As three candidates vied for two seats on the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District Board of Education, incumbents Debbie Bernstein and Ginger Lieberman attempted to leverage their experience, while challenger Charles Mazzocchi said he could offer the board a fresh perspective. While the hour-and-a-half long forum was cordial, with candidates rarely talking out of turn, the challenger did disagree with the incumbents on several issues; the two incumbents mostly agreed. The candidates are presented here in the order that they read their opening statements.
Calling the May 9 redistricting hearing “contentious” would be a gross understatement. While many of the residents and elected officials who took the podium criticized the plan logically and eloquently, there was a lot of screaming and yelling in the chamber. While the audience in the chamber was diverse in every respect, many members of the minority groups whose current alleged under-representation the redistricting plan is supposedly intended to correct, were present to tell Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt-in no uncertain terms-that he does not speak for them.
Minority Leader Diane Yatauro also did not mince words: “This hearing is nothing but a farce...I can tell you how most of this self-serving ‘Republican Protection Plan’ will play out today, over the next week. Here’s what will happen: We know that Peter Schmitt will claim to be the great protector of the minority community…” (the rest of this sentence was inaudible due to audience laughter). “Just as they were spending millions of dollars to defend the NIFA fight, but to no avail, as the Republicans were shot down in court, we’re expecting the same action. And that’s where this will end up again- in court,” Yatauro said.
Students who visit Old Bethpage Village Restoration are usually tasked with imagining what it was like to live in the past. However, during the 13th Annual Long Island Envirothon, held on the Restoration grounds on April 26, high school students from all over Nassau and Suffolk counties were given a very different, but equally valid task: to look at the present, and, more importantly, the future, from the viewpoint of environmental conservation.
The sun smiled down on the parking lot of Manetto Hill Jewish Center on Sunday morning, May 1. On one of the first warm days of spring, the warmth of an entire congregation could be felt. A prideful group of onlookers sat on folding chairs, watching as Rabbi David Ross Senter, ranking members of the temple, and local town officials dedicated a 150-year-old Torah to be used during religious services.
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Library Board of Trustees held their monthly meeting on April 20 in room C&D of the library. The major topic was the upcoming budget vote and general library finances.
Currently, the library is planning to propose a budget of $6,583,900 to be voted on at the May 17 election. $6,180,150 of the total number will be raised by taxpayers. Although the number may seem daunting to some, the board believes that the figure is a fair one, they explained. The only portion of significant increase lies in the money allocated to employee benefits.
Two very different technological marvels are situated at Cox and Company, Inc.’s Plainview manufacturing facility: a large icing wind tunnel, one of the most sophisticated pieces of test equipment in the world for simulating the icy conditions that aircraft experience during flight, and an old textile-braiding machine, dating back to the 1930s. This embrace of all forms of technology- new and old, state-of-the-art systems and jury-rigged holdovers from the Industrial Revolution alike—already makes the Cox facility unique.
On April 5, David Lerner, founder and CEO of David Lerner Associates, joined with GLIRC President Mike Polansky, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, and Nassau County Legislator Rose Walker to present a donation of $10,000 to the Nassau Police Benevolent Association (PBA) representing the family of fallen Officer Geoffrey J. Breitkopf. Breitkopf, a Nassau County Police Officer, was tragically killed in the line of duty in Massapequa Park on March 12. He leaves behind his wife, Paula, and two young boys, Conor and Owen.
The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation (CAF), the country’s only non-profit organization dedicated solely to battling the fatal blood disorder thalassemia (a.k.a. Cooley’s anemia) has announced that a special “Care Walk” walk-a-thon will be held in Bethpage Park in Bethpage on Sunday, May 1 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
CAF is debuting its “Care Walk” campaign this year. Unlike a traditional walk-a-thon, in which thousands of people gather in one place for a concentrated mass event, the Care Walk is a series of walks held across the nation. Each individual who registers for a Care Walk can decide where he or she wants to walk on May 1 and for how long.
At the conclusion of the April 4 Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education Meeting, the district was challenged to go back over the numbers in the proposed budget and find the funds to retain a social worker at the Kindergarten Center, and to potentially hire a new guidance counselor for JFK High School. At the final budget meeting on April 7, it was clear that the district business office had gone over the numbers after all; while they could not find enough “efficiencies” to cover the full cost of both positions ($145,770), the $83,440 reduced from the budget allowed members of the board to feel comfortable voting “yes” to both budget additions, which they had felt compelled to vote down at the previous meeting.
“In 2031, BlindSight will be created,” said sixth-grader Sophie Heinman to an audience of her peers at Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School at a special assembly on April 4. As a part of the Toshiba Exploravision science competition, a team of Project Challenge students—Philip Danziger, Lexi Fryman, Sophie Heinman and Tommy Venezia—needed to not only come up with an idea for a useful invention, but anticipate how science will change 20 years in the future. The group created BlindSight—a device that would utilize projected advances in nanotechnology to enable the blind to see, and allow people to store memories as data that they could later recall. Out of 4,800 teams to enter in the fourth-through-sixth-grade division, only six, including the BlindSight Team—were recognized as regional winners.
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