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
Now that I’m an honest woman, as they say, people have started to ask about whether or not my husband and I are planning to have a baby soon. I don’t know the answer to that myself. Sure, I want a baby—babies are so adorable that I turn to mush every time I see anything that looks even remotely like a baby. I coo whenever they show a baby during a commercial, even though I know they’re just trying to sell me overpriced soap.
However, am I ready? First, there are financial concerns. I feel like I should wait until I have money safely invested in a house before I take on the responsibility of caring for another person. At the very least, I don’t think I could safely carry a baby up and down the steps to our two-floor walk-up, so if I had a baby in my current apartment, I would never be able to go outside.
New Hyde Park’s slogan is “A great place to live.” That was evidenced at the annual street fair, which was recently held. It is heartwarming to see so many members of the community turn out to support local merchants and enjoy each other’s company on a beautiful autumn day.
Last week, the New York Institute of Technology hosted three events in which Paul Burrell, who was the butler to Princess Diana, was the guest of honor. I attended one of these events, and was eager to do so as I have always found Diana to be a fascinating historical figure. Despite her fame and fortune, she gave of herself to help others who were suffering. She was an individual who was truly working to change the world for the better and tragically, she was taken from us much too soon. During his presentation, Burrell spoke of this.
“It’s better to give than to receive because when you give there are no strings attached,” Burrell recalls Diana saying.
With this edition, we are assuming the role of editors of The Illustrated News. It is quite exciting because the region that the Illustrated News reports on is a wonderful area. New Hyde Park, Williston Park, East Williston, and Albertson are all charming villages with terrific community-minded people and excellent schools. Yet it is also challenging, because we know how highly regarded our predecessor, Maggi Whitely, was in these communities. Maggi was a fixture at school board meetings, village board meetings and community events. Over her many years of service she earned your respect and your trust and we hope to do the same. We wish Maggi well in all of her future endeavors.
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