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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 Sewanhaka Central High School District renewed Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie’s contract for the next five years at a recent board meeting. Ferrie will receive no pay increase in 2014-15 at a $238,000 salary. The contract expires on June 30, 2019.

 

“You can’t get [work] done without a unanimous board,” Ferrie said. “This board took a leap of faith with the program plans for the district. We also have an excellent team [of administrators]. That’s an awesome team.”

New Hyde Park resident Tom Madera, of 7th Avenue, doesn’t want another car crashing into his house and hopes a Nassau County plan to install traffic calming features along Covert Avenue will prevent another incident.

 

“Anything would help, even if it makes noise like rubber strips along the road,” he said. “I can assure that it doesn’t make as much noise as a screeching Cadillac which has decided to reorganize the front of your house. That happened two years ago.”

 

The project would run down Covert Avenue from Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, south to Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont. The project could cost more than $250,000, according to Aryeh Lemberger, unit head for Nassau County traffic engineers. He expects the plan would begin in 2015.


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians’ very talented lacrosse defenseman, Tyler Regnier, will be playing next season for the Division 1 Rutgers University Scarlet Knights.

 

Regnier started playing lacrosse as a third grader, when he played with the New Hyde Park Police Activity League, a youth lacrosse program.

 

“At first, I wasn’t too serious,” he said recently. “But I just stuck with it, a lot of training, a lot of travel and a lot of practice made it happen.”

Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness in Williston Park received belt promotions after completing a series of extensive exams.

 

Graduates

From New Hyde Park:  Jonah Khorrami to brown belt, Isabella Castelli to purple belt.

 

From Mineola:  Alexandra Santos and Kayla Toal to, Kayla Toal yellow belt, Jason DeJesus to Yellow/White Belt.

 

From Williston Park:  Mario Lombardo to red belt, Daniel Melore to blue belt, Grayson Lee to yellow/white belt.

 

From Garden City:  Alexandra Delgais: to brown belt, Jake Delgais to yellow/white belt.

 

From Roslyn Heights:  Suhani Jain to red belt.  

 

From Uniondale:  Isiah McClean to yellow/white belt.



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