News

Nighttime closures on the Roslyn Viaduct construction begin Jan. 21 for the protection of motorists and workers. The Tower Foundation of Manhasset holds presentations on Interactive Whiteboards (IAW). Tower's goal is to place an IWB in every classroom throughout the school district. A representative for NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli waited for residents at town hall to search the database for forgotten or overlooked funds gathering dust in the $8 billion in unclaimed funds held by the state. The database goes back 70 years. Manhasset's first-ever Christmas Tree Recycling day, organized by the SCA's Planet Manhasset eco-committee, exceeded all expectations, with a whopping 130-plus trees brought in for recycling in just three hours. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court to appoint a special master to oversee replacing New York State's 20,000 lever machines including Nassau, Suffolk and New York City by the November 2008 election. New York State law insists on verifiable votes.

Nassau County officials receive pay raises. The Nassau County Legislature approved: a raise of $65,220 for County Executive Tom Suozzi from $109,394 to $174,614; $16,300 for District Attorney Kathleen Rice to $166,300; $57,630 for Comptroller Howard Weitzman to $166,300; $66,300 for Assessor Harvey Levinson and County Clerk Maureen O'Connell to $166,300 each. Taxpayers commuting on the LIRR Port Washington line, including Manhasset and Plandome stations, traveling to Zone I, which includes Penn Station, will see their monthly tickets increase from $178 to $185 while a one-way peak ticket will increase from $8.25 to $8.50. Manhasset School District teachers voted for a new contract effective July 1, 2008 and ending June 30, 2012. The projected total four-year cost of the contract is $4,523,440. The increase in health benefit costs for the four years is 10 percent per year premium increase. Teacher contributions for health benefit coverage in each of the next four yeas are 19, 21, 22, and 22 percent. The average teacher salary in 2007-08 is $96,555; projected in 2008-09 it is $100,781.

La Coquille restaurant was the elegant setting for the Installation Luncheon of the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce. Manhasset High School senior Kadeem Howell qualified for the indoor track and field national championships by triple jumping 46 feet 4 inches at the Hispanic Games in the New York City Armory. Howell's jump ranks him third in New York State; fifth in the eastern U.S. and 15th in the United States. He is being recruited by 15 eastern U.S. track schools.

Students raise thousands for Special Education Parent Teachers Association (SEPTA) special needs parent resource section at Manhasset Public Library. School board issues statement on salary increase of $40,000 for Superintendent Charlie Cardillo to $250,000. Governor Eliot Spitzer discussed capping property taxes with local residents and discussed the formation of his Commission on Property Tax Relief. The girls of Brownie Troop #557 made Valentines to send to a colonel and soldiers under his command stationed in Southern Baghdad.

Special taxing district reforms are proposed. State budget calls for town control of independent garbage districts and end to commissioner salaries and benefits. St. Mary's fifth-grade girls basketball team, coached by Chris Jones and Charlie Albanese, was able to accomplish what the NFL's New England Patriots failed to do, stay undefeated for an entire season and bring a championship title back to their hometown. Kadeem Howell wins three conference championships in track-the 55 meters (6.7 feet) long jump (19'7 3/4") and the triple jump (43'2") to score 30 points for his team during the Conference VI Track Championships. Senate unanimously passes H.R. 1216, an important child auto safety measure. Susan Auriemma of Manhasset was involved in the passage of the bill called the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007. At the annual State of the Town luncheon sponsored by the Port Washington-Manhasset League of Women Voters, Jon Kaiman, Town of North Hempstead supervisor, affirmed the town finished the year with a surplus, the bond ratings remain at the highest level, and the tax rate was cut by "a nominal amount" in 2008. Kaiman said that the town's good financial position makes it possible to launch new initiatives such as "Project Independence," which helps seniors to "age in place" - to remain in their own homes with the support of the government and the community. Also the town's first hybrid bus was delivered this year. Recycling will be a top priority in 2008. He said the town is working on a long-term disposal agreement with the villages to make sure that all of the solid waste is disposed of in "an environmentally sound and safe manner." The town, Kaiman said, has partnered with the county to clean the bays and harbors, including the re-seeding of Hempstead Harbor with shellfish that help clean the water. Kaiman announced that other plans for 2008 include substantial improvements to the town's infrastructure, the Mill Pond (Port Washington) restoration, a parking garage in Port Washington, and an indoor sports facility on the land the town acquired from Nassau County (across from Bar Beach on West Shore Road), upgrading the Senior Center in Manorhaven that was recently acquired by the town, and continued improvements of parks, ball fields, and playgrounds. Redevelopment of North Hempstead Beach Park, created through a merger of Bar Beach Park and Hempstead Harbor Park (the latter recently ceded to the town from the county) begins.

