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Great Neck Notebook: February 29, 2012

Written by David Golbert Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00

Do the Right Thing

What do you do when a child is hungry? This isn’t a trick question. I heard this story last week and wanted to share it with you.

There’s a middle school not far from here where there are quite a few students whose families are homeless. A cafeteria worker (in that school) noticed that some of the children were taking home packets of ketchup. She asked one of the students about it and this is what the student told her.

 

Editorial: Consolidating the Sixth Precinct into the Third

Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00

Are You Bewildered and Disturbed?

We are too.

Those of us who are lucky to live relatively quiet lives do not have an intimate knowledge of all the functions that are carried out at police precincts.

And that is why so many of us are filled with questions and worries about what will happen if the Sixth Precinct is manned with a skeletal two-person desk. We are being told that we will have the same number of patrol cars equipped with computers servicing this area, but will we have the same individual cops dedicated to this part of the county who know the area? Know the shortcuts and where traffic gets jammed up? Know the community leaders? Know the career criminals? Know the domestic violence cases? We also have questions about the impact of fewer officers in administrative and supervisory roles especially when coordination with fire services and EMTs is needed in large-scale incidents.

 

Editorial: Getting Our Young Neighbors Involved!

Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00
As we cover meeting after meeting, event after event, in Great Neck, we find ourselves more and more interested, increasingly involved in all that goes on around us. We have a pretty wonderful community, with so many, many people working so hard to keep us all happy, safe and well cared for. Yet one thing is sorely missing —- commitments and work from a healthy portion of our younger residents (those in their 20s and 30s particularly).

There is so much to be done, and truly, so much fun to be had when you dive in and volunteer. Whether you choose to work for a local non-profit or your child’s school or village/town government, it doesn’t matter. As a matter of fact, why not start with one and try a few more in time.

 

Let’s Walk Safely In Great Neck

Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00
Streets are where we live, play, work, and socialize. They should be safe, attractive, and enjoyable. Over time they have become the province of motorized traffic, both practically and legally. They should be places for us all to enjoy with peace of mind. Yet half of those who drive admit to regularly driving above the current 30 mph speed limit posted on many of our streets. If we were to consider a reduction of the speed limit to 20 mph, it would help encourage people to take to the streets. Reducing traffic speed may be the biggest single measure to make them more safe, vibrant and social places. If hit by a car at 35mph the chances of surviving are 50 percent less than being struck by a car traveling at 20 mph where the survival rate jumps to a significant 97 percent. It also cuts pollution from exhaust fumes and reduces noise. It helps create a people centered environment.

We wish to invite the residents of Great Neck into the decision-making process. The aim is to give a voice to our pedestrians because involving them is central to what Great Neck wants to do, that is, put people first.

 

Editorial: A Valentine’s Day Gift for Great Neck!

Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00

Vote ‘Yes’ for the School District’s Capital Projects

The Great Neck School District is seeking authorization to embark on a lengthy series of crucial capital projects. They are ready to begin work without having to ask taxpayers to dig into their pockets. Not one penny are we being asked to give! The money is there and the school district just needs our o.k. to continue to maintain our extraordinary school system in the proper way and offer this top-notch education in well-deserved surroundings.

“This is our Valentine’s Day gift to the community,” stated a very proud Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz at a recent school board meeting. And what a gift! The school district has proposed a $17,184,085 capital projects proposition that will provide much needed infrastructure work throughout the district. And the entire list of 39 projects will have no negative impact on taxpayers. All of the funds will come from the district’s unassigned fund balance.

 

An Opinion: Selling Off the County’s Sewage Treatment Plants

Written by Claudia Borecky, president, North and Central Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00

(Editor’s Note: Although in Great Neck, our sewage is treated locally by Belgrave and the two plants on East Shore Road that will be combined once the new, upgraded treatment plant is completed, we have learned from experience that decisions made by Nassau County elsewhere can have a profound impact on all county residents. We need to become more familiar with the issues our neighbors on the South Shore are dealing with in their efforts to keep the bays and beaches protected from contamination. It is in that spirit that we are publishing the following opinion piece. - CF)

