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Long IslandTowns

Town Focus: Day 2 in Port Washington

Port Washington has a quaint downtown lined with

Port Washington has a quaint downtown lined with local businesses. (Oct. 6, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

For the second day of our Town Focus in Port Washington, we’ll continue to explore the community’s defining aspects including its schools, businesses and history.

I had the opportunity yesterday to meet with Kathleen Mooney, the superintendent of the Port Washington School District. Mooney, who is in her first year in the position of schools chief, spoke candidly about the strengths of the district, the challenges it's facing and the support it receives from the community. Look for my interview with her later this morning.

She also told me that the district is very proud of its music program and later this morning, I will have a chance to watch Schreiber High School students perform as they rehearse for their upcoming spring concert.

What do you think are the greatest strengths of Port Washington’s schools? Let me know by sending a tweet to @TaraKConry on Twitter. (Each day, Newsday features a “Top Tweet” from a Long Islander in the paper. You never know, yours just might show up in print.)

Later today, I’ll continue to delve into Port’s past by getting a tour of the Port Washington Public Library’s Local History Center from director Elly Shodell.

I will also be spending time on Main Street and Port Washington Boulevard getting to know some of the merchants that contribute to the community’s thriving downtown. The family-owned Shields Hardware, for instance, has been in business in Port Washington for nearly 100 years. Why have the Shields been successful while many other “mom and pop” hardware stores have shuttered, unable to compete with big-box businesses? Find out later today.

Also, check back this afternoon to learn how Port Washington’s Chamber of Commerce has been helping the business community flourish. Much of the work that the chamber does is focused on encouraging residents to support local businesses. In keeping with the “shop local” theme, please let me know what places in Port Washington I should patronize during my time here. So far, I’ve enjoyed a delicious maple spice latte at the Dolphin Bookstore Cafe and a gyro from Ayhan’s Mediterranean Marketplace Cafe. Have other recommendations of places to try (preferably ones with wifi)? Send me a tweet or email me at

And don’t forget to follow me throughout the day on Twitter, Instagram and on LI Now.

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