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Remembering 9-11 see page 10 S can our QR co de on yo ur sm art phone to visit our webs ite !

www.MerrickLife.com

Celebrating over 70 years Printed on recycled paper

Vol. 75 No. 36 (USPS 340-100) Merrick, NY 11566

The Community Newspaper

Thursday, September 6, 2012

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The South Merrick Community Civic Association recently presented its first “Certificate of Appreciation award” to a well known landscape designer and a new salon located on Merrick Road. Tom New York salon recently opened after beautiful landscape upgrades were installed by Mike and Marco’s Landscaping and Design. SMCCA President Joe Baker and Merrick Road Improvement Committee (MRIC) Chairperson Jennifer Schlesinger presented the awards to salon owner Tom Pecora (formerly from Maximus salon) and landscape designer Mike Izzo. Friends, family, staff and residents were on hand to congratulate them both. Legislator Dave Denenberg was also in attendence to congratulate both award recipients. The MRIC will continue to present awards each month for those businesses that beautify and maintain their streetscapes. Residents interested in participating with the awards selection are asked to contact the SMCCA at southmerrickcca@yahoo.com or call 978-8310. IN FRONT OF “TOM”: From left are Camille Izzo, Peter Izzo and Robert Pokora (Mike and Marco’s Landscaping), Legislator Dave Denenberg, Gio Brown (Tom New York), Michael Izzo (owner, Mike and Marco’s Landscaping), William Sasek (Tom New York), Tom Pecora (owner, Tom New York) Billy Wittrock (Tom New York), Joe Baker (SMCCA president), Jennifer Schlesinger (chairperson, Merrick Road Improvement Committee), Steven LaFrance and Raquel Labriola (Tom New York), and Elizabeth Izzo (Mike and Marco’s Landscaping).

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Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 2

Merrick Road improvement recognized


Celebrating over 70 years Printed on recycled paper

Vol. 75 No. 36 (USPS 340-100) Merrick, NY 11566

The Community Newspaper

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back to School 2012 in the Merricks LEVY-LAKESIDE STUDENTS four th-grader Alissa Capobianco and kindergar tner Nicholas Badolatoare are all ready for their first day back at school after summer vacation (left photo).

photo by Amy Capobianco ©©©

CAMP AVENUE kindergartner Richie Hille smiles on his first day of school as he says goodbye to his mom Jamie Hille who also attended Camp Avenue (right photo).

Merrick Life photo by Erin Donohue

Merrick Mall improvements coming

by Laura Schofer

The good news is that a new set of plans is in the works to turn Stop & Shop in the Merrick Mall into a state-of-the-art supermarket, a local civic group leader reported. The bad news is that heavy summer rains continue to flood the alley behind the mall, creating offensive odors and a breeding ground for mosquitoes, he added. The Merrick Mall remains in need of cosmetic updates, including general cleanliness, painting and the repair of a crumbling wall of planters along Hewlett Avenue, Barry Fox, president of the Merrick Park Home Owners Association, told Merrick Life. New Stop & Shop coming next year “We don’t have specifics,” remarked Mr. Fox, “but we know that there will be an expansion and there will be improvements [to Stop & Shop] that will make a proud addition to the neighborhood.” A big concern for neighbors has been the truck traffic on Hewlett Avenue which will be addressed in the new plans. “There will

Merrick Festival this weekend

page 8

be more loading docks, but away from Hewlett Avenue,” explained Mr. Fox. Along Hewlett Avenue there will be a landscaped berm, he added. Stop & Shop was originally to begin construction of the new store in September 2009, but “we just learned the agreed plan would not meet their needs. However, we now know the project is still very much alive and will be completed within a year, probably by August 2013,” continued Mr. Fox. Gary Lewi, a spokesman for Stop & Shop, said the company “declined to confirm or deny Mr. Fox’s characterization of Stop & Shop’s status and future plans.” Nevertheless, Mr. Fox remains confident that Stop & Shop will move forward with a renovation. “People are desperate for a new Stop & Shop,” said Mr. Fox. He shared with Merrick Life the results of its membership survey. Out of 80 households, 60 households wanted a new Stop & Shop; 19 didn’t respond and only one didn’t want a new Stop &Shop. “We remain committed to seeing the plans submitted go through. We are in

Mepham teacher’s memories of teaching page 8

favor of this project; it will be a tremendous boon to the community, to people who live here,” added Mr. Fox. “We have a much better relationship with Stop & Shop, due to the respect

shown to our concerns by Bob Bencivenga, director of Real Estate,” Mr. Fox said. The mall will finally have a “beautiful new supermarket,” he said. (continued on page 7)

ALLEYWAY ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE MALL has a drainage problem with water accumulating from rain creating a smelly mess and a breeding ground Merrick Life photo by Erin Donohue for mosquitoes.

Mepham kicks off its 75th pages 12

Non–Celebrity becomes Celebrity pages 14, 18

NAMES MAKE THE NEWS: Read about y our neighbors! 85 local people’s names were in your community newspaper this past week. Maybe yours is in this week! See inside.


Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 4

MERRICK LIFE USPS (340-100) 1840 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, L.I., N.Y. 11566 Telephone 378-5320 FAX 378-0287 Subscription Dept.: LMSUBS@optimum.net e-mail: LMPUB@optimum.net Classified Dept. LMCLASS@optimum.net Display Ads LMADS@optimum.net Editorial Dept. LMEDIT@optimum.net Website: www.MerrickLife.com AN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOUNDED SEPTEMBER 22, 1938

Publisher Editor Paul Laursen x 20 Assistant Editor Sales Manager Production Manager Staff Writer Webmaster: Classifieds Manager Circulation Manager Circulation Assistant Circulation: Account Executive Bookkeeper Office Staff

Member Of Chamber of Commerce Since 1928

Linda Laursen Toscano x 19 Supervisor Nicolas Toscano Erin Donohue x 29 Jill Bromberg x 16 Marilyn Loheide Laura Schofer Erin Donohue Olimpia Santaniello x 11

Ann Johnson x 14 Kathleen Murphy x 25 Elaine Spiro x 17 Etta Rosenberg x 15 Mattie Shalofsky x 12 Kathleen Murphy x 25 Elaine Groder x 10 Joyce MacMonigle x 12 Graphic Artists Judy Ammerman, Pat McKay, Ilana Mele x 22

Periodicals postage paid at Merrick, N.Y. Price 75 cents a copy, $25 a year, $39 for two years, $59 for three years; (outside Nassau County $40 per year). Postmaster: Send address change to: 1840 Merrick Avenue, Merrick N.Y. 11566. Composition responsibility: Not liable beyond cost of space occupied by error. Not responsible for return of materials submitted for publication. All editorial submissions are subject to editing. Materials submitted may be used in print and online editions.

The community newspaper - the glue that helps hold a community together, and the spur that helps keep it moving forward

Nine things to remember about September 11 1. It does not matter how many years have passed since September 11, 2001. The pain is just as fresh, especially for those who lost loved ones on that day. It is important to reach out to them at this time and let them know we care. 2. This day is now called Patriot Day, not to be confused with Patriots Day celebrated in Massachusetts on the third Monday in April to commemorate the first battles of the American Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord. 3. It is not a federal or school holiday. But flags are flown at half mast and people are asked to observe a moment of silence in the morning at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center. 4. Everyone, even those who did not lose family or friends on 9/11, feels a loss because our world view changed so dramatically on that day. Everyone can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they got the news. 5. Everyone can do something productive to express those feelings of patriotism that well up in response to that terrible attack. We can work to make our great country stronger and better. 6. Every community has memorials to the victims of 9/11. Visiting them and caring for them keeps alive the memories. 7. Many people in our country’s military joined up after 9/11 in a desire to serve their country. We in turn owe them encouragement and appreciation of the sacrifices they have made to protect our country. 8. So too, others were inspired to join homeland security, become police officers or firefighters, enter politics or religion, to become grief counselors, fundraisers, writers and artists. 9. Have you ever noticed how often one gets a chill upon glancing at the clock exactly at 9:11? It would never have been noticed before, but now it is a serendipitous reminder to pray for the victims, their survivors, our country and our world.

DIESEL, THE GREAT DANE: Merrick Life reader Lenny Stramera, of Laura Court, sent us this heartbreaking photo of his family’s Great Dane puppy, Diesel. Diesel was hit by a car at the corner of Park Avenue and Laura Court recently and the family is trying to raise funds for his mounting medical bills. Mr. Stramera called Merrick Life with an update on the dog’s condition and at press time he remains in an animal hospital under veterinary care. Lenny’s mom, Grace, is a former Merrick Mother of the Year. For more information on Diesel got to www.gofundme.com/13v7f8.

meandering around merrick COMEDY FUNDRAISER: Merrick/Bellmore/Oceanside Auxiliary and ucpn will hold a comedy fundraiser at Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Avenue, Levittown, on Sunday, September 9, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:30 p.m. show start. $15 for show admission plus a two-beverage purchase per person. Food is available for purchase as well. Raffles will be sold for prizes, including the special prize of four tickets for dinner and a show, plus limousine pickup, to any one of three specially selected comedy clubs. Proceeds will go to helping children who receive services at the ucpn rehabilitation center. For information call Louise DeLuca at 797-2598, or Mary Lou Zizzo, at 631-841-1321. OPEN HOUSE: Weight Watchers will host a free Lose for Good open house event on Saturday, September 15, in Wantagh, 1153 Wantagh Avenue, from 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; Baldwin, 672 Sunrise Highway, from 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Levittown, 3507 Hempstead Turnpike, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Massapequa, 5500 Sunrise Highway, from 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. The open house will benefit Island Harvest so please bring a non-perishable item to donate. This is a special one-day only offer. There will be prizes, refreshments, recipes and more. For all participating locations you can visit Weightwatcher.com/LoseFor Good. SHED THE MEDS: Residents can Safely Dispose of Old Medications on September 20. Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) will sponsor a “Shed the Meds” program to help residents safely disposal of unused or expired medications on Thursday, September 20, between 5-8 pm at two drop off locations: • Merrick Jewish Centre, 225 Fox Boulevard, Merrick (just

south of Merrick Road). • St. Rose of Lima Church, 2 Bayview Avenue, Massapequa (just of south Merrick Road). Residents who wish to participate can simply drive up, drop off their old or unused medications, and drive away. All collected medication will be safely disposed of by officers from the Nassau County Police Department who will be supervising the program. Residents with questions about the “Shed the Meds” program can call Senator Fuschillo’s office at 516-8820630. ©©© AWARD WINNING POET Louisa Calio will direct the 10th Poets and Writers Piazza for Hofstra’s 20th Italian Experience sponsored by Arba Sicula/Legas Press, at Leo A. Guthart Cultural Center Theater, Axinn Library on Sunday, September 23, at Hofstra’s South Campus. There will be a musical interlude by Michela Musolino, with readings by Merrick’s Stanley Barkan (cccpress), Nino Provenzano with David Risk and friends, Laura Marciano, Bee Amore, Carrie Anne Tocci, Jay Mancini, Gaetano Cipolla, Marisa Frasca, Stanislao Pugliese, Louisa Calio and surprise guests, from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Book signings will be held throughout the day! For information contact Louisa Calio 627-7103, or you can email to louisacalio.1@juno.com. You can also contact Jessie A. Garcia at 463-6580 or email to Jessie.A.Garcia@hofstra.edu. ©©© BEREAVEMENT GROUP: The Sacred Heart Parish Center will hold a bereavement support group for those coping with the death of a spouse or other loss starting Monday, September 17, from 7:30-9 p.m. It will run for eight consecutive Mondays. For information contact Sr. Lynn at 379-1356, ext. 19, or the parish outreach at 379-6123. The

