After 40 years of calling Nassau Coliseum home and winning four straight Stanley Cups in the early ’80s, the New York Islanders are pulling up stakes and heading west to Brooklyn and the team’s new home at the Barclays Center. Owner Charles Wang, who has reportedly lost tens of millions of dollars over the years while trying to keep the team afloat, finally tired of the jousting he’d been doing with Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead in an attempt to renovate the aging barn the Isles called home. Longtime fans may feel betrayed to the point of throwing their allegiance behind another team, but at the end of the day, Long Island’s only professional sports franchise didn’t end up lacing their skates up at locations they were rumored to move to including Quebec and Kansas City. And truthfully, given the sad state of negotiations between owner and the players union during this ongoing NHL lockout, the bigger concern might be whether the Islanders will even have a league to play in.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
I recently had the privilege of attending the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney at Hofstra University on Tuesday, Oct. 16. To say there was a charge in the air would be an understatement. And while the day’s main event proved to be considerably more electrifying than the first debate, soaking in people’s passion for democracy and the fate of the country was inspiring, regardless of political preference. Forget the unwashed masses of journalists and politicians who filled up Spin Alley. It was the young people and the electorate who proved to be the greatest form of theater, whether it was Rednecks For Obama’s Sara Viessman driving up from Allentown, PA. to set up her banner of support despite being stuck on the south side of campus due to security measures. Or the silly undergrad running across campus to class bearing a sign that said “Ron Paul is Pokemon,” these were just some of the sights to be seen at the circus that was this presidential debate.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
For those of you who believe the doomsday predictions based on the Mayan calendar, I apologize, but I simply do not believe that the world will end in December because of a calendar that was created more than 5,000 years ago. There is no science to back up any claims about doomsday occurring on Dec. 21, 2012, and no theology to back it up either. Jesus is quoted in the Bible as saying about the end of the world, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” Scientists and clergy are not always in agreement, but it definitely seems that both sides concur that the sun will rise on Dec. 22. So I will plan on celebrating Christmas, New Year’s and hopefully a return trip for the Patriots to the Super Bowl with a better result this time. (Note: I know most of you are not rooting for this, but I have had to endure two Super Bowls in which it seemed that every Giants fan in the New York area who was looking to gloat turned to the only Patriot fan in the area they could find, yours truly, so please cut me a little slack.)
The air is getting cooler, school has been in session for almost a month and a half and autumn is in full swing. It can only mean one thing—homecoming. An American tradition that’s been around just north of a century, it’s a chance for alumni to visit their alma mater and for current underclassmen to sup on heaping amounts of school spirit. As the saying goes, go big or go home, and New Hyde Park Memorial High School has always had a reputation for having some of the more spirited homecoming events on Long Island. Last year, more than 1500 people showed up to take part in the festivities and watch the winning float get picked and have the Homecoming King and Queen be announced at halftime. This year should be no exception. On Saturday, Oct. 20, the parade will kick off with a marching band at 12:30 p.m. on Hillside Boulevard, goes down New High Park Road and culminates with the Gladiators taking on the Pirates at 2 p.m. Given the ongoing excellence of the current NHPMHS squad, North Bellmore’s Mepham High School should expect to have their hands full.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
The days have started to get shorter and the air is cooler and we know that fall has arrived. We have had a very busy summer in our district working to complete an 8.5 million dollar capital project in an eight-week time span. Our contractors are now in the last phase of the project, window installation at the NHP Road School and Garden City Park School. Director of Facilities Robert Moss, architect John Grillo, and construction management principal, Brian McClave are now working with our principals and custodians on the punch list. This is the examination of the quality of the finished projects in each phase and the correction of any flaws.
The crispness of autumn awakens us to the realities that once again, all our students and staff have a fresh and clean start to the pursuit of academic excellence. Our teacher staff, under the guidance of our principals and the director of curriculum and instruction are busy developing, adapting and implementing the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) which are part of the Race to the Top Initiative adapted by New York State.
We are deeply touched by the tragic loss of Harsha Maddula. Your article and editorial made clear how great the loss of this exceptional young man. He was indeed very much a sophisticated young man already, as evidenced by his own broadminded words which show his heart and mind were firmly in the place where we all need to be in this world today. For his are the eloquent words of a beautiful person, of an open and wise man of peace. Having said that, we should all want to be like Harsha was. My family extends our heartfelt condolences to Harsha’s family and friends. There is the precious beauty of a loved one. For the sorrow that knows no end, I attempted a poem I would like to offer, for what comfort its simple words might be able to provide. The Maddulas are in our thoughts and prayers.
Stephen and Constantine Cipot and family
As noted on the second page of this week’s issue, the new deadline going forward for The Illustrated News, as of this week’s issue (Oct. 12), will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. for the following week’s paper. This deadline is for all submissions: articles, photos, announcements, letters to the editor, obituaries and calendar items. As always, please consider the deadline on Thursday morning to be the last-minute deadline, as we prefer to receive submissions earlier rather than later.
(Police Chief Charles Gennario of the Rockville Centre Police Department, is a member of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and submitted this letter on behalf of the Task Force.)
Prescription drug abuse in the nation is at an unparalleled height and it’s having a detrimental impact on our society. Nassau County is no different than the rest of the country and we are seeing ever-increasing abuse in our communities. It is affecting people of all ages, but is having the greatest impact on our youth.
Nassau County was shocked last week with the sad news of Peter Schmitt’s untimely death. As the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature, Schmitt was a prominent political figure and often the voice of Nassau County Republicans. He was opinionated and often quite blunt about defending his stance on county issues and he frequently sparred with the leaders of Nassau County Democrats. If you are a Republican, you often chuckled at his comments, and if you are a Democrat, you probably have clenched your teeth in anger at something he said. Much like his favorite baseball team, the Yankees, you were either strongly with him or strongly against him, but there was often no room for being in-between.
However, there was a side to Peter Schmitt that most of Nassau County didn’t know, which is how I will remember him. Despite the hard image, which he sometimes portrayed, Schmitt, or simply “Peter”, as he was known around Massapequa, was tremendously approachable and friendly. I often bumped into him in the local stores in and around Massapequa, and he would be quick to strike up a conversation. Recently, the conversation would always turn to his grandchild, who he had recently welcomed into the world. He was a devoted family man who adored his wife Lois, and he was so proud of their daughter, Samantha.
Tragedy came to the local community when the body of Garden City Park resident Harsha Maddula was pulled from the waters of Lake Michigan. An exemplary student at New Hyde Park Memorial High School, the aspiring physician was entering his sophomore year at Northwestern University. He had in fact returned a week early to the campus to help incoming freshmen with their transition into campus life. According to something Harsha Maddula had written that was reprinted in the program from his memorial service, he sought to become a sophisticated man with “the mind of an engineer, ethics of a scientist, soul of a poet and skill of an academic.” Words cannot express the sorrow felt for the loss suffered by the Maddula family but we at the Illustrated News extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this exceptional young man.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
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