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Around the Town with Lou: October 4, 2011

Mayor Scott Strauss began his career with the NYPD, retiring after 20 years with the rank of detective. During his time on the force he was awarded the Medal of Valor and the Medal of Honor - the latter being the highest award of the Police Department.  He is currently the director of security for the North Shore LIJ health system with its 15 hospitals. Scott is a 30-year member of the Mineola Fire Department and has been twice named Fireman of the Year. His heroic effort saved lives on 9-11.

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George Pontolicco is a resident of Sun Harbor in Roslyn. His son George, Jr. and wife Paula live on Wellington Road.

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Bruce and Maryann Burns both worked for Barclay’s Bank, he in London and she in New York. They first met at a conference in New Zealand. Bruce is just back from a trip to England visiting family and friends. They live on Arlington Street.

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Papa Joe’s Italian restaurant, next to the Herricks Theater, has something unique – a singing waiter. Pasquale entertains diners every Monday and Wednesday, 7:30 to closing.

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Larry and Luba Egan of Mineola had their sons, Mike and Jason, visiting from Australia as well as kids Larry, Ann Marie, Joseph and Robert. With so many living “down under” Larry and Luba often make that long trip to Sydney, once even going still further to Auckland, New Zealand.

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Thirty years ago Richard and Helen Colgan bought the first house built on the west side of Mineola Boulevard and have lived here since Richard worked for the phone company.

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Congressman Peter King, speaking before the British House of Commons, said that most Muslims were fine citizens, but there was a radical handful who merited watching in both the U.S. and England.

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Always good seeing longtime Third Precinct police officer John Coffee, keeping things running safely in Mineola.

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Kathy Woyciechowski, formerly of Beebe Road, had a wonderful trip to Ireland. This was her first visit to the beautiful isle where her family originated. Kathy and her husband Ron live in North Carolina. Like almost everyone who visits Ireland, she found the people so warm and friendly. They call Ireland “the land of a thousand welcomes.”

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Pam and William Carollo live on Westbury Avenue. He is a New York City police officer. They have no kids so Pam showers her love on animals, mostly dogs. She used to work at the Mineola Animal Hospital.

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At a little Irish village near Wexford, the priest asked who in the congregation wanted to go to heaven and, of course, everybody stood up. Then he asked who wanted to go to hell and just one man stood up. The priest asked him “how come” and the man replied, “I just didn’t like to see you standing alone father.” This joke courtesy of Msgr. Robert Coyle. In his homily he told the story of the vineyard workers. The farmer hired a group of men at 8 a.m. promising to pay them $100 for the work. At 4 p.m. he found he needed a couple of more men and hired another group. At quitting time at 5 p.m. he gave each man $100 as promised. The fellows who had worked all day were angry but the farmer said, “I gave you exactly what I had promised.” Msgr. Coyle here gives us a hard lesson with late converts getting the same as the longtime faithful.

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This reminds me of the great painter Diego Rivera. Rivera was a devout atheist. In fact, on every bit of his work, he would insert somewhere, “Dios no existe” (God does not exist). He spent his whole life denouncing religion. On his deathbed he called for the priest.

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When a Brazilian saint is honored at St. Patrick’s, there is a possibility that the choirs of Corpus Christi may be invited to perform. This is because of Mineola’s large Brazilian-Portuguese population.

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Several residents of Burkhard Avenue report hearing an annoying chirping all day and night. It’s not birds and doesn’t seem to be insects. But it’s driving them crazy!

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Good to meet Denis and Betty O’Sullivan of the Irish-American Society.