church is at 720 Merrick Avenue, Merrick. ©©© C E L E B R AT I N G 7 5 YEARS: Mepham High School will celebrate its 75th Anniversary Homecoming with festivities on the weekend of Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15. Mepham is providing opportunities for local businesses to participate in this event through advertising in a special 75th Anniversary Journal. Be part of this historical publication! You may also wish to place a booth at the homecoming event for just a modest donation. The 75th Anniversary celebration will also showcase the Homecoming football game with the Mepham Pirates taking on the Kennedy Cougars! This CHSD rivalry will bring many local residents to the event. For information, contact Mepham former PTA President Caren Kabak at 330-1921. ©©© 1982 REUNIONS: Calhoun High School Class of 1982 will have its 30-year reunion on Saturday, October 13, at 7 p.m. at the Melville Marriott. Kennedy High School Class of 1982 is also having its separate 30-year reunion on October 13 at the Melville Marriott at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the website at www. Reunions-Unlimited.com. There is an early bird price for tickets purchased by September 13. Any questions about Calhoun’s Reunion, email Laura Schieffer Peterson at LBPeters001@yahoo.com. Any questions about Kennedy’s Reunion you can email Nancy Kasoff Mauser at NMauser100@AOL.com. Both Kennedy and Calhoun Class of 1982 are having a combined picnic the day after the reunion at 1:30 p.m. Reservations and details about the picnic will be emailed to all signed up to attend either reunion.


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WELCOME BACK: Nor th Merrick Superintendent David Feller greets students at Camp Avenue School.

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ing reading interventions such as READ 180, Leveled Literacy Intervention, and the Wilson Intervention Program will continue, as will the Foreign Language for Elementary School (FLES) in grades 3 through 6, APEX, and the partial departmentalization model for the sixth grade. Our RTI (Response to Intervention) model will continue to serve our students by creating and implementing individualized interventions based on student data and monitoring student progress. This year Birch will again be emphasizing the importance of timely and safe arrival and dismissal procedures. In order to do this, we will need to continue to work together as a home/school team. Classes will begin promptly at 8:40 a.m. so that we can maximize instructional time for our students. This means that if your student does not take the bus, she/he should plan on being at school between 8:30 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. to ensure she/he makes it to class in time to begin work at 8:40 a.m. Supervision for students not taking a bus will begin at 8:30 a.m., and buses will arrive at school in time for students to arrive to class on time. We have a consistent and safe traffic routine for arrival and dismissal. Please be sure to adhere to the traffic routines during arrival and dismissal. When making 1287MA2706CF

from page 7 children, but for all of us. In collaboration with our PTA, we will continue to plan for educational and cultural arts programs that support this philosophy and the Dignity Act by focusing on diversity, anti-bullying, conflict resolution, and promoting positive relationships amongst our students. As we embark on the upcoming year, we thank our parents and teachers for working as a team to prepare Birch students to be bucket-fillers, and in turn, citizens of the world. Our school continues to focus on “Building a Foundation for Our Futures” through improving academic skills for all of our students. In doing so, we look forward to enhancing our current curricular programs. Our implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards for all grades will challenge students to delve deeper into As a school, and a school district, our students in all grades continue to make gains through our Balanced Literacy approach, and through programs such as the Wilson Fundations Reading Program in grades K-3. This year we will be implementing the Go Math program for students in grades 4-6 to ensure the acquisition of solid math foundational skills for all students. Other positive initiatives aimed toward improving academic skills, includ-

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Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 6

Birch School welcomes you back


Foul smelling waters Even with a new Stop & Shop, the Merrick Mall faces challenges. This reporter witnessed two incidents – on Tuesday, August 28, and then again on Tuesday, September 4 – when the drains in the alleyway behind Stop & Shop backed up, creating slick pools of water. “You can be bitten up alive out there,” said Mr. Fox, referring to mosquitoes. “The drains are not working, the water is still and this creates a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. And it smells from the nearby garbage,” he said. Mr. Fox said the potholes where the water gathers, as well as the stopped up drains, “are the structural responsibility of the mall owner. We are not in any way blaming any of the renters for this situation.” The Merrick Mall is owned by Bornstein Properties LLC of Queens. A call to its manager Barry Rudofsky was not returned. However this reporter left a message about the standing water in the alleyway on Tuesday, August 28 and then again on Tuesday September 4. A call to the Nassau County Department of Health about the large quantity of

I’ve seen the pools of water out there for a week at a time. In July it was out there for five days before the water was removed. The issue must be addressed otherwise it is like putting a Band-Aid over a large cut,” Mr.Fox stated. Modernization needed “The Mall is a blight on our area. There has been very little modernization in the last 50 years,” said Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox pointed to the cracked and crumbling wall along Hewlett Avenue, he said, that was once a planter filled with greenery, and now houses scrawny weeds. “It’s dangerous and

