Neighbors In The News

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Raymond and Mary Flood
(Contributed photo)

MINEOLA

Catherine Winski, a junior at Mineola High School was named a 2020 Scholastic Awards National Medalist by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. She also submitted several pieces of poetry that received regional awards, including the Silver Key, Gold Key and honorable mention.

Winski’s work was selected by some of the foremost leaders in the visual and literary arts for excellence in originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Winski’s work was in the top 1 percent of all submissions.

Her work will be published in their Online Galleries at www.artandwriting.org next month and her name will be listed in the Yearbook 2020, a companion publication to The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing anthologies.

NEW HYDE PARK

Center Street School within the Herricks School District provided food and positive thoughts to North Shore Hospital as a way to thank the medical staff for their tremendous efforts during these times.

Through the school-based Community Connection Committee, students were invited to write letters and cards to hospital workers and parents contributed monetary donations for food. Teacher and Service Club adviser Janine Gentile collected the notes and PTA co-president Dawnmarie Muzikant arranged for food to be delivered from a local Subway that is owned by a Center Street family.

Thanks to these collaborative efforts, Center Street was able to send food to all four floors of COVID-19 ICU at the hospital.

GARDEN CITY

Now that spring has arrived, 42,000 tulip bulbs are magnificently abloom in various colorations throughout the village’s commercial districts thanks to the Village of Garden City’s Civic Beautification Committee (CBC). For the summer, the plan is to choose low-growing plants and florals that will not conceal the faces of the village’s monuments and memorials where tulips are currently planted.

Commissioner Paul Blake reported that new signs throughout the village are in the process of being enhanced with floral plantings and appropriate greenery. Soon, baskets of the traditional pink and white petunias will line the Seventh Street, Franklin Avenue and New Hyde Park Road commercial districts.

FARMINGDALE

Longtime Farmingdale residents and COVID-19 survivors Raymond and Mary Flood are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on May 28. The couple met under interesting circumstances, at a ski lodge while accompanying friends who were interested in each other. Mary was engaged at the time to another man, but fate had other plans. Their friends did not end up together, but on May 28, 1960 the couple took their vows and through thick and thin have lived them out for 60 years. The couple has six children, 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, plus two more on the way.

“My father always said that the best gift he could give us children is to love our mother,” their daughter Lois Flood said. “He didn’t just say it, he lives it.”

Their dream was to take a limo to Atlantic City to mark the occasion, but under the current circumstances that cannot be. They have survived the coronavirus together (their doctor is convinced they both had it), and are an inspiration to all who know them.

WESTBURY

Former Westbury Mayor Ernest Strada recently passed away peacefully with his family around him after battling a long non-coronavirus-related illness. Strada was a life-long resident of the village and served as mayor for 28 years.

“He was my beloved mentor, colleague and friend,” Mayor Peter Cavallaro said. “His legacy to the community is nothing less than having been the best mayor the village has ever had, and in my opinion, will ever have. He possessed an unmatched passion and vigor for the community. I had the privilege of serving with Ernie as a member of the board of trustees for 10 years before his retirement.  I sat in the seat to his immediate left on the dais, and from that vantage point I learned how to always put the needs and concerns of our residents first.”

Strada was appointed to the village zoning board in 1971 and to the village board of trustees in 1974. He was first elected mayor in 1981 and would serve seven full terms until 2009.

MANHASSET

In an effort to continue with its mission of supporting the community’s students, the Tower Foundation of Manhasset recently donated funds to the local after-school educational program Adventures In Learning for the purchase of eight Internet hot spots meant to provide Internet access to local students in need of such services. During these challenging times, the hot spots will enable the students to engage in the remote-learning protocol set up by area schools currently closed due to the COVID-19 situation.

