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(L-R Biologists Tara Schneider-Moran, Dr. Jim Brown, Hempstead Commissioner of Conservation & Waterways Tom Doheny, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, Deputy Executive Director LI Regional Planning Council Elizabeth Cole, Photo Courtesy of Town of Hempstead)
Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen
(POINT LOOKOUT, NY) – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney were joined by environmental and planning representatives from the Long Island Regional Planning Council and the Town’s Department of Conservation and Waterways to unveil plans for the re-opening of the Town’s water testing laboratory that was shuttered after the discovery of damage relating to Superstorm Sandy.
The laboratory was closed after the discovery of black mold and other contaminants. The prior administration planned to close its doors permanently and sell of its equipment for pennies on the dollar. Supervisor Gillen and the Town Board changed course, recognizing that the work done at the lab was vital to protecting Town residents and shorefront communities, including Point Lookout, where the lab sits.
The lab was made a priority in Supervisor Gillen’s five year Capital Plan, which was passed unanimously by the Town Board in order to safeguard the water quality in the back bays of Long Island.
Saving the lab will be crucial to safeguarding water quality, which has significantly deteriorated over the last century due in large part to the dumping of effluent from numerous sewage treatment plants, along with nitrogen pollution from septic tanks, and the increased use of fertilizers.
“This lab used to be a bulwark against high levels of pollution, alerting the public to rising levels of contamination,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “Today, 50 years after this lab first began its important work; we’re here to say that we need this lab now, more than ever! I remain fully committed to pursuing an agenda that will protect residents, as well as our beautiful beaches and waterways.”
“I think it is great that the Town of Hempstead is moving forward and thinking about ways we can continue to protect our environment,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney. “By reopening this lab we are committing, not only to science and protecting the environment, but to the people of Point Lookout who are desperate to have this lab operating again.”
“Water is the lifeblood of Long Island. The renovation of the Town of Hempstead Marine Laboratory will provide the entire region with a vital and strategic asset as we work to preserve and improve the quality of our coastal waters,” said Richard Guardino, former Hempstead Town Supervisor and Executive Director of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. “The Long Island Regional Planning Council looks forward to continuing our work with the Town as we move ahead with the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan.”
“The Long Island Regional Planning Council congratulates the Town for its commitment to the environment. By restoring the functionality of its analytical laboratory and advancing the important work of its dedicated staff, the Town has recognized the great value of healthy coastal waters to its residents and in fact all of Long Island. We look forward to continued engagement with the Town as we advance the mission of the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan,” said David Berg, Program Manager of the Long Island Regional Planning Council.
The Town of Hempstead plans to re-open the lab by next spring and is actively seeking joint partnerships with colleges, non-profits and other public and private entities that have an interest in the health of Long Island’s waterways.
“The goal of this lab is not only to safeguard the Town’s residents, but also act as resource to test water quality throughout Long Island,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “It will once again provide a valuable service that can be used to bolster our beaches and home values, as well as the commercial and recreational fishing industry - all of which are fundamental pillars of Long Island’s economic well-being.”
Gillen also noted that the marine economy alone makes up 9.7 percent of Long Island's total GDP, “so protecting this industry, which our communities rely on economically, should be everyone’s concern.”
The Town is diligently receiving estimates for the safe removal of the mold and other contaminants, as well as the replacement of electrical, heating and cooling components that are no longer functional. New equipment will be energy efficient and all lighting will be LED, fitting into the Town’s sustainability vision.
Furthermore, the building will be self-sufficient, utilizing solar panels to power the facility, along with receiving energy from the Town’s wind turbine here in Point Lookout via remote net metering.
Issued by: Council Member Erin King Sweeney and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana
Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana were proud to host Hempstead Town’s first Bilingual Story Time or Tiempo de Cuentos Bilingües today at the Freeport Library. The officials read the same story aloud - Councilwoman King Sweeney reading it in English and Town Clerk Cabana reading it in Spanish. Additionally, each child was able to choose a book to bring home from a collection that has been donated by The Book Fairies and local libraries. The Book Fairies is a non-profit organization located in Freeport that collects reading materials for people in need throughout metropolitan New York.
“Literacy in children is critically important. It is the foundation for doing well in school, socializing with others and developing independence,” said Councilwoman King Sweeney. “I am so happy to have worked with Town Clerk Cabana to develop this program that will help promote bilingual literacy.”
“Hempstead Town is extremely diverse and we have a large Spanish-speaking population,” noted Town Clerk Cabana. “I am proud to acknowledge the important role that Hispanics have in our communities by working on programs that will support and uplift those for whom English is a second language.”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age. More than 1 in 3 American children start Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read. Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years.
“I’m so happy to have kicked off our first Bilingual Story Time at Freeport Library, and I look forward to future story times at libraries throughout Hempstead Town,” concluded King Sweeney. “I would like to thank the many libraries, as well as The Book Fairies, for donating books for this enriching program.”
The Bilingual Story Time/Tiempo de Cuentos Bilingües, which is open to children of all ages, will be visiting the Wantagh Library located at 3285 Park Avenue in Wantagh on Tuesday, August 14 at 10:00 a.m., and the Seaford Library located at 2234 Jackson Avenue in Seaford on Thursday, August 16 at 10:30 a.m.
Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen
(LIDO, BEACH, NY) July 16, 2018 – With beaches and community pools around the region and country reporting shortages of lifeguards, Town of Hempstead Supervisor and former Town lifeguard Laura Gillen made a splash against the downward trend by presenting ceremonial golden whistles to the Town’s newest rookie lifeguard class. The whistles were presented to the class during a beach graduation ceremony at Point Lookout Park.
