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Girl Scout news and photos for our March 8 Girl Scout salute! www.MerrickLife.com

Celebrating over 70 years Printed on recycled paper

COPS: BURGLAR BUSTED FOR EARLY A.M. BLAZE

Vol. 75 No. 10 (USPS 049-500) Merrick, NY 11566

The Community Newspaper

FIRE INVESTIGATION: An early Sunday morning fire gutted a house at 17 Loines Avenue. Merrick firefighters with mutual aid from North Merrick,

The Merrick Fire Department responded to an early Sunday morning fire that gutted a house at 17 Loines Avenue. Chief T. J. Fernandez was in charge of the scene of the fire incident. Merrick firefighters with mutual aid from North Merrick, Bellmore and Roosevelt fire departments brought the fire under control. The occupants of the home and their pet dog escaped the inferno. The fire department told Merrick Life the fire began in the garage of the property, and as it grew out of control, the person later charged with setting the blaze took his pants off in effort to extinguish the blaze but was

Police precinct closing updates page 2

Bellmore and Roosevelt fire departments brought the fire under control. (See more photos on page 10)

photo by Paul J. DeMaria/MFD.

unable to. A neighbor witnessed the man trying to leave the scene and called the police. The fire department and witnesses detained the suspect until the Nassau police arrived. Two firefighters from Hook and Ladder Company were treated for smoke inhalation and high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood at the hospital. They were released later that day.

Official police report The Arson Bomb Squad reports an arrest for Arson that occurred in Merrick on Sunday, February 26, at 6:15 a.m.

North Merrick educators honored page 5

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

According to detectives, George Diamond, 23, of Brentwood, entered a garage attached to a residence on West Loines Avenue. While inside, he lit a match and set fire to papers. As the fire grew he exited the garage, ran towards a backyard on Miller Place, wearing only shorts, a T-shirt and socks. When police arrived they were able to place him under arrest without further incident. Five fire departments and 100 firefighters responded to the scene. The house sustained extensive damage. There were no injuries. The defendant was charged with Arson and Burglary. – Erin Donohue

Four Calhoun student athletes sign with colleges page 7

Purim Circus bash coming page 13

NAMES MAKE THE NEWS: Read about y our neighbors! 70 local people’s names were in your community newspaper this past week. Maybe yours is in this week! See inside.


The South Merrick Community Civic Association (SMCCA) hosted a forum for the public to hear the plan for the Nassau County police precinct consolidation plan. The event was well attended by concerned Merrick and Bellmore residents and members of the Nassau County PBA. Joe Baker, SMCCA president, explained “We [SMCCA] want to help the public decide if the proposal that County Executive Mangano has is a good one.” The evening began with a presentation by Inspector Mary Blanthorn, Seventh Precinct commanding officer, about eight vehicles in Merrick being vandalized on the evening of February 21. The Merrick incidents are not believed to be related to a similar car vandalism spree in Massapequa three nights earlier. Nassau police are following up on tips on the vandalism and associated larceny. Items stolen include cell phones and laptops. Four vehicles in Merrick have had their wheels and rims stolen in recent weeks, with residents waking up to find their cars on bricks. Inspector Blanthorn encouraged residents to follow New York City’s slogan of “If you see something, say something.” She also warned residents not to leave pocketbooks unattended in shopping carts, and to use the precinct’s drop-off box for unfinished prescription drugs. Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg encouraged the group to “ask questions so you are informed about the entire [precinct-closing] plan, including

costs.” When interviewed after the event, Mr. Denenberg explained, “We pay a lot in taxes so we want a high quality of life. With that, the first concern is public safety.” The main speaker for the evening was Thomas Krumpter, Nassau County first deputy police commissioner, who presented County Executive Ed Mangano’s precinct consolidation plan. Facing a $300 million dollar deficit, Nassau County officials must find several ways to cut costs so they are proposing a plan that will consolidate the eight police precincts into four. The four closed precinct buildings would be converted to community policing centers staffed by two police officers around the clock. The plan would cut 13 civilian positions and 87 uniformed positions primarily through retirement incentives at an estimated savings of $20 million annually. The savings the first year of the plan will be less, due to the plan being phased in over the next few months. The Police Benevolent Association members countered that they believe the savings would be closer to $12 million annually, and throughout the evening expressed their disapproval of the plan. The key to First Deputy Commissioner Krumpter explaining the plan to the community is based on the fact that there are 177 patrol cars on the streets now, and that number will not change after the consolidation. The residents asked several questions about response times with the new plan. The county does not expect any change from the impressive average time of oneminute, forty-second response time for high priority calls. Mr. Krumpter reported that although the county had a 0.37% rise

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in total crime last year, the previous year there was a significant 10% reduction. PBA Vice-President Kevin Toban expressed concerns about public safety. Mr. Toban called for a voter referendum on the matter, and warned that “Consolidation means fewer people. You will rue the day if this plan takes place.” Mr. Krumpter added that county law does not allow for a voter referendum of

this process, and that the legislature would have to vote to change the law to put it up for a separate vote. The consolidation plan is scheduled to go before the Nassau County Legislature for a vote on Monday, March 5. After hearing a lengthy explanation of the plan yet still having questions, Mr. Baker wanted to know, “Why are we rushing (continued on page 3)

POLICE PLAN DISCUSSED: Nassau County First Deputy Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter explains the county’s plan for police precinct consolidation to the crowd at Tuesday night’s South Merrick Community Civic Association meeting.

