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Veteran’s Tax Exemption Approved

It was a positive night for our local veterans, as the Oyster Bay/East Norwich Board of Education approved the Veteran’s Tax Exemption Law at last week’s board of education meeting. The new school tax break for veterans, signed into law in December, is a partial property tax exemption available to service veterans who are residents of districts that opt in. The meeting was a follow up to a public hearing on the tax exemption which took place on Feb. 11.

Eligible recipients are entitled to the exemptions provided in the Real Property Tax Law under the designations of “qualified owner,”  “qualifying residential real property,” and “veteran.” Recipients are entitled to a maximum of $12,000 (qualified owner), $8,000 (qualifying residential real property), and $40,000 (veteran).

Recipients of these exemptions are permitted to transfer, on a pro-rata basis, the exemption to another home purchased within the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School district, as provided in the Real Property Tax Law.

The Gold Star Parent Exemption, which extends to the parent(s) of a child who died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces during a period of war was approved by the Board of Education. Parent(s) who fall under the legal limit of this law are entitled to a combined maximum of $20,000 as limited by the Real Property Tax Law.

Other News:

Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, Christopher Van Cott gave an overview of budget expenditures, explaining all of the monetary factors that go into developing the budget. The total proposed budget number for the 2014-15 school year is $54,624,638. This is a slight increase from the 2013-14 school year where the adopted budget total was $53,504,111.

Positive factors impacting the 2014-15 fiscal year are retirements and other personnel shifts, new collective bargaining agreements, July-December Health Insurance premiums, Tax Anticipation Note interest rate, transportation and Tax Base Growth Factor.

“The district will save approximately $700,000 in savings in these areas in the 2014-15 budget,” said Van Cott.

District Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld said that in preparing the proposed expenditure budget, district and building administrators, “carefully studied all areas, always with the district mission and board of education goals guiding our work. We are pleased to be able to propose a budget that maintains all areas of our core instructional program including class size and comprehensive instructional offerings, with continuous improvement and curricular enhancements.”

She added that the expenditure budget is only a draft and there are still numerous unknown factors including likely additional state funds.

The board of education will adopt a budget on April 8.

News

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com