The Birchwood Civic Association had a busy meeting on Tuesday, April 17. In addition to going over the latest developments in the seemingly never-ending Cerro Wire mall battle, the group also heard from Syosset school board candidate Josh Lafazan and honored East Birchwood resident Paul Babakitis.
Babakitis received national attention for his role in subduing out-of-control Jet Blue pilot Clayton Osbon on a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 27. The retired NYPD sergeant directed other passengers to hold down the emotionally disturbed pilot until the co-pilot could land the plane safely. At the meeting, he explained the events of Flight 191 in his own words to the residents assembled at Jackson Elementary School in Jericho and took questions.
For the fourth year in the row local teen musicians are joining forces to bring awareness to childhood autism through a musical showcase, Rock Out Autism.
“No matter what background you are, whether you have autism or not, music is something that resonates with people,” said Rafe Tangorra, member of the band Paging Grace and co-founder of Rock Out Autism.
Jeffrey Rozran, a longtime English teacher at Syosset High School and the president of the Syosset Teacher’s Association (STA) died Saturday, April 7. He was 65; the cause was lung cancer. While Rozran will doubtless be remembered not only for his long teaching career and his role as an advocate for teachers’ rights, many of the students he taught will remember him as a friend. Rozran was one of those teachers who had a habit of forming lifelong friendships with the students he taught, a tendency that turned him from authority figure to mentor to close friend for many of those who graduated from Syosset High School in the last few decades.
When Syosset High School junior Brian Pinkow was told that he would never walk again after a devastating car accident that severed his spine, he took the prognosis with a grain of salt. Fifteen years later, he may not be walking yet, but to say he’s remained physically active would be the understatement of the year: he plays wheelchair basketball, practices mixed martial arts, swims every day during the summer, and is even preparing to complete a half-marathon in his wheelchair this weekend.
Furthermore, while his doctors may have been adamant 15 years ago that his injury was permanent, recent clinical trials in the field of spinal cord injuries are beginning to indicate that perhaps Pinkow was right to be skeptical about the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair: for the 32-year-old Syosset resident, he sees walking again as not a matter of if, but when. All that stands in the way, he feels, is raising enough money to fund new treatments.
On Thursday, April 5, New York State Assemblyman Charles Lavine announced new legislation he is introducing in the state assembly to require 3 percent of all state contracts be procured to veteran-owned businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. While a similar policy has existed on the federal level for more than 10 years and since 2004 for service disabled veterans, New York State does not have this requirement in place while other states do. The assemblyman was prompted to author this legislation after discussing the issue with Rep. Steve Israel, who has promoted tax credits for hiring veterans and incentives for veteran-owned businesses.
Residents of Muttontown would like the Syosset Fire Department to contact the Muttontown Police Department whenever a fire is reported in the area. That way, MPD officers who may be patrolling right nearby can immediately be of aid to residents and the firefighters themselves. However, for some reason, the Syosset Fire Department Board of Commissioners denied a request from the village for this communication…or did they?
It was a matter of some debate at the Monday, April 9 SFD Board of Commissioners meeting, when a contingent from Muttontown, including Mayor Julianne Beckerman and Police Chief William J. McHale, requested answers from the board during the Audience to the Public segment. Beckerman and a group of concerned residents wanted to know why the request was denied, but according to Chairman of the Board Giovanni Graceffa, it was only denied because it wasn’t considered a formal submission in the first place.
High school students: Get ready for your close-up. The SATs and ACTs now want a photo of you.
The requirement that photos be uploaded at the testing site is just one of the new security measures that will now govern SAT and ACT test-takers. In the aftermath of the arrests of 20 local students late last year, all charged with either taking SAT or ACT exams for other students or having paid someone to take the test for them, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced a “sweeping security overhaul” to prevent further cheating. DA Rice was joined by executives from the College Board and the ACT exams at a press conference on Monday, March 26, as she outlined the new rules.
In New York State, fire districts are legally required to advertise for competitive bids for purchases in excess of $20,000 and public works contracts in excess of $35,000. However, just because a project comes in below the legal limit doesn’t mean the district is footloose and fancy free; municipal law requires the board to adopt a policy that fosters competition to obtain goods and services at the lowest possible cost for all projects, no matter what the price tag. While the Syosset Fire District has not run afoul of state law in terms of the statutory bid thresholds, according to a recent audit by the office of State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the district lacks a policy to ensure that smaller projects are purchased at the best value for taxpayers.
For the second consecutive year, Nassau County workers will have their wages frozen.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) made the announcement last week, citing a possible budget deficit this year of up to $100 million.
County Executive Edward Mangano praised the decision as a “stabilizing” force in the budget process.
“Syosset High School was one of only seven high schools in New York State, and the only high school from Long Island, to participate in NanoCareer Day held at the University at Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering,” Hankin said. “Twenty-nine Syosset High School students attended lectures, presentations and demonstrations. A 2011 graduate of Syosset High School is currently majoring in nano-engineering at SUNY Albany. He took the course of explorations of nanotechnology in high school.”
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