Your Long Island Marathon photos

From the starting line, to the final finish, here are your Long Island Marathon weekend instagram photos.

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Long Islander Eva Casale’s 150-mile New York City to Montauk run

She made it!

With only a couple hours of sleep and her muscles aching, Eva Casale summoned up the strength to sprint through the finish line Sunday as she completed her three-day, 150-mile run from Manhattan to Montauk. Click on the map icons above to see photos from Casale’s journey

“This is the hardest thing I ever did,” Casale said, “but I told myself never to give up because the children would never want me to give up on them.”

The 50-year-old ultramarathoner from Syosset was running on behalf of 150 children, mostly from Long Island, who have battled cancer — including some who lost their lives. She has been raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a charity that funds cancer research, via her site goteameva.org in hopes of reaching her goal of $150,000.

“It was very difficult at times, but I remembered who I was running for and their pain and suffering,” she said. “What I felt is not even one-tenth of what these children go through.”

It took Casale roughly 55 hours to complete the course. She started in lower Manhattan outside the not-for-profit’s offices around 8 a.m. Friday and then breezed over the Brooklyn Bridge with a small entourage of fellow runners.
Casale was never alone. She was joined by runners at different parts of the course who pledged money to her cause. Sometimes her entourage was just one or two people, while at other times the number swelled to more than 20.

With their support, she tackled Brooklyn and Queens in less than five hours Friday, crossing into Nassau County shortly before 1 p.m.

When she arrived in Bay Shore later that night, a throng of supporters met her at Bay Shore High School track for a glow-stick run honoring Rich Arcuri, a long-time resident and runner who died last year in a work-related accident.

Arcuri was also a supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and as a tribute to him the Bay Shore School District presented Casale with a $1,373 donation.

Then, while most Long Islanders were probably sleeping in their beds, Casale kept pounding the pavement Friday night through Saturday, with only a few short rest breaks.

She did sleep Saturday night, but only for two hours, and she was back on the course before sunrise Sunday.

By 9:30 a.m., she was in East Hampton and had about 15 miles left to go. When she arrived at The Lobster Roll, a popular roadside eatery in Amagansett, she picked up a crowd of runners and cyclists who escorted her for the last 6 miles, but the final stretch was not easy.

They had to conquer several hills on Old Montauk Highway before they arrived at the finish in downtown Montauk shortly after 3 p.m.

There, Casale was met by Gina Gallardo, an 8-year-old cancer survivor from Syosset who presented her with a medal and a big hug.

“She’s amazing,” Gina said.

Casale said she hopes her journey brought awareness and funds to the cause, so the charity can continue to make strides toward finding a cure, “so there will be no children with cancer.”

She dedicated the final mile of the run to Julia Wilson, a 10-year-old Rocky Point girl who died of cancer last August.

“I needed to get to Julia,” Casale said.

THE LIST THAT INSPIRED HER

“Madison,” “Jack,” “Lexie” and “Dylan” were among the 98 children’s names scrawled on a piece of looseleaf paper written by 8-year-old Gina Gallardo. Each one represents a fellow cancer patient that the Syosset third grader has met during her own experiences fighting leukemia. But unlike Gina, some of them have lost their battles.

“This list is too long,” said Eva Casale, 50, of Glen Cove, while holding the paper Gina had given her. “Even one name on this list is too long.”

Hoping to change that, Casale, a seasoned ultramarathoner — the term given to people who compete in races longer than 26.2 miles — is preparing to undertake her greatest challenge yet.

On the morning of April 24, she’ll begin running 150 miles from lower Manhattan to Montauk, crossing over the Brooklyn Bridge to traverse the entire length of Long Island. She plans to complete the journey in about 50 to 55 hours, stopping for short rest breaks along the way.

Each mile, she said, will be dedicated to a child who is either fighting cancer or who has succumbed to the disease, and her goal is to raise $150,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society before she is through.

“This is my biggest event and my longest running event, so I’m hoping that it brings the research money that is needed to really help find a cure for cancer,” she said.

Last summer, Casale raised about $25,000 for the same charity when she ran seven marathons in seven consecutive days on Long Island, a total of 183.4 miles. In 2013, she also ran 100 miles, practically nonstop, from Nassau County’s North Shore to its South Shore, then back north again, to benefit the not-for-profit.

She had considered taking this year off, but shortly after finishing her seven-marathon challenge, the idea of tackling Manhattan to Montauk came up as she was celebrating with friends.

“Each year, I really feel by doing a unique event I’m bringing more awareness to the organization,” she said. “… We can just almost feel that soon there will be something that will be available to cure people with these diseases.”

