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HEMPSTEAD, NY (September 20, 2018) – The Town of Hempstead, Molloy College and CSEA Local 880 have forged an agreement regarding discounted tuition for Town employees. The new program, which begins immediately, will offer all employees a 30% discount on tuition costs. One dependent child per employee will also be eligible for the benefit.
To take advantage of the tuition discount eligible employees must meet the admission requirements for the academic program they are applying for. According to the agreement, the application fee will be waived for interested parties and all comprehensive support services traditionally provided to Molloy students will be included.
“We are delighted to be forging this unique partnership with Molloy College, which will bring an incredible benefit to our Hempstead Town workforce,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “Given the challenge of paying for higher education, the tuition discount program will enable hard-working families serving our Town to pursue academic goals and enrich their lives. Employees of the Town are truly deserving of an educational financial benefit that would help them, and their families, stay and thrive in our Town. I am grateful to the leadership at Molloy College and for their visionary investment in Hempstead, and for the support of the hardworking men and women of CSEA Local 880 who serve our residents diligently every day.”
The partnership was championed by CSEA Local 880 President Charlie Sellitto, who represents Hempstead Town's workforce - the largest of any town, village or city on Long Island. "Our members take pride in our community and are grateful for this unique opportunity that will afford them the ability to access a quality education, conveniently located only a stone's throw away from where they live and work," said Sellitto. "With the vast majority of Hempstead Town employees and their families living within the Town, this agreement will undoubtedly benefit not only our hardworking men and women, but also the taxpaying residents that they service each and every day."
“Molloy College and the Town of Hempstead have a shared vision for our community,” said Molloy College President Drew Bogner, Ph.D. “Both entities have a deep commitment to the people of the town, to the importance of a highly educated workforce and to the belief that an educated population is best able to fully participate in civic life.”
“Molloy College was founded on principles which stress service to the community,” added Molloy’s Vice President for Advancement Edward Thompson. “We recognize the value of service-minded individuals and we are proud to make tuition more affordable for them.”
The Hempstead Town Board unanimously passed legislation, proposed by Councilman Dennis Dunne and Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney that requires businesses that sell electronic aerosol delivery systems, commonly known as vapes and e-cigarettes, to post large signage that would alert consumers that these products contain dangerous chemicals.
This new legislation, which creates subsection D of Chapter 121-4 of the Town Code, is part of a multi-prong approach, led by Councilman Dunne, to address concerns about e-cigarette/vape use in teens.
“I began a task force earlier this year to address the issue of vaping and one of the concerns I have heard consistently, is that the teens who are using vape products have no idea that they contain nicotine, which is addictive,” said Dunne. “This legislation is designed to correct this misapprehension that vaping is not hazardous to your health.”
E-cigarettes, more commonly referred to as vapes, are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid — usually containing nicotine mixed with the chemicals propylene glycol and glycerin, and often flavorings ranging from bubble gum to watermelon — into a vapor that users can inhale. They deliver nicotine, a highly addictive drug, to the body without producing any smoke.
Dunne noted that just last week the FDA warned electronic cigarette makers that they need to find a way to keep these products out of the hands of kids, declaring teenage use of electronic cigarettes “an epidemic.”
Dunne’s task force consists of various entities, including school officials and counseling facilities. Many of the discussions have focused on ways in which to address the problem of young people using vape products and that many of those using the product are unaware of the dangers partially as a result of the flavors which are more appealing to them.
“I am proud to have worked with Councilman Dunne on many of these initiatives to address this frightening new trend,” said King Sweeney. “Public awareness has significantly decreased the use of traditional cigarettes and I am confident that this new legislation will help achieve that same goal with e-cigarettes.”
Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. Surgeon General found e-cigarette use among high school students increased by 900 percent, with more teens now using e-cigarettes than cigarettes. E-cigarette or “Vape” companies intentionally market products that are attractive to young people by having fun flavors and making them appear like a flash drive or pen that can easily be hidden from parents and school officials. Many students do not even realize that the products they are using contain nicotine. The products can even be easily purchased by kids online. These products are also being used to smoke illegal substances such as marijuana. Just this week a new study was released which found that 1 in 11 students have used marijuana in electronic cigarette.
