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Islanders, Local Fans Team Up For Sandy Relief Drive

The New York Islanders asked local residents to step up and support their neighbors affected by Hurricane Sandy, and Long Islanders delivered in a big way Monday, Nov. 12 at Nassau Coliseum.

More than 2,000 people stopped by the Islanders’ home ice to donate clothing, nonperishable food items and money to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims in the Long Island area. The American Red Cross and Island Harvest were stationed in the Coliseum lobby, accepting contributions from anyone generous enough to help. To thank those who came out to support the effort, the Islanders hosted free public skating sessions with team coaches and staff from 2 to 8 p.m., along with free skate rentals for participants and a variety of games set up around the edges of the rink.

In addition to caring neighbors who came out to support the charitable cause, families affected by the hurricane came to the Coliseum in search of a much-needed break from their personal recovery efforts. Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano, who spent several hour-long sessions interacting with attendees on the ice, said the atmosphere around the rink was positive, a good sign given the unfortunate circumstances many people have faced since the storm.

“It’s great any time that our organization can do something like this,” Capuano said. “It’s a relief for the people affected. A lot of them have been through so much, and for them to get away from the recovery efforts that they’ve made, to get out here and socialize and skate around, it’s a good feeling. You can see it in their eyes.”

Islanders Assistant Coach and Senior Advisor to the General Manager Doug Weight was also on the ice with fans. The year-round Long Islander was impressed with the way the local community has banded together to help those in need.

“Days like today show that people in all corners of the United States are strong people, and they come together in times like this,” Weight said. “This is a major part of a lot of people’s lives that we see every day. We’re among friends and family here, and it’s been a great turnout.”

Weight added that the clothing and food items should go a long way toward making those most affected by the hurricane feel at home again, especially as the weather gets colder on Long Island.

“Something small like this can bring a lot of smiles, and hopefully a lot of warmth and food and other important things to these people while they go through this hard time,” Weight said. “It’s all relative – we lost a lot of trees and we lost our power for nine or 10 days, but so many people got it so much worse.”

Many of the donated items will go to Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, to aid the people who need food and clothing the most. The volunteers from Island Harvest found themselves overwhelmed once the Coliseum doors opened at 2 p.m. and people filed in to donate. One of those volunteers, Ira Adler, was overwhelmed by the support of the Long Island community.

“This is unbelievable,” Adler said. “The folks who came today and participated gave so much food and clothing. It’s going to go a long way for Hurricane relief and for everyday use.”

Adler also said that because of the approaching holiday season, this would normally be a busy time for local charities anyway. Due to the widespread devastation caused by the storm, Monday’s donations are especially valuable.

“Normally we’d be doing food drives with the supermarkets, but now we’re focusing more on hurricane relief,” Adler said. “A lot of the items that would have gone to the holiday donations are now going to hurricane relief because the demand is so much greater.”

As Long Island and much of the tri-state area continues to rebuild, Weight described the uplifting mood of the event and what he thought it meant in terms of the next step for Long Islanders.

“There’s a lot of areas that were decimated,” Weight said. “It’s sad, but we’ll get through it and come together. They say adversity makes you stronger. We’ve had some adverse conditions here. Hopefully everybody gets their lives back to normal.”

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com