Lights on Old Country Road in Westbury to be fixed
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We've been getting even more reports of darkened lights on streets and parkways. This one takes us to Westbury, where a reader reports that lights on Old Country Road next to Holy Rood Cemetery have been dark since superstorm Sandy.
It was about this time last year that a much longer section of the road was dark. The village, along with Hempstead and North Hempstead towns and the Long Island Power Authority, got those 42 lights back on shortly after we called. A variety of causes were cited.
This winter the darkness is limited to four lights along the cemetery, which occupies the stretch from Post Avenue to School Street.
These lights are out because of a LIPA issue, possibly involving a transformer, Village Clerk Ted Blach told us. He added that the utility had not provided an estimated time for repairs.
When we turned to LIPA for more information, spokesman Mark Gross told us that a crew had been sent to survey the area and "initial findings indicate there is a problem with a section of overhead lines."
The repairs will be scheduled for early this week, Gross said. "Because of the high sensitivity regarding traffic in that area, we are coordinating efforts with traffic control," he said.
He asked readers to report streetlight outages to this LIPA number: 800-490-0075.
Updates: Did anything change?
It was Sommer who told us in the fall about the need for new cushions -- or, in traffic-speak, crash attenuators -- on the south end of the divider. The previous cushioning had been demolished, leaving nothing in place to absorb the energy of a vehicle that crashes into the concrete divider.
The new cushions -- they're actually barrels filled with sand -- arrived Feb. 1. The barrels can be better maintained than the former structure as well as replaced as needed, said Nassau Department of Public Works spokesman Michael Martino. He said they are "as effective and safe" as the previous structure.
Alarm permit fee waiver -- there's some movement. Nassau County is a step closer to considering a measure that would waive the fee for homeowners who can show it would pose a hardship.
In fall 2011, County Executive Edward Mangano said such a waiver was a "good suggestion" and he would send it along to the county's hardship review board.
Readers, especially those who have received permit renewal notices recently, have been asking about the prospects for such a waiver. Several tell us they opened the notices to find the fee has risen to $100 for two years, an increase the county legislature approved in August. Five years earlier the legislature set the fee at $75 for three years.
The fee was imposed because the department spends so much time responding to false alarms.
In response to our most recent inquiry, the county sent this email: Legislation "is being prepared and we expect to file by the end of February," according to Thomas Krumpter, first deputy commission of the Nassau Police Department.
The waiver was suggested by Uniondale resident Antoinette Glacken after she was fined for not having a permit when her alarm sounded during Tropical Storm Irene's power outage in 2011.
Other county residents have since told us of their financial struggle to stay in their homes; some work two jobs, others have retired on fixed incomes. The increase in the alarm permit fee is yet one more obstacle in that struggle.
Hempstead Town issued code violations in the fall and again after superstorm Sandy and set a Jan. 22 court date. We checked in with the town recently and learned the court appearance was adjourned until Feb. 28.
The violations include mounds of dirt on the 17-acre site that produce dust that gets blown into surrounding homes and yards. Neighbors have called us in recent weeks to report they've seen no cleanup activity on the property.
The dirt is still there.