Timothy Bolger

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.

Winter Storm Dumps 7 Inches of Snow on Parts of Long Island

A snow storm dumped seven inches of the white stuff on parts of Long Island on Monday morning, nearly twice the average amount forecasters predicted.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported the highest amount in Nassau County was 7 inches in Centre Island and the highest accumulation in Suffolk was 6.6 inches in Sayville.

Here is the full list of reports:

Nassau County
Centre Island 7.0 1100 AM 4/02 Law Enforcement
Manhasset 6.3 1035 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
Oyster Bay 6.3 1012 AM 4/02 Fire Dept/Rescue
East Hills 6.0 1030 AM 4/02 Public
Massapequa 5.6 1030 AM 4/02 CoCoRaHS
East Williston 5.5 1015 AM 4/02 Public
Plainview 5.0 1030 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
Albertson 5.0 1030 AM 4/02 CoCoRaHS
1 S Merrick 4.8 1044 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
Bethpage 4.8 1000 AM 4/02 Public
Old Bethpage 4.5 1200 PM 4/02 Trained Spotter
East Meadow 4.5 925 AM 4/02 Social Media
Wantagh 3.9 1005 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter

Suffolk County
Sayville 6.6 1010 AM 4/02 NWS Employee
1 ENE Quogue 6.5 1100 AM 4/02 Public
Sound Beach 6.3 1030 AM 4/02 NWS Employee
Shoreham 6.3 1040 AM 4/02 Public
Riverhead 6.2 1045 AM 4/02 NWS Employee
Smithtown 6.1 1045 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
West Babylon 5.9 950 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
East Hampton 5.5 1110 AM 4/02 Public
Patchogue 5.3 1129 AM 4/02 NWS Employee
Baiting Hollow 5.2 900 AM 4/02 Co-Op Observer
Jamesport 5.1 1040 AM 4/02 Public
Commack 5.0 900 AM 4/02 Public
Islip Airport 4.6 1100 AM 4/02 FAA Observer
Ronkonkoma 4.3 1020 AM 4/02 CoCoRaHS
Upton 4.3 1030 AM 4/02 NWS Office
Lindenhurst 4.2 855 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter
Ridge 3.4 1035 AM 4/02 CoCoRaHS
Southampton 2.8 857 AM 4/02 Trained Spotter

1 Killed, 4 Injured in Lindenhurst Bar Fight

A 25-year-old New Jersey man was fatally shot and four others were injured during a fight outside of a bar in Lindenhurst early Saturday morning, Suffolk County police said.

Herminio Torres, of Elizabeth, N.J., and a 26-year-old man were shot and three men were stabbed outside 105 Grados on Sunrise Highway at 3:20 a.m., police said.

Torres was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was pronounced dead.

The second shooting victim, 26, took himself to an area hospital and was subsequently transported to another hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

A 23-year-old man was stabbed and taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Two other men who were stabbed, ages 28 and 35, were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released.
 
Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information to call them at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Floral Park Native Manufactures Coin-operated Pumps, Vacuums

More than 30 years ago, Bill McCabe noticed that when gas stations began replacing repair shops with convenience stores, one basic service was no longer being offered: air to fill up tires.

To fill the void in the market, he partnered with a company that made compressed air vending machines he then installed at service stations and allowed drivers to pump up their tires with the drop of a few quarters. Later, he broke rank with the distributor, devised his own design for the equipment and installed thousands of them across the East Coast, Texas and California.

“We manufacture them here on Long Island, install and maintain them,” says McCabe, the founding CEO of Service Station Vending Equipment, Inc. “That was the genesis of the company. There was no one offering a compressed air machine that was compact, 24 hours a day, that was easy to use.”

The 62-year-old Floral Park resident won’t discuss what his privately held family business is worth, but don’t say it’s worthless. He’s in the midst of a lawsuit against the Town of Hempstead, which requires gas stations to provide air for free — although each costs $2,000 annually to maintain.

“People think that air is free,” he says. “People think it comes out of the atmosphere and goes into a tire. It has to be compressed…and a lot of components have to be serviced.”

His machines don’t just blow air, they also suck. His coin-operated car vacuums are ubiquitous at gas stations, often found placed directly next to the air pumps — both encased in concrete.

Drivers who found their way to one of his machines either because the air in the tires were low or their car needed to be vacuumed helped McCabe inflate his national presence, one quarter at a time.

Laura Gillen: Making Peace In a Bipartisan World

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen unseated her Republican predecessor by 2,200 votes.

After unseating Republican Anthony Santino in a GOP stronghold, newly elected Democratic Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen was swept into office with a mandate to clean up town hall. The leader of America’s most populous town shared why she removed her name from signs, her plans to make government more responsive to the people, and how she is working with the Republican majority town board. Here are excerpts from our conversation.

Long Island Press: How does it feel to be the first Democrat to win the Hempstead supervisor’s seat in more than a century?

Laura Gillen: One hundred and 12 years. It feels great. Not a lot of people thought I was going to win the race, but I always believed it was winnable. I’m just excited for the opportunity to bring change to the Town of Hempstead.

