Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that David Wasserman, 49, of Roslyn, the man at the center of the DA's sweeping 2007 probe into corruption within the Town of North Hempstead's Building Department, has been sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty in May to the top charges against him, including five felonies. Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman announced that six additional hybrid vehicles have been delivered to town hall, becoming part of North Hempstead's 'green' vehicle fleet. North Hempstead will now have over 20 hybrid and electric vehicles operational. Manhasset native Michael Wainer got a boost for his musical group "13" by another Manhasset resident, LLCool J. Town adopts tree removal policy requiring public notice for the removal of any tree in a public right of way, park, or other town-owned property.
Bob Lubbers, artist, cartoonist, and longtime Manhasset resident created his first comic strip in the 1930s and as a teen sold his work netting $6 per page. While still in high school he played his trombone in a 10-piece band in Westbury five nights a week. Now 86, Mr. Lubbers began his professional drawing career in 1938 (about 16 years old), working for the Manhasset Mail, the predecessor to today's Manhasset Press, when he would interview locals and draw comic illustrations to accompany his articles. He worked with Al Capp's Li'l Abner strips for 23 years eventually taking over the strip's artwork entirely.
St. Francis Hospital celebrated the grand opening of the Nancy and Frederick DeMatteis Pavilion. The 158,000 square-foot, high-tech facility features the only "High Def" operating rooms in the region and increases the hospital's available clinical space by 40 percent. It is the centerpiece of the hospital's three-year, $190 million Master Facilities Plan. The Manhasset Crew Boys' Junior 4 boat won first place at the prestigious Scholastic Rowing Association of America National Championship Regatta. This was the first time in Manhasset Crew Club history that the team won first place in this national competition. Over 6,000 "best of the best" high school rowers participated in this national event, conducted every year to determine the North American Champions in high school rowing.
Bond projects are underway in the Manhasset School District during the summer months as the district moves into the second and third phase of its bond capital improvement plan. Port Washington Yacht Club Swim Team placed first in the North Shore Swim League Championships. The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent re-evaluation of flood maps has placed many residents who were previously in low hazard flood zones into high hazard zones. The new FEMA flood preparation guidelines strongly recommend flood insurance even for those not residing in designated flood zones. Visit www.floodsmart.gov, the official site of the national flood insurance program. Legislator Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn) held a hearing of the Nassau County Legislature's Government Services Committee to discuss potential reforms to the county's assessment system. He believes an elected assessor is an anachronism and wants to appoint the assessor to guarantee an experienced professional in that position. Indians Rock 'Field Of Dreams' raises funds for renovation of Manhasset Varsity Baseball Field. This is the second project from Indians Rock - the first being the athletic field house which is underway and should be completed by Fall 2008. Manhasset experienced a sudden storm that produced flash flooding that literally brought all outdoor activity to a stop. If you are feeling the effects of increases in fuel costs, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) may be feeling your pain. In fact, they may be willing to pass some of that pain onto their commuters and are considering fare increases of 8 percent on July 1, 2009 and another 5 percent on January 1, 2011 as part of its budget and financial plan for 2009-2012. More election workers are needed to demonstrate new voting machines. In addition to the people who supervise operations of the familiar lever-type machines, two more election inspectors (the official job title), trained in the operation of the new handicapped-accessible Ballot Marking Devices (BMD), will be added to each polling place. It is hoped that all voting machines will have been replaced with optical scan machines that use these ballot-marking devices by 2009. Immigrant sand miners who worked for over 100 years, since the 1880s, moving 150 million yards of sand that helped build New York City, are slated to have a memorial in their honor in Port Washington.
Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman released a 16-page report on the county's finances during the 2007 fiscal year that ended on Dec. 31, 2007. Although Weitzman points out Nassau County received 13 bond upgrades from February 2003 to June 2008, he said the county continues to face fiscal challenges including $3.4 billion in post-employment health benefits for county employees and retirees. In 2007, the county received $2.5 billion in revenue; $762.5 million or 30 percent came from property taxes, with the majority $1.01 billion or nearly 40 percent coming from sales tax.
