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CHSD Intel semifinalists shine!

Vol. 76 No. 3 (USPS 340-100) Merrick, NY 11566

The Community Newspaper

Three students honored by Douglas Finlay

Like the scientific laws and theories of gravity or relativity, it has become a nearconstant that the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District announces new semifinalists of the Intel Science Talent Search Contest – precisely at this time of year. This year a student from each of the three schools – Calhoun, Mepham and Kennedy – once more proved that the district’s Advanced Science Research class is in a ‘class’ by itself. By encouraging – if not shaping – critical intellectual thought, it begins the process so important to develop tomorrow’s leaders. From Calhoun High School, Emma McNamara wrote a paper that focuses on the size of female canine Macaque monkey teeth and their relation to the animal’s social behavior; Joshua Pollock of Kennedy High School proved that reactions to facial emotions and words used to describe those emotions (fear, happiness) is slower – but still discernible – in children on the autism spectrum; and Corey Wald of Mepham High School proved that it’s the “weather, stupid” that can determine how well baseball players can “play the game.” Monkeys and their canine capers Emma told this newspaper that she has always been interested in anthropology, the origins of things, the history of where

we all come from. When first attending the ASR class, she began reading the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, and reading all the scientific anthropology papers she could research. “I became entranced with anthropological traits” and their development in social behavior. “If someone has a broken tooth, for example,” since a young age [brought on by a weakness in the tooth?], that may be indicative that culturally – and by inference, biologically – ancestors did some manner of work with their teeth, holding something in their teeth, which helped define what they did, she said. In summer 2011 she first entered the New York University Department of Anthropology and studied general evolution for background purposes. “I had the opportunity to study and look at a variety of things, whether to study Lucy or neanderthals.” Back in school and ASR class for the 2011-2012 year she further investigated what she wanted to do. Perhaps quietly standing behind the curtains waiting to break out at the right moment was her interest in monkeys and connecting their social behavior with anthropological traits, specifically teeth. The moment came when she learned of French primatologist Bernard Thierry’s definitive work on social behavior in female macaque monkeys and their hierarchal steepness and related aggressive behaviors.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

She had now found a springboard to carry her research to the next level. Titled “Female Dominance Hierarchies as Predictor of Relative Canine Size Dimorphism in Macaca Genus,” she set out to prove Mr. Thierry’s work through corroboration: She studied the size of canine teeth in the monkeys that could

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define their behaviors. The larger the canine tooth in the female, the more aggressive, or intolerant, they were. During her studies in summer 2012 at NYU she set about measuring both male and female canine plaster casts she was given: their length, width and breadth. (continued on page 3)

TOP: JOSHUA POLLOCK of Kennedy is surrounded by, from left, Advanced Science Research teachers Barbara Franklin, Helmut Schlieth and Barbie Frank. ABOVE: EMMA McNAMARA of Calhoun is surrounded by, from left, ASR teachers Jennifer Pefanis, Kim Lascarides and Nick Pappas. AT LEFT: COREY WALD of Mepham is surrounded by, from left, ASR teachers Dr. David Kommor, Jeannette Spargifiore and Lorri Geraci. NAMES MAKE THE NEWS: Read about y our neighbors! 75 local people’s names were in your community newspaper this past week. Maybe y ours is in this week! See inside.

Violence in our schools addressed page 8

NM civic discusses legislative redistricting page 12

To your health page 10, 11 & 12

Who will be Mer ricks F i r s t B a b y o f t h e Ye a r ? page 12


by Erin Donohue

laborative effort with its neighboring departments, and has an active relationship with their friends to the south, in Merrick. Chief Michael Gargan of the Merrick Fire Department, Friendship Firehouse, is a longtime member and a native of the community. To point out a highlight of the year is tough in a department like his. It covers a wide and varied area, from the residential community to the waterfront area and major roadways like Sunrise Highway, he said. When asked the most memorable part(s) of Sandy, there were so many challenges the Merrick volunteers experienced it was hard to pin down just one, he said. “We removed kids and the sick from flooded homes using a boat,” said Chief Gargan. “We had two major house fires, one in which we had to go under water to hook up the hose line because the road was flooded.” Perhaps the most endearing rescue to members happened when one of their own, recovering from illness and not mobile, needed to be transported from his home to the hospital. When members of the department responded they realized they needed to remove downed trees from the home before they could remove him from their home. “It was a hectic situation,” reflected Chief Gargan. But one

