The public hearing to address the MTA’s proposed fare hikes held at the Garden City Hotel on Sept. 16 was met with a literal “twist” of fate. As LIRR and LI Bus riders started shuffling into the hotel at 5 p.m. to register to speak, thousands of Long Island-bound commuters were about to be stranded in Penn Station. Two tornadoes ripped through New York City at the height of rush hour, causing the MTA to suspend all LIRR service.
Despite the interruption by Mother Nature, the public hearing proceeded as planned—and with no shortage of registered speakers. Concerned commuters, including public officials and representatives from United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc., spoke out against the MTA’s recent service cuts and proposed fare increase. Service cuts that took effect as of Sept. 13 impacted the Atlantic Terminal, Long Beach, Montauk, Port Washington, Ronkonkoma and Greenport. Perhaps the hardest hit was West Hempstead, which, as of Sept. 18, will no longer offer weekend service. Proposed fare increases vary, but the cost of most tickets could increase by as much as 14.3 percent.
After a slow summer, merchants across New York State are hoping to get a big boost in business from the New York Press Association’s (NYPA) “$25 on the 25th” marketing initiative. NYPA recently partnered with the New York State Conference of Mayors and the New York State Economic Development Council to launch a statewide advocacy campaign to encourage New Yorkers to spend $25 on the 25th of September at a local main street business.
According to NYPA’s website, “This special $25 on the 25th promotional event will provide an opportunity for community businesses to restore and expand their customer bases by reminding consumers about the diversity of their products and services, by redefining customer service and by providing a “green” shopping experience that reduces automobile use and pollution while providing access to the local farmers’ markets that frequent Main Street during the growing season.”
As it has every year, the Garden City Fire Department, community members and village officials gathered together for a solemn 9/11 remembrance service held at the Village Memorial on the Village Green last Saturday.
Garden City Fire Chief William Graham said the simple memorial ceremony pays tribute to the 23 village residents whose names are now etched on the black granite memorial monument. “I think today it is important that we commemorate the day, that we turn together as a community for those who are lost, for the families who are still with us. That’s something that needs to continue,” Graham said.
On Wednesday, Sept. 8, on the steps of the State Supreme Court in Mineola, Plainview businesswoman Francesca Carlow announced that she has received the endorsement of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the race for the 6th New York State Senate District seat against 34-year Republican incumbent Kemp Hannon. A day later, her Democratic Primary opponent, Dave Mejias, who was recently arrested for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend, announced that he would drop out of the race.
Carlow made the following statement at her Sept. 8 press conference: “I am very pleased that the DSCC has embraced my vision for a better Long Island and for an honest, responsive representation in government. Unlike my Republican opponent, I am not a career politician. As someone who has never run for office before, I began this race because I am tired of the dysfunction and waste in Albany. I think we all are!
For Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, abating aircraft noise, and stopping terrorists from obtaining guns are among the top priorities on her legislative agenda. The 4th Congressional District incumbent sat down with editors of Anton Community Newspapers last week to discuss various topics ranging from education to imposing legislation to deal with childhood obesity.
McCarthy started working on childhood obesity when she took over the chairmanship of Education and Labor Committee four years ago. She said that when she was considering the position, she researched the subject and it entailed everything she would want to work on.
As the Republican primary election looms on Sept. 14, there were plenty of fireworks to watch during a recent debate held at the Hewlett-Woodmere Library. The three Republican candidates seeking to take on Democratic incumbent Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th Congressional District race exchanged sharp words on Long Island’s struggling economy, campaign reform and how to tackle job growth.
The current Republican nominee Nassau County Legislator Francis Becker and challengers Frank Scaturro and Dan Maloney sparred and waged personal attacks on each other’s records, backgrounds and the issues themselves.
The Garden City Board of Trustees voted in favor of granting a second one-year extension of the final site plan approval for the townhouse development of the property located at 555 Stewart Avenue. This past June, the village board first granted a one-year extension through September of 2010 and advised the property owner’s attorney, Kevin Walsh, to return this August to obtain further extension.
During the most recent board of trustees meeting, Walsh formally asked the board for a second extension beyond September 2010. Walsh told the board that the owner of the longtime vacant property was in negotiations with a developer. “In terms of progress, it was only two months ago in the summer that I met with you but I will tell you that I indicated then that we were very close on a contract, we are even closer,” Walsh said. “I had hoped to have this resolved. I had expected that if we had met in the first week of September that we would be presenting a joint venture between the current owner and another developer.
If you haven’t driven by Garden City Middle School this summer, you may want to take a moment to have a look. Massive changes have taken place around the exterior of the building as the first phase of construction for the School Investment Bond has been implemented. A reconfiguration of the parking areas and driveway will provide students with safer bus loading and unloading in a new, dedicated area adjacent to the playing fields. Expanded car parking areas are taking shape behind the school and on the west side, adjacent to Stewart Avenue, and new sidewalks follow the contour of the paved areas along the periphery of the building. Expanding on a new driveway and new sidewalks at the front of the middle school, including an additional ADA accessible ramp, is an access road that parallels Stewart and connects the three new parking areas. Below these new parking and roadway areas, a comprehensive drainage system has been installed to manage rain water runoff. On-target for the opening of the 2010-11 school year, parents picking up middle schoolers or drivers along Stewart Avenue at drop-off and dismissal times should notice a significant reduction in congestion and delays. With the new bus area, student safety will be greatly improved, affording a more visible and orderly arrival and dismissal flow.
On Aug. 19, a large crowd of Long Islanders packed Village Hall to attend a public hearing on the St. Paul’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The overwhelming majority of local residents voiced their opposition regarding the proposed demolition of the historic former boy’s school, which one resident described as “the soul of Garden City.”
In 2009, the village board, as the lead agency and owner of St. Paul’s School, issued a positive declaration requiring the preparation of a DEIS for the proposed demolition of St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall. To ensure a comprehensive environmental review in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the potential environmental impacts associated with the demolition were evaluated in the DEIS, which was prepared and ultimately accepted by the board of trustees on June 17, 2010.
Governor David Paterson recently held a news conference at the Nassau County Police Academy in Massapequa Park to announce a new provision to Leandra’s Law, requiring that all individuals convicted of a DWI, even first time offenders with, or without a child in the vehicle to install an ignition interlock system on any vehicle they operate. The provision went into effect on Sunday, Aug. 15.
This is a triumph for the advocates of ignition interlocks, including the local Long Island chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) who have lobbied tirelessly in Albany to remove it from judicial discretion, an optional condition assigned to those convicted of drunken driving.
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