Epple named 37th Levittown Fire Chief
As a kid growing up, Donald J. Epple Jr. would mount his bike whenever he heard sirens, following the bright red fire truck to scene where he would watch as his father and members of the Levittown fire department put out the blaze. Following in his father’s footsteps, Epple joined the Levittown Fire Department on May 20, 1979, as a probationary firefighter and before long became a member of Ladder Company No. 1.
Now, 35 years since first joining the department’s ranks, Epple has been named the thirty-seventh Chief of the Levittown Fire Department.
“I call it my career,” Epple said, jokingly. “I love what I am doing.”
After proposing to develop 147 to 250 condominium units for seniors 55 and up on 11.3 acres of property currently housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools, members of the Levittown Property Owners Association invited Superintendent Dr.
Charles Murphy and the Island Trees Board of Education to attend a special meeting, on March 11, to address concerns surrounding the district’s transparency.
According to LPOA Vice President Brian Kelty, out of seven commercial real estate appraisal vendors that responded to the district’s request for professional service, only five were contacted by the district’s purchasing agent. Based on documents posted on the school district’s website, one estimate from Breslin Appraisal Co., Inc., was submitted to Dr. Murphy a day in advance of the notice being sent out to bid.
The Levittown Public School District’s Board of Education—following in the footsteps of the neighboring Island Trees School district—recently adopted a proposed tax break for veterans.
Throughout New York State, school districts are being asked to vote on a special exemption, which provides three tiers of tax breaks for vets based on whether or not they saw combat or suffered a disability.
Although a similar exemption already exists at the county level, the state left individual school districts to decide if it would be in the best interest of the taxpaying community.
Since grabbing the reins as the new director of the Levittown Public Library, on Feb. 1, Trina Reed has been hitting the ground running. Taking the place of former director Celeste Watman, who retired after eight years as Levittown’s chief librarian, Reed is already mingling with the public to find new ways to improve what is considered the central library in Nassau County.
“We receive or hold documents in this library that are not available to any other library in the Nassau system and may be hard to find,” Reed said. According to Reed, the library features a government documents librarian whose purpose is to research hard-to-find documents and circulate them to other libraries when requested. She added that its central status enables it to receive New York State aid to achieve its mission of maintaining the librarian position and the research. Only the East Meadow Public Library shares a similar status, as “co-central” library.
Bryant D. Acosta, Christian Antonetti, David J. Augner, Arthur M. Bain, Martin Czerwiec, Thomas G. McCarthy, and Justin L. San Martin took their oath and received citations from Nassau County for their commitment to the Marine Corps. The seven Levittown residents were among the candidates who committed to the U.S. Marine Corps in a public ceremony held at the Veterans’ Memorial in Eisenhower Park.
Despite the below freezing temperatures, 40 Marine Corps candidates took the oath to begin their career paths, as they prepare to head to bootcamp at Parris Island in South Carolina, with staggered ship dates throughout the upcoming year. Sergeant Thomas Heinsohn of Farmingdale, along with Sergeant Pedro Castillo, Staff Sergeant Daniel Oritheneer, and Staff Sergeant Marc Oxley of the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Hicksville mentor the candidates and help prepare each prior to their deployment to bootcamp.
On March 9, Nassau County Police arrested Wasif S. Hamid, 23, after three separate occassions where he allegedly sold heroin to an undercover Narcotics officer in Levittown.
According to detectives, Hamid was found in possession of 688 wax paper envelopes plus additional heroin, over a half-ounce of cocaine, assorted pills and two vials of Ketamine.
Hamid was subsequently arraigned at First District Court, on March 9, and has been charged with seven counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance.
The Levittown Public School District Board of Education is mulling a proposed $199.6 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year, which would increase spending by 2.09 percent. This amounts to a budget-to-budget increase of roughly $4.1 million from last year, when local voters approved a $195.6 million budget.
Halfway through its fiscal planning for the 2014-2015 budget, the board reconvened on March 5, to discuss forecasted increases in transportation, athletics, and computer technology costs.
At the meeting, Transportation Supervisor Dajuana Reeves presented a $5.5 million spending proposal, which would increase the department’s spending by $369,650 from last year. Additionally, $442,000 would be allocated to purchase four new school buses.
On March 7, members of the Division Avenue High School PTSA held their fourteenth annual Sweeps and Chinese Auction fundraiser. According to First Vice President of Division Avenue High School PTSA Laura Brown, there were about 150 Chinese auction baskets and 30 bingo prizes that were given out during this year’s event.
The PTSA has been organizing this event for the past 14 years, but it only started to get bigger in the last three years. It is now the largest event that the PTSA has to organize every year. “It wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation of the custodial staff, and all the PTSA members,” said Brown. “We reserve tables now because there’s probably 400 people in there.”
Jessy Davidson, a student at MacArthur High School in Levittown, organized and held a blood drive at the John Theissen Children’s Foundation on Wantagh Ave. this past weekend.
Davidson, a junior, hopes to earn a small college scholarship through the New York Blood Center Bloodstock Scholarship Program by hosting this blood drive. If at least 30 donors come through, she will qualify for the scholarship.
Anyone who is in high school is able to participate in this scholarship, according to Davidson.
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.
Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum.
An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann, delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites high school graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum.
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