In 2007, a total of $4.7 billion in property taxes was paid with residential homeowners paying 68 percent. Of all the money paid by taxpayers, 60.43 percent went to school districts. As far as expenses go, the county spent $2.5 billion in its five major operating funds. Of those expenditures, 50 percent went for salaries and fringe benefits.
A major drain on the county has been property tax refunds or tax certiorari payments that go to property owners who successfully challenge their assessments. According to the financial condition report, in 2007, the county paid a total of $87 million, $12 million of which was borrowed. In addition, according to the report, as of the end of 2007, the county estimated its unpaid real property tax refunds at $101.8 million.
The report also included some census data that says since 2000, Nassau County's population has dropped approximately 2.1 percent from 1.335 million to 1.306 million.
As far as who is the number one employer on Long Island - it's local government, which employs close to 80,000 people.
Income numbers for Nassau County show that the per capita income, which is the average income generated in Nassau County, was $62,278, up from $47,446 in 2000.
Ongoing construction of the Roslyn Viaduct bridge is behind schedule and some residents are claiming that construction on the bridge, first built in the late 1940s, is two-and-a-half years behind schedule. The DOT said it is now set for completion by late summer of 2009. The Village of Munsey Park is seeking medical and non-medical volunteers for Point of Distribution (POD) training in the event of a medical or other disaster. The POD site is Manhasset High School. While parents can purchase whatever products they want for their children, the guidelines for what parents can be asked to buy for school supplies is limited by the New York State Education Department. Town Hall had more than 300 discontented residents, mostly from New Hyde Park, arrive to contest the newly passed Accessory Apartment Law that replaces the town's current Mother/Daughter ordinance, in effect for years (you can create a small apartment in your house if you are father/son or mother/daughter.) The newly passed Accessory Apartment Law requires that anybody who wants to create a space within their home would have to apply for a variance and go before the Board of Zoning and Appeals. They in turn would require a notice sent out to all local neighbors and there would be a hearing and then the neighbors would have the opportunity to comment on the application and that would then be approved or denied by the BZA Board. Restrictions attached to the ordinance would be that the homeowner would have to not only live in the house, but the renter would have to go through the front door of the home. There would be no separate entrance and you would not be able to create a vestibule and have a separate entrance behind the front door and you would have to park in the same driveway.
Nassau Coalition for Chemical Dependency Treatment Providers has announced the renaming of its coalition to Nassau Alliance for Addiction Services (NAFAS), a coalition of approximately 30 community-based agencies delivering prevention and treatment services for individuals and families faced with the consequences of drug, alcohol and other addictions and abuses.
The Manhasset School Community Association (SCA) awarded Summer Study scholarships to 11 Manhasset High School juniors: Nicholas Aloia, Kelly Klein, Shreya Kumar, Suzanna Fishman, Daniela Calcagni, Michael Anderson, Joseph Sullivan, Joseph Calderone, Stathi Georgiou, Richard Tortora, and Esop Baek. The Nassau County Department of Health reports a total of six cases of West Nile virus: two deaths, two confirmed cases and two probable cases. New substitute teacher system is available to Nassau schools through BOCES, called Aesop - an automated substitute placement service whereby teachers can report absences online or over the phone. Substitutes can find and accept jobs online or over the phone too - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Manhasset Board of Education is seeking interested residents to serve on the Manhasset Athletics Advisory Committee (MAAC), Citizens Advisory Committee for Finance (CACF) and Citizens Advisory Committee For Legislative Affairs (CACLA). Three Manhasset students won 'Best Music Video' at the East End Film Festival: Zan Kostoulas, Cali Mantikas, and Justine Yunakov. Their topic was the decline of the fishing industry in Greenport, New York. New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Astrid C. Glynn announced more than $27 million in grants for 70 projects across the state to help students walk and bike safely to school and home again. Numbered among them is $410,680 for traffic calming on Plandome Road. Problems on Plandome Road are well