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Research Before Voting

On May 20, residents of the Sewanhaka Central High School District (New Hyde Park Memorial HS, Elmont Memorial HS, Floral Park Memorial HS, H. Frank Carey HS, and Sewanhaka HS) will be asked to vote not only for the 2014-15 school budget, but also for a 20-year, $86.6 million school bond.

 

Before accepting this bond debt, voters should be aware of what the bond will cost them, and how their money will be spent. 

 

1. The cost.  The bond will increase the school tax levy each year for the next 20 years ($86.6 million + millions in interest on the bond). In effect, this is a “new bond tax” that will be levied on every taxpayer over the next 20 years, in addition to the annual school tax increase each year.

 

2. The expenditures. Voters must decide if all the projects indicated in the bond plan are really necessary, and if this bond is the only means to fund them.

 

To assist the public, the board needs to present a detailed bond plan that includes “work to be done” and “estimated cost.” The plan should indicate, by school, expenses that will be incurred for new construction (additions to Floral Park Memorial HS - 22,460 sq. ft., and

Sewanhaka HS – 33,032 sq. ft.); expanding/renovating infrastructure (roofs, gymnasiums, auditoriums, classrooms, guidance office); upgrading technology and security systems; refurbishing athletic fields at the five high schools; and renovating the Alva T. Sanforth Athletic

Complex, which includes plans to refurbish the current fields and install a new baseball field with warning track, bleachers, dugouts, and scoreboard. 

 

In addition, the plan should specify a dollar amount to be used as a contingency fund for conditions that were not identifiable in the initial budgetary planning phase.

 

Voters have one week to determine if they can afford this bond, and if the projects planned are all really necessary at this time. Consider these two questions carefully before you cast your vote on May 20.

 

— Christine Grincato

 

New Hyde Park


News

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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