Home Wanted

Smithtown Animal Shelter

WANTED:  WARM LOVING HOMES !!! 

Coco is a 9 month old female/spayed Boxer mix and is good with dogs and children

Caramel and Dusty are both 3 year old Male Neutered Domestic Short Hair orange & White Tabby brothers,

They would prefer to be adopted together, they are good with cats, sweet and friendly.

Carmel Dusty 

 

 

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 People in the News

Tuesday
Apr152014

Commack HS Students Talk RYLA And Special Olympics With Rotarians

Commack-Kings Park Rotary President Dr. Phil Facquet with Commack HS studentsFour students from Commack HS visited the Commack-Kings Park Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon. Three of the students attended Rotary’s RYLA -Rotary Youth Leadership Award program. The two-day program is designed to teach high school students skills in leadership, communication, problem solving, decision making, conflict management and resolution.

The three RYLA attendees Theresa Amoruso, Katherine Elliot And Caitlin Passaro described their experience as life changing. The RYLA program is run by young people, eleventh and twelfth graders, who participated in the program as tenth graders.  Rotarians act as chaperones during the two days, but the young people do everything. 

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to sponsor these young people.  The RYLA program allows young people to work together and to develop their leadership skills. To hear the students describe their experience at the Rotary program as life changing makes all of us in Rotary proud,” stated President Phil Facquet.

Jessica SpitzCommack HS senior Jessica Spitz was the guest speaker for the afternoon meeting. Jessica is a spokesperson for the Special Olympics. The Commack school district is hosting the Special Olympics on May 4.  This is the second year for the district.  Last year’s event was described as one of the most successful Special Olympics ever.  Debbie Virga represents the school district and acts as the liaison between the district and the Special Olympics committee. This is a labor of love for Ms. Virga who has described the event as a wonderful, positive experience. Participants vary in age from children to adults.  The events include many of the track and field events people see in olympic competitions.

Jessica Spitz is an enthusiastic participant and spokesperson for the Special Olympics. Jessica will be participating in track and shot put. She explained to Rotarians how participating in the Special Olympics helped her and allowed for new friendships, increased self esteem, and fun.Jessica will graduate in June and is looking forward to attending Suffolk County Community College and working towards earning a degree in Veterinary Technology.  

The Special Olympic Games will be held on May 4th at Commack HS.  

 

Monday
Apr142014

"Smithtown In The Year 3000" Short Story Winning Entries

“Smithtown In The Year 3000” Smithtown Matters/ Smithtown Youth Bureau’s creative writing contest - Short Story Winning Entry and Honorable Mention Entry.

The Coming Times of Smithtown

By Eric David

I’ve spent my years always trying to figure out how to change the world, how to leave a mark on history, how to die on my death bed with no regrets. I’ve spent my whole life as a scientist to invent the one thing that has never been attempted before in history, many scientists talk about how it’s impossible, or that our technology isn’t advanced enough yet. But if we were to invent this device, the time machine, it could change the world and bring about new possibilities. And I want to be the one to bring that change into this world, and leave my mark on history so that I may never be forgotten, because that is my one and only fear. Not to be scared of death, or pain, or being endanger, but to be forgotten. Which is why I spent my whole life dedicated to building this machine and I assure you that all those years of my life that have been spent on researching did not go to waste because I have finally done it, I have invented the time machine. The only thing left for me to do now, is to test it.

I brought the device to an old ballet school, long deserted, a good radius outside of Smithtown, it was the best location for me to remain from being found. So I carry the time machine over inside the school and into one of the ballet dance rooms. It is surprisingly light for a time machine, it weighs about the same as a car battery and it is able to fit an averaged size human being inside it. As I set the machine down in the middle of the dance room I looked around and saw these pictures of little girls dancing on the wall. I began to ponder the thought of what could change in the future. As I glare at the pictures on the wall, I wondered if there would be a brand new type of dance, or cures for diseases, or even a more successful and advanced society. A society that that focuses on improving, it choses quality over quantity, a society in where we can all grasp each other’s hands and unite as one, our society, our town, Smithtown would be unstoppable, the possibilities are endless with this machine. And the only way I could find out was to step inside the machine, set the year to 1000 years into the future, and press the go switch. So that’s what I did.

