After an eventful and often contentious spring campaign, newcomers Chris DiFilippo and 18-year-old SHS senior class president Josh Lafazan were elected to the Syosset School Board, while incumbent Alan Resnick was re-elected. The arrival of some new faces on the board is newsworthy here, especially since both of the newly-elected trustees have been critical of many district policies. However, a bizarre event the day before the May 15 election threatened to overshadow the results: an accusation of theft levied by the district at Lafazan’s father, Jeffrey Lafazan, the use of the school’s emergency information network to broadcast that accusation, and the counter-accusation by the Lafazan family that the entire thing was a fabricated crime designed in an attempt to discredit Lafazan’s candidacy with a last-minute smear campaign.
Cottage Pharmacy in Woodbury is a rarity. Independently owned and operated for 37 years, it’s a pharmacy that lacks any chain affiliation, proudly going its own way in an era when a CVS seems to crop up on every other corner. Furthermore, Cottage is not only surviving but thriving; last fall, the business saw a move to a new location in Woodbury Common that is 50 percent larger than their old store on Jericho Turnpike, leading to the expansion of several departments and the opportunity to carry many new product lines. How has the business remained so vibrant, in light of all the competition?
Syosset School District has posted a notice on its website that Mr. Jeffrey Lafazan, father of school board candidate Josh Lafazan, removed district election original records. According to the notice, Lafazan removed the records without permission and ran away, and a chase with security ensued. However, according to Mr. Lafazan, he was manipulated to take the records out of the building, with no knowledge that they were the originals, so that the district could allege that he knowingly stole them.
(Editor’s Note: The school board election and budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 15. The statements by the following four candidates were submitted by the candidates themselves: the fifth candidate, Chris DiFillipo, did not submit a statement or photo in time for this article.)
Joshua Lafazan, a candidate seeking a position on the Syosset School Board has been a student in the Syosset School District for the past 13 years. During this time he has played an active role in school government and is currently the senior class president at Syosset High School.
Unlike other hearings at several neighboring districts, the budget hearing at the Jericho High School Little Theater on Tuesday, May 8, was a quick and quiet affair. After several budget workshops earlier in the season, it appeared that residents had already asked the majority of their budget questions, allowing for a quick hearing that barely lasted 10 minutes.
The adopted 2012-13 budget is $114,468,464, a 2.24 percent increase and a tax levy increase not to exceed 2.20 percent. In order to keep within state-mandated limits, the board approved many reductions, such as reducing three literacy aides, reducing one elementary science teacher, reducing Arts in Education assemblies, and reducing field trips.
The 10th-grader selected her favorite color. It was a very simple task that she and most young people have probably done countless times before. However, this time, the stakes were never higher. She was not choosing a color for a blouse, a cell phone case or curtains for her bedroom. Instead, she was selecting a pill from a menagerie of narcotics that her peers had brought to a “pharm party” – an alarming and frightening phenomenon that’s been making a comeback among teenagers throughout Long Island.
(Editor’s Note: Please see editorial on page 14.)
Fact one: Josh Lafazan is running for a seat on the Syosset Central School District Board of Trustees on May 15. Fact two: the candidate, current Syosset High School senior class president, is still 18 years old. For some people, these two facts do not seem to go together. Why is someone so young running for the position of school board trustee, a role usually pursued by those with children (and frequently, grandchildren) in the district?
The Birchwood Civic Association had a busy meeting on Tuesday, April 17. In addition to going over the latest developments in the seemingly never-ending Cerro Wire mall battle, the group also heard from Syosset school board candidate Josh Lafazan and honored East Birchwood resident Paul Babakitis.
Babakitis received national attention for his role in subduing out-of-control Jet Blue pilot Clayton Osbon on a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas on Tuesday, March 27. The retired NYPD sergeant directed other passengers to hold down the emotionally disturbed pilot until the co-pilot could land the plane safely. At the meeting, he explained the events of Flight 191 in his own words to the residents assembled at Jackson Elementary School in Jericho and took questions.
For the fourth year in the row local teen musicians are joining forces to bring awareness to childhood autism through a musical showcase, Rock Out Autism.
“No matter what background you are, whether you have autism or not, music is something that resonates with people,” said Rafe Tangorra, member of the band Paging Grace and co-founder of Rock Out Autism.
Jeffrey Rozran, a longtime English teacher at Syosset High School and the president of the Syosset Teacher’s Association (STA) died Saturday, April 7. He was 65; the cause was lung cancer. While Rozran will doubtless be remembered not only for his long teaching career and his role as an advocate for teachers’ rights, many of the students he taught will remember him as a friend. Rozran was one of those teachers who had a habit of forming lifelong friendships with the students he taught, a tendency that turned him from authority figure to mentor to close friend for many of those who graduated from Syosset High School in the last few decades.
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