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Down to the Core: April 10, 2012

Tangled Up In Blue

For many, the blooming trees and reddened thermometers signal the start of spring – a new beginning, a fresh start and, finally, the end of winter.

For this editor, spring means the start of the National Hockey League playoffs and the culmination of what’s been one of the New York Rangers’ most enjoyable seasons in recent memory.

Old man winter’s menacing chill failed to settle here on Long Island from late 2011 to early 2012, so naturally the New York Rangers were one of the hottest teams in the NHL during that span.

The Rangers locked up the top seed and will faceoff March 12 at 7 p.m. against the Ottawa Senators, one of the few NHL teams that had success against the Rangers in the regular season, beating them in three out of four meetings.

In the past few years, the Rangers would limp their way into the playoffs as the eight-seed and dangle a false sense of hope in front of fans before getting knocked out in the first round. Based on the 82 games the Rangers have given us this year, there’s a feeling throughout the league that this team will be the one to break the trend.

And what a glorious 82 games it’s been: opening the season in Sweden, four tremendous episodes on HBO’s 24/7, a Winter Classic victory in Philadelphia, 51 wins, the resurgence of Michael Del Zotto and Marian Gaborik, the emergence of Ryan McDonagh and Carl Hagelin, another stellar year from Henrik Lundqvist and plenty of quality postgame audio from Coach John Tortorella, whose “no excuses” policy brought out the best in his players all year.

Playoff hockey represents all that is right in the sports world. Hockey players, after going through what’s clearly the most difficult and demanding regular season schedule in any professional sport, overcome pain and whatever plagued them for 82 games and bring their game to an unreasonably high level of intensity for potentially another 28 games.

No big deal, just another one-third of the season!

When Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup a few months later. Two players on that team, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith, played for their respective countries (Team USA and Team Canada) during the Olympics, in addition to all 82 games in the regular season and 22 playoff games. Patrick Kane played 110 games that year and Duncan Keith played 111.

No big deal, just another 111-game season! That’s 47 more games than Carlos Beltran played that year for the Mets.

For the superstitious, Mike Richter won the NHL All-Star Game MVP award in 1993-1994, the year the Rangers’ won the Stanley Cup. This year, Gaborik earned the All-Star Game MVP. I’m not superstitious and I do separate church and sport, but hockey gods have been known to operate in mysterious ways.

Playing second fiddle to Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin, the Giants and now the Yankees and Mets, the Rangers have quietly excelled for the past eight months.

But for your Blueshirts, it’s no big deal, no excuses – just another two and a half months to go.


Howard Kroplick was just settling in to his new position as North Hempstead’s town historian in April of 2012 when a phone call from a resident who found an old headstone led him into a comprehensive study of all 28 cemeteries within

the town’s boundaries.


Kroplick, an East Hills resident for 29 years, serves in the unpaid role as an advisor to the North Hempstead board, out of his longtime love of history. His exhaustive study of the area’s cemeteries has helped him complete a history of

North Hempstead that will be published in January, which will coincide with the 400-year anniversary of the discovery of Long Island, by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block. It was Block, according to Kroplick, who first identified Long Island as an actual island, not a peninsula as many believed back then. The 128-page book from Arcadia Publishing is the first ever written about North Hempstead.

For the time being, much of the Roslyn area is without representation on the Town of North Hempstead council. Recently, Thomas K. Dwyer, who has represented Roslyn on that body since 2002, announced that he would step down from the board while he is in negotiations with a Manhattan-based consulting firm.


Dwyer, who is the chief operating officer of Syosset-based American Land Services, would not identify the firm he is talking to, but he said that the new job would represent a conflict of interest with his work on the town board.


SUNY College at Old Westbury recently named Dr. Anthony DeLuca of Levittown as the College’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), beginning at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.  

DeLuca, now entering his third year at Old Westbury, also holds the position as director Old Westbury’s Honors College.


“We are thrilled that Dr. DeLuca will serve as Old Westbury’s Faculty Athletics Representative,” said director of athletics Lenore Walsh.  “He is a champion for intercollegiate athletics and has been involved with our program since his arrival at Old Westbury.  I am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely with Dr. DeLuca in support of our students’ academic and athletic pursuits at Old Westbury.”

Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray. 

The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.


Pete Hamill Lecture - December 5

Chazak Celebration - December 7

More Mussar Programs - January 8


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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,