Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 16 November 2012 00:00
Long Island couldn’t catch a break. Nearly eight days after Hurricane Sandy rocked the Northeast, a nor’easter dubbed Athena rolled in on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Raucous weather dumped snow mixed with rain and sleet, creating hazardous road conditions that made the easiest of trips resemble a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow.
Rush hour last Wednesday on Old Country Road near the Mineola Train Station showcased vehicles jockeying for position, struggling to make their way down slippery, icy roads. According to the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) website, almost 60,000 customers lost electricity into Thursday morning because of Athena, with combined Sandy outages reaching 200,000 across the island by the morning commute. More than 140,000 were in Nassau County alone.
After Sandy arrived in Mineola, LIPA reported almost 12,000 outages in the village. Before Athena hit, Mineola tallied about 800 reported outages throughout the village. Once the snow settled, homes without power increased to 835 as of 5 p.m. last Thursday.
Williston Park has 5,000 without power, according to LIPA. Outages stretched throughout the town.
Other notable totals included but were not limited to Floral Park (3,939), Great Neck (1,791), Great Neck Estates (1,077), North Hills (2,737), North New Hyde Park (3,420), Port Washington (2,203), Port Washington North (1,304), Sands Point (1,121) and Westbury (1,714). LIPA reported that North Hempstead outages reached 38,000. Eight inches of snow was reported in nearby Albertson, according to the National Weather Service.
“[The Nov. 7] storm has caused additional damage and power outages and we will continue to deploy our significant workforce to address all power outages,” LIPA said on its website after Athena hit. “[It] may impede our restoration efforts, because we must also ensure the safety of our workforce. Rest assured that our crews will continue to work as long as, and whenever, it is safe to do so. When possible, we will restore power to customers who have been without power for the longest time. Your safety and well-being remain our number one priority and we thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.”
About 12,000 workers were out after the storm, trying to restore power. The authority asked that people stay clear of downed wires and be aware of areas impacted by snow, where wires and trees could be covered and dangerous.
Mineola over the last two years has been pummeled by the elements. Hurricane Irene ripped through the village in 2011, the rogue storm on Aug. 15 made the area look like Atlantis and now Sandy, coupled with Athena, pulled no punches. To say the least, it’s been a rough time for Long Island.
As did Mineola with its village hall creating a warming center and charging station, Nassau County and the American Red Cross set up a shelter at New Hyde Park Memorial High School after the shelter at Manhasset High School closed, according to North Hempstead officials.
“We shifted from storm recovery back to storm preparation, all the while doing recovery still,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman said. “Folks are trying to get communication between LIPA, villages and other villages so other people have an understanding of what’s happening, primarily because the frustration from residents is growing to greater heights just based on the time that it is taking to get power up in so many of our communities.”
The town ran two buses on Wednesday to the seven comfort stations in North Hempstead. The vehicles picked up residents who wanted to stay at the shelter because the non-designated shelters are not equipped to have people stay overnight. According Kaiman, the shelter holds about 750 people.
“We’re told that 252 [LIPA] lineman [were working] in our town,” Kaiman stated.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Even rain couldn’t put a damper on children’s faces as they marveled at the Mineola tree across from Village Hall on Friday, Dec. 6 during the annual Christmas tree lighting. With the Chaminade High School Jazz Band rocking the community center across the street, residents and kiddies waited with bated breath and excitement for the tree to come alive, along with a visit from old St. Nick.
As the area between the Mineola Fire Department and Piccola Bussola began to fill up, the tree ignited with blue, green and red glory for all attendees to gaze at, while cars buzzing by on Jericho Turnpike now had a beacon in the night to guide them. Inside the community center, the band provided much needed holiday cheer, playing “Jingle Bells,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.