Barring improving finances or sudden cost saving strategies, the West Hempstead high school and middle school will lose a ninth period and 10 to 12 staff members will lose their jobs, district officials said at a meeting last Tuesday. That would leave an eight-day period at the high school and middle school.
Seven tables in the West Hempstead Middle School cafeteria were filled with members of the community on Tuesday evening for a budget café addressing issues that were raised at the previous Feb. 6 cafe.
Superintendent of Schools John Hogan, Deputy Superintendent Richard Cunningham and Assistant Superintendent Ann Peluso answered questions ranging from the district eliminating ninth period, revenue, class sizes and transportation.
That was the question the Williston Park village board was asking at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 19 as trustees discussed the recent snowstorm Nemo. Mayor Paul Ehrbar said the streets were cleaned by 7 a.m. Saturday, But just a few hours later, they were filled with snow again from people snowblowing or shoveling.
“I understand people have to get to work and they have a small piece of property where they can put the snow but the purpose of the plowing is not to make it look good but it’s to make the road safe. And we need cooperation,” Ehrbar said.
The New Hyde Park village board approved a request by VFW Post 8031 to hold its annual Memorial Day Tribute parade on Saturday, May 25th. The parade route will begin at Hillside Boulevard, proceed east on Jericho Turnpike, north on New Hyde Park Road, and then west on Lincoln Avenue to Memorial Field for services.
While the board approved of their route, a discussion reflecting on previous issues with the route arose, particularly with the parade stopping at Village Hall and the length of the route.
The East Williston board of trustees has scheduled a public hearing on re-bidding its garbage collection contract for March 11 at 8 p.m. The village is under contract with Albertson-based DeJana Industries, which was the lowest bidder, after Meadow Carting, of Carle Place.
DeJana bid with the option to continue rear-yard pickup, which according to Mayor David Tanner, would save an estimated $10,000, should the village opt for that company.
Choosing Meadow Carting would result in savings in the neighborhood of $6,000 per year, according to village officials.
“Everyone should keep in mind, had we not bid, the cost would have gone up another $7,000,” Tanner said. “Regardless of who we end up selecting, we have a nice savings.”
About a dozen parents urged the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school board to keep class sizes to a minimum and retain enrichment programs, during a recent budget hearing.
One mother pointed out that the increased class sizes had caused a drastic, negative change on her daughter’s grades and confidence.
“We have no control over the Common Core (curriculum) so we only have teacher selection and class size to help these children adjust to third-grade challenges,” she said. “It was decided to place teachers inexperienced in 3rd grade curriculum and give them 28 students to teach. So I ask the board, what are we going to do to fix (this)?”
Noreen Lowey, president of the Garden City Park PTA also addressed the Board.
A group of aspiring students from Floral Park Memorial High School (FPMHS) recently received accolades not only from Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy but also cash from the MSG Varsity/Optimum Power to Learn initiative.
On Thursday, Jan. 31, the students were heralded during the Junior/Senior Challenge at the school for their participation in Charity Champions, a Cablevision-sponsored competition that promotes volunteerism and encourages area high schools to raise funds for a charity of their choice.
The New Hyde Park Village Board voted to grant itself power to exceed the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap on Tuesday, Feb. 5. However, the plan is to stay within the set limit.
Deputy mayor Robert Lofaro explained the measure was just to give New Hyde Park some breathing room. A final vote on the village budget is April 2.
New Hyde Park wanted the option available so the village does not end up painted into a corner when it comes time to put together a budget. If any village, without the override, goes over the cap, that village would incur heavy fines.
How much do parents really know about their children’s activities? That’s the question being asked in the wake of last week’s arrest of 26-year-old Gabriel Dipierno who is charged with stashing a massive quantity of guns, explosives and illegal drugs in his bedroom at his parents’ Franklin Square home. And, police say, his parents were unaware.
Is that possible? Yes.
Jeffrey Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence said it’s not uncommon for parents to miss the warning signs of trouble.
“Some of those folks by the very nature of addiction go on to deal in quantity and wind up headlong into this,” said Reynolds. “Very often, parents will come in, sit in my office with a handful of syringes and say ‘I found this in my kids room, what does this mean?’ As I walk through this, I see parents sit there in disbelief and part of this I think is none of us would not acknowledge that our kid was headed down that road.”
Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams has received many phone calls and letters from West Hempstead residents, but not about late trains. They are complaining about no train service at all, at least on weekends.
The inquiries have been coming since the new luxury apartment complex West 130 was erected near the West Hempstead train station, and weekend service was eliminated.
Since weekend trains were cut in 2010, the area resembles a ghost town after the last trains rolls through on Friday night. When the Courtesy Hotel was shuttered in January 2011 and demolished to make way for West 130 that May, talk of the return of weekend service surfaced, but little was done.
Four Nassau County school districts are to receive increases in state aid while two others are slated to see a decline, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s preliminary budget figures released last week.
The Herricks, Sewanhaka, East Williston and Elmont districts are looking at state aid increases. But the West Hempstead and New Hyde Park-Garden City Park districts are slated to see less state aid under Cuomo’s proposed figures, which may change during the legislative process this year.
Herricks School District saw a $2.29 million increase to $7,256,111, while the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District lost $134,887. The district was awarded $3,731,177 last year.
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