66 Long Island couples share their love stories

Updated July 7, 2017 10:47 AM In Newsday's LI Life section, Long Island couples recall how they met and explain how their love remains strong. Here is a recap of some of their stories from the past few years. (For the full story, click the links in blue.) Gerry and Sandra Bogatz, North Bellmore Gerald "Gerry" and Sandra Bogatz of North Bellmore have been married 65 years. Gerry recalls how it all started: I grew up across the street from my future wife, Sandra Rubin, on East 92nd Street in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. My best friend, Charlie Hudes, and I were invited to a beach party at a friend's house in Neponsit, Queens, located on Rockaway Peninsula. Charlie approached Sandra and her best friend, Bernice Goldstein, and asked them to join us. They accepted the invitation.Early in the evening at the party, Charlie paired off with Sandra and I was with Bernice. A bonfire was built on the beach, and while we were cooking hamburgers and hot dogs and roasting marshmallows, we somehow switched partners. Sandra and I struck up a conversation. By the end of the night, I knew that Sandra would be my soul mate and the love of my life. I proposed to Sandra on Dec. 19, 1949. To save up money for our wedding, she got a job as a bookkeeper and I switched to night classes so I could work during the day.On Nov. 22, 1950, we were married at the DeLuxe Palace in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. In 1958, Sandra and I moved to North Bellmore (we are the last original owners on the block), where we raised our family. In November, we celebrated our 65th anniversary with a family dinner at our favorite restaurant, The Carltun in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.-- With Virginia Dunleavy Rochelle and Ron Alexenburg of Woodbury Rochelle and Ron Alexenburg of Woodbury fell in love sight unseen. Ron recalls their courtship: In September 1964, I met Rochelle Prusher on the telephone. Over the next two months we spoke almost daily at work and began calling each other at home. We hadn't met in Continue Reading

Kelly: The accident waiting to happen at Teterboro has happened. Again.

It was Monday, and Ricardo Aguilar knew he would be on the road most of the day in his truck with the load of doors he had to drive from Carlstadt to Brooklyn.That long ride may have saved Aguilar’s life.There are many ways to view Monday’s crash of a Learjet 35 as it approached Teterboro Airport.There is, of course, the tragedy of lives lost — in this case two crew members aboard the jet who perished when it struck three buildings, including the Carlstadt Borough public works garage and the adjacent door warehouse where Ricardo Aguilar worked. But there are also the stories of people like Ricardo Aguilar — those who have to come back to this landscape and wonder each day whether there may be another accident involving one of the low-flying jets that pass overhead. 2009 archive: Kelly: Teterboro Airport is an accident waiting to happen These are the stories that are often overlooked as federal aviation officials — and the flying community — continually try to justify the existence of an airport built almost a century ago for single-engine propeller-driven planes that now handles far too many jets. Do the pilots and passengers who use Teterboro bother to look beyond the runways at the potential danger that lurks in such a crowded neighborhood?  Aguilar is 56. Each morning he drives his black Honda Civic from his home in Queens to the Manhattan Door Corporation in Carlstadt, just south of Runway 1 at Teterboro Airport. Then Aguilar gets into the cab of a delivery truck and heads back on the roads to deliver doors. More: Federal investigators expected at site of deadly plane crash in Carlstadt More: Complete coverage of the plane crash near Teterboro Airport More: Two dead as plane crashes near Teterboro Airport More: Carlstadt plane crash witnesses describe what they saw On most days, he returns to Manhattan Door’s warehouse by 3 p.m., Continue Reading

It’s the last exit for the Nets and their bizarre history in New Jersey

Not long after the Nets dumped Julius Erving and moved to New Jersey in 1977, Roy Boe sold the team to a group of seven, well-intentioned businessmen headed by Alan Cohen for about $20 million, a $19.89 million profit. And not long after that, I became a beat writer covering the team for the now defunct Paterson News, for $265 a week. This was no ordinary franchise, I soon discovered. The inmates ran the asylum, and often ran amok. One day in the locker room, Super John Williamson was unpleasantly surprised to read in The Star-Ledger (a scoop by the late sportswriter Mike Weber) that he was one of the lowest-paid Nets. Sitting on a stool, growing angrier by the moment, Supe threw down the broadsheet and suddenly hurled an ice pack at the unsuspecting general manager, Charlie Theokas. Months later, Williamson grew too large in girth and was shipped to a fat farm under the care of a trainer named Jack Sprat. TIMELINE: NETS FRANCHISE GROWS FROM 1976 TO 2011 ADDITION OF DERON WILLIAMS The Nets staged wonderful, unruly promotions back then. Turkeys stubbornly stood still, or defecated, when they were supposed to race at halftime. A homemade volcano spewed its contents onto the court. A torrent of free Frisbees came raining down from the stands when it was announced that the winning-colored disks could be exchanged only for a 25% discount on any Queen album. For 35 years, the New Jersey Nets endured frustration aplenty, and terrible tragedies involving Drazen Petrovic and Jayson Williams. They were spurned or abandoned by coaches like Stan Albeck, Larry Brown, Rollie Massimino, Rick Pitino and Phil Jackson. Mostly, though, they provided us all with outstanding comic relief. Time to tap the notebook and the memory bank for a few wacky anecdotes, before the Nets start driving Brooklyn insane: * * * Bill Melchionni, then general manager of the Nets, went down to Knoxville to scout Ernie Grunfeld in 1977. He was more impressed with a Tennessee junior, Continue Reading

Are Uber, Lyft taking Delaware for a ride?