they were completely prepared and trained for. The Merrick Fire Department remained staffed for a week post-storm Sandy. While doing so, the Friendship Firehouse held a hugely successful clothing, food and everything-but-the-kitchensink drive. They collected various items to help aid those in need here and in the Long Beach area. Scott Resnick, a 17-year member and an assistant chief of the Bellmore-Merrick EMS, said there were approximately 800 calls in 2012. During Sandy, it received calls from mutual aids and high water rescue support to setting up its mobile command unit as far away as The Rockaways. Bellmore-Merrick EMS has roughly 65 active members and is distinct in how it runs its volunteer service. Members are assigned shifts of 8-12 hours a week in staffing their station at the corner of Grand Avenue and Newbridge Road in Bellmore. Having inhouse crews available at almost any hour ensures a quick response time. This setup also draws membership from all over Long Island. Mr. Resnick lives in Mastic. Bellmore-Merrick EMS has a mobile field medical/command unit that it staffs at Wantagh Park in support of the Red Cross efforts. With it they were able to provide treatment and warmth for resi(continued on page 13)

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The first responders who serve the Merricks are amazing individuals. Whether it is their job or their volunteer affiliation, these men and women who answer our community’s call are at the top of their game. This year the Merrick Chamber of Commerce broke with tradition to honor these brave people as the Men and Women of the Year – an award that normally requires a letter of nomination and a vote by committee. It was decided to take a moment and recognize these groups, especially after the devastation of superstorm Sandy. North Merrick’s Fire Department answered approximately 1,100 calls in 2012, according to First Assistant Chief James Rogers. “When the superstorm hit many of the calls were for trees falling on homes, wires down and gas

leaks. There were no major injuries but lots of damage to property,” he reported. Dr. Rogers has been a volunteer for 23 years. “I always loved helping people, it’s hard to explain [the actual reason I do it], but it is dangerous work.” North Merrick’s fire department has dedicated volunteers who, during the first week of the storm, staffed the sole firehouse on Camp Avenue around the clock, being away from their families. What does being a firefighter teach you? Merrick Life asked. “You learn camaraderie and skills that you can take with you anywhere in life, whether you choose to go into paid service in other departments or not. You learn a lot here.” The fire department has forged a col-

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Facing challenges Kennedy student Joshua Pollock’s twin brother is on the autism spectrum so it was a “no brainer” that Joshua wanted to embark on a project in his ASR class that could reveal more about the disorder to add to the growing literature. During 10th grade he read all he could about autism in such journals as the Neuron Journal. He also read that most children on the autism spectrum were highly functioning, as his brother is. He further knew from experience that children on the spectrum are taught from

autism experience. During his first summer with Dr. Keith Scafritz, a psychologist at Hofstra, he embarked on developing an emotional STROOP test, a variant of the well-known STROOP test that measures differences in reactions to various criteria. Having decided he wanted to study

their earliest ages how to recognize facial expressions, as it is known that these children are not as quick at recognizing those expressions. “They can smile when they are happy, but they can’t understand the expression in others, they can’t empathize with others’ feelings,” to understand the expression, he said of the deficit children with

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“There was a 3D machine that could have measured the volume of the tooth, but the machine was not working,” she said. Male canine sizes are always larger, she said, perhaps because males had more pressures socially, and because they had more competition among them that requires larger canine teeth. From those measurements – of the tops and bottoms of the canine teeth – she entered them into a computer, putting them up on an Excel spreadsheet to see if there could be a correlation between Dr. Thierry’s data of aggressive traits in hierarchies and the sizes of canine teeth in the 11 species of female macaques she had measured. Through the numbers crunching she discovered data that indicated that those female species that were more intolerant – or aggressive – had larger canines than those female species that were more tolerant, or less aggressive. She had corroborated, indeed proved, Dr. Thierry’s observations of the degrees of aggressive hier-

archies in female macaques by using anthropological traits – teeth – to do so. The study clarified how societies are impacted by anthropological traits, she said. Emma hopes to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, to study anthropology and get her doctorate in anthropology. She has applied to New York University and Boston University, just in case. She is secretary general of the Model United Nations class.

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CHSD Intel semifinalists shine!


Merrick Life • Thursday, January 17, 2013 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

Member Of Chamber of Commerce Since 1928

Publisher Linda Laursen Toscano x 19 Editor Paul Laursen x 20 Supervisor Nicolas Toscano Assistant Editors Erin Donohue x 29 Pat McKay x 29 Sales Manager Jill Bromberg x 16 Production Manager Marilyn Loheide Staff Writer Laura Schofer Webmaster Erin Dobohue Olimpia Santaniello x 11 Joan Oliva x 23 Ann Johnson x 14 Elaine Spiro x 17 Etta Rosenberg x 15 Mattie Shalofsky x 12 Kathleen Murphy x 25 Elaine Groder x 10 Joyce Mac Monigle Graphic Artists Ilana Redler x 22 Pat McKay x 22 Judy Ammerman x 22

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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

