“You learn more by listening,” said Great Neck’s fairly new congressman, Steve Israel, who added Great Neck to his district in the November 2012 election. Rep. Israel, whose district used to encompass only parts of Eastern Long Island, emphasized making the United States a better and safer country for the next generation, as he spoke at a recent Great Neck Democratic Club meeting.
srael said he learned to shorten his speeches thanks to a fourth grade student, who, while thanking the congressman for visiting his school, also said “thank you” for a short speech, so he did not have to miss recess. Israel has that letter on display in his Washington, D.C. office. For him, it is important to have contact with his public and he just opened his new Great Neck office on Barstow Road in Great Neck.
In January, the Great Neck Record reported on the confusion of parking spot seekers at the newly designed and renovated parking field on the corner of Grace Avenue and Bond Street. Mayor of the Village of Great Neck Plaza Jean Celender reached out to assure that the plaza officials were aware of the situation and were planning better, bolder markings on the pavement as soon as weather conditions permitted new stripes and arrows to be painted.
And so last Friday, a day full of spring sun, breezes and floating blossoms, we walked the lot with the mayor who explained its improvements and challenges and introduced herself to parking lot patrons questioning them about their parking experience.
The work on the lot and its improvements, new paving, new lighting, landscaping, drip irrigation, sheltered benches, solar-powered meter stations and new curbing cost $400,000.
Joy Ann Hawley of Lexington, Ky., age 65, died on March 17. She was a resident of Great Neck from 1949 to 1968, graduating from Great Neck North High School in 1965.
Born in Lancaster, Pa., she was predeceased by her father, Rollin James Hawley, and a brother, Mark Hawley. Survivors include her children, Meredith McKenna Bush and Peter James McKenna, both of Lexington; her mother, Janice Hawley-Kopf; brothers Rollin James, Jr., George and Joseph; a sister, Mary Eddy; and her companion, Don Fischer of Elizabethtown, Ky. A memorial service was held at Lexington’s Second Presbyterian Church, where Joy was a choir member. Interment followed at Blue Grass Memorial Gardens in Nicholasville, Ky. Arrangements were by Kerr Brothers Funeral Home in Lexington.
In conjunction with new laws and changes in the Great Neck Public Schools, the Board of Education recently adopted two proposals to revise two Code of Conduct policies: Code of Conduct: Prohibited Student Conduct and Code of Conduct: Public Conduct on School Property.
Both of these policies were revised to expand their lists of classes protected from discrimination as identified by the New York State Dignity for All Students Act (DASA). These two policy revisions address recent state and federal laws regarding synthetic substances designed to “mimic” the effects and usages of illegal drugs.
The Village of Great Neck’s budget for 2013/2014 was approved by the board last week weighing in at $12.3 million. In order to grasp the fine points of the complex budget, be aware that there is a general fund that covers the services of the village from garbage collection to fire protection and ambulance services, to name a few. Estimated costs to cover a multitude of services and expenses come to $8.9 million. Revenues coming from sources other than real estate taxes is estimated to amount to $2.5 million and to that, the village will throw in monies from surplus funds, amounting to $448,000. This will leave a balance of $5,966,00 to be raised by real estate taxes in the general fund. The village comes in under the state imposed tax cap.
Both of my sons, Alex and Jamie Schneider, 22-year-old twins with autism, were on course to finish the Boston marathon at very different times. Alex, the faster of the two, trained by his coaches Kevin McDermott of East Islip and Stephen Dalton, of New Hyde Park, crossed the finish line in three hours, 23 minutes and 22 seconds; setting a personal record. Had Alex been just 46 minutes slower, as he was two years ago in the Boston Marathon, he, his coaches, and my friends and I, watching in the first row of the grandstands at the finish line, would surely have been in harm’s way.
The 2014 budget to maintain and operate the Great Neck Library system has been adopted by the board of trustees and will go before the public for a vote on May 21. It will cover the fiscal year which now runs from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 to coincide with the school district’s fiscal year. In prior years, the library fiscal year had been the calendar year.
The total proposed budget for 2014 is $8,532,000 which is an increase of $119,000, from the current year’s budget.
Highlighting increased funding from CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program), New York State Senator Jack Martins offered a brief state budget review at the recent Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA) dinner meeting. Martins, who fought for these increased CHIPS funds, reported a $75 million increase for municipalities (towns and villages), for road improvement and maintenance.
In a separate interview, the senator focused on specific benefits for Great Neck. CHIPS funds for the Town of North Hempstead total $642,820, a 27.75 increase over last year. The nine Great Neck villages will see similar increases of 25 and 26 percent.
As PSE&G prepares to work under contract with LIPA, taking over for National Grid on Jan. 1, 2014, management and crews are already in place on Long island, already working to improve reliability for electric power and quick response time during emergencies. To that end, David Daly, PSE&G vice president and LIPA transition lead, promised a large audience of Nassau County mayors and trustees that there will be a huge change, a very positive change with PSE&G in place.
Legal action has been taken by two Great Neck residents asking that the recent decision by the Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning and Appeals to grant variances to developer Frank Lalezarian to construct a private road into a landlocked parcel and build 11 homes be overturned by the New York State Supreme Court. Such an action is called an Article 78.
Plaintiffs Rachel Applebaum of Great Neck Estates and Rebecca Rosenblatt-Gilliar of the Village of Great Neck have been vocal opponents of the plan and the process throughout the lengthy consideration of the project that began in 2010. Applebaum, as a nearby neighbor, sees the plan as having a “direct harm to our neighborhood,” and Rosenblatt-Gilliar says, “There would be a great permanent harm to the peninsula if woodland watershed is defaced and erased.” The attorney for the developer, Paul Bloom, has stated publicly that most of the trees on the wooded, steep 3.104- acre parcel would be cut down.
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