Friday, November 9, 2007

Native American names in Seaford

In an attempt to identify which Seaford streets had names of the earliest people in Seaford (generally from the 1600's), I encountered several surprises. Obvious are the names Tackapausha, Seaman, and Jackson. There appears to be no street named after a Native American ("Indian"), but rather the Tackapausha Pond and Preserve. Merrick Road is named for a local tribe or family. Otherwise, more streets have Indian names, but they are not the names of individuals, rather tribal, geographic or both. Some of the Indian street names refer to tribes or locations far away from Seaford. The list I have made includes: Merrick Road, Narragansett Ave , Mattituck Ave, Penataquit Ave, Wyanet St, Ladonia St, Tonopah St, Manhasset St, Wadena St, Roanoke St, Alcona St, Tuscala St, Seminole Ave, Peconic Ave.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Meeting 11.1.2007 of the Seaford Historical Society

Thomas Saltzman, historian of the Town of Hempstead, presented two Powerpoint CD shows that he and his office prepared. The first reviewed the history of record-keeping in the Town of Hempstead. The second was prepared for classes of fourth-graders, who study local history.
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Many thanks to the volunteers of the Seaford Historical Society, who graciously and expeditiously offered this meeting. First, however, I must provide this link to a page outlining the history of the Town of Hempstead. I must also remind readers that Seaford, New York, does not have the status of village or city. It is an unincorporated section of the large Town of Hempstead. We have about 16,000 residents, but our local government is the Town of Hempstead, which counts about 750,000 residents.
Mr. Saltzman explained from 1643 to 1784 the Town of Hempstead extended from Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean. During the Revolutionary War, the northern section tended to be "Patriot," siding with George Washington, and the southern section was "Loyalist," friendly to the King. In 1784, the town was split, a division that can be seen on the parking signs along Old Country Road! (In Westbury, those on the north side of that street are marked "Town of North Hempstead," on the south side "Town of Hempstead.") For a while after 1784, the term Town of South Hempstead was used.
It must also be noted that the towns of Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Oyster Bay formed part of Queens County until 1899, when Nassau County was established. As a result, certain county-level documents (some land deeds, for example) originating prior to 1899 are held in the Queens County record office on Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica.
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Until about 1870, the town records moved from house to house depending on who was Town Clerk. When the Town of Hempstead was split in 1784, the clerk happened to live in north of Old Country Road, so North Hempstead retained the older records. Some were later copied, by hand, of course. Through many years, there was only one town meeting a year, in April, and it considered few items of business. The records from 1784 to 1870 make six volumes. About 1870, the Town created a records office on Liberty Street, Hempstead, so the records would not thereafter be stored at the current clerk's home. Nowadays, there is a special department in Town Hall for the preservation of records.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wantagh Fire District Budget Hearing

As the Wantagh Fire District (more than eleven square miles in size) includes a section of Seaford west of Seaman's Creek, I attended the public budget hearing of the Wantagh Fire District, October 16, 2007, pursuant to a law signed by Governor Pataki in 2006. The hearing was called to order at 7 p.m. with the pledge to the flag and a moment of silent prayer for those fighting overseas. Superintendent Antonucci gave a Powerpoint presentation of the budget. A comment period followed, but the seven citizens in attendance were told that no questions would be answered. One person commented that the presentation was excellent. With that, the meeting ended at 7:20 p.m.
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The number of emergency calls keeps rising, about sixty percent of them for rescue (ambulance) work. Also, an increasing number of calls are transferred from the Nassau County police because their ambulances are already on call.
The superintendent explained the proposed budget of $6,177,500 in less than twenty minutes. Account 100 totals $925,000 for "Personal [personnel?] services."
Account 200 totals $630,000 for purchases.
Account 400 totals $1,551,500 for what seems to be a variety of running expenses. In part, it includes (Account 400 03) $65,000 for Travel/Conventions. Account 400 11 includes $310,000 for Fuel/Light/Water. Account 400 23 includes $30,000 for Travel.
Account 600 totals $1,895,000. In part, it includes $500,000 for hydrant rentals and $420,000 for Service Awards (LOSAP, or Length of Service Award Program).
The tax rate will decrease in 2008, even though the budget went up.
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Before the meeting, a six-page summary of the budget was distributed. Also distributed were copies of the Public Hearing Policy, including these two important points:
"3. This is not a question and answer session. This is a hearing designed to solicit comments from the public. The Board wants to hear your concerns so they can better represent you."
And
"4. Please do not expect the Board to answer any questions, as this time has been reserved for the public to inform the Board of Fire Commissioners about their concerns and comments regarding the proposed budget."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fire Districts Public Budget Hearing

