By Melissa Argueta, Rich Forestano, and Christy Hinko
As if the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter didn’t need any more bad press, a video was anonymously posted on Sunday, March 13 on YouTube. The 17-year-old footage depicts then-kennel foreman Pat Horan watching shelter workers slip a catch-pole around the neck of a kitten and lift it into the air, as they allegedly prepare it to be euthanized.
One worker is seen making obscene and lewd gestures, even mocking the killing of the animal, while Horan is seen laughing and giving the middle finger to the person filming the video. As the kitten squirms wildly, someone off-camera cheers, “Kill the kitty; kill the kitty.”
It has been one year since Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice created Long Island’s first-ever Animal Cruelty Unit, and during that time, prosecutions of these crimes have more than quadrupled, Rice announced at a press conference on March 2 at the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove. In addition, she stated that the Animal Cruelty hotline – 516-571-ACHL (2245) – has received over 700 complaints of suspected abuse. Staffed by specially trained prosecutors and investigators, Rice explained that the Animal Cruelty Unit operates with one goal: to protect vulnerable pets and animals.
The Glen Cove Board of Education met this week at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove to discuss the budget for the 2011-12 school year. This was the first of several budget review workshops scheduled over the course of the next four weeks before the board will adopt a budget on April 11.
The board appointed Dr. Joseph A. Laria, who has been interim superintendent for this school year, to the permanent status as superintendent of schools. The appointment was announced at last week’s meeting and made official on Monday night.
Glen Cove School District Board President Ida McQuair opened Monday night’s meeting at Robert M. Finley Middle School by announcing that the search for superintendent has been concluded and they have decided to hire Dr. Joseph A. Laria, who has been the interim superintendent for the current school year. He will hold the position for the next three school years.
“The hiring of Dr. Laria will be very beneficial for the district, as he requires no health insurance or pension plan,” Ms. McQuair stated enthusiastically.
Sashes were presented to Grand Marshal Andy Stafford, and Aides Jim Burke and Carol McTigue by Parade Chairman Robert Lynch.
“I am so proud to stand here today with these two great people,” said Stafford of his two aides, Burke and McTigue, after he received his sash. “I have known both of them for so long and they are great people.”
Nassau County’s government and the state watchdog agency NIFA entered the next step in their battle for ultimate financial authority over the county, as New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond ruled to put NIFA’s “control period” on hold while the court considers Nassau’s arguments against the legality of the takeover. Nassau County attorneys, under County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s lead, have submitted to the court that the takeover was executed in violation of the law and was facilitated by an unfair change in NIFA’s policies.
By Jill Nossa
The Glen Cove City Council passed several resolutions at Tuesday night’s meeting at City Hall, including the authorization of the mayor to enter into a contract agreement with the New York Power Authority to conduct performance of energy use audits at certain municipal facilities, a time extension for the ferry terminal contract, and the temporary prohibition of parking on Grove Street for the manufactured gas plant cleanup.
According to Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi, the energy audits will be performed by NYPA at specific city buildings, and if the city chooses to move forward there would be a freeze on power bills, greatly reducing the cost to the city and reducing Glen Cove’s carbon footprint.
(Submitted by the North Shore Board of Education)
At the Feb. 3 North Shore Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick discussed the current economic situation. He communicated that pension contributions, health insurance costs, and contractual obligations continue to rise each year while state and federal aid decreases as the government continues to push costs onto local public school districts.
Additionally, Governor Cuomo has proposed a 2 percent property tax increase cap from one levy to the next (not budget to budget) without currently capping costs for required mandated expenses (those that the state forces schools to pay). This proposal has been passed in the Senate and will likely go into effect in 2012-13. With instructional salary and benefits accounting for 70 percent of the average school budget, some analysts project that this will immediately create a major deficit in all New York school districts resulting in increases in class sizes, staff layoffs, and the reductions in electives and extracurricular activities.
At the meeting, trustees discussed the best ways to fiscally and responsibly move forward this budget year in light of these uncertain times. Dr. Webb said, “We have to be very careful with what we cut this year from our budget since we will probably never be able to get it back in the future.” The Board reviewed the portions of the budget pertaining to the board of education, Central Administration, Central Services, Plant Maintenance, Insurance/BOCES Administration, and Supervision of Instruction.
Trustees agreed to place many items on a “comeback” list rather than eliminating them from the budget. These items included costs related to election workers, personnel ads, health, safety contracts (DW) and fuel oil. A total of $1,000 was eliminated from the initial budget proposal presented by Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick on Jan. 20. Please visit http://www.northshoreschools.org to watch this initial budget presentation video. The “comeback items” will be discussed at the March 10 meeting when it will be decided whether or not to remove or reduce these amounts.
BOE President Igor Webb added, “The board is doing everything they can and the realities are very serious.” The board continues to lead other Long Island School Districts to unify efforts to help control school spending. Since a tax cap will likely pass, trustees are also advocating for mandate relief that will allow taxpayers to save significantly without destroying the core of public education.
To conclude the meeting, trustees discussed initial measures for a “Community Action Committee” where residents can join together to lobby against current laws and escalating NYS mandates facing our schools. The Board welcomes any other suggestions to influence legislation to avert these damaging results to Long Island schools.” BOE Vice President Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi reiterated, “It is important that the Board hears from everyone in the community. We encourage you to get involved.”
During the month of March, the board will continue to remain sensitive to the fiscal concerns of our residents as they seek to make further reductions prior to adopting the 2011-20 budget on Thursday, March 24. Trustees strongly urge you to come to the upcoming meetings and voice your feelings and concerns so that they can make an informed decision based on the input of our community members. Upcoming BOE/Budget meetings will take place in the High School Alumni Room at 8 p.m. (unless noted otherwise) on the following dates: March 10 (Comeback Items/Budget Refinement), March 24 (Budget Adoption, HS Library), April 27 (BOCES Budget Vote/ Meet the Candidates Night), and May 5 (Town Meeting/Budget Reading).
The call came around 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, and Glen Cove firefighters, police and EMS jumped into action. A house on Ford Street was up in flames and a woman was trapped inside.
Chief Anthony Tripp reported the details to the Record Pilot. He said that a fire that began in the kitchen moved on to the bedroom nearby, where the woman was sleeping. The rest of the residents got out, but the smoke and heat had her stuck.
The first discussion regarding next year’s Glen Cove School District budget took place at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove Monday night as the board of education heard presentations from the administration on a plan that could save the district big money: returning to an eight period school day at the high school and middle school. Vice President Gail Nedbor-Gross and Trustee David Huggins were absent from the meeting.
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