Training for this year’s event has been difficult due to the long, harsh winter, Casale said, but she’s been doing her best to get in her long runs, which range between 20 and 30 miles, on weekends.

“I feel like I’m ready to go,” she added.

While running along snow-covered paths in the Massapequa Preserve one recent Sunday morning, she said she was hoping for vastly different conditions later this month.

“I’m hoping the weather is 50 to 60s,” she said. “It would be great if I could wear shorts.”

As she did during her seven marathons last year, Casale is also inviting runners of all levels to join her for different legs of her 150-mile trek in exchange for a donation to the LLS. Those interested can sign up via her fundraising site, goteameva.org.

Katie Gallardo, Gina’s mother, said her family plans to see Casale off in lower Manhattan when she starts the run, and catch up with her at different points along the course.

“She’s an amazing human being,” Gallardo, 40, said of Casale. “She can teach a lot of people in this world a lot of things.”

Gallardo said it’s been almost four years since her daughter’s acute lymphoblastic leukemia went into remission, but she said cancer is still always on her mind.

“When I go in and check on her at night, I kiss her 100 times,” she said. “I don’t take a second for granted, I count my blessings and pay it forward.”

Casale said she’s prepared for the physical pain she’ll undoubtedly endure during her latest running challenge.

“But the pain is temporary,” she said. “For those who are sick, unfortunately, the pain they feel is not.”

Field of Wheels 2015

Long Islanders share their favorite pictures from Field of Wheels 2015 via Instagram #NewsdayWheels.

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Witness to History: Long Island Remembers WWII

A Newsday/News12 Report

Witness to History:Long Island Remembers WWII

In 1945, the world was engaged in the final battles of World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters. Seventy years later, Long Island remembers the efforts of our local servicemen and women who served in the second great war that helped define the 20th century.

Designer: Anthony Carrozzo; Producer: Amy Onorato; Photo editor: Oswaldo Jimenez; Video: Matthew Golub Copy editor: Martha Guevara

Common Core Controversy: Complete Coverage

Common questions

What is Common Core?

Governors and state education chiefs of 48 states developed the Common Core State Standards, a set of academic benchmarks for kindergarten through 12th grade in English Language Arts/literacy and mathematics. Today, 43 states — including New York — have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are college- or career-ready. The New York State Board of Regents, which sets education policy, adopted the Common Core standards in July 2010 and incorporated some New York-specific elements in January 2011.

How is student testing related to Common Core?

The Common Core standards are aimed at raising academic quality in all schools and use standardized tests to make schools and teachers accountable. In New York, test questions measure the Common Core standards in English Language Arts and mathematics for students in grades 3-8, according to the State Education Department. In 2013, New York was among the first states to administer tests that were aligned with the Common Core. Testing generally is spread over six days — three for the ELA exam and three for the math exam. Each test day, the estimated completion time is 50 minutes for students in grades 3-4 and 50-60 minutes for those in grades 5-8.

Why is there controversy over Common Core?

Three states have withdrawn their acceptance of the Common Core standards, and legislators in a dozen states are reviewing their states’ posture, according to news reports. Some have argued that the Common Core is a federal imposition, and that state and local educational standards work best. Many educators initially supported the Common Core standards, saying that if implemented appropriately, they have the potential to improve student learning.
In New York and elsewhere, testing associated with the Common Core has drawn strong criticism, with some parents arguing the exams are flawed, age-inappropriate and do not provide a valid diagnostic tool. Others have said passing rates set for the exams are unrealistic.
Opponents of the tests also say they are not properly aligned with the curriculum, and that teachers are not allowed to discuss the test content with parents or even colleagues.

Proponents, such as High Achievement New York, a coalition of education, business and civic groups, say that tests tied to the Common Core standards are a solid measure to evaluate progress toward students’ college and career readiness.

The tests are considered an annual “checkup,” they say, to ensure all kids are making progress, provide teachers and schools more information, and offer a common measure that can be used to help close the achievement gap affecting minority students.

What is the impact of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations?

Under New York State’s revised teacher evaluation law passed in March 2012 — also known as Annual Professional Performance Review — teachers’ and principals’ job ratings were for the first time tied to the results of students’ scores on state standardized tests. For teachers, 20 percent of their evaluation was based on what the state calls student “growth scores.”

The state’s push for stricter teacher evaluations — an initiative encouraged by President Barack Obama’s administration, and ultimately rewarded with federal Race to the Top financial incentives — started on a relatively upbeat note.

