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Great Neck Teacher Dies

Deborah Arkus, beloved community member and retired Great Neck teacher, died peacefully at home on Oct. 8, 2014 at age 85.  ArkusDies_102414A

Born on April 26, 1929 in Astoria, Debbie graduated from Julia Richman High School in Manhattan and received her BA and MS degrees in Early Childhood Education from Queens College.  On July 20, 1950, she married Albert Arkus, who predeceased her in 2001.  A resident of Great Neck for over 50 years, she retired from the Great Neck School District after 25 years as a highly esteemed and influential Kindergarten teacher.   [Read more...]

Great Neck Restaurant Week

No need to think “What’s for dinner?” The Village of Great Neck Plaza’s annual Restaurant Week, from Sunday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 9, provides a simple, delicious answer. Eat out! This Fall 2014 event, sponsored by the Plaza and the Business Improvement District (BID) offers delicious prix fixe Dinners for $26.95 at an enticing group of local restaurants.Restaurant_101414A copy

This season’s Restaurant Week (the eighth season) features 15 of the village’s finest restaurants including ERA Asian Cuisine, Colbeh, Bareburger, Ethos Authentic Greek Cuisine, LOLA, Mykonos Greek Cuisine, Elaine’s Asian Bistro, Sake 68 & Sushi, Chatanooga, Wild Ginger, Great Neck Diner, Burger Village, Laverne’s of Great Neck, Brasserie Americana and Daruma of Tokyo. All participating restaurants will offer a variety of these prix fixe dinners, making for an affordable and expansive culinary week of dining out for everyone. Everyone is invited, from Great Neck peninsula residents to neighbors from far and near. [Read more...]

Great Neck Monitors The Other Virus

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.Entero_102414B

“It’s [enterovirus] typically mild and parents should treat it like they would any other cold or viral infection in their child,” said Schleien. [Read more...]

Great Neck Library Branch Closes

Next week will be an unusually busy one for the Great Neck Library, from its Monday election for two seats on the Board of Trustees, to its closing down of the main branch for an estimated year to the beginning of new operating hours for the remaining three library branches that should minimize the lack of main branch access.

Voters living north of Northern Boulevard can cast their ballots at the main branch while residents south of Northern can vote at the Parkville branch. The polls will be open from 10:00 AM to 10 PM. Ralene Adler is opposing Robert Schaufeld for one four year trustee position and trustee Joel Marcus is running unopposed for re-election for four years. Two positions for the nominating committee, also unopposed, are also up for election.

But the main branch shutdown on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. on the 28th is a somewhat historic event. It has been surrounded by community concern in regard to its upcoming multimillion-dollar renovation, continuation of full services for patrons and the discovery of the existence of two Library corporations registered with the state, which has delayed issuance of the bonds (not to exceed $10.4 millions dollars).

The Board has already taken steps to dissolve the second corporation and the state was set to meet earlier this week to accept the Library’s position that the original charter, first registered in 1889, is the correct one.  With that clarification, it is expected that the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) will proceed to issue the bonds.

“We believe the bonds will be sold in early December, ” Board President Marietta DiCamillo said. “The GNL has enough cash flow for the project to begin as originally indicated. The ‘move out’ period is scheduled to be completed on November 13. The construction bids are scheduled to be received no later than November 18. We are on track.”

Asked how long she felt the main branch would be out of service, she answered “No longer than a year, hopefully sooner.”

To make up for the lack of a main branch, the Library staff is shifting several services and materials to the other branches. The hours of operation of the Station, Parkville and Lakeville Branches have been increased.  The new schedule has been posted on the library website (

The Levels program, restarting Oct. 31, will run from 4 to 10 p,m at Saddle Rock School, Mondays through Thursdays, and switch to the Station branch on Fridays and Saturdays (6 p.m. to midnight).

“Children’s programs normally held at the Main Library are already being presented at the Station and Parkville Branches,” Interim Director Laura Weir said. “Adult programming will begin at Station in January.  Three musical concerts will be held at Temple Emanuel.  The Children’s Department has planned three holiday programs at Temple Emanuel. These programs are being co-sponsored by the NOAR Nursery School. We have also added additional computers at Station and Lakeville.”

“Many special collections have been moved into one of the three branches,” added Weir. “Station Branch will house a complete AV collection and an enhanced children’s collection.”