Merrick Civic Association and founding member of Sludge Stoppers

County Executive Mangano is proposing to sell or lease three of the county’s sewage treatment plants (STP), Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove, to fill the county’s budget gap. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued on Feb. 16, 2010 seeking Public/Private Partnerships (P3) to help fix the County’s fiscal woes. Morgan Stanley won that bid and was paid $24,750 (a bid under $25,000 does not require NIFA approval) to help prepare Requests for Qualifications (RFQ), to seek qualified bidders to purchase or lease our STPs. Three viable entities were found:

1. Veolia (the company running our buses) – lobbied by former Senator Alfonse D’Amato;

2. American Water (the company providing water to southwest Nassau County and purchasing Aqua Water—currently serving southeastern Nassau); and

3. Severn Trent (currently manages the Glen Cove Plant).

In December, a contract was granted by the Nassau County Legislature’s Rules Committee to pay Morgan Stanley $100,000 per quarter to act as its financial advisor and conduct a strategic advisory review of the County’s STPs and help choose an investor that will purchase or lease our three STPs. Morgan Stanley will get 1 percent of the monetary transaction, but no less than $5 million if a deal is consummated. Morgan Stanley stands to make a great deal of money if it cuts a deal, even if it is a bad deal for Nassau County residents.

 

Editorial: Board of Education Student Recognition

Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00

The Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education will soon begin its round of student recognition ceremonies at our high schools and middle schools. North High, South High, the Village School, North Middle, and South Middle, there is a special night for each school.

Each year these five award presentations are held at board of education meetings. This award recognizes the student’s contributions to the quality of life at his or her school.

 

Some Thoughts On Driving Safely Through the Winter Months In GN

Written by Sheldon M. Goodman, Ph.D. Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00

(Editor’s Note: In the past Dr. Goodman offered a series of local safety articles. We welcome his return.)

The best advice for driving in snowy weather is if it is at all possible, avoid getting into your car. Don’t go out until the plows and sanding trucks have done their work and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Some helpful techniques would be to practice winter driving techniques in a snowy, open parking lot  so you are familiar with how your car handles and how comfortable you feel being the one in the drivers seat. When you do have drive in the snow what precautionary steps might you engage in:

 

Editorial: A Potential Tragedy for Great Neck —- Losing the Arts Center

Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00
One of the finest institutions in our community, the Great Neck Arts Center, is in real danger of having to close due to a lack of funding. Created almost 20 years ago to nourish the body, mind and soul of the Great Neck peninsula, through the years the Arts Center has provided a magnificent array of performances, gallery exhibits, lectures, screenings, outreach programs to underserved students, vacation arts programs during school vacations, and art, music and dance classes for one and all.

The Arts Center is a one-of-a-kind center for Great Neck, indeed for Nassau County and beyond.

Funding for the Arts Center is basically through grants from the federal, state and local governments and from foundations, banks, and corporations, as well as gifts from individuals. And though the funds from seven of our nine villages (Kensington and Kings Point never provided funds) were small (ranging from $500 to $2500 each year), for sure the total $12,000 to $15,000 each year was a nice amount to count on. But today, sadly, only the villages of Great Neck Plaza, Great Neck Estates and Lake Success offer funding.

 

GN Notebook: January 25, 2012

Written by David Golbert Friday, 27 January 2012 00:00

Snow Job

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. There was no snow in the month of November; none in the month of December. None in January—until the early morning hours of Jan. 21. Despite the fervent hopes of everyone over 60 years old, we couldn’t get through an entire winter without hauling out the snow shovels, the rock salt, and the car brushes.

As snowfalls go, this was pretty tame. Only about three inches, and it was the light powdery snow that’s easy to shovel. Of course the trick is to shovel early before it freezes in place.  If you waited until the next morning to clear it away, you were in for a lot of hard work.

Years ago, I lived in Baldwin, just a block south of the Southern State Parkway. I have distinct memories of a two-foot snowfall that came down in January. Naturally, all the roads were shut down, nothing was moving but snowplows. After I shoveled my driveway and the sidewalk around my house, I threw my snow shovel over my shoulder and started walking the two miles to work—a retail lumber yard just south of Sunrise Highway on Grand Avenue.

 

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