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No One’s ‘Board’ At This Café

Written by Chris Boyle, 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.


Massapequa Meets On Curriculum

Written by Daniel Offner, 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.


Teens Offer Tech Tutoring

Written by Chris Boyle, Thursday, 06 March 2014 09:33

The iPad, the laptop, the smartphone; everyday instruments to many people all throughout the world, but to someone just being indoctrinated into the world of cutting-edge technology these tools might seem rather daunting. Unless there is a patient hand guiding the way.

Those guides were at the Massapequa Public Library’s Bar Harbour branch recently, where they offered a session of their ongoing Electronic Device Demonstration and Tutoring series, where community teenagers donate their time to turn tech-deficient adults into masters of the digital domain; free of charge and all within the span of one hour or less.


Vocal Public Saves Mute Swans, For Now

Written by Observer Staff, Tuesday, 04 March 2014 00:00

After culling criticism from elected officials and local residents, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said it will re-examine its plan to eliminate mute swans from the state.

While the initial public comment period on the draft “Management Plan for Mute Swans in New York State” closed Feb. 21, the DEC is considering changes to the draft plan, including an additional opportunity for public comment, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens recently announced.


Dancing To Benefit Down Syndrome

Written by Observer Staff, Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00

A Massapequa resident is set to perform an emotional dance for a cause very near and dear to her heart.

World Down Syndrome Day has been celebrated on March 21 since 2006 to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome. Alexander’s Angels and the Down Syndrome Advocacy Foundation are teaming up to present Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day: Believe in the Possibilities. The thought-provocking and fun Long Island celebration will take place on Saturday, March 22 at Adelphi University’s Performing Arts Center in Garden City with proceeds benefiting Down syndrome research.


On Track In Massapequa

Written by Chris Boyle, Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00

Trains can be a lot of big, noisy, speedy fun, whisking you away to all sorts of exciting locations; however, trains can also be a dangerous place where youngsters can get hurt if proper care is not taken when it comes to safety and following the rules.

Luckily, the Long Island Rail Road has been conducting outreach programs for the past 20 years on the importance of exercising care and common sense when it comes train safety; LIRR Community Relations Specialist Chrisann Fabio recently conducted one such program at Massapequa’s Bar Harbour Library that was aimed at younger kids, an age group that she said was especially important to educate on the subject.  


Young Scribes Take Top Prize

Written by Observer Staff, Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:03

A team of talented young journalists scored the crowning award from a prestigious press organization.

Massapequa High School’s student newspaper, The Chief, won its first Gold Medal award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), positioning it as one of the best student publications in the country. The honor also earned the staff an invitation to present a workshop they designed called “Localize it: Your publication vs. The New York Times” at the 90th annual CSPA Spring Convention at Columbia University, March 19.


Erin Go Brava In Massapequa

Written by Colleen Maidhof, Wednesday, 26 February 2014 00:00

More than 1,000 Irish dancers from all over North America jigged to classic Irish melodies at the Annual Inishfree School Feis (competition) held at Berner Middle School on Sunday. Amongst the crowd were members from the Massapequa Inishfree School who had competitors ranging from ages 5 to 25.

The competition consisted of Beginners, Advanced Beginners, Novices, Prizewinners and Championship levels. Each dancer danced in front of judges hoping to be placed in the top rankings.

Massapequa resident Kathleen McGowan, 23, competed in the Championship category, and she placed 5th out of 21 dancers. She will be representing the U.S. in the 2014 World Championships in London this April.

Massapequa Student Braves Bee

Written by Colleen Maidhof, Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00

Hundreds of local students, from fourth to eighth grade, competed Sunday, Feb. 10 at the third annual Hofstra Long Island Regional Scripps Spelling Bee, where the winning student gets to compete at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

John P. McKenna Elementary School student, Claire Russell, 11, from Massapequa Park, was one of the spell-binded competitors on hand at the event. She took to the stage ready for action, but she did battle a few butterflies before taking on the Bee.

Like many other students, she was nervous before the spelling began, but she braved the stage during the first round with confidence. Even though she got knocked out of the competition due to the difficulty of the words, she still enjoyed her time there.  

Robo Chiefs Take Prize

Written by Cynthia Paulis, Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:28

More than 100 students from 19 schools on Long Island squared off for nine hours at Adelphi University for the VEX Robotics Competition. The Massapequa High School robotics club called “Robo Chiefs” crushed the competition, winning first place and the Excellence award — the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics competition.


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