The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter #50, September 7, 2020.


Dear Wheatley Wildcats and Other Interested Persons,

 Welcome to The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 50.

 Public Service Announcements

 Class of 1969 (Belated) 50th-Year Reunion

The Class of 1969 is holding a virtual (belated) 50th-year reunion on Saturday September 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm EDT, via Zoom.  Bill Kirchick, Mark Goldberg and Jon Rutenberg are coordinating the event and have created the following website that contains a wealth of information on the event and where classmates can register:   

So far over 90 classmates have registered. They are asking that all classmates register, whether you can attend or not, as they are creating a class list of everyone who registers.

The Fate of Hildebrandt’s is Up in the Air

First came the following notice, from Hildebrandt’s itself: “It’s with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce Hildebrandt’s will no longer be in business within the next few months.  Unrelated to COVID the landlords of the building have decided to sell it and the new owners will be creating something different.  It’s been 93 years of this amazing place and 46 years in our family.  Although we don’t want to part with it, we are grateful for the memories and love built around this wonderful place.  We have decided that we will be selling anything inside including our phone booth!”

But, then again, maybe Hildebrandt’s is not closing (at least not now).  You can read all about it here (and doubtless elsewhere):

Customers Save Long Island Village’s Historic Restaurant After Learning Building Was For Sale – CBS New York

Writes David Pinter (1968) – “Due to the public outcry & social media reaction, the purchasers backed out gracefully.  A new owner has stepped up & stated Hildebrandt’s is not going anywhere & intends to keep it as is, including the famous neon signage

Hildebrandt’s Happy History

On August 3, 2020, Hildebrandt's Restaurant in Williston Park on Long Island announced that they would be closing after their landlord sold the building.  The new owners plan a new unspecified use which will mean completely redoing the interior and exterior.  Regardless of what their intentions are, it means a potential loss of this quintessential piece of Long Island Americana.  After 93 years of continuous operation in the original location, the restaurant has been a mainstay of the north shore's cultural heritage and a major draw for tourism from throughout New York.

Hildebrandt's opened in 1927 at 84 Hillside Avenue as an ice cream parlor and luncheonette back when Hillside Avenue was just a dirt road without any street lights.  It was the first building to be constructed on the Williston Park portion of the thoroughfare which was once surrounded largely by farmland.  Although the chain of ownership is not totally clear, records show that it was possibly founded by Henry or Fritz Hildebrandt.  The business has nonetheless only had four owners since opening: It was sold to Alma Steffens in the 1950's. It was then purchased in 1974 by Helen Baum who sold it a year later to Alfred and Joanne Strano.  Hildebrandt's has remained in the Strano family ever since.

The restaurant was built as part of a commercial block of American Craftsman style storefronts with plate glass windows and colorful awnings that draped over the sidewalk.  In the 1950's, the façade was reclad in pigmented structural glass known as Vitrolite which was a staple of the Streamline Modern style of architecture.   It is regarded as one of two remaining examples of the glass on all of Long Island, the other being in Huntington at the Northport Sweet Shop. Along with the new exterior, a splendid neon sign was added to showcase their specialties of soda, candies and ice cream alongside the Hildebrandt’s name in an elegant script typeface. It joined a row of bygone stores like O'Connor's Furniture, Village Bakery, and Reilly's Shoes. 

Known for homemade ice cream and chocolates, confectioner Henry Schriever prepared them in the basement each day until retiring in 1974.  Before retiring, however, he trained Alfred Strano how to prepare sweets by hand using family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Into the late 1990's and now 2000's, the restaurant's 1946 Ford truck continued to putter around the neighborhood.  The Strano family members have been careful custodians of those treasured traditions. Employees like Thomas Bauman have remained with the family for over 35 years as a manager, ensuring that continuity of quality.  After Susan Strano Acosta passed away in June of 2015, Bryan Acosta and his family have continued on as the current generation of owners.

Considering that the new owners will be completely redoing the building, there is a very high chance that both the Hildebrandt's business and the historic structure will be lost for good.  Despite being next to the East Williston Village Historic District, the site itself was never evaluated or listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is also not landmarked locally with the Town of North Hempstead, which would have provided protection from any inappropriate exterior alterations.  Lacking an appointed historian for the Town of North Hempstead for nearly a year, it is up to the community to be that critical advocate for preservation.  Ideally, it would also be important if they do close permanently that the site be documented and any ephemera be donated to an archival repository where it can be retained.

As an anchor to East Williston's business district, Hildebrandt's is a vital part of the village beyond just its capacity as a restaurant. The interior retains its soda fountain, phonebooth, original displays, and most other fixtures, which make it especially appealing to film productions. It has frequently been sought out as a shooting location, hosting recently "The Book of Henry" (2017) and "The Irishman" (2019), which generated tens of thousands of dollars for the local economy in just the few days of shooting alone.  It would be especially appealing as a location for period dramas like Amazon Prime Video's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," which takes place in the late 1950's.  Moving forward, this could be an opportunity to create jobs related to filming on location and put East Williston on the national radar as a point of interest for people to live.

