The spirit of giving during the holiday season is ramping up and two Mineola-based organizations were one of the first beneficiaries. The Family & Children’s Association and the Winthrop Cancer Center for Kids recently received 325 Toys
“R” Us gift cards totaling $8,125 from MSC Industrial Direct Co., a metalworking supply company headquartered in Melville. The two groups have received gift cards from MSC’s Annual Toys “R” Us Holiday Gift Card Program for the past several years.
The Family & Children’s Association is a multi-faceted organization that helps foster children, homeless youth, runaway teens, struggling families, veterans, and even senior citizens. While the association has a hand in many types of community outreach, it started out as an orphanage and still places an important emphasis on housing. The goal is simple—to keep families together.
The Village of Mineola is in the process of acquiring multiple properties as a result of the completion of the Long Island Rail Road Crossing Elimination project. The board of trustees recently passed a resolution to start the process.
All open items involving the project have been resolved by the New York State Department of Transportation. State law, according to village attorney John Spellman, allows villages to attain properties within the project.
“That project involved eliminating at-grade crossings at Herricks Road, Roslyn Road and the reconstruction the Mineola Boulevard Bridge,” Spellman said. “We recommended that the village pass a resolution accepting these properties so that we can begin the process of officially acquiring them.”
There will be a flurry of noise and color at the Community Church of East Williston’s fourth annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec.15. The Severn River Brass Quintet will be in concert with Church Musical Director Raphael Fusco to help kick off the holiday season on a high note. Fusco has been working at the church since September and he is an accomplished composer, keyboardist, and conductor in the U.S. and in Europe.
“I am beyond excited that the quintet has agreed to take time out of their busy schedule to make a rare public appearance here in East Williston,” said Fusco. “The quintet is made up of some of the world’s finest brass players and we are very lucky to host them.”
Commuter Mary Anne Svetter of Williston Park was pleased to hear U.S. Senator Charles Schumer pushed Amtrak to enforce major changes in the way it maintains and repairs the East River tunnels. At the Long Island Rail Road station in
Mineola on Monday, Nov. 18, Svetter was waiting for her train to go to New York City’s Penn Station.
“Hopefully when these changes take effect my relatives from out of state will benefit from it,” she said.
Voters approved two propositions on Tuesday, Nov. 19 that will allow the Mineola School District to tap $3.8 million capital reserve funds to make various repairs at its schools and to fund its reserve up to $15 million.
Voter turnout was low; a rarity in Mineola’s case, which routinely showcases high voter participation, from the most recent contested school board election in May or dating back to school reconfiguration.
Proposition one, which lets the district use monies for improvements, passed 363 to 112. Windows and doors at Jackson, Hampton Avenue, Meadow Drive and Cross Street schools need to be replaced, according to District Superintendent Michael Nagler.
It was Dec. 8, 1888 when a group of people met to discuss forming a fire department in Mineola. Within three weeks of its inception, the company gained 23 members at its first meeting in February of 1889. In the spring of that year, Mineola’s Engine Company No. 1 blared its first siren.
One-hundred twenty five years later, the company is still going strong, responding to calls at all hours of the day. The Village of Mineola commemorated the company’s anniversary on Wednesday, Nov. 20, presenting honorary pins to each member of the engine company.
Mineola American Legion Commander Carl Marchese led the Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11. He addressed a gathering of Mineola residents held on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, coinciding with Armistice Day, which marked the end of hostilities in World War I, the so-called “war to end all wars.”
Marchese served at Fort Bragg, N.C. for airborne training. He trained with the U.S. Rangers at Fort Benning, GA in 1961. From there, he received his posting to Fort Dix, N.J. as a company officer for advanced infantry training. What was supposed to be a short stay ended with an 18-month commission because of the escalation of the Berlin Wall crisis.
Food and fashion strutted its stuff on Thursday, Nov. 14 with “Taste and Style in Mineola,” at Jericho Terrace. The biennial Mineola Chamber of Commerce event showcased local restaurant and clothing shops, benefiting local charities and organizations.
In 2001, the chamber dedicated two nights to taste and style with “Taste of Mineola” and “Mineola In Style.” Chamber reps decided to split the two in 2005, holding each event every other year.
“Considering it’s just a Mineola-based event, this is a great turnout,” Chamber Vice President Tony Lubrano said. “The restaurants and fashion show kind of sell themselves. All of the restaurants ask when it is. They want to be here.”
The Village of Mineola held off on deciding whether to approve or deny an application from Bolla Market to build a 24-hour gas station/convenience store at 449 Jericho Turnpike. It is unknown when a decision will be rendered. The
property in question abuts local residences.
The village board reopened the hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 13 for additional testimony from Bolla Market CEO Harry Singh’s team and to hear local resident concerns. Eighty-five people attended last week’s hearing, with 18 speaking.
More than 90 were at the Oct. 9 meeting; 16 people voiced concerns.
During a lively forum on Nov. 13, parents, teachers, taxpayers and students from Mineola and other local towns took State Education Commissioner John King and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch to task over the “common core” standards, venting their concerns and outrage about testing, evaluations and student privacy.
State Senator Jack Martins of the 7th Senate District moderated the talk.
“If the point of elementary education is to teach children how to think creatively, problem-solve and learn from their mistakes,” asked East Williston parent Christine Cozzolino, “how can we expect our children to be innovators when they are subject to scripted lessons and the rigorous testing of the common core?”
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