The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce (MCC), on June 15 hosted a brown bag lunch at the gazebo on the Mary Jane Davies Green. Settling in, the conversation focused on the recent gravesite tour jointly hosted by the Historical Society of the Town of North Hempstead and the Town of North Hempstead. Fr. David Lowry, pastor of Christ Church, in conducting part of the tour, lectured on a particular 13th century window at the church. There are four in the world like it, he said proudly: one is in the Parisian church of St. Germain des Pres, one is at the Cloisters in New York City, another is in Baltimore and one is right here in our midst. Lowry also said Payne Whitney gave the approximately 3-foot high, 2 1/2-foot wide window to the church in 1934.
There are 72 paid members in the chamber and 32 paid Adopt-a-Pole sponsors. Two hanging baskets with two accompanying American flags on one pole require a $100 fee for sponsorship. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Adopt-a Pole flags fluttered everywhere, the baskets provided splashes of color and the green surrounding the gazebo sparkled, in good measure, due to the adopt-a-pole program.
Diane Harragan, chamber co-president, confirmed the chamber is close to having an updated website, manhassetcommunity.com, where residents can find an updated calendar of events, especially useful when planning an event to avoid conflicts.
The board selected a man and woman of the year, Garden Center owner Tony DiStefano, and Katie Miller, founding member of the Coalition for a Safer Manhasset (CSM), and active member of both the Church of Our Saviour Lutheran and Scouting.
Charles Cardillo, Manhasset School District superintendent, said they were finishing up the year and to his delight everything was so very personal compared to his previous district, Sachem, where around 1,500 students graduate. Cardillo met with roughly 65 seniors personally to get their views and their interpretation of what is happening and what is important. He said they often mentioned the community as a whole and their gratitude for the opportunity to be involved in a meaningful way. Cardillo was pleased the budget passed and said he had made many budget presentations in both homes and community settings. The day after the vote, Cardillo said, they "continued to build upon the confidence the community has shown in us." There are significant issues to be looked at, he continued, "The high school has great charm but is in need of capital work and renovation. It will be modest, around $13 to $14 million, most of it highlighted in the building condition survey, for example science labs and lavatories." Also, he said, the crowding at Munsey Park needs to be addressed. In conclusion, Cardillo said, "What I like best about the job is the small community, permitting tremendous involvement with the students."
Councilman Wayne Wink reported that the Plandome Road visioning process is ongoing. HDR is completing a traffic study and when the data is collected a report will be produced-probably late summer or early fall.
Wink referred to the internal investigation in the building department and stated, "whatever the outcome we will be better for it." (See article on page ?)
The construction on the Roslyn viaduct is slated to begin this summer. The department of transportation called for a finish date, Wink said, and severe penalties will be enacted if the construction is not completed on time.
Wink was asked about the multifamily dwellings being discussed for Port Washington, with the comment made that more congestion in Port Washington will affect Manhasset, too. Wink said Port Washington was required to adhere to the code.
Councilman Wink was also asked about an emergency management plan for the area. What is the strongest building in the area? When will residents be informed of a master plan? Wink responded that Janet Wohlers is the director of Emergency Management and that he has been assigned the task of reviewing the plan. To date, Wink said, "Nassau County has gotten bad grades in emergency preparedness." He added that Great Neck is compiling a peninsula-wide inventory of emergency equipment. "We need to coordinate with them because we will either both be affected or one will be a first responder for the other and there is a need to develop more such agreements." It was said that the plan needs to be made public to give reassurance that there is, in fact, a game plan.
Two weeks earlier, on June 1, Elise Ledda and Katie Miller welcomed the opportunity to report to the chamber the activities of CSM. The MCC has been a supporter of CSM since its inception in 2005.
Sue Auriemma, CSM co-chair, was instrumental in getting the speed monitor placed on Park Avenue and results of this study are being compiled. Miller confirmed CSM is aiding and supporting the Manhasset Park Civic Association in their efforts to curtail the speeding on Park Avenue including introduction of center line striping on Park Avenue, re-striping on Onderdonk Avenue and better illumination on Park Avenue especially at the intersections of Onderdonk Avenue and Nassau Avenue.
Other recommendations by CSM to TNH are signs reading "Turning Traffic Must Yield to Pedestrians" at the intersections of Plandome Road and Park Avenue as well as Plandome Road and Bayview Avenue. Ledda said they introduced a "No Right On Red" sign at the exit of the LIRR parking lot. Also, Ledda said the trees along the length of Onderdonk Avenue and at the intersection of Onderdonk and Park need to be trimmed because many of the trees are blocking lights and street signs as well as decreasing visibility for traffic turning onto Onderdonk Avenue.
Anjali Vora, a MHS junior and member of CSM, has written a safety guidebook for young people and has been holding safety meetings with Scout troops, Miller stated. Vora will do presentations at Adventures in Learning, and groups at Munsey Park and Shelter Rock schools.
Elise Ledda participated with the Sixth Precinct Police Department in their first presentation on safe driving and drinking to students at Manhasset High School.
CSM received the Vision Long Island "2006 Smart Growth Award" on June 16.
Anyone interested in the "instant beautification" Adopt-a-Pole program can contact Pat Roberts at 627-9213.