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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

School spirit was at an all-time high when community members joined students, administrators, faculty and staff for Sewanhaka High School’s annual homecoming parade and game.

 

The festivities kicked off with a Pep Rally on Sept. 19 on the school’s athletic field and continued on Sept. 20 with a parade that featured colorful banners and beautifully constructed floats based on this year’s “countries” theme. 

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”


Sports

The Hicksville boys volleyball team improved to 3-3 on the season by topping Sewanhaka in three sets by the scores of 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13. 

 

“We lost the first few matches this year but bounced back to win the last three,” said Hicksville’s second year Head Coach Kevin Bunting. “We have a young team—we lost three starters last year. We have no seniors on this team, but we have three juniors,” he added. Bunting noted that it will bode well for next year’s team when they have even more experience to build on.

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - October 1

Silver Sneaker Fitness - October 2

Live Music - October 3


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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