“Tower is proud to be supporting online learning for students during this pandemic crisis,” Tower co-president Dr. Vicky Giouroukakis said. “After seeing a Facebook post by Adventures in Learning requesting funds, we reached out to Diana [Holden, AIL executive director] to see how Tower could help. Thanks to our collaboration with Adventures in Learning leadership, as well as the Manhasset School district’s administration and IT team, Tower was able to provide hot spots to those students who do not have high-speed Internet access at home. Such access is a necessity in these times for ensuring the continuity of learning.”

PORT WASHINGTON

The Port Washington Union Free School District (PWUFSD) announced the appointment of Dr. David Meoli, principal of John P. Sousa Elementary School, as the district’s interim assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, effective July 1. Meoli will be replacing Dr. Wafa Deeb-Westervelt, who is retiring after seven notable years in the district. Meoli’s primary responsibility will be to provide leadership and direction in advancing the PreK-12 educational programs in the district, monitoring all standards-based programs linked to New York State assessments, maintaining rigorous graduation requirements, and utilizing data to analyze instructional trends.

“Under Dr. Westervelt’s guidance, the district has made significant strides in reaching academic goals, introducing innovative educational programs, and facilitating instructional professional development,” said Dr. Michael Hynes, Superintendent of the Port Washington Union Free School District. “As a well-known face in the district for more than 30 years, we are confident Dr. Meoli will uphold and build upon the extraordinary high level of leadership demonstrated by Dr. Westervelt. With his vast experience in education and unique perspective as a building and district administrator, Dr. Meoli will help move Port Washington forward and enhance the educational excellence in our district.”

OYSTER BAY

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District has reinstated its application process for its New York State authorized half-day pre-kindergarten program at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School. If you have a child who will be four years old on or before Dec. 1, 2020, he/she may be eligible for this tuition-free program. Applications submitted before this process was interrupted will be honored.

Placement into the pre-K program is based on a specific selection process in compliance with New York State guidelines. There are 36 spaces for this program. If more than 36 applications are received, spaces will be filled by lottery. The lottery will tentatively take place on Tuesday, June 30, only if needed. Please note, based on the current public health crisis, details regarding how the lottery will be conducted are currently pending. Once determined, details will be shared with all eligible applicants.

Updated applications are available on the district website at www.obenschools.org/Pre-K. Applications are due and must be postmarked by Friday, May 29. Email your completed application to tbussi@obenschools.org. or mail to the attention of Bussi at Oyster Bay-East Norwich CSD Administration Building, 1 McCouns Ln., Oyster Bay, NY 11771. For more information contact, Bussi at 516-624-6555. Transportation and lunch will not be provided with this program. Students will be provided with a snack.

MASSAPEQUA

Town of Oyster Bay Receiver of Taxes Jeffrey Pravato recently announced the town will soon open outdoor walk-up windows for those who wishing to make tax payments in-person ahead of the June 1 deadline for school property tax payments. The walk-up windows opened on Friday, May 8, at Town Hall North in Oyster Bay and on Wednesday, May 13, at Town Hall South in Massapequa. Residents can visit these sites from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday, and pay their second-half school taxes by check or money order. With the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic having a negative effect on residents throughout the state, most local governments have restricted or fully suspended in-person interactions at their facilities and these new walk-up windows will offer residents a safe option within which to make their payments in-person during this public health crisis.

GLEN COVE

Over the past several weeks, hundreds of people and dozens of restaurants and other businesses have donated their valuable time, food, supplies and money to help the less fortunate of Glen Cove. Two popular Glen Cove food businesses, North Shore Farms donated boxes of jarred tomato sauce, pasta and many non-perishable food items that were delivered to dozens of low-income families. Amalfi used 200 pounds of pasta to prepare meals for distribution to frontline workers and the food pantry at Glen Cove High School.

Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and many other volunteers continue to collect donations and purchase items for donation to the food pantries and deliver bags of nonperishables to low-income residents.

“We have been spending a good deal of time reaching out to the elderly and low income families to ensure they are doing alright and have enough food,” DeRiggi-Whitton said. “The generosity we’re seeing from businesses and residents with regard to donations and volunteering their time is so incredibly heartwarming.”

