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Drivers, Walkers Need To Be More Careful

We were reminded the other day, in observing another close encounter between a car and a pedestrian, that those who are driving and those who are walking have to be a lot more careful and much more considerate of each other.

And drivers have to be a lot more considerate of each other, too.

For example, take what still goes on in the Welwyn Road area near the main branch of the post office and the Shop Delight market.

The owners of Shop Delight pay the Park District over $5,000 a year to establish convenient free parking in the lot across the street and Great Neck Plaza has taken steps to improve pedestrian safety in the area with signs and a designated crosswalk.

There’s been some improvement there, but problems still remain. Drivers, who have had well over a year to learn of the free parking arrangement, still selfishly insist on double-parking in front of the store, creating jams, backups and hazardous conditions for pedestrians.

Pedestrians still insist on avoiding the crosswalk and crossing wherever they find it to be convenient.

The situation in the Waldbaum’s parking lot is also problematic. Too many cars there tend to go too fast and too many drivers are placing their cars in the traffic lanes blocking sight lines and causing backups.

We don’t want to leave out the area surrounding the railroad
station when it comes to safety concerns either.

So, drivers and pedestrians, please be more careful and show more consideration.

Andy Newman

Criticizes Shop Delight Rejection


Chamber of Commerce’s Hooshang Nematzadeh (right) speaks with Judi Bosworth at a recent Chamber meeting

A Letter Submitted by Hooshang Nematzadeh, President of the Great Neck Chamber of Commerce [Read more…]

Gas Blowers Are A Pain

Some say a man named Dom Quinto is to blame for the cacophony our ears are exposed to on a daily basis from March, almost until December, caused by the gasoline powered leaf blowers that he supposedly invented in the ’50s.

Others attribute its invention even farther back to Satan himself.

It may surprise you to know that most of the villages in Great Neck have laws on the books prohibiting their use from June through Labor Day. Thomaston, for example, bans them from May through September.

So, what’s the problem? Is enforcement impractical?

We recognize that landscapers see these blowers as a great aid to their work, and assume that if they had to use manual tools, it would greatly slow them down and cause them to charge much more for their services.

Just the other day, we watched—and were unavoidably forced to listen to—landscapers down the block using three machines in unison to blow grass clippings, some leaves and dust (and who knows what else) off our neighbor’s lawn and into
the street.

We wondered what the point was in using three blowers at all, especially since the landscapers never bothered to pick up what they had blown into the street. We almost laughed when a gust of wind blew most of the debris back onto the sidewalk and the lawn.

While we’re critical of Quinto’s invention, we’d like to praise Chester Greenwood, the man who patented the steel garden rake in 1936.

But has the rake become obsolete, just like the dial telephone?

Greenwood is also credited with another invention that could come in handy in protecting yourself from the noise of those gas blowers.  Greenwood invented earmuffs in the 1870s, also handy in keeping your ears warm during the winter.

Still, we’d like to salute our other neighbor’s contribution to our street’s peace and quiet. Each week he works together with his son to mow their lawn with matching push mowers and they even use a rake and a broom for cleanup.

The low-level noise from the whirring of the blades on those mowers is almost soothing.

—Andy Newman

Great Neck’s A Summer Festival

Sure it’s the summer season, a time when things are usually a little quieter and usually less busy on the peninsula, as many kids are at camp and lots of families are away on vacation. But, if you’re in town, you’ve got to realize that Great Neck has had a lot to offer this season.

From the concerts on the weekends in Steppingstone (which we’ve written in praise of before) to the Great Neck Plaza Tuesday evening shows, to the series of promenades and sidewalk sales sponsored in the Plaza by the Business Improvement District, there’s been plenty of entertainment and activities available, catering to a wide variety of tastes.

In one recent six-day period, the community could enjoy a talented Fleetwood Mac tribute band concert highlighted by a memorable finale, augmented by four drummers and a 16-piece brass band, watch Great Neck resident Pamela Levy produce an incomparable Plaza evening of opera featuring eight stunning Great Neck student voices and a guest appearance by Nikki Blonsky of Hairspray fame and then top it off with a unique one-man show at Great Neck North High School by Roger McGuinn, the creative force behind the very successful ’60s rock group, The Byrds (“Mr. Tambourine Man”).

We’re heading toward Labor Day and the back-to-school rush, but there’s still time to enjoy the remaining concerts and activities that are available, as well as the beauty of Great Neck itself.

—Andy Newman

Urges Caution With Trees

Mayor Bral, I urge you and the trustees not to overreact to the alleged

danger posed by trees in Great Neck. How many people have actually been

hurt through the years by a falling tree?

