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Massapequan Fights To Care For Kids

After enduring harsh barbs from some of her neighbors on N. Maple Street in North Massapequa, Annette Genco is still fighting to turn her childhood home into a day care center.

Currently living in Long Beach, Genco has poured thousands of dollars into an effort to repair and renovate the house, which she said was in major disrepair. And while most neighbors appreciate her efforts, she said a vocal few have turned her day care dream into a nightmare.

“From what I understand, the people who are complaing have nothing left to do with their lives. Who could be against babies?” said Genco. “I am doing everything 100 percent legal. I’m getting every single certification I need. I already got fire and safety approval and we are already registered with the state. We are 90 percent through the application process, but because of my lovely neighbors, my contractors had to stop working on the house.”

Neighbors against the day care center went to the Oyster Bay Town Board to halt construction on the house. In a statement, Town Supervisor John Venditto said the town is not against day care centers but to protect the public health, safety and welfare of children, as well as the surrounding community, there are rules and regulations that must be followed, including the town’s zoning regulations and building codes.

“At this time, there are a number of unanswered questions with the proposed day care center in North Massapequa,” said Venditto. “We are currently in the process of collecting information to determine whether or not the town’s zoning authority is applicable. With that being said, the town’s building code always applies to ensure that the structure is safe and sound. Ultimately, as is typical of the Town of Oyster Bay, the Town and its departments will do the right thing by the entire community.”

In establishing a day care center, Genco is trying to do the right thing by her mother, who she said inspired the idea for a day care center.

“My mother loved children and she would find any excuse to invite the neighborhood children over the house,” said Genco. “This is something that I knew my mother would love from up on high.”

Genco said the day care center is also a dream of her caregiver of three years.

“When my father passed, I said let me do this for my mom and my caregiver,” she said. “This is a private day care center for working professionals. This is not a low-income thing that is going to bring a bad element into the neighborhood.”

Genco said neighhors’ complaints about traffic have no basis. She said mothers would drop their child off at the center at 7 or 8 a.m. and then head to work. They would come back at 6 or 7 p.m. to pick them up. Plus, she said has a driveway that holds six cars, so there would be no cars parked on the street as the day care center would only care for eight infants at a time.

“Moreover, the parents wouldn’t be there for more than 10 minutes,” she said. “And these are people who would be able to afford private health care. This is not some slum.”

The next step in the process for Genco is to hire an arbitrator to fight those opposed to her day care center, which she dubbed “Connie’s Place” after her mother. This, of course, will cost Genco more money — but it is a price she is more than willing to pay.

“It is going to take years to make up what I’m spending, but I’m not in it for the money,” she said. “I’m in it for the love and respect I have for both my mother and my caregiver. I’m trying to help my caregiving, a mother with three kids, have her dream come true. I’m also trying to bring the laughter back into the house where I grew up and give mommies and daddies a safe place to keep their babies while they go off to work. So what’s wrong with that?”

News

Two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County, including Massapequa High School, competed for scholarships and cash awards—more than $33,000 in all—from various sponsors at Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge.

The events on Sept. 11, 2001 had a profound effect on nearly all in the tri-state area, but for first responders, the effects were overwhelming. Long-time Massapequa resident Michael Smith, a member of the New York Fire Department, experienced those effects firsthand.

“While I’ve always been a person that could appreciate life, after 9/11 I became so distraught,” he said. “I realized I need to do something I want to do — something I love to do.”

A 30-year veteran of the fire department, Smith retired in 2002. He and his wife of 33 years, Teresa, began to look for a place they could enjoy life. This mindset brought them to the East End of Long Island, where they often went for day trips. They settled down in a home in Orient Point in 2004; in a home that needed quite a bit of work. And when it was time to landscape the property, a new idea took root — a vineyard.


Sports

Massapequa athletes recently received honors from their coaches at Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, the coaches of all of the Kellenberg teams choose one member of their team who stands out as an athlete that has worked hard to improve themselves in their chosen sport.

The Farmingdale State women’s lacrosse team won the first game of their Spring Break trip to North Carolina with a victory over Greensboro College. In wet and muddy conditions, the Rams (8-1) held an 8-5 lead at the half and took the eventual 13-10 win.

In the first half and tied 2-2, the Pride (7-5) pulled ahead 4-2 with two unassisted goals by junior attack Nadya Fedun. Farmingdale State answered with four straight scores for a 6-4 advantage, on goals by juniors Alyssa Handel, Nicole Marzocca and Massapequan Jackie Kennedy.

Sophomore attack Ashlynn Parks put Greensboro within a goal at the 7:03 mark, but the Rams scored two more to lead 8-5 at the halftime break.

Calendar

YES Fundraiser

Saturday, April 26

Massapequa Memories

Tuesday, April 29

Spring Fashion Show

Wednesday, April 30



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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