission co-executive director for the Democratic commissioners. However, when Corcoran-Doolin mentioned that additional meeting locations had been proposed by the Democrats but refused by the Republican “side,” Chairman Francis X. Moroney took the opportunity to appeal to the spirit of bipartisanship.
“It’s not one side, or the other side; I think we’re all in this together,” said Moroney.
It may be difficult to forge a sense of camaraderie after last year’s bitter redistricting battle, when a proposed Republican-drawn map drew public ire when many considered the plan to be a prime example of gerrymandering in favor of the party currently in power. After a legal battle that lasted several months, the redistricting plan was finally shot down by the New York State Court of Appeals on Aug. 11, 2011 due to the fact that the process the party had used to create the new map was found to be in violation of the Nassau County Charter (though the map itself was not invalidated.)
However, Moroney told Anton Newspapers that the Republican members of the commission had been advised to scrap the controversial map, and start this new process with a clean slate. Moroney further explained that the commission had abandoned the old map to “free up the debate away from a map that wasn’t implemented, and to allow the commission the opportunity to come up with their own plans and proposals.”
At the Sept. 5 meeting, Democratic commissioners urged Moroney to allow for more public involvement. “We’re talking about towns that are, population-wise, bigger than certain states, [such as] the town of Hempstead. I just think, if we’re going to err, we should err on the side of having more meetings,” said Robert McDonald, Esq. Moroney concurred, and the commissioners agreed to arrange more hearings in other areas of the county, discussing areas like Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library and Manhasset High School as possible venues. Commissioners also discussed post-map hearings to be scheduled at a later date, or hearings to take place after the new maps have been presented to the public.
The only public speaker at the meeting was Nancy Rosenthal, redistricting co-chair for the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Nassau County. Rosenthal read a statement from the league that urged transparency, adherence with the principle “one person, one vote,” and that the proposed plan for districts are “contiguous, reasonably compact and fairly representative of identifiable communities of interest.”
Earlier this year, the league went to the legislature to advocate for a nonpartisan redistricting commission, however the county charter doesn’t explicitly call for one. According to LWV redistricting co-chair Barbara Epstein, the league continues to advocate for a non-partisan solution for future redistricting cycles, although it may require a change to the county charter. Epstein pointed out that there are many successful models for non-partisan redistricting, and one has been implemented as nearby as Westchester.
“There are people and groups out there where this is what they do for a living, so this certainly could happen,” said Epstein. “None of these people on these committees or commissions have the expertise to do it themselves; they just don’t.”
Epstein is concerned with the time frame of the redistricting process; between September and December, the commission must schedule and hold all of the pre-map hearings, take public feedback into account, draw the new map, and hold post-map hearings to solicit feedback on the map itself; it’s a tall order for four months. She noted that the league also has concerns that the divisive 2011 map could be put back on the table, since there’s no reason why the Republican-dominated legislature can’t call for its return.
A revised district map must be submitted to the legislature by Jan. 5, 2013, and the legislature has until Mar. 5 to revise, adopt, or reject the map.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Friends of the Garden City Public Library will sponsor a free lecture, “Life in the Music Business,” with Garden City resident “Bugs” Bower. The legendary music arranger/producer/publisher will be appearing on Thursday, May 30 at 2 p.m. at the Garden City Public Library at 60 Seventh St. to share excerpts from his new book, Nice Stories about Nice People—highlights from his personal experiences in the music business.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
When gardeners begin shopping for spring flowers, they may notice a familiar staple missing: the impatiens.
Impatiens walleriana, which are beloved globally for their wide selection of color and low maintenance, have been affected by a fungus called downy mildew. The fungus first causes tiny spots, then yellowness on the leaves. A few weeks later, all that’s left is the flower’s stem and a frustrated gardener.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
The boys and girls high school teams are both rolling and have their sights set on a long run in the playoffs. Both team have faced a number of formidable opponents throughout the season and have successfully navigated their schedules. One thing that has been consistent for both teams has been that their defenses have had to stand tall at key times and shut down very active offenses. Both Coach Finnell and Coach Chapman have made sure that the non-league schedules of their teams will ensure that their teams are prepared for whatever the playoffs can throw at them.
After going the full season last year undefeated, the boys team has three blemishes on their record with losses to powerhouses Ward Melville, Manhasset and LaSalle of PA. With a 9-3 record the Trojans are looking to wrap up the number two seed in the playoffs to force a rematch of the Manhasset game in the County finals. The boys have excelled defensively only allowing 4.25 goals against per game. And if you remove those three tough losses the goals against average drops to 3.1.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
The Recreation and Parks Department’s new roller hockey rink is now open for general public use by Garden City residents during the following days and times:
Tuesdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Thursdays 3:30 p.m. to dark
Saturdays Noon to 6 p.m.
Sundays - Family Skate 3 to 6 p.m.