LIP: What is your vision for the town?

LG: I want to get us on secure fiscal footing. I think that’s really important, so we can continue to provide great services to the residents. I want to see what I can do to find efficiencies to save taxpayer dollars. I want to make us a greener town. Not only is it good for environment, it’s good for the residents and it’s good for costs associated with energy. If there’s any taint of corruption, I want to clean that up. I want to really make a government that’s more accessible. More town government information online so people can really see how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.

LIP: Why did you remove your name from all town signs?

LG: The public doesn’t really have an appetite for this shameless self-promotion that has characterized the Town of Hempstead forever. The amount of mail that we received about nonsense. The cost associated with these relentless mailers. Even at the 911 memorial, residents who wanted the name of a loved one on a piece of paper got a piece of paper with the supervisor’s name on it.

LIP: Before being sworn in, you were barred from seeing your predecessor’s office and your clerk’s office was cleared of furniture. Have there been any more such oddities?

LG: The door was unlocked when I arrived on January 2nd, so that was helpful. Of course, we had the issue with the clerk’s furniture, but that has been resolved. To my knowledge no furniture has gone missing as of late.

LIP: Ethics was your main issue on the campaign, but now that you’re on the job, have you uncovered any other issues that require more immediate attention?

LG: We saw that while municipalities across the state were racing to refinance their debt before the Trump tax plan took effect, the Town of Hempstead did nothing. We lost the opportunity to refinance a lot of our debt. Roughly in the area of $2.5 million we lost because we can no longer refinance this debt because of changes in the tax law. That was disappointing, but there’s going to be greater oversight. I put up a resolution that gives our comptroller the ability to refinance the debt when it’s able to be refinanced if the market indicates that it’s a prudent decision.

LIP: Are you concerned the Islanders’ new arena slated to open in Elmont will hurt event attendance at Nassau Coliseum and other destinations in The Hub?

LG: Theoretically, that could be trouble for the coliseum. I think it’s great that we’re going to do something exciting in Belmont. I’m very happy that we’re going to keep the Islanders here. As the arena in Belmont gets developed, we’ll find a way to make the best use of The Hub so it’s still a vibrant economic area.

LIP: Did crossing party lines to make Republican Councilman Bruce Blakeman deputy supervisor ruffle feathers?

LG: It was received very well by the public. I also ran a campaign that said I want to work in a bipartisan way. My husband is a registered Republican, so I’m used to living in a bipartisan world. I think the public liked that. They want to see elected leaders work together. I have a Republican majority board and I’ve been making efforts to reach across the aisle and work with them in a collegial way to do what’s best for the taxpayers.

Stony Brook Murder-suicide Under Investigation

police
Morguefile photo

Authorities are investigating a murder-suicide that occurred at a Stony Brook home on Sunday evening, Suffolk County police said.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to a 911 call at 6 Pembrook Drive after a family member discovered the scene there at 6:45 p.m., police said.

Following an investigation, it was determined that 79-year-old Raymond Foster, shot his 78-year-old wife, Sandra, and then shot himself, police said.

The two were pronounced dead at the scene. Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.

Hempstead Stabbing Leaves Man Dead

Nassau County Police Body North Bellmore

A 24-year-old man was stabbed to death in Hempstead early Saturday morning, Nassau County police said.

The victim was found lying in the street on Chamberlain Street in the vicinity of Boylston Street shortly before 2 a.m., police said. The victim, who was suffering from a wound to the chest, was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His identity was not immediately available.

Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation. Detectives ask anyone with information regarding this crime to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous

FDNY Firefighter from Long Island Dies in Blaze

A New York City firefighter from Floral Park was killed while battling a five-alarm blaze in Manhattan, officials said.

Michael R. Davidson of Engine Company 69, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, died after suffering critical injuries after being separated from colleagues while operating the hoseline to fight a fire in the basement of a five-story building on Nicholas Avenue in Harlem around 11 p.m. Thursday, officials said. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he died early Friday morning.

“Firefighter Davidson bravely battled many fires and responded to countless calls for help from New Yorkers throughout his 15 years of dedicated service,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “Our department and our entire city mourn this tragic loss of a very brave Firefighter.”.

Davidson, who was appointed as a firefighter in May 2003, was cited for bravery and life-saving actions on four different occasions. He is the 1,150th FDNY member to die in the line-of-duty.

His death comes eight days after the deaths of Lt. Christopher J. Raguso and Fire Marshal Christopher T. “Tripp” Zanetis, two of four members of the Westhampton Beach-based 106th Rescue Wing that died in an American military helicopter crash in Iraq.

Davidson is survived by his wife, Eileen, and their four children; three daughters, ages 7, 3, and 1 and a son, age 6. He is the son of retired FDNY firefighter Robert Davidson, who served for 26 years, mostly in the same firehouse as his son, and the brother of FDNY firefighter Eric Davidson, an 11-year veteran, of Engine Company 88 in the Bronx.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Nor’easter Dumps 20 Inches of Snow on Long Island

More than a foot of snow fell in four hours in Islip, NWS said.

