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Winter/Spring 2013

RECOVERY: Helping To Restore Our Community IN THIS ISSUE Surviving Sandy Now and Always • Get Inspired by Film Trailblazer Grace Blake • Hempstead Chamber of Commerce • Operation Get Ahead’s Fabulous Foxes

Sunday, April 28, 2013 East Meadow

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Central Islip, Bethpage Ballpark (Home of the Long Island Ducks)

For more information and walk site locations visit Thank You to our Local Sponsors





10 Get Inspired by Film Trailblazer Grace Blake


Learning how to master stenography opened the door for the renowned film producer and executive.

04 Letter from Mayor Wayne J. Hall, Sr. 06 Publisher’s Note 07 Letter from Editor

22 Surviving Sandy Now and Always

08 Village Beat

What you need to know and do post-Sandy as it relates to FEMA and your village.

10 Happenings 18 Local Flavor 22 Community Development 30 In The Mix

24 Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Creates a plan to re-emerge as the voice of the business community in the Village of Hempstead.

27 Operation Get Ahead’s Fashionable Foxes A group of distinguished retired ladies making an impact in the village with style and substance.






A Message From Mayor Hall Recovery for Hempstead


ecently, Hempstead launched Village Line, a new service that will ensure resident safety and allow access to the many services available in our local municipality. The Village Line platform is all-encompassing. It is a phone line, website and smart phone application that will enable residents to use the internet, an iPhone or Android-powered device for residents to submit service requests to Village departments. This system will function with automated routing to ensure that a request for action is quickly forwarded to the right person at the right Village department. With the new Village Line system in place, Hempstead residents will have a variety of ways to report issues to their government and have concerns addressed in a timely manner. Residents are able to call (516) 478-6333 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on weekdays to access a trained operator who will direct calls and enter requests and complaints into the internet-based system, QAlert. QAlert enables department heads to generate a variety of reports, from issues resolved to issue outstanding, length of time outstanding and issue type, plus many more. Citizens and staff both benefit from QAlert’s knowledge-based feature and municipalities can opt to allow a citizen log-in area where callers can view their entire servicerequest history. Hempstead has been improving technology measures Village-wide, including incorporating Shotspotter sensors in February to ensure resident safety. The Shotspotter sensors will function as a gunshot locator system to provide wide-area acoustic surveillance for gunshots, as well as other large explosive occurrences. These sensors will equip police officers with immediate information and intelligence to respond quickly and safely to gunfire incidents. Shotspotter and other new technologies will assist the Hempstead Police Department in patrolling crime, already reduced by 10 percent over the course of the last year. With the increase in the number of officers on the ground, Hempstead residents can expect to see the crime rate continue to decrease in 2013. Enhancing communication and increasing the quality and quantity of safety measures throughout Hempstead is a vital aspect of my initiative to




Luis Figueroa, Waylyn Hobbs, and Legislator Dave Denenberg at the grand opening of Sonic Car Wash & Lube.

Sharing some sentiments at the OGA’s MLK Awards Breakfast.

Publisher Incorporated Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency Commissioner Claude Gooding

improve the state of our Village. I am confident thatwe will continue to improve the overall quality of life for each resident. To learn more about what is going on in the Village of Hempstead, including information about local organizations that sere youth and families, visit You may also join our 足electronic mailing list by sending your name and email address to: To keep abreast of the downtown revitalization, visit On that site, you may share your ideas for the redevelopment and/or provide your feedback on the plan. Sincerely, Mayor Wayne J. Hall, Sr. Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Hempstead

Editor-In-Chief Karen Taylor Bass TaylorMade Media Creative Design & Layout Andrew Bass Straight Design, Contributors Cynthia Areval Susan Beane Samara Ford Al Forde Claude Gooding Warren Halliburton Rody Jean Louis Aaron Kearney Sarian Parker Photography Gary Battle Antonio Kelley Cover Credits Illustration: Cienpies Design/iStockphoto Hempstead Living is a free publication provided to the general public by the Hempstead Community Development Agency. THE INCORPORATED VILLAGE OF HEMPSTEAD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY 50 Clinton Street Suite 504 Hempstead, New York 11550 Phone: (516) 485-5737 Fax: (516) 485-1667 CDA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mayor Wayne J. Hall, Sr., Chairman Mr. Inocencio Perdomo, Secretary Rev. Keith Harris, Member Ms. Della Hudson, Member Dan Oppenheimer, Member Claude Gooding, Commissioner





Rise Up: Reclaim Hempstead


s we launch another year of Hempstead Living, our fifth year to be precise, our challenges as well as your most favorable response to the magazine have inspired us to seek alternative ways of bringing this publication to you.

