Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans' Day, 2011

Scenes from Veterans' Day in Seaford, New York, November 11, 2011.

The Seaford Fire Department adds a wreath.

After the volley, the young man (third from left) skillfully sounded taps.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Election Results, November 2011

Yesterday, the residents of Seaford were asked to vote for ten State Supreme Court judges, a county judge, a district court judge, one county legislator, and several Town of Hempstead officials.
However, I should mention the numbering of Election Districts.  When one visits the Results section of the Nassau County Board of Elections, the Election District is specified with a six-digit number.  The first number, 2, may represent the Town.  The second and third digits represent the Assembly District.  The fourth, fifth, and sixth digits represent the Election District.  For example, Election District 26 (north of the Seaford Avenue school) is within the 19th Assembly District (Assemblyman McDonough), and the Town of Hempstead.  Hence, it is numbered 219026.
Incumbants (except for judges) won reelection:  County Legislator Dennis Dunne, Town Councilwoman Angie Cullin, Town Receiver of Taxes Donald Xavier Clavin, Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Town Clerk Mark Bonilla.
As for the judges on the ballot, it seems that the ten candidates who won the most votes for the ten State Supreme Court judgeships (with 14-year terms) were all the Republican candidates.  The ten-year seat on the Nassau County Court went to Angelo Delligatti, Republican.  For the Second District Court (vote for 3 judges, each for a six-year term), the three incumbents won (Bjorneby, Knobel, Paradiso).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election Day, 2011

Having just voted, this is my recollection of the ballot in Seaford, New York, 11.8.2011:
Fourteen columns of judges to be elected.  "Vote for any ten."  One county legislator.  Supervisor of the Town of Hempstead.  Town clerk.  Member of the Town Council.  Receiver of Taxes.  Total:19 columns, but 15 votes maximum.
Apparently, if one casts too many or too few votes, the scanner gives further instructions.  In the case of too few votes (as, for example, not voting for ten judges), after the warning, you may still cast the ballot.  The machine will swallow the paper ballot and declare your vote counted.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Seaford School Board meeting 11.3.2011

The November 3, 2011, meeting of the Seaford School Board opened with the Pledge of Allegiance at 7:30 p.m. in the Harbor School.  About sixty residents attended.  All five trustees were present.
A potential buyer has toured the Seaford Avenue school, with consideration to use the building for the firm's office space.  The broker and district continue to market the school, which for decades has not been used as a district school, but has been leased at various times.
In 1961, fifty years ago, ground was broken for the Seaford Harbor school, which welcomed the first students in 1963.
The board received donations to assist the schools in this year of a contingency budget. Save Seaford Sports presented a check for $43,000, to be used to restore winter sports and middle school sports.
The superintendent outlined the much-changed procedure and calendar for determining the 2012-2013 budget. One deadline is Mach 1, 2012, when the district must present to the state the Tax Levy figure.  Note that the 2% cap is on the Tax Levy, not directly on the budget.  It is said that New York State will provide in January or early February the amount it intends to provide to each district, so that the Tax Levy could be computed.  The entire procedure is quite different from other years, and it offers uncharted challenges.  Again it has happened that some new State mandates provide no funds to accomplish what is newly required.
The Board discussed the membership and necessary work of the Audit Committee and the Budget Committee.  This writer has noticed that the meetings and preparatory work done by volunteers of the Board or for the Board has increased in recent years.  Instead of meeting just monthly, they and their helpers have invested much more time in preparation for decision-making.  Notice of these additional committee meetings are posted at the Seaford Public Library and on the district website.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

School for sale

For a limited time (perhaps until 6/30/2012, the last day of the current School Board), the Board of Education has selected Geiner-Maltz as exclusive broker for the sale of the unused school at Seaford Avenue and Waverly Avenue.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Seaford School Board meeting 9.1.2011