When life imitates art Mahatma Gandhi freed millions living in the Indian subcontinent from British colonial rule through nonviolent protest. How fortunate we were that American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. took note and also chose nonviolent civil disobedience to fight for racial equality. It worked, and though the struggle cost lives, the choice of nonviolent protest spared many more. Ironically, Martin Luther King Jr. himself came to a violent end, felled by an assassin’s bullet. It would honor his name if this nation can come together around the holiday of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and express our concerns about gun violence. Hollywood glorifies gun violence way too much. So do the video games our children and grandchildren play. Those games dehumanize the victims and make killing other human beings seem like a sport. The problem starts when life imitates art, and the fictional becomes reality as it does for some with mental health problems. We saw it happen at Columbine High School, at Virginia Tech, at an Aurora movie theatre, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. and most recently at a California high school. Just last week, a former student was reported to have threatened to kill everybody at North Bellmore’s Mepham High School. That hits too close to home. When are violent video games just a way of letting off steam, and when do they become something more dangerous? Confidential to those who want to make a difference in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.: From the poem “Outwitted” by Edwin Markham: “He drew a circle that shut me out – Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle and took him in.”

WINNING STROKES: Rob Kaefer, center, has been selected as Newsday’s 2012 Coach of the Year for the CHSD’s Girls Aquatic Team, as well as swim Coach of the Year by the Nassau County Girls Swim Coaches Association – his second by the association. Mr. Kaefer has been teaching in the district for 19 years, his 17th year coaching the girls swim team. He started coaching both the boys and girls teams because of his own love of the sport. This was also the first year that Mr. Kaefer coached the girls swim team to their first-ever Conference 1 Title. With him are board Trustee Skip Haile and Superintendent Dr. Henry Kiernan.

meandering around merrick OH BABY! It’s that time of year once more when Merrick Life begins its search for all newborn babies who were born in the 11566 postal zip code on or as close to January 1 as possible. The entry deadline is Thursday, January 31, at 5 p.m. Send entries to Merrick Life, 1840 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, 11566 or email your information to lmedit@optimum.net. The exact time of birth must be certified by the attending physician. ©©© SEPTA MEETING: North Merrick SEPTA is meeting on Wednesday, January 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Old Mill Road Elementary School Cafeteria. Guests include Lisa Freeman and Evelyn Kashinsky, cofounders of Steps2Socialization in Port Washington, who will discuss the skills that are important to navigating the social world. Please come and join! ©©© ATTENTION: The Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Laundry service at Cedar Creek Park has closed. If you forgot to pick up laundry from the service, the bags of clothing are still there for you to pick up. The remaining laundry bags and check-off book are at the Cedar Creek Park administration building, parking field 7. The hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. There are many bags there. If you have your ticket, bring it. If not, and remember your number, you might be able to recognize your clothing. After January 31 any clothing that was left behind will be donated. For information call 571-7470. ©©© CINDERELLA: Plaza Theatrical Productions presents “Cinderella” at the Bellmore ShowPlace at the Bellmore Movies on Saturday, January 19 and 26, and Monday, January 21, at 11 a.m. The classic fairy tale springs to life in this fast-paced musical production! Tickets are $10 per person. The performance runs for one hour and is followed by a meet and greet with the cast. Birthday parties are welcome! For individual and group ticket information and reservations,

call Plaza Theatrical Productions at 599-6870, or visit online at www.plazatheatrical.com. The ShowPlace is at 222 Pettit Avenue. ©©© SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: A Special Meeting of the Board of Education of North Merrick Union Free School District Number 29 will be held on Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. in the Conference Room of the Harold D. Fayette School, 1057 Merrick Avenue, North Merrick, New York. The public is invited to attend. ©©© GRIEVE YOUR TAX County ASSESSMENT: Legislator Denenberg presents a workshop on how to file a grievance of your assessment with the Assessment Reviews Commission. The filing period is from January 2-March 1. Experts provide assistance, guidance and information on the process. A question-and-answer session and one-on-one assistance follows. Venues include Tuesday, January 29, at 7:30 p.m., North Merrick Library, 1691 Meadowbrook Road, North Merrick; and Friday, February 8, at 1 p.m., Merrick Library, 2279 Merrick Avenue, Merrick. For information call the legislator’s office at 571-6219. ©©© FREE SUPPLIES FOR SANDY VICTIMS: Senator Charles J. Fuschillo Jr. (RMerrick) and Long Island Cares will sponsor free supply distribution program in Wantagh to help residents affected by Hurricane Sandy. COUNTY EXECUTIVE MANGANO TO SPEAK AT SMCCA: The South Merrick Community Civic Association will host a special meeting on Tuesday, January 29, 7 p.m., at the Merrick Road Park Golf Course Clubhouse located at 2550 Clubhouse Road. Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano is the featured guest speaker. Representatives from various

