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2010: Year in Review

Review II: July to September

July

Five friends, Patrick Love, Joe Nassirian, Hayes Brown, Nick Fera, and Chris Jeffrey, recent graduates from Manhasset and Chaminade High Schools, have decided to walk the entire South Shore of Long Island, from Breezy Point to Montauk (115 miles) in 10 days to raise funds to combat Parkinson’s disease. They walked for one of their team members, Patrick Love, whose mom has the disease.

It was reported that Manhasset High School celebrated its 90th annual Commencement. The five valedictorians of the class of 2010 were Nitasha Gupta, Amit Vora, Taryn Wassmer, Angelo Tannuzzo and Rachel Giovanniello. Class Salutatorians were Natalie Cybriwsky and Gabrielle Salvaterra.

Earning the NYS Championship titles qualified five Manhasset boats to compete in this year’s Scholastic Rowing Association of America’s (SRAA) National Championship Regatta held at Saratoga Springs. This was the third consecutive year that Manhasset High School’s crews qualified for the Scholastic Nationals. Winds close to 75 miles per hour hit the Town of North Hempstead hard on June 24, (especially devastating Great Neck Village), leaving hundreds of local homes without power and with downed trees limiting access to homes, vehicles, driveways and roadways.

Nassau County Department of Mental Health, with others, held a workshop on, “Cyberbullying in the Computer Age.” The definition of bullying over the last 10 years has changed drastically and now reaches into the “information superhighway” attacking people and children’s psyche more than ever by emails, Facebook posts, MySpace posts, Twitter, etc. Bank of Smithtown, a subsidiary of Smithtown Bancorp, has opened its newest branch in Manhasset located at 384 Plandome Road.

Manhasset High School Boys’ Lacrosse team wins back to back state championships.

MHS girls Lacrosse Team had another very successful year. Under the leadership of head coach Danielle Gallagher and assistant coach Bridget Lynch, they finished the season with a spectacular overall record of 16 to 2 earning them the Nassau County Conference “Class C” championship title for the seventh consecutive year! It is also the first time in Manhasset’s Girls Lacrosse history that three players were awarded All-American Honors.

The Manhasset Board of Education, pursuant to Chapter 105 Laws of 2010, adopted the 2010 New York State Retirement Incentive for 15 teachers. As a result of this action, the district will have net savings of $2,426,136 over the next five years. Joan G. Kent was honored by the League of Women Voters of Port Washington and Manhasset for her years of service to the League and to the community. The Town of North Hempstead continues to move forward with a skate park. Michael Wainer reports that he, along with Izzo and LL Cool J, will be the opening act at the CBS “TV.COM NOW Awards Show” in San Diego’s PetCo Arena. They will perform their soon to be released single Superman on the main stage, a song, Wainer explained, that he wrote and produced with LL Cool J.

Town Appoints new Manhasset Park District Commissioner, Ann Marie Curd, who they selected from a field of five. Jim Hereth, Manhasset High School Class of 1987, helped create Race, a computer animated sci-fi action film that was released by Hyper Image Studio of Glendale, California. Connie Fratianni Wysota has been selected to receive the Juliette Low Award of Distinction from the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

Roughly 102,000 Nassau County residents who rely on the bus daily may have a serious problem if the MTA goes ahead with a proposal to eliminate the $40 million it has been funding annually to keep Long Island Bus’s service going. The county is either facing the elimination of all service or has to explore a solution such as the privatization of the system. Nassau County owns Long Island Bus, which was formed in 1973 when 10 private lines consolidated. The MTA has operated and maintained the bus system on behalf of the county since that time under an agreement that the county is to provide funding for all LI Bus expenses not covered either by fares or any subsidy from the state. So, the MTA is able to ask the county for additional funding if needed to cover expenses. Between 1973 and 1999 the county fully funded the budget gap each year. In 2000, the MTA began shouldering a much larger portion of those costs and, considering the MTA’s own budget difficulties, it was said they won’t be able to continue subsidizing the bus system.

