When Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 to deliver his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech, he envisioned all races and religions coming together and living in peace. Those words, so eloquently spoken, made us think and inspired us to be better people and slowly, over time, change did happen.
Reverend Terry Yvette Cissé, the interim Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Levittown, had a similar dream of bringing different religions and races to her church, and on Sunday her dream came true. Reverends from around Long Island, along with a Cantor, joined together in a musical celebration. “I am excited to bring this event to Levittown," Rev. Cissé said. "It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring this community together and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.”
How does a young boy with an unmitigated hatred for piano end up spending the greater portion of his life playing alongside legendary musical acts and releasing a hit CD? It’s all about motivation.
Thinking about incentives to inspire your children to take their piano lessons more seriously? Renowned Long Island musician Stan Wiest, formerly of Levittown, recalled what did and didn’t work when his parents faced the same task. Wiest said, “If I didn’t practice on Monday all I was given for dinner was a plate of broccoli. Tuesday was cauliflower. Wednesday lima beans. Thursday spinach. And the weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, was the leftovers.” And Wiest added, “There were a lot of leftovers.” This tactic did not work. In fact, according to Wiest, it ended up spurring young Stan to carve, “I hate piano,” into his piano, and subsequently having difficulty playing piano in the seated position for some time.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8 that she would not seek re-election this year. The former nurse has been battling lung cancer since last year.
“It just hits you,” she said. “There’s an expression called “chemo-brain,” which makes you kind of forgetful and tired. I said jokingly ‘That’s great. I can see myself sitting next to my chairman and fall asleep by accident.”
The Mineola resident said that cancer was not the reason she decided to not seek re-election. Ending her run in Congress entered the picture after the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Conn.
Last year, Dr. Barry Leiner, a graduate of the Island Trees High School Class of 1963, was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for his dedication and expertise in the field of internet technology. Leiner was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Alumni Honor at the induction ceremony in Berlin, Germany, for his help setting up the bureaucratic structures that developed Internet communications protocols.
“The Island Trees High School is proud of Dr. Barry Leiner, a true pioneer who was instrumental in bringing the Internet,” said Island Trees High School Principal Nicholas Grande.
Widely regarded as one of the toughest wrestling tournaments on Long Island, the annual Ted Petersen Wrestling Tournament pits some of the roughest and toughest wrestlers from Nassau and Suffolk counties against each other for a chance at taking home the gold. Although placing within the top 5 of the tournament is considered an outstanding accomplishment, finishing in first is considered one of the highest honors in the Long Island wrestling world.
Named for the former Island Trees Physical Education instructor Ted Petersen, the yearly competition was a fitting means for the district to commemorate his 31 years of coaching the school district’s varsity wrestling, J.V. football and J.V. baseball teams. Dubbed
“Coach Pete,” by his students, Petersen had a reputation as someone who cared for young athletes in the district and was committed to promoting respect, fairness, and good sportsmanship. In Jan. 1998, Coach Petersen was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his coaching skills both on-and-off the mat.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was sworn in to a second term on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School. When a paper Bible couldn’t be located, he took the oath of office with his hand on an iPad that had the Bible on-screen. Here is his speech, abridged due to space limitations.
Allow me to start off by saying thank you, Gov. Cuomo, for taking time to join me on this special day. I am deeply honored by your presence. Colleagues in government, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, family and friends: Thank you for celebrating with me today.
Education certainly has changed a lot since the fabled days of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
New York classrooms are currently experiencing a major overhaul since the so-called Common Core Learning Standards were adopted via a New York State mandate, in conjunction with a regular series of rigorous assessment testing to gauge teacher effectiveness.
Many parents are expressing anger over what many are calling a loss of creative, individualized teaching in favor of inflexible, difficult, and standardized lesson plans designed more for test preparation than actual learning. Education has indeed changed in New
York, and many residents feel that it’s not for the better.
After a rigorous election season, America’s largest township honored its 10-year veteran town supervisor, three recently re-elected town councilmen and a newly minted town clerk with an induction ceremony on Jan. 2, 2014.
Inside the pavilion at Hempstead Town Hall, re-elected Town Supervisor Kate Murray, a Levittown resident, was joined by her nieces and nephews as she took her oath for another term.
“Thank you to the men and women who voted for us this past election year,” Murray said. “We promise to continue to work to justify the confidence you put in myself and my colleagues.”
The nation’s new Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has a provision that could put local fire departments—as well as local governments—at considerable financial risk. Firefighting departments with 50 or more members could be forced to provide health insurance for their volunteer firefighters or else pay substantial fines.
“It would really hurt the volunteer fire departments,” said William F. Murray, president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association of Southern New York.
The health care law has specific insurance requirements for employers with 50 or more employees. While the U.S. Department of Labor terms these firefighters “volunteers,” the Internal Revenue Service classifies volunteer firefighters as employees.
For more than 30 years, some of the most talented and most memorable comedians graced the stage right here on Long Island, at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown. “There is no comic that isn’t aware of this place or hasn’t worked here before,” said John
Trueson of Governor’s. “This is definitely in the top ten comedy venues in the country; everybody has been here,” like Jay Leno, Tracy Morgan, or Jerry Seinfeld (Massapequa), or the late Andy Kaufman (Great Neck), and the late Lenny Bruce (Mineola).
“People don’t realize just how many comics come from Long Island,” said Trueson.
Not only do the top acts take to the stage at Governor’s, but dozens have gotten their start and honed their craft like Bobby Collins (New Hyde Park), Wendy Liebman (Roslyn), Jackie Martling (East Norwich), Bob Nelson (Massapequa), Judd Apatow (Syosset), and
Carol Liefer (East Williston).
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