The programs will take place at the following location: • Tuesday, January 22, at Wantagh Park, at 1 King Road in Wantagh, just off of Merrick Road, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. At the program, Long Island Cares will distribute the following items free of charge to families who have been affected by superstorm Sandy • cleaning supplies • protective masks • trash bags • heaters • blankets • water • nonperishable food • pet food • plastic storage bins. Long Island Cares will serve individuals on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. No appointments are required. For information call Senator Fuschillo’s office at 882-0630 or Long Island Cares at 631-582FOOD. ©©© LEARN TO SPEAK The Irish GAELIC: Studies Institute at Molly College will offer five beginning and intermediate courses in IrishGaelic language and Gaelic culture for adults and children on Saturdays, February 9 through May 11. Level 1 (no previous Irish needed) will additionally survey the Irish Gaelic Literary tradition; Levels 2-4 will explore Irish mythology; and Level 5 will practice the sean-nós singing tradition. Tuition is $160 for adults and $120 for children (a 25% discount). For information about these classes, see www.irishtribes.com/molly.html. To register for the class, follow that link or contact Catherine Tully Muscente at 678-500 x6218 and cmuscente@molly.edu. county departments are expected to be on hand to help residents with post Hurricane Sandy questions. School security will also be discussed with an update from SMCCA’s School Security Committee. Refreshments will be served. All residents are welcome to attend. Contact SMCCA at 978-8310 or southmerrickcca@yahoo.com if you have any questions.


facial recognition, he wrote a paper titled “Emotional Face Recognition.” He and the doctor set about developing the test that would overlay words on facial expressions – in this case the word happy over a happy facial expression – to determine how long it would take for children on the spectrum to understand it. Likewise, they would overlay the word fear on a happy face to determine how long it took the children to discern between the word and the emotion displayed. The test included a “deadline” time in which the children had to recognize the face with the word, or word with the face. Joshua and the doctor determined a time of 2-1/2 seconds, or .075 seconds to show the face and the overlay word, and a time of 1.75 seconds with a simple “fixation cross” indicating down time. “We tested it ourselves to see how it would work, that it complied with the standard STROOP test” for adhering to methods of studying reaction times, Joshua said. Joshua told this newspaper he then brought in friends of his to serve as controls. “We gave them the test to record what they did right or wrong, and gauged the response time in milliseconds.” The controlled reaction for a happy face with the happy word overlayed was .525 milliseconds. The happy face-fear word reaction time was .553 milliseconds. “There is a similar time for using fear words overlayed on fear facial expressions,” he said. They next recruited children who had Asperger’s, and children who, were moderately functioning on the spectrum.

Joshua said that he and Doctor Scafritz then hypothesized that STROOP would not exist, that “with deficits, the children would look past STROOP (reaction time).” “Children would take more time with reactions, it would naturally take them longer to understand words relating facial expressions with those words.” But both he and the doctor discovered they were wrong in their initial hypothesis. What they found when testing those with Asperger’s was a .484 millisecond reaction time to congruent trials (happy word with happy face), and a .550 millisecond reaction time to an incongruent trial (happy word with fearful face). “In the fear reaction data [fear face, fear word; fear face, happy word] there was an even bigger gap. For moderately functioning children on the spectrum the reaction time was .592 milliseconds for the congruent trial, and .658 milliseconds for the incongruent trials. “We didn’t expect there to be such a big difference in reaction time,” Joshua said. What he and the doctor believed was at work in Asperger’s children was that their early childhood work in developing social skills in which to recognize faces had helped them. “They reacted very fast to happy faces,” he said, because Asperger’s children are higher functioning. He added that moderately functioning children had a bigger deficit in recognizing fearful faces than happy faces, as shown in the reaction time (.658). Reaction time for the control group as a whole was .553 milliseconds. Joshua told this newspaper he will

attend Cornell University and study neurology or biology. He wants to be a surgeon. He is a member of the Science Club and Model Congress. You can also see him at work at Moo lala in Merrick. Weather to be - or not Corey Wald loves baseball, and since entering the ASR class in 10th grade he was determined to use baseball statistics to prove a point, as there are quite a lot of statistics out there that can prove almost anything. And this from a student with his future sights on becoming a medical researcher. His first thought was to prove there was a correlation between a baseball player’s salary and his earned run average (ERA). This ultimately would prove too difficult because players’ salaries are private, and there was no database to access information about salaries. He continued his research in class until he came upon a study by Kent University graduate student Wes P. Kent, who studied the impact of cloud cover on Major League Baseball between 1987 and 2002. “I reached out to him,” Corey told this newspaper. “I learned he had paid for his data,” which included all those years and several variables. 7419JN1311ES

