See our Veterans Day pullout on pages 8-12 See the full section online at www.bellmorelife.com after 11/11/11
Serving the Bellmores since 1964 Printed on recycled paper
Vol. 50 No. 45 (USPS 049-500)
Bellmore, NY 11710
The Community Newspaper
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
hypothermia by Douglas Finlay
THIS BAND OF BROTHERS: Bellmore veterans and patriots line up for a parade on Pettit Avenue in 1920. Read how the history of Veterans Day has evolved over the years, on page 8. photo courtesy of Valerie Skelly, Bellmore Historical Society
photo courtesy of Valerie Skelly, Bellmore Historical Society
Man targeted, shot in North Bellmore Hasan Kaya, 49, was ambushed and shot Sunday night at approximately 11:35 p.m as he entered his first-floor apartment at 925 East Meadow Avenue in North Bellmore, and died of his gunshot injuries on the front stoop of the home. The killing appears targeted, said Detective Lieutenant John Azzata, commander of the Nassau County Homicide Squad. He told Bellmore Life that Mr. Kaya was entering his apartment at the back of the split-level home when he was shot. “He either ran after his assailants or was attempting to get away because he was found on the front stoop of the CRIME SCENE: This split-level home was the scene of a late-night shooting that house,” the detective said. Bellmore Life photo by D. Finlay Emergency medical technicians from claimed the life of a 49-year-old tenant. the county rushed to the scene after receiving a 911 call about a person being ness, or where he was coming from when the scene shortly afterward. “It’s scary,” she said, “this type of shot. “They worked on the man on the he was shot. “We have canvassed the area, talking thing coming so close to home.” way to the hospital, but he was proPolice recovered spent shell casings nounced dead at the hospital of his with neighbors, and so far all they can report is hearing shots fired,” he said. from a .380-caliber handgun at the scene, injuries,” the detective said. One resident on Jackson Place told and are continuing their investigation. Mr. Kaya had been shot in the upper Bellmore Life that her brother heard Anyone with information is urged to chest and legs. Detective Lieutenant Azzata would what sounded like firecrackers going off, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS not reveal the nature of the man’s busi- and then heard ambulances arriving at (8477).
A warm-and-fuzzy evening quickly turned cool during last week’s Central High School meeting once the floor was opened up for public comments. Several students from the three high schools and two middle schools opened up the meeting, being feted for their accomplishments. The evening included songs by Grand Avenue Middle School Choir, a skit from Merrick Avenue Middle School students and updates from Calhoun, Kennedy and Mepham students – all to cheers and applause. Once certificates were presented across the student spectrum, and proud parents filed out with smiles on their faces, the meeting addressed the cold realities facing the district, including an ominous warning from the district’s audit counsel that leaner budgeting days lay ahead. Auditor Andrew Yu said the board – depending upon the outcome of a lawsuit against Nassau County by school districts for shifting tax certiori payments to school districts, the loss of federal stimulus money that had netted the district $3 million over two years, and the real concern of even less state aid money next year – would have to dip into its reserves even more in the coming years if it wanted to continue existing programs without raising taxes on residents. He added that new unfunded mandates from the state could further erode existing reserves. John Pinto, former board member and PAL lacrosse coach, asked Mr. Yu precisely how much money was in the Accrued Liability Reserve, a fund for teachers who retire. Mr. Yu responded it had $7.325 million. The amount of the Accrued Liability Reserve has been crucial to Mr. Pinto’s argument with the board that it could be accessed to pay for three synthetic turf fields that could provide new sports revenues for the district. After the meeting, however, board Trustee Janet Goller and former board President Nina Lanci said only a state law could permit the district to access the funds without being charged with a misdemeanor. (continued on page 2)
NAMES MAKE THE NEWS: Read about y our neighbors! – 74 local people’s names were in your community newspaper last week. Maybe yours is in this week! See inside.
CHSD Merit semifinalists page 3
A letter from the Civil War page 6
Kennedy volleyball plays for fourth title page 13
Holiday issue deadline: Copy and ads: 11/11
They said Mr. Pinto claimed that Deputy State Assembly Speaker Earlene Hooper had introduced legislation to provide that access, but that they hadn’t seen it, believing it to be languishing in the Legislature. Not acting on behalf of majority Barbara Haimsen of the Bellmore PTA asked the board why residents in the elementary districts couldn’t vote for synthetic fields during recent elections. Several board members commented that a meeting in February ended with board members defeating a proposal to bring the synthetic field vote to the public by a 6-2 straw poll. Ms. Haimsen said board was not acting on behalf of the majority of residents by keeping the fields from a full residential vote. “Why not let the community decide if it wants to pay for a field or not?” instead of the board arbitrarily deciding it would not put the issue to the voting public, she asked. But trustees Janet Goller and Diane Seaman explained that passing a bond
to pay for the fields would impact fees and other incidentals, for example, in the years the bond would be applied, and would likely lead to cutting other programs to help pay for it. Mr. Pinto told this newspaper after the meeting that he disagreed with that assessment, saying the district had paid for new tennis courts – complete with new surfaces – and new running tracks for the district at no extra cost to taxpayers. He added that the Freeport community had recently voted for a new synthetic field, and it would be paid for with existing capital funds available. Another attendee then leveled the same charge of arbitrary decision-making against the board regarding majority wishes when she inquired why graduation programs at commencement exercises no longer included schools the students would be going to. Henry Kiernan, superintendent of schools, told the attendee that it was a new board policy the last couple of years to not list the schools students would be attending, to protect those who may feel uneasy about not going on to university after high school.
Dr. Robert Cammarata
The attendee told this newspaper after the meeting that both parents and children work hard to get a child into a university, and to be not recognized for that work was unfair – and against majority wishes. Hypothermia no football injury North Merrick School District Board Trustee Wendy Garjiulo pressed the board on how 11 Calhoun players could have come down with hypothermia playing football last week, and wondered if there was an underlying issue leading to the incident. “Hypothermia is not a football injury,” she said. “We are your constituents,” she reminded the board. Saul Lerner, district athletic director, told the board that in his 16 years as athletic director he had never encountered the problem that Calhoun experienced that week.
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“I was at that field at eight in the morning, and conferred with coaches, looked at weather reports and it was decided we could play a game on that field,” he said, “just like the majority of athletic directors in Nassau County decided that day.” He said the game would not have been played that day if “we felt it would be unsafe to play.” Players from Plainview Kennedy High School and Garden City High School also suffered hypothermia playing that day. Mr. Pinto reminded the board that the fields being played on were grass fields, which collect water and pool. “This wouldn’t have happened on a synthetic field.” However, he blamed the referees for not stopping the game, as those at Plainview Kennedy did at halftime that day.
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from page 1
Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 2
CHSD board fields question on hypothermia
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Connelly Miller Connelly Miller, a senior at Calhoun High School, has qualified as a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program. Connelly is a multifaceted student with an overall weighted GPA of 100. He is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Language Other Than English (LOTE), Math, Science and Thespian Honor Societies. In addition, Connelly is recognized as an advanced placement (AP) scholar with Honors. Not simply an extraordinary academic student, Connelly is also a talented musician, vocalist and dramatic actor with a strong commitment to Calhoun’s On Tour Program, orchestra and Crescendo. As a selected student to Hofstra University’s Summer Science Research Program, Connelly spent this past summer working in a highly competitive authentic chemistry research program with two mentors researching NMR spectrometry.
