City

Election 2020: Garden City Voter Guide

GARDEN CITY, NY — Voters in Garden City will head to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 3, for the 2020 general election.

In addition to the presidential and congressional races, there are several key races at the state and local level. Voting will be different this year thanks to rules approved to expand early and mail-in voting in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 24. You can check your voting status on the Secretary of State’s website, where you can also find your polling place.

There are several ways residents can vote:

Mail-In Voting

Vote-by-mail applications must be received by the Nassau County clerk by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

The ballot itself must either be personally delivered to the board of elections no later than the close of polls on Election Day, or postmarked by a governmental postal service not later than the day of the election and received no later than the 7th day after the election.

Early Voting

Early voting starts on Oct. 24 and runs until Nov. 1.

There are 15 early voting locations in Nassau County:

  • Elmont Public Library, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont

  • Floral Park Recreation Center, 124 Stewart St., Floral Park

  • Freeport Recreation Center, 130 E. Merrick Road, Freeport

  • Recreation Complex at St. Paul’s Field House, 295 Stewart Ave., Garden City

  • Brierley Park, 65 Dartmouth St., Hempstead

  • Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville

  • Lawrence Country Club, 101 Causeway, Lawrence

  • Oyster Bay Town Hall South, 977 Hicksville Road, Massapequa

  • North Merrick Public Library, 1691 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick

  • Mid-Island Y JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Road, Plainview

  • Gayle Community Center, 53 Orchard St., Roslyn Heights

  • St. Markella Greek Orthodox Church, 1960 Jones Ave., Wantagh

  • West Hempstead Public Library, 500 Hempstead Ave., West Hempstead

  • Yes We Can Center-New Cassel, 141

Hell’s Kitchen Board Implores City To Reduce Hotel Shelters

HELL’S KITCHEN, NY — A Hell’s Kitchen community board renewed a call this week for the city to reduce the density of temporary homeless shelters in the neighborhood, saying increased crime and drug use associated with the facilities was causing a public health crisis in the area.

Members of Community Board 4 strained to distinguish the situation in Hell’s Kitchen from similar battles over the pandemic-era hotel shelters that have played out in other neighborhoods, saying they objected only to the concentration of shelters around West 36th and 37th streets and were open to relocating the shelters to elsewhere in the district.

“This is not NIMBYism. This is a common-sense request for a reduction,” board member Maria Ortiz said, using the acronym for “not in my backyard.”

The board voted unanimously Wednesday to send a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks, noting that three hotels on the two streets have been converted into temporary shelters — part of the city’s effort to reduce crowding during the coronavirus pandemic.

A handful of residents who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting said that the 812 shelter beds on 36th and 37th streets have caused a marked decline in their quality of life.

“We all legitimately fear for our safety and health every time we walk out the front door,” neighbor Brian Weber said.

Resident Alexander Vitelli said he objected to the open drug use and perceived crime increase that had arrived alongside the shelters, rather than the homeless residents themselves.

“I’m not going to sit here and say that it’s a homeless issue,” he said. “This is more than that — it is a mental health issue, it is a drug issue.”

‘We’re not looking to ship this out’

For months, Midtown

Big Freedia’s weekly Garden Cookout in City Park is more about Freedia than food | Keith Spera

The focus of Big Freedia’s Garden Cookout is, in descending order of priority, Big Freedia, the garden and the actual cookout.

Since July, Freedia, the multiplatform Queen Diva of Bounce, has presided over a weekly cooking-themed webcast at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park’s Kitchen in the Garden pavilion. The Friday night events are livestreamed on Freedia’s social media outlets.

The Garden Cookout expands on Freedia’s popular Sunday morning at-home cooking webcast and replaces some touring income lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Forty spectators seated at socially distanced tables each pay $90, or $120 to sit at one of the front tables. Tickets must be purchased through EventBrite in blocks of at least two, to fill tables with self-contained groups.

Freedia’s cottage industry, built from the ground up after years of toil on the New Orleans club circuit, encompasses recording, touring, an autobiography, branded bubbly and aprons, collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé and six seasons of a Fuse network reality show, alternately titled “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” and “Big Freedia Bounces Back,” from 2013 to 2017.

If the Oct. 2 Garden Cookout was typical, chatting and cutting up take precedence over actual cooking.



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Fans “wiggle” to Big Freedia’s music during Big Freedia’s Garden Cookout at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.




Early arrivals, wearing mandatory face masks, were escorted through the lovely Botanical Garden — it’s even more enchanting at night — to the brightly lit Kitchen in the Garden. Completed last fall, the open-air kitchen pavilion hosts culinary-themed educational and social events.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., attendees patronized a cash bar while DJ Juane Jordan spun music. Freedia appeared in a sequined facemask, glittering purple pants and a custom chef’s coat bearing

This ecologist was told she could keep her natural garden. Here’s why she’s fighting city hall anyway

An ecologist is challenging Toronto’s long grass and weed bylaw, even though the city exempted her from having to cut down her natural garden — which is home to tall shrubs and trees, as well as butterflies and chipmunks.

Nina-Marie Lister, an ecology and urban planning professor at Ryerson University, says she never asked for an exemption and she rejects it. Instead, she and her lawyer are arguing that the bylaw itself is unconstitutional and outdated, saying it goes against the city’s own pollinator protection and biodiversity strategies.

“[The current bylaw] really stands in the way of individual citizens on a small patch of yard trying to do the right thing at a time of biodiversity collapse and climate crisis,” said Lister, who was also a consultant on the city’s own biodiversity strategy.

The two are now drafting a replacement bylaw to present to the city this fall.

Lister and her family have been tending the garden at her home near Davenport Road and Christie Street for the past five years. It includes a front-yard meadow, a green roof and around 100 different species of plants, shrubs and trees, most of which are native to Ontario.

Nina-Marie Lister’s natural garden is home to about 100 different species of trees, plants and shrubs. (Lorraine Johnson)

“In the work that I do, it would be very odd for me not to have a garden that was full of life, rich in biodiversity and frankly, one that gives us enormous benefit as a community,” Lister said.

Lister, who is also and the director of Ryerson’s Ecological Design Lab, says the garden holds storm water, controls runoff and provides habitat for various birds and at-risk insects like monarch butterflies. It’s also been home to other creatures, including frogs, rabbits and chipmunks.

Plus, she says,

Vandals damage City Park’s Storyland, Carousel Garden, write racial slurs on rides

Surveillance cameras captured images of the vandals in the act.

NEW ORLEANS — Vandals broke into City Park’s Storyland and Carousel Gardens, breaking windows, damaging the carousel, and writing racial slurs on the rides.

Photos from City Park show broken glass, graffiti and tails ripped from carousel horses. Officials say it also looks like someone stabbed the antique band organ and one of the carousel horses with a screwdriver.

The racially-charged graffiti includes the N-word and the phrase “Hitler Salute.”

Images of the two vandals were captured by security cameras set up after their first break-in. City Park officials say the names “Alex” and “Justin A” were written on items in the park and shoe prints were left on the carousel doors where they were kicked in.

City Park’s Storyland received a big renovation in 2019, adding new exhibits. The carousel is more than a century old and is on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.

“This hurts my heart. The Carousel and Storyland are such traditional iconic parts of the Park. The Carousel is over 100 years old. To have them survive Katrina only to then be disrespected in this way is a true travesty. The people of New Orleans love City Park and we’re so grateful to them. It’s sad to see a few people destroy so much,” says Bob Becker, City Park CEO.

City Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact City Park Chief Operations Officer, Rob DeViney at 504-419-2832.

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