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In the summer between 10th and 11th grades he began research in earnest after he developed a new hypothesis that pitchers would do better during increased percentages of cloud cover while, inversely, pitchers fared more poorly the worse the cloud cover became. The title of his project was “The Sky’s the Limit – an Investigation of Cloud Cover on Major League Baseball Performance.” Unlike fellow district student winners, Corey did his research at home and at school, not at a university lab. “I found a database called baseballreference.com that had the baseball statistics I was after,” he said. The database went back at least five years, and 5,000 games. He then contacted Dr. Sheridan at Kent State University, who directed him to a website that contained cloud cover percentage data of airports at all major cities. Corey felt confident he could use these precise databases to prove his theory. Once combing the databases for what he thought was essential for his theory, he contacted Dr. Bernard Gorman, a consultant for the school district. He also teaches at Hofstra University and Nassau Community College, and uses (continued on page 11)

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Page 5 Thursday, January 17, 2013 • Merrick Life

CHSD Intel semifinalists shine!


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Merrick Life • Thursday, January 17, 2013 Page 6

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


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Page 7 Thursday, January 17, 2013 • Merrick Life


Violence in schools – How we are addressing it

by Laura Schofer One of the earliest recorded incidents of violence in a primary school took place in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, on July 26, 1764, when four Lenape warriors shot and scalped 11 children in a schoolhouse. Historically, most incidents of school violence were one-on-one encounters, such as

the shooting of one teenage boy by another boy in a washroom of Massapequa High School in 1958. But the climate veered drastically in April 1999 when Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennett Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, armed with multiple guns and explosives and killed 12 students, one

teacher, and injured 21 more students before committing suicide. “This was a game changer,” said Nassau police Sergeant Kevin McCarthy, after playing a recording of the 911 call of that incident to a group of school and other public officials who attended a Shooter Awareness Seminar at Adelphi University last week. The program, given by the Nassau County Police Department, was aimed at ensuring public safety in our schools, libraries, hospitals and other public places. The goal of the seminar was to ensure public safety by coordinating the county’s protocols. “The other incident that helped to change police tactics was the Virginia Tech massacre,” said Sergeant McCarthy. “April seems to be a trigger month, something

about Hitler’s birthday.” In a self-made video recording by Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho to the media, he refers to the Columbine incident as one of his motivations.“We have learned a lot of what we should do in such instances,” Sergeant McCarthy explained. Prior to Columbine and Virginia Tech, police followed the traditional tactics of surrounding a building, setting up a perimeter and containing damage. But the profile of these active shooters indicates they are not looking to be captured and will commit suicide. Therefore, the police have changed their tactics and now have a plan in place to neutralize the shooter as quickly as possible. Sergeant Michael Savino, representing the police academy, added that the depart(continued on page 15)

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Health


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Cold weather spells danger for your feet by Drs. Leon Livingston and Douglas Livingston Now that the weather is getting colder, there are new concerns for the health of your feet. All too often we see cases of painful frostbite. Frostbite happens when the skin is exposed to freezing temperatures. The body tissue actually freezes and ice crystals form within the frozen body part. Blood cannot flow through the frozen tissue and the tissue becomes deprived of blood and oxygen. The combination of freezing and oxygen deprivation causes tissue damage or tissue death. Ironically, extreme care has to be taken in rewarming the tissue or further damage can result. The risk factors for frostbite include medical conditions such as thyroid problems, infection, disease of the blood ves-

sels, arthritis and diabetes. Other risk factors are exposure to freezing temperatures without adequate covering, low body temperature, age (the very young and very old are more often affected) wearing fatigue, wet clothing or working in freezing conditions. Ironically, temperature at 32 degrees Fahrenheit can be low enough to cause frostbite. Frostbite most frequently affects the parts of the body farthest from the heart, which is why the feet are frequently affected.

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There are three degrees of frostbite. The first degree is frostnip and only affects the surface skin. There is itching and pain and the skin develops white, red and yellow patches. In second-degree frostbite, the skin may freeze and harden. Blisters form and may become hard and blackened but they usually heal in about one month. In third-and fourth-degree frostbite, the muscles, tendons, blood vessels and nerves freeze. The skin is hard and feels waxy. Purplish blisters are generally blood-filled. Nerve damage in the area

can result in a loss of feeling. In the most severe cases gangrene can result and lead to amputations. Treatment for frostbite centers on rewarming the affected area slowly with restriction of movement, which can cause the ice crystals that have formed in the tissue to do further damage. Splinting and/or wrapping frostbitten extremities are recommended to prevent damaging movement. Rubbing, massaging, shaking or otherwise applying physical force to frostbitten tissues in an attempt to rewarm them can be harmful. Using any type of device to rewarm the affected area should only be performed under proper medical supervision. Visit Livingston Foot Care Specialists at 1685 Newbridge Road, North Bellmore, or call 826-0103 to address any concerns you may have regarding your foot health.

