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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

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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