Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Lee Seeman joined forces with State Senator Jack Martin and Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello last week to break ground on a long-awaited reconstruction project to restore the New Hyde Park Police Athletic League clubhouse to its former glory.
The kickoff of the renovation project, which was also attended by PAL officials, Nassau County Police Officer Kevin Worth, and Sgt. Doug Kenah, heralded the start of a project that had been hampered by a lack of funds and had consequently languished for over seven years.
Kaiman worked alongside Officer Worth, the director of the New Hyde Park PAL program, and other PAL officials to get the gym restored. The town, which owns the Denton Avenue property the PAL facility occupies, approved plans for the renovations.
“I am pleased that this facility, a place where tens of hundreds of children—including my own—from throughout the town have come for decades to play basketball and other sports will soon be up and running again,” Kaiman said.
Flooding when a heavy rainstorm in October 2005 caused an overflow from a sump behind the facility triggered problems with the PAL clubhouse. Water was pushed under the eight-inch concrete block supporting the gym floor, cracking the existing floor.
The gym floor was restored with $135,000 from an insurance claim. Officials stated however that the repair work wasn’t sufficient to withstand a July 2007 rainstorm, which caused the gym floor to buckle once again.
A $200,000 state grant promised by former state Sen. Craig Johnson to conduct repairs to the clubhouse was withdrawn by the Democratic state senate leadership after Johnson lost his re-election bid in the 7th Senatorial District to Republican challenger Martins.
The reconstruction plans call for demolishing the concrete slab and installing new drainage and floor, as well as repaving the adjacent parking area. The project is expected to be completed in January 2013 depending on weather, officials said.
“This is a wonderful thing that PAL does, giving kids from all across the town the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports,” said Seeman. “It took a long time and a lot of collaboration, but finally this place will live again. I’m proud of the efforts of all who helped to make this possible.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
Even rain couldn’t put a damper on children’s faces as they marveled at the Mineola tree across from Village Hall on Friday, Dec. 6 during the annual Christmas tree lighting. With the Chaminade High School Jazz Band rocking the community center across the street, residents and kiddies waited with bated breath and excitement for the tree to come alive, along with a visit from old St. Nick.
As the area between the Mineola Fire Department and Piccola Bussola began to fill up, the tree ignited with blue, green and red glory for all attendees to gaze at, while cars buzzing by on Jericho Turnpike now had a beacon in the night to guide them. Inside the community center, the band provided much needed holiday cheer, playing “Jingle Bells,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.