When it comes to homecoming and fall festivals, few do it as well as the Village of Garden City. This year’s events were particularly impressive. Never mind the fact that Garden City trounced Rockville Centre 42-7 in the day’s football game.
Under gorgeous weather that was seemingly special ordered, the usual array of Girl Scouts, marching bands, twirlers, kickline, cheerleaders and de rigeur homecoming king and queen was joined by the graduating class of 1963 come back to celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Also of note was an appearance by the Huddle Shuttle, the Super Bowl 2014 Host Committee-sponsored rolling caravan of NFL/championship memorabilia and interactive physical challenges. Making it all the more special was the fact that the village was only one of 48 cities—24 in New York and 24 in New Jersey—to be given this honor. It’s the kind of family-friendly event that’s a constant rule rather than an exception whenever you talk about Garden City.
- Dave Gil de Rubio
This year’s Fall Festival Street Fair and Homecoming Parade was a huge success. The village had one of the largest turnouts ever. It was very gratifying to see the children as well as the adults take part in and enjoy all of the activities.
I would like to thank everyone who had a part in planning the day, as I know this was a lot of work, but it was very much appreciated by those who attended. When you have the time, please visit the village’s website www.gardencityny.net to see photographs that were taken during the day.
Recently, Newsweek released its 2013 list of America’s Best High Schools. Surprisingly, Garden City High School found its rank slip from 107 in 2012 to 139 this year. I’d tell you what the schematics were in determining where the Trojans landed, but unfortunately the area on the web page that shows this is a dead link. Undoubtedly, the combination of the core curriculum and significantly more difficult standardized testing were some of the contributing factors, as it was for districts around New York State. The Garden City Union Free School District still managed to score high despite these obstacles, even if students didn’t score as high as they have in prior years. That said, the Garden City student body continues to rack up significant academic achievements that will carry them far in life and make them productive members of their generation.
The members of the American Legion Auxiliary, William Bradford Turner Post Unit #265 extend sincere gratitude to our village officials and local newspapers editors for your courtesies; and to village residents, business affiliates, visitors and merchants for your enthusiasm and generous response to our poppy drive during the month of May. Be assured that your support of that campaign allows us to directly meet the needs of veterans at our Northport VA Medical Center.
We are gratified by your respect and dedication on Memorial Day, as you shared in the spirit of the veterans in our post and our auxiliary members and we look forward to joining with you and your loved ones as we honor all veterans on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. Observe the day with this brief ceremony beside our magnificent veterans memorial on Seventh Street near the library. For more information about the numerous veteran and veteran family support programs, please call 516-747-3889.
Jacqueline Burdi Eltringham, Poppy chairlady
On Sunday, Oct. 20, I was in attendance for the celebration of the 40th Anniversary Reception of the Garden City Public Library building. It was a pleasure to be there to celebrate this milestone with the members of the library board as well as the residents of the Village of Garden City.
Texting While Driving
According to AAA statistics, texting while driving has even surpassed drinking as the number one perceived threat to personal safety. Please educate yourselves and your teen drivers that texting while driving can kill. Ask your teen drivers, is a text more important than a life?
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
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