Whatdoes a ‘reasonable adjustment,’ as stated in the 1995 Disability DiscriminationAct, actually mean in practice for employers, staff and OH? By Nic PatonThereare 6.2 million disabled people of working age in the UK, accounting for some18 per cent of the working population, according to the Employers’ Forum onDisability (EFoD).Whilemuch of the debate about disability in the workplace has focused, quiterightly, on ways to get people who already have disabilities into employment,in fact, about seven in 10 economically-active disabled people have becomedisabled during their working life. This is a trend that is likely to grow inimportance as the population, and the workforce, ages.Losingthe services of an employee through disability is a costly business. Itdeprives organisations of a considerable asset and all the investment in termsof their skills and experience goes with them. The EFoD estimated one largeemployer found the average cost of retiring an employee on medical grounds was£40,000. So,for the OH professional, dealing with a worker who has become disabled or whoalready has a disability is a vitally important area. While there have beenmany advances, notably the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), manybusinesses and managers still have something of a blind spot when it comes toemploying disabled people.‘Disabledpeople will mean having to spend a fortune adjusting the workplace’, ‘it willhit productivity’, and ‘they simply won’t fit in’, goes the argument. Yet,scrub away the prejudice and misconceptions, and these arguments simply do notstand up.Disabledpeople, again according to the EFoD, take fewer days off sick and fewer daysabsent for reasons other than illness compared with non-disabled workers. Theirproductivity rates are on a par with other workers and they have better thanaverage safety records.Despitethis, unemployment rates for disabled people are about two-and-a-half timesthose for non-disabled people. TakeLloyds TSB. For the past two-and-a-half years, the bank has been working withconsultancy Churchill & Friend to improve access to the workplace and theworkplace environment for people with disabilities.Sofar, it has had some 800 referrals from Lloyds, both individuals with adisability who have joined the bank and people who have become disabled whilealready working there.”About73 per cent of referrals are still working for the bank, and of the people thathave left, only 18 per cent have left with bad feeling. So far, we have not hada tribunal case involving the scheme,” says senior partner Phil Friend.Degreeof disabilityHegoes on to explain that while disability is a very individual thing, in theworkplace, it can normally be categorised into four levels: A to D. Level D isthe lowest – possibly someone who suffers from back, neck or wrist pain whileworking at a keyboard, but who would not be labelled disabled.Inthis instance, the best course of action would normally be an OH assessment,followed by a report which, if Churchill & Friend is involved, is sent toC&F for recommendations, which may be things as simple as moving a piece ofequipment or a chair. “But the case is only closed when the individual ishappy that things are better,” says Friend.LevelC is where people are suffering severe pain – they may have difficulties withtheir back or neck from postural problems and may, as a result, be taking a lotof time off. This requires a more specialised assessment, but one that stillinvolves the OH department. Atlevel B, you start to get on to those people who will normally be covered bythe DDA. For these workers, their condition will be permanent and they willneed much more sophisticated work and assessment, not just using the OHdepartment but also specialists that can provide voice activated software, forinstance.Thefinal level – level A – is for those who are definitely covered by the Act,have a permanent disability and have real problems with day-to-day activities.WhileOH would still be involved, bodies such as the Government’s Access to WorkAgency, which provides advice, support and funding to help people withdisabilities in the workplace, would also play a key part.Atthis level of disability, you might be looking at redesigning a job,redeployment, buying in sophisticated equipment (the cost of anything above£300 will normally be covered by between 80 per cent or 100 per cent by Accessto Work), the use of workplace ‘buddies’, sign language support and so on.Thesplit at Lloyds is about 30 per cent in the A to B category, with the restbeing C to D level cases, Friend estimates.Inthe past six months, the consultancy has also begun work with BT helpingrehabilitate workers who, for instance, fall down holes or off telephone poles.So far, there have been some 60 referrals from that pilot. The consultancyworks closely with BT’s OH department, which