The fourth nor’easter forecast to hit Long Island in a month dropped 20 inches of snow—with a foot falling in four hours in Islip Wednesday night into Thursday morning, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service lifted the winter storm warning and coastal flood advisories for Nassau and Suffolk counties, although a special weather statement was still in effect for eastern LI as the last bands of snow went out to sea. The highest snowfall amount recorded on the Island—and the tri-state area—as of Thursday morning was 20 inches in Patchogue. Hundreds of schools and businesses were closed, and thousands of flights were canceled as the cleanup got underway and PSEG Long Island worked to restore power to more than 5,000 customers.

“With breezy conditions following the departing system and below-normal temperatures in the lower 40s, it will feel as if temperatures are in the low to mid 30s for most of the day,” Upton-based NWS forecasters said in a statement. “Below-normal temperatures continue into the weekend as Arctic high pressure builds to the north.”

The latest storm, which arrived after Tuesday’s vernal equinox, follows nor’easters on March 2, 6 and 12 left snow, flooding and power outages in their wake.

Here’s the latest snowfall reports from the NWS:

Nassau County
Plainview 16.0 741 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
Massapequa 14.0 745 AM 3/22 CoCoRaHS
East Meadow 14.0 546 AM 3/22 Public
East Williston 12.1 645 AM 3/22 Public
Seaford 11.4 600 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
Wantagh 11.1 700 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
1 S Merrick 10.2 500 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
Oyster Bay 10.0 727 AM 3/22 Fire Dept/Rescue
West Hempstead 4.0 510 AM 3/22 NWS Employee

Suffolk County
Patchogue 20.1 852 AM 3/22 NWS Employee
Terryville 19.7 724 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
Port Jefferson Stati 18.9 640 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
North Babylon 18.7 655 AM 3/22 Public
Islip Airport 18.4 756 AM 3/22 FAA Observer
Sayville 16.4 842 AM 3/22 NWS Employee
Commack 16.0 630 AM 3/22 Public
2 SE Smithtown 15.3 600 AM 3/22 Public
Stony Brook 13.7 628 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
South Huntington 12.6 450 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
Upton 10.8 742 AM 3/22 NWS Office
Sound Beach 9.0 700 AM 3/22 NWS Employee
West Hampton Dunes 4.0 500 AM 3/22 Trained Spotter
East Hampton 3.5 640 AM 3/22 Law Enforcement

End of The Line for LIRR Platform Bar Carts

Its last call for the LIRRs platform bar carts.

The Long Island Rail Road’s platform-level bar carts are leaving the station as the last call comes March 27 for commuters who order last-second adult beverages before boarding their evening rush-hour trains.

Riders will still be able to purchase beer, wine and mixed drinks in Penn Station and imbibe while riding the rails, but once the bar carts dry up, gone will be the last vestige of the LIRR’s bar cars that were phased out in the 1980s. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed the news, which was first reported by the New York Post.

“This service was subject to various reviews that led us to conclude that it’s not our core competency and that we should stay focused on providing safe and reliable transportation,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said in a statement. “Other retailers meet this market.”

The MTA has operated eight bar carts on platforms for decades — five in Penn and one each at the Jamaica, Atlantic Terminal and Hunterspoint Avenue stations. The MTA reportedly put Grand Central Station’s track-side bar carts on ice last year following an audit of the cash-only operations.

The latest move comes after the LIRR banned booze on midnight to 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night trains beginning in 2012.

According to more than 100 Twitter users that took the unofficial @LIRRstats poll, 37 percent said they’re “very sad” about the news, 19 percent had no opinion, 17 percent were glad the carts are going away and 27 percent said: “I’ll just buy elsewhere.”

“I love my job,” one of the bartenders told The Post. “I’m a people person. And now I’m going to be cleaning train cars.”

Riders were not pleased to hear the LIRR’s platform bar cart days have reached the end of the line.

“That’s not good,” one rider told WABC-TV before chugging a can of Budweiser. “It’s the one thing I enjoy coming to this miserable concrete jungle.”

Skeletal Remains Found in Basement of Southold Home

(Photo credit: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons)

Suffolk County police found skeletal remains Monday buried under the basement of a Southold home while investigating the case of a 38-year-old woman who was reported missing 51 years ago, authorities said.

Homicide Squad detectives and Southold town police used ground-penetrating sonar to narrow down where to dig in the basement of a Lower Road home, where the remains were found shortly before noon, police said.

Investigators suspect the remains to be that of Louise Pietrewicz, of Cutchogue, who’s boyfriend owned the home at the time of her disappearance in October 1966. The remains were taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office to determine the identity and cause of death.

The boyfriend, former Southold Police Officer William Boken, died in the 1980s, according to police and reports. The current homeowner, who investigators said has no involvement in the case, consented to the search, authorities added.

Police noted that the search was a follow-up to a 2013 dig in the basement of the home that turned up no results.

The discovery came after Suffolk Times, a community weekly newspaper covering the North Fork, published an in-depth report on the case last year.