The school board meeting began at 7:35 p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  The State of the District presentation and several academic issues are well covered by, linked here.  I will try to mention other issues that arose at the meeting.
Seaford Middle School was offered to the county's Office of Emergency Management as a shelter during Irene.  However, the county and the Red Cross did not call for its use, perhaps for lack of air-conditioning (which Wantagh High School gym apparently has).
The status of real estate taxes on the Sunrise Highway Bast Chevrolet property were explained.  It is the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Authority which brokered a deal by which (if my notes are correct) the new owner will pay taxes or use PILOTs for three years at the level that Bast was paying, then gradually over the next seven years increase to market-based assessment.  (I recognize that this is a bare-bones account of the issue.  One must first learn what Payments in Lieu of Taxes are and how they are used.  An important point is that school districts to not valuate property.  The County does.  School districts do not broker a deal with property owners.  The Town does that, through the IDA.)  If I understood correctly, the Bast property is among the three top commercial properties within the Seaford School District.
The not-yet-signed contract with Greiner-Maltz regarding the Seaford Avenue school was discussed.  The school attorney explained the status of various items that may be in the contract.  From my view, the goal is to sell the property.  I admire the successful construction of homes built near Beach Street and Walters Avenue in Wantagh (1993 construction on the site of a closed elementary school), and I do not know the range of neighborhood objections that arose there during planning.  Greiner-Maltz will attempt to find a buyer for the Seaford Avenue school.
Candidates to replace the resigned trustee have been interviewed, and the replacement will be selected soon. Three trustees were present at the 9.1.2011 meeting.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Harvest Fair, September 25, 2011

The Seaford Historical Society Harvest Fair will be held on the grounds of the museum (Waverly Avenue in Seaford - just across from the Firehouse.) Date: Sunday Sept 25th
Time: 11am-4pm Rain or Shine
Featuring: free magic show ; Seaford High Jazz Band ; Raffles including Grand Prize Flat Screen TV ; Food court ; Vendors selling handcrafted items ; pumpkins,mums and cornstalks for sale at the pumpkin patch ; Fire Dept displays and much more ! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

On the Bay

Most photos may be enlarged by clicking on the photo.
On Tuesday August 23, 2011, the Seaford Historical Society hosted a fascinating, well-planned, and succinct talk by Nancy Solomon, author of two editions of On The Bay: Bay Houses and Maritime Culture. First published in 1992, the new revised edition is available from Long Island Traditions.  The book includes photographs, explanations, history, and personal narratives.
The Seaford Historical Society's museum had a capacity audience of about eighty, many of whom, it was obvius, knew of the bay shacks first-hand.  Their presence in Seaford goes back more than 120 years.
Below are some of my notes from the meeting, but the notes may contain errors.  I will be glad for corrections.

Seaford Historical Society meeting 8.23.2011.  Bay Houses.
Nancy Solomon spoke about bay houses or bay shacks .
She published a book in 1992,  "On the Bay: Bay houses and maritime culture on Long Island's marshlands."  A second, revised edition has just been published, available from
An audience of about eighty filled the museum.  Ms. Solomon presented her talk succinctly, with the help of a powerpoint projection.  Much of the presentation concerned the subject matter of the 1992 book and what has changed since then.  I noted that about half the audience knew much about the bay shacks, and some 25% or so may have been owners or family members.
There are about 35 bay shacks now left in the Town of Hempstead waters, and (if I heard correctly) about 35 more in Town of Islip waters.
Many shacks fall in the category of vernacular architecture, that is, structures built by the users themselves according to their own needs and often with found materials.  Example: one was built mostly of old wooden doors, some of the 1950's era from surplus crates from Grumman, another from a garage. 
Until the 1920's, most of the homes were owned by baymen, fellows who caught crabs, clams, scallops, killies (which often were then sold to fishermen as bait).  During Prohibition, there was trade with rum runners.
About 1950, there was a boom in people building bay shacks, until they numbered about two hundred.  Then the Town of Hempstead, mindful of environmental concerns and new movements about wetlands, began to insist that no shack be replaced.  Leases from the Town would expire with the passing of the owner.  Leases could not be transferred.  A date of 1993 was set for the destruction of all bay shacks, but a movement of interested parties (concerned about the loss of a local tradition) brought a changed attitude in the Town government.  Now, leases may be transferred within the family, particularly to the next generation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LIRR ticket office hours

The Seaford ticket office has been closed for about a year.
In addition, effective July 20, 2011, Massapequa and Wantagh ticket offices are open only on Mondays and Wednesdays. What follows is from Train Talk of the LIRR.