is outsourced through Accenture,to try to resolve cases and get people back to work.Lackof clarityOneof the key problems with the DDA, suggests Friend, is the lack of clarity aboutwhat a “reasonable adjustment” actually means. But the main thing torealise about such adjustments is that the vast majority either cost nothing orvery little, stresses Bill Fine, senior consultant with AbilityNet, a charitythat provides information and advice on disability and computer issues.Employersfail to realise that the banks of identical computers they have stacked up ontheir desks can in fact be tweaked, at no extra cost, to help such workers.”Wehave one visually-impaired woman who uses a display presentation scheme on hercomputer. It is available as a standard part of Windows, but most people do notknow about it. It means she gets very large presentation and huge colourcontrast,” he says.”Ihave gone into places where people with established pain, who have a lot oftime off, have been given a trackball instead of a mouse, but they haven’t beentold they do not have to use a mouse at all. Or, for instance, you can get abig pointer on your mouse, or you can save keystrokes by using auto-text andauto-correct,” Fine adds.Thecharity runs one-day workshops outlining solutions that cost less than £100 –and never has time to get them all in, he adds. Better training also helps.With the right sort of training and a basic toolkit of solutions, occupationalhealth can do 75 per cent of non-standard assessments itself, Fine estimates.Whilethe charity charges for its services commercially, it will give free advice toindividuals and one-off advice to companies. It also has free downloads andfact sheets on its website.Roleof advocateApartfrom the practicalities of dealing with disability within the workplace, OH hasa critical role in acting as an advocate for the employee with special needs,argues Kit Artus, chairwoman of occupational health recruitment agency CheviotArtus.”OHcan say ‘that person can do it’, they may have to do it differently or you mayneed to make some adaptations to their workstation, but they can do it,”she explains.”Thereal angle is sensitivity. People may be coming to terms with the fact they aredisabled and how it is going to affect their job. It is about listening,sensitivity and concentrating on their abilities rather than their disabilities.”Forsomeone who has an established disability, if you listen sensitively, they willoften tell you the answer themselves. So you need to listen and identify whatyou can do to make sure they get access to all the facilities,” she adds.”If they cannot, say, grip a tap, then you may need to look at the toiletfacilities.”Otherpracticalities – as much common sense as anything – come into play, too.Arrangements for a person with a history of schizophrenia and irrationalbehaviour, but now on a successful treatment regime, might include reviews atsuitable intervals by an OHN. Bankinggiant HSBC, for instance, operates a rehabilitation policy for employees whohave undergone a long-term absence from work for reasons including stress anddepression. This includes a consultation process involving the individual,their line manager, the OH manager and HR department. Ifappropriate, there is a phased return to work, usually over a period of weeks,during which the individual gradually increases the hours or days worked until,if successful, they are able to resume their normal work pattern. Modifyinga job description to remove non-essential but potentially hazardous duties canmean employment continuing with minimal disruption. For instance, removing theoccasional requirement to lift for a person with arthritis or the removal ofwork at heights for an employee with epilepsy can all help. Replacing asensitising or irritant product with an alternative, may, together with healthsurveillance, enable an employee with asthma or eczema to continue working as apaint sprayer or cleaner.Whena ward clerk who had worked at St Thomas’ Hospital in London for 16 yearsdeveloped severe arthritis – necessitating a long period of sickness absence –the trust moved swiftly to adjust her workstation, and a support workerassistant was appointed for nine hours a week, with Access to Work covering 80per cent of the costs.”Ifyou can accommodate employees who have been injured and maintain them in theworkplace, why should there be different treatment for people who come into theorganisation with disabilities?” stresses Artus.Managingthe occupational health of workers with disabilities requires creativethinking. Sometimes self-treatment is the best course, for instance, having aplace where people can go to lie down once in a while, or providing an areawhere diabetics can administer their insulin. Itis also important to work closely with other care providers, to be aware ofresourcing options