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Locals Run The Tunnel To Towers

It started with 800 people and now, more than 30,000 come out for the Annual Tunnel to the Towers 5K Run/Walk, now in its 12th year. Eighty people left from Piccola Bussola Restaurant in Mineola for lower Manhattan on Sunday, Sept. 29 to retrace the steps of Stephen Siller, a FDNY fireman that abandoned his truck and ran through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel with 75 pounds of gear to help as the towers were falling during the Sept. 11 attacks.

Siller was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned what was happening.

“He was trying to get into the city and left his car and ran there,” Piccola Bussola Owner Tony Lubrano, who helped organize the local runners, said. “Unfortunately he was a great athlete and got their too soon as the towers were falling.”

Lubrano called the event “emotional.” Runners were greeted by 343 firemen as they exited the tunnel, holding banners of friends who perished 12 years ago.

“A group of us here in Mineola decided we wanted to participate,” Lubrano said. “We got buses together and met that Sunday morning and the Mineola Fire Department together with the New Hyde Park Fire Department, got two firetrucks together to hold a flag over Jericho Turnpike for a touching photo, which we had framed.”

Lubrano and Nick Valastro helped organize the 80 runners. Valastro and Lubrano have worked together in the past, organizing local work for the Walt Disney half-marathon.

Valastro owns a real estate business and lives in Garden City. He runs United Mavericks, an ad-hoc group of local business leaders that support local charities and causes.

“The number one focus is to support each other’s charity by getting physically involved in the charity, rather than writing a check,” Valastro said.

For next year’s run, Lubrano and Valastro plan to reach out to more first responders and volunteer firefighters to participate. Valastro called the scene coming out of the tunnel “incredible.”

“The fact that we were walking and running through the same tunnel where Stephen Siller ran...it was great to get everyone involved in it,” he said. “When you get to the finish line, the sea of people...it was incredible.”

The whole event raised more than $2 million, with $6,000 coming from the Mineola participants.

News

The Mineola School District Board of Education assessed the district’s performance in recent New York State assessment and Regents testing; performance that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael

Nagler noted was in need of improvement at a July 24 board meeting.

 

Nagler addressed issues that students have been encountering with the recently-mandated state assessments, noting the difference in effectiveness between what he called “formative testing,” or testing on a regular basis, and “summative testing,” which is done annually, typically at the end of the school year.

Five storefronts on Willis Avenue in Williston Park were gutted after a five-alarm fire on Thursday, July 23 at around 2:40 a.m., Williston Park Fire Department officials said. Construction crews could be seen demolishing the row of stores as late as 2 p.m. last Thursday.

 

The fire was under control at around 4:30 a.m. No injuries were reported, officials noted.

 

Williston Park fire units responded at 2:44 a.m. According to department Chief Gary Smithing, the blaze started in the Village Cobbler Shoe Repair Shop at 617 Willis Ave.


Sports

 Students at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Avenue in Williston Park recently received belt promotions after successfully completing a series of extensive exams.

 

“Our goal at Charles Water Karate & Fitness is to facilitate mental growth enabling our students to reach their highest potential as human beings,” says Charles Water, owner and director of the school.

“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others.”

Mineola Hurricanes 10U offense was too much for L.I. Saints in 14-5 rout on Thursday July 17, at Willis Avenue Field in Mineola. With 11 runs in the first three innings, The Hurricanes left no doubt about the eventual outcome.

 

An RBI triple by Kevin Pusey, a steal of home by Kevin Pusey, and an RBI single by James Raziano during the first inning and an RBI single by Jack Mackay, a three-run triple by T.J. McManus put runs on the board early. 


Calendar

Concert In The Park - August 1

Boot Camp - August 2

Six Gun Concert - August 3


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