The year was 1970: the average cost of a new house was $23,450; the cost of gasoline was 36 cents a gallon; Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix both died of drug overdoses; M*A*S*H had just hit the silver screen; and the National Guard shot and killed 4 protesters at Kent State University.
It was a time of great turbulence, but out of that upheaval, a business was born which would survive more than four decades. Pat’s/Pergament barber shop opened 44 years ago in the old Pergament Home Center at 3901 Hempstead Tpke. in Bethpage. And while the Pergament store is long gone, the barber shop, its 11 employees and founder Pasquale "Pat" Palumbo are still thriving seven days-a-week at their location across the street at 17 Emerson Ave. in Levittown.
For the past 25 years, students in the Levittown, Wantagh and Seaford school districts have been presented with the William A. Haps Scholarship Awards, which are given out by the Wantagh Fire Department for students looking to attend the college of their choice. Dedicated to the memory of deceased firefigther William A. Haps—who served the community for 42 years before passing away on July 20, 1989—the scholarships are awarded each year to assist students
In order to apply, students must submit four recommendations and must be pursuing a Humanities program, such as emergency services [fire-police], nursing, criminal justice, social work, teaching, medicine, or research. A student’s financial need, extracurricular activities, and academic achievement are also considered during the application process.
Local Boy Scouts woke up at the crack of dawn on May 24 to help veterans flag the graves of the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country, buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.
“Every grave there gets flagged... no exceptions,” said VFW Post Commander Andy Booth.
Booth said the Boy Scouts of America were extremely helpful, as they are each year, helping place minature American flag at the foot of each headstone. In addition, members of the American Legion Post #1711 in Levittown flag the graves of former members and WWII veterans buried in the cemetery along Wantagh Ave.
Ask any Levittowner the story of Lt. Stephen E. Karopczyc, and they’re sure to tell you a tome about the Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient that embodies the level of sacrifice and commitment it takes to serve in the United States Armed Forces.
During a tour in Vietnam, Karopczyc fought valiantly alongside members of his platoon, when he spotted an enemy grenade had been lobbed into the trenches. Beaten and injured, Kropczyc sacrificed himself, covering the live grenade to save the lives of the other men in his unit.
For a community built to house the thousands of war veterans returning home after World War II, the story of Lt. Karopczyc is but one of many that will continue to be echoed throughout future generations to preserve the memories of those who sacrificed their lives for our country.
On May 27, Levittown firefighters responded to a call of a house fire on Balsam Lane. When firefighters arrived they found the home was engulfed flames and had started to extend towards the neighbor’s garage.
Rushing into the burning house, Levittown firefigthers requested that the neighboring Wantagh Fire Department send a “Fast Truck,” in the event that the firefighters became trapped. Ladder
In addition to honoring those who have bravely fought to defend our country overseas, Memorial Day informally marks the start of summer. Each year, to embrace the sunshine and warm weather, the Levittown Chamber of Commerce invites the community to come to its annual Memorial Day Fair behind the Tri-County Flea Market. “It’s our single fundraiser of the year,” said Steven Philmus, president of the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, “and it has always been a successful event for more than 20 years.”
From May 22-May 26, crowds enjoyed a slew of rides, including a ferris wheel, flying swings, and carnival games where they could win one of many prizes.
Nearly 3,000 voters in the Levittown School District cast their ballots on May 20, to pass a $198.7 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, by a margin of 68 percent.
According to unofficial tallies, 1,965 residents voted “yes” while 906 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.
“This budget was a result of the Board of Education’s hard work, a great working relationship between the central administration and the board, and input from the community,” said Levittown Superintendent Dr. James J. Grossane. “We thank the entire community for its continued support.”
Voters in the Island Trees School District cast their ballots on May 20, approving a $60.2 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year by a 78 percent margin.
According to unofficial tallies, 957 residents voted “yes” while 267 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.
“I would like to thank the community for again supporting the Island Trees school budget,” said Island Trees schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Year in and year out, the Island Trees residents continue to support their investment in our school programs, services and students... for that, I truly thank the residents.”
Several hundred pieces of artwork from approximately 500 students were displayed for the Division Avenue High School’s fourteenth annual Art Show on May 21.
Highlighted artist Olivia Kavanaugh, whose portrait entitled “Fears of Clown” was used for pamphlets and posters to promote the art exhibit, said she channelled her fears for her interpretation of a self-portrait.
“My biggest fear is to be laughed at, so I portrayed myself as a clown in the spotlight,” Kavanaugh said.
This year’s school elections proved to be a big one for the challengers in Levittown, with nearly every seat contested in each of the two local school districts.
In the Island Trees Union Free School District, a last-minute endorsement from the teacher’s union paired with an outspoken campaign, helped net the trio of Brian Fielding, Paul Giambona and Michael Rich three seats on the Board of Education.
“I was excited that so many people came out,” Fielding said. “It shows that when change is needed a small community can stand together.”
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