While Parkville and Station will be open Sunday afternoons, no branch will be open after 6 p.m. on Fridays.  But that could change.  “Closing Friday night is a trial effort that we will evaluate and revisit as needed,” Weir said. “We increased the hours of operation at Parkville on Monday night to 9pm…. Monday night always attracts a much greater number of patron visits than Friday night.”

The actual main branch closing date wasn’t firm until a committee meeting decision on Oct. 13  as it was first feared that the controversy regarding the “two” corporations and the state’s hesitancy to issue the bonds because of it, would cause delays to the entire project.

“The closing of the Great Neck Library was anticipated…to provide ample time for the movers to move everything out of the Main branch, explained DiCamillo. “We are not laying any workers off until after the packing up and moving of the Main branch and actually will cost us slightly more as we are retaining staff longer.

As to those layoffs, Weir said that 28 part time workers were being laid off. “Every one of them is welcome to apply for a position when the main library reopens,” she said. It was not clear how many positions would then be open.

Kris Bauman, president of the Great Neck Library Staff Association, said that the layoffs were in line with what the existing contract called for.  The staff has been without a new contract and without raises for almost three years, but negotiations are under way.  “We’re meeting later this month,” he said. “We’re really hoping that we can come to an agreement..”

“The way our contract is currently worked out,” he explained, “part timers have very little protection. There really wasn’t very much fighting we could do. No full timers are being laid off although I think a few have taken early retirement.”  The laid off workers are eligible for unemployment insurance.

Great Neck Coalition Raises Funds

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition (GNBCC) is thrilled to share that so many Great Neck vendors will be participating in exciting fundraisers for the cause.

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Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition Board of Directors at a recent fund-raiser (l. to r.): Fern Rogers, Zoe Schacht Levine (volunteer) Lisa Levine, Gloria Gersman, Colette Thaw, Maria Rudman, Mindy Gordon, Laura Weinberg. (Not shown: Pam Fogel, Lend a Helping Hand Program Coordinator and Leslie Mayer, fundraiser coordinator)

On Oct. 23, both RED Boutique at 75 Middle Neck Rd. and Elaine’s Bistro at 8 Bond St. are donating a portion of their proceeds to GNBCC. Shop RED Boutique from 10 a.m. to  8 p.m., and you will receive a 10 percent discount on all clothing and a 10 percent donation will go to GNBCC for every beautiful item purchased. Elaine’s Bistro will donate 20 percent of their delicious meals for both lunch and dinner on Oct. 23.

For the entire month of October, Pinpoint Fitness, 145 Station Plaza, is raffling off 10 free workout Sessions with “Wayne” for one lucky winner. Raffle tickets, $10 each, may be purchased at the shop or by calling Wayne at 516 829-5900 or 516 924-0352. All proceeds from this fundraiser will be donated to GNBCC. [Read more...]

Great Neck’s ‘Iron Mom’ Wins

Great Neck’s own IronMan Sharon Levy was just recently awarded first place in her division at the MightyMan Half Ironman in Montauk.  She won her award with a time of 5:49:10 for the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and hilly 13.1 mile run.Sharon_101014A

Great Neck School Tax Due

The first-half 2014-2015 School Taxes are in the mail; they are due and payable without penalty until Nov. 10, 2014.  Mailed payments must be postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before the last day to pay without penalty.  By law, office postage meters are not official postmarks (NYSRPTL-Sec 925).

Although school taxes are collected by the Receiver of Taxes, payments you make in response to the school bill are forwarded to your local school district and local library district, if applicable, and do not fund the operation of town government. The factors that determine the amount of your school bill are beyond the control of the Town of North Hempstead. These factors are:

•The assessment on your home, which is determined by the Nassau County Department of Assessment.

•The budget and tax levy approved by voters and adopted by your local Board of Education.

•The percentage of your school district’s tax levy paid by property owners in your property tax class.

All property owners, except those whose taxes are paid through a mortgage escrow account, should receive a tax bill.  If you misplaced your tax bill, please call 311 to request a duplicate. If calling from outside the Town of North Hempstead, please call (516) 869-6311.  Please have your School District, Section, Block and Lot number available.  When paying by mail, please include your remittance stub(s) with your check in the return envelope (previously provided). When paying in person, please bring your entire bill. This is the only School tax bill you will receive. PLEASE KEEP YOUR SECOND-HALF STUB IN A SAFE PLACE.

