Two Sides To The VLT Debate

BY STEPHEN LEVINEBelmontCasino_021216B

A casino on Long Island? Towns such as Westbury and Plainview have been discussed as possible locations. Could Massapequa be next? After a snowstorm halted their previous attempts, hundreds of local residents from Floral Park, Elmont, Franklin Square and other communities marched on Belmont on Jan. 30 to show their disapproval regarding the proposed video casino at the famed racetrack.

The grassroots campaign against the casino started with a Facebook page made by Matt Sexton, and after an exchange of numbers, the ball began rolling for the fight against the casino at Belmont Park. [Read more…]

Pinewood Derby Draws Racers

Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joseph G. Pinto (second row center-right) recently attended the Massapequa Cub Scout Pack 590’s AJGP-Cub Scout Pack 590 Pine Wood Derbynnual Pinewood Derby held at the Lockhart School in Massapequa, where over a dozen Cub Scouts came to race the pinewood race cars they had crafted for the race. Pictured with Councilman Joseph G. Pinto are Senator Michael Venditto (second row right) and Nassau County Legislator James Kennedy (front row left). As in years past, the Pinewood Derby proved to be an enjoyable event for Scouts, Scout Leaders and Town Officials alike, demonstrating the joy of watching residents of all ages working together to produce this fun event.

Events 2/10-2/18

Wednesday, Feb. 10MassCal_021016A
Meditation quiets and calms an over-stimulated and distracted mind. Mediation relaxes the meditator, enhancing over-all well-being and deepens insight and opens you to higher consciousness. This introductory class uses different meditative techniques and open discussion. Registration is required. $15 for all sessions with a fee due at registration. Checks may be made payable to the library. From 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. in the Bar Harbour Auditorium.

Knit and Crochet
Come knit and crochet with Angie Gallo from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Plainedge Library community room. Must register. A program fee of $5 cash or check made payable to Plainedge Public Library is required. Bring your own project or choose from the many instruction books available. Bring knitting worsted weight yarn and a #9 needle for knitting or an H or I hook for crocheting.

Thursday, Feb. 11
Weekly Storytime
Come to Barnes & Noble located at 5224 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa Park for a weekly storytime. Begins at 11:30 a.m.

Plainedge School District Board of Education Meeting
A public work session and regular business meeting will take place at 8 p.m. in the learning center at 241 Wyngate Dr., N. Massapequa.

Movie: Mr. HolmesMassCal_021016C
The Bar Harbour auditorium will show a 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. screening of the movie Mr. Holmes. Long-retired and near the end of his life, Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) grapples with an unreliable memory and must rely on his housekeeper’s son as he revisits the still-unsolved case that led to his retirement. The mystery has haunted him for 50 years and now he must quietly slip out of retirement and pay a secret visit to his past in order to determine the future, in this intriguing and thoughtful suspense-thriller. (2015; PG 1 hr. 45min). Starring Ian McKellen, Laura Linney.

Friday, Feb. 12
Using Hatha Yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditative practices, open the body and mind to a new sense of wellness, release, and awareness. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a mat. Registration required with a fee of $18 for all sessions. Fee due at registration. Checks made payable to the library. From 9 to 10 a.m. in the Bar Harbour Auditorium.

Saturday, Feb. 13
Adopt-A-Battalion Soldier’s Drive
Come help put care packages together for troops overseas. Volunteers sort, pack and ship items to send to the troops. Looking for personal care items, seasonings and hot sauces and items other than candy. From 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Island Knight of Columbus Council, 2 Eastgate Rd., Massapequa Park.

Sunday, Feb. 14
Happy Valentine’s Day
Pick up some flowers at your local florist.

Birds in Massapequa Preserve
Join the South Shore Audubon Society for a bird walk in the Massapequa Preserve from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Walk leaders and other birders and MassCal_021016Dnature enthusiasts will be happy to share their knowledge and experience with you. The bird walk is free but bring binoculars. Rain will cancel. The group will meet at the Northeast parking lot at the Massapequa Long Island Railroad Station. For more information, visit or call Joe Landesberg at 516-467-9498.

Monday, Feb. 15
Library Closed
Both library buildings are closed for President’s Day.

Wednesday, Feb. 17
Garden Club
This month’s Massapequa Park Garden Club meeting will feature a workshop by club members Rose Bonagura and Fran Vecchio, who recently attended a seminar on creating table arrangements. They will now teach members and guests the techniques they learned. Begins at 7 p.m. and open to the public. Meets downstairs at Massapequa Park Village Hall, 151 Front St., Massapequa Park. Refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Rose Bonagura at 516-796-0194.

LIRR Tracks Program
From 11 a.m. to noon in the Bar Harbour children’s room. Call Chrisann Fabio at 516-924-1415 for more information.

Thursday, Feb. 18
AARP Tax AideMassCal_021016B
Free tax assitance for seniors by appointment only. Call 516-798-4607 ext. 6304 to make an appointment/register. From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., reserve a spot in several of the open time slots throughout the day. Located in the Central Avenue Reference Floor.