Also, the town, together with Senator Chuck Schumer's office, has reached an agreement with the Eastern Region Helicopter Council whereby the flight path from New York to the Hamptons will be changed so that the copters will, for the most part, fly over the water instead of over the peninsula. Kaiman said that the town is addressing the issue of affordable housing. He said that he has proposed an amendment to the town code to allow for a density bonus when the developer adds affordable housing, as well as an amendment to allow accessory housing under some circumstances.

Following problems at the building department, the investigation of which resulted in the recent arrest of four employees, Kaiman announced the recent hiring of a new commissioner, Kevin Cronin, and a deputy, Ed Sullivan, who, together with a new computer system, will address the backlog in the building department.

There was also discussion about the 168 acres of parkland across from Hempstead Harbor Park. Kaiman said that they are "looking to see what the community wants." St. Mary's CYO won two prestigious awards -the Nassau Suffolk CYO Girls Basketball Programs 2007/2008 Sportsmanship Awards; one for the fourth-grade and one for the seventh-grade divisions. A major break occurred in an 8-inch water main owned by the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District in Munsey Park on Park Avenue between Ridge Crescent and Munsey Place. Although the water main break has been repaired, Park Avenue has experienced undermining of the road base and remains closed to traffic. Students would have had a "snow day" on Feb. 22 and no school had they not already been off for winter break. The area received about six inches of snow and as the children were building snowmen roadway commuters were challenged and air travelers forced to cope with over 1,000 cancelled flights at nearby airports. Business owners of Gallery Couture and G Couture, Afshin and David Haghani, announced the opening of their third and newest clothing store in Manhasset-Loop. In 1973 the Manhasset Public Library honored Francine Barkan with its first one-woman show. The library will host a reception for the artist 35 years later, a retrospective of her work from the early 1970s to the present.

Anton Community Newspapers introduces "Section Two" a new color section to be included each week in its 18 newspapers. Fire destroyed a home in Flower Hill on Colony Lane that was unoccupied and under construction at the time. No injuries were reported. Manhasset/Lakeville, Port Washington and Plandome Fire Departments extinguished the fire with approximately 100 firemen and 15 trucks on the scene. Rosemary Johnson, Manhasset School District assistant superintendent for business, conducted an internal investigation into whether the school district had ever appointed an attorney in private practice as an employee of the district. She confirmed that no attorney currently or previously representing Manhasset schools has or had been appointed or paid as an employee of the district, whether as a part time or full time employee. Councilwoman Maria-Christina Poons participated in a Point of Distribution (POD) training seminar at Harbor Links Golf Course. A POD is a location within a community where medications, both oral and injectable, can be quickly distributed to the public during a health emergency. Medicines are released at the national level to local stockpile sites to be dispersed by the county. The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset (LWV) held a panel discussion on immigration, as part of a two-year immigration study launched by the national LWV aimed at helping communities understand the implications of immigration at the local, state, and federal level.

