Residents in the Island Trees school district may need to pony up more in taxes as a result of a proposed exemption for veterans. Across New York State, school districts are being asked to provide this special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability.
While 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.
In light of the overwhelming response from the community, surrounding a controversial proposal to develop 11.3 acres of Island Trees school property—currently occupied by the Karopczyc and Gallow schools—to make room for 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55, school district officials are now saying they plan to slow down their process.
“As a result [of the community forum on Feb. 10] the district will solicit volunteers to study the Farmedge property in more detail,” said Island Trees School Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy.
Shots were fired outside of 1 Carter Place in Levittown after a discrepancy between a 58-year-old tenant and his landlord escalated into a physical altercation.
According to police, the altercation started when the tenant, Rohan J. Kahn, pulled the landlord into the apartment, punched him in the face and kicked him.
The victim, 51, was able to run from the apartment but was followed by Kahn, now armed with a rifle.
The Levittown Board of Education met on Feb. 11 for the first workshop in a series of several scheduled over the upcoming months to keep the public appraised of how their tax dollars are being spent.
According to Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance William J. Pastore, who gave a presentation on the District’s budget for the next school year, Levittown is working hard to ensure a balanced spending plan while avoiding cuts and making the most of the resources available.
“This budget is designed to enhance the instructional program,” he said. “It maintains the athletic, art, and music programs, and well as current class sizes and guidelines, and it utilizes our reserve funds.”
News of the proposed development of 160 to 247 condominium units on the 11.3 acres of property occupied by the Karopczyc and Gallow schools, has stirred quite a commotion in the Island Trees schools community, as over 500 concerned parents, teachers, students, faculty and staff packed the high school auditorium last week for a community forum on the farmedge property.
“We’re just starting the conversation,” said Island Trees Board of Education President Ken Rochon. “It is your choice ultimately, but as a board we feel this a good deal.”
According to Rochon, the forum was held to gauge the public’s opinion on the proposed sale, which he feels would leave the district in better financial shape for years to come. The Island Trees Board of Education also acknowledged that it will put it up to a
public referendum, which will be held separate from the school budget vote in May, to determine whether or not the district can sell the property, not the proposed project itself. According to school officials, the developer can at any time change the project by petitioning the Town of Hempstead.
A high-speed hit-and-run case on Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown left an unidentified 14-year-old student severally injured.
According to police, at approximately 3:52 p.m. on Feb. 6, the student, who just left school with three of her classmates, was struck by an eastbound brown or tan four-door vehicle and was thrown into the air. After the collsion, the girl was subsequently struck by two other vehicles that were unable to stop in time to avoid her and had remained at the scene.
The Island Trees school district is currently considering a proposal to construct 160 to 247 condominium apartments on the 11.3 acres of property on Farmedge Road—currently housing the Karopcyc and Gallow schools—which has supporters of the Island Trees
Public Library speaking out against plans to relocate the facility to its former location.
Should the district proceed with the plans, the Island Trees Public Library would need to be relocated from its current location at the Karopcyc school, to its former location at the Memorial Middle School.
On Feb. 1, the Library Board of Trustees met with over 50 people from the community regarding the school district’s proposal and what it would mean for the future of the library.
After more than a year of assisting residents affected by Hurricane Sandy, Project Hope crisis counselors will soon hang up their logo-adorned blue fleece vests. Before they do, they will work with local agencies to ensure a smooth transition of services for those who continue to struggle.
“People had their lives turned upside down by Hurricane Sandy, and getting back to living their life, instead of focusing solely on recovering it, takes time,” said Project Hope Director Ken Gnirke. “For some people, that time can be counted in months. For others, it can take much longer, so we are working to ensure there is continuity of concern as Project Hope phases down and our program ends.”
For one night only, the students of Island Trees High School got to strut their stuff under bright lights and pounding speakers in front of a capacity audience, displaying their natural abilities in the areas of song and dance at the school’s 2014 Talent Show.
J. Peter Hansen, a music teacher at the middle and high schools, has been running the talent show for over two decades, and he said that it’s become quite the spectacle after its initial humble beginnings many years ago.
“I myself have been doing this for 21 years,” he said. “We started with a little tiny mixing board and a DJ set up in the band pit, but when they refurbished the auditorium, they put all this beautiful sound equipment in, and now we can sit back in the booth and run it all.”
“I don’t have a job. I have a life.” These are the words of Father Ralph Sommer, 57, who has dedicated his rich and inspirational life as a Priest to making his community a better one.
Sommer was born in Flushing Hospital and lived in Valley Stream up until he was eight years old. Afterwards his parents and three younger siblings moved to Garden City where he spent most of his life growing up.
“My parents encouraged us to be creative. They always wanted us to be doing something. Sure we had a TV but my parents preferred us to be active. My family would put on puppet shows and we even had a little family newspaper we would put together by getting news from the neighborhood. My entire family was in the parish choir. It made road trips exciting because we could always sing songs in harmony,” Sommer said with a chuckle.
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