It seems that a new state law requires fire districts to hold public hearings on their budgets, even though the citizens apparently do not get to vote on the budgets. It seems that these hearings must be held on the same day, October 16, 2007. The Seaford Fire District will hold its hearing at 7:30 p.m. at the Waverly Avenue fire house. The Wantagh Fire District, which covers much of Seaford, will hold its hearing at 7 p.m. at the Park Avenue fire house.

Seaford Public Library

On October 14, 2007, the friends and staff of the Seaford (N.Y.) Public Library held a gala celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Library. For six photos of the event, please click on this link. When you reach that Flickr page, clicking on each photo will enlarge it. You do not have to register to view the photos.
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Many thanks to all those who worked to establish the Seaford Public Library in 1957 and to the friends and staff who have contributed their talent and time ever since.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Seaford HS Memorial Ceremony for 9/11 Victims

About 7 p.m. on September 11, 2007, a thousand people gathered on the lawn of Seaford High School to remember the victims of 9/11/2001, and in particular, the five alumni of Seaford High School who perished. For further information, see
http://www.shs911memorial.org/
and photos on Flickr
http://flickr.com/search/?q=seaford+911memorial

Sunday, September 9, 2007

St. William the Abbot Church


The extension of the east entrance of St William the Abbot Church is nearing completion. It provides a larger foyer or assembly area, particularly needed for weddings and funerals during rain. Also, two needed lavatories have been located in this addition. This photo was taken on September 7, 2007, before the granite terrace was installed. Previously, the church did not have steps on this Jackson Avenue entrance.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Assoc. 5.30.2007

On May 30, 2007, Ella Stevens chaired a meeting of the Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association at the Seaford Public Library. Scheduled for 7 p.m., the meeting began at 7:13 with twenty-one present. First was an informative and helpful presentation by Gary P. Sauer, Acting Director of the Traffic Control Division of the Town of Hempstead. The main discussion with him was the difficulty of cars exiting north out of Pine Street onto Merrick Road because of street parking at the new diner there. One interesting point: a sign totally lacking county or town identification is often non-enforceable. Town signs are now being marked TOH.
As for Town parking lots (such as near the railroad), a stall is defined as having a white line on both sides. Concerning the stalls in the center of a town parking lot, beware of parking outside the last painted line even if there is a curb nearby.
Other Wantagh items were then discussed. A Seaford discussion began at 8:18 p.m., thirty-two people present, with the proposal to build eighteen town houses at the south end of Arrowhead Place. The builders must get the zoning changed from commercial (the present marina) to a residential designation. A young woman (lawyer for the developer?) displayed large maps and sketches of the town houses and their adjacent docking spaces. If you see these maps again, be careful to note where north is, because not all their maps have north at the top. For an excellent aerial view of the marina, go to Google Maps, type in "Arrowhead Place, ny 11783," and later choose the hybrid view. You can count the boats!
She referred to a man there as "our client,' so I presume he was the developer. He made some verbal promises: that the homes would stay as "age 55 and older," that the lofts were not a third story, etc. The asking price may be $650,000 per townhouse, no basement, two floors (and a loft), two bedrooms, two baths, and a dock. "We are not asking for variances from the code." "Hempstead limits residences to a height of thirty feet." One boating enthusiast pointed out that several marinas in Nassau County have already sold out to developers and that dock and boat storage space is falling greatly. I left the meeting at 8:55.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Results of Board of Education vote

The Seaford, New York, school budget passed. For the two open seats on the Board of Trustees, John DelGiudice won with 1,678 votes and Linda Hurley with 1,377. The five candidates (including these winners) pulled in 4,852 votes in total, each voter being allowed to vote for two candidates. The budget passed, 1,780 to 1,222. My May 31 letter to the Wantagh-Seaford Citizen, therefore, was misleading, as I forgot that each voter could cast two votes for trustees.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tackapausha


