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Top 10: Stories of 2011

A review of the biggest stories in Half Hollow Hills over the past year.

It was a whirlwind of a year, literally. Between Tropical Storm Irene, snowmageddon and budget controversies on the local level, 2011 through residents for a loop.

The year was also one of several milestones including the 10th Anniversary of Sept. 11, the start of a new school administration and let's not forget about all those lottery wins either.

Here's a look back at what happened in 2011.

Irene Leaves Residents Powerless

Irene touched down in Half Hollow Hills in August, which caused the Despite the hurricane being downgraded to a tropical storm, the winds and rain still did more damage to Long Island than residents have seen during their time. Thousands of homes were without electricity for days following the storm, including some in Half Hollow Hills who were powerless for more than a week. The damage prompted firefighters from the Dix Hills and Melville Fire departments to on air mattresses so that they would be ready to respond to emergency calls and downed trees and wires.

Sheldon Karnilow Retires

After a 43-year career in education--the past 10 as superintendent of Half Hollow Hills-- . The announcement came in the wake of major education cuts from around New York State, as well as a from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which led residents to take a closer look at administrative earnings including Karnilow’s, which was one of the highest school salaries in the state. Despite, Karnilow left a legacy of academic, athletic and artistic excellence at Half Hollow Hills shown by numerous awards and accolades the district earned during his tenure, which the next superintendent would have to live up to. After a for his successor, , who was district's deputy superintendent, took the reins. The Board of Education was under new leadership as well, as Anne Marie Sorkin did not seek reelection for school board president. was sworn in as the new BOE president and several assistant administrators were installed as well. The new board faces a challenge this year as a looms over the upcoming budget season.

10th Anniversary of Sept. 11.

It's hard to believe that there are children today that have yet to see a day without war, to remember a time when it would be considered rude to remove one's shoes in an airport or cross over the George Washington Bridge without the sight of the twin towers in the skyline. This September marked the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks and a decade later, we still remember the that day, including Dix Hills Fire Chief , whose memory continues to be an inspiration as the namesake of the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, a non-profit dedicated to providing firefighters and their families with financial assistance for their educational, medical and equipment needs.

Was That An Earthquake?

Yes. As if Irene didn’t throw Half Hollow Hills residents for a loop, things were again shaken up by a small in August. Those who felt the quake, , in shock of what they felt. The minor quiver did no damage in Half Hollow Hills, but did prompt several evacuations.

Snowmageddon 2011

The winter ahead is looking much less white compared to last season when Long Island was pummeled with . The first snowstorm in January 2011 came just weeks after a major blizzard hit Half Hollow Hills in late December 2010. Residents shoveled, plowed and got out their snow blowers week after week as the Town worked to clear the streets. There is at least one Melville native embracing the snow though, as he will be able to test his U.S. patented “perfect” snowman.

Residents On Alert for School Safety

Safety concerns, especially near the school buildings, have come to light recently as several traffic accidents near Deer Park Avenue and Vanderbilt Parkway have occurred. Residents have petitioned local officials to install more traffic lights and signals, including a where a student was injured in a . Community members are also on alert after two separate incidents in which police alerted the school district that .

Woman Jumps Off Flaming Roof Into Cop’s Arms

A cop made an amazing rescue back in June when a to escape the flames billowing out of her house. Anita Bareja, 37, was home when a fire erupted and climbed to her roof to escape the flames. Officer William O'Rourke responded and convinced Bereja that he would catch her if she jumped. She did and he kept his word.

$20 Million Firehouse Bond Defeated

A $19.75 million bond to finance a new headquarters was soundly defeated by voters in June. Dix Hills residents to sink the bill, which would have gone to construct a new headquarters, as well as a new maintenance facility and training building. By a vote of 1,179 to 359, residents voted down the bond, namely citing the projected hit on their tax bills. The consensus seemed to be that while people understood the current headquarters wasn’t in great shape—it was built in 1956—they weren’t willing to pay for a new one over the next 20 years, the length of the proposed bond. Those who supported the bond said they were surprised residents didn’t see the merits of the project.

NY Islanders Partner With Dix Hills Rink

One year after the Dix Hills Ice Rink reopened, the New York Islanders decided to make the local rink its second home. The . The opening of the shop is the first time the Islanders have a direct link to Suffolk County, and is already opening doors for the team to take part in the Half Hollow Hills community. Under the contract with the Town, the Islanders will for their Huntington fans.

Lotto Wins Make HHH One Lucky Place to Live

It seemed to start when in a June Powerball drawing, which was spilt amongst the employees who regularly purchased the tickets in a group. It appears the lottery wins have been rolling in since then with four others announced, including a teacher from Dix Hills who won .

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