such as Access to Work, sources of information and adviceand when to turn to specialist agencies, suggests Artus.But,according to Friend, OH nurses still have some way to go. One of the problemshe has had is finding OH assessors who have the right combination of the experienceand commercial nous.”Ido not think that some of them understand the commercial imperatives. Theymight say, for instance, that the display screen needs to be moved morecentrally, but what if they are talking about a cashier in a bank? So you haveto look at other ways of doing it,” he complains.”TheDDA is far less understood by OH professionals than by health and safety. DDAOH specialists are far fewer – people who really understand what a reasonableadjustment can mean,” he says. “We have been through one or two OHconsultancies and have wondered what we are paying them for,” he adds.Contact:Churchill & Friend 01707 324466 www.abilitynet.org.uk www.employers-forum.co.uk www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk (for Access to Work) Comments are closed. Access all areas?On 1 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
USS Jason Dunham Docks in Varna, Bulgaria View post tag: europe View post tag: Naval The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) arrived in Varna, Bulgaria, for a scheduled port visit, April 4, 2015.Jason Dunham’s presence in Bulgaria reaffirms to NATO allies that the U.S. Navy shares a commitment to strengthen ties, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the Black Sea region.Jason Dunham is currently operating in the Black Sea, working with allies and regional partners to help develop and improve maritime forces, maintain regional security, and work towards mutual goals in order to advance security and stability in Europe.[mappress mapid=”15584″]Image: US Navy View post tag: Bulgaria View post tag: Varna View post tag: USS Jason Dunham Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Jason Dunham Docks in Varna, Bulgaria Authorities View post tag: Navy View post tag: News by topic April 5, 2015 Share this article
The following faculty members have been named full professors with tenure in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences:Stephen Burt, professor of English, is a published poet and prolific critic of contemporary poetry whose scholarly interests range across the verse of many nations. He has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 2007.Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology, leads a project to digitize materials from a complex of tombs, temples, and ancient artifacts surrounding Egypt’s famous Giza pyramids. He comes to Harvard from the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, where he is director of the Giza Archives Project and the Giza Mastabas Project, and from Tufts University, where he has been a lecturer in Egyptology since 2000.David Howell, professor of Japanese history, is a historian whose research has reframed pre-1868 Japan using perspectives from the nation’s geographic and social peripheries. He was previously Nissan Professor in Japanese Studies and chair of Princeton University’s Department of East Asian Studies.Martin Puchner, professor of English, is a prolific and wide-ranging author of works on modern drama, philosophy, and world literature. He comes from Columbia University, where he has been the H. Gordon Garbedian Professor of English and Comparative Literature.Gu-Yeon Wei, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering, combines computer science and electrical engineering in addressing technical barriers to faster, more efficient computers and portable electronic devices. He has been on the faculty of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences since 2002.For complete announcements, visit the FAS Web site.
Since signing with the Boston Celtics in August, Shaquille O’Neal has posed as a statue in Harvard Square, sang the “Cheers” theme song at the Cheers bar in Boston, and conducted the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. He can now add “helped teach a class at Harvard Law School” to that list.On Jan. 18, O’Neal visited Lecturer on Law Peter Carfagna’s course “Representing the Professional Athlete.” He was accompanied by his agent Perry Rogers, President of Venture Management, and by Michael Zarren ’04, assistant general manager and associate team counsel for the Celtics.The guests discussed topics including product endorsement, social media, changes in the NBA, and O’Neal’s approach to business and basketball throughout his 18-year career.
