Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
In the midst of Westbury’s downtown revitalization, which includes a newly redeveloped performing arts theater, focus is shifting to a vital question – is it enough keep young people here?
Post Avenue in Westbury has transformed into a desirable downtown for young adults, though several aspects associated with living in Nassau County have many young adults heading west to live and work.
“You have to provide reasonably priced housing but also have to have other amenities that are going to be attractive to people who are younger. My kid’s friends want to live in the city or near the city because there’s a lot going on with entertainment and job choices. As a community you have to try to develop those things. It’s not enough to say you have affordable apartment houses in Westbury if there’s nothing around or no jobs,” said Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, who noted that the new theater, dubbed The Space at Westbury, may be six to eight weeks away from opening.
“Long Island has been suffering from this ‘youth drain’ for decades and it’s sort of at a breaking point where if something is not done relatively soon to reverse that, you may lose people for a long period of time,” said Cavallaro.
Similarly, Nassau County Executive hopeful Tom Suozzi wondered once his daughter went away to college if she’d ever come back.
“Instead of moving to some other part of the country, I want my daughter to come back to live here. She wants to be somewhere there’s a job, where there’s an apartment and where she can hang out with her friends,” said Suozzi, who spoke with Anton News editors last month.
Suozzi, though he disagreed with Charles Wang’s Lighthouse Project, said the idea at least would have “changed people’s mindset” on the county’s central Hub area. He cited White Plains and New Rochelle as formerly decrepit regions that are now vibrant downtowns – mainly because suburban planning revolves around mass transit in those areas.
“We need cool downtowns like Garden City, Rockville Centre and Great Neck. People live there in ‘walkable’ communities with shops, restaurants and a train station. Let’s preserve open space, but let’s develop downtowns,” said Suozzi.
Though Money magazine has named Westbury one of the most desirable places to live for young adults, the award specifically reads, “best places for the rich and single.”
“That’s the whole idea of smart growth. Make these communities with a lot of different features attractive to not just young people. It’s a work in progress, but I think Westbury is further ahead of the curve than a lot of other communities are, not that we’re done,” said Cavallaro.
Saturday, 18 May 2013 00:00
For most of the ’80s, ZZ Top was an inescapable presence thanks to a plethora of videos, often times containing underdog storylines revolving around gorgeous gals, a 1933 Ford hotrod and the hirsute threesome serving as a Greek chorus of cool to the aggrieved protagonist. But amidst all the bells and whistles, the most impressive feat pulled off by this Texas power trio was using 1983’s Eliminator to adapt its bluesy hard rock boogie sound and modernize it with synthesizers and drum machines sans any kind of artistic compromising.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
John Romandetti saved six people, but he shies away from the title hero.
“I don’t think of myself as a hero,” Romandetti says. “It’s nothing anyone else wouldn’t have done.”
During Hurricane Sandy, Romandetti risked his own life to go out to Howard Beach and get his girlfriend’s family out of their flooding homes. The Bethpage Air Show recently recognized his bravery, naming him the grand prize winner of the Hurricane Sandy Community Heroes contest. Romandetti, along with nine other winners, will receive VIP tickets to the Bethpage Air Show, plus the reception, and GEICO Skytypers Planeside Meet and Greet. As the grand prize winner, Romandetti also gets the chance to fly with the GEICO Skytypers during next week’s airshow.
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00
Westbury Okinawan Karate recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of coming to the Westbury Recreation Center. Since then, the dojo has trained 250 students, ages six and up, in the art of karate with the style of traditional Okinawan ShorinRyu Shidokan.
Founded by sensei John Power, the classes seek to instill the confidence and strength needed to obtain success in everyday life.
“A lot of kids are lacking confidence,” said Power. “We let them practice leadership in the class and this contributes to their confidence.
Friday, 10 May 2013 00:00
Members of the Carle Place Sparc/Interact club recently donated their time and talents at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in Queens. Working together with students from Mineola High School and Holy Cross High School in Queens, the SPARC members planted over 1,000 indigenous trees to help replenish one section of the 600-acre forest park. The group’s efforts were part of the NYC Plant a Million Trees Project in honor of Arbor Day, celebrated on Friday April 26th. The Carle Place planters were: Sarah Megiel, Kelsey Feit, Julia Powell, Sabrina Feit, Monique Slater, Matt Carr, Katie Megiel, Rob Ibos, and Lauren Powell. They are led by faculty advisor Kieran Morris.