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Letter: No Justice Served By Failing The School Budget

As a Bayville resident with three children attending Locust Valley middle and high schools, and an active member of several parent councils, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding John Benstock and the lawsuits involving both the LVCSD and the LVSEA.

In recent weeks a faceless group, “The LV Parents Against Child Abuse,” has taken out ads in local newspapers, attempting to link the lawsuit brought by the LVSEA directly with the 2014/15 LVCSD school budget. A Google search of “The LV Parents Against Child Abuse” yielded no results for any organized group. As far as I know, no such group has attended any BOE meetings or LVCSD Public Budget Forums to speak out publicly about their concerns. To say that I disagree with their tactics would be an understatement. It is hard for me to entertain a group, or their platform, when their sole method of disseminating their message is done in such a covert, secretive manner.

Furthermore, I am both disturbed and disgusted by this “group’s” attack on the teachers of the LVCSD. To state that the teachers in this district continue to defend a sexual child abuser is ludicrous. Does it sound reasonable that teachers (many of whom are parents) would condone the acts of a convicted sex offender? It’s pretty clear to me that the teachers of the LVSEA are trapped by the bureaucracy of convoluted, unionized litigation. Many of the teachers in LV are our friends and neighbors. Their own children attend the schools in LVCSD. LV teachers continuously show their dedication to the success of the children of our school community. It shines through in our students’ performance on various levels – academics, the arts, and athletics, and cannot be denied.

I attended Dr. Hunderfund’s presentation of the 2014-15 school budget. I believe that the administrators in this district have been fiscally efficient and responsible. They have prudently cut administrative costs so that all student programs will be maintained. The proposed budget is coming in under the LVCSD tax cap maximum. I applaud and appreciate their efforts in continually putting the needs of the students first. To fail this school budget would directly persecute the students of the LVCSD, by denying them the many school experiences that would be eliminated if the district had to go to a contingency budget.

The community has suffered on many levels as a result of John Benstock’s depraved actions. I am truly hopeful that members of the Locust Valley/Bayville Community recognize the Benstock issue and the passing of the School Budget as two distinct, separate entities.

On May 20 I implore the voters to vote for the budget on it’s merit. Our administrators have put forth a sound and fiscally prudent budget. The LVCSD school budget deserves to stand alone.

Dawn Burnett

 

News

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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