Brendan is a member of four honor societies and has earned numerous accolades for his achievements. A three-season athlete, he has served as captain of the crosscountry, winter track and spring track teams, and has been named All-Conference. In addition, Brendan is a MERITING RECOGNITION: From left are Dr. Henr y Kiernan, superintendent; Luke Massaro; member of the Connelly Miller; Brendan Donohue; Stanley Ramdhany; and Dr. Matt Kuschner, board president. Key and Mock Trial Clubs, and Stanley is an AP scholar and a memMath League, stage crew, Chamber Fragments Literary Magazine. ber of the French Honor Society. He Orchestra and Pit Orchestra. Outside of school, Brendan spends has also been a member of the Math Outside of school, Luke “Tutors for his summers helping others through Club, Computer Club and cross couna Cure” and volunteers for communihis work as a lifeguard for the Town try. He enjoys creative writing and is ty service through the Key Club. He of Hempstead. Brendan is a positive actively involved in Kennedy’s newsspent this past summer volunteering role model for all to emulate. paper, The Cougar Crier, and the literhis time doing research at Feinstein ary magazine, Magnum Opus. Institute for Medical Research at Kennedy High School In addition, he also likes studying North Shore University Hospital. foreign languages and playing the Luke Massaro saxophone. Stanley Ramdhany Luke Massaro, a senior at Kennedy Stanley will be attending college to Stanley Ramdhany, a senior at High School, has qualified as a semipursue his interest in the language arts. Kennedy, has also qualified as a finalist in the 2012 National Merit semifinalist in the 2012 National He plans on majoring in linguistics, Scholarship Program. Luke is an AP Merit Scholarship Program. comparative literature or culture studies. scholar with Honors. He is the president of the school’s National Honor Society and a member of the Art Let My Experience Work For You!! Honor Society, Science Honor Society, La Societá Onoraria Italica In This Tough Market and a national finalist in the You Need a Marine! American Chemical Society. He is a Call Ed Williamson, Associate Broker with over member of the Key Club, Art Club,
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Page 3 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
CHSD 2012 National Merit semifinalists
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Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 4
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The community newspaper - the glue that helps hold a community together, and the spur that helps keep it moving forward
Veteran’s Day 2011 Veteran’s Day, celebrated at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, can add the eleventh year, 2011 this year. It is also an anniversary year for World War II, of which we have fewer and fewer veterans among us. This year’s special Veteran’s Day section, coordinated by Laura Schofer, focuses in part on them. Recently, I was up in the attic and had an “Eureka” moment. That old suitcase now used to hold old papers, when turned on its side, revealed a stamp marking it as the property of “Faith Brewer, American Red Cross,” my mother and former publisher of this newspaper. Obviously, she had used it while serving overseas on the India, Burma front, something I had never noticed before. My niece, Clara Laursen, spent several months typing up poems my mother wrote in her youth. And my brother, Chris, collected letters she wrote home from the war and articles she placed as part of her job providing coverage of the Red Cross to encourage more donations. These were sent to the Faith Brewer Laursen national museum at Arlington 1915-1993 photo by Pilar Montes Toscano National Cemetery that chronicles the role played by women in the military. While overseas in the service, my mother endured many of the conditions the nurses and soldiers did, suffering a life-threatening disease and being nursed back to health with oriental medicine. But she also enjoyed traveling and made lifelong friends. She felt very lucky to be coming home after the war, and to be an American.
A local hero State Senator Charles Fuschillo Jr. was recently honored by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, along with Sandy Vega of Wantagh (mother of accident victim Brittany Vega), for his work towards passage of the Complete Streets Law. Now he has come through again for his constituents, this time working for six long years to get insurance coverage for children with autism. Inspired by a Merrick family, the Giangregorios, he became a fixture at autism events, helping them to achieve greater exposure. Meanwhile, in Albany he was continually negotiating to get his bill through. Last week, he was present when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed it into law. How important is this to you? The Centers for Disease Control estimates that one-in-70 boys is diagnosed with autism, as are many girls. Early diagnosis and treatment can make an enormous difference in the life of a child, an adult, the family and the community. That’s how important.
NEW WWII MEMORIAL: This new memorial in Washington, D.C. reflects the nation’s reverence to those who served and sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.
U.S. MARINES: The United States Marines are 236 years old this week. It is fitting that the community “thanks a Marine” as the country honors vets on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11. “Semper Fidelis” is the Marines’ motto, meaning “always faithful.” ©©© VETERANS CEREMONY: Bellmore American Legion Post 848, the Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 948 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2770 will meet on Friday, November 11, at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park on Bedford Avenue and Broadway in Bellmore Village to salute our veterans. ©©© VETERANS DAY: The North Bellmore American Legion Post 1749 will salute the veterans on Friday, November 11, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Newbridge Road School. All are welcome to attend. ©©© VETS DISCOUNT PROGRAM: The Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce is initiating a Veteran Discount Program on Thursday, November 10, at 1 p.m. at Have Your Heard? Inc., 2554 Merrick Road. Come and join in support of the Armed Services. For information call Ginny McClean at 409-0283. ©©© C I V I L WA R R O U N D TABLE: The Nassau County Civil War Round Table will hold a slide presentation entitled “A History of Grant’s Tomb” at the American Legion Post 948, 2730 Royle Street, on Wednesday. November 16, at 7:30 p.m. The presentation is by Frank Scaturro. All are invited to attend. The event is free. Contact 785-2593 for information. ©©© FLAG DAY: The United Veterans of Nassau County will hold Flag Day at Newbridge Road School on Thursday, November 10, at 9 a.m. to teach the class what
the stars and stripes on the flag mean. ©©© RETROFEST 29: Long Island Crisis Center and RetroFest 29 will sponsor RetroFest 29 on Friday, November 19, from 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m.at the Whoville Bar and Grill in Bethpage to celebrate the 44th anniversary of the seminal Monterey Pop Festival. Music by Big Daddy and The Bulldogs, The East River Blues Band, Roger Silverberg, King Penguin, Retro 69 and Dragonfly. There is a $10 donation at the door. Grand raffle prize is a flat screen TV. All proceeds go to LICC. Visit www.longislandcrisiscenter.org. ©©© TUTORING MAKES THE GRADE: Tutors For A Cure was started last year by a group of Kennedy High School juniors, now seniors. Samantha Finkel, Jordan Horowitz and Ross Iscowitz created the organization to provide tutoring for students of varied ages while donating a portion of the money to charity. The three students have been affected by cancer in their families and chose to donate their profits to the American Cancer Society. After being in business and tutoring many Bellmore and Merrick peers, Tutors For A Cure has reached its goal. Congratulations on achieving the goal of $1,000 for the American Cancer Society! Because of the positive feedback they are receiving from their clients, they are already on their next goal of raising another $500. If your child is in need of a tutor, check out the Tutors For A Cure at www.tutorsforacure.com. You will be helping your child learn, while helping an important cause. ©©© NBCA TO MEET: There is a meeting of the North Bellmore Civic Association on Monday,
November 14, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the North Bellmore Public Library. If you have a community issue that needs to be addressed, come and join us. ©©© BIRD WALK: Join the South Shore Audubon Society for a bird walk at Mill Pond Park from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Sunday, November 27. The group will meet at the park on the north side of Merrick Road, west of the Wantagh State Parkway on the Wantagh/Bellmore border. Bring binoculars. Walk leaders and other birders and nature enthusiasts will be happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. The bird walk is free of charge. Rain, snow or temperature below 25 degrees F will cancel the bird walk. For information, visit www.ssaudubon.org or call Steve Schellenger at 987-8103. ©©© CALLING ALL SCOUTS: On Thursday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the West Cafeteria of Mepham High School, Boy Scout Troop 285 will hold an open house for those interested in exploring what Scouting and the troop have to offer to the boys and families of our surrounding communities. The evening will be full of hands-on activities for visitors and exhibits, and information will be available concerning monthly camping trips, special activities and community service activities. For information, or to confirm attendance, you can email email@example.com or call 448 3435. ©©© NORTH BELLMORE BOARD TO MEET: The North Bellmore School District Board of Education will meet on Thursday, November 17, at 8 p.m. at Newbridge Road School, 1601 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore. All are welcome to attend.
