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Taxi Turmoil

Hicksville-based Sunset Taxi owner Phil Fortuna is suing the MTA and the Town of Oyster Bay, stating that parking spaces reserved for taxis have been illegally changed.

A 30-year veteran in the taxi industry and president of the Long Island Taxi Transportation Owners, Fortuna said that the MTA (which owns the land) and the town (which formerly controlled use of the space) violated the terms of a lease signed in 1965.

Fortuna explained that the MTA eliminated a taxi stand that provided space for 10 taxis, which were previously shared by his 20 cabs and those from other town-approved companies. Those spots were recently given to two competing taxi companies, who were awarded the spaces following a bidding process.

“This doesn’t just affect Hicksville, the busiest train station in Nassau County, if not all of Long Island. It affects all residents because they don’t have a choice. Before they had a choice of seven cab companies, now they have a choice of two,” said Fortuna, who said that the original 1965 lease noted that a minimum of three companies must have access to that area.

Oyster Rides Taxi Co. and Long Island Yellow Cab are Fortuna’s two competitors that currently lease the designated taxi spaces. The number of parking spaces offered to these companies, 27, also violates the amount specified in the 1965 lease (22), according to Fortuna.

Neither company could be reached for comment as of press time.

The MTA recently put taxi concessions at 15 LIRR stations up for bidding. Later this year, the MTA will begin a major renovation project at the Hicksville LIRR station to improve the overall efficiency and appearance.

“So how do you sink $130 million on a train station and take away the taxi stand? I’m hoping that the Town of Oyster Bay’s elected officials come to their senses and do what’s right for their constituents, not their political allies,” Fortuna said.

The Town of Oyster Bay, citing ongoing litigations, declined to comment.

 

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



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