When you first meet Maurice “Bugs” Bower, it’s easy to be struck by the fact that this 90-something gentleman easily looks 20 years younger than his actual age. But it’s when he goes into high gear (which is seemingly most of the time), that the veteran producer/arranger starts to pull you in. But then again, who wouldn’t be drawn in once names like Dizzy Gillespie, The Beatles, Joe Pesci, Liza Minnelli and Richard Burton come up. The beauty of it all is that these anecdotes and more can be found in Bower’s self-published autobiography, Nice Stories About Nice People.
Among the nice people mentioned in Bower’s memoirs are Merv Griffin (“He had perfect pitch and total recall”), Steve Allen (“He couldn’t read music, but he could sit at the piano and play any piece of music he heard”) and Perry Como (“the most wholesome family man God ever made”). Very much written in a manner reflecting the legendary arranger/producer’s rat-a-tat delivery, Nice Stories is the kind of quasi-autobiography sure to not only resonate with an older generation of pop fan, but aficionados enamored by the music industry and its lengthy history. And while parties interested in purchasing it can reach out to Bower directly, the capricious nonagenarian is actively seeking a means of distribution that’ll get it on Amazon and in brick-and-mortar outlets.
School Budget Passes:
BOE Trustee Election:
Barbara Trapasso – 1,252
Laura Hastings – 1,268
This year’s vote for the 2013-14 school budget wound up being a far more subdued affair than last year’s vote, which had the pall of the first year's instituting of the New York State Property Tax Cap hanging over it. Residents approved passage of this year’s proposed $107,602, 366 budget by a margin of 1,436 (65.4 percent) in favor versus 760 against. This year’s expenses are $3,386,838 (3.25 percent) higher than what was passed for 2012-13.
A number of factors contributed to this up tick in the budget. Mandated pension contributions represented a major expense, as did debt service, which came to a total of $6,578,879, an increase of $605,029 over last year. This represents the combined monies owed for three bonds: the 2009 School Investment Bond, the 2005 middle school athletic field bond and the 1999 bond for district-wide building improvements. It also includes the district’s Energy Performance Contract (EPC).
Charlene Schwartz Kalin’s house looks like any other suburban home on the surface with a well-kept lawn, a glass front door and dogs that bark when someone rings the doorbell. However, while sitting on her white living room couch surrounded by boxes full of paintings and picture frames, it’s clear that the room is also somewhat of an art studio.
In one of these cases is a pile of vibrant watercolor paintings that are waiting to be displayed at the Garden City Public Library starting on June 3 and will remain there until June 28. It will be Schwartz Kalin’s first solo exhibit.
On May 8, more than 500 fashionably dressed women converged on the Garden City Hotel for the Sid Jacobson JCC’s tenth annual Friendship Circle Luncheon. Notable celebrities on hand were Good Day New York co-host Rosanna Scotto, who was also the event’s MC, and singer/actress Megan Hilty from the Broadway play Wicked and NBC’s hit drama Smash, who entertained the ladies with her favorite songs from both shows.
The Friendship Circle Luncheon was started 10 years ago by Denise Silverberg, as a way to raise money for programs providing support for adults in their 30s, 40 s and 50s that are afflicted by Alzheimer’s. Silverberg’s mother has the disease, so she understands firsthand the role of a caregiver and the stresses involved in taking care of someone who has it.
Deputy Mayor Nicholas Episcopia attended the HUB Stakeholders Meeting held by Nassau County’s consultants on the Transportation Project. He was joined by EPOA President Judy Courtney, Vice President Chris Mullaney, and Director Leo Stimmler, as well as William Bellmer, a member of the Garden City Planning Commission, Dorothy Episcopia, past EPOA president, and former mayor Robert Rothschild. Bob Schoelle and Brian Ridgeway attended the afternoon session. Garden City is a stakeholder because a large portion of the village lies within the defined HUB area.
As presented, the currently preferred alternative transportation plan appears reasonable and eliminates the construction of a light rail system that would run from the Mineola Station, south behind Arthur Street, and east along the spur adjacent to St. James Street South, as was initially proposed. Nonetheless, as we have consistently done over the years, we will continue to monitor plans for the transportation project and strongly express our opinion if we believe any aspect of this project would be detrimental to the quality of life in Garden City.
Stewart Manor Fire Department (SMFD) Captain George Somerset is the recent recipient of Nassau County’s Firematic Award. Citing his “extraordinary leadership skills,” Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano honored Somerset at a ceremony, which included Nassau County Chief Fire Marshal Scott D. Tusa, Fire Commissioner Rick Gardner, Comptroller George Maragos and members of the SMFD. JetBlue Vice President Richard Smyth was also on hand and awarded Somerset with one of 50 roundtrip airline tickets he doled out to thank first responders for their dedicated service following Hurricane Sandy.
“I can always count on him to be there,” said SMFD Chief Thomas Skinner, who nominated Somerset for the award. “Serving as lieutenant and captain, George has been a dedicated firefighter and training officer since he joined the department.”
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.
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.
It’s two weeks and counting until Garden City residents will head to the polls and vote on the proposed 2013-14 school budget. May 21 is the date, mirroring the rest of Nassau County’s public school districts.
At a public hearing at the high school on Tuesday, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen once again gave a detailed explanation on the proposed $107 million budget, explaining why voters should say ‘yes’ on the 21st.
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