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Police precinct consolidation proposal debated

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The Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter on Beltagh Avenue in Wantagh is in outstanding shape and providing excellent care for shelter animals, said two inspection reports from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. The animal shelter received the highest possible ratings in over 30 categories, with no deficiencies cited in either report. “The excellent ratings awarded to the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter reaffirm the efforts of our town in providing the best-quality care for cats and dogs,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Murray. “I am extremely proud of the high marks our animal shelter has received.” Both reports – the “Dog Control Officer Inspection Report” and the “Municipal Shelter Inspection Report” – gave the animal shelter “satisfactory” ratings (the highest possible) in nearly three-dozen categories, which include cleanliness, veterinary care and handling. The “Municipal Animal Shelter Report” found that the shelter’s housing area and equipment are sanitized regularly, that there is adequate space for all dogs and medical care is provided when necessary. The report also cited the town’s ongo-

ing construction of a new air conditioning and heating system throughout the kennel; meanwhile, the state maintained that temperature extremes (too hot or too cold) at the shelter are avoided. The “Dog Control Officer Inspection Report” found that stray dogs are captured and transported safely using sanitized equipment. The report also stated that seizure and disposition records are maintained for all seized dogs. But Derek Donnelly of Merrick, spokesman and director of Best Hope for Hempstead Shelter said, “They are wording it as if there is some kind of gradient. Either you pass or you don’t pass. Also, they [shelter employees] know when the state is coming,” he said. However, Mr. Donnelly, who recently spearheaded a protest against the animal shelter, added that “the efforts we made have, in some part, had positive results. We forced them to change. More change is needed,” he said. Lucille DeFina, a spokeswoman for a separate organization called Hope for Hempstead Shelter, said the “report is meaningless. No shelter has ever failed. Why are they making such a big deal? It shows me they are desparate for positive

publicity.” “These reports show that the Hempstead Town Animal Shelter has been doing great work,” concluded

Police precinct consolidation plan debated from page 2 this?” The vote was going to be last Monday but was postponed a week so that all sides involved can communicate further and work out details. Mr. Denenberg is “concerned that the contract with the police department specifies the officers per precinct and that, ultimately, they will reduce the number of patrols that are manned 24/7.” First Deputy Police Commissioner Krumpter explained that the savings are real and will not compromise public safety. The eight detectives that will be cut are all doing fingerprinting, which would now be done by trained civilians. With twice as many officers at each of the remaining precincts, there should be an

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overtime savings dues to avoiding a “light roster” at one precinct while the neighboring precinct has more than enough officers on duty. The consolidation of the First and Seventh Precincts will be the last of the consolidations while the county works to construct an alternate arrest processing center to handle any potential overcrowding during high arrest occasions. The event was spirited and people spoke passionately about their concerns. Mr. Baker added at the end of the twohour forum that he has been a resident of Merrick for over 60 years and has “always felt that the Nassau County police do an outstanding job.” The audience applauded in agreement.

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Town animal shelter in Wantagh gets high marks


Three North Merrick School District educators – David Feller, Peggy Rakas and Debi Giaco – will be honored at SCOPE Educators Service 11th Annual School District Awards Dinner on Monday, March 26, from 5:45-9 p.m. at Villa Lombardi in Holbrook.

budget, and has led his faculty in strengthorganized many fundraisers and makes a into an inclusive arts experience. Yearly, ening an atmosphere dedicated to the educoncerted effort to get others to become almost all sixth-graders participate as cation of elementary school children. more aware of those in need. It is truly a joy actors, singers, dancers, set designers and Prudently, Mr. Feller has led North Merrick to witness the impact she has on the chilstage crew! Graduates have returned to in its growth in academics, arts, wellness, dren of North Merrick.” thank him for the gift of the theatre arts technology and character education: experience.” “The innovative primary grade Debi Giaco – School Support physical education proAward Peggy Rakas – gram, designed to proDavid Feller – Teacher Service Award Deborah Giaco is a hardworking vide daily physical eduPeggy Rakas has been Administer Service Award computer technology aide, Ms. “After serving as director of specation for K-2 students; teaching in the district for Friedman said. “No matter what is cial education in East Williston and SMARTBoard integraover 20 years. She has asked of her, she always does it Carle Place, David S. Feller was tion, video conferencing, been recognized by her with a smile on her face and gets appointed North Merrick and other digital technolpeers as one of the finest the job done quickly and efficientSuperintendent in 2001. As he ogy; the guided reading music educators on Long ly. She has a great rapport with all brought his passion for children, program, created to Island. “She has brought a students, faculty and staff memDebi Giaco commitment to inclusion, and his David Feller assure that all students will Peggy Rakas vast array of innovations to bers. She routinely assists other own experiences as a special education read by the end of first grade; a rich coour district’s music program, which is now areas, including the main office, and is the teacher and father of a special needs child, teaching model, and staff development prorecognized as one of the premier elementary advisor for the early morning Computer North Merrick became the fortunate recipigrams, facilitated by teacher-leaders are music programs in the metropolitan area. Club. She works diligently to make sure ent of a truly gifted leader, one who embodexamples of David’s visions becoming sucUnder Peggy’s leadership, we have greatly the computer needs of her building are ies strong character, responsibility, honesty cessful realities. Proudly, he hosts other disexpanded our overall music program. She met,” Ms. Friedman added. and integrity,” Deputy Superintendent Beth tricts interested in learning more about our works with every student to maximize their “Deborah has a warm and caring nature, Friedman stated in a news release. programs,” continued Ms. Friedman. potential as a musician,” Ms. Friedman said. which helps to brighten the day of anyone During this decade filled with greater “A compassionate man, David has lived “Peggy brings a passionate love for chilwho comes in contact with her. She is a accountability, including [federal] manby his belief in inclusion. Collaborating dren to her teaching. Her enthusiasm is contrue professional and has a heart of gold.” dates, standards-based assessments and sigwith the director of special education, tagious. On a humanitarian level, she has nificant fiscal oversight and responsibility, David initiated several successful co-teachMr. Feller has been a visionary educational ing classes. Upon David’s entry into North HE URMAN AW IRM leader who has successfully managed the Merrick, he transformed a successful, yet educational and noneducational areas of the restrictive sixth-grade theatre arts program 7899OC1011ES

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Page 5 Thursday, March 1, 2012 Merrick Life

North Merrick educators to be honored March 26


improving the quality of life on Long Island shores. The public is invited to attend this program. The DAR is a nonprofit service organization that welcomes any woman, 18 or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a Patriot of the American Revolution. If you think you are eligible for membership, call Sally Boggan at 868-0434.

