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The Valley Stream American Legion Post 854 hall hosted residents from the Town of Hempstead’s ANCHOR program for a night out on the town of dinner and dancing last Friday. ANCHOR stands for … more
Willow Road Elementary students wrapped up their Kindness Spirit Week earlier this month. Students and staff took part in a kindness-themed activity each day throughout the week. For Powered by … more
A small fire broke out at the rear of the Wood Lock & Door store on Rockaway Avenue last Friday afternoon according to fire officials. The Nassau County Fire Communications (Firecom) alerted the … more
After much debate and hours of public comment from various stakeholders, business groups and residents, Village of Valley Stream officials are closing in on a decision on the future of cannabis sales … more
Amid the quiet backdrop of a bright evening last Thursday, a crowd of residents, village officials and community dignitaries gathered next to the bleachers at Fireman’s Field in Valley Stream. … more
The Henry Waldinger Memorial Library is now allowing limited public computer access to patrons. Two socially distanced stations are available in the Adult Room and one in the Children’s Room. … more
Valley Stream village residents celebrated Veterans Day at the Bandshell during a day of commemorative song and prayer, speeches, a salute, and the sharing of a meal together. The ceremony featured a display of America’s historic military might as old military jeeps lined the pavement courtesy of the New York Military Vehicle Club. Two firetrucks hoisted the American flag high above everyone’s head at the main entrance into the Village Green. Red roses and poppies, symbolizing the blood shed during battle, dotted the crowd. Throughout the ceremony, both during and in-between presentations, residents thanked their nearest veteran for their service. Tom Daly, a Marine Corps veteran, was moved by the immense show of support. “To see all the youth, Boy Scouts, fire department, and first responders, it’s very moving…It’s like someone cares because we’re kind of forgotten,” said Daly, who discussed the importance of preserving the memory of veterans even as they are dwindling in number as time goes on. “Veterans Day is important to remember everyone that’s served which now is less than ten percent of the population. Fifty years ago, when me and Jack Filiault [a U.S. Army veteran] went in, we had the draft. We had a lot more people. Now even our veteran organization is diminishing in numbers.” Boy Scout Troop 109 and 416 joined with Girl Scout Troop 99 and Cub Scout Troop 367 under the direction of Boy Scout Scoutmaster Carlos Caban to stand in salute and showcase their patriotic gratitude. Caban stated that many Scouts express interest in joining military service down the road in life and that “a few boys in the troop are now serving actively.” Living historian and high school teacher at Roosevelt Union Free School District, Stacy Wasson, spoke at length about the importance of remembering those who fought for our freedoms. Between handing out roses she stated, “Although I am not a veteran myself, I had family members who were. Even though they passed away, I look at all the gentlemen out here and think they could’ve been my grandfather. So, I want to make sure they still feel honored while they are here because Veterans Day is for the ones still here with us…They should be treasured by our culture. They did something selfless. They served our country.” Musing on memories of Veteran’s Day and making the decision to volunteer at the Museum of American Armor, Wasson concludes, “People who were there—those who represent a living memory of war—begin to disappear. I grew up with my grandfather as a World War II veteran. I could never imagine a time when I wasn’t surrounded by them. I miss my grandfather, and today I’m reminded of the massive worldwide change [those service members] went through.” more
On Nov. 12, retired New York Police Department Detective Dr. Alfred Titus Jr. read his newest published children’s book, “The Police Are Part of Our Community,” to kids attending 3 … more
A house on Wood Lane off Mill Road caught fire last Thursday evening, according to fire officials. The Nassau County Fire Communications Office dispatched the Valley Stream Volunteer Fire Department … more
The coronavirus pandemic disrupted the operational status quo of many businesses, but few have been as severely hit as the restaurant industry. While dine-in restrictions have been lifted and people are starting to eat out again, recovering restaurants are dogged by a new set of challenges, including inflated food prices and staff and supply shortages. In the steep climb out of an eighteen-month economic slowdown, government help has been limited locally. Only 12 percent of Long Island’s restaurants and dining establishments secured federal grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. But the pandemic has opened new avenues for generosity and community-centered responses that have proven critical in reeling businesses back from the brink of bankruptcy. That is the heart of the Small Business Rescue Initiative at the Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital, a Northwell Health institution. Four hundred thousand dollars in in-house food and catering services will instead be allocated to pay struggling restaurants on Long Island and Queens to prepare food for the hospital’s staff and catering events. The list spans eateries from Lynbrook and Elmont to Franklin Square and Valley Stream. “It ironically started during a budget process” when after crunching the budgetary numbers, the question arose, “‘Why are we spending so much money on [food and catering services] when we can take that money and transplant that to our local community?’” said Chris O’Brien, associate executive director of finance, who saw an opportunity to help struggling restaurants recovering from the restrictions imposed on them because of Covid-19. The initiative, O’Brien also found, would take a “tremendous burden” off the hospital kitchen staff and free them up to dedicate their full time and attention to the patient service experience and in-room patient dining. “The LIJ hospital was in the epicenter of the epicenter of the pandemic. Every day was uncertain despair, but the one thing that was constant was the unwavering support of the community,” said O’Brien, who added that it was time for the hospital to pay that support forward and find ways to repurpose dollars back into the local economy. According to Dr. Chidubem Iloabachie, associate chair of emergency medicine, the process took several months, as members from the hospital’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee scouted a variety of restaurants with distinct cultural cuisines to match the diversity of the hospital staff and learn about the individual stories of the businesses. Out of more than 40 candidates, 10 were chosen. One of the partnership grants has gone to the father-son duo of Jaime Parra and Luis Payano, the restaurateurs behind L.I. Valle Grill, a family-run restaurant originally based in the Bronx, which planted new roots in Franklin Square in June. The duo took the reins from the owners of the Latino restaurant Higuei, which for years was a fixture in the neighborhood. In honor of them, Parra and Payano have kept much of the same service staff and Latino-based menu items, yet have opened their doors under very different circumstances. “It’s been a little rough. In the beginning, we were a little nervous about jumping into this business, especially because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Payano said. “After the pandemic, it’s hard to get people back to work. It’s hard to find products, and products are getting more expensive every day,” Parra said. “But little by little we’ve been seeing things are steady, things are positive,” Payano said with a reassuring pep in his voice. “This opportunity that LIJ has given us is outstanding…This $30,000 to $35,000 grant for the year puts us at ease.” Payano further said that the grant money would cushion the added expenses incurred from the inflated food supply costs, so they do not have to raise their menu prices. “As much as we are justified in raising prices because we’re spending more money, we’d rather hold it out, and in the next six months to a year, things will start to stabilize again,” said Payano, who hopes to ride the momentum of the grant and his many business community outreach opportunities to achieve success in the long haul. more
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