The Special Olympics Polar Plunge, part of the town's Winterfest, was a huge success and the crowd of hundreds of plungers and onlookers were unfazed by the heavy downpour at Bar Beach. Official opening of the Palliative Care Unit (PCU) at North Shore University Hospital. Another amazing season for the Edge Hockey Team, a group of players made up of 10/11-year-olds from Nassau County, Queens and the Bronx, who competed fearlessly to finish first in the LIAHL Championship in Brewster. The 2008 May W. Newburger Women's Roll of Honor includes Nancy Cole, Seval LaRocca and Uma O'Donnell of Manhasset. You no longer need to travel overseas to taste the flavors of Italy now that Michael Tizzano and Massimo Gamella opened up Sisina 2 Go. The Manhasset Post 304 of the American Legion conducted its annual Community Service Awards ceremony recognizing those individuals who have rendered commendable service to the Manhasset Community. Locals receiving awards were Bill Miller, Plandome Fire Department's "Fireman of the Year" and Pat Grace, editor of the Manhasset Press. Suozzi gives seventh State of County address calling for consolidation of school services, creation of cool downtowns to reduce property taxes and expand the tax base. Suozzi said the county's portion of the property tax bill has decreased from 22.7 percent to 17.5 percent, or 5 percent less than the day he took office. Suozzi hopes to consolidate some of the 620 separate taxing authorities that operate in Nassau with little or no oversight. And Suozzi said one of the largest contributors to property taxes in the county is the school system where taxes have gone up, on average, 7 percent each year for the last fie years.

Plans have been in the works for some time to refurbish Town Hall on Plandome Road. It is in need of a facelift and bricks will be repaired, new walkway, trim painted, lighting, landscaping, retaining wall replaced-to mention a few projects on the list. Greater Council of Civic Organizations meeting addressed illegal transient parking in neighborhoods surrounding the LIRR train station, status of the visioning process for Plandome Road that seems to go nowhere, maintenance of storm drains, water spillage over Bayview Avenue down by the bay, flotillas stored in the bay in the area near the Equinox Gym, and an intermunicipal agreement between the town and the Village of Plandome Heights regarding Plandome Pond Park, now owned by the town although the county retained ownership of the sump pump adjacent to the park. The development of the Christ Church property on Northern Boulevard into condos for 55 years and older was also discussed.

Elections in most Manhasset villages took place. Mayors Harry Nicholaides (Munsey Park), Barbara Donno (Plandome Manor), and Charlie Weiss (Flower Hill), participated in a POD (Point of Distribution) training seminar at Harbor Links Golf Course. The training was hosted by the Town of North Hempstead. Elizabeth Ehrhardt is the new Manhasset Public Library volunteer art exhibit coordinator. In line with the efforts of the SCA's eco-committee Planet Manhasset, the principals of both Munsey Park and Shelter Rock schools kicked off 2008 with an initiative to reduce paper use and be more environmentally responsible. Parents and interested community members are encouraged to take advantage of the school district's eNews notification system and the SCA's weekly e-newsletter, SCA Highlights. These joint email systems are intended to replace the traditional "Backpack Express," via which the school formerly sent all notices and fliers intended for schoolwide distribution. The Manhasset Middle School hockey team made the league playoffs for the second straight season. Thousands of letters were mailed to the Manhasset community by the Manhasset Student Aid Association which helps needy students from town pay for post high school educational expenses.

Manhasset Public Library budget hearing held April 9 at the library: the meeting must be held five to 14 days prior to the budget/trustee vote. One trustee is up for election. Current library trustees are: James E. Pelzer, president; Seval LaRocca, vice president; Francis J. Hone, financial secretary; Richard Tortora, trustee and Heidi McNamara, trustee. Following the April elections in 2007 a trustee tendered her letter of resignation effective June 2007. To complete her term of office, at the library board meeting in July 2007, the trustees appointed Heidi McNamara for the term to expire June 30, 2008 thus Heidi McNamara is running in April for trustee for a term of five years. Generally in Manhasset trustees run unopposed while in neighboring towns three or four vie for the position. Dr. Irwin Kellner, noted economist, lectures on 'The Economy and You.' Are we heading for a recession? Are we presently in a recession? At school board budget work session Superintendent Cardillo reads letter sent to a resident stating district policy is in compliance with state requirements regarding calculators, distribution of reading materials and other items. After meeting with local groups around town regarding the proposed development of the Christ Church property the developers address the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce. Their plan is to build a low-rise condo complex consisting of one building, with no more than 61 total units, two bedrooms each, for 55 and older residents at an estimated average sales price of $900,000. The proposed building will be four stories and it was said be within one foot of the height of the existing structure.