Set the same standards for athletics To Bellmore Life: Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. I am the parent of three children, two of whom are in the Central High School district attending MAMS and Calhoun. I am proud to say my children attend these schools and are successful due in a large part to our quality teaching staff and their leadership. I attended my first high school board meeting last night. I was surprised at the contentious atmosphere that filled the room. The “us” (parents) vs.“them” (BOE) vibe left me dismayed. While I went there to address the board on an
issue other than turf, that subject inevitably came up. I understood both the board’s position and the community’s position. Parents were vocal about having the community vote to decide on turf fields for the high schools, and the board reasoned a need for funding in order to put such a vote to the residents. [See story on page 1]. While the board has a fiscal responsibility to both the district and taxpayers, the same board has also been elected by these taxpayers and is accountable to them. They were elected to represent us. If their constituents are asking for a public vote, this cannot continue to be dismissed. There are residents who represent both sides of the coin on this issue. But
if this board was elected by the people, represent the people, then why not trust the people? An educated voter is the best voter. The burden is on the school board to educate the voters as to any tax implications, funding and voting issues. Let the taxpayers make their own decisions on this issue, as they will represent themselves individually in their vote. There was a lot of talking “at” each other at this meeting, and not a significant amount of listening. Our district strives for a school-home-community partnership, and prides itself on having schools of excellence. Why not have the same standards when it comes to athletics? Let’s disarm our battle gear and work collaboratively for the greater
cause: our children. Fingerpointing is nonproductive, and I suggest we all become part of the solution. It would be more advantageous if we all worked together to educate all parties in different potential ways of funding these capital projects. [In this way] all community members can know the details prior to walking into any possible voting booth if this project does move forward. Let the peoples’ voices be heard. Wendy Gargiulo Editor’s Note: Ms. Gargiulo is an elected trustee of the North Merrick School Board. The opinions expressed in this letter are solely hers and not necessarily those of the board.
Cruisin’ Canines food drive and walking schedule
The November walking schedule is as follows: Saturday, November 12, Belmont Lake State Park, North Babylon, 10
a.m. Get off exit 38 on the Southern State Parkway and after the booth (not sure if there is still a toll) park in the lot on the right side by the path. We will meet at the beginning of the path. Saturday, November 19, Freeport Nautical Mile, 9:30 a.m. This is our last walk of the year! We will meet at the end of Woodcleft Avenue at the gazebo by the water.
Transitioning students with disabilities Bellmore-Merrick CHSD SEPTA and the Community Parent Center present Transitioning Students with Disabilities from High School to College on Tuesday, November 15, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Calhoun High School, 1786 State Street. The panel presentation, for students and their parents, includes topics such as post secondary options; no IEP in college; idea vs. ADA 504; ACCES; post high school planning, and parent and student perspectives on post-secondary experiences. Colleges participating in this event include Adelphi University, University of Iowa, REACH Program, Molloy College, Hofstra University, Farmingdale State, Pace University, Landmark College, St. Josephs College, NYIT, Marymount Manhattan, Mitchell College, Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus, Suffolk Community
Correction In a story entitled “Residents challenge NB school committee,” in Bellmore Life, November 2, North Bellmore school committee member Nina Lanci’s remarks were incorrectly reported. In fact, PAL does not rent fields, but is given fields for “facility use” for the benefit of children throughout all Bellmore school districts.
Check out the new features on our website www.bellmorelife.com
College, Lincoln Educational Services, Arizona (SALT), Stony Brook University, and Nassau Community College: Basic Education Achilles Project. In addition, there will be representatives from JCCA Compass Program, Long Island Advocacy Center, ACCES VR (formerly VESID), LLC Consulting, PTS Coaching, College Bound Success, Aheadd, Lifelong Learning and Lincoln Education Services. To register or for information call Cheryl Gitlitz at 992-1349, or e-mail to Jerry Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The walks last approximately one hour. Please bring water and baggies for your dog(s). If it is raining, even a drizzle, the walk is cancelled. All dogs mush be on a leash. If you have any questions, or want information, call Suzanne Johnson at 221-7877, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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For November, the Cruisin’ Canines Club is sponsoring a Pet Food Drive for Long Island Cares. People who come to the walks can bring unopened dry or wet dog food, dry or wet cat food, treats, collars, leashes, bird food, fish food, cat litter or small new toys. This helps fellow Long Islanders that are down on their luck keep their pets at home instead of having to surrender them to a shelter. If you want to donate, but can’t make it to the walks, you can drop off
Page 5 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
Mrs. Hannah Chambers Flackville St. Lawrence County, New York Hart Island, N.Y. Harbor June 18, 1864 Dear Mother, I received your letter today and was glad to hear that you were well and as I have not much to do today I thought I’d write a few lines to let you know that I am well. I have no news to write. We are still at the Island and have not yet been ordered back, though I think we will all go before long, but may possibly stay some time yet. I was down to the city yesterday and went to hear Major Pauline Cushman speak. She is the celebrated scout and spy, had been wounded twice and was captured by General Bragg, and sentenced by him to be hung, but was recaptured by General Rosecrans. She is very good looking and a very smart speaker. A large number of wounded soldiers arrived in New York yesterday and some of them went to
Civil War letter: The Chambers letter Maine. A good many came to David’s Island, a short distance from here. I saw Tom Ross this morning. He was shot in the side, but is getting along very well. He says Pat Sharpe and the rest of the boys are well. Petersburg has been captured by General Butler’s command. I suppose that wedding was a brilliant affair. I never expected to have a cousin Pat. I have no news to write at present so I’ll have to close for this time. Give my love to all my many friends. Good bye, Mason S. Chambers 169th Regiment Hart Island, New York Harbor Clarence Anspake, president of the Historical Society of the Bellmores, comments: Mason’s regiment’s next move was to Petersburg, Virginia, where much combat took place. Near the end of 1864 they were at Wilmington, North Carolina, for an attack on Fort Fisher. Combat took place here on Christmas Day through
January 15, 1865, and caused the loss of 53 more men. In a few more months the war was over and Mason, with his regiment, returned home. Mason left Flackville, New York, for two years, living in McGregor, Iowa, but by 1868 was back in Flackville. He served as an inspector of elections and in 1878 applied for his veteran’s pension, which he received in the amount of $65 per month. He never married and lived with the pains of his old wounds for the rest of his life. Mason Chambers was dropped from the pension lists as of January 10, 1929, due to his death. Mason Chambers was the typical Civil War soldier and was in heavy combat followed by periods of quiet service. We thank him and all of our veterans who served this wonderful nation and found only too well that the cost of freedom is very high! ©©© Mason S. Chambers
Chamber welcomes three new members Train for the Game Barbara Brenseke, owner of Train for the Game, is a highly sought after certified sports and fitness coach with over 20 years of experience in the athletic and fitness field. She is a strengthand-conditioning coach who works with athletes of all ages and levels. Ms. Brenseke is an athlete and competes in triathlons, marathons and is a USTA tennis player. She is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Idea Health and Fitness Association and is a certified Hardstyle Kettlebell (HKC) instructor, Class C certified soccer coach with the Long Island Junior Soccer League and a certified Olympic weightlifting sports performance coach. She currently trains a select group of athletes and exercise enthusiasts, and can be reached at Train For the Game, 545 Bedford Avenue, Bellmore or you can e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lori-Girl Creations Inc. Lori-Girl Creations Inc. was found-
ed in 2000 as an interior design firm located in Bellmore. Now in its 12th year, Lori-Girl is expanding to meet the needs of its clientele. Recently relocating to 2355 Merrick Road, Bellmore, the business will now include home décor items, accessories and furnishings. Focusing on the needs of the community, owner Lori Miller has added a special children’s section, which includes great bedding, toys and several organic lines for the environmentally conscious. Ms. Miller holds degrees in both interior design and psychology. She has been featured on BetterTV, heard on various radio programs, seen in local newspapers, writes for Doityourself.com, has written and teaches the certified decorators curriculum for the Paint & Decorator’s Retail Association, and was selected as one of Long Island’s Top Ten Designers by Wainscot Media/NY Spaces Magazine. Her work has been exhibited in one of Long Island’s showhouses, Newsday Long Island, Book of Showhouses and in House Magazine. Ms. Miller believes that your environment impacts on your well-being, and focusing on small changes can help to create a clear space through
conscious choices. Since 2000 she has helped a diverse clientele achieve their vision with the integration of her listening skills and design knowledge. To learn more about Lori Miller and view some of her creations go to the website www.lorigirlcreations.com. Republic Lighting of Bellmore Republic Lighting of Bellmore, at 2355 Merrick Road, has been a family owned-and-operated business since 1969. It prides itself on providing customers with the best-quality products
in this most welcome highlight of Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season. Musical coordinators Rita and Richard Gilley are helping to plan the program based upon the responses they are receiving from the various organizations who have performed in the past. For information call The Brotherhood Council of Merrick at 868-9833. – from the Brotherhood Council
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Brotherhood concert coming The Annual Brotherhood Council Music Festival is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, at 2 pm. The auditorium at Calhoun High School in Merrick will be filled to capacity to see and hear the hundreds of musically talented performers of all ages help lift the spirits. Co-presidents of the council, Anne Burke and Lawrence Garfinkel, hope your calendar will transport you so you can participate
and personal service, including free home consultations. It offers a huge selection of indoor and outdoor lighting, chandeliers, ceiling fans, lamps shades, accessories and more. New merchandise arrives weekly. The store is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit them on the web at www.republiclighting.net and on Facebook!
