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Plandome Road Needs Facelift Before June Film Festival

At the April 5 Manhasset Chamber of Commerce meeting Katie Miller gave a report on the International Film Festival scheduled for June 1-5. She stated that Manhasset is going to be the hub; the LIRR will distribute over 160,000 fliers; and Anton Community Newspapers is the official publisher of the festival program. The event is expected to attract between 30-40,000 movie buffs.

Co-hosted by the Town of North Hempstead and the Great Neck Arts Center, screenings will run from 9 a.m. until midnight in five communities—Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck, and Herricks. Professionals have been engaged to ensure a successful event. There is now a website: www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.

Miller emphasized the town must redouble its efforts to improve the appearance of Plandome Road, and announced she had, in fact, asked Ian Siegel, TONH Business and Tourism Development Corporation, what the town was doing to make Plandome Road attractive to the festival attendees. Also reported, seminars and classes will be held at various locations, such as local libraries.

The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the Plant Booth at the 2011 SCA Fair. The chamber also places ads in the various school theater programs in their continuing support of the Manhasset Public Schools.

Margaret Minichini reported on the May 11 seminar, “Seniors and Those Who Aspire to be Seniors,” to be held at the Manhasset Public Library from 7-9 p.m. The seminar is part of the continuing “Everything You Need to Know”…series, sponsored by the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, open to everyone, and free to all. Refreshments will be served.

President Harvey Passes then mentioned items under consideration for the upcoming board meeting Thursday evening, followed by Diane Harragan who announced that once again there will be live plants in the hanging baskets on Plandome Road, and that the American Flags, also on the lampposts, will be provided by the American Legion. The plants, already ordered, should be hung around Memorial Day.

Lee Temares reported on the Consortium of North Shore Chambers planning meeting for a giant networking event where representatives from Roslyn, Great Neck, Glen Cove, Port Washington and Manhasset were present. Together, these chambers boast over 1,070 members. The proposed dates are Sept. 13 or 20 and venues are currently being explored. It was decided the event would be open to chamber members, and $10 charged to non-members.

The Chamber wished Harun Hassouni, CMIT Solutions, a speedy recovery following his recent accident. Town and Country Flowers will soon be moving to 53 Manhasset Avenue.

Town Councilwoman Maria Christina Poons was the guest speaker and covered the changing Hispanic population in North Hempstead, focusing on Manhasset and Great Neck. She provided history going back to 1960. Eventually, she said, school and political leaders came to recognize the growth of the Hispanic community and, in 1989, formed the Hispanic Community of Great Neck organization, with a stated purpose of changing the perception of the population as only service workers, and of helping the population assimilate through affordable child care and education. The organization now encompasses Great Neck and Manhasset. Councilwoman Poons explained the Hispanic population in the Town of North Hempstead now stands at 12.8 percent, just under the Asian population of 14.9 percent. Poons suggested ways businesses can reach the growing Hispanic population even if they do not have Spanish speaking employees. A product from a Spanish speaking country, for example, can be displayed in the shop window. She counseled that if a business has a product or service to offer, a speaking engagement can be arranged at HCGN. A business or not-for-profit group, she said, only has to reach out.

Following the meeting, as usual, members remained to network.

Lee Temares contributed to this article.