Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00
For the first time ever, the Manhasset Proponents of School Accountability (MPSA) and the Port Washington Educational Assembly (PWEA) are supporting the proposed school budgets in our communities, as both budgets are meeting the new tax cap limits. While both of our groups favored a budget with no tax increase in these difficult times, in the interest of unifying our communities, we agreed to support any budget that met the new tax limit even though the budget increases ($1.5 million in Manhasset and $2.7 million in Port Washington) are, for the most part, increases in employee salaries and benefits.
However, in regard to salary and benefits, many Long Island teachers are agreeing to salary concessions, as they realize there are literally thousands of qualified teacher applicants for teaching jobs, and that LI teachers now have the highest salaries of all teachers in the nation. Manhasset teachers should be commended for agreeing to defer their STEP increases for half a year in each of the next two years, and taking a zero COLA increase for this coming school year and only a 1 percent increase the following year. Unfortunately, Port Washington teachers failed to make similar concessions and will continue to receive salary increases of 12 percent over the next two years.
It should be noted, for the first time, there is recourse for residents who consider their school taxes burdensome and object to any increase in the budget. The new law offers them real relief and real power. If any budget is defeated twice, the allowable tax increase is zero.
Finally, we advocate key reforms in Albany if we are going to avoid having to choose between unreasonable tax increases or program cuts down the road. The Triborough Amendment must be changed to eliminate the continuation of STEP increases after a union contract expires, so as to put the union under the same pressure as school boards during contract negotiations. Today all the pressure is on school boards. Second, we need tenure reform to improve educational quality and not be forced to layoff well performing young teachers to the detriment of educational excellence. Third, we need more pension reform as current pensions are still far too generous with the bulk of the costs borne by the taxpayers. Finally, Wicks Law must be changed to reduce the waste in large construction projects. Unfortunately, many politicians are intimidated by teacher unions and refuse to deal with these needed reforms. That is a battle for another day.
Laurann Pandelakis, MPSA
Frank J. Russo, Jr., PWEA
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00
Submitted by Manhasset Post 304 American Legion
Matthew Falcone, commander of the Manhasset Post 304 American Legion, and James Brooks, parade chairman, have announced the parade order and schedule for the 2013 Manhasset Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Services. All Manhasset residents, their families and friends are invited to join the Legion in this remembrance of the great sacrifices of our American heroes. The theme of the parade this year, “Honoring Those Who Serve in Special Operations,” is a reminder that, while Memorial Day honors all deceased veterans, the intention is to remember service personnel engaged around the world in an effort to preserve American freedom and way of life from global terrorism.
A memorial service in honor of Manhasset’s war dead will be held at the Community Reformed Church, 90 Plandome Rd., on Sunday, May 26, at 10 a.m. Pastor Steven D. Pierce will officiate. All are urged to attend and to join with the Legion in the remembrance of the great sacrifice of our military.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
That first meeting, culminating in the May 2 ribbon-cutting for organic vegetable and herb gardens at all three Manhasset school campuses, was in September 2012.
Two organizations, both formed under the auspices of the SCA, were involved: Planet Manhasset, which under president Angela Classi and officers Merilyn Donnelly, Zari Ginsburg and Connie Parsons, spearheaded the construction of each site and Project Share, the which will distribute the produce raised to families in need. Classi, during the ribbon-cutting, told the students they were limited only by their imagination, and encouraged each one to embrace the secondary school garden as their own.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Gymnast Alexis Stern, an eighth-grader at Manhasset Middle School, represented New York State in the Junior Olympic National Championships held in the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, MI the weekend of May 3. Competing against the top Level 9 gymnasts in the country, Alexis took home a bronze medal on the balance beam with a 9.45 and finished 12th in the country with an impressive 36.80 all around score (bars, beam, floor, and vault). Alexis earned her spot on the Junior Olympic team with a third place finish at the Level 9 North East USAG Regional Championship held in Springfield, MASS and was also recognized as one of New York’s top Level 9 gymnasts. Alexis trains five days a week at Gold Medal Gymnastics Center in Greenlawn under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Tammy Marshall.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
On April 7, the Manhasset High School Crew Team held its first 5K Walk/Run fundraiser, which started and ended in the Flower Hill Village Park. More than 300 participants came out to race or stroll through Flower Hill, while raising funds for two great causes.
Proceeds from the event will fund additional equipment for the growing MHS crew team, with 10 percent of monies raised contributed to the Manhasset UFSD Fields Initiative, a fund created to re-turf the MHS Stadium Field and create a new field at Shelter Rock Elementary School. Barbara Thermos, who organized and coordinated the 5K event, noted, ”It was a great way for the community to come together for these causes, connecting with neighbors and friends while getting some exercise on a gorgeous, crisp sunny morning. Both causes support healthy athletic opportunities for Manhasset’s youth.”