2019 Year In Review: Hicksville’s Biggest Stories


The year 2019 wound up being one of many changes throughout Hicksville. Here is the year in coverage by the Hicksville News.

Senator Kevin Thomas (far right at the podium) after being sworn in to represent the Sixth Congressional District (Photo courtesy of the Office of Senator Thomas)

January – From Kemp To Kevin
The southeast portion of Hicksville, which is part of the Sixth Congressional District, wound up being the beneficiary of a major political upset that came out of the 2018 elections. Kevin Thomas, a 34-year-old civil rights attorney from Levittown, upset Kemp Hannon, who had been going to Albany to serve in the New York State Senate for the past 30 years. Having been sworn in on Jan. 5, Thomas hit the ground running, working on legislation focused on cyber security and privacy concerns, taking part in public hearings on housing discrimination and the regulation of e-cigarettes and vaping.

A rendering of the proposed Main Street to be included in Seritage’s redevelopment of the Sears site
(Photo courtesy of Seritage Crown Properties)

February – Setting A Course For Sears Site
Seritage Growth Properties held the first meeting of 2019 to give an update on the former Sears site, which sits on 26 and a half acres of property. Plans for this proposed 266,000-square foot site include housing a multi-use residential complex (496 luxury units reduced from an initial 566-unit offering), a 1,000-foot Main Street, office space, grocery store and underground parking facilities. A cinema, a fitness complex and a shuttle to the Hicksville LIRR station is also planned for this space. Seritage hopes to break ground on the property some time in 2021.


Hounds Town USA President Jackie Bondanza with some of her canine clients.

April – Going To The Dogs
Maria Gillen, who owns the Farmingdale Hounds Town USA franchise, launched a Hicksville version of this all-inclusive doggie daycare service at 794 S. Broadway. With a firm belief in keeping their four-legged clients active and socialized, dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds are welcome, provided they do not show aggression, and all pups must have the standard vaccinations required to be among other dogs in close quarters.


From left: Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, ex-Captain Gerald Nolan, his wife Edie Nolan and Nassau County Legislator Rose Marie Walker
(Photo courtesy of the Town of Oyster Bay)

October – Smoke Eater Saluted
Ever since 1969, ex-Captain Gerald Nolan has answered the call for the Hicksville Fire Department, where he has provided expertise, dedication and professionalism to his fellow firefighters for the past 50 years. With Hicksville roots running back to his maternal grandfather owning a 100-acre potato farm on Newbridge Road that he sold to William Levitt, Nolan even met his wife Edie through the fire department. The Town of Oyster Bay issued a citation to recognize Nolan’s half century of service to the community.


Hicksville High School’s “J-Birds” captured First Place at the Half Hollow Hills Invitational Robotics Competition
(Photo courtesy of the Hicksville School District)

November – J-Birds Robotics Team Flies High
The J-Birds, Hicksville High School’s robotics team, led by teacher and advisor Cathy Temps, took first place at the Half Hollow Hills Invitational Robotics Competition that was held in Dix Hills on Nov. 2. J-Bird driver Kevin Diaz and operator Aditya Khatri controlled the team’s robot during the matches, while Sam Zhen provided the robot with game pieces during the match. The robot itself was the same student-built machine used during last year’s season, with which the team won the Long Island Regional Championship and qualified for the World Championship.

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In addition to being editor of Hicksville News and Massapequa Observer, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI).

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