New York State Public Service Commission voted to grant Certificates of Confirmation for the Verizon franchises to allow Verizon to provide cable television service to the residents of the 15 villages of the Great Neck/North Shore Cable Commission: Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Saddle Rock, Thomaston, Lake Success, Kings Point, Kensington, Russell Gardens, Munsey Park, Flower Hill, Plandome Manor, Plandome Heights, North Hills and Plandome. Cablevision is still providing cable TV service to the area and his decision enables residents to choose either Cablevision or Verizon. Town plumbing inspector, Joseph Lomonaco, is the second former TNH building official to plead guilty. Incorporated Village of Plandome Heights presented Mrs. Audrey Hunter with a proclamation thanking her and her late husband Jack for 40 years of caring for the village's American flag at Plandome Court North Green. St. Mary's High School Alumni Association holds its third Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the New York Athletic Club. Six outstanding members of the alumni community and parish were honored for their dedication and service to St. Mary's College Preparatory High School. Honorees include the Rev. Msgr. John J. McCann '57, the Rev. Msgr. John J. Skelly, Mrs. Nancy Alexander, Mrs. Alice Evans, Mr. Daniel Nolan, and Mr. Arthur Schultheiss.

Weather-battered American flags were removed from light posts along Plandome Road and replaced with crisp new ones provided by Manhasset Post 304 of the American Legion. The Manhasset Girls Indoor Track Team is the 2008 County Champ. The proposed development of the Christ Church property public hearing draws standing room only crowd anxious to state their objections. The library's 2008-2009 budget of $4,377,731, an increase of 4.45 percent over last year's budget, passed 356 votes to 178 and Heide McNamara was elected unopposed with 446 votes. The town introduced a cutting-edge electronic Mobile Enforcement System (MES), replacing the traditional paper-based citation systems, currently used by public safety officers to issue parking violations. MES is a handheld electronic ticketing device that generates professional and easy to read citations and eliminates data entry errors.

To run for a seat on the Manhasset Board of Education one had to declare by April 21. Two candidates, Patricia Aitken (incumbent) and Jack Vivinetto, have announced their candidacies. Manhasset School Board abstains from vote on BOCES budget saying they have become used to transparency and were unsure what the $17 million budget was for. As for the candidates running, the Manhasset board believed it was time for a change. Some current BOCES trustees have served since the 1970s.

A tradition in the Memorial Day Parade is Dick Kneis of the Plandome Fire Department riding in his antique fire engine.

An extraordinary day in Manhasset's lacrosse legacy as about 6,500 attend the day-long Lead The Way Fund Lacrosse Day of Champions fundraiser established in honor of its local resident, U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. James Regan, killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb in 2007. The other sponsor and benefactor of this great day was the newly established Indians Rock Community Foundation which is raising money to help build, repair and beautify the community sports facilities for the community.

CAC for Legislative Affairs held its first informal gathering in July 2007 and its first official meeting in September of 2007, and are now, roughly one year later, influencing bills in Albany. Their challenge: identify current and proposed federal, state and local laws and regulations that have a deleterious impact on the Manhasset Public School District and advise the board of education on strategies to effectuate change.