Some Ticket Window Hour Changes in Effect July 20
Labor Agreement Helps Retain Ticket Offices

As of July 20 ticket office hours at seven LIRR stations will be revised as follows:

Station Open (Effective July 20) Hours
Amityville Mondays & Thursdays only 6:10 AM-1:45 PM
Bayside Monday-Friday only 6:10 AM-1:45 PM
Flushing-Main Street Mondays & Fridays only 6:15 AM-1:55 PM
Long Beach Monday-Friday
Saturday & Sunday
6:10 AM-1:45 PM
10 AM-6 PM
Lynbrook Mondays & Thursdays only 5:45 AM-1:45 PM
Massapequa Mondays & Wednesdays only 6:10 AM-1:45 PM
Wantagh Mondays & Wednesdays only 6:10 AM-1:45 PM

Ticket office hours will change or be reduced at seven LIRR stations as part of an effort to prevent some ticket windows from closing and to retain the current level of cleaning services. LIRR management and leaders of the LIRR’s Transportation Communications Union agreed to temporary changes in contract rules, providing savings sufficient to avert the planned layoff of 17 ticket clerks, closure of ticket offices and a reduction of ticket window hours at over 18 stations. The LIRR hopes to discuss extension of this temporary nine-month agreement to avoid shutting ticket windows and laying off employees in 2012. The revised ticket office hours at seven LIRR stations take effect July 20, as shown in the above chart.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Water Tower Proposal

About 230 residents attended a meeting on the evening of July 12, 2011, concerning Aqua New York's proposal to construct a water tower on their property on the north side of DeMott Avenue, Wantagh, just west of the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway. The meeting was informative despite the frequent interruptions. A person, for example, would ask a question of one of the two representatives of Aqua, and then cut off the reply with argumentation. The audience, obviously, was almost totally against the construction, citing loss of home value, and the lack of water-pressure problems at present.
After about an hour, county legislators Dennis Dunne and David Denenberg spoke.
Aqua New York is asking approval of the sale of its Long Island operations to American Water Works, which supplies water to Lynbrook. It appears that the rates in Lynbrook are similarly high.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Seaford School Board meeting 7.7.2011

About twenty interested spectators attended the reorganization meeting of the Seaford School Board in the high school band room Thursday evening, July 7, 2011. After the Pledge, there were two surprises: The president was chosen by a 3-2 vote, whereupon one of the negative voters, John DelGuidice, resigned from the Board. This is well related in the Wantagh-Seaford Patch, linked here.
The new air-conditioned band room provided a comfortable setting, but it was a bit difficult to hear those who spoke without a microphone. I stayed about an hour, including a discussion about the State requirement that school districts on contingency budgets charge fees to groups using facilities, fees that must cover the costs.
There was also a discussion whether Patch could be an official newspaper similar to Newsday and the Citizen, which receive legal notices.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seaford school budget is defeated

On June 21, 2011, the Seaford, N. Y., school budget (2nd try) was defeated by a vote of 1,479 to 1,278.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ninth grade cohort of 2006