documented, appearing each week in the Manhasset Press column "How Can We Fix This Picture," compiled by the Coalition for a Safer Manhasset. New York State Senate candidate Barbara Donno held the grand opening of her new campaign office at 14 Park Avenue, Manhasset. Local resident Donno brought her message of lower property taxes, getting our fair share of education funding and access to quality, affordable health care to those who attended the event. Planet Manhasset, the SCA's eco-committee. distributed free organic cotton snack sacks at kindergarten orientations. The sacks can be used instead of paper bags to help save our trees. Manhasset Coalition Against Substance Abuse (CASA) is among the 199 coalitions to be awarded funding through the Drug Free Communities Support Program. The grant will help them further their work to develop the infrastructure needed for a community-based, public health approach for effective and sustainable reductions in alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and abuse. Following September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers fell and Manhasset lost too many of its neighbors, memorials at the time were created by the Munsey Park Women's Club, the Village of Munsey Park, the Village of Plandome Manor, and the Manhasset School District, and now residents are planting flowers and tending to them. The most emotional moment each year at the Sept. 11, 2001 memorial service sponsored by the Manhasset Clergy Association is when those gathered on the Mary Jane Davis Green are invited up the steps of the gazebo to the microphone to speak the name of someone they lost in the attack. Over 400 members of the community attended the candlelight ceremony. Rev. David Lowry, Christ Episcopal Church, said around the world millions of people have no freedoms, no hope and die every day, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, by acts of terrorism. As we look inward, he said, so also must we look outward to those who live each day with terror and daily fear. Members of the Rotary Club of Manhasset and Robbie Donno started the Gift of Life program in 1975, and it has grown into an international organization, which saves the lives of 1,000 children each year.
The Manhasset Board of Education's Citizens Advisory Committee on Legislative Affairs completed a study on transportation, highlighting the burdensome state mandate requiring a seat be reserved for any child entitled to ride the bus-whether they ever do or not. Their study was included in a bill (A.11427) proposed by Senator Craig Johnson, though it was said at the meeting the bill never got to the floor. Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel also worked to get the bill passed.
Lloyd Means and Dedrick Johnson initiated a project, Spinney Hill, an African-American History of Manhasset and Great Neck. They believe African-Americans have had a major impact on the history of Manhasset and Great Neck, and that the story of Spinney Hill should be preserved and celebrated. For more than 30 years this was an area inhabited by predominantly African-American businesses and homes. The Hotel James was along this strip and hosted live acts by performers in town for appearances at such renowned places as the Apollo Theater. Local talent whoperformed at what is now the EOC Hagedorn Community Center on High Street also performed at the Apollo Theater--after winning the Community Center Talent Show!
The North Hempstead Town Board voted unanimously to rescind the Accessory Apartment ordinance it passed on July 29, and returned it to the Mother/Daughter status. The Manhasset Afterschool Xperience Inc. (also known as M.A.X.), the district's popular after school program for elementary school children, has kicked off another fun-filled year this September, and is very much still alive and going strong after 23 years. Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi submitted to the Nassau County legislature a proposed budget for 2009. The increase in the average homeowner's annual property tax bill, county officials said, will be approximately $58. Nassau County officials consider this to be the most difficult budget the county has faced since the days when it was rated the "worst run county in America" and Nassau was on the brink of bankruptcy. "This year, sales taxes have fallen well below historic rates, the state has made cuts in aid to local governments, fuel and utility costs have soared, public assistance rolls have swelled, investment income and other revenues tied to the economy have dropped, and there is little good news on the national economic situation," said Suozzi. Manhasset High School celebrated Homecoming 2008. The Manhasset Men's Softball League is well into its fall schedule. The league is strictly local and has served Manhasset continuously since 1974.