While Hildebrandt's has changed ownership over the years, the atmosphere has remained the same which seems to warp the very sense of time, allowing visitors to be drawn into the past.  It is one of a handful of institutions remaining in the New York City area that have retained their true character. When most restaurants close in the first few years of operation, this one has remained in business for over 90 years.  That is something to be incredibly proud of.  Rather than be sold piecemeal for architectural salvage, the restaurant should remain intact for future generations to enjoy under new ownership, ideally continuing as a luncheonette or in a new format that retains the architectural design as it is.  Such irreplaceable places as this deserve only the utmost thought and care when making future decisions.

On a last, personal note: As just a 23 year old, it is especially important to see that Hildebrandt's remains for generations after mine to enjoy.  While it's not possible to return to the halcyon days when two scoops cost only 50¢ and the American Dream was alive and well, we can still feel that same sense of place that those before me have held so dear.  It is not enough just to have the memories of what was here at 84 Hillside Avenue; whatever would come in the place of Hildebrandt's would never even come close to the treasure that this institution is, and one hopes, should always remain.


1958 – Cynthia Messing Frank – More Memories

Writes Cynthia – “  I was so sad to hear about Hildebrandt’s possible closing.   As a member of the first graduating Class, the Class of 1958, I attended our 60th  reunion in 2018 in East Williston.  We went to the Roslyn Clock Tower, had a lovely dinner the night before, and made it to Jones  Beach.  During some down time, my old friend and classmate Lance Lessler and I went to Hildebrandt’s for old times’ sake.  It was exactly as we remembered it.  I had an egg cream, and I think Lance had an ice cream soda.   It was so great seeing it again after so many years.  The place was empty, so we were able to walk around and see everything just as it was.  I remember get-togethers there after Mineola High School games, pre-Wheatley; and then after Wheatley games.  I hope it will continue just as always.”


1961 – Nancy Kurshan – Still More Memories

Writes Nancy – “Hi Arthur and Webmaster Keith, My sister, Louise Kurshan (1968) sent me the below email about the historic Hildebrandt’s Restaurant.  I’ve signed a lot of  petitions that some of my classmates probably don’t agree with.  But this one should be unanimous.  For me Hildy’s is filled with memories of high school evenings with a group of classmates, eating the Kitchen Sink, hot fudge sundaes and other delectables.  At least the image of it will be preserved in the movie the Irishman.  But let’s get it declared Historic!  The link is here and in the email below.

 I have other passions besides Hildebrandt’s :).  I have now moved from Illinois to California, and shortly before Covid hit I joined an organization called SURJ (Standing Up For Racial Justice) with scores of chapters around the country.  Now with Black Lives Matter, lots of new people are signing up to join.  I won’t go out in the streets (which I believe is necessary for change), because I’m living with my very new grandson and my adult children think I’m old.  So I’m helping to onboard new members over Zoom and join a weekly phone banking around racial justice issues.  I don’t know Donna Kenton, Class of 1963, but I’d like to give a shoutout to her for volunteering with the Innocence Project.  I have also written an unpublished memoir called “Levitating the Pentagon & Other Uplifting Stories.”

 While I’m here, let me say that our fabulous Class of 1961 (could that be right?) had a Zoom reunion on August 15th.  I was so excited to see everyone.  These are treacherous times in so many ways.  I take comfort in being with old pals.

 With love and hope in the time of Covid,

Nancy Kurshan

Writes Bobby Scandurra (1967) – “Everyone is loving the Hildebrandt's article.  Next reunion should be there!”

 And check this out.  Nice photos.  From Ike Evans.

 1967 – Tim Boland – Another Take
I sense there are a lot of people feeling a sadness and real regret for the loss of multiple decades and multi-generations -- A DAMN NEAR CENTURY! -- of some of the sweetest childhood memories young American children have ever known, cherished and emblazoned in their hearts forever.  Ice cream sundaes and cones for freckle-faced boys after Little League baseball, floats and sodas to savor by young ponytailed girls from the surrounding neighborhoods.  A place where many a Hildebrandt’s "alumnus" would make a point to drive by when back in town visiting and even wander in for 30 minutes of root beer floats and Long Island Memory Lane (visited by yours truly only five years ago!).

 So, Art, not sure how far along the sale and plan for redoing this Long Island Temple of Desserts is, but would you be interested in putting out the call/broadcast to see if there is/are some deep-pocketed former (or possibly still present) Williston and Wheatley ANGEL(S) (one(s) who had the wisdom to buy Microsoft and Apple during their IPOs!), who have that special attachment to Hildebrandt’s, a certain serious madness, a counter culture capitalist, with enough buckaroos to simply choose nostalgia and history over capitalism and progress? 