With a threat of extinction, as most sources of funds dry up, recently this publication lost its major source of funding thus threatening its continued circulation. Everything in life worth having is worth fighting for. If you believe that this publication is of value to you, kindly write us and let us know. As I have often said in the past, there are very few publications that reflect this community in the best light and share the positive stories and unfiltered truth. Hempstead Living was created to fill this void and many of you over the years have told us so. The objective of the magazine has always been an economic development tool, heightening awareness of the businesses in Hempstead, promoting the program initiatives that are ongoing and to reflect our community in the best light. We have seldom departed from this objective even as we sought to include members and businesses from our neighboring villages and towns as is demonstrated in this issue. We acknowledge that we live in a community with stakeholders who may be connected in one way or another to our Village and we are encouraged to highlight their successes and accomplishments. I strongly believe that all things done with integrity will prosper. We endeavor to serve the residents of Hempstead by showcasing the businesses, the programs and activities that enrich our lives. Over the past few years we have felt the physical and economic impacts of climate change and a sluggish economy. This year we hope to continue to inspire, and uplift as Hempstead RECOVERs. Blessings, Dr. Claude Gooding, AICP Commissioner

Receiving an award at the OGA’s MLK Awards Breakfast, with Mayor Hall.

With Reverend Barbara Mungin, Dr. Bill Smith, and Pearl Miles-Lee at a recent event at the United Methodist Church in Hempstead.





Recovery: Taking Baby Steps


aking history and charting a new path is the road to your recovery in 2013. Recovery. A simple word however it is powerful in meaning and transformative when action is applied.

I’ve always defined recovery as learning from what went wrong and taking the necessary steps to get back on track. Let me be just say proudly that I have fallen too many times to count however I never gave up. Can you say the same? Regardless of what is happening in your world just know that ‘brand’ recovery is on its way and this issue is packed with information to get you back on track. Ready? Have the faith to visualize a brighter picture; take baby steps to recover and know that you will be rewarded when all is said and done. In this issue we have inspirational stories about recovery from our newest installment—The Senior Corner by new team contributor, Warren Halliburton. The Senior Corner is dedicated to our fabulous seniors inspiring us each day with their resilience. Also, we take a look at how many are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy and what to know in the political landscape as it relates to aid. Did I mention that this issue salutes outstanding trailblazers from distinguished filmmaker, Grace Blake, to restaurateur and co-owner, Lillian Dent. Not to mention we openly discuss the stigma of mental health and how many of us are suffering in silence and why getting help is imperative. And as a bonus you can learn PR tips to kick off a ‘brand’ new attitude for your business and self. Friends, sit back, relax, sip your favorite tea and chart your recovery campaign and get inspired. Here’s to BRAND YOU! Karen Taylor Bass Stay In Touch: Follow me @PRExpert

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Scholarship Gala Benefit event attracted several hundred attendees supporting the mission of mentoring in the Long Island region. Last year’s Gala theme was celebrating Education, Mentoring and Leadership and the theme of the program was spoken by its distinguished guest speaker Ms. Susan L. Taylor who is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine and the Founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement. Mr. Dominic Carter, who is the RNN—TV Political Commentator and Author of No Mama’s Boys served as Master of Ceremonies and the 2012 distinguished honorees were Mr. Lionel J. Chitty who is the President of Hicksville Chambers of Commerce; Bishop Lionel Harvey presiding Pastor of First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury; Juanita Holmes, Inspector, Commanding Officer of the 81st­Precinct- Bedford Stuyvesant, NYC Police Department; Mr. William T. Rolack, Sr. who is the Director, Global/Marketplace Diversity & Inclusion for Adecco Group North America/ Chairman of the Board of the Urban League of Long Island, and State Farm. The gala benefit supported educational scholarships and mentoring programs for deserving African American young men to not say “We cannot afford to go to college”.

100 Black Men: Giving A Hand Up




CAllen Design

The 100 Black Men of Long Island Inc.’s, 38th Annual


Ode to the King (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr)

Library of Congress

Dr. Martin Luther King gave the sermon “Conquering

Self-Centeredness” at a church in Montgomery, Alabama on August 11, 1957. Of course, he would not know that his teaching that day would prove to be an immortal lesson. As he addressed the church about the egotistical attitude that plagued his society, he would not know that his words would still be true today. At one point in his lesson he said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” It was a questioning our world as much as it was a questioning his own. Martin Luther King had spoken that day to a people who had been oppressed on a daily basis by the ‘Jim Crow laws’. These were people who had been constantly made to feel less than human. So, it might have seemed peculiar then, for him to tell them to stop being self-centered. Who had suffered more, endured more, and been oppressed more than African-Americans at the time of King’s life? And this is the message he chooses to share: Be careful of the evils of selfishness? But when examining history more closely it becomes clear that his ideas were not so abstract. In fact, when Mahatma Gandhi led the people of India to win independence from Britain, he had those of the highest social castes do the work of the impoverished. This was to teach that in order to accomplish so great a goal, it is necessary to move outside one’s immediate sphere and devote time to a greater, collective effort. Martin Luther King in the same way preached that the best way to protect against the destruction of selfishness was not to destroy the ego, but to project it. The good of one should be seen in terms of the good of many. He viewed his personal gains in terms of civil rights for all. This is what he urged the congregation to do. He was not calling them selfish or egotistical, but encouraging them to better themselves by bettering others. He would eventually tell people that instead of worrying about their


