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The briefs. Briefly


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A month after East Williston and Williston Park compromised on tentative terms for a new water deal, both village boards are still mulling over an agreement.

Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar said the villages are about a month behind schedule, but he was still hopeful that a contract could be signed in February.

Williston Park drafted an agreement in early January, which East Williston reviewed at a public meeting on Jan. 12. East Williston’s village board stated that the agreement included several new terms that they’d need to bring back to the table. These included a mandate for a minimum water usage and an opt-out clause where Williston Park could halt services after providing a year’s notice.

“There were clearly some terms that were not acceptable,” East Williston Mayor David Tanner said in a phone interview, adding that they’d continue to negotiate with Williston Park.

East Williston’s village board will continue discussing the terms at the next board of trustees meeting on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, at 2 Prospect St.

Ehrbar said that the Williston Park village board hoped to receive written comments from East Williston in time for their next workshop on Feb. 1. The public is invited to attend the workshop at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, at 494 Willis Ave.



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Former Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg, a Long Beach Democrat who often advocated on behalf of the developmentally disabled during his 25 years in office, has created a nonprofit with his wife that will provide an online “resource center” for the families and caregivers of those with special needs.

Weisenberg and his wife, Ellen, are the parents of a developmentally disabled son, Ricky. The couple’s experience navigating through various agencies and programs to find the best care for their son was part of the inspiration behind creating the Harvey and Ellen Weisenberg Special Needs Resource Corp., the retired lawmaker said in an interview Monday.

In February, the nonprofit will launch a free smartphone app that will provide users with information about social service programs and agencies catering to special needs residents. The app will also provide access to laws aimed at protecting the developmentally disabled and feature video interviews with special needs families sharing their experiences, Weisenberg said.

“I know what it’s like not to have the resources available to make the decisions that are best for your family,” Weisenberg said.

Weisenberg, who retired from office in 2014, built a reputation as a champion for the disabled during his time in Albany, often sponsoring legislation aimed at improving services available to special needs families and speaking out against funding cuts for social service programs.

Though he is no longer in public office, Weisenberg said he continues to receive calls from people looking for help and advice concerning their special needs children, which was another reason he and his wife decided to develop the virtual resource center.

“All the things I have learned from my own life’s experience, will be in this resource center,” Weisenberg said.

Weisenberg said he hopes the app empowers families who may be unaware of their rights under laws such as the American Disabilities Act or Jonathan’s Law, a measure he sponsored that was signed into state law in 2007, which requires special-needs facilities to notify families of abuse allegations involving their loved-one.

David E. Feldman, program director for the nonprofit, said they hope to eventually expand the app to provide information about programs and laws in other states.

“Our goal is to first serve the citizens of New York State, especially the families and caregivers of people with developmental disabilities,” Feldman said. “From there we will branch out to other disabilities and, we hope, to other states.”

The organization was incorporated and registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in New York last Nov. 30, Feldman said.



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The Kings Park Central School District inducted five alumni into the district’s Science Hall of Fame.

The event, held Jan. 14 and co-sponsored by the Kings Park Heritage Museum, focused on celebrating Kings Park pride and achievement in science-related fields, organizers said.

“Kings Park has had a rich history in science and STEM-related fields and this event allows us the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of alumni and it also affords us the opportunity to make connections for our students,” said district Superintendent Timothy Eagen.

The Hall of Fame event, which has taken place for about a decade, also allows administrators to make connections with alumni who could potentially mentor or provide support to the high school’s research students, said Eagen.

Kings Park High School has an Independent Science Research program where students work with a mentor at a science research facility over the course of several months to complete a project entered into competitions like Siemens Competition and Intel Science Talent Search, Eagen said.

Two research students were selected as Siemens regional finalists, and three were chosen as Intel semifinalists this year, he said.

The five Science Hall of Fame inductees were: Peter Brodsky, Christopher Cahill, Robert Gould, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Starke and Richard Taylan, according to a news release that included their biographies.

Brodsky, who graduated class of 1978, is a principal engineer in the Environmental and Information Systems Department at the University of Washington. An expert in underwater navigation and digital signaling, Brodsky develops command and control software for autonomous underwater vehicles.

Cahill, who graduated in the class of 1989, is a researcher, author and expert in solid-state and materials chemistry, and nuclear forensics.

Gould, a class of 1981 graduate, began in 1997 working at the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Pennsylvania, which develops advanced naval nuclear propulsion technology.

Starke, a class of 1987 graduate, is a researcher and professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Taylan, who graduated in 1960, is an adjunct professor of geology at Marist College. Taylan, a certified earth science and general science teacher, retired from Hyde Park Central School district after 34 years in public education.



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The Glen Cove Boxing Club will be named after the late Olympic gold-medal boxer Howard Davis Jr. under a proposal the City Council is expected to consider at its Tuesday meeting.

Frank Pena, who heads the boxing club, proposed the renaming to honor Davis, who was born and raised in Glen Cove.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Mayor Reginald Spinello said at Tuesday night’s pre-council meeting.

