Nassau County’s government and the state watchdog agency NIFA entered the next step in their battle for ultimate financial authority over the county, as New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond ruled to put NIFA’s “control period” on hold while the court considers Nassau’s arguments against the legality of the takeover. Nassau County attorneys, under County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s lead, have submitted to the court that the takeover was executed in violation of the law and was facilitated by an unfair change in NIFA’s policies.
Board Discusses Staffing, Transportation, and Employee Benefit Costs
At the Feb. 10 meeting, the Jericho Board of Education honored five seniors who were named as semifinalists in the 2011 Intel Science Talent Search: Matthew Lam, Nikko Price, Sahir Raoof, Suki Sun and Yuxin Zhu. These students were chosen from approximately 1,600 entrants nationwide. Each of the semifinalists, as well as their schools, will receive awards of $1,000 for this honor.
Filed unobtrusively with the other resolutions on the agenda at the Syosset Board of Education meeting on Feb. 14 were three resolutions of great significance to many in the community: agreements with the Syosset Teacher’s Association, Syosset Principals Association, and the Syosset Administrative Assistants Association Unit to forego the 2.75 percent raises for next year that are due these district employees under contract. While the agreement with the Syosset Teacher’s Association had been revealed several weeks ago (the STA voted to forego their raises on Jan. 20), the other two agreements were new.
This unforgiving economic climate has dealt hard blows to many people working in the private sector. Those lucky enough to hold on to jobs do so knowing that, in this era, it is unlikely to expect ideal financial compensation. Many employees are paying larger benefit contributions; some, like the Syosset Council of Teachers voted to do on Jan. 20, are forgoing raises. As the pain persists and time goes on, eyes are turning to the public sector, where many say their own, harder-to-earn tax dollars are funding a better situation than what they themselves are experiencing.
Nassau County has been working to negotiate a new deal with its primary union, seeking to remove what many found to be excessive items of compensation. Across local municipalities and at the state level, the microscope has gone down on the books and taxpayers are looking for change.
The Nassau County Planning Commission wants the development of the Cerro Wire property in Syosset included in the Nassau County Master Plan; however, they aren’t backing any particular vision for the site, explained chairman Jeffrey Greenfield at the Feb. 3 public hearing on the plan, the second such hearing to be held. After responding favorably to Taubman representative Mitchell Pally’s request for the site to be included in the plan at the first public hearing, held Nov. 18, 2010, Greenfield clarified that at that time, he was expressing his approval of the site itself being included in the plan in some fashion, not Taubman’s (or anyone else’s) particular goals for the 39-acre property.
“I clearly want to state on the record that it was never my intent to endorse any one project. The intent of my comments was to say that the site that’s open to development should be included in some way in the master plan, and that ‘some way,’ I don’t think any of us know what that is,” said Greenfield.
On Thurs, Jan. 25, Director of Pupil Personnel Services Edward Friedlander and Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs Joan L. Colvin updated the Jericho Board of Education on the proposed budget for Special Needs Services, Co-Teaching, Health, Library, Media, Psychological and Social Work, Guidance, Co-Curricular Activities and Athletics.
On Friday, Jan. 28 in Plainview, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand detailed a new proposal to expand, simplify, and make permanent the Research and Development Tax Credit. The senator’s proposal would expand the current credit by changing the formula to provide greater incentive for companies to increase investment; simplify the current credit, which is highly complicated and confusing; and make the new credit permanent, which would provide private companies with the confidence they need to make significant future investments in R&D.
This is a tough time of year for fitness; those countless resolutions for a healthier lifestyle, which seemed so appealing on Jan. 1, lose some of their luster when winter snow and ice repeatedly gets in the way of pleasant fitness walking. Even those who have stuck to their New Year’s resolutions so far may find their resolve begin to flag as winter drags on, as their once-invigorating new exercise program becomes tainted with the boredom of routine. With all the distractions of modern life, not to mention plain old winter blues, how can healthy hopefuls resist the siren’s song of the couch and TV long enough to achieve their fitness goals?
At the Jan. 10 Syosset Central School District Board of Education Meeting, board president Dr. Marc Herman held a moment of silence in the wake of the recent Arizona shootings. As the room fell silent, Herman offered his condolences to the victims’ families and wished Representative Gabrielle Giffords a “speedy recovery.”
Though the night commenced on a somber note, school pride soon dominated as students were honored for their many noteworthy accomplishments. Syosset High School senior Karan Sikka was recognized as a semifinalist in the Siemens Competition in math, science, and technology. Among the 1,300 students across the country who submitted projects, only 312 students were selected as semifinalists. Sikka’s exceptional credentials allowed him the opportunity to conduct research at The Garcia Center at Stony Brook University on his project, entitled, “A Temperature Controlled Investigation of Gold and Palladium Nano-particle Catalysis for the Performance Enhancement of a Proton-Exchange-Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell.”
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