Successful Fashion Sense

This Massapequan proves ambition is in fashion.

Jaime Duncan, a 2014 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), recently received a Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence from the State University of New York (SUNY) system. She graduated summa cum laude from FIT with a bachelor of science in fashion merchandising management. The young woman has taken what she learned at FIT and is now a product assistant for the INC International Concepts brand at Macy’s Merchandising Group. Before that, she received her associate of applied science degree in fashion merchandising management, also summa cum laude, from FIT in 2012.

The 2014 Chancellor Award winners with President Brown

Jaime Duncan (left) with Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president, the Fashion Institute of Technology

Duncan was born and raised in Massapequa, where her parents, Susan and Kevin, still reside.

This year, SUNY honored 274 students from 64 SUNY campuses throughout New York state. Each recipient received a framed certificate and medallion that was worn at commencement.

“Students honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence truly embody the power of SUNY,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “As proven leaders and role models, scholar athletes, creative artists, and civic volunteers, each student is recognized not just for academic achievement, but also for the profound impact they have on college campuses and local communities.”

The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence was created in 1997 to recognize students who have best demonstrated and have been recognized for the integration of academic excellence with accomplishments in the areas of leadership, athletics, community service, creative and performing arts, campus involvement, or career achievement.

Duncan earned a place on the Dean’s list every semester. She was a member of the Presidential Scholars, FIT’s honor program, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also was a member of the winning FIT team at the Retail Futures Challenge Competition of the World Retail Congress, held in Paris in 2013.

The Massapequan was selected for an FIT London internship program, enabling her to study at the London College of Fashion and intern at the U.K. department store, Marks and Spencer. She has also interned at Lanvin, Marc Jacobs International, Yigal Azrouel Inc., and Mainstream Swimsuits Inc.

Chosen to participate in FIT’s International Buying and Marketing summer course, Duncan visited principal European cities to study the factors involved in fashion marketing and international customers’ attitudes about fashion.

Intestines Found Non-Human: Police

When intestines were found on the bay side of Tobay Beach in Massapequa, many suspected the worst.

But according to police, the entrails found at around 12:46 p.m. today came from an animal, not a human being. Initial reports said the guts were found in a garbage can, but police later said it discovered in the water.

Cops said a lifeguard gathered the organ parts from the water and called the police. Nassau County Medical Technicians arrived on the scene but could not determine the origin of the remains, which were later brought to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office for further analysis.

The beach was reopened with no restrictions after an initial evacuation.




Island Fun At Tobay

Take sun, sand, surf, mix up a few margaritas and pina coladas, add the festive music of a steel drum and voila, you’ve got a Caribbean party going on without the hassle of traveling on a plane.


Bethpage’s Terry Muldoon sets up to play at Tobay Beach.
(Photos by Cynthia Paulis)

Tobay Beach, the jewel of the south shore, is the place to go this summer. Terry Muldoon, a Bethpage resident known as the Steel Margarita, has been a speech pathologist for the past 17 years. When she gets home from work she sheds her business suit and heels, trading them in for flip flops and puka shells before she breaks out her steel drum and starts to play music.

Muldoon’s first hobby was as a belly dancer, then she tried drums. She found an instructor in Amityville, bought a steel drum and three years later she’s playing events all over Long Island. She was selected by Linda Mangano to play the Just Desserts Event honoring women of the year at Bethpage this past spring in front of 500 people. She has played at weddings, parties, restaurants and debuted as the first musician at Tobay recently and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

Keith Langan, general manager of Tobay Beach restaurants Singleton’s Salsa Shack and Singleton’s Seafood Shack said he decided to add the steel drums of Muldoon to add some island flavor to his eateries’ atmosphere.

“My intention was that it gives you a real festive and happy feeling when you get out of your car and hopefully you go into the restaurants. It puts you in that Caribbean or island frame of mind before you even have dinner,” he said. “I think her playing is fantastic. People are happy, they are dancing, and they are having fun. I think this is working.”

Passing by, sporting a Hawaiian outfit was Mayor Jeff Pravato of Massapequa Park.

“The music is such a nice touch,” he said. “As I was walking up to the Salsa Shack I was saying to myself how great this is. There is no place I would rather be than the wonderful beaches that our town offers our residents. The music is a wonderful idea and I hope they continue it for the summer.”

Dan and Shelly Dougherty of Massapequa said the music is an inspired touch to the outdoor area.

“I think having a steel drum down here makes it very special and it makes the whole day very special,” said Shelly, who got up and danced with her daughter Danielle.

Members of the Metro Parrot Head Club, followers of Jimmy Buffet, were on hand to cheer on Muldoon. Thomas Pfeiffer, the Long Island coordinator of the group, along with his wife Loretta, both from Massapequa, joined the dancing. ase. “I have been watching Terry play for two years and she is fantastic and Tobay is the perfect setting,” he said.

As children passed by, Muldoon showed them how the steel drum works and let them play a few notes before rewarding them with a flower lei.

Muldoon said she loves playing for the laid back crowd that frequents Tobay Beach.