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standing water on August 28 was referred by Carolyn McCummings to the Nassau County Department of Public Works, which will send an inspector out to look at it. A county worker in the Department of Public Works said it would take about a week before an inspection is completed. “Nassau County is covered with mosquitoes,” she said. While the county will address the mosquito issue, the clogged drains and odor emanating from the standing water in the alleyway fall under the auspices of the Town of Hempstead’s Building Department and code enforcement. Town spokeswoman Susie Pokalsky said “an inspector was sent to the site [the afternoon of August 28]. There is no standing water at this time. But it appears to be a draining issue and we will be monitoring it. We will be in contact with the property owner.” On Wednesday morning, August 29, the alleyway was bone dry but still odorous from the garbage bins. Merrick Life returned on September 5 and found pools of water remained. However there had been steady rainfall. “Sometimes a truck comes by and removes the water,” said Mr. Fox. “But this is an ongoing problem and

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mores, juniors and seniors – enjoyed a college-like atmosphere with abundant I had the privilege of teaching at course selections such as marine biology, Mepham High School from 1980-1989. I media, psychology and an art department carefully selected the word “privilege” where pride and achievement flourished because it best expresses on a daily basis. how I feel about my time The story went that there. Ken Rutley had been The previous decade brought in to restore order, found me teaching English, and that is what he accomgrades 7-9, at Jerusalem plished. As a teacher, he Avenue Junior High School. offered me encouragement After nine years I was ready and made me see Mepham for a change. as a fine school with a Evidently, Mepham had potential for greatness. been going through some For example, he made rough times then, and when The late Principal Ken Rutley sure I had a state-of-the-art I announced my plans to VCR system for my media transfer there the general response I class. He also made me aware of the received was, “ Don’t do it, don’t go to superb journalism seminars offered each the Big House,” as it was being called, year at Columbia University. Over a hunequating it to a huge and dangerous dred students participated in them in that prison. decade. Not having taught there in the 1970s, The message from him was clear to all all I can describe is what I found beginfaculty members who wanted to expand ning in September of 1980: an exciting, their educational horizons, to offer more vibrant educational institution. With meaningful learning experiences to stuPrincipal Ken Rutley at the helm there dents: Ken Rutley was going to aid you. was order, inspiration and growth. I am thankful for each day I spent at Students in the three grades – sophoMepham. Long may it thrive! 7899OC1011ES

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The 2012 Merrick Chamber of Commerce Festival is Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9. The carnival rides by Newton Shows will be open Friday, September 7, at 6 p.m. in the LIRR station parking lot, and Merrick Avenue will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Be advised of parking lot closures. “Like last year, we will be spotlighting local Merrick businesses and services throughout the weekend, and hosting a variety of professional crafters (from Nassau County craft shows) along with food from around the world. We will also be honoring the community’s Girl Scouts this year,” said Randy Shotland, the group’s president. “The Girl Scouts are a great help to the chamber throughout the year, and this year is their 100th anniversary,” he added. At press time Merrick Life can report that other planned events include live music on the Showmobile with bands from the Rock Underground, and at the gazebo. “Besides our wonderful merchants and crafters who now see us as a destination on their festival circuit, you will find the Coast Guard, the United States Tennis Association, great food and more at this

year’s event,” added Co-Vice-Presidents Ira Reiter and Susan Helsinger, chairs of the Festival Committee. Confirmed live entertainment at the gazebo will begin at noon on Saturday, September 8, with a magic show (also 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) and bands including Walking Sideways, Two Cent Sam, Charlie Dane, The Royal Guard and Terra Stigma. The Merrick Chamber of Commerce is an all-volunteer organization that sponsors numerous events year-round in the Merricks. Funds raised from the festival support the Holiday Lights program, as well as other beautification projects in the town’s shopping districts. Chamber membership fee covers the cost of a booth for the festival and the KidsFest that happens in the spring. Other programs sponsored (co-sponsored) include Man and Woman of the Year, Merchant and Professional of the Year, Tree and Menorah Lightings, KidsFest, networking meetings and one of the largest chamber of commerce scholarship awards in the state. For information call the chamber hotline at 771-1171, you can email merrickchamber@aol.com or you can visit the web at www.merrickchamber.org. Check the chamber’s Facebook page, Merrick Chamber of Commerce, for updates and changes.

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Page 8 Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012

Merrick Festival this weekend


Page 9 Thursday, September 6, 2012 Merrick Life

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Eleven years ago many Town of Hempstead residents went to Point Lookout Beach, looking west toward Manhattan in horror and disbelief as smoke rose where the gleaming Twin Towers once stood. Since that fateful day, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has invited residents to return each year for the town’s seaside 9-11 Memorial Service, which includes a respectful ceremony of reflection and solace, as well as an interactive program in honor of the victims of the September 11 attacks. Ms. Murray and the Town of Hempstead are once again calling on residents to join them for this year’s 911 ceremony, the largest on Long Island, which is being held on Tuesday, September 11, at 7:30 a.m. at Town Park Point Lookout. “The beach at Town Park Point Lookout has traditionally served as a place of peace and tranquility for town residents during their time of reflection upon the events of 9-11,” stated Supervisor Murray. “We invite all residents to join us on September 11th at 7:30 a.m. to remember the victims and honor their legacy.” A major component of the town’s 9-11 ceremony will be interactive, including a 35-foot long mural of the New York City skyline and a 15-foot tall shadow box image of the Twin Towers. At the conclusion of the ceremony, residents can write messages, prayers and the names of victims on the mural. Residents are also invited to cast white carnations – provided by Dee’s Nursery of Oceanside and Stop & Shop supermarkets – upon a reflecting

