Sunday, December 03, 2006

DAILY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS GREENBURGH VILLAGE OF HASTINGS AS "SMARTY TOWN" FOR RECORD NUMBER OF NOBEL LAUREATES

The December 3rd issue of the NY Daily News (www.nydailynews.com) has a great story about one of Greenburgh's six villages- Hastings on Hudson. The story "Smarty Town" suggests that Hastings on Hudson has something in its water -- something that flows into the town's small public schools. There are a record number of Nobel Laureates per capita. Six former Hastings on Hudson residents/students have received the Nobel Prize. This year Edmund Ned Phelps (Hastings High School Class of 1951) will win the prize. The first Hastings on Hudson Nobel Laureate was Max Theiler. His daughter Elizabeth Martin resides in Dobbs Ferry. Robert C. Merton (brother of Hastings activist Vanessa Merton) received the Nobel Prize in the 1990s.
Hastings on Hudson is a very special and unique community. We're lucky to have this village in our town of Greenburgh.

Hastings educators/parents/public officials have always worked hard to motivate young people to reach for the stars. One of the reasons why so many students succeed at reaching the top is because of the impressive programs and support offered to students.

Next week the Greenburgh Town Board will be voting on the 2007 proposed town budget. The proposed budget that I submitted includes funding for an SAT summer preparation camp and a summer BizCamp. Some of the students who enroll in the camps would receive scholarships (if they are income eligible). It's my hope to provide students with the tools so that they, too, can reach for the stars. The camps are designed to provide students with a stronger foundation that will help them succeed in life. Perhaps, enrollees in these camps might be inspired to study harder, to learn new skills. Who knows -- we may motivate a student to become a future Bill Gates or Nobel Laureate.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul,

You are a disgrace. You knew the Town Council would not fund the SAT camp, because of the budgetary issue that it would have to be charged to the Villages and the Villages would not want it funded, but you keep pushing it, knowing it wont get funded to further your own career.

Somewhere in Greenburgh, a single mother has been hoping her child were get to go the SAT camp. And you know it wont happen, but you keep pushing it. You are heartless.

Anonymous said...

"funding for an SAT summer preparation camp and a summer BizCamp"

They've been cut out already by the Town Council, and that was an intelligent move.

Anonymous said...

"We're lucky to have this village in our town of Greenburgh. Hastings educators/parents/public officials have always worked hard to motivate young people to reach for the stars."

Is it election campaign season again already?!

Paul Feiner said...

The Town Board is holding hearings on the budget tomorrow night at 7:15 PM. The budget won't be voted on till December 13th. Some of the council members have recommended that funding not be included in next years budget for these camps but I believe they are open minded individuals. It's possible that during the next week they will change their mind. I feel strongly that this camp can make a big difference in young people's lives - and help students reach their potential. I will keep on pushing for the initiatives I believe in. I want to make a difference in people's lives - that is why I'm in government.
This camp is not unique. We already have education related summer camps in the town - that the town board has been funding. We have a police summer youth camp that provides young people with a first hand learning experience about police and law enforcement. That camp was started early in my administration and has been a big success.If I had suggested this program in 2006 rather than over a decade ago anonymous would probably have fought it. We fund a summer leadership camp program that has been open to residents of the villages/unincorporated Greenburgh for years. I've attended graduation ceremonies at St. Paul's ,Central Ave, Hartsdale for two decades.
I object to the tone of anonymous's blog - suggesting I'm a disgrace. It's disgraceful that there are people in the town who want to stop anything and everything that can help enhance the lives of our students and residents. Your intense anger and hostility will motivate me to work harder than ever on the causes that are important to our community.

Anonymous said...

Who is eligible for the Summer Youth Camp? Residents of the unincoporated area or also of the villages?

Anonymous said...

I'm the Anon at 9:55 ... The camps are a nice idea, but I'd feel a whole lot more comfortable with such programs sponsored by the school systems. That's why I think it's a wise move to remove them from the town budget. My opinion is that if there's extra town money around for something like this, then donate it to the school systems. I'm just uneasy with municipal government involved in academic affairs.

