On Valentine’s Day, love was a many splendored thing for one Levittown couple who renewed their wedding vows during a romantic ceremony performed by Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale.
Standing among a collection of vintage American aircrafts and fighter planes, a group of Nassau County GIs with compelling wartime love stories gathered together to renew their commitment to each other in front of a large crowd of friends and family.
The Wantagh-Levittown Volunteer Ambulance Corps (WLVAC) is in its 56th year of service to the Levittown and surrounding communities this month. The organization was founded in 1956 by Homer K. Moore, a local plumber, who wanted to provide a free ambulance service to residents.
In 1981 WLVAC began providing Advanced Life Support through the 911 emergency response systems. This enabled WLVAC to begin treating critical injuries and medical emergencies with state-of-the-art life-saving equipment and techniques in addition to continued ambulance services.
WLVAC responds from its headquarters at 129 Balsam Lane (adjoining the ambulance garage on Hempstead Turnpike) with in-house crews, which enables the team to guarantee fully-trained assistance with what WLVAC boasts, “one of the fastest response times in the county.”
In a gala celebration held Saturday, Feb. 11, Wantagh Fire Department installed its line and administrative officers including Chief of Department William R. Allen. In addition, the department honored Donald E. Snyder for 60 years of service to the district.
Ten members of Ladies Auxiliary were sworn in, followed by the department administrative officers. This was followed by the line officers consisting of 12 lieutenants, 11 captains, 3 assistant chiefs and the Chief of Department William R. Allen. Allen was accompanied by his wife Kelly and his five children, Will, Megan, Ryan, Matthew, and Shannon.
Service awards were presented for “Years of Service,” in addition to honoring Commissioner Don Snyder with proclamations from Nassau County and Town of Hempstead officials.
There are easier tasks than the one facing Kevan Abrahams. As a Nassau County Legislator, he will be grappling with the issues facing the cash strapped county and in particular will be deliberating on a budget which may call for more layoffs of county workers, reduction of services and changes for Nassau police precincts. As the Democratic Minority Leader in the legislature, he will be one of the more prominent figures as those discussions take place, a position that requires he walk a political tightrope as he leads the opposition to some of those proposals while also trying to get Republican County Executive Ed Mangano and the Republicans in control of the Legislature to give consideration to his party’s suggestions and input. And, he will also do so while getting a feel for his new role as he has just taken over the position of the Minority Leader in the Legislature after being chosen by his party last November. Yet, despite all of this, there is a calmness and confidence about him as he takes this all on, something that he attributes to many years of experience in both politics and finance.
Numerous Long Island lawmakers, joined by both the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives, plus Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos were out in force last Friday, calling for further reductions in the MTA payroll tax.
The press conference, held at the Nassau County Executive & Legislative Building, introduced state legislation (S-6206), one co-authored by State Senators Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Lee Zeldin (R,C,I-Shirley). The bill would exempt villages, towns, and counties in New York State from the MTA payroll tax. Municipalities in New York State, both lawmakers said, currently pay a .34 percent tax per $100 of payroll to pay for the MTA.
“Property taxpayers paying for village, town and county services should not have their hard-earned tax dollars diverted to subsidize the MTA through this payroll tax,” Senator Martins said. “We need to alleviate some of the burdens placed on our local governments. This legislation does that and the result will be relief for our taxpayers, something we desperately need.”
Several times each month, Carol and Mark Klein, owners of Mismatch the Clown Entertainment in Levittown, host “give back” nights, called “Our Heroes Night Out” (OHNO) to the veterans who are in transition at the Salvation Army residence in Northport. They generate the support from entertainers and businesses across Long Island to provide a night of entertainment or a sampling of their service as a way to thank these veterans for their service to our country.
The story of how OHNO began was quite by accident. Three years ago, the Northport VA hired Carol through her Levittown business, Mismatch the Clown, to do balloons and magic for their annual winter festival. Carol said she taught the veterans how to make balloon animals and how to perform simple magic tricks, which she regularly performs for Scouts, libraries and schools across Long Island. The veterans enjoyed the performance and learning the techniques, wanting to learn more.
The phrase “every dog has his day” refers to the idea that everyone will have good things happen to them at some point, regardless of stature or previous luck. But on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the regular public meeting of the Island Trees Board of Education, it was a “Dawg” who had his day. Hundreds of Island Trees residents and student-athletes from the district packed into the Stephen E. Karopczyc school gym in a show of support for former Lady Dawgs soccer and basketball coach Andy Schneider, a Physical Education teacher in the district who was recently relieved of his coaching duties for posting what was deemed by the school board as inappropriate comments, posted by him onto a social networking site last month.
Schneider allegedly made an ill-advised public comment on Facebook in December, where he essentially made a case for a player from the Island Trees Lady Dawgs girls’ soccer team to be named to Newsday’s All-Long Island Girls’ Soccer Team instead of an athlete from a neighboring district. He claimed that the player from the Lady Dawgs had better stats than the player from the other district, and that she was overlooked for mention on the list because his squad plays in a lower conference.
The Levittown Board of Education unanimously voted Jan. 11 to eliminate the reporting of “rank-in-class” to colleges and universities, effective with the 2012-13 school year.
“The trend across the county, in Suffolk, the lower Hudson, and the tri-state area really is to move away from assigning specific class ranking, and reporting that number to colleges,” Superintendent James Grossane said. “Colleges are looking more and more at the strength of the programs that students take, and as student grades have risen, students with an average grade of as high as 85 on any given year would end up in the bottom 50 percent of one of our graduating classes.”
Grossane added that not reporting class rank to colleges means that student applications will have a better chance of getting looked at. “Some universities won’t look at you at all if you’re in the bottom 50 percent,” he noted. “However, if you don’t rank, they are more inclined to look at your transcript and full body of work more closely. The experience of many school districts around the area is that they’ve seen a rise in acceptance rates of students to more competitive and more prestigious colleges [after removing the reporting of class rank.]” Trustee Peter Porrazzo noted in the discussion “27 of 33 schools sampled in the area have eliminated the reporting of class-ranking to colleges.”
On Saturday, Jan. 21 families and friends of Catholic schools across Long Island braved the freezing temperatures and icy conditions to rally in protest of the closings announced by the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Dec. 6. Families not only wanted to voice their opposition to the closings scheduled for the end of this school year, but rallied in support of Catholic school education in general. They pleaded for Bishop William Murphy and all Catholics in the Diocese to hear their concerns and understand that despite the threat of their schools closing, they do value and support the Catholic elementary school education.
Most of the rally crowd came from the six schools stated to close, along with St. Agnes parishioners who came out to show their support.
In the original school-closing announcement Bishop Murphy said, “While these choices have not been easy and closing schools is one of the most painful parts of my ministry, I want to assure the parents and children that they are uppermost in my mind.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center (KPTC) held its annual meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Manhasset. They received a welcome surprise from Levittown Kiwanian Ann Torcivia, who spent weeks gathering support for her project to present a Sparky the Dog costume to KPTC at North Shore LIJ Hospital.
Just several weeks before the gift presentation to KPTC, Torcivia set up a craft booth at Tri-County Flea market to sell jewelry and trinkets during the regular holiday bazaar in Levittown. The booth space was donated by Alan Finchley of Nassau County Craft Shows and Grant Donnely of Tri-County Flea Markets. Both men were honored by Kiwanis for their generous support toward Torcivia’s costume goal.
Torcivia was able to then dedicate more of the proceeds from her sales to the Sparky the Dog costume, which also comes with a robotic voice changer, helpful when delivering the special fire safety presentations to young children.
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