St. Baldrick’s and Locks for Love

battling brain cancer at this moment. Our second honoree is a friend and neighbor of Mr. Joyce: Luke Rozato, 12 years old, has been battling cancer for the last four years. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers during their struggle. Your involvement in this year’s fundraiser is especially meaningful to both of their families. Also this year, we will honor the memory of Calhoun’s Tyler Seaman, who passed away last year from chordoma. We will be using some of the money raised from the raffles, baskets and donations the night of our event to make a contribution to the Tyler Seaman Scholarship Fund. Please encourage your students, friends and family members to participate – whether they raise $10 or $10,000 is irrelevant. It is the spirit of getting involved and doing something for someone else that makes the night special. Most of all, think of the children and their families that suffer from these dreadful diseases. If our efforts help to comfort, treat and/or save just one life then we have done a great job. Please take the time to share the Calhoun HS St. Baldrick’s event with others and encourage them to register at the website www.stbaldricks.org – search under events (Merrick, NY) Peter Magnuson, teacher Calhoun High School

To Merrick Life: Once again Calhoun High School is hosting the St. Baldrick’s and Locks for Love event at Calhoun. The event will be held on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in the gym. Your help and support the last five years has enabled us to raise over $250,000 for childhood cancer research, and in three years over 150 girls (and a few boys) donated their ponytails to Locks for Love. Thank you for helping us to accomplish this great feat. In addition to the money raised to fund the critical research to find cures and treatments for childhood cancer, the night is most special because of the participants, volunteers, community members and supporters that come together for this great cause. Members of the Calhoun faculty and staff have been incredible supporters of St. Baldrick’s – they shave their heads, they donate, they volunteer to work as registrars and treasurers, they promote the event with their students and they come out and support the participants the night of the event. This year we will have two honorees for our fundraiser. Our first honoree is Calhoun junior Dean Brownworth, who is

studentnews

Patrick Deere, a resident of Merrick, has been named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2011 semester at Fairfield

Post your pictures online Wednesday, March 14 from 6:308:30 p.m. Share your pictures online with your family and friends! In this hands-on class, learn how to copy a photo from your digital camera to your computer, edit the photo using and image editing program, post it at an online picture site and much more. This class is for intermediate computer users. There is a $5 fee for this class. Registration has begun. Cooking class for teens with the baking coach: chocolate mousse pie Tuesday, March 27, at 6:30 p.m. Learn how to make a delicious no bake pie. Everyone takes home their

From the Children’s Room On Monday, March 12, children will learn oil pastels and sponge painting techniques to create their own spring landscape during the Blossom Trees program from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Registration begins on March 2. Join for Tots Night Out on Wednesday, March 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. for an hour of music, fun and a windmill craft. Families with children between the ages of 18 months to 5 years (and not yet in kindergarten) can register in the Children's Room. Registration begins on March 5. Legos Club begins meeting again on Sunday, March 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. At that meeting our teen volunteers will judge your creations and prizes will be awarded. You may build them at home and bring them to the library, or build them in the children’s program room. Other meeting dates are April 22 and May 20. Children in Kindergarten and up may participate and registration is not necessary.

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Captain Don Harris of Operation SPLASH, a Freeport-based environmental group, will present a program on Saturday, March 3, for the Ruth Floyd Woodhull Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. This program will take place at noon at the Freeport Memorial Library. SPLASH (Stop Polluting Littering and Save Harbors) is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization that focuses on

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 6

SPLASH talks to DAR in Freeport


Page 7 Thursday, March 1, 2012 Merrick Life KICKING IT UP A DIVISION: From left are Football Coach Joe Bianca, Matthew Brennan, Danielle Losee, Jessica Ruggiero, Angelo DiMatteio, Calhoun Athletic Director June Spruyt, Girls Basketball Coach Dave Radtke and Assistant Principal Nicole Hollings.

Calhoun student athletes sign with college teams Angelo DiMatteo has signed with Division III SUNY New Paltz to get a master’s in accounting and business management while playing the “sport he loves.” He will continue to train several days a week for several hours a day to keep in shape to play forward for the college’s soccer team. He has played football for Coach Bianca. Danielle Losse signed with Division II Mercy College and will be a part of the Honors Program at Mercy. At the school she will play shooter with the women’s basketball team.

“Danielle has unlimited shooting range,” said girls’ basketball Coach Dave Radtke. “She could be five steps outside the three-point area” and still make the hoop, he said. Jessica Ruggiero has signed with Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts to play power forward

for the women’s basketball team while she studies biology – pre-med. “Jesse is talented for a girl of her size, and is very skilled offensively,” said Coach Radtke. “Both will do very well.” –Andrew Ryan and Douglas Finlay

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Four Calhoun seniors have signed letters of commitment to attend divisionranking universities to continue their studies and to play in the sports of football, soccer and basketball. Matthew Brennan has signed a letter with Division II LIU/Post to “get a great education and a master’s” while working toward becoming the starting quarterback for the Post Pioneers. “He has a great work ethic and physiucally, at 6 feet, 5 inches and 215 pounds, he has a strong arm. He will get his opportunity to become a starter and he will take it,” said Coach Bianca.

