Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00
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.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.