Following the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a full-scale assessment of Long Island’s utility resources and management is still in progress. According to officials at Nassau-Suffolk Water Commissioners Association (NSWCA), lack of adequate preparation and leadership caused failures in nearly every major utility from power to gas to communications, there were no failures or interruption of service among Long Island’s 21 commissioner-run water districts, including South Farmingdale Water District.
At a recent NSWCA meeting held in Hicksville, NSCWA President Robert McEvoy commented, “I’m proud to announce that we (locally run water districts) were the only major utility on Long Island that did not fail to service during Superstorm Sandy.”
After serving in the New York State Assembly for six years, the 17th Assembly District will shift drastically beginning next year. Whereas the district previously went from the western Nassau border to East Meadow, it now extends from East Meadow to the eastern border of Nassau, including a huge portion of Farmingdale. Tom McKevitt has represented the district since early in 2006 and will continue to do so with the new boundaries. So what has impressed him within the new district?
“Farmingdale Library is an incredible facility and I hope to do many events there in the future,” said McKevitt.
This year marked the 71st anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The American Airpower Museum in East Farmingdale presented its annual Dropping of the Roses ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7, honoring five Pearl Harbor survivors present for the ceremonial blessing of the roses. Hundreds attended to pay honor and respect to those who perished and those who fought.
This year, Richard Abeles, USS Dale; Gerard Barbosa, USS Raleigh; Bernard Berner, Schofield Barracks; Seymour Blutt, Hickam Field; and Michael Montelione, Schofield Barracks were the guests of honor. Remaining survivors on Long Island, like Frank Castronovo, of Elmont, were unable to attend, due to health issues.
Hiram Cowhey, a second-grader at Northside Elementary School in Farmingdale was selected to perform on Sunday, Dec. 16, as part of the Olympic Ice Show’s Holiday Dreams On Ice cast. The show was held at Cantiague Park in Hicksville.
“It was awesome skating with all the big girls,” Cowhey told the Farmingdale Observer afterward. “And Ross Miner knew how to spell my name.” He has been ice-skating and taking lessons in Bethpage for more than two years. His mother, Shivonne said, “We like him [Hiram] skating in these events so he gets to see the progression within the sport, and the more advanced skills and routines; we also enjoyed watching the show.”
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.”
The Farmingdale School District music department was recently selected as the recipient of the highly prestigious New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Presidential Citation Award, the highest honor recognizing school districts with comprehensive and exemplary music programs. NYSSMA grants this award to districts that are models for music education. Each year, NYSSMA is permitted to select a maximum of two districts from the entire state as recipients of the Presidential Citation Award.
“The Farmingdale School District continues to provide the highest quality academic and extracurricular programs possible in order for our students to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said Farmingdale School District Superintendent John Lorentz. “Earning the highest ranking from NYSSMA is a testament to the outstanding work of our music teachers and students. It is an honor to have NYSSMA recognize the accomplishments of the district’s music program.”
With all the time lost due to Hurricane Sandy, it was inevitable; members of the Farmingdale Board of Education took the superintendent’s recommendation to hold classes on what would have been the balance of winter recess, Feb. 19-22. The decision was made at the recent board meeting held on Dec. 5.
This will allow the district to keep intact the state-mandated 180 days of instruction. This is key because any district that falls under that number loses state aid, in this case, $100,000 a day. This will also allow the district to keep one snow day aside should the need arise in the coming months.
This journey I have embarked upon started Jan. 29, 2000. My father’s journey began on April 3, 1943, his first day in the U.S. Army.
In his service diary he wrote, “Last day in civilian life, will never forget that day for the rest of my life.” I wonder what he was thinking as he left his family and sweetheart, my mother. His name is John G. DiBartolo and he was only 19 years old.
I was only too happy to make a donation for the building of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I wanted to honor my dad by registering his name; I did not want him to be left out. After doing so, I became more and more curious about exactly where he was and what battles he fought in while in Europe. So I decided to try and find out but had no idea at the time all the research I was facing. I don’t think my dad knew exactly what he was in for when he was drafted. So now I began to take the same journey he took some 57 years ago.
With 40,000 thousand members worldwide, and 18,000 thousand members just in New York alone, the Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization , that participates in an immeasurable ense amount of charitiescharity, a, as well as raising e money to help organizations, as well as helpingand its members who are in need. This year marks the 148th anniversary of the organization.
The Knights of Pythias was founded in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 19, 1864. Members worldwide are involved in their community. Along with being an international fraternity, it is one based on charity, principle, friendship, and benevolence. The Knights are dedicated to universal peace.
Editor’s note: The following is an essay submitted by Andrew Keen about his father Constantine Keen. This is part of a series of essays, which were submitted by our readership for the Anton Newspapers Military Heroes Essay Contest with the American Airpower Museum of East Farmingdale and The Collings Foundation. Essay winners recently flew in historic aircraft stationed at the American Airpower Museum.
My dad, Constantine (Gus) Keen, was a young teenager sitting in a theatre with a bunch of his buddies when the movie was interrupted by the announcement that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. He and his friends, who were all underage to enlist, decided that they’d forge their birth certificates and join the service.
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