In January, Priyanka Chopra, Angela Jung and Esther Lee, all seniors at Jericho High School, were named three of the 300 semifinalists in the 68th Intel Science Talent Search.
Jericho High School senior Samantha Falk signed a letter of intent in February to play for the Division I University of Miami Hurricanes Women’s Soccer Team.
Jack Schnitt, a longtime Jericho community member, announced his retirement as president of the Jericho Athletic Association in 2009 after 14 years. In recognition of his outstanding service to the many children and families in the community, a group of Jericho administrators and members of the Board of Education established a scholarship fund in his name.
The Jericho High School team of Nikko Price, Harrison Tract and Matthew Weiss placed second in the senior website category at the New York State level of the National History Day competition on Friday, May 1.
David and Matthew Weiss, co-presidents of the NY Region of On The Rebound, collected and distributed golf equipment in 2009 to The First Tee of Nassau County, a program that teaches youngsters the essentials of the game of golf along with life lessons.
The residents passed Jericho’s budget and reelected Shawn Gladstone and elected board newcomer William Ferro to the board.
To finish the school year, 291 members of the Jericho High School Class of 2009 and their families and friends gathered together in celebration of the 49th annual Commencement. Students, in a sea of blue and gold, entered the auditorium at the Tilles Center to sounds of Pomp and Circumstance. After Senior Class Vice President Stacy Stern recited the Pledge and the graduation band played the national anthem, student council co-presidents Jennifer Bell and Jaycee Gruszecki welcomed family and friends to the day’s festivities. Joshua Kornberg was named valedictorian and Adam Weser salutatorian.
Two students helped raise funds for good causes in 2009. Erica Leibowitz, a senior, was diagnosed with diabetes at 7 years old and started her fundraising efforts 9 years ago. She is a Youth Ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) since she was diagnosed. She volunteers her time creating awareness of diabetes by attending diabetes-related conferences and being an advocate for other young people with diabetes. In addition, she participates in a variety of ways for fundraising events that JDRF sponsors.
Caroline Motschwiller, also a senior at Jericho High School, was recently honored for her work with La Fuerza Unida, which was established over 30 years ago with the mission to provide Spanish-speaking immigrants within the local area with programs and services.
Syosset High School has been selected as a 2009 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement winner, the only high school in New York State to receive this prestigious recognition. The Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement are awarded annually to the top high school from each state by the Siemens Foundation and the College Board. The award signifies the winning high school and school district’s exemplary commitment to providing students with opportunities to explore the AP program and the work of dedicated staff members in encouraging student success.
The residents passed the 2009-2010 budget and re-elected Shari Dorfman, Sonia Rutigliano and Alan Resnick, who all ran uncontested for their seats on the school board.
Syosset High School Class of 2009 graduates had a record of academic excellence. In 2009, 550 high school students graduated from Syosset High School, including seven students in out-of-district placements.
Of all in-district graduates, 99 percent will pursue full-time higher education. Further, Syosset High School highlights include 62 Ivy League acceptances, 7 National Merit finalists, 715 total recipients of scholarships, 18 New York State Scholarships of Academic Excellence, 3 Robert C. Byrd Scholarships, 2 Intel semifinalists, 272 honors recipients and 39 highest honors recipients. The class of 2009 took a total of 1,131 A.P. exams. Throughout their high school academic career, this year’s graduates took a total of 1,808 A.P. exams—the highest number in Syosset High School history.
Syosset High School students continued tradition and the student government gathered for two nights to continue the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). Over 30 students participated in an annual phone-a-thon, part of a national school program through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation called CureFinders, that over the years has raised over $180,000.
The Syosset Teachers Association and some students helped build a home through Habitat for Humanity. The Syosset Teachers Association decided to sponsor and build the Springer house after they recognized the success of their students in the Habitat Suffolk Student Build program. Construction began on Nov. 3, 2008 with 25 teachers and students. During the construction period, Syosset teachers and students were joined by additional volunteers from Long Island businesses.
The new school year started off on the right foot when it was announced that four Syosset High School students were named 2010 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists: Ross Berger, Ben Lederman, Jennifer Matte and John Sullivan.
A 40-acre parcel of property, formerly known as the Old Mill Horse Farm and located at 62 Route 106 in Jericho, was preserved. The new Equestrian Center at Old Mill was acquired by Nassau County in October 2008 for $12 million under the $150 million 2006 Environmental Bond Act and incorporates a comprehensive and affordable equestrian center designed for use by the general public.
In January, Caroline Zimmermann Bazzini was sworn in by New York State Senator Carl Marcellino as the new mayor of Brookville after Mayor Richard Goodwin retired to spend more time with his wife, children and grandchildren ending nearly 30 years of service to the Village of Brookville.
Goodwin appointed Bazzini Deputy Mayor and Daniel H. Serota Deputy Police Commissioner for six years.
Brookville remained active holding meetings regarding safety and traffic.
