It was a successful rookie year for Garden City’s Crazy Creators, one of several Garden City FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams to snap up awards at the 10th annual Long Island FLL Qualifying Tournament, held on Feb. 1 in Central Islip. The Crazy Creators walked away with two of the 12 awards: First place for ‘Robot Performance,’ which is given to the team with the highest score in the tournament’s robot game, and first place for ‘Programming,’ which is given for innovative programming of the robot used in the competition.
At the Jan. 29 Garden City Chamber of Commerce 2014 kick-off luncheon at the Garden City Hotel, the four extraordinary individuals to be feted at the 12th annual Pineapple Ball gala were named. To be held at the Garden City Hotel on Friday evening, May 9, the Pineapple Ball is highly regarded as Garden City’s premier business and social event. Guests will celebrate the honorees while enjoying a fabulous repast and dance to the music of the renowned Alex Doner Orchestra.
Garden City Turkey Trot Committee (Race Director Ken Aneser) has been named “Citizen(s) of the Year.” This prestigious award was established in 1970 to recognize outstanding service and efforts which have contributed to the high standards, quality of life and well-being of the Garden City community and beyond. Started in 1978, the Garden City Turkey Trot is Long Island’s largest and oldest Thanksgiving Day road race and grown to more than 5,000 runners. Race Director Ken Aneser serves along with a dedicated race committee which includes Kevin Coffey, Bob Freeman, Chris Giarraputo, Mike Kopcak, Mark Robertson, Charlie Lee, Ian Paisley, Bob Priest, Phil Puccio, Tim Tobin and Rob Votruba.
The Garden City school board has proposed a budget that would increase taxes by 1.67 percent (with STAR) for the 2014-2015 year.
The board presented its first recommendations for the proposed budget, which is $109,329,898, an increase of $1,727,532 from last year. While this is good news on the surface, superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen made his annual cautionary warning about the preliminary nature of this stage of the budget proposal.
On the morning of Saturday, Feb. 8, the Incorporated Village of Garden City officially unveiled the initial draft its initial spending plan for 2014-15 in its 32nd annual public budget overview meeting, and according to village trustee and chairperson of the finance committee Richard Silver, it is a budget that is both economically sound and fiscally responsible.
Silver addressed a recently released Municipality Stress Assessment report by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. This report is intended to serve as an financial early-warning system to municipalities and Silver indicated that, of the four ratings available, Garden City had received a rating of “Susceptible to Stress,” which he explained the reasoning for in detail.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, Garden City elementary and primary school students were treated to an exciting basketball exhibition between some of their very own teachers and the slamtastic Harlem Wizards. The semi-annual matchup was held in the Garden City High School gymnasium and benefited the Garden City Scholarship Fund.
After a close game filled with everything from slam-dunks to a Harlem Shake video, the Wizards came away with a victory over the teachers with a final score of 95 to 91.
Back-to-back storms have pushed the Department of Public Works (DPW) budget at least $100,000 over department projections as snow removal crews and supplies were in high demand this month.
“The salt and sand budget is out of whack. Overtime is off the wall and we’re only halfway through,” DPW director Robert Mangan said at a village board meeting that was held on Thursday, Feb. 6. “It’s one of those peak years.”
St. Joseph School (SJS) celebrated everything that makes it special during the last week of January, also known as Catholic Schools Week. This year’s theme for the week, “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service,” was evident from the scheduled activities. The week began with a special mass on Sunday morning where the school shared its enthusiasm for Catholic education with the community. After mass, St. Joseph School hosted an open house for current and prospective students which included guided tours of the school by parents and current students and breakfast in the gym.
Governor Andrew Cuomo may have recently announced the members of the Common Core Implementation Panel, which will undertake an immediate and comprehensive review of the rollout of the Common Core standards in New York State, but it hasn’t assuaged the concerns of Garden City parents. The Garden City Board of Education recently opened up to the public what wound up being a two-hour plus work session having to do with Common Core on Tuesday, Feb. 4. With roughly 40 to 50 people in attendance, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Teresa Prendergast gave a thorough Common Core presentation complete with slides and handouts as a means of offering clarity on this highly controversial and complex state standards initiative.
The third annual “Will Sing For Food” concerts returned to Freeport and Garden City, performing to enthusiastic crowds and raising awareness, funds, and food donations for area food pantries. The concerts were organized by Andrew Morreale and Melissa Ryan, and were under the musical direction of George Petersen, music director at The First Presbyterian Church of Freeport. More than 30 talented musicians and vocalists representing both communities performed a variety of music from pop to rock and folk to the American Songbook. Cathryn Mezzo compiled firsthand accounts of people living with and working against hunger and crafted them into spoken vignettes that put a human face to the ongoing issue.
The word champion really sums up the students who were honored at a special “Breakfast for Champions” recently held at Garden City High School. The 13 students were selected from a large number of nominations by teachers in the various departments. Each department then chose only one student to be its “Champion”—a student who modeled citizenship and embodied dedication to the content area. These “Champions” were honored with heart-warming testimonials by their nominating teachers at the breakfast, accepting certificates in front of their parents, and teachers and administrators.
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