Subscribe to the Port Washington News Home Delivery

Manorhaven Trustee Election Still Undecided

The June 16 election for two trustees in Manorhaven remains undecided. Although the candidates and their lawyers appeared before New York State Supreme Court Justice Timothy Driscoll on June 26 for a ruling on several challenged ballots, no final decision was issued. Judge Driscoll asked the Board of Elections to submit evidence to him about the contested ballots. He set a hearing date for Monday, July 6, at which he will consider that evidence and issue a decision on those ballots. At issue are just five contested ballots, proving the adage that every vote counts.

 

Pride in Port Writing Contest 2015

Entries for the Pride in Port writing contest are due by July 11. Pride in Port is on Saturday, Sept. 19. The essay topic this year is “My Favorite Person in Port Washington is….” Prose and poems will be judged for Pride in Port content and originality.

Decisions will be made by the Pride in Port writing-contest committee. Winners will be selected
in the following divisions: grades 5  and under, grades 6 through 8, grades 9 through 12 and adult (school grade is as of September 2015).

Winning pieces will be published in the Pride in Port program and may  be printed in local media. Winners will be invited to march in the Pride in Port parade and will receive  a certificate of achievement, along with a gift card from a local business.

To be eligible for a prize, the entrant must live, work or attend school in Port Washington. Prose or poems of 500 words or less will be considered for prizes. Entries must be postmarked no later than July 11. Do not put your name on the front of your submission. On the back of the paper, or on a separate piece of paper stapled to your submission, include the following entry information: entrant’s name, address, phone number and email address. Add your school name and grade as of September 2015 if you are a student. It is strongly preferred that entries be typewritten. Neatly printed submissions on lined paper will also be accepted. Receipt will only be acknowledged if a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard is submitted with the essay. Send entry to 2015 Essay/Poetry Contest, Pride In Port, PO Box 1144, Port Washington, NY 11050.

 

Home Run Electric Expands Business

Home Run Electric, which has been providing electrical services for homes, offices and businesses in Port Washington for seven years, recently expanded its business with the opening of Home Run Electric Generators. With the grand opening of Home Run Electric Generators at 1146 Port Washington Blvd. on Saturday, June 13, owner Guiseppe DiBartolomeo has created a generator showroom “where people can actually see the units instead of looking at manuals online,” he said. He purchased the building on Port Washington Blvd. and renovated it to provide a store featuring state-of-the-art demonstrations and sales of generators. “There is nothing like it on Long Island,” DiBartolomeo said of his new showroom.HomeRunElectric_070115C [Read more…]

Pleines Piano Students Perform

A recital of the piano students of the multimedia studio of Ruth Pleines was held on June 12. The audience enjoyed the pianists’ choice of solos and duets, reflective of various music eras: baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary, including popular and jazz.pianorecital070115A

Student performers included Hannah Bellmann, Celia Christake, Phoebe Christake, Frank Di Caro, Lisa Di Caro, Rose Di Caro, Eden Franco, Emory Franco, Kaitlin Morris, Devyn Sivin, Abigail Smith, Dylan Sommer, Elina Sommer, Grace Trunz and Jenna Worms. The program concluded with a lively duet called Paperman arranged and performed by Hannah Bellmann and Grace Trunz.

The 2015 National Guild Piano Auditions were held in Garden City in May, admitting the students into The National Fraternity of Student Musicians. Requirements were scales, chords and cadences related to each piece played. Ear training, transposition and sight reading were additional optional challenges. Local winners with a two- or three-piece memorized program were Celia Christake, Lisa Di Caro and Kaitlin Morris. District winners with a four-piece memorized program were Frank Di Caro and Rose Di Caro. State winners with a seven-piece memorized program were Hannah Bellmann and Emory Franco.

National winners performing a 10-piece memorized program were Phoebe Christake, Eden Franco, Abigail Smith, Dylan Sommer, Elina Sommer and Jenna Worms.

Schreiber sophomore Jenna Worms was acknowledged for being chosen to play in the Long Island Piano Teachers Recital on May 30 at the Jericho Public Library. Schreiber senior Grace Trunz was recognized for her 11 years of dedication, commitment and creativity in piano music study. Congratulations to these musicians for their outstanding achievements.

 

Athletes Excel On And Off Field

For the fourth year in a row, all of Schreiber’s varsity teams have been named Scholar Athlete Teams. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association sponsors the New York State Scholar Athlete program which recognizes academic scholarship among varsity sports. Any team with a cumulative 90% or higher grade point average qualifies as a NYS Scholar Athlete team. Once again, Schreiber has managed to accomplish this incredible honor. As a result, the school will be named a School of Distinction by the state, honoring schools in which all varsity squads earn scholar-athlete teams. Schreiber will be presented with this crowning achievement in September.