 I just have this sense that somewhere amongst those Wildcat yearbooks is a super successful deranged rebel with some very serious mad money to keep a piece of mid-20th century Long Island intact, at least until the local or county or state historical preservation societies can deem Hildebrandt’s an "untouchable."

 Couldn't hurt to try.  Maybe could even start a "movement."  "SAVE HILDEBRANDT’S!"


Wheatley Football – Good Times and Bad


1958 – With Players Like This, No Wonder They Were Undefeated


A group of baseball players standing on top of a grass covered field

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Left to Right:

The Line – John (“Jack”) Langlois (1960), George (“Dixie”) Howell (1960), Peter Krumpe (1961), John (“Monk”) Moncure (1960), William Janes (1959), Ken (“Martino”) Martin (1960), Charlie Zimmerman (1960)

The Backfield – Gary (“Zeke”) Zebrowski (1960), Matt Sanzone (1959), Frederick Robert (“Bobby”) Michel, John Votano (1959)

The Coaches – William (“Bill”) Lawson, Martin Tierney, Jack Davis

The Student Managers – Bruce Boyce (1959), Eugene (“Gene”) Razzetti (1961)


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Writes Paul Hennessy (1960) – “The Newsday story above quotes Coach Davis as having “too much talent” to make up his mind about a first string until a day before the first gameπŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺ☘️  As Wheatley football historian Paul Giarmo noted, ‘the Cat’ was a master at creating fake news, way before the term achieved its current notoriety.  It was a game—within a game— the L.I. coaches played in the press, before competing on the field.  One example: Coach Davis is quoted in the story saying he won’t know who’s in his starting line-up until the day before the first game, and then goes on to describe competition for almost EVERY position, naming team members who NEVER played a varsity game in their entire careers!  Interestingly, the undefeated Junior Varsity team gave the Varsity first string team hard times in practice.  I played quarterback on the JV team, at 135 pounds soaking wet  We were mostly younger or smaller guys, but highly motivated and competitive.   Line coach Bill Lawson called us “the Rinky Dinks.”

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Matt Sanzone’s (1959) Jersey, last worn October 1958 against Floral Park.

 Writes John (“Monk”) Moncure (1960) – “ο»Ώ Guys—the e-mails started when I was in the middle of proofing a 30-page lease, so I couldn’t respond right away.  I came home and got out my scrap book.  I have about 10 articles and a couple of photos.  I hope you all are staying well—Maine is pretty safe—I really miss the gym—I am staying away so I don’t freak out my daughters and grandkids—one daughter started to cry when I went right back to work—in an empty office.

 BTW—my nickname, of which I have always been very fond, is “Monk”—it started in Little League baseball—when I was 6–at North Side—they asked who wanted to play catcher—and nobody volunteered—it was my only chance to start—and the coach called me “Monk” (abbreviation I presume)—-turns out I was a catcher all the way through.  I loved baseball, too—-and Mr. Davis was our HS coach—he was much more relaxed coaching baseball—Best—Monk

 Writes Ken (“Martino”) Martin (1960) – “Me?  In practice when us scrubs faced the first team the person whom I always feared tackling was Doug Kull.  He simply put his head down and ran at you like he wanted to kill you.  I suspect he was a very motivated priest.  All you guys stay healthy and stay strong (Jack Davis would insist).”

Writes Matt Sanzone (1959) - I was victimized a few times by Doug Kull, especially my first year when I was very green. After one hit, directly into my chest, Cat looked at me wondering why I was still standing😬  Ed Kritzler (1958) and John Votano (1959)  were unbelievable: tough, fierce, and hard to stop. Kritzler would prefer to run through you and Votano ran like the wind.  The offensive line on that team averaged over 200lbs. which for then was big.  I played end next to Michael Stapleton (1958) and Donald Kleban (1958). Often, we ran an unbalanced right formation when we needed a yard or two. Robert Schnipper (1958) and Charles Schmidt (1958) were tall and rangy.  “The 1957-58 team was terrific.  One thing that stands out is how tough they were on defense, giving up only 39 points in 8 games, with 4 shutouts!  “Cat” Davis, Bill Lawson, Marty Tierney and Tom Cautela coached us.  How’s that for an all-star group!”

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“Cat” Davis, courtesy of John “Monk” Moncure (1960).

 Writes Paul Giarmo (1976) (Wildcat Football’s Foremost Fan)– “I love reading all the fascinating stories about the glory days of Wheatley football … a far cry from the current state of affairs of Wildcat, or should I say "Wildfrog," football.  I have 10 or 11 Newsday articles about that famed '57 team in my collection.  The overhead shot is of the 1958 team from the 1959 yearbook.  Interesting that the quarter-mile running track had not yet been installed.  When I played junior varsity football in '72 and '73, Cat Davis was still using that "size of the dog" line on us.  By the way, the district is finally upgrading the athletic facilities at Wheatley, with improvements being made to the baseball field, track and artificial turf soccer and football (or as they like to refer to it) multi-purpose fields. We're also supposed to get larger bleachers, a press box and (finally) an electric scoreboard. Didn't think I'd live to see the day. (Please excuse the cynicism).