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The Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores recently held ceremonies for three new members, swelling its membership.
Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 6
For Vets Day
The Ladies Auxiliary of Empire Hose Company 3, 2300 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, will held a shopping bag bingo on Friday, November 11, beginning at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $5, which includes coffee and cake. For information call Jackie Gavigan at 868-1319, or Lee Hlavacek at 632-9928.
winning producer Angelo Fraboni, an accomplished Broadway performer who has produced and managed a wide range of Off-Broadway productions and tours. The November 12 ‘Evening of Entertainment’ will also include appearances by comedian Mario Cantone, Rachel Dratch from Saturday Night Live, Scott Adsit from “30 Rock,” world renowned violinist Ittai Shapira, the Elite String Ensemble of the Children’s Orchestra (directed by Dr. Yeou-Cheng Ma) rock musician Jo Wymer, Ashle Dawson from “So You Think You Can Dance,” Broadway dancer Ashley Amber and jazz singer Gregory Generet. Tickets for dinner/pre-show packages can be purchased by contacting Cynthia Metzger at 678.5000 ext. 6723. Or you can visit www.molloy.edu.
Molloy College announces the opening of the new Madison Theatre, located in the Public Square building on the College’s Rockville Centre campus. The theatre will open on November 12 with a gala event hosted by comedian Martin Short, and written by multiple Emmy Award winner and best-selling author Alan Zweibel. The theatre’s artistic director is award-
The Freeport United Methodist Church, 46 Pine Street, will hold a Veteran’s Day weekend fair on Saturday, November 12, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Methodist Church bar will once again offer a time to sit, relax and enjoy a menu of homemade soups, chicken salad sandwiches and other specialties. Admission is free.
Dr. Lori Landrio is hosting a food drive for the month of November at her Merrick office, 2126 Merrick Mall. To help L.I. Cares with their mission for “A hungerfree L.I.” please donate canned goods and nonperishable items. For every three items donated receive a 5% discount on the purchase of eyeglasses. For information call the office at 546-4800.
Shopping bag bingo
Page 7 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
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World War I, also known as the “Great War,” was officially concluded on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November, at 11 a.m. in 1918. November 11 of the following year, President Woodrow Wilson declared the day as “Armistice Day” in honor of the peace. This day was marked with public celebrations and a twominute halt to business at 11 a.m. In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in Arlington
Cemetery with a ceremony on November 11. After the dedication, Armistice Day was adopted in many states and at the federal level as a day to honor veterans. The was made official in 1938 when an act of Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday. Only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, World War II broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. 407,000 died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.
The first celebration using the term Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947, but did not become official until 1954 when Congress passed the bill, signed by President Eisenhower, proclaiming November 11 to be Veterans Day. A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans,
and in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date. Today, Veterans Day is still observed on November 11 as a national holiday to honor all veterans of the United States Armed Forces. A national ceremony takes place at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Locally, both the Bellmore and North Bellmore American Legion will hold ceremonies. See page 4 for more information.
BELLMORE’S WAR MEMORIAL: Bellmore’s World War I Memorial on Bedford Avenue in Bellmore Village stands as a monument to the men and women who fought and died for our freedoms. Every year on 11/11 veterans at this monument. salute those who served and those who died.
photo courtesy of Valerie Skelly
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Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 8
A History of Veterans Day
Once a month a name will appear in the classifieds. If you find your name just call
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WWII ball turret gunner survives several crashes Mr. Buczak’s total combat time from the first bombing mission to the last bombing raid was 133 days, which was record time and a first for the 8th Air Force. “Our crew volunteered for speeded up service. We could have completed much sooner,” said Mr. Buczak, “but we ran out of B-17s. We totaled out [wrecked] four B-17s, all the spare planes in our squadron. Our plane, the ‘Duchess’ was always in and out for repairs because of flak damage,” he added. Flak are explosives used to down planes that came in “three sizes – 88s, 105s and 155s,” said Mr. Buczak “and would rain down on us.” The ball turret is attached to the underbelly of the B17. The gunner sits in the circular turret, which is just four feet in diameter and is responsible for downing enemy planes. It is an extremely vulnerable position. The tight quarters make it difficult for the occupant to get in and out of. “That’s why I got the job,” laughed Mr. Buczak. “I’m a small guy and it was all right in there, but I wouldn’t recommend someone tall getting inside. But I was one of the few guys who could wear a parachute; if I had to I could roll right out. It was okay.” Mr. Buczak added “you have to be airborne to get in it, at about 10,000 feet.” His first mission was on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His bomb group didn’t see much action that day but he had “360 degrees of visibility. I had the best seat in the house. I saw everything – strikes and hits.” Mr. Buczak still remembers the sight of the massive fleet of ships making their way towards the coast of France. His second mission flying over Paris was not so easy. Four planes out of the six were downed. “It was common to lose at least one to three planes. Each plane held nine men,” said Mr. Buczak. On this mission, all four engines of his plane were hit and leaking oil, and a crewmember was wounded. There was no oxygen system and the plane had 135 flak holes. In an article written by the Nassau Daily Review in 1945, Mr. Buczak described what happened. “Gas was leaking down near a supercharger. If it gets into the supercharger that means a fire and a blown-up ship. We limped into a landing, fire broke out, but the crash crew was there and saved the plane,” said Mr. Buczak. Mr. Buczak crashed two more times but was never hurt. “Somebody was helping me out,” he said. He crashed
once because they had no brakes. “We had to go into a ditch at the end of the runway because we couldn’t stop the plane. The wheel hit the hole and pulled out the engine.” Another time “we ran out of fuel as we were coming down the runway.” There is one mission Mr. Buczak will never forget. It was mission number 11. “It was the first day of a three-day mission to bomb Munich, in July of 1944” said Mr. Buczak. On their way back from Germany, over the North Sea, the crew had to “ditch” the plane. Heavy flak knocked out the plane’s engine and the propeller wasn’t working properly. They had to land in the North Sea and wait for rescue. “We had made a perfect ditch,” said Mr. Buczak. But there was a problem with the life raft. It was lodged under the tail. “If we didn’t get that life raft out, we wouldn’t survive,” said Mr. Buczak. He dove under the tail and pulled out the life raft. “I didn’t think about what I was doing. There’s no time to think. We were trained for this. We had practiced a lot.” There were more problems the crew had to face. A German E boat kept circling the downed plane, hoping to take Buczak and his crew as prisoners. “Luckily, American P-51 fighters shooed the E boat away.” Shortly afterwards, the crew was picked up by a rescue team and brought back to England. “Twenty four hours later, we were back, bombing our target in Munich.” Other missions took Mr. Bruczak all over Germany to oil refineries, railroad yards, ball bearing factories and the submarine pens. “The oil refineries were particularly well protected,” said Mr. Bruczak. You knew you were going on a really tough mission when the commander would tell you that a chaplain of your faith was at the back of the room and available to speak with you. I used to say, tell him to fly the mission for me,” Mr. Buczak laughed. “Right after D-Day, we carpetbombed the German Panzer Division in St. Lo. That mission was done in three stages. We [the 457th] came first, followed by field artillery and then Patton came through, that’s when he began his drive through Europe.” Mr. Buczak also recalls how the 457th led the Eighth Air Force in bombing Peenemunde. “We were the fifth or sixth plane in the lead for the Air Force. When I looked back I could see 1,000 planes. They looked like mosquitoes over the water.”
