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Just Sayin’: Missing the golden era of LI racing

Islip Speedway in Islip (1984)

Islip Speedway in Islip (1984) Credit: Newsday / Jim Cummins

The closing of racetracks over the years has cost Long Island a big part of its heritage. William Kissam Vanderbilt II built the Long Island Motor Parkway in 1904 for the first major road-racing competition. Later in the century, hobbyists and fans could go to nine local tracks. Islip Speedway (closed in 1984), the Bridgehampton Race Circuit (closed in 1998) and Long Island Dragway in Westhampton (closed in 2004) were just a few.

Not only have the anti-racing people destroyed a passionate pastime, they’ve also put a dent in the local economy. Many speed shops that did after-market work on cars are gone. Hobbyists from Long Island must go out of state to race.

Politicians and the people who moved next to the tracks have rendered local racing all but extinct — save for the much-diminished Riverhead Raceway. People should have done research before they moved to those places.

The hours I spent rebuilding my muscle car in my driveway kept me out of trouble. Today, instead of kids wrenching on a racecar, learning and bonding, they waste time with XBox and PlayStation video games.

Rob Kozik, Nesconset


Oceanside’s streets need maintenance

I’ve lived in Oceanside for 50 years, and although our taxes are so high, I feel the street maintenance is inadequate. No one picks up the litter. No one cuts grass along the streets. Through calls and letters, I’ve advised Town of Hempstead authorities from sanitation to elected officials, to no avail. I wish those in a position to fix this would stand up and do so.

Pia Rosen, Oceanside


Nutritious recognition for cops, firefighters

On Sept. 11, my husband and I went to Jam, a restaurant in Massapequa Park.

We were very surprised when our waitress presented us with the “bill.” She knew my husband is a volunteer firefighter, and that day — unknown to us — fire and police personnel were given free meals as a thanks for their service. That was what was written on the bill!

Susie Festa, Massapequa


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