 Matt, I love that shot of your jersey, and I wore Number 88 my senior year as well!  I laughed reading the comments about Cat's interview style.  I have many Newsday clippings of him and the psychological warfare between these coaches was right out of a Cold War thriller.  That might explain why I still don't know for sure who played QB after Steve Perlin (1958) graduated.  I wish Mr. Pagliaro's game films were available.  I got such a kick out of watching the film from that  '57 game against Seaford.  In 2016 we (with Carle Place) played them for the Conf. 4 championship, but I liked the result of your game more.  The brotherhood and camaraderie that you Wildcats continue to share with each other inspires me.  We need more of that spirit and fight today. I hope all you guys are doing well, and thanks again for all the stories and photos.”


The Usual Words of Wisdom

 I hope that you and yours are safe and healthy during this unprecedented, turbulent, difficult time. 

 Thanks to our fabulous Webmaster, Keith Aufhauser (Class of 1963), you can regale yourself with the first 49 Newsletters (and other Wheatley data and arcana) at  Also thanks to Keith is our handy-dandy, super-duper search feature, prominently displayed on our home page:  type in a word or phrase and, voila, you’ll find every place it exists in all previous Newsletters and other on-site material.  Amazing!

 Meanwhile, if you are completely uninterested in Wheatley matters, please ask me to remove you from my distribution list.

 I edit all submissions, even material in quotes, for clarity and concision, without any indication thereof.  I am a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and I do not censor ideas, which often are not the same as mine (although I do filter out the occasional personal attack, if it goes beyond mere disagreement or criticism).  Particularly given the current political climate, with its deep divides, please remember that in publishing material I am not taking sides or advocating for or against any thing or any one, I am only distributing what people send me.  I do not have a fact-checking department, and I do not vouch for the accuracy of what people tell me, although occasionally I correct, or refuse to publish, errors or falsehoods that I notice.

 Please let me know if you will permit me to publish your email address, snail-mail address, and/or telephone number, along with anything you send me, or just standing alone.  If you do not indicate either way, I’ll assume that you are “opting out” (i.e., that you do not want me to publish any of your contact information).  Scores of alumni email addresses can be found on the Wheatley Public Directory,

 I welcome any and all text and photos relevant to The Wheatley School and the people who taught and/or studied there.



 Aaron Kuriloff – Remembered by Ellen Frey Wineman (1967)

Writes Ellen - Hi Arthur. I really enjoyed reading the piece on Mr. Kuriloff (Newsletter # 49).  I took all his classes, and I have two specific memories I would like to share.  I remember one day he went around the class and passed out very thin strips of paper and sat down without saying a word.  When we asked what they were he said, "Zen Rods."  When we asked what they were for he asked, "Does everything have to have a purpose?"  The next day we got small, white, oval pieces of paper.  They were “Zen Disks.”  Next came flat pieces of cardboard, “Zen Boards,” of course.  We got into the spirit of it and began passing out different shaped items of all kinds, all “Zen.”  But the idea that not everything must have a purpose has remained with me.  The other thing I remember is that he would give us art assignments in which we were to create a piece with a very specific theme that could be expressed in the manner of our own choosing, but we could only use a limited amount of colors.  When we complained about the restriction he stated that “people  are most creative when they are limited."  This is such a profound and simple truth, and it extends into so many areas other than art. Everything has rules and limits.  Creativity occurs in how we operate within those boundaries.  So, Thank You, Mr. Kuriloff.”



 1961 – Anthony (“Tony”) Conti - Deceased

Writes brother Thomas (“Tom”) Conti (also 1961) – “On July 25, 2020, my brother, Anthony (Tony) Conti, passed away peacefully with his wife Mary Ellen and his sons Anthony and Michael at his side.  He was grandfather to Kayla, Anthony, Kelsey, and Aidan.  Tony was a long time resident of Levittown, NY.

 His years at Wheatley were very special to him, and we spent many hours remembering those wonderful days.  He loved playing football, running track, and making friendships with some of you that lasted over 60 years.

 Tony was an avid reader and always ready to engage in a debate on almost any topic, particularly politics.  Early on he dabbled in writing science fiction, sketching, and painting, and he was extremely gifted with his hands.  Later on he enjoyed wood-working and many of us, both family and friends, have many of his creations.

 Tony was a loving brother to me, our sisters Rena and Mary, and my wife, Joan (Richtberg ’61).  He was a great part of our lives and always kept us on our toes.  He was full of life and always made us laugh.

 Tony worked for and retired from Newsday, and shortly thereafter he ran into his old boss, who wanted Tony to come back part-time and work for him.  Tony enjoyed the job, and it kept him busy in his retirement.  He enjoyed designing and building equipment to service and replenish aircraft.  Tony also loved showing me the equipment that he helped design and build.  We both learned from our dad, but Tony excelled and was a great mechanic, designer and engineer.