In December 2016, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a groundbreaking report "E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults" that made a number of important conclusions and findings about the use of e-cigarettes among youth. These included that the flavors in e-cigarettes are one of the main reasons youth use them, e-cigarette aerosol is not safe and that e-cigarette use is strongly associated with the use of other tobacco products among youth and young adults. In initial lab tests conducted in 2009, the FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in anti-freeze, in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 different cartridges. Early studies have also revealed that when propylene glycol or glycerin are heated and vaporized, they can degrade into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Both of these chemicals are considered carcinogens. The Surgeon General concluded that e-cigarette use among youth is now a significant public health concern and steps must be taken by parents, educators and especially policymakers to discourage use of e-cigarettes.
The legislation will mandate that retail stores that carry the electronic aerosol delivery systems have a conspicuous sign that would say, “’WARNING: VAPE PRODUCTS CONTAIN NICOTINE. NICOTINE IS AN ADDICTIVE CHEMICAL’ – U.S. Food and Drug Administration ‘VAPING CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH’- U.S. Surgeon General, Posted by order of the Town of Hempstead Town Board.”
“My sincerest hope is that once these kids see, in black and white, that these products are dangerous to their health, they will think twice before purchasing them,” concluded Dunne.
Famous painter Helen Frankenthaler once said of art, “There are no rules. That is how art is born, how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules.” Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito has announced that this Saturday, the Town of Hempstead and the Exceptional Artists Foundation will commence “rule breaking” by holding the 2nd Annual Summer Art Experience on the first day of Fall at the Malone-Mulhall Recreation Center at Camp ANCHOR.
More than 75 children and adults with special needs will participate in this unique art event under the tutelage of the Exceptional Artists Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on experience in painting, photography, clay sculpture making, sketching and much more. The event, being held on September 22nd from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is being sponsored by the Town of Hempstead, the Tommy Brull Foundation and the ANCHOR Program Fund.
“The Exceptional Artists Foundation helps inspire confidence, independence and positive energy in children and adults with special needs,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “The Town of Hempstead is proud to partner with this great organization for a day of art and creativity at Camp ANCHOR.”
“The town’s ANCHOR Program provides top-notch programs and services for more than 1,200 people with special needs,” added Hempstead Town Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “The Town of Hempstead is grateful to the Exceptional Artists Foundation for their hard work and dedication on behalf of the ANCHOR community.”
“America’s largest township is committed to assisting local children and adults with special needs,” said Hempstead Town Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney. “We are confident that the 2018 Summer Art Experience will be a huge success.”
The Exceptional Artists Foundation seeks to assist people with special needs through creative arts. In addition to the Summer Art Experience at Camp ANCHOR, the organization holds art fairs, community events and runs advocacy and education programs. The Exceptional Artists Foundation has even facilitated the sale of individuals’ artwork to many world-renowned groups and charities.
"We are honored and excited to come back to Camp ANCHOR and partner with the Town of Hempstead in creating our second Exceptional Artists Summer Art Experience. With the support from our teaching artists, volunteers, donors, and the ANCHOR community, we will provide event participants an outlet to express themselves through a series of creative activities and transform special needs into exceptional art. We are committed to creating new avenues for individuals with disabilities to realize their potential as artists," said Kristy Sundjaja, Co-founder and President of Exceptional Artists Foundation.
“The Tommy Brull Foundation is proud to sponsor the Exceptional Artists Foundation,” said Martin Brull, President of the Tommy Brull Foundation. “This event creates a nice environment where the artists can express themselves through art. The sponsorship helps provide materials for the artist to experience art using various media.”
(Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen and Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana announce ethics reform proposal)
(HEMPSTEAD, NY) September 17, 2018 – Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen proposed a package of comprehensive ethics reform legislation that would improve transparency and the day-to-day government operations of America’s largest township. The proposal seeks to end the practice of hiring elected Town official’s relatives, and requires employees to disclose familial relationships with other Town employees in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
The proposal also seeks to prohibit elected officials, and appointed staff members, including commissioners, deputy commissioners, directors and appointed members sitting on the Town’s various boards and agencies, from holding high-level, or influential positions in a political party. Furthermore, political solicitations or discussions of fundraising activities between employees and their superiors on Town premises would be strictly and expressly forbidden.