Today's Newsday (6.15.2011) gives a summary of high school graduation rates in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The NYS Education Department has released these figures and more in the pdf file linked here.
The "2006 cohort" is those students who began ninth grade in 2005-6 and ordinarily would have graduated by August 2010 after four years of high school. I have not yet found an explanation of how transfers-out and transfers-in are counted, and whether the cohort includes the same students at the start and at the finish. Not in Newsday but rather in the file linked above is the size of the 2006 cohort. Seaford's 2006 cohort is 193 students, 88% of whom graduated by August, 2010. Wantagh's numbers are 285 students and 99%. Massapequa: 636 and 96%. Plainedge: 279 and 94%. Bellmore-Merrick: 1,015 and 94%. Island Trees: 231 and 90%. Levittown: 648 and 93%.
I have not located NY State figures for non-public schools, where again I feel that the size of the beginning cohort and the transfers are important information.
My previous post on the 2005 (graduating in 2009) is linked here.
Today's Newsday also contains a chart of "College prep indicators." This link leads to a fee wall, but many readers will be able log in.
In Seaford, 55% of the 2010 graduates earned an advanced Regents diploma, in Wantagh 76%, in Massapequa 64%, in Plainedge 62%, in Bellmore-Merrick 68%, in Island Trees 45%, and in Levittown 65%.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Seaford Museum will be open Sundays 1 to 4 p.m.

The Seaford Historical Society's Museum will again be open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., thanks in good measure to the the work of Eagle Scout candidate Nick Johns.  The Museum is located on Waverly Avenue between Washington and Southard Avenues.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day, 2011

Two hours of rain stopped ten minutes before the 2011 Memorial Day parade began its path north on Washington Avenue, Seaford.  Above, the color guard of the Seaford American Legion post leads the parade. I had better luck with photography last year, linked here.
Decoration Day had its beginning honoring those who lost their lives in the American Civil War of 1861-1865 and those who were veterans of that conflict.  This year, the day after Memorial Day, the newspaper USA Today gave the names of eleven more service personnel who paid with their lives in Afghanistan.  Three of the eleven called Ohio home, and one each from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Kansas, Washington, North Carolina, Iowa, California.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 17, 2011, voting results

These numbers are found on the Seaford Schools website here.
The proposed budget failed: No: 1881; Yes: 1448.  Votes cast: 3329.
The Harbor roadway proposal lost: 1604 to 1366.  Votes cast: 2970.
The increased transportation proposal lost: 1810 to 1098.  Votes cast: 2908.
Two trustees were elected: Richard DiBlasio with 2278 votes, and Brian Fagan with 2157 votes.  Laura Philips received 957 votes.  Each voter could vote for two candidates. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Seaford School Budget

Quite a few people searched this blog for "Seaford School Budget" and did not find it.  Below, I provide a link to the budget issue of Seaford Education Spotlight, mailed out to almost all households about a week ago.  It is a pdf file:
Link here.
I use the word "almost" above, because I have heard that school district residents residing in Wantagh zip 11793 have not been getting some mailings.  That's the neighborhood north of Merrick Road and west of Willoughby Avenue, almost to Cedar Creek.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seaford Library budget passes

On April 6, 2011, the 2011-2012 budget for the Seaford Library passed, 110-36.  Stephen Gaughran was reelected as trustee, with 129 votes.
Below, I list some results from previous years:
In April, 2010, the Seaford library budget passed, 103-29. Eileen Montalbano was reelected as trustee, with 119 votes.
In April, 2009, the Seaford Library budget passed, 98-30. John Rall was reelected as trustee with 115 votes.
In April, 2008, the Seaford Library budget passed, 110-52.  Peter Ruffner was reelected trustee for a five-year term.
The 2007-8 budget of the Seaford Public Library passed, with a vote of 78 "Yes" to 45 "No." Maybe the drenching rain kept the turnout low. Possessing a valid library card is different from registering to vote in a library district or school district, and I do not know the number of registered or eligible voters. About 10,400 Seafordites have Seaford Library cards in a district of approximately 16,000 residents. As library cards must be renewed every three years, the number of card holders may be a little inflated by people moving out of the district. The voting register for school district and library district (a combined list) totals about 10,000 to 12,000 names.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Some weekend trains skip Seaford

On the new weekend train timetable, the half-hourly service to and from Seaford has five omissions (or gaps of an hour) in each direction.  Please check your timetables or the LIRR website.
There are five trains that serve Massapequa and Bellmore but not Seaford and Wantagh.  These express trains from Babylon stop only at Amityville, Massapequa, Bellmore, Freeport, and Jamaica.
One of the upcoming weekends (date not yet disclosed), service will be interrupted to replace and test new signals near Oakland Avenue, Wantagh, an installation that has taken years already. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A grievous loss

The loss of a great person, Bill Powell, 64:  link to Newsday here.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow in February, 1978

In these scenes from February, 1978, I obviously have not reproduced the brilliance of the original Kodachrome slides.  I'll keep trying!  Some of the photos look better when enlarged.  Click on the photo; then click again for more detail.