Greek tragedy is returning to London’s West End! Original Almeida Theatre cast members Lia Williams, Angus Wright and Jessica Brown Findlay will lead the West End transfer of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. Re-imagined for the modern stage by director Robert Icke, the production will begin previews at the Trafalgar Studios on August 22. Opening night is set for September 7 and the show is scheduled to play a limited engagement through November 7.Orestes’ parents are at war. A family drama spanning several decades, a huge, moving, bloody saga, Aeschylus’ greatest and final play asks whether justice can ever be done—and continues to resonate more than two millennia after it was written.Along with Tony nominee Williams (Skylight), Broadway alum Wright (Twelfth Night, Richard III) and Findlay (Downton Abbey), the West End cast will also include original company members Lorna Brown, Annie Firbank, Joshua Higgott, Luke Thompson and Hara Yannas.The production will feature design by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Natasha Chivers, sound by Tom Gibbons and video by Tim Reid. View Comments
Organic products availableOnly a few organic herbicides are available. One, pelargonicacid, is popular with organic growers. It’s sold under severaltrade names, such as Scythe and Quik II, and is basically aconcentrated soap you mix with water and spray over the top ofweeds.Pelargonic acid causes plant cells to fall apart. It kills mostweeds, as long as they don’t have extensive underground rhizomeor tuber systems.Vinegar (acetic acid) is marketed in several products, such asGarden-Ville Natural Weed Control, and also works at burning downemerged weeds. Common table salt, one of the first herbicides, isstill used to control weeds in driveway and sidewalk cracks.Some plants are adept at making their own herbicides. One goodexample is black walnut (Juglans nigra), which producesjuglone.Produced in many parts of black walnut trees, juglone kills orreduces the growth of plants growing under and around treecanopies.In the future, we may be able to take the genes that producejuglone and transfer them into a plant like corn. Imagine that: aplant that can make its own herbicide. By Mark CzarnotaUniversity of GeorgiaMany people don’t like to use synthetic herbicides in thelandscape. But weeds can be a big problem with any gardeningpractices. With organic gardening, prevention is one of the mostessential ways to keep weeds out.Many horticultural and agricultural practices are allowed withorganic agriculture. But if any chemicals are used, they shouldcome only from plant or animal sources. Get to them before they flowerAt the least, try to remove the weeds before they flower andproduce seeds. Some fully grown weed plants, such aslamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album), pigweed(Amaranthus species) andspurge (Euphorbia species), can produce thousands ofseeds.Removing these weeds while they’re small removes a lot of seedsyou and your future generations will otherwise be fighting.Mulch! Bare-ground planting is very hard tokeep weed-free and isusually left for large-scale row-crop or vegetable production.Besides smothering weeds and preventing their germination,mulches help to maintain soil moisture and temperature and addorganic matter to the soil.If the landscape is to be permanently planted and no bulbs orannuals will be planted, consider using a landscape fabric underthe mulch. The fabric will help smother those tough perennialweeds.Wash your equipment when you complete a job.Soil stuck onequipment can easily transfer weed seeds from one site toanother.Don’t bring in weeds. Weeds, such as nutsedge, often rear theirugly heads when they’re brought in with nursery plants. To avoidbringing these weeds into the landscape, carefully select nurserystock. Follow these tipsHere are a few tips to help keep weeds out of the landscape andgarden and do so organically.Prepare the site to be planted. Plowing,rotary tilling and othermeans of soil cultivation are still very good methods of weedcontrol. Prepare the site to be planted with at least one goodtilling.If you’re not in a hurry to establish your plantings, severalcultivations three or four weeks apart will eliminate manydifficult weeds.These continual tillings disturb weed growth and help eliminateweeds. Weeds like nut sedges (Cyperus species)and Bermuda grass(Cynodon dactylon) primarily come from vegetativestructures suchas rhizomes and tubers, and plants coming from vegetativestructures won’t survive continual cultivation.Get them early. It’s much easier to hoe orpull out those weedswhen they’re small. The bigger weeds are allowed to grow, themore they will compete with desirable plants for light, water andnutrients.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Victims of a North Bellport attempted home invasion thwarted a group of masked gunmen that tried to break into their home before the assailants fatally shot the family’s dog on Thursday afternoon, Suffolk County police said.Four to five men tried to force their way into a home on Montauk Highway near the corner of Doane Avenue, but some of the residents tried to push the door closed shortly after 3 p.m., police said.