Category Archives: Levittown Tribune

Robodawgs Put Island Trees On The Map

According to the team’s advisor, Dr. Andrew Sass, the group was first inspired to enter the contest after attending a presentation at Half Hallows High School, last October, where the students were able to meet the researchers behind the Incredible Bionic Man. He said that when people ask why the group of high schoolers decided to enter the contest by building a bionic arm-hand combination—a robotic body part that researchers said was the most challenging to construct—that he would reply much the same way as George Mallory did when he climbed Mt. Everest. “Because it was there,” Sass said.

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 25, 2013 edition of the Levittown Tribune

Levittown Opera Singer Kathryn Wieckhorst

 

Before graduating from Division Avenue High School, Levittown-native Kathryn Wieckhorst would never have guessed her vocal talent would someday land her center stage, performing in such world-renowned venues like Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Festival of the Aegean in Greece and Festival Junger Künstler in Bayreuth, Germany.

She first realized her love of music in fourth grade when she decided to try her hands at performing cello. “Funny enough, I wanted to play something I didn’t have to put my mouth on,” Wieckhorst said, jokingly.

Unlike many of her friends at the time, Wieckhorst wasn’t listening to any of the pop music hits. Instead, she would ride her bike over to the Levittown Public Library to rent CDs of classical composers.

This story originally appeared in the May 23, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Opt Outs Impact Testing

As children all across Long Island head off to school, kids in grades 3-8 brace themselves for a new round of the New York State Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematics exams.

In response to concerns from school officials, parents, and teachers regarding the level of testing administered to children in grades 3-8,  U.S. Rep. Steve Israel joined 12 of Long Island’s school district superintendents, on Sept. 8, to present new legislation that would reduce the number of tests taken by students in grades 3-8.

“While some testing is essential to ensure that our students are actually learning what is being taught, I share the same concerns as many of our local superintendents and parents,” Israel said. “We are over-testing our students and stifling their creativity.”

This past year 1,136,069 students statewide took the Common Core ELA and Math assessments—a decrease of 45,000 from last year—according to the New York State Department of Education.

This story originally appeared in the Sept. 25, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

DPW Decision Called Into Question

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

School Zone Tickets Nulled

Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.

Drivers across Nassau County were up in arms due to the recent implementation of the school zone cameras, which had issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

According to Chris Mistron, director of Nassau County Traffic Safety, while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours were considered a violation period.

“We didn’t utilize a warning period of sorts,” Mistron told the Levittown Tribune, acknowledging the shock some residents experienced after receiving a violation in the mail.

This story first appeared in the Aug. 27, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune

Veteran Spotlight: U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 27, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Veteran Spotlight: U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Peter D’Angelo

After graduating from MacArthur High School in the fall of 1994, United States Marine Corps Veteran Sgt. Peter D’Angelo attended one semester at C.W. Post before he decided to drop out and join the military.

“I couldn’t afford it,” D’Angelo said, “so I enlisted.”

Once finished with his basic training at Paris Island, S.C., D’Angelo was assigned to an administrative position in Arlington, Va. There, Deangelo would be put in charge of payroll… until one day when opportunity knocked.

This story first appeared in the Levittown Tribune on Aug. 22, 2014.

County Kicks Trees To The Curb

Seaman's Neck Park Photo/Meetup.com

Seaman’s Neck Park
Photo/Meetup.com

Residents are in a fervor over Nassau County’s recent decision to remove 176 oak trees along a mile-and-a-half stretch of Seaman’s Neck Road.

“It’s outrageous,” said local resident Lee Gardner. “It changed the entire landscape.”

Like most of her neighbors, Gardner said she was shocked, since the county did not notify residents.

Mike Martino, a spokesperson with the Nassau County Department of Public Works said the trees were removed because they posed an immediate danger to pedestrians in the area.

“The county had to act,” Martino said. “We had to do this job.”

However, Gardner and other residents say that the county had other options to fix the sidewalks, other than removing nearly 200 completely healthy trees.

“Every tree that was taken down was 40 to 50 years old,” Gardner said, adding that her next door neighbor had paid to fix a part of the sidewalk in front of her house, and her tree was still taken down. “I am furious with Ed Mangano.”

Though the county did not give residents a say in the matter, Martino said the DPW will be replanting trees along Seaman’s Neck Road in the fall.

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 21, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune. 

Smile, You’re on School Zone Camera

Photo/Antonnews.com

Nassau County drivers are up in arms due to the recent implementation of school zone speed cameras, which have issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents beef with the county’s speed cameras stems from the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron said that while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours are still considered a violation period.

“We didn’t utilize a warning period of sorts,” Mistron said, acknowledging the shock some residents experienced after receiving a violation in the mail. “I’d like to believe compliance will reduce the number of crashes around areas where these cameras are present.”

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 20, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Veteran Spotlight: U.S. Air Force Radar Repairman Frank Marcinek

Growing up in a large family, U.S. Air Force Veteran Frank Marcinek, 61, of Levittown, was eager to enlist, hoping to someday follow in the footsteps of his father and eight uncles, all of whom served in either World Word II, Korea or Vietnam.

Graduating from Plainedge High School at age 17, Frank wanted to join the Marine Corps, but was let down when he was told he had to be at least 18 to sign up. After high school, Frank got a job with Con Edison and married his high school sweetheart, Pam. By the fall of 1971, Pam would have their first child, Fred, and by the summer of 1972 she would be pregnant again with their second son, Tom.

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 14, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.