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Farmingdale District Respond To Connecticut Shootings

Local officials, parents address safety concerns

News of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, CT, struck fear in parents around the world. Although 90 miles away from the tragedy, local schools, including those in the Farmingdale School District, checked and rechecked their safety procedures and policies. 

Superintendent of Farmingdale Schools, John Lorentz said, “In the wake of this heartbreaking event, district administrators and staff have reviewed all safety and security measures to assure the community that our students and staff are safe in our schools.”

Lorentz assured that students’ safety is always top priority within the school district. “Through extensive training and a series of drills, which include fire drills, secure perimeter drills, shelter drills and lock-down drills, our staff is prepared to protect our students and assist them to safety in the event of an emergency.”

Jackie Costello, whose daughters attend Northside Elementary and Howitt Middle School, is now trying to respond best to their questions and concerns. “I had no idea what to say [at first] and they didn’t ask; I am going to have to talk to them.” She said other parents and neighbors were trying to keep it very simple, not saying too much to their own children. “They are all going to come home and ask questions today; they are going to want to know if they are safe,” Costello continued. She expects that someone will be talking about it at school in the days following. “It’s senseless for them to not feel safe, but how much should I say?” Naturally, she said it was much easier to have already discussed it with her son, who is 18 and attends Oneonta State College. 

Assemblyman Joseph Saladino told Farmingdale Observer, “From this tragedy, I hope that my colleagues and I will bring the appropriate changes to state government to better protect our children and the public at large. Among other issues, New York needs to do a better job providing mental health care and seeing to it that insurance more fully covers all treatments for behavioral health. This a time when we need to count our blessings for the health and safety of our children.”

Superintendent Lorentz also confirmed that the Farmingdale School District holds regular safety committee meetings, which include representatives from Nassau County police and Farmingdale fire departments. In addition, he said, “Our school psychologists, counselors and social workers are available to speak with our students to offer support during this emotional time. 

In addition to parents looking for reassurance from their own school district, they also look toward local officials for proactive measures and policies. Senator Kemp Hannon voiced his commitment to “taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure the protection of our school children, and all school faculty, staff and employees, and to curtail gun violence.”

Mental illness is another area of focus, said Hannon. “I stand with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor to seek answers and remedies so that a tragedy like Newtown, CT, is never repeated.”

Assemblyman David McDonough told Farmingdale Observer, “While New York State has some strong gun laws, we call upon the federal government to react to this by passing legislation to make it much more difficult for people to obtain assault weapons that have been used in these incidents we have seen too much of in the recent past.” 

By the end of the school day on Monday, Dec. 17 the Farmingdale School District had aggressively reached out to the parents with safety and procedural information, both sent home with the students and posted on the district’s website. The letter to parents and residents can be found at http://farmingdaleschools.org/.

News

Bring your four-legged friends—in costume if they’d like—to roam Old Westbury Gardens during ‘Dog Days.’ Twice a year canines are welcome to accompany their (leashed) humans around the grounds of the mansion, and this is Fido’s last shot until spring. On Sunday, enjoy exhibits from rescue groups and animal welfare organizations from 1 to 4 p.m. A dog costume contest and parade takes place at 3 p.m. All activities included with admission: $8, $5 for seniors and $3 for children ages 7 to 17. At 71 Old Westbury Rd., Westbury, Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: 516-333-0048.


Mentorship is one of those goals rotary clubs strive for, particularly when it comes to grooming future community business leaders. Nowhere was this more important than when the most recent Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary meeting’s guests were Stanley Pelech, director of Integrated Academic and Technical studies and Jodi Haniquet, advisor of the Farmingdale High School (FHS) Interact club. Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people. The Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary is the sponsor of the 75-plus student strong high school club. Advisor Jodi Haniquet reported to Rotary club members what  fundraising events the Interact Club will participate in for the 2015 school year. The service group will once again team with FHS student government in a food drive – donations collected for Island Harvest pantries. They will also participate in Ronald McDonald house dinner program – cooking and serving meals on the premises in New Hyde Park for the many families staying at the residence while their seriously ill children receive treatment at nearby hospitals.


Sports

The Farmingdale State College Women’s Volleyball team earned a three-set victory of York in a non-conference match on Oct. 8. 

 

Tied 4-4 in the opening set, Farmingdale State freshman defensive specialist Gina Giacalone served for 14 consecutive points to extend the advantage 18-4. The Rams cruised to a 25-8 victory in the first set. 

Farmingdale team wins annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Race

On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Farmingdale-based Runner’s Edge team earned first place overall in the 29th annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Relay. The team, representing the Runner’s Edge running and multisport specialty store located at 242 Main St. in Farmingdale, consisted of Boyd Carrington, Andrew Coelho, Nick Pampena, Tim Lee, Shawn Anderson, Ryan Healy, Kevin Galante, and Brandon Abasolo. It completed the 50-mile course from Jones Beach State Park to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 58 seconds. The runners won by a margin of more than 10 minutes over the runner-up team from the Sayville & Smithtown Running Company, with much of the difference supplied by the strong Leg 2 performance by Andrew Coelho. Runner’s Edge Teams also took second place honors in the Mixed Open and Men’s Masters Divisions of the Relay. The Relay was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union (“Built to Give You More”), with new Race Directors Glen Wolther and Keith Montgomery managing the event for the host Greater Long Island Running Club.


Calendar

Women's Club of Farmingdale - October 16

Board of Trustees Work Session - October 20

Jack O'Lantern Extravaganza - November 2


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com