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Disappearing Ducks

The storm drain near the Allenwood Park duck pond, where at least one duck was dragged down the drain by a raccoon.

The storm drain near the Allenwood Park duck pond, where at
least one duck was dragged down the drain by a raccoon.

Where have the ducks gone?
That is the question the Great Neck Park District staff are anxiously asking. The Park District found the duck population at Allenwood Park dwindling and recently replenished the peaceful duck pond with a dozen of the beautiful, delicate creatures.
Then the ducks began to “disappear.” Just last week, area resident Bob Cummings called the Great Neck Record asking for advice in helping to “rescue” a duck stuck in a storm drain. The duck kept “disappearing.”
Cummings’ daughter had just been out walking her dog when she saw a raccoon swipe a duck and drag it to a near-by storm drain. Both the duck and the raccoon disappeared down the drain.
When Cummings went back to hopefully locate the missing duck, he saw it down one of three connecting storm drains. So he called the Record which helped put the Park District on the case.
Park District Superintendent Peter Renick immediately sent out park district staff, who counted the ducks in the Allenwood Pond and found two missing.
They checked the near-by storm drains, where pipes connect the drains, and where the duck and the raccoon were last spotted. Not a sign of any animal was discovered. Hoping to save the innocent park ducks, Renick told the Record that he sent trappers to the area to hopefully rescue the “lost” duck.
The traps worked, sort of … the trappers caught a raccoon. But so far, the canny ducks have eluded the traps and the trappers.
Reports to the Record tell of a duck spotted a few times when someone peers down a drain, but the sight of someone watching quickly chases that lone duck deeper into the drain system.
As of press time, the Allenwood Pond duck population had dwindled even further and there are no longer any signs of any ducks down the drain. Neighborhood raccoons remain the primary suspects.

Schneider Reaches Milestone

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Alex Schneider of Great Neck has achieved a milestone, surpassing 1,000 votes in the Runners World Magazine Cover Contest. Today Schneider has reached 24th place and is advancing everyday towards his goal of being on the cover of Runner’s World. But he still needs your vote to get close enough to get into the hands of the judges.

Family and friends are asking anyone to vote for Alex once a day. To vote for Alex, visit http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/entry/654/.

For more about Alex, read here.

What’s New In Kensington?

Often one village or another seems to be featured in the news many times in one period. Mostly these are the “main villages,” the ones with business districts. offices and shopping areas. Villages that contain a lot of business districts, shopping districts, private residences, townhouse and apartment buildings, and maybe even waterfront property with its own issues, these are the villages that have the most “going on” at any given time. These are the villages that are the most likely to make the news. This summer the Great Neck Record will contact each of Great Neck’s nine villages and catch up on what is going on all over the peninsula. This week is a special report on the Village of Kensington, the quiet, residential village off Middle Neck Road, in the middle of the peninsula.
Kensington_072514BKensington was established over 100 years ago at a time when development on Long Island was just taking off. The community has taken root and thrived ever since. Although the trees have matured over time, and new ones have been planted, the look and feel of the Village has remained.
Village officials include Mayor Susan Lopatkin and trustees Philip Bornstein (deputy mayor), Darren Kaplan. Alina Hendler and Jeffrey Greener.
Mayor Lopatkin reports that big news is “house sales and new construction.” Lots and lots of houses are selling in Kensington. Houses are selling at high prices, people are doing both large and small renovations, and several new houses are going up due to knock downs of older, smaller homes. Lopatkin told the Record. “The building department is extremely busy and that’s a good thing,” she added. “We are happy to see that people continue to see value in living in the Village of Kensington and are willing to invest large amounts of money to improve their homes.”
Lopatkin noted that this time of year is a busy time for the village pool, especially this year with the recent warm summer temperatures. “Since we keep the pool temperature relatively warm, people are really enjoying it.” Additionally, this year, the village had a lot more non-resident pool members who were sponsored by residents and all are enjoying their Kensington pool-time. Along with new basketball courts at the village park and a beginning-of-season pool party and a soon-to-be announced end-of-season pool party, Lopatkin reports a very successful summer.
Kensington_072514CWarm weather or freezing snowy weather, Lopatkin says that PSEG has informed them that the company will be starting another tree trimming in the village starting in late July. With the memories of Superstorm Sandy and the constant snowstorms last winter still fresh in everyone’s mind, Lopatkin was pleased that this new project is about to begin. This project includes cutting back on the tree branches which are interfering with the overhead electric lines. Since the village’s electric lines run behind the houses, the beautiful look and feel of the village won’t be affected; street trees will not be cut back.
Several other village projects are still waiting on several grant applications to be approved and funded. These grants include one for a generator for village hall, another for street signs and a third for beautification of the front gate landscaping.
And exciting for all in the village is the anticipation as they wait for their current police recruit to graduate from the police academy and in the Fall join the private Kensington Village police department.
Kensington is thriving, still a most desirable place to live.