The Plainedge Public Library is looking for Plainedge School District volunteers in grades six and up for children’s crafts/activities during the 2015-16 school year. All applicants are accepted into a pool of eligible volunteers who will be called upon from time to time during the year. Application packets are now available from the children’s services staff. Contact the Children’s Services Department for more information at 516-735-4133, ext. 12 or ext. 13. Community service credit furnished upon request.

Art Corner


The picture was drawn by Nicholas Kasin, age 17. It was a school project using oil pastels. Kasin is a student at Massapequa High School.


The picture was drawn by Daniel Kasin, age 14. It was a school project where he had to find a picture of a celebrity and then recreate the picture using a graphite pencil. His image was of Howard Stern. Kasin created the piece in eighth grade at Berner Middle School.


Honors For Rep. King

Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) was recently honored for his support of the Towers of Freedom 9/11 Military Monument located 20160128_161117at John J. Burns Park in Massapequa as well as for his efforts to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Health Act. Presenting the award, which includes an actual piece of World Trade Center steel, were FDNY Lt. (Ret.) Frank Haskell of West Islip and NYPD Det. (Ret.) Tommy Smith of Massapequa Park who worked long hours and many days at Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks. Frank and Tommy led the effort to construct this inspiring 9/11 monument which honors those who died that tragic day and also the men and women of our Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unqua ‘Postal Service’ Builds Writing Skills

With the support of the Unqua Elementary School PTA, the Unqua Postal Service, a program designed to increase the letter-wrPostOffice_021016Aiting skills of children, is up and running for the second consecutive year. The program was initiated to revitalize skills such as writing letters and addressing envelopes, which have been declining with the advancement of technology. While the program was introduced in school, most of the letter writing is taking place at home so that students can see that writing occurs in different settings for different purposes.

Students are able to write letters to any Unqua staff member including teachers, teaching assistants, custodians, monitors, kitchen staff, clerical staff or members of security. Letters are mailed in the PTA mailbox in the main lobby and fifth-grade students have the opportunity to serve on the “UPS Team” to help sort and deliver the mail. Each room in the school has been assigned an address and each hallway has been assigned a street name, such as Caring Street, Teamwork Way and Honesty Avenue. The street names tie in Character Education themes while providing addresses to deliver the mail.

—Submitted by Massapequa Public Schools


Pack 5 Gets Creative


—Submitted by Noelle Bloom, Pequott District Membership Chair

The first grade Tigers from Fairfield Elementary’s Pack 5 made a Family Banner at a den meeting for their “My Family Duty To God” adventure. This adventure helps them understand what duty to God means in Scouting and also what duty to God means for them and their families.


Big Daddy’s Gumbo


Chef Craig Bedell

From Chef Craig Bedell of Big Daddy’s
Makes approximately one gallon

½ cup andouille sausage
½ cup smoked turkey
½ cup tasso ham
1 cup onions
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped bell peppers
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 oz oil or butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp crushed red pepper

1. Combine above ingredients
in a large pot.
2. Sweat until onions are translucent; stirring constantly for approximately 20 to 30 minutes until meat starts to caramelize.bluecrabs.indd

2 cups crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 ears corn, shucked
2 quarts beef or chicken stock
2 bay leaves

Simmer for an hour and then season with:
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Fresh thyme, parsley and oregano

1. Make a roux of ½ cup butter cooked with ½ cup flour and crumble this over the meat mixture.
2. Add okra cut crosswise and cook for 15 minutes to half an hour.
3. Mix gumbo file with cold water and add just before serving.
4. Serve with rice.

Massapequa Based Mom-Mentum Executive Director Named To AFPLI Board

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Long Island Chapter ( is pleased to welcome Long Beach resident Alison La Ferlita as a new first-term member of the Board of Directors. La Ferlita was formally installed on January 26 at the Molloy College Suffolk Campus during the AFPLI Annual General MeeAlison La Ferlita photo  )ting, which preceded the monthly educational program.

La Ferlita has been the Executive Director of Mom-Mentum since 2013. She has the overall responsibility for strategic leadership and programmatic, financial, and operational management of the organization. La Ferlita works in concert with the Mom-mentum Board of Directors to develop and implement a multi-year strategy for continued growth in the areas of programs, fund development, and organizational visibility.

La Ferlita has 20 years of experience in non-profit and association management, where she implemented and developed innovative programs, such as the Mom-mentum Return to Work Program-a member benefit designed to help support talented individuals who, after an extended absence, are seeking to re-enter the workforce through established partnerships with companies like FlexJobs.

AFPLI is Long Island’s professional affiliation for those in the fundraising field or whose positions require fundraising expertise. Throughout the year, it offers a wide array of programs and services that include monthly educational seminars, scholarships, mentoring, certification programs, a job bank, and its celebrated Philanthropy Day Conference and Awards Luncheon, November 18, 2016. AFPLI is a four-time winner of the Ten Star Chapter Award, thanks to its dedicated board of directors and excellent educational offerings. Please visit for information and news.



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Top Honors


Rep. Pete King (R-Seaford) congratulates Joseph Gramegna on receiving a Congressional nomination to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Gramegna is currently a student at Massapequa High School.