“The suspects sprayed them with a chemical substance,” police said in a news release.As the victims were shutting the door, a family dog—an 11-year-old, three-legged female pit bull named Sarah—raced out of the door, police said.The gunmen shot the dog with a small-caliber handgun before they fled the scene empty handed. The dog died from her wound.Fifth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sirens blazing, Uniondale firefighters recently rushed to Hempstead Town Hall, where they joined a protest brigade trying to extinguish their neighboring community of East Garden City, which has sparked fears of gentrification.Civic leaders from Uniondale say East Garden City doesn’t technically exist. They argue that planners and developers concocted the name to distance prime real estate north of Hempstead Turnpike from the racially diverse neighborhood on the south side. Lawmakers back Uniondale’s cause, but wiping East Garden City off the map is easier said than done. At stake is what to call the heart of the area also known as the Nassau Hub—home to almost half the county’s economic activity and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.“It’s a shame! It’s a pity! We don’t want East Garden City!,” chanted dozens of protestors outside town hall during the March 10 rally as a convoy of Uniondale fire trucks rolled up in support—lights flashing and horns blasting.“Greedy developers are trying to steal the economic assets and commercial tax base of one of the few racially integrated communities on Long Island,” said Gregory Maney, a Hofstra University professor and co-facilitator of the Greater Uniondale Area Action Coalition (GUAAC), to the Hempstead Town Board after the rally. “The East Garden City fiction is a thinly veiled gerrymandering and gentrification initiative to strip a majority minority community of our core assets.”The area known as East Garden City, as the name suggests, lies east of the well-to-do village of the same name. It’s one of many unincorporated hamlets that cause geographic confusion across LI, but is the only one to spark protests of late. And its origins are the subject of much debate.Entities that list their address as East Garden City—many of which drop the “East”—include Nassau Community College (NCC) and Museum Row as well as homes and businesses along Stewart Avenue between Merchants Concourse and the western border of Roosevelt Field Mall, which also falls east of village limits. Right across the street from NCC, the coliseum and several major office buildings are listed as Uniondale—yet the arena’s website only identifies its address as “Long Island.” Forrest City Ratner is slated to begin an estimated $260-million renovation of the coliseum this summer.According to a U.S. Census Bureau map, the northern border of East Garden City is Old Country Road, but businesses and homes between that thoroughfare and Corporate Drive to the south list their addresses as Westbury. Yet that area does not fall within the Westbury village border, either.For taxing purposes, the 3-square-mile locality known as East Garden City falls within the Uniondale Library District and the Uniondale School District. It has the same zip code as Garden City. But what concerns Uniondale residents most is that East Garden City became its own census designated place (CDP) in the 2000 count—a development that, some worry, could lead to the area being incorporated, and that, they fear, could mean its usurping Uniondale’s biggest tax revenue generators.“The Uniondale School District relies on the entire tax base of Uniondale, and the possibility that part of that tax base will be taken away has worrisome implications,” said William Lloyd, superintendent of the Uniondale School District, which the state has classified as a high-needs district.An “East Garden City” sign on Stewart Avenue was removed amid the growing debate. The Uniondale Fire Department has also been installing “Welcome to Uniondale” signs around the disputed area. With such contradictory signage, Uniondale’s suspicions seem justified.“There is no plan afoot to rename the coliseum area,” Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray told skeptical Uniondale residents when they urged the town board to pass a resolution codifying that East Garden City does not exist. At the town’s April 14 meeting, the board passed a resolution urging the Census Bureau to nix East Garden City. She later said the board plans to delete mentions of East Garden City from all town documents.