I woke up and stepped out of the machine, quickly ran outside and my legs fell like stones. My eyes were in a daze, I was in awe, I saw flying cars, there were these buildings that seemed to levitate off the ground, and robots walking the streets, everything had changed. I got up and began to walk around; I tried to see if the Commack public library was still around, sure enough it was. I wanted to see what has changed in Smithtown throughout the years. I logged onto a computer and typed in the search engine “Changes in Smithtown”. I looked at the results and there were tears running down my face, my town that I was born and raised in, was responsible for these incredible achievements like “research center in Smithtown found cure for tumors”, “Smithtown criminal activity decreased by 80%”, “Mayor increases school education by introducing new curriculums!” As I read these news articles that seemed to go on endlessly. But there’s something I expected to be invented by this time period but doesn’t seem to have been created yet, a time machine. That’s when I then realized that I left my device at the ballet school, so I quickly returned to it to ensure that it was still there. It was, and I stared at my creation and realized that it is the only one of its kind. And it seems that the world is finally ready for it, my creation, my mark on history will be remembered throughout the ages. But not just mine; my home, Smithtown will also be remembered.

Honorable Mention - Morgan Schare

Smithtown in the Year 3000 My feet slam down on the pavement of the cracked sidewalk carrying me farther and farther away from my home, away form my old life. Sirens are sounding all around me and I hear gunshots in the distance. Goosebumps crawl up my skin and my teeth are chattering from the cold. Wrapping my arms around myself I make my way to the edge of town and to the electric gate. The gate is much taller than me; it stretches ten feet high and it surrounds Smithtown on all sides. The government says that the gate is there to protect us from the outside world, but my parents thought otherwise and now they’ve been punished for their thoughts. I shudder as the memory of my parents’ lifeless bodies enter my mind.

My father said that it wasn’t always this way. He used to tell me stories of communities just like Smithtown; people would leave and enter other towns as they pleased. In these communities people actually had a say in the government and they had freedom. Well at least that was how it was before the eighth World War struck our country. This war was like a plague. People began to turn on their families in the middle of the night. The war has been going on for a little over 100 years now; I don’t think it will ever end. I finally reach the edge of the gate and I pick up a stick next to my ratty sneaker and toss it at the gate to check if the electricity is on. The stick bounces back off of the gate and I sigh with relief.

I bend down and grab the edge of the gate and pull it upwards creating a small enough hole for me to slide under it and out into the world beyond. As soon as I’m on the other side of the gate I run as fast as I can towards the woods. I know that as soon as the sun rises and the government realizes that I’m gone, they’ll come looking for me and everyone that I’ve left behind will be in danger.

Jet, Kiza, and Leigh, their lives are now in jeopardy because I have escaped. But they know this because their families are also a part of the Beginning, the beginning of a revolution in Smithtown. My breath is labored and my legs are aching by the time I reach a rundown shack at the edge of the woods. All of the windows are broken and a thick coating of moss is hugging the outside walls. I carefully make my way up the raggedy, old steps and into what would now be my safe house. A layer of dust coats the scratched floors and moldy sheets cover what is left of the furniture. This house must not have fit the qualifications of the homes inside the gate.

My eyes travel around the room. The room seems sad, yet full of life at the same time; many memories were made here. The Beginning has one major project to complete. They want to find out as much information as they can about what life was like in Smithtown before the war. Our government did everything in its power to keep us shielded from the past; they say it’s for our own safety. If you ask me or any other member of the Beginning, they’ll say that our government is hiding things from us and it’s our duty to uncover the truth. I strongly believe that this house holds secrets of the past and I am going to tear it apart from top to bottom to find answers. I walk to the back of the house and enter a room off the kitchen.

As soon as I open the door a fouls smell almost knocks me off my feet. My hand holds my nose as the smell registers in my brain: dead bodies. Sure enough there is a pile in the middle of the room with a bloody sheet hiding what horrid thing lay beneath it. A pale, rotting hand sticks out from under the sheet and I shudder. I run back to the front of the house to gather my thoughts. I should’ve expected this, as there were consequences for the people whose homes were not chosen to be included inside of the Smithtown Gate.

I never realized that those consequences included murdering innocent people. Anger and determination pound through my veins. I turn towards the door nearest me and find it to be completely empty, but it doesn’t fool me. These old houses had many different secret openings in walls and floors, which were used to store artifacts that the government tried to collect way before the gate was put up. The government wanted these artifacts so we would not be able to look back on the past; they burned everything they collected. Paintings, poems, textbooks, anything they thought would provoke a memory was turned to ash. I walk to the center of the room and drop to my knees. I feel around the floor for any loose floorboards that could be lifted; there are none.

