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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

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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