Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00“A school district is no better than the community that it serves and vice versa.”
That is what Chip Zaino, Sr. said to me when I was first elected to the board. The statement is profound as it is simple. The fact is that we cannot get a better community without a better school district and the citizens of the community are responsible for their school district.
May 15 is our school budget and trustee election. If you want a better school system or if you want a better community,you need to participate in this voting process or you abdicate your interest to those that may not necessarily be aligned to what is good for our community.
From my perspective, the only way to get what is in our collective interest is to do the following: vote no in May, vote yes in June, and vote for candidates that have the community’s interest at heart.
What is different this year and for subsequent years to come is if the budget fails in May and again in June, the tax levy will not increase over last year’s levy. That is significant! That is why you see an unprecedented effort by interested parties campaigning to get a passed budget on the first try. These parties do not want to compromise on salary increases, work rules, lost jobs, or other amenities for which they feel they are entitled. Their interest may not be in our best interest as a community. Likewise, voting no because one is exhausted in paying taxes, as painful as it is for me to say, is not necessarily in our interest either.
Hence, a good option may be to push the budget vote to sudden death – that is to say no in May to make the interested parties come to the table with the community to get a budget and school improvement plan that is aligned with the community’s interest. We can approve the spending plan for the district in June after we are confident that our interests are represented.
My other suggestion is to focus on the candidates for school board and elect the ones that only represent the interest of the community as a whole. Doing that makes the sudden death option unnecessary for future election. We all have a collective interest to make our community and school system great. This may be the best alternative to get us on the right path for the future.
Former Westbury Board of Education trustee
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.