As the Republican primary election looms on Sept. 14, there were plenty of fireworks to watch during a recent debate held at the Hewlett-Woodmere Library. The three Republican candidates seeking to take on Democratic incumbent Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th Congressional District race exchanged sharp words on Long Island’s struggling economy, campaign reform and how to tackle job growth.
The current Republican nominee Nassau County Legislator Francis Becker and challengers Frank Scaturro and Dan Maloney sparred and waged personal attacks on each other’s records, backgrounds and the issues themselves.
The Garden City Board of Trustees voted in favor of granting a second one-year extension of the final site plan approval for the townhouse development of the property located at 555 Stewart Avenue. This past June, the village board first granted a one-year extension through September of 2010 and advised the property owner’s attorney, Kevin Walsh, to return this August to obtain further extension.
During the most recent board of trustees meeting, Walsh formally asked the board for a second extension beyond September 2010. Walsh told the board that the owner of the longtime vacant property was in negotiations with a developer. “In terms of progress, it was only two months ago in the summer that I met with you but I will tell you that I indicated then that we were very close on a contract, we are even closer,” Walsh said. “I had hoped to have this resolved. I had expected that if we had met in the first week of September that we would be presenting a joint venture between the current owner and another developer.
If you haven’t driven by Garden City Middle School this summer, you may want to take a moment to have a look. Massive changes have taken place around the exterior of the building as the first phase of construction for the School Investment Bond has been implemented. A reconfiguration of the parking areas and driveway will provide students with safer bus loading and unloading in a new, dedicated area adjacent to the playing fields. Expanded car parking areas are taking shape behind the school and on the west side, adjacent to Stewart Avenue, and new sidewalks follow the contour of the paved areas along the periphery of the building. Expanding on a new driveway and new sidewalks at the front of the middle school, including an additional ADA accessible ramp, is an access road that parallels Stewart and connects the three new parking areas. Below these new parking and roadway areas, a comprehensive drainage system has been installed to manage rain water runoff. On-target for the opening of the 2010-11 school year, parents picking up middle schoolers or drivers along Stewart Avenue at drop-off and dismissal times should notice a significant reduction in congestion and delays. With the new bus area, student safety will be greatly improved, affording a more visible and orderly arrival and dismissal flow.
On Aug. 19, a large crowd of Long Islanders packed Village Hall to attend a public hearing on the St. Paul’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The overwhelming majority of local residents voiced their opposition regarding the proposed demolition of the historic former boy’s school, which one resident described as “the soul of Garden City.”
In 2009, the village board, as the lead agency and owner of St. Paul’s School, issued a positive declaration requiring the preparation of a DEIS for the proposed demolition of St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall. To ensure a comprehensive environmental review in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the potential environmental impacts associated with the demolition were evaluated in the DEIS, which was prepared and ultimately accepted by the board of trustees on June 17, 2010.
Governor David Paterson recently held a news conference at the Nassau County Police Academy in Massapequa Park to announce a new provision to Leandra’s Law, requiring that all individuals convicted of a DWI, even first time offenders with, or without a child in the vehicle to install an ignition interlock system on any vehicle they operate. The provision went into effect on Sunday, Aug. 15.
This is a triumph for the advocates of ignition interlocks, including the local Long Island chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) who have lobbied tirelessly in Albany to remove it from judicial discretion, an optional condition assigned to those convicted of drunken driving.
The sun beamed down brightly over a crowd of spectators who gathered to hear Republican candidate Frank Scaturro address the 4th congressional district at the steps of Theodore Roosevelt County Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola. In an effort to drum up support, Scaturro, who hopes to oust seven-term Democratic incumbent Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, outlined his platforms on the most pressing issues facing Long Islanders and citizens across the nation.
The event opened with a few endorsements from some of the candidate’s most ardent supporters. Mary Ellen Devone, a local attorney and treasurer for the campaign, introduced Scaturro as “a wonderful young man who I see as a great public servant and not as a politician. He has a legal background, worked as Counsel to the Constitution on the State Senate Judiciary Committee and has been active in local Republican politics doing grassroots work since he was a teenager,” Devone said.
All seats were taken for the Garden City Board of Education’s final meeting of the summer. After a long and winding budget season, the Garden City School District announced that the school district is lowering the year-to-year tax levy increase from 4.18 percent to 3.95 percent after being reimbursed by the state for the MTA Payroll Tax.
Superintendent for Business and Finance Al Chase explained that the news was unexpected. “We had some concerns certainly about not only our district but all school districts in general, receiving back the money that we paid in the MTA tax. It had been promised to us some time ago, never received. Of course, the state is still having its fiscal woes and we didn’t believe that we would ever see this money,” he said. At the first of July, the school district received a check from the state reimbursing the district for the amount they paid in MTA tax. Chase recommended to the board that the district reduce the tax levy by $200,000.
Nearly two months after several Franklin Avenue businesses experienced a spree of vandalism, it happened again. On Aug. 2, a paving stone was thrown through a front window of Garden City Pizza, causing more than $4,100 in damage.
According to police reports, the Garden City Detective Division commenced an investigation into the matter and developed a possible suspect involved. On Aug. 4, at approximately 11 p.m., based on information supplied by witnesses in the business community and information they had already gathered, the Garden City Detectives arrested a 15-year-old male for this offense on Seventh Street. The youth was charged with Felony Criminal Mischief and issued an appearance ticket to appear at Family Court and released to his parents.
Mayor Jack Martins revealed last week that sound engineering consultants from all three parties involved in the Verizon noise issues visited the site recently and conducted noise tests. Martins visited the site briefly during the tests, but had to wait outside until the tests were completed.
According to Martins, although he tried to go there to monitor the tests, Verizon did not want anyone who wasn’t certified to participate or be present during the tests. Only the consultants were allowed inside the building.
It was a sight to behold as a sea of people came out for the Lustgarten Foundation’s annual Walk for pancreatic research at Nassau Community College in Garden City. In its 10-year history, the Walk has grown to more than 4,000 participants, and raised more than $6 million for research initiatives. This year, participants as old as 90 to young infants united in memory of lost loved ones and showed support for those suffering from one of the most deadly forms of cancer there is.
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