Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 17 April 2014 00:00
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.
“I am looking to make the board more transparent,” Fielding said. “I believe they are far from that.”
Amid several issues facing the school district, the challengers forum primarily focused on the proposed sale of 11.3 acres of school district property that is currently used to house the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools.
Although the district plans to go back to the drawing board, school officials have continued to keep mum on the identity of the developer.
Challenger Paul Giambona has lived in Island Trees for the past 34 years, the last 20 years of which he has worked in law enforcement. From his experience, he said, while certain things should not be made public, residents shouldn’t be required to put in a Freedom of Information request for access to public information.
“Why weren’t we all involved in the process?” Giambona said.
According to Giambona, Island Trees Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy has said in the past that he would not reveal the bids because he didn’t feel it was a smart business move.
Michael Rich, a 1992 Island Trees High School graduate, will also run for school board this May. Rich said that after speaking with Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government, he learned how to appropriately use executive session.
“It's a shame it takes an issue like this to get the community involved,” Rich said.
Running independently, but in support of the three challengers, Dominic Ciaramella also staked a bid for school board president. According to Ciaramella, after attending the community forum on Feb. 10, he decided to pick up petitions to run for school board president.
Following the meeting, Island Trees School Board President Kenneth Rochon said he was unable to attend the forum due to other commitments, but will be attending the upcoming League of Women’s Voters Meet the Candidates night on May 12. School Board
Trustee Pat Mahon reiterated that the LPOA was already notified that they planned to hold a separate event at the high school. School Board Trustee George Storm could not be reached for further comment, as of press time.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.