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Fifty Years For Joseph Conlon

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00

Joseph Conlon couldn’t picture himself lasting five decades with the Mineola Fire Department. Today, after helping put together a groundbreaking unit for junior firemen, he would not have it any other way. Conlon will celebrate his 50th year with the department on

April 14 at a special gala honoring his commitment on April 25. 


Conlon’s dedication to Mineola will forever be linked to the Mineola Junior Fire Department, which he helped found in 1976. Juniors learn fire prevention techniques, respond to fire calls and participate in numerous real-life drills, including wall-scaling and vehicle extraction, among other techniques.


Choo Choo, Vrroom At Willis Hobbies

Written by Rich Forestano Saturday, 15 March 2014 00:00

The brown awning that drapes over 300 Willis Ave. has been a staple in the community for more than six decades. For Willis Hobbies’ owner Steve Ford, it’s about tradition.


“All of us that work here know the industry,” he said. “We know the lingo, we use the items ourselves and that helps service. You won’t get the personal nature on the Internet.”


Ford’s dad, Alfred, bought the business in 1970, but the area had always had a hobby shop, dating back to 1949 when it was located next to Foresto’s Men Shop across the street, before moving in 1998. Steve worked stocking shelves part-time while he was in high school, before taking over the shop in 1988, when his father retired.


An Eclectic Mix Of Asian Cuisine

Written by Gary Simeone Friday, 14 March 2014 00:00

If you are a fan of a wide variety of Asian fare, you will love the mix that Niji, a new Asian fusion restaurant at 121 Mineola Blvd., has to offer. Niji opened this past December, taking the place of Jani Restaurant, which offered a similar Asian Fusion menu.


“We serve a combination of Chinese and Japanese food with over 130 Chinese dishes and 40 different choices for sushi,” said owner Alen Gao. “Our menu consists of items like the crispy duck, Indonesian Sambal and the Niji Triple Delight, which is a combination of jumbo shrimp, chicken and beef sautéed with garden vegetable in house.”


Trustees OK Bigger Bar, Nix Shake Shop

Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 13 March 2014 00:00

For Jeremiah O’Carroll, owner of O’Carroll’s Recovery Room, when it comes to town politics, something is better than nothing. 

Still, he did want a little more. 


Last week, the Mineola Village Board voted 4-0 to let O'Carroll expand his restaurant/tavern at Station Plaza in Mineola, but at the same time nixed his plan to also build a health shake shop next door. Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira, who was not present at O’Carroll’s December hearing, abstained from the vote.


School Budget Draft Revealed

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

The Mineola School District’s 2014-15 draft budget is $87.5 million, a 1.65 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May.


The budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.


District officials said pensions, salaries and special education costs drove the increases. Superintendent Dr. Michael Nagler estimated salaries and pensions would total $400,000 each; special education, $300,000.


8 Sumter Ave. Inspected

Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00

After two denials by John and Theresa Muzio, the Village of East Williston finally inspected 8 Sumter Ave. recently, officials confirmed. The property has been the subject of controversy and public criticism, resulting in numerous hearings and court proceedings. 


The village tried to inspect the house on Jan. 14 and 31. The Muzios thwarted their entry each time, calling the police. 


“They’re persecuting me,” Muzio said. “They’re harassing me and they destroyed my house. My house froze up since it’s had no heat since 2009. They need a court order before [demolishing the house].”


Person Of Interest Films In Mineola

Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00

CBS drama Person of Interest filmed in Mineola on Tuesday, Feb. 25 near the Nassau County Legislature.


The show was shooting at the corner of Franklin Avenue and 15th Street in Mineola at around 1:45 p.m. Nassau County police were diverting traffic north and east away from the set.


School Finance Committee Disbanded

Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00

The Mineola School District Board of Education disbanded its finance committee last week. Mineola is not required by law to have a finance committee. They are only mandated to hold an audit committee in place, officials said. 


“I felt that we were asking the committee to stay in place without any real purpose, at least from my point of view,” School Board President Artie Barnett said. “I think we could have a discussion and see if they are needed or not.”


Citing changes in the budgetary process, district trustees feel crafting a budget, although fiscally challenging, is pretty cut and dry due to the 2 percent tax cap.


The Rise Of North Hempstead

Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 28 February 2014 00:00

In 2012, Howard Kroplick was named town historian for the Town of North Hempstead. Now, two years later, he has published a pictorial history of the town, simply titled North Hempstead, a volume brought out by Arcadia Publishing as part of its extensive Images of America series. 


“As town historian, it was the logical thing to write such a book,” Kroplick said. “This is the first published book on the town.” The volume, he added, is “long overdue” and also a publication that coincides with the 400th anniversary of the town’s discovery by the Dutch explorer, Adriaen Block. 


The 127-page volume has a generous selection of photos chronicling the history of the town from Native American times to the original Dutch and English settlers and its steady evolution to one of the 100 “Best Places to Live in America.”


Tax Cap Talk

Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00

The Mineola Village Board enacted the 2 percent tax cap override at last week’s board of trustees meeting, voting 3-0. Trustees Paul Cusato and George Durham were absent from the vote. This will give the village the ability to exceed the tax cap if needed.


“We’ve done this every year since the 2 percent cap law has been put on the books,” Mayor Scott Strauss said. “We have no intention this year, just like last year, of going over the cap.”


Budget hearings have not been scheduled yet. This is the earliest the village has enacted the override. Last year, Mineola activated the override in April.


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