The Herricks Board of Education made its last presentation of its spending plan for the upcoming 2014-15 school year at the May 8 public meeting; it’s all in the hands of the voters on Tuesday, May 20.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan led the discussion and stressed the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the spending plan to parents attending the meeting.
“The budget comes in at a total of $107,594,911, which is a budget-to-budget increase of 2.84 percent,” she said. “The tax levy is 1.73 percent. We are under the tax cap, which this year is 1.4648 percent, but because of some adjustments, our levy is 1.73 percent, which is under the cap.”
The Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in New Hyde Park will hold its first Parish Festival from Thursday, May 29 to Sunday, June 1. The festival should serve as a complement to the larger, village-sponsored New Hyde Park Street Fair held in September, but with rides and games.
“We want to bring some energy and something the parish hasn’t had before,” said Holy Spirit Pastor Frank Grieco. He came up with the idea to hold the festival. Grieco’s past assignments in East Northport and Deer Park have held similar fairs.
“It’s a way of bringing excitement and enthusiasm into the parish and local community,” he said. “The village has been very supportive.”
Grieco has been in New Hyde Park for 10 months. He broached the idea of a festival with parishioners and held festival committee meetings, which boasted 75 attendees or more.
“We’re hoping for huge crowds every night,” he said. “If that happens, everything else will fall into place.”
Local entertainment will highlight the fair. The likes of former New Hyde Park Village Clerk Pat Farrell, Victor Cuneen and Tommy Deegan will perform classic rock and Irish music. Other acts include 15 Below, an alternative rock band, and EJ the DJ, a Ronkonkoma-based disc jockey.
“We want to reinvigorate the community and raise money for the parish at the same time,” said Family Festival Committee Chairman Kevin Fitzgerald.
The parish is hoping to strengthen the “family dynamic” in New Hyde Park by holding a festival geared toward children.
Sewanhaka Central High School District residents will go to the polls next Tuesday, May 20 to vote on the proposed $86.6 million bond referendum. If approved, the bond would contribute significant upgrades and renovations to the district’s five schools and two vocational buildings. Forty-seven percent of the bond would be covered by New York State aid.
Each taxpayers would need to pay an additional $114 per year. This is the second time the district has floated the bond, which failed last December by 293 votes.
“The long term cost of not doing this is going to be devastating to the school district in that in a tax levy cap world, the reason we need a bond at this point is that we’ve been unable to maintain the buildings as we should,” said school board president Dave Fowler.
The Walk Street Tavern is a staple in the Village of New Hyde Park, the building having been around since the mid 1880s. Once used as a general store, an inn and a post office, the building is now a popular bar and restaurant that is considered a community favorite.
“This building has been a fixture in the village forever,” said Walk Street Tavern owner Jimmy Tubbs. “It was used as a post office for many years in the 20th century, a bar up until 1943 and opened as Henry’s Inn in 1971, before Walk Street took over in 2008.”
Tubbs and partner Robert Kloepfer Jr. renovated the building in 2008, seeking to carry on the building’s history as a place residents could go to relax and grab a bite to eat.
Hakeem Rahim just wants to help. He wants to use his experience to aid others who may be suffering from what he called “an uncontrollable terror.” That terror was a panic attack and mental break. Rahim recently shared his story at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., which focused on mental illness.
“I had delusions,” he said. “I thought I was Neo from The Matrix. I was jumping off the walls. I had all the classic signs of someone who broke from reality. It’s good to talk about it. It’s not good to hold it in.”
Rahim, who serves as a guest speaker for the nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau (NAMI) in New Hyde Park, talks with students about his experiences before, during and after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000. He’s speaks regularly with local school districts, including New Hyde Park Memorial High School.
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education has begun reexamining current board practices, specifically district hiring policies with emphasis on transferring personnel between buildings.
Trustee Jennifer Kerrane expressed concerns that some teachers, while approved to work in each of the district’s four buildings, are actually limited to only three. She says this can be detrimental to both the students as well as teachers who may face a transfer as a result of another employee not being able to work in a particular building.
“The board practice is that we don’t employ a person in the building in which their child attends school,” Superintendent Robert Katulak explains. “This rule applies to everyone from monitors and substitutes, all the way up to administrators.”
The Herricks Community Players have tackled classics like The Music Man and Guys and Dolls, but its current production, Funny Girl, is its most ambitious yet. The play, which opened last week, will feature shows on May 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m.
Community Players director John Hayes first produced Funny Girl in 1982 for Herricks. Hayes has always wanted to revisit the production and helped pick the key players. He’s been the director for 36 years, running 67 performances.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and now we’re finally doing it,” he said. “We have a great cast; about 35 in the cast.”
Brasserie translates to “brewery” in the English language, but the English term is more commonly use for a fairly upscale high end bistro. These meanings come together inside the Inn at New Hyde Park, at a restaurant known as Brasserie 214. Serving a wide selection of European cuisine, this bistro also boasts one of the widest selections of beer lists on Long Island.
“Brasserie 214 came about in 2007, after extensive renovations to the Inn’s event facility,” said Restaurant General Manager Chris Anthony. “We feature many selections from Europe, including menu items from France, Northern Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Scandinavia.”
The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island (RMH-LI) in New Hyde Park is entering Phase II of Project Design, a renovation initiative that will bring together more than 45 of America’s leading interior designers. Last summer, Phase I transformed a portion of the house, adjacent to Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. Phase II will add of 24 bedrooms, four kitchens, five common areas, laundry rooms and a brand new fitness center and meditation room. RMH-LI is a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children.
The upcoming bond referendum vote in the Sewanhaka Central High School District has dominated school board meetings since the district announced a second plan to renovate its five buildings. The new $86.61 million bond will be used for renovations and infrastructure projects in the district’s five high schools and up for vote on May 20. The district tried to float a $99.5 million bond, which failed before voters last December by 293 tallies.
At the April 22 board meeting, New Hyde Park resident Christine Grincato asked if the board would be providing a line-item budget for the newly revised bond.
“How much would go for the roof? How much would go for the auditorium? I don’t see that information online or in the presentation,” she said. “I think that’s really important for people to see where the money is going to go.”
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