Avena says Manorhaven is safe

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Avena says Manorhaven is safe
Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena is being challenged in the village election this year by Vincent Costa. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Jim Avena)

Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena on Thursday tried to assuage the fears of residents after an MS-13 member was arrested in the village last week.

“I’m sure everybody has heard about the… arrest of an MS-13 member, which concerns us all,” he said during the Board of Trustees meeting.

Avena said he spoke to the deputy inspector of the Nassau County Police Department’s Third Precinct, who told the mayor that there was no gang activity in the area.

Avena added that police said the attack was an “isolated incident,” that the police have tabs on gang members and that most of the gang’s activity takes place further out on Long Island.

“I’m feeling very comfortable based on those discussions that we have nothing to worry about,” Avena said. “But we will continue to monitor it.”

The Nassau County Police Department — which handles policing in Manorhaven, the only village in Port Washington not under the jurisdiction of the Port Washington Police — announced earlier this week that they had arrested Christopher Aguilar for allegedly smashing a beer bottle on a man’s face.

The incident occurred in Manorhaven on June 18. Police are still unsure of the reason for the attack.

“It was probably just an afternoon on a Sunday when everybody was off and having drinks and somebody had opened a bottle,” said Trustee Ken Kraft.

During the meeting, the trustees appointed all five members of the Board of Zoning Appeals. Patrick Gibson and Jeremy Divine were reappointed for terms that would expire in July 2023 and 2022, respectively.

Joseph Zimbardi was appointed to serve until 2019 and Mario DeSantis was appointed to a term ending in 2021. Jerry Volpe, who has served on the village’s Planning Board, was appointed to a Zoning Board term that lasts until July 2020.

“What happened under the previous administration was that the board was increased from five to seven, which was illegal, and the [appointments were staggered,” Avena said.

The reason each term expired in different years was because each member was finishing the remaining term of the previous member. BZA members are appointed to five-year terms, with one appointed each year.

The board approved a couple of motions. The first granted mooring and perimeter permits to several local organizations, including the Manhasset Isle Civic Association, the North Shore Yacht Club, the Sportsman’s Club, Brewer Capri Marina and Manhasset Bay Marina.

The second was an approval of a state environmental quality review report of the village’s sewer repair project. The SEQRA had to be completed in order for Manorhaven to receive a $2.5 million grant for the project.

There were also two upgrades to the village hall that were approved: the installation of an additional light pole in the parking lot and three additional security cameras around the building.

Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at ltorrance@theislandnow.com, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.

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