For Frank Lazzaro, getting into floral design was an accident, a stroke of luck. What started out as a makeshift Christmas decoration in the Army eventually landed him in the Oval Office at the White House serving as Christmas decorator for three presidents.
The former Floral Park florist served at Fort Bragg, N.C. during the Vietnam War as supervisor of medical supplies in Womack Army Hospital when his boss made a request.
Rotary Club of Floral Park-Bellerose President Shane Parouse was among the 50,304 finishers of this year’s ING New York City Marathon, which was held on Sunday, Nov. 3. Keeping stride with the club’s mission “to serve those in need locally, nationally and internationally,” Parouse ran for charity and raised $4,000.
“One of the great things about the marathon is the amount of goodwill that surrounds it,” Parouse said. “Millions are raised every year by people like me, supported by friends and family and strangers who urge us on throughout the 26.2 miles. It’s really a beautiful event.”
New York classrooms have been reeling from the radical changes introduced with the advanced Common Core Learning Standards mandated by the state last year, in conjunction with regular assessment testing to gauge teacher and school effectiveness in meeting those standards.
Many parents are expressing frustration and anger over the perceived “one size fits all” style of learning where near-constant test preparation has all but replaced a creative, individualized approach to teaching. Classrooms in New York State have become an altogether different beast, and it’s the kids who are suffering, many parents are saying.
The Sewanhaka Central High School District will put up a $99.5 million bond referendum for voter approval on Wednesday, Dec. 4. If approved, all five district high school buildings would see considerable renovations, including technology, security, roofing and athletic field upgrades. Roughly 40 percent of the bond would come from state aid.
District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said the annual tax levy increase across the entire district resulting from the bond will be $144.26 per household with the increase phased in over the next three to four years. According to Ferrie, the school district has never floated a bond before voters.
GiGGo Toys is set to enchant a generation of youngsters with a fresh and smart take on children’s entertainment: that fun and acceptance can go hand-in-hand when it comes to friendship.
GiGGo , a Lake Success-based company, started up on Jan. 3, when it acquired a business representing a toy manufacturer in China. Neither had any previous experience in the toy industry - GiGGo Toys’ CEO Diana Brobmann, of Floral Park Centre, had a career in the licensing industry at the time, and Florence Palomo, the company’s head of public relations and customer service, was employed in the research field.
As a child, Mario Tucci always loved art and painting. With hard-working immigrant parents discouraging him from a career in art, Tucci got an MBA and worked at Hewlett-Packard for 18 years.
After taking an early retirement package WHEN?, the Floral Park resident’s next move was clear.
“I thought ‘screw this, I want to do what I always wanted to do,’” recalled Tucci, now an award-winning painter. “Since then I’ve been painting.”
Tucci, who held an art show at the Floral Park Library on Oct. 7, learned from top talent, including Sean Crosby, Michael Nadai and Pascal Amblard. He learned the techniques of murals and the French Renaissance. Particularly memorable was meeting John Howard Sanden, an American portraitist who spent an hour and a half painting Tucci.
Floral Park Mayor Thomas Tweedy was the keynote speaker at a recent Floral Park Chamber of Commerce meeting at Stella Ristorante, delivering the State of the Village Address. He touched on many topics, including the budget, emergency management operations as the region enters hurricane season, and ongoing construction work along Jericho Turnpike.
“The state of the village continues to be very good,” he said. “We’re now closing on our audit of our last year’s [2012-13] budget. … Frankly we’re happy [to announce we have] a small surplus but certainly within that 2 percent world,” despite the expenses incurred by Superstorm Sandy.
It happens to all of us, sooner or later. You’re enjoying a cool beverage, you place it down, and before you know it, it’s lost in a sea of bottles and you’ve lost track of which is yours. Not wanting to risk downing someone else’s backwash, you’re forced to open yet another fresh bottle.
If only there was a way to keep track of which was yours to begin with... Well, thanks to 21-year Stewart Manor resident Karen Stellato-Sa, there is.
Sean Patrick Sullivan wears $30 linen underwear, $50 socks and a $150 hat. It’s not vanity that makes him dress so expensively. It’s duty. He is, after all, a Sergeant Major in the 52nd New York of the Union Volunteers, and he is fighting to save The Union. Well, not actually fighting, but reenacting the United States’ bloodiest conflict, the American Civil War.
“To be honest it’s more of a passion,” said Sullivan, a 29-year-old Floral Park native, whose full-time job is with National Grid. “To call it a hobby feels wrong.”
Sullivan is part of a reenactor movement that has been around for decades, and with the Civil War in its sesquicentennial, there are as many as 40,000 reenactors nationwide.
On Long Island, at least eight groups exist, with an estimated 400 members overall. Nationally, it is estimated there are as many as 40,000 reenactors. Sullivan is a member of the Union Volunteers, who currently have more than 500 members. They are a Floral Park-based group that he first encountered at a New Hyde Park street fair at age 16. He enlisted soon after.
Despite a large turnout of residents and teachers attending the meeting in protest, the Stewart Manor Board of Trustees voted 3-2 to pass a bill into law on Tuesday, Aug. 6, that will force faculty members of Stewart Manor Elementary School to pay $50 a month for parking privileges.
Stewart Manor Elementary School currently has no parking lot of its own. Previously, teachers parked on the streets surrounding the school and did not have to pay a parking fee. However, under the newly-passed law, 35 parking spaces on Dover Parkway North on the west side of the street have been designated as paid permit spaces for teachers and staff of Stewart Manor Elementary by the village at a cost of $50; this translates to $500 per 10-month school year.