I definitely support that the supervisor "will keep on pushing for the initiatives I believe in," but this particular initiative should be pushed within the proper channels - the school systems.

Anonymous said...

I would have been pleased if the school districts had offered residents an SAT and BizCamp summer camp opportunity. THey have not. As I indicated yesterday the town has sponsored, over the years, programs designed to educate and uplift our youth. After school programs and computer programs at the Theodore Young Community Center come to mind --the police summer youth camp is another wonderful program.
It's my hope that the Town Council will re-consider both camp opportunities. We need additional programs for our youth.

Anonymous said...

1. Cash can not be donated to school systems. That is where we got into trouble vis a vis Valhalla.

2. If programs are open town wide, they should be charged town wide. Ask Mr. Rosenberg (apparently the Supervisor relies on him). Otherwise there is a risk that the programs and/or departments involved will be included in the next lawsuit.

Using kids as props again said...

Whoops. Looks like early this morning (at 6:15 am) Feiner blogged himself anonymously again, this time in support of his ill-fated SAT/Biz camp proposal. Last year, when he wanted funding to convert a town hall room to a playroom for children, he lined up parents at budget time to bring in their preschoolers to use as props in urging the town board to approve the expense. As with most Feiner ideas, this too was half-baked - the room was unsafe and the liability costs enormous -- and the town board wisely said no.

Now Feiner's pushing again for the SAT/Biz camp - even though the idea proved to be controversial (with disagreement over who should pay, conflicts of interest in paying a Central 7 school employee, and whether the town should even be involved in such disbursements) and even though the town council has tentatively said no, you can be sure that Feiner will line up kids tonight as props in an effort to goad the town board into approving the funds anyway.

Instead of seriously addressing the arguments that have been raised, Feiner will instead call the parents of the kids, or perhaps even call the kids themselves, and they'll be told what to say - all in an effort to promote himself and at the same time embarrass and goad the town board into a political price for turning down yet another one of Feiner's bad ideas.

Anonymous said...

To Using Kids as Props

By now, more and more people are seeing through Feiner's shortsighted attempts to push things through. Village residents who thought that only unincorporated would pay are learning that no matter what Feiner tries to push through, litigation may ultimately result in costs being allocated not according to Feiner.

PS What about the police camp and the leadership camp -- what budget are they in

will someone please ask tonight

Anonymous said...

I care about the kids in Greenburgh. Fund the camp. Why do some people have to object to everything that is positive?

Blame Feiner said...

It's not positive or healthy for Greenburgh when Feiner makes a proposal, congratulates himself for making it, and then, rather than try to work together to get problems solved, he refuses even to engage interested residents concerned about whether low income folks from the villages would be included, whether only unincorporated residents would be required to pay, whether there's a conflict in using town money to pay a school employee, and whether town government should even be in the business of providing such school-related services.

Instead, he thumbs his nose at them, congratulates himself on having made the proposal, rounds up children as props to promote himself and the proposal, and then seeks to punish politically anyone that might be perceived as voting against kids.

Some of us think that what Feiner is doing is the unhealthiest form of town governance there is. It's called "demogoguery," which is the practice of holding onto power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.

Anonymous said...

To 12:57 Anonymous ...

We all care about kids, and no one is against the camps. But the matter is not as simple as caring about kids and camps. Believe it or not, it is actually in the best interest of the students that the town council not approve these two camps.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it may not be in the students best interest to have this program run by the Town. Schools are held accountable for students progress, not the town

Anonymous said...

Our society is judged by our commitment to our youth. The SAT camp is money that is well spent. Kids who don't have anything to do are more likely to cause trouble in the summer.

Anonymous said...

"Our society is judged by our commitment to our youth."

Whether that statement be true or not, school systems hold the primary responsibility for our academic commitment to youth, not municipal government ... and especially not our municipal government that can't even handle its baseline responsibilities (median strip maintenance, signage, etc.).

If I can't count on Greenburgh Town Hall to have the elementary DPW wisdom, how can I count on it to manage important educational endeavors?