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Former Illustrated News Editor Honored By Trustees

Community icon Maggi Whitely feted by
village officials and local leaders

Anyone who passed the electronic sign in front of New Hyde Park Village Hall and wondered what “Thank you Maggie Whitely for supporting our village” was all about, obviously wasn’t from New Hyde Park. The Maggi Whitely referred to in the sign was the editor of the Illustrated News for 27 years, during which time she became a beloved fixture of the village. She left the post earlier this year.

So it was no surprise that at the beginning of the Dec. 18 village board of trustees meeting, that time was carved out for board members and local organizations to pay homage to Whitely. Arranged by Deputy Mayor Dan Lofaro, the ceremony featured well-deserved accolades, starting with Mayor Donald Petruccio, who quipped to the honored guest that, “all seems right in the world again Maggi [with] you sitting in the front row.”

“At a time when our news on a national level is so controversial and parochial in that there are sides, positions and people making their points and not presenting the news anymore…Maggi has made her stories about the facts of the stories,” Petruccio said. “She let you draw the conclusions as to what was happening. She didn’t infer what was going on. She didn’t editorialize.”

Other officials praising Whitely were Mark Laytin, president of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, Village Recreation Director Richard Pallisco and Carol Nowakowski, the New Hyde Park historian who also made Whitely an honorary member of the New Hyde Park Museum.

Fellow local journalist Ellen LaRegina was similarly complementary.

“I’ve known Maggi for about 26 years and I’ve always referred to her as the lady with the hats because every time she came to an event, she had a different hat on,” LaRegina said with a smile. “She made our community look better than it really is in print…. She went above and beyond the call of duty and I appreciate that.”

As pictures were taken and hugs dispensed, Whitely beamed. Clearly moved, she shared her feelings about covering the village.

“I loved [covering New Hyde Park]. I never ever felt like it was work. It’s the greatest place. It really is.”

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’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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