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State Budget Helps Hicksville

Senator Martins presented budget

over-view and impacts on Hicksville

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 the Town of Oyster Bay. CHIPS funds for the Town of Oyster Bay total $1,670,357, a 28.64 increase over last year.

The senator also said that over the next three years, families with at least one child, and a household income of $40,000 to $300,000 will receive a family tax relief check of $350. And he noted the extension of middle class tax cuts that were due to expire in 2014, cuts, which he said, will “ensure that middle class tax rates remain at their lowest level in 60 years.”

Martins said the state budget affords almost $1 billion in state aid to schools. For the Hicksville School District, Governor Cuomo proposed a 1.62 percent cut in state funding, $211,863 less than last year. Thanks to Martins’ efforts in fighting the cuts, the Hicksville School District will now receive a 4.24 percent increase, $766,911 more back to the education of students in Hicksville.

The senator, a former village mayor (in Mineola), and chair of the senate’s standing committee on local government, fought for an additional eight percent incase per capita in state aid.

As for pension relief, according to the senator, this budget allows school districts and local governments to pay a flat pension rate in order to see immediate relief that can be passed on to taxpayers.

For workers, the budget also sees a minimum wage increases from the current $7.25 to $8 per hour at the end of the year; raised to $8.25 per hour by the end of 2014; and an increase to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

The budget also includes almost $600 million in tax relief for New York businesses over the next three years, including a reduction in personal income taxes on business income for “hundreds of thousands of small businesses that pay personal income tax.” Additionally, the budgets creates tax credits to any business that hires a veteran returning home from military service. This credit will equal 10 percent of wages paid, increasing to 15 percent of wages if the veteran is disabled.

And, according to Martins, the budget phases out the 18-a-utility surcharge, “saving residents and businesses money on their electric bills.”

Turning to senior citizens, the senator stated: “The budget also keeps a strong commitment to senior citizens and includes full funding for the EPIC Program and $912 million for the Enhanced STAR property tax exemption for seniors.”

Martins stated that this new state budget keeps spending growth below two percent, “marking the third straight year that spending growth has been below two percent, consistent with the local tax cap that applies to school districts and local governments.” And the senator said that this 2013-14 budget “marks the third straight year the sate budget is on time and the first time that has happened in nearly 30 years.”

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

The Acchords Concert

April 26

Senior Citizen Luncheon

May 1

Curtains

May 1-3



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com