Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
The horror that struck Newtown, CT on Friday, Dec. 14 sent a wave of terror across the country after a 20-year-old man gunned down 20 elementary school students and seven teachers. Since then, local school officials have faced questions about safety and security.
Whether it was a coincidence or a sign of safe planning, the Mineola School District held safety and lockdown drills at two buildings just before shooting, District Superintendent Michael Nagler told the Mineola American on Monday, Dec. 17. Drills were held at Mineola High School and the Hampton Street School.
“We do lockdown drills in conjunction with Nassau County Police,” he said in a phone interview.
District officials assured that administration would review all its safety policies and modify them if needed. Nagler expects Thursday’s [Dec. 20] school board meeting to detail those initiatives.
“It is unimaginable to me that children are the target of such violence,” said Nagler, a father of two school-age children. “We try as parents and as educators to shield kids of the harsh realities of an adult world. It rocks you emotionally.”
Mineola guidance counselors will be visiting elementary schools throughout the week. One thing that Nagler said is key for younger kids is routine.
“Younger kids like routine,” he said. “When you deviate from them, they know something is up. We try to keep it as normal and as usual as possible as they go through their day.”
Parent Sheri Wilgosz wanted to break her routine when the news came over the radio while she was driving Friday morning. Her first reaction was to go get her 7-year-old daughter, but rethought her next move.
“I didn’t want to scare her,” she said. “She was in good hands. My initial reaction was to drive and get her out of there. Not that I thought that anything would happen to her. I talked myself down because I didn’t want to upset her.”
Mineola’s Ann Marie Egan held her breath when she first learned of the shooting. Her niece is a guidance counselor for a middle school 30 minutes from Sandy Hook.
“My niece works with some people from that neighborhood,” she said. “She said she knows people from that school and they’ll be getting together to help out. They’re all heartbroken.”
Mineola parent and nursery school teacher Maria Luca said working with children close to the age of the victims jarred her psyche when the news came in. She stated further that her hopes and prayers are with the families.
“You think of your children,” she said. “That was my first instinct. When my children were students at Jackson [Avenue School] I would never even consider this happening.”
Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00
The Village of Williston Park Board of Trustees passed a local law last week that establishes the authority for legal action on water bills that are $25,000 or greater.
According to Village Attorney James Bradley, if a water bill remains unpaid for 90 days, he is authorized to commence legal proceedings for collection, and charge attorney fees for prosecution. Fees would be added to the unpaid bill and subject to non-payment penalties
“The person or entity responsible for paying the unpaid bill will be liable for the attorney fees,” Bradley said, while noting that the bill is an amendment of existing code.
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00
The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola.
With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said. “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).
Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.