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One Bud At A Time

In today’s hustle and bustle world, sometimes it can be easy to overlook something as simple and beautiful as a single rose at the peak of its bloom; however, there’s a group of people out there who have made it their mission to remind people to appreciate the beauty in life just a little each and every day.

The Long Island Rose Society, which meets at the Plainview-Old Bethpage Public Library once every month, boasts a history spanning over 50 years since its creation, and according to 15-year member and former president Cathy Guzzardo, she and her cohorts are out to spread the word about the delightful pastime of rose gardening.

“We’re considered ‘Rosearians.’ We grow roses and we teach about roses...we love to share our knowledge about roses and promote them to everyone,” she said. “Over the years we have taken in members from defunct rose societies, and the membership has gone up and down over the years. At one point we had about 260, but at the moment we have about 80.”

Guzzardo, a North Valley Stream resident, said that her love affair with roses started at a very early age while she was growing up on a small plot of land in Queens.

“My neighbor gave me my first paying job...weeding her garden for 50 cents and all the roses that I pocket the 50 cents, but it’s the roses that you remember,” she said. “That always remained with me — in fact, one of those rose bushes are still there to this day — and later, I started volunteering at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, and it was through there that I got in contact with the Long Island Rose Society.”

Kathy Picinic, current LI Rose Society president and a Bethpage resident, said that she’s acquired a wealth of growing knowledge since she began attending their meetings eight years ago; before then, she had the preverbal brown thumb, so to speak.

“I loved planting roses for years, but I didn’t know how to take proper care of them, so they’d always die on me,” she said. “I now have about 60 roses, which is nothing compared to some of the members, but I’ve learned a lot...what to grow, what to feed them, how to cut them, how to prepare them for winter,’s really enjoyable. I’m always learning something new and interesting, and now my roses are a beautiful sight to see”

Members of the LI Rose Society, Guzzardo said, love to welcome newcomers and are more than happy to impart their years of hard-earned experience and wisdom upon them.

“The people here are so generous with their knowledge...they can’t wait to tell you about growing roses,” she said. “We also have several members who are certified through the American Rose Society, and they have to study and are tested on their knowledge every three years...those Rosearians are a great source of information for both new members and old.”

In addition, the LI Rose Society has regular guest speakers lecturing on a variety of fascinating topics on the subject of making the Earth a greener place to live, Guzzardo said.

“We try to have guest speakers that will draw in a crowd...people not just from the rose industry, but from all aspects of gardening,” she said. “In March we will have Irene Virag, who is the former Home and Garden Editor of Newsday and a Professor of Journalism at Stony Brook University. It should be very interesting.”

Other recent lecture topics have included composting, soil, plant and flower diseases, and more; in addition, Society members bring prize roses to each meeting for display and impromptu judging against their fellow members.

Guzzardo said that the mission of the LI Rose Society is as strong as ever and plain for all to see — to instill a love of roses and gardening for all of those willing to partake.

“We try to keep the enthusiasm up and to stay on top of things in the rose world,” she said. “We want people to know that roses can be a very accessible flower to raise...I believe that there’s a rose out there for everybody, even if you’re sun-challenged. We’ll find a way for you to make it happen.”

To find out more about the Long Island Rose Society, visit their website at


Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, military veterans and Gold Star families will have to wait for their tax break until next year.

Plainview is one of several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending an exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Last month, despite concerns about lack of confidence in the validity of eligibility information provided by the county assessor’s office, the Plainview trustees voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, starting with the 2014-2015 school year.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School business teams placed second and third in the Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. They competed against two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County for scholarships and cash awards from various sponsors.  

On April 9, at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, student teams had 10 minutes to convince a panel of expert judges that their plan for a business in the Plaza of the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is feasible and would be successful.


Matzah Balls

Thursday, April 17

Craft Fair

Saturday, April 19


Friday, April 18


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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