On Sunday, June 12, Sons of Italy-Columbus Lodge Scholarship Chairman Ed Bochynski awarded 18 scholarships at the Columbus Lodge Hall located in South Farmingdale.
The awards were given to graduating seniors from Massapequa, Bethpage, Farmingdale, Plainedge and other local area high schools who are entering a full-time college program in the fall. Massapequa’s Dianna DiCocco received the lodge’s Excellence in Italian Language Award.
Responding to complaints from local residents, the Village of Massapequa Park Board of Trustees has approved a motion to refer to the Planning Commission a study for Stop signs at two intersections in the village.
The first request is for a Stop sign for north- and southbound traffic on Broadway at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue.
As the dog days of summer approach, Drug Free Massapequa (DFM) continues to stay active. It has three big events planned for July and August, with the latter two offering important advice for parents and young people as they continue to tackle the drug problem on Long Island.
The first event is a way for local residents and DFM members to enjoy a summer day at John J. Burns Park.
Fairway Market and the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center challenged the self-proclaimed best firehouse chefs in Nassau County to a Barbecue Cook-Off on Friday, July 1 at the Nassau County Firefighters Museum at 399 Charles Lindbergh Blvd. in Uniondale. In the spirit of the holiday weekend, teams of firefighters from Nassau County competed against each other in the Fairway Firefighter Rib Rivalry and Burger Battle to see who makes the best barbecue ribs and hamburgers on Long Island and to remind everyone of important grilling safety tips.
On Monday, June 27, Massapequa High School held its 55th annual commencement exercises at Hofstra University with 648 students receiving their diplomas.
This is my fourth piece about the Faith Mission Soup Kitchen and Pantry at 87 Pine Street in Freeport. When I was asked to visit in February of 2009, their needs were for food, clothing and a freezer for the pantry. At that time a walk-in freezer was donated. This visit was much more serious. The restaurant-style stove has been shut off by the Nassau County Fire Marshal’s Office because they said the 30-inch exhaust fan and suppression system over the stove that has been in use for more than 15 years and is in good condition is illegal and doesn’t conform with the current Nassau County commercial kitchen specifications even though there’s never a charge for food, soup and coffee to the more than 250 daily hungry men and women.
On Monday evening, June 27, the Massapequa High School Class of 2011 commencement exercises took place at Hofstra University. Included here are profiles of the class valedictorian and class salutatorian, both of whom were honored at the ceremony. There will be more articles and photos from the commencement exercises in upcoming issues of The Massapequan Observer.
Setting high goals, mapping out a course of action, and executing it with confidence and passion has paid off well for Alexa Savino. Her strategy has earned her the title of valedictorian of the Massapequa High School Class of 2011. This fall, she heads to Adelphi University Honors College where she will take the first steps towards another course of action — one day becoming a Supreme Court justice.
“I have been able to pursue my dreams because of a supportive family and a dedicated network of friends,” Savino said. My most dominant character traits, perseverance in my pursuit of academic challenges and sincerity in following my passion, have also helped me get where I am today.”
Savino, who earned a weighted GPA of 4.987 on a 4.75 scale, is president of the National Honor Society and was named a Commended Student by the National Merit Scholarship Program after scoring in the top 20 percent of students across the country who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. She is also a member of the Society of Advanced Placement (AP) Scholars.
A talented musician, Savino is the lead first violinist for the high school orchestra and quartet/octet, and was selected as an alternate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Winter Conference. She has been a member of the Gemini Youth Symphony Orchestra for six years, serving as concertmaster, and won a competition for her solo performance. She is also a recipient of the Vincent Liota Chair Scholarship, which is awarded to students with superior musical talent on string instruments, and is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
“The best part of my high school years has been performing in musical groups and charity events that boosted the morale of all Massapequa students,” Savino said.
She also enjoys horseback riding, running, reading and creative writing, and was a winner of Visions Literary Magazine’s Poetry Contest.
“I am so grateful for all I have been given,” Savino said. “I will cherish the gifts with which Massapequa has presented me, for they allowed me to clearly define my future.”
Natalie Sabia is a “triple A” student — athletic, artistic and academically gifted. The well-rounded, high-achieving senior has been named salutatorian of the Massapequa High School Class of 2011 and is on her way to Providence College in the fall to study secondary education and biology. She hopes to earn her master’s degree and become a high school biology teacher.
Carrying a weighted GPA of 4.982 on a 4.75 scale, Sabia was captain of the Massapequa travel soccer team, was the leading defense lawyer of the Mock Trial team and a first-place winner of last year’s “Reflections” contest in the Visual Arts category. Her artwork also graces the cover of the 2010-2011 Massapequa School District calendar.
Sabia said her positive attitude, willingness to try new things and determination to give 100 percent are qualities that have helped her succeed.
“My parents inspired me to work hard and be the best I can be,” Sabia said. “They both financed their own college educations and worked hard for everything.”
Sabia is also thankful for her teachers. One of the best parts of her high school years has been her 11th-grade AP biology class taught by Kathleen Frontino. “She inspired me to become a biology teacher,” she said.
“I think the people that you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your life,” Sabia added. “I know my family and friends helped make me who I am today and I love them for it.”
Her parting words of advice for underclassmen: “Always work hard because it does pay off. Don’t wait for the last minute to finish assignments — especially your college essay."
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced on June 13 that in an effort to reduce the costs of running Nassau County government and protect homeowners from a property tax increase, he has plans that achieve $32 million in annual re-occurring employee-related budget savings. The plan, he stated, includes $10.6 million in savings from 130 employee layoffs; $9 million from redeploying police from desks to patrol; $7 million from the elimination of additional positions; and $5.3 million in savings from 54 employees participating in the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program. After personnel reductions in July 2011, he said the county will have 1,200 fewer positions than 2009 budgeted-levels – the last year of the previous administration. Nassau County, Mangano said, is now operating with the lowest level workforce since the 1950s and that this is just the first-round of employee cost-cutting actions he will take in 2011.
As the Massapequa area begins to recover from the untimely deaths of two Nassau County police officers—Wantagh resident Michael J. Califano and Geoffrey J. Brietkopf—Long Islanders are now coming together to help the families of the victims.
The most recent manifestation of this was a huge picnic held Sunday, June 12, one designed to assist the families of both officers. Over 1,500 people gathered at Eisenhower Park for the charity event, one that was sponsored by the Nassau County Police Benevolent Association. The day not only saw good weather, it also featured live music and a DJ. All proceeds will go to the memorial funds of both men, whose deaths remain melancholy events for residents in the Massapequa area.
The Town of Oyster Bay is in the process of constructing memorials to Port Authority Police Captain Kathy Mazza, the North Massapequa native and former Farmingdale resident who was the first female Port Authority officer to perish in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
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