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Editorial: Jack O’Lantern Tour Thrills Long Island Again

This weekend, I chaperoned a Girl Scout Troop to see Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns tour at Old Westbury Gardens where more than 5,000 carved pumpkins returned to Long Island for its annual display; the carving talents are unreal. The girls were most impressed with the commercial character carvings such as Angry Birds and the Disney princesses. The fathers who chaperoned were attracted to the sports team carvings, although everyone was in amazement at the “tribute” pumpkins, carved to honor the greats like Neil Armstrong, Lewis Carroll, Albert Einstein, and Whitney Houston. Others adored the scenic carvings like Coney Island, Statue of Liberty, the Montauk Lighthouse, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Naturally though, we were all amazed to see the historic scenes of Girl Scouting carved in pumpkins set on special pedestals, such as the flag raising, cookie sales, and camping.

Although the tour is not that long in distance, approximately 1/3 of a mile, plan for the transit through to last more than an hour. For the younger kids, we put glowstick lanyards on each of them to identify them in the crowd; each girl brought a little flashlight to identify strange noises in the night gardens because some areas of the walking tour are dimly or not lit. And most important, make everyone stop at the bathroom before entering the tour.

The popularity of this non-scary Halloween treat is growing. Many of the tour slots sold out four weeks ago, and more than 3,000 tickets were sold to Girl Scouts and their families.

Pre-reserved tickets are required and available at www.therise.org/. All visitors need tickets; children ages 4 and under are free, but also need an admission ticket. Tour times are still available through Oct. 28.

— CH

News

 

While Island Trees School District officials plan to reexamine a proposal to develop senior housing on 11.3 acres of property currently used to house the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools, district officials have so far been unwilling to identify the developer. 

 

The plan to sell the Farmedge property was first conceived in 2010, when BOCES dropped its lease on the Gallow school. The school district issued a request for proposals. After reviewing its options, the Island Trees Board of Education selected and presented to the

public a proposal to develop 160 to 247 housing units for seniors over 55.After public outcry against the project, the district said it would go back to the drawing board, re-opening discussions and engaging a wide range of stakeholders. However, despite requests from the public and the press, the district has steadfastly declined to identify the developer of the initial proposal—which may yet end up being the winning bid. 

 

After announcing his resignation from the Levittown School District last January, Superintendent Dr. James Grossane has accepted a new job as Superintendent of the Smithtown Central School District. 

 

“I look forward to the new challenges awaiting me in the Smithtown Central School District,” Grossane said. “I wish the Levittown Public Schools and its students, parents and staff all the best as they continue to move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”


Sports

The Farmingdale State College baseball team earned an 8-2 victory over the College of Staten Island in a recent non-conference home game.

 

In the bottom of the second, left fielder Richard Sullivan of Farmingdale broke broke the scoreless tie on a two out RBI single. Senior third baseman Sal Sanquini of Levittown would go on to hit an RBI single through the left side to increase the lead 2-0. Sanquini was 2-for-4 at the plate with a game-high of 3 RBIs.

The Island Trees varsity softball team had an amazing 8-3 win in extra innings on April 2nd against a previously unbeaten Clarke team to improve their league record to 2-0.  Ashley Melendez opened up the scoring with a solo homerun to lead off the 4th inning. 

 

Although the team relinquished the lead in the 4th and 5thinnings, they did not let the negative turn of events get the best of them.   Down one with three outs left, Sam Scharff led off the top of the 7th with an amazing bunt for a hit.  Christie Ciaramitaro and Kelly Cembrale both reached on errors to keep the inning and team’s hopes alive.  Morgan Petry roped an RBI single up the middle to score courtesy runner, Kim Ahrens with the tying run.   


Calendar

Bellmore FD Fundraiser - April 25

Earth Day Cleanup - April 26

Bowling For Scholars - April 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com