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Robodawgs Put Island Trees On The Map

The Robodawgs robotics team—a group of five intellectual Island Trees High School students—were given a warm welcome home, after taking first place in the Incredible Bionic Man challenge. The regional competiton, sponsored by the Smithsonian Channel and Cablevision, put the Robodawgs up against some of the best and brightest from 10 different states and Washington D.C., with the goal of creating a working bionic body part out of common household items. 


According to the team’s advisor, Dr. Andrew Sass, the group was first inspired to enter the contest after attending a presentation at Half Hallows High School, last October, where the students were able to meet the researchers behind the Increidble Bionic Man. He said that when people ask why the group of high schoolers decided to enter the contest by building a bionic arm-hand combination—a robotic body part that researchers said was the most challenging to construct—that he would reply much the same way as George

Mallory did when he climbed Mt. Everest. “Because it was there,” Sass said. 


Faced with their personal Everest, the Robodawgs robotics team constructed a working arm-hand combination using a CPR dummy, aluminum materials, a 12-volt motorcycle battery, and other household items. Once the bionic arm was up and running, the Island

Trees team submitted a two minute video showcasing their process of designing, building and demonstrating the arm-hand combination, which vaulted the Robodawgs into a finalist position. 


Picked as one of four teams to compete in the final round, the Island Trees students pit their bionic arm against students from Bloomfield High School, N.J., Eastern Technical High School in Baltimore, Md., and Montgomery Blair High School in Montgomery, Md., for a chance at winning a $5,000 grand prize. 


“We were very doubtful we were going to win,” said Robodawgs teammate Ben Wiener, an Island Trees High School sophomore.


After learning that they had advanced to the final round, Wiener, and fellow Robodawgs Matt Bacotti, Rob McCoy, Chris Schmidt, and Captain Marc Lubniewski, traveled to Washington D.C. for the final judging and award presentation at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 


“Our initial reaction was shock... they announced it so fast,” said Lubniewski, an Island Trees senior. “It was one of those heart dropping moments.” 


At the ceremony, which was simulcast in 27 county Cablevision service areas, the Robodawgs were presented with a big check for $5,000 in college scholarships, which the team will split amongst themselves. The students were also treated to a visit from the

Incredible Bionic Man, fresh off his two month stay at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. 


Upon their return home to Levittown, the Robodawgs were greated with certificates from Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy and the Island Trees Board of Education.


“We’re ecstatic about it,” Murphy said. “Dr. Sass is unbelievable... most people his age are retired, but he is just getting started.” 


Five year projection shows tough road ahead

The Levittown Board of Education unanimously adopted a $198.7 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which comes with a proposed tax levy increase of 1.62 percent. This represents a $2.1 million increase from last year, for a proposed levy of $133.2 million.   


The Levittown school district will receive $49,163,299 in state aid for the 2014-2015 school year, which increased by $690,049 from last year’s budget. The other revenues also show an increase of $684,250 from last year. 


In the past seven years, the district received its largest percentage of state aid in 2008-2009 with 30 percent. According to Assistant Superintendent Bill Pastore, state aid has decreased since then, leveling off for the past few years and coming in at slightly below 25 percent for 2014-15.

Seven in contest for three seats on school board

On April 8, members of the Levittown Property Owners Association invited all seven candidates in the running for Island Trees School District Board of Education to a “Meet the Candidates” forum. Of the seven only four attended, and only three spoke on the dais. 


According to Levittown Property Owners President Diane Kirk, members of the Island Trees School District were invited to attend the forum, but declined stating that they were going to attend their own forum on May 12.


Challenger Brian Fielding, a 1995 Island Trees High School graduate, opened the forum with the promise of more transparency.  


Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero. 


Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more.  The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. 

Friday Pins, Pizza & Pepsi

Trevor Williams 166,101


Keith Kyte 137,119,115


Anthony Baio 111,73


Alyssa Williams 141,133,120


Lauren Walpole 114,105,96


Kaitlyn Insinna 106,68,67


Robert Brooler 107,97


Frank Pietraniello 94


Friday Bumper Stars

Matthew Banfich 140,95


Nicky Barrera 115,99


Jake Mauro 107


Anthony Barrera 97,79


Michael Pietraniello 97,87


Ty Peranzo 95


Steven Tiemer 92


Nick Bevinetto 90,82


Ava Banfich 103,101


Julianna Mauro 103,87


Gianna Centonze 102,91


Victoria Gray 91,87


Mike Rosen 87,86


Steven Brauer 85,83


Stephan Mandola 83


Joey Mohaudt 81


Pantelis Siriodis 80


Kelsey Casperson 85,73


Stephanie Tiemer 71,67


Kathleen Hoffman 68,65


Friday Rising Stars

Jason Tiemer 191,169,138


Max Benson 179


Andrew Scarpaci 168,162,148


Avery Benson 151,149,135


Matthew Brezinski 143,110


Ted Fiber 128,115,114


Paul Klein 126,107


Nicholas Pisano 123,115


Billy Walsh 108



Levittown Island trees


Michael Beck 117,89


Zach Pilser 114,110


Sophia Bloom 93,90


Olivia Bloom 81,79


Christian Tucci 88,85


Louis Bonaventura 84,79


Ava Tucci 74,65


— Submitted by the South Levittown Lanes


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