Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Long Island Fair

Long Island Fair Returns To Old Bethpage Village From September 30 To October 3

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announces that the 168th annual Long Island Fair, one of America’s oldest agricultural festivals, will be held from September 30 to October 3 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. The family-friendly festival, one of the most popular fall events on Long Island, offers a range of attractions, including Lawton Trout Farm, exotic animal and reptile shows, and pony rides, as well as the amazing Flying Horses Carousel, a replica of a 19th-century folk art carousel.

“The Long Island Fair is a local tradition and one of the truly special family events that takes place each year. In particular, in our technology-driven age, the event allows children and parents to connect with the sort of recreational activities that people enjoyed in an earlier and simpler time in America,” said County Executive Mangano.

Children can take part in fun-filled contests such as corn husking and children’s potato sack races, while adults test their skill and strength at two-person cross-cut sawing in friendly competition for ribbons and prizes. Meanwhile, the livestock barn includes cattle, sheep, goats, horses, rabbits and other animals, while the livestock demonstration ring will feature the beautiful horse-drawn carriages of the Paumanok Driving Club and the miniature horses of the Keystone Miniatures Club.

In the spirit of the historic nature of the fair, the Wells Fargo Company will have a replica of a famous Wells Fargo coach with a handsome team of four horses on the Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday of the event.

The Long Island Fair will also present a variety of historical period musicians, dancers, jugglers, mimes and other artists. For example, a giant entertainment tent will be home for a “Punch and Judy” puppet show, a magician and musical performances by the folk group Stout. Meanwhile, baseball fans can enjoy the end-of-season matches of OBVR’s Old Time Base Ball League, which recreates “base ball” as it was played in the latter half of the 19th century, with teams competing in authentic uniforms and playing under the names of Long Island clubs of that era.

The Long Island Fair, the New York state-recognized county fair for Queens, Nassau and Suffolk, involves the cooperation of the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums and the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Thousands of exhibits are entered every year in friendly competition, with blue ribbon categories including livestock, flowers and vegetables from farms and home gardens, culinary, needlework, hobbies, and a junior division for those 13 and younger.

The fair is unique among New York State County Fairs in that it maintains much of the historical ambiance of the 19th century. The fair was founded in 1842 and became known as the Queens County Agricultural Fair, but soon after was called the Mineola Fair when it moved to a permanent location in Mineola in 1866. The fair moved to Roosevelt Raceway in 1953 and to the newly opened Old Bethpage Village Restoration in 1970, where it is held on a 12-acre recreation of the original Mineola Fairgrounds.

This year’s fair is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Wachovia Bank and the Wells Fargo Company.

Old Bethpage Village Restoration provides visitors with a unique and wonderful opportunity to step back in time and experience life in a re-created mid-19th-century American village set on more than 200 acres. Hours are Wed. - Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Entrance fees are $8 for children 5 - 12 (those under 5 are free), seniors and volunteer firefighters; and $12 for adults. It is located at 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage; for more information, call 516-572-8400.

For more information about the Long Island Fair, visit For more information about the Parks Department, visit or call 516-572-0200.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Families Should Visit to Learn Steps to Prepare for Hurricanes and Severe Weather
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners continue to closely monitor Hurricane Earl, as it moves past Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and toward the East Coast of the United States. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Earl is now a Category 4 hurricane. FEMA is closely coordinating with state, territorial, and local officials in the affected areas and along the East Coast and stands ready to support their response as needed.

State and local officials make decisions on evacuation orders. FEMA urges everyone to heed any evacuation decisions made by state and local officials and to take steps now to ensure they are prepared for possible severe weather, and remember that hurricanes and tropical storms frequently bring flash flooding as well. Anyone can visit to learn more about how to prepare for an emergency. A Spanish version of the website is available at

"We continue to monitor Hurricane Earl and remain in close contact with state, territorial, and local officials to ensure they have the resources to respond if needed," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "I encourage everyone in the region and along the eastern seaboard to visit and take steps now to keep their family safe and secure. The most important thing for people living in Earl's potential tract to do is to listen to and follow the instructions of their local officials, including evacuation instructions if they are given."

Since this weekend, FEMA has been in constant contact with the White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide regular updates on the storm's developments. Fugate briefed DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday on FEMA's ongoing preparations and coordination for severe weather in the Atlantic Ocean, including Hurricane Earl.

The National Weather Service forecasts the center of Hurricane Earl to move into the open Atlantic today, and travel east of the Turks and Caicos Islands later today and tonight. Although no watches or warnings are currently in effect for the mainland United States, history has shown that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Officials are closely monitoring the areas from the Carolinas to New England, and FEMA is coordinating with the Governors and local officials along the East Coast to aggressively prepare for possible severe weather. Severe weather and flash floods can occur miles inland, and are possible even if a hurricane does not make landfall.

FEMA has activated the National Response Coordination Center and its Regional Response Coordination Centers in all four of its regional offices in the eastern United States, located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. FEMA has designated a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) and has personnel on the ground North Carolina at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh supporting the state, and is mobilizing personnel and supplies along the coast.

FEMA continues to support the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in their response to Earl. FEMA staff are on the ground in both areas working closely with commonwealth and territorial officials, and FEMA has deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) to St. Thomas and to San Juan, where staff are on watch around the clock monitoring developments.

FEMA also continues to monitor Tropical Storm Fiona, which according to the National Weather Service, is expected to pass north of the Leeward Islands today. According to the National Weather Service, tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos Islands. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Additional rainfall of 1 to 2 inches is expected today in Puerto Rico, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. The Governor of Puerto Rico has issued a State of Emergency.