pool at the base of a 30-foot piece of steel from the World Trade Center. A viewing bridge will traverse the pool and beam. Many local organizations will take part in the 9-11 ceremony. American flag arches will be erected by the Levittown, Point Lookout-Lido, Woodmere and Seaford Fire Departments. And, the Gregorian Consortium of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale will perform musical selections during the service. A dove release and remarks by clergy will also be part of a powerful and poignant program. The town thanks Dee’s Nursery of Oceanside, Stop & Shop supermarkets, the Salvation Army and Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology for their participation in this year’s event. September 11 falls on a Tuesday this year. Ms. Murray explained that many residents in past years have come to the town’s 9-11 memorial to pay their respects before work. The memorial will be open to the public starting at 7 a.m. to accommodate those who wish to pay their respects before the start of the workday. “I would like to invite all residents to join us at Town Park Point Lookout to honor the memory and carry on the legacy of those lost on September 11, 2001,” concluded Supervisor Murray. Point Lookout 9-11 Memorial Service

lifeletters

Sales tax exemption for back-to-school To Merrick Life: With families doing their back-toschool shopping and getting their children ready for a new school year, I wanted to remind you about the state sales tax exemption for clothing and footwear. All clothing and footwear sold for less than $110 per item (or per pair of shoes) is exempt from the New York State 4% sales tax. Additionally, most fabric, thread, yarn, buttons, snaps, hooks, zippers and similar items that are used to make or repair exempt clothing are also eligible for the exemption. This tax [exemption], which took effect April 1, is in effect year-round and will help you keep more of your hard-earned money. State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. Eighth Senatorial District

A successful Post barbecue To Merrick life: The Merrick Post No. 1282 hosted a Barbeque for our Comrades from the Long Island Stony Brook Veterans Home. they were provided with a full menu of delicious goodies. Upon leaving our post after the barbeque, they were given a package of gifts for their personal use. We wish to thank our auxiliary members for their assistance in serving the food and Mike Fazio of Merrick a Boars Head Distributor for the Franks and hamburgers. Gifts for our guests were provided by the Merrick Bank Branches of Capital one Bank, Dime Savings BanK, First National Bank, First National Bank of LI, Roslyn Savings Bank, Manhattan Distributors, BJs, Shop Rite, and Zorns. Members who also gave gifts were K. Braun, H. Gribben, J.O’Neill, and Wieboldt PC. The event was a huge success due to the efforts of Chef Jim O’Neill and coordinates Joe and Rick Ambrosino an our post members. RobertTom Riordan, Post Adjuntant Past County Commander

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He is described as inspiring and talented. The most common explanation for any strictness was that he “demanded excellence.” This man, S. Talbot Thayer, was the Calhoun Choir director for 25 years before retiring in 1985. On Saturday, September 8, a Calhoun Choir Alumni Reunion and Cele bration will be held to honor the teachings of Mr. Thayer. Charles Greco, Class of ’74 and local business owner of Select-A-Home, organized the event to be held at Curé of

Ars in Merrick from 7:30-11:30 p.m. After many months of trying to assemble a large group of people for the reunion through Facebook, Mr. Greco completed the plans “with a committee of none,” he said. Thayer, now 81 years old, is thrilled about the reunion. “I’m most excited to just sing the Calhoun songs and, of course, see all my former students.” A homecoming is long overdue for many of his pupils, as some have not seen him since their days in the hallways of Calhoun.

Mepham’s Meritorous Service Awards by Vincent Proto

CALHOUN FOOTBALL TEAM prepares for a fruitful fall season.

Merrick Life photo by Dylan Campbell

Established in 1998, the Meritorious Service Award is given with appreciation and recognition of those alumni and faculty/staff who have given outstanding service and dedication to the Alumni Association and Mepham High School. A plaque is in the foyer listing the honorees. Faculty/Staff: John Didden, Paul Limmer, Michael Muscara ’71, Sergio (Gino) DiClemente. Class of 1939-1949: Frances Kotlarz Walton, Elaine McLachlan Sanders, Jurgen (Jerry) Worthing, Doris Roepke

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With higher kicks, better routines and a bright outlook, the Calhoun Kickline is ready to have an exceptional season. Preparation for the busy season began on Tuesday, August 21. The two-and-ahalf hour long practice is spent stretching, working out, running, and perfecting dances to make sure the girls are in shape and ready to dance. The girls are preoccupied and exciting to keep their teams motivated throughout the football and basketball seasons and are ready to show off their new routines to the crowd in the four upcoming home games. The girls, being led by motivational seniors like Claire Brickon, Cara Leggio, and Samantha DaPasquale, will build their strength even more, raising their ability in their strong points like pom and polishing their weak points such as kicks while choreographing spectacular dances. Coach has faith in them and their ability, saying “they all have something different to bring to the table, but they all have amazing ability.” Though competition in January is far from the kickliners’ minds, they are sure to be prepared for the three Sundays of competition, but when the time comes, these girls are sure to buckle down. When competition season rolls around, practices will become longer, reaching three to four hours to ensure perfection. Their prior wins are sure to play a role in their ability and will push them towards another win. The team is hoping to chorograph a new dance for the competition. Their hard work and attention to detail will bring the girls to a win as well as a fabulous season.

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Calhoun football is under new leadership and more ready than ever to take on the season thanks to motivational new Coach Jeff Haruthian. Haruthian’s passion and readiness will launch Calhoun into an exceptional season. Despite the difficult path the team faces having lost many seniors and their challenging schedule, Coach is up for the challenge of filling holes and has a hopeful, excited outlook on the season. The team still has a strong foundation on its players like Steven Valentino, lineman and center, Jack Bennett, offsensive lineman, and Scott Halleran. August 15 was the official beginning to the season being the first day of practice. The team, in the words of Coach Haruthian, has a more “vanilla” outlook on practice. The team has a less-is-more strategy, only practicing once a day for three and a half hours with a focus on fundamentals and execution. Though this technique is not as long or extreme as oth-

ers, Calhoun still holds a strong offensive line holding many seniors. Coach Haruthian said, “There is always something to work on, but we had a good camp. So, we’ll see how it goes.” Coach Haruthian believes strongly in his team, saying, “Wins and losses are both byproducts of the right thing. We are ready to do the right thing. So everything will fall into place.”