Ten years ago this week, on Oct. 3, 1998, Manhasset rewarded itself with a massive and highly successful Centennial Street Fair that developed because of the hard work and determination of Betsey Chesebrough. A memorial plaque and clock in her honor stands along Plandome Road in Mary Jane Davies Park. All of Manhasset came together for a full day of family fun on Plandome Road to celebrate and support the business district's 100th birthday. Even over a decade ago improving Plandome Road was on the radar. Nassau County publishes mug shots on a website of those arrested for drinking while intoxicated (DWI) and drinking while abilities impaired (DWAI) on what has become known as the "Wall of Shame." Some believe it violates the Constitutional principle that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Flooding at the intersection of Abbey Road and Park Avenue is on the agenda at the Munsey Park monthly meeting. The Manhasset Rotary Foundation presented the eighth annual Manhasset Children's Circus with two shows at Memorial Field. The Zerbini Circus is a full-fledged one-ring circus with clowns, acrobats, jugglers and non-dangerous animals-dogs, horses and camels. The circus acts change each year so the magic is guaranteed. At the Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA), Village of North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss, who also serves as NCVOA firstvice president, discussed different aspects of Nassau County's Emergency Management Plan with James Callahan, Nassau County Commissioner of Emergency Management.
The entire Long Island Congressional Delegation joined together to release a joint statement on the emergency economic legislation $700 billion "bailout" that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Friday, Oct. 3. In part they said, "Already, Long Island home prices are falling, inflation is rising, and household budgets are strained. According to the Long Island Association, the region's unemployment rate, 5.2 percent, was significantly higher than the comparable August 2007 unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Clearly, we need to stop the meltdown on Wall Street from breaking down Main Street." A ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiled the newly renovated Town Hall, which at 101 years old has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was begun in 1906-07, thus the renovation was planned as a 100-year commemoration in 2007 but the problems with the building department were uncovered, and took precedence. Bargains galore at communitywide garage sales when 63 neighbors registered for the Manhasset Community Fund's garage sale linking buyers and sellers for the second year.
Without a home pool, the Manhasset girls swim team has learned to compete after long bus rides, short warm-ups, and different pool designs and conditions. The team and a few other high school teams have adopted the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Great Neck as a home competition pool. The 2008 Manhasset Boys' Cross-Country team, led by senior Captain David Knowles and junior co-captain Joe Nassirian, have competed in six meets with an overall league record of 8 wins - 0 losses. Manhasset residents Robbie Donno, founder and chairman of Gift of Life International, and Jamie and Violet Mazzei, along with Grace Agwaru, who 33 years ago was the first recipient for life-saving open heart surgery for congenital heart defects, will travel to Uganda to escort the 10,000th recipient to the United States. Susan Auriemma of the Coalition for a Safer Manhasset (CSM) speaks at the chamber meeting on her study of the possibility of adding commercial parking zones to downtown Manhasset for trucks making deliveries to local merchants.
Nassau County officials hold a feral cat educational workshop because the number of cats living and reproducing in the streets is reaching epic proportions. Wednesday night, Oct. 15, was an historic point in time for Hofstra University as it hosted the third and final Presidential Debate between Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois. The David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex was transformed into a state-of-the-art debate hall for the event. The 10th Annual 5K Walk/Run Race sponsored by the Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer takes off on Plandome Road. Manhasset Chamber of Commerce speaker addresses identity theft noting of 813,427 total complaints to the FTC last year 32 percent were related to identity theft. When Nassau County residents go to the polls on Election Day, Nov. 4, they will be asked to vote on a referendum that will decide whether the Nassau County Assessor's position will remain an elected position or will be appointed by the Nassau County Executive. Rear Admiral Paul J. Early passed away on Oct. 24, 2008. Born in 1925, he graduated from Manhasset High School in 1943 and the United States Naval Academy in 1948. Admiral Early served in the United States Navy for 33 years and was a senior officer in the submarine service. Retired, he became a fixture at school board meetings where he listened attentively, then recorded his thoughts, sending them to Letters to the Editor at the Manhasset Press. The MHS girls swim relay team qualifies for the States.
Barack Obama was victorious over Republican John McCain in the national presidential elections that elected the first African-American president of the United States. Only the Village of North Hills had a greater percentage of the electorate voting for the eventual winner. Total townwide votes cast for each candidate were Obama (5,895) and McCain (6,713). In Manhasset the lever voting machines were used without incident. Local elections saw a unanimous re-election of Democratic candidates. Congressional Election, 5th District, Gary Ackerman won over Elizabeth Berney. NYS Senate Election, 7th District, Craig Johnson won over Barbara Donno. NYS Assembly Election, 16th District, Michelle Schimel won over Matthew Mitchell. Going forward, the Nassau County Assessor's position will be appointed by the Nassau County Executive. The Greentree Foundation made another generous grant of $175,000 to help local charities in the Town of North Hempstead. Greentree was the Manhasset home of the Whitney family for over 100 years until Mrs. John Hay Whitney's death in 1998.