Flower Hill mayor announced taxes are not going up and added there were very few major expenses in the 2008-09 budget. The restoration and renovation of Copley Pond provided the main topic of the evening at the Village of Munsey Park meeting. Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA) elected Marvin Natiss, mayor of the Village of North Hills, second vice president for 2008-2009. The NCVOA represents 64 incorporated villages with more than 430,000 residents. Answering criticism leveled by a candidate running for school board trustee the school district states: "Based on audited state reports, Manhasset's fund balance is in line with that of other Nassau County school districts. Manhasset's July 1, 2006 fund balance at 13.9 percent of its General Fund Revenue is the median fund balance of all 46 Nassau County high school districts. The county's mean percentage for 2006-07 at 13.3 percent of General Fund Revenue offers further evidence that our fund balance is consistent with budgeting practices throughout the county." Letters to the editor are pouring in regarding the school budget and school board trustee election as well as the proposed development of the Christ Church property for use as condominiums-at times upward of 20 per week. The Manhasset School District has announced the successful refinancing of a portion of its outstanding long-term debt, resulting in gross savings on debt service of $480,200 to be realized over the next seven years. In May the district sold $9.410 miilion refunding bonds to refinance its outstanding 1997 and 2000 bond issues. This sale was pursuant to a "Refunding Resolution" approved by the board of education on March 6. The Manhasset Middle School hockey team made the league playoffs for the second straight season. The League of Women Voters hosted a forum that allowed the two candidates for the single board of education seat to introduce themselves to the community and to answer questions from residents. Manhasset's Crew team is No. 1 on Long Island. The team took third place during the Long Island Championships, the two schools that took first and second place were from New Jersey. The 2008-09 budget is $80,393,770 which is a 4.71 percent increase over last year's school budget. The school budget passed 1,817 to 1,302. Incumbent Pat Aitken was victorious in the Board of Education Trustee election over Jack Vivinetto 1,803 to 1,238.

Manhasset Boys Varsity Baseball clinched its first conference championship since 1976. Barbara Donno, Village of Plandome Manor mayor, received the Nassau County Republican Party endorsement to run for New York State Senate, 7th District.

Under the leadership of new head coach, Hugo Guardado Henriquez, Manhasset Crew Team has enjoyed an exceptional season leading the team to four medals at the 2008 New York State Scholastic Championship Regatta held in May in Saratoga Springs, NY. The outstanding showing in Saratoga Springs has qualified the team to compete in the Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championship Regatta in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The SCA fair's new attractions, which included a petting zoo, an old-fashioned candy shop and an arts and crafts table, were a big hit. Al Pennisi, the fair's plant expert, marked his 31st year of volunteering at the fair. Anthony B. Lotruglio has been appointed president of Strathmore Vanderbilt Country Club (SVCC) for 2008. This appointment establishes the first father-son presidential legacy in the Club's 55-year history. In 1973, exactly 35 years ago, Anthony F. Lotruglio served as president of SVCC.

The Anthony F. Lotruglio family moved to the Strathmore Vanderbilt community in 1969 and has lived on Mill Spring Road since that time.

The Manhasset American Legion Post 304, celebrating its 80th Anniversary and in remembrance of William A. Baxter and all the veterans who served this country, organized, once again, a spectacular Memorial Day Parade.

A student reported to school authorities that three unknown males had a handgun in a school bathroom. A lockdown of the premises was put into effect, students and building were searched with the assistance of the 6th Precinct, Bureau of Special Operations, Highway/Canine Unit and Emergency Services Unit. Results of the search proved negative: no weapons were recovered. The lockdown reportedly was in effect from approximately 9:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the lockdown students were in constant contact with the outside via their cell phones. The girls U8 soccer team for the first time ever in Manhasset has won the prestigious Commack tournament which is held over Memorial Day weekend and attracts 700 teams from all over Long Island, New York City and New Jersey. Frank Bice, wheelchair bound for life following a college football injury, who has been a college athlete, coach, and Roman Catholic Deacon, now adds author to his list of accomplishments. Manhasset High School Alumni Artists held a reception for their exhibit 'O' Stately Tower of Manhasset' at the library's Community Room. The exhibit contains works of 13 MHS alumni artists - 12 were taught by the same art teacher, Michael Sansone. In response to the growing concern over property taxes not allowing young families to live on Long Island and older families to stay there, New York State Governor David Paterson is introducing legislation that would cap the school tax levy increase at 4 percent each year or 120 percent of Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. The cap came from the recommendation of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, chaired by Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. "New York is the highest taxed state in the nation and we can no longer afford to ignore the reality that property taxes are driving people and businesses out of our state," said Paterson. Some, however, wonder if having a cap on school property tax levies is the answer without eliminating some of the unfunded mandates imposed on school districts by the state. "Without the mandate relief, the so-called 'blunt instrument' that the tax cap was intended to be becomes a nuclear warhead," was Manhasset Board of Education President Cindy Cardinal's comment. The Manhasset Girls Track Team captured second place at the Nassau County track championships.

