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Gun Buy-Back Program, LIRR Digital Ticketing

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and District Attorney Kathleen Rice have announced that a Gun Buy-Back Program will be held on Feb. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Grace Cathedral, located at 944 Jerusalem Ave. in Uniondale.

The Gun Buy-Back Program is strictly anonymous and individuals will be paid $100 cash for every turned in operable rifle, $200 cash for each turned in operable handgun and $400 cash for each turned in operable assault rifle. Not accepted are: licensed guns, BB Guns, air pistols, long guns and replicas. Guns transported by car must be transported in the trunk of the car and must be unloaded and put in a plastic/paper bag or in a shoe box.

Forfeiture funds from the Nassau County Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office are utilized to fund the Gun Buy Back Program.

Dogs in Fighting Ring Brought to North Hempstead Animal Shelter

A New Cassel woman was arrested on dog fighting charges after Nassau County Police say they discovered wounded pit bulls, a homemade dog fighting ring, syringes, penicillin and steroids in her home.

In total, 18 dogs were brought to the Town of North Hempstead Animal Shelter in Port Washington.

Nassau County detectives say they responded to a noise complaint at 721 Broadway in New Cassel at 11 p.m. Friday when they saw nearly 20 people running out of a garage behind the house. Inside the garage, police discovered the wooden dog fighting ring that contained two pit bulls in “wounded, bloody condition.”

Click here to find out how the dogs are doing.

Nickerson Beach Set to Open for Summer 2013

Hurricane Sandy's wrath is still being felt across the Island three months after its arrival, but there was some good news this week for Nassau County residents.

The county confirmed that Nickerson Beach would be "fully open" for the summer of 2013, despite sustaining damage during the October storm.

Nickerson Beach Park is a 155-acre facility with multiple pools, cabanas, sports fields and approximately one mile of beach.

MTA Railroads Seeking Company to Help Create Digital Ticketing

LIRR and Metro-North customers might soon be able to choose a new, more convenient way to buy train fares: instant digital tickets via smartphone or tablet. For those who choose to use them, it would mean an end to traveling to stations early to spend time buying tickets or waiting for tickets to arrive in the mail.

The two railroads are seeking proposals from companies that want to help make digital ticketing a reality. The railroads are asking companies to develop an app that will let customers buy tickets right on their mobile devices and display their tickets on screen for visual inspection by conductors and/or barcode verification. As an alternative, customers would be able to print tickets at home.

The request for proposals was issued on Jan. 22. Responses are due by March 15. The MTA expects to award a contract by July 2013. The winning firm would begin a pilot program customers could try by the spring of 2014, and full rollout would begin by the early fall of 2014.

Nassau Sewer Privatization Delayed

The plan to privatize Nassau County's sewage system was delayed this week after County Executive Mangano announced that the Long Beach and Bay Park plants would be undergoing repairs from Sandy.

"Right now, we are focused on working with the state on a regional plan to harden the Bay Park and Long Beach plants [against future storms]," Mangano told Newsday [paid link] earlier this week.

Mangano said in April that the plan would help eliminate $750 million, or 25 percent, of the county's $3 billion debt. The county executive also said that the plan would stabilize the county’s sewer authority, which is set to face bankruptcy in 2014, by saving $22 million annually.

NICE Bus Looking to Increase Fare, Improve Service

The Nassau County Bus Transit Committee will vote Feb. 13 to approve a proposed fare hike within the NICE Bus system.

According to Newsday [paid link]:

The cost of a bus ride would climb to $2.50 from $2.25. Fares for unlimited-ride MetroCards, such as those valid for 30 days, also would increase.

NICE officials have urged the committee to approve the plan, calling it necessary to avoid losing millions of dollars in "step-up" fees that Nassau bus riders would be charged for transferring to MTA buses or subways.

Mangano Stresses Need for Federal Hurricane Relief

The South Merrick Civic Association welcomed County Executive Ed Mangano as guest speaker at its monthly meeting Tuesday, where he spoke on procuring federal aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Mangano spoke about his recent work in Albany in regards to procuring funding to assist Nassau County residents whose homes, property and businesses have suffered damage or outright lost due to Hurricane Sandy.

Click here to see what Mangano had to say.

SBA Deadline for Physical Damage Extended

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline for Hurricane Sandy survivors in New York to return their low-interest loan applications for physical damage to Feb. 27, 2013.

Residents may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela or visit one of the local recovery centers for one-on-one assistance.