A $180,000 grant has been received from the New York State Department of State to look into the feasibility of consolidating six fire districts within the town and the municipality's Emergency Medical Services. According to a town representative, those districts are as yet undetermined. Girls Varsity Soccer Team enjoys undefeated season. Tuesday's Children began in Manhasset in the wake of Tuesday, Septtember 11, 2001, and continues to shepherd the children who lost a parent in the attack on the World Trade Center. In August it launched an international project, Common Bond, where 48 teenagers from six countries participated in the week-long program. These teens had one thing in common - the loss of a family member due to an act of terror.
Manhasset Chamber of Commerce President Nancy Morris proudly launches Access Manhasset, a guide to neighborhood merchants, at the elegant party held at St. Ignatius Retreat House on Searingtown Road. It is being distributed to the roughly 5,000 subscribers of the Manhasset Press as an insert in the weekly edition. A home on Hunt Lane in Munsey Park was damaged by fire the morning of Nov. 5. Three family members escaped but another was fatally injured. Villages and towns create an Office of Emergency Management that encompasses the villages of Baxter Estates, Manorhaven, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, Port Washington North, Sands Point and the Town of North Hempstead. The meeting was chaired by newly appointed Commissioner Peter A. Forman of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Clearview Cinema Manhasset wants to build an audience for live performances followed by screenings of Michael Johnathon's WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour and has booked entertainment for three Wednesdays to give it a try. The girls U9 soccer team from Manhasset is now unbeaten in 41 games. Manhasset's strong-willed boys' cross-country team won its 9th Nassau County Title at Bethpage State Park. The team ran as a pack with number 1 runner to number 5 runner only having a 30-second difference. Manhasset boys cross country team won their 21st Conference Championship in the last 30 years, outrunning 14 other schools. The team also broke the Long Island record for total all-time wins at one school (478) by the same coach. American Legion Manhasset Post 304 legionnaires and members of the Auxiliary Unit 304 marched from the Bayview Avenue Post Hall down Plandome Road to the Gold Star Monument at the Mary Jane Davies Green for the town's Veterans Day Ceremony. North Hempstead's Parks and Recreation Department and the Department of Highways are gearing up to launch a cleanup and full upgrade of Plandome Pond on Bournedale Road in Plandome Heights. The plan to restore Plandome Pond is part of a larger North Hempstead initiative to refurbish waterfronts and natural wetland habitats throughout the town. As part of school health examinations, students are weighed and their height is measured. These numbers are used to figure out the student's body mass index or 'BMI.' Recent changes to the New York State Education Law require that BMI and weight status group be included as part of the student's school health examination. Scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, headquartered in Manhasset, celebrated a new era in translational research as the institute opened a new 56,250-square-foot wing, built at a cost of $50 million donated by Susan and Leonard Feinstein. Mr. Feinstein is co-chairman of Bed, Bath & Beyond, and a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System Board of Trustees. At the North Hempstead Town Board meeting the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District received the go-ahead for two major projects: The rehabilitation of the Thomaston elevated water storage tank, at the estimated cost of $3.5 million, and construction of the nitrate remediation facilities at the district's existing Searingtown plant, at the estimated cost of $3.3 million. To pay for the work, the town board approved the issuance of $6.8 million in serial bonds. Town board approved a budget increase of 10.1 percent. The 10 percent budget increase for the town portion of the tax bill translates to an additional $15, from $143.96 to $158.97 for a village resident. For a non-village resident the increase is $56.35 or $613.69 from $557.34. If a major disaster like a hurricane were to strike Long Island, the American Red Cross would need thousands of volunteers to help man its shelters. Thanks to a partnership with the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Great Neck, the gap continues to dwindle. More volunteers are needed because we are on an island and we very well could be cut off from outside support for three to five days. A new state law went into effect last month protecting drivers from predatory towing practices such as hiding no-parking signs and paying kickbacks to parking lot owners to tow cars from their lots. Town of North Hempstead Town Board unanimously passed legislation that would allow a partial tax exemption for veterans of the Cold War. The law would give a 15 percent reduction of town taxes to qualifying veterans. To qualify one must have served in any of the five branches of the armed forces between Sept. 2, 1945 and Dec. 26, 1991 for at least one year and honorably discharged.
