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Great Neck board considers development's impact; Sayville resident wins scholarship


Impact of apartment plan will be studied

The Great Neck Village planning board has chosen two consultants to study the socio-economic impact of a developer’s plan to replace a rent-stabilized apartment complex with market-rate housing.

The board last week selected Melville-based Nelson, Pope & Voorhis LLC and a Columbia University professor to study “disparate impact” and socio-economic effects relating to a plan from developer Kings Point Gate Associates LLC to replace the Middle Neck Road complex known as Academy Gardens.

The proposed complex would have 68 units, 10 percent of which are to be “affordable workplace housing.”

Tenants at the complex and their supporters have criticized the plan, saying it would push minority families out of the village.

The developer has promised repayments for the tenants, according to the tenants’ lawyer, but not spots in the new complex. The developer in April filed a court motion objecting to the village classifying the application as “an unlisted action,” which could mandate more exhaustive environmental reviews of the proposal.

The board voted 4-0 for the firm and professor to study the issue together. If that arrangement falls through, the village voted to select the Columbia University professor, Lance Freeman, the board said. — SCOTT EIDLER


Tax breaks sought to boost downtown

Amityville trustee Nick LaLota said he would likely call for a public hearing on a tax abatement measure at Monday night’s Village Board meeting for property owners pursuing mixed-use redevelopment.

If the measure is successful, it could energize the village’s downtown, adding more residents and businesses to cater to them, LaLota said.

“The intent is to catalyze downtown living and thereby the foot traffic around our downtown,” he wrote in an email, adding that the plan has been positively received by downtown landlords.

The village would opt in to a state law allowing the village to give a 12-year tax holiday for downtown property owners converting non-residential property for commercial and residential use. The exemption would cover all of the increase in assessed value of a property due to conversion for the first eight years, and lesser portions for the next four years.

LaLota said the measure would focus on the downtown area. It was not clear if a possible mixed-use project at the Brunswick Hospital property to the north would be eligible. — NICHOLAS SPANGLER


Jobs, franchising topics at NCC fair

Nassau County Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) and the Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources Monday are hosting the 2014 Job/Career Fair & Franchise Opportunities, including a Veteran’s Job & Resource Fair.

The job fair will be held June 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nassau Community College’s CCB Multipurpose Room, at One Education Drive in Garden City.

The free event is meant to offer local businesses or franchises a chance to target prospective employees, including veterans. Businesses can reserve a spot for free to interview and accept resumes from job applicants.

Participating employers will be provided with a table and two chairs, and parking is available. The venue space is limited. — AISHA AL-MUSLIM



Meeting to address long-planned project

Town and county officials plan to hold a community meeting in Wyandanch Monday night to update residents on the hamlet's redevelopment project.

The focus of the meeting will be Wyandanch Rising, Babylon Town’s 40-acre, $500 million public/private revitalization project that has been in the works for more than a decade. The meeting will be the first with the community since Albanese Organization Inc. of Garden City broke ground last summer for the first of two apartment buildings being constructed near the Long Island Rail Road station.

Expected at the meeting are town Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Suffolk County department of labor commissioner Sammy Chu and Albanese chairman Russell Albanese. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Wyandanch Senior Nutrition Center, 28 Wyandanch Ave. For more information call 631-643-1957. — DENISE M. BONILLA



Student wins $20G college scholarship

A Sayville resident has won a $20,000 college scholarship as one of 150 “Coca-Cola Scholars” nationwide honored for their leadership, community involvement and academic achievement.

Aneri Kinariwalla, 18, was selected out of 89,000 applicants to join the 2014 class of student leaders recognized by the Coca-Cola Foundation. It is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarships of its kind in the United States.

“I’m still struck by disbelief, followed by the feeling that I’m unbelievably blessed,” Kinariwalla said. “It might sound dramatic, but I believe that being a Coca-Cola scholar is something that has changed my life.”

Coca-Cola has named nearly 5,500 scholars over the years and given them more than $53 million in scholarships since the program was founded in 1986.

