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Row For Autism

The Town of North Hempstead and Friends of Port Rowing’s 4th Annual Row for Autism Regatta on April 18 at North Hempstead Beach Park. Since 2012, the event has raised funds for Port Rowing’s adaptive rowing program and for Autism Speaks, the autism advocacy organization. The adaptive rowing program partners rowers with special needs, including autism and physical disabilities, with ablebodied peers. Participants row in practice and competition events.RowForAutism_042915A

Pictured at the event are (L-R) Adam Seider, Justin Leu, and Lucas Cowen of Port Washington High School Rowing, Dimitri Kessaris of Manhasset, Peter Rooney of Port Washington High School Rowing, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, Kristel Morreale, Nick Papadolpoulos, and Michael Machman and Nicole Rosenberg of Port Washington High School Rowing.


Library Earth Day Fair

Children enjoying the touch tank

Children enjoying the touch tank

The library’s Earth Day Fair on April 22 was a great success. Many residents came in the pouring rain to check out all the activities, presentations and giveaways, including water bottles, shower timers, reusable grocery bags, seeds and food. There was a workshop on bike safety and a representative from Brickwell, a local bike shop, was on hand to do safety checks and make small repairs on bikes.

Members of the Audubon Society were there with a display of bird eggs, nests and bird-call books. Members of the Baxter Pond Foundation were on hand to demonstrate riprap, the anti-erosion technique in place to keep Baxter Pond clean.

“The theme of our Earth Day fair was “be green and have fun’ and I think everyone who came did both,” said Denise Anchico, planning committee co-chair. “There was a great turnout and we all learned new ways to be greener at home and out in the community. Thanks to all our attendees, sponsors and everyone who made it a memorable Earth Day in Port.” The Earth Day Fair planning committee included Jeff Zeh, co-chair, library media technician and former Green Peace member; Jason Schaefer, co-chair and library computer center aide; Denise Anchico, co-chair and librarian; Margaret DeSiervo, Friends of the Library board member; Charlie DeSiervo, master composter and library volunteer; AnneMarie Ansel of Green Sanctuary of UUCSR; Jennifer Wilson-Pines, legislative aide to Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton; Phyllis Sickerman, ESOL tutor; Jordis Herman, ESOL volunteer; and Patti Paris, librarian. The event was funded by donations from the Friends of the Library.


Manorhaven Passes Budget

After a public work session in March and a public hearing on April 13, the Manorhaven Board of Trustees passed the village budget for 2015-2016 at its April 23 meeting.

“The good news is that the total tax levy for the village remains the same,” said village clerk Leslie Gross. When asked if this means that homeowners and businesses in the village will not see an increase in taxes, Gross stated that until the figures from the Nassau County Tax Assessment Office are provided to the village, it cannot make that assurance. Steve Antake of AVZ & Company P.C., the accounting firm for the village, confirmed that Manorhaven does not perform its own tax assessments. The village depends upon the county’s assessment, so it must wait to receive their numbers before they know if there will be an increase in taxes. The county must provide its numbers by the end of May.

Expenses for the village will decrease because it is almost finished paying off a settlement to A.G. Towers, the owner and operator of the cell tower located on Manhasset Isle, in connection with a lawsuit that alleged that the village had wrongfully withheld a certificate of occupancy for the cell phone tower. The village also expects to pay off a short-term bond which was used to repay taxpayers.

The board is also carrying out a plan to implement technological solutions in order to streamline administration. They have approved a contract with Satelite.Biz, a company that provides “wrap around software” which enables municipalities, towns and villages to accept credit card payments.

John Dresch, President of Satellite.Biz, said the software interface that the company provides costs the village nothing. A resident choosing to make a payment to the village using a credit card will be assessed a three per cent service charge. Dresch stressed at the April 23 boar meeting that residents will still have the option of paying by check. “They are gaining additional options for payment,” Dresch told the trustees. “Even more important, this opens a portal that can be expanded to provide payment by e-checks and eventually automatic billing and payment on line,” continued Dresch. The interface will be accomplished through a link on the village website.

Gross is also looking at new billing software for the village. “These initiatives will promote increased administrative efficiency,” said Gross.

