In a time when a lot of mom and pop stores are going out of business to make way for bigger chains, there is a family business in Mineola that has stayed strong for almost 80 years. Mineola Bicycle, Fitness and Mower on Jericho Turnpike has been in business since 1935, selling the finest two wheel transportation and power equipment in the Nassau County.
“Our business started out in 1935 in a building on the northeast corner of Jericho Turnpike selling bicycles to residents,” said store manager Barry Dworkin. “In the 1950s, we saw there was need for more so we started selling power equipment and snow blowers.”
The building was moved to the opposite corner of the street in 1958.
East Williston Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente announced that she will seek election for the Town of North Hempstead’s District Council 2 seat. Parente, a Republican, was elected to the East Williston Village Board in 2011. She decided to run after the Republican party approached her to challenge the seat’s expiring term.
“I always thought I would be good for that,” she said. “My term as a deputy mayor ends in 2015 and so it seems like the right next step.”
Parente feels her work in the village, specifically issues with the East Williston Fire Department and water rate tussles between the village and Williston Park, has prepared her for a bigger role in town government.
There are two open seats on the Mineola Board of Education for the 2014 ballot, with two candidates waiting to fill them. On Monday May 5, current board member Nicole Matzer and newcomer Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion presented themselves to the community during a sparsely attended Meet the Candidates Night at Mineola High School. The annual budget and school board vote will take place on Tuesday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Meadow Drive and Jackson Avenue schools.
Matzer was selected last year to fill the remaining term of former board member Terence Hale, who resigned from the board in 2013. She has previously volunteered in the district, serving as the PTO president of the Willis Avenue School for two years.
Matzer also served as district council co-president. She resides in Mineola, having moved to the district in 1999 with her husband, Eric. Matzer has two children and teaches catechism at St. Aidan’s.
Everyone was out for the cause on Wednesday, May 7 at Jericho Terrace for Night on the Town in Mineola. Event reps were hoping to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Long Island (LLSLI) and as of two weeks before the event, they had sold 700 tickets.
Event coordinator and Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lubrano said he expects the final tally to breach $80,000, surpassing the 2012 event total of $72,500.
“Each year it seems to get better, but this year it was leaps and bounds ahead,” Lubrano said. “The crowd was larger and energetic. We definitely raised more money than recent years.”
As someone who is a creator at heart, East Williston artist Sabine Jean-Bart enjoys any activity that calls for transforming something. She loves to sew, knit and even garden, but her true love is to paint.
Painting has always been an activity Jean-Bart takes pleasure in doing, but it wasn’t until 10 years ago that she started developing her skills. When her youngest son started high school, she found that she had more free time and decided to do something for herself.
“I’m always learning and always trying to absorb from whoever I’m working with,” said Jean-Bart. “There are so many great artists out there. I’m just scratching the surface.”
The Village of Mineola is accepting bids from prospective contractors to build the Memorial Park bandshell. The Village of Mineola announced that it purchased a bandshell 73 feet wide and 38 feet deep in February. It’s part of the ongoing revamp of Memorial Park, which is set for significant upgrades this year.
Bids are due by May 16 at 10 a.m. The contract will be awarded to the lowest bidder.
For Mineola teacher Lindsay Spanhake, teaching seventh-grade math at Mineola Middle School for the last six years has consisted of hard work and dedication to students. Well, her dedication has been recognized; she has been selected as Middle School Math Teacher of the Year by the Nassau County Math Teachers Association.
She will be honored at the organization’s annual awards dinner on Monday, May 21.
“I want to make math fun and relatable to their lives so they can leave my room and feel they’ll need what they learn in their everyday lives,” Spanhake said. “I feel there’s importance in showing students that you genuinely believe in them and that you’re here to encourage them to succeed not just in math, but any goal they wish to attain.”
The Village of Mineola has been ordered by the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to repay medical insurance costs deducted from retired employees after August 2011, according to documents reviewed by the Mineola American. The village must continue to pay the full cost of retirees health benefits until it can negotiate a different contract with the union.
The ruling from Administrative Law Judge Angela Blassman marks the second adjudicated dispute between the village and its employees union over health benefit contributions. Workers lost the first argument. Dissatisfaction over that loss contributed to a break with the Teamsters Union, which
had represented village employees for more than 20 years, in favor of the United Public Service Employees Union (UPSEU).
Family-owned community shops are a rare sight these days with Targets and Costcos dominating shopping centers. But with Foresto Tuxedo on Willis Avenue, you’ll get an experience that’s been available for 74 years in Mineola.
“It’s an honor to be able to compete with the big box stores and do good business,” owner Dominick Foresto said. “We give quality products and services; carry all the latest styles and we carry a lot that’s made in the United States.”
Foresto’s parents, Michael and Nancy, started the business in 1940 and it has remained in Mineola ever since. At one point, the empire had five locations.
The Mineola School District adopted its 2014-15 budget last week. It will be put up for vote on May 20.
The budget tops off at $87.8 million, a 1.92 percent increase from the 2013-14 budget, which was $86.1 million when it was certified last May. The adopted budget also includes a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowed by the state. The 2014-15 levy sits at $79 million.
The budget includes all current educational and co-curricular programs, athletic programs and extra-curricular activities.
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