This entry begins what I hope will be a series using the label (as below) "Names." Looking around Seaford, I find it hard to determine who was born first: the sachem Tackapausha, John Seaman, or a Jackson. Therefore, we begin with the native American TACKAPAUSHA who placed his mark on the deed dated December 13, 1643, which the settlers used to claim the area of what is more or less the Hempstead Plains. The photo shows the sign at Tackaupausha Preserve, where Seaford Creek may mark the eastern border of that purchase, which Tackapausha later regretted. For further discussion, see the book "Colonial Hempstead" by Bernice Marshall at the Seaford Library.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Assoc. 3.28.2007

On March 28, 2007, about eighteen people attended a meeting of the Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association in the library of Wantagh High School. For twenty-five minutes, Nassau County Legislator Denis Dunne promised that he would fight any plan to process Suffolk County sewerage at the Cedar Creek Plant. He intimated that other Nassau County officials were in favor of the plan. Other topics discussed included:
1) The Neptune electric line along Wantagh Parkway and the restoration of the the bicycle path. Neptune is said to have promised repair work in early April, with completion some time before Memorial Day. Members explained that the repair work should be significant, not cosmetic, as the construction work has done much damage.
2) Again regarding sewerage, there was a discussion of the relationship of more dense residential construction and the sewerage volume. Someone pointed out that each added bathroom, each enlarged residence adds to the flow to Cedar Creek.
3) A question was raised about some vacant property in Seaford adjacent to Tackapausha preserve. Without variations from the 60 x 100 rule, the property is large enough for six houses. There seemed to be some proposal for purchase towards open spaces.
4) A cellphone company has proposed a tower near the southeast corner of Seaman's Neck Road and Jerusalem Avenue, close to the 7-Eleven. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 limits the ability of towns to forbid cell phone towers; instead of blocking the tower, one may offer a less intrusive location. However, the filing of intent does not have to be repeated if the new location is within a mile of the filed request. (All my notes are subject to dispute or revision.)
5) Arrowhead Place is a north-south street approached by Island Channel Drive and leading to the bay. Apparently, a marina there is looking for some sort of development. If it is home-construction, this is the second concurrent project in planning stages, the other being on the adjacent Ocean Avenue peninsula to the east.
6) The question of locked toilets at Cedar Creek Park and Wantagh Park was raised.

Monday, March 19, 2007

High Hill Beach

At the meeting of the Seaford Historical Society, 3.15.2007, Joshua Soren presented an excellent slide show about High Hill Beach, which was located just east of Zach's Bay and Zach's Inlet from about 1900 to about 1939. His slide show was based on old maps and the most helpful era of photographic postcards in early part of the twentieth century. (I distinguish between post cards made as photographic prints and those made by the halftone process. The former thrived just prior to 1910.) However, before I continue with this post, I must avoid repetition by referring to the following links:
An article by Fred Schwab.
and this view.
Vacationers reached High Hill Beach by boat from Seaford or Bellmore. Mr. Soren showed a reproduction of an ad and schedule of the ferry service in 1928 from Bellmore to High Hill Beach, with one-way fare of 40 cents and return fare (British usage for "round trip") of 70 cents.
At its peak, High Hill Beach consisted of 98 homes or hotels. Thirty-six were moved to West Gilgo Beach, where some can be seen today. Mr. Soren showed a photo taken a few days after the hurricane of September 21, 1938. One of the houses, noticeable because the roofs of the two dormers slope up and merge with the entire roof instead of being shaped as dog houses, can today be seen along Ocean Highway at West Gilgo Beach.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Seaford Historical Society Meeting 3.15.2007

The Seaford Historical Society met at the Seaford Firehouse, Southard Avenue, Thursday evening, March 15, 2007. This post will treat of several business items. A separate post will consider High Hills Beach, the subject of an excellent slide presentation by Josh Soren. Among the first topics of discussion was the need to apply on-line for funds from the Nassau County 2006 Environmental Bond Act, as on-line applications were due that very evening. With advice from helpful citizens, a member of the Historical Society promptly did this task at home and returned to the meeting with copies of the submission. David Deneberg, County Legislator, pointed out that several submissions have been made for work at Tackapausha Pond.
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The membership chair reported that the Society has grown to 65 members. Mr. Powell explained the work that has already taken place in carefully removing collected debris from the 1893 school house. An engineering report is on the way. I was much impressed by the expertise and willingness of the volunteers who reported what has been done by the Society over the past four months. Talent and enthusiasm are not lacking.
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If I heard correctly, the next meetings of the Society will be May 17 (John Hanse) and May 24, a general meeting for election of officers.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Seaford seacoasts, abroad