On another front, the village will be participating in the Plant a Row For The Hungry Project. The project was started several years ago by local resident Marvin Makovsky in order to raise vegetables for people in the community who are hungry. Many organizations, including Our Lady of Fatima Church in Manorhaven, have food collection programs for people in need. However those ongoing efforts usually center around non perishable food, such as cans and packaged goods. The Plant a Row For The Hungry Project focuses on fresh vegetables. Residents are asked to donate excess vegetables they raise. Donated vegetables are weighed at the Bayle’s Garden Center and then taken to Our Lady of Fatima for distribution.

This year, the project has added another dimension. Large planters painted by local artists are available for purchase to be planted with vegetables. Manorhaven will sponsor two of these planters.

Decorative planters painted by local artists available for purchase from Plant A Row For Hunger Project

Decorative planters painted by local artists available for purchase from Plant A Row For Hunger Project


On The Bay

Spring has finally arrived. And with it, thoughts of cleaning up after the long, harsh winter are beginning to take root. For boaters, this means tackling the long “to-do” list so that the boat can be launched and ready to go. Maybe spring is also a good time to start thinking of cleaning up our water.

Sailors enjoying Manhasset Bay on an evening race last year that took them out to Long Island Sound and back

Sailors enjoying Manhasset Bay on an evening race last year that took them out to Long Island Sound and back

[Read more…]

Port Wrestlers County Champions

It’s been 38 long years since the Schreiber High School wrestling team had a county champion. Now, they can add two new champions to their highly successful wrestling program.

Senior captains Sam Goldman and Elmer Mendez were crowned county champs this season for the Vikings. They make up half of the school’s four county champions in team history. Port Washington was one of only two Nassau County teams to place two champions.

Sam Goldman and Elmer Mendez with District Director of Athletics Stephanie Joannon and Schreiber High School Principal Ira Pernick

Sam Goldman and Elmer Mendez with District Director of Athletics Stephanie Joannon and Schreiber High School Principal Ira Pernick

The team has had winning seasons dating back to the early 1970’s. Head Coach Anthony Schettino, a Schreiber High School alumnus and former wrestler, has led the Vikings for the past 23 years. He believes that there is no secret to the program’s success.

“Success in wrestling is a direct reflection of ‘what you put in you get out,’” said Schettino. “If you decide to put in more time and work a little harder, then you will undoubtedly earn greater success.”

This philosophy not only helps the group excel on the wrestling mat, but in the classroom as well. In fact, they earned the N.Y. State Scholar Athlete Team distinction for the sixth consecutive year.

Coach Schettino believes that wrestling has had a positive impact on these young athletes not only in the classroom but in all aspects of life in general.

“Hard work, drive, perseverance, sacrifice, responsibility, and self confidence . . . are all taught through the sport of wrestling, and are all essential life skills for those seeking success,” said Schettino. “In essence, as wrestling coaches, we are utilizing our sport to not only mold successful wrestlers and athletes, but also individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in life.”

Many of these attributes were displayed by this year’s squad. County champs Goldman and Mendez are prime examples of the team’s success.

Goldman, along with being a Nassau County champion, is also a four-time scholar athlete, three-time all-conference and an all-county athlete. He has even earned the distinctive News12 Scholar Athlete Award. However, his biggest achievement was finishing fourth in the 126-pound weight class at the State Wrestling Championships in Albany in February. Goldman was also the recipient of one of Nassau County’s top scholarship awards, given to the best of the best student athletes. He was recruited by several Ivy League schools.

“Sam’s work ethic, drive, sacrifice and time put into the sport was second to none” said Schettino.

Mendez is another well-deserving county champion. He is a standout in his 220-pound weight class. He also earned a trip to the State Wrestling Championships, where he finished seventh in his weight class. Mendez will continue his wrestling career at the State University of New York at Brockport.

“Mendez’s work ethic, and time put into his extremely high level of conditioning, put him in the position to win those close, big matches, and that is exactly what he fought through before standing on top of the podium at the Nassau championships,” said Schettino.

Coach Schettino believes that all the hard work and training put into this season has paid off immensely for his boys.


