The new year is with us, but before we plunge into 2016, let’s take a brief look back at 2015 and the major events in the Roslyn area, some of which will shape the village for years to come.
Over 20 years, the biggest issue facing Roslyn was the possible construction of a Stop & Shop supermarket on the 11 acres of vacant land downtown off Skillman Street. Members of the village board supported it, but the public rallied in opposition and the proposal was defeated. This past year, Stop & Shop made it back to Roslyn, only in a more modest fashion. A Stop & Shop opened in The Wheatley Plaza, with no objections from any of the local village boards.
But that defeat of the original Stop & Shop proposal did have ramifications for Roslyn. The board drafted and adopted a Master Plan, one that called for residential construction in the village. In late November, a North Shore builder, The Ranches, announced the launch of sales for Roslyn Landing, a collection of luxury town home condominiums in downtown Roslyn. An official for the real estate firm of Douglas Elliman said that construction of Phase 1 condo buildings is set for the spring of 2016, while Phase 2 is set for a spring of 2017 start. In all, Roslyn Landing hopes to build 78 luxury condominiums.
In January, Dr. Dan Brenner stepped down as superintendent of the Roslyn School District. Allison Brown will succeed Brenner, starting in July 2016. In the meantime, former superintendent Gerry Dempsey has ably filled in his old role.
Also in the winter, the Roslyn High School basketball team finished a winning year by exceeding expectations and making it to Conference A-III semifinal action. The year marked the end of the fine careers of Noah Nardone and Thomas Davis and the beginning of Keandra Augustine’s time as the team’s leader.
In the spring, the Town of North Hempstead issued a a Capital Plan funding grant to Levitt Park in Roslyn Heights, the long anticipated tennis and pool club for that municipality. The realization of the club should hopefully transform Roslyn Heights in the same positive direction that The Park At East Hills did for that village.
The spring also saw voters in the Roslyn School District approve an ambitious capital improvement program, one that will benefit the East Hills School.
A favorite Roslyn tradition was revived in 2015, as the Roslyn Landmark Society brought back their popular Annual House Tour of many of the village’s oldest and most historic structures. The tour was marked by a trip to the Ellen E. Ward Clock Tower, the symbol of Roslyn and a 120-year old structure that has opened its doors to the public for the first time in many years. Residents, for instance, can walk to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of the village and of Hempstead Harbor.
Summer in New York is always highlighted by the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in Flushing. This year, two Roslyn adolescents, Kaya and Kavina Amin, who are also twins, sang America The Beautiful prior to matches at the Sept. 7 date.
Fall marks the beginning of both the school year and the football season. But a new tradition has been added to that season. In September, another highly-successful “Go Long For Luke” fundraiser was held at The Park At East Hills, complete with tag football, lots of food and drinks and music.
The fall also saw athletic prowess from Roslyn High School as the boys’ varsity golf squad won their second consecutive Conference VI title, sporting a perfect 10-0 record.
Meanwhile, the Village of Greenvale also had reason to celebrate as the Greenvale Civic Association held its 50th anniversary dinner in September. John Fabio, a former councilman for the Town of North Hempstead, presided over the festivities, which featured a fine meal and an informative scrapbook commomeorating the civic association’s many successes.
It wasn’t just Roslyn High School athletic teams that had good years. In November, the Roslyn High School Marching Band had its greatest year ever, one that saw the Bulldog Marching Band win numerous competitions, capped off by a New York State championship perfomance in late October at the Governor’s Cup competition at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
For the past 30 years, Glen Cove native Cathy Mealing has served the Bryant Library in a varity of capacities, including that of director for the past decade. In December, Mealing stepped down for a well-earned retirement, to be replaced by Victor Caputo, the library’s longtime public relations director.
We are now into the middle of the second decade of the new century. The developments in Roslyn, Roslyn Heights and within the school district should position the Roslyn area favorably for decades to come.
As always, the year saw the passing of notable residents, including Gino Papa, the longtime village justice for the Village of East Hills and Isabel Glomb, a longtime parishioner at Trinity Episcopal Church. The past year also saw a tree planting tribute to Ivy Golden, a longtime Easet Hills resident who lived in the village for 60 years and who was a cultural force in East Hills, collaborating with the famed Hungarian-born sculpture, George Gach.