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Tradition Triumphs Over Sandy

Garden City’s 58th Annual Village Tree Lighting goes off without a hitch

Garden City’s Chamber of Commerce presentation of the annual Village Tree Lighting was certainly the place to be for residents and Garden City supporters this past Sunday. Sponsored by Astoria Federal Savings, its staff was there to give out candy canes and small treats. This was the bank’s 18th year supporting the holiday festival, in cooperation with the Recreation and Parks Department and Garden City Fire Department. As in past years, this village tree lighting allowed friends and families to come together and enjoy the essence of Christmas and togetherness.

The village gazebo came alive with lights, music, and happy spirits awaiting the arrival of Santa and the flick of the switch to illuminate the tree at the holiday festival. Music was provided by The Five Stone band, which played classic rock and alternative Christmas songs. Garden City High School’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble also performed unique renditions of many Xmas classics directed by Stephen Mayo. Enthusiastic residents of all ages who came to enjoy the afternoon with family members and even pets sat in lawn chairs scattered throughout the village green. Mary Spadaro has been a Garden City resident for more than 47 years, and has always attended and looked forward to this holiday celebration.

“This event is very family oriented,” said Spadaro. “The Garden City community is very close, and has a celebration for almost every holiday.”

As the day went on, the crowd grew, as legions of eager and excited children and parents waited for Santa Claus to show up on his traditional red fire truck to assist Mayor Brudie with the big moment. Kingsley Bear, Kings Supermarket mascot, was also in attendance, socializing and taking photos with attendees.

Hot chocolate and munchkins were generously given out by the Garden City Volunteer Fire Department to the public, along with holiday cookies from Bagelman, Riesterer’s Bake Shop, Kings Super Markets, Dunkin’ Donuts, My Three Sons Bagel Cafe, and Key Food Marketplace.

Director John Wilton, senior marketing director for Garden City Properties, Inc./GC Commercial, expressed his appreciation over the event being a continued success this year despite damaged areas in and around town. He also stated that the annual tree lighting is an important and traditional part of Garden City history.

Mayor Donald T. Brudie spoke before the tree was lit, thanking all the supporters and residents and expressed the gratefulness he feels that Garden City had the luxury of returning to a post-Hurricane Sandy regularity that not all surrounding towns have. The mayor continued to enjoy the afternoon, mingling among the crowd.

Santa Claus easily took the spotlight, putting a majority of the children in a frenzy of smiles and awe upon his arrival. After addressing the crowd to wish all a Merry Christmas, Santa hung around to talk to his many lively fans to answer questions and listen to children’s claims that they have certainly been good, making for a successful afternoon of holiday joy.

News

Preparedness is the best remedy for Ebola

Winthrop University Hospital hosted a presentation on the current Ebola epidemic, at the Garden City Library, on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Sponsored by the village’s Property Owners’ Associations, John F. Collins, president and CEO of Winthrop University Hospital and Dr. Michael Ammazzalorso, Winthrop’s Chief Medical Officer provided an overview of the disease along with an update on Winthrop’s preparedness plan.

Dr. Ammazzalorso began his presentation heeding that despite the waning in the press, the disease is still with us. He provided both historical and current day perspectives regarding the epidemic, advising that Ebola is not a new disease. The medical community has been aware of the disease for at least 40 years. Originating in the Congo, Ebola is a zoonosis a disease which has its reservoir in animals and was known for small sporadic outbreaks associated with people who handled bats and rodents or those who consumed bush meat. The current outbreak originated in West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. He noted in Africa that more than 45,000 people have died from the disease.

Multiple options help village avoid problems

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, it’s not necessarily the case for Garden City residents, who have five departure points to choose from. The stations—Nassau Boulevard, Garden City, Stewart Manor, Country Life Press and the south side of Merillon Avenue—provide a grand total of 866 spots. (See page 13 sidebar for lot-by-lot breakdown). It’s a luxury many municipalities don’t have, particularly during the holidays. Annual permits run $150 for residents and $300 for non-residents and while people who call Garden City can use any of these five stations, non-residents are restricted to using the 70 spots allocated for their use over at the Stewart Manor station.

LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town.


Sports

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes begin the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, please visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave. Space is limited so please register early.


Calendar

Sultans of String to play

Friday, November 21

Garden City Chamber Music Society Performance

Sunday, November 23

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 24



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