But the linkage has caused continuing controversy. Teachers, among other concerns, fear the ratings are unfair and don’t properly account for students with learning disabilities, limited English proficiency and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

This year in New York, the portion of teacher and principal job ratings that is tied to test scores is being reevaluated. A major issue that remains unsettled is whether a revised system will base about 50 percent of teachers’ job ratings on students’ performance on Common-Core-associated tests, as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed, or whether that percentage would be far lower — perhaps 20 percent or less, as favored by the Regents.

What has happened to students’ test scores since implementation of the Common Core standards?

Test results plunged soon after implementation. Statewide, the percentage of children in grades three through eight rated proficient or better in English dropped from 55.1 percent in 2012 to 31.1 percent in 2013. The math scores declined from 64.8 percent rated proficient or better in 2012 to 31 percent in 2013. About 40 percent of Long Island students in grades three through eight tested proficient or better in English in 2013. About 37 percent did in math.

In 2014, student passing rates on the state’s English tests were down on the Island and essentially flat at the state level, while math test scores rose significantly both on Long Island and statewide, the State Education Department reported.

On the Island, the percentage of students passing in English dropped from 39.6 percent to 36.8 percent. Statewide passing rates dipped from 31.1 percent to 31 percent. The percentage of LI students passing in math rose from 37.5 percent in 2013 to 43.4 percent in 2014. Statewide passing rates in math increased from 31 percent to 36 percent.

What is the “opt-out movement”?

The so-called opt-out movement started after the rollout of curriculum aligned with the Common Core and the more rigorous tests stemming from it. The movement spread through grassroots activism and social media. In April 2013, the first year of significant test refusals, dozens of students in Long Island school districts boycotted the test on the first day of testing in English and math.

Protesting parents say the existing test system exerts unneeded pressure on students.

In April 2014, about 9,500 children in grades three through eight opted out of the English Language Arts exam, according to a Newsday survey drawn from responses from 67 of the Island’s 124 districts. This week, more than 70,000 students in 110 of the Island’s districts boycotted the ELA exam.

Karen Magee, head of the state’s 600,000-member teacher union, in March 2015 called on parents to boycott the state tests — the first time the organization took that stance publicly.

What are the consequences for a school with a high number of test refusals?

State Education Department officials have said that a district’s failure to meet the federal requirement of 95 percent participation on standardized tests, if not corrected, could result in penalties — including partial loss of federal Title I aid, used for academic remediation. To date, the department has not imposed fiscal sanctions on a district because of failure to meet participation requirements on state tests.

Is Common Core here to stay?

Some local leaders have said that there’s not enough support at the federal or state levels of government to force an end to the Common Core standards.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is running for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, has voiced strong support of the standards.
In March, Cuomo emphasized his commitment to education reform. “Public education in New York and around the country is undergoing tremendous change as parents and citizens demand more performance, accountability and results,” the governor wrote in an article published in Newsday’s opinion pages. “While change is difficult, it is also the only way to get better, and we must continue to improve our education systems to give our kids the opportunities they deserve.”

Activists, however, say the state cannot ignore the large number of test refusals and that they will continue their campaign.

–Compiled by Joie Tyrrell

Expanded News 12 Coverage

Regents chief orders extension for teacher evaluation Regents chief orders extension for teacher evaluation

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch wants the current Nov. 15 deadline for having plans approved by the state extended until Sept. 1, 2016, for districts unable to meet it.

Opt-outs expected to soar with math Common Core test Opt-outs expected to soar with math Common Core test

Officials say opt-out numbers are expected soar after today’s Common Core math tests were administered for students in grades 3 through 8.

Discussion on Common Core controversy Discussion on Common Core controversy

News 12 speaks with Long Island Opt-Out founder Jeanette Deutermann and Dr. Charles Russo about the ongoing Common Core controversy.

Common Core opponents renew call to opt out Common Core opponents renew call to opt out

There is a renewed call to opt out of another round of controversial Common Core tests. Supporters of the opt-out movement on Long Island want parents to hold their kids out of tomorrow's state math tests.

Click here for more coverage

Complete coverage: Stories, data & video


Nearly 65,000 opt out of Common Core tests Nearly 65,000 opt out of Common Core tests

At least 64,785 elementary students opted out of the state ELA test -- 43.6 percent of those eligible for the exam, a Newsday survey of more than 80 percent of districts Islandwide finds.

Data: Student opt-out rates on LI Data: Student opt-out rates on LI

Explore data supplied by 100 individual school districts across Long Island on how many students have opted out of tests so far.


NY schools may face penalties for opt-outs NY schools may face penalties for opt-outs

Education Department officials said a district's failure to meet 95 percent participation on standardized tests could result in penalties including partial loss of federal aid.