 He will be greatly missed by family and friends, and I am so proud that I was blessed by having Tony as my brother.”

 Writes Classmate Kent Salisbury – “My Friend, Tony Conti, From Kent Salisbury -- I had to say something about Tony.  Despite the divergence of our lives in career and geography, we were the closest of friends.  Tony and I worked together with others on the Senior Prom, “Night in Venice.”  Mrs. Bogert controlled the purse, and I know we went over whatever the budget was.  Tony became a master machinist and also had a woodshop in his garage.  Each Christmas he would send us a small gift made in his shop.  On the wall he had a sign “Salisbury and Conti, We do Proms and Things.”  His son Michael is sending me that sign as a token of our lifelong bond.

Tony worked with his dad as machinists in the aircraft parts manufacturing business for Republic and Grumman.  When that business closed he and Mary Ellen had some hardscrabble years, when the defense contracts ended, and together they worked through them, empowered by their combined Sicilian and Irish heritage for self-reliance.  They lived in their original Levittown house all those years and raised their twin boys there.

 Tony’s machinist skills landed him at Newsday for most of his career as a skilled pressman.  Mary Ellen has worked in child daycare over all the years.  We did stay in touch during those early years, and we visited with them whenever we could.  He and Mary Ellen visited us in North Carolina when we lived in Asheville, and it was clear he was in trouble with significant lymphadenopathy.  On his return home he was subsequently diagnosed with a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and went through a tough course of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and eventual  bone marrow transplantation with Mary Ellen always at his side.  I was divorced and remarried over that roughly two to three year interval and kept in touch with him.  Despite multiple life’s challenges over his and Mary-Ellen’s life, the only time I ever saw Tony depressed was after that saga.  At the time, Liz and I were living at our mountain cabin retreat in Weaverville, NC, just north of Asheville.  We were able to bring Tony and Mary Ellen down for a stay, and his depression resolved, never to return. We guided each other through a tough time in our lives, his lymphoma recovery and my divorce.  In our later years we did join him and Mary-Ellen at their timeshare in Cancun, but my vagabond career has kept us from getting together since, except for phone visits.

 Mary Ellen had her own health challenges a couple of years ago.  Tony nursed her through that.  They both kept working, despite health challenges.  Tony underwent coronary stenting and then subsequent bypass surgery.  Always positive, he returned to work as a machinist in a company with defense contracts.  There he mentored young machinists on precise machine skills they needed to develop, combined with the importance of producing product in a timely fashion; both were a challenge.

 Tony had a keen intellect, a creative spirit, and always a positive outlook.  Before his final illness we enjoyed analyzing this crazy political world, sharing things we have read, and joking and reminiscing about our lives and friendship, right up until the end.  While caring for Mary Ellen for a recent injury, he refused to seek help for his own failing health and had to be carried out of the house to the hospital.  He died of end stage nonalcoholic liver disease with his sons and Mary Ellen at his side, thanks to the hospital relaxing Covid restrictions for terminal care visits.

 As I wrote to Michael, his son, “Your Dad was one tough hombre, who ran the obstacle course of life with grit, flexibility, tolerance, devotion, endurance, humor and grace.  I have known few men like him.”  I will miss his Long Island phone greeting, “How Ya Doin’?”


1961 – Nancy Kurshan – Looking Back

Writes Nancy – “Art and Keith, I’m usually involved in efforts to transform the criminal justice system; but I’m also for historic  preservation, I am very nostalgic about Hildebrandt’s, and I know many others are as well.  At one of our past reunions (20 + years ago?) we rented a bus that picked us up and took us all to Hildy’s. Those of you who saw the Scorsese movie "The Irishman" (streaming on Netflix) may have noticed the shot of our favorite ice cream joint. 

 Our Class of ’61 just had a virtual reunion this August 15th, thanks to webmistress Judy Schaffel Rubin, who did an awesome job,  with help from the 60th Reunion Committee: Jeanne Messing Sommer, Carol Matlick Rosen, Joan Matlick Sunshine, Mark Luria, Carol Jalonack Blum, Camille Napoli Cannizzo, Jill Davidson Blaney, and Chicca Henni Young D’Agostino.  

Here’s the “official” list of who was present: Jon Bagdon (Honorary Member), Carol Becker, Peter Calderon, Jill Davidson, Jeff Forman, Michael Jablon, Len Jacobs, Carol Jalonack Blum, Tim Jerome, Deborah Kerstein Brosowsky, Rich Kopelman, David Kotz,  Nancy Kurshan, Linda Larisch, Mark Luria, Marge Lubin, Joan Mahoney, Carol Matlick, Joan Matlick, Jeanne Messing Sommer, Bari Mittenthal Mears, Camille Napoli Cannizzo, Steve Nordlinger, Gene Razzetti, Ed Roman, Paula Ross Gladieux, Kent Salisbury, Paul Samberg, Judy Schaffel Rubin,  Rhoda Schneider, Roni Simon, Chicca Henni Young D’Agostino. 

