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Revised School Budget Presented at BOE Meeting

Written by Katie Piacentini: Friday, 16 March 2012 00:00

Three of six PEP teachers and one elementary art teacher restored

A revised budget was presented at the March 6 board of education meeting, which reinstated several teaching positions, including some in the Port Enrichment Program (PEP) and the elementary art teacher position. In addition, the proposed budget included a new model for pre-K and several guidance positions were restored. However, this budget still eliminates nine teaching positions.

During the first round of community comments, Lynn Steinberg, parent of a student at Salem, said that she supports a budget over the tax cap because many items need to be cut from the budget to stay within limits. “I firmly believe that the voters of Port Washington have the right to decide if they want a school budget that maintains high quality education in our town,” she said, also noting that the real estate values have not suffered as much in Port Washington because of the school district. “The parents of Port Washington are ready to come together and support a sound budget,” Ms. Steinberg said, adding, “Let the voters decide.”


Potential Budget Cuts Discussed at BOE Meeting

Written by Katie Piacentini Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00

Parents, educators, students urge the school board to not reduce the arts and PEP program

Many people – parents, educators, even children – spoke during the community comments portion of the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 28 to express their concerns about potential budget cuts affecting the arts, Port Enrichment Program (PEP) and extracurricular activities.

In order to come in under the 2 percent New York State tax levy cap, the Port Washington School District will need to cut about $2.6 million from the budget. The last budget hearing took place on Feb. 7 and the potential cuts presented at that meeting included six PEP teachers, one elementary art teacher and the reduction of 124 units of co-curricular activities.


Police Commissioners Authorize Purchase of New Software

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 09 March 2012 00:00

Module enhances current capabilities

The Port Washington Police District is moving ahead with the purchase of a computer-aided dispatching module that interfaces with the existing records-management system. The updated system will enable the department to process and categorize all incoming calls including detectives’ cases in real time. In addition, the system will prioritize calls in much the same way that emergency rooms triage patients. Dispatchers will be able to monitor the availability of units in order to determine which units are available to respond to a call and the order in which additional units will become available. Sergeant Harold Carver, a Port Washington Police Officer said, “The new module is more of a visual interface than trying to work with paper.”


Getting to Know Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00

Elected politics was never part of Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio’s plan. Born in the Bronx and raised in a middleclass family where education, hard work and achieving goals were valued, she and her brother embodied the American dream. They were the first generation in their family to attend college. After DeGiorgio graduated from Fordham Law School, she married Joe D’Alonzo and they settled into life in Joe’s hometown, Port Washington.


Thousands of Homeowners Caught In Local Political Crossfire

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00

County residents wait more than a year for refunds from adjusted real estate assessments

In a stalemate that mirrors events in Washington during the last few years, Republican county legislators led by County Executive Edward Mangano are engaged in a war of words with the nine Democratic county legislators, each side accusing the other of holding taxpayers hostage for their own political motives. In a turn of events, here in Nassau County it is the Democrats who are refusing to authorize more borrowing to balance the budget while the Republicans are advocating borrowing $102 million to pay the outstanding real estate tax refunds.

Three Village Elections on Tuesday, March 20

Written by Katie Piacentini Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00

Villages Include Baxter Estates, Flower Hill, and Port Washington North

On Tuesday, Mar. 20, elections will be held in three villages within Port Washington. The villages are Baxter Estates, Port Washington North, and Flower Hill, a village that encompasses parts of Port Washington, Manhasset, and Roslyn.

In Baxter Estates, Elizabeth Kase is running unopposed for Village Justice, which is a four-year term. Incumbent Trustees Douglas Baldwin and Alice Peckelis are up for re-election and both are running unopposed for two-year terms.


Manorhaven Mayor Appoints James Avena as Village Trustee

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 24 February 2012 00:00

James Avena, a public spirited Manorhaven resident, was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Manorhaven Village Board created by the resignation of Trustee Patrick Gibson.

In the last few weeks, Avena has voiced his opposition to local law A 2012, The Tax Cap Override, which the other trustees support. For the moment, the law has not been moved forward for further action. When questioned, the mayor and Village Attorney Gerard Terry both said that the measure, although currently tabled, will be brought up for a vote before the proposed budget for the next fiscal year is approved during the April meeting.


Congress Passes FAA Re-Authorization Bill

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00

Local critics fear negative impact on North Shore communities

It has taken five years, 23 stop-gap measures and a two week suspension of funding of the Federal Aviation Administration last summer for congress to finally pass the FAA Re-Authorization Bill. In the end the bill enjoyed bi-partisan support and passed in the Senate 75 to 20 on Feb. 6. It had passed the House the week before. It will now go to President Obama for signature.

Local groups such as Residents for Quiet Skies Over North Hempstead had tried valiantly to stop this legislation in its present form because of what they believe will be a profound adverse effect on the quality of life in North Hempstead. There are other groups that have opposed the new legislation including the American Civil Liberties Union due to privacy issues and environmentalists because of exemptions to the Clean Air Act.


Town of North Hempstead Honors Couple Married for 60 Years

Written by Katie Piacentini Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00

Beverly and Jack Hammer describe their love story and the secret to a happy marriage

On Valentine’s Day, the Town of North Hempstead carried out a special wedding vow renewal ceremony for 80 couples who have been married for 50 years or longer. Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Clerk Leslie Gross presided over the ceremony that took place at Harbor Links. Prior to the Valentine’s Day ceremony, Port News met with one couple, Beverly and Jack Hammer, at the town clerk’s office.

“Fate is Fate,” Beverly said when the couple described how they first met. Jack, who was born in the Bronx and lived in New York, explained that his nephew had allergies, so his sister would take him to New Hampshire during the summer where the child experienced some relief. He decided to take his mother to New Hampshire for a few days so she could visit her daughter and grandson. “My sister said, ‘Don’t come – there are no girls here.’ And I said, ‘I’m not coming for the girls,’” Jack recounted.


PW Police District Holds Building Committee Meeting

Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 10 February 2012 00:00

Efficiency and finances are front and center

The first public meeting of the full PW Police District Building Committee occurred on Feb. 1. The civilian members of the committee were appointed in December.

At that meeting, Commissioner Duncan had requested that the civilian committee members tour the current facility. All the participants have completed at least one walk through. The consensus is that the department needs more space. Fred Blumlein in commenting on what he saw during his walk through said, “I felt that I was looking at an old fire truck. You wouldn’t dare use an outdated piece of equipment to fight a fire and protect the community. I use that analogy because what you are looking at is something here that is in desperate need of upgrading.” James Cowles added, “We are hiring these officers to protect us and then putting them in harm’s way because of outdated facilities.”

 None of the committee members think it is feasible to provide the additional space that is needed in the current location because it would necessitate taking down the building and starting from scratch, requiring a temporary move to another space. The estimated cost of a project like this is $17 million without considering the two re-locations that temporarily vacating the current space would necessitate. All committee members agree this proposal is a non-starter. That leaves the committee looking at other sites. It is anticipated that the project in a new location would cost between $8 million and $10 million.


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