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Mayor Discusses Break-ins at CPCA Meeting

Senior housing complex also approved on Westbury Avenue in Carle Place

The Carle Place Civic Association’s Nov. 16 meeting featured a guest speaker, Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, as well as a noticeable increase in attendance, likely attributed to growing concerns over reported burglaries in area homes.

Comparing three- and six-month periods for 2011 and 2010 within the village, the number of break-ins was less this year, according to Cavallaro. Carle Place’s burglary figures, Cavallaro said, were slightly higher than in the past year.

“If you have one break-in, it’s too many, especially if you’re the person whose house gets broken into. You live in, essentially, a very safe community … but we are not living in the Carle Place or Westbury that many of you grew up in,” said Cavallaro.

The mayor said Nassau County Police Department Inspector Kevin Canavan, head of the 3rd Precinct, assured him that there has been an increased police presence within the village and in Carle Place since the break-ins were reported. Cavallaro also said that there is always one or more unmarked police car in the area at all times.

In connection with these burglaries, Cavallaro said no arrests have been made, but an arrest was made following a robbery on Post Avenue a few weeks ago. A representative from the NCPD told Cavallaro that they don’t see the break-ins as gang-related or featuring any specific pattern at this time.

Regarding the concerns with budget cuts for police protection, Cavallaro said that elimination of some precincts means more of a reduction in facilities than services.

“The overriding message is that you have to be vigilant and know what’s going on around you,” said Cavallaro, noting that people should not hesitate to call 911 if residents observe any sort of suspicious activity.

Cavallaro also spoke about some other ongoing projects within the village and Carle Place, including the theater and the Ellison Avenue Bridge. He said the theater has been a long time in the making, noting parking among other concerns, but the property will bring thousands of people from all over Long Island to the village.

As far as the Ellison Avenue Bridge, Cavallaro called it the “bane of the village’s existence probably for 25 years.” He said, most notably, that the bridge is structurally sound and safe to drive over, but the village is in a “wrestling match” with the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro Transit Authority over the project, which Cavallaro estimated costs $40 million to replace. The mayor hopes the matter doesn’t have to be settled with legal action but getting the bridge replaced, although construction will significantly disrupt through traffic in the area, “has to be done.”

One resident reported an “unnerving” amount of peddlers and door-to-door solicitors in the area. Cavallaro said a license or permit from the village or the Town of North Hempstead is necessary for a person to go door-to-door, but the best course of action for suspicious or threatening activity is to call the police because it’s ultimately a matter of enforcing the laws regarding these types of incidents.  

The mayor also shared some statistics regarding the village’s population and services. Cavallaro said the village boasts approximately 15,000 people, according to the most recent census, roughly making it the 20th largest village in New York. Counting both cities and villages, Westbury is just about the 50th largest municipality in the State. While he deemed the part-time job a “large undertaking,” he attributed much of the village’s efficiency to the “terrific” staff around him.  

CPCA President Peter McDonnell said the group’s only fundraiser, the Fun Run, featured the mildest weather in recent memory but a “disappointing” turnout for runners and walkers. He thanked all the participants but expressed his concerns for the event in the future.

“We don’t want to see these community events go by the wayside. If you have any ideas, we want to know what we can do to make it better,” said McDonnell, citing the now-defunct comedy show, the Frolics, as an example of a lost tradition in Carle Place.

McDonnell also said that the drainage improvement and road reconstruction between Jamaica Boulevard and Rushmore Avenue in Carle Place is on hold for the winter and will resume once weather permits. The flooding issue in Mineola and Carle Place is also slated to begin with the remediation process sometime in spring or summer 2012. Work is likely to be split between the Town of North Hempstead, Village of Mineola and Nassau County.

The Homewood Suites hotel construction at the former BOCES site in Carle Place has also begun, McDonnell said, and a civic association member said in the case of rodents frequenting the site, residents should call 311.

John Heslin, president of the Carle Place Seniors, said that the senior housing development at Carle Road and Westbury Avenue was approved and construction will begin in March or April. The complex will feature 11 units for seniors 62 and older but prices weren’t disclosed yet.

CP’s annual tree lighting ceremony will take place on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. with music and ice cream beforehand at St. Mary’s Church from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.