 It was a good turnout and we got to visit with some folks who might not have made it to a non-virtual reunion.  People Zoomed in from coast-to-coast and across the pond in England and Croatia.  A great time was had by all.  Mark Luria moderated, although there was lots of laughter and talking over each other (some folks don’t yet know about the ‘mute’ button).  But no one seemed to mind.  In fact, there was a call to do it more frequently.  So stay tuned. 

 We’re all yearning to overcome this pandemic and still hoping to have our in-person reunion sometime in the future.”


1964 – Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz – Timely Retirement

Writes Vivi – “Hi Art, Once again wonderful memories!  Thank you.  Hildebrandt’s was a great spot for me also.  When I was 8 years old my Dad took me there for my first ice cream soda!  When I was at Wheatley, Rich Ilsley worked there.  George Gipp, George (“Chipper”) Guissi, John Vanasco, and I all worked down the block at Chicken Delight.  We spent many summer nights sharing food together as we walked home.  Ice cream and overdone chicken.  I’ve been there a few times since then, doing a little Memory Lane.  Mrs. Brescia and her family lived behind my family.  We had many over-the-fence chats with her as the years progressed.  She and my mom would trade recipes.  Happy Birthday!

 I am sorry to hear about John Pagliaro.  He, Mr. Bob Foerschner, and Mr. Martin Tierney were the directors of the East Williston Recreation Program when I was in Junior and Senior High.  I worked under them many summers, learning all the great ways to have fun while you actually taught skills to kids who didn’t know they were learning.  It was an enlightening experience that I still incorporate in my Phys. Ed. classes today.

 By the way, as we’re expecting our 9th grandchild in March of 2021, I finally decided to retire next June to help babysit.  It’s great to hear about how many of my classmates are still out there in the work world.  Making it through COVID was a little taste of retirement. Teaching remote Phys. Ed. was certainly challenging, but the new baby on its way sealed the deal.  Stay safe.  Vivi Cilmi Kunz”


1967 – Linda Caterino Kulhavy – Proud Mom

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 Writes Linda –Dear Arthur, Above is a photo of my daughter being sworn in, beginning her judicial career in the Maricopa County Superior Court.”


1967 – Arthur Engoron – Reversed


The Fate of a Neighborhood

Appeals Panel Overturns Lower Court Decision Blocking Two Bridges Developments

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An architect’s rendering of the four new residential towers proposed for the Two Bridges neighborhood, which would contain more than 2,700 apartments. The tower at left is already largely complete, while the four to the right have sought permission to begin construction, under a legal doctrine used by City Hall to characterize the projects as “minor modifications” to nearby (and much smaller) existing structures.

Opponents of three massive real estate developments planned for the Lower East Side were dealt a setback on Thursday when the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court reversed a ruling from last year that said the projects were required to undergo a more rigorous form of public review before final approval. The Appellate Division, in a unanimous decision, ruled that the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio had legal authority to approve the plans.


At issue is a cluster of super-tall residential towers proposed for the Two Bridges neighborhood of East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan. In February, the four planned towers (spread across three development sites) appeared to be dead when State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in favor of opponents, by ordering the City Planning Commission (CPC) to start anew the process of okaying the proposed buildings, in a ruling that appeared to decide a suit brought by a coalition of Lower East Side community organizations, including the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors, the Chinese Staff and Workers Association, and the Asian American Legal Defense Fund. 


This decision echoed a previous ruling (from last August), in which Judge Engoron ruled similarly on a separate action, brought by several elected officials, including Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Margaret Chin. In both cases, the Judge found that City Hall had exceeded its legal authority in approving the projects.


The coalition of three developers who hope to build the towers (with structures reaching as high as 1,000 feet, and housing more than 2,700 apartments) appealed Judge Engoron’s decision in the case brought by the elected officials, however, and were granted a hearing this June, at which two judges pursued a line of questioning that evinced deep skepticism about the trial court’s ruling. Their queries focused on the technical issue of whether a “special permit” approved by the City for Two Bridges neighborhood in 1995 (authorizing a variance in zoning codes) should automatically trigger the full legal scrutiny of the City’s “uniform land use review procedure” (ULURP) in authorizing new projects. By statute, it must—but attorneys for the developers argued that the amount of time that has passed since makes the question irrelevant, thus rendering ULURP unnecessary.


This distinction is crucial, because absent the legal requirement for ULURP, the City had already approved the proposal under a less-rigorous standard of review, limited to an environmental impact statement.


The validity of this standard (and the City’s decision to green light the four new towers) hinges upon a determination, made by the City Planning Commission (CPC) in December, 2018, that the addition of four new skyscrapers to the community situated between the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges (which would more than triple the number of residences in the area) qualified as a “minor modification” to existing zoning for the neighborhood. If this claim by the CPC (which is controlled by Mayor de Blasio) is allowed to stand, it would preempt the legal authority of the City Council to review, and possibly veto, these projects. Within days of the CPC’s determination, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council Margaret Chin filed a lawsuit against the de Blasio administration.


