The Town of North Hempstead has repaved Grand Boulevard in Westbury.
The town’s highway department filled potholes and layered the road with asphalt on the mile-long thoroughfare. The town is waiting to start a more comprehensive overhaul to be funded by the state.
“It has been a priority of mine to make necessary improvements in infrastructure across the town in order to maintain safe and passable roadways for our residents,” said Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth in a news release.
Town officials said $1.2 million was allocated by the state Department of Transportation for a complete reconstruction of the road. Work will include regrading the road and upgrading drainage.
Officials called the fixes “an interim solution” pending full approvals from the state Department of Transportation.
“While we are awaiting approvals from NYS DOT, we recognized that there was an immediate and dire need to improve the conditions of the roadway,” said Town Councilwoman Viviana Russell, who represents the area. — SCOTT EIDLER
Park to host invasive species awareness
The state’s celebration of Invasive Species Awareness Week is coming to Long Island for two days starting Friday.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Triday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Caumsett State Park in the Town of Huntington.
The State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has designated its first Invasive Species Awareness Week, aimed at encouraging park visitors to help prevent the spread of potentially harmful invasive plant and animal species statewide.
State park boat stewards are visiting parks to begin assisting boaters in ridding potential invasive species from their boats. Informational events have taught visitors about invasive species prevention and how to participate in invasive species removal projects.
State officials said participants in Huntington will be removing swallowwort, an invasive plant that can be found throughout the park. Volunteers will remove swallowwort by hand, pulling and digging. The event is free. Volunteers are advised to wear long pants and bring work gloves, sunscreen, water and bug spray. All other equipment will be provided. Volunteers should meet at the parking lot next to the toll booth at 10 a.m.
“This is an opportunity to restore and protect a very important ecological area along the Sound,” Amy Mandelbaum, Long Island Sound Study outreach coordinator with New York Sea Grant, a cooperative research and education program at Stony Brook University.
Register the day before the event at tinyurl.com/stewardshipday. For more information, contact Mandelbaum at 631-632-9216 or email@example.com.
— DEBORAH S. MORRIS
Food bank expands summer service
The Mineola-based Island Harvest Food Bank is expanding its Summer Food Service program to 50 sites throughout Long Island in response to an increased demand to supply supplemental food to children who rely on their schools’ reduced or no cost meals and need an alternative lunch source during the summer recess.
Last year, the food service program provided 38,500 meals to 2,215 children at 28 sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and this year more than 75,000 meals are expected to be served to about 3,500 participants.
“Summertime should be a carefree, fun and relaxing time for all children,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Sadly for many children who rely on school lunch programs, the summer can cause worry, stress and empty stomachs.”
Don Miller, a spokesman for the food service program, said that about 300,000 Long Islanders are at risk of going hungry daily, including 110,000 children.
According to Feeding America’s website, 62 percent of client households with children younger than 18 participate in the National School Lunch Program, but only 14 percent had a child who participated in a summer feeding program. “This underscores the critical importance of summer feeding programs, while emphasizing the need for increased awareness of these vital programs,” Shubin Dresner said.
Funding for the Summer Food Service program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state Education Department.
The 50 sites include those available only to children who have registered for the program, but walk-ins will be taken at other sites, including: Brentwood Youth Action/St. Anne’s Parish Outreach, 35 Third Ave., Brentwood, Mondays through Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 29; Brookhaven Free Library, 273 Beaverdam Rd., Brookhaven, Mondays and Tuesdays 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Aug. 29; Manor Field Family Community Center, 90 E. Fifth St., Huntington, Thursdays 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. through Aug. 21; Glen Cove Public Library, 4 Glen Cove Ave., Glen Cove, Mondays through Wednesdays 12 to 1 p.m. through Aug. 29; Campbell Park, 80 Evans Ave., Hempstead, Fridays 1 to 2:30 p.m. through Aug. 11; and Kennedy Park, Greenwich Street, Hempstead, Fridays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Aug. 1.
For other summer food service sites open to walk-ins and to those who have already registered for the lunches, please visit islandharvest.org.
— LISA IRIZARRY
Program to keep pet waste from drains
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has begun an initiative to keep pet waste from ending up in storm drains and impacting the environment.
The new program wants volunteers to help place medallions on storm drains to remind neighbors not to improperly dump waste.
Pet waste can wash into storm drains, which carry the waste to local bays, streams and waterways. Untreated animal feces can become a significant source of runoff pollution and pose hazards to health, the environment and wildlife, town officials said. The town recommends picking up and properly disposing of pet waste and never burying it in vegetable gardens. Pets should also be checked annually by a veterinarian for intestinal parasites, town officials said.
Hempstead Town is seeking individuals and groups to place medallions at storm drain locations across the town. All volunteers will get equipment and be trained on how to install the medallions and where.
To learn more about the program, or to volunteer, call 516-897-4113.
— SID CASSESE
Benefit for disability funding July 24
A benefit to raise funds for ACDS, a Plainview-based agency serving people with a wide range of disabilities, is set for July 24.
Proceeds from the event will be donated in memory of Bryanna Soplin, who was recently killed in a hit-and-run on Hempstead Turnpike. She had participated in ACDS’ 5PLUS programs.
The event is being held at E.B. Elliot’s in Freeport from 7 to 9 p.m. by Nassau County-based networking group The CHAIN.
The CHAIN, which stands for Charity, Humility, Autonomy, Intellectualism and Networking, is made up of business professionals from across Long Island. The group was founded in 2012 to build business relationships through service and charity. The group kicked into high gear after superstorm Sandy to help Long Beach business owners re-establish themselves. The group is working to expand across Long Island and is applying for nonprofit status.
Bryanna, 13, who had Down syndrome, was hit shortly after midnight on June 15 as she crossed Hempstead Turnpike at Gardiners Avenue in Levittown.
“She could often be found at Saturday recreation socializing with her friends and enjoying art, music, cooking or other such activities,” said Linda Sperber, ACD’s program development director. “We are very grateful to The CHAIN for generously donating proceeds from their upcoming event in her memory. These funds will ensure that other youngsters will be able to continue to enjoy the experiences they shared with Bryanna.”
For more information, visit LBchain.com. — DEBORAH S. MORRIS