While many enjoyed a relaxing sabbatical, this holiday season, the Farmingdale Fire Department was hard at work. On Dec. 28, firefighters were called to a blaze at 11 Vernon Street that emerged from inside the basement of the house.
Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Tortoso was the first to arrive. Storming into the first floor of the house, Chief Tortoso secured the building, making sure nobody was trapped inside.
At the scene, Fire Squad 924 Captain Ryan Tortoso led his crew to stretch a hose line to the back of the house, where the bilco doors were left open in order to vent out the smoke.
The nation’s new Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has a provision that could put local fire departments—as well as local governments—at considerable financial risk. Firefighting departments with 50 or more members could be forced to provide health insurance for their volunteer firefighters or else pay substantial fines.
“It would really hurt the volunteer fire departments,” said William F. Murray, president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association of Southern New York.
The health care law has specific insurance requirements for employers with 50 or more employees. While the U.S. Department of Labor terms these firefighters “volunteers,” the Internal Revenue Service classifies volunteer firefighters as employees.
Students returning from their two-week hiatus, will find that the cost of lunch at Farmingdale High School and Howitt Middle School has increased for the first time in nine years. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Farmingdale school district will increase all full priced school lunches by .25 cents. This will not affect the school breakfast program, nor will it affect students who qualify for free or reduced price meals.
“The Farmingdale school district is committed to providing all students with nutritious, well-balanced meals in a welcoming environment while striving to maintain low school lunch prices,” said Assistant Superintendent Paul Defendini, in a letter to parents in the school district.
The votes are in for the 2014 Best of Long Island competition, orchestrated by the Long Island Press and the Bethpage Federal Credit Union, and once again, the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce has taken the title as No. 1.
“We’re extrememly excited,” said Chamber President Beth Mignone, of Mignone and Son Construction Corp. in Farmingdale.
Previously awarded the gold in 2012, the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce was picked by online voters for their dedication to serving the heart of the greater Long Island business community.
For many, getting into the holiday spirit simply means waiting in long lines for a last minute sale, putting up lavish decorations in and around the house, watching a marathon of holiday classics, singing carols around the fireplace, or just enjoying a tall glass of eggnog that you managed to sneak away with, without your Great Aunt noticing.
But, Christmas is really a season of giving… and perhaps nobody knows how to get into the giving spirit better than Karen Feinberg of Bethpage.
Local hardware store owner Thomas Schuman, 45, has pled guilty to falsifying records, after attempting to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars through a rebate program provided by the Long Island Power Authority.
According to officials with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, Schuman—the owner of the Four Star True Value Variety Store on Main Street in downtown Farmingdale—participated in LIPA’s compact fluorescent light (CFL) coupon rebate program, from 2009 to 2011. The program would allow stores to provide discounts on CFLs ranging from 50 cents to $3 per bulb. Buyers would fill out a rebate coupon for the store to submit to LIPA, and LIPA would then reimburse the store.
The end-of-year holiday is the season of giving, when we are infused with the spirit of generosity, empathy for those in need and “good will to all” (not to mention a Dec. 31 tax deadline for deductions).
Unfortunately, this year the peak giving season is shorter than usual. The late Thanksgiving holiday truncated the number of fundraising weekends leading up to Christmas. That’s on top of a challenging macro-economic environment, and it is putting the squeeze
on charities. Some local fundraisers have quietly indicated that they are worried about meeting year-end objectives.
Perhaps no one symbol of the generous spirit of the season is more iconic than the bell ringers of the Salvation Army’s “Red Kettle” brigades. These hardy fundraisers brave winter’s chill outside grocery stores and shops, a reminder to holiday shoppers that charity may begin at home, but it doesn’t end there.
Each year, around Christmas time, members of the Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary Club, Lunch Club, Boyscouts Troop No. 261, and the Interact Club—a high school organization sponsored by the local Rotary—help raise money for the Salvation Army by signing up, in one hour intervals, to ring the bell outside the Stop and Shop on Motor Parkway.
This holiday season, Farmingdale residents will be able to warm up with a hot cup of coffee, or cool off with some ice cream and frozen yogurt, once Charlotte’s yogurt shop opens its doors at 294 Main Street.
The brainchild of brothers Nick and John DeVito, Charlotte’s looks to bring a homey environment to downtown Farmingdale that sets it apart from the bright neon and plastic motif of most other fro-yo chains.
“We wanted something a little bit different,” said Nick DeVito, 51. “We wanted to do our own thing, in our own style.”
Local veterans gathered at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, in remembrance of the 72nd anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor—a day that will forever live in infamy.
Each year, the Long Island Air Force Association commemorates the attack—which launched the U.S. involvement in World War II—by gathering with veterans, elected officials and residents in the community for the “Dropping of the Roses” ceremony.
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