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2009: The Year In Review

That Championship Year by Roslyn High Bulldogs

What were the biggest stories to come out of Roslyn in 2009? There were several, but at the top was the terrific season by the Roslyn High School boys’ basketball squad. The Bulldogs fielded perhaps the best team in the school’s history, winning the school’s first-ever Class ABC-I Nassau County title, before losing in the Long Island title game to East Hampton. The team was paced by senior guard George Beamon who was the top scorer in all of Long Island high school basketball, earning him a scholarship to Manhattan College.

In their amazing playoff run, the Bulldogs won key contests in dramatic fashion. They defeated Westbury, 71-64 in a thrilling road victory. The county title win featured a fourth quarter comeback in which Roslyn outscored South Side High School by 10 points to take a convincing 69-61 victory.

The Bulldogs weren’t the only sports story of the year. Roslyn High School track sensation Emily Lipari had a solid year, competing, in January, in the Foot Locker Cross Country High School championships and later making the cover of Rise, a national publication brought out by ESPN.

Switching from track to golf, East Hills resident Cheryl Brayman continued her own winning ways on the links. In June, Ms. Brayman won her third Women’s Senior Golf Championship, one sponsored by the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association and held at the North Jersey Country Club in Wayne, NJ.  

In January, Roger Tilles was elected president of the Nassau County Museum of Art. The museum closed the year by hosting one of its most successful exhibits ever, a thorough collection of the artwork of the American giant, Norman Rockwell.

In development news, the Village of Roslyn, in February, rejected a plan by Omnipoint to install a telecommunications facility at 55 Warner Ave., an application that was met with opposition by local residents.

In Greenvale, no decision has yet been made by the Town of North Hempstead on an application by P.C. Richard to expand their showroom just off Glen Cove Road. Members of the Greenvale Civic Association have opposed proposed expansion plans, but have sought to work out a compromise with their longtime neighbor.

Meanwhile, one of the village’s most famous structures, Cedarmere, the home of William Cullen Bryant, found itself the object of a Friends of Cedarmere support group, one composed of local residents interested in saving the historic Roslyn Harbor mansion from any Nassau County funding cuts that might happen in times of economic belt-tightening.

In October, the Friends received good news as the county announced it would secure funding, through public and private sources, to not only Cedarmere, but also the ancient Robeson Grist Mill on Old Northern Boulevard, and the Jerusha Dewey House near Bryant Preserve.

Earlier, in September, Temple Beth Sholom celebrated the long-anticipated opening of its Early Childhood Center.

One development project that seems to be going nowhere is the proposal by B.I.T.I. to build residential housing in downtown Roslyn. In February, lawyers for B.I.T.I. filed a lawsuit against the Village of Roslyn, charging it with extortion and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

New BOT, BOE Members

In politics, Nolan Myerson, longtime Village of Roslyn Board of Trustees member and deputy mayor, stepped down from the BOT, creating an opening that was filled by Lisa Aberle, who, along with the incumbent mayor, Jon Durkin and BOT member, Marta Genovese, was elected to the board in the March election.

Also in Roslyn, the Chamber of Commerce, after years of being dormant, is now back in business. Lonnie Goldman of Chase Bank is hoping to make the organization a force for the good in the village’s business and social life.

In the Village of Roslyn Estates, Hal Pasetsky was elected to the board of trustees as a write-in candidate, filling a seat left vacant by the resignation of BOT member Hal Street.

There was also a new face on the Roslyn School District board of election. In the May election, challenger Adam Haber was elected to the board along with incumbents Dani Kline and David Seinfeld. Another incumbent, Ron Smith, fell short in his re-election bid. When the new board convened in late July, Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy was elected president and Clifford Saffron was elected vice president.

In other school news, the BOE suffered a setback in December as residents expressed enough opposition to reject changes in the school bus pickup schedule, one that would have had high school students picked up last and elementary and middle school students picked up earlier than they currently are.

The big news in local politics was the takeover of the Nassau County legislature by the Republican Party and Edward I. Mangano’s upset defeat of Thomas R. Suozzi as county executive. Local incumbents, such as Legislator Wayne Wink, had no great difficulty in getting re-elected, but villages in the Roslyn area, especially Albertson, the Willistons and Mineola returned to the GOP fold. In Manhasset, Mangano made large inroads into the Democratic Party vote, especially in election districts along the Northern Boulevard corridor heading east.

In addition to its restoration efforts, Roslyn is also known for its creativity among residents, both natives and those who have moved here or even away from their hometown.

In July, Ellen Russell published Roslyn, an Images of America book, itself a follow up to her earlier book on the restoration efforts of Roger and Peggy Gerry, Roslyn Restored.

In September, Andrew Laszlo, a Roslyn native who found his fortune in far-off Montana, published two novellas on his favorite baseball team. The Real World Series and Another Year In The Bronx were published under the same jacket by Publish America of Baltimore.

Closer to home, both pianists Kokila Jodi Bennett and comedienne Ali Bernstein continued their creative efforts. Ms. Bennett had several live performances in the North Shore area, while Ms. Bernstein continued her comedy act, Big Bad and Pink at locations throughout Manhattan.

Surviving The Blitz;

Living to 100 Years

No year is complete without any number of compelling human interest stories. And 2009 was no different than past years. The year itself marked the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. While there were few commemorations in the United States, several Roslyn residents, all natives of the British Isles, had much on their minds. Both Geoffrey and Pauline Mattana and Ralph and Kay Bergl regaled Roslyn News readers with stories of surviving the Battle of London and the entire war. Pauline was able to quote Shakespeare when describing England’s resistance, while also recalling her connection to Mary Churchill, the youngest daughter of Winston Churchill.

Garden Cleaners in Roslyn Heights hosted a special birthday party last August. That was for Alice Maloney who celebrated her 100th birthday this past summer, looking like a woman many decades younger than her celebrated landmark. On the occasion of her centennial, Alice noted her love for Roslyn, where she has been a resident since 1947. She also shared some secrets of the good life: golf and swimming, plus her deep devotion to her Catholic faith and the power of prayer. Alice said that she puts all trust in God, to whom she prays throughout the day.

“Being happy, glass of wine every afternoon at 5 p.m., a little dog and two wonderful aides,” is how Alice sums up a daily routine that has taken her into her second century.