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Merrick Life • Thursday, January 17, 2013 Page 10

Good news for a healthier Life

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Page 11

Good news for a healthier Life

After becoming the president of Tutors for a Cure, a successful Kennedy High School-based organization that donates a percentage of its profits from tutoring to the American Cancer Society, Justin 11th-grader Neugeboren had an idea. Music lessons are pretty expensive these days, so why not get some of the great student musicians from the high school and have them do music tutoring as well, with the same charitable stance of the rest of the organization? With that, Justin, as well as Briana Krackow, Dan Janis, Austin Koeningstein and Anastassia Thibodeau began tutoring younger kids in everything from saxophone to electric guitar through a new branch of Tutors for a Cure called Music for a Cure.

Justin has always been involved with music. He started taking piano lessons at the age of 7, and has branched out into other instruments through the years. And, as he’s been involved in music, he has also been involved with the American Cancer Society for sometime. In fact, he performed with Calhoun High School alumna Spencer Carrion at the Bellmore-Merrick Relay for Life. So far, Music for a Cure has been successful: its music tutors teach lots of lessons, and 25% of the profits going to the American Cancer Society is growing every week. To further illustrate how competent the members of this organization are, they’ve done nearly everything by themselves, a handful of talented high school students working in a field where they love to

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CHSD Intel semifinalists shine! from page 5 SPSS statistical software to do extensive number crunching. Corey had Dr. Gorman enter information that would reflect four categories of cloud cover: 0-29%, 30-79%, 80-100% and night games as control. “Night games I used as the control” because there are no shadows and no glare. The data he got back from the numbercrunching on those four categories helped prove his theory, that the more cloud cover there was during afternoon games the better the batter did because, as Corey explained, there was less glare and fewer shadows the batter had to contend with

when there was no sun out. At the same time, because increased cloud cover helped batters hit better, it made pitchers look worse because players were getting more hits off of them. Corey wished to thank Dr. Kommor at Mepham for mentoring him during summer and throughout the process. Corey has applied to nine schools, but hopes to get into Johns Hopkins to study biomedical engineering. “I would like to be a medical researcher and cure something,” he said with a smile. He is vice-president of Mepham’s Students Against Destructive Decisions, and a member of both the National and Science Honor Societies, among others.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013 • Merrick Life

Tutoring music for a cure


by Sharon Jonas

5% of the average district and guided by the Voting Rights Act, which prevents racial and minority groups from being unjustly split causing loss of voting power. A group of five Democratic and five Republican commissioners must follow these rules and work together to prevent compromising either party’s power. A nonvoting Republican chairman, Francis Maroney, was appointed by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano to oversee the process. Bonnie Garone, one of the Democratic commissioners in attendance, commented that on January 3 a vote on the two distinctly different maps created by each party ended with the Democrats abstaining as the Republicans refused to engage in any dialogue or respond to written requests to negotiate. “There was never any communication – never – between the Democratic and Republican commissioners and not for

The monthly meeting of the North Merrick Civic Association (NMCA) on Tuesday evening focused on the proposed redistricting plans for Nassau County’s 19 legislative districts. Claudia Borecky, NMCA’s president, said that three groups – Democrats, Republicans and a nonpartisan organization – each with their own redistricting maps were invited to speak. The Republican commissioners were unavailable and did not send representatives to attend. Brian Paul, representing Common Cause, a New York-based, nonpartisan group with a philosophy of ‘Holding Power Accountable,’ explained the principles of redistricting. Every 10 years the districts must be redrawn based on population size provided by the last census. The redrawing rules include making sure each district is within

lack of effort on our part.” Ms. Garone said Commissioner Moroney failed to communicate as well. “You cannot negotiate with yourself.” She said that 10 years ago when the Democrats had the majority and held more power, the maps were clearly fair as both Democrats and Republicans ended up winning elections. “There needs to be balance and…they need to listen to the public.” Mr. Paul said, “With this kind of party dysfunction going on, Common Cause NY joined with five other groups to put forth a third, nonpartisan alternative.” In order to remain neutral, he said, “We did not use any political data whatsoever.” Their alternative is called the United Reform Map. The three oversized maps were presented by Mr. Paul and can be viewed on the website www.commoncause.org/newyork. He called the Republican version, “an outright political gerrymander” designed specifically to attain their political goals. The Democratic version made as little legal change as possible and the Common Cause version, he said, took a “common sense” approach that grouped communities with shared interests such as Bellmore and Merrick, and The Five Towns together. The new districts must be voted on by a March 5 deadline. Mr. Paul said Common Cause is demanding that the map they vote on be released for public review a month in advance. The legislature has given no indication regarding what it plans to do. Guest speaker Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, executive director of the Democratic Commissioners, explained that a charter does offer guidelines to the redistricting process, but it is “vague just like many