In that action, the Borough President and the Council member argued that, “such developments are required to be completed with the consultation and advice of the community, including the New York City Council, the Borough President and the Community Board.” They also charged that, “aside from the clear and incontrovertible statutory requirements mandating the application of ULURP, [the City’s] claim that this application, which includes the addition of more than 2,700 dwelling units in three skyscrapers on a single block, is simply a ‘minor modification’ is nothing short of irrational, arbitrary and capricious and is incorrect as a matter of law.”


Judge Engoron’s original decision hinged, in part, upon the issue of whether such large-scale, potentially transformative development qualified as a minor change to the fabric of the community. In this context, he focused also on gentrification in Two Bridges, because the City’s environmental review standard allows for consideration of what it calls, “indirect residential displacement,” and whether, “a proposed project may either introduce a trend or accelerate a trend of changing socioeconomic conditions that may potentially displace a vulnerable population to the extent that the socioeconomic character of the neighborhood would change.”


The City argued that because nearly 700 of the new apartments would be set aside as affordable, gentrification in the Two Bridges community would actually be slowed, relative to what would happen if the projects were not built.


Judge Engoron disagreed, ruling that the, “irreparable harm here is two-fold. First, a community will be drastically altered without having had its proper say. Second, and arguably more important, allowing this project to proceed without the City Council’s imprimatur would distort the City’s carefully crafted system of checks and balances. Under ULURP, the City Council’s mandatory role is not merely to advise, but to grant or deny final approval (with the Mayor). Without ULURP, the City’s legislature is cut out of the picture entirely.”


The Appellate Division issued its ruling on Thursday, overturning Judge Engoron’s decision, while finding that, “the buildings described in the applications did not conflict with applicable zoning requirements and that, therefore, the CPC's approval of the applications has a rational basis and is not contrary to law.” The decision, written by Associate Justice Ellen Gesmer, continued, “specifically, we find no error in CPC's determination that the project did not require a special permit, and was therefore not subject to ULURP.”


Judge Gesmer noted that, “in reaching this result, we are mindful of petitioners' concerns that their constituents have had limited input on the proposed development's potential effects on their neighborhood, including increased density, reduced open space and the construction of a large number of luxury residences in what has been a primarily working class neighborhood of low to medium rise buildings. However, existing law simply does not support the result petitioners seek.”


Several hurdles remain before the proposed projects can move forward. The Appellate Division’s ruling applies only to the legal action brought by Ms. Brewer and Ms. Chin. The second lawsuit, in which the coalition of Lower East Side community organizations are the plaintiffs (and which Judge Engoron also ruled in favor of) has not yet been adjudicated by the Appellate Division. Additionally, either legal action (or both) could seek to have the Court of Appeals (New York’s highest judicial authority) overrule the Appellate Division. Finally, in the wake of the economic slowdown triggered by the pandemic coronavirus, New York real estate values have entered a dramatic slump. Whether developers, lenders, and apartment dwellers have any appetite for thousands of new residential units in Lower Manhattan in the next few years remains far from clear. 


In a separate (but related) development, an already-completed new skyscraper in Two Bridges is showing signs of acute distress. The One Manhattan Square condominium building (where 80 percent of the 815 apartments remain unsold) is now offering prospective buyers discounts of up to 20 percent from the original asking prices. This comes on the heels of a similar enticement unveiled last year, under which the developers offered to waive common charges on units within the building for up to a decade. This inducement could translate into a savings of more than a quarter of a million dollars.



Matthew Fenton



1967 – Amy Pastarnack Hughes – Sad News



1967-1968 – Chess Wizards

 A group of people posing for a photo

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Incidentally, the correct spellings are “Engoron,” “Hershcopf,” “Stephens,” and “Friedman.”


1968 – David Pinter – “Decided to Drop Me a Line”

 A group of people standing on top of a wooden fence

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 Teaching granddaughter the art of patiently waiting for nothing to bite (quarantine beard)

 Writes David – “Art, I wanted to write as I read Andy Forstenzer’s recent post.  Seeing what his father witnessed on D-Day, “Who knew?”  Also, I very much liked his regimen of walking for mindfulness.  But what made me write was his mention of he & I & our one-on-one basketball games.  Andy was clearly the better athlete & still has his letter sweater to show for it.  Prior to the beginning of gym we would grab a basketball & have a short game. Unsurprisingly, he won every game EXCEPT ONE.  I took the ball out first & by some stroke of luck immediately scored.  Mr. Davis took pity on me & called the game over before Andy ever got the ball back! 

