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Mayor's Report: December 19, 2013

Congratulations—Garden City Girls Soccer Champs

Throughout the years our young people’s many academic, cultural and athletic accomplishments bring well deserved credit to themselves, the Garden City High School and to our community. It is not uncommon for the Garden City High School teams to advance to a Long Island Championship and to move ahead to the New York State Championship games. Incredibly, on Sunday, Nov. 17, the Garden City High School Girls Soccer Team competed in the New York State Girls Class A Soccer Championship, and was victorious.

The Girls Soccer Team coached by Head Coach Mike Heedles, Assistant Coach Scott McAuley and Junior Varsity Coach Mark Quigley, defeated Honeoye Falls-Lima by a score of 1-0 to bring home the State Class A Title. Garden City finished this season with a record of 17-3-1.

On behalf of the board of trustees, I offer congratulations to all of the coaches and the girls on the team, it is truly a testament to all of the team for all their hard work and dedication this season.

Toys For Tots Program

Once again, the Garden City Police Department has been designated as a gift depository for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Toys for Tots Program. As we all know, it has been a very difficult year, not only with the lagging economy, but the extra added burden from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that has affected us all.

There are many displaced families who will not have the resources to provide a gift for their child this year. In the spirit of giving, I ask that if you are able to do so, please drop off an unused, unwrapped gift into the collection box in the lobby of the Garden City Police Department by Dec. 19. Your generosity will be most appreciated.

Year-End Reminders

Village offices will be closed, at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 24 and reopen on Thursday, Dec. 26

Village Hall Holiday Schedule: The village hall will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 24, in observance of the Christmas holiday and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26. Village offices will also close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31, in observance of the New Year’s holiday and will re-open at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan 2. For your convenience, correspondence may be placed in the letter slot at the easterly entrance to village hall.

The second half of village taxes. which were due and payable on Dec. 1, are subject to penalty if payment is not made within a 30-day grace period. This year payments received after Tuesday, Dec. 31, will be subject to penalty. Please return the “second half” bill stub with your payment made payable to the Incorporated Village of Garden City. Please note that village hall will close at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 31, and remain closed on Wednesday, Jan. 1 in observance of the New Year’s holiday. As stated above, tax payments may be placed in the letter slot at the easterly entrance to village hall.

Veterans Real Property Tax Exemption: The deadline for applications for Veterans tax exemptions is Tuesday, Dec. 31. (As stated above, village offices close at noon on this day). Applications cannot be accepted after the close of business on that date.

Board Of Trustees Meeting Schedule

The next regularly scheduled board of trustees meeting will be held on Dec. 19. I encourage all residents to attend board of trustees meetings so as to be thoroughly informed of village issues from a first-hand perspective.

Holiday Safety

While we enjoy the holidays it’s easy to understand that many holiday traditions have the potential to put us at an increased risk for fire, and during the holidays it can be especially challenging to keep fire safety in mind with many other things competing for our attention. By understanding where holiday fire hazards exist, and taking some simple preventative steps to avoid them, people can greatly reduce their risk to fire and keep everyone in good cheer. Fire Chief Charles Cavarra has asked that I share the following tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

Christmas Trees

In the United States, fire departments annually respond to 250 home structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree. Here are some guidelines for picking, placing and lighting a tree:

• If you have an artificial tree, be sure that it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

 • If you choose a fresh tree, please make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched. Before placing it in its stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk and add water to the tree stand and be sure to water it daily.

• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

• Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.

• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

• Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

• After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and will extend their life.

Cooking

According to NFPA, unattended cooking is the leading cause of United States home fire injuries. Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Under no circumstances should you throw water on a grease fire to extinguish it as it will explode and spread throughout the room. As most cooking fires involve the stove-top, keep anything that can catch fire away from it and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking. For homes with children, create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

Candles

Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. NFPA statistics show more than half of all candle fires start because the candle was too close to things that could catch fire. Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom where two of five United States candle fires begin or other areas where people may fall asleep. Lastly, never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.

Please Continue To Shop In Garden City

The residents of Garden City are very fortunate to have viable retail businesses on Seventh Street, Franklin Avenue and New Hyde Park Road where there is a good variety of quality merchandise and family dining experiences available to be enjoyed. Please support these businesses and enjoy the products, variety and outstanding customer service. Keep in mind that these merchants save you from traveling outside the village for your needs. Consider the harsh reality if we did not have these businesses here to service our needs. I look forward to seeing everyone in town.

News

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted budget.  


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



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