Levittown Kiwanis members and other community members packed the club’s usual meeting to honor two middle school students who took an extraordinary stand to protect a younger schoolmate from a bully.
On Dec. 2, 2010, a seventh grade boy was bullying a sixth grader on the bus. When the bully began asking other students if he should start a fight with his sixth grade target, many of the other students became bystanders and ignored the bully’s threats. However, Barbara-Ann Reyman and Caitlin Harrs refused to sit back and become bystanders. They stepped up and told the bully to leave the sixth grader alone. They also told him that they were going to tell their parents and the staff at Wisdom Lane Middle School if he didn’t stop. The young ladies even stayed on the bus until they were sure that the bullying had stopped and the target was safe.
The St. John’s University Track & Field team captured its first Indoor Metropolitan Championship title since 1989 in dramatic fashion, edging Rutgers 147-142, in action at the New Balance Armory in New York City on Saturday, Jan. 29. Island Trees High School alumna Michelle Duffy helped capture this title for the school.
Duffy is a sophomore English major at St. John’s. She placed second in the 1,000-meter and scored eight points, qualifying for the Big East Championship that was held on Saturday, Feb. 19. This was a career-best for Duffy.
On Saturday, Jan. 29 the Joey Foundation held its first annual safety fundraiser at the South Levittown Lanes. Over 120 bowlers turned out in support of the Foundation’s cause, including supporters of the Marty Lyons Foundation, Kiwanis members, dozens of friends, residents, and local officials.
“It was a very emotional day for me because I had one of Joey’s doctors there, one of the therapists, and Joey’s best friend Cameron, from Queens,” said mother of the late Joey, Ann Torcivia.
The Joey Foundation was started six months ago to honor the memory of the late Joey Torcivia. Joey was initially diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, but died in 2000, when he was in first grade, from complications of pneumonia.
Nassau County Police Officer Michael Califano of Wantagh was laid to rest Thursday, Feb. 10. He was tragically killed when a truck rammed his patrol car while he served a summons on the Long Island Expressway on Friday, Feb. 4.
Thousands of police officers from throughout the country along with his family, friends and relatives attended his funeral at Maria Regina Roman Catholic Church on Jerusalem Avenue in Seaford. He is survived by his wife Jackie and three sons Michael, 13, Chris, 11, and Andrew 6.
Fire departments provided “Arches of Honor” as the procession left the funeral home in Massapequa with Massapequa’s Tower Ladder 2 (632) and Wantagh’s Ladder 1, (6911) set up in front of the high school on Merrick Road.
Despite the wintry mix that dampened much of Long Island on Saturday, Feb. 5, approximately 100 activists turned out in support of the rally at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh, called for by the Hope for Hempstead Shelter organization.
Merrick resident and rally organizer Derek Donnelly told Anton Newspapers that he had reached out to over 500 supporters in the days before the rally, but due to the weather, he was very happy with the committed turnout. Activists came from all across Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens, and even some from New Jersey.
“People are passionate about two parts of the cause here, it’s the taxpayer getting hurt here, we are paying more money to have animals neglected and abused than people pay to have their animals taken care of; there is something really wrong with that,” said Donnelly. “There is something wrong here and it needs to be further investigated. The Town claims that they are investigating themselves, you cannot investigate yourself, that’s like if you’re a police officer and you catch yourself speeding, you don’t pull over and write yourself a ticket.”
On Sunday, Jan. 30 more than 40 years after the start of the bloody Tet Offensive seen as the turning point in the Vietnam conflict, the American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport in Farmingdale unveiled a permanent tribute to the American veterans who served in that war and all those who did not return home.
The display, conceived and constructed by two Purple Heart Vietnam veterans Leonard Partiss of Bohemia and Joseph Pelligritti of West Islip, includes a mannequin depicted as an American “grunt” loaded down with gear and weapons in the middle of a jungle clearing. Another element of the display is a model of an American firebase engaged in defending its position somewhere in Vietnam’s “I Corps.”