“The food pantry at Glen Cove High School, the donations from everyone and the dedication for those that keep this going is quite impressive,” Amalfi owner and donor Mike Lezamiz said. “Having my son with me made this all the more special. Glen Cove, you are loved.”

Food assistance is available at several locations. Glen Cove High School at 150 Dosoris Ln. offers breakfast and lunch pickup for students and their families Monday to Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and groceries and pre-made meals at the pantry in the back of the school on Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. North Shore Food Help (NOSH) helps those in need of food via facebook.com/NOSH.NorthShoreFoodHelp. The Glen Cove Senior Center delivers meals to members of the Center and others over 60 who live in Glen Cove and surrounding communities. Call 516-759-9610 for details.

LEVITTOWN

To raise the spirits of the Class of 2020, staff members from Division Avenue High School in the Levittown Public Schools honored the senior class and their post-secondary plans with a celebratory parade throughout the neighborhood. Staff members drove past the houses of the graduates last week, cheering them on for their future endeavors with graduation and prom canceled. Members of Division Avenue High School’s Class of 2020 wore shirts and made signs representing either the college they are planning to attend, a military branch they are serving in or a career they are pursuing.

HICKSVILLE

Hicksville Public School students sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but who are not in possession of devices for remote learning, have received district-issued iPads and chromebooks delivered to their front doors over the past few weeks. The school district’s teachers are using Google Classroom and Google Meet for instruction, as well as communicating with students by email. Teachers in each of the district’s nine schools have been coordinating instruction through their principals under the direction of district administration.

SEAFORD

Although they cannot be together in person, Seaford High School seniors remain united as a class through the COVID-19 pandemic. Class of 2020 officers meet digitally at least once a week to share ideas that keep their connections strong.

Throughout the community, front doors, windows and porches were decorated at the seniors’ homes to celebrate their accomplishments, mark the activities that have defined their high school careers and highlight their personal interests and ambitions. It became a family project, with parents and siblings getting involved to create fitting tributes to the seniors. Decorations, many of which were stuck to green backgrounds, included pictures, jerseys, Class of 2020 signs and the logos of the colleges they will attend.

SYOSSET

Four members of the Syosset High School physics group made it to the second round of tryouts for spots on the coveted U.S. physics team by being top scorers on the challenging F=ma exam.

Maximus Lu, Lance Lampert, Zhebin Zhao and Alex He were among 6,000 students in the United States who took this exam in January. All four students were named among the top-400 scorers and were asked to continue in the competition by taking a second exam called the USAPhO. The American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), which organizes the U.S. physics team program, would then usually select the 20 students scoring the highest on the USAPhO for the U.S. physics team and invite them to a training camp at the University of Maryland.

Unfortunately, this year the AAPT made the difficult decision to not send a team of students to the International Physics Olympiad due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The students who qualified for the USAPhO exam were still given the opportunity to take the exam online.

GREAT NECK

The board of trustees of the Sephardic Heritage Alliance, Inc. (SHAI), a local not-for-profit organization, donated 5,000 wrapped prepackaged sterile surgical masks to the Great Neck Public Schools for distribution with the district’s pandemic Grab-and-Go meal program.

Since the mid-March change from in-person to remote learning, the school district has continued to prepare and distribute meals to children and families in need. Thanks to SHAI, the families also receive wrapped packages of masks.

SHAI has a long track record of supporting local institutions such as Great Neck Public Schools and the Town of North Hempstead, to name just two. To learn more about SHAI’s decades serving the local community please visit www.shaiusa.org.

ROSLYN

A pair of families from Roslyn have put together a charity group to help bring food to the less fortunate. Calling themselves The Cereal Squad NY, the seven-kid team has donated more than 500 boxes of cereal to families struggling to stay fed during the pandemic. Each box comes complete with a positive message from the kids as well. The squad is also accepting donations of nonperishables, diapers and wipes. Anybody looking to donate can send money through Venmo to @Tracey-Fiddle.

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