“The community of Uniondale has been treated like a hockey puck and we’re tired of it,” said Jeannine Maynard of GUAAC, an umbrella group of civic associations that are leading the charge to abolish East Garden City.Anti-East Garden City protestors cheer as the Uniondale Fire Department rolls up at Hempstead Town Hall on March 10, 2015 (Long Island Press).CENSUS-TAKING BLUESThe former Nassau County district attorney who was elected last year to represent the disputed domain in Congress has urged Census officials to remove East Garden City from the 2020 count.“We do not know how or why it was decided that this area, which has historically been part of the Uniondale community, should become its own census-designated place under a different name,” U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) wrote in a letter to the Census Bureau’s New York Regional Director, Jeff Behler.Census officials said that East Garden City became a CDP based on information provided by local planning offices and elected officials, adding that the boundary of Uniondale has not changed “since at least 1990.” The agency noted that CDPs are only used for counting populations, so their borders aren’t legally binding.“To change the boundaries of Uniondale and East Garden City, the Census Bureau would need to receive notification from Nassau County, the partner who originally delineated the geography for this area,” Vince Oiser, chief of the Geographic Standards Criteria Branch, said in a statement. “The Census Bureau will work with local officials to accommodate a change if requested.”When asked who specifically on the local level the Census worked with, the bureau directed the Press to Robert Brickman in the Nassau County Planning Department. When Brickman was asked to comment, Sean Sallie, a senior planner in the agency, told the Press that the county has no role in the designation, and he doesn’t know who the Census spoke with, but he sympathized with Uniondale’s concerns.“Whether you dissolve the [East Garden City] CDP into Uniondale, it doesn’t necessarily cause a reapportionment,” he said. “We can understand if you’re living in Uniondale, on top of your mind is what is the impact on the property tax base.”Sallie noted that if the East Garden City CDP debuted in the 2000 census, it would predate current staffers in his department. It would also predate the new residential developments in East Garden City—Avalon at Garden City, Meadowbrook Pointe and Archstone Meadowbrook Crossing apartments. For such a change to occur in time for the 2000 census, the request would date back to the administration of former Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta, the Republican who nearly bankrupted the county.To address Uniondale’s concerns, Congresswoman Rice met last week with Census officials, civic leaders, Nassau County and Hempstead town officials and others. She announced afterward that Census officials agreed to the request to repeal “East Garden City” as a CDP. The Nassau County Planning Commission said it will follow Hempstead Town’s lead in passing a resolution formally requesting the Census to dissolve the East Garden City CDP.“We know there’s no such thing as ‘East Garden City,’” Rice said. “It’s Uniondale, and calling it by any other name will only divide a community that should remain whole.”The hard part now is spreading the word, civic leaders said.“We’re calling upon media outlets, government agencies, businesses and developers and realtors to consistently use the name Uniondale when referring to” the area known as East Garden City, said GUAAC’s Maynard during a news conference following the meeting with Census officials.HAZE OVER GARDEN CITYUniondale isn’t the only place that’s anti-East Garden City. The Village of Garden City has historically opposed the unincorporated area using a knockoff of its name without homeowners and businesses located there paying village taxes.The village took their gripe to a different federal agency: The U.S. Postal Service. That’s because when letter carriers started using zip codes in 1963, Garden City didn’t get its own. To this day, it shares its 11530 designation with the Village of Stewart Manor, the unincorporated hamlet of Garden City South and East Garden City, which isn’t an uncommon situation.“Because ZIP Codes are based on the location of delivery post offices, they often do not correspond to political jurisdiction boundaries,” said Maureen Marion, a spokeswoman for the postal service. “This means millions of Americans receive their mail delivery from post offices that are located in adjacent towns, villages or cities.”Seventeen years ago, the village had asked the postal service’s ZIP Code Boundary Review committee to consider changing the code to better distinguish Garden City from East Garden City, but the committee denied the request. Applicants can try again once a decade, but the village hasn’t bothered, according to the postal service.