Winners of the OGA MLK Essay Contest: Samara Ford, Bryonna Elliott, Kyliek Wallace, and Brandie Green posed with Tina Hodge-Bowles, Don Ryan, and Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.

personal dilemmas as second-class citizens, he wanted them to organize boycotts, to participate in sit-ins, and to march through the streets in an effort to turn their dilemmas into determination. It was on this principle that King’s dream was founded. He suspected that he might not live to see it come true, but he died trying to preserve it anyway. — Written by Samara Ford, Award Recipient of the OGA Essay Contest



Grace Blake is a legend and trailblazer.

Grace Blake: Never Had a Bad Day in America

She is the renowned film producer and executive behind many of your favorite movies of the ‘80s and ‘90s and you probably didn’t know. Her keen vision and storytelling made groundbreaking films like Silence of the Lambs, School Daze and The Wiz, major box-office hits and rewrote history as an African American female filmmaker. Blake is also the past Executive Director of the famed Apollo Theatre and past president of New York Women in Film and Television. Born and raised in Venezuela she came to the United States in 1960 and ‘never had a bad day’. I came here with a proud heritage, positive attitude and tenacity to make it happen and live the American dream. Having a strong foundation, never feeling intimidated and realizing that I matter always pushing to get to the next level,” says Grace Blake. Grace Blake has received a number of awards including the Leaders In Action Award for Business from the New Women In Leadership Symposium, the Long Island’s 50 Top Women Award and most recently, the 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from the Hollywood Baptist Cathedral, the 2009 NAACP Freeport Roosevelt Award acknowledging her excellent service in the film industry and business during their 100 years celebration. She was also an honoree of the New York Women In Film and Television Muse Awards along with Lauren Bacall, Jane Pauley, Sally Field and Penny Marshall. Hempstead Living recently had the opportunity to chat with Grace Blake and her story will inspire you to live and take chances. HL: What makes Long Island special?

GB: Long Island is a gem with great schools, exceptional restaurants, warm people and the best lifestyle for raising balanced children. Also after working a long day in the film industry coming home to Long Island was my ultimate retreat. HL: What are you most proud of (professionally)?

GB: I am proud of the fact that as a Black woman my experience in the film industry was comfortable,





empowering and mentored. There was never a moment when I felt unaccepted. My personality and background coming from Venezuela prepared me to work with all types of people and never felt that I did not belong. Often times our mind limits us.

moment changed my life. I knew this is where I wanted to be. As the producer secretary (at the time) everyone was nice to me and I used the opportunity to ask questions.

HL: What are you proud of personally?

GB: Honestly, I never understood why my young brothers and sisters would come looking for work and be afraid to speak up and allowed intimidation to take over their talent.

GB: I would have to say my children and working on my marriage at the time. I have three amazing spirited children and that is a huge blessing. Unfortunately my marriage did not work, however, I gave it all I could at the time.

HL: How was your interaction as a producer working with other Black folks and people of color?

HL: What was your big break?

HL: What would you tell future filmmakers wanting to break into industry?

GB: I’ve always understood the importance of an education and recognized that I had a gift. My gift was being a first-class stenographer and that talent took me to the office of the president at the Herald Tribune, then William Morris Agency to CMA (Creative Management Association) later changed to CAA and each opportunity was used strategically as a stepping-stone.

GB: The most important concept to understand and master is filmmaking. Learn everything you can, make films, write, and go to school and network. Also, the first opportunity you get to enter the union—do it. It is still difficult to penetrate however it is possible. Lastly, we need to write and create our stories; there are not enough stories about us (still).

HL: When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

HL: What’s next for Grace Blake?

GB: I went to set for the first time and witnessed magic in the making with For Love of Ivy with Sidney Poitier; that

GB: Living and enjoying my life as a retiree and grandmother.