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What is more beautiful than the lush, resonant sound of a cello? The lush, resonant sound of four cellos! And that is what the audience of the MerrickBellmore Community Concert Association heard on Sunday afternoon, February 19, at Calhoun High School. The Rastrelli Cello Quartet performed a nontraditional program that revealed the expressive breadth of their instrument. The name of the quartet is taken from the Italian archiThe Rastrelli Cello Quartet tect Bartholomew Rastrelli, who designed the Hermitage showed the cellos’ cool, jazz side, while in St. Petersburg, the home city of three Piazzolla’s “Oblivion” allowed the celof the four quartet members. los to express the sensuality of the tango. Since 2002, founder Kira Kraftzoff, Among the highlights of the evening Kirill Timofeev, Misha Degtjareff and were the Rastrelli Quartet swinging to the Sergio Drabkin have made it their mistune of “Night Train” by Jimmy Forrest sion to perform music “between the and Kira Kraftzoff playing his cello like genres,” to mix works by Bach, Sainta guitar during Paul Desmond’s “Take Saens and Tchaikovsky with those of Five,” the final number. Gershwin, Dave Brubeck and Hoagy Here, each member of the quartet took Carmichael, all arranged by Mr. a turn showing his personality in excitDrabkin. ing improvisations that brought the True to its mission, the quartet opened audience to its feet. with classical numbers, culminating in Join the MBCCA for the last concert the exquisitely burnished tones of of the season on Saturday, April 21, at 8 Tchaikovsky’s Andante Cantabile from p.m. It will feature the David Leonhardt his “String Quartet No. 1.” Jazz Quintet, with vocalist Nancy Reed, From there, the quartet pulled the lisand the Shelley Oliver Tap Dancers. You teners into the rough, earthy sounds of will have a great time! For tickets and folk music from the country of Georgia. information about this and future shows Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo” a la Turk call 868-5366.

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For many years the BellmoreMerrick Methodist and Presbyterian churches have joined in presenting weekly Lenten services on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. This year’s theme will be “Christ in the Strangest Places.” This year’s schedule of Lenten services is as follows: Wednesday, February 29: “Nothing”: Bellmore Presbyterian Church, corner of Bellmore and Martin Avenues, Bellmore, 785-2590. March 7: “Marked”: Community Presbyterian Church of Merrick, William Place, Merrick, 378-7761. March 14: “Enlist”: East Meadow United Methodist Church, 470 East Meadow Avenue, East Meadow, 794-5855. March 21: “Invest”: Merrick United Methodist Church, 1425 Merrick Avenue, North Merrick, 3789222. March 28: “Finish”: Bellmore

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 8

Rastrelli Cello Quartet performs ‘between the genres’


Curé of Ars Parish Center, at 2323 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, will host its annual Rock ’n Roll show starring The Devotions, Saturday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. $45 per person includes dancing, buffet dinner, beer, wine, soda, 50/50 chances and raffles. To reserve your ticket call 6231400, ext. 105.

Suspenseful thriller The masterfully constructed thriller “Wait Until Dark” will be at The Merrick Theatre and Center for the Arts, 222 Hewlett Avenue through Sunday, March 18. This taut suspense story builds up to an edge-of-your seat conclusion. The show can be seen on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20. The student and senior discount price is $17 on Fridays and Sundays. For information call 868-6400.

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A three-on-three basketball tournament will be held at Kennedy High School on Sunday, March 4, from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Proceeds will go to the 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition.

Teams will play in grade levels 5-12, or in adult groups. No more than four to a team. $12 to play. Food and drinks will be available. To register contact Brett Keller at b4bc12@gmail.com. Or drop off or mail to Lifestyle Sports, 1891 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh 11793, Attn: B4BC. Checks should be payable to 1 in 9: The Breast Cancer Action Coalition. Or contact Brett at 659-2211, or you can visit www.bucketsforbreastcancer.com.

A night of music Merrick Jewish Centre presents “A Night of Music” featuring Cantor Ethan Leifer and Yaron Gershovsky, pianist/keyboardist, arranger, composer and producer on Sunday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets (pre-paid) are $25 for adults, and free for ages 13-under. General admission at the door is $30. For reservations e-mail office@merrickjc.org. Payment prior to the concert guarantees tickets and pricing. Payment options: Mail check to Merrick Jewish Centre or pay online at www.merrickjc.org (click online payments and in notation enter Cantor’s Concert March 25). Merrick Jewish Centre is at 225 Fox Boulevard.

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Art Exhibition Art Supervisors Association 8th Annual Nassau All-County Art Exhibition, Sunday, March 18, 2012 The Art Supervisors Association of Nassau County welcomes students, parents, art educators, administrators, and community members to attend the 2012 Nassau All-County Art Exhibition, which will take place at the Ruth S. Harley Center at Adelphi University on Sunday, March 18, from 12 – 4 pm

Mobile Town Hall meeting The North Bellmore Public Library will hold a Nassau County-sponsored Mobile Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, March 6, in the Children’s Room, 1551 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore. The Mobile Town Hall meeting will provide residents the opportunity to share their views and have their concerns addressed by representatives of the county executive’s office and county departments. It will also provide them with opportunities to learn what services each of the county departments have to offer residents.

Forever Plaid Plaza Theatrical Productions presents “Forever Plaid” Sundays, March 11, 18 and 25, at 2 p.m. The “Plaids” are a program of beloved songs and delightful patter that keeps audiences rolling in the aisles and humming along to some of the great nostalgic pop hits of the ’50s, including “Catch A Falling Star,” “Heart and Soul” and “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.” “Forever Plaid” is one of the most popular and successful

musicals in recent memory. Tickets are $25 per person, $15 for seniors. For individual and group ticket information, and reservations, call Plaza Theatrical Productions at 599-6870, or you can visit www.plazatheatrical.com.

Volunteer help wanted A blind 61-year-old Merrick woman is looking for female volunteers to keep her company. She would like as many volunteers as possible, and asks that they sit with her, talk with her and take her out. They can be high-school-aged to senior citizens. She requests company all year long, during the week and on the weekends, in the afternoon. She has lived in Merrick all of her life, attending Chatterton Elementary School, Merrick Avenue Middle School and Kennedy High School. Her parents have died and she is lonely. Contact Allyn Weisenberg at 5463838 if you are interested.