Spinello had announced the proposal during Saturday’s tribute to Davis at the Glen Cove Boys & Girls Club. Davis died Dec. 30 of lung cancer at his Florida home.

Spinello said the city is planning another tribute to Davis on July 31, the 40th anniversary of him winning the gold medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Councilwoman Pamela Panzenbeck said at Tuesday’s meeting that she supports the renaming.

“I don’t know why it took so long for it to happen,” she said.

The boxing club tribute would be the latest honor in Glen Cove for Davis. The Glen Cove Housing Authority on Friday renamed the buildings where Davis grew up the Howard Davis Jr. Complex. In 2009, city officials dedicated the street in front of the complex to Davis and unveiled a mural there of Davis and his late father and trainer, Howard Davis Sr.



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A Great Neck volunteer fire company recently elected an emergency services chief whose sole responsibility is to oversee EMS services.

Vigilant Fire Company selected Steven Blocker for the position in an election that Chief Josh Forst called “historic.”

Blocker’s appointment effectively separates ambulance and fire operations for the volunteer fire company, which is the first in Nassau County to have a dedicated EMS chief, Forst said.

Blocker is a paramedic and firefighter who has served with Vigilant Fire Company for eight years. In a news release, he said his new position proved the fire company’s “level of commitment” to Great Neck residents.

Forst said the fire company would also soon be hiring more per-diem paramedics.

“We’re committed to improving the ambulance service we provide to the residents of Great Neck,” Forst said. “It’s just as important as the fire service.”



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A community services expo will be held in Wyandanch on Tuesday.

The free event is sponsored by Suffolk County Legis. DuWayne Gregory and community clergy leaders. The expo is aimed at getting church and community leaders to meet with representatives from community organizations, government and nonprofit agencies in an effort to raise awareness of youth services and other programs available to residents.

Among the agencies participating are: Community Development Corporation of Long Island; Long Island Head Start; the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; Long Island Citizens for Community Values; Wyandanch Community Development Corporation; the Suffolk County Office of Minority Health; the Suffolk County Police Athletic League; Wyandanch Mothers for Change; Wyandanch Community Resource Center; and the Wyandanch Family Life Center/Youth Center.

The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance Corp., 295 Merritt Ave. in Wyandanch.



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The latest schedule of the location of a mobile flag dropbox has been released.

American Legion Greenlawn Post 1244 created a program to help with the proper disposal of American flags. The box rotates on a monthly basis through the 11 libraries in Huntington.

“People have flags in their homes or basement and they want to throw them away but they know it’s not right to put them in the trash,” said Charles Armstrong, a member of the post who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era. “So here’s an opportunity for folks to dispose of them properly.”

Last year the post collected more than 900 flags through the program. Armstrong said that in a nod to the environment, nylon and other flags made of synthetic material are now disposed of at an incinerator in Garden City. Cotton flags are still disposed of at local fire stations during retirement ceremonies.

The Post will host two flag-retirement ceremonies this year one around Flag Day and the other around Veterans Day. Exact dates and times have not yet been set.

And some donated flags get another chance at service.

“We go through all the flags and if they are servicable we reuse them,” Armstrone said.

All local Scout troops are invited to participate in the retirements.

Drop-box locations: Half Hollow Hills Community Library, 55 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills, now until Feb. 1; Half Hollow Hills Community Library, 510 Sweet Hollow Rd, Melville, Feb. 1 to March 1; Northport Public Library, 55 Laurel Ave., March 1 to April 1; East Northport Public Library, 185 Larkfield Rd., April 1 to May 2; South Huntington Public Library, 145 Pidgeon Hill Rd., Huntington Station, May 2 to July 1; Huntington Station Public Library, 1335 New York Ave., July 1 to Aug. 1; Huntington Public Library, 338 Main St., Aug 1 to Sept. 1; Harborfields Public Library, 31 Broadway, Greenlawn, Sept. 1 to Oct. 3; Elwood Public Library, 1929 Jericho Tpke., East Northport, Oct. 3 to Nov. 1; Commack Public Library, 18 Hauppauge Rd., Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, and Cold Spring Harbor Library, 95 Harbor Rd., Dec. 1 to Jan. 3.

Throughout the year, flags dropped off at the libraries when the drop box is not present may be sent to the South Huntington Library for collection.



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Leeds Pond in Manhasset, damaged during superstorm Sandy, can be dredged now that federal funding has been secured for the project, officials announced yesterday.

The $1.67 million in funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency covers administrative costs for the project, such as engineering fees and the initial design plans for the pond’s restoration.

“Securing this funding through FEMA is the first phase in the process to remove the sediment build-up and finally restore Leeds Pond,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “These investments remain critical as renovation efforts progress and we continue rebuilding our infrastructure on Long Island.”

North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth thanked Gillibrand, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) for the federal funding and said the pond, which collects stormwater runoff, is one of the town’s “main thoroughfares.”

Manhasset Bay after superstorm Sandy surged and flooded town-facilities. The flooding eroded the marshlands along the beach and sediments accumulated into the pond.

The project calls for dredging the pond and re-contouring the floor of the pond.


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