There are many different opinions about how to approach rebuilding and revitalizing the Massapequas following last year’s Superstorm Sandy devastation — and many of those opinions were front and center at a public meeting hosted by New York Rising at McKenna Elementary school last week.
The NY Rising Community Reconstruction program presented Massapequa residents with strategies and projects aimed at addressing the community’s needs, while also examining opportunities to improve the area’s infrastructure to protect against future storms.
In spite of the cold and first snow of the season, more than 175 people trekked to the Huntington Book Revue to meet a native son, Massapequa resident Brian Kilmeade, co-anchor of the morning news program Fox and Friends on the Fox News channel. Kilmeade, with Don Yeager, has just written a book titled “George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution,” which tells the little known story of how ordinary New Yorkers became spies to help Washington defeat the British by sneaking messages between Long Island and Manhattan.
Kilmeade has always had a passion for history. He first became intrigued with the historical spy story in 1990 when he was in Manhasset one day and saw that they were painting a line down the street.
Massapequa Preserve, a lush 423-acre nature sanctuary that lies between Farmingdale and Massapequa, is indeed the place that many people go to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life...if only for a walk, job, or simply to commune with nature, unspoiled by the hand of man.
Helping to prevent erosion, vandalism, and other negative impacts that human encroachment tends to bring upon nature are a very special group of environmental activists- the Friends of Massapequa Preserve, started in 2000 by North Bellmore residents Richard and Lisa Schary.
Massapequa protestors stood outside Mineola High School during a lively forum on Wednesday, Nov. 13, leading calls to end the vastly criticized common core standards in schools throughout Long Island and beyond.
Amid calls of “1,2,3,4, we don’t want your Common Core!” Massapequa Teachers’ Union President Tomia Smith said the common core forces undue stress and confusing test preparations on the minds of the island’s young people, as well as the teachers.
Massapequa’s Lynne Berge sat at a computer at the Plainview Family History Center clicking through digital records and unearthing hints of her family history. Berge grew up sharing a room with her Irish immigrant grandmother, but knew precious few details about the family’s beginning in the old country.
“She didn’t like to talk about it,” Berge said, remembering her grandmother’s unease with tracing the family roots back to Ireland. “They wanted to be Americanized.”
But following her grandmother’s death, Berge took to the task of playing familial detective. She dedicated time and effort in her search and eventually came across a random photo of her grandfather — which then led her through the criss-crossing branches of her family tree.
When Superstorm Sandy ripped through Massapequa last October, many neighborhood children lost part of their school year. Now, a new influx of funding aims to get some of that lost year back.
The American Red Cross awarded a $500,000 grant to FEGS (Federation Employment and Guidance Service) Health and Human Services to support mental health and education services for children affected by the hurricane on Long Island.
Massapequa pets of all sizes and species gathered at a local church to receive their blessings.
Poppit the lizard peered out from under his blanket and surveyed the scene, his long yellow tail quivering with delight. There was Sprinkles the chihuahua wearing her finest spotted vest along with her mom Cupcake and her cousin Lola. Speedy the turtle nodded to Sugar the hamster. Daisy the bunny twitched her nose with excitement while Cosmo wearing a halo greeted Chloe the cat whose deep blue eyes stared at all of the dogs around her. Today was their big day. Everyone was on their best behavior, even the humans, as the priests from St. Rose of Lima, Pastor Zach, Father Fortunato and Father Khoa raised their hands to give the blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
His painting depicts boats washed ashore and once-proud houses standing in a state of ruin. In the foreground, a Nassau County squad car blocks a storm-ravaged road under a sky marked with the foreboding footprint of Hurricane Sandy.
Such was Ronald Hendrickson’s vision of the superstorm’s aftermath — a vision that won the North Massapequa resident the $10,000 top prize in County Executive Ed Managano’s Sandy Art Challenge.
When Berner Middle School eighth-grader Jason Kopp, 13, separated his growth plate in his shoulder and couldn’t play baseball, he spent his weekends crafting brightly colored rubber band bracelets and came up with an idea. Knowing October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, Hopp figured he could turn his crafting skills into a fundraiser for breast cancer research.
After discussing the idea with family members, the young man made a sign out of pink oaktag, dressed himself in pink attire — everything from socks to sweatshirts to sunglasses — and set up a stand, much like a lemonade stand, on the sidewalk of his Massapequa Park home, located near Sunrise Highway. He displayed his pink creations, priced at $2 per bracelet and $1 per ring. By the end of the first October weekend he raised more than $100. Fired up by the response, the 13-year-old tripled his pink wardrobe for the cause and rode his bike around his neighborhood handing out fliers.
Mayor Jeffrey Pravato congratulated Peter Mangouranes and Paul Olivia on the opening of their new restaurant JAM on Park Boulevard in the Village of Massapequa Park. Pictured (left) to (right) Trustee Richard Begandy, Deputy Mayor Teresa Spinosa, Mayor Jeffrey P. Pravato, Peter Mangouranes and Paul Olivia, owners of JAM. — Observer Staff
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