Guitar show coming The first annual New York Guitar Show and Exposition on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29, is coming to the Curé of Ars Church, 2323 Merrick Road. It is being touted as the largest New York Metro area guitar show in two decades, according to producer Rich Johnson. The show will work on a few major music and/or vintage guitar industry attractions to make the event one for families, as will anyone looking for new, used or vintage gear. The show is designed to be an “incredible weekend for players, builders and retailers,” said Mr. Johnson. For information visit www.nyguitarexpo.com.

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 10 FIRE INVESTIGATION: Merrick firefighters and police question a man dressed only in shor ts and a T-shir t in the rear yard of the house fire on Loines Avenue in Merrick early Sunday morning. He is suspected of an earlier house burglar y on an adjoining street and then entering the rear door of the garage and causing the fire. The Nassau County Fire Marshal’s office and police are investigating.

LOINES AVENUE RESIDENT who, with her pet dog, escaped the inferno, watches in disbelief with her neighbors as the early Sunday morning fire gutted her house on Loines Avenue. Merrick firefighters, with mutual aid from North Merrick, Bellmore and Roosevelt Fire Departments, brought the fire photos by Paul J. DeMaria/MFD under control.

SUSPECT FOUND: Merrick Fire Department Chief T.J. Fernandez (right) is shown with a man who was found in the rear yard of a house that caught on fire on Loines Avenue early Sunday morning.

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by Claudia Borecky The Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations has been formed to provide a strong, united voice to address issues that affect the county. It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit coalition of civic associations that can be found at www.nassaucoalition.org. The first issue that the coalition seeks to address is the county’s proposal to sell or lease three sewage treatment plants. These facilities are public assets owned by county residents and taxpayers. We, the people, are uniting to save our assets. The coalition is demanding full disclosure of the county’s proposal, transparency and oversight prior to sealing any deal, including citizens’ review along every step of the process. The coalition will request that a citizens’ advisory committee be established so that resident-taxpayers of the county

and owners of the facilities have a recognized voice in any decision. The coalition believes that public oversight is necessary to protect against potential increases in costs to the taxpayers of Nassau County, loss of local control and the possibility of the buyer and lessor negatively impacting the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of families and environment. Balancing a budget County Executive Ed Mangano is expected to sell or lease the Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove sewage treatment plants for $1.3 billion to balance the 2012 and 2013 budgets. For investing such a large sum of money, a private investor would expect to reap huge profits from tax dollars. It’s been proven time and again, locally and across the country, that once a profit-driven private entity takes over a

revenue-neutral municipal service, fees skyrocket to negatively impact residents. This one-time budget fix is included in the 2012 budget, and was approved by the Nassau County’s legislative majority in October. Subsequently, the Rules Committee voted along party lines in December to contract Morgan Stanley for $100,000 per quarter to assist the county in finding a buyer/operator. Morgan Stanley will receive an additional fee of not less than $5 million if any deal is made. Mr. Mangano will have his onetime budget fix; but residents will not have input into a billion-dollar deal that will impact our county for generations to come.

divided into nine regions throughout the county, each region electing a director to its Executive Board. Although the coalition is in its infancy, the urgency of Mr. Mangano’s proposal has ignited a spark that has spread like wildfire throughout the county. If you’d like to learn more about the county’s sewage treatment plan or help stop this the plan, visit “We the People Save our Waters” on Facebook. For information regarding the coalition, call Claudia Borecky, president, North and Central Merrick Civic Association, at 9726988, visit www.nassaucoalition.org, or email claudiaborecky@gmail.com.

Coalition forming community boards This month the coalition held its second meeting at the Merrick Park Golf Course Clubhouse in Merrick. Over 60 civic associations expressed interest in joining. It is

Editor’s Note: “We the People, Save our Waters” is an environmental group tackling the issue of privitization, separate from the Nassau Coalition of Civic Organizations.

NICE to change N51 bus service in Merrick by Laura Schofer The Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) will make changes to bus service on the N51, which runs along Merrick Avenue in Merrick up to Roosevelt Field. Beginning Easter Sunday, April 8, there will be no service on the N51 line on Saturdays. Bus service on the N51 will remain the same Monday through Friday. A press release issued by NICE said that some service changes were necessary because “our contract with the county requires that bus service levels be adjusted to the available funds by early April,” and the changes were “designed to impact the fewest possible passengers.” The N51 is one of 30 routes that will see cuts in service. These cuts represent a $7.5 million sav-

ings to the system. However, the proposed changes to service also include two new Express routes to Jamaica and Flushing, restoring service to the Mercy Medical Center and running extra times on busy routes. NICE is the new bus system that took over on January 1 after the county decided to replace the bus service. The former provider, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operated the Long Island Bus system since 1973. Last spring the MTA announced that it planned to cut approximately 56% of its routes including the N51, unless it received an additional $26 million in funding from Nassau County. The Nassau County transit system transports 31 million bus passengers and 280,000 paratransit passengers each year. After much wrangling, the county decided

to find another bus provider. In December, the county legislature voted to give Veolia Transportation a five-year contract to run the new bus system, now called NICE. The agreement with NICE is a “public-private partnership” between the county and Veolia Transportation which also runs transportation systems in Las Vegas, Phoenix and New Orleans. The contract with the county preserved the Able-Ride service area and restored the MTA’s planned route cuts. Fares remained the same and cannot be raised unless approved by 100% of the Nassau County Resident Transit Committee comprised of five people but has not yet been activated, explained County Legislator David Denenberg. “Our service designers focused on the routes that are least used by customers and

are thus the most expensive to operate. Running virtually empty buses is very expensive and requires large subsidies from the county,” states the NICE website. “These proposed adjustments represent our best judgement for achieving the savings and balanced budget that are required of us. Please note that there have been numerous improvements since NICE bus began operating on January 1, including more reliable and more on-time service and cleaner buses and facilities and improved customer service. While the system isn’t perfect, we will continue to add improvements with each passing month,” reads the NICE website. “The logic behind some of the changes makes sense, but I hope this won’t turn out to be a slippery slope,” concluded Mr. Denenberg.