The Webster Avenue Bridge was impassable for four hours after a fast moving storm with very high winds blew through town. The lower area of Plandome was ravaged where three big trees went down, one pulling down high tension wires with it, then landing on a car parked in the driveway, crushing it. At Manhasset Bay Yacht Club there was 30 minutes of terrifying weather some believed to be a tornado. Winds registered 60 knots with higher gusts.

The Nassau County Department of Health reported the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in a Nassau County resident this year, and announced that mosquitoes from seven different locations in Nassau County tested positive for West Nile virus. Ben Hyland has recently appeared in episodes of TV’s Law and Order: Criminal Intent and had a lead role in Somebody’s Hero after appearing in the hit movie Marley & Me in 2008.

August

Longtime Munsey Park resident Abe Bernstein traveled to Toronto to participate in the 2010 Canadian Masters Track & Field Championship Meet–-and came home with three gold medals — in the 70-74 Age Group in both the 400 Meters and the 800 Meters. He also ran the second leg of the 4 x 100 Meter Relay Team that took first place in the 70-74 age group and equaled the Canadian age group record of 59.06 seconds in doing so.

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-L.I./ Queens) has secured $120,000 in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for the Village of Plandome Heights to replace and upgrade all of its streetlights. The health and well-being of women and children was the topic of discussion at the Junior League of Long Island Community Impact Breakfast held at the Manhasset Public Library.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is proposing to consolidate administrative functions of the Sixth and the Second Police Precincts and move the Sixth Precinct headquarters to the Second Precinct location in Woodbury, saying the plan would save over $20 million and would not diminish police service, while others disagree. A new playground is being installed at Christopher Morley Park. County officials said it will incorporate slides, climbing apparatus and jungle gyms, among other features. Nassau County Department of Public Works will expand ground spraying to include additional communities within Nassau County to help control mosquitoes which may be carrying the West Nile virus. Thirty-five girls participated in the evening summer softball camp at Rocky’s Field on the Manhasset High School campus.

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo addressed Long Islanders about health care-related credit card schemes targeting seniors and vulnerable patients. AG Cuomo said he has subpoenaed health care clinics and credit card companies including Chase Health Advance, Citi Health, and GE Money’s CareCredit.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey explained the proposal to save $20 million in the police budget at a meeting at the Town of North Hempstead. The $20 million to be saved came from an early incentive retirement program offered by the county and 125 top ranking and top paid police officials took the deal. If the county does not fill those vacant positions, $20-$22 million would be saved.

Dennis Dillon, former Nassau DA, dies at 76. His career as District Attorney spanned 31 years, one of he longest terms in New York State. The 2010 Greentree Good Neighbor Grant recipients were recently announced. In July 2003, the Greentree Foundation, founded by the late Mrs. John Hay Whitney of Manhasset, established the “Greentree Good Neighbor Fund” to address priority needs in the Town of North Hempstead. Since then, Greentree Foundation has made substantial annual donations to this fund totaling over $1,150,000. The Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District will have East Meadow resident Patricia Maher challenging incumbent Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights). An Aug. 17 decision by an Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court has placed her name on the ballot for the Tuesday, Sept. 14 primary. That ruling reserved an earlier lower court decision that had invalidated petition signatures. Town of North Hempstead considers changing allowable fence height from 4 feet possibly to 6 feet.

