The Village of Mineola selected Jackson Avenue-based Valente Contracting to handle the majority of the revamp of Memorial Park, starting with the construction of a bandshell at the southern part of the property. Valente’s $1.55 million bid was the lowest of four sent to the village. Bids were due May 16.
“In essence, we’re redoing the whole park, with the exception of our tennis courts and existing playground facilities,” Village Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini said. “The tennis courts will be looked at separately. It’ll be either immediately in the future or some time later.”
The bandshell would be built near the Mineola Memorial Library and stand 22 feet high at its peak. Valente will also repave paths in the park.
The New Hyde Park-Mineola Runners Club is going the distance once again this year by hosting its annual 8K race. Proceeds from the June 1 rain or shine event will benefit wounded veterans in Nassau County and Boy and Girl Scout troops from the area.
Festivities begin at 8 a.m. and planned activities for the day include a quarter-mile fun run for kids and a two-mile community walk, in addition to the 8K race, which starts and ends at Denton Avenue Elementary School in New Hyde Park. The 37-year-old competition is also a part of the USA Track and Field Long Island Division and is recognized as an 8K Grande Prix Championship. Last year, the club saw between 400 and 500 participants, a figure race director and Club President Harold Axelrod said he hopes to match this weekend.
“So we have something for everyone,” he stated.
Mineola resident Dr. Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion celebrated a birthday Tuesday, May 20; one that ended with her taking a seat on the Mineola Board of Education for the 2014-15 school year as a new trustee, and the passage of the $87 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year by a 2-1 margin (760-328). She, along with incumbent trustee Nicole Matzer, received 751 and 759 votes, respectively.
Current trustee William Hornberger’s announced he would not seek a new term on the board in April, which vacated a seat. Ballantyne-Mannion, a resident of Mineola since 1972, announced her candidacy shortly before Hornberger’s decision. She currently holds an A.M. and
Ph.D in Hispanic studies from Brown University and is a professor of Spanish at CUNY York College.
Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner announced last week that this year’s recipient of the annual Mayors Award will be building inspector Robert Campagna.
A decision to demolish the controversial 8 Sumter Ave. property in East Williston was again adjourned by Nassau Country Supreme Court Judge James McCormack, until Monday, May 19. An update was not available as of press time.
East Williston Village Attorney Jeffrey Blinkoff, who appeared before McCormack on Monday, May 12, said the adjournment decision was due to the absence of the defendants—homeowners John and Theresa Muzio, in the court room. They did not return calls for comment.
According to Blinkoff, McCormack said that Theresa was ill and would not be present.
Parking issues and student capacity were at the heart of the discussion during Smart Brain America’s public hearing in Mineola last week. The tutoring franchise is looking to open a new location at 345 Hillside Avenue.
Smart Brain CEO Surendra Gupta noted two parking spots are currently available at the location. Furthermore, that he’d enforce traffic concerns with customers.
“We’ve told people to not double park at our other sites,” Gupta said. “It’s not safe for the children. If the classes are at any particular time, maybe eight or nine kids at a time, I don’t see any parking issues occurring.”
For the first time, the Long Island Portuguese community will have a parade in Mineola. On Sunday, June 8, more than 50 groups will ride on colorful floats and display their Portuguese pride. Long Island is home to almost 20,000 residents who are Portuguese or of Portuguese descent.
“This is a great way to unite the community and I am proud to be a part of its inception,” said Manuel Rodrigues, president of the Portuguese Heritage Society–Lusitano.
The Day of Portugal, Camoes and the Communities, is a holiday celebrating the history and heritage of the Portuguese people throughout the world. One child representing each organization will walk alongside special guest Dr. Jose Cesario, the Portuguese secretary of state for
Portuguese communities abroad and a list of Honorary Marshalls that include Portuguese-Americans New York State Senator Jack Martins and Mineola Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira.
In a time when a lot of mom and pop stores are going out of business to make way for bigger chains, there is a family business in Mineola that has stayed strong for almost 80 years. Mineola Bicycle, Fitness and Mower on Jericho Turnpike has been in business since 1935, selling the finest two wheel transportation and power equipment in the Nassau County.
“Our business started out in 1935 in a building on the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike selling bicycles to residents,” said store manager Barry Dworkin. “In the 1950s, we saw there was need for more so we started selling power equipment and snow blowers.”
The building was moved to the opposite corner of the street in 1958.
East Williston Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente announced that she will seek election for the Town of North Hempstead’s District Council 2 seat. Parente, a Republican, was elected to the East Williston Village Board in 2011. She decided to run after the Republican party approached her to challenge the seat’s expiring term.
“I always thought I would be good for that,” she said. “My term as a deputy mayor ends in 2015 and so it seems like the right next step.”
Parente feels her work in the village, specifically issues with the East Williston Fire Department and water rate tussles between the village and Williston Park, has prepared her for a bigger role in town government.
There are two open seats on the Mineola Board of Education for the 2014 ballot, with two candidates waiting to fill them. On Monday May 5, current board member Nicole Matzer and newcomer Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion presented themselves to the community during a sparsely attended Meet the Candidates Night at Mineola High School. The annual budget and school board vote will take place on Tuesday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Meadow Drive and Jackson Avenue schools.
Matzer was selected last year to fill the remaining term of former board member Terence Hale, who resigned from the board in 2013. She has previously volunteered in the district, serving as the PTO president of the Willis Avenue School for two years.
Matzer also served as district council co-president. She resides in Mineola, having moved to the district in 1999 with her husband, Eric. Matzer has two children and teaches catechism at St. Aidan’s.
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