Written by Joe Scotchie: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
With its third anniversary coming this fall, Drug Free Massapequa (DFM) will hold a Tribute Concert on Saturday, April 21, one that will honor State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, as DFM takes stock of its past and looks toward the future.
“Progress is great,” said Janice Talento, president and CEO of DFM, while adding that the organization is still battling what she claims is an epidemic on Long Island.
“Every year we lose over 365 children island wide to overdoses, and in 2009-2011, more than ten of our children have died due to heroin overdose in the Massapequa community alone,” a flier for the April 21 grimly reported.
Still, Talento is pleased with DFM’s growth and the response it continues to receive from local residents. In fact, its growth has been such that DFM officially goes under the name of Drug Free Long Island, Inc. A sister alliance, South Huntington Against Drugs has also been formed under the Drug Free Long Island banner.
The April 21 concert will be held at 8 p.m. at Massapequa High School. It will feature the singer Helene Masiko performing her Cher tribute act. Similar acts are Rag Doll, a Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute band, and The Fellas, who will perform their tributes to The Temptations.
In addition to Assemblyman Saladino, other dignitaries hoped to be in attendance are Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, State Senator Charles Fuschillo, Nassau County Legislature’s Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt, and Town of Oyster Bay Clerk Steven J. Labriola.
Assemblyman Saladino will be honored, Talento said, for his service to DFM right from the time they set up operations in October 2009. That includes Saladino’s own work on the drug problem on Long Island, including setting up a Heroin Task Force and sponsoring trips to Albany for DFM members when the organization was first starting out. The assemblyman, Talento noted, attended DFM’s first public rally, one held at the Massapequa Long Island Railroad station October 2009. He also offered his services on how to run a non-profit organization, while also attending the DFM’s Awareness Walk, held in September 2011. “He [Saladino] helped us to get off the ground,” Talento said.
For the past three years, DFM has held educational workshops on a monthly basis with speakers from agencies throughout Long Island, plus those from the district attorney’s office and the Nassau County Police Department. DFM’s most high-profile action so far has been the role it took in prosecuting Dr. Sanji Francis, the Merrick-based physician accused of selling prescription drugs to undercover police. In October 2010, Francis, for his conviction, received a six-month prison sentence with five years probation. At the time of Francis’ arrest in December 2009, Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey thanked the Massapequa community for their sense of awareness that helped to lead to the investigation and eventual arrest of Francis. Despite that praise and the work of Nassau County prosecutors, the verdict proved disappointing to DFM members who had hoped for a longer term.
Proceeds from the April 21 concert will be used primarily to launch a Youth Center; which DFM members hope will provide a “healthy place” for Massapequa area youth to congregate.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:00
As voters in the Massapequa Union Free School District approach the Tuesday, May 21, budget vote, the proposed spending plan retains popular educational programs while keeping the rise in spending to 1.49 percent.
Despite what district officials call unprecedented increases in state-mandated employer pension contributions, as well as rising health insurance costs, the overall budget is up just over $2.7 million.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
After Massapequa resident Sol Goldstein and several friends helped finish building a house for a family 20 years ago for Habitat for Humanity, they had a question: “What do we do now?” They were all retired, had enjoyed working together and accomplishing something for a family in need, and wanted to do more.
“I was looking for something [to do] hands-on,” said Joe Botkin, of Williston Park, a retired principal, who had worked with Goldstein in building the home.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Vinny Zanfardino started his coaching career in 1997 when he stepped up to coach his daughter’s Little League team.
What started as a hobby turned into a full-blown obsession for Zanfardino, 48. Coaching became an outlet to do some good for children while staying close to the game he loves: baseball.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
On Saturday, May 18, the Town of Oyster Bay will conduct a ceremony to officially re-name its golf course in honor of Joseph Colby, a resident of Massapequa Park who served as the Town of Oyster Bay’s 56th supervisor. The Honorable Joseph Colby was appointed supervisor in 1977 and was elected to that office five times in the following ten years. He was then elected as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in 1988, a post he held through his retirement from public service in 1992. The unveiling will take place at the main entrance of the course off South Woods Road in Woodbury.
“When the sign for Honorable Joseph Colby Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course is unveiled, it will celebrate an outstanding career in public service,” Supervisor John Venditto said. “Joseph Colby has always had the needs of the public as his top priority and has been widely respected for his innovation and responsiveness. This golf course will now forever bear his name as a tribute to his outstanding legacy.”