When multimillionaire Alexander Turney Stewart purchased 10,000 acres of the Hempstead Plain for the purposes of creating a community, little did he know that the resulting incorporated Village of Garden City would be proudly standing and thriving nearly a century-and-a-half on. From an aesthetic point of view, this community that takes up all of 5.3 square miles is a lush and vibrant jewel whose residences blend in seamlessly with the village’s ample displays of arboreal beauty and landscaped magnificence. No surprise that the National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service with the National Association of State Foresters, recently designated Garden City “Tree City, USA” for the twenty-third year. (The Garden City Bird Sanctuary and the stately Cedar of Lebanon on the Doubleday property are just some of the organic elements that undoubtedly helped lead to this designation.) So is it any wonder that the pride residents take in the physical aspects of the village are on an equally passionate and uncompromising level when on it comes to the school district? For decades, its high standards have been a beacon for families seeking out a rigorous educational experience for its children. The district’s extracurricular arts and athletic programs are equally extraordinary. (Garden City High School’s Trojans were recently ranked as the top-rated lacrosse team in the nation. The girls’ team has also been nationally ranked.)
We all want to keep the environment clean and green. However, I would like to remind village residents that although we want to have beautiful lawns and flowers, we must keep in mind the village’s law with regard to water conservation (Local Law 3-1987) is now in effect.
On April 26, a seminal voice that was an integral part of the local airwaves was silenced when Port Washington’s hometown hero Pete Fornatale died from a stroke at the age of 66. Part of the class of free-form rock DJs whose ranks included Dennis Elsas, Vince Scelsa and Carole Miller along with late lamented names like WNEW-FM icons Scott Muni, Fornatale mentor Rosko and Alison Steele, the former high school teacher was part of a vanguard of FM broadcasters who counterbalanced the condescending and infantilized manner in which the dominant AM stations of the ’60s and early’70s treated rock ’n’ roll. And while corporate radio monoliths eventually wrapped their rapacious tentacles around any semblance of creativity by way of narrow formatting, skeletal playlists and jocks who were essentially scripted if not automated, Fornatale was one of the dwindling group of Don Quixotes titling at the Clear Channel windmills of the world.
As a child I used to drive with my mother through the Village of Garden City and I was in awe of what I saw: The picture-perfect village store and shops, the sprawling mansions and majestic homes perched on endless rolling hills of green. Many years later, I became the editor of Garden City Life and I am happy to say I know many of the fine residents who live within these abodes and call this special place their home.
During my editorship, I have been privy to all the intricate aspects and inner-workings of this village and listened to the hot-button topics that matter most to all of its residents. And all along the way, I have met passionate and determined individuals, dedicated government officials and longtime public servants who care about their community, their schools and their children’s futures.
Congratulations to No. 5 men’s (12-2) and No. 1 women’s (14-1) lacrosse teams. The men’s team will play their final game of the regular season as they host the Falcons of Bentley College on Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. The women’s team will also play their final game of the regular season as they play cross-town rival and fellow Long Island lacrosse powerhouse No. 5 C.W. Post at C.W. Post at 4 p.m. We wish them success as they finish out their regular season and as they go on to the Northeast 10 Conference playoffs.
You would expect an organization created for public benefit that is largely led by government officials would be obligated to report to the public about its activities. Yet the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) and its many campus foundations are not required to do so and apparently feel no such compulsion to share information with the public. Instead, these organizations often cloak their activities in secrecy.
As president of United University Professions – the union representing academic and professional faculty at SUNY’s state-operated campuses – I think it’s time to let the sun shine in. It’s time to require the SUNY Research Foundation and campus foundations to be held accountable and to be more transparent.
I have personally noticed and I have received complaints from residents about speeding within village boundaries. I have asked the police department to enhance their vigilance and issuance of tickets to those driving in the village at speeds in excess of the 30 mph village speed limit.
The board of trustees join me in extending our sincere gratitude to Chief Charles S. Cavarra for the dedicated and professional level of service that he rendered to our village during the past year as chief of the Garden City Fire Department. I am pleased to report that Chief Cavarra, along with First Assistant William Castoro, Second Assistant Chief Joseph Nadolny, and Third Assistant Chief Brian Gallo, have been reelected for a second term. We wish them well and thank them for their continued involvement.
Special thanks is also extended to the wives and families of all of the dedicated volunteer firefighters for sharing their husbands with the village and for all of the sacrifices that they make to assure that we are protected.
Ever since our village purchased the St. Paul’s School for boys in 1993, a tension has existed between the residents who feel strongly that the school building must be preserved and those who believe that the building can be restored only if it is done in a fiscally prudent manner. This friction over St. Paul’s is reflected on the village board of trustees. One group of five trustees wants St. Paul’s restored only if it can be done without a heavy burden on taxpayers.
The remaining three trustees—including Mayor Donald Brudie—apparently place more importance on the building’s beauty and historical significance than on the cost of restoration.
Our local law requires dog owners to leash their pets and to clean up after them when they have relieved themselves upon any areas used in common by the public. These areas include median strips, curbs, gutters, park areas, streets, etc. By way of clarification, the village’s local law is very specific as to the prohibition. “No person who owns … any dog shall … permit or allow such dog to urinate, defecate or commit any other nuisance upon any public street, thoroughfare, sidewalk, gutter … or park … [or] any place where people congregate, or upon any private property without permission of the owner thereof. The term “sidewalk” as used herein shall mean the area between the curb, or traveled portion of the street if there be no curb and the property line of the abutting property owner.”
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