Friday, 14 December 2012 00:00
Kim Dobres received a letter this summer from the Massapequa School District. When she opened it up and read it, she was quite alarmed. The letter informed her that her son, who would be beginning eighth grade at Berner Junior High School in August, was not eligible to be taken to and from school by district transportation. As a seventh grade student, Dobres says her son was originally denied district transportation, but upon speaking with someone at the district’s transportation office, she was told that her house was “pegged wrong,” and her son rode the bus throughout seventh grade. However, Dobres says that despite her multiple calls to district officials, she has not been able to get her son district transportation this year. Therefore, her son goes to school by walking a path between Unqua School and Berner Junior High that is directly behind a busy shopping center up where Staples, Dollar Tree and Waldbaum’s are located.
“I am not comfortable with that pass-through,” Dobres wrote in an email to the board of education.
Dobres says that she has numerous concerns about that path. First, it is not paved, so when there is precipitation, her son must traverse muddy ground that ruins his clothes. Dobres also says that the path is frequently littered with debris.
Secondly, Dobres says that the gates at the entrance to the path by both Unqua and Berner are not always unlocked in time for her son to pass through the path. In the email that she sent to the district, she wrote that her oldest daughter would encounter locked gates when she traversed the path, and had to climb over a fence, in order to get to school.
In addition, Dobres told that board at its last meeting, that she is concerned for her son’s safety, and the safety of others who travel the path. Although there are gates that can be locked at the entrance to both Berner and Unqua, the path goes behind the shopping center and there is an opening to the path that is accessible from the parking area adjacent to Staples. Dobres says she has been at the path at dismissal time and found it unguarded.
“Safety is the concern,” she told the board.
In response, Deputy Superintendent Alan Adcock, said that there is a security guard at the entrance to the path at Unqua, and one or two more security guards at the entrance to Berner.
According to the letter that Dobres received from the district, the transportation policy is to provide busing for students in grades 1-9 who live at least one mile from the school. The distance requirement is at least one half of a mile for kindergarten students and at least one and a half miles for students in grades 10-12. In the letter that Dobres received from the district, it says that using a calibrated odometer, it was determined that the distance between the furthest property line of Dobres’ home and a point adjacent to the flagpole in the street of Berner Middle School does not fall within these limits, and therefore her son may not receive district transportation.
However, Dobres disputes this. She said that the district states that her home is .8 of a mile from the school. Yet, Dobres claims that this route is dangerous, as her son would have to walk along Sunrise Highway to Old Sunrise Highway and then to Carman Mill Road. In the email she sent to the district, she wrote that this would require her son to walk in the street, as portions of Carman Mill Road do not have sidewalks. Conversely, if her son were to travel what Dobres believes is a safer route, by going to Merrick Road and then to Carman Mill Neck Road and approaching Berner from the south, the distance is 1.4 miles, which exceeds the district’s one mile limit.
Adcock maintains that since Dobres’ property is within one mile of Berner, her son may not receive district transportation. Board President Maryanne Fisher said that the board would have Adcock look into her concerns regarding the path between Unqua and Berner.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
With kids today obsessed with all the latest electronic gaming gadgets — the Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, and the like — you’d think that the comparatively antiquated concept of pushing a piece of plastic along a sheet of cardboard would be eschewed by your average teenager; however, judging by the crowd of kids at the Massapequa Public Library’s Board Game Café, this actually may not be the case.
Young Adult Services librarian Peter Cirona, who created the Board Game Café at the library’s Central Avenue branch (in addition to a whole host of other young adult programs), said that it’s a great way for kids to socialize and play some classic board games in a fun and friendly environment.
Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
On Feb. 27, parents in the Levittown, East Meadow, Massapequa and Farmingdale school districts came together for an informal pannel 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.
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.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:47
One of Major League Soccer’s top front office executives has many fond memories of growing up in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). Bill Manning, the President of Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake and the club’s field, Rio Tinto Stadium, played for the LIJSL Select Team from 1979 to ‘83 as well as the Massapequa Soccer Club from 1972 to ‘83.
Manning’s Massapequa teams had virtually the same players from Under-10 to Under-19, but kept changing their name depending on who their coach was. He played for the Massapequa Flying Dutchmen (coached by Kurt Knoblauch), the Massapequa Bugs (Dick Roche), the Massapequa Cosmos (Jerry Lyons) and the Massapequa Bulls (coached by his father, also named Bill Manning). The Bulls might have lost in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) State Open Cup finals to B/W Gottschee in overtime in 1983, but his teams won the LIJSL division championship in 1974, ‘76 and ‘79 plus the Long Island Cup in 1980 and ‘83.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 10:58
If the games were played on paper, Massapequa would’ve had no shot. The Chiefs faced a tall order last week playing Elmont, which boasted a 12-3 record and four premier scorers. They gave a tremendous effort, but ultimately had their season cut short, 69-62, despite Alex Cosenza leading the scoring with 29 points.
“I can’t ask for anything else from these guys,” said Head Coach Matt Voigt. “I am so proud of them. I applaud their efforts,”