In this view south from Sunrise Highway, youngsters cross NY 135. 

At Merrick Road and Jackson Avenue, in 1978 the Long Island Savings Bank has replaced Powell's Hotel, but the name "Astoria" is in the future.  I believe the LISB was originally the Long Island City Savings Bank, main office at Queensborough Plaza.

The Seaford Post Office was on the south side of Merrick Road, east of South Seaman's Neck Road.  Previously, it was on the north side of the road.  The star on the letter box indicates late collections.  In 2011, the nearest letter box has its last pick-up at 1 p.m.  Beach Bum tanning occupies the former post office.  If I am correct, the covered loading dock in back dates from the time of Bohack's grocery store. 

In 2011, this building on the south side of Merrick Road east of Jackson Avenue is occupied by East Coast Karate.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Washington Avenue, Seaford, in 1910

In the U.S. census of 1910, Jackson Avenue counted about 176 residents, more than any other street in Seaford.  These are family names on Jackson Avenue: Covert, Whitier, Walters, Payne, Purvis, Ketcham, El, Raynor, Dee(?), Klopthor, Baylis, Ruck, Liddel, Cola, Adsit, Mansfied, Bedell, Matengus, Angell, Shuals, Seelig, Livingston, VonGallet, Killian, Miller, Tolhey, Burch, Darius,  Powell, Vooris, Dean, Zacahanas, Baldwin, Collis, Danver, Weeks, Smith, Beaumont, Haff, HJones, Vasance(?), Fortestcue, Mortimer, Hendrickson, Van Nostran, Verity, Southard.
To sample the ancestry of the residents of Washington Avenue, I noted the birthplace given for each resident's mother.  Admittedly, large families tilt this count.  Of the 176 residents, about 135 had mothers born in New York State.  Also: 12 whose mother was born in England, 6 in South Carolina, 4 in English Canada, 4 in Germany, 3 in Ireland, 2 in Massachusetts, 2 in Scotland, one in the West Indies, and one in Illinois.
As for occupations of the residents of Washington Avenue: 3 retail dealers of groceries, 3 retail dealers of fish, one of ice, a laundress, 4 laborers at odd jobs, a nurse, an Episcopal priest, 2 painters, a house builder, 3 servants, 2 adjusters for the railroad, a cashier for a steamship, a Methodist minister, 2 farmers, a patrolman for the railroad, a driver of coal and wood, 2 authors, a repairer of bicycles, 2 baymen, a life saver for the U.S.S.S., a worker in a railroad roundhouse, 2 gardeners, 4 carpenters, a coppersmith, an electrician for the railroad, a concert singer, a broker at a custom house, a restaurant worker, a teacher in the district school, the manager of a bakery office, a bookkeeper, an insurance agent, a produce salesman, and a dentist.
I have probably made errors of transcription.  The enumerator's penmanship on this census was quite clear. Many of these family names show up on other streets in Seaford.  Please also see my previous posts linked by the label below, "Census of 1910." 
The census is available on at the Central Avenue Library.  For 1910, Seaford is included in Town of Hempstead District 1. enumeration district 1103.
In August, 2014, I went looking at the 1910 1900 census and discovered that the people are grouped by enumeration district, without street names.  Several family names and occupations were tip-offs that I was looking at the part of the Town of Hempstead that we call Seaford.  The 1900 occupation of Ansel Raynor was Postmaster.
In September, 2017, I tried to compare the 1930 census on Washington Avenue with the above notes, and there were enough mismatches to worry me.  I question the "Jackson Avenue" name in the first paragraph above.  Also, I could not find in 1930 as many residents on Washington Ave., leading me to wonder about changing areas of Enumeration Districts. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