laws.” She said it unfortunately does not require a public hearing or recognize the importance of public input. While the commission did hold some hearings, Democrats held more of them and started earlier in the summer to get the process underway. The last hearing on Janurary 3 attracted over 300 citizens who were “upset not because three [Democratic] incumbents were put into one community, but because communities were divided…[causing] voices to be dissolved.” When Ms. Garone added that the rules include that districts be compact and contiguous, Ms. Borecky pointed out that the Republican map that joins south Massapequa with parts of Oceanside clearly ignores this because the areas are separated by water. Ms. Corcoran-Doolin called that division “egregious.” Both Republican and Democratic residents expressed their frustration and disappointment with the plans and the process. Morris Levine, a resident of North Merrick, suggested a referendum vote allowing the people to make the final decision. He also thought a petition could generate a response. Ms. Corcoran-Doolin suggested contacting Mr. Mangano’s office because he is the bottom line and he can veto a legislativeapproved map. Police report Sergeant Rob Cohen from the First Precinct gave a police report highlighting the major incidents over the last month and a half. There were no burglaries or crime pat(continued on page 15)

Will your baby be the Merricks’ First Baby of the Year? Merrick Life is searching for all newborn babies who were born on or as close to January 1 as possible. If you live in the Merricks, and are expecting a baby in January, then Merrick Life would like to feature your baby as the First Baby of the Year. An assortment of gifts awaits the family of the first baby born in Merrick. $10 gift card from FroYo Frenzy; $25 gift certificate from Merrick Bagel Café; a special gift from stride rite of Merrick; Children’s books from North Merrick Public Library; $10 gift certificate from Garfield Pharmacy; $100 for birth Printing announcements from Emporium; free package of disposable

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Merrick Life • Thursday, January 17, 2013 Page 12

Nor th Merrick civics discuss legislative redistricting

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ATTACHED IS A CERTIFIED STATEMENT BY MY ATTENDING PHYSICIAN Entries must be received by Thursday, January 31, at 5 p.m..


summers boating with his friends on his Uniflite houseboat named the Lady Anne, his family stated. In lieu of flowers, you can make donations to Tidewell Hospice of Sarasota, 5955 Rand Boulevard, Sarasota, Florida 34238. The amily will receive friends Tuesday, January 22, from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home, 603 Wantagh Avenue, Wantagh. Burial will be on Wednesday, January 23, at Pinelawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Thursday, January 17, 2013 • Merrick Life

Hayward Robbins Hayward Robbins of Longboat Key, Florida, formerly of Merrick, died on January 12 at his condo in his 89th year. He was the husband of the late Anne and the late Delores. father of Linda (Robert), Gary and Judy (Burt). Papa of Burt (Emily), Kristin (Michael), Thomas, Robert and Elizabeth. A retired New York City firefighter and WW II Marine veteran, he was a member of the Tobay Yacht Club and enjoyed his

Page 13

lifepassing

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dents who were unable to receive care elsewhere. They spent about two weeks onsite before answering a request for support over in The Rockaways with the mobile command unit. In the two months-plus post-storm the equipment – the only type of such mobile support for a volunteer organization on Long Island, according to Mr. Resnick – has seen a lot of action and now is facing significant repair work. The Bellmore-Merrick EMS receives no tax dollars and relies solely on donations to keep its station running. The North Bellmore Fire Department covers a significant area of North Merrick. The fire department protects 4.3 square miles of community encompassing all of North Bellmore, stretching to encompass parts of Wantagh, East Meadow, Bellmore, North Merrick and Levittown. In 2012 it answered a total of 1,353 alarms and specifically, during the two storms days with superstorm Sandy, it responded to 158 calls between October 29 and 30. Mark Collins, first assistant chief for North Bellmore department, was in charge during the storm period. His most memorable experience happened

when they responded to a car fire during the height of the storm. “A tree had fallen, causing a downed wire that energized a car in a Midian Street [North Merrick] driveway. We responded to the car fire, working to contain it to the car in order to save the home. There were trees falling while we were on scene.” It was very treacherous, he remarked, but in the end successful and the homeowner expressed gratitude for their effort. The Nassau County Police Department’s First Precinct, Seventh Precinct and Auxiliary Division will also be represented at the Merrick Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Installation and First Responders Dinner on Thursday night, January 24. “We are a fortunate community to have such well-trained and civic-minded personnel in our midst,” said dinner organizer Doug Mills. “This event, where we will honor these groups, is open to the entire community.” To come out and show your appreciation for their efforts, RSVP by calling 771-1171 or by emailing merrickchamber@aol.com. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. at Chateau Briand on Old Country Road in Westbury. Tickets are $65 each.

