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Budget Woes Could = Bigger Classes

Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00

Parents voice concerns as board develops budget, battles state mandate

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. 

 

They’re Charity Champions

Written by Marilou Giammona Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00

MSG Varsity, Optimum donate funds to school’s charitable activities 

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. 

 

Exceed The Cap?

Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00

Village still plans to avoid cap piercing, POP cop discusses New Hyde Park crimes

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.

 

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00

Franklin Square parents unaware of son’s massive cache of guns and drugs in bedroom, says cops

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.”

 

Next Stop: Not West Hempstead

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00

On weekends it’s a ghost town, but are station times a changin’?

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.

 

State Aid Hike For Four Districts

Written by Rich Forestano and Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

Two school districts see decreases 

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.

 

Yearbook Of The…20th Century?

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

Former Carey High School teacher one of the first to create video yearbooks

Bob Walpole did it to raise money for Carey High School athletics decades ago. He’d lug his trusty camera around the hallways of the 230 Poppy Avenue teaching ground, documenting students to give them something to watch years later with family and friends: a video yearbook. Walpole just wanted to help, but what he would learn decades later is he may have been the first anywhere to do such a thing.

The former high school gym teacher may be one of the first ever to create video yearbooks, something that’s become a staple with the ever-growing area of video technology. Walpole’s first visual scrapbook rolled on screens in 1983.

 

Elmont HS Lockdown: Taking No Chances

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00

Thirty-one days after terror struck Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Elmont Memorial High School was locked down due to a 911 call that brought back unwanted memories of a sunny Dec. 14 that turned dark in an instant. Luckily in Nassau County, it was a toy that brought about the lockdown – not the real thing. 

The high school was locked down early Tuesday morning on Jan. 15 after a suspicious person was seen putting what looked like a gun in a backpack, according to police. A four-hour search ensued, with police finding an air-powered Nerf toy lever-action pistol.

Nassau County Police said a person called 911 at about 7:40 a.m. and reported seeing a male teenager walk into the school with the toy. Authorities confirmed the gun was a lime green.

 

New Hyde Park Gets Thumbs Up From Auditors

Written by Michael Scro Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00

Budget talks tob egin in February

The Village of New Hyde Park received a positive summary of its financial statements for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2012 by independent auditor William Barrett, a Certified Public Accountant and partner with Rynkar Vail & Barrett. during its Tuesday, Jan. 15 meeting.  

According to Barrett’s report, the village had $3.1 million more in assets over liabilities as of May 31, 2012.  The village is required to record a liability for other post employment benefits that is approximately $460,000 to $470,000 annually.  This requirement is three years old, and the liability is $1.44 million as of May 31, 2012.

“No government in New York State can pay this liability,” Barrett said.

 

Hempstead Settles In Former Shelter Volunteer Lawsuit

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 18 January 2013 00:00

Animal advocacy group to campaign for shelter privatization

The road less traveled is definitely one that has been trodden for the last two years by Diane Madden, Lucille DeFina and Frances Lucivero-Pelletier. Whether or not the end is in sight remains to be seen, but an official ruling that came down may be a sign of things to come.

A lawsuit by the former Hempstead Animal Shelter volunteers came to a head on Tuesday, Jan. 9, when a settlement was reached in a federal district court in Central Islip. The Town of Hempstead offered a $150,000 settlement to the three women.

The animal lovers filed suit in December 2010 against Supervisor Kate Murray and seven employees, claiming their first amendment rights were violated after whistle blowing alleged animal abuse at the Wantagh facility. The shelter has been accused of financial mismanagement and has been investigated by top governmental administration, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

 

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