Learn Tennis At Parkwood

It’s never too late to learn to play tennis or improve your game. Parkwood Tennis Center offers several ways for players of all ages and levels to build their tennis skills. Group classes are offered as well as one-on-one sessions for those who like individual attention. It’s a great way to stay active and socialize at the same time! Call 516 829-9050 for more information.

Nachmanoff Seeks Re-Election

Dan_072514AGreat Neck Park District Commissioner Dan Nachmanoff is seeking re-election to his second three-year term. Elections are this coming December. Currently, Nachmanoff chairs the park board. Having already collected petitions and officially filed for his candidacy, he believes that his accomplishments and his strong government background make him the one for the job.
“Experience counts,” Nachmanoff told the Great Neck Record. A longtime Great Neck resident, he also served as mayor of Russell Gardens, as well as a village trustee, and served as president of the Great Neck Village Officials Association. At one time he was also appointed the Nassau County director of inter-governmental affairs, reporting to the county executive.
Nachmanoff is proud of all that he and his fellow commissioners Robert Lincoln and Ruth Tamarin have been able to do. “We work very well together and we have accomplished a lot,” he told the Record. With town approval for a new bond the park district will now have the ability to further enhance park facilities and improve infrastructure.
Providing new revenues without placing an additional burden on taxpayers is also a goal that Nachmanoff supports. Just months ago the park district rented daytime space in a park district owned parking lot at the Long Island Rail Road Station in Great Neck Plaza. A near-by supermarket rents part of the space for its customers (with store employees monitoring the parking) during hours not busy with commuters coming and going. “We look forward to finding more of this,” Nachmanoff said. “It’s found money … it reduces the need for more taxes,” he added.
Nachmanoff’s dedication to the Park District runs deep. His involvement with the parks was recognized years ago when he was honored with the first-ever “Friend of the Parks” award presented in 2001 for his service in helping to preserve and enhance local open spaces.
Back when he was Russell Gardens mayor and GNVOA president, Nachmanoff was already helping the park district. At that time, while he was representing all nine local villages, he helped the park district in its successful efforts to have the Cohan House landmarked, and along with that, helped the park district obtain that piece of waterfront property next to Steppingstone Park.
And, of course, he and his wife, children and grandchildren have enjoyed many years of fun-filled hours at the parks and at park district run events.
It is a long time until the Dec. 14 park district election, but Nachmanoff wanted residents to know that he hopes to continue his work. “I do not intend to do any active campaigning until late Fall,” he told the Record. Dan Nachmanoff just wants the community to know that he intends to keep on giving back to the community hat means so much to him.

Coming Soon: A Place In Heaven

On Thursday, July 24, the Great Neck Bow Tie Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Rd., plays A Place In Heaven at 7:30 p.m. The film tells the story of an admired war hero and his conflicted relationship with his son. The drama spans the history of Israel through 40 years and three wars.

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Tickets are $15 (students, $10). They cost $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, call 516-829-2570 or visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org. Doors open at 7 p.m. for subscribers and 7:15 p.m. for individual ticket holders.

 

Nominate Your Fave Senior Citizen

Nominate_SavvySeniors_082014_EThe Association of Generational Experts for Seniors (AGES) is accepting nominations for “Savvy Senior Citizens” through Sunday, August 31.
“Long Island is made up of so many wonderful seniors who have not only made but continue to make tremendous impact within our communities,” said Kevin Lawrence, AGES Chairman. “Each year, we are touched by the many families who take the time to nominate and look forward to casting that much deserved spotlight on their special seniors. We encourage everyone out there to vote for their senior and to join in this celebratory event.”
Each senior submitted will be considered a candidate for 2014’s Savvy Senior king and queen, who will be announced and crowned at AGES’ Fifth Annual Savvy Senior Day on Grandparents Day Sunday, September 7 at the Parker Jewish Institute in New Hyde Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
All nominated seniors will be publicly recognized, with this year’s king and queen receiving gift certificates toward professional studio portraits.
“It’s to honor somebody who has contributed to someone’s life significantly. It doesn’t matter what they do, whether it’s a civic service or a contribution to an organization, it’s in the eyes of the nominee. Everyone is a winner just by just being nominated,” said Lawrence.
In 200 typed words or less, individuals can submit their favorite senior, along with a photo or video, to: AGES Savvy Senior Award, AGES P.O. Box 774, Melville, NY 11747. Nominations are also accepted via email at savvy2014@agesresourcenetwork.com or directly through AGES’ Website, www.agesresourcenetwork.com. For details, call 631-630-9498 or 516-617-5176.