Please include your Bill Number(s) on your check and make checks payable to: CHARLES BERMAN, RECEIVER OF TAXES

Regular office hours are 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.  For your convenience, the tax office will be open extended hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10.  Additionally, you may pay at these convenient local collection sites:

First-Half 2014-2015 School Tax Local Collection Sites

Fri. Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Fuschillo Park,Carle Rd. & Broadmoor Ln., Carle Pl.

Fri. Oct. 31, 1  to 2 p.m.  Yes We Can Community Center 141 Garden St., New Cassel

Mon. Nov. 3,10 a.m. to 12 p.m.   Clinton G. Martin Park, Marcus Ave. & New Hyde Park Rd., New Hyde Park

Mon. Nov. 3, 2 to 3 p.m. Broadway Park, Broadway & County Courthouse Rd., Garden City Park

Wed.  Nov. 5. 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Great Neck Senior Center, Inc.,80 Grace Ave., Great Neck

Wed.  Nov. 5, 11 to 3 p.m.  Michael J. Tully Park, Evergreen Ave. New Hyde Park

Thur. Nov. 6, 10 a.m.  to noon Port Washington Parking Dist., 15 Vanderventer Ave., Port Washington

Thur. Nov. 6, 1  to 2 p.m. Hector Gayle Roslyn Community Center, 51 Orchard St., Roslyn Heights (Parking Lot on Lincoln Ave.)

Fri. Nov. 7, noon to 1 p.m. John D. Caemmerer Park, Wentworth Ave., Albertson

Great Neck Rabbi Pens History

We always assume that 4,000 years of Jewish history took place in the Middle East,  North Africa and the Americas, not in the Far East, but that is not correct. In Pepper, Silk  & Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East, the authors reveal an important missing page in Jewish history.

Who would believe the story of the Jewish juvenile delinquent who went on to become a general in the Chinese Army and was frequently referred to as the “uncrowned Jewish  king of China?”  Who would believe that a Jewish youngster who decorated bric-a-brac with shells he obtained from sailors returning from the Far East to the docks on the East End of London would go on to found Shell Oil, create the vessel called a tanker to transport oil safely and efficiently and beat John D. Rockefeller in the oil business?  [Read more...]

Great Neck Alum Launches Book

Laura (Laurie) Deutsch, a longtime Great Neck resident, will be launching her book, Writing from the Senses, on the East Coast at the Book Revue in Huntington, on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. with a discussion, reading and a Q&A. The public is invited. Recently published by Shambhala Publications, Inc. (Writing Down the Bones, etc.), Deutsch’s new book helps writers tap into an endless source of engaging material, using their senses as prompts. It contains personal essays and memoir from Deutsch’s years in New York and abroad, as well as instruction and writing exercises.

Deutsch graduated from Great Neck South in 1964, daughter of Dr. Enoch and Edith Deutsch of Lake Success. Editor-in-chief of The Southerner, Great Neck South’s newspaper, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Chicago Law School. Her studies included a year in Europe and a year in Mexico as a Fulbright Scholar. Deursch’s brother, Daniel, and sister, Margery, also graduated from Great Neck South.Book_101014B copy

Deutsch has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1972. A writer, editor, writing coach, and teacher, her personal essays, features, travel and humor pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco magazine, MORE magazine, Time Out, Eating Well, a travel book published by Simon & Schuster, and other publications. Her writing has been anthologized in many collections, including Travel Stories from Around the Globe, Best Women’s Travel Writing, and Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana (lead essay in a collection published by Traveler’s Tales). Her commentary has aired on public radio. [Read more...]

Gold Coast Honors Pete Seeger

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Come celebrate the legacy of Pete Seeger (right).

On Thursday Nov. 20, at 7 p.m., producer Jason Samel of Movement Music Records in association with Love Revolution and Gold Coast Arts Center presents “David Amram’s 84th Birthday Concert: Remembering Pete Seeger” at The Hillwood Recital Hall At Tilles Center on campus at LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd, Brookville. Net proceeds will benefit the 501 (c)(3) not for profit Gold Coast Arts Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach.

Come and enjoy the greatest folk concert Long Island has seen in decades. The evening’s performers will include David Amram and his quintet (David Amram, Kevin Twigg, Rene Hart, Robbie Winterhawk and Adam Amram) as well as friends he shared with the late Pete Seeger including Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary), Tom Chapin, Holly Near, Guy Davis, Garland Jeffreys, Kim & Reggie Harris, Joel Rafael, The Amigos, The Chapin Sisters, Bethany & Rufus and the Connecticut State Troubadour Kristen Graves. [Read more...]