GREAT NECK PLAZA
Village to unveil road, streetscape plans
The Village of Great Neck Plaza will present preliminary engineering plans for a transportation-enhancement project on Welwyn Road and Shoreward Drive at an upcoming February public meeting.
The village’s engineering consultants will discuss the project, which calls for road and streetscape improvements, landscape beautification, and increased pedestrian and bicycle features. Enhancements include repairing the two roadways, upgrading walkways, and installing bicycle shared-lane markings.
The project will be partially covered by a state grant in the amount of $838,000, which was secured by Mayor Jean Celender in January 2014. The total cost is estimated at $1.048 million.
The public information meeting will be held Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at Village Hall, 2 Gussack Plaza, Great Neck.
— CHRISTINE CHUNG
Preliminary budget talks start in 2 weeks
Williston Park has set a date to begin the budget process for the 2016-17 fiscal year.
Village Mayor Paul Ehrbar said the board will be holding preliminary discussions Feb. 8.
Ehrbar said the board hoped to have the budget ready and finalized early this year to present to the public. Per state law, the budget must be adopted by May 1.
The budget meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 494 Willis Ave.
— CHRISTINE CHUNG
Learn how to cope with type 2 diabetes
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is offering a free diabetes management program to residents with type 2 diabetes.
The six Stanford Diabetes Self-Management classes will be conducted with the Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. The classes will include techniques for dealing with symptoms such as fatigue, pain, hypoglycemia and stress; emotional issues such as depression and anger; appropriate exercises; and lessons on healthy eating and proper medication.
Participants will be expected to make weekly action plans and share their experiences in a cooperative environment. Each participant receives a book about healthy living and a relaxation CD.
“Diabetes is a growing public health concern that we must address,” County Executive Steve Bellone said in a news release. “These interactive classes will provide participants with the tools to manage and control their health and to properly manage their diabetes so they may enjoy an improved quality of life.”
“Diabetes puts the body at risk for many serious health conditions. The good news is that moderate changes in lifestyle can help you to restore your blood sugar to normal levels and result in significant health benefits,” county Health Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken said. “This course can help those with diabetes to make those small changes and enable them to improve their overall health and well-being.”
The classes run from Feb. 5 to March 11 and run each Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Suffolk County Community College’s Islip Arts Building, Room 102, at 533 College Rd. in Selden. Parking is available in Parking Lot 3J next to the building.
To register for the classes, call Jane Juran at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 631-727-7850, ext. 340. All participants must be at least 18 years old.
— SOPHIA CHANG
Complaint hotline running 24/7 again
The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office has restored a toll-free hotline to report problems in the Pine Barrens.
The phone number, 877-BARRENS (227-7367), may be used to report complaints about illegal activities such as dumping, vandalism and off-road vehicle use, the state Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission said in a news release.
The hotline was created more than a decade ago, but cuts to emergency service dispatcher services reduced the line’s effectiveness, and the hotline no longer was available around the clock, the Pine Barrens commission said.
The Sheriff’s Office has agreed to operate the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the commission said.
Commission executive director John Pavacic said residents should use the hotline to report off-road vehicles, which can destroy plants and nature trails, increase the risk of wildfires and disturb wildlife in the 105,000-acre region. The phone number also may be used to report sightings of junk cars, yard waste and trash dumped in the woods.
“It’s a vital tool to protect the land Suffolk residents invested tax dollars to preserve, and we commend the Sheriff’s office for assuming the responsibility,” Pavacic said in a statement. “Suffolk residents overwhelmingly voted to preserve this beautiful natural oasis, and we urge those same residents to protect their investment as if it were their own backyard.”
— CARL MACGOWAN
Council meetings gain live-stream viewership
An average of nearly 500 people viewed each City Council meeting via live-streaming in 2015.
Mayor Reginald Spinello initiated the streaming on Aug. 26, 2014.
“I want people to see government at work,” he said.
During the four months of live-streaming meetings in 2014, an average of 260 people viewed each session. The average jumped to 485 during 2015, city spokeswoman Lisa Travatello said. The top viewership was on April 14, 2015, a meeting that included appointments to city departments, when 1,912 people watched. The city also has streamed some planning board meetings and the Jan. 1 inauguration of Spinello and City Council members, Travatello said.
Spinello said many people cannot watch meetings because of work, family and other obligations.
“This makes the meeting available to anybody whenever they want,” he said. “If they want to watch it in the morning, if they want to watch it at night, if they want to watch it next week, they can do it.”
— DAVID OLSON
Donations sought for annual pet food drive
State Sen. Phil Boyle’s annual pet food drive begins next week.
The annual event sponsored by Boyle (R-Bay Shore) is done in conjunction with Live. Love. Bark Dog Rescue Inc., an Islip nonprofit, and Long Island Cares Inc., a nonprofit hunger- assistance organization based in Hauppauge. Last year’s event netted 1,781 pounds of pet food and supplies.
Residents are encouraged to donate food and supplies for dogs, cats, and other pets. Items being accepted include, but are not limited to: bagged and canned pet food, pet treats, bedding, kitty litter, cages, collars, leashes and new pet toys.
Donations will be accepted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 29 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Boyle’s district office located at 69 W. Main St., Suite B in Bay Shore. Special arrangements can be made for after-hour drop-offs by contacting Boyle’s office at 631-665-2311.
— DENISE M. BONILLA