Written by Michael Scro, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
During a Syosset school board meeting last week, tension arose between Superintendent of Schools Carole Hankin, Trustee Joshua Lafazan, and Fred Gang, a resident speaker on transparency and accusations made against the district.
During public comment, Gang expressed disapproval of the district’s proposed budget for 2013-14, and inquired about reports of the district’s use of software to target various community members with the objective of increasing voter turnouts — which is illegal under New York State election law as Gang pointed out.
“These groups of people are those whom the district thinks are favorable for their support on election day,” Gang said.
Hankin responded forcefully in between Gang’s statements, rejecting his claims as “false accusations” and “misinformation.”
“Every year you come here to speak, we deal with you, and I’m not going to stand for it anymore,” Hankin said. “You are saying something that is absolutely not true.”
Lafazan then expressed outrage at “restricting a resident’s freedom of speech” in the public comment section, saying: “Just because you don’t like what Mr. Gang has to say doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to censor him.” Lafazan then requested the school district to issue an “official explanation” on whether they use this software or not.
Hankin responded to Lafazan by saying: “There is a difference between free speech and going out and saying something that is a lie — we don’t use this software.” Hankin then cited statements made by resident Janet Wein, who works for BOCES, in which she said she has never seen such practices take place.
Hankin then accused Lafazan of “doing your own private investigation, and making the reputation of Syosset go downhill every day.”
“I haven’t seen one added value that you have submitted all year — I wish you would, I think you have a lot to offer,” Hankin said to Lafazan. “Every meeting I sit here and say to myself ‘okay, he’ll learn.’”
Lafazan responded by insisting that he “speaks the truth, and whether people disagree or agree, I think they can respect that I tell the truth.”
“I ran last year to be a voice for the 6,600 students in this district because I’ve spent the past 13 years going to school here, and I know best because I’ve been in those classes and programs, so I’m not going to sit here and let you tell me that I don’t offer any value,” Lafazan said.
Hankin said the district has “done an excellent job this year,” yet cited Lafazan’s “foolishness” as a reason the district “has not been able to accomplish even more.”
“I think the boards in the past years have been fabulous, and it’s why we have reserves, we haven’t cut anybody, we’re coming in below the two percent tax cap, and our programs are nationally known,” Hankin said.
As the meeting continued, the mood calmed down, and concluded with trustee Alan Resnick delivering short comments encouraging residents to “get out and vote.”
“The majority of our votes here are unanimous because we all want the same thing, even though we disagree,” Resnick said. “I encourage all of you to vote — we are in this [together] and I really mean that.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
If you’ve ever been to the 16 Handles store in Jericho and topped your frozen yogurt with the crumbcake crumbs, you know why shop owner Scott Silverman has to re-order them frequently. They are that popular.
“And they always come in fresh,” he says.It’s not surprising, since they are made just a few miles away at Laura & Co. Snacks: The Crumb Without the Cake in Glen Cove.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 10:47
The Town of Oyster Bay will host two Saturday night primetime high school ice hockey contests this season as part of its High School Hockey Night in Oyster Bay series held at the town's Ice Skating Center on Stewart Avenue in Bethpage. Starting off the series will be the Syosset Braves taking on the Massapequa Chiefs on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m.
“These events, which are free to all Town residents, feature high school teams that are among the finest in Nassau County,” Venditto said. “The players really look forward to competing at the Town of Oyster Bay’s state of the art rink and we are always pleased to have them here.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Fourteen student-athletes from Syosset High School have committed to play at a college or university next year.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Jericho Celeste Taub, 13, showed that she could run with the big girls (and the big boys!) on Sunday, Nov. 17, as she scored a decisive victory in the Women’s Division of the 5th annual Blue Ribbon Run for Prostate Cancer, a 5-kilometer road race that started and finished at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park.
Taub finished the Run in 20 minutes, 17 seconds, 53 seconds in front of 36-year-old runner-up Kelly Bregou of New York City.