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Mineola Schools Get Aid Hike

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 09 April 2014 00:00

The Mineola School District will see more than $5.8 million in New York State aid after the State Legislature ratified its operating budget on April 1. The hike represents a 11.22 percent increase from last year. Senator Jack Martins released the figures in the wee hours of the budget approval.


“This investment of over $5.8 million in the Mineola School District will help the district educate children while easing the burden on local taxpayers,” said Senator Martins. “I am pleased the state budget delivers this important funding to Mineola’s students and taxpayers.”


DaVanzo Laid To Rest

Saturday, 05 April 2014 00:00

John DaVanzo, 92, was laid to rest on Tuesday, March 25. He passed away on Friday, March 21. DaVanzo was 92.


DaVanzo graduated from Mineola High School in 1939 and was all-varsity in football, basketball, baseball and track. He attended Hofstra University, but left early because he was drafted to fight in World War II.


DaVanzo served as a village trustee from 1955 to 1965 and 2005 to 2007, deputy mayor for five years from 1955-1960, North Hempstead town councilman from 1965-1974 and town clerk from 1974-1991.


Concert Benefits Independence Fund

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 04 April 2014 00:00

For Maestro Louis Panacciulli, the 30th anniversary of the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra is about giving back. 


“We are celebrating this anniversary and we wanted to do something meaningful,” he said.


So, for its first concert commemorating the milestone for the Pops, the orchestra is holding “A Tribute to the American Spirit” on Sunday, April 13 at 3 p.m. at Chaminade High School in Mineola to benefit the Independence Fund. The fund raises money to purchase hi-tech wheelchairs for disabled veterans. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, who brought the fund into the national spotlight after The O’Reilly Factor ran a story with a war veteran, is co-sponsoring the event.


Opt-Out Chatter

Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

The Mineola School District will have only one student opting out of the next week’s much-debated common core English Language Arts assessment.

At a recent school board meeting. Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed there is a plan is in place for possible opt-outs. 


“I do not anticipate many children opting out,” he said. “We did not have many last year. I do not believe it’s any different this year than it has been in past. According to [New York State], there is no such thing as opt-out.”


You Can Go Everywhere Too

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 02 April 2014 00:00

Think of a place. Any place. Chances are good that former Williston Park resident John Massaro has been there. He’s traveled to 87 countries and 49 out of 50 states. 


Massaro, 60, has even been to North Korea, a country very few Americans have seen, in August 2013. And he's got one message: it’s not that bad. In fact, he wants to take your kids there. 


“North Korea is as safe as any country,” he said. “It has only been in the last four years that American citizens have been allowed to visit. My educated guess is that only about 1,000 have done so.”


A Pair Of Pauls Entrusted With Two More Years

Written by Rich Forestano Saturday, 29 March 2014 00:00

New Line Party member Paul Pereira and Hometown Party mainstay Paul Cusato may be from different sides, but the two were clearly of the same mind last Tuesday, March 18 on Election Day. The two incumbents were unopposed in the at-large election for two open seats on the board for a third consecutive election cycle.


Pereira and Cusato garnered 306 and 275 votes respectively. Village Justice John O’Shea also ran without a challenger as the top vote-getter with 336 tallies.


“I think tonight demonstrates just that we’re breaking bread together, we’re working together. There really isn’t teams here,” Pereira said at Heart of Portugal last week. 


Aid Talk

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

While most revenues in the current draft of the Mineola School District Budget are pretty much set, New York State is another story, according to District Superintendent Michael Nagler.


“I can tell you the latest saga with state aid...our state government, we don’t know where state aid is going,” Nagler said last week. “We do know the house and senate have proposed increases into state aid. We don’t have any [figures] to see what that means for Mineola specifically.”


The Mineola School District saw a 5.87 percent increase ($5,623,800) in preliminary state aid figures released in January. The state awarded Mineola $5,311,988 in 2013-14.


Oscar Winner Has East Williston Roots

Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00

The road to an Academy Award wasn't easy for Anthony Katagas. The East Williston native did something some young men would never do: choose a path away from the family business. The road less-traveled proved difficult but worthwhile for the Wheatley School graduate, culminating in a Best Picture Oscar as producer of 12 Years A Slave.


“I was very proud, very humbled by the experience because there are a lot of really worthy and great filmmakers that didn’t get [an Oscar],” Katagas said in an interview with the Mineola American.


Katagas, 44, seems eager to give credit to others.


Mr. Mineola Passes Away

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 26 March 2014 00:00

Mineola lost one of its pillars on Friday, March 21. John DaVanzo, a lifelong resident of Mineola, died at Winthrop University Hospital. He was 92.


If you frequent Mineola, you have probably seen him at Village Hall, the Hampton Street Stadium, the community pool (which bears his name), the Station Plaza Diner and the list goes on. He has met U.S. presidents and has been a fixture in public life for years. His footprint in Mineola has been cemented for decades, and will continue to be so for many years to come.


Mr. Mineola is his name and the village will always be his playground. DaVanzo loved Mineola, he loved the people, but most of all...he loved his family.


Wander To Wheatley For Gypsy

Written by Sheri ArbitalJacoby Saturday, 22 March 2014 00:00

The extremely talented students at The Wheatley School will be performing the spectacular musical Gypsy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 27–29, at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Many gifted cast members from Mineola, East Williston and Albertson will belt out classics from the play.


Loosely based on the 1957 memoirs of the famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy spotlights Lee’s mother, Rose, the ultimate stage mom.

The musical presents an affectionate look at the hardships of show-biz life while chronicling Rose’s dreams and struggles as she raises her two daughters to perform onstage.


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