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Weathering The Storm

Downed trees and lost power biggest obstacles in  Hurricane Sandy recovery effort

Much like many other areas of Long Island, the Village of Garden City had more than its share of work to do in wrestling with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. According to the LIPA website, as of Monday, Nov. 5, 2,286 Garden City residents and 292 Stewart Manor denizens were without power. As of Monday, Nov. 5, LIPA informed the Village of Garden City that the entire village was to have had power restored no later then by the end of the day on Wednesday, Nov. 7. In the meantime, added police patrols were to have been assigned village wide. 

The Garden Parks and Recreation Department, which is responsible for maintaining all foliage-related issues found in the village’s common areas has had its hands full given the fact that more than 54 trees have fallen on houses and side streets. The large amount of power lines knocked down resulted in the issuing of a Nassau County public safety announcement that states, “Area conditions remain extremely dangerous. Do not touch downed wires. Do not touch trees entangled in wires. Traffic lights are not working. Travel is hazardous and not recommended.”

 

It was a message reiterated by the Garden City Police Department, which asked all residents to stay in their home and only drive when they had to. Predictably, the Garden City Fire Department (GCFD) had plenty to deal with. According to its blotter, the GCFD responded to 81 calls from 1:18 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 29 through 6:21 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. 

The lack of power resulted in numerous closures. As of Monday, Nov. 5, all scheduled recreational programs and Community Park Tennis Center were to have been cancelled until Wednesday, Nov. 7. Other closures included the main field house at St. Paul’s and the Sr. Center on Golf Club Lane, both of which will not reopen until further notice. Garden City public schools, the Waldorf School and St. Joseph School were all not open on Monday, Nov. 5. The Garden City School District (GCSD) cited unsafe conditions at certain bus stops and along certain bus routes. The GCSD was to have welcomed students back on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. In addition, teacher conferences for those days were also to have been cancelled.

Certain aspects of the village had gotten back on track relatively quickly with recycling and sanitation collection returning to a normal schedule as of Thursday, Nov. 1. A normal collection schedule was also to have been enforced on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. Residents were asked to bring household waste to the curb as a means of assisting the collection process. The village also requested that anyone with private landscapers should please have them remove any debris from the yards they’ve worked on as a means of greatly facilitating the cleanup process. The Garden City Public Library is also running on adjusted hours, opening its doors from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday, Nov. 10 and also being available to residents from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11. 

One of the few areas of the village that was not adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy was Seventh Street and the string of merchants that line that thoroughfare. 

“The merchants have collectively weathered the storm and have been supplying all the needed supplies to the local consumers,” explained John Wilton, chairman of the Garden City Merchant Professional Retailers Group. “There really… was no hardship for them except that the bottom line is that they have had to bring in excessive amounts of supplies because people needed things like batteries and ice because Garden City has been hard hit with an electrical failure. All the residents are aware that [the merchants] are up and running and the restaurants have obviously been tremendously busy as well as the supermarkets. All the food purveyors and suppliers have had an unbelievably busy period of time. At the beginning of the week, they obviously had trouble getting stock but that’s been resolved.”

The village has been very proactive in its cleanup approach, having its contractors opening all roads to allow passage of emergency first responders and cutting up village trees that have fallen on private property. As of Monday, Nov. 5, only 30 residences remained that needed village trees removed. In addition, sanitation crews worked over the weekend to remove debris from curb lines.

All of this recovery work comes at a price according to Village Administrator Robert Schoelle. 

“Labor costs will be very significant as we have hired outside contractors to work in concert with our forces,” explained Schoelle. “I am very pleased with all that has be accomplished to date. We will apply to FEMA for reimbursement of our expenses and are keeping very detailed records of the damage and recovery costs.”

Phone Number Information:


Police Emergencies: 911


Police Non-Emergencies: 516-465-4100


Fire Emergencies: 516-746-2800


Fire Non-Emergencies: 516-746-1301

To report fallen trees or branches call: 516-465-4072



Long Island Power Authority - to report a power outage call 1-800-490-0075


News

September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Back to school means back to the Garden City Public Library. September is not only back to school month, it is also Library Card Sign-up Month. A library card is the most important school supply of all for both students and their parents. This September be sure your library card is in your wallet. If you don’t have one, sign up for a new one for you and for your children.

The Garden City Public Library offers programs for adults and for children of all ages. In addition, the library provides access to an extensive collection of books, periodicals, music CDs, audiobooks, and DVDS. The library also provides online access through its website www.gardencitypl.org to authoritative electronic databases as well as to downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and music. With a valid library card, you can register for programs, borrow materials and museum passes, and access electronic resources.

The Garden City Historical Society is gearing up for a really big celebration. In 2015, the Society will mark the 40th anniversary of its founding, and the 10th anniversary of the opening of The Garden City Historical Society Museum.

To observe these two significant milestones and to further the Society’s capital campaign to restore the exterior of the museum building, the Society is planning a special event on May 14, 2015 at the Garden City Hotel. Early next year, an invitation to attend will be extended to residents and businesses in the village. The gala will include an open bar and full buffet, with music, mystery guests, a live auction and raffles.


Sports

The league started on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Garden City’s Tullamore Park. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. A uniform shirt and soccer balls are provided. Cleats and soccer shorts are recommended and players must wear shin guards. Age groups range from pre-k through 12th grade. Garden City residents and non-Garden City residents are welcome. Middle school and high school age volunteers are needed. No soccer experience is necessary. If you have any other questions, please contact Andy Garger at ajgarger@verizon.net or 516-775-8058.

— Submitted by the Challenger Soccer League

2014-15 Garden City Recreation Department Dance Conservatory

The Garden City Recreation Department’s Dance Conservatory Program is pleased to announce the start of registration for its upcoming 2014-15 season. Director Felicia Lovaglio, along with Mary Searson and the rest of her staff, are excited to start off another fantastic year. The dance conservatory offers classes to Garden City residents ages 3 through adult which are non-performance based. Age is determined by the start date of the desired class. The schedule and fees for this year’s youth classes are as follows (all classes are 55 minutes long unless otherwise noted):

Note: Registration is by mail only until Sept. 23. Participants MUST be the required age by the start of the program in order to register. Each session costs $220 for 22 weeks of class.


Calendar

Junior Varsity Football At Westbury High School

Saturday, September 27

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, September 29

Not The Law Of The Sea

Wednesday, October 1



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

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