Peenemunde is where the V1 rockets were assembled. For all his heroic deeds, Mr. Buczak was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the air medal [five times], four Major Campaign Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. He is also a member of the Goldfish Club, an English organization of men who were “ditched” from planes. You always had to be prepared,” said Mr. Buczak, referring to the chance of having to parachute out over enemy territory. “I had this tiny silk map [of Europe] that I carried, along with French and German currency. I had photos of myself, in civilian clothing, so I could pay the underground for a fake passport. I also carried two 45s, under my armpits, not to shoot anyone, but to hold off civilians.” Luckily, Mr. Buczak never had to face such a scenario. Mr. Buczak finished his tour of service at Mitchel Field. After the war he went into the construction business, married his wife Dorothy and raised his four children in North Bellmore. Now, when Mr. Buczak reflects upon his time overseas, he thinks, “It was a very exciting time of my life. Some guys just get lucky or they don’t see too much action. I don’t know how to figure it out. I guess your number is either up or it’s not your time,” he said. –Laura Schofer
In memory of a vet Family and friends of a deceased veteran or someone acting on his/her behalf may request a Presidential Memorial Certificate, sample above. A request form (VA-40-0247) is available on the National Cemetery Administration website www.cem.va.gov. A military discharge document must be submitted with the request. Requests may be submitted by mail to: Presidential Memorial Certificate; 5109 Russell Road; Quantico, Virginia 22134-3903 or by toll-free fax to: (800) 455-7143 or in person at any Virginia regional office.
BELLMORE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS POST 2770
Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.
2400 Bedford Avenue, Bellmore
Bernard Hoffman – Post Commander David S. Zwerin – Dept. NY Commander
Commander Vincent Montera
Ensign Laurence D. Solowey • Post 652
NORTH BELLMORE AMERICAN LEGION POST 1749 1298 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore
Commander Pat Yngstrom
T - 516-868-1393
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in Bellmore Life in 2002. It was such an interesting story we are reprinting it again with the permission of the Buczak family. Mr. Buczak is now 87 years old. Steve Buczak was born under a lucky star. At almost 78 years of age  he is alive to tell a tale that is the stuff of Hollywood movies. Mr. Buczak of North Bellmore was a STEVE BUCZAK ball turret gunner in a B17 with the 457th Bomb group in England during World War II. He flew a total of 33 missions over Germany, France and Holland, firing twin 50-caliber machine guns at German fighters trying to attack his plane from below. In the course of six months in 1944, Mr. Buczak survived three crashes and a ditching in the North Sea as well as numerous occasions when heavy artillery fire could have downed his plane. He was 20 years old at the time. In 1943 Mr. Buczak was in the first group of 18 year olds drafted from Bellmore. He was sent to Camp Upton and then to Miami Beach for basic training, where they “teach you how to survive,” he said. Mr. Buczak received airplane engineering training in Gulfport, Mississippi, and in Las Vegas enrolled for aerial gunnery training. “That’s when they teach you how to fire a 30-or 50-caliber machine gun. It’s heavy but young guys have a lot of strength and can handle it. They also teach you not to burn out the barrel. It’s one thing I knew I could never forget. You can go to a 15 or 20-shot burst but after that you burn out the barrel and you have no weapon. Believe me, you don’t want that to happen. It would be pretty embarrassing and dangerous, too,” said Mr. Buczak. Mr. Buczak received additional flight training in Ardmore, Oklahoma, before sailing with Patton’s Third Infantry to England just before D-Day. “We were about 20 or 30 guys with the infantry,” he said. Mr. Buczak was assigned to the 457 Bomb Group, 750 Bomb Squadron of the U.S. Army Eighth Air Force in Glaton, England. This group was later called the “Fireball Outfit.”
P.O. Box 1138, Bellmore
Commander Robert Kohler 8016OC3111JB
Page 9 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
VETERANS DAY 2011
World War II POW gets out alive
Like many boys of his generation, Freeporter Bernie Rader wanted to do something for his country. The year was 1943. Bernie Rader was a 19-year-old boy from Brooklyn, who along with a group of about 10 friends, went down to the recruitment office to enlist and bluffed his way through an eye test to ensure he would be accepted into the United States armed services. “I thought I might be 4F because of my eyes, but a buddy of mine stood behind me and whispered while I read the eye chart, and I got in,” he said. In May 1943 Mr. Rader received his “greetings from FDR and went into basic training. By August 1944 I was sent to England, then onto to France,” he explained. Mr. Radar was a Private First Class with the 94th Infantry, Company K, 301st Regiment. He landed in France just after the Allied Forces had made their historic landing at Normandy that June. At this time General George S. Patton was beginning his historic march, first through France, and then eastward through Europe. Meanwhile, Mr. Rader’s regiment was stationed in Brittany, which still had a few strong German garrisons. “I saw a bit of fighting during the month of September . I was on patrol, not too bad,” he explained. And then on October 2, Mr. Rader, and 54 other men were sent into the French countryside after learning that some German soldiers wished to surrender. They found no one there but saw a few French farmers skirt out of their way. The company landed in a meadow when they were ambushed. “A shot rang out and they started to fight. There was artillery and machine guns. We started back to the lines but the Germans had surrounded us. We had to fight. I think it was about 11 a.m.,” said Mr. Rader. The fighting continued for the next few hours. “Around 1 p.m. a mortar hit the ground, first about 50 feet, then 25 feet. I felt the dust and then they hit me with shrapnel,” said Mr. Rader. “I couldn't fight. I was bleeding and I was dazed. I just lay there thinking I was dying. I thought about my parents,” said Mr. Rader, who stretched out his arm and hand. “I still have shrapnel in me.” The fighting continued. The Americans tried sending in another
company, but re-enforcement couldn’t get through. “At about 6 p.m. we realized we had to surrender. We didn’t have much ammo. Five Americans were killed and there were 20 of us wounded,” said Mr. Rader. One American soldier spoke a bit of German and negotiated the surrender. “There I was on the ground and I took off my dog tags and gave them to my buddy – George Boyd. I’m Jewish and we decided it would be a good idea to bury them,” said Mr. Rader. “The Germans came in and we raised up our hands, but a German sergeant told us to put our hands down because we had fought valiantly.” The Germans took the injured prisoners to a hospital in Lorient. Those who were not injured were taken to Fort Surville prison on the French island of Ile de Groix. This area was being held by about 66,000 Germans but they were encircled by the American troops. “A German major named Schmidt questioned me about my dog tags. I was a little afraid of him,” said Mr. Rader who kept a prayer card of Jesus above his bed with the saying “I am with you always.” He did this to avoid any suspicion. “He kept asking me questions about my dog tags. I told him I lost them,” said Mr. Rader. “Are you American, British, French,” demanded the major. “All I was required to say was my name, rank and serial number – Bernard Rader, private first class, serial number 3296290. This made him angry but one of my sergeants, a man named Harrington, told Major Schmidt that I was an American.” Mr. Rader spent 47 days in the hospital in Lorient. “I saw a lot of things,” said Mr. Rader, who looked away as if lost in thought. He didn’t speak of those “things,” but showed this reporter a list he made of his 140 favorite foods – bacon, waffles, banana split, pecan rolls. “We were starving. They gave us a piece of bread with a bit of lard for breakfast, the same thing for lunch and then this watery, nothing soup. The Germans had the same rations but were able to go out into the countryside and get some food from the farmers,” explained Mr. Rader. “I remember the French Red Cross came for a visit and brought me an apple. I ate it, rind and all.” Likewise, the prisoners on Ile de Groix were also starving. But there, an
American soldier somehow managed to sneak out a letter explaining the POWs’ situation and asking for food and supplies. That letter eventually ended up in the hands of Andrew Gerow Hodges, a senior field director for the Red Cross. Mr. Hodges wrote to the Germans asking if the Americans could deliver supplies and finally, after some negotiations and a face-to-face BERNIE RADER, POW ON STRETCHER meeting between the two sides, the Germans agreed. All in all, 149 men were exchanged. “We got some food, even O’Henry By October 1945 he came home to [candy] bars. We had to give to the Brooklyn. For his valor, Mr. Rader Germans too,” said Mr. Rader. received the Bronze Star Medal, a Mr. Hodges made 13 trips in total, Purple Heart and is also a recipient of crossing the river from the American the French Legion of Honor awarded side of Etel to the German side of La to him by President Sarkozy in 2007. Magouer. Nowadays Mr. Rader tells his story During one of those exchanges Mr. to schoolchildren as well as at Hodges suggested to Major Schmidt libraries. “I want the kids to know that an exchange be made for the how important it is to serve – it could American, British and French prisonbe the Peace Corp, Habitat for ers of war for the German prisoners Humanity, Teach for America but you of war. have to give back. That’s what its all “Mr. Hodges said why house, cloth about,” he said. and feed our guys, let’s exchange rankfor-rank, conditionfor-condition,” said Mr. Rader. “One of the conditions for the exchange was that the POWs wouldn’t fight in this theatre,” said Mr. Rader. The Germans agreed and on November 16 the first of three exchanges for POWs took place. “It was the first and only time during the second World War that this occurred,” said Mr. Rader. He was one of the first 79 to be exchanged. “There was a sixhour cease fire [on November 19] and they put me on a stretcher and into the boat, and then to a hospital in Reine,” THANKS BUDDY! An advertisement, above for War Savings said Mr. Rader. Stamps.
