Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00
The Westbury Board of Education began working in December 2011 with practical precision, sound financial direction and much deliberation in order to produce the 2012-2013 school budget.
This budget reallocates, consolidates and eliminates district positions. For the past month, the Westbury community has been faced with letters from residents regarding the upcoming budget vote. Although we don’t entirely concur with these residents, we certainly respect the fact that we exist in an era of freedom of speech and we would have it no other way. However, our constituency elected us to represent this community and as a part of our responsibilities we would like to go on record with our position regarding the decision to present a 2 percent tax levy to our community. It has been implied that the Westbury Board of Education and district personnel are not sensitive to the taxpaying residents in our community. Let us not forget the contributions our instructional and administrative staffs have made to assist in meeting the challenges of our financial crisis in education and at the same time the board of education has painstakingly reviewed areas for consolidation and elimination.
Givebacks from the Westbury Teachers Association (WTA) and Westbury Association of Administrators and Supervisors (WAAS) units include:
-WTA deferred salary and step increases to Feb. 1 for three consecutive years.
-WAAS Union took a “0” salary increase and deferred step increases to Jan. 1 for one year.
The salary deferments from these two units, with the bulk coming from the WTA realized a cost savings of over $3.6 million as generated over a three-year period.
While we regard early childhood education as a foundation to a child’s educational career the decision to limit the pre-kindergarten program to half-day was another necessary cost saving measure. On the half-day pre-K, the district saved $992,000 through reduction of personnel and transportation.
Through careful and diligent management of our finances we were able to appropriate $7.1 million of the fund balance into the revenue budget to maintain our academic programs and lessen the burden on our community taxpayers.
The board of education has worked diligently in presenting a sound budget while being sensitive to the taxpayers and ensuring each student continues to receive a quality education in the Westbury School District.
Dr. Pless M. Dickerson, president
Rodney A. Caines, vice president
Leslie F. Davis
Rocco N. Lanzilotta
Siela A. Bynoe
Laura L. Pierce
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.