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LIRR President Williams, Senator Martins Discuss Station Plans

Terminal to undergo renovation project through 2017

Senator Jack M. Martins and Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams met at the Hicksville LIRR station on Tuesday, July 31 and reviewed plans for the improvement of the station that the railroad believes will significantly improve service and customer satisfaction for Long Island commuters.

Martins and Williams both indicated how important the Hicksville LIRR station is to commuters as the busiest station in Nassau County where both the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch and the Ronkonkoma Branch converge into what the MTA calls the Main Line. 

“I’m glad the LIRR is directing money into improving service for our commuters here in Nassau County. Since Hicksville is a major transportation hub, it stands to reason that an effort be made to improve not only the station itself but also enhance service. I want to thank LIRR President Helena Williams for her efforts in working to improve service and convenience for many who rely on the railroad,” said Senator Martins.

The LIRR has set aside slightly upwards of $106 million, a significant commitment to Hicksville, in capital funds to improve the aesthetic look of the station as well as service and reliability for customers.

“I would like to thank Senator Martins for his support of this project that will transform the LIRR’s Hicksville Station into a renewed and modernized facility,” said Williams, adding, “The improvements planned for Hicksville, totaling more than $106 million, will make for a brighter commute for our customers and we welcome community input as we go forward. The signal and siding improvements at Hicksville will benefit thousands of customers who use this critical transit hub and those that pass through this important junction each day.”

The current elevated station, which was built in 1962, is showing its age and is plagued by poor drainage and cracked concrete as well elevators and escalators that are reaching their life expectancy. Though the street level ticket office was expanded and modernized about a decade ago, the rest of the station complex needs attention.

The LIRR has set aside $55.1 million for the Hicksville Station facelift, which will include new station platforms, platform waiting rooms, canopies, stairways, platform lighting, elevators, escalators and a state-of-the-art audio and digital communications systems.

Another improvement on tap for Hicksville is a $37.7 million project that calls for the installation of more than 3,000 feet of new track, power and signal work. This effort will connect Track 1 at Hicksville to an existing track siding situated about one-half mile west of the station platform. The connection will enable the LIRR to add three trains to the a.m. and p.m. peak service between Hicksville and Manhattan when Grand Central Terminal opens to the LIRR with the completion  of the East Side Access project at the end of the decade. It will also improve the railroad’s ability to reroute trains in the event of maintenance, construction or service disruptions.

Finally, the LIRR will spend an additional $13.8 million to modernize the signal system at Divide Tower, located just east of Hicksville Station. Divide controls all train movement on the Huntington/Port Jefferson and the Ronkonkoma Branches east of Hicksville.

Construction is expected to take place between 2014 and 2016 with signal work being estimated for completion the following year.

News

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



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