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New Hyde Park Hosts Annual Tree Lighting

Residents gather to kick off holiday season

New Hyde Park Village Hall was all aglow on Saturday, Dec. 1, as the village hosted its annual Christmas tree lighting and magic show. Valley National Bank and the Village of New Hyde Park Cultural Commission sponsored the event, which was held at the Marcus Christ Community Center.

“On behalf of the Village of New Hyde Park, I’d like to welcome you all to the annual tree lighting ceremony,” Trustee Donald B. Barbieri said to a standing-room-only crowd. “I want to first thank Rich DeMartino and Mary Durkin from Valley National Bank for sponsoring the event today. They’ve been good friends of ours for many, many years,” he said. Indeed, as in previous years, DeMartino and Durkin presented a check for the event’s magic show. This year, guests were entertained by Amore, a magician who engaged audience members of all ages.

“I want to take one more second to thank Lisa Miranda from our Cultural Commission,” Barbieri continued. “We all went through this horrible month and it’s wonderful that we can move right into this terrific season and all be here together to kick this off and enjoy it together.”

The magic show was followed by live holiday music performed by the New Hyde Park Memorial High School choir and band.

While the choir sang its final song and the band played its final tune, the sun sank deeper, setting the stage for the main event of the day. As guests prepared to head outdoors onto the front lawn of Village Hall to witness the tree lighting, they received one more treat: Teachers from Little Treasures Nursery School surprised the children in the room by giving each of them a gift.

Once outdoors, guests heard the sirens then saw the bright lights of a New Hyde Park fire truck, which stopped in front of village hall carrying a very special passenger. Santa Claus jumped down from the truck and made his way through the crowd, stopping along the way to greet children and listen to their Christmas wishes. Before long, he made his way up the front steps of village hall and with help from Barbieri, DeMartino, Durkin, Deputy Mayor Robert A. Lofaro and Trustee Lawrence J. Montreuil, Santa flipped the switch to illuminate the village’s Christmas tree.

With that, the holiday season officially began in New Hyde Park.

News

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is planning improvements to a district that has already seen much success in recent years. The school year has only just begun and the Board of Ed is already setting its sights on the future. 

 

At the Sept. 8 board of education meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak’s monthly report outlined the major goals set for the district last month. While approved in August, the three goals were made available to the public this month and each target different areas for improvement throughout the district. 

 

The first goal deals with English Language Learners (ELL) within the student population. ELL students are those that speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on assessments. 

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.


Sports

Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season. 

 

“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”

 

But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going. 

 

The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year. 

The Sewanhaka Indians made their Nassau Conference II debut with a bang.  The Indians opened their season at home against the Calhoun Colts, unsure what to expect, as all they had ever seen of the Colts was one tape of a scrimmage. 

 

“It was nerve raking leading up to the game,” said Head Coach George Kasimatis. “We weren’t sure what to expect on offense or defense, you have to guess early on. “

 

But it didn’t take the Indians long to introduce themselves to the conference, as junior, Quarterback, Elijah Tracey broke a 75-yard run taking it the distance to put the Indians up early, which ended in a 27-7 rout of the Colts. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

Herricks Meeting - September 18

Bike Safety Day - September 21


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