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From Little League To The Courtroom

Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00

Claire Kelly makes the big leagues as a judge 


As a child, Claire Kelly loved playing baseball with her brother’s baseball team; batting, catching and pitching with them at practices throughout the week.  But when games rolled around, the coach told her that girls weren’t allowed to play on the all-boys team. 


But in 1973, when she was around eight years old, she heard of Carolyn King, a 12 year old girl in Maryland who made national headlines when she sued Little League citing discrimination because they wouldn’t let her play on her local team. Little League dropped the no-girls rule and the effects made their way to Westbury, NY. 


Town Issues

Written by Wendy Kreitzman Saturday, 19 October 2013 00:00

As Election Day draws closer and the Town of North Hempstead will soon have a new supervisor, several pressing issues have surfaced. With Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth seeking the office as a Democrat and Town Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio running on the Republican ticket, three major points stand out: transparency in government, problems with the town’s building department and the question of what the town does for the villages.


All along both candidates have emphasized a real need for transparency in government. Discussing the issue with Bosworth, she reiterated the need for a very open government, with town board meetings streamed live on the Internet, as well as eventually televising them on public access channels. She also spoke of making better use of the town’s website, with pertinent news regarding village boards.


Westbury Reveals Tests Scores

Written by Betsy Abraham Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00

Grades drop as students adjust to new Common Core standards 

Eudes Budhai, Westbury’s Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Personnel presented the results of this year’s math and English Language Arts Assessments (ELA) at last week’s Board of Education meeting. This year marks the first implementation and findings of the  new Common Core Learning Standards, and across the board, scores in the district were much lower than usual. 


Because this was the first year the Common Core aligned tests were rolled out to New York schools, lower scores were expected. On the whole, Nassau County saw approximately a 30% dip in scores assessments for all grades. Westbury, saw more of a decrease. Grade 3 ELA scores dropped 42.5 % (17.5 % proficient), math dropped 48.7% (18.9% proficient). Fourth grade ELA dropped 40.6% (15.2% proficient), math dropped 48.7% (15.5 % proficient). Fifth grade

ELA dropped 40% (14.4% proficient), math dropped 56.7% (14.4 % proficient), grade 6 ELA dropped 36 (13.8% proficient), math dropped 47.7 (7.7% proficient). Seventh grade ELA dropped 28.8 ( 18.7 % proficient), math 34.9 (11.6 % proficient), Eighth grade ELA dropped 10.2%, (19.5% proficient), math dropped 24.6 (12.9% proficient).


New Cassel Welcomes First Supermarket

Written by The Westbury Times Staff Thursday, 17 October 2013 00:00

Ideal Food Basket meets the hamlet’s long awaited need

North Hempstead’s Community Development Agency (CDA), joined with elected officials and community leaders recently for the official grand opening of Ideal Food Basket, a full-service supermarket that has been long awaited in the New Cassel community. 


With the grand opening of the Ideal Food Basket Supermarket at 735 Prospect Ave., residents will now have access to a wide array of foods including dairy, prime cut meats, delicatessen products, and a wide selection of fresh produce. But groceries weren’t the only thing the supermarket brought to the hamlet. It also brought jobs. 


Falling Values Send Tax Rates Soaring

Written by Jaclyn Gallucci Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:00

Valuation reductions on commercial properties are leaving residents across Nassau County with unexpectedly high school tax rates increases. 


District figures show the school tax rate for Westbury homeowners increasing by 5.01 percent. Carle Place homeowners face a rate increase of 7.11 percent. 


While not as big a jump as last year—Westbury residents saw approximately a 19.2 percent increase in 2012 and Carle Place residents saw a 7.9 percent increase—the latest figures from both districts show tax rates far exceeding what was expected when voters passed school budgets in spring. 


The Etiquette Queen

Written by Betsy Abraham, Saturday, 12 October 2013 00:00

When Linda Williams was in high school, she was probably the only one who said please and thank you, and could differentiate between a salad fork and dinner fork. Her mom emphasized manners, and though at the time Williams wasn’t very happy about it, in retrospect, she’s glad her mom instilled in her a sense of propriety.

“I feel like it’s very important to know the rules of etiquette because it makes you more confident as a person that you’re doing the right thing,” Williams said. “It gives you a greater sense of confidence in how you’re interacting with other people.”  


Pumpkins Beware

Written by Tim Ahmed, Friday, 11 October 2013 00:00

Renowned artist holding carving demo at Hicks Nurseries

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a fun and simple activity for people of all ages, but imagine being able to carve out lifelike 3-D pumpkin sculptures depicting the Wolf Man, angry fishes in the ocean or even a self-portrait. For Andy Gertler, sculpting pumpkins is just a part of his artistic lifestyle. He will have a pumpkin carving demonstration at Hicks Nurseries on October 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I carved jack-o-lanterns as a kid. A few years ago I tried sculpting a pumpkin for the first time and fell in love with it," Gertler says


BOE Nixes Bell Change

Written by Betsy Abraham, Thursday, 10 October 2013 00:00

Much to the pleasure of parents, the Westbury Board of Education has decided not to change the bell schedule at Park Avenue school for a second time.  

The Board first changed the bell schedule before the school year started. By having the Park Avenue school day start later, the district was able to save a signficant amount of money on buses. Many parents and faculty were frustrated not only with the 9:20 a.m. student arrival time, but the decrease in instructional time that resulted with the change. An option to extend the school day to 3:55 p.m. was presented, but parents openly expressed their disapproval of the idea. Dozens of parents came to the September 19 Board of Education meeting, urging the board not to make the change. 150 parents signed a petition and 230 signed a letter, asking the board to change the Park Avenue bell schedule back to how it originally was in the 2012-13 school year. Board president Rodney Caines said that after hearing the community input, the board agreed a second change would be a bad idea.


Village Talks Overnight Parking

Written by Betsy Abraham, Wednesday, 09 October 2013 10:24

The village of Westbury held their second public forum on a proposed law that would prohibit overnight parking in certain sections of the village. If the law passed, it would not take effect until the end of the year, or early next year.

With this proposed law, cars would not be allowed to park on the street from 2 to 6 a.m., unless they have an exemption, which would be manifested in a parking sticker.


Old Westbury Sculptor Shows With Local Artists

Written by Betsy Abraham Saturday, 05 October 2013 00:00

Alice Riordan’s clay pieces celebrate the human form 

It began with a crucifix. 


Alice Riordan was at St. Mary’s in Roslyn when she saw a crucifix by internationally renowned sculptor George Gach. She was inspired by the beautiful piece and decided to take Gach’s sculpting class. Now, 35 years later, Riordan has a

career making beautiful, intricately detailed clay sculptures. 


“I fell in love with the medium,” Riordan said. “It’s very forgiving and easy to work with.”


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