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East Hills Man: ‘Save The Tree’

Passing tree law is no easy task, says Mineola

A century ago, Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”

East Hills resident Richard Brummel apparently thinks he has never seen anything as lovely as a tree, and he is now stumping for the preservation of a 125-yerar-old tree on Roslyn Road near Jerome Avenue in Mineola.

Brummel has circulated petitions to the Mineola Village Board and the Town of North Hempstead. The tree sits on foreclosed property.

Brummel hopes new tree laws will be established in an effort to preserve older, bigger trees in the area.

“I am concerned for the future of this tree because developers in this area typically destroy all trees on the properties they build on,” he said.

For the last two decades, the National Arbor Day Foundation has dubbed Mineola as “Tree City USA” for its continuing efforts at tree planting. Mineola reported that 450 trees would be replaced due to Hurricane Sandy.

Village representatives said if tree preservation laws similar to those used in communities elsewhere were adopted, any resident that wants to remove a tree on his or her property would need to first obtain authorization from the village. This may entail some type of inspection and permitting process and might also include tree-service company licensing.

“There’d have to be a permit process, because that’s the only we could prevent people from trees being taken down,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.

In some cases, homeowners could be denied the right to remove or alter a tree on their property. Where tree preservation codes are in effect, homeowners can be denied building applications because preserved trees are in the way.

“I love trees,” Strauss stated, adding he does not relish the idea of telling people what to do with their property. “The concept with the environment, absolutely; but there comes a point where government should not infringe on peoples rights, on peoples property.”

This could, village reps noted, cause an increase in village taxes as additional personnel or outside contractors would have to conduct inspections and process permits. 

 Home values could be affected because preservation limits on private property would need to be disclosed during potential sales, according to Strauss. Furthermore, homeowners’ rates would skyrocket because of permit requirements and if a resident wants their home remodeled and a tree is in the way, it cannot be cut down because of preservation laws.

“What happens if we put these laws into effect, and a person can’t sell a house,” Strauss said. “What if a young couple buys a house with a tree and it’s a small house and they want to expand for kids, then we tell them they can’t and they have to cram all their kids into one bedroom?”

Speaking of the tree Brummel wants to save in Mineola, arborist Richard Oberlander of Nassau Suffolk Tree Service said the tree is “near-perfect” symmetry and has a broad crown, which grows 90 feet across. He thinks it’s a “special specimen.” The International Society of Arboriculture certifies Oberlander as an accredited authority on trees.

“The tree has a co-dominant stem but is so well balanced it has very good structural integrity,” said Oberlander. “It is a tree I can only characterize as humongous and it clearly deserves to be protected and embraced by the community as a significant environmental asset.”

Oberlander said the Mineola tree is in “very good health” and “provides value historically, aesthetically and ecologically.”


News

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com