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Senior Corner: Never Giving Up I read The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner as a

young man, perhaps when still in my teens. It was a novel about the “coming of age” of an English youth at a critical stage of his life. It impressed me with its thoughtful message, one that reminded me of myself at this bewildering time of my life. I have since been blessed with the time and luxury of reflection to imagine who I was and imagine what lay ahead. It was an opportunity to consider my life and, though fleeting in thought, has since come to past. Though exercised with more ambition than accomplishments, once educational responsibilities had been fulfilled and rewarded with professional employments, publications and testimonials over the past fifty years, their significance remains stored in my period of retirement. No matter what the road taken, nor influences of this journey, the lessons learned, remain a responsibility worthy of sharing. Introducing the Senior Corner. The Senior Corner is a place for seniors to share thoughts, dreams, suggestions and empower all to take a second look at the booming market of Senior Citizens. This is the thought I have lived long enough to appreciate, not for the uniqueness of any one of us, but for the opportunity for sharing among all of us—the most gifted and accomplished of a few, to the least recognized by most of us. Collectively, they contain a treasure-trove of experiences. Senior Corner provides just such an opportunity. Your own life-long journey is its own reward. Its fulfillment is as much in your participation as it would be to the reward of our readers. The choice is among the people you know, learned

The choice is among the people you know, learned about and admired for what understanding you have gained from their rolemodel qualities despite the distractions of fortune.


about and admired for what understanding you have gained from their role-model qualities despite the distractions of fortune. You may justly consider a family member, your neighbor in this mix, or a widely acclaimed model of fortune. The point is: What qualities did they possess that most attracted and inspired you? Senior Corner provides a vehicle for recognizing these role models in an on-going feature of Hempstead Living. It is no less an opportunity to gain the wisdom of our senior population as they impact and enrich our lives. So, make the most of it by sharing your thoughts at Hempstead Living. — Warren J. Halliburton



In our Village, fun lasts throughout the year! Browse through our calendar of events and be sure to note all of the upcoming activities and programs.

Village of Hempstead Community Events Hempstead Public Library 115 Nichols Court Hempstead, NY 11550 Phone: (516) 481- 6990 Jazz History Documentary Saturday, April 13 2 p.m. Celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month at the Hempstead Public Library with a screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary “A Great Day in Harlem”. Please register the Reference Desk for this free program. Self Defense for Teens Thursday, April 18 7 p.m. Learn the basic techniques of self-defense to use if faced with physical confrontation or a dangerous situation. Taught by Sensei Devin from Third Eye Insight, this program does not advocate fighting; it teaches self-confidence and safe ways of self-protection.

A Salute to the Arts: Supporting the dreams of our youth Sunday, May 5, 2013, 5:00 pm A Salute to the Arts: Supporting the dreams of our youth Contact: Box Office (516) 678-5000 ext. 7714; Fee: $35.

Planning Board Meeting

Village Board Meeting

Monday, April 15 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 16 6:30 p.m.

African American Museum 110 North Franklin Street Hempstead, NY 11550 Phone: (516) 572 - 0730 • Exhibit: “The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful.” February 15 – June 30, 2013, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Ernani Silva: From the Diaspora, deities of benevolence and malevolence, expressions of culture and tradition are depicted in Ernani’s exuberant, vibrant style. Delta Sigma Theta 100th Anniversary Exhibit (Nassau Alumnae Chapter) March 15 to April 30 Hands On Art Saturday Saturdays 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (adults) & 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (children 16 & under). Every Saturday through the summer there will be studio art for all ages. No experience is necessary. Sign up Tuesday – Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Hofstra University Hempstead, NY 11549-1000 Phone: (516) 463-6600 • The Lion, the Which and the Warhol Exhibit through May 19, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Photographs by photojournalist Danny Lyon and visionary Pop artist, Andy Warhol, connecting them to works in other media by Chuck Close, Jim Dine, and Lisbeth Firmin (the “Which.”) Hofstra Dutch Festival Celebrates 30 Years Sunday, May 5, 11 a.m-5 p.m. Featuring live entertainment, thousands of tulips in bloom, face-painting and craft vendors. The Hofstra Arboretum will also host its annual plant sale. Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Alan Ball) Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 21 At the Black Box Theater, South Campus; Tickets: $10. This outrageous 1993 comedy takes place at a bridal reception in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the mid-1980s.





LI Native Returns to Support Youth in Performing Arts

Don’t miss this special musical event!

The Sisters of the Arts, NSQ, The Society, Incorporated is pleased to feature Cooks, Dixon and Young, the former Three Mo’ Tenors on a special program to showcase award winning performance ensembles from Queens and Long Island. Rodrick Dixon, is a Long Island native and a member of the Tenors. He will host a special master class for all of the participants and the performance groups will share in the finale piece with all three tenors. This is indeed a concert that one would not want to miss. Sisters of the Arts is a non-profit organization of caring individuals who promote a love of music, art, dance, and literature in themselves and youth in the community. Sisters of the Arts was the first chapter of the Society, Inc. established in the Tri-State area, being chartered on March 7, 2009. During the past three years, the organization has sponsored several aspiring artists in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens counties by giving scholarships to students for private study, providing performance


opportunities, affording master classes, as well as sponsoring attendance to professional performances throughout NYC and Long Island. Our chapter sisterhood of 12 members is dedicated to the intellectual, social and economic development of youth in the arts. Additionally, we are committed to personal participation and involvement in cultural activities in the larger arts community, both nationally and locally. Proceeds from this concert will be used to aid our talented youth to ensure their artistic growth and development in the Fine and performing Arts. Additionally, a portion will be given back to Madison Theatre to support the artistic programs created for local elementary school students. This event formally introduces The Sisters of the Arts to the community. We look forward to partnering with and obtaining support from local churches and school districts to further cultivate the Fine and Performing Arts in our youth. For additional information, please contact Ms. Rachel Blackburn at or (516) 398-7832.





