Common Core and standardized testing are two buzz words that have had parents and teachers alike up in arms around the state of New York. With these mandates being such hot button topics, it would only stand to reason that John B. King, Jr., the current commissioner of education for the state, would due his best to assuage concerns and outright indignation over this seismic shift in public education. And so the thinking was that King would do just that in a series of public town halls where he would speak and take questions. Instead, after the first stop in upstate Poughkeepsie that found King being verbally assailed, he wound up suspending the only forum that was to be held on Long Island at Garden City High School. Any animus towards the commissioner and this curriculum has been stoked to even higher levels, especially given the fact that as of press time, there was no mention of plans to reschedule this forum. So while parents seethe, students stress and teachers get riled, there are already calls from the New York State Allies for Public Education, a coalition group opposed to excessive standardized testing, for the state education commissioner to resign. Before this is all over, King may quite very well be the recipient of a coup.
-- Dave Gil de Rubio
Traffic Safety Awards Program
Last week I had the honor of representing the village along with Commissioner Jackson and other representatives from the Garden City Police Department, at the AAA Community Traffic Safety Awards Program. The Village of Garden City was one of only seven communities on Long Island to achieve the statewide Platinum Award, AAA’s highest Award, for its commitment to traffic safety and for success in addressing local traffic safety issues. In addition, for the sixth consecutive year, Garden City received the AAA Pedestrian Safety Award. These awards are just one example which represents how fortunate we are in the village to have such a dedicated and efficient police department.
Legendary UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden once said, “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” If that’s the case, I wouldn’t bet against the Garden City High School football team, particularly given the fact that Coach Tom Flatley continues to oversee this gridiron squad. While last year’s state championship was the latest notch on Flatley’s belt, he is no stranger to winning. Recently inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame (say that five times fast), the 73-year-old coach has won five Long Island championships, four Rutgers Cups and 18 conference titles during his 28 years at Garden City High School. And thanks to a 246-40-7 lifetime record, this stern taskmaster’s .852 winning percentage is the highest in Long Island football history. So while the Trojans are dealing with significant turnover from the loss of some key seniors and a shaky first half of this season, would it really surprise anyone to see Coach Flatley and his team capture another state championship?
— Dave Gil de Rubio
There’s a lot of blame and finger pointing for the recent federal government shutdown. Today I’m offering a common-sense solution.
Originally, House Republicans, who are in the majority, offered a resolution to temporarily continue governing operations. It had two conditions: 1.) Fund the government at a level that many Democrats felt was insufficient; and 2.) Defund and delay the Affordable Care Act (known to many as Obamacare). I could not support both of those conditions, particularly using a shutdown of the federal government to effectively repeal the Affordable Care Act.
At the most recent village board of trustees meeting, it was announced by Trustee Dennis Donnelly that Garden City had been chosen to be a host site for the Huddle Shuttle, a rolling interactive Super Bowl-themed exhibit that was put together in light of the fact that Super Bowl XLVIII is going to be held in the tristate area over at MetLife Stadium. The thinking according to Super Bowl 2014 Host Committee President Alfred E. Kelly, Jr. is “...to engage the community, raise awareness of the game and build regional spirit.” What makes the village getting chosen such a special honor is that this tour was built around the idea of visiting 48 communities--24 in New Jersey and 24 in New York. Aside from the fact that Garden City is going to be hosting both its Annual 7th Street Fall Fair and Homecoming, the committee was obviously sold on how bucolic the village is, the strength of the local athletic programs and how strong the participatory nature is of the populace as a whole. Overall, its akin to the National Football League giving the Village of Garden City a gold star and cause for everyone to do a figurative touchdown dance.
-- Dave Gil de Rubio
Women Of Distinction
Last Saturday, I had the honor of attending the Women of Distinction Ceremony hosted by Assemblyman Edward Ra. I would like to offer congratulations to Donnalyn Darling, Regina McGowan, Purnima Popli, M.D. and Willa Ward, distinguished women from the Village of Garden City who were recognized because these women have contributed so much to our local communities whether it be in business, education, healthcare or civic involvement.
Please Continue To Shop And Dine Outdoors 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.
In Garden City, football and lacrosse usually get all the ink and glory given how all facets of these sports seem to consistently come up on the winning end locally. But it’s the baseball program that’s contributed players to the major league ranks. Last year, former Garden City High School student Rob Finneran was signed to a contract by the Tampa Bay Rays, upon which time he promptly reported to the team’s minor league affiliate. But for as exciting as that was, it took Matt Daley, an older alum who not only broke into the bigs, but did it on one of the world’s largest stages--Yankee Stadium. In donning pinstripes, Daley took a circuitous route to get to the Bronx by way of the Colorado Rockies, who drafted him, and a significant amount of rehab caused by shoulder surgery. His callup not only found him coming into his second game with the team and being thrown into the fire at Fenway Park, but taking the mound against big names like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. Remarkably enough, Daley got them out as well. It’s the kind of storybook situation that’s more likely to come out of Hollywood than real life. It’ll also undoubtedly serve as inspiration for more than a few Garden City Little Leaguers.
-- Dave Gil de Rubio
The Garden City Special Police are comprised of residents who choose to give of their free time and energy by volunteering to help maintain the quality of life in Garden City. Their commitment to excellence and dedication to the community helps to give our village a higher level of safety and security to its residents.
The presence of the special police in uniform, on patrol, in marked police units has proven to reduce vandalism and other crimes in the village. The special police are responsible for crowd control at parades, traffic control at fairs and assisting pedestrians at crossings.
Legendary UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden once said, “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” If that’s the case, I wouldn’t bet against the Garden City High School football team, particularly given the fact that Coach Tom Flatley continues to oversee this gridiron squad. While last year’s state championship was the latest notch on Flatley’s belt, he is no stranger to winning. Recently inducted into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, (say that five times fast), the 73-year-old coach has won five Long Island championships, four Rutgers Cups and 18 conference titles during his 28 years at Garden City High School. And thanks to a 246-40-7 lifetime record, this stern taskmaster’s .852 winning percentage is the highest in Long Island football history. So while the Trojans are dealing with significant turnover from the loss of some key seniors, would it really surprise anyone to see Coach Flatley and his team capture another state championship?
— Dave Gil de Rubio
Thank You Garden City Fire Department
Writing on behalf of the Garden City Community, I wish to thank Fire Chief William Castoro and the members of the Garden City Fire Department for conducting the beautiful 12th year anniversary ceremony of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It was a very moving experience and assisted many of us to get through that difficult day.Police Enforcement Of Speeding In The Village
With the commencement of the new school year, the police department has extended its aggressive driving campaign to include serious traffic violations on roadways in the vicinity of village schools as well as bus stops and walking routes to schools. From Sept. 3 through Sept. 10, the department issued 54 tickets for speeding in a school zone, 12 tickets were issued for other speeding violations, and 148 tickets issued for miscellaneous moving violations, including cell phone violations, stop sign violations, red light violations, suspended license violations, and suspended registration violations.
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