Written by Mayor Paul Ehrbar Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00
The horrific fire that took place on Willis Avenue had the potential of being much more destructive than it was. Five stores were destroyed in the catastrophe, yet due to the heroic efforts demonstrated by both the Williston Park firemen and the members of the surrounding districts the fire was contained and controlled within the confines of five buildings. Without the expertise and firematic efforts, the fire could have easily spread both in the business district and the residential area. The fire, which began around 2:45 a.m., which was brought under control fairly rapidly, continued to smolder and burn well into the daylight hours.
Remarkably, it is my understanding that there was only a minor injury to one firefighter. The intensity of the fire coupled with the magnitude of the blaze could have easily led to a number of injuries.
Chief Gary Smithing and Assistant Chief Rich Sais oversaw the operation from beginning to end. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the residents of Williston Park, I thank all those firemen who were involved in this event.
While the firemen dealt with the actual fire, a number of individuals working at the scene were instrumental in ensuring, as best as possible, that the area remained as safe as possible. Public Works Superintendent Keith Bunnell was on scene and at the water plant to monitor water flow/water pressure. His work crews assisted whenever needed during the course of the day.
Bunnell remained on site well into the evening hours. Building Inspector Kerry Collins was on the scene early and remained at the site well past 11 p.m. to ensure that the area was made as safe as possible in view of the dangerous conditions created by the fire.
Thanks go out to residents and business owners who provided support during the fire and after. Hacks Deli, Gino’ Pizzeria and Sangria 71 provided food and water to those working the fire.
This event has greatly impacted five business and four property owners. The village has been working with all in hopes of allowing these business owners to move forward as quickly as possible.
A disaster of this type will take time to return the area to a normal state but the village will provide direction and assistance whenever possible.
I would like to thank all the residents who live on or around Stratford Avenue and Princeton Street for their understanding and patience during the extended road repaving of these roads. The project is mostly complete.
The contractor is now required to correct any deficiencies as listed in a village “punch list.” It is hoped that this work will happen quickly although sod/grass planting needs to wait until cooler weather.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and as always, I ask all to drive safely.
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.
“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.
According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”
The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs. She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games.
In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season.