Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Call it a coincidence, but the timing for Chris and Peter Ferraro’s announcement of the creation of a new hockey and recreation facility couldn’t be any better.
Two days before the National Hockey League was set to drop the puck for a shortened, 48-game season beginning on Jan. 19, the Ferraro twins – former NHL players and Olympians themselves – broke ground on their $15 million, privately financed Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park.
“It is our passion to support Long Island families so that they will no longer have to be torn apart or have their family life disrupted just because a child excels in hockey and wants to try to make it to the NHL,” said Chris Ferraro. “This facility will enable us to create a hockey hot bed right here on Long Island.”
Twin Rinks at Eisenhower Park will include Ferraro Brothers Ice Center, an 85,000-square-foot world-class facility with two NHL regulation-sized rinks and one outdoor recreational hockey rink that will host skating lessons, youth development programs, tournaments and hockey teams for all ages and skill levels.
The facility will also include a full-sized turf field with soccer and lacrosse lines, a sport court with four NBA/NCAA regulation basketball courts, a handball wall and a rollerblade and stroller path connecting the complex with the pre-existing paths that surround the Nassau County Aquatic Center.
Twin Rinks will serve as home to at least two youth hockey organizations, including the Long Island Gulls Amateur Hockey Association and the New York Junior Bobcats. The complex is expected to create nearly 20 new jobs and generate an estimated $35 million in economic benefits for the local area through the first five years of operation.
“Creating this kind of sports entertainment destination will enhance our quality of life as well as create jobs and opportunities for residents,” said County Executive Edward Mangano.
Ice hockey is somewhat of a pricey sport, given the fees for ice time, costly equipment and the traveling expenses that accompany the sport here on Long Island.
“We were extremely fortunate that our parents had the means and the desire to take us where we needed to go to succeed. Because of our experiences, we are able to give back and guide young players along a path to develop and to teach the importance of camaraderie, sportsmanship and integrity without having to travel off Long Island,” said Peter Ferraro.
While the area is set to lose the Islanders in 2015 as the team will relocate to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the area, and its young athletes – many who have gone on to play the sport professionally – will gain a valuable resource unlike any other here in Nassau County.
“Public-private partnerships such as this play a pivotal role in helping the county continue serve the residents. This facility will help change the face of this entire area as we reinvent the Nassau County HUB,” said Mangano.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 00:00
The members of the eighth-grade graduating class at Jonas E. Salk Middle School proceeded down the aisles of the school’s gymnasium in a ceremonial moving-up tradition, as proud parents and family members watched from the bleachers. Class officers led the salute to the flag, after which the eighth-grade chorus, conducted by Lisa Levenberg, sang the national anthem.
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
When Msgr. Ralph Sommer was growing up he found inspiration from the example of his uncle, Father Ralph Besendorfer. “He was a Brooklyn priest,” said Msgr. Sommer, who is known to parishioners as “Father Sommer” or “Father Ralph.”
“My uncle was a most powerful and delightful influence, happy, caring, and helpful,” said Father Sommer, outgoing pastor of St. Brigid’s Church, in Westbury. “I would look at him and say, ‘I could do that.’”
For a number of years, Father Besendorfer would come out to St. Bernard’s in Levittown on weekends to assist.
Now, Father Sommer finds himself about to become pastor of St. Bernard’s on June 26, succeeding Msgr. Gerard Ringenback, pastor of St. Bernard’s since 2001.
He doesn’t know if anyone at St. Bernard’s will remember his uncle, Father Sommer said, but “if I meet people who remember him from that time, it will be a nice thing.”
Born in Flushing, Queens, Father Sommer grew up in Garden City, attending St. Anne’s School. He advanced to St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, a high school for young men considering the priesthood.
“It was a caring community,” with priest-instructors and students who shared an interest in exploring the priesthood.
For college, he left the seminary system for Adelphi University near his home. “I walked every day. We didn’t have another car.”
Adelphi offered an opportunity to test his vocation. He majored in psychology, “which I thought would help me if I became a priest.”
After Adelphi, he returned to priestly studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. Upon graduation, he was ordained a priest in 1983.
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
Senior pitcher Anthony Semonella at Division Avenue High School has received a scholarship from the University of Bridgeport and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the collegiate level. He was joined by parents Donna and Ralph Semonella, Principal Dr. Francesco Ianni, Physical Education Chairperson Mauro Chiti and varsity baseball coach Tom Tuttle as he signed a letter confirming his acceptance to the university’s athletic program.
Photo provided by Syntax
Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
St. Thomas Aquinas College freshman Robert Naughton, of Levittown, has made his impact known in the NCAA Baseball East Coast Conference. Naughton started out his 2013 campaign not allowing an earned run in the first 19 innings he pitched.
At completion of his first season Naughton pitched 58 innings compiling a record of 6-1, leading the East Coast Athletic Conference with an era of 1.54.