“My goal is to remove conflicts of interest, potential conflicts of interest and even the appearance of impropriety for those who vote on town legislation and hold key decision making power,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “These proposals may seem like common-sense, but they are desperately needed to help safeguard and further strengthen the ethical standards that govern the daily business of our public officials.”
The proposal also mandates that a special ‘whistleblower form’ be made available online for any member of the general public, or any Town officer, employee or member of the Board of Ethics, to confidentially submit allegations of ethics violations.
“My office has received dozens of anonymous tips and complaints from Town employees who are afraid to come out of the shadows because of fears of reprisal,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “When an employee feels they have witnessed or have evidence of an ethics violation or misconduct, they should have every right to report it to the Town without fear of repercussions.”
The Town of Hempstead employs approximately 3,800 full-time and part-time employees.
When the right person is in the right place at the right time, it can mean the difference between life and death. For a family that was shopping at Buy Buy Baby in Garden City on September 6, 2018, Katherine Falco, an employee at the popular retailer for infants and children, was the person who made a life-saving difference for an unresponsive infant. At an awards presentation for the “hometown hero” were Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, Senator Elaine Phillips, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Assemblyman Ed Ra, as well as family, proud co-workers and representatives from Buy Buy Baby.
“Today we salute a true ‘hometown hero,’” announced Clavin as he presented the town’s first-ever “hometown hero” award to Falco. “As a result of her quick actions, a beautiful infant is alive today.”
“Kathy is the veritable embodiment of the term ‘angelic,’” said Blakeman. “And, happily, a family that was facing a ‘life or death’ crisis was touched by an angel in the form of Katherine Falco.”
Falco, a retired registered nurse, was working as a part-time sales associate at Buy Buy Baby on Thursday, September 6th, when a customer yelled out, “Is there a doctor, does anyone know CPR?” Immediately, the good Samaritan and hero sprang into action, announcing that she did know CPR as she hurried through the store to the distressed mother of the newborn. As soon as Falco saw the baby, who was not breathing, unresponsive and turning blue, she advised the family to place the baby on the floor and to gently tilt his head back. The retired nurse began “rescue breathing” into the baby’s nose and mouth while also instructing bystanders to call 911. After administering the “rescue breathing,” the infant became responsive and began to cry.
Senator Elaine Phillips also celebrated Falco’s actions, announcing that she has submitted the retired nurse’s name to state officials so that Falco may be presented with the Liberty Medal, one of the highest honors a civilian New Yorker can receive.
“When I think of the type of person for whom the Liberty Medal was created, I think of heroes just like Katherine Falco,” said Phillips. “She is an ordinary neighbor who took extraordinary action in order to save the life of a beautiful infant.”
“I am proud to join with Receiver Don Clavin and Senator Phillips to recognize a wonderful friend and neighbor who also happens to be a genuine life-saver,” said Ra.
Falco was also surrounded by friends, family and co-workers at the ceremony in her honor. Since the incident occurred, co-workers at the retail store where Falco works have been talking about the hero in their midst.
“Kathy Falco is a great employee, always giving her best effort at our store and truly eager to help customers,” stated Jim Mahoney, manager at the Garden City store. “It really makes the entire Buy Buy Baby family very proud to know that one of our co-workers actually saved an infant’s life.”
As she graciously accepted awards, citations and accolades from officials and other attendees, Falco said that she felt blessed to have been able to make a positive difference for a family that was in crisis and a baby who was facing tragedy.
“I am so proud that Kathy Falco is a resident of Hempstead Town,” concluded Clavin. “I can think of no better recipient of the inaugural ‘hometown hero’ award than Katherine Falco.”
Town Hall closed in observance of Labor Day.
Filing period begins for Tax Exemption applications at Nassau County Department of Assessment.
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