Every year, Town of Hempstead lifeguards make thousands of rescues, including over 200 saves during the recent, busy July 4th weekend.
Town beach lifeguards are certified through an extremely rigorous and physically demanding, week’s long training course, which includes rigorous running, swimming and extensive practice in such areas as spotting rip currents, shore breaks and sharks. Typically, 1 in 4 recruits are unable to complete the training.
The Town of Hempstead has approximately 560 lifeguards for its 23 pools and 11 beaches. It is the only ocean lifeguarding program in the country to be awarded four national awards from the United States Lifeguarding Association.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said, “As a former Town of Hempstead lifeguard, I was delighted to present ceremonial whistles to our newest rookie graduates! Our ocean lifeguards are the most highly trained in the country, which is why we are the only program in the country to be awarded four national awards from the United States Lifesaving Association. Congratulations to our new guards and their proud parents!”
Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen
(Levittown, NY) July 16, 2018 – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen joined with Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and local veterans at American Legion Post 1711 in Levittown to announce a proposal granting local veteran owned small businesses and local service-disabled veteran owned businesses preference in the awarding of public contracts in the Town of Hempstead.
The proposal seeks to expand the participation of local veteran and disabled veteran owned small businesses in the county’s economy by granting them a preference to the Town of Hempstead’s contracting opportunities over non-local bidders.
The local preference policy would grant local veteran-owned small businesses located in Nassau County that submit a bid within 7.5% of the next overall lowest bidder, when the lowest bidder is an entity located outside of Nassau County, preference in the awarding of local Town contracts.
“We are aiming to expand opportunities, and in many cases help ease the transition to civilian life for our brave service men and women,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “Service to our country deserves to be rewarded.”
“As a Vietnam Veteran and a town councilman, I am always looking for ways in which to help those who have answered the call of duty,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne. “I am proud that this initiative gives back to our veterans who have done so much to protect us, and I look forward to providing an opportunity for local veteran-owned businesses to work with the Town of Hempstead.”
“I’d like to thank Supervisor Laura Gillen and the entire Board for putting forth this important resolution affecting our veteran community,” said Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana. “The Town of Hempstead is once again leading the charge for our veterans and their families.”
Local veteran and disabled veteran business enterprises will have to be registered with the federal or state government and show proof of registration.
There are over 75,000 veterans, and over 11,000 veteran owned firms, who call Nassau County home.
Levittown, an unincorporated community in the Town of Hempstead – America’s largest township – was the first home for many veterans and their families after World War II due to the availability of affordable homes and government sponsored financial incentives designed to support veterans.
“The Town has a proud tradition of helping our service men and women once they return home,” said Supervisor. “In keeping with the Town’s longstanding values, we will continue to honor and help support our local veterans whenever possible.”
Issued by: Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin
Carter, a happy and energetic shelter dog who was rescued by Assemblyman Ed Ra, joined with his adopted “dad” and Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, to “mark his territory” on Pet Fire Safety Day. The officials announced that “pet fire rescue stickers” will be available through their offices at no cost. The decals, which are to be displayed on the front doors of pet owners’ homes, can alert firefighters and other first responders that a pet resides at the house and may need to be rescued in the event of a fire or other emergency. Clavin and Ra also discussed pet safety tips, noting that 1,000 accidental home fires are started by pets annually. The officials and Carter were joined at a press briefing by a representative of the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department, as well as animal welfare advocates.
“Carter has added a lot of joy to our family since we brought him home from the shelter,” said Ra. “By placing a ‘pet fire rescue’ sticker on my front door, Carter has the best chance to be rescued in the event of a home fire.”
In discussions between Clavin and Ra on the issue of Pet Fire Safety Day, the Receiver came up with the idea of producing “pet fire rescue” stickers and distributing them to pet owners at no cost. The officials agreed that the stickers would be an important part of safeguarding pets during emergency fires.
“What better way to celebrate our pets on Pet Fire Safety Day than by making ‘pet fire rescue stickers’ available to pet owners at no cost,” said Clavin. “Call our offices today for your sticker—it can be a lifesaver.”
The Assemblyman was the sponsor of a resolution that designated July 15th as Pet Fire Safety Day in New York, the same date as National Pet Fire Safety Day. The day was established by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and the AKC is focused on the prevention of fires that can be accidentally started by pets, as well as all measures to safeguard pets and property in the event of a home fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 1,000 house fires are started by pets each year. And, the United States Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires. The officials recommended the following tips to prevent home fires being started by pets:
The pet fire safety stickers that Clavin and Ra are providing to the public can be customized. Pet owners can indicate the type and number of pets at a house. They can even write the name(s) of a pet(s). Pet owners can call Clavin’s Office at (516) 538-1500 or Ra’s office at (516) 535-4095 to secure stickers. Stickers can also be acquired by emailing Clavin at email@example.com.
“Pet Fire Safety Day presents an important opportunity for pet lovers to keep their pets and families safe,” said Clavin. “I want to thank Assemblyman Ra for passing a state resolution declaring July 15th as Pet Fire Safety Day.”
Payable without penalty to 8/10/18.
2018-2019 Oceanside LIRR parking permits go on sale at Town Clerk's Office.
Town Hall closed in observance of Independence Day.
All 2017-2018 Oceanside LIRR parking permits expire.
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