Category Archives: Farmingdale Observer

Q&A with Felix Cavaliere

Their music can be heard across the globe, spreading the timeless message of peace, love, and happiness. The “Young” Rascals first arrived on the scene in the early ‘60s, and within two-to-three years time, they climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list, with nine hit singles, including such chart-toppers as, “Good Lovin,” “Groovin,” and “People Got to Be Free.”

The original Rascals consisted of four kids from Garfield, New Jersey, who were given their shot at the big time after catching the attention of promoter/manager Sid Bernstein, following a high-energy performance at Long Island’s elite club, The Barge.

“Long Island was where the Rascals were discovered,” said keyboard player/vocalist Felix Cavaliere. “Everything began for us out there.”

Originally written for the Sept. 10 – 16, 2014 edition of The Farmingdale Observer. 

Local Long Islander Decorates Home For Father


Each year, around Christmastime, Charles McLaughlin of Farmingdale would decorate his home at 35 Marion St. with lights, wreaths and homemade decorations.But, last year, when he was too weak to set them up, his son Robert McLaughlin picked up the reigns to light up the house.

On Jan. 31, 2014, Charles McLaughlin passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. In his honor, his son Robert, 45, said he will continue to put up the holiday decorations as a tribute to his father.

“It’s good to keep with the tradition, by doing this in his memory,” Robert said. “He always liked to decorate the house around the holidays.”

This story originally appeared on on Dec. 17, 2014

Farmingdale High School Environmental Club (July 2014)

Farmingdale High School Environmental Club (July 2014)

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Book Explores Local Theme-Park

Growing up on Long Island, Christopher Mercaldo remembers how, as a child he spent countless hours with his family, marveling at the many different rides and attractions that Adventureland amusement park in Farmingdale had to offer.

Like many kids growing up in the area, Mercaldo says he was smitten with the idea of having his own little slice of Disneyland-magic right here in his backyard.

Adventureland first opened in 1962, at the height of a major suburban boom on Long Island. Over the last 52 years, several attractions have come and gone, but the park has continued providing the same family-friendly fun that it has for years.

“It is so unique,” said Mercaldo, 24. “It’s a small, family owned theme-park… that has stood the test of time.”

This story originally appeared in the June 20, 2014 edition of the Farmingdale Observer

Spotlight on Farmingdale Grad

The world is an open book for Sarina Turbendian, a Farmingdale State College Class of 2014 graduate and village resident.

During the commencement ceremony at Hofstra University last May — when over 1,000 Farmingdale State College students received a diploma — Turbendian said that as she waited with anticipation to hear her name read over the sound system, she was more focused on making sure she did not fall down or shake anybody’s hand the wrong way. She said that it wasn’t until she had gotten home that the realization started to sink in.

“Then it hit me… I graduated,” Turbendian said. “Four years went by so quickly.”

This story originally appeared in the June 14, 2014 edition of the Farmingdale Observer.

Farmingdale Community Expo (March 2014)

Farmingdale Community Expo (March 2014)

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Farmingdale St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2014

St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 2014)

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Northside Student Skates For A Cause

Participating in this year’s event, 8-year-old figure skater Hiram Cowhey of Farmingdale took the opportunity to showcase his skating skills alongside former Olympic athletes. Currently attending Northside Elementary School, Cowhey said he spends most of his spare time skating in the hopes of one day going pro.

“It was awesome,” Hiram said, “I wasn’t nervous at all.”

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 6, 2014, edition of the Farmingdale Observer

Farmingdale Breaks New Ground

Work is officially underway on the construction of Jefferson Plaza—a $59 million transit-oriented development project at 120 Secatogue Avenue, next to the Long Island Railroad Station in Farmingdale—after six years of planning and preparation.

“We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into this,” said Anthony Bartone, the project developer.

Before any construction begins, crews will first demolish the existing property, which abuts the Fairfield Courtyard residences next door. Bartone said the crews plan to handle the demolition “surgically” to minimize debris.

Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand was given first crack with the shovel during the Jefferson Plaza groundbreaking ceremony.

For Bartone, the groundbreaking ceremony was the culmination of his six-year effort to help revitalize his hometown, with plans for constructing two similar retail/residential mixed-use apartment buildings.

Farmingdale Parents Talk Opt Out

Since 2011, when the New York State Education Department adopted the Common Core Learning Standards, public school districts around the state are required to test students, grades 3-8, on a new wave of English Language Arts and

Mathematics assessments. However, with approximately 30 percent of all students in the state passing at or above proficiency, the new curriculum has parents and educators outraged over the results.

This story originally appeared in the Nov. 20, 2013 edition of the Farmingdale Observer.

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