Our trees are one of our most precious resources, even more so since the storms of the last five years

have destroyed so many of them. If a tree is declared safe by an

arborist, it should be left alone, or trimmed as needed.

A healthy tree provides shade for houses in the neighborhood (not just the owner’s

house), and provides many benefits to the environment.

Amy Glass

Asks Schumer To Speak on Iran

Senator Charles Schumer continues to hold his standard Sunday press conferences. He is never shy around a camera or microphone. It is always a slow news day guaranteed for Chuck to get face time on Sunday night TV news and Monday morning in print. He recently found the time to research and discuss the need for drunk driver sensors to save lives. Yet after three weeks, Schumer has yet to do the same with the proposed treaty with Iran which could have dire long-term consequences for Israel. It is the first time I can remember that Schumer has no public comment on a critical issue. Why so bashful, Chuck? Do you have something to hide?

Larry Penner

Foreign Policy?

Since when has the Town of North Hempstead had a foreign policy? What’s next? Are political hacks to be sent on fact-finding missions abroad and retired commissioners to be made town ambassadors rather than dumped into paid seldom-show positions
on sewer and fire commissions?

Supervisor Judi Bosworth and her cronies’ opposition to the nuclear arms control agreement with Iran that is guaranteed bythe international powers is mis­guided and inappropriate. The only reason for embracing the reactionary policies of the Netanyahu-AIPAC lobby and the Republican Party must be desire for campaign contributions from the same crowd, whipping up hysteria based on misinformation and right-wing priorities.

Perhaps, like the last town clerk, Bosworth & Co. are preparing to become Republicans?

I would urge them to reconsider and follow the leads of responsible proponents, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Sander Levin, in backing the deal, a reasonable method of dealing with nuclear proliferation. Sen. Charles Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Rep. Steve Israel, ought to vigorously support it. It’s high time for them to show leadership for a change.

David Zielenziger

Stephanie’s An Inspiration to Us All

We cannot say enough in praise about the bravery, maturity and composure shown by 20-year-old Stephanie Epstein, the Wooleys Lane East college student who miraculously was freed from her second floor bedroom when a tree crashed through her roof and pinned her to her bed a little more than a week ago.

We also would like to express our admiration for the many volunteers from the Vigilant, Alert and Manhasset Lakeville Fire companies and other first responders who so quickly rushed to her side, worked side by side for over two hours and helped extricate her safely.

During her press conference at North Shore Hospital last Friday, Stephanie, who said that she was conscious during the whole ordeal and thought that she wouldn’t survive, summed up her feelings simply and effectively when she stated, “I cannot express in words how thankful I am for everyone who saved my life.”

The cooperation and coordination among those emergency workers was extraordinary and was so very important in minimizing Stephanie’s injuries.

The incident drew attention from a wide array of media outlets including People Magazine and the London Daily Mail. The pictures and videos of both the rescue operation and Stephanie’s later dramatic appearance in front of the cameras at the hospital showed Great Neck at its very best.

We wish Stephanie a continued speedy recovery and a great upcoming year at her college in Binghamton.

— Andy Newman


Blocker Salutes Emergency Colleagues

When your patient leaves the hospital in good health it makes all of the countless hours you spent volunteering in emergency services worthwhile.

Recently, I happened to be at the right place at the right time and as a result have received an immense amount of media attention and credit. However I was just the first, first responder. The successful outcome of this event was a joint effort, and I want to thank all of the responders who answered the call for help.

Without these dedicated EMS, Fire and PD personnel, many of whom I have proudly serve side by side with for years, such a successful outcome would not have been possible.

–Steven Blocker, Great Neck Vigilant Fire Department

Berkowitz Thanks Everyone

Last Wednesday while at a meeting, I remarked to someone that Great Neck must have a guardian angel looking out for its residents lately. I was referring first to the woman who survived falling onto the LIRR tracks while exiting a train, and second to the young woman who survived having a 5,000 lb. tree land on her while asleep in her bed. (I remember hoping that things like this don’t occur in three’s!)
Two nights later, while driving in Great Neck, my husband suffered a medical incident which resulted in him driving through a fence, his car flying into the air, and landing mere inches from the third rail of the LIRR tracks, miraculously hurting no one and causing no major injury to himself, much to the amazement of police, Vigilant Fire Co., LIRR and medical workers alike. I am truly thankful for this, and would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who worked for hours to rescue and treat my husband, both at the scene and later while in the hospital where he is being treated.
Both he and I will be forever grateful for another miracle in Great Neck! 
–Barbara Berkowitz