Nassau County Executive Suozzi wants local special districts to be on the same day as the general election.

Farmers Market opens at Christopher Morley Park each Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 11 through Nov. 26. The county's seven-member independent Audit Advisory Committee formed by Comptroller Howard Weitzman in 2003 gave its annual report to Nassau County taxpayers. Among its recommendations was a report, Providing Affordable Health Benefits for County Employees and Retirees: Some Suggested Solutions, on reducing the $225 million annual cost of health benefits for county employees and retirees that comprise 8 percent of the county's overall budget. The Manhasset Athletic Advisory Committee (MAAC) reviewed and discussed the pros and cons of installing synthetic field turf instead of real grass on Manhasset athletic fields. They invited the community's comments. The Town of North Hempstead recently honored three of Manhasset High School's track and field stars - Kadeem Howell, Patricia McNish and Jasmine Blocker - for their outstanding athletic accomplishments.

The town is poised to vote on the flow control ordinance in July that would require all town waste to be brought to the transfer station in Port Washington. Flow control is a law that allows a municipality to mandate that all garbage collected within its jurisdiction go through its transfer station. Back in 1994, the flow control ordinance was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court because it infringed on interstate commerce. But for North Hempstead and other municipalities that had bonded millions of dollars to build a solid waste infrastructure assuming that flow control revenues would be coming in to pay off the debt, it created a lot of budget troubles. In 2007 the Supreme Court reversed the 1994 ruling.

Under the law, which would become effective when the town's current contract with Winters Brothers expires on April 30, 2010, all residential and commercial solid waste collected in the town would be required to be brought to the town-owned and operated transfer station in Port Washington. Carters from all villages and the four garbage districts in the town would be charged a yet-to-be-determined, per-ton tipping fee.

Manhasset's Boys Track Coach Don Scott and three senior athletes, Kareem Howell, Chris Jordonne and Vincent Rizzo, were recently honored by the Manhasset Board of Education, Nassau Track Coaches Association, Nassau Track and Field Officials Association and the New York State Public Schools Athletic Association. The town's Bar Beach Park and the county's Hempstead Harbor Park have been merged into one beachfront commons to be known as North Hempstead Beach Park.

Loretta Schuellein-McGovern of Locust Valley will compete in the 2008 Olympic Track and Field Trials on July 6 in Eugene, Oregon. Schuellein-McGovern, an English teacher at Manhasset High School, will join 15 of the nation's top female race walkers. Manhasset High School graduates gleefully fling their caps into the air at the emotional ceremony held at the high school on Friday, June 27. Alex Chen was Salutatorian; Lukasz Mosakowski and Erin D'Agostino were selected as Valedictorians. They delivered a joint speech at the graduation ceremony. Graduates of Manhasset High School that evening entered the gym and marveled that it had been transformed into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as found in Harry Potter. They entered on platform 9 3/4 for the train leading to Hogwarts. The train, created by parents of seniors, was incredibly realistic. George Tenet, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and uncle to St. Mary's student Joanna Tenet, visited with the eighth-grade class, prior to their graduation. The former director discussed an array of issues including the role of the CIA, the moral and ethical responsibility the government has toward foreign nations, and his seven years spent with the agency. Mr. Tenet is the author of At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, a memoir of his time in office during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and most notably during the events of 9/11. Tenet also told the students there were no hard feelings on either side and that he has not heard from the president since he left office.


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