Written by Marlo Jappen Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00
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.”
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
The Village of East Williston was recently ruled against in the second round of lawsuits with neighboring Village of Williston Park involving the latter’s water rates—establishing a 13 percent increase from $3.83 per 1,000 gallons of water to $4.33.
Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that the lawsuit, “still does not resolve the underlying problem between the villages, which is we feel that we’re being charged too much for water—the cost is excessive.”
Tanner said the village is still calculating the financial impact will be, and that the village has been making payments in escrow for every water bill received.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Only once a year a 25-foot movie screen sits in the middle of Wilson Park in Mineola, ready to entertain residents. This year’s Movie Night in the Park feature The LEGO Movie, sponsored by the Village of Mineola and Mineola Chamber of Commerce on Friday, July 18.
The event, which was free of charge to all of the moviegoers, was meant to help promote local Mineola businesses, according to president of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce Bill Greene.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American industry, and we feel that this is a great way of giving back to the community with hopes that they’ll remember to shop locally,” said Greene.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K on Sunday, June 15. The runner first across the finish line was Mineola resident Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental in Manhasset.
The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race, timed by Long Island Race Timing.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
Mineola Hurricanes lost a battle of the bats on Sunday, June 29, at St. Joseph’s Field in Kings Park, falling short in a 9-8 ball game against the St. Joseph’s Saints in the first game of a doubleheader.
The top of the first saw the Hurricanes take an early 2-0 lead. The runs came home for the Hurricanes when T.J. McManus scored on an error and Connor Eakin scored on a fielder’s choice. The Saints never surrendered the lead after the first inning, scoring five runs on two errors and an RBI single by Jonathan.