Widely regarded as one of the toughest wrestling tournaments on Long Island, the annual Ted Petersen Wrestling Tournament pits some of the roughest and toughest wrestlers from Nassau and Suffolk counties against each other for a chance at taking home the gold. Although placing within the top 5 of the tournament is considered an outstanding accomplishment, finishing in first is considered one of the highest honors in the Long Island wrestling world.
Named for the former Island Trees Physical Education instructor Ted Petersen, the yearly competition was a fitting means for the district to commemorate his 31 years of coaching the school district’s varsity wrestling, J.V. football and J.V. baseball teams. Dubbed
“Coach Pete,” by his students, Petersen had a reputation as someone who cared for young athletes in the district and was committed to promoting respect, fairness, and good sportsmanship. In Jan. 1998, Coach Petersen was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his coaching skills both on-and-off the mat.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was sworn in to a second term on Jan. 2 at Bethpage High School. When a paper Bible couldn’t be located, he took the oath of office with his hand on an iPad that had the Bible on-screen. Here is his speech, abridged due to space limitations.
Allow me to start off by saying thank you, Gov. Cuomo, for taking time to join me on this special day. I am deeply honored by your presence. Colleagues in government, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, family and friends: Thank you for celebrating with me today.
Education certainly has changed a lot since the fabled days of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
New York classrooms are currently experiencing a major overhaul since the so-called Common Core Learning Standards were adopted via a New York State mandate, in conjunction with a regular series of rigorous assessment testing to gauge teacher effectiveness.
Many parents are expressing anger over what many are calling a loss of creative, individualized teaching in favor of inflexible, difficult, and standardized lesson plans designed more for test preparation than actual learning. Education has indeed changed in New
York, and many residents feel that it’s not for the better.
After a rigorous election season, America’s largest township honored its 10-year veteran town supervisor, three recently re-elected town councilmen and a newly minted town clerk with an induction ceremony on Jan. 2, 2014.
Inside the pavilion at Hempstead Town Hall, re-elected Town Supervisor Kate Murray, a Levittown resident, was joined by her nieces and nephews as she took her oath for another term.
“Thank you to the men and women who voted for us this past election year,” Murray said. “We promise to continue to work to justify the confidence you put in myself and my colleagues.”
The nation’s new Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has a provision that could put local fire departments—as well as local governments—at considerable financial risk. Firefighting departments with 50 or more members could be forced to provide health insurance for their volunteer firefighters or else pay substantial fines.
“It would really hurt the volunteer fire departments,” said William F. Murray, president of the Volunteer Firefighters Association of Southern New York.
The health care law has specific insurance requirements for employers with 50 or more employees. While the U.S. Department of Labor terms these firefighters “volunteers,” the Internal Revenue Service classifies volunteer firefighters as employees.
For more than 30 years, some of the most talented and most memorable comedians graced the stage right here on Long Island, at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown. “There is no comic that isn’t aware of this place or hasn’t worked here before,” said John
Trueson of Governor’s. “This is definitely in the top ten comedy venues in the country; everybody has been here,” like Jay Leno, Tracy Morgan, or Jerry Seinfeld (Massapequa), or the late Andy Kaufman (Great Neck), and the late Lenny Bruce (Mineola).
“People don’t realize just how many comics come from Long Island,” said Trueson.
Not only do the top acts take to the stage at Governor’s, but dozens have gotten their start and honed their craft like Bobby Collins (New Hyde Park), Wendy Liebman (Roslyn), Jackie Martling (East Norwich), Bob Nelson (Massapequa), Judd Apatow (Syosset), and
Carol Liefer (East Williston).
Oxford and Simpson Real Estate Services—a firm hired by the Island Trees School District Board of Education—are currently reviewing proposals for the development of an 11.3 acre property that currently houses the Geneva N. Gallow and Stephen J. Karopcyc schools on Farmedge Road in Levittown.
“We are still in the process of settling on a developer, so nothing has been determined yet,” Island Trees Schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy said, regarding selling the property to help stablilize the local tax base. “The board will not rush into this, because whatever is decided has to be the right decision for the neighbors and the community... This is land we will never get back.”
Perhaps no one symbol of the generous spirit of the season is more iconic than the bell ringers of the Salvation Army’s “Red Kettle” brigades. These hardy fundraisers brave winter’s chill outside grocery stores and shops, as a reminder to holiday shoppers that charity may begin at home, but it doesn’t end there.
In Levittown, the Key Club of Gerald R. Claps Career and Technical Center is taking the lead in supplying Red Kettle volunteers. Standing outside the King Kullen on Hempstead Turnpike on a very frosty Saturday, the students sang and cavorted in holiday get-ups.
“Levittown is not affluent, but when there is a need, these people come out,” said Claps Key Club adviser Lillian Creedon. “The support from Levittown is always amazing.”
It was warmer than average this past Friday, Dec. 20, on the last day before the official arrival of winter. Boxes of toys were stacked up high inside and outside of the Police Benevolent Association in Freeport for the annual United State Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
Inside the PBA headquarters, Retired Marine Major Chuck Kilbride was hard at work, overseeing operations for the event that delivers gifts to underprivileged kids.
“I do it because I want to give back to the community,” said Major Kilbride, as he sorted through a myriad of games and dolls piled atop large brown tables inside. “I do it because it makes me feel good...putting smiles on children’s faces.”
The Robodawgs robotics team—a group of five intellectual Island Trees High School students—were given a warm welcome home, after taking first place in the Incredible Bionic Man challenge. The regional competiton, sponsored by the Smithsonian Channel and Cablevision, put the Robodawgs up against some of the best and brightest from 10 different states and Washington D.C., with the goal of creating a working bionic body part out of common household items.
According to the team’s advisor, Dr. Andrew Sass, the group was first inspired to enter the contest after attending a presentation at Half Hallows High School, last October, where the students were able to meet the researchers behind the Increidble Bionic Man. He said that when people ask why the group of high schoolers decided to enter the contest by building a bionic arm-hand combination—a robotic body part that researchers said was the most challenging to construct—that he would reply much the same way as George
Mallory did when he climbed Mt. Everest. “Because it was there,” Sass said.
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