Universal pre-k is at the forefront of American education, so much so that President Barack Obama mentioned it in his State of the Union last week. Mineola School Board President Artie Barnett indicated that the school district is preparing for a mandated full-day pre-k program.
Mineola currently holds a five-day, half-day program for September 2014 and is open to expanding it, should a full slate curriculum be implemented. However, selection into the class is lottery-based. Barnett feels full-time pre-k “is coming down the track.”
“The idea is on the front burner [in the state legislature],” he said. “Also, following the State of the Union address, the president [mentioned it as well]. Whether [the program] will transform into a full-day, five-day program, I don’t know. But I think we have to prepare for it.”
The demolition of the old KeySpan building located at 250 Old Country Road in Mineola is currently ongoing. The complete tear-down is expected to conclude some time in February. Lake Success-based Lalezarian Developers will construct a nine-story, 315-unit apartment complex at the site.
Parts of the structure were pulled down earlier this month. The final demolition days are at 4 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Friday, Feb. 14., but are subject to change. No explosives are being used during tear-downs, according to Mineola village officials.
Weather initially delayed the start of the demolition, Mayor Scott Strauss said. Lalezarian had to postpone the first few “pull-downs” of the structure.
More than 200 hundred people turned out for Reggie Carter Memorial Basketball Night on Friday, Jan. 24 at Mineola High School to see if the Mustangs could break its 13 game winless streak. The team did not disappoint their home crowd, playing inspired basketball to earn their first victory of the season over a turnover-prone Clarke High School, 44-37.
“I was getting a little nervous there for a while thinking we might not win a game all season,” said Mineola head coach, Jim Hegmann. “Our overall team effort team effort was very good tonight and I thought our defense played the best they had all year.”
Veteran Mineola Village Board Trustee Paul Cusato announced his run for re-election last week. If he wins in the at-large bid, Cusato will secure his sixth term on the board. Cusato, a longtime member of the Mineola Fire Department, was first elected to the board of trustees in 2004. The current board consists of Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira (the New Line Party announced his nomination last week), Cusato, trustees George Durham, Dennis Walsh and Mayor Scott Strauss.
There are no red light cameras currently stationed in Mineola, but in the coming weeks and months, that will change.
Seven cameras will be installed in the village, with four at the Mineola Boulevard and Jericho Turnpike traffic light and three at the Willis Avenue location. An additional traffic camera could not be installed at Willis because there is not enough room to place a camera near the westbound direction, according to Nassau County officials.
A snowstorm blanketed Mineola with 11.5 inches last Tuesday, Jan. 21. According to Mayor Scott Strauss, Mineola village department of public works employees were out plowing streets starting Tuesday at 1 p.m. until late Wednesday. Strauss said the frigid temperatures, which dipped to nearly 15 below zero with the windchill, froze Mineola salt-spreaders.
In years past, village reps have hammered home parking regulations during storms, to keep cars off the streets so plows can clear snow curb-to-curb. While an issue before, Strauss said, in his trips around Mineola last week, people are listening.
One local school district saw an increase in state aid, while another lost money in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s preliminary budget released last week.
The Mineola School District saw a 5.87 increase, to $5,623,800 from 2013-14. The state awarded Mineola $5,311,988 last year.
Mineola gained increases in building aid but no increase in high tax aid. The district received $290,733 in high tax aid last year.
Mineola resident Nugent Cantileno is one of many local residents that will be producing The Last Taxi Driver, a short film created Debra Markowitz and John Marean of North Merrick. The production took to the web to find funding for the film, using indiegogo.com, an international crowdfunding site where anyone can raise money for film, music, art, charity, small businesses, gaming, theater, etc.
The Last Taxi Driver is a dark horror comedy about one man’s determination to retain his career as a taxi driver and refusal to give up when most of his customers are eaten by zombies. The taxi driver will be played by Robert Clohessy (Blue Bloods, Wolf of Wall
Street) and Violet will be played by Emily Jackson (Fringe, Incarnate). The film will be shot in East Meadow.
The Village of East Williston last week approved a local law requiring that residential water meters be read once a year by a village employee.
Village code variously suggested that meters would be read annually or biennially, depending on which section you were reading. Mayor David Tanner called it a “housekeeping law.”
According to Tanner, the law addresses other issues, such as meters being misread, a potential for water leaks and unexpectedly large water bills.
While the news of Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy not seeking re-election in the 4th District has brought other public officials into the spotlight as possible successors, you can scratch one name off the list in Jack Martins. He still feels there’s work to be done at his current post as senator of the 7th Senate District.
Martins lost out in a bid against McCarthy in 2008, but beat then-Democratic Senator Craig Johnson in 2010 in a senate race that decided the majority of the New York State Legislature after a drawn out battle in court over ballot recounts. While thankful for the support, Martins says he wants to stay the course.
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