I then make my way to one of the walls and knock on it to see if it is hollow. I do this to each wall until I finally hear a hollow sound. The fourth wall is definitely hollow and my curiosity soars. In order to break through the wall I need a sharp object so I make my way back to the front of the house in search of a tool. I open what looks to be a closet and I am in luck. Inside the closet is a crowbar, probably put there by the family in case they were ever robbed of the rest of their lives. I shake off these feelings and snatch the crowbar up from the ground. I drag it into the room I was in before and begin to smash it at the hollow wall. I create a large enough hole to stick my arm through and run it across the floor on the other side of the wall searching for something. I am not quite sure what that something is just yet. I am about to give up when my hand hits something hard. My heart stops. Then speeds up like a racecar. I pull the object out and stared at it in disbelief. It is a tiny box with pictures of different works of art scattered across the front. I have never seen anything like it before. I open the box carefully and gasp. What rested inside the box was going to change everything. My name is Enno Amorette and I am a part of the Revolution.

Wednesday
Apr092014

Make-A-Wish Sends 12-Year-Old Smithtown Resident On A Shopping Spree

Shopping Spree Wish Comes True For Smithtown Child Through Make-A-Wish and United Health Foundation

Gary, 12, of Smithtown, pictured with employees from Best Buy while on his shopping spree courtesy of Make-A-Wish and UnitedHealthcare.Smithtown, NY – Gary, 12, of Smithtown lives with spinal muscular atrophy.  When presented with an opportunity for a wish, he chose to go on a shopping spree.  Gary’s wish came true, courtesy of United Health Foundation and Make-A-Wish® Suffolk County, New York.

United Health Foundation sponsored Gary’s wish through its national alliance with Make-A-Wish to support the organization and its mission of granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Gary and his mother, Gina, were picked up at their home by limousine this morning to go shopping at Best Buy.  Gary loves video games so he asked to go to Best Buy to shop for an Xbox.  Employees from UnitedHealthcare’s local office accompanied Gary on his shopping spree.

“We are very happy to play a role in making Gary’s shopping spree wish come true,” said Jeff Alter, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual and a board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County.   “Make-A-Wish truly makes a positive impact in our communities and brings joy to so many children courageously facing life-threatening medical conditions.”

Since 2007, UnitedHealth Group has funded more than 2,136 wishes through a $7.5 million alliance with Make-A-Wish.  Additionally, UnitedHealth Group employees and the dollar-for-dollar company match have resulted in more than $5.3 million in donations through the company’s annual United Giving Campaign.

About Make-A-Wish

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.  Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, Make-A-Wish is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world.  With the help of generous donors and more than 30,000 volunteers worldwide, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 280,000 wishes around the world since its inception.  For more information about Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.

About United Health Foundation

 Guided by a passion to help people live healthier lives, United Health Foundation provides helpful information to support decisions that lead to better health outcomes and healthier communities. The Foundation also supports activities that expand access to quality health care services for those in challenging circumstances and partners with others to improve the well being of communities. Since established by UnitedHealth Group [NYSE: UNH] in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation, the Foundation has committed more than $210 million to improve health and health care. For more information, visit www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.

Thursday
Apr032014

Kings Park Junior Zachary Marcone Attends M.I.T. Conference Returns Home With Award

Maureen Rossi

Zachary Marcone looks like your average high school kid but average he is not.  First of all he’s a boy and he does not play video games.  Now that you’ve regained consciousness, the teen defies his species in a myriad of other ways.  He smiles, he makes eye contact and the Kings Park teen can speak extensively on global issues, physics, the fundamental nature of the universe and the use of drones in impoverished countries.

Zachary was recently honored along with other Kings Park students at the school district’s March 25th Board of Education meeting.  Marcone is the founder and president of the Model United Nations Club at Kings Park High School. He recently won the Best Position Paper Award at a recent Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) Conference.   “There were many different committees, one of those committees was going to be debating drones,” he explained.  

At the M.I.T. conference Zachary represented the the small South African country of Zimbabwe.  It is a complicated country with sixteen official languages and a heritage that is equally diverse.  Zimbabwe gained sovereignty from the United Kingdom back in 1980.   According to organizations like  Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch the government of Zimbabwe violates the rights to shelter, food, freedom of movement and residence, freedom of assembly and the protection of the law. There are aggressions against the media, the political opposition, civil society activists, and human rights defenders.  Zimbabwe does not have a pristine record with regard to human rights.    The nation’s armed forces include approximately twenty-thousand members, their paramilitary presence is equally large with approximately twenty thousand members. 

“I had to decide should there be restrictions on drones – as a small African nation with a declining economy the use of drones might be deemed a threat by larger countries,” he extrapolated.     Marcone felt that the unmanned aerial surveillance technology would be a detriment to Zimbabwe.   “However, from a U.S. perspective, I think that drones are actually a safer form of warfare,” he added.