Members of the lacrosse team are presented with certificates at the Town of North Hempstead board meeting

Members of the lacrosse team are presented with certificates at the Town of North Hempstead board meeting

[Read more…]

PRC Camp Outreach

Several more children from the Parent Resource Center’s (PRC) Outreach Program are now able to attend the organization’s summer camp program, thanks to the WE CARE Fund, part of the charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA). [Read more…]

Scholarship for Port Student

Alyson Forgione, a Port Washington resident who attends Our Lady of Mercy in Syosset, was one of 82 Long Island graduating high school students who received a $500 voucher from NEFCU, one of Long Island’s leading local credit unions as part of NEFCU’s Making a Difference High School Scholarship program. NEFCU awarded $41,000 this year through the program. Since its inception a decade ago, the scholarship program has awarded more than $1,000,000 in grants.
 

New Library Position For Klang

 

Keith Klang is the new head of the Adult Services Department at the Port Washington Public Library. Klang oversees the entire adult fiction and nonfiction collections and is in charge of purchasing for the collections. He also oversees the English speakers of other languages (ESOL) department. “I enjoy being able to help guide what our collection entails,” said Klang.

Klang is in charge of homebound services for patrons who can’t get to the library. “I do house calls and drop off materials. It could be once a month or once a week. It’s helpful for the homebound becauseLibraryKlang061015A they aren’t interacting with people as much, and they like to see me,” said Klang. “So it’s a social service, too. It could be done by mail, but I like to do it myself.”

Klang also leads monthly fiction and nonfiction book discussions. “The nonfiction discussion group meets the third Thursday of every month during the day and the fiction group meets the second Wednesday of the month in the evening. Books for these discussion groups are listed in the library’s newsletter and on the website and anyone can come to the group. “You can come once or come every month,” said Klang. “Our fiction book for July is The Uninvited Guest by Sallie Jones and the nonfiction book is Exodus, a Memoir by Deborah Feldman.” Klang is also a reader’s advisor for the library. “I can work with a patron and recommend a book for them or their book group,” said Klang. Klang is doing several author interviews this summer. “I’m interviewing Erika Swyler, author of Book of Speculations, in July,” said Klang.

Klang also does the purchasing for the digital collection. “Patrons can download the overdrive app to their Android or Apple mobile device for free. They can check out our ebooks for 14 days and check out up to five e-books or audio books at a time. You can also download books to your Kindle through our website directly from Amazon. Our collection has grown exponentially because of e-books,” said Klang.

Klang grew up in Port Washington, graduated from Schreiber High School and received his Master of Arts degree from Queens College. He began working as an intern at the library while still in high school. In 2009, he started full time as a children’s librarian and transitioned to his new position as head of Adult Services in January.

Klang lives in town, above the Dolphin Book Shop. “Port is a town that really supports its library. The library was always an oasis in the town and an integral part of cultural and community events,” said Klang. “As a kid I loved the place and now I get to work here every day, so it’s pretty awesome.”

 

Shoreline Stabilization At Manorhaven Beach Park

The shoreline and boat ramp in Manorhaven Beach Park have been getting a facelift. Over the years, part of the shoreline, including trees and foliage, have been eroding into North Sheets Creek. One phase of construction work to improve the shoreline and boat channel at Manorhaven Beach Park and North Sheets Creek is complete. A concrete and stone seawall has been constructed to protect the shoreline.

This portion of the project began in mid-April and was scheduled to end when Manorhaven Pool opened on June 20 because the construction blocked off half of the pool parking lot and would have made parking for the pool difficult. According to Ryan Mulholland, deputy director of communications for the Town of North Hempstead, “the project includes the stabilization of the shoreline in Manorhaven Beach Park, restoration of wetland areas, installation of drainage structures in the town park and along the creek in the Village of Manorhaven, replacement of the existing boat ramp, dredging a portion of the boat channel and the construction of a concrete seawall. The contractor, Woodstock Construction Group, finished up the first phase of work in the park on schedule, before the opening of the pool on June 20. They’ve stopped work in Manorhaven Beach Park and the adjacent parking lot so that operations at the pool may continue as usual for the summer,” said Mulholland. “The contractor will return to do more work in the park after Labor Day. We are expecting the project to be completed by the end
of November.”