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Calhoun Choir reunites at Curé


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From its start in 1979, the Mepham High School Alumni Association has provided gifts to Mepham with the goal of enhancing and enriching the school’s heritage. On Sunday, September 9, from 1-3 p.m., please join with the Alumni Association as it commences Mepham’s 75th Anniversary with a Kick-Off celebration featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate its latest gift – the library restoration. The program begins in the school’s auditorium with remarks by Mepham Principal Michael Harrington, Alumni Association President Carol Farina Kilgallin ’72, and Mepham teachers and students. Mepham graduates of the early years and the Alumni Association’s Who’s Who and Meritorious Service Award honorees will be recognized. The Mepham Jazz Band and/or Chorale group will entertain the crowd. At this joyous celebration you can also view the auditorium’s magnificent mural map, which was restored with Alumni Association funding in 2007. What has made Mepham great? The building’s beautiful, unique architecture, and the dedicated teachers, administrators and coaches come to mind. According to Clare Eastwood Worthing, ’46, editor of the Alumni Association’s publications, “the education I received gave me everything I needed to build my future…and I made good friendships that I cherish…Mepham is a connecting link for me to this day.” Tom Blank, ’56, added, “all the work ethics and social graces they (teachers) imparted to us still remain.” Perhaps Roger Mansell, ’53, an Alumni Association Who’s Who Honoree, said it best in 1997: “Great schools have great

leaders…every activity became an equal search for excellence…the striving for excellence became the standard rather than the exception.” I would agree, and years ago with Mepham spirit and Pirate pride I donated a skull and crossbones banner with the words “Commitment To Excellence” that continues to be displayed at many school events. Following the “Once A Pirate, Always A Pirate” philosophy, my son Nick Proto, ’04, composed what Mepham means to him: Preserving tradition by uncovering the past Inspiring intellectual achievement and curiosity Recognizing and enriching the worth of the individual Always committed to excellence Treasuring our teachers and coaches, past and present Educating our leaders of tomorrow Sportsmanship displayed season after season The Library Refurbishment was made possible by generous alumni donations, and the dedicated officers, board of directors and other alumni who volunteer their services to help make Mepham what it is today. One such officer and my longtime friend Frank Setteducati, ’70, (Mepham Alumni Association corresponding secretary), emphasized “the building’s history and its active alumni enable me to relate to and interact with so many different generations who share at least one thing in common – W.C. Mepham High School. My existence is all the richer for it.” Vince Proto, ’70, is the Mepham Alumni Association’s treasurer.

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Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 12

Mepham kicks off 75th

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Hempstead Town will sponsor the seventh annual Seaside Spectacular Car Show on Saturday, September 15, from 12-4 p.m. (display cars must arrive/be checked in between 10 a.m. and noon). Hundreds of vintage cars are expected to cruise into Town Park Point Lookout for the high-octane event. “On September 15, car enthusiasts and spectators alike will take a ‘drive’ down memory lane as we celebrate vehicles of the past,” stated Hempstead Town Supervisor Murray. “I encourage all of our vintage car collectors with vehicles 1987 and older to register early and come join us for a day of fun and a chance to win great prizes.” First, second and third-place award plaques, provided by Merrick Dodge, will be presented to car owners in 15 different categories, with the car show participants judging classics, American and foreign models and best of various time periods. There will also be an award for Best in Show. Dashboard plaques, provided by Merrick Collision and Towing, will be given to the first

400 cars checking in on September 15. The town thanks Merrick Collision & Towing and Merrick Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram of Wantagh for sponsoring this year’s car show. The Autoseum in Mineola will provide famous movie and television vehicles. A special exhibit of Cobras and other hot rods from H.R.E. Motor Cars of Freeport will be featured, as well as a special presentation of unique motorcycles, courtesy of the Nettesheim Museum. The Seaside Spectacular is open to pre-registered cars with model years of 1987 and older. Pre-registration is ongoing through Friday, September 7, and carries an entry fee of $10. Car owners may also register between 10 a.m. and noon on the day of the event (rain date is Sunday, September 16). Registration forms can be obtained through the town’s Office of Communications by calling 812-3496 or on the town’s website at http://toh.li//files/pdfs/rn_carshow12. pdf.

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Page 13 Thursday, September 6, 2012 Merrick Life

Town sponsors car show


Q: What year did you graduate from Kennedy? A: 2009. Q: What kind of courses are you taking in New Paltz? Any film classses? What year are you in at New Paltz? A: I’m a Media Management major and take courses in television, digital content, social media, and public relations strategy. This is my senior year. Q: How many interviews have you done in this past week since the video hit YouTube? Who have you interviewed with? A: I’ve done roughly 20 interviews. The biggest ones thus far have been “Good Morning America,” the “Today“ show, “Inside Edition,” “The Jeff Probst Show,” The Daily News, and Fuji TV in Japan. Q: How has your life changed since the video? A: The biggest change is that I’m extremely busy. Still being in college and managing all of this press stuff is hard to balance, and now I’m going to be traveling back and forth from New York to Los

Angeles on a regular basis.

appearances or shows. Just recently, he traveled with me to L.A,. along with the crew, to shoot an episode of “The Jeff Probst Show.” I found the bodyguards and photographers off of Craigslist.

