It was an interesting meeting of the Hicksville Historical Society on Wednesday, May 29, as Hicksville Fire Department’s Ex-Chief Owen Magee discussed the department’s 100-plus year history. Magee, a 57-year member of the department, gave a talk describing the history, establishment and operations.
“Pretty much my whole family has been involved with the Hicksville Fire Department,” said Magee who joined the ranks in 1957. “My father, brother, brother-in-law and my son who is now a federal firefighter at West Point has all held rank in the department at one time or another.”
New York State Senator Jack M. Martins congratulated New York State Youth of the Year Harneet Gulati for her work in the community and for her positive impact on its young people.
“Harneet is a shining example of the leadership our young people show in giving of their time and talents to improve the lives of others. Her perseverance and the encouragement of the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club says a lot about our community.”
Since the early 1800s, Hicksville has been a place of culture, family and dreams. Residents have taken pride in their hometown and the beautification of Hicksville is at the forefront of everyone’s minds—especially resident and art visionary Debra Ann Kasimakis. Kasimakis is the artist behind a new Hicksville Memorial Fountain that will stand in Kennedy Memorial Park, in place of the first fountain, which has been demolished after weather and time took its toll on the structure.
The Kiwanis Foundation of Hicksville, in cooperation with the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, built the original fountain, dedicated in 1979, and in July of last year, the two groups announced the construction of a new fountain in the same location, on Broadway and Jerusalem Avenue.
The Hicksville community lining the streets of Hicksville for the United Veterans of Hicksville’s annual Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies on the morning of Memorial Day to pay tribute to those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – in order to protect the principles of the United States.
This year Arlene Howard was selected at the Grand Marshal.
The parade stepped off on Broadway, heading south to Old Country Road. At the Hicksville Middle School the parade procession and hundreds of residents and guests gathered at the school’s Veterans Memorial Park for a brief ceremony to honor the war dead.
Hicksville native Jae Lee recently rose to the top of his senior class at New York Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), winning the Critic Award for sportswear. But fashion wasn’t the path that Lee originally chose.
In high school, Lee excelled in art classes and thought that he wanted to go to college and major in fine arts. However, he said, it was while watching an episode of “Project Runway” that he had a revelation. “All of a sudden I was thinking that it was something I could/should do and that’s what kind of led to it,” he said. He made up his mind that he was going to apply to fashion school and enlisted the help of one of his art teachers in school to help him. “We really scrambled and put together this presentation in about two weeks, where other people, I’m sure, worked on theirs for months,” he said. Lee said that when he went to present his portfolio, he didn’t think the meeting went well at all. “Everyone was really well prepared,” he said. But, he admitted, it must have gone better than he thought, because he was accepted to FIT.
In the face of cancelled air shows and the downgrading of NYC’s Fleet Week, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced on May 9, that American soldiers will be forever honored on Long Island through the creation of the Museum of American Armor to be built at Old Bethpage Village Restoration thanks, in part, to a million dollar gift from Lawrence Kadish.
“We are watching powerful tributes to our American military reduced or eliminated across the nation and its just plain wrong,” stated County Executive Mangano. “Fortunately, the Memorial Day weekend air show at Jones Beach will be held regardless of the loss of the Thunderbirds, but Fleet Week in New York City will be greatly diminished and across the country air shows are being cancelled weekly. Nassau County is moving in another direction. An armor museum that honors every American soldier will be created on county property this year which will not only pay tribute to those who have defended our nation but will also strengthen the county’s tourism and destination industry and provide a new source of revenue.”
Hicksville School District Superintendent Maureen Bright gave an overall picture of the district profile at the school board meeting last Wednesday night. The meeting was the final one before the upcoming budget vote, which will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at Hicksville High School from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The total number for the 2013-14 proposed budget is $124,595,008. This is a 3.29 percent increase or $3,963,375 from the 2012-13 school year. In 2012-13 the total budget was $120,631,633.
On Saturday, May 11 the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of Nassau County held their Annual POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony at St. Frances de Chantal Parish in Wantagh. This is the 15th year for the ceremony, originally started by the late Tom Benet and the late Vincent Esposito as a way to honor those military brethren who are still listed as prisoners of war (POW), or missing in action (MIA).
Rick Gales, Town of Hempstead Veteran Affairs liaison, quartermaster of the Elmont VFW, and Nassau County Chairman of the POW/MIA Committee continues the tradition and told Anton Newspapers that the POW/MIA ceremonies are usually held in April or May, coinciding with the fall of Vietnam and the end of a war era.
In 2010, the Department of Defense reported more than 1,700 Vietnam era soldiers as POW/MIA status.
Hicksville Water District Superintendent Anthony Iannone recently had a visit from a local Girl Scout Brownie Troop. The girls were eager to learn where water originally comes from and the process it undergoes until it finally reaches their homes.
Iannone walked the Girl Scouts through Hicksville Water District’s Plant 8 where they saw how the water is literally extracted from the ground, the different pipes it travels through as it is being cleaned, treated and ultimately stored in a tank to be disseminated to the homes.
The tour culminated with the Girl Scouts receiving reusable water bottles from the district and having a question and answer session. The Girl Scouts said the most surprising fact for them was that Long Island’s drinking water source comes from the ground and not from the ocean.
While most hobbyists collect baseball cards or airport travel trinkets, one group on Long Island collects vintage armored war tanks, authentic canteens, pup tents, grenade launchers, and such from the World War II era. Members of the Long Island Living History Association share a similar interest in keeping WWII history alive, as historical reenactors, a tribute to veterans.
Next weekend, the Long Island Living History Association will recreate WWII at Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) in Old Bethpage beginning on May 18. Members, including Levittown’s Mike Keane, will arrive at the Long Island village and leave modern technology and convenience behind as they switch into authentic character and 1940s ways of living.
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