Despite all efforts to incite and provoke an entire community with anti-Semitic chants and signs, the Westboro Baptist Church’s small “hate” group failed to garner much attention from the Great Neck community during their daylong visit last Friday, Sept. 25.
Great Neck was advised of the impending protest a few weeks in advance, as the organization had to apply for (and by law be granted) permits to protest. Led by public officials, the police, rabbis and temple leaders, and school administrators, a plan was put in place to ensure safety and everyone was advised to stay away and not give the Westboro Baptist church the attention they sought.
Every two years, according to law, the Great Neck Public Schools must review and revise special education procedures. Currently, with the recent reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and changes resulting from both state and federal laws, the school district’s special education policies and procedures did indeed need review and revision. The district’s plan for 2009 to 2011 was presented at the Board of Education’s Sept. 14 meeting, with Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Services Dennis Ryan reviewing the plan.
The plan, entitled “Special Education District Plan: District Policies, Practices, and Procedures for Assuring Appropriate Educational Services and Due Process in the Evaluation and Placement of Students With Disabilities, is a 140-page plan. Dr. Ryan presented an overview. The plan “covers everything” according to Dr. Ryan.
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi said it wasn’t easy but he has managed to propose a $2.617 billion budget for the 2010 fiscal year that doesn’t increase property taxes for Nassau County taxpayers. However, his critics say a new tax in the form of an Energy Tax that was imposed earlier this year is unfairly burdening taxpayers who are already paying hefty taxes.
Following this summer’s apartment building roof collapse, and the subsequent discovery of compromised safety issues at the complex as well as at other such apartment complexes, the Village of Great Neck adopted new legislation intended to improve the safety of multi-family buildings in the village. The new law was adopted at the village’s Aug. 29 board of trustees meeting.
The new legislation requires that multi-family buildings in the Village of Great Neck be inspected by a licensed and insured architect or engineer and that subsequent reports must be submitted to the village within three months and every five years thereafter. Additionally, the law provides that unsafe conditions, even if discovered independent of an inspection, must be reported to the village, with corrective work begun immediately.
The peaceful Udall’s Pond, with its wading birds and snapping turtles, has become a bit too peaceful, almost sluggish, due to the stormwater runoff that brings with it silt and contaminants that have caused the water level to become more and more shallow. Concerns about its viability as a wildlife habitat along with practical concerns about increased risks for flooding in major storm events have added a sense of urgency to addressing the situation. It is fast becoming a mudflat instead of a tidal pond.
The restoration of the Pond and the Saddle Rock Grist Mill are high priorities for Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth who has worked in conjunction with Saddle Rock Mayor Leonard Samansky to get approvals and funding for the projects. It is slow going.
After considering comments made at a public information meeting held on April 15 and a subsequent written comment period, the board of trustees of the Village of Great Neck Plaza recently approved the final plan for a traffic calming project for Barstow Road/North Station Plaza, and Linden Place. This is the fourth Local Safe Streets and Traffic Calming (LSSTC) grant obtained by the Plaza from the New York State Department of Transportation.
Unlike the modern roundabout constructed in 2003 (the village’s first completed LSSTC grant project) on Barstow Road on the south end of the street, this project on the north side of Barstow Road near Grace Avenue calls for “normalizing” the geometry of the intersection with median islands, sidewalk bulb-outs, pedestrians refuge areas, and generally more visible pedestrian crossings. A complementary roundabout was initially considered, but the roadway geometrics did not allow for a modern roundabout configuration.
There is an illusion of inactivity in schools during the summer months, and that false appearance is clearly attributable to the absence of students. Students are noticeable by their non-attendance and, as a result, our schools are sad and lonely places for these two months. We all look forward to greeting students when the Great Neck Public Schools begin the new year on Sept. 9. Rest assured that, despite any appearances, much work goes on to prepare for students’ return. Summer is, in fact, a very busy time in most school districts.
That has been the case in the Great Neck School District this summer. Even without the regular program being operational, there have been pockets of activity that I have had numerous opportunities to observe. A vibrant summer program at Saddle Rock for our younger students permitted them to engage in social, academic, enrichment, and athletic activities for several weeks. Other special learning opportunities have also taken place across the District.
The assessed value of a property does not in itself determine the amount of taxes on a property in Nassau County. Assessments only determine an individual property’s share of the taxes imposed by municipalities, school districts or special taxing districts.
That was only one of the messages that Nassau County Assessor Ted Jankowski, appointed by County Executive Suozzi in January of this year, wished to convey at a recent visit to Anton Community Newspapers.
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