Shortcut Gets Bumpier

The trip through the Village of Russell Gardens has gotten a lot bumpier lately for motorists who use the village as a shortcut to either Northern Boulevard or South Middle Neck Road—but it’s by design, according to Mayor Steve Kirschner.
The village, made up of 248 private homes and four apartment buildings on South Middle Neck, has recently added five speed bumps to its 11 roads in a continuing effort to slow motorists who speed through its 2.4 miles of streets. The village, which has about 1,200 residents, now has nine bumps. And there could be more in the future.
Kirschner recognizes that some drivers have figured out which of his streets have speed bumps and which don’t and have already altered their regular routes accordingly.
“By the time I’m finished it’s going to be harder and harder for anybody to drive through our village and not go over at least one speed bump,” he promises. “I’m going to do whatever it is I have to do to slow down the traffic.”
The mayor, now in his fourth term, has served the village in various capacities for almost 35 years. He stepped down after three successive terms in 2009 and decided to run again last year.
Kirschner admits that deciding where to place a speed bump (and its accompanying warning sign) is an unscientific process but each placement is carefully considered.
“It’s about listening to residents, seeing whether or not motorists are stopping at our stop signs and seeing where we’re having the most problems,” he explains. “Any time you do something, there are pros and cons and you weigh them and you have to say, ‘Do the pros outweigh the cons?’”
Despite the inconvenience to motorists and the danger of running over bumps too fast—possibly causing the driver to lose control—Kirschner is adamant about traffic-calming measures. He even acknowledges the slight delay that the bumps can cause for emergency response vehicles.
“I understand that emergency vehicles have to slow up for a second or two,” he said. “But it doesn’t compare with the number of people who might get hurt, whether they’re walking or running in the village or driving within the village. I’ve seen an increased amount of walkers in the village. Everyone anticipates that a car is actually going to stop at a stop sign. Drivers just blow by stop signs all the time.”
For Kirschner, it’s an unqualified success.
“If you speak to most people they will tell you that it has improved,” he said. “The speed bumps don’t seem to slow [big SUVs] down as much as we would like, but I think that most of the people who drive regular sedans are slowing down. It may not be a perfect ‘stop’ but it’s better.”
“I think that 85 percent of the cars are now slowing down within the village,” he emphasized. “And that’s what we wanted.”
Because major roads surround so much of the village, Russell Gardens has been struggling with outside traffic problems for many years. The incorporated village does not have its own police force as larger villages such as Kings Point, Lake Success, Kensington and Great Neck Estates do and must rely on Nassau County police for enforcement.
Kirschner solved a previous traffic problem involving illegal parking on Northern Boulevard, a road not controlled by the village, securing installation of traffic delineators that physically prevent cars from parking, thus eliminating a dangerous blind spot.

Vote For Alex Schneider

GN_AlexAlex Schneider of Great Neck will participate in the Runners World Cover Contest. The participant with the most votes will be featured on the front cover of the December edition of Runners World.
The twenty-four year old with autism has competed in more than 120 races including two Boston Marathons, two Hamptons Marathons, one Marine Corp Marathon, and the ING New York City Marathon. Alex ran his personal best of 3:14:36 in the 2013 NYC Marathon.
At 15-years-old, Alex along with his twin brother Jamie fell in love with running and haven’t stopped.
Alex is the faster of the brothers. He runs a 5:25 minute mile and consistently finishes in the top tier of his running group. No one is quite sure how fast Alex can truly run. His trainers strain to keep up with Alex’s seemingly endless endurance.
His family hopes that his accomplishments will provide the inspiration for others to celebrate their challenges – and to prove to them that their triumphs can be far greater than their disabilities.
The deadline to vote is Friday, Aug. 15. To vote for Alex Schneider, visit http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/entry/654/. Or for more on the contest visit covercontest.runnersworld.com.

Short Films At The Bow Tie

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The Furman Film Series presents Summer Shorts, a series of short films, at the Great Neck’s Bow Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Rd., on Thursday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Amongst the films, One Plastic Beach, tells the story of Richard and Judith Selby Lang who gathered plastic debris from Kehoe Beach in the Point Reyes National Sea Shore. With the gathered debris, they both fashioned together sculptures and art that have a unique story.

Screenings take place at Bow Tie Squire Cinemas, 115 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for subscribers and 7:15 p.m. for individual ticket holders. Tickets are $15 (students, $10). They cost $20 at the door.
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The films include:

Plurality

It’s Not About the Nail

Harry Grows Up

Bird Food

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Dot Dripped

Postmodern Times

Boom Boom

The Rip Off and others.

To purchase tickets, call 516-829-2570 or visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org