2013 looks to be the year that the Hempstead schools which piloted the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program will finally see much needed physical improvements performed to their campuses. The Village of Hempstead was awarded grants in 2010 to operate in Jackson Main and Fulton Elementary, and also at ABGS Middle school. Since that time, the Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency collaborated with the Hempstead Public Schools, Carolyn Harding Music, Hempstead P.A.L., Hempstead Police Dept. and others to promote healthy habits and safe practices amongst the students while they walk to and from school. In an effort to engage and excite the students about the Safe Routes to School program, the SRTS team has held informational seminars and interactive assemblies at the three schools including “A Summer Sendoff� assembly held at the end of the each school year encouraging students





to use “Safe Routes” during the summer. The in-school assemblies and in-class sessions fulfilled a vital component of the program—Education. The Hempstead Police Dept. and its traffic safety division actively enforce our safety standards helping to ensure our children’s safety going to and from school. But, these components are only 2 of 5 aspects of the program; them being: Evaluation, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement, and Engineering. The SRTS program would not fulfill its mission without bringing about visible changes which responds to the issues that concern pedestrian safety. After working through a preliminary design report created together by the CDA and the RBA Group of Engineers, the project is ready to move forward with construction, pending approval from the New York State Department of Transportation. We anticipate Jackson Main School to be the first to have improvements made to its campus during the summer break and completed by the start of the next school year.




Lillian Dent, co-owner of LL Dent, runs the southern cuisine restaurant in Carle Place with her daughter, Leisa.

LL Dent Serves Up Homestyle Happiness

What do you do when you work long hours every day

Charles Eckert

as a culinary chef and your mother is very business savvy? You open your own restaurant! That’s when Lillian and Leisa Dent founded LL Dent Restaurant. Lillian and her late husband raised their children not unlike any other parents. The main difference was in their cooking. She would get down in the kitchen every morning and prepare a hot breakfast for her children. Naturally, the children became accustom to eating a big hearty breakfast. During that time, young Leisa had no doubt developed her passion for cooking and feeding others; and she went on to become a renowned chef with stellar experience. Take more than 30 years of cooking up delicious foods and a mind for business administration and marry the two. Lillian wrote the business plan; Leisa wrote the menu. LL Dent aims to serve rich, southern-style cuisine that is second to none for a price that won’t dent your wallets. The menu features southern fried chicken, southern fried catfish, baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, stewed cabbage, soups, burgers, salads, and a host of other staple foods and selections. There are also vegetarian options as well. — Aaron Kearney




Sonic Car Wash and Lube is located at 404 Peninsula Boulevard.

Speedy Service at New Sonic Car Wash!


onic Car Wash & Lube is now open, and already the Peninsula Boulevard corridor is beaming. Cars, vans and trucks are all washing off the winter greys and are showing off the bright, shining colors. And it’s all thanks to getting their very first sonic wash. Hempstead welcomed Sonic to the fray of the industrial sector in early February. Sonic is all new: it renovated a large property on Peninsula Boulevard to house some cool equipment. There’s a state of the art washing system, lube center and detailing depot for your vehicle’s maintenance needs. It boasts a green and very sustainable recycling process that is on the cutting edge. There are filters which make the water reusable and reservoirs that collect used engine oil for further use to reduce its impact on the environment.


The vision for Sonic Car Wash was in the works for many years before becoming a reality. Meet the man behind it all — Ari Yemini. For over 10 years, he has called Hempstead the home of his wholesale business and others. He believes in a better vision for Hempstead. “All around everything is high value. This village is a place that needs to be redeveloped and pushed forward.” Sonic will be a large contributor to the business in Hempstead. But it won’t stop there; there may be big plans for Sonic down the road. Make sure you head over soon to get your very own sonic wash. Don’t miss the special introductory price while it lasts. — By Aaron Kearney



