Christmas came early for this Nelson DeMille fan. In years past, bounding down the stairs behind my children on Christmas morning to find a Nelson DeMille novel on the top of my gift pile, or to see one peeking out from my stocking, was enough to put a smile on my face. But this year, on Dec. 11, I was granted a special wish: to sit down and chat with the man behind such famed characters as John Sutter, John Corey and Kate Mayfield.
I was introduced to DeMille’s novels back in 1991, as I commuted to work aboard the LIRR. As I sat in my seat, I recall seeing several other passengers engrossed in the same book, The Gold Coast. My interest was piqued, so I purchased a copy. Before long, I wasn’t traveling through Woodside, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens to pick up the Hempstead line but was transported to “the Gold Coast, that stretch on the North Shore of Long Island that once held the greatest concentration of wealth and power in America.” I was hooked.
In the true spirit of the holiday season, Garden City Mayor Donald Brudie announced at the Dec. 15 board meeting that residents Bob and Pat Kaliban offered a gift to the village of $11,300 to pay for repairs to the roof and clock tower on St. Paul’s main building after it was damaged by Hurricane Irene in August. However, the feeling of “goodwill towards men” soon dissipated as the board trustees became inflamed during arguments over procedural matters and whether or not donation should be accepted by the village for public property.
Holding a cashier’s check in hand, the mayor read a letter from the Kalibans regarding the donation: “We are truly saddened, and at the same time, incensed that out trustees do not see fit to even repair storm damage to the main building of St. Paul’s. It’s difficult to watch an elected group of men dance around the semantics of the situation while allowing water damage to further destroy the interior of so stately an edifice.”
The Garden City Board of Education wrapped up its 2011 school year with a final meeting held on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at Garden City High School. The Board unanimously approved a contract agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) for 170 district employees. The Superintendent of Schools also announced that the district could be receiving aid from New York State next year.
At the start of the meeting, Board of Education President Colleen Foley bestowed a certificate of appreciation to John Sullivan for over a decade of “dedicated and devoted” service to the Garden City Union Free School District as a member of the Audit Committee and also welcomed longtime resident Frederick Leuffer as its newest member.
Six months ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Lynbrook to sign the 2 percent tax cap legislation, a bill he called a decade-long battle for that legislation in New York State. On Monday, Dec. 12, Cuomo visited West Hempstead’s Cornwell Avenue School to sign the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Creation bill, which has been touted by the governor and supporting senators as bringing real tax relief to businesses and the middle class in New York State.
The state legislature passed the bill on Dec. 7.
It’s been documented that the first hamburger sandwich was served in 1900 in New Haven, Ct. After more than 100 years of flipping out for burgers, Americans can still recapture the ultimate burger experience at Bobby’s Burger Palace at Roosevelt Field Mall.
On Monday, Dec. 5, Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Hempstead Town officials held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome celebrity chef and restaurateur Bobby Flay to Garden City. “America’s largest township and America’s favorite chef are cooking up a recipe for success together and if anybody knows how to put the right ingredients for success together, it’s Bobby Flay,” Murray said.
The Board of Education wrapped its final work session of 2011 with a discussion centering on the current status and accounting of projects funded by the $36.5 million 2009 investment bond. After it was announced that completed projects have come in under budget, board members weighed in on what additional ‘B List’ items may or may not be undertaken using the surplus of monies available.
On Oct. 27, 2009, residents approved Garden City School District’s $36.5 million bond referendum by a vote of 1140 to 829, to fund upgrades to all nine of the district’s buildings to meet basic safety and code requirements, as well as reclaim learning space for academic growth, according to the district’s website.
The Garden City Chamber of Commerce held its 57th annual Village Tree Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Village Gazebo. Sponsored for the 17th year by Astoria Federal Savings, the event featured the Crash & Burn rock band with a selection of holiday tunes and the Garden City High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by Robert Ludwig.
It’s the season of giving and there’s never been a better time to help support Garden City merchants than in the upcoming weeks. Shop locally and shop in the Village of Garden City has been the impassioned message promoted by John Wilton, the chairman of the Merchant Professional Retailers Group.
Garden City’s Merchant, Professional and Retailers Group, a Committee of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, is a coalition of local merchants, shopkeepers, business, medical and professionals. The Group’s collective goal is “to continue to develop an ongoing advertising and marketing campaign to encourage Garden City residents and members of the business community, to direct their consumer dollars to core village businesses; additionally, to create a marketing campaign to draw consumer dollars from neighboring communities,” according to its website.
What is the true value of St. Paul’s? Well, the answer will soon have a monetary value attached to it. At its most recent board meeting, the Garden City Board of Trustees approved the inclusion of St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall on the list of village-owned buildings to be appraised for insurance purposes by Gallagher Basset Services, Inc. at a cost of $6,875.
Before voting on the item, Trustee Brian Daughney told the board he would approve the appraisal as long as the language within the resolution was slightly changed. He offered the following amendment: “Provided, however, no determination by the village to obtain an appraisal of or insurance on the main building or Ellis Hall at the St. Paul’s School shall be deemed or construed to change amend or modify the findings set forth in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued in February 2011.”
New development plans for a possible casino at the Belmont Racetrack will have to wait until the year 2012 rings in, according to local officials. At an Elmont Chamber of Commerce meeting last month, Detroit developers unveiled preliminary development renderings of a casino on the property, which surrounds the communities of Elmont and Floral Park.
Sandra Smith, chairwoman of the Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development, a strong proponent in favor of developing a casino on the Belmont property said that there are no plans to move forward with the project at this time.
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