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School Zones May See Speed Cameras

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.

Chris Mistron, director of Nassau County Traffic Safety, says these areas are under consideration because a majority of drivers were clocked speeding  over the posted limit, not just the school zone limit.

“We have a couple things we are looking at,” Mistron said of Mineola. “It’s [going to be] where we can see the most improvement by placing a camera. If we can’t [put the camera] where it makes sense, then people are not going to accept it.”

Last week, County Executive Ed Mangano declared amnesty for all speed camera tickets issued this summer.

The source of residents’ anger with the county’s speed cameras stems from lack of warning and the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

Mangano addressed these concerns last week with a statement on his Twitter page that read: “I am declaring amnesty for the summer school tickets because too many tickets were issued in error and residents seemed unaware of the camera activation.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation authorizing the addition of speed cameras in school speed zones in Nassau and Suffolk counties on June 25. The law allows one speed camera per district to record speeding violations as they occur, without requiring a police officer to be present at the scene. The law enables speed cameras to be placed in up to 56 school speed zones in Nassau County.

Mistron couldn’t give a timetable if/when Mineola will see a camera outside a district school.

“There’s a variety of schools [in Mineola],” said Mistron. “We were even looking at Chaminade [High School] in terms of Jericho Turnpike, but it’s a difficult thing in trying to find the right location.”

The county is installing cameras and radar, but the device will not show drivers how fast they are going.

“We’re looking at the ability to utilize mobile units, Mistron said. “If we’re drawn between a couple of locations, do we have the ability to park a mobile unit to be used at different schools.”

The camera will operate Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets will be $80, similar to red light cameras, and violators will not receive points on their licenses. Mistron says there is no estimate as to what revenue will be generated by the cameras.

“What we’re trying to do is improve the safety around the school on a school day. We’re not trying to catch people on off hours,” Mistron said.

— Rich Forestano contributed to this story

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


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