“I love the energy of the crowd because beach people are very cool,” said Muldoon, who played for four hours. “I saw a lot of support for live music which makes me very happy.”

Muldoon started her morning performing in New Jersey, then came to Tobay to play and was next on to a friend’s graduation party where she was also playing. The tireless and effervescent Muldoon brought a great deal of joy to people who she met at Tobay and will be returning during the summer.

To book an event with Steel Margarita go to or call 516-643-6311.

Lax Game Supports Troops

Massapequa’s Field of Dreams will host 24 hours of lacrosse to benefit soldiers.

The Town of Oyster Bay, in conjunction with U.S. Lacrosse and the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Foundation, Inc., will host the Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour lacrosse game benefit slated for Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25. The round-the-clock event will benefit wounded American military personnel. [Read more...]

Editors Win National Awards

Two editors at Anton Community Newspapers recently were named award-winners in the 2014 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Editorial Contest. This is the first time Anton has entered the contest.

The judges of this nationwide competition, sponsored by the largest newspaper organization in the country, recognized the work of Anton Editor Betsy Abraham and Editor in Chief John Owens.ResizedLOGO

Abraham took an Honorable Mention in the Best Education/Literacy Story category for the piece “BOE Talks Illegal Residents” in The Westbury Times.

Owens’ editorial on State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr., “You’d Better Smile When You Call Us That,” received an Honorable Mention in the Best Serious Column category.

Winners will be recognized at an award reception on Oct. 4 at the National Newspaper Association’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

These awards are among two dozen journalism accolades presented to Anton editors and newspapers so far this year.

Digging Deep For College

A Massapequa Park resident dug deep and is now receiving a $1,000 scholarship from the Long Island Horticultural Society.


Pictured left to right are committee members Angelika Swantek of Farmingdale, Nanci Allen of Oyster Bay, scholarship winners Lucy Contreras, of Massapequa, and James Brandt, and committee member Priscilla Bauerschmidt of Carle Place.

At its June meeting, the Horticultural Society awarded two scholarships, of $1,000 each, to two deserving students majoring in horticulture at Farmingdale State University. Lucy Contreras, 25, of Massapequa Park received the award along with James Brandt, 32, of New Hyde Park. [Read more...]

Classic Story Comes To Town

Theater fans in Massapequa should get ready to experience a “tale as old as time” live on stage.


Emma Harrington stars as Belle and Joseph Anthony as Beast in an upcoming production.
(Photo courtesy of TCWeiss)

The Children’s Summer Magical Music & More series, sponsored by the Cultural and Performing Arts (CAPA) Division of the Town of Oyster Bay’s Department of Community & Youth Services, is bringing Beauty & the Beast to Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa at 10:30 a.m. on July 21.

“The next act in the Children’s Summer Magical Music & More is the Plaza Productions presentation of Beauty & the Beast where families can experience the magic of live musical theater for free” said Councilman Anthony Macagnone. “A classic story like Beauty & The Beast performed by the Plaza Productions players is brought to the stage with wonderful talent that is sure to delight children and parents.”

Beauty & the Beast

is the story of a prince who is transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his selfish behavior and an adventurous young woman whom he imprisons in his castle. In order to become human again, Beast must earn Belle’s love before it is too late.

The performance runs for one hour and is followed by a meet and greet with the cast, including Emma Harrington as Belle and Joseph Anthony as Beast.

Other performances include July 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Ellsworth W. Allen Town Park in Farmingdale; July 22 at 10:30 a.m. at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay and 1:30 p.m. at Harry Tappen Beach in Glenwood Landing; and July 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park and at 1:30 p.m. at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park in Woodbury.

For further information, call the Town of Oyster Bay’s Department of Community and Youth Services at 516-797-7900 or call Plaza Theatrical Productions, Inc. at 516-599-6870 for show information.

LIRR Strike Looms

Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.

“Unbelievable…unbelievable is the word that I’d use to describe the job the MTA is doing, and I’m not using that in a positive way,” said Scott Langdon, as he disembarked from his long daily commute to a job with an investment firm in Manhattan. “Not real happy with the MTA lately, no.”

It has been a long time since Long Island commuters faced a railroad strike—20 years and one month exactly—and the last time was relatively painless. In 1994, LIRR employees walked off the job on Friday, June 17, 1994. The union and the MTA cut a deal Saturday night. The trains were running again by Sunday.

That happy outcome seems less likely this time around, with the strike deadline coming on a Sunday. There might be a last-minute settlement, but MTA leaders have already ignored the recommendation of two separate federal panels to accept the union’s offer. New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed the buck to Congress. Congress has refused to intercede. A strike could backfire on either party—or on any politician who gets involved.

According to MTA CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, the MTA is holding out because the union’s offer will overly burden LIRR passengers.

“I strongly believe that a resolution can be reached in a fiscally responsible manner,” Prendergast wrote to Congress.

Jennifer Ellison, waiting at the Massapequa Park station for an eastbound train home after work, wasn’t buying it.  “Don’t they realize that the public depends upon them?” she asked. “The MTA needs to do the right thing and settle with the unions and start running a tighter ship.” She believes MTA brass is wasting money.