September

Nassau County displays its new Optical Scanner Voting Machines following the new guidelines of the Help Americans Vote Act, passed in October 2002 by President George W. Bush. The HAVA requirement is that all voting systems be auditable and have a permanent paper record. The lever machines do not have a paper trail. The new machines have a bin that collects the ballots so in case of a problem – they can be counted. Milestone reached for town non-emergency medical senior transportation program as 1000 use it only four months after its debut. Fifteen students receive 2010 Summer Studies awards—Elena Avalos-Bock, Jennifer Aitken, Ashley Peter Audrey Edelstein, Cludia Sbuttoni, Michelle Viscardi. Stefani Pappas, Nina Carlin Patrick Aloia, Carlos Clacagni, Joseph Toole, Teddy Henderson, Eugene Lee, Shaunak Bakshi and Bradford Greaves. Hundreds again gathered at the Mary Jane Davies Green to participate in the 9th Annual Manhasset Candlelight Memorial Service sponsored by the Manhasset Clergy Association to honor those lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center—about 42 linked to the Village of Manhasset and the Town of North Hempstead.

Nassau County Department of Senior Citizen Affairs and Health will not be co-sponsoring a flu shot program this year—what would have been Manhasset’s 20th annual flu program. The “Court of Champions Tennis Project,” which has been fundraising to construct three additional courts at the high school, announced the courts will be called the David H. Dorman Tennis Center. The committee anticipates breaking ground around June of 2011. For 32 years Dr. Dorman has coached both boys and girls varsity tennis teams, and was named Section VIII Tennis Coach of the Year in 1983 and Nassau County Scholastic Coach of the Year by the USTA in 2006. Dr. Dorman‘s entire professional career has been at Manhasset High School, where he has been teaching for 46 years.

Manhasset Board of Education officially recognized the work and contributions of Manhasset resident Rosemary Johnson, district assistant superintendent for business; Johnson has been the district’s business official for the past four years. She was given a new title, Deputy Superintendent for Business and Finance, and an increase in salary.

An international film festival is being planned for June 1-5, 2011 by the Town of North Hempstead, in collaboration with others and it will be modeled after the successful annual film festivals in Tribeca, NY and Toronto, Canada. Four towns boasting both movie theaters and train stations have been selected—Great Neck, Manhasset, Port Washington and Roslyn.

Few Long Island-based candidates vying for statewide office in the primaries, either Democrat or Republican, won their races. From Nassau County, Attorney General Kathleen Rice came in second in a hard-fought primary battle against the winner, Eric Schneiderman.

One of several public hearings to address the MTA’s proposed fare hikes was held and many spoke out against the MTA, complaining about: an MTA Payroll Tax; service cuts; now proposed fare hikes; and the MTA’s proposal to cut its entire contribution to LI Bus, which totals $26 million. Service cuts impacted the Port Washington line. Proposed fare increases vary, but the cost of most tickets could increase by as much as 14.3 percent. Disgruntled attendees questioned the MTA’s need for “two headquarters,” specifically, the agency’s Madison Avenue office.

Manhasset SEPTA, chartered in October 2007, quickly chalked up successes including setting the standard for special needs support in Manhasset with public resources (NY State’s first Wrightslaw study group and free expert speakers for teachers and parents), school programs (homework support at elementary and secondary schools), as well as new community programs (Saturday Series first adaptive classes, free social program, and adaptive sports). Because SEPTA is a presence in most LI school districts, they have greater power in Albany. Manhasset was one of the last districts to join SEPTA (only four districts have not joined). SEPTA has more recently targeted gifted and talented students, noting the gifted and talented students are also ‘different’ and SEPTA asks, ‘How do we serve them?’ Manhasset Varsity Basketball team went 6-2 for the regular season in the Spring League. Winning three playoff games and ultimately the championship game to go 10-2 overall.

Marian Robertson to retire after 24 years as Library Director of the Manhasset Public Library. It was under her tenure that the new 42,000 sq. ft. state-of- the-art library was built.

As new LIRR timetables went into effect in September, the MTA announced service cuts to the Port Washington branch—midday weekday service and all weekend service is reduced from every half-hour to every hour. On weekdays, there are 14 trains removed from the schedule with stops added to the remaining trains where needed. These, and other service reductions, were required as part of the effort to close the MTA’s $900-million budget gap.