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Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 10
VETERANS DAY 2011
Page 11 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
VETERANS DAY 2011
Yeoman Bill Halleran lives through Pearl Harbor by Laura Schofer “They just kept coming.” That’s how Bill Halleran of Merrick described the bombing of the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese fighter planes on the morning of December 7, 1941. “It was three minutes to eight, 7:57, when I heard these loud explosions and deafening noise,” he said. Mr. Halleran, a Yeoman, First Class, United States Navy, assigned to the U.S.S. Phoenix, was standing in the executive’s office with three other yeomen when the attack began. “I looked out the porthole to battleship row. I could see the meatball [slang referring to the image of the Japanese Rising Sun on the side of the planes] and the planes were dropping torpedoes into the side of ships. ‘Hell, I said, we’re at war.’” Japanese planes filled the sky over Pearl Harbor. Bombs and bullets rained onto the vessels moored below. History.com describes the events of that day. “At 8:10 a.m., a 1,800 pound bomb smashed through the deck of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona and landed in her forward ammunition magazine. The ship exploded and sank with more than 1,000 men trapped inside. Next, torpedoes pierced the shell of the battleship U.S.S. Oklahoma. With 400 sailors aboard, the Oklahoma lost her balance, rolled onto her side and slipped underwater. By the time the attack was over every battleship in Pearl Harbor – U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. Oklahoma, U.S.S. California, U.S.S. West Virginia, U.S.S. Utah, U.S.S. Maryland, U.S.S. Pennsylvania, U.S.S. Tennessee and U.S.S. Nevada – had sustained significant damage.” Yeoman Halleran was assigned to the U.S.S. Phoenix, a light cruiser that had just returned from a tour of duty in the Philippines, where they were ordered to “see how many Japs were there,” he said referring to the building tension between the United States and Japan that indicated that war may be just over the horizon. At the time, American intelligence officers didn’t think the Japanese would attack American soil. Instead, they believed an attack might occur somewhere in the South Pacific or the Philippines. “Our ship was the only one in the [seventh] fleet with a gunnery, turrets and an engineer. We had
lots of artillery. That’s why they picked us,” he said. But there was nothing in the Philippines and the U.S.S. Phoenix made a stop in Manilla, picked up a general court martial prisoner who was confined to the brink and returned to Pearl Harbor. “That day, it was pandemonium,” said Mr. Halleran. “Over the loudspeaker, I heard ‘All hands, man your battle stations.’ I secured two portholes in the exec office. I tried to climb the ladder through the scuttle but it was too tight. So I went to the port side, up the scuttle. One chief yelled ‘give me a hand with the canvas,’ ” said Mr. Halleran. The canvas is used to protect the guns and needed to be pushed aside. “We started to cut down the canvas, which was blocking the guns. The chief and I pushed it over the side of the ship.” “I went to my battle station – After Con, which is three decks above the main deck.” Mr. Halleran explained that After Con is the command center where operations would take place, if the bridge is destroyed. “There I was, in After Con and my exec never showed up. That made me the senior [officer]. I knew I just couldn’t stand around,” he said. “We had four 50-caliber guns, two on port and two on starboard, but no electric power and no ammunition so I elected to go to the ammunition room.” Mr. Halleran leans back in his chair and closes his eyes, imagining his journey that day. “Remember, I was three decks above the main. I had to go through scuttles, bulkheads, then three decks below the main. I took a belt of 50-caliber ammunition and hung it around my neck. The ends dragged on the floor and I kept thinking as I climbed each ladder and went through each compartment, ‘if this lets loose, things will go flying.’ I made two trips like that,” he said. Back on After Con, Yeoman Halleran watched down below as the general court martial prisoner they had transported from Manilla, “had attached himself to the five-inch guns and was loading ammunition manually,” he said. Mr. Halleran explained this was an enormously huge task that was usually done electronically. “The guns are huge and rough. It’s all machine and I see him using his right hand to load, and it looks like a piece of raw chopped meat. But he just kept loading.”
Mr. Halleran said he was pretty sure he shot down one plane. “We used tracer bullets in the early years of the war and I saw the plane and it was smoking and landed in the sugar cane fields beyond,” he said. The barrage lasted about two hours. Mr. Halleran remembers the “attacks seemed to come in waves, but I really didn’t have any concept of time. You just did what you had to do.” Mr. Halleran said the U.S.S. Phoenix was lucky. There were few casualties on board. However, 2,500 men were killed and another 1,00 were wounded that day. Additionally, eight battleships and 200 airplanes were destroyed. A day after the attack, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan; three days later the United States was also at war with Germany and Italy. As for Mr. Halleran, he spent the next four years fighting in the Pacific. In 1945 he left the Navy and by 1947 he
BILL HALLERAN settled in Merrick with his bride, Rosemary. Together they raised their three sons in Merrick.
Sending letters home... William Bennett, a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, describes life after V - E Day in Bavaria, Germany; including luxurious hotel rooms and exhibitions of Hermann Goering’s stolen art. “Berchtesgaden 28 May 1945 Dear Mother, Am enjoying a two day pass at a resort on Lake Konigsee. The weather is wonderful and it’s a great set up here. Have a room overlooking the lake at the Hotel Schiffmeister - very deluxe. It’s run by a couple of staff of Germans and we have just about everything you could imagine - excursion boats, canoes, speed boats, horses, tennis, several orchestras, etc. We are waited on hand and foot and have been getting the best cooked food I’ve had since leaving the states. Much more of this and we would be badly spoiled. The latest addition here is a contingent of WACS who are on their way up.. The division is still ferreting out some top Nazis in their mountainous hide-
FREEPORT’S GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC dedicates a memorial in the form of a cannon photo courtesy of the Freeport Memorial Library
aways here. There is plenty of room to take cover in this part of the country and it may be sometime before they are all rounded up. Everyday a few German soldiers are picked up coming down from parts high up in the Austrian Alps where they didn’t even know the war was over. They are surprised to see that Americans have taken over ground here and can’t understand what happened. All kinds of loot is being recovered in this area, and the 101st already has on display an exhibition of some of the things Goering had hidden away that are
reputed to be worth many millions. His collection makes up a good sized museum in itself.. Well, that’s it for now. Love, Bill”
Courtesy of National World War II Museum.
