(Editor’s Note: This letter to Great Neck Estates Mayor David Fox is being published at the request of the writer.}
We are writing to you about the Playhouse Theatre, which has played an important role in the history of Great Neck Estates and the entire peninsula. You probably know that George Abbott starred in the first play when the Theatre opened in 1922. Many famous actors were on stage there: Claudette Colbert, Helen Hayes, James Cagney, Lillian Gish and Barbara Stanwyck, among others. In 1927, to raise money for St. Aloysius Church, a long list of entertainers, including George M. Cohan, Eddie Cantor, the Marx Brothers, Phil Baker, Gene Buck, and Irving Berlin performed there.
I know, we have said this many times before, but we are saying it again! It’s time! We have waited long enough! It’s way past due! It’s time for a book store in Great Neck once again!
Once we had so many beautiful, enticing book stores in our shopping areas, both in the Plaza and in the Old Village. And, yes, we know that the big book store chains and Internet shopping have severely cut in to local shopping. But when we look around at other communities, we do see those wonderful old-fashioned book stores, book stores complete with delightful, caring shopkeepers who thoroughly enjoy each and every book they offer. They always time for a friendly chat, always have time to discuss an exciting new book, always have the time to help you choose just the right novel or new children’s book or maybe the very best source for some longed-for information. Now wouldn’t that be delightful!
Actually, we find the loss of all those neighborhood book stores impossible to measure. There is nothing like a hometown shop, especially your own hometown “mom-and-pop” book store. We had them, we loved them, now they are gone! The time is now for a new book store in Great Neck. Everyone is ready!
Now is a perfect time to bring back a local book store. There are empty stores here and there on the peninsula. A relatively small space could easily house a cozy book nook. A large space ---and there probably are not too many of them --- could accommodate a branch of a well-known chain. Think of the joy of finding a book store in your own community once more! Think of the business a book store could bring to town!
A book store in our busy Great Neck Plaza downtown could give a great boost to the other fine businesses. A book store in the Old Village could actually be a big step towards a real, much longed-for rejuvenation. A chain book store especially would bring customers from all over, customers who would not only shop for books, but who would stop in local restaurants and shop in local stores. New business for everyone!
We urge our community business organizations and our local landlords to seek out book stores. Let prospective book store owners know that there is a real need and a big welcome waiting for them in Great Neck!
- Wendy Karpel Kreitzman
While I’m in total agreement with John Owens’ “Buttafuocoed” views about Long Island, I have some disagreements with John Collins’ reaction letter published last week (“Joey’s Legacy”).
Collins is absolutely right when he says that “[Long Island] lacks political leadership that has any sense of vision for this area. The politicians are too vested in partisan politics and patronage. They lack the intelligence, experience and commitment to develop any bold, creative solutions to Long Island’s challenges...how dysfunctional the governmental process is in both counties. It is a half-century history of one stupid decision after another.”
I recently financed my mortgage, reducing my interest rate to a mere 3 percent. To finalize the arrangement, the bank sent a lady to my house with a stack of papers for me to sign. When I say stack, I mean more than a hundred sheets. I felt bad for all the trees that had been cut down to make this quantity of paper.
Just a reminder, in case you are looking for the Great Neck Record staff on a Monday. We are not in our local office (25 Cuttermill Road in Great Neck Plaza) on Mondays; we are instead busy producing the Record, at Anton Community Newspapers’ main office in Mineola. And on those days we are reachable at 747-8282.
(If you are confused, yes, we used to be at the main office on Tuesdays, but now we are at Anton offices on Mondays.)
(Editors Note: This letter was sent to Carnell T. Foskey,
Commissioner Nassau County Commissioner of Parks and is reprinted here at the request of the author.)
Words of encouragement to residents from Supervisor Jon Kaiman to join thousands who have upgraded their homes, improving the value of their neighborhoods while protecting the environment to have a community/town cleanup on Earth Day. It’s more than words of encouragement of our meeting with the county with regard to the property at the intersection of Wood Road and Arrandale Avenue which is owned by the county.
Last May 2012, I petitioned the county to transfer the “dump” to the Great Neck Park District (GNPD). A dumping ground for decades, a mosquito breeding ground, rats having a feast on foodstuff, potential brush fires which endanger nearby residents’ homes from the illegal dumping of dried leaves and brush and still yet to be cleared of trees and limbs for the 2010 microburst.
On the Arrandale side used by children from the adjacent school, a sidewalk no longer exists, crumbled down to the catch basin below. All of this eyesore and danger next to a multimillion dollar sports complex owned by the GNPD, not to mention, the gateway to the USMMA.
I take this garbage dump personally because I have lived across from it for 30 years. What is surprising to me is that the Village of Great Neck code enforcement unit doesn’t do something about it. Where is the dialogue with the county? They give summons to the residents for high grass and hedges not cut.
On May 31, 2012 the Open Space Committee had a meeting with the Nassau County Department of Parks with photographs and signed petitions and had a discussion about what could be done to benefit both sides. A simple solution: Sell the property to GNPD for the $1000 they had proposed. GNPD would clean up the area. Money has been set aside in the 2013 budget. Keep it as a clean environmentally friendly open space. A win- win for the residents while relieving the county of potential liability which they are unable to meet.
We got so close to a resolution. Unfortunately, Peter Schmitt died just days before and it was put on hold. I urge the county department of parks to move the process forward. This is not a third world county where we have to live next to a dangerous , unattended garbage dump. So do the right thing on 2013 Earth Day by transferring the small parcel of land to the GNPD.
The story is told about a young girl who’s upset by all the poverty, hunger and homelessness that she sees. She prays to God and asks, “Why don’t you send help for these poor souls?”
God answers her, “I did send help. I created you.”
You would think it would be a no-brainer, driving slowly and carefully through the parking garages and parking lots in town. But it’s not. Far from it! Driving through the carefully planned parking spaces in Great Neck should be a pleasant experience; we should all feel so fortunate to have more spots than most realize available throughout the peninsula. But navigating our vehicles through municipal lots and garages can be a tricky feat. And walking in those garages and lots can too often be a particularly harrowing experience.
As a board member of the American Heart Association, I couldn’t be more distraught at the budget that Governor Cuomo and state legislators have agreed upon.
It slashes funding to public health programs critical to heart disease and stroke prevention by more than $2.5 million. Public health programs are supposed to improve the public’s health, and without them, New Yorkers will suffer the effects of ill health.
The baseball season opened already, spring sports are on the agenda at our schools, and lots of local club teams are gearing up for a brand new season.
Whether your team is an “official” school or league team, or even if you are a local group that likes to organize for sports, we would like to hear from you. The Great Neck Record would love to share news of your teams with the entire community.
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