Q: How long did it take you to prepare for the video? A: The planning for the video took about a month from when I came up with the idea.

Q: It must’ve taken alot of courage to make the video. Were you nervous? You didn’t look nervous. A: Going into it, I was nervous that it wasn’t going to work. I put so much time and energy into getting the pieces together to create this image. If it didn’t work, it was just a waste. Once we started shooting and the stunt worked perfectly, I couldn’t have possibly been more calm.

Q: What prompted you to do the video? A: When I came up with the idea, it was so exciting that there was almost no way that I couldn’t go through with it. My friends have experience with shooting YouTube videos, so I got them on board and we made it happen. Q: How many people did you interview to be camera people and bodyguards? A: I actually didn’t interview anyone. As long as they looked the part and were willing to do this for free, they were in the mix.

Q: Did any of the people interviewed or that were in the video contact you? A: Not yet! Q: What will you say to them if they do contact you? They are famous now too. A: What I’ll say to them would depend on their tone when contacting me. If they’re really upset, I probably won’t respond at all. I assume they’ve all gone into hiding at this point, anyway.

Q: Were the bodyguards and camera people really from those professions? How did you find find them? A: The bodyguards are actual bodyguards, and now one of them is my real bodyguard. His name is Mr. E and he comes with me whenever I do media

Q: Did you think the video was going (continued on page 18)

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By now many people have heard about the overnight YouTube sensation Brett Cohen, a Bellmore resident and Kennedy graduate. He came up with the idea of fooling people into believing he was a celebrity in New York City with a YouTube video called “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City.” He walked through Times Square with an entourage of two bodyguards, assistants and photographers pretending to be someone famous creating a buzz of onlookers taking photos and getting autographs. The video was posted on YouTube Wednesday, August 22. From that point on his life has changed from non-celebrity to celebrity. The media attention has taken hold of his life and is spinning him around and he’s ecstatic. So far he’s appeared on the “Today” show, “Good Day New York,” “Good Morning America, “Inside Edition” and many others. He’s done interviews as far as Australia and Japan. Premiering on Monday, September 10, at 2 p.m. he will be featured on the series “The Jeff Probst Show” on NBC. The video has been seen worldwide and he has received emails from people as far as Poland and South Africa. As of this writing the video has had over four million hits in two weeks. Merrick Life was able to get

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Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 14

Kennedy grad’s ‘Fake Celebrity Pranks’ exceeds expectations


A Bellmore woman heard loud popping and crackling while in her backyard around 12:30 p.m. last Friday. A fire had broken out on the deck of a neighbor’s home behind hers. She immediately dialed 911 and reported a fire on Florin Court near Lefferts Place. While staying on the phone, she speeded around the block in her car to get the exact address for 911 dispatchers. The Bellmore Fire Department and Nassau County Police units were advised of the precise location. First to arrive at the scene was Bellmore Engine 603. Firefighters connected to a nearby hydrant and stretched a hose line to the rear of the home. A propane tank was removed from the path of the fire, narrowly averting disaster. The extreme heat of the deck fire caused flames to break out behind a closed sliding glass door into the kitchen of the home. A Signal 10 was transmitted, code for a working house fire. A neighbor advised that the homeowners could be inside. The crew from Bellmore Ladder 606 forced entry into the house and began to search for possible victims. As fire-

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fighters entered the home a scared and smoky dog ran from within. Firefighters from Bellmore Engine 602 stretched a hose line through the front door to extinguish the fire. The quick actions of Bellmore firefighters prevented further spread of the fire to the rest of the home. There was no one home at the time of the fire, and the dog was unharmed. Upon arrival Second Assistant Chief Steve Marsar assumed command. North 2300657 Merrick Road Bellmore Ladder was dispatched as 516.623.4500 2300 Merrick the F.A.S.T. team – FirefighterRoad Assist and 516.623.4500 Search Team. A ladder truck from the Wantagh Fire Department was also called to the scene, with units from Merrick and Levittown Fire Departments called to standby at Bellmore Fire Department headquarters on Pettit Avenue. The home sustained moderate damage, with the majority being contained to the outside deck and rear patio door and walls. There were no firefighter injuries. The fire is under investigation by Nassau County’s fire marshal’s office and police Arson Squad.

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HOME SHARE/ LONG ISLAND May be able to help you! Home Share/Long Island links senior homeowner who have extra room in their homes with adults who need an affordable place to live. Personal interviews, background checks and reference investigations are provided. Possible matches are offered, but the decision is yours. For more information, call (516) 292 - 1300 Ext.2312 HomeShare/Long Island is a collaborative partnership with Family Service League, Intergenerational Strategies, and Family and Children’s Association. Family and Children’s Association acts in compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968


NM Republican Club to meet The North Merrick Republican Club will have its September meeting on Wednesday, September 12, at 7 p.m. at the Merrick Golf Course, 2550 Clubhouse Road, Merrick. All are asked to attend. Refreshments will be served. If you have any questions, call Jerry Marino at 639-0813 or email to jerrymarino61@aol.com

Pink out The Dakota Design Center on Merrick Road in Merrick will launch a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pink Outâ&#x20AC;?

on Friday, September 21, at 7 p.m. for breast cancer awareness. State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. will be on hand during the launch. The design center received 100 yards of pink fabric, which it will use to make and hang ribbon along Bedford Avenue, Merrick Road and Merrick Avenue for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. For information on the Pink Out call the design center at 377-3440.

