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Election Issues

With Election Day around the corner, voters going to the polls are looking for candidates that will follow through on campaign pledges to fix problems and admit accountability when situations go south. Among the myriad taxpayer problems are the continuing soap opera that developing the Nassau Coliseum has become, the lack of governmental transparency that became evident in recent events including a lawsuit filed by banned workers at the animal shelter and ongoing aircraft noise that has been severely affecting quality of life. 

 

Now that Forest City Ratner Cos., (the organization that wound up moving the Islanders to the Barclays Center), has won the redevelopment sweepstakes, one of the questions being asked is where all these people are going to park once construction is done on whatever destinations wind up being constructed be it a technology park or entertainment venue. The Town of Hempstead got the process started by issuing a 2011 town zoning change that would allow the constructing of multi-tiered parking facilities that would hold more than 6,000 vehicles. Subsequently, the county is requesting $10 million from Albany to steer towards the overall $150 million cost of these garages estimated by

Renaissance Downtowns of Plainview, the master developer for the site picked by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. At the August press conference where the announcement was made that Forest City Ratner had been picked to oversee all of the Hub’s redevelopmnet, Mangano said, “Today marks a historic public-private partnership in Nassau County history as I announce the construction of a 100% privately financed Coliseum that will share revenue with the County at zero expense to the taxpayer.” Further more, this shared revenue would run for the duration of the 34-year lease. And while town residents can look forward to no new taxes and future profits for Nassau County, there is a distinct possibility that once the Islanders leave in 2015, this sprawling site will lay fallow for an undetermined amount of time given how slowly the wheels of government turn on projects of this magnitude.

 

A 2010 suit filed by three volunteer animal shelter workers who claimed they were banned by the Town of Hempstead was settled for $150,000 earlier this year. During village board meetings held during this time, Town Supervisor Kate

Murray and Town Attorney Joseph Ra refused to answer questions about the animal shelter citing the pending lawsuit. And according to Felix Procacci, who is running for Murray’s seat this fall, an audit conducted by State Comptroller Tom

DiNapoli found roughly 40 percent of the shelter’s budget unaccounted for. 

 

The Town-Village Safety & Noise Abatement Committee (TVASNAC) is a coalition of 13 communities that has been fighting the problem of low-flying planes, a problem that has plagued the town for decades. With Kendall Lampkin, executive assistant to the town supervisor, chairing the committee, the Town of Hempstead is and continues to be fully committed to dealing with these noise issues. Unfortunately, forward progress continues to be elusive, especially given the sporadic attendance at meetings of FAA and various federal officials promising to answer questions posed by constituents and their representatives. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

News

After announcing his resignation from the Levittown School District last January, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane has accepted a new job as Superintendent of the Smithtown Central School District. 

 

“I look forward to the new challenges awaiting me in the Smithtown Central School District,” Grossane said. “I wish the Levittown Public Schools and its students, parents and staff all the best as they continue to move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Five year projection shows tough road ahead

The Levittown Board of Education unanimously adopted a $198.7 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which comes with a proposed tax levy increase of 1.62 percent. This represents a $2.1 million increase from last year, for a proposed levy of $133.2 million.   

 

The Levittown school district will receive $49,163,299 in state aid for the 2014-2015 school year, which increased by $690,049 from last year’s budget. The other revenues also show an increase of $684,250 from last year. 

 

In the past seven years, the district received its largest percentage of state aid in 2008-2009 with 30 percent. According to Assistant Superintendent Bill Pastore, state aid has decreased since then, leveling off for the past few years and coming in at slightly below 25 percent for 2014-15.


Sports

The Farmingdale State College baseball team earned an 8-2 victory over the College of Staten Island in a recent non-conference home game.

 

In the bottom of the second, left fielder Richard Sullivan of Farmingdale broke broke the scoreless tie on a two out RBI single. Senior third baseman Sal Sanquini of Levittown would go on to hit an RBI single through the left side to increase the lead 2-0. Sanquini was 2-for-4 at the plate with a game-high of 3 RBIs.

The Island Trees varsity softball team had an amazing 8-3 win in extra innings on April 2nd against a previously unbeaten Clarke team to improve their league record to 2-0.  Ashley Melendez opened up the scoring with a solo homerun to lead off the 4th inning. 

 

Although the team relinquished the lead in the 4th and 5thinnings, they did not let the negative turn of events get the best of them.   Down one with three outs left, Sam Scharff led off the top of the 7th with an amazing bunt for a hit.  Christie Ciaramitaro and Kelly Cembrale both reached on errors to keep the inning and team’s hopes alive.  Morgan Petry roped an RBI single up the middle to score courtesy runner, Kim Ahrens with the tying run.   


Calendar

Bellmore FD Fundraiser - April 25

Earth Day Cleanup - April 26

Bowling For Scholars - April 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com