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Traffic Light After Death

A month after the death of a woman crossing Route 106 near the Norwich Gate apartments in East Norwich, the state transportation department has approved a new traffic light.

“We’re heartened with the announcement,” said Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, following the New York State Department of Transportation’s announcement of approving the permit for a traffic light at the entrance to Norwich Gate, on Route 106 here near the Stop & Shop supermarket.

“This is something that we have been working on for years,” she noted, “though it is sad that it happened after such as a tragic death.”

“We’re delighted but it’s long overdue,” said Matt Meng, president of the East Norwich Civic Association. He cited years of efforts by his organizations, the Oyster Bay Civic Association, and others to slow traffic and heighten safety along that stretch of northern Route 106.

The long-standing effort to install a light there to slow down traffic on Route 106, also known as Pine Hollow Road, and to ease crossing by Norwich Gate residents were heightened following the death of Margaret Bolanos, who was struck Jan. 8 while walking back from Stop & Shop.

“She was a beautiful person,” said Pat Brownell, clubhouse attendant and longtime resident of Norwich Gate. “Many of our residents were so upset.”

Norwich Gate is part of Heatherwood Communities, which develops and maintains apartments and rental communities on Long Island. Heatherwood, along with the local civic associations and various government agencies, have been calling for action regarding speed and safety concerns along Route 106.

The state transportation department approved a permit for the traffic light last month “based on studies and plans submitted by” Heatherwood’s engineering consultant, said Eileen Peters, public information officer for Region 10 of the state transportation department, NYSDOT Region 10, Long Island.

According to state law, Peters explained, the state transportation department cannot install a traffic control device at a private driveway. Because the entrance to Norwich Gate is a private driveway, state law would require Heatherwood to install the traffic light and maintain the signal in the future. State approval is required before hand.

“Now the ball is in Heatherwood’s court,” Jacobs said. “I’m confident that they will follow through after having worked on it for so long. The reasons for delays have been eliminated and the way for action is clear.” Heatherwood officials have declined to comment.

The requirement that the property owner install and pay for maintenance of the traffic signal, Jacobs said, was one of the complicating factors that delayed efforts to install the light.

“And with government, things take longer,” Jacobs said.

Before the transportation department’s announcement, the East Norwich Civic Association at their regular meeting at the United Methodist Church here considered the situation. After discussion, the association voted to have Meng contact the transportation department to call for measures to enhance road safety, including a traffic light at that spot.

Meng noted that the local civic associations for years have worked with the state transportation department to encourage action on traffic issues. “They have been fairly cooperative.”

For example, said Robert Brusca, a board member of the East Norwich Civic Association and attorney for the Oyster Bay Civic Association, NYSDOT officials approved a flashing beacon sign on Route 106 near Vernon Middle School here to remind drivers of the school zone speed limit and to encourage more cautious driving.

At the East Norwich Civic Association meeting various speakers pointed out that the lack of a traffic light makes crossing from Norwich Gate to Stop & Shop difficult. In addition, the absence of sidewalks on the stretch of Route 106 in front of Norwich Gate makes it difficult for residents to walk to the traffic light a half a block north and closer to Stop & Shop.

“I’ve lived here 25 years,” Brownell said, including her 10 years as clubhouse manager of Norwich Gate and the concern “comes up frequently.”

“We’re happy” that the state approved the traffic light, Brusca said. “Whatever will make that road safer is best for everyone.”

News

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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