DATE NIGHT REMIXED WITH KIDS DATE NIGHT HAS RECENTLY BECOME A RARE GEM in my life with two kids (ages 5 and 13). Once upon a time my hubby and I had a scheduled date night for frolic, fun and mo’ fun. These days our date nights have become more creative and with a young posse’—our kids. Date night used to be about celebrating life as a grownup; hitting a fabulous nightspot, getting dressed up, catching a movie, gazing at one another and saying, “I want you now.” Not these days. If you are like me and date night is besieged with babysitting issues, grandmothers too busy to stay home and sit, you might want to consider family date night– remixed. A few weeks ago I started Family Date Night Remixed; a night out as a family doing an activity, inexpensive ­celebrating love and pure F-U-N. When planning family date night pick the surefire activities. There is no way you can ever go wrong with Disney on Ice presents Treasure Trove on family date night. The atmosphere is filled with children, parents (also) on family date night, staying in the moment and channeling their best memories of pirates, princesses, lions, dwarfs,


magic and memorable music. Having a family date night can be tricky if you go with the traditional way of thinking. Here are my tips to having a blast on family date night: 1. Own it. Accept that your life has changed and without a sitter, the date night model has to be remixed. 2. Score the deals. Family date night is less expensive when planned with Groupons/coupons and most venues have a $12-$15 discounted price for children. 3. Embrace Love. Show your children that love is what makes a family stay together, daddy and mommy holding hands and kissing is normal and tender. 4. Channel your inner child. Scream, holler, dance and enjoy your favorite Disney character and sing aloud with your kids. 5. Fun. The best way to have an amazing family date night is to stay in the moment. 6. Throw the calories counting out. Eat what your kids eat—popcorn, cotton candy, hot dog, and soda for one day. You deserve a night off from dieting.



Removing the Stigma of Mental Health Issues in Children By Susan Beane, MD



your child is starting to get upset about the topic, take a step back and remember you are talking to a child. The good news is helpful resources are readily available to assist parents and children. First, partner with your pediatrician to discuss next steps. Support groups are also available for your child and family members so everyone can understand what the child is going through and how to help. It is important for your child to feel supported by their loved ones. For more information on mental illness and how to talk to your children, visit the websites for National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) ( and Mental Health America ( Dr. Beane is Vice President and Medical Director at Healthfirst. For more tips on leading a healthier lifestyle, visit the Healthfirst Healthy Living website at 1

Source: The Hastings Center





ental health issues are not something that many like to discuss and often go untreated because of the stigma attached to it, especially when it comes to children. When a child gets a cold or the flu, the illness is treated and mental illness should not be any different. It’s time to remove the shame that people feel when it comes to mental illness, starting with our children. According to a 2000 report, the U.S. Surgeon General said one-in-five children and adolescents show signs of mental illness during the course of a year.1 As speculation looms over the Newton, Connecticut tragedy that the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, may have suffered from mental illness throughout his childhood, it has drawn wide attention to the issue of mental illness in children. My message for parents is to instill in children the importance of open communication at an early age without stigma. Children often have a hard time telling parents what is wrong or why they feel a certain way because it is hard for them to express their feelings. When parents communicate with their kids it allows kids to feel comfortable about sharing their feelings and understanding that it is okay to ask for help. If children sense their feelings will be dismissed, they may not bring up their issues and bury them out of fear. This can eventually lead them to lash out by using drugs and alcohol to suppress their feelings, failing in school, becoming isolated from society or even, violent behavior. To have a successful discussion with your child, being well-informed is key. Conduct research and be direct during your conversation. Encourage questions and open two-way dialogue. Talking in an environment that your child feels safe in will foster engagement. If you believe

Downed trees and power lines like this one inflicted severe damage to this house and others like it across the village.

Surviving Sandy


On January 15th this year, some two and a half months

after the Super Storm Sandy hit the shores of the eastern seaboard, primarily New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the House of Representatives finally passed three separate amendment bills $9.7; $17.4; $33.3 billion respectively to provide a total of $60.4 billion, a combined relief package to the region. On the local front, many have already heard of this relief package but what is still unclear is, how will this affect the residents of Hempstead Village in particular. Generally, we gasped a sigh of relief after the storm. In the scheme of things, the Incorporated Village of Hempstead feared fairly well. The damage sustained here was mostly caused by wind, which caused fallen trees and interrupted power supply, resulting in no heat conditions and gasoline shortages. But minimal flood and water damage occurred



in and around the Village unlike that seen in other parts of the south shore of Long Island. Much of the Village’s Storm relief was focused on, providing access to shelters for those in no heat conditions as well as removing the tens of dozens of trees, debris and garbage that have littered the public rights of way. The Village of Hempstead’s Department of Public Works must be commended for their swift and responsive action during this time. However, this storm was an unforeseen event that will cost us tax payers hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. The real question is, will we receive any Federal assistance in light of the fact we did not sustain major devastation? So, what will the Federal assistance provide? The first bill offered funding to the national flood insurance scheme. The second bill offered funding for mitigation projects, primarily funding the Army Corp of Engineers, so we understand, that will fund Federal public works projects including rebuilding barrier islands, the boardwalk etc. The third tranche of funding is expected to fund rebuilding efforts through Housing and Community Development Block Grant programs (a formula grant based on our poverty rates). For the Village of Hempstead we are the fourth largest municipal participant (in the Nassau County Urban Consortium) and over the last decade we have seen a cumulative decline in funding from approximately $1.7 million in 2003 to $1 million in 2013. The Neighborhood Preservation Program (NSP) funding which was created