FEMA is also coordinating across the federal government to ensure commonwealth and territorial officials have the support they need. Federal and other support includes:

· Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has deployed a Regional Emergency Coordinator (REC) to the U.S. Virgin Islands in support of the FEMA Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT) there, and has other resources prepositioned and ready for deployment.
· Department of Defense (DOD) has activated a Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) in St. Thomas and a State Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer (SEPLO) team in Puerto Rico ready to support a response if needed.
· U.S. NORTHCOM is conducting weather reconnaissance flyovers today, including one departing from St. Croix, and one departing from Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.
· U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has closed U S. Virgin Islands seaports and has redirected cruise ships slated for the area. Coast Guard assets have also been on alert and prepared to help in search and rescue efforts.
· American Red Cross has personnel on the ground in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

FEMA has life-saving and life-sustaining commodities and supplies strategically located across the country to support states in their response, including in the areas of possible impact. These supplies, including water, meals, tarps, blankets, generators and other essential items, can be replenished through the national logistics supply chain.

The National Weather Service remains the source of official severe weather watches and warnings, including flash flooding which can take only a few minutes to develop in the case of heavy rains.

FEMA encourages all individuals in the region to listen to NOAA Weather Radio and their local news to monitor for severe weather updates, and to follow the directions provided by their local officials.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Hempstead Proposes Tough New Law to Control Cell Towers, Hire Wireless Communications Expert

Making telecommunications giants meet the highest standard of proof in establishing the need for new cell towers as well as ensuring that approved wireless communications equipment is located at sites that minimize negative impacts on local communities are the motivation behind a new proposal by Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray. In addition, Murray announced at a Franklin Square press conference that the town has retained nationally renowned wireless telecommunications expert Richard Comi to review applications and provide objective testimony on wireless telecommunications applications that come before the Hempstead Board of Appeals. The Supervisor was joined by Councilmen James Darcy and Ed Ambrosino, Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Mr. Comi. Also present were Nassau County Legislators John Ciotti and Vincent Muscarella and several members of the Franklin Square community who have successfully fought a proposal to locate a cell tower in their neighborhood.

"The new law that is being proposed will provide protections that neighbors deserve when confronted with proposals for new cell towers and antennae," stated the Supervisor. "Wireless communications providers will have to submit compelling evidence indicating an absolute need for new wireless equipment, and the town's new expert will give residents a voice with the same technical knowledge as the consultants hired by the telecommunications industry. Mr. Comi will ensure that cell companies provide accurate technical information to the town's board of appeals."

The town's proposal authorizes Hempstead to retain consultants like Mr. Comi to review and analyze the applications of wireless service providers. Further, the new legislation outlines documentation that applicants must provide as evidence in establishing an absolute need for the proposed wireless equipment. Among the required documentation are drive test or call test results that demonstrate gaps in service as well as a checklist to determine whether existing locations have been excluded from consideration. Maps detailing all structures within 1500 feet of a proposed location are also mandated.

A key goal of the town's proposed law is to encourage shared use or co-location of new antennae onto existing cell towers or other structures while discouraging the unnecessary construction of new towers. In support of that priority, applicants for new cell towers must furnish a written report to the town detailing meaningful efforts to co-locate. Cell companies requesting a new tower must also conduct widely advertised balloon tests which offer the public a representation of the visual impact of a newly proposed tower utilizing a large, brightly colored balloon at the proposed tower site. Written reports, replete with pictorial representations of the proposed tower must also be produced as well as a thorough discussion of steps the applicant would take to effectively minimize the visual intrusion of wireless structures as much as possible.

"Minimizing the number of cell towers in local communities is an important priority," said Ambrosino. "This legislation will help residents to receive more information and allow them to participate in cell tower public hearings in a meaningful way."

Establishing a priority agenda, outlining the town's preferences in the siting of wireless telecommunications equipment, is an important component of Hempstead's planned law. First priority would recommend co-locating equipment on existing structures on town-owned and other public property. The second most preferred option would be the co-location of equipment on other existing structures (towers) in the town. The third priority would be a new tower located on town-owned or other public properties. Other preferred options (in order of priority) include a new tower on industrial-zoned land, light manufacturing areas, other non-residential areas within the town. The least preferred option would be the location of a new tower on residentially zoned land.

"Putting forth a clearly defined priority list for the locating of wireless equipment will help promote their placement in areas that present the least impact on residential communities," stated Darcy.

Other highlights of the new legislation include the following:

* No new cell towers or antennae shall be located closer than 1500 feet to a residential home, house of worship, daycare center or school.

* Applicants proposing new cell towers must provide a report inventorying existing towers and other suitable structures within 2 miles of a proposed cell tower site.

* In justifying a request for a cell tower of any height, data must be provided to document the effectiveness of a tower at a lower total height at the same location.

"We are pleased to work together with the town on any measures that will protect residents from the intrusion of unwarranted cell towers in local neighborhoods," stated Ciotti.

"We have fought successfully against a cell tower that was not needed right here in Franklin Square and I support legislation that gives neighbors a greater voice in determining where cell towers are located," stated Muscarella.

The town's new proposed wireless communications law will also codify guidelines that support oversight in the placement of other wireless communications equipment to be installed within Hempstead Town.

"Hempstead Town will now have the most aggressive tools at its disposal in dealing with telecommunications giants," concluded Murray. "A new telecommunications law and the testimony of a telecommunications expert at public wireless communications hearings will protect residents and give them greater voice in the preserving the suburban character of our communities."