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East Hills Man: ‘Save The Tree’

Passing tree law is no easy task, says Mineola

A century ago, Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”

East Hills resident Richard Brummel apparently thinks he has never seen anything as lovely as a tree, and he is now stumping for the preservation of a 125-yerar-old tree on Roslyn Road near Jerome Avenue in Mineola.

Brummel has circulated petitions to the Mineola Village Board and the Town of North Hempstead. The tree sits on foreclosed property.

Brummel hopes new tree laws will be established in an effort to preserve older, bigger trees in the area.

“I am concerned for the future of this tree because developers in this area typically destroy all trees on the properties they build on,” he said.

For the last two decades, the National Arbor Day Foundation has dubbed Mineola as “Tree City USA” for its continuing efforts at tree planting. Mineola reported that 450 trees would be replaced due to Hurricane Sandy.

Village representatives said if tree preservation laws similar to those used in communities elsewhere were adopted, any resident that wants to remove a tree on his or her property would need to first obtain authorization from the village. This may entail some type of inspection and permitting process and might also include tree-service company licensing.

“There’d have to be a permit process, because that’s the only we could prevent people from trees being taken down,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said.

In some cases, homeowners could be denied the right to remove or alter a tree on their property. Where tree preservation codes are in effect, homeowners can be denied building applications because preserved trees are in the way.

“I love trees,” Strauss stated, adding he does not relish the idea of telling people what to do with their property. “The concept with the environment, absolutely; but there comes a point where government should not infringe on peoples rights, on peoples property.”

This could, village reps noted, cause an increase in village taxes as additional personnel or outside contractors would have to conduct inspections and process permits. 

 Home values could be affected because preservation limits on private property would need to be disclosed during potential sales, according to Strauss. Furthermore, homeowners’ rates would skyrocket because of permit requirements and if a resident wants their home remodeled and a tree is in the way, it cannot be cut down because of preservation laws.

“What happens if we put these laws into effect, and a person can’t sell a house,” Strauss said. “What if a young couple buys a house with a tree and it’s a small house and they want to expand for kids, then we tell them they can’t and they have to cram all their kids into one bedroom?”

Speaking of the tree Brummel wants to save in Mineola, arborist Richard Oberlander of Nassau Suffolk Tree Service said the tree is “near-perfect” symmetry and has a broad crown, which grows 90 feet across. He thinks it’s a “special specimen.” The International Society of Arboriculture certifies Oberlander as an accredited authority on trees.

“The tree has a co-dominant stem but is so well balanced it has very good structural integrity,” said Oberlander. “It is a tree I can only characterize as humongous and it clearly deserves to be protected and embraced by the community as a significant environmental asset.”

Oberlander said the Mineola tree is in “very good health” and “provides value historically, aesthetically and ecologically.”


News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com