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Strike Worries Commuters

A potential Long Island Rail Road strike due to a contract disagreement between its union and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could leave many commuters stranded at the Mineola Train Station next week. 

 

“I think it’s unfair to a lot of people,” said Bryan Jean-Pierre of Westbury as he waited for his train in Mineola. 

 

Jean-Pierre, a restaurant manager in New York City, said the strike would be a strain for him. He plans to carpool if the strike occurs. 

 

More than 5,400 LIRR employees are threatening to walk off their jobs as early as Sunday, July 20 if a deal is not reached. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would not intercede, but MTA officials said to not expect help from Washington.

 

“I strongly believe that a resolution can be reached in a fiscally responsible manner,” MTA CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said in a letter to Congress.

 

However, union leaders argue that the LIRR has been without a contract since 2010.

 

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has demanded benefit cuts and other concessions from workers,” LIRR Union officials state in their own letter to Congress. “Union members ask for nothing more than what federal boards have already recommended.”

 

Michael Burnett, 39, of Glen Cove predicts a last-minute settlement of some kind.

 

“No way is the government going to let this happen,” he said. “New York would come to a standstill.”

 

Burnett uses the LIRR six days a week to commute to his job at the Cold Spring Country Club. He said he can’t afford alternative means of transportation. 

 

“I’d lose my job,” he said. “I don’t have any options.”

 

The strike would affect 300,000 weekday riders, and Burnett imagines that traffic would move at a “snail’s pace” if commuters were forced to drive or take the bus.

 

“The negative economic and human impact of a strike would be huge, and the only responsible option is to keep talking and working to reach an agreement which is fair and does not result in an added financial burden on riders,” said Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council Chair Mark Epstein.

 

Carol Catalano, of Carle Place, was ready to board the LIRR train in Mineola. She was headed to Penn Station to take an AMTRAK.   

 

“I don’t really use the LIRR much,” she said. “Anytime you rely on mass transportation it comes back to bite you,” she said.

 

But for commuters, the strike is more of an issue.

 

"I’m against it,” said commuter Al Tessier, who uses the station in Mineola to commute to his IT job. “I would have to drive and that would be a huge headache.”

News

The nine-story apartment building at 250 Old Country Road is rising on schedule, according to developers. Lake Success-based Lalezarian Developers is constructing a nine-story, 315-unit complex at the site.

 

Kevin Lalezarian estimated the project is about 20 percent complete.

 

“Our foundation is nearly complete,” Lalezarian said. “Our superstructure is proceeding. That’s the main thing happening right now.”

The Mineola Fire Department is looking to replace its Company Two engine, Truck 168. The truck is 25 years old, consisting of an articulating boom and bucket.

 

A new truck would cost upwards of $1 million, fire reps said.

 

“The current truck has served the village well for many years, but is in need of replacement,” Chief of Department Jeff Clark said.


Sports

The Mineola Hurricanes recently swept the Smithtown Bulls recently pounded the Smithtown Bulls in two games, winning 9-1and 6-1 at Brady Field in Smithtown. In game one, Chris Marotta brought the heat against the Bulls. 

 

Smithtown managed just one hit off of Marotta, who allowed no earned runs, walked two and struck out eight during his five innings of work. The Bulls jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Had college lacrosse burst onto the scene one generation earlier, one local resident would have become a household name within the inner circles.  Settling for three National Championships and a professional contract, however, is not a bad consolation prize.

 

Alex Rosier can now add one more accomplishment to the resume, nearly 20 years after his college career ended. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - August 13

International Night - August 14

What Matters To You - August 15


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
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