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Get To Know Your Local Business

The Port Washington News shines a spotlight on local businesses:

Katie Shepardson, 23, employee at Douglas & James Homemade Ice Cream


Get to know your local business

When did this store open?
“This is our 21st year in Port Washington,” Shepardson said.

What are some of your biggest sellers?
“Ice cream-wise,” Shepardson asked, “I guess it would be the Double Dutch brownie or cookies & cream.” She said that it’s probably because her father makes it fresh with homemade Ghirardelli brownies.

What is the most bizarre order a customer has requested?
“When people try to blend seltzer and ice cream,” Shepardson said, trying not to cringe. “There have been a few times where I’ve tried it that it hasn’t been bad though.”

A Quiet Monday Morning

DSCN0537Manhasset Bay is placid Monday morning, with just a few seagulls enjoying the calm. The boats are still at the ready, though, with hopes for a few more outings before cold weather sets in.

Manorhaven Holds Street Fair

photoThe Village of Manorhaven held it third annual street fair, to the enjoyment of the community.

Click here for photos and more from the street fair. 

There were, among other offerings, a petting zoo, boy scouts who manned their own table selling sausage and pepper heroes, food from Ayhan’s, the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter had a display of all its dogs up for adoption, and a psychic.
“It was great to see the community come together and have a fun day,” said Mayor Giovanna Giunta.

Cow Neck Celebrates Heritage

DSCN0527The Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society hosted a crowd of area residents Saturday at its 49th annual country fair.

There a pie eating contest that drew hungry–and brave–contestants. Ashley O’Neil was the winner in the 12 and under age group. Steve Stulbaum won the adult contest.

The fair, at the historic Sands-Willets House, featured pony rides, a petting zoo, an art contest, plenty of fair food, two bands  playing old favorites and the vintage car, “Black Beast, built in 1909 and costing $6,000.

It was like a step back in time.

Click here for pictures and more from the event. 

Pup Becomes Port Celebrity


He may not be one of the legendary Three Tenors, but Plácido still enjoys crooning as people pass by.

Meet 13-year-old Plácido Domingo… no, not the world-renowned opera singer, but the local celebrity canine.

“He is very well known,” said Plácido’s handler Zaida, a Garden City resident. “He gets recognized wherever we go.”

Basking in the sunshine along the Port Washington harbor—as he does everyday—the furry, friendly fox terrier sprawled out in his stroller, rolling over only to bark at other pups as they pass by.

According to Zaida, Plácido always loved the outdoors, but after being diagnosed with arthritis in both hind legs, he could no longer walk on his own.

Zaida (right) wheels Plácido towards the harbor

Zaida (right) wheels Plácido towards the harbor

Her husband Gennaro, who raised Plácido since he was a small pup, said that he remembers back when Plácido was so small he could fit in his hands. So, when he found out that Plácido could no longer walk, he wanted to make sure he could still interact with other dogs.

“He is always making new friends,” Zaida said. “Especially with people in their 80’s and 90’s.”

While he cannot sing tenor, you might be lucky enough to spot Plácido Domingo, out and about in Port Washington, lounging in the sunshine.

Local Author Conquers All

Melissa Wolff is quite an accomplished author, all before her 30th birthday.

Melissa Wolff is quite an accomplished author, all before her 30th birthday.

Like many people who overcome big obstacles, Melissa Wolff has developed a fierce determination.

From the age of 6, the Syosset resident wanted to be an author. Now just 26 years old, she is an author in spades — releasing her fourth novel. She’ll give a reading at Port’s Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe Oct. 11.

It all started with a contest, National Novel Writing Month, or “NaNoWriMo,” to the cognoscenti, a nonprofit-run annual challenge to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Sponsors donate various prizes, including free books, writing and publishing software, discounts on literary tools and more.

Wolff first made the attempt at the age of 16, and has written a novel every November since. How do you write a novel in a month? “I wish I could say I have some awesome process but I don’t,” she says. “I have no process. I tried an outline once. It didn’t work.”
Although all her books so far have been self-published, she didn’t take that step until she was 21 years old.

“When I was 17, 18, they just weren’t good stories,” she says. “They weren’t bad stories, but there just wasn’t enough time.”

That’s partly because much of her time has been spent in hospitals due to a rare medical situation. Wolff has been diagnosed with something called VACTERL association, a complex condition that typically includes birth defects in three or more major systems or areas, including spine, cardiovascular system, kidneys and limbs. Wolff has had 26 surgeries in her relatively short life so far.

Author_092614B“That’s what got me into writing, because I was in and out of hospitals my whole childhood,” she says. “It never stopped me.” During her senior year at Syosset High School she had surgery in February, did her schoolwork from the hospital bed, and was proud to walk with her class at graduation. She continued her fiction forays as she earned a BA in English from CW Post in Brookville. “I promised my mom I would always put school first,” she says.

Of course, her life experience has shaped her character. “I’m a very confrontational person,” she says. “With all the people who were in control of my life — doctors, nurses, parents — I learned to speak for myself.”

Wolff’s books are suspenseful romances, or romantic mysteries, featuring young protagonists and dark tints. Her first book, Sharpie Messages: The Writing On The Wall, paired an high school outcast with a homeless kid, and her second novel, Fated, was a sequel to that story. She published these books, “just to get my name out there.” Her third, On The Shattered Path, was about an abusive relationship. Her latest, Three Little Lies, takes a troubled teen to an unfamiliar location, where she unmasks a serial killer.

“I try to make my romances kind of serious,” she says. “Not everything is all happily ever after.” Her own romance, however, couldn’t be sweeter. She met her fiance, Andy Iacona, on Craigslist, “before that whole thing with the killer,” Melissa notes. It took one date for the two to see the harmony in their pairing, and since then they they’ve “been through a lot.” They’ll be married this November — perhaps not coincidentally NaNoWriMo.

Taking In A Thing Of Beauty

A couple enjoys the beauty of Manhasset Bay Friday from their vantage point at Town dock.

Fixing Up After Condo Fire

photo 1Repair work has begun at the Tom’s Point complex in Manhasset Isle, after a blowtorch accidentally burnt through the first floor bedroom of a condominium last Friday, Sept. 19.

Click Here To Read More About The Fire.

“The incident occurred when a contractor was working on pipes in the ceiling of the basement and the flame caught the ceiling and burned through the floor rafters of the bedroom,” said Port Washington Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Waterson.

The owner was not home at the time. One fireman was slightly injured. Seventy five firefighters from five fire departments responded: Port Washington, Roslyn, Manhasset, Great Neck and Albertson.

The fire was brought under control in two hours. Fire damage was mainly to the floor and ceiling, and smoke and water damage was to apartment and basement.

Get To Know Your Local Business

LocalBiz_PWN_SkateboardShopThe Port Washington News shines a spotlight on local business owners:

Meet Kaitlin Puglisi, 31, owner of Good Things Skate Shop


When did this store open?

What are some of your biggest sellers?
“A lot of people come in wanting skateboard accessories, like wheels and trucks,” Puglisi said. “A lot of people come in wanting longboards that have already been assembled.”

What was the most unusual thing a customer has ever ordered?
“One guy’s wife came in wanting to buy her husband a [skateboard] deck with this specific type of [grip] tape,” Puglisi said, holding up a sheet of DGK-brand tape with a rather racy image.

All Quiet On Rainy Day

The rain on Thursday is keeping the fishermen away, but the view from Town Dock shows a red festooned Catamaran keeping company with the outboards and the sailboats.