Drones have made headlines in the U.S. over the last year as declassified information about the nation’s use of them filtered out. Drone use inside the U.S. has become a subject of much debate.  The U.N. does not have a position banning the use of drones but often weighs in on the subject as they have been increasingly utilized on a global level as the technology has advanced. 

According to a recent statement by the U.N., “the lethal use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, came under scrutiny in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today, as a United Nations human rights expert argued that the internationally recognized rule against arbitrary killing also applied to extraterritorial attacks by such weapons systems”. 

Marcone is fascinated by global issues and really enjoys the club he birthed and the forty members who have since joined.   The high school junior is also involved with the Science Research program as well and is the co-founder of yet another club, Science Olympia.   “We prepare for the Science Olympiad every February, it’s hard to explain what we do but I love the Physics component,” he explained.  Marcone enjoys Physics because he says it encompasses all the sciences.   What’s on the horizon for this teen?   He says he has his eyes set on Columbia or Stanford after he graduates Kings Park High School.

Marcone shared that he has a younger brother in seventh grade.  He credits his extraordinary love of learning to his parents and primarily his mother who took him to so many museums as a child.  “My mom really fostered my love of Science, she would take me to New York City to the planetarium and all the museums, that’s probably what got me interested in learning and Science,” he shared.   He says he has always enjoyed learning new things and when he was a young boy Animal Planet was his favorite television show.   He says his parents are very smart people, his dad is in the Mathematics field and works with statistics and his mother is a stay at home mom.  

Marcone said he plans on going to Board of Education meetings in the future because he found it quite interesting.    Last week he and his mock UN team were in New York City.   He says he loves the people involved in his U.N. club and traveling around, but mostly he loves learning about the issues that shape our geopolitical climate and fate.  

Saturday
Mar292014

St. James Resident Nicole Barattini Nominated For Presidential Award For Excellence In Math & Science

By Maureen Rossi

Nicole BarattiniSt. James resident Nicole Barattini was recently nominated for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science. Her proud father Tony Giordano, who is active in Smithtown and Suffolk County politics, gave a sweet shout out to his little lady on his Facebook post a few days back.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science (including computer science) teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. According to PAEMST Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and are leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.  “I was thrilled when I found out a parent of one of my current students nominated me,” said the soft spoken educator. Barattini said she was incredibly touched by the honor.

By the time Nicole was a 10th grader living in Smithtown she knew she wanted to be an educator. Nicole attended St. Joseph’s College and majored in mathematics education 7-12th. She remains today at her first teaching job at St. Mary’s School in East Islip. “Initially I thought I wanted to be a high school teacher when I got this middle school job I loved it so much and changed my mind,” she explained.

“I found out in an e-mail from the organization that I was nominated,” she added. Teaching for four years she says she knows she has made the right career choice.

When it comes to the controversial Common Core curriculum, Nicole says she likes the curriculum. “It’s somewhat more challenging for teachers to implement but the children are responding and comprehending mathematics better,” she explained. She says it’s helping her students to understand the principles, the essentials behind the subject matter. “It teaches the fundamentals and how and why things are done instead of just memorization,” she added.

However, Nicole does not deny that the new Common Core in it’s entirety is more challenging. She shared that St. Mary’s implemented the new curriculum last year.  “I’m more concerned with how they (students) are able to use the skills, than the test results” she chimed in. Her students do take the state test, but she says at St. Mary’s “it’s not the be all and end all”.

Nicole attended Holy Family Regional School in Commack before attending St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip. Active in high school she played soccer and was a cheerleader. Today she coaches the soccer team and the volleyball team at St. Mary’s. “It’s amazing to see my students in a different capacity – you learn a lot more about them than you do in the classroom,” she laughed.

Nicole recalls her childhood days when her mother was a school nurse in Half Hollow Hills. “She always spoke so highly of working in a school; she told me it was going to be rewarding,” she shared. The dedicated educator said her mother’s advice was great advice.

Nicole has been married for four years to Kevin Barattini. Kevin a Kings Park native is known for his very popular D.J. business and his philanthropic work. Between their careers, her coaching and their volunteer work they are a very busy couple. Nicole says her life is really great, she’s very happy.

“I enjoy going to work every day,” she said. Nicole has a Master’s in Special Education and is optimistic that it will come in handy one day. She reflected on that comment and changed her mind; she said it’s helping her already – the young nominee of one of the nation’s most prestigious education awards says it’s helping her every day to relate to students with different abilities. Nicole credits her success to her close-knit family. She says she owes a lot to her parents and her brothers James and TJ and her husband Kevin. James is a member of law enforcement in Colorado and brother TJ is a Veteran of War; he served our country overseas in Afghanistan.

Nicole looks forward to coaching and teaching, she says every day is exciting.