|July 25, 2014 Issue||
Volume 10, Issue 28
Since 2010 school districts across New York State have received significantly less money than promised by state legislators. Called the 'Gap Elimination Adjustment' (GEA), the program is costing the Lansing district about two thirds of the money promised. On Monday State Senator Mike Nozzolio sent an email to constituents to rally their support for a plan he hopes will eliminate the GEA forever.
"As a result of a landmark settlement between the French Bank BNP Paribas and regulators at the State and Federal level, New York State will be paid over $3 billion dollars by BNP Paribas due to their repeated violations of U.S. laws and sanctions," Nozzolio said. "This plan will invest the over $3 billion settlement from BNP Paribas back into New York State’s local schools. Under the plan, the $1 billion remaining in the GEA would be eliminated for good!"
Happy anniversary to us! This is the ninth anniversary issue of the Lansing Star Online. This week is our 439th issue. We are close to a total of 10920 articles, and millions of hits on our Web site. We produce 48 issues per year (some years we have done 41, but we only produced 24 in 2005 because we started in July), and we archive all past articles live on our Web site.
Our first issue featured the Rogue's Harbor Inn, with four articles and many pictures that chronicled the inn's history and present. The top story on the front page was about the Lansing Town Board debating whether the Town would grant benefits for same-sex spouses of town employees. There was an interview with the Lansing Schools Athletic Director, and a school board report. The most controversial story that week was about the approval of a 190 foot tall cell tower that Cingular wanted to build on the corner of Conlon and Searles Roads.
Lansing School Business Administrator Mary June King told the Board Of Education Monday that a downward adjustment to Lansing's tax cap will result in a budget shortage of about $40,000. The Board accepted her recommendation to transfer that amount from the district's Debt Service to its Capital Fund.
"The tax levy information that we sent out in April was wrong," King said. "We are looking to fix that with this warrant. In February I submitted the property tax cap filing. Then we received notice in March of a reduction in state building aid based on final closing reports that were done on schedule back in 2003."
Summer in Lansing is filled with traditions. The fireworks, the concerts in the park, and, of course, annual soccer camp. Soccer Camp continues to be one of the most popular offerings of the Lansing Parks and Rec Department year after year. Conceived by Lansing Boys Varsity Soccer Coach Adam Heck, he will be leading the camp for the 17th time from August 11 through 15.
"They love it, he says. "And I look forward to this week every summer. I have family that comes back and coaches, and our house is full of coaches. We enjoy it and it's a tradition that we've grown to love. Now my daughters are old enough to go to the half day camp, so it's adding another special element to it."
When a unique mosaic sign disappeared from the playground at Myers Park people noticed. The Lansing Parks and Recreation Department was alerted by phone. Park Superintendent Steve Colt said that whether it was a prank or vandalism, he hoped that the hand-made, irreplaceable sign would be returned. He posted an alert on the department's Facebook page that was only established less than two weeks ago. Early Wednesday afternoon Colt said that he hoped it was just a good samaritan who had removed it to clean or repair it.
"That was the first thing I was hoping I would hear," he said. "That wouldn't surprise me because of the way and the park and the playground have been adopted by the people who use it and the people who built it. If somebody saw that the mosaic was getting a little grimy or anything to do with the sign, it wouldn't surprise me if someone had taken it down and repaired, cleaned and reinstalled it. That's the type of great people that we have here, that would do that."
Did you know swimming across Cayuga Lake can get you to Guatamala? The combined youth mission of All Saints Catholic Church and Lansing United Methodist Church has been doing it for at least a dozen years. Tomorrow at 7am they will be swimming again. Organizers Ed Pasto and Patty Osika say they hope to raise between $1,500 and $2,000 to help send Lansing youth and adults to Guatemala next year to build safe, stone cook stoves for families in need.
"For my kids going on these mission trips is kind of a life changing experience," Pasto says. He has gone to Guatemala each year since the mission began going tthere. "They get to experience something that they don't see very often or ever here in Lansing. There are a lot of things we take for granted like turning on a tap and putting our toothbrush under the water. If you do that in Guatemala, then brush your teeth you're going to get really sick. They spend a week without all their electronic devices. They see how these people live and experience a bit of what it's like for struggling poor people."