Category Archives: Levittown Tribune

Veteran Spotlight: U.S. Army Radar Operator Angelo Manzo



Stationed in El Paso, Texas from 1957 to 1963 — during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam — U.S. Army Veteran Angelo Manzo of Levittown spent most days working as a radar operator, tracking the skies in case any planes flew in.

In his down time, when there wasn’t much to do, Manzo said he and some of his buddies would go into town or out for a swim.

“I had a good time in El Paso,” Manzo said, remembering how he met a couple of “flyers” with the U.S. Air Force who offered to take him up in their jet.

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 9, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Vaughan Named To Honors Court

Great Neck native and SUNY Old Westbury guard Nat Vaughan was recently named to the 2013-2014 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court for his performance both on and off the court.

Vaughan, a senior Marketing major, played 24 games for the Panthers during the 2013-2014 season. As a junior, Vaughan averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 assists per game, playing a total of 299 minutes for an average 12.5 minutes per game. He also recorded 12 rebounds and 11 steals. Vaughan poured in a career-high of 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field during Old Westbury’s 91-49 victory over NYU-Poly last January, and later recorded a career-best with six assists in conference victories against NYU-Poly and Sage in February.

Vaughan joins Joe Henain of Mount Saint Mary as the lone Skyline Conference student-athlete to achieve NABC Honors Court laurels. Each season the NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts of student-athletes both on the court and in the classroom. A record 895 student-athletes from 335 colleges earned NABC Honors Court distinction this year

Levittown Loves Avi

As nearly any Levittown resident who has wandered the aisles of Center Lane Stationary in the last ten years will tell you, anytime you walk in to the shop you can expect to be greeted with a warm welcome and a big smile from store owner Avi Ghandi.

“Avi is a great guy and we want to show we support him,” said Steve Shaughnessy, a Levittown resident who stops in at least once a week for lottery tickets and snacks.

When Celeste-Hamilton Dennis and her husband Craig eventually left their childhood homes in Long Island for Portland Ore., where they currently reside, they continued to think of Avi, for his kind words, captivating stories, and big heart. They even invited him to the bridal shower.

“He is well loved in the community because he treats everyone as more than a customer,” Celeste said.

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

Farmedge Property Series

Check out my series on the Island Trees Farmedge Property:

Farmedge Resolved: Gallow Lease Puts Kibosh On Development

School Board Mum on Island Trees Developer

School Board Reveals $18M Proposal

Farmedge Property Reexamined: Levittown Property Owners Talk Transparency 

Farmedge Back To The Drawing Board

Frustration Mounts Over Farmedge

Island Trees Library Speaks Out

Residents Poll On Farmedge Property

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.

Voters Approve $198.7M Spending Plan

According to unofficial tallies, 1,965 residents voted “yes” while 906 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.

“This budget was a result of the Board of Education’s hard work, a great working relationship between the central administration and the board, and input from the community,” said Levittown Superintendent Dr. James J. Grossane. “We thank the entire community for its continued support.”

This story originally appeared in the May 31, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

Island Trees Passes $60.2M Budget

Voters in the Island Trees School District cast their ballots on May 20, approving a $60.2 million spending plan for the 2014-2015 school year by a 78 percent margin.

According to unofficial tallies, 957 residents voted “yes” while 267 voted against the 2014-2015 budget.

“I would like to thank the community for again supporting the Island Trees school budget,” said Island Trees schools Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy. “Year in and year out, the Island Trees residents continue to support their investment in our school programs, services and students… for that, I truly thank the residents.”

This story originally appeared in the May 30, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

School Board Shuffle

This year’s school elections proved to be a big one for the challengers in Levittown, with nearly every seat contested in each of the two local school districts.

In the Island Trees Union Free School District, a last-minute endorsement from the teacher’s union paired with an outspoken campaign, helped net the trio of Brian Fielding, Paul Giambona and Michael Rich three seats on the Board of Education.

“I was excited that so many people came out,” Fielding said. “It shows that when change is needed a small community can stand together.”

This story originally appeared in the May 28, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

New Superintendent Is A Familiar Face

After a four-month search for candidates suitable to replace Dr. James Grossane as Superintendent of the Levittown Public School District, members of the Levittown Board of Education have appointed Dr. Tonie McDonald to the position, effective July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

For McDonald, who is currently assistant superintendent of business and finance in the nearby Plainedge Union Free School District, the appointment was a warm welcome home to the Levittown School District, where she had previously worked as both an administrator and as a teacher for more than 10 years.

“I couldn’t be happier,” McDonald said of her return to Levittown. “There are so many amazing people who live and work there.”

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

Levittown Welcomes School For Autism

The ELIJA school for autistic children has just settled into its new home, after signing a three-year lease to rent out the 13-room Laurel Lane primary school in Levittown. On World Autism Awareness Day, April 2, ELIJA school stakeholders gathered with county, town and school officials for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting event.

“This is a fantastic use of the property,” said Hempstead Town Councilman Gary Hudes. “It involves and helps people in the community.”

ELIJA—which stands for Empowering Long Island’s Journey Through Autism—is a not-for-profit organization that was founded by two parents in the spring of 2002 and uses applied behavior analysis to keep educational programs effective, exciting, enjoyable, for children with autistic spectrum disorders.

This story originally appeared in the April 10, 2014 edition of the Levittown Tribune.

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