Clarification: Woodmere Merchants Seek Involvement in Parade

Head of group says he wants more groups involved in parade. Meanwhile, Legislator Howard Kopel says he disapproves of closing of Inwood garage.

Editor's note: The original article contained a few points that were misleading. The following version has been edited for clarification.

The head of the said he would like the Hewlett-Woodmere Memorial Day Parade to be bigger and involve more groups.

"The parade used to stretch from the Nassau County Police Fourth Precinct building up to the Conklin War Memorial," Dr. John Santopolo said at the group's Feb. 16 meeting. "It also involved a great deal of members including the police associations, boys and girl scouts and the high school's marching band."

Santopolo said that the Woodmere Merchants Association has sent out letters to both the Hewlett and Woodmere fire departments to discuss the parade.

"Both fire departments have been diligently working to increase the participation in the parade year after year," Santopolo said, "and bringing in both merchant's associations would be a great addition to this event."

He added, "As soon as we receive word from them we can get started in [helping in] the planning of the parade."

Plans for the spring/summer car show and the Woodmere Fall Festival are also .

The group is currently seeking a chairperson and a committee for both events.

"It's the time of year to begin applying for a permit for the festival," Santopolo said. "We are going to be calling soon and asking for volunteers."

Kopel Disapproves of Possible Closing of Inwood Garage

Seventh District Legislator Howard Kopel voiced disapproval of a to close the public works garage in Inwood and move its machinery and personnel to the Bay Park facility.

"If this were to happen," Kopel told the Woodmere Merchants Association on Feb. 16, "it would result in poorer service to the Five Towns as a whole."

The move would uproot 17 to 18 employees including administrative personnel, he said. The county would also eventually sell the facility.

Susan Hoffman March 01, 2011 at 05:22 AM
Dr. John Santapolo is mistaken. To begin with, the parade always began at the police dept. and ended at the Woodmere Fire Dept. Secondly, the volunteers of both fire departments have marched EVERY YEAR. As a matter of fact, the two memorial services, held in Hewlett and Woodmere, are coordinated by the volunteers of the fire departments. Where were the school bands last year? I'm sure the volunteer firemen, who put their life on the line every time they go out on a call, would be only too happy to march, especially knowing that there were people lining the streets of Hewlett and Woodmere to show their support for ALL the community groups in the parade. The number of people that show up to support any of the marching groups is disgraceful and has been for several years. I would be happy to help bring this event to fruition; just contact me at Teach10095@aol.com. Woodmere resident for 49 years
Richard Jankosky Jr. March 01, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Richard Jankosky Jr., Chief of the Woodmere Fire Department First, I would like to thank Ms. Susan Hoffman for setting the record straight. As the chief of the Woodmere Fire Department I was shocked to read the article, Woodmere Merchants Seek Return of Parade. The fact is that Dr. Santapolo’s comments could not be further from the truth. The article states that the Memorial Day Parade has “lost some of its luster” due to a lack of cooperation from both the Hewlett and Woodmere Fire Departments. I find this statement to be untrue. In the past two years, and throughout the history of the parade, both Departments have provided good showings. In fact, the last two parades have been led members of both Fire Departments who have served this in the military, behind a banner honoring their service. Furthermore both Departments have had a rather large hand in coordinating the event through forming committees run by Patricia Herris (member Woodmere Fire Department) and Evan Kohn (Chief of Hewlett Fire Department) and holding meetings leading up to the event. Similarly it has been the Fire Departments that have provided the memorial services at both the 4th Precinct and at the Conklin Ave. War Memorial. In addition, the Fire Departments have also provided hydration to all the parade participants, from the girl scouts to the little league. All of this work has been provided by the men and women of the Hewlett and Woodmere Fire Department. (continued below)
Richard Jankosky Jr. March 01, 2011 at 05:53 PM
(continued from above) Dr. Santapolo went on to say that the Merchant’s Association has reached out to the Departments in the form of letters asking to discuss the situation. Speaking on behalf of the Woodmere Fire Department, I can say that upon receiving this letter I called Dr. Santapolo’s office the same day. To this day I have still not received a response, and he is arguing that the Fire Departments are not cooperating? Dr. Santapolo states that he is trying to bring out a better sense of community. Yet in the past years when neither the Woodmere nor Hewlett Merchants Associations were interested in remembering our veterans, it was the Fire Departments that stepped up to the plate and provided a parade. The fact is that there is no other organization that has a better sense of community than the Fire Departments. We volunteer to lay our lives on the line day in and day out in order to protect this community.
Richard Jankosky Jr. March 01, 2011 at 05:54 PM
(continued from above) Finally I would have to agree with Ms. Hoffman and I think she states it well when she say that the amount of people who show up to the parade has been disgraceful for several years. If the Merchant’s association thinks that the parade has been lacking luster, perhaps they should try and better promote the event. As a lifelong resident of Woodmere, a thirty-plus year member of the Woodmere Fire Department, and someone who’s family has been a part of this community from its beginnings, it truly saddened me to read such an article. Richard Jankosky Jr., Chief of the Woodmere Fire Department


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