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Local Author's Book Debut

What’s in your couch cushions? Spare change? Forgotten toys? The other matching sock? What if the things you found deep down within the couch had the power to change the course of history? That’s the fantastical idea behind Bethpage resident, Henry Clark’s debut young adult novel, What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World.

The book centers on three 12-year-old children who find a discarded sofa on the side of the road near their bus stop. As they begin to search between the cushions, they find a zucchini colored crayon, a double six domino, a mysterious coin, and a fishhook. These seemingly commonplace items soon thrust the friends into an adventure as they try to thwart an evil mastermind’s plan to conquer the world.

“It’s the kind of book I enjoyed back when I was 12 years old,” Clark says. “I’ve always liked stories that start in a very normal situation and then totally spin into directions you never expected.”

Clark has always had a penchant for crazy stories. As a young boy growing up in Connecticut and later Bethpage, he loved writing anecdotes of kids having wacky adventures. He was an avid reader and would ride his bicycle around the neighborhood while simultaneously reading books such as The Hardy Boys and Tom Swift.

He stopped writing in middle school, and worked for Old Bethpage Village Restoration as a supervisor for 30 years, writing intermittently for science fiction magazines and MAD magazine. In 2011, he started writing longer manuscripts aimed for adult audiences. However, the eight manuscripts he wrote never garnered any interest from literary agents.

One day, he was driving around in Suffolk County when he saw a sofa sitting on a curb. He had recently read an article about a big coal seam fire in Pennsylvania and began to wonder what would happen if the sofa had been sitting close to the edge of the underground perpetually burning fire. This sparked the idea for his children’s novel.

Clark initially sent the manuscript out to five literary agents and unlike with his adult pieces, got a response for What We Found In The Sofa very quickly.

“No one was interested in the books for adults, but with my first attempt at a children’s book several people got back to me. Obviously I was meant to write for kids,” Clark says.

Clark recently read excerpts from his book at the Barnes and Noble in Carle Place. The 61-year-old author has already written a sequel.

What We Found In The Sofa is available at bookstores and on amazon.com.

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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