Voting consolidation initiative on agenda
The Riverhead Town Board, saying there are just too many local elections for people to keep track of, is urging state lawmakers to consider changing the election calendar so that each of the more than 900 special taxing districts on Long Island would hold elections on the same day.
Under such a law, voters in special park districts, water districts, fire districts and sanitation districts would go to the polls once.
Town officials noted that some kinks would still have to be worked out, such as how to arrange it so that people would not be spending an entire day going from place to place to vote.
The town board noted that voter turnout in small special districts normally is less than 5 percent, and that the number of voters in school elections and fire district elections increased once a common voting day was set for those elections. — MITCHELL FREEDMAN
Adoption, fostering forum set for April
Nassau County will host a recruitment forum in April for residents interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
The forum, organized by the county’s Department of Social Services, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 17 at the Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Ave. in Garden City. It will feature a panel presentation of foster and adoptive parents, and young adults who were in the foster care system, according to a county news release.
“We are always looking for loving and caring people to open their hearts and homes to children who need foster care placement, and recruitment is critically important to accomplish this goal,” County Executive Edward Mangano said in a statement.
There are about 240 children in foster care in Nassau -- some of the children return to their families on a regular basis, while others remain with their foster parents who opt to proceed with formal adoptions.
“Becoming a foster parent can be very rewarding,” said Betty Shands, vice president of the Foster and Adoptive Parents’ Association of Nassau County. “I have been a foster and adoptive parent for more than 28 years and have had over 70 children placed in my home during that time.”
Foster parents can be single, married, divorced, legally separated or living with a partner, and must be 21 years or older. Foster homes must also be certified by the Department of Social Services.
“It is imperative that we certify a diverse group of foster families to accommodate the cultural diversities of the children who enter foster care in our communities,” said Maria Lauria, the department’s director of children’s services.
For more information on becoming a foster or adoptive parent, contact Sandra Benitez of the social services department at 516-227-7613. — LAURA FIGUEROA
Model train show chugs in for charity
A fourth annual Model Train Show to benefit the Nassau Hurricane Recovery Fund will be held March 29-30 at the Bethpage Senior Community Center.
The event, sponsored by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Trainville Hobby Depot, will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the center at 103 Grumman Rd. West.
Exhibitors and train clubs participating include Trainville Hobby Depot, Long Island HOTtrack, Long Island Traction O Gauge Trolleys, TMB Model Railroad Club and the MTA LIRR Police.
Admission is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for children from ages 4 to 11. Proceeds will be donated to the fund that benefits uninsured and underinsured residents who suffered damage from superstorm Sandy.
For further information, call 516-433-4444 or go online at trainville.com. — BILL BLEYER