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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

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’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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