This letter is in response to a recent advertisement in the April 9th issue of The Levittown Tribune. In that issue, there was an advertisement for three individuals running for the Island Trees Board of Education in which certain statements were made about the current Board of Education and we would like to clarify them.
The Board of Education is elected by the community to oversee and make decisions on district spending. The Board of Education’s area of responsibility is to the Island Trees Schools, the children they educate and the residents of the district.
Gallow has not been used for Island Trees students for approximately 20 years. We actively looked and continue to look for tenants since BOCES—much to the Board’s disappointment—decided to vacate the Gallow building in 2013.
I went to the Levittown Property Association on April 8, 2014, for the “Meet the Candidates” forum. It was in the Levittown Tribune that the 6 candidates running for Island Trees School Board would be there. The 3 Board members—the President of the Board and 2 other board members did not show. However, the 3 new candidates were present.
I’ve attended the Feb. 10 community forum at the Island Trees High School, where 500 people were in attendance. I’ve been to the Island Trees Library Board meeting, the Island Trees budget meeting, another Library Board meeting and a Levittown Property Association meeting. I have not yet heard the Island Trees Board of Education’s answers on any of the questions asked by the public, from the Feb. 10 community forum to the Levittown Property Association meeting on April 8.
Nassau County’s animal protection agency just launched a new website feature that offers another way to report animal cruelty, and at the same time announced cash rewards of up to $5,000 for folks who turn in abusers. Officials were joined at a press conference by Miss Harper, a rescued pup whose ears and a leg had been cut off.
There is a crisis brewing in this country and it is one that does not get enough attention. That crisis is the growing number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and the fact that there is no way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression. Over 5 million people are currently living with this disease, with over 300,000 living in New York State. If left unchecked, there may be as many as 14 million people living with this disease by mid-century.
There are also 15.5 million friends and relatives who work tirelessly as caregivers for their loved ones who slowly forget who they are, how to take care of themselves and how to do basic things like go to the bathroom and swallow. In addition to the human toll,
Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in the nation, costing $214 billion a year. This number will rise to the trillions by 2050. If we could eliminate Alzheimer‘s tomorrow, we could save half a million lives every year, not to mention the cost savings that would result.
The Island Trees School Board adopted a resolution on February 12, 2014, to reduce property taxes for military veterans and Gold Star parents - those who have lost a child serving in the armed forces. The new law signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo in December provides eligible veterans with a partial tax exemption by lowering their property’s assessed value. Dennis Dunne, Nassau County legislator, thanked the Board on behalf of all Nassau County veterans. For questions about the new law or eligibility requirements, please call the Nassau County Department of Assessment, (516) 571-1500.
Island Trees Board of Education
Kenneth Rochon, President
Kristen Daum, Vice President
I am certain John Owens can respond to the recent critical letter faulting is opposition to the imposition of the new core curriculum in New York State schools. I support Owens’ position. The writer assumes Owens opposes excellence because he describes the psychological factors present in every learning environment. Intelligence, and the willingness to apply it are individual endowments. They need the proper atmosphere. A teacher’s job is to provide those conditions favorable to learning. Owens’ insight in this regard is commendable. Excellence cannot be imposed, least of all by bureaucratic fiat nor corporate competition.
In many respects, Levittown and the growth of suburbia and the middle class in the three decades after World War II was a hybrid of politically charged goals and interests from both liberals and conservatives.
Liberals once championed the oppressed and downtrodden. Not anymore. The right of affluent gay professionals with secure incomes and no family obligations to throw themselves lavish weddings in Phoenix’s most palatial catering hall means more to them than
Arizona’s homeless or jobless residents. The animal rights of cows is a greater concern than the low pay and working conditions of meat-packing workers; than the young people with college degrees who need food stamps to purchase beef. The rights of some deadbeat to get stoned on marijuana whilst awaiting the welfare check’s arrival is of greater import than families working three or four jobs to pay for those who won’t work one.
There is more than one way to make the news.
Last weekend, a couple dozen high schools from Nassau County, including students from Island Trees, went to Hofstra University to demonstrate their prowess at building robots in the 15th annual Long Island Regional First Robotics Competition. The teams have been working since early January, when they first got their assignment and parts kits from FIRST headquarters.
It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.
There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas (the giving holiday) and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry (often as a kind of object lesson for children) and comfort the lonely.
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.
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