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Historic Marker Unveiled

The early era of Long Island motor sports was on full display on Saturday, April 26, as the Vanderbilt Cup Race Historic marker was unveiled in a ceremony on the corner of Emerson Ave. and Jericho Tpke. Members of the Floral Park Historical Society as well as local politicians were on hand to reveal the marker, which pays tribute to the first International major auto race in the USA run on a public road. The race ran through Floral Park on Oct. 8, 1904. Long Island hosted six Vanderbilt Cup races from 1904 to 1910.

“This marker is a testament to William K. Vanderbilt, who was one of the first people to encourage the sport of auto racing to take place on Long Island,” said Historian from the Town of North Hempstead, Howard Kroplick. “These races eventually led to the creation of the Long Island Motor Parkway, one of the first parkways on Long Island.”

Kroplick said that the Vanderbilt Cup Races were one of the most prestigious sporting events in the country, the “Super Bowl of its day.” The races inspired a heavy turnout of onlookers, sometimes upwards of 50,000 spectators in and around the course.

The inaugural Long Island race in 1904 featured 17 vehicles and a competition between European and American drivers. The race ran over a 30.24-mile course of dirt roads through Nassau County and the community of Floral Park.

Kroplick showed off his car, the 1909 Alco-6 Racer “Black Beast” at the ceremony. Kroplick purchased the car, which competed in 15 major automobile races including two Vanderbilt Cup races, in 2008. The “Black Beast” won six races highlighted by consecutive Vanderbilt Cup Race victories in 1909 and 1910.

Floral Park Historical Society Director and Historian of the Village of Floral Park Walter Gosden, who helped restore the Vanderbilt marker, said that it was important to recognize all of historical events in town.

“These races were so important for our area, helping to develop the parkways on Long Island,” said Gosden.

New York State Senator Jack Martins, who was in attendance at the ceremony, said, “We must preserve and celebrate all of our history on Long Island; I want to thank the Floral Park Historical Society for restoring this marker.”

News

On Monday, July 7, Vincent J. Calamia, 48, of Floral Park, was arrested on charges related to the production and possession of child pornography. The criminal complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York, alleges that between approximately 2005 and the date of his arrest, Calamia engaged in sexually explicit conduct with minors and possessed and produced child pornography. The complaint further alleges that approximately 10 videos seized from the defendant’s computer depict the defendant engaging in sexual contact with boys who appear to be as young as between 15 and 17 years old.

Village Board Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki spoke on behalf of the Noise Abatement Committee at Tuesday night’s Village Board meeting regarding the proposed helicopter track route put forth by State Senator, Charles Schumer. Changes to the route would affect noise levels in the village and to other communities along the LIRR line.

The North Shore Route is a route currently used by helicopters exiting New York City heliports to locations on the east end of Long Island.

“The current route takes helicopters over the Long Island Sound at an altitude of 2,000 feet and is designed to minimize noise on the residential communities below,” said Tomecki. “A helicopter must arrive at its destination which in the case of the North Shore Route, means it must transition from water to land.”


Calendar

Village Concert

Friday, July 25

Magic & Comedy

Friday, July 25

Irish Kids-Fleah Music Fundraiser

Saturday, July 26



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