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Lace Up The Skates, The Ice Is Fine

Local skaters celebrate

National Skating Month

While each family celebrates the new year in their own way, skating enthusiasts and members of United States Figure Skating (USFS) have their own tradition: kicking off the year with a National Skating Month event at their local rink.

Throughout January, skating clubs across the country celebrate the sport by hosting a myriad of skating-themed activities to create a fun-filled afternoon, or in this case, morning. On Sunday, January 13th, Great Neck Figure Skating Club (GNFSC) kept over 120 skaters and their families entertained during two hours of festivities.

USFS is thrilled with the success of this initiation, saying 2013 is the largest participation in National Skating Month they’ve ever had.

“I couldn’t be happier with how our clubs, Basic Skills Programs and rinks across the country have embraced this golden opportunity to promote ice skating, inviting families in their communities to give skating a try,” Susi Wehrli-McLaughlin, Senior Director of Membership at USFS, told me.

One of the highlights for many children at GNFSC’s event was receiving a gift bag upon arrival, which included, among other things, a decorative towel to clean  their  skating blades and Snowplow Sam souvenirs.

Starting at 7:45 a.m., coaches Farah Gholamazad and Celeste Estrada led an on-ice skills class followed by a free skating session, with skaters of all levels gliding and dancing on the ice to popular tunes streamed through the speaker system. A bagel breakfast and hot chocolate was especially popular during breaks.

Last year, my sister Emily (2006 Olympian in Figure Skating) and I went to Albany, and skated on an outdoor rink at one of the National Skating Month events. Other National Skating Month events I’ve participated in over the years include ones in Atlantic City, Chicago, Sugarland. Tx., and New York City.

However, this was the first one I’ve been to where synchronized skating teams performed in an exhibition. “Team Image” and two teams representing the “Skyliners” dazzled the audience with their footwork, turns and moves done with great precision. The pre-juvenile “Skyliners” team entertained the audience with their Elvis Presley medley, fittingly dressed in matching white and gold dresses.

Following their numbers, I skated to “What I Did For Love,” from A Chorus Line.

One of the things that made this event special for me was being able to share it with my young nieces, who skate recreationally. “I really liked it,” Natalie Parker, 8, said. “It was so much fun. I loved the raffle and the freestyle skating. It was the best thing in the world!”

Alexandra Parker, also 8, agreed. “I just loved it,” she said. “It was great. If I could, I would’ve stayed at the rink for the rest of the week!”

A big thank you to Parkwood Pro Shop owner Phil Zhukovin for donating raffle items and to GNFSC President Cindy Zubli, Andy Rimar and Gigi Politoski for making this event a great success.

All portions of the morning were provided free by the Great Neck Figure Skating Club at the Parkwood Sports Complex on Arrandale Avenue.

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

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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