Schools Celebrate Nutrition Month

The Port Washington schools celebrated National Nutrition Month in late March with a program entitled “Breathe Into A Healthy Lifestyle.” Many children at the elementary school level participated in workshops about becoming more mindful of the choices we make which contribute to our overall wellness and mental state of being. Parent volunteers taught children lessons in mindfulness, including breathing and relaxation tools and stress-reduction practices like meditation and yoga. They shared with the students about what earthly foods are and why feeding their bodies with foods that have nutrients is important. Students were encouraged to be mindful in making healthy choices in their nutrition and in their actions.NutritionWeek_042215A [Read more…]

Amsterdam Hosts Julliard Jazz Ensemble

Residents and guests at the Amsterdam at Harborside tapped their feet in time to the rhythms of the Julliard Jazz Ensemble on Tuesday, April 13.

The group, comprised of four alumni of the Julliard School of Music in Manhattan, performed a program entitled “the Great American Song Book,” which included tunes from the twenties, thirties and forties. George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and Hoagie Carmichael were just a few of the composers represented with classics such as Skylark, Stardust, Embraceable You and Foggy Day.Amsterdam_042215A

The performance by the ensemble was part of the Spotlight Series at the Amsterdam. The series is designed to “spotlight” entertaining and interesting local and national figures or groups.

The Amsterdam has had other interesting programs this spring. Noted reporter, writer and political observer Carl Bernstein appeared in early April. Glen Cove floral designer Andrew Pascioe, a local resident, drew a large audience earlier in the year.

The Amsterdam at Harborside is Nassau County’s only Life Care Community. It offers residents who live independently in luxurious apartments the assurance that they will have access to step up care levels, including assisted living, short-term rehabilitation and long term care, as needed, for one buy in fee and consistent monthly fees for all levels of care.


Home On The Range Exhibit

The Art Guild’s “Home On The Range, Landscapes We Love,” exhibit will be on view through Sunday, April 26. The exhibit, showcasing 39 artists and 58 artworks, celebrates the landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes that make our hearts sing—from backyards and gardens to majestic mountain vistas. Many styles and mediums are represented.EPSON scanner image [Read more…]

Local Artists Exhibit At Nassau Museum

Francisco Villagran and Burt Young, both from Port Washington, are two of the artists whose work is on display at the “Vernacular Visions” exhibit at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The exhibit features the work of three prominent painters and a sculptor. Susan Cushing of Southampton and Richard Gachot of Old Westbury also have their work displayed.

Francisco Villagran, a native of Mexico, is well known for his artistic concept, Hispanic Latin Pop Art. He was inspired to pursue this style through an association with Andy Warhol, and later, with Jennifer Lopez. His painted ties, in particular, portray well-known symbols and celebrities of the Latino world. He defines his art as taking part in “a contemporary expression of the Latino presence and its influence with the American society and culture.”SONY DSC

Best known for his appearances with Sylvester Stallone in the Rocky movies, Burt Young’s personal visual narratives explore the neighborhoods and characters that populate his life on Long Island and the environs of New York City. Colorful and exuberant in their portrayal of the novel and unexpected incident, Young’s art comprises a very popular second career after a lifetime in film and television.

The exhibit runs from March 21 through July 12. The Nassau County Museum of Art is located on Northern Boulevard, two traffic lights west of Glen Cove Road. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Docent-led tours of the exhibition are offered at 2 p.m. each day; tours of the mansion are offered on Saturdays at 1 p.m. Tours are free with museum admission. Family tour and art activities are offered on Sundays from 1 p.m. and are free with museum admission. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62 and above) and $4 for students with ID and children aged 4 to 12. Members and children under 4 are admitted free. Call 516-484-9337 or go to for more information.NassauCoMuseum_042215B


PAL Diamond Backs Honorary Bat Girls


The Port Washington PAL (Police Athletic League) Diamond Backs 12U travel softball team, comprised of 7th and 8th grade girls from Port Washington and surrounding towns, cheered on the St. Johns University women’s softball team as honorary bat girls on Saturday, April 11, during a doubleheader against Big East Conference rival Providence. The PAL team is led by coaches Robert Elkins, Robert Nachimson, James Chu and Richard Bohack.