The Manhasset Public Schools Board of Education presented its sixth annual "Maggie Award" to Ms. Pat Roos, head of the Children's Library at the Manhasset Public Library. The annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and children's poster contest drew a record crowd to the Mary Jane Davies Green. The event is one of the most popular in town. The final report by the State Commission on Property Tax Relief outlined a number of solutions to the state's property tax burden that mirror what the New York State School Boards Association has long advocated. State lawmakers should focus on those recommendations in the report that would immediately help districts control rising health insurance, pension, personnel and special education costs. Mandate relief proposals will save money, they will drive down local property taxes and they can help reduce the negative impact of state aid reductions. Discussing the state of the economy, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli focused on how the state is affected by what is happening on Wall Street since the financial industry accounts for 20 percent of state revenues. In addition, he said the biggest source of state revenue is personal income tax, so when people lose jobs, taxes are down. With respect to the pension funds, DiNapoli said they were not affected significantly by the fallout from the collapse of the mortgage-backed securities; nevertheless, the pension funds did have direct investments in financial firms like Lehman and AIG. He said, "We will feel the hit." Lawmakers released the top 10 banks responsible for the most foreclosure filings on Long Island this holiday season. According to the report, Nassau County has the distinction of having the second-highest rate of foreclosure filings in the state, 1,033, in October and November. Suffolk County has the third-highest rate with 762. The banks listed in the report, or what the senators call "Subprime Scrooges," have received billions in taxpayer monies, yet continue to file foreclosure proceedings rather than use programs like the federally funded Hope for Homeowners, to help distressed borrowers. Skate with Santa at Christopher Morley Park. Manhasset schools join townwide recycling initiative and jump on North Hempstead's 'go green' bandwagon. Among other things, the movement calls for the town to provide 222 recycling bins that will be distributed to every classroom in the district. Manhasset Athletic Advisory Committee (MAAC) reviewed school protocols for treating athletes suspected of having suffered a concussion. No school in the section in which Manhasset teams compete has a written concussion policy. The district uses IMPACT, a software program designed to help diagnose a concussion, measure its severity and establish a timeline for recovery. In special district elections results were: Manhasset-Lakeville Water/Fire District, Andrew DeMartin (189 votes) was elected over Samuel Brown (90 votes). The Manhasset Park District Commissioner election was uncontested and incumbent Patricia Roberts received 69 votes. The Court of Champions project will be working under the Indians Rock Community Foundation to increase community awareness and participation in the sport of tennis and to raise funds for a new tennis project. Three new tennis courts will be built, bringing the number of courts at the high school to seven; the minimum required for proper match play. Nassau County will save approximately $11.4 million and school districts and local governments approximately $100 million in health insurance premiums in 2009, the result of strong urging by both County Executive Suozzi and County Comptroller Weitzman to keep 2009 New York State's health insurance program (NYSHIP) rates flat. School Superintendent Cardillo said as a result the district will save "approximately $400,000 for the 2009 calendar year." Norma Plett is recognized for 40 years of community service. "Section Two" is no longer a stand-alone insert in Anton Community Newspapers' 18 weeklies but will be incorporated into the paper. "Cash is king," continues to ring true in this economic climate. The majority of college students will graduate with some type of debt because escalating tuitions continue to outpace a family's ability to save. The student loan industry is an $8.5 billion industry and has stimulated the greed factor for both lenders and those that "steer" students to them. Earlier in the year a new federal law passed that prohibits deceptive practices and established a students' "bill of rights."