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J-Birds Compete In Robotics Challenge

The Hicksville High School robotics team,”J-Birds”, got to show off weeks of hard work recently at the regional robotics competition at Hofstra University. The J-Birds competed against both local and national teams in the “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”—or FIRST—regional robotics competition, placing 32 out of 50 teams.  

The hard-working troop worked together to complete their robot within the six week timeframe provided, and brainstormed the best possible robot to build within the allowed time.

The teams played a game called Aerial Assist. The game is played by two competing alliances of three robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ foot field. The objective was to score as many goals as possible during the 2 minute match. The more an alliance gets the ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points they received.

Working together was a key role of competing in the regional game. Not only did the students earn points for working together, they showed fellowship with members of other teams. If any student needed a mechanical part, they would announce it over the speakers, and members from other teams would give their spare part to them.

Each student put effort into the large project, and the team agreed that’s what made making a robot from scratch fun and worth the labor.

The team was made up of Matthew Colasanti, Michelle Carlamustro, Peter Bell, Steven Metri, Danny Sloan, Ryan Noetzel, Nick Maineri, Catherine Temps, Tom Altamura, Armen Arsenian, Anish Kurmar, Shiv Chopra, Bryant Grey-Stewart, Amatullah Fatehi, Christina Claus, Resala Samadi, Ron Penkar, Tim Tietjan, Nitya Mulani, Kieran Murray, Steven Morea, Mathew Chhabra, Lorelie Hess and Tiffany Toledo.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



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