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 12

VIEWPOINT: Coalition forms to fight sewage plant selloffs

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In keeping with the Chabad tradition of creating fun and exciting holiday programs for the entire Jewish community, Chabad of Merrick-Bellmore-Wantagh will host its annual Purim bash and dinner celebration with a circus theme. Purim commemorates the escape of the Jewish people from annihilation by the ancient Persian Empire, and is celebrated by the exchange of food packages between friends, by giving charity to the poor, by eating a traditional festive meal, and by reading the story of Purim from the Megillah (Purim scroll).

This year on the Purim holiday, March 8, Chabad will hold the “Purim at the Circus” celebration for young and old. “We focus on doing interesting and innovative holiday programs while still keeping with the holiday theme,” said Rabbi Shimon Kramer. “This party will combine ancient Jewish traditions with a circus twist.” “We are ‘traveling’ to the circus this year,” says Chanie Kramer, program director, “and are hoping to give everyone a great and meaningful time.” The party is open to the public and all

are welcome, regardless of background or affiliation, and will be held on Thursday, March 8. Megilla reading is at 5 p.m. and the program begins at 5:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Firemen’s Exempt Club at 228 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore (next door to the Bellmore firehouse). Party highlights include interactive Megillah (Purim story) reading with simultaneous multimedia slide show; clown on stilts; professional balloon twisting; circus show/juggling act; circus-style Purim Feast with hot dogs,

burgers, knishes, wings and more; cotton candy and popcorn; masquerade in circus attire (or costume of your choice) and receive a prize; face-painting; and circus crafts and activities; preparing a Shalach Manot food package for a friend; and Hamentashen (traditional Purim dessert). Tickets at the door are $10/person, $40 maximum/family and $180/sponsor. RSVP by Sunday, March 4 – $8/person, $32 maximum per family online at www.ChabadJewishLife.org or call 8333057.

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C’ÉTAIT UNE NUIT MAGNIFIQUE! Above is Denise Schleith with some of the Merrick Avenue Middle School French students at a recent New York Islanders versus Montréal Canadiens hockey game. Bellmore-Merrick French students, along with French students from other school districts, had the opportunity not only to watch the New York Islanders battle the Montréal Canadiens, but to meet PA Parenteau (Montréal native, who plays for the New York Islanders) and converse with him in French. Before the game, the students met with Marc Antoine Godin, a sports writer from La Presse, a Montréal newspaper, and Manon Boucher, a representative from the Québec government office in New York. C’était une nuit magnifique! (It was a magnificent night!)

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The Town of Hempstead Department of Senior Enrichment is offering the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) to help senior citizens prepare their income tax returns. The free program is being offered to seniors at various local libraries and senior centers. “The VITA Program has a long and successful history of helping seniors who require assistance filing their tax returns,” said Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray. All VITA tax preparers are resident volunteers who have been trained by the town’s Department of Senior Enrichment in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Seniors who attend one of the tax preparation sessions must bring their 2010 tax return, W2 form, 1099 form (for interest, dividends, capital gains, pensions, IRAs and annuities), 2011 general and school tax receipts, STAR exemption records, Social Security cards and photo identification. Required documents also include itemized expenses (if applicable), such as medical and prescription bills, mortgage interest, contributions and/or insurance premiums. Residents may be asked to complete additional paperwork at their session. “I would like to thank our group of VITA volunteers for their help in making this program possible,” concluded Ms. Murray. “I urge all of our senior residents to take advantage of this free tax program.” To view a VITA program schedule, seniors can call the Town of Hempstead Department of Senior Enrichment at 485-8100, or visit the town’s website at http://toh.li/seniorenrichment/volunteer-income-taxassistance-vita.

Page 13 Thursday, March 1, 2012 Merrick Life

Chabad plans Purim Circus Bash on March 8


The North Bellmore Fire Department was alerted about a house fire at 2537 North Jerusalem Road last Tuesday at 8:41 p.m. Chief Edward Kraus was first to

arrive, met with the occupants who had self-evacuated, and transmitted a “Signal 98 – Hazardous Condition,” as there was a large amount of heat and smoke emanating from a laundry room on the first floor. Engine 654 was ordered to secure a hydrant and stretch an attack hoseline upon arrival. Ladder 657 was given orders to conduct a search to verify evacuation of all occupants and begin ventilation efforts. Several other North Bellmore

Fire Department units also responded to assist with suppression, ventilation, traffic control, safety and EMS operations. A total of 60 volunteers responded to assist with the situation. The fire was declared under control at 9:04 p.m. and responders were released

from the scene at 9:26 p.m. The scene was commanded by Chief Kraus, with interior operations under the control of Assistant Chiefs Douglas Sherwood and David Marschall. The cause of the fire was a malfunctioning clothes dryer. No injuries were reported by anyone.

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 14

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 Merrick Life Page 16

Calhoun sports booster honorees lauded At its February 13 meeting, the Calhoun Sports Boosters honored the following female and male athletes of the month for January 2012: Kelly Bogart: January 2012 Female Athlete of the Month Senior Kelly Bogart won the County Coaches Tournament in rifle on February 1 with a score of 191. Her regular season average of 190.71 on the BellmoreMerrick District rifle team led the county and earned Kelly a trip to the state championship held at West Point. She recently competed at the Olympic Trials and finished in the top 20 of the nation’s shooters. Kelly, in practice, also recorded her first perfect score of 100 on a target. Kelly also competed in lacrosse during her freshman and sophomore years and played volleyball last fall. She has been actively recruited by the top-ranked rifle squad in the NCAA (Texas Christian University) and will be attending on a partial scholarship to continue her rifle competitions. Kelly intends to major in communications and hopes to work in advertising. Congratulations on a great career at Calhoun, and best of luck in college. Kenny D’Auria: January 2012 Male Athlete of the Month Kenny is a four-year member and captain of the Bellmore-Merrick district swim team. He has been an important member of the team, swimming predominantly in sprint freestyle events and relays. Over the course of the season, Kenny has scored a great deal of points, thus helping the Sharks win several close meets. At the Division Championships, Kenny swam both the 50 and 100 yard freestyle events, finishing seventh and fifth respectively. He also swam on the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays and paced both teams to

