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Operation Main Street Problems Persist

Operation Main Street, a plan that would see a stretch of Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park revamped with traffic calming features and aesthetic updates, has struggled to reach its completion. Work had been halted in February due to weather, but was scheduled to pick up in mid-March, with a May 15 deadline, according to village officials.

 

Village contractor J. Anthony Enterprises missed the end date. They did not return calls for comment.

 

“We’ve read the [J. Anthony] contract carefully and there are actions we may consider taking,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said.

 

Benches were to 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 original 2009 plan was slated between Ingraham Lane and

Hillside Boulevard. The idea was to create a more pedestrian friendly and safer environment, while providing a downtown appeal for the shopping district.

 

 “We’ve been so disappointed with [J. Anthony]. They’re never going to work in the Village of New Hyde Park again,” Lofaro said. “They were supposed to be done before the street fair [in September]. It’s just been a disaster from the get go.”

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 funds.

 

The 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. The issues, specifically center medians built during the project, have angered village residents.

 

“I’m a little disappointed that we weren’t able to coordinate the project a bit better with the state, where one came before the other,” Barbieri said. “But, we’re going to work our way through it. I’m sure the end product will be something everyone in New Hyde Park will enjoy.”

 

According to Lofaro, New Hyde Park contacted the state, asking if they’d amend its contract with Tully to stipulate that it replace dead plants in the medians.

 

“The medians are just garbage collectors,” said New Hyde Park resident Paul DeMattina. “They’re filthy. The plants are dead. People use them to cross the street and dump their trash in the process. It’s not what I want to see in my village.”


News

 Online food market OurHarvest has recently joined forces with Mineola-based Island Harvest Food Bank, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, to help feed hungry Long Islanders over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.

In the year it’s been open, the Space at Westbury has been host to musicians, comedians, dancers and last week, the venue opend its doors for world class boxers and their loyal fans. One of the headliners was Richie “Brazil” Neves, from New Hyde Park.

 

Winner Takes All Productions and Greg Cohen Promotions brought a night of boxing to the Space on Thursday, Nov. 13. While boxing events have come to Long Island before, this was the first of its kind to come to The Space. 


Sports

Despite a disappointing playoff loss against the Wantagh Warriors, Sewanhaka Indians Head Coach George Kasimatis, is pleased with his football team’s season. 

“I’m proud of my team,” he said. “But you are never satisfied unless you win the whole thing.”

 

The Indians faced a big challenge this year, moving up into Conference II left them as the new kids on the block, unfamiliar with the teams they would be going against. 

Kasimatis will have a tall task next year replacing graduating seniors, which made up most of his starting lineup. Kasimatis said most of the offensive line, such as Danny Gianotti, Adrian Gonzalez and Louis Segarra III, and the defensive line, such as Justin Alexandre, Peter LaTorre and Peter Militano are seniors, many of which have started multiple years for him. 

The fifth seeded Sewanhaka Indians traveled to Wantagh to take on the fourth seeded Wantagh Warriors on Friday, Nov. 7 for its opening playoff game. 

 

The Indians opened the game sluggish on offense, and were held in check throughout the first quarter. The Indians defense did its best to keep the team within striking distance, but field position form shaky special teams play, put them in a difficult position. 

 

Warriors running back Dylan Beckwith, was able to punch in a 15-yard touchdown run, to give the Warriors a one score lead after the first quarter. 


Calendar

Songfest Tickets - November 19

PTA Meeting - November 19

Herricks School Board Meeting - November 20


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