Judy Cartwright writes the Community Watchdog column
When Long Islanders tell Watchdog about neighborhood eyesores, they usually describe abandoned properties with overgrown yards, boarded up windows and tarps on the roofs. Here's something different:
THE EYESORE. A front yard on Legion Street in Bellmore is occupied by three salvaged military trucks.
THE HISTORY. Neighbors have been asking Hempstead Town to take action since last year. The town issued a notice of violation in November and followed up with an appearance ticket and summons, according to spokesman Michael Deery. The owner appeared in court in March, and the case was adjourned to April, but the owner didn't appear, Deery said. It was rescheduled to July.
WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE ON A RECENT VISIT. The trucks, with camouflage-style exteriors, occupied a section of the front yard. Some of the tires were flat. No license plates were attached to the front of the vehicles.
THE STATUS. At the July court appearance, the owner said he would remove the trucks but would need some time and was given until Sept. 25, Deery said. The violations cite unregistered vehicles and illegal use, which applies to vehicles parked in the yard.
WHAT'S THE OUTLOOK? Cautious optimism. "We will be ready for trial in September if the trucks aren't gone," Deery said.
-- JUDY CARTWRIGHT
No need to add new hydrant
When I moved to my house about a decade ago on Franklin Road in Sound Beach, it was the last of 10 homes on a dead-end street. Two years later a builder added a cul-de-sac and six more homes. The nearest hydrant is on the cross street, Bayville Drive, and I was told that fire trucks have enough hose to reach all the houses. I'm skeptical. Is there a way to get a hydrant on our street?
-- Charles Kolenik, Sound Beach
Bennett told us fire officials had evaluated the housing plans before the homes were built and determined there was no need for an additional fire hydrant.
Nevertheless, he said he visited the location after our inquiry and measured the span from the hydrant on Bayville Avenue to the end of the cul-de-sac. The distance is 700 feet. That's in keeping with a provision of the state fire code established in 2010: It requires that a hydrant be located within 1,000 feet of any new single-family dwelling, Bennett said.
Each of the department's three fire trucks carries 2,000 feet of supply hose, he said, and at least 1,100 additional feet of various sized hoses to assist in fighting a fire.
"Due to this information, I don't believe another hydrant is needed on Franklin Road, and that it is well within the capabilities of the Sound Beach Fire Department's equipment," Bennett said. "The department will have no problem reaching these homes in case of a fire."
-- MICHAEL R. EBERT
Post Office fixes loose mailbox
A structure containing mailboxes at the condominium complex where my son and his family live is in danger of falling on someone. Condo representatives said that the box, at the corner of Hidden Ridge Drive and The Chase in Syosset, is the responsibility of the U.S. Postal Service. In the spring the Postal Service said the box would be inspected and, if found to be dangerous, would be fixed. Since then the situation has gotten worse: The cement footing is cracked, and the box wobbles any time someone gets their mail. This is an accident waiting to happen.
-- Mel Weinfeld, Plainview
We have good news, Mr. Weinfeld: The wobble is gone.
The post office in Syosset sent out maintenance workers to repair the box -- called a neighborhood delivery collection box unit -- within 48 hours of our inquiry last month.
Syosset Postmaster Ernest Hupfer said that he visited the site and, though the unit appeared to be "in no danger of falling over," he did observe the cracked concrete where the box is bolted to the ground. He also checked with the neighborhood's mail carrier, the delivery supervisor and an office maintenance worker and none could not recall a complaint from Mr. Weinfeld.
"I apologize for any misunderstanding between the customer and the postal service," Hupfer said.
Weinfeld contacted us after the repairs the cracks and holes beneath the unit had been patched and filled with cement. "It should hold for a while," he said.
-- MICHAEL R. EBERT