In 2009, BusinessWeek listed America’s top 25 wealthiest towns, according to an analysis done by Little Rock’s Gadberry Group, which ranked communities based on the average 2008 net income and 2008 net worth of their residents. Brookville had an average net worth of $1.67 million – the highest on the list, and the average annual income of $328,000 was the nation’s seventh-highest.
The Syosset, Jericho and Woodbury communities had the chance to cheer on some very successful teams in 2009. The Syosset Braves and the Jericho Jayhawks had a very successful year as well as many other teams. We enjoyed reporting on the Jericho Little League, Greater Long Island Running Club, Jericho Youth Football League, Jericho Athletic Association, Syosset Baseball League, SYAC, Syosset Youth Football and Cheerleading League, Syosset PAL, as well as the many successful travel teams. Keep up the winning and parents – keep up the support and cheering!
Syosset resident Lorraine Donlon was doing research on agencies and group homes for her two special-needs sisters when she stumbled across Bethpage’s Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities (ACLD). The not-for-profit agency serves the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and their mission is to provide the opportunity for children, teens and adults with developmental disabilities to pursue enviable lives, increase their independence and improve the quality of their lives. After this research, she wrote her book The Other Kid, which helps siblings of special needs children learn to deal with their situation.
Craig Pinto, a 1996 graduate of Jericho High School, spent 2009 playing football for the New Jersey Revolution, a charter member of the Continental Indoor Football League. Pinto, a kicker, was named to the team after completing a tryout that involved completing the 40 yard dash, 20 yard pro shuttle, as well as agility and one-on-one drills.
Syosset Resident Shetal Shah, M.D., assistant professor of Neonatal Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, authored a new book titled Passport to Illness: Voyages In and Out of Medicine, which consists of 14 distinct narratives that detail not only medical cases but personal stories, anecdotes, and relationships that doctors bring to their patients’ bedsides.
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs presented Syosset resident Lana Ajemian with this year’s Nassau County Woman Trailblazer Award. “Many people in the Syosset-Woodbury community refer to Lana as the ‘go-to’ lady, but I know her as an extraordinary woman who can accomplish anything she sets her mind to,” Jacobs said of Ajemian.
Local author, researcher, and scuba diver Adam Grohman, who has searched for submarines, rum runners, shipwrecks, and other interesting aspects of our local maritime history, completed his research into President Theodore Roosevelt’s historic plunge beneath the waters of Oyster Bay aboard the Plunger submarine in August of 1905. Grohman has published many books.
To celebrate Grandparents’ Day a new book entitled The Art of Grandparenting, was released by Nightengale Press. Local writer Carole Blake, of Jericho, is one of the book’s major contributors. Her essay, “Scary Grandma Stories”, is a humorous look at some of the nerve-wracking experiences that happened to her while on “Grandma Duty.”
Jericho resident Gina Russo recognized a dangerous situation when she saw the Wantagh Parkway Bike Path, also known as the Ellen Ferrant Bicycle Path, back in February. The 4.5 mile paved path runs from Jones Beach State Park to Cedar Creek Park along the Wantagh Parkway and is utilized by thousands of residents weekly who like to walk, jog, bike, and rollerblade. A majority of the path has no protection from vehicles on the highway. There are no barriers, trees or fencing to protect pedestrians from the oncoming traffic that passes within feet of the path. Through Russo’s tireless work, guardrails will be installed on the bike path.
In his debut memoir, No Expiration Dates: A Cancer Patient’s Strategies for Survival, Leon Weisman recounts his unique and inspirational battle with lung cancer while also offering practical advice about the emotional and social changes that a cancer diagnosis can bring to a patient, as well as a family, embarking on the fight to stay alive. His book is currently available.
Keli Price, a 2009 graduate of Jericho High School, recently released his first single and video Move My Way, which is available at iTunes and wherever digital music is sold. Bonus tracks She’s Perfect and If You Would Stay will also be included in the debut single release bundle exclusively at iTunes.
Many other local residents had a successful 2009 and we want to extend our congratulations to them as well.
2009 started with great news for Syosset residents – the Nassau County Legislature approved, through all its committees, an item that began the final stage of the improvement to Jackson Avenue from Jericho Turnpike to the railroad tracks. The project includes the realignment of Jackson Avenue along that stretch of the road.
Funding for this project came from a federal Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP) grant and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which meant some hurdles to get the project approved on the federal level.
After some speed bumps through the bidding process, the process is again moving forward. Some work has already started and residents should see some improvements in 2010.
The Cerro Wire site has been an ongoing battle over the last decade and to sum up the plot in a paragraph, would be impossible. 2009 did hold a victory for local residents who fought a big developer.
In February, a judge overturned the decision made by the State Supreme Court Decision and it sent the Cerro Wire case back to the Town of Oyster Bay. The case had been in the hands of the courts since the town denied the Taubman Company’s application to build a mall in 2001.
