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Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: June 26, 2009

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 09:59

Hopefully a Push to Improve Schools Across the Country

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal addressed the shortcomings of many business plans. One major shortcoming, a shortcoming more prevalent among companies with a new technology, is a plan based on the assumption that what that company has is the best in the business and that that fact is sufficient to overcome all challenges. The author of the article said that one should avoid companies with such plans because (1) they probably did not have “world beaten” technology and (b) anyone who assumed that that alone was a plan had not come to grips with the challenges of the market place.


What Do You Know About Herricks?: June 19, 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009 09:58

Creating the Herricks School District (Part I)

We don’t know when the district actually began operating its own school. There was a school by 1842 (there is a reference to it in a state report), and maps from the 1850s show a schoolhouse in the location of the former Administration Building. But the early years are murky, and it’s not easy to pick a specific moment when the Herricks schools were definitively created.

Soon after they showed up here in the middle of the 17th century, Europeans established schools that lightly dotted the countryside. The Dutch had encouraged publicly-funded schools, and liquor taxes were used to pay a schoolmaster at Hempstead as early as 1658. After the English booted the Dutch out once and for all, most local schools were sponsored by churches, or by interested families willing to pay a subscription fee. However, there was no formal public school system as we know it until many years after the Revolution.


Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: June 19, 2009

Written by Dr. John Bierwirth Thursday, 18 June 2009 09:54

Grade 8 ELA/Math Assessments

Each year I track the results of the New York State Grade 8 English/Language Arts (ELA) and Math assessments. While I look at the results of all of the grades I focus on Grade 8 since it presumably represents the cumulative achievement of all of the years to that point. (If, for example, students are doing well in grades 3-5 but fall behind by the time they reach Grade 8 the earlier scores are much less meaningful.)

The results of the 2009 statewide results are in. Based on combined mean ELA and Math scores the top 10 districts in New York were as follows:


Letter: Can’t Convince Them, Confuse Them

Thursday, 11 June 2009 08:32

Harry S. Truman once said, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

It sounds like the mantra adopted by some of our state legislators who quickly jumped on the consolidation bandwagon by introducing insignificant legislation merely to placate special interest groups and garner media attention.


Letter: What Does ‘Without Recommendation’ Really Mean?

Thursday, 11 June 2009 08:29

In the world of Albany politics, that produces record spending, unfunded mandates, and massive tax and fee increases year after year, a state senator or assembly member can dance on the head of a legislative pin to enable themselves to talk out of both sides of their mouths as they run away from their constitutional duties and responsibilities.

For instance, a state legislator sitting on a committee can vote “yes” or “no” or “without recommendation” in moving a bill forward from a committee to the floor of the Senate or Assembly. As we all know, the word “yes” means yes and the word “no” means no. These kinds of words with absolute meaning do not play well in Albany. Therefore, Albany insiders have created a third way of voting called “without recommendation.”


Letter: Mayor Daniel Petruccio Troubled With New Law

Written by Daniel P. Petruccio, New Hyde Park Village Mayor Thursday, 04 June 2009 14:46

I am writing concerning a very troubling issue. It is the attempt by the New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, to push the State Assembly and Senate into adopting a law which is intended to and will make it easier to dissolve a village such as ours.

Mr. Cuomo has introduced what he calls “landmark legislation” entitled the “New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act.” This law is purely and simply an attempt to eliminate villages, fire districts and other local forms of government and to establish Big Government in New York State.

Our village form of government was created in order to provide the most responsive and economic method of administering public affairs for our residents. It is based upon the principle of subsidiarity, which stands for the proposition that governmental decisions are best made by those people closest to the issues and closest to the people affected by them. That is the very model for state government. As we move from village to town to county to state we realize that government becomes more and more unresponsive to our local needs.

We all recently experienced the benefit of the village form of government when New York State and the MTA tried to cram a third track on the LIRR down our throats. What derailed that project? Villages. The villages along the main line protected the quality of life of our citizens when Big Government wanted to have its way in spite of local concerns. The village form of government works.

We have read about some special districts where, unfortunately, financial and other abuses took place. But the checks and balances and auditing contained in the village form of government protect us against those abuses. They don’t exist in villages. So why are villages targeted for elimination?