603 Wantagh Ave. Wantagh, NY 11793 516-731-5550 fax: 516-731-1279

Merrick L ife

from page 2

The newspaper is a living textbook and can help your child succeed in school and learn about their community. Reading a newspaper will improve your child’s reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Subscribe to your local newspaper for your child’s sake.

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applicants prior to hiring and child abuse reporting requirements. In Bellmore and Merrick Two recent incidents, one involving Mepham High School and the other concerning Calhoun High School, show how a quick response can keep an incident from occurring. And in North Merrick last year, the effectiveness of the North Merrick School District’s SAVE plan kept students out of harms way when an armed gunman, who had carjacked a vehicle, was kept from getting into the gym at Fayette School, thanks to the lockdown procedures. Detective Sergeant Pat Ryder of the Nassau police Intelligence Unit said detectives monitor websites, including “Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and we are linked in for role-playing games. We join in. We are given hints and signals (if there is a problem).The planning stage can provide information about the person and the incident. We need to get to the shooter before he gets to us.” It was some of these very methodologies that helped stop these terrorist acts in their tracks. “We had 20 cases of a terrorist threat [a possible shooting at a school or public facility] and made 15 arrests, including three last year – Massapequa High School in September [method, a bomb]; Westbury Middle School in December [Facebook message threatening a shooting] and then Mepham High School,” he said. “It’s the smoke before the fire. We have to smell the smoke so there is no fire,” concluded Chief Skrynecki. North Merrick’s Superintendent David Feller added that as educators, “we need to identify kids that are being bullied or are troubled so they don’t grow up to have grievances that are addressed

through horrendous acts. That’s why it is so important to have mental health workers to help them.” Mr. Feller said, “It’s imporant to create a climate where children are accepted for who they are. We must listen to the kids and hear what they are saying.”

NM civic discuss redistricting from page 12 terns to report, but two robberies were committed. The first, at the Fast Break Deli on Merrick Avenue, was at gun point and the other, at the USA gas station on Jerusalem Avenue, was with a knife. There were also three grand larcenies and one report of criminal mischief. Sargeant Cohen said that directed patrols are being employed by the police to focus on problem areas. This tactic concentrates police and plainclothes officers for six hours during the day and six at night in locations with known criminal activity. Regarding school threats, he said that the response has changed over the years and police are now taught to enter a building if alone and not wait for a SWAT team or other backup. He said police have their own training, but another active shooter seminar will be held this Friday, January 18, at Adelphi University and those interested in attending can call the precinct. He had no definite information on the First and Seventh Precincts merging, saying only that, “hopefully, it won’t happen.”

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ment has trained “2,400 members and was working with schools and other public officials” to help keep the public safe from active shooters. Nassau Chief of Police Steven Skrynecki defined an active shooter as someone who has used deadly physical force on other persons and continues to do do while having unrestricted access to additional victims. This could include deadly physical force by means of a gun, knife or other weapons. Chief Skrynecki added that the incidents of targeted violence at school were rarely sudden impulsive acts. “This person is usually male, maladjusted and isolated,” he said. Sergeant Savino said this individual is also “heavily armed – as if he is playing a violent video game, and may be prepared for sustained engagement. He is usually familiar with the facility.” Sergeant Savino played a police training video for audience members and told them, “you need to be prepared so you know our intentions and how to interact with us.” “We are coming and we know what to do,” said Sergeant McCarthy. “We are prepared and you must be prepared as well,” he told the audience.

Know and enact the plan Detective Sergeant William Leahy of U.S. Homeland Security told audience members that “the social reality has changed. You must look at your facilities and evaluate them. Conduct a hazard-andrisk assessment; identify areas of improvement. What upgrades and repairs need to be made? Identify areas for personnel training. The key is to take offenders off target,” he said. “Remember that offenders learn from each other, so what’s next? Think out of the box because he is thinking out of the box.” To address issues of school safety and violence prevention, the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act (Project SAVE) was passed by the state Legislature and signed into law on July 24, 2000. Project SAVE provides teachers and other school personnel opportunities to be involved in the development of school district policies and procedures relating to safe schools, said the website of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). Each school district must have districtwide safety plans, building-level emergency response plans and codes of conduct for students that must be reviewed and revised, if necessary, on an annual basis. Project SAVE also provides for other safety measures, including uniform reporting of violent incidents in schools, fingerprinting and criminal history background checks of school district job

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Violence in schools – How we are addressing it

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Merrick Life • Thursday, January 17, 2013 Page 16

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