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A Look Back At 2012’s Top Stories

(Part I)

6. The End Of One Era And The Start Of Another – When Commissioner Ernie J. Cipullo filed his retirement papers with the village, he capped off a distinguished 51-year career serving Garden City after reporting for his first day of duty on April 20, 1961. During this time, Cipullo not only received 27 departmental citations as a police officer, but served in a number of high-ranking positions as president and vice-president on numerous professional organizations including the Garden City P.B.A. and the Nassau Police Conference.  His successor is Kenneth Jackson, who the old commissioner personally hired back in 1985 and served as a mentor to since then. The recently-minted commissioner is no slouch himself, having racked up numerous awards and accolades including the New York American Legion Law and Order Award (twice). A smoother transition to one of the community’s more crucial areas couldn’t have been pulled off better.

7. Hannon Wins Lucky 13th Term – Incumbent Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) defeated opponent Ryan Cronin (D) in the race for the 6th Senate District, capturing 52.37 percent of the electorate. In turning back fellow village resident Cronin, a litigator with experience representing victims of financial fraud and a former executive director of the Nassau County Democratic Committee, Hannon will be serving his 13th term overall in the New York State Senate. At a time when health care is one of the more controversial topics being batted around on the national level, Hannon’s return to his post as chairman of New York’s Health Committee assures a level of continuity on the state level when it comes to such a hot-button topic. In addition to Medicaid/Medicare reform, addressing jobs and taxes will be central to Hannon’s subsequent term.

8. Garden City Hotel Owners Check Out – Morris Moinian’s Manhattan-based Fortuna Realty Group purchased the Garden City Hotel from the Nelkin Family, who originally acquired it in 1979, before having it renovated and reopened in 1983 by the late Myron Nelkin. Originally erected in 1874 by Village of Garden City founder Alexander Turney Stewart, the building had gone through four separate incarnations in that time. Donald Trump was rumored to be looking to offer a serious bid for the 272-room hotel that lies on 8.6 acres before Fortuna swooped in to seal the deal. Part of the subsequent transformation was the termination of the hotel’s staff, with more than 90 percent of employees getting rehired according to a statement released by the hotel management.

9. Trojans Capture Fifth Overall Long Island Championship – The athletic program in the Garden City Public School system has always been a source of pride, thanks to the regularity with which its teams win. The Trojans football team continued that trend when they trumped the rival Wantagh Warriors for the Nassau Conference-II County Championship on Sunday, Nov. 25 by a score of 21-17. Coach Tom Flatley’s squad didn’t miss a beat, advancing to play the Riverhead Blue Waves for the 2012 Long Island Championship on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Stony Brook University. The outcome was Garden City coming out on the winning end of a 29-16 score and the capture of Garden City High School’s fifth overall Long Island Championship.

10. Crime Fighting In The Village — Aside from the usual array of misdemeanors the Garden City Police Department had to deal with were two more disturbing cases that the village’s finest had to contend with. What started out as a reported burglary at a Chelsea Road residence on Nov. 8 turned into a multi-jurisdictional task force apprehending Artie Jackson, an alleged felon charged with being behind a spate of home invasion heists. Once Garden City Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson, (no relation), Hempstead Police Chief Michael McGowan and Nassau County Chief of Department Steven Skrynecki met, their task force eventually caught up with Jackson during a Nov. 11 East Garden City home invasion call. Following a car and foot chase, authorities had their man. On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Jackson was arraigned and charged with double-digit counts ranging from first and second degree assault to second degree strangulation and first degree rape.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, Garden City resident Edward Orenchuk III was arrested and charged with multiple felonies for possessing images of child pornography and making those images available to others via the Internet.

According to DA investigators, the 23-year-old man was arrested that morning and charged with three counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child as a sexually motivated felony, and three counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.

Most disturbing was the fact that Orenchuk was a part-time page at the Garden City Public Library and an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop #243 in Garden City. Both the library and the Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts quickly issued statements condemning Orenchuk’s actions while banning him from the former and revoking his membership in the latter.

News

Small businessman finds big success

Anthony DePalma has been manager at Covert Avenue’s Raindew Family Center and Pharmacy for 13 years. Last month, at the 30th Annual Small Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club, DePalma got his much deserved recognition when he was awarded the day’s top honor by the Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce, whose members hail from Stewart Manor and Floral Park.  

“My initial reaction was ‘wow that’s very nice,’ I didn’t realize that it was going to be such a beautiful extravaganza,” said DePalma on winning the award. “They did it very, very well. They had a breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club and everything was done beautifully. It was just done very, very nicely. Very proud.”

School board shows off improvements at Stratford

This month’s Garden City Board of Education meeting saw a boost in attendance, and not just from district residents. This was the first board meeting to be held at Stratford School, so teachers and students there stopped by to show off the best it has to offer.

Leading the pack was school principal Eileen Vota, who gave the board a tour of the school before the meeting got underway. Along the way, highlights of the capital improvement project were pointed out, all a result of the 2009 School Investment Bond and Energy Performance Contract.


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

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.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



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