to bring relief to distressed communities such as ours during the housing crisis and directly administered by the County with none of the funding granted directly to us as a sub-recipient partner community. Some residents may know that the Agency has been losing over $588,000 annually to repay the defaulted loan on 100 Main Street (the old bus terminal converted to retail spaces) which means that the Village will only receive this year, approximately $428,000 to fund all of its programs and projects if no additional funding is received. Many homeowners have asked me, what is the Community Development Agency doing for those who need help post- Sandy, and my response sadly is not much we can do, unless we are provided with some of the grant dollars to help. Most of the Agency’s focus has been on assisting the moderate income homeowner and the small mom and pop businesses in downtown Hempstead. The regionalization of program funding both at the Federal and State levels is working to deminish the voice of smaller communities such as ours and communities of color. Homeowners who have been affected by Sandy and have exceeded their insurance limits have some options offered by FEMA. Visit their website at www. There are funds for small businesses, those that were temporarily out of work, and those that need additional money to rebuild. The process I am told is not smooth but with patience the system will (eventually) work for you.

Most of the Agency’s focus has been on ­assisting the moderate income homeowner and the small mom and pop businesses in downtown Hempstead.”



Stay connected… Facebook: Village of Hempstead Twitter: @HempsteadCDA Blog: Website:






Al Forde, president of the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, stands with other members of the chamber.

The Hempstead Chamber of Commerce (HCC) is

re-emerging as the voice of the business community in the Village of Hempstead, and is committed to the growth of each and every member. Value is the first priority of the chamber to members; the Chamber is collaborating with the village administration to formulate a “code of compliance” that will establish guidelines for conducting business in the Village of Hempstead and ensure that any new or existing business understand the requirements necessary to conduct a business without violations. The Chamber is also in the process of refurbishing headquarters at 1776 Denton Green (Nichols Court). The office will be open daily; existing and new businesses will have access to information and resources to open or maintain their operations within the village. Also a new phone system will offer a ‘Help Desk’ for local business. The HCC will be spearheading the Village “Banner


HCC’s headquarters at the Old Willets House on Nichols Court.




Value is the first priority of the chamber to members; the Chamber is collaborating with the village administration to formulate a “code of compliance” that will establish guidelines for conducting business in the Village of Hempstead.

Program,” which will be an advertising tool for the businesses to promote their brands or events throughout the main streets in the village. Additionally, the Chamber will use its website, social media, business alliances such as Hempstead Living (CDA magazine), Hempstead Beacon, La Tribuna, Community Journal, Newsday, and other media resources to promote and advertise local businesses, brands and events. The Chamber will also begin a “Rating System”, highlighting exemplary businesses, which will let visitors know the bright spots in the community that they might patronize because of their outstanding goods and or services. Monthly Chamber sponsored workshops and forums such as the recent “Meet the Candidates Night, “ Q&A” Forum with Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, and the SBA and FEMA Hurricane Sandy Workshop

provide opportunities for the business community to learn about programs, as well as mingle, exchange ideas, cards and experiences. The Chamber hosted a special meeting between Village bar and restaurant owners, the Mayor and the police chief to air issues/concerns. This partnership will bolster community engagement, which is necessary to build a strong chamber. The Hempstead Chamber of Commerce is working with the Hempstead Community Development Agency, Village administration, churches, community organizations and Big Box Businesses for partnerships that will assist our membership with financing, training and beautification. To learn more about the new and improved Hempstead Chamber of Commerce visit,

Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, co-owner Ami are joined by Mayor Hall and others for the ribbon cutting at Sonic Car Wash.





ReInvention Tips To Weather Any Storm By Karen Taylor Bass, The PR Expert®


t’s no secret that given the economy, it is imperative to market your true authentic self when seeking clients, employment opportunities and growing a business. In an unsettled economy– everyone must develop a BRAND NEW ATTITUDE to “standout” from the competition. Reinvention is defined as a transformation into the life you always craved. I’ve put together a PR Re-Invention Plan to empower you to begin the ultimate recovery by using PR as an Empowerment Tool. Keep in mind these tips have worked for my past clients: Mariah Carey, Jill Scott, the NBA’s Ray Allen and Chris Webber to name a few. Here are some sure-fire ways to get your brand out there and market one’s business and STANDOUT, mentioned in my book, “You Want Caviar But Have Money For Chitlins” A Smart Do-It-Yourself PR Guide.