“Garden City is America’s first planned community,” Bertram Donley, then-vice president of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce told Newsday in 1998. “It’s sort of like a brand name, and you have people ripping off that brand name.”The current leadership of that business group referred a request for comment to the village administration, which did not return calls.“Is it not absurd that this immense area east of Garden City is paying taxes supporting other places and other schools but still have a Garden City address?!” wrote John Ellis Kordes, the former Garden City village historian, in the Garden City News three years ago.ZIP code changes are most likely to occur when a community has a growth spurt, but the community identity argument is often dismissed, said Marion, the postal service spokeswoman.“It’s not necessarily the easiest thing,” she said.And so, the post office at Roosevelt Field Mall—which used a Mineola address when it was an air field, notes North Hempstead Town Historian Howard Kroplick—remains billed as Garden City, despite its location just east of the village line. Garden City Bowl and Avalon Bay remain open for business and rentals. And a “Welcome to Uniondale” sign sits at the corner of Quentin Roosevelt Boulevard and Commercial Avenue—50 feet from an office building called the Garden City Center.The inset shows the “Welcome to Uniondale” sign directly in front of the Garden City Center, an office building in the area that the Census called East Garden City (Long Island Press).BLURRED LINESStudies terming LI among the most racially segregated suburbs nationwide often cite the line dividing neighboring villages of Hempstead and Garden City—the former black and working-class, the latter wealthy and white.Evidence of this division has been proven in court. In December 2013, a federal judge ruled that Garden City village officials violated the federal Fair Housing Act by approving a zoning ordinance that nixed a planned affordable housing complex, effectively discriminating against would-be minority residents. Garden City’s appeal of the decision is pending.“In Garden City, like too many other cities in New York, working families of color are unfairly excluded from finding a safe and affordable place to live,” said Ismene Speliotis, executive director of the nonprofit Mutual Housing Association of New York, at the time. “It’s sad that, in Garden City, it’s taken a years-long legal battle to force them to stop.”Hempstead’s border with Garden City is a more stark black-and-white separation, but Uniondale’s border with East Garden City is blurrier, since both areas are unincorporated hamlets. Of the more than 6,200 residents in East Garden City, 67 percent are white while nearly 90 percent of Uniondale’s nearly 25,000 residents are minorities, according to the Long Island Index, a non-profit research group funded by the Rauch Foundation.Hempstead and Uniondale share a border as well, and together with Roosevelt and Freeport, they form a “Corridor of Color” though south-central Nassau, as community leaders have come to describe it. Hempstead-based civil rights attorney Frederick Brewington, a co-convener of The Corridor Counts, an advocacy group that represents the area, notes that the fact that Uniondale is unincorporated made it easy to surreptitiously rename about half the community.“Simply because Uniondale doesn’t have its own government, a village government, people thought that they were easy pickings,” Brewington says.PROMISED LANDThe issue of what to call the area where East Garden City and Uniondale intersect dates to at least 1961, when the Mitchel Air Force Base was decommissioned and the county subdivided the parcel into NCC, Hofstra University, the Nassau Coliseum and nearby office complexes.When NCC acquired its campus in 1962, it used a Garden City address, but when the coliseum opened across the street a decade later in ’72, the arena was listed as being in Uniondale. The southwest corner of the former military base went to Hofstra University, which lists its address as Hempstead, since the college was founded within its village boundaries.Interestingly, Hofstra noted on its website that parts of the campus fall within Hempstead, Uniondale and East Garden City. When asked to clarify the geography, Karla Schuster, a Hofstra spokeswoman, said the website was wrong. The area south of Front Street and west of California Avenue are Hempstead and “everything else on campus is in Uniondale,” Schuster said.During the March rally at Hempstead Town Hall, some longtime residents told the board that the boundaries of Uniondale extend as far north as Old Country Road, adjoining Westbury village’s southern border.