The next phase of the project will be in the Village of Manorhaven. This part of the project will continue through the summer. Operations have shifted over to the other side of North Sheets Creek while Manorhaven Pool is open. “The work in the Village of Manorhaven includes stormwater infrastructure improvements along North Sheets Creek and the construction of a pedestrian walkway along the creek,” said Mulholland. “The work area is along Sintsink Drive East, at the end of Sintsink Drive West, at the end of Sagamore Hill Drive, at the intersection of Manhasset Avenue and Pequot Avenue and at the north end of North Sheets Creek.”

 

Port’s Top Cop

With Father’s Day come and gone, I couldn’t help thinking of my own father, Samuel Wolf Blankman. If ever I complained about a teacher, my old man said, “Why is it always the teacher? Why isn’t it you?” He advised me to tell the truth because then I wouldn’t have to remember what I said. And he stressed strongly: “Don’t break the law and you’ll never have a problem with the police.”

Speaking of police, Port Washington has been blessed with a first-rate police presence. That doesn’t happen by accident. It is the result of the strong, enlightened leadership of our chiefs and our three elected police commissioners and a cadre of dedicated men and women who round out our police force.

James Salerno

James Salerno

Port Washington’s new Police Chief, James Salerno, is a rara avis. He is the only chief in memory who is Port Washington born and bred. He went to Main Street School, then to Weber Junior High and graduated from Schreiber. His father, Albert, worked in the sand pits for a time and later became a custodian at Sousa Junior High. His mother, Lucy, worked as a paraprofessional for the school district for 40 years, retiring at age 80.

When he was younger, Salerno didn’t consider becoming a police officer. But he did become a member of Port’s fire department in 1977. Two years later, when Port’s Fire Medics Company was founded, Salerno was aboard, remaining for five years and earning the rank of captain. And fate handed him a bonus.

One day, Salerno spotted a young woman coming up the ramp to the Fire Medics. There was nothing wrong with his eyesight. “I saw her and I thought she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen,” he said, smiling broadly. Her name was Jean. She was going to nursing school. He admits to being bashful, which meant it took him some time to ask her for a date. But when he did, the courtship lasted five years. By then, Jean was a nurse at St. Francis. They were married in 1985, found an apartment on Avenue B in Port and settled in, and in time the stork brought Christopher, Ashley and Robbie (now 27, 25 and 22).

Salerno had been working as a paramedic in New York City in 1981, but in 1983, he took a test for Nassau County police and passed, but chose the Port Washington police. In September 1985, he was sworn in by the then-chief Frank Donahue. “I spent the next
five years on patrol,” he said.
(Not to worry, his career was on the ascendant.)

On April Fools’ Day, 1984, Salerno was promoted to sergeant. Six years later, he became a detective. He was promoted to lieutenant in October 2000, assigned to a patrol for one month, then moved to administration, where he became Chief William Kilfoil’s administrative assistant. By 2004, he was promoted to assistant chief. And when Chief Kilfoil retired in March 2013 after 39 years, Assistant Chief Salerno became Acting Chief Salerno. He was required to take the civil service test for chiefs, which he did, coming out number one. On October 19, Acting Chief Salerno became Chief James Salerno.

Police Commissioner James Duncan, 19 years on the job, seven times as chairman, explained, “I have worked with him as a lieutenant, assistant chief and finally chief. He scored number one on the Civil Service Chiefs Test. Jim is the most experienced and a fine worker.” Duncan should know. He has been a dedicated Port firefighter for 52 years and was a Nassau County police officer for 23 years.

Salerno’s predecessor, William Kilfoil, has only high praise for him. “His assistance to me was vital. His professional skills abound and he has an unlimited capacity to work with people to get the job done. I am proud to call him my colleague and my friend.”

Chief Salerno became a police officer because, he said, “I always wanted to do something to help people.” Then, emotionally, he added, “But of all the things I’ve done, the awards and medals, the best thing in my whole career was the baby girl I delivered in the lobby at headquarters. I was getting ready to go off duty after an overnight shift. A cab pulls in with a man and woman in the backseat. The woman was obviously pregnant and ready to deliver. They stopped at the police station because they couldn’t make it to the hospital in time. We carried her in, laid her on the couch and I delivered the baby…I was delighted to be present at her 15th birthday celebration.”

Chief Salerno is a born communicator with great passion for his job. He has set up forums for residents to say what’s on their minds. “I love this job. I love the community and the police officers here, the men and women, who keep us safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.

“I am sure he will continue to do a fine job for the people of Port Washington for many years to come,” Kilfoil said.