During a special session of the Nassau County Legislature on July 26, the Democrats nixed a Republican attempt to cut the $1 per hour salary raise that was scheduled to go to home health care workers effective Aug. 1 (under the Nassau County Living Wage law). Leading the fight for the raise was Great Neck’s Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth, who called the Republican’s proposed raise cut “an assault on the ability of health care workers to maintain an acceptable standard of living.”
Legislator Bosworth told the Great Neck Record: “The Democratic Caucus and members of the workers’ unions ultimately persuaded the Republican legislative majority to abandon their proposal, introduced by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt on July 2, 2010, to change the living wage rate from $12.50 to $11.50.”
The Living Wage Law had been unanimously passed by the Nassau County Legislature in 2006. That law provided for a phase-in salary increase from $9.50 per hour to $12.50. The last $1 dollar increment was scheduled to take effect Aug. 1, 2010 and now will happen.
An independent study of ambulance services in the Town of North Hempstead that was funded through a $180,000 grant from New York State in 2007 has concluded that “the current system works.” In fact, local ambulance providers, affiliated with volunteer fire departments, beat the average response time in New York State by two minutes.
Further, local providers have major resources, such as well-trained committed volunteers and up-to-date equipment, because revenues for fire and ambulance services go directly toward enhancing those services.Great Neck’s local ambulance services, provided by the Vigilants, Manhasset-Lakeville and the Alerts, also have the advantage of knowing the community intimately. They are aware of the idiosyncrasies of local traffic patterns, one-way streets, poorly marked street numbers and the like; they know the shortcuts to take if traffic is blocked. Drivers know that even GPS devices can lead one astray and in life threatening emergencies, minutes lost can make a difference in outcomes.
At a legislative hearing Monday, two sides passionately presented arguments for and against $1 pay raises that are scheduled for Aug. 1 for home health care workers employed by the 35 agencies that have contracts with Nassau County through the Department of Social Services. The money paying the contracts actually comes from New York State funds, but the health care agencies said many difficulties also coming from the state are making it hard for them to function. The August pay increase would therefore cause layoffs and a shortage of home health care in the county, they argued.
The Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District (BID) and the Village of Great Neck Plaza will be hosting an evening of fine dining and entertainment under the stars on Thursday, July 29 on Middle Neck Road between Grace Avenue and Maple Drive. This is the first of two Promenade Nights scheduled in the village for Summer 2010. Promenade nights have been a summer favorite event for the past two years, featuring outdoor dining and music from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
After four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Captain Christopher Blaha of the 2nd Infantry Division is back in the states at Ft. Lewis in Tacoma, Washington before he begins his next assignment. And after faithfully serving in dangerous missions in the world’s hot spots, where will he be sent? Next stop, Hawaii.
Udall’s Pond has played a vital environmental role in the health of the watershed on the peninsula, but due to the silt that has washed into the pond over the years, it has become more and more shallow, less beneficial to a diverse wildlife population and less able to handle flooding conditions. Last August when we reported on the status of the project to restore the pond to its former vitality, the big issue was funding.
He is a young man with a big job. But having worked at the Water Authority of Great Neck North since 1996, working his way up over time from a laborer to supervisor to assistant superintendent, provisional superintendent and, now, superintendent and having practically teethed on the business of providing high quality water to Great Neck, he is up for the task.
Barbara Berkowitz was sworn in for another term as president of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education at the school board’s July 1 annual reorganization meeting. Ms. Berkowitz was sworn in for her fifth term as president; she has served on the board for 19 years. Fran Langsner, who has served on the board for 10 years, was sworn in for another year as trustee and for another year as vice president; she has served as vice president for three years.
Several months ago, the Great Neck Friends of the Parks Foundation commenced a 100 Tree Campaign in honor of our outgoing Superintendent of the Great Neck Park District Neil Marrin. The tree campaign is an initiative organized by the foundation to encourage the planting of indigenous trees that are appropriate and enhancing to the Great Neck Park District.
The June 24 storm, the “micro-burst,” wrecked havoc in only about five minutes, but the massive clean-up seems endless and it will take years, if ever, to return the Old Village to its charming, tree-lined beauty. The devastation of homes and property has, in turn, devastated many in the community. Help came quickly in the aftermath of the storm, but at press time northern sections of Great Neck, particularly the Village of Great Neck, still looked like a war zone.
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