In their own letter to Congress, union leaders pointed out that LIRR workers have been on the job without a contract since 2010.

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has demanded benefit cuts and other concessions from workers,” union leaders stated. “MTA management has rejected recommendations from two Presidential Emergency Boards that would end the dispute. Union members ask for nothing more than what both these neutral federal boards have already recommended.”

At the Massapequa station, the strike potential unleashed a host of complaints, mostly directed at those in charge.

“I don’t think the MTA is run very well at all…the stations are a mess and the trains are always mega-late,” Ellison said. “Learn to cut corners and spend wisely and not just jack up the fares every other month.”

Langdon, a Massapequa resident, likewise expressed disgust with “being constantly bled dry.” “The constant rate hikes are insane. I mean, the train fares are bad enough, but two bucks to ride a bus? Are you kidding?” he said. “Meanwhile, the infrastructure is crumbling all around us.

“They’re finally doing something about the condition of the Massapequa train station, which has been outdated and dilapidated for ages,” he continued, “but this multi-million dollar facelift is taking forever, and they’re not even half done.”

Ellison voiced similar frustration: “Really, someone ought to run an audit on the MTA and find out what they’re doing with their millions, because I don’t think it’s going back into the business like it should.”

- With additional reporting by Marlo Jappen

Give Them Shelter

Sebastian, a two year-old pit mix with chocolate and caramel fur, wags his tail and splashes inside a kiddie pool outside the Forgotten Friends of Long Island rescue center in Levittown. The energetic pup is looking for a home, just like the four other dogs housed at this location in the basement of the Animal Hospital at 4 East Village Green.


Molly was abused by her former owners, but maintains a soft temperment.
(Photos by Marlo Jappen)

“He’s good with other dogs and actually likes cats,” said Beth Marzo of Plainview, a dog coordinator at Forgotten Friends of Long Island. Sebastian was rescued from the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter where he lived for one year.

Forgotten Friends of Long Island is a non-profit rescue organization that survives entirely off of donations and fundraised money.

“It’s all volunteer,” said cat coordinator Jody Karaler, who takes care of the 58 cats and kittens sheltered at this center. “We cover all the shots and vet expenses of any cat that leaves here.”

Forgotten Friends of Long Island rescues cats and dogs from local animal shelters and saves abandoned animals in the community.

“I felt that there were so many animals overlooked by the public and animal rescue organizations,” said the rescue group’s president, Plainview resident Loretta Rinaldo. She started this organization six years ago, but the Levittown location just had its grand opening on June 8.

“The biggest obstacle we face is the huge debts from vet care,” she said.

Rinaldo, a registered nurse of 36 years, ensures that every animal receives proper medical care. The animals are spayed, neutered, dewormed, de-fleaed, given shots, and tested for diseases.


Nikki and Jenna are a mother-daughter duo looking for a home.

Forgotten Friends of Long Island takes in animals from difficult situations. Jameson, a friendly 3-year-old pit mix, spent more than two years in the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, and never knew of a home. The bonded mother-daughter duo Nikki, 5, and Jenna, 8, both a beagle-terrier mix, were abandoned and tied to a fence.

Molly, an 8-year-old pit mix, spent three years in the Town of Hempstead shelter. Her ears were chopped with scissors and her teeth were filed.

“I believe she was a bait dog,” said Marzo. “She’s very gentle and loves walks.”

“Everyone of these animals have a great temperament,” Marzo said. “The goal is to find these animals their forever homes.”

However, the volunteers at Forgotten Friends of Long Island don’t give these animals to just anyone. They do home checks to make sure that the animal is in the right hands.

“The match is very important,” said Rinaldo.

For animal lovers who don’t want the long-term commitment, fostering one of these animals is also an option.

“Fostering these animals benefits them greatly,” said Marzo, adding that the rescue group loves “foster failures,” which she said are foster families that fall in love with the animal and decide to adopt them.

The organization has more than 40 volunteer dog walkers that take on different shifts. Current volunteers at the organizations come from such towns as Levittown, Massapequa, Farmingdale, Seaford, Hicksville and Plainview.

“We’re always looking for volunteers that are able to walk big dogs,” Marzo said.

Forgotten Friends of Long Island is hosting a fundraising event at the AMF Bowling Center in Wantagh on Saturday, July 26 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. For $20, guests can enjoy two hours of bowling, pizza and soda as well as a Chinese Auction. If interested in donating to the organization or adopting one of the animals, please visit or call 516-719-0808.

Seventy Years Of Love


The Deckers met in Brooklyn in 1940.

On July 4, 1944, Don and Virginia Decker (neé Beck) found love during a time of war. Seventy years later, their love story continues in Massapequa, encompassing rough times in World War II, exciting career and travel opportunities, and an impressive extended family of 43 members.

“We met in 1940 at a luncheonette called Haskells in Brooklyn on Avenue U,” said Virginia, who was only 15 at the time she met Don. “He was at my 16th birthday party, but at the time we were just friends.” [Read more...]