There’s no question that bullying is a hot topic in the Plainview-Old Bethpage community right now. While opinions for how to deal with ongoing problems with bullying within the school district range far and wide among students, parents and educators, most people seem to agree that something needs to be done quickly. When the POB Parents Concerned About Bullying held their first community forum on Tuesday, Sept. 28, despite windy and threatening weather, the theater at the POB Library was nearly filled to capacity.
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library is now home to a handsome trophy case donated to the library by the Plainview Sports Council. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to dedicate the new case on Saturday, Sept. 25. Members of many of the area’s teams were present along with Town of Oyster Bay councilwoman Rebecca Alessia and Nassau County legislator Joseph Belesi. The sports trophy case is the result of the collaboration between the library and the Sports Council, and will feature awards earned by local teams. The trophies will be displayed on a rotating basis so that each teams’ achievements will be recognized.
David Kaufman, chairperson of the council, thanked library director Gretchen Browne and trustee Michael Polansky for the opportunity of locating the case in the library lobby, a high visibility spot in the community. “It was our pleasure to gift it to the library for future generations of children to enjoy,” Mr. Kaufman said.
The Plainview-Old Bethpage School District Board of Education held a very different sort of meeting on Monday, Sept. 27. Not only was the format different, with a more informal discussion among the board members and no public participation segment, but the venue was different as well; due to problems with the electrical systems at Mattlin Middle School, the meeting was held at the high school instead.
At the Monday, Sept. 13 Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education meeting, many topics were covered. In addition to a robust program of reports and presentations, many parents spoke up about myriad concerns during the Public Participation segment, broadening the range of topics dealt with further.
Talia, the new representative from the POBJFK HS student government for the school year, started the meeting off on a high note by reporting on the success of the senior barbecue, and the victory of the varsity football team over a team from Herricks in the first game of the season.
Long Island Professional Educators Network (LIPEN) has been fighting the idea that schoolyard bullying is inevitable for years with the aid of “Bully Frog”, a particularly bellicose cartoon amphibian with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Over the course of the first Bully Frog children’s book, used by LIPEN as a part of an interactive anti-bullying program conducted within schools, the titular Bully Frog (actually Billy Frog) learns how to deal with other children in a more positive way, and the other children learn how to stick up for each other as well. However, is even a kid as tough as Billy Frog safe in the era of 24-hour text messaging?
The total number of registrants this year was 1669. A total of 5, 983 books were read by children in pre-K through fourth grade. The older participants (grades 5 and up) read a total of 305,227 pages. Finally, 32.43 percent of the children in the school district participated in the program and either read at least three books, or read at least 300 pages, depending on their grade level.
Recently, at this year’s Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island’s Celebrating Tobacco Control Champions Recognition Luncheon, the coalition’s Nassau Coordinator, Carol Meschkow, had the pleasure of nominating 11 honorees from Nassau County. The annual luncheon recognizes local municipalities, agencies, and individuals who have created new tobacco practices and policies to protect the public from the danger of second-hand smoke, and to help change the social norms associated with tobacco use.
On Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the steps of the State Supreme Court in Mineola, Plainview businesswoman Francesca Carlow announced that she has received the endorsement of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the race for the 6th New York State Senate District seat against 34-year Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon. A day later, her Democratic Primary opponent, Dave Mejias- who was recently arrested for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend- announced that he would drop out of the race.
Declaring that his candidacy for the Republican Party nomination for governor was in “great shape,” former Long Island congressman Rick Lazio made another campaign stop in Nassau County last week, with a visit to the Massapequa Diner.
On the morning of Sept. 2, the Nassau County Police Second Squad reported the arrest of State Senate candidate Dave Mejias for “stalking that occurred on Sept. 1 at noon in Matinecock.”
According to detectives, “The 34-year-old ex-girlfriend of the defendant, David Mejias, 39, of Farmingdale, was driving her vehicle on Piping Rock Road when she noticed that Mejias was following her in his vehicle. The defendant passed her and abruptly stopped, causing the victim to stop her vehicle. Mejias exited his vehicle and approached the victim yelling and screaming at her. When the victim drove away from the scene the defendant continued to follow her. She eventually was able to elude him and reported the incident to police.”
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