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Town Honors GN Bruins, Hockey League Champions

In what has become a town tradition where residents who have attained an outstanding accomplishment are honored at a Town Hall reception, Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilwoman Anna M. Kaplan and the North Hempstead Town Board last week paid tribute to the Great Neck Bruins Pee Wee and Bantam hockey teams, the 2012 Long Island Amateur Hockey League (LIAHL) Tier A division champions.

“One reason I believe North Hempstead is one of the best places to live in the country is because our town is blessed with extraordinary families and people who unselfishly give of their time to help make our community a better place,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, addressing the two teams and the room full of supporters including coaches, family and friends.  “Your triumph is North Hempstead’s triumph.”

The two teams—the 12-member, 10 to 12-year-old Pee Wee squad and the eight-member, 13 to 15-year-old Bantam team—went 23 and 1, and 13 and 1 respectively for the season.

“It’s a big deal when you take into consideration that many of these kids have to make practice at the crack of dawn while taking care of their academic responsibilities,” said Chris Goodrich, a former Bruins turned coach from Mineola. “They’ve learned through this experience that hard work and perseverance breed success.  It makes me proud.”

Grace Pavlovich, 12, not only made her coach and family proud, but as the only female in the group, she sent the message that girls can thrive in what is essentially a male-dominated sport. Pavlovich, a student at Willets Road School, plays left wing and has been playing since she was 4. “The championship games were the most exciting because we weren’t expecting to win,” she said. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

Town Councilwoman Lee Seeman, whose district encompasses Great Neck Estates and Great Neck Plaza, said she is always encouraged by the extraordinary accomplishments of North Hempstead youngsters such as the Bruins and the dozens of Intel Science competition finalists honored at Town Hall over the years.

“I feel proud that you are the future leaders of our town,” she said.

Newly-elected Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, whose district is made up of Great Neck and Great Neck Gardens, said the teams of Bruins are and example for their peers.

“They have shown that with hard work, you can accomplish most anything,” she said.

News

The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.

To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.

At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.

The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also.  Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.


Sports

The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.

Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”

Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it  paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”

Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.


Calendar

Park District Swim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9

Peter Max Exhibit Presentation

Tuesday, December 10



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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