This morning, I drove the five miles to Jones Beach to enjoy a few minutes' walk under a sunny sky, bracing with a temperature of 20 degrees F. and a stiff west wind. As Wantagh claims the barrier beach that is Jones Beach State Park, our Seaford has no seacoast. The coastline here is east-west, just as it is in Seaford, England, from which John Seaman emigrated in the 1600's. Yesterday, February 3, 2007, someone uploaded onto Flickr thirty beautiful photos of the seacoast near Seaford, East Sussex, England. Link here. I cannot match his photography.
At least one of the two Seafords in Australia is on the shore. Here is a photo of the stunning shore of Seaford near Melbourne, Victoria.
Seaford, Delaware, is about 28 miles inland.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Seaford has a countdown walker signal

This photo shows the pedestrian countdown signal recently installed at NY 27 (Sunrise Highway) and Jackson Avenue, Seaford, by the New York State Department of Transportation. It functions only if the pedestrian presses the "Walk" button. Walkers crossing Sunrise Highway are allowed about 40 seconds: about 9 seconds with the steady white pedestrian icon, followed by a flashing palm and (above it, as shown in the photo) the seconds counted down from 28 to zero. At that point all signals are red for three or four seconds. Then cars turning left from Sunrise Highway are given their opportunity. Then the east-west herd on NY 27 roars into top speed. Sunrise Highway traffic has the green signal for about ninety seconds.
New York State Law requires drivers to stop and yield if a pedestrian is anywhere in the crosswalk. Drivers turning the corner are breaking the law if they cut ahead of a walker.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

WSHA meeting of 1.31.2007

The Wantagh-Seaford Homeowners Association meets six times a year. Last night, 1.31.2007, the following topics were discussed. About twenty-two people were present for the meeting at Seaford Public Library. I realize that my notes are incomplete, particularly regarding who-said-what.
1) David Denenberg spoke of the Nassau County Environmental Bond issues and the period during which proposals can be made.
2) The voting members accepted the slate of officers proposed by the nominating committee. No additions were made from the floor.
3) One of the association officers encouraged support for the Harmony for Hope Buffet at Mulcahy's February 11, 2007.
4) There was a discussion of environmental and mechanical issues at Cedar Creek. There is worry that the "Wang" development in Plainview might overwhelm the capacity of Cedar Creek sewerage treatment plant.
5) Fred Parola explained the status of several zoning requests before the Hempstead Town Board.
6) The status of the diner at Merrick Road and Pine Street was discussed. It bears the name "East Bay" apparently because the operator of the "East Bay" diner on Merrick Road, Bellmore, owns the Pine Street location and will move there.
7) The attempts to replace marinas in Seaford Harbor by housing were discussed.
8) The laying of electric transmission cables the length of the bikeway to Jones Beach has damaged the bikeway, and current repairs are inadequate.
9) Police officers from the Seventh Precinct urged people to attend the February 1 meeting at Bellmore Library.
(Corrections are welcome. My email address is in the right-hand column.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Businesses thrive in Seaford

Today's Newsday 1.26.2007 lists Seaford as one of five Nassau County communities where the main business street has few vacancies. The article by Sophia Chang is headlined "Main is a Two-way Street." The article is posted on newsday.com, but the accompanying list is not. Newsday credits Long Island Index for this list:
Nassau County, fewest store/office vacancies:
Syosset 0%, Merrick 2%, Locust Valley 3%,
Seaford 3%.
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A quick trip
along 1.3 miles of Merrick Road from Fir Street to Seaford Creek (the Town Line at Tackapausha Preserve) found only one "Closed" sign, that at the Seaford Delicatessen, 3925 Merrick Road. (Later, the closures of Betty's Flower Shop at 3876 Merrick Road and the Citgo gas station on Sunrise Highway at Jackson Avenue were pointed out to me.) By 3.14.2007, a new tanning salon is replacing the flower shop.
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A look at the Long Island Index report puzzled me. It is a pdf file at this link. Page 24 of the report counts 138 total stores and businesses in the Central Business District of Seaford, but only 81 in Wantagh and 80 in Massapequa. Massapequa Park and its attractive Park Boulevard business district is not mentioned.