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Operation Main Street Moratorium

Operation Main Street has struggled to get off the ground since the plan was fast-tracked by New Hyde Park Village Officials last year. Work has been halted until March 15 due to weather. Village contractor J. Anthony Enterprises expects to finish the project by May 9.

 

New Hyde Park officials estimated that 35 percent of the project was completed before the stoppage. The village awarded J. Anthony the contract last June, which was the low bid of $1.46 million.

 

“The work, for all intents and purposes, has been suspended based on the weather,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said.

 

Benches will be installed on sidewalks, which would be paved with the same rustic red brickwork already in place in some parts of the road near the intersection of Jericho Turnpike. and Lakeville Road. New Hyde Park’s 2009 plan was originally between Ingraham

Lane and Hillside Boulevard. The idea was to set up modern traffic calming features that create a more pedestrian friendly and safer environment, while providing a downtown appeal for the shopping district.

 

The project, shepherded by trustee Donald Barbieri, has seen its share of ups and downs since late 2013. New Hyde Park faced a hurdle last summer when the New York State Department of Transportation informed the village that old environmental reports needed to be updated before beginning the bid process that led to the J. Anthony hiring.

 

“Nobody can work in this crazy weather,” Barbieri said. “It’s been an awfully tough month. We tried to close up all the work that had been started. It’s a little frustrating.”

 

The state required the village board to change project plans three times and amend a resolution it had previously passed regarding federal reimbursement. The DOT did not return calls for comment.

 

“Mother Nature is Mother Nature,” Barbieri stated in terms of the weather. “What can you do? You had [workers] doing Jericho Turnpike, the DOT doing traffic lights and different subcontractors coming in.”

 

The village’s project also conflicted with the now finished $21.1 million Jericho Turnpike. repaving project. Barbieri said it was tough to coordinate J. Anthony with DOT contractor Tully Construction and the DOT itself.

 

“It became difficult to get various parties aligned,” said Barbieri. “Things didn’t proceed quite as quickly as we hoped.”

The project also hit previous snags in March 2012 because of a pending agreement with Verizon and KeySpan to move utility lines.

 

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy originally secured a federal grant (about $1.6 million) for the village through a federal transportation appropriation and community block grant funds for the project. McCarthy wrote to the chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in 2009 pushing for the project.

News

While this year’s New Hyde Park Street Fair takes place one day before the first official day of fall, the event keeps the spirit of summer alive a little longer for the 20,000-25,000 attendees. 

 

Organizers are looking to up the ante for the 19th annual event on Saturday, Sept. 20, with the usual clowns and crafts supplemented by a petting zoo, pony rides and a new children’s carnival, from New Hyde Park-based Send in the Clowns.

 

“We try to capatilize on all the elements of the fair that work and modify ones that need work,” said New Hyde Park Village Board Research Assistant/Fair

Coordinator Janet Bevers. “The fair has been in place for 19 years now so in essence we follow a similar format. We invite all the village merchants to participate.”

 

The pony rides will be stationed near the Green Meadow Farms petting zoo on Lakeville Road, with the carnival setting up shop in the village’s Central Boulevard parking lot.

 

“It’s exciting to see a local company taking on a big piece of the fair,” Bevers said.

 

Fair reps expect at least 220 vendors to line the street fair this year. In the fair’s inaugural outing in 1995, just 90 craft vendors showed up.

 

“I think it’s one of the biggest events in Nassau County,” Queens-based Craft-A-Fair President Tony Ciuffo said. “The fair accentuates the local merchants.

Every year it gets more and more exciting. I expect new vendors this year. Around 25 percent of the vendors will be new this year.”

 

Each year, vendors rent space on the turnpike from New Hyde Park Road, continuing west to Covert Avenue. Last year, a few extra blocks were added near Lakeville Road.

 

Former trustee Florence Lisanti was one of the first organizers of the street fair, who trustee Donald Barbieri commended for leading the charge.

 

“[The fair] is a great day for the community,” he stated. “We’re proud to have all our local organizations along the turnpike. The merchants get to showcase what they do. We are very proud of the street fair.”

 

Local merchants, Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce members, charity and service groups can set up tables on the sidewalk free of charge, Bevers said.

 

“We view the fair as the premiere street fair on Long Island,” Bevers stated. “It goes about a square mile. The community feel to the fair is crucial. It’s a big fair and still retains its local charact

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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