Kinariwalla is multilingual in Gujarati, Hindi, Spanish, French and Mandarin, and has authored a French and Spanish curriculum for local elementary school students. She spent six weeks in China as a “citizen diplomat,” fully funded by the departments of state and defense through the National Security Language Initiative.

She has spent much of the past few years engaged in scientific research at Stony Brook University. Her work has been published and has also earned her recognition as a Siemens Regional Finalist, fourth-place winner at the International Science and Engineering Fair, and an honorable mention by Davidson Fellows, a national scholarship program for bright students.

This fall, Kinariwalla plans to begin studying at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as part of the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. She said she hopes to use this background to create a network of schools spanning the globe’s most impoverished regions.

In early April, she traveled to Atlanta for “Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend.”

“More than any other aspect of the scholarship, it’s the scholar network that makes it unique,” Kinariwalla said. “This family is where I’ve found the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever met, and made deep connections with people who I relate with on a new level.” — BART JONES


Dad, daughter police duo hailed for rescue

Head of the Harbor Mayor Douglas Dahlgard presented proclamations to the village’s police chief and his daughter for their heroism in rescuing an elderly man from a burning car last week on the Southern State Parkway.

“It’s an amazing display of bravery and determination,” Dahlgard said at a village trustee meeting Wednesday night. “It’s just the story of true grit ... the willingness to act when circumstances fall in our lap.”

Police chief Martin Thompson, 65, and his daughter, Colleen Thompson, 37, a Suffolk County deputy sheriff, both of St. James, were on their way home from an Irish vacation Monday when they rescued Sam Perkins, 85, of Wyandanch.

Perkins crashed his 1994 Buick into a center median on the parkway in Brentwood Monday afternoon, state police said.

Martin Thompson smashed Perkins’ car window with a rock, and worked with Colleen Thompson and another passerby -- Michael Sialiano, 67, of Smithtown -- to lift Perkins out of the car as flames emerged from the dashboard and vents.

Martin Thompson, a retired Suffolk County police lieutenant and 39-year veteran of the St. James Fire Department, humbly accepted proclamations from Dahlgard and Smithtown Supervisor Patrick Vecchio.

“It’s nice to get, but I just know that most other people would react in some positive way if they’re faced with the same situation,” he said, adding that he was happy to see his daughter in action. “It gave me a real sense of pride.”

Thompson said he was told by Perkins’ wife that Perkins is expected to recover from surgery to both legs and chest and pelvis injuries. — LAUREN R. HARRISON



Grant sought to help cars get a charge

North Hempstead Town has authorized a state grant application  that would fund charging stations along high traffic corrdiors on Long Island.

The grant would provide $500,000 and an additional $125,000 in funding will be supplied by various towns, including Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Islip, Huntington, Smithtown, Babylon and Brookhaven, town spokeswoman Carole Trottere said.

Part of the grant funds a feasability study to determine where the stations would be located. — SCOTT EIDLER


Recycling posters bring honors to 9

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray on Monday is to honor nine elementary school students who won the town’s 2014 Recycle Poster contest.

The winners, whose artwork will be displayed on town garbage and recycling trucks, will be honored at 4 p.m. at the Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve in Merrick.

“Cultivating the next generation of environmentally conscious citizens is integral to advancing Hempstead Town’s agenda on protecting the planet,” Murray said.

“These students have already taken the initiative to express their ... views on the importance of recycling and protecting our precious resources.”

The students attend elementary schools in Baldwin, East Meadow, Oceanside, Seaford and Uniondale.

At the ceremony, the nine winning posters will be prominently displayed on Town of Hempstead Department of Sanitation garbage and recycling trucks -- where they will appear on a rotating basis throughout the year. The posters will also be on participating schools’ recycling receptacles.

Murray will present the winning students with certificates of recognition and special gifts donated by Westbury Paper Stock. Hundreds of students participated in the contest, which was open to all schools within the Town of Hempstead. The theme of the 2014 contest was to “Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle and Re-Think.”

Winners were selected from hundreds of contestants by teachers in each participating school. — SID CASSESE

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