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SFFD Hosts Dozens Of Out Of State Workers

Village Also Hosting Electricians And Tree Crews

It’s been three weeks since Hurricane Sandy and Nor’easter Athena have ripped through the region, causing millions of dollars in damage and inconveniencing thousands of residents. The South Farmingdale and Village Fire Departments, including the Village Hall have become temporary barracks for more than 100 out-of-state utility workers who are supplementing the recovery efforts on Long Island.

South Farmingdale Fire Commissioner Thomas Mastakouris said within the first couple of days of the storm recovery, many of the out of state workers were sleeping in their utility trucks in vacant parking lots. The temperatures were still at freezing overnight when some of the workers were sleeping out in their trucks.

Village Clerk Brian Harty told the Farmingdale Observer, “The Village Hall and the Village Fire Department have hosted 46 line and tree crew personnel from Georgia and California along with National Grid personnel from the Boston area.” He said 29 are sleeping on cots in the firehouse and 17 are on set up next door in the Village Hall courtroom.

Down the street, the South Farmingdale Fire Department had hosted dozens of electricians from North Carolina for a two-week rotation, and a tree-cutting crew from Ohio. They have since moved on to another assignment, while an electrical crew from Sturgeon Electric of Denver has moved in.

South Farmingdale Fire Chief Ed Purpora said more than 50 cots were set up in their fire headquarters’ second floor conference room to host the rotations of out-of-state workers.

“Usually what happens after a natural disaster, there are contingency plans to help expedite the recovery,” Mastakouris explained; he said this is the same kind of assistance that firefighting and medic crews from across the country participate in when crews out west battle widespread wildfires.

“If it wasn’t for them, we would not be back so quickly,” said Mastakouris about the utilities. “Neighbors were very appreciative.”

The first wave of bolstered assistance has come from tree-cutters and electricians; once the power is back, the island will see a wave of plumbing and heating crews come through to restore water services and hot water boilers to many of the homes that have had severe damage.

Mastakouris said the police and fire departments have received an increase in distress calls, since the hurricane and nor’easter, from residents who are still without heat, reports of hypothermia.

The Observer spoke with Sturgeon Electric’s General Foremen Shane Park and Josh Wanrow about their assignment on Long Island.  

Typically the Sturgeon team, now in South Farmingdale, works centrally located in Colorado. After Hurricane Sandy, Wanrow said their crew was assembled in Colorado and sent to Connecticut. On Nov. 9 they left Connecticut and traveled down to Long Island for their current assignment.

“For the amount of power that was out, it’s devastating to lose that much of the grid,” said Wanrow. He said Long Island Power Authority and National Grid are doing what they can to get things restored.

Park said he overheard one utility worker say about the electric on Long Island, “It’s taken us 50 years to build it and Mother Nature only five hours to destroy it.” He said, “It’s going to take some time to get this all back.”

Each morning the crew receives its assignment from the Long Island utility and heads out to complete the work within Farmingdale and the neighboring communities. Other supplemental utility workers are also stationed throughout Long Island, also completing day-to-day assignments for the power company.

He said although they do not usually spend this much time together when they are working back in Denver, guys come and go, but they have a core group that works takes similar assignments and regularly works well together under deployed circumstances.

“They [the workers] all knew the conditions would be less than comfortable, no hotels; everyone is taking it pretty well,” said Wanrow. He said this is the group that agreed to the conditions, so they could help get the job done.

Like many of the guys in their team, Park and Wanrow have families anxiously waiting for their return back in Colorado. Assignments like this one are likened to a military deployment; the separation is trying and at times difficult. Park’s wife and children are used to his deployments. Wanrow said his family is still trying to adjust to him being away from home.

For many of the workers, this is their first time in New York. Park said, “Everyone has been really nice to us.” Park and Wanrow agreed that one of the best things about this assignment has been the fire department’s hospitality. Park said, “They have opened their door to us and have helped with whatever we need.”

They each have a lot of experience with disaster recovery work, five ice storms, and a couple of hurricanes under their belts. Similarly though, both foremen agree that leaving their families is the worst part of these kinds of jobs.

News

The Farmingdale Public Library was recently the site of the rumbling feet and powerful roars of the mighty dinosaur, come to life in modern times... at least in the form of some dedicated actors playing the parts to the hilt for the sake of education and fun. 

 

The Wildlife Theater, a part of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s educational department, was on-hand at the library on April 17, bringing its unique form of lighthearted children’s entertainment containing vital information about the world in which kids live, and the fascinating creatures that share it with them.

 

The Wildlife Theater works out of the Central Park Zoo, traveling around the five boroughs of New York—as well as Long Island—to put on shows at venues such as elementary schools, libraries, and hospitals; they specialize in taking their conservation message along with them in the form of plays about animals and the environment, according to the Conservation Society’s Michael Birch.

Marc Anthony Bynum was able to make a prize-winning dish out of the ingredients in the “mystery basket”—matzah, salty peanuts, dried strawberries, and cocoa nibs—to win the Food Network's TV show Chopped in June 2010. Two months later, he returned to the show for a second time, where he excelled through the appetizer round with a combination of dandelion greens, Greek yogurt, liverwurst and catfish, which allowed him to move forward through the entrée and dessert rounds to win. But it was the combination of geoduck, Buddha’s hand, black radishes and waffle cones that did him in when he appeared in the grand finale of the Chopped Tournament in September that year. 