Prospective employers are using Google© to learn more about the candidates. Also, it is imperative to have a web presence with a functional, smart, attractive website. 4. Be prepared for the opportunity. Let people know who and what you have to offer. Be your own publicist and bring the hype. Create an electronic media kit listing your skills, accomplishments, and awards. Make certain your presentation is creative, “out of the box” and appropriate for your industry. Compose a press release lauding your best work/project. 5. Promote yourself. Brand you. Remember, you are an authority in your field, so begin to visualize, and execute your plan as if you were a rock star. Write an Op-Ed piece in your favorite newspaper, journal, magazine and get a byline (this means that you get credit for writing the story) Service the byline to the companies you want to work for and be on their radar. 6. Authenticity. You must appear sincere and approachable. Employers/clients want to know that you can deliver. If you say you are the best —then bring it. Show letters of recommendations, praises from your former boss/project managers, and colleagues. 7. Tap Into Your Network to Increase Your Net worth. Most people don’t tap into their contacts; your contacts can lead you to job opportunities, meetings, and leads, which can eventually increase your bottom-line. 8. Build a Media Empire. Write an E-Book, become a radio host ( Remember, it’s all about exposure. Create a blog and show your expertise to get noticed on the web.

Tips to implement as you create awareness and grow your brand, right now: 1. Think Linearly. Act with a plan. Identify where you want to work, what salary you want to make, and how you can be an asset to the corporation 2. Be prepared. Is your portfolio screaming, “hire me, I’m desperate?” Keywords are important for coding and garnering an opportunity. Ex: PR Expert instead of Publicist in the experience column will send a stronger message to employers. Play yourself up. 3. Be Viral. The Internet is a force and you must participate. For companies/clients to find you must participate in social networking- for example: (Blogtalkradio, LINKEDIN, Facebook, Twitter). Begin to blog and create a podcast.






Izora Robinson has been a resident of the Village of

Hempstead since 1959. She retired from the village as a school crossing guard, after 36 years of service. As a devoted and dedicated worker, she never missed a day of work. After her retirement, Izora joined the Operation Get Ahead (O.G.A.) Senior Circle in 2007. She then began working with the arts and crafts class. Izora and the director, Tina Hodge-Bowles decided to give the group of ladies a special name. They selected the name Izora’s Diamonds. The name was chosen because diamonds represent Izora’s birthstone. In its first year, the group made a large hand-sewn patchwork quilt. The following year the ladies crocheted ‘chemo-caps’. These were handmade with love by the women who cared. The caps represented the “color of hope.” The caps were dedicated to all cancer patients





The Sophisticated Red Hat Divas of the Red Hat Society.

at the Winthrop University Hospital, Department of Hematology and Oncology in June 2010. In the fourth year, Izora’s Diamonds crocheted ­various garments that they modeled. And in the fifth year, the group made and modeled a poncho that they had created. The journey continues. The new vision for Izora’s Diamonds is to continue striving to help others. The ladies will make dialysis blanket throws. These will be given to the local Hempstead Dialysis Center for its patients.




MILESTONES Village of Hempstead celebrates 370th anniversary. It was 370 years ago when the first settlers came to an area of flat lands in Long Island that had streams and small ponds. They built up only a few houses then. But soon the settlement called Hempstead was attracting people from all over. By the mid 1800s, the village had been advertised as being the principal place of mercantile and mechanical business in this part of the country. The village of Hempstead was incorporated on May 6, 1853, becoming the first community in Queens County (Nassau County did not exist as a separate county until 1899) to do so. Since then, Hempstead has experienced much growth and change to have becom e what it is now today.

Don Ryan The Village Trustee celebrated his 70th birthday recently.

IN MEMORIAM Ida E. Davis (1923-2013) As a member of NAACP and the local AKA chapter, she served the Village of Hempstead over 60 years.

Anderson Jay Goosby, Jr. (1928-2013) A veteran, community activist and advocate, and a gentleman.

Sylvia Geraldine-Shorey Martin (1937-2013) A stalwart member of the NAACP and the Hempstead community.

Christina M. McCarthy (1951-2012) An active volunteer and supporter of several community-based programs.

Dr. Leroy L. Ramsey (1922-2013) Educator, WWII veteran, community activist, and founder of African American Museum in Hempstead.




Village of Hempstead’s Christmas Spectacular

Three gentleman singers shared festive music and melody with everyone.

Hempstead Police Dept. color guard celebrated at the event.

Hempstead High School band performed holiday music.

Hempstead Schools’ Holiday Concert

Different groups of students collaborated to give exciting, showstopping dance moves on the stage. Members of the high school orchestra together after their performance.

Sonic Car Wash & Lube Grand Opening

OGA MLK Awards Breakfast

Lucky The Duck.

The ribbon cutting ceremony.

Mayor Hall, Ari and more raffle winners.

OGA president, Tina Hodgle-Bowles, stands with award recipients.


The Incorporated Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency Commissioner Claude Gooding 50 Clinton Street, Suite 504 Hempstead, New York 11550




Permit No. 205 Hempstead, NY


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Hempstead Living Magazine Winter/Spring 2013 Issue  

The Winter/Spring 2013 Issue of Hempstead Living Magazine published by The Incorporated Village of Hempstead Community Development Agency