When Morris Moinian’s Manhattan-based Fortuna Realty Group purchased the storied Garden City Hotel, the entire process was very clandestine. Rumors such as Donald Trump being interested before the final deal was sealed only added to the intrigue. And while rampant staff layoffs were a great concern, a mass firing was followed by more than 90 percent of the hotel’s employees subsequently being rehired according to hotel management. Any lingering questions about the future of this seminal piece of village history just might be answered on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when the Garden City Chamber of Commerce holds its 2013 kickoff luncheon. The day’s special guests will be the hotel’s new general manager J. Grady Colin and Fortuna Realty director and head of acquisitions and asset management Ashish Lall. Hopefully the duo will be a bit more forthcoming than when their boss made this prized real estate acquisition back in June.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Your village has spent a good deal of time and money to beautify our central business district in order to make it as appealing to residents and businesses. Our local food markets on Seventh Street and Franklin Avenue have also made a significant investment in purchasing high quality shopping carts for our use and convenience while shopping in their stores. Regrettably, these carts are not being returned to the prescribed areas by the shoppers and are being left within the parking fields and in the areas of the apartment houses.
In consideration of your neighbors, merchants and community, I urge residents to return these carts to their respective stores. Please don’t place the village in the position to have to expend manpower and time to impound the shopping carts. The residents’ effort will go a long way to keeping our village the beautiful place that we all want it to be.
The Incorporated Village Public Works and Recreation and Parks employees continue the cleanup effort that began the day after Hurricane Sandy ravaged our community. Unfortunately, the effort has delayed the regular fall cleanup of parks and village greenspace, but we are catching up and should have the fall cleanup completed in the near future.
By way of a general status report, all of the timber and brush have been removed, including the massive pile of material that were temporarily stored at the village yard and at 550 Stewart Ave. All of the stumps left from the village trees have been removed and the cavities filled and leveled in preparation for spring. Concrete from broken sidewalks and curbs is currently being removed and the voids filled and leveled. The sidewalk flags and curbing that were destroyed by fallen village-owned trees will be replaced by an Incorporated Village of Garden City contractor at the Incorporated Village’s expense. The Department of Public Works is currently scheduling the work with our contractor. Residents should be aware that this is weather and temperature sensitive work that may delay progress until the spring.
“The 2011-12 Legislative Session was most productive,” said Senator Kemp Hannon (R-Nassau). “Our state faced an extreme financial situation, including a $10 billion budget gap at the beginning of 2011, requiring significant programmatic changes to the state’s health budget.”
Senator Hannon, who is the chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, notes an active session for the committee, which began with the confirmation of the state’s health commissioner, the consideration of important issues through public hearings and roundtable discussions and the adoption of important legislation, which has become law under Hannon’s chairmanship. The senator also was selected by Governor Cuomo to serve on the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), which has made significant progress in reducing and controlling health care spending.
A reminder to residents who have a natural Christmas tree or wreath to dispose of, please leave them at the curb on your regularly scheduled recycling collection day. They will be collected by the Department of Public Works and offered to other agencies for beach erosion control or rendered at the village yard for use around trees and shrubs as mulch.
Please assist the village by removing tree stands, strands of electric lights and plastic bags from the discarded trees and cooperate with your neighbors by disposing of them only on the scheduled recycling collection days.
It’s officially known as Nassau County Storm Water Basin No. 232, but ever since Rob Alvey got it off the ground in 1992, the Tanner Pond Environmental Center/Garden City Bird Sanctuary has been become a green jewel in the crown of the Village of Garden City. On Saturday, Jan. 12, Alvey and his merry band of environmental warriors will be hosting the 5th Annual Winterfest, an event that retells the story of the center and honors those who have donated trees in honor or memory of someone else, and those whom they were planted for. Guests will be fortified by hot cocoa, all the while being able to participate in a candlelight ceremony, sharing in a poem recitation and having the chance to reflect on the event’s theme of All Winters Must Come to an End. Given the horrendous events, both environmental and criminal, that closed out 2012, it’s a chance to share in communal hope that somehow this year will be better than the last.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Nothing fires up emotions in the Village of Garden City than to bring up the St. Paul’s situation. Should this imposing and impressive building be preserved and restored or should it have the same appointment with the wrecking ball that sister school St. Mary’s had in 2002? The Committee to Save St. Paul and the Garden City Historical Society put forth an $8.2 million proposal centered on preserving the first floor and chapel of the school while shuttering the remainder of the building for full restoration at a later date. A recent report commissioned to architectural engineering firm Erwin & Bielinski by the village analyzed this proposal and advised rejecting it for a number of reasons. Make no mistake; this won’t be the final word by the pro-preservationist side. And whatever the end result is will forever alter the face of the Village of Garden City— for better or worse.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
On behalf of myself and the board of trustees, I would like to extend to all village residents a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
The second half of village taxes that were due and payable on Dec. 1, are subject to penalty if payment was not made within a 30-day grace period. This year payments received after Monday, Dec. 31, are subject to penalty. Please return the “second half” bill stub with your payment made payable to the Incorporated Village of Garden City.
John Lennon once sang, “A very Merry Christmast/And a Happy New Year/Let’s hope it’s a good one” in his perennial Christmas standard “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” and given the turmoil that has defined 2012, this closing out of the current 12 month cycle couldn’t come at a better time. Hurricane Sandy, a contentious presidential election, the ever-present struggle with school budgets, the decamping of the Islander to Brooklyn or more recently, the depravity and horror surrounding the events in Newtown, CT—-for many this calendar year couldn’t end fast enough. But as is the case ever year, we all get to start out with a clean slate and the optimism that things will get better. So in that spirit, the Garden City Life wishes everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
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