The Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations met Nov. 10 at the Town of North Hempstead Law Library. President Rich Bentley introduced Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth complimenting her office on its responsiveness, after which she swore in the current officers then addressed the membership. Of interest was the proposed merger of the 6th and 2nd Nassau County Police Precincts. The merger was withdrawn because the early retirement of 145 police officers, who will not be replaced, provided savings of $20-22 million. Tom DiPaoli was appointed the new Commanding Officer of the 6th Precinct.
Bosworth noted that the elimination of the tax certiorari County Guarantee passed by the county legislature, with the Republicans voting “yes” and the Democrats voting “no,” although it was partisan —could also be viewed somewhat bipartisan as former Executive Souzzi, a Democrat, also proposed it. At the root of the problem is a broken, complicated assessment system. Before, when the county made an incorrect assessment, the county was responsible to pay the refund to the taxpayer, now that obligation has been shifted predominately to the school districts. Eighty percent of the certiorari reductions, Bosworth said, are commercial properties, often in litigation for years, causing millions of dollars not only in refunds but crushing interest. The county has been borrowing funds to pay for the successful challenges causing major budget deficits. So now school districts/ municipalities are responsible to pay those refunds and they individually must budget for them, forcing them to create new reserves.
At the October meeting of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations (aka Greater Council), developer Michael Puntillo, Jr. of Jobco Realty and Construction presented a new preliminary proposal for the Christ Church Parish House and property. Plans have not yet been submitted to the Town of North Hempstead. The Greater Council commended Mr. Puntillo for proactively approaching the community with his plans prior to formalizing and submitting them to the town.
County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the MTA have been grappling for months over who should pay for bus service in Nassau. This summer, the MTA moved to take its sizable subsidy that has been keeping service running out of its budget for next year. The county recently passed a budget that has not raised its contribution to cover this expense. Therefore, as the end of the year fast approaches, the clock is ticking for the 102,000 daily riders who wait for someone to step in with a solution to save Long Island Bus.
Heard of Four Loko? Popular drinks such as Four Loko and Joose contain as much as 2-3 coffee cups worth of caffeine and twice the amount of alcohol as a bottle of beer per container – a potent, dangerous mix that can be extremely hazardous for teens and adults alike.
In July, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the FDA to investigate the safety of these drinks. In his letter to the State Liquor Authority Nov. 10, Schumer noted that the FDA has never approved or determined that caffeine in alcoholic beverages like Four Loko is “generally recognized as safe,” which therefore allows the New York State Liquor Authority to implement a state ban on their sale. While the FDA continues its review, Schumer said the state must act now and immediately ban these drinks in New York, and on Nov. 10 he called on the New York State Liquor Authority to immediately ban caffeinated alcoholic beverages, including the drink Four Loko, from being sold in New York State.
Nearly 100 people gathered along West Shore Road on September 25 to witness the unveiling of two bronze sculptures celebrating Port Washington’s sand mining history. They are the focus of a new park located at the last remaining tunnel used for the sand mining operations that took place along Hempstead Harbor from the 1880s to 1980s.
The sculptures depict three sand miners standing above the tunnel, looking down at the site where thousands of immigrants came to earn a living. The other sculpture depicts sand flowing from two large hands onto the southern portion of Manhattan, representing Port Washington’s role in supplying the sand used to build New York City’s skyscrapers and sidewalks.
A figure from Roslyn’s cultural past will be back in the news next week as Michael “Eppy” Epstein will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
On Tuesday, Nov. 16, Epstein will be inducted in a ceremony at Oheka Castle in Huntington. Other inductees include Lou Reed, Al Kooper, The Shangri-Las, Eddie Palmieri, and Oscar Brand.
From 1971 to 1988, Eppy ran My Father’s Place, Long Island’s most popular venue for cutting edge music and comedy. From the late 1960s onward, there wasn’t any figure in the music industry that Eppy wasn’t friends with and so the club attracted established acts and those who would cut their own path in the music world. On Nov. 16, Eppy will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for helping to introduce such talent to the music world.
The 7th State Senate District ballot recount and absentee ballot count has begun. The counts are reportedly going to conclude sometime Friday. While Mineola Mayor Jack Martins has already claimed victory, Democrats feel the race for incumbent Sen. Craig Johnson’s seat is a race far from over.
As of last Wednesday, Johnson is down by 415 votes. Martins tallied in at 41,041 votes while Johnson concluded at 40,626.
Concerning the broad spectrum of the senate races, Democrats must win all three remaining undecided races to keep the majority they captured in 2008, while Republicans need to win two, according to the Board of Elections. In the 62-seat chamber, a majority requires 32 and Republicans have won 30 seats to Democrats 29.
Coach Don Scott couldn’t attend the ceremony in his honor, held on Oct. 21 on the occasion of his 500th Boys’ Varsity Cross Country Team’s win on Wednesday, Sept. 29, so it was filmed for him, and each time the audience burst into applause, which was often, they simultaneously rose and faced the camera waving, smiling and cheering for the honoree.
In his absence the board unanimously approved a resolution citing his four-plus decades of exemplary coaching. A prepared video gave highlights of both his athletes and his career. Images followed in rapid succession— photographs of young runners, beginning in the 1970s—and a young Don Scott, too—eliciting squeals of recognition from the hyped-up crowd. Debbie Kucharczyk, Booster Club president, was preaching to the choir when she extolled Coach Scott’s most recent accomplishment—his 500th win.
In addition, former and current students offered their personal memories of Coach Scott including: Jerome Blocker, Class of 1976, Chris Foley, Class of 1991, Bill Viverito, Class of 1981, Joe Severino, Class of 1972; varsity cross country captains Charlie Morris, Steve Bourguet and Jon Thomas; and Coach Steve Sproul. Mr. Scott had prepared a statement of thanks which was delivered at the end of the ceremony by Theresa Curry, district coordinator for science, following the speeches.
The Nassau County Legislature continued a hearing on County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s 2011 proposed budget that went on all day Friday, Oct. 29, and late into Saturday night, eventually passing the $2.6 billion plan along party lines with Halloween approaching and opposing lawmakers accusing that the budget’s “no tax increase” label was just a costume.
As the county executive struggles to keep Nassau County out of bankruptcy with some surprising and painful budgetary moves, several items at the heart of a heated ongoing public debate included the imminent loss of bus service within Nassau, the shifting of tax refund responsibility to schools and local municipalities and a new sewer fee to be imposed on tax exempt entities. These controversial moves and some proposed budget cuts drew a huge crowd to the hearing. Audience members filled the legislative chamber to legal capacity Friday, with many spilling out into the foyer to watch the proceedings on closed circuit TV, waiting hours for a turn to protest inside.
County Executive Edward P. Mangano campaigned for and won his current position with a clear promise to lower spending and taxes for Nassau. The day draws near when he must deliver, arriving at a balanced budget for 2011 without raising taxes or increasing the deficit. This has led to painful proposals, drawing protests on extreme moves like cutting loose the entire Long Island Bus system and turning the high expense of tax refunds over to schools, towns, villages and other special districts including libraries and fire districts.
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