1794: On September 25, a post office opens in the Queens County Court House. It is the first post office in what is now Nassau County (the second one was opened at Hempstead Village in 1802). Mail can now travel from New York City to Jamaica to Herricks to Sag Harbor in eastern Suffolk County largely along what is now Jericho Turnpike. The Court House branch is officially called “Queens Post Office” until 1805, when the name is changed to “North Hempstead Post Office.” It will operate until the early 1870s.
1807: Why is businessman James C. Roosevelt of 291 Broadway in New York City, relative of two future Presidents, advertising the availability of “a valuable farm at Herrick’s” in the city newspapers? His mother is Mary Duryea and he’s helping out his cousin, William, who is interested in selling 144 acres here. The land “is in high cultivation, well timbered, and abounds in excellent fruit.” It also includes a two-story residence and outhouses.
Like many of you, this week, I received two mailings from the New York State Democratic Committee. Both call Richard Nicolello’s appointment as counsel to the New Hyde Park Garden City Park School District “patronage.” As a registered Democrat, I am deeply saddened and greatly disappointed in such action. As a school board trustee I am offended and outraged.
During my tenure as trustee, Mr. Nicolello was appointed in 1987 based solely on his credentials as an attorney, not on his political affiliations. Just for the record, he was not elected to the Nassau Legislature until eight years later. Just for the record….there was no patronage.
Europeans made homes in the Herricks area 365 years ago. Over that long a period of time, some unpleasant things are bound to happen anywhere. Over the generations, notorious incidents and acts mount up. Herricks was the site of quite a few hangings on and near the grounds of the Queens County Courthouse. William Valentine was murdered in his barn during a 1785 robbery attempt, and his killer was never found. But while these and other bloody events occurred near the little valley on the south side of the High School, they didn’t happen in it. There is also strong evidence that the name “Bloody Hollow” was not in common use until the 20th century. So why did it get that colorful name?
Was it actually an ironic nickname, perhaps referring to the most innocent of activities? For 20 years, and maybe longer, right up until the construction started on the high school in 1957, there was another local landmark at the top of that hollow. Someone had constructed a large rope swing, hanging from one of the large trees (approximately where the school gymnasiums stand today). It was high off the ground, so that children mounted it by ladder or by shoulder. The swing was well-known as a source of broken limbs and other injuries. Was this why it was a “bloody” hollow?
Coats For Kids has begun in our area. This program, where new and gently used coats are donated for those in need (children and adults) and will then be cleaned at local cleaners, runs through January 2010.
A collection bin will be at Williston Park village hall, 494 Willis Avenue, Williston Park, as well as Senator Craig Johnson’s office at 151 Herricks Road, New Hyde Park. Please look through your closets and help those in need.
The next village board meeting will be on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.. All residents are invited to attend.
The Boy Scouts will be holding their annual Flea Market on Oct. 17 at the Gazebo parking lot on Hillside Avenue and Liberty.
The New York Islanders are opening their 2009-2010 season this weekend as the team’s owner continues his ardent push for the refurbishment of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and intense development of the area adjoining the Islanders’ home arena.
Those attending the Islanders’ first home game on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. will not only see them play the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins but also get a firsthand look at a revamped roster. The team’s second home game, to be held on Monday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. against the Los Angeles Kings, should have a lot of kids in attendance because schools are closed for Columbus Day.
Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman reminds Nassau County residents that their Nassau Rx Prescription Discount card can also be used for discounts on some pet prescriptions.
“Many medicines for pets are the same as for humans,” Weitzman said. “Pet owners can fill many of their pet’s prescriptions at your local pharmacy and use their NassauRx card to receive a discount. All cardholders, whether human or animal, can save on prescription medications, at more than 90 percent of Nassau pharmacies.”
According to Dr. Robert Henrickson, DVM of the Manhasset Animal Hospital in Manhasset, drugs used by both dogs and humans include most antibiotics, cortisone creams and pills, eye medicines, some heart disease medicines, phenobarbital for seizures, theophylline for breathing problems, lasix, antifungals such as lomotil and conofite and some vitamins and minerals.
Assemblyman Tom McKevitt expressed outrage at the blatant money grab orchestrated by Governor David Paterson and his cohorts in the state Legislature. As part of the 2009-10 state budget, which McKevitt voted against, driver’s licenses and registration fees will increase dramatically.
Effective September 1, driver’s license and vehicle registration fees will increase 25 percent, which means an average class D driver’s license will go from $50 to $64.50 and registering an average weight vehicle will increase from $45 to $56. Adding insult to injury, effective April 1 of 2010 all registered vehicles will be required to get new license plates and renewed registrations forcing motorists to pay the new registration fee plus an increased $25 fee for the license plate, up from $15.
“By state mandate, every person will have to pay the fees necessary to obtain new license plates for their vehicles. In an obvious attempt to add money to the state’s shrinking coffers, anyone who wants to keep their license plate number will have to pay an additional $20. It is outright robbery,” said McKevitt.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, in the 12-county MTA region that includes Nassau there will also be a $16 supplemental fee on all driver’s licenses, bringing the cost for a standard driver’s license to $80.50. There is also a $50 supplemental fee for all vehicle registrations in addition to the 25 percent increase. Keep in mind this doesn’t include any additional county taxes and fees that might be tacked on.
“Long Island residents are leaving the region and the state in droves because they can no longer afford to live here. That’s why I am calling for the immediate repeal of such fees and for better solutions to be found to make up for declining revenues.”
I received the best news today that I want to share with everyone. Senator Craig Johnson was able to obtain a capital grant for the Town to improve and restore the Schumacher House in the amount of $500,000!
This has been a longtime goal of North Lakeville and Lakeville Estates civic associations as well as many residents of Great Neck and North Hempstead (over 10 years) and to the best of my recollection, the town said at a public meeting that they would match any grants that they received.
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District Board of Education met this summer, for their first annual retreat, to finalize their working document of a Five Year Strategic Plan and to establish working goals for the academic year. The Board of Education working alongside of the Superintendent has committed to the following three goals, and has put into place a quarterly monitoring system to evaluate our progress toward our goals.
Please highlight the ideas in this speech that were so offensive that you decided to disrespect the President of the United States by not allowing our children to hear them. I, for one, am highly insulted and consider this a most unpatriotic action on your part. Not allowing our children to be encouraged to do well in school by our president. Unheard of! What a loss to our children and what a terrible lesson you have sent to them. You should be ashamed to call yourself an advocate of children. What exactly did you think you were protecting them from? I cannot find a single phrase here that I would not be pleased to have my children hear.
Linda Cavallaro, New Hyde Park
(Editor’s Note: New Hyde Park/Garden City Park Superintendent Robert Katulak was contacted by the Illustrated News and he explained that due to the first day of school falling on the same day of the president’s speech, and the confusion that often accompanies the first day of school, it was decided that it would be less confusing for the students to view the speech on the following Friday, Sept. 11 to coincide with the president’s wish to declare Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service.)
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