Sports

The Over the Hill Gang softball league opened its 39th season Friday, April 11 with six games at Allen Park.  Bar-Boy began with an impressive 25-8 win over Bethpage Pharmacy. After scoring one run in the first, BB exploded for 7 runs in the 2nd inning and never looked back.    For the night, Ken Kuzman went 4 for 6 with 2 RBIs, Steve Kirk went 4 for 5 with 2 RBIs, Frank Badalmenti went 5 for 6 with 5 RBIs and a homer, pitcher John Czarnecki went 5 for 6 with 5 RBIs, rookie Jason Cinnelli went 3 for 6 with a homer and manager Ken Kohlmann went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs. 

Farmingdale athletes Franklin Diaz, Billy Allen, and Chris Daily put on award winning performances during the 37th annual All Round Foods 10 kilometer run for ASPIRE, through the streets of Plainview and Old Bethpage on April 5. 

 

Diaz crossed the finish line at the H.B. Mattlin Middle School in Plainview in 34 minutes and 34 seconds, for sixth place overall and first in the 30-34 age group. Allen finished in seventh place overall with a time of 35 minutes and 26 seconds, to earn the third place trophy in the 20-24 age group. Daily scored in 38 minutes, 45 seconds, in 17th place overall and first in the 50-54 age group, in what was one of the most competitive races on Long Island in the past year. 


Calendar

Boating Class - April 22

Board of Fire Commissioners - April 24

Earth Day Fair - April 27 

Tuesday, April 22

Power Squadrons Boating Class

On April 22, Captree Power Squadron will be holding boating classes at Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave.,from 7-9 p.m. Upon course completion students will be issued certificates that are accepted by local police, bay constables, and the U.S. Coast Guard. All classes take place five successive weeks on same day as start. There is a fee of $50 to attend, which will cover the cost of books and materials. For more information call Gene at 631-242-6117 or Charlie at 631-957-8604.

 

Planning Board

The next meeting of the Farmingdale Planning Board will be held on April 22, at 7 p.m.

 

FBHS 50th Anniversary Dinner

On April 22, the Farmingdale Bethpage Historical Society will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special Founders’ Day Dinner at 6:30pm at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, located off of Rt. 109 in West Babylon. 

 Thursday, April 24

Board of Fire Commissioners

The next meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Fire Commissioners will be held on April 24, at 8 p.m., inside Village Hall, located at 361 Main St.

Saturday, April 26

Getting By With A Little Help From Our Friends

On April 26, YES Community Counseling Center invite you to attend a special concert/fundraiser at the Nutty Irishman in Farmingdale. 

 

The concert, “Getting By with a Little Help from Our Friends,” begins at 3:30 p.m. and will feature the dynamic music of Half Step, The Therapy Band, and Something In Between.  

 

Tickets are $40 per person and includes a dinner buffet. Proceeds raised will go to help ensure the YES Community Counseling Center has resources to respond to anyone requesting their help.

Sunday, April 27

Earth Day Fair

On April 27, the Village of Farmingdale will be host Earth Day festivities at noon on the Village Green located along Main Street downtown. 

Baseball Parade

 

On April 27, the Village of Farmingdale will hold its annual Baseball Parade. Beginning at 2 p.m., participants will gather outside the Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave., before marching down Main St. to Allen Park, at 45 Motor Ave. 

High School Go Green Club

 

On April 27, Farmingdale High School’s Go Green Club will celebrate Earth Day from noon-4 p.m. on the village green along Main St. in Farmingdale.

St. Kilian RC Church Blood Drive

 

St. Kilian Church along with the New York Blood Center will be coordinating a blood drive on April 27 from 8:15 a.m.- 2:15 p.m. The drive will take place in the St. Kilian Auditorium on Cherry Street in Farmingdale. For information on St. Kilian’s Blood Drive or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ray Redina at 516-523-7130 or Chris Hillier at 631-445-9026. Your donation will help to save up to three lives. Our community hospitals need your aid. Bring your ID with signature or photo. Eligibility criteria include you to be a minimum weight of 110 lbs., age 16-75 (16-olds need to have parental permission, 76-year olds and over need a doctor’s note), eat well, drink fluids and no tattoos for the past 12 months. For questions concerning medical eligibility call the New York Blood Center at 1-800-688-0900. 

Monday, April 28

Board of Trustees Worksession

The next public work session of the Village of Farmingdale Board of Trustees will be held at 7 p.m., on April 28, inside Village Hall, located at 361 Main St. in Farmingdale. 

Tuesday, April 29

Farmingdale PTA Council

The next meeting of the Farmingdale School District PTA Council will be held at 7 p.m., on April 29, inside Howitt Middle School, located at 70 Van Cott Ave. in Farmingdale. 

Thursday, May 1

Chamber of Commerce Meeting

The next general meeting of the Farmingdale Chamber of Commerce will be held on May 1, at noon, at Dominican Restaurant 4, located at 305 Main St. in Farmingdale. 

Farmingdale High School Honor Society

 

On May 1, Farmingdale High School’s technology honor society will hold its annual induction ceremony at the American Airpower Museum, located at 1230 New Highway in Farmingdale. 

Saturday, May 3

Mother’s Day Family Fair

On May 3, Friends of the Farmingdale Public Library will be holding a “giant” Mother’s Day Family Fair, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Come buy a present for Mom or find just the thing you wanted for yourself or a family member. The Farmingdale Library will also be holding a book sale in conjunction with the fair. For more information, call 516-454-6813 or 516-244-0829.



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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