 I married a Bostonian who finally became a Yankee fan when Carl Yastrzemski retired.  We have 2 children: our son, Jason, a bestselling mystery author (check Amazon) lives in NJ with his wife & 2 daughters; our daughter, Allison, lives & works in Seattle for this startup - Amazon - & I haven’t seen her since Thanksgiving.  We have been staying at our home in Quogue, LI since mid-March, & I have just resumed going back to NYC to work.  It is a much changed place in feel & mood.  Don’t know when we will ever see the inside of a restaurant again.  Unlike Andy, who walks to clear his head, I fish (not catch). 


1973 – Stephen Michael Angliss - Deceased

“Stephen Michael Angliss, 65, of Manhasset, NY, passed away on Friday, July 31st, 2020.  Stephen was born in Rockville Centre to John (“Jack”) G. Angliss and Margaret P. Angliss on December 28th,  1954 .  He went to The Wheatley School in Old Westbury, NY and went on to earn a college degree at St. John’s University in New York.  He worked in the media industry for many years, but his passion was music. nbsp; Stephen was a musician from the age of 12.  He played for several years with Country Jam, but most recently he was a member of Acoustic Apple and an involved member of both the Folk Music Society of Huntington and the Bluegrass club of Long Island.

Stephen is survived by his brother Kevin Angliss (Maureen) of Sea Cliff, NY; Brian Angliss of Las Vegas, Nevada; and his sister-in-law Janice Angliss of Sea Cliff, NY.  Uncle to Joanne Sackett, Jennifer DeSane, Meghan, John and Kevin Angliss.  Great Uncle to Sloane Sackett, Ella, Parker and Jackson DeSane, Evelyn and Virginia Angliss.  He is preceded in death by his parents, his aunt Patricia Purtell and brother John T. Angliss. Stephen was loved by so many people.  We will be holding a Celebration of Life for Stephen at a later date. For information please contact the family at


Bonus Photo 

 A dog sitting in front of a window

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Fan Mail, Coronavirus Thoughts, and a Few Miscellaneous E-Mail Addresses and Comments


1958 (Cynthia Messing Frank) – “Hi Art, Thanks for your tireless work on our newsletters, and for all the news.”

 1958 (Barbara Newman) – “Art, I cannot thank you enough for your newsletter, and kudos to webmaster Keith Aufhauser (1963) as well.  Especially now in this terrible time each newsletter brings news of good things happening, most especially of friendships enduring.  Even the sad news is wreathed in loving appreciations of those who are gone.  I’m sure it’s a lot of work for you both but please know it is a really good deed you do.  Best, Barbara”

 1960 (John (“Monk”) Moncure) – “ο»Ώ Thanks for all you do, Art.  Monk”


1963 (Donna Harmelin Rivkin) – “Dear Art,

You do such a wonderful 

Job bringing back memories 

& uniting us all.  Age doesn’t 

Seem to matter.  Our bond

Is Wheatley!!  We’re all young

Again!!  Thank you Art!!  One

If these days I’ll send you my

Bio.  I. U. Willets Road School...Wheatley... Juilliard...& beyond.

Stay well my friend!!

πŸ’›πŸŽΆπŸŒ» Donna ( Harmelin ) Rivkin


1964 (Elvira (“Vivi”) Cilmi Kunz) – “Thanks again for all your time and work!  You are the best!”

 1964 (Diane Nissenfeld Moore) – “Art, As always, thank you.  I am very sad to read that Bobbe Shire died.  She and I were good friends.  That she passed away three years ago makes me more grateful for your newsletter.  At least we have a better chance of knowing what's happened to all of us with your diligent reporting.  Thank you!  Diane”

 1968 (Ilene [“Cookie”] Levine) – “I love reading your newsletters!  Thanks for all the work you put into them.  It’s great to see after all these years what everybody has done with their lives.”

 1968 (David Pinter) – “I, as do many, enjoy your newsletters…except when reading of the passing of classmates & faculty.” 

 1969 (Joanne Frankel Kelvin) – “Thanks for keeping up the newsletter.  917-975-6862”

 1970 (Stephanie Valadez Fusey) – “Thank you so much for this grand effort to keep things connected for anyone who wants that.”

 1972 (Linda Floom Nathanson) – “I have enjoyed reading The Wheatley School newsletter over the years!”

 1972 (Robin Freier Edwards) – “Thanks again for keeping us all up to date!  I especially loved the article on Bobbe Shire (1964).  She was my skating coach for many years - such an important part of my life.  A wonderful teacher and friend.”

 1977 (Maryann Donnelly Kreischer) -  “Hello Art, My brothers, Jack and Brian Donnelly, shared this newsletter with me.  I would love to be included on the mailing list.  I graduated in ‘77.  It was great to read the news.  Thank you for all the effort - it’s wonderful!  Warm regards, Maryann Donnelly Kreischer”

 1982 (Craig Vogel) – “Your work and efforts are GREATLY appreciated.”



That’s it for The Wheatley School Alumni Association Newsletter # 50.  Please send me your autobiography before someone else sends me your obituary.

Arthur Fredericks Engoron

The Wheatley School Class of 1967