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Letter: Keep Development From Schools

As I read the last issue of the Syosset-Jericho Tribune, I looked at each article searching for the familiar names of former students here in Jericho or the accomplishments of the professional staff I had the pleasure of working with for many years. It always brings me a sense of pride in community as I read these articles. I finished the paper reading about softball sign-up for SYAC girls softball and knew that it was a sure sign of spring; more reliable than the groundhog.

However, there is definitely an elephant in the room that has not been addressed that affects our community directly, and that is the zone change petition from residential to commercial on Old Cedar Swamp Road to accommodate the development of an assisted living facility on 3.38 acres next to Jericho High School and Middle School.

The Jericho School buildings and grounds have always provided a safe environment for our students. The quiet, set back campus allows for a small, country-like setting, for a district big on accomplishments. To see this balance disrupted by an environmental change to commercial zoning from the present historical setting where Cider Mills, Quaker Meeting houses and stories of the Underground Railroad abound, would not only be a shame, but a threat to our school district.

Our schools have been in residential areas since the inception of Jericho School District. I personally am fearful that a zone change will encourage commercial interests to push into other parts adjacent to the school, and the historical significance of the area will be lost. To all, Jericho will be recognized as a parking lot adjacent to Whole Foods and not a community with a rich history and outstanding school system.

We are a part of the rich history of the early settlers of the region. In the shadow of the greatest city in the world, our children learn (and learn well) in  country settings surrounded by nature and history. Go to an after-school sporting event and enjoy watching our young people compete in this setting; then imagine a Burger King, or worse, on the school perimeter.

Help keep the character of the neighborhood and school for future generations and say no to zoning changes. Jericho and its neighboring communities have succumbed to “progress” enough. Let our schools do what they do best without being infringed upon by outside interests, and locate commercial projects in areas that have been designated as commercial property.

Robin P. Halleran

News

Eight students from Jericho High School, the largest number of students from any school on Long Island this year, are among the 300 semifinalists picked from 1,800 entrants nationally and overseas in the annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Brookville’s Green Vale School students were featured in the September/October 2013 issue of Sport Rocketry, the official journal of the National Association of Rocketry.

The seventh-grade students competed nationally at the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) last May in Virginia and were the youngest rocket scientists competing. They were also the only team from Long Island that qualified to enter the competition and one of only two teams from New York State.


Sports

The Syosset Braves 11-year-old football team recently won the Superbowl Championship Game against the Rosedale Jets with a final score of 13 to 0.

The Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho 5-Kilometer Run started and finished at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage on Dec. 21. The top local finisher was Tim Mahony of Syosset, who scored in 11th place overall and third in the 15 to 19 age group.

Other locals winning awards in this year’s Ho Ho Ho Run were Gina Ferraro of Syosset (2nd woman, 35-39 age group), Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman, 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (2nd woman, 55-59 age group).


Calendar

Jericho Wheelchair Basketball

January 17

Reality Check on America’s Economy, Health Care & Budget

January 17

Open Forum: Now What Do I Say?

January 21



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