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‘New’ PAL Clubhouse Coming In January 2013

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Lee Seeman joined forces with State Senator Jack Martins and Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello recently to break ground on a long-awaited reconstruction project to restore the New Hyde Park Police Athletic League clubhouse to its former glory.

This kickoff of the renovation project, which was also attended by PAL officials, Nassau County Police Officer Kevin Worth, and Sgt. Doug Kenah, heralded the start of a project that had been hampered by a lack of funds and had consequently languished for over seven years.

Supervisor Kaiman worked alongside Officer Worth, the director of the New Hyde Park PAL program, and other PAL officials to get the gym restored. The town, which owns the Denton Avenue property the PAL facility occupies, approved plans for the renovations.

“I am pleased that this facility, a place where tens of hundreds of children—including my own—from throughout the town have come for decades to play basketball and other sports will soon be up and running again,” Supervisor Kaiman said during the gathering.

Problems with the PAL clubhouse were triggered by flooding when a heavy rainstorm in October 2005 caused an overflow from a sump behind the facility. Water was pushed under the eight-inch concrete block supporting the gym floor, cracking the existing floor. The gym floor was restored with $135,000 from an insurance claim. Officials stated however that the repair work wasn’t sufficient to withstand a July 2007 rainstorm, which caused the gym floor to buckle once again.

A $200,000 state grant promised by former state Sen. Craig Johnson to conduct repairs to the clubhouse was withdrawn by the Democratic State Senate leadership after Johnson lost his re-election bid in the 7th Senatorial District to Republican challenger Jack Martins.

The reconstruction plans call for demolishing the concrete slab and installing new drainage and floor, as well as repaving the adjacent parking area. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013 depending on weather, officials said.

“This is a wonderful thing that PAL does, giving kids from all across the town the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports,” said Councilwoman Seeman. “It took a long time and a lot of collaboration, but finally this place will live again. I’m proud of the efforts of all who helped to make this possible.”

News

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.

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”


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



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