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, 27 September 2014 00:00
As I tried to make my way through the unforgiving monsoon season, rain pouring as far as the eye could see, dodging puddles I rushed inside the school building. The guard yelled in the background for the children to come in quickly before they dragged in even more mud inside. Trying hard not to slip on the wet dirty floor, I pondered to myself what
exactly I was doing here. The words of Mahatma Gandhi resonated inside my head, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Here I was at a school in Mumbai India, 7800 miles from my home in Mineola, volunteering with “Aseema,” a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower and educate the under privileged children. Children living on the streets or in slums and in inhuman conditions.
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00
East Williston resident Brian Advocate-Ross addressed the Village of East Williston Board of Trustees earlier this month about an alleged drug problem at 386 Roslyn Rd. Advocate-Ross lives next to the house, and alleged to the village that there is “abundant drug use going on there—they’ve got people coming and going all day long, parking all over the place, and I have a little museum of drug paraphernalia that they throw over the fence.”
Advocate-Ross, who said a school two blocks away from the house, is primarily concerned about the safety of his four young children, and said he has called the police at the Third Precinct numerous times and expressed disappointment.
“I’m tired of calling them, they do nothing,” Advocate-Ross said. “My 6-year-old is finding what they throw over the fence and bringing them to me. I’m not going to tolerate it.”
The Third Precinct declined to comment.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said. “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).
Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.