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Hometown Heroes Are Hard To Find

New Hyde Park Fixture Diana Biehayn honored by Town of North Hempstead

It takes a village to raise a child is a much-used trope/African proverb that was recycled as part of the title of a 1996 Hillary Rodham-Clinton-penned book. In the case of recent Hometown Hero recipient Diana Biehayn, her selfless participation in the local Girl Scouts troop and countless other organizations have very much made her a New Hyde Park community stalwart. But for all the accolades she gets for her mostly unsung efforts, the Queens native is shyly modest about it all.

“[Public service] just evolved from when my daughter was in Girl Scouts and I moved along with her,” Biehayn explained with a smile. “I went to Queens College as an adult and my major was sociology, so it just seems to be my calling. I never used it professionally, but I used it in my everyday life.”

Since moving to the village in 1968, the former Woodside resident not only raised a daughter and son, but donated time to a myriad of local institutions ranging from the local chapters of AARP and FISH (Friends In Service to Humanity) to the Lions Club and Meals on Wheels.

It’s exactly this combination of selflessness and humility that led to Town of North Hempstead Town Clerk Leslie Gross making this beaming grandmother her latest Hometown Hero.

“It’s amazing and I know that phrase that says if you need to get something done, give it to a busy person. And you’re very humble and I think most of the people that I choose as honorees are this way. You haven’t done these things I’m sure just so that there might be a plaque to hang on the wall,” Gross explained before bestowing the award in her office. “The people that are the busiest really get so much done. And I know you don’t think about it—you [get involved] because you love doing it. That’s a true hometown hero.”

It’s a sentiment daughter Loretta proudly agrees with and is quick to point out that it all starts with Biehayn’s immediate family.

“She makes every single home volleyball game at New Hyde Park Memorial High School whether I go or not. She makes it to the football games,” Loretta explained. “Whatever my girls were involved with, both my mom and dad come down, but my dad is passed. But my mom keeps marching and doing. She gives food to neighbors that are sick and she’s just always trying to help.”

Bob Simon, another New Hyde Park resident heavily involved with local organizations and has been volunteering alongside Biehayn for a number of years, can attest to his friend’s dedication.

“It’s hard to keep up with her. Every time I opened up the paper, I saw her picture, always doing something,” Simon said before adding. “Diana is a pillar of the New Hyde Park community.”

For the immediate future, aside from being her grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader, Diana Biehayn doesn’t see herself slowing up anytime soon.

“The [folks I help] are very nice and interesting people. People that have lived a lot longer than me, which is really long,” she said with a laugh “But as long as I can, I will keep going.”

News

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is planning improvements to a district that has already seen much success in recent years. The school year has only just begun and the Board of Ed is already setting its sights on the future. 

 

At the Sept. 8 board of education meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak’s monthly report outlined the major goals set for the district last month. While approved in August, the three goals were made available to the public this month and each target different areas for improvement throughout the district. 

 

The first goal deals with English Language Learners (ELL) within the student population. ELL students are those that speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on assessments. 

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.


Sports

Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season. 

 

“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”

 

But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going. 

 

The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year. 

The Sewanhaka Indians made their Nassau Conference II debut with a bang.  The Indians opened their season at home against the Calhoun Colts, unsure what to expect, as all they had ever seen of the Colts was one tape of a scrimmage. 

 

“It was nerve raking leading up to the game,” said Head Coach George Kasimatis. “We weren’t sure what to expect on offense or defense, you have to guess early on. “

 

But it didn’t take the Indians long to introduce themselves to the conference, as junior, Quarterback, Elijah Tracey broke a 75-yard run taking it the distance to put the Indians up early, which ended in a 27-7 rout of the Colts. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

Herricks Meeting - September 18

Bike Safety Day - September 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