second-place finishes, qualifying for AllDivision. The points recorded by Kenny also directly led to the Sharks finishing second overall in the division competition. Congratulations on a great season. Boys’ indoor track On Thursday, January 19, the Calhoun boys’ indoor track team won the conference championship in an exciting meet held at St. Anthony’s. Some of the boys posted impressive personal bests and they all showed amazing team camaraderie. Calhoun and East Meadow were neck and neck throughout the competition, with Calhoun edging East Meadow in the 4 X 800 and 4 X 400 relays to tie the meet going into the final relay event (4 X 200 meters). The Calhoun 4 X 200 relay team proceeded to finish one place ahead of East Meadow to clinch the championship. Congrats, Calhoun indoor track! Girls’ varsity basketball The Colts varsity girls team continued an up and down season by dropping a 5042 decision to the MacArthur Generals on January 20 and a 59-47 defeat to Valley Stream Central on January 27. The girls bounced back by capturing their next two games, with a 52-44 triumph over Plainview JFK on February 1 and 62-41 trouncing of the East Meadow Jets on February 3.

JV boys’ basketball The boys JV squad continued a challenging season by dropping five consecutive contests, losing to Baldwin on January 17, MacArthur on January 20, Valley Stream Central on January 27, Plainview JFK on January 31 and a frustrating 56-51 home loss to East Meadow on February 3. The team wraps up its season with road games

against Port Washington and Baldwin and a final home contest on February 10 against Hicksville. Boys’ swimming The Calhoun boys swimming team edged Plainview JFK 52-50 in an exciting meet on January 17.

Calhoun alumnus in wrestling nationals Calhoun Colt Wrestling alumnus Mac Maldarelli competed in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Men’s Wrestling, Championship in Rochester, Minnesota, February 24 and 25. Maldarelli wrestled varsity all fours years at Calhoun. He was team captain in 11th and 12th grade. He holds the school record of most wins at 151. He completed his Calhoun career as Nassau County champion at 145 pounds in 2010, and continued to wrestle at 149 pounds as a student at Nassau Community College, where he is captain of the team and finished the season with a record of 40-4. Maldarelli

Boys’ varsity basketball Hitting a tough segment of their schedule, the varsity boys basketball team dropped three consecutive games, 47-45 to MacArthur on January 20, 57-42 to Valley Stream Central on January 27 and 61-49 to Plainview JFK on January 31, before turning the tables with a 74-64 victory over East Meadow on February 3.

took first place at the College of New Jersey Open November 20 in Ewing, New Jersey, second at the Bob Quade Open December 4 in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and first place in the Long Island Open December 10 at Nassau Community College. He took first place in the New York State Men’s Collegiate Championship January 20 and 21 at Cornell University in Ithaca. On February 11, Maldarelli took first place at the Mid-Atlantic Championships at Thaddeus Stevens College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and qualified to participate at the National Tournament in Rochester. He wrestled in the finals and took second place at the NJCAA National To u r n a m e n t , achieving a spot as an AllAmerican. Although he has several offers, he is still undecided where he will be wrestling Division I in the fall. Mac Maldarelli

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North Merrick: Request for transportation to private or parochial schools outside of the North Merrick School District must be received by April 1. Children must be registered in the North Merrick district first before submitting an application. Families moving into the district after April 1 are given 30 days after moving in to submit such a request. Transportation is not provided by the district for children who have completed sixth-grade – or for children who will not be five years old by December 1 – to schools more than 15 miles from the child’s home, or to schools less than two miles from the child’s home.

All requests for transportation should be addressed to North Merrick School District, Dr. Irene H. Lenhart Administrative Center business office at 1057 Merrick Avenue. Applications may be picked up at the business office at Fayette School between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students entering middle school or high school should contact the BellmoreMerrick Central High School District, 1260 Meadowbrook Road. Only corner bus stops will be provided for the school year. No house stops will be made. All students must be officially registered with the district. Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District parents are reminded that New York State law requires a written transportation request annually by April 1 from parents or guardians of students (grades 7-12) who plan to attend private or parochial schools. Requests must be submitted prior to April 1, for the school year beginning in September. Transportation application forms for the 2012-2013 school year are available at the Bellmore-Merrick CHSD Business Office, 1260 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick 11566 or at the website, www.bellmore-merrick.k12.ny.us.

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Merrick: Transportation requests for students in the Merrick School District who attend nonpublic schools must be filled by April 1, or within 30 days after residence is established. Applications must be filed annually. A separate application is required for each child. Transportation is provided only to those schools within a 15-mile radius of the child’s home. Requests should be sent to Merrick Union Free School District, Administrative Business Office, 21 Babylon Road, Merrick 11566. For information call 992-7260.

Page 17 Thursday, March 1, 2012 Merrick Life

Nonpublic school busing deadline

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Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 18

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©©© Unknown suspects used a counterfeited $100 bill at Five Guys Burgers, Merrick Road, Merrick, as well as Bagel Boss next door, on February 17. ©©© A white 2011 Cadillac and a 2009 black Mercedes were broken into while parked in the parking lot at Xtreme Gym, Merrick

Police reports come from law enforcement agencies. Suspects are presumed innocent unless and until convicted in court. A 51-year-old woman from Avenue C, Merrick, was arrested at the Seventh Precinct in Seaford on February 15 and charged with Criminal Mischief.

