This year marks the Golden Anniversary of a major institution in the Massapequa School District. Berner Middle School, formerly Berner High School, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Its history mirrors the rise of suburbia and Massapequa’s transformation into having the largest public school district in Nassau County.
The school’s construction was a response to overcrowding at both grade schools and middle schools in the district. By the early ’60s, Nassau County’s own transformation from a rural area to suburbia was in full swing and a new high school was badly needed for Massapequa. At first, it wasn’t easy. In the 1950s, there had been three voter rejections of a proposition to buy the 52-acre John J. Burns Park for elementary and secondary school sites. In fact, Massapequa was growing so fast that by 1958 there were only three available large land sites that could hold a new high school. Of the three, neither the Massapequa Zoo nor the Amityville Laundry land sites were available. Fortunately, the Carman Road land site fit the bill and construction was soon under way.
The Thomas family of Massapequa is among the three families chosen as a 2012 Long Island Ambassador Family by the Long Island Division of the New York Chapter of the March of Dimes. Other families are the Raymars of Merrick and the Theologitises of Lake Grove. These families were selected because of their first-hand experience with premature births.
Last Sunday, the Village of Massapequa Park honored the mother of one of the most extraordinary veterans in the village’s history.
A Gold Star Mother plaque was dedicated by the village to Theresa Santora, the mother of Sgt. Jason A. Santora, a U.S. Army Ranger and Silver Star recipient who perished in action in Afghanistan on April 23, 2010. The ceremony took place at the Veterans Monument at Sunrise Highway and Park Boulevard.
The possible acquisition of Aqua NY by American Water Works has raised concerns about the future of the water supply for hundreds of thousands of local residents.
Such concerns have to do with costs; as significant, is the possible spread of groundwater contamination plume from the Northrop Grumman/Navy site in Bethpage to public supply wells.
With its third anniversary coming this fall, Drug Free Massapequa (DFM) will hold a Tribute Concert on Saturday, April 21, one that will honor State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, as DFM takes stock of its past and looks toward the future.
“Progress is great,” said Janice Talento, president and CEO of DFM, while adding that the organization is still battling what she claims is an epidemic on Long Island.
As reported in last week’s issue, Nassau County is establishing new standardized testing rules for high school students taking SAT and ACT exams. (“Sweeping Security Changes for SAT/ACT Testing,” The Massapequan Observer, April 6, 2012).
Among the new testing security measures are student photograph requirements. All test registrants, county officials said, will be required to upload a photograph of themselves when they register for the SAT or ACT.
North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital has been chosen by the Village of Massapequa Park as the partner for the possible construction of a new urgent care facility in Massapequa.
The announcement was made on Thursday, March 29 after several months of negotiations. In addition to North Shore-LIJ, the village had also been in talks with Catholic Health Services.
New York is losing some of its influence, and that can mean trouble for Long Islanders.
In 1950, when Harry S. Truman was president, New York had 45 congressional seats, the most in the nation. The recent past had seen the four terms of Hyde Park’s Franklin D. Roosevelt, with FDR’s distant cousin, Theodore, serving as president earlier in the century. Further back, the 19th century had seen several New Yorkers as president: Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, and the popular Grover Cleveland.
For the second consecutive year, Nassau County workers will have their wages frozen.
The Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) made the announcement last week, citing a possible budget deficit this year of up to $100 million.
County Executive Edward Mangano praised the decision as a “stabilizing” force in the budget process.
Kicking off Autism Awareness Month on Monday, April 2, Fork & Vine, a Glen Head restaurant is featuring the music of Massapequa resident and MHS graduate Tom Ryan. Accomplished on both guitar and keyboard, Tom is a vocalist and songwriter who performs regularly at some of Long Island’s most frequented spots. Because Tom is perfectly in sync with the world when he’s making music, his fans may not realize he has Asperger’s syndrome. It has never stopped him from being successful.
Tom’s soft-rock performance at Fork and Vine is just the beginning of a month-long celebration of autism and the arts at the restaurant. On the walls, visitors will find unusual paintings by three talented local artists on the autism spectrum.
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