As I write this column, Hurricane Isabel is approaching the east coast. It is important that I share some important safety tips with you. After a storm goes through, everyone likes to go out and survey the neighborhood to see what damage the storm has left behind.
One of the greatest dangers from summer storms is that of downed power lines. Always assume any downed line is still energized and, therefore, deadly. Be extra careful of children playing around fallen trees and large limbs as there is the danger of a power line being entwined in the branches. Also if a large limb has fallen there is usually the chance of more branches falling from the same tree.
If a power line falls across your car and you are in it, the safest action to take is to stay in your vehicle and wait for help to come.
We can all make these experiences a little more bearable if we take the following steps:
-Every home should have flashlights, spare batteries and a battery-operated radio (to listen to weather updates). Either set up an emergency storm kit or keep all of the items in the same place so that you can find them in the dark when you need them.
-If you lose power, you should shut off and unplug all electronic equipment (TVs, stereos, VCRs, computers, etc.) so that if there is a power surge when the power is restored, the equipment won't be damaged.
With a little preparation, it is hoped that this hurricane will cause a minimum amount of damage and inconvenience.
A very thoughtful resident wrote me a note following the recent blackout asking if the police department kept a list of residents who might require equipment needing electricity or oxygen 24/7. I was happy to inform him that the police department does keep such a list and refers to it as a "Wellness Check List." His question prompted me to remind residents who have special needs, including elders who may live alone, to please call and register with the police department. Of course, as the individual who wrote me checked on his friend, as I believe it takes a village to keep us safe and secure, I encourage residents during and after blackouts etc. to check on their neighbors who might have special needs and/or who live alone.
On behalf of the board of trustees and Garden City residents I would like to thank Gerard Loughran, president of The Garden City Community Fund, and all those volunteers who distributed the memorial candles to residents' homes. It was a very touching sight to see these candles glowing as a sign of remembrance of those lost on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center.
Thankfully the rain held off for the official opening of the playing fields during Soccer Fest Sept. 13. There was tremendous attendance and everyone agreed that the fields looked terrific. On behalf of the board of trustees, I wanted to compliment director of recreation Kevin Ocker and his staff as well as the consultants and contractors who worked on this project (A. James deBruin & Sons, Oyster Bay Sand and Gravel, The Landtec Group Inc. and Byrne Irrigation, Inc.). Compliments also to Mr. Mangan and Chris Markin of the Department of Public Works. This project was truly a team effort and demonstrated high level collaboration between two of the village's departments as well as among the consultants who brought this project in on time and under budget-three cheers for all. Of course the revitalization of these playing fields could not have been brought to fruition without the leadership role of the Cultural and Recreation Commission, chaired by Andy DeLannoy and members: Jim Pratt, Jim Furey, Tim Worstell and Michael Ryder, as well as the cooperation of all the athletic organizations who supported the decision to rest the fields this past year after an irrigation system was completed. Or another way of saying it is thank you residents for your cooperation and patience. I'm sure you agree that it is always great to see one of the phases of our five-year capital plan projects completed. It takes a village.
I ask that when parking over by St. Paul's, park in designated areas. Parking on either side of the road is a safety/fire hazard and parking on the newly seeded areas will destroy the fields. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Beginning Sept. 15, the village began issuing railroad parking permits for the year 2003/04. Residents should be aware that the fee was increased last year to $50.
Permits may be obtained at the Village Business Office, 351 Stewart Avenue. Those residents who already possess a 2002/03 permit will receive a renewal application by mail, which may be returned to the village either by mail or in person. A photocopy of your registration must accompany your application and check. Current permits will be valid through Sept. 30.
Speeding within Garden City will not be tolerated.
A subject often addressed at property owner's association meetings is residential concern over vehicular speeds within residential areas of our village and the observation that vehicles are exceeding the 30-mph village-wide limit and the 20-mph limit within school zones. I want to assure our residents that violations will not be tolerated and that police department speed enforcement will be increased.
It is most disconcerting to note that many of those who violate our speed limits are our neighbors - residents of Garden City.
Please, in the interest of public safety, be mindful of the responsibility that each of us has as an operator of a motor vehicle.