Union chief to parents: Boycott state tests Union chief to parents: Boycott state tests

The leader of the state's 600,000-member teacher union urged parents to have their children boycott state tests.


Teacher: Students are 'abused' by education reforms Teacher: Students are 'abused' by education reforms

Hundreds of parents, teachers and students voiced their opposition to education reforms under consideration in Albany -- and for those already in place.

Common Core videos Common Core videos

Watch interviews and see scenes from Common Core forums, protests and rallies.

LIers on Common Core testing

Complete Coverage

Math & English test questions

How tough are the tests? See how much you remember from grade school with these sample questions from various Common Core sample tests available on EngageNY.com.

Long Island students opt out of Common Core tests

Common questions

What is Common Core?

Governors and state education chiefs of 48 states developed the Common Core State Standards, a set of academic benchmarks for kindergarten through 12th grade in English Language Arts/literacy and mathematics. Today, 43 states — including New York — have voluntarily adopted and are working to implement the standards, which are designed to ensure that students graduating from high school are college- or career-ready. The New York State Board of Regents, which sets education policy, adopted the Common Core standards in July 2010 and incorporated some New York-specific elements in January 2011.

How is student testing related to Common Core?

The Common Core standards are aimed at raising academic quality in all schools and use standardized tests to make schools and teachers accountable. In New York, test questions measure the Common Core standards in English Language Arts and mathematics for students in grades three through eight, according to the State Education Department. In 2013, New York was among the first states to administer tests that were aligned with the Common Core. Testing generally is spread over six days — three for the ELA exam and three for the math exam. Each test day, the estimated completion time is 50 minutes for students in grades three and four and 50-60 minutes for those in grades five through eight.

Why is there controversy over Common Core?

Three states have withdrawn their acceptance of the Common Core standards, and legislators in a dozen states are reviewing their states’ posture, according to news reports. Some have argued that the Common Core is a federal imposition, and that state and local educational standards work best. Many educators initially supported the Common Core standards, saying that if implemented appropriately, they have the potential to improve student learning.
In New York and elsewhere, testing associated with the Common Core has drawn strong criticism, with some parents arguing the exams are flawed and age-inappropriate and do not provide a valid diagnostic tool. Others have said passing rates set for the exams are unrealistic.
Opponents of the tests also say they are not properly aligned with the curriculum, and that teachers are not allowed to discuss the test content with parents or even colleagues.

Proponents, such as High Achievement New York, a coalition of education, business and civic groups, say that tests tied to the Common Core standards are a solid measure to evaluate progress toward students’ college and career readiness.

The tests are considered an annual “checkup,” they say, to ensure all kids are making progress, provide teachers and schools more information, and offer a common measure that can be used to help close the achievement gap affecting minority students.

What is the impact of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations?

Under New York State’s revised teacher evaluation law passed in March 2012 — also known as Annual Professional Performance Review — teachers’ and principals’ job ratings were for the first time tied to the results of students’ scores on state standardized tests. For teachers, 20 percent of their evaluation was based on what the state calls student “growth scores.”

The state’s push for stricter teacher evaluations — an initiative encouraged by President Barack Obama’s administration, and ultimately rewarded with federal Race to the Top financial incentives — started on a relatively upbeat note.

But the linkage has caused continuing controversy. Teachers, among other concerns, fear the ratings are unfair and don’t properly account for students with learning disabilities, limited English proficiency and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

This year in New York, the portion of teacher and principal job ratings that is tied to test scores is being reevaluated. A major issue that remains unsettled is whether a revised system will base about 50 percent of teachers’ job ratings on students’ performance on Common-Core-associated tests, as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed, or whether that percentage would be far lower — perhaps 20 percent or less, as favored by the Regents.

What has happened to students’ test scores since implementation of the Common Core standards?

Test results plunged soon after implementation. Statewide, the percentage of children in grades three through eight rated proficient or better in English dropped from 55.1 percent in 2012 to 31.1 percent in 2013. The math scores declined from 64.8 percent rated proficient or better in 2012 to 31 percent in 2013. About 40 percent of Long Island students in grades three through eight tested proficient or better in English in 2013. About 37 percent did in math.

In 2014, student passing rates on the state’s English tests were down on the Island and essentially flat at the state level, while math test scores rose significantly both on Long Island and statewide, the State Education Department reported.

On the Island, the percentage of students passing in English dropped from 39.6 percent to 36.8 percent. Statewide passing rates dipped from 31.1 percent to 31 percent. The percentage of LI students passing in math rose from 37.5 percent in 2013 to 43.4 percent in 2014. Statewide passing rates in math increased from 31 percent to 36 percent.

What is the “opt-out movement”?

