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Letter: School Aid and the Budget

Recently, Governor Cuomo announced a 3 percent statewide school aid increase in his proposed Executive Budget. Although his school aid budget may have increased, this “increase” did not materialize for most Nassau County school districts. In fact, Island Trees experienced a slight school aid decrease in this “increased” 2014-15 Executive Budget. Unfortunately, since the start of the Great Recession of 2010, Island Trees school aid has decreased a total of $7,628,347, the equivalent of a 19 percent increase on the tax levy.

Although our budget challenges have grown with dwindling state aid, the Island Trees Board of Education has found sensible ways to balance the school budget with very modest increases to the tax levy. In this increasingly grim climate, the Board has made conscientious reductions and has found creative solutions to address the state aid issues with minimal impact to our quality educational programs and services. Incredibly, at this point in the 2014 budgeting process (March), our projected tax levy increase, .66 percent (less than one percent), is the lowest in well over a decade. By and large, the Board has been able to strike a healthy balance between meeting the needs of our students and responding to the financial concerns of the community and will continue to do so. 

 

Island Trees Board of Education 

 

Kenneth Rochon, President 

 

Kristen Daum, Vice President

 

Daniel Donahue 

 

Patricia Mahon

 

Kim McDonough

 

Barbara Medellin

 

George Storm


News

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



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