Nonprofit gets funds for foster services
The Leadership Training Institute, a locally based agency serving minority and disadvantaged communities, is the only Long Island recipient from 13 around the state to be named by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for the state's Kinship Caregiver services option for children in foster care.
Each agency will get $102,980 from the state to help children who cannot safely live with their parents to reside full-time with a relative or close nonrelative.
"This funding will provide caregivers with the tools to build a brighter future for thousands of New York children and place them on a path towards growth and success," Cuomo said in a news release Thursday.
Research shows that children who reside with relatives achieve better outcomes than those in nonrelative foster care, the release said.
The funding was awarded through a competitive request-for-proposals process.
Programs will provide an array of services to kinship caregivers, including crisis intervention, family assessments, linkage to community resources, parenting education and trainings, support groups and trauma screenings.
"We agree with Gov. Cuomo that kinship is a strengthening bond for these children and are pleased that we were the agency chosen to help that concept on Long Island," LTI Executive Director Mel Jackson said.
Other agencies chosen around the state are based in Clinton, Monroe, Oneida, Orange, Tompkins and Westchester counties, two in Erie County, three in New York City and one with services in Broome and Tioga counties.
Supervisor promotes pool safety measures
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray is spearheading a townwide initiative to promote lifesaving pool-safety measures.
"Educating all neighbors on pool safety is key to preventing tragedies before they occur," Murray said.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is an annual national average of 390 accidental child drownings in pools and thousands of pool-related injuries.
Murray, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad encourage residents, especially pool owners, to obtain a copy of the town's free pool-safety brochure by calling 516-812-3496.
As of September 2008, Hempstead Town requires a pool alarm for all swimming pools installed or maintained in unincorporated areas.
The alarm must be capable of detecting a child entering the water, and an 85-plus decibel warning must sound within 20 seconds poolside and at another location on the premises.
"A pool alarm . . . prevents accidental drownings by alerting property owners when an unanticipated person has entered the pool," Clavin said.
Ahmad added: "It only takes seconds for tragedy to strike, and a pool alarm is one of many proactive steps to protect our children."
Murray also urged that pools be protected by physical barriers. Town code requires a minimum of a 5-foot, non-climbable fence, with a self-closing and self-latching gate, equipped with a lock.
She also encourages parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn CPR and to consider registering children for the town's popular swimming lessons hosted throughout the summer.
Free KidPix ID cards for families
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and state Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) will help protect children with free KidPix photo identification cards to parents and children.
"The KidPix program provides parents a convenient way to keep their children's important information on a single, wallet sized ID card," Mangano said in a news release, adding that the card can be a helpful tool to police for the return of a missing child.
Along with a picture, fingerprint and contact information, the ID card includes the date of birth, physical description and gender of the child.
"If you can take a few minutes to stop by one of these upcoming locations to get your child a free KidPix ID, it is an important tool for parents," Venditto said.
Nassau children of all ages can take part in the program. Photos and fingerprints will be processed on site and families will be able to take their cards home from the event.
Upcoming dates and locations are Tuesday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Bar Harbour Library, 40 Harbor Lane, Massapequa Park, and Friday, July 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick Ave.
For more information, call 516-571-6000.
New association seeks members
Illegal home rentals, an overtaxed ambulance service and revitalization of Deer Park Avenue were among the topics raised last week at a planning meeting for the Deer Park Community Association.
The association, which Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said would be the 27,000-population hamlet's first in decades, is seeking members.
"We want to be a vehicle for moving projects forward," said association president John P. Cestaro, 31, a New York City police officer who grew up in Deer Park.
Residents can message the town individually with concerns or ideas now but will have a stronger voice through the association, he said.
The group is scheduled to hold its first public meeting Aug. 25 at Deer Park High School.
Residents interested in joining or attending the meeting can email email@example.com.
Trustee honored for open space advocacy
The New York State Recreation and Park Society has honored Huntington Town Board member Mark Cuthbertson with a public service award for his legislation over the years on open and recreational spaces in the town.
Gail Lamberta, president of the Long Island Leisure Services Association, an affiliate of the New York State Recreation and Parks Society, said in a news release announcing the award, that Cuthbertson was chosen for his "sweeping legislation that banned smoking in playgrounds and all beaches."
They also cited his sponsorship of "three bond acts totaling $60 million which provided a tremendous boost to acquire open space and provide funding to meet the booming demand for recreational fields throughout the town."
Some of those projects include Veterans Park in East Northport; Breezy Park in Huntington; the turf field at Manor Field Park in Huntington Station; and open space acquisitions like Carpenter Farm in Greenlawn.
The New York State Recreation and Park Society is the principal organization promoting quality recreation and park opportunities for citizens of New York State through education, training, technical assistance and support of local, county, state and federal recreation and park providers, according to its website.
Cuthbertson was presented with the award at Breezy Park in Huntington Station on May 22.
"This award belongs to the people of our town who have advocated for and supported our many acquisitions and park improvements in the past 18 years," Cuthbertson said.
Annual beach cleanup on Saturday
The Town of Huntington's Annual Clean Beaches Day is set for Saturday.
Volunteers have the option of registering for a cleanup at Centerport Beach, Crab Meadow Beach or Gold Star Battalion Beach. In addition, volunteers can register to be part of the "Clean Beaches Bus Tour," which will take them to Asharoken/Steers Beach and Scudder Beach.
Kickoff for the event will be at 8:15 a.m. at Centerport Beach, where volunteers can enjoy breakfast before the cleanup. The bus tour will leave from Centerport Beach at 9 a.m. After the cleanup, at noon, a luncheon will be held at the Pavilion at Centerport Beach, where volunteers can enjoy refreshments.
The event is hosted by town Councilwoman Susan Berland, Northport Village Mayor George Doll and former Village of Northport trustee Tom Kehoe.
For volunteer applications, go to huntingtonny.gov/content/13755/16473/17730/19800/22234/default.aspx.
For more information, call Berland's office at 631-351-3018.
Village Garage Sale returns for spring
The village of Brightwaters is holding a spring version of its popular Village Garage Sale.
The first spring garage sale, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Wohseepee Park, lets residents get rid of "trash and treasure" in a community sale open to the public.
The village is still renting spots for homeowners to display their wares in the park in a 20-by-25-foot space. Knives and similar items cannot be sold. Vendors should bring their own tables and chairs and other accessories and are responsible for cleanup.
For more information, contact village trustee Diane Urso at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Village Hall at 631-665-1280.
Mayor to hold open forum Saturday
Shoreham Mayor Ed Weiss has announced plans to hold his second open community forum at 9 a.m. on Saturday at Village Hall, 80 Woodville Rd.
Weiss said Thursday he plans to discuss the village's road improvement project and efforts to update village codes.
"We're trying to look at our laws and making them current. We have a major road drainage project currently underway," said Weiss, a Manhattan real estate company executive who was elected mayor in June. "It's just to get together and say hello to one another and review some projects and talk about where we're headed."
The village board in March approved a $1.6 million plan to improve village roads, including curbs, sidewalks and drainage. The project is to be paid for with taxes and up to $995,000 in serial bonds.
Weiss said he held a previous forum last fall that was attended by about 40 people. Many of those who attended expressed interest in holding additional such gatherings, he said.
Village trustees Leonard C. Emma and Brian C. Vail are running unopposed for re-election. Voting is noon to 9 p.m. on June 16 at Village Hall.