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.
Eagle Nurseries at 225 Jericho Tpke. is all about quality. It is owned and run by brothers Rich and Mike Scordo, who are both certified horticulturists and have been operating and running their full-service garden center for 15 years.
The Scordos started out as young kids cutting grass with their mother’s lawnmower. As middle school and high school passed, they both went on to receive their degrees in landscape design from SUNY Farmingdale.
“You can go anywhere and maybe find a bag of topsoil for a dollar cheaper, but we load your car,” said Mike.
The Greek Place, at 2144 Jericho Tpke., is not a normal, traditional Greek restaurant. They make food that exists nowhere else by taking traditional Greek cuisine and putting an international twist on it.
Owner Pete Kontoulakos calls his original style of cooking “fusion.” By combining Greek cuisine with popular international foods, he has created gyro tacos, gyro burritos, German gyros, Italian gyros, and gyro poppers.
His food has a little something for everyone, young and old.
The Village of New Hyde Park recently announced that it approved a plan that would see the Angry Gnome Pub, which originally stood at 1217 Jericho Turnpike, reopen under new management. It’ll also houses two upstairs apartments.
The pub was devastated because of Hurricane Sandy two years ago. According to village officials, tenants were using “alternative means of heat and air conditioning” which caused a fire in November 2012 after the storm, resulting in two deaths.
Murnane will reconstruct two apartments above the bar, but the backyard, a subject of intense discussion at a public hearing in April, will be closed at 11 p.m. The yard abuts residential homes.
East Williston Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente announced that she will seek election for the Town of North Hempstead’s District Council 2 seat. Parente, a Republican, was elected to the East Williston Village Board in 2011. She decided to run after the Republican party approached her to challenge the seat’s expiring term.
“I always thought I would be good for that,” she said. “My term as a deputy mayor ends in 2015 and so it seems like the right next step.”
Parente feels her work in the village, specifically issues with the East Williston Fire Department and water rate tussles between the village and Williston Park, has prepared her for a bigger role in town government.
The Herricks Board of Education made its last presentation of its spending plan for the upcoming 2014-15 school year at the May 8 public meeting; it’s all in the hands of the voters on Tuesday, May 20.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Helen Costigan led the discussion and stressed the “efficiency and effectiveness” of the spending plan to parents attending the meeting.
“The budget comes in at a total of $107,594,911, which is a budget-to-budget increase of 2.84 percent,” she said. “The tax levy is 1.73 percent. We are under the tax cap, which this year is 1.4648 percent, but because of some adjustments, our levy is 1.73 percent, which is under the cap.”
The Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in New Hyde Park will hold its first Parish Festival from Thursday, May 29 to Sunday, June 1. The festival should serve as a complement to the larger, village-sponsored New Hyde Park Street Fair held in September, but with rides and games.
“We want to bring some energy and something the parish hasn’t had before,” said Holy Spirit Pastor Frank Grieco. He came up with the idea to hold the festival. Grieco’s past assignments in East Northport and Deer Park have held similar fairs.
“It’s a way of bringing excitement and enthusiasm into the parish and local community,” he said. “The village has been very supportive.”
Grieco has been in New Hyde Park for 10 months. He broached the idea of a festival with parishioners and held festival committee meetings, which boasted 75 attendees or more.
“We’re hoping for huge crowds every night,” he said. “If that happens, everything else will fall into place.”
Local entertainment will highlight the fair. The likes of former New Hyde Park Village Clerk Pat Farrell, Victor Cuneen and Tommy Deegan will perform classic rock and Irish music. Other acts include 15 Below, an alternative rock band, and EJ the DJ, a Ronkonkoma-based disc jockey.
“We want to reinvigorate the community and raise money for the parish at the same time,” said Family Festival Committee Chairman Kevin Fitzgerald.
The parish is hoping to strengthen the “family dynamic” in New Hyde Park by holding a festival geared toward children.
Sewanhaka Central High School District residents will go to the polls next Tuesday, May 20 to vote on the proposed $86.6 million bond referendum. If approved, the bond would contribute significant upgrades and renovations to the district’s five schools and two vocational buildings. Forty-seven percent of the bond would be covered by New York State aid.
Each taxpayers would need to pay an additional $114 per year. This is the second time the district has floated the bond, which failed last December by 293 votes.
“The long term cost of not doing this is going to be devastating to the school district in that in a tax levy cap world, the reason we need a bond at this point is that we’ve been unable to maintain the buildings as we should,” said school board president Dave Fowler.
The Walk Street Tavern is a staple in the Village of New Hyde Park, the building having been around since the mid 1880s. Once used as a general store, an inn and a post office, the building is now a popular bar and restaurant that is considered a community favorite.
“This building has been a fixture in the village forever,” said Walk Street Tavern owner Jimmy Tubbs. “It was used as a post office for many years in the 20th century, a bar up until 1943 and opened as Henry’s Inn in 1971, before Walk Street took over in 2008.”
Tubbs and partner Robert Kloepfer Jr. renovated the building in 2008, seeking to carry on the building’s history as a place residents could go to relax and grab a bite to eat.
Hakeem Rahim just wants to help. He wants to use his experience to aid others who may be suffering from what he called “an uncontrollable terror.” That terror was a panic attack and mental break. Rahim recently shared his story at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C., which focused on mental illness.
“I had delusions,” he said. “I thought I was Neo from The Matrix. I was jumping off the walls. I had all the classic signs of someone who broke from reality. It’s good to talk about it. It’s not good to hold it in.”
Rahim, who serves as a guest speaker for the nonprofit National Alliance on Mental Illness of Queens/Nassau (NAMI) in New Hyde Park, talks with students about his experiences before, during and after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2000. He’s speaks regularly with local school districts, including New Hyde Park Memorial High School.
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