Cookie Cucurullo flies perilous missions in Pacific
A fly boy who loves the poetry of Rudyard Kipling – Constantino (Cookie) Cucurullo of Wantagh – flew 50 missions as a ball-and-nose-turret gunner in the Pacific theatre during World War II. He has a wall filled with medals, including an air medal with three clusters, which he waves away as “just something I got for missions that were considered out of the ordinary.” He does not explain any further, leaving the silences in between his words to speak about what this reporter imagines were feats of bravery. A design engineer by training, Mr. Cucurullo, who’s grandfather came to the United States from Naples, Italy, in the second half of the 19th century, worked for the Remington Corporation with top secret clearance from the FBI, before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942. “You either could serve with bomb site maintenance, armament school or aircraft mechanic. I chose bomb site maintenance but couldn’t work there because I was told I was only a second generation American, even with my FBI clearance,” said Mr. Cucurullo. Mr. Cucurullo then chose aircraft armament and volunteered for gunnery school but flunked out because he was color blind. But when he was transferred to the Greenville Army Air Base, a surgeon asked him why he was not in gunnery school, because of Mr Cucurullo’s perfect height and weight. “When I told him I was colorblind, he asked me if I could read the calender on the wall. ‘What color are the numbers, he asked?’ I said red. He said ‘You’re in.’” Mr. Cucurullo spent three months in gunnery school at Tyndall Field Florida. “They teach you air-to-air gunnery. You must listen to the training so that if you get into a situation the training will help you,” said Mr. Cucurullo. “They put you in two seater planes, in the back seat and have you stand up and fire. They tie you with a gunner’s belt so you don’t flip out of the plane. The WACs fly the two targets and you fire at those,” he explained. “They will put you in a pressure chamber and pressurize at 20,000 feet. Things happen. If you have a tiny air hole from a cavity, the air will expand and could pop the cavity or create inordinate amount of pressure on your jaw nerves,” he said. “At 30,000 feet you have to put on a gas mask. They cut your oxygen off and have you write your name. You don’t get more than a couple of letters down before you pass out. It happens that fast. You must wear that mask.” Mr. Cucurullo was assigned to the second bomb squadron, 22nd Bomb Group, U.S. Army Air Corps, and was stationed in New Guinea, from where
he flew missions. 107 men were assigned to this group. He first flew in the B25, which has a top turret. He flew 25 missions in this plane. Then he flew another 24 missions in the four engine B24 in the ball turret and nose turret. He also flew one mission in a B17. “We’d lose about 10% [of the men] in each mission,” said Mr. Cucurullo. “We had no fighter cover so the Japs medium bombers would be about 1,000 feet above us and drop phosphorous bombs on us.” Mr. Cucurullo said the Japanese “were good flyers. Their zeros [type of plane] were better than the B40.” But Mr. Cucurullo said men in the Army Air Corps were “fortunate. If everything goes right you go back to base. And when we die...well, the air force dies clean shaven.” Some of the targets were Japanese air fields “because we wanted to soften up the beaches for the marines to land,” he said. “I have to give those guys a lot of credit. They really slogged their way through the war. The ground troops and marines are fighting infinitum.” Other missions were to destroy oil refineries and manufacturing sites. “My last mission was to the Pandansari refinery, Balikpapen, Borneo,” he said. Mr. Cucurullo kept a diary about his missions that was taken away from him, but he still was able to record some details. The printed page he showed this reporter reads: “2,550 mile round trip. Oct. 10, 1944; 18 hour trip. Bombing excellent; target destroyed 40-50 Zekes, Oscars, Hamps and Tojos. Interception for 40-50...” “It was almost a perfect mission. We had 45 tons of high explosives that were used and our bombardier dropped those five bombs right on the nose of the refinery,” said Mr. Cucurullo. Mr. Cucurullo survived 50 missions and three bouts of malaria while in the Pacific. “The island we were based on was called ‘Death Island’ by the native people. Soldiers contacted all kinds of diseases – malaria, typhus, dysentery and this creeping crud, which formed as little blisters on your fingers and when the blisters burst your skin would peel. It just ate away at your skin.” During those 50 missions Mr. Cucurullo said he carried in his overalls “rosary beads, crucifixes, religious medals my mother sent from home. By the time I finished [the missions] it looked like I was carrying grapefruits in my pockets,” he chuckled. When he left for home, “the other guys asked me to empty my pockets. They each took something to keep with them for good luck.” Mr. Cucurullo returned home at the end of 1944 and went back to work at the Remington Company, married Kathryn Schott and moved to Wantagh in 1951.They raised their two sons and
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CONSTANTINO (COOKIE) CUCURULLO two daughters in Wantagh. Bob Hulme, died two months ago. He Mr. Cucurullo is 90 years old. “We was a big guy. You had to be strong. It used to have reunions but there aren’t was very difficult to fly those 24s,” too many of us left anymore. My pilot. said Mr. Cucurullo.
A letter home.. Korea: Dec. 1, 1953 Hi Folks This is a copy of our Thanksgiving menu (below). We really had quite a meal. They gave us Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday off and then called a 3 day bivouac yesterday. Me and 2 other guys stayed back in the wire section to handle any lines that went out and boy did they go out; we’ve been on the go steadily. It poured like mad for days and the rain just stopped a little while ago. It was sleeting most of yesterday. I’ve got a new job now. I am in charge of Battalion signal supply. Its a pretty good deal. I’ve got to go on guard in a couple of minutes so I’ll have to sign off. Love to all, Ray P.S. Thanks for the Christmas Card Raymond Priger lived on Oak Street, Bellmore.
Letter courtesy of Valerie Skelly
GOT INK?: ABOVE, MERRICK-FREEPORT VETERAN’S TATTOOS MEMBERS OF VIETNAM WAR VETERANS ASSOCIATION
Photos by Joyce Rommel
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by Laura Schofer
Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 12
VETERANS DAY 2011
Page 13 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
Kennedy varsity volleyball vies for fourth straight title The Kennedy Cougars varsity volleyball team continued its quest for a fourth straight county championship with a win against Great Neck North on Saturday, 3-0. With the crowd behind them, the Cougars quickly took care of Great Neck North. The team came out quick and hyped up. Coach Ringel said, “[we] played well and had a fast-paced offense.” It was a great win and it was fun to watch, but there was one other big storyline in this game, and that was the return of Ben Canarick. He has missed the last two weeks with a leg injury, but he came back just in time. Although he may not have played at 100%, he was effective getting 11 kills and six blocks in the game. Evan Gerlack said, “It was huge to get him back.” Mike Schwartz added, “[having a] 6-4 middle is very important. He is one of our best guys.” A second win With this game in the history books, the Cougars then turned their attention to the semifinals against Roslyn. Just like the last game, the Cougars domi-
nated their opponent, winning 3-1. Coach Ringel said that they have played the Roslyn team twice this year, so they knew what to expect. In his second game back, Ben Canarick had 13 kills and six blocks. Gary Anderson continued his strong season with five kills, two aces and 27 assists, and Matt Murphy added nine kills, two aces and three blocks. This win puts the Cougars in the county championship game, and this team is pumped. Said Evan, “There is not even a scale to measure how excited we are.” This team has gotten over its 0-2 start, and has shown how good it really is. Mike Schwartz said, “[This] team is about dedication. There is not another team in this school that has the dedication we have.” This team has worked hard all season and this is where it all pays off. The Cougars will play for their fourth straight county championship on Thursday at 4:30 p.m, at Hosftra University. They will face off against top-seeded Floral Park. It will be an interesting game, as the Cougars try to do the unthinkable: win a fourth straight title.
