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Top 11 Stories of Summer 2011 in Mineola

The eventful 2011 summer saw a slew of activity, but what made the list?

With school starting this week, the Mineola American decided to culminate the summer of 2011 with a look back the top 11 stories of June, July and August. The community was privy to new neighbors in the school district and an Anton Newspaper exclusive, but nothing could trump number one on the list.

Top 11 Stories of Summer 2011

11. Cross Street School Lease Approved

The Mineola School District unanimously approved the five-year lease of the Cross Street School to the Solmon Shechter Day School of Glen Cove. With a standing room only crowd of Mineola and Williston Park residents, Mineola natives rejoiced in its lease, while Williston Park-“ers” sat in disapproval.

The leasing of the school solidifies a reconfiguration plan, which included closing the Willis Avenue School, renting the Cross Street property out and moving the children to the other schools in the district.

10. Mineola Junior Fire Department Visits Germany

The Mineola Junior Fire Department (MJFD) has had a partnership with Stellingen-Hamburg Jugendfeuerwehr for the past five years. In that time, both junior fire departments have visited each other’s countries twice, creating a partnership that stands unique among the fire service in all of America.

In 2007, the Stellingen-Hamburg Junior Fire Department visited Mineola for 10 days and the following year, 2008, the Mineola Junior fire Department went to Germany for 10 days. In August 2010, a second cultural exchange began with Stellingen coming to Mineola where they trained and visited Washington DC, New York City, and the sights of Long Island.

On July 30, 2011 it was Mineola’s time to go to Germany with 14 junior firefighters.  Everyone had to report to the Mineola headquarters at 11 a.m. where the parents of the junior firefighters gave them a send off that was something to see. The Mineola Juniors have a great bunch of parents who supported these young adults in this historic venture to Germany.

9. Governor Cuomo Signs Property Tax Cap in Nassau County

It was met with ire by school districts and local villages and commended by residents and businesses. But on June 30, the bill was officially signed.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Lynbrook to sign the 2 percent property tax cap into law. Cuomo signed the property tax cap on the front lawn of the home of James and Janet Gannon.

Like many taxpayers in Nassau County, the Gannons, parents of four children, have made sacrifices to afford the state’s skyrocketing property taxes.

8. Winthrop Proposes $60 Million Research Facility

Major developments have been surfacing in Mineola over the past year. First, it was the long, drawn out process to get the Winston Manor residential complex off the ground. Now, a new research facility could grace the corner of Second Street and Mineola Boulevard if a special permit is granted to Winthrop University Hospital.

A team of lawyers, traffic and environmental experts, architects and hospital representatives presented an application to build a $60 million research facility to the board of trustees at a June 13 public hearing. The proposed four-story, .893 acre facility would house research development into obesity and diabetes as well as cardiovascular pulmonary related issues, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS) disease among others.

The building would total 95,000 square feet. Approximately 80,000 square feet has been allocated with 15,000 square feet yet to be determined.

7. North Hempstead Selects Mineola’s Hometown Hero

John S. DaVanzo, a lifelong Mineola resident, was selected the third Town of North Hempstead Hometown Hero last week. TNH Clerk Leslie Gross honored DaVanzo at the John S. DaVanzo Community Pool with a certificate of recognition.

Mr. Mineola is his name and the village is his playground.

6. Nassau Residents Vote Down $400 Million Coliseum Bond

The $400 million bond plan to replace the 39-year-old Nassau Coliseum and construct a minor league ballpark at Mitchell Field was spurned by Nassau County residents in public vote on Aug. 1. According to the Nassau County Board of Elections, the margin was 88,389 (57 percent) opposed to 66,829 (43 percent) in favor.

5. Marriage Equality Act Signed Into State Law

Landmark legislation to make same-sex marriage legal in New York State was signed into law on June 24, making New York the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.

On June 15, the New York State Assembly voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act, 80 to 63, and on June 24, the New York State Senate voted in favor of this bill, 33 to 29. Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act into law on Friday evening, June 24 and this legislation went into effect on Sunday, July 24.

4. Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Moving Forward

Last May, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, then-Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano met and reached an agreement to handle the flooding issues that have plagued eastern borderline Mineola and Carle Place residents for decades. Previously, the village was trying to get a deal in place with former County Executive Tom Suozzi, but nothing ever developed.

Village officials confirmed to the Mineola American on Aug. 12 that the project is still very much alive and would be moving forward with construction work as soon as possible. North Hempstead and Mineola are currently hashing out an intermunicipal agreement to grant the town usage of village property so the town can do the necessary work on North Hempstead’s Carle Place Flood Project, according to village officials.

3. Mineola Resident Craig Pinto To Attempt Second World Record

The Mineola resident kicked 717 forty-yard field goals in 12 hours in October 2010 at Bethpage High School. The previous record was 500, which was an arbitrary number set by the Guinness Book of World Records because no one had ever attempted it before.

Pinto has a new number in his sights; 1,000 field goals in 24 hours on Oct. 9, 2011.

2. Winston Manor Project Sidepiece May Change To Rentals

In an Anton Newspapers exclusive, the Mineola American reported on Aug. 24 that the senior housing component “The Churchill” of the Winston Manor residential complex might change from condominium to rentals. This story had lain dormant for some time. A public hearing is tentatively set for Sept. 14.

1. Irene Hits Long Island, Leaves Over 2,000 Mineola Residents Without Power

Although Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it made its way up the East Coast of the U.S., making landfall on Long Island on Saturday, Aug. 27, it left a path of downed trees and power lines as it crossed the Island headed toward New England. According to LIPA officials, approximately 500,000 homes in Nassau County lost power due to the storm.