After another appeal by the Taubman Company, the Court of Appeals made the last and final decision over the summer denying Taubman’s claim and ultimately saying “no mall here,” which has been the mantra of the local civic organizations since they started this fight over a decade ago.
The next step for Taubman, if they want to continue the application process for a special use permit, would be to go back to the Town of Oyster Bay and start the process from the beginning including having new environmental studies completed.
Story still developing.
Republican Joseph G. Pinto was appointed by the six-member board on February 3 to fill a vacancy left by Councilman Angelo A. Delligatti, who became a district court judge in January.
After many recounts, Republican Ed Mangano was declared the winner for the office of Nassau County Executive over incumbent Tom Suozzi.
After another recount, Republican challenger George Maragos defeated incumbent Democratic Howard Weitzman for the office of Nassau County Comptroller.
Incumbent Kathleen Rice was re-elected to her second four-year term as Nassau County District Attorney. Republican Maureen O’Connell was re-elected to her second, four-year term as Nassau County Clerk.
The Democrats lost their majority in the Legislature to the Republicans. Locally, Democrat Judy Jacobs and Democrat Diane Yatauro were re-elected to their legislative seats.
On the town level, Republicans won all open seats in the Town of Oyster Bay races, which include supervisor, three council seats and town clerk.
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Councilpeople Chris Coschignano, Elizabeth Faughnan and Joseph Pinto were all re-elected as was incumbent clerk Steve Labriola.
The local civic associations again remained active working to better the community. Going above and beyond this year was the Birchwood Civic Association who worked with police to relocate a Level Three convicted sex offender residing at Jericho’s Meadowbrook Motel located at 440 Jericho Turnpike.
Once notified, the Birchwood Civic Association, which represents the approximately 1,200 families of the East Birchwood and Jericho Manors communities, immediately took action and helped the community sleep better knowing the sex offender was relocated and the motel was declared off limits by the county for future convicted sex offender occupancy because of its proximity to the county’s Jericho Preserve located adjacent to the property.
The Syosset and Muttontown community lost a loyal resident on Feb. 13 after his car was hit by a Long Island Rail Road train at the Robbins Lane crossing in Syosset.
Michael Grande, a resident of Muttontown and a World War II Veteran of the Army Air Force, worked as a pharmacist and surgical supplies salesman before retiring. He was also the Commander of Syosset’s VFW Post 6394. Grande was involved in many different aspects of the VFW Post – from preparing sausage and peppers for meetings to planning events to fixing cabinets at the Post. He was very involved with the Post even before he became Commander and he had also served as House Chairman. It was a tragic passing and a great loss.
Members of this local civic work tirelessly on a volunteer basis to beautify the community. The beautiful gardens and utility strips and overall community feel in Syosset are due in large part to Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset. Members were also instrumental in working toward getting Jackson Avenue revamped, an idea that is becoming a reality.
In February, the Maine Maid Inn closed its doors - ending a long history for the Inn, which was built in 1789. The Maine Maid Inn, which is located at 4 Old Jericho Turnpike in Jericho, was inhabited in 1812 by Valentine and Abigail Hicks, prominent members of the Quaker community that founded Jericho, with their three daughters.
Judith Block announced her retirement from Syosset’s Variety Child Learning Center (VCLC) effective December 31, 2008, but her presence was missed in 2009.
Bloch founded VCLC (earlier known as Pres-Schooler’s Workshop and then Variety Pre-Schooler’s Workshop) in 1966 as one of the first therapeutic nursery schools for young children with learning, language and behavior problems. A pioneer in the field, Bloch believed that early intervention with parental involvement could make a lasting impact on a child’s later development that is not possible if services are delayed.
In her honor, the Board of Trustees named the center-based school at Variety Child Learning Center the Judith S. Bloch School in the summer of 2009.
The Syosset and Jericho Fire Departments battled many both residential and commercials fires in 2009.
In Jericho, David Marmann ran uncontested for another five-year term as commissioner.
Giovanni Graceffa was elected to serve a five-year term as commissioner of the Syosset Fire District. He defeated incumbent Dan Percell, who was running for re-election.
The Syosset and Jericho Public Libraries had a successful 2009 bringing local residents many programs and classes. They remain a community hub to residents. Also in 2009, the Jericho library was included on the Library Journal’s list of star libraries and received five stars.
Both local libraries look forward to a successful 2010.
Vaccinations were made available to help combat the H1N1 virus, commonly known as Swine Flu. Also, local officials, health professionals and the American Red Cross offered important tips for people who are sick or are taking care of someone with the flu. The virus was well-contained through the vaccinations and education about the illness.
The Syosset Chamber of Commerce held many exciting events in 2009 including street fairs and the annual holiday lighting event, which always gets residents in the holiday spirit. In addition to the community events, the chamber remained active in promoting local businesses during a tough economy and encouraging people to shop locally.