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
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Once a week, Robert Blume goes to Virpa Convenience on Carman Ave. to buy breakfast and lottery tickets. When he bought his Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on Sunday, Oct. 20, it was just like any other day. But when he went in to Virpa to check his tickets later that week, life changed forever.
He won $7 with his Mega Millions ticket, and then ran his Powerball ticket through the ticket check. Instead of the usual reading of “Sorry You Are Not A Winner,” he saw a message that said ‘Big Winner. See Retailer.’
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
“Art is beautiful. It's all around us and makes you see the world in a different way. Anyone can learn to paint, it just takes time, but when you do, you never look at clouds the same way or water the same way or even at the beach the same way.” These are the words of Westbury’s own artist and teacher Laura Meshover. Her captivating oil paintings exhibit the very essence of photo realism.
“I always knew I wanted to be an artist even from way back at a young age,” explained Meshover. “I used to take painting lessons in my neighbor’s basement when I was a little girl. You can’t do that kind of stuff anymore,” she said with a laugh.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The wrestling team at Westbury High School looks forward to a fresh start this season. Last year, they struggled to stay atop the Nassau Conference, but this time, the team has a lot of valuable pieces that are crucial for them to flip the script and potentially climb to the top of the standings.
One of the shining stars in the school’s team this year is the dominating Raeco Jackson. For the past two seasons, Jackson has had an extraordinary winning record in the 113 and 120 weight classes. “Last year, my record was 28-5 and the year before that it was 30-5,” he said. With a total record of 58 wins and 10 losses, he has won 85 percent of his matches. His impressive feat helped Jackson receive all-county honors last season.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Carle Place boys’ varsity soccer team made school history on Nov. 17, when they captured the NYS Class B championship title. It ended a long journey during which the team never lost a game. Carle Place was the only team in the state to go undefeated — and that includes all classifications. The final statistics were an impressive 18 wins, 0 losses, and 1 tie; 56 goals for, 6 against, and 14 shutouts.