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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

James Sokol and Jake Leeds from Boy Scout Troop 298 recently completed their service projects.

 

Sokol and fellow Scouts replaced the backboards, rims and nets in the basketball court in Nuzzi Park. They also trimmed trees and repainted the court lines. 

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from local school districts showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, 39 students in the Herricks School District opted out of the English exam, while 74 did not take the math test. For the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, 17 students did not take the English test while 18 refused to take the math test.


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians varsity football team hosted Elmont Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 18 in its final home game of the regular season. 

 

It certainly did not go as the Indians had hoped, falling 18-8, in a mistake filled game. Head coach George Kasimatis said the Indians had their chances, but kept digging themselves into a hole with mental mistakes on both sides of the ball. 

 

Playing from behind, senior running back Brenton Mighty was able to break free for a long touchdown run, to put the Indians on the board. 

Sewanhaka Indians Head football coach George Kasimatis told his team to expect a dogfight in this weeks game against the New Hyde Park Gladiators, and he was right after its 35-21 victory last week. 

 

“All the kids know each other really well, it’s always competitive when we play each other,” he said. 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 22

International Night - October 23

Halloween Dance - October 24


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