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Ebola: Don’t Believe the Hype

With only 11 confirmed and 114 potentially exposed to the West African ebola virus, should our nation of more than 316 million people live in fear of a potential outbreak?

According to the Center for Disease Control, while the 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in recorded history, impacting multiple countries in Western Africa, the risk of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. is very low.

Although the Ebola virus can be spread in a number of ways, it cannot be transmitted by air or by water. A person can only be infected through direct contact with another person who has been contaminated with the virus.

The CDC also said that healthcare providers, family and friends of Ebola patients run the most risk of coming in contact with infected blood or body fluids.

So, if there is such little risk of an outbreak, why has Ebola become such a hot-button issue in the United States?

Perhaps it was the widespread transmission of the disease in countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone? Perhaps it was the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S.? Or, perhaps it was all the attention from politicians and celebrities, like President Barrack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who have taken a vocal stand on fighting the epidemic?

But with all of the buzz surrounding Ebola, its easy to see why so many Americans have succumb to the fear of widespread outbreak.

— Daniel Offner

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.

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.

Levittown Honors Fallen Veterans

Local Boy Scouts woke up at the crack of dawn on May 24 to help veterans flag the graves of the men and women who gave their lives fighting for our country, buried at the Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

“Every grave there gets flagged… no exceptions,” said VFW Post Commander Andy Booth.

Booth said the Boy Scouts of America were extremely helpful, as they are each year, helping place minature American flag at the foot of each headstone. In addition, members of the American Legion Post #1711 in Levittown flag the graves of former members and WWII veterans buried in the cemetery along Wantagh Ave.

This story originally appeared in the June 7, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Federal Case Looms Over Farmingdale

Nearly a decade has passed since nine Hispanic residents first sued the Village of Farmingdale over allegations that the redevelopment of 150 Secatogue Avenue discriminated against the Latino population. Now, almost ten years later, the anti-discrimination case is heading to federal court for a trial in January 2014.

“With most civil litigation, it takes a long time,” said Stefan Krieger, a law professor at Hofstra University who took on the case on behalf of the nine former Farmingdale residents.

“[The individuals] were treated with a total lack of dignity… and we’re not going to let that happen. We’re going to continue to fight.” 

Master Plan Process Extended

The members of the Harrison Town Council have decided to defer approving a new town/village master plan and continue to hear public comment on the document until, at least, the board’s next meeting.

“There is still major work that needs to be done here,” said Councilman Joseph Cannella, a Republican.During a Dec. 3 meeting of the Town Council, residents expressed concerns over the ambiguity of several proposals put forth in the plan, which was drafted by consultants at BFJ Planning. The draft suggests an increase to property lot requirements in the two-family zone, rehashing a controversial proposal that has been the result of an ongoing battle to alter the zoning regulations within the two-family residential “B” zone.

The increase would allow for new development but restricts the 1,500 existing two-family properties to non-conforming status. This means the existing property could remain at the current 5,000 square foot lot requirement, but in the event of a disaster or major modification, a home would have to be rebuilt in a manner conforming to the new code or seek a variance.

Originally appeared in the Dec. 7, 2012 edition of the Harrison Review. 

Veterans Day Parade in Harrison (Nov. 2012)

Veterans Day Parade (Nov. 2012)

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Harrison High School Field Of Honor

Harrison High School Field Of Honor (April 2012)

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