West Broadway, Seaford, in 1910

More of the 1910 census of Seaford:
These are the family names listed for West Broadway, wherever in Seaford that street was:
Smith, Mongomery, Mack, Seaman, Condit, Jung, Eldert, Verity, Albro, Rhodes, Stable, Custis, Ketcham, James, Wilson, Duryea, Weiner.  Many of these family names are repeated on other streets of Seaford.
A count of the occupations listed in the census of West Broadway shows six farmers, two painters, two pond keepers at the city works, two carpenters, two laborers, one foreman at the railroad station, one machinist (locomotive), one grocery clerk, one bayman, one author, one chicken raiser, one retail dealer of fish.  This catalog of one street's inhabitants could be misleading, as the Seaford population topped six hundred, and other streets had more baymen.  I would have to do a full analysis of the census.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

U. S. Census, Seaford in 1910

I spent a few minutes in the Central Avenue, Massapequa Library, today looking at the 1910 U. S. Census of the Village of Seaford, "not incorporated."  The census carries the heading "22 and 23 April 1910, Hempstead District 1, [enumeration] district 1103.  There are twelve pages or so, fifty on each, giving Seaford a population of about 615.  My tabulation may be inexact.  These are the streets, listed by population:

176 residents of Washington Avenue
159 residents of Merrick Road
75 residents of Seamans Neck Road
61 residents of West Broadway
61 residents of A Lane
41 residents of Jackson Avenue.
20 residents of Waverly Avenue
10 residents of Hickory Avenue
10 residents of Lane
2 residents of Railroad Avenue
More than 90% of the residents were born in the state of New York of a father born in the state of New York.  There are a few from Germany, Scotland, England, Italy (9 residents of "Lane"), and one family from Norway.
I wonder where the street called West Broadway was.  Maybe the two lanes are among the present lanes south of Merrick Road.  Waverly Avenue was not extended west until the 1920's, I believe.
Some of the Merrick Road families in 1910 were Verity, Pettit, Updike, Bryant, Mahon, Baldwin, Van Nostrand, Wilson, Smith, Valentine, Morgan (William 28, wife 26), Southard (John, retired wheelwright, Catherine, Mary, 32, law clerk, perhaps the 1930 proprietor of the funeral home), Rhineslat, Magnus, Baxter, Radloff, Einstein, Norman, Hewitt, Rohr, Morgan (another William), Powell, Reigle, McHugh.  (Again, corrections are welcome.)
Seaford alumni have put together in guestbook format a series of posts, memories of growing up in Seaford.  Much of it describes the stores on Merrick Road and their proprietors.  The link is broken. There are forty pages of marvelous posts.  Is there another such memory collection with photographs about Seaford?
The main page for Seaford alumni is here.  It is a great presentation!
Often house numbers were introduced simultaneously with house-to-house delivery of mail.  However, the four-digit numbers prevalent in Seaford, I suspect, were introduced by the Town of Hempstead in the late 1940's.  They march along at the rate of 2 numbers every 20 feet.  Maybe they are based on the eastward progress of numbers from the center of Hempstead on the Hempstead-Bethpage Turnpike (NY 24).  Would anyone know in what year these four-digit numbers were introduced in Seaford?
An aside: In Bellmore, on Oak Street one can observe the mingling of westward three-digit numbers (presumably the original ones) and eastward four-digit house numbers.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Seaford station in snow, 1.21.2011

Because the community now known as Seaford was along Merrick Road when the LIRR came through in the 1860's, we gained a park, courtesy of the Town of Hempstead.  The Seaford Wellness Council added a gazebo.

 Any photo may be enlarged by clicking on it.  Photos from the 20th century may be found here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Memories of Merrick Road and Seaford, N.Y.

Seaford alumni have put together in guestbook format a series of posts, memories of growing up in Seaford.  The link is here, and there are forty pages of marvelous posts.  Is there another such memory collection with photographs about Seaford?
The main page for Seaford alumni is here.  It is a great presentation!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The skies cleared at dawn, and we found about nine inches of snow on the lawn.