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and cake. It will be at the Empire Hose Company, 2300 Merrick Avenue, just south of Sunrise Highway. For information call Jackie Gavigan at 868-1319 or Lee Hlavacek.
The Ladies Auxiliary of Empire Hose Company 3 will hold a Shopping Bag Bingo on Friday, November 11, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and includes coffee
Bellmore Village’s 2011 Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Extravaganza will take place on Friday, December 2 at the Bellmore Veteran’s Memorial Monument. The overwhelmingly popular horse and carriage rides down our main street, Bedford Avenue, will be available from 69 p.m.
We will again offer trolley rides, which will take families down Bedford Avenue and on a short tour of local residential streets to view the holiday decorations. Of course, carolers will fill the air with festive music. There will also be available pretzels, hot chocolate and roasted peanuts.
PUBLIC NOTICES Commissioner will be held on December 13, 2011 at the Bellmore Fire Depar tment Headquarters (across from the LIRR), 230 Pettit Avenue, from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., during which hours the polls will remain open for voting, to fill a five (5) year term commencing January 1, 2012 in place and stead of Joseph Occhipinti, Jr. whose term expires December 31, 2011. By order of the Board of Fire Commissioners, Robert Angrisani Secretary BL 280 1T 11/9
Notice of formation of GlobeSource Par tners LLC. Arts of Org filed with the Sec’y of State of NY SSNY on 8/9/2011 Office located in Nassau County. SSNY has been designated for service of process. SSNY shall mail service to: c/o the LLC 2584 Hicks street, Bellmore, NY 11710 Purpose: any lawful activity. BL 274 6T 10/6, 13, 20, 27, 11/2, 9 3434 SUNRISE LLC has been formed as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Art. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of New York (SSNY) on October 19, 2011. N.Y. Office Location: Nassau Co. SSNY is designated as Agent upon whom process against the LLC may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of any process against the LLC served upon him/her to: 2477 Merrick Road, Bellmore, NY 11710. Term: Indefinite Purpose/Character: Real Estate BL 279 6T 11/2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 12/7 NOTICE OF ELECTION BELLMORE FIRE DISTRICT DECEMBER 13, 2011 Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of the Town Law Section 175(1) and by resolution of the Bellmore Fire District, the annual election of the qualified voters of said district will be held on the following date and location. The Bellmore Fire District Election for Board of Fire
LEGAL NOTICE Notice of the registration of rolls for annual election of the Bellmore Fire District. Please be advised that the Board of Elections of the Bellmore Fire District will meet on the 29th day of November 2011, 2:00 p.m. at the Bellmore Fire District Office for the purpose of preparing the rolls of the registered voters of the Bellmore Fire District. The annual election for the Office of Fire Commissioner will be held on the 13th day of December 2011 between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 P.M. at Fire Headquarters 230 Pettit Avenue Bellmore New York. Please note that only those persons who are registered with the Nassau County Board of Elections on/before the 21st day of November 2011
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places: Stations No. 1 - 3470 Park Avenue, Wantagh, Station No. 2 - 844 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh, Station No. 3 - 2529 Neptune Avenue, Seaford, Station No. 4 - 991 Alken Avenue, Seaford, and No. 5 2895 Merrick Road, Wantagh. The polls shall remain open until 9:00 o'clock p.m., or as much longer as necessary to enable the voters then present to cast their votes for the purpose of electing a Fire District Commissioner of said Fire District for a term of five years, commencing January 1, 2012, to succeed Commissioner John J. Gillen, whose term of office expires on December 31, 2011. Only residents registered to vote with the Nassau County Board of Elections on or before November 21, 2011 shall be eligible to vote. Further notice is hereby given that nominations for the office of Fire Commissioner, for the previously mentioned, shall be submitted in petition form subscribed to by at least twentyfive (25)-qualified voters of the Wantagh Fire District. Said petitions shall set forth the name of the candidate and their address and the office for which they are nominated. Such nominating petitions shall be filed with Kathleen F. True, Secretary, at Wantagh Fire District, 2045 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York on or before the 22nd day of November 2011.
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and are a resident of the Bellmore Fire District are eligible to vote. (Town Law, Section 175-a(2)(a)) Fur ther notice is hereby given that nominations for the office of Fire Commissioner for the aforesaid will be submitted on the Bellmore Fire District petition form. Said petitions may be obtained at the Fire District Office, 2450 Newbridge Road Bellmore, New York. Said petitions will be subscribed to by at least twenty-five (25) qualified voters of the Bellmore Fire District. Said petitions will set forth the name of the candidate, his address and the office for which the candidate is nominated. Such nominating petitions will be filed with Robert Angrisani, District Secretary, at 2450 Newbridge Road Bellmore, New York on/before the 23 day of NOVEMBER 2011. (Town Law, Section 176(7)) By Order of the Board of Fire Commissioners Robert Angrisani Secretary BL 281 1T 11/9 Legal Notice for Fire District Election Annual Election of the Wantagh Fire District December 13, 2011 PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the annual election of the Wantagh Fire District shall be held on December 13, 2011 beginning at 2:00 o'clock P.M., voting to be at the following polling
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Michael G. Antonucci Superintendent Wantagh Fire District BL 282 2T 11/9, 16 NOTICE OF PREPARATION OF REGISTRATION ROLLS FOR ANNUAL ELECTION AND MANDATORY REFERENDUM OF THE NORTH BELLMORE FIRE DISTRICT PLEASED BE ADVISED, that the Board of Elections of the North Bellmore Fire District shall meet on the 28th day of November, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. at the North Bellmore Fire District Building, located at 1500 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, New York, for the purpose of preparing the rolls of registered voters of the North Bellmore Fire District for the Annual Fire District Election and a Mandator y Referendum to be subsequently held on December 13, 2011. The Mandator y Referendum to be held by the North Bellmore Fire District shall be for the purpose of authorizing and empowering the Board of Fire Commissioners to sell one (1) 1992 Salsbury Heavy Rescue Truck. It will be held on December 13, 2011, the date of the Annual Fire District Election, between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., at the Fire District Buildings located at 1500 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, New York, and 821 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, New York. The ballot for said election will therefore
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include one (1) five year term fire commissioner office and one (1) proposition. PLEASE BE ADVISED that only those persons who have registered with the County Board of Elections on or before the November 21, 2011 shall be eligible to vote. PLEASE BE ADVISED that in order to be placed on the ballot Candidates for District Office shall file their names in petition form with the Fire District Secretar y at the offices of the District located at 1500 Newbridge Road, Nor th Bellmore, New York between the normal business hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. no later than twenty (20) days before the date of such election. Said petition shall be subscribed to by at least (25) twenty-five qualified voters of the North Bellmore Fire District and shall set forth the name of the candidate, the candidates address and the Office for which the candidate is nominated. The official Nor th Bellmore Fire District petition form must be used and petition forms may be obtained from the office of the District Secretary. Dated: North Bellmore, New York October 31, 2011 JOHN CALUORI Secretary NORTH BELLMORE FIRE DISTRICT BL 283 1T 11/9
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To Place an Ad in L&M Publications Call 378-5320
Page 15 Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Bellmore Life
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Holiday Sections 8052NO711JB
Bellmore Life Wednesday, November 9, 2011 Page 16
PLAINVIEW KOSHER FOOD EMPORIUM
November 16/17 & December 14/15: Start the holidays with our full-color ad special in all 4 newspapers. For $185 each week, 11/14 & 12/12, your quarter-page Full-color ad will run in all of our newspapers, and be listed online. ($285 for half page • $585 for a full page)
Entertaining Holidays Nov. 16/17
It’s a Wonderful Life Dec. 14/15
Just in time for the holidays, a section that will look at local entertainment options from what to eat, to where to go. Your ad in this special section promotes your business and helps sponsor local band Toxin’s Holiday Show at The Bellmore Theater on December 2 to support Toys For Tots.
A section that focuses on local volunteers and non-profit organizations in our communities and how they keep the holiday spirit all year long.
Call 378-5320 for details