Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00
The Levittown Public School District’s Board of Education—following in the footsteps of the neighboring Island Trees School district—recently adopted a proposed tax break for veterans.
Throughout New York State, school districts are being asked to vote on a special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability.
Although a similar exemption already exists at the county level, the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community.
At a public hearing, on March 12, members of the Levittown Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the exemption. According to Assistant Superintendent of Business William Pastore, estimate approximately 1,562 veterans in the district are eligible to apply for the tax break. Of the total 1,563 veterans eligble, only 628 qualify as combat veterans, 97 qualify as a veteran with a service-connected disablity, and 837 qualify for a noncombat exemption.
“The Board of Education was happy to grant this extension to the many veterans in the Levittown community,” said Levittown Schools Superintendent Dr. James Grossane. “We have never forgotten that Levittown was planned and built for veterans, and we are pleased to acknowledge their service to this country in this way.”
Any impact to school and library taxes as a result of the exemption, would need to be picked up by non-veteran taxpayers. As a result, residents who are ineligible for this tax exemption are being asked to pay $55.11 more in school taxes and $2.99 more in library taxes, for a total annual increase of $58.10 more per household.
Board members explained that the approval of the Alternative Veterans exemption, would also extend to "Gold Star" Parents, who lost a child during combat. According to Board President Kevin Regan, the Board of Education adopted the alternative exemption on behalf of the Levittown community to show appreciation to the veterans and their families.
“Levittown was built as a community for veterans and we should be at the forefront in approving this veterans exemption,” Regan said.
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.