Air traffic hearing bumped to March 12
A public hearing on air-traffic restrictions at East Hampton Airport intended to reduce noise has been postponed for a week due to inclement weather.
East Hampton Town officials announced Thursday morning that the hearing, originally scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, would instead be held on March 12 at the same time.
Officials said the hearing was pushed back "because of the significant snowstorm that hit the region overnight, making for treacherous travel."
The hearing is expected to draw hundreds of residents from across the East End to LTV Studios in Wainscott. The March 12 hearing is scheduled at the same location.
Town board members proposed a package of noise-mitigating airport rules last month, including a summer weekend ban on helicopters, nighttime curfews on flights and a one-trip-per-week limit on some aircraft in the summer.
The regulations are designed to address decades of noise complaints related to traffic at the airport, a busy hub for travelers to the Hamptons. The rules face opposition from helicopter pilots and other business interests tied to the airport. - WILL JAMES
Moody's gives school bonds high marks
More than $26 million in bonds scheduled to go on sale last week in the Islip Union Free School District were given a high rating by Moody's Investor Service Inc.
The $26.4 million in general obligation serial bonds are meant to go toward capital improvement projects and to retiring outstanding bond anticipation notes, while providing new money for construction projects, Moody's wrote in a news release. District residents in 2012 passed a referendum to allow $47 million in bonds to pay for facility improvements and renovations. More than $18 million in bond anticipation notes were issued over the past two years by the district to begin construction on those projects.
Moody's issued an Aa3 rating — meaning high quality and subject to a very low credit risk — which was also applied to the district's outstanding general obligation debt, which will reach $44.2 million post-sale, the news release stated.
"The Aa3 rating reflects the district's moderately sized tax base with above average income levels; historically stable financial operations with satisfactory reserve levels; and above average debt burden," Moody's wrote.
The investor service warned that any structural imbalance that would reduce reserve levels, as well as any deterioration in tax base valuations, could make the rating drop.
With the sale of the new bonds, the district would be looking to convert the bond anticipation notes into long-term bonds, while about $7.7 million will be used for the referendum's capital improvements, Moody's said. That would leave the district with close to $21 million of unused bonding authority, the investor service wrote.
Representatives from the school district did not return a phone request for comment. - SARAH ARMAGHAN
Snow leads to state of emergency order
The Town of Islip canceled a planning board meeting, closed some facilities and issued a state of emergency during Thursday's heavy snowfall.
Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter signed a 2B state of emergency order, and town officials said snow removal equipment had been at work since the morning to plow, sand and salt streets.
The Islip Art Museum and all town recreation and senior centers were closed Thursday.
The snow also caused flight cancellations at Long Island MacArthur Airport, and travelers were urged to contact their airlines for updates on future flights.
"Public Works crews will work around the clock to clear roadways," Carpenter said in a news release. "We strongly recommend that residents refrain from driving, if possible, so that plows can operate more efficiently. We also remind residents to keep cars off of the roads, so that plowing crews can better service our neighborhoods." - SOPHIA CHANG
'Money in Politics' panel on March 19
"Democracy for Sale: Money in Politics," a panel discussion on money's influence on the world of politics, will be hosted by the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset March 19 at the Port Washington Public Library.
Four political watchdogs will share their perspectives on the effect of money in politics and make suggestions for paths to reform. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Lynda Lees Adams, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a news release that concern about the influence of the wealthy and "dark money" on politics increased in 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission ruling.
It said the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by for-profit and nonprofit corporations, labor unions and other organizations. The federal ban against organizations contributing directly to political parties or political candidates' campaigns remained intact.
Scheduled panelists include Liz Kennedy, Susan Lerner, Bill Mahoney and Rosanna Perotti.
Kennedy is counsel at the Manhattan-based public policy organization, Demos, which is dedicated to reducing political and economic inequality. She works on voting rights, money in politics and corporate accountability.
Lerner was originally a litigation attorney but is now executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Common Cause/New York, which has issued widely cited reports examining political spending relating to various New York State issues.
Mahoney is a reporter who contributes to the Albany bureau of the New York State publication, Capital. His specialty is research and analysis of campaign finance and lobbying filings, legislation and other public data sources.
Perotti is chair of the political science department at Hofstra University, where she teaches courses on American politics, political parties and the voter.
The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the library, at 1 Library Dr.
For more information, contact the league's program chairwoman, Allison White, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-944-7794. - LISA IRIZARRY
District will resend lost voters guides
Some school district-mailed voters guides were lost in the mail, and officials are arranging to reprint and resend them.
The voter guides provide information about a roughly $70 million bond vote that will be decided on March 10.
Deirdre Gilligan, a spokeswoman for the district, said the guides will be reprinted and then sent to the Port Washington post office before Tuesday.
Residents can read the guide and other information about the bond referendum on the district's website: portnet.k12.ny.us. - SCOTT EIDLER
Senior ID card registration at library
Hempstead Town officials and state Sen. Michael Venditto are scheduled to distribute senior ID cards Friday at the Seaford Library.
Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad are promoting the cards that include contact information, medication and allergies in order to contact emergency medical personnel. The ID card can also be used in place of a driver's license for senior identification.
The town clerk's office will provide preprinted forms and five computers at the library to create the wallet-sized cards. Each ID also comes with an 8½- by 8-inch document to be displayed at home. The service is free and information will not be kept on file with the town.
Town staff will be at the library to help seniors complete forms. The service runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the library, at 2234 Jackson Ave. For more information call the Town Clerk's office at 516-812-3032. - JOHN ASBURY
Property tax seminar moved to March 18
A taxing winter storm Thursday caused the postponement of a seminar — on taxes.
The Brookhaven Town seminar on property tax grievances had been scheduled for last night at the Medford firehouse, 171 Oregon Ave.
It was rescheduled for 7 p.m. March 18, also at the fire house. For information, call Brookhaven Town Hall at 631-451-8696 or the town assessor's office, 631-451-6300.
The postponement was one of several announced Thursday by Brookhaven officials due to the winter storm.
Officials also canceled last night's scheduled meeting of the town's Accessory Apartment Review Board. Hearings scheduled to be held Thursday will be held at the board's next scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. April 2.
Brookhaven officials also closed recreation and senior centers and other programs Thursday due to the snowstorm. - CARL MACGOWAN