Continuing a holiday tradition that is nearly two decades old, officials from Stewart Manor and Floral Park once again pooled their resources and enthusiasm to illuminate Covert Avenue. On Saturday, Dec. 1, residents gathered on the corner of Covert and Chester Avenues for the annual tree lighting.
When former Police Commissioner Ernie Cipullo filed his retirement papers on May 31, it served as a bookend to a 51-year stint serving the Village of Garden City. These kinds of transitions from a well-established regime could have sent a ripple of concern throughout the community were it not for the fact that Cipullo’s friend, Kenneth Jackson was his successor. Trustee John Watras, the Village board of trustees liaison to the police department, reiterated this point while saying a few words prior to Jackson being officially sworn in by Mayor Don Brudie. “There are probably not enough kind words to say about [Jackson’s] attributes and [achievements],” Watras proudly stated. “We are so proud of you and your accomplishments. [You were] a great protégé of Ernie Cipullo.”
And while Jackson has subsequently served as Interim Commissioner, he officially dropped the interim tag when the Ronkonkoma resident was officially sworn in at the village trustees meeting on Thursday, Dec. 6. Jackson took the oath of office as administered by the mayor as two rows of village police officers lined up against the wall sporting white gloves and resplendent in their dress blues watched on with pride. Also attending was Jackson’s wife Laurie and their three children.
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.
Fresh off defeating the Wantagh Warriors for the Nassau County Conference II Championship, the Garden City Trojans won Island-wide bragging rights by overcoming Riverhead High School’s Blue Waves on Saturday, Dec. 1. With Riverhead’s only hopes lying on a defensive stand on third-and-four with zero timeouts remaining, Garden City’s QB Brett Stewart took the snap and scampered to the left, shoulder charging a defender to narrowly gain the first down. The clutch run from the junior QB effectively ended the game as the Trojans of Garden City were able to run out the clock to the 29-16 victory to win their first Long Island Championship since 2009.
The Trojan defense— led by Scott D’Antonio—played a phenomenal second half, shutting out the powerful Riverhead offense, with RB Jeremiah Cheatom leading the charge as he rushed for 224 yards on the day—only 26 of which came in the second half.
The 35th Annual Garden City Turkey Trot, Long Island’s largest Thanksgiving day road race, had yet another record turnout this year and attracted well over 5,500 runners.
Once again the weather was glorious and sunny on Thanksgiving morning as runners from all over Long Island and beyond came to Garden City to run in the Turkey Trot.
With the season hanging in the balance, a raucous crowd on both sides and Wantagh attempting to score after converting a crucial third down, Spencer Bais made an incredible grab for an interception to seal the 21-17 win for the Garden City Trojans.
“He’s a great athlete,” said Head Coach Tom Flatley regarding Bais. “He’s a first-year player, he has always played basketball, but it was huge play for him to catch that ball.”
The owner who decided to move the New York Islanders off Long Island once its lease expires in June 2015 may play a role in filling the potential void left by the teams’ departure. County Executive Edward P. Mangano, developer Bruce Ratner, Isles owner Charles Wang and Don Monti of Renaissance Downtown think they have a plan in place to solve the developmental conundrum that is the Hub, which includes Nassau Coliseum.
The group announced a strategic “Reuse Plan” on Tuesday, Nov. 20 that reportedly will transform the Coliseum within the first half of 2013. Others have tried and failed where Ratner is venturing and the 77-acre site in Uniondale could become barren in three years once Wang departs for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
On Nov. 8 at approximately 8 p.m., Garden City police officers responded to a report of burglary at a Chelsea Road residence in Garden City. An investigation at the scene revealed that the resident returned home and observed a subject in his kitchen. The resident retreated into his driveway and the subject fled the scene.
Later that evening at approximately 12:25 a.m., Garden City police officers responded to a report of an occupied burglary at a 3rd Street residence in Garden City. Police said an investigation at the scene revealed that an occupied home invasion had occurred and that the subject had discharged two shots from a firearm, prior to forcing the occupants into a basement boiler room. The subject removed property from the victims, including a set of car keys and then left the scene in the homeowner’s vehicle, according to police.
The Garden City Board of Education met with parents and teachers on Tuesday, Nov. 13, to discuss Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the school calendar.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen shared some of the problems the school district encountered in resuming classes, pointing out that the district’s main concern was student safety. One struggle included communicating with parents or making an alternate plan when all streams of communication, such as phone, email, and the Internet, were down or inaccessible. Feirsen said that even if the power had been restored, getting students to and from school safely would have been an issue as many roads were blocked with fallen trees and streetlights were not working, making intersections unsafe.
One by one, Stewart Manor residents began to emerge from their powerless homes on Tuesday, Oct. 30, to assess the damage brought on by Hurricane Sandy. Dodging downed trees, utility poles and power lines, neighbors gathered in clusters throughout the village with dazed looks on their faces. The overall mood, however, was positive. Residents were relieved, knowing it could have been worse, and were at the ready to help one another.
“I just showed [my neighbor across the street] how to light her stovetop so she could perk coffee,” said an Elton Road resident. Appreciating the simple, everyday things helped local residents maintain perspective as news reports of complete devastation of towns like Long Beach rolled in.
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