When the new MTA Long Island Rail Road timetables take effect on Monday, May 14, Great Neck commuters can rejoice in the fact that the new schedules include the restoration of the off-peak half-hourly service on the Port Washington branch. The new schedules include the restoration of half-hourly, midday service on the Port Washington Branch on weekdays, as well as adjustments to schedules or midday busing in place of trains on various branches to support the summer track construction work.
Since September 2010, when the Port branch cuts were made, train riders have bitterly complained about the lack of service and the real problem when they miss a train by just minutes and then must wait a full hour for another train. The Port Washington branch is the LIRR branch that services Great Neck.
If you were one of the folks disappointed that backyard chickens are pullus non grata in Great Neck, you may be pleased to know that locally grown, fresh fruit and organic vegetables will be for sale one morning a week at the Village Green during the summer and early fall months. Yes, a Great Neck farmers market has not only been approved by the Village of Great Neck mayor and trustees, but the Great Neck Park District commissioners have located a market manager who will be coordinating an array of Long Island farmers to display their fresh wares in the park.
At last week’s park district meeting Commissioner Ruth Tamarin introduced Ana Nieto who with her partner, Ivo Tomasini, have run the Sag Harbor farmers market, held on Saturdays, for a number of years. Tamarin commented, “We are delighted to have found Ms. Nieto through networking with the Long Island group Women in Agriculture.”
Congressman Steve Israel, the Democratic hopeful for the new Third District for the United States House of Representatives, is delighted to be spending so much time in Great Neck these days. Having worked for the American Jewish Congress that was located in Great Neck in the 80s, the congressman told the Great Neck Record that, the day after the new congressional maps were drawn, he phoned the district’s soon-to-be-retired Congressman Gary Ackerman and began to learn even more about the expanded new district.
And he immediately began “talking to people” to become familiar with a district that is set to encompass not only parts of Suffolk County, but as of next year will also include much of the North Shore of Suffolk County, plus Nassau County’s North Shore and a very small section of Queens.
At the edge of Great Neck Plaza, a new, very tall apartment building is going up, a building that includes 19 out of the 94 rental units set aside for workforce housing. The Village of Great Neck Plaza granted only “minor variances” according to Mayor Jean Celender. The mayor said that this building at 245-265 Great Neck Road, developed by Plaza Landmark LLC and Lalezarian Developers Inc., follows the village code that provides for work force or “next generation” housing.
Dadras Architects’ suggestions for revitalizing the Old Village covered a vast spectrum of approaches from establishing a museum, developing more attractive and compatible signage, building wider sidewalks and bump-outs to make the pedestrian experience safer to passing ordinances for new up-zoning and incentive zoning. Their ideas, based on numerous thoughts gleaned from focus groups representing young folks, merchants, seniors, community activists and leaders, as well as their planning experience, were presented for community consumption last week. A large crowd came to Great Neck House to hear the outlines for pumping new life into the Village of Great Neck’s commercial and retail area on Middle Neck Road.
High school students: Get ready for your close-up. The SATs and ACTs now want a photo of you.
The requirement that photos be uploaded at the testing site is just one of the new security measures that will now govern SAT and ACT test-takers. In the aftermath of the arrests of 20 local students late last year, all charged with either taking SAT or ACT exams for other students or having paid someone to take the test for them, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced a “sweeping security overhaul” to prevent further cheating. DA Rice was joined by executives from the College Board and the ACT exams at a press conference on Monday, March 26, as she outlined the new rules.
“I’m more than excited to be representing the North Shore and so much of Nassau County,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Israel as he prepares to run for another term in Congress, this time representing the new Third District. “I’ve spent a lot of time in these communities,” he told the Great Neck Record in an interview following his Wednesday, March 21 nomination as the Democrat’s choice to run for his own district and for the North Shore in Nassau County (and a tiny portion of northern Queens), a district that for 30 years has been a stronghold for U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman. Less than a week before the convention, Congressman Ackerman made the surprise announcement that he would not run for a 16th term.
After years of complaints from residents of Steamboat Road about perceived safety violations of rental properties, Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman announced that Village Justice Jon Mostel has convicted Sharok Jacobi on 19 potentially life-threatening violations of health, fire and safety codes. In addition to being ordered to pay $17,050 in fines, Jacobi will serve a term in jail, possibly up to eight months. Further, the court has directed that the landlord correct significant health and safety violations, and restore the property at 127 Steamboat Road to one that will support single-family occupancy.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) will not seek re-election to the United States Congress next year. The announcement came late on Thursday, March 15, following the federal circuit court’s approval of Congressional district lines, a decision that Ackerman’s office called “extraordinarily favorable” to the congressman who is serving his fifteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Announcing his decision not to run for a sixteenth term of office, Ackerman added that, if he had chosen to run again, he would have run “with the primary-free backing of the Democratic Party virtually assured.”
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