The so-called opt-out movement started after the rollout of curriculum aligned with the Common Core and the more rigorous tests stemming from it. The movement spread through grassroots activism and social media. In April 2013, the first year of significant test refusals, dozens of students in Long Island school districts boycotted the test on the first day of testing in English and math.

Protesting parents say the existing test system exerts unneeded pressure on students.

In April 2014, about 9,500 children in grades three through eight opted out of the English Language Arts exam, according to a Newsday survey drawn from responses from 67 of the Island’s 124 districts. This week, more than 70,000 students in 110 of the Island’s districts boycotted the ELA exam.

Karen Magee, head of the state’s 600,000-member teacher union, in March 2015 called on parents to boycott the state tests — the first time the organization took that stance publicly.

What are the consequences for a school with a high number of test refusals?

State Education Department officials have said that a district’s failure to meet the federal requirement of 95 percent participation on standardized tests, if not corrected, could result in penalties — including partial loss of federal Title I aid, used for academic remediation. To date, the department has not imposed fiscal sanctions on a district because of failure to meet participation requirements on state tests.

Is Common Core here to stay?

Some local leaders have said that there’s not enough support at the federal or state levels of government to force an end to the Common Core standards.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is running for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president, has voiced strong support of the standards.
In March, Cuomo emphasized his commitment to education reform. “Public education in New York and around the country is undergoing tremendous change as parents and citizens demand more performance, accountability and results,” the governor wrote in an article published in Newsday’s opinion pages. “While change is difficult, it is also the only way to get better, and we must continue to improve our education systems to give our kids the opportunities they deserve.”

Activists, however, say that the state cannot ignore the large number of test refusals and that they will continue their campaign.

–Compiled by Joie Tyrrell

Stories, data & video

LIers on Common Core testing


Opt-out numbers could reshape tests Opt-out numbers could reshape tests

Exams based on the Common Core standards aren't going away anytime soon, but the explosive opt-out movement may reshape standardized testing for years to come, an official says.

Data: Student opt-out rates on LI Data: Student opt-out rates on LI

Explore data supplied by 100 individual school districts across Long Island on how many students have opted out of tests so far.


Record number of students opt out of tests Record number of students opt out of tests

As Common Core testing for ELA exams got underway, a Newsday survey of more than 89 percent of districts found that students were opting out in record numbers.

NY schools may face penalties for opt-outs NY schools may face penalties for opt-outs

Education Department officials said a district's failure to meet 95 percent participation on standardized tests could result in penalties including partial loss of federal aid.


Editorial: Let's have a civil chat Editorial: Let's have a civil chat

In the conflict over standardized tests, opting out and teacher performance reviews, self-righteous certainty has replaced reasoned debate.

Common Core videos Common Core videos

Watch interviews and see scenes from Common Core forums, protests and rallies.

Complete Coverage

Math & English test questions

How tough are the tests? See how much you remember from grade school with these sample questions from various Common Core sample tests available on EngageNY.org.

Expanded Coverage


Group: Thousands of LI students opted out of Common Core Group: Thousands of LI students opted out of Common Core

Thousands of students opted out of taking the English Language Arts Common Core exam, according to figures from a group that is critical of the test.

Many LI parents having kids opt out of tests Many LI parents having kids opt out of tests

Parents and educators across the state have been vocal in their opposition to the curriculum, arguing that the tests are unfair and do little more than cause their children anxiety.

Students encouraged to boycott Common Core tests Students encouraged to boycott Common Core tests

Some Albany Democrats and Republicans have encouraged students to boycott Common Core tests.

Anti-Common Core forum held in Hicksville Anti-Common Core forum held in Hicksville

More than 200 parents attended a panel discussion at Levittown Hall in Hicksville regarding the rollout of the Common Core curriculum.

Click here for more coverage

Start the conversation

COMMON CORE – YOUR TURN: Does Common Core raise standards and ensure our schools are up to snuff or does it hamper our…

Posted by News 12 Long Island on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cool things to do on LI this summer: Reader picks

What do you think is the coolest thing to do on Long Island this summer? Use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to send us a photo of your top picks and tell us why, with #LISummer, and it could be featured.

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Cool things to do in NYC this summer: Reader picks

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Long Island Marathon 2015: Sign up for instant runner results

The RXR Long Island Marathon Weekend races are set to take place on Saturday, May 2, and Sunday, May 3, 2015.

Sign up now to get an email alert for anyone running in the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K or 1 mile race. When they cross the finish line, you’ll get a message from raceresults@run-li.com with their results. Just fill out the form below.

After signing up, go to newsday.com/marathon for tips on the best viewing spots, restaurants in the area and more.