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Wal-Mart Joins Market Competition

Last summer, Wal-Mart amped up the supermarket competition in Levittown, opening a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Hempstead Turnpike—the first in New York State, according to the company's website. 

 

Both eager customers and angry protestors showed up to the spot formerly occupied by Waldbaum's in the Levittown Mews for the grand opening. 

 

Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets, as distinct from Wal-Mart stores, offer fresh produce and fruit, meat and dairy products, bakery and deli items, household supplies, health and beauty aids and a pharmacy. By now, Levittown residents have had a chance to evaluate the mega-retailer's grocery offerings.  Some are embracing the new competition, although not necessarily for its price competitiveness. 

 

“Wal-Mart is a great supermarket with great people working there; they are always so friendly when I go,” said Levittown resident Ann Torcivia. “The prices are good, but could be better; they advertise better prices, but they don’t post them.”

 

Low prices have always been Wal-Mart's selling point, but experts warn that the discounts can snag you. “When you go into the store to buy a low-cost item, you often walk out with a bag full other items that are not low cost,” said Zulima Wiscovitch, executive director of the National Supermarket Association, a trade association for independent supermarkets, point out that not everything at Wal-Mart is cheaper than everywhere else.

 

Maria Gribbins, a Levittown resident and advanced placement biology teacher at Island Trees High School, said she can validate Wiscovitch’s point: She has purchased items at BJ’s Wholesale for $8.99 that Wal-Mart priced at $12.99.  Like many consumers, she eschews buying some types of item at the mammoth discounter. “I buy my meats at Stop & Shop” and elsewhere, she said, saying she can get similar prices when using supermarket coupons.

 

Nonetheless, she added, “brand-name prices are really good [at Wal-Mart].” She said she shops for items for her son Ryan, such as frozen pizza and various snacks, and also for low-sugar items for her diabetic husband. “These are usually expensive items,”  and Wal-Mart has them at half the price of regular supermarkets, she maintained. 

 

Bill Simon, the retailer’s U.S. chief executive officer, said in a recent interview with Supermarket News that Wal-Mart, after several years of unsuccessfully trying to crack the five boroughs of New York City, is now focused on increasing share in existing markets. Wal-Mart has a store in East Meadow, and one in Uniondale. The Levittown market, open 24 hours, employs 90 workers. 


News

Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, nearly 2,000 military veterans and Gold Star families in Levittown and Island Trees will have to wait for their tax break until next year. 

 

Both the Levittown and Island Trees school districts are among several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Earlier this year, trustees in both districts voted unanimously to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year. 

In response to the criticism from the community over the proposed sale of 11.3 acres of school district property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow school facilities, the Island Trees  Board of Education has revealed the details of an $18 million proposal to develop housing for seniors (age 55 and up).

 

“People should be aware of the whole story,” said Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “There is this perception that [the board] acted hastily... It was not just a quick decision over chump change.”


Sports

Kaitlyn Gerdes and Kelly Gerdes, seniors at MacArthur High School in the Levittown School District, have signed National Letters of Intent to continue playing soccer on the college level at Hofstra University this fall. They will each pursue a degree in exercise science.

 

Both girls are co-captains of the varsity soccer team and received All-County designations this fall. As sophomores, the twins assisted their team in winning the county, Long Island and New York State championship titles. As a junior, Kaitlyn was designated as an All-

Class player, while Kelly garnered an All-Class designation in her junior year and has been named an All-Long Island and All-Conference player. Kaitlyn and Kelly also play for the Farmingdale United travel soccer team and are peer leaders at their school.

 

— Submitted by the Levittown Public School District 

An international soccer conference featuring the legendary Pelé is coming to the local area. Soccer as the Beautiful Game: Football’s Artistry, Identity and Politics is at Hofstra University in Hempstead through April 13.

 

“Pelé transformed and transcended the game of soccer,” said Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz. “While the world first came to know him for extraordinary athletic feats, his soccer career was, in many respects, simply a prelude to an extraordinary life of service as a philanthropist and advocate. He understands the power and responsibility his soccer legacy carries, and has used it to improve the lives of others.”

 

Members of the Long Island Junior Soccer League are invited to join the conference as a guest and at no charge on Saturday, April 12 at Hofstra University. Panels and discussions on Saturday will include experts in coaching, leagues and sports media and were designed with the soccer enthusiast in mind.


Calendar

Meet the Candidates - April 8

Special Town Meeting - April 9

Blood Drive - April 9


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