Church leader seeks LI support on reform
The head of Lutheran churches in the metropolitan region is joining immigration reform advocacy efforts, lobbying next week in Washington, D.C., for legislation that would open a citizenship path for immigrants who are in the country illegally.
Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo, leader of the Manhattan-based Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said he will seek to meet with congressional representatives or their staff from Long Island and New York City to deliver a message on behalf of his faith community.
“We think that the system is completely broken, and we need to start from scratch in addressing it,” Rimbo said.
The church favors passage of legislation that would end the separation of immigrant families by setting a clear citizenship path for millions of immigrants who entered without inspection or who overstayed visas.
“We need to make it easier for people who are here, quote-unquote illegally, to become citizens, to be here legally,” Rimbo said.
The synod represents 50,000 worshippers in about 196 churches throughout the metro region, including about 75 on Long Island.
Rimbo said that while not all members of Lutheran congregations may agree with his message, church leaders also are working to spread the word, because that kind of reform is consistent with principles of their faith and the history of a New York church founded by generations of immigrants. — VÍCTOR MANUEL RAMOS
Town program to give seniors free ID cards
The Town of Hempstead on Monday plans to provide senior residents with a free identification card.
The wallet-sized card will display a person’s name, picture and some personal information, including allergies, family telephone numbers and doctors’ contact information, in case of a medical emergency, Town Supervisor Kate Murray said.
“The card can provide vital information to first responders in an emergency when a senior is incapacitated,” Murray said in a telephone interview.
The card allows seniors without driver’s licenses to have identification and take advantage of senior discounts.
Printing the cards takes about 10 minutes, officials said. Seniors will also receive a larger version that can be placed on their refrigerator doors.
The Senior I.D. Card Program was funded by the Town of Hempstead, which has issued about 4,000 cards since the program’s launch in October 2011. Monday’s event, hosted by Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook), will use five computers and preprinted forms to print and laminate the identification cards.
It will be held at the Freeport Memorial Library, 144 W. Merrick Rd., from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, contact the Hempstead Town Clerk’s Office at 516-812-3032. — SIOBHAN BARTON
Employers sought for August job fair
State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) is looking for employers to participate in his 2014 job fair.
Hannon wants to connect job seekers with job providers at the event to be held Aug. 13 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Adelphi University in Garden City. There is no charge to employers or potential employees.
His job fair in August 2012 included nearly 90 employers and attracted more than 1,000 job seekers, officials said.
To reserve space, contact Hannon’s office at 516-739-1700. — AISHA AL-MUSLIM
Town focuses on green initiatives
North Hempstead residents are encouraged to recycle rainwater, and compost kitchen and yard waste through two town initiatives.
Residents can collect rain water in 50-gallon barrels, which can be purchased at a reduced town rate of $50.
Nearly 600 residents already participate, town officials said. One barrel can recycle as much as 1,800 gallons of stormwater in a single summer season, town officials said.
Residents can also take part in the town’s composting initiative by purchasing town-subsidized composters for $50. Residents can compost waste into organic matter, rather than see it buried in landfills.
Those interested in participating in the programs can take a class at Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, at 193 I.U. Willets Rd. Half-hour classes are scheduled for May 10 at 11 a.m., May 13 at 10 a.m. and May 15 at 7 p.m.
— SCOTT EIDLER
Pediatric disaster training offered
The Nassau County Department of Health’s Medical Reserve Corps plans to present an educational program on Pediatric Disaster Management, sponsored by the New York Institute of Technology School of Health Professions Department of Nursing and the Nassau Regional Emergency Medical Services Council.
The course, to run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 12, will be taught at the Morrelly Homeland Security Center at 510 Grumman Rd. W. in Bethpage.
It will provide training to enable first responders to quickly and efficiently deal with children during disasters. It will be taught by various medical professionals.
All participants must register in advance. For additional information or to register, call the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9627.
— SID CASSESE
Board prepares for vote on budget
The Patchogue Village Board plans to discuss and may adopt its annual multimillion-dollar operating budget early next month.
A draft of the spending proposal has been created, but village Mayor Paul Pontieri said at Monday night’s board meeting that it is a “work in progress” and “will change dramatically between now and then.”
Pontieri declined to give specifics of the preliminary 2014-2015 budget but said it should be similar to last year’s budget.
The board on Monday passed a resolution, 6-1, to pierce the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap if necessary, and it is expected to have a public hearing on the budget on April 8.
Trustee Gerard Crean, in his last meeting on the board after 10 years of service, was the lone vote against overriding the cap. “I would have loved to have seen the preliminary budget,” he said after the meeting. “There may not have been a need to pierce the cap.”
Last year, the board adopted a $12.9 million budget that increased the total municipal tax levy $342,000 and raised the average homeowner’s tax bill $68.
The 2013 spending plan was a 3.9 percent increase over the $12.3 million budget from the previous year. The 2013 budget was $191,000 over the 2 percent cap. It was exceeded in part due to having a $75,281 reduction in tax revenue and having to spend $500,000 on superstorm Sandy.
Last year, the village had nearly $3 million in surplus, and the average home in Patchogue was valued between $250,000 and $300,000. — DEON J. HAMPTON
OYSTER BAY TOWN
Disposal programs to begin next month
The first of eight 2014 programs for household hazardous-waste disposal, including electronic waste, and drug collection for town residents is scheduled for April 12 at the Old Bethpage Solid Waste Disposal Complex at 101 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Rd.
The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) program is in its 29th year.
For more information, call 516-677-5943 or visit www.oysterbaytown.com.
— BILL BLEYER
Curran hosts movie for autism awareness
Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) announced Tuesday that in honor of Autism Awareness Month in April, he plans to host an exclusive viewing of the new Disney movie, “Muppets Most Wanted,” for children with autism and other developmental disabilities at the United Artists Lynbrook 6 Movie Theatre, 321 Merrick Rd., at 6 p.m. on April 10.
“We are very excited to be a part of this exclusive preview of the new ‘sensory-friendly’ Muppets movie,” Curran said. “I look forward to seeing all the children and parents at the movie!”
Curran, who is working with the theater for the free event, stressed that space is limited -- 150 seats -- so parents should RSVP to this event by Monday, through his office at 516-561-8216.
He added that he is also looking for additional sponsors for “goodies” for the children. — SID CASSESE
New summer hours for control tower
The seasonal control tower at East Hampton’s town-owned airport in Wainscott will be shutting down two hours earlier each night when it goes into operation later this year.
The tower will be operating from the Friday before Memorial Day to Sept. 14, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Last year, the tower was in operation until 10 p.m.
The town board approved the change in hours at its meeting last week and has given formal notice of the change to the tower operator, Robinson Aviation of Oklahoma City. — MITCHELL FREEDMAN
Meds collection program expanded
Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone’s office has announced plans to expand to senior centers Operation Medicine Cabinet, a program that accepts unwanted medications.
Every first Wednesday of the month, community members, including seniors, can drop their prescription drugs at senior centers within county police districts. This expansion is part of an effort to “close the gateway to heroin abuse by reducing the availability of prescription drugs” so they do not fall into unprescribed hands, according to the county government’s website. It also will prevent unused medications from contaminating county drinking water.
Starting today at 11:30 a.m., the Huntington Town Senior Center will provide a receptacle for medication drop-offs in its cafeteria at 423 Park Ave. in Huntington. Bellone, Legis. Steve Stern and Commissioner Ed Webber, among other county officials, are expected to be in attendance. —SIOBHAN BARTON