Road, Merrick, on February 20. Proceeds were a wallet and its contents. ©©© A Charlotte Drive, Merrick, resident discovered tires and rims stolen from his 2011 black Ford F159 that was parked in the driveway on February 16.

Drug arrest in Merrick Two young men were arrested on Tuesday, February 28, when illegal drugs were found inside the car. The arrest occurred on Clubhouse Road in Merrick, after the vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation, said Nassau Police Officer Maureen Roach.

NCMC addresses issues by Claudia Borecky The North and Central Merrick Civic Association will be hosting a meeting with “We the People Save Our Waters” on County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s plan to sell or lease the Cedar Creek, Bay Park and Glen Cove sewage treatment plants, on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m. at the North Merrick Library, 1691

lifepassing

Richard Skillman

cation teacher in the North Merrick School District at Camp Avenue School. He coached football and lacrosse at Calhoun High School. He was a 1953 graduate of Baldwin High School and a 1957 graduate of SUNY Cortland.

Richard W. “Coach” Skillman died on Thursday, February 23, after a brief respiratory illness. He was a physical edu-

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Meadowbrook Road, Merrick. All are welcome to attend. The police will start the meeting with a report on criminal activity in the community and report on the status of the precinct mergers. For information visit the NCMC website at www.northmerrickcivic.org, email claudiaborecky@gmail.com or call President Claudia Borecky at 972-6988.

PUBLIC NOTICES NOTICE OF SPECIAL DISTRICT MEETING OF THE MERRICK LIBRARY TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD COUNTY OF NASSAU, NEW YORK NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Special District Meeting of the qualified voters of the Merrick Union Free School District, Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, will be held in the Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, New York, on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. prevailing time, for the purpose of voting, by voting machine, upon the following items: 1. A proposition for the appropriation of funds to be raised by a tax levy for the cost of the operation of the Merrick Library in said district, for the school year 2012-2013; and 2. To elect one (1) Trustee to the Merrick Library Board to

fill a five year term commencing July 1, 2012, and ending June 30, 2017. FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that for the purpose of voting at such meeting on April 18, 2012 the polls will be open between the hours 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. prevailing time, and the voting will be held in the Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, New York; and NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that petitions nominating candidates for the office of library trustee must be filed with the Clerk of the District, Clarice Rebentisch, 21 Babylon Road, Merrick, New York, 11566 no later than March 7, 2012. Every such petition shall be signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the district or 2% of the voters who voted in the previous annual election of members of the Board of

Trustees of the Librar y, whichever is greater. Said petition must state at least the name and residence of the candidate. Personal registration is a prerequisite for voting at all meetings in this school district, and no person will be entitled to vote at such annual meeting and election whose name does not appear upon the register of the school district, which shall have been prepared for such meeting and election; except that any person, a resident of the district,who is permanently registered with the Nassau County Board of Elections to vote at elections other than a school district election and whose registration is current, shall also be qualified to vote at this election without further registration; and NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that,

in accordance with Education Law, application for absentee ballots for election of Trustees of the Merrick Library Board and the Merrick Library Budget and any referenda may be applied for at the office of the Clerk of the District. A list of absentee voters will be maintained in the District Office and available for inspection for five (5) days prior to the budget vote and election and shall also be posted at the polling place. The Voting Registers will be open to inspection on weekdays in the Office of the District Clerk between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on each of the five days prior to and on the date set for the budget vote and election, except Saturday, Sunday and holidays; and NOTICE IS ALSO GIVEN that a copy of the statement of the amount of money which will be

required for the school year 2012-2013 for library purposes, exclusive of public monies, may be obtained by any taxpayer in the district during the 7 days immediately preceding the special meeting, excepting Saturday, Sunday or a holiday at the Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, New York during regular ser vice hours; and PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that a public information meeting will be held at the Merrick Library, Merrick, New York on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussion of the expenditure of funds for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MERRICK LIBRARY MERRICK UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD

DATED: February 2012 MERRICK, NEW YORK ML 892 4T 2/23, 3/1, 8, 15 Notice is hereby given that an order granted by the Supreme Court, Nassau County, on the 30th day of January, 2012, bearing the index number 12000949, a copy of which may be examined at the Office of the Nassau County Clerk, located at 240 Old Country Road, Room 108, Mineola, New York grants me the right to assume the name of Daniel James Napolitano. My present address is 1107 Little Whaleneck Road, Merrick, NY11566. I was born on May 2, 1985 in Plainview, New York. My present name is Daniel James Seifert. ML 893 1T 3/1

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EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY

$349,990

Stately Tudor Colonial Features: Three Bedrooms, One and Half Baths, Living Room with Fireplace, Banquet Formal Dining Room, Updated Eat-InKitchen, Windows, Baths, Roof Leaders And Leaf Guard Gutters 1 Year Old. Gas Burner 2 Years Old. Hardwood Floors Thru Out. Original Moldings. 2 Pretty Stained Glass Windows. Great Location. Close To Stores And RR. Must See!

Visit us on the web @ www.coldwellbankeryourhome.com

$387,000

OPEN HOUSE

15 DELTA ROAD Enjoy The Opportunity To Live On The Water! 100 Ft Of New Bulkhead With Boat Slip. New Eat-In-Kitchen, Living Room, Family Room, Three Bedrooms, Two Full Updated Baths. Hardwood Floors, Wonderful Storage. 5 Minutes To Bay. Perfect For First Time Buyers Or Retiree's. Dead End Block. Must See!

$329,777

Notaries Public

Available 7 Days A Week

6991JA1711ES

Merrick Life Thursday, March 1, 2012 Page 20

Angel Roman Michael Price Stephanie Schwartz Gale Montello Lic. Sales Assoc. Lic. Assoc. Broker Lic. Sales Assoc. Lic. Sales Assoc.

John Arena Owner/Broker

Merrick Life 3.1.12  

This week's Merrick Life full edition online.

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