Villages control local zoning regulations in order to protect, promote and preserve the quality of life for their residents. But these regulations sometimes prevent massive, Big-government sponsored projects from being plunked down in communities. The Big-government agenda – expanded mass transit at any price, mandatory affordable housing, monopolies on solid waste disposal (and the consequent higher costs), sprawling developments – will be advanced in our communities unless our village form of government is there to protect us.

So that’s one of the reasons for getting rid of villages. They are an annoyance to Big Government.

The other reason is money. Since villages collect and manage their own taxes, these monies do not fall into the hands of Big Government which wants to control these funds. The people in Big Government think that they can better spend and watch over your tax dollars than can the neighbors you elect at the local level to do that job. They can’t. Just look what they’ve done to our state, county and nation.

I am calling upon all residents of New Hyde Park to join with the Village Trustees and me in opposing Mr. Cuomo’s proposal. Please contact our State Senator and our State Assemblyman and tell them to promise to vote NO when the Cuomo proposal comes before them. We need a commitment from them. They can be reached as follows:

Senator Craig M. Johnson
151 Herricks Road, Suite 202
Garden City Park, New York 11040
Phone: (516) 746-5923
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Assemblyman Tom McKevitt
224 Seventh Street, Suite 200
Garden City, New York 11530
Phone: (516) 739-5119
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Assemblyman Tom Alfano
Chase Building
925 Hempstead Turnpike, Room 350
Franklin Square, New York 11010
Phone: (516) 437-5577
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Let us together commit to fight Mr. Cuomo’s attack upon the village form of government. Let us together pledge to do everything within our power to keep New Hyde Park the wonderful community which we have all built.


Letter: Becoming The City of Nassau for Sure

Written by Edward W. Powers Thursday, 04 June 2009 14:42

First they came for our water district and we said nothing and it disappeared. Then they came for our fire district and we said nothing and it disappeared. Then they came for our school districts and someone said, “Don’t worry, the school districts are exempt from the power grab.” Then they came for our village and someone said, “This is a Home Rule state, you can’t do that.” Then the village disappeared by the whim of just one out of every 10 resident voters and the nonresidents paid petitioners who would seek their signatures under the knives of property tax savings.

After all of our districts and village were gone, someone said, “Let’s rename the County of Nassau the City of Nassau.” Someone then said, “That means that our property taxes will be lowered to the amounts paid by property owners in the City of New York.” Then several Nassau County officials, who support Andrew Cuomo’s Albany Assembly Bill A8051 and Senate  Bill S5661, that was shepherded out of committee by Craig Johnson said, “Oh no, you must be mistaken, this is an exercise in the consolidation of power and patronage and the destruction of  home rule. We need all the property taxes we currently collect in the County of Nassau, so we can lard up the new and improved further from the people bureaucracy of the new City of Nassau.”


The Mayor’s Corner: May 29, 2009

Written by Williston Park Mayor Ludwig Odierna Thursday, 28 May 2009 16:19

Gazebo Concerts Set to Start on June 11th 

The Gazebo Concert schedule is starting to fill up. We have our opening Flag Day BBQ and concert on Thursday June 11th.

“South Shore Brass” will be providing the entertainment and a BBQ free of charge is offered for our Seniors. All concerts will begin at 7:00 p.m. King Kullen will again be donating the food for our BBQ and we have received a generous donation from the DeFranco’s of IHOP to provide soda and water at our BBQ. Thank you to IHOP and remember to patronize our local businesses.


Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: May 29, 2009

Written by John Bierwirth Thursday, 28 May 2009 16:15

Part II of Tips for Parents and Students on Cyber-bullying

What Parents Can Do

1. Learn everything you can about the Internet and what your kids are doing online. Talk to them about the places they go online and the activities that they are involved in. Be aware of what your kids are posting on websites, including their own personal home pages.


Desk of Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth: May 22, 2009

Written by By Dr. John Bierwirth Thursday, 21 May 2009 17:20

Tips for Students on Cyber-bullying – Part I

Over the next two weeks, I would like to share some tips for parents and students on cyber-bullying. These came to us from the Nassau County Police Department via a Herricks PTA officer. They are good, common sense suggestions.


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