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Schumer To National Grid: ‘Give Notice’

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is asking National Grid to notify customers in advance when utility workers will visit the home. The call comes in the wake of a string of deception burglaries, in which suspects posed as utility workers to enter homes. Three senior citizens, in Herricks, Westbury and Syosset were victims from June 19-20. These three communities, Schumer said, should be first in line for improved alert systems.

“The recent burglaries demonstrate that more must be done by National Grid to ensure homeowners know exactly who to expect at their door for an in-home technician visit, and at what time,” Schumer stated at a press conference in Herricks last week.

Utility companies are required to send a written letter to customers if meter readings have been unobtainable for more than six months. In a letter to National Grid President Ken Daly, Schumer cited nine Nassau County deception burglaries where two women dressed as utility workers stole jewelry and cash as a reason for action. Last year, police apprehended criminals posing as National Grid workers in Staten Island.

“While I appreciate that National Grid has recently taken some measures to mitigate the risk of these kinds of incidents, such as issuing workers newer, more identifiable uniforms and redesigning the exterior of workers’ trucks, deception burglaries continue to occur,” Schumer stated.

A National Grid spokesperson released a statement saying, “We are reviewing Sen. Schumer’s recommendation, as we are always looking for ways to improve our current processes for the safety and security of our customers.”

Schumer suggested outreach and educational opportunities for customers to help them identify real or fake utility employees.

“National Grid is not to blame for these deception burglaries, but it’s critical for the safety of the company’s customers that there is a clear, 24-hour advanced notice in writing or on the phone, for when National Grid plans to do an in-home meter reading or any other visit,” said Schumer. “I am also urging National Grid to pay special attention to the communities where this pattern has emerged and educate customers how to identify a real employee.”

A 79-year-old Herricks woman on Pine Street received a knock at her front door on June 20 at 12:40 p.m., when a man posing as a utility worker said there was a gas explosion in the area, police said. The woman was told to turn sink faucets on and off while the subject worked in a bathroom near the master bedroom.

Assorted gold jewelry was stolen from the residence, police stated.

“We see this happen from time to time,” Nassau Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said recently. “It’s another ploy on tree trimming and electricity, where people deceive you to come into your house.”

Police described the suspect as a male with dark skin, 5-foot-7 inches tall, 30-35 years old. The man, police said, had a blue ink tattoo on his right forearm, spoke with a lisp or stutter and wore a construction hat and vest.

Police ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential. Callers are eligible for a cash reward of up to $5,000.

News

The Sewanhaka Central High School District selected Brentwood-based Park East Construction as its bond construction management firm last week. The group will oversee the $86.6 million in improvements coming to the district. Park East will analyze school architect Wiedersum Associates’ plans before applying for New York State Education Department approval.

 

“They are going to make sure the [firms that win district contracts] do the work right,” District Superintendent Dr. Ralph Ferrie said. “They’re going to make sure [the engineer’s] drawings are right before they are sent up to New York State. [Park East] reports directly to the architect and the Board of Education to make sure what we say we’re going to do is done well.”

The Sept. 18 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education covered a range of issues, from the district’s overall performance to the sudden death of a student to fiscal and personnel issues—even to the loss of maple trees. 

 

National Ranking 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth announced that the district’s high school had achieved an impressive level of distinction in a recent national survey that measured scholastic achievement; in fact, a great deal of Long Island made the cut, he said.


Sports

Seniors Daniella Ford and Margie Londono highlight a Sewanhaka Indians girls soccer team vying for its second straight winning season. 

 

Ford, who is in her fourth season as starting goalie for the Indians, netted a season-high 24 saves in a 3-1 loss to Valley Stream Central. 

 

“She’s a stud back there,” said Sewanhaka third-year coach Eric Premisler, whose team is 0-3 as of press time, after going 8-3-1 last season. “If we can stop a team from taking five shots because of good defense, Daniella is going to stop another 15 shots. And we’re going to have a chance to win every game.”

The Sewanhaka Indians continue to let their presence be felt in Nassau Conference II. 

 

The Indians played their second game as members of the conference on Saturday, Sept. 21, against the Long Beach Marines, topping the south shore squad 51-30. 

 

On the opening drive, the Indians relied on running back Brenton Mighty’s legs to get them into the red zone. On first and goal from the 15-yard line, quarterback Elijah Tracey hit

Michael Parasconda on a screen pass for the first score. 


Calendar

Exercise Class - September 24

Silver Sneaker Fitness - September 25

Live Music - September 26


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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