Ellen Birnbaum plans to “hit the ground running” next month when she is sworn in as the Nassau County legislator for the 10th legislative district, which represents North New Hyde Park. With a long history of working for the Democratic party, local government and many years working for the Town of North Hempstead, she is now busy getting her office set up and already planning her agenda.
First off, Birnbaum is determined to take a “good look” at the Nassau County Police Department and try to discover if the consolidation of the Sixth Precinct into the Third Precinct has negatively impacted her local constituents. She is concerned about daily reports, believes there is “a lot” of overtime hours, has questions regarding increased salaries and is quite concerned about the lack of police reporting daily incidents to local officials.
A hot topic in New York State is the controversy around the state education department and its recent policy of sharing of personal student information with third party data collection company InBloom; a topic that dominated a large portion of the Herricks School
Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12.
The board unanimously voted at the meeting to reject InBloom, and demanded that the data of Herrick students not be transmitted to any third party provider. Superintendent of Schools John Bierwirth said that while this vote wasn’t legally binding, it represents the first step in what he hopes will become a series of sweeping changes in New York.
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District addressed the recent defeat of the Sewanhaka Central High School District bond referendum at its board of education meeting on Monday, Dec. 9.
Board trustee David Del Santo described the situation facing the high school district as “difficult at best” and says a new plan is being developed for the spring. “Voter turnout was abysmal. It may have been bad timing, but voter apathy was a factor,” Del Santo said.
The referendum lost by a margin of 293 votes, with 5,117 total cast. The bond failed in New Hyde Park-Garden City Park, 614-347 and gained the only positive vote in Floral Park, 1,111-954. Major repairs would have been made to New Hyde Park Memorial High
School if the bond passed. These included new, synthetic athletic fields for football, soccer, and lacrosse; roof and window repairs, and parking lot repaving. Planned security and technology upgrades will also go unfunded now, according to district officials.
The Village of New Hyde Park held a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 3 for a proposed office building at 99 Lakeville Road. iSurply, a supplier of orthopedic equipment at 612 Jericho Turnpike, was represented by Ari Alayev at the hearing. iSurply wants to construct a two-story building with retail stores on the ground floor, and keep iSurply’s business on the second floor.
The village board reserved a decision pending on approval from the Nassau County Planning Commission. The applicant will have to appear before the village’s zoning and architectural review boards.
“We’re looking to add to the Village of New Hyde Park in a greater way,” Alayev said. “We want to increase the value of the neighborhood.”
The Water Authority of Western Nassau County opened its new 16,000 square-foot headquarters on Monday, Dec. 2 on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park. They previously operated on South Tyson Avenue in Floral Park since 1996.
“As people walk by, even during construction, [the building] was so well-received,” Water Authority Superintendent Michael Tierney said. “It’s a modern-type building and designed to look like a water storage tank.”
While Western Nassau’s new facility is ready, Tierney stated there is still work to be done before moving in. The majority of the project was funded by a 2010 bond issuance by the water authority. It helped build the central garage and main
headquarters at the site.
New Hyde Park residents gathered Saturday, Dec. 7 to kick off the holiday season when The Village of New Hyde Park hosted their yearly Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Village Hall.
The auditorium at the Marcus Christ Community Center, decorated for this holiday season, filled up quickly as families and local residents came to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Mayor Robert A. Lofaro, who’s been on the board for the last 15 years, welcomed guests.
Sewanhaka Central High School District voters rejected a $99.5 million bond on Wednesday, Dec. 4 that would have funded extensive repairs and upgrades to the district’s five high schools. District residents voted against the plan, 2,705-2,412.
Forty percent of the bond would have been covered by state aid. The bond would have cost every taxpayer $144.26 annually.
“There’s not a whole lot you can say at this point,” said Joan Romagnoli, the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park representative on the Sewanhaka school board. “I’m disappointed. The administration worked tirelessly. Their outreach in the community was solid.”
The first-grade classes at Hillside Grade School recently held its Thanksgiving Feast. The students made “apple turkeys,” recited poetry, sang songs, and made butter for their corn muffins. During class, they learned about the first Thanksgiving and how children long ago lived.
A cold windy day did not stop the Manor Oaks School students from running in the Second Annual Turkey Trot recently. Gym Teacher Ms. Innella coordinated the event. In order to take part in the run, students were asked to bring in canned food. The food was donated to local families in need, so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.
The kids had fun running the race. Some students dressed up as Pilgrims, Indians and even turkeys for the costume contest.
A new proposal by interim Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials of the Town of North Hempstead. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.
Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.
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