Chris Wendt February 02, 2013 at 01:01 PM
This from a regional transportation Authority that cannot accept credit card payments for tickets or upgrades on board trains. This from a railroad that experiences "equipment problems" on a fairly regular basis; imagine the first of the month and the 7:25 Express from Wantagh to Penn Station has no working digital ticket scanners on the train? And what will digital tickets do to eliminate the chronic problem of conductors/collectors not being able to 'service (collect) fares on over-crowded trains? Nothing! Now the worst part. Imagine 100 passengers in a car, 90 of whom are texting-away on their SmartPhones, when the conductor comes in and wants them all to STOP TEXTING and SHOW ME YOUR DIGITAL TICKETS! "No, wait; wait, wait...click click click click click." Or, "Uh oh, my battery died.", and the fall back: "Sorry, I have no bars!"
Pazzo February 02, 2013 at 01:23 PM
LIRR could start by letting conductors scan credit cards on board so people do not have to pay cash. If the LIRR phone system is an indicator, I am not hopeful about this new idea. The phone system was "upgraded" eliminating touch-tone, so you have to blurt out your travel plans in earshot of a bunch of strangers.
A Resident February 02, 2013 at 01:47 PM
They can't even get their text alert system to function properly. I am signed up and have never received one alert. I can just imagine how bad digital ticketing will be. On a side note, with all this corruption and illegal activities gonin on in the LIRR, I think they have the conductors running scared. On my train in the evening, it is packed and the conductors now check tickets which they never did until after Jamaica!
Janice mason February 02, 2013 at 01:52 PM
Do they really think this is going to work??? it would be nice but . . . In the past year or two, LIRR spent MILLIONS on upgrading the switches so that there would be no problems with switching rails. We still have many problems. It's not the only problem with the LIRR. I am on the Ronkonkoma line and we have had problems getting home or to work about 9 times in the last 3 weeks. One day the LIRR was waiting on "paperwork" to be delivered to the conductor so that we could leave Penn. that's a new one! Fix the other problems first, THEN spend the money on digital tickets happening. Don't try to hide the other issues by creating a new issue to take attention off the old issues.
NYB February 02, 2013 at 02:17 PM
If you intend to turn in your rifles/shotguns, look for the private citizens who will be setting up their table and offering MORE money than the Police for legal guns.
David P. Redmond February 02, 2013 at 02:21 PM
it wouldn't just be a picture, it would be scannable, ideally faster than punching a standard ticket
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 02:38 PM
Amtrak did it, it works. But the ticket collectors have to carry a scanner, in addition to their puncher, so I'm sure their union will demand more pay and we'll see an increase in disabilities.
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 02:46 PM
And the LIRR is already piloting on-board credit card processing.
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Digital e-tickets on Amtrak use a qr code, not a bar code. The qr code can be printed or displayed on a phone or tablet. That's what the LIRR is soliciting bids for.
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 04:36 PM
I don't like the idea of credit cards on the LIRR because the wireless access is so spotty. Imagine waiting for that transaction to go through in the corridor between Port and Plandome, where there is almost no coverage. Convenient for the person who forgets to bring cash, inconvenient for everyone else.
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 04:42 PM
That's the old technology which is used on their printed tickets. Digital e-tickets are different and use qr codes. I used one this week on Amtrak.
GOLD FINGER February 02, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Great idea on tickets on smart phones. It's way over do and about time. Welcome to the 21st century rail travelers and the future
Eric February 02, 2013 at 06:55 PM
@sadeto Most likely to accommodate this new process the trains will be retrofitted with satellite internet like on airplanes. But this would mean that they won't be able to begin collecting tickets until the system kicks on outside a tunnel and might not work on foul weather days.
sadeto February 02, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Don't think so, they are already piloting the credit card system using Apple iPhones with scanners attached. They started on the Ronkonkoma line in 2011. Maybe we haven't seen it yet because it isn't working well.
Michael Pinciotto February 02, 2013 at 07:30 PM
I think the digital tickets are a fantastic idea. Let's embrace the future!
Charles Bradley February 02, 2013 at 08:54 PM
You NEED a gun to drive INTO Uniondale. I would think the county would get a better showing to this program if it was located in say, Mineola? Mineola is close to all the neighborhoods who NEED this program and safe enough that people from other areas would take part in the program also.
NYB February 02, 2013 at 09:31 PM
They changed the poster, the old one was taken down. NOW they aren't taking "long guns," except that most "assault weapons" and rifles are LONG GUNS. In either case, the categories of both "assault weapon" and rifle includes many many LEGAL guns. Great way to dispose of a crime gun with no questions asked.
NYB February 02, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I don't understand what this program is supposed to do? No criminals show up to these things. It's not like they crawl to the table begging for forgiveness for their crimes. The only people turning in guns are people that should be keeping them for self defense. So stupid.
NYB February 02, 2013 at 09:35 PM
That is, assuming that they haven't stolen the guns from a legal owner to collect the cash.
NYB February 02, 2013 at 09:35 PM
...or stolen them from a criminal family member, in which case, they're just as much of a lowlife if it takes $200 for them to do the right thing.

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