On Friday, Jan. 14 at the Long Island Marriott, the students enrolled in Career Advantage at Island Trees High School (ITHS), participated in the 5th annual S.T.A.R.S (Students Taking Action for Real Success) Interview Conference made possible through a grant from Astoria Federal Savings.
One hundred 11th and 12th grade students were required to attend the conference for a very different kind of mid-term exam. The S.T.A.R.S Interview Conference is the product of the Island Trees School to Business Partnership headed by the district’s Career Coordinator Carol Siegel, with planning assistance from Astoria Federal Savings Levittown Branch Manager Lois Cornibert, Beth Dalton-Costello of Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Homes and Evelyn Gorelik of ITHS.
Business participant Ann Torcivia of Friends Travel said, “This program helps high school students get ready for the workforce; it teaches them how to do a résumé and an interview.”
On Saturday, Jan. 15 Oneonta State wrestling sophomore Matt Eberlein of Levittown scored the first of two recent wins for the team against Muhlenberg College Mules’ Keith Swanson (Mfor.) The second win was by decision (11-10) against Ithaca Bomber Steve Andolena on Thursday, Jan. 27.
Eberlein is coming off an impressive win and is currently 12-10 this season with three falls. He has had a strong sophomore season placing second at the Red Dragon Invitational, and fourth at the Ursinus Homecoming Invitational.
“Matt is a very talented and highly explosive wrestler capable of great things; he started this season at the 149 lbs weight class, but moved up to 157 lbs. primarily to cover a void left by an injured teammate,” said Oneonta’s Head Wrestling Coach and Fitness Director Duane Ritter. “Despite giving up some size at 157 lbs. weight class he has managed to perform very well; Matt has been a major contributor to our team’s success this season.”
Among the throng of animal lovers who stormed the Town Board meeting at the Nathan Bennett Pavilion in Hempstead on Tuesday, Jan. 25, Randi Diamond was the most adamant in her stance on the function of the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh.
Diamond, a self-employed, non-profit animal lover, started her own TNR (trap, neuter, return) program recently, which has her working at least 60 hours a week. Diamond has not filed to be determined a 501 3 (c) as of this time. She can be found on petfinder.com under Randi’s Rescues.
According to Diamond, the Town’s “bare bones” TNR program is just in place for the sake of having one. She feels that every shelter needs a comprehensive program.
Residents in Levittown live near an airport, and are not far removed from larger ones. So aircraft noise is often on people’s minds. That issue may heat up again in a year’s time. In 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to implement a major re-routing of its flights from several Long Island airports, including John F. Kennedy and Republic of Farmingdale.
Westbound routes heading towards the Midwest and some southbound routes, namely those in Washington, DC, will be re-routed away from their current over-water patterns to ones that will take flights from the airports over neighborhoods in Suffolk County, Nassau County, New York City, and northern New Jersey.
It was reported that the new routes would take place this spring. However, according to FAA officials, that won’t happen until 2012. What will happen this spring, officials said, is an operation that will combine air-based sectors that are now the responsibilities of the New York center. Certain offices handle air space traffic above 17,000 ft. and others handle it for traffic under that same number. The realignment of airspace management is all part of the FAA’s plan of preparing for the flight traffic patterns changes that are expected to take place in 2012.
“The purpose of the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Project is to increase the efficiency and reliability of the airspace structure and Air Traffic Control system and reduce delays while maintaining or increasing the safety of the National Airspace System,” the FAA’s website states. “The Selected Project, Integrated Airspace Alternative with Integrated Control Complex with Mitigation, does this by combining high and low altitude airspace to create more efficient arrival and departure routes. For over nine years, we conducted studies and evaluations that cover an area of approximately 31,000 miles, which included five states and 21 airports. This selection offers the most significant operational benefits and anticipates full integration of the airspace by 2012,” the statement concludes.
The New Jersey Coalition Against Aircraft Noise (NJCAAN), a New Jersey-based group that is opposed to the plan, passed information onto Anton Community Newspapers, claiming that noise levels will increase in the North Shore.
However, a spokesman at the
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