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Letter: LIPA Mismanagement

Something has to be done about the Long Island Power Authority! We are paying some of the highest power rates in the U.S. while LIPA risks our lives, limbs and homes with poor management and antiquated equipment!

Information has recently come to my attention that the catastrophic power outage we have suffered this week is due in a great part to disorganized executives and management at LIPA, and a poorly maintained infrastructure. It is a fact that many of the poles and much of the power equipment on Long Island hasn’t been replaced since the 1920s. The 1920s!

The status and danger of our outdated power equipment has been brought to the attention of LIPA heads time after time by a number of consultants, and they have chosen not to heed the warning that if the system isn’t upgraded, the storms will continue to have increasing catastrophic effects on our island.

I spoke with some of the outside-contracted electrical workers who explained that they have comprehensive experience with out-of-state assignments, and have worked with a number of other power companies. They said the norm is for the power authority to have a plan in place, everything is mapped out A to Z, and the trucks are dispatched immediately.

In contrast, when on assignment on Long Island, LIPA never has a plan, and the workers, find themselves sitting in their trucks for days before they are dispatched. To add insult to injury, LIPA refuses to provide any accommodations for the workers, they had been sleeping in their trucks for three-four days while waiting for the power authority to decide what to do.

As a counter to the horrendous treatment the contract workers receive, I am so pleased that Sea Cliff’s mayor, Bruce Kennedy offered the workers accommodations at the firehouse, that’s what every community should do across all of Long Island, if available.

How many more storms must we endure with LIPA officials who are not coherent enough to protect us during the worst of times, nor have they secured the power infrastructure to minimize outages? Is this more residents’ money squandered by so-called professionals who are looking out for pay increases and well-endowed retirement programs instead of the health and safety of the public they are hired to serve?

I think we have tolerated this dangerous business practice long enough, I urge everyone to write a letter to every public official and newspaper you know of to have LIPA investigated immediately, and called to account for the mishandling of our precious resources, and most importantly, for the loss of lives and homes caused by the deficient management of the Long Island Power Authority.

I am sure the governor will appreciate our support, as he has expressed that he is thoroughly disgusted with the operation of our utilities and is looking to change the whole system.

If you’re not a writer, a few sentences on a post card, an e-mail or telephone call to Albany will suffice. Or get a friend or family member to write for you.

Our government needs to know how we feel and that we won’t tolerate this kind of dangerous and inept management of our resources.

Sheila Sporer

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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