“It’s just unbelievable that the town could be cut in half the way it has,” said Marie Catanese, an 89-year-old Uniondale resident who has lived in the community since 1955 and been defending its border since the 1970s as co-founding president of Uniondale Neighbors In Total Effort (UNITE).Kordes, a former Garden City village historian, has a different assessment about what to call East Garden City—and how far back the debate goes. He suggests that it originated in 1869, when wealthy entrepreneur Alexander Stewart bought 4,000 acres of the Hempstead Plains for $400,000 and founded Garden City village there that year.“Uniondale predates Garden City as a settlement, however, you can’t call [East Garden City] Uniondale because it was part of the original Stewart purchase of the Hempstead Plains and never part of Uniondale (although it is within the Uniondale School District),” he wrote. “You could rename the area Meadow Brook, N.Y., as that is an historically correct name for that area but renaming it would be difficult at this time.”A historian on the Uniondale side of the debate suggests that Uniondale’s claim to the East Garden City area predates even the Stewart purchase.“The oldest of the Uniondale boundary lines are those established back in 1813 which make up the Uniondale School District,” William Rowe wrote in The Uniondale Story, published in 1963. “The school district lines go as far north as Old Country Road.”But he also conceded that the Uniondale lines are open to interpretation.“As an unincorporated area…Uniondale has no exact boundary lines except for those which are set up for specific purposes,” he wrote, citing the school district and fire district borders as examples.COLISEUM TOWNUniondale activists publicly launched their fight just as the county and town started finalizing plans to renovate Nassau Coliseum, which falls within the East Garden City CDP but has a Uniondale address.When Nassau County lawmakers and Hempstead town council members voted on measures advancing the plans in recent weeks, the advocates showed up in force to urge Forrest City Ratner, the coliseum’s incoming operator, to invest in Uniondale. The change in the arena’s operators comes as its anchor tenant, the New York Islanders, moves to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn following years of stalled plans to renovate the facility at the Hub.“We are demanding economic justice and corporate responsibility,” Pearl Jacobs, co-chair of the Nostrand Gardens Civic Association, told Nassau legislators in April. “As the host community, Uniondale will bear the brunt…of redevelopment. Uniondale and its adjacent communities should receive a community benefit agreement [CBA] to offset the inconvenience.”Advocates argued that since Forest City Ratner signed a CBA with Brooklyn when it built the Barclays Center, Uniondale should get the same treatment when the developer renovates the coliseum. Ashley Cotton, a spokeswoman for the developer, countered that it’s not a fair comparison.“It is an entirely different scope in terms of scale and substance,” she said of the 28-acre, $4-billion Barclays project, which had a residential component. She noted that the company has committed to hire locally and offer discounted tickets to local groups once the renovated coliseum reopens.Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), who represents Uniondale, pushed for more, including investments in the community center, cleaning up vacant homes and providing other upgrades.“Whatever you want to call it, this community is absent an agreement that offers them something in exchange for being the host community for the coliseum,” he said.And if all goes as planned, Uniondale will play host to a lot more than just the coliseum. After County Executive Ed Mangano announced during his state of the county address that two new Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute facilities are planned for the coliseum site, GUAAC launched a letter-writing campaign to ensure that the new medical center calls its planned location Uniondale and not East Garden City.But, regardless of what it’s called, those tasked with protecting the disputed area are going to continue responding to 911 calls for help no matter whether those on the other end of the line believe they’re in Uniondale or in East Garden City.“Our trucks say Uniondale, and the men and women in our department risk their lives every day for the Uniondale community,” said Uniondale Fire Commissioner Richard Harris. “It’s troubling to me that part of our community has been taken away from us.”
1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Brookfield, Wis.-based fintech giant Fiserv, Inc., ranked in the Fortune 500, which lists the largest U.S.-based companies by total revenue.“We are proud to be honored with this distinction, which is a reflection of the innovation and expertise of our 22,000 associates worldwide who deliver unique value to our clients, many of which are on this prestigious list,” Fiserv President/CEO Jeffery Yabuki said. continue reading »