As we look at the calendar, 2017 is quickly fading in the metaphorical rear-view mirror and 2018 looms large. There was plenty that went on within the confines of Garden City and its surrounding communities.
One of the more disturbing incidents in the village was the discovery of dead cats found between Stewart and North Avenue and also Kensington and Brixton Roads. The Garden City Police Department teamed up with the Nassau County SPCA to conduct forensic exams that revealed the corpses to have been shot with a small caliber bullet. And while there was a lull in the shootings during the latter part of the summer, more feline bodies started popping up in the fall. The investigation is ongoing and a $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties responsible for the shooting of these cats. The number to call is 516-843-7722.
On the local political front, longtime trustee Nicholas Episcopia saw his two-year mayoral term end as former Deputy Mayor Brian Daughney was elected mayor on a slate that found Mark Hyer filling in the board seat vacated by Episcopia. The board was also rounded out by new board member Louis Minuto replacing departing trustee and former deputy mayor Richard Silver and trustees Stephen Makrinos and John DeMaro returning to their board seats.
June also saw the turning of the page for the Garden City Public School District as the school year ended with the departure of Dr. Robert Feirsen, who had served as the district superintendent for a dozen years. As Feirsen headed off to become director of the New York Institute of Technology’s Program for School Leadership and Technology, Dr. Alan Groveman stepped in on an interim basis. The district is currently conducting a search to find a new superintendent.
The sins of the past revisited Garden City as the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York affirmed that a 2004 zoning decision by the Village of Garden City had an unjustified disparate impact on African-Americans and Latinos in violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. It spurred members and supporters of the New York Communities for Change (NYCC) to set up a three-day tent city sit-in at the corner of Eleventh Street and Washington Avenue (the one-time site of Camp Winfield Scott, a Civil War Army encampment) and demonstration march to call attention to the color divide in Garden City.
The year ended on a high note as Garden City High School’s Trojan football team won the Class II Long Island Championship title for the second consecutive year and for the seventh time in the school’s history with a 24-6 win over Suffolk County Champions, North Babylon.
Cheers to 2017 and here’s to more local success stories in 2018.