Yizkor service Bellmore Jewish Center will hold Yizkor service on Wednesday, September

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September senior events Senior events will take place at Freeport Recreation Center, 130 East Merrick Road, Freeport Wednesday, September 19, 10 a.m.noon: Identity Theft Seminar Room 103. Dance to the Music of Terry Pearse and Bat Gordon at noon in Restaurant Lounge. Wednesday September 26, 10 a.m.noon: Medicare Made Simple Seminar Room 103. Thursday, September 27, 11 a.m-1 p.m Fish Fry on the Patio. Movie starts at 1 p.m. in Senior Lounge Showing â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Staircase,â&#x20AC;? with Barbara Hershey and William Petersen.

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policenews Police reports come from law enforcement agencies. Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until convicted in court.

26, Yom Kipper at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the temple office, 2550 S. Centre Avenue, Bellmore. or call the temple office at 781-3072.

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Temple Beth Am of Bellmore and Merrick and Temple Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;nai Torah of Wantagh will present a performance as part of the Selichot service, on Saturday, September 8, beginning at 9 p.m. at Temple Beth Am, 2377 Merrick Avenue, Merrick. Selections will include those from Broadway and the stage performed by Rabbi Marci Bellows, Cantor Steven Sher and Cantor Daniel Rosenfield, under the direction of Broadway pianist and arranger Rolf Bames. For information call 378-3477 or visit www.templebethammerick.org.

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Page 17 Thursday, September 6, 2012 Merrick Life

communitylife


Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 18

‘Fake Celebrity Pranks NYC’ exceeds expectations in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” “The phenomenon is often used in reference to figures in the entertainment industry or other areas of popular culture, such as reality TV and YouTube. It is believed that the statement was an adaptation of a theory of Marshall McLuhan, explaining the differences of media, where TV differs much from other media using contestants.” – From Wikipedia A: At this point, I’m happy to say that it has been longer than 15 minutes. It feels great and I’m ready for it to continue.

from page 14 to take off like it did? A: I knew that we were sitting on gold when I saw the final cut of the video, but there’s no way to predict this level of success, 4 million YouTube views in just over a week is way more than I could ever expect. This was my first YouTube project. Q: How did your parents and family feel about the video? A: They’ve loved it since it was nothing but an idea, and nobody is surprised that it’s taking off like this. I’m probably more surprised than anyone. Q: How far has the video been seen, if you know that yet? Such as outside the U.S.? A: It has been seen in every country in the world at this point, and that will increase this week when my interviews with Japanese, German, and Australian news shows air on TV. Q: The video was removed from YouTube after four hours of originally being posted. Why did they take it down and what steps did you have to take to get it back up? A: The video was taken down because there is an automatic filter on YouTube that shuts down videos containing copyrighted content. The song “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool and the Gang is featured in the video, and I obviously don’t own that song. I had to contact Universal Music Group’s legal department and prove to them that my use of the song was perfectly legal. They removed their copyright claim on the video, and then the video went viral within 6six hours. Q: When did you first post the video

Brett Cohen – non-celebrity celebrity on YouTube? Q: How soon after the video came out A: Wednesday, August 22 at 1:30 a.m. did people want to do interviews with you? It must’ve been very exciting to be Q: How many hits have you gotten on on TV and talk about your video. Do the video? Have you been watching you like the fame? that? A: The day after the video was released, A: We’re closing in on 4 million views, my phone didn’t stop ringing. That was and I check it regularly. Thursday. Friday morning at 4 a.m., I was picked up by an SUV at my house to go Q: Are there any legal ramifications and do “Good Morning America.” you have to deal with because of the video? Q: I know that you are back in school A: No already. Was it hard to get back into school mode after a whirlwind week? Q: A video like that can be expensive A: It was extremely hard! I started to shoot. How much did it cost you to classes on a Tuesday, and left for LA shoot it? later that night. There is so much A: It was $39 to rent the lavalier microgoing on, it’s insane. phone that was clipped onto my shirt. That was the only cost. Q: How long did it take you to film the Q: How does it feel go from a nonvideo? Did you edit it yourself? celebrity to a celebrity? As Andy Warhol A: Filming the video took about 3 hours. said “Everybody deserves 15 minutes of The editing was done by my friend fame.” do you feel you’ve had your 15 Michael Sorace, and he did an amazing job minutes of fame (plus)? The expression putting it together. was coined by Andy Warhol, who said

Q: What made you choose that song for your video? A: I just thought that it was perfect and it really captured the humor in what I was doing. Comedy is what this video is all about, even though it’s somewhat of a social experiment. Q: You looked like a celebrity in the video. Who helped you prepare for the role? A: Even though I wasn’t impersonating any particular celebrity, some have told me that I was channeling Tom Cruise. I dressed nicely, spiked up my hair, threw on some big sunglasses, and the rest is history. Q: What other future endeavors can we expect to see from you? Will we be seeing you in any new videos in the future? A: There are future projects in the works and many ideas that my crew and I are excited to film. I’m not sure if they’ll be on YouTube or on television. I’m currently in talks with a several production companies in LA about developing my own television show. I throughly enjoyed talking to Mr. Cohen for this interview. His hard work paid off and his life will be changed forever with this one idea. Many of the people interviewed in the video could be celebrities themselves now. Think of how many people have seen them also. If you haven’t viewed the video yet, visit YouTube “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York.” or just type in Brett Cohen. Thank you for your time, Brett. Good Luck to you and enjoy your fame. – Patricia Mckay

C LASSIFIED S ERVICE D IRECTORY Call 378-5320 to place your ad in this section

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Page 19 Thursday, September 6, 2012 Merrick Life

COME TO


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Merrick Life Thursday, September 6, 2012 Page 20

John Arena Owner/Broker

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