When someone in Delaware gets a ride from the ride-sharing app Uber or its smaller competitor Lyft, there is no telling who is behind the wheel.Drivers could have a history of violence that would not exclude them from picking up fares. Others may have been convicted of felonies after being hired, as was the case with an Uber driver recently charged in the beating of a University of Delaware student.The same is also true of traditional taxi cabs and limousines, but those drivers are at least licensed by the state, a process that uses fingerprints to conduct a thorough background check using the FBI’s criminal database.Drivers for app-based car services in Delaware are not subject to any permitting requirement beyond a basic driver’s license.Instead, Delaware relies on Uber and Lyft to conduct background checks on their own drivers – screenings that are supposed to weed out anyone convicted of major traffic violations, along with felonies and other crimes related to violence, sexual offenses or child abuse.State regulators have almost no idea who those drivers are and little ability to verify whether they have clean driving records and criminal histories. STORY: Police - Ride-hailing driver choked Delaware student STORY: Uber to pay up to $25 million fineMore and more people – predominately young adults – are now opting to hail an Uber or Lyft car rather than a taxi cab because of their lower cost and ease of use.“These services are big with millennials who are plugged into the smartphone technology those companies use,” said Marcia Scott, a policy scientist with University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration.Neither company will disclose how many riders they have in Delaware. Uber, by far the larger of the two, says it provides more than 5 million rides a day globally and has signed up "thousands" of drivers in Continue Reading

Delaware Senate committee hears Uber-Lyft bill

A bill that would modify the rules for Uber and Lyft in Delaware got stuck in legislative traffic Wednesday.Only three of the six state senators who serve on the Highways and Transportation Committee attended a hearing on the measure. The lack of a quorum meant no vote could be held on moving the legislation to the Senate floor."It can be difficult to get a quorum in June for Senate committee meetings," said Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark, the bill's sponsor. "Senators have so many committee meetings this time of year, it's difficult to get to them all. It's sort of the nature of the business."Representatives from Uber, the state banking association and several insurance companies said they support Townsend's bill. No one representing riders or the state's taxi industry spoke during Wednesday's 25-minute hearing."By passing SB 262, riders and drivers will have certainty they won't lose the transportation resources they've come to rely on and companies like Uber will have the regulatory stability they need to invest even greater resources in Delaware," said Brad Nail, Uber's senior manager of insurance and public policy.Uber, the nation’s preeminent ride-hailing service, arrived in Delaware in 2014 and operates in most of New Castle County, Dover and Sussex County’s beach towns. Nail said Uber drivers have given 40,000 rides in Delaware over the last three months, while about 2,000 drivers have completed a trip in the last 30 days.Lyft has been offering rides in New Castle County since early 2015.Yet Delaware law does not address app-based car services nor lay out how those ride-hailing businesses must operate.Uber is currently bound by an eight-page memorandum of understanding the company signed with Delaware’s Department of Transportation last June. OPINION: Uber and Lyft add jobs, not steal them STORY:  Are Uber, Lyft taking Delaware for a Continue Reading

Port Authority to hold public hearings Tuesday on proposed toll hikes, PATH ticket increases

Time to get out the pitchforks: the Port Authority is holding public hearings Tuesday on its vastly unpopular proposed fare hikes. Eight morning and evening hearings are planned to allow the public to weigh in on the $4 hike in bridge and tunnel tolls and pricier PATH tickets. CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF HEARING LOCATIONS The PA wants to hike bridge and tunnel tolls for E-ZPass users from $8 to $12 at peak hours, with the toll for drivers paying cash jumping from $8 to $15 this year and then $17 in 2014.Staten Island bridge tolls would rise from $80 to $120 for 20 bridge crossings in 25 days. The basic PATH ticket will jump a dollar, from $1.75 per trip to $2.75. A monthly pass would go from $54 to $89. The 8 a.m. hearing locations: Newark Airport; Port Authority Technical Center in Jersey City; Holland Tunnel Administration Building in Jersey City; Port Ivory/Howland Hook on Staten Island and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The 6 p.m. locations: George Washington Bridge Administration Building in Fort Lee, N.J.; George Washington Bridge Bus Station in Manhattan; and Kennedy Airport in Queens. An additional 2 p.m. hearing will also be held online, with comments accepted through 6 p.m. Those wanting to speak at the hearings were urged to register in advance. The Port Authority said it plans to try to limit comments to three minutes. A list of Tuesday's meetings may be found here. More information on the locations and registration forms are available on the Port Authority web site or by calling 212-435-6916. Commuters were not waiting for hearings to complain about the steep hikes. "It's impossible to come to New York these days," said Joe Fidanza, 61, who owns An Affair to Remember Limo service in New Jersey. "All they are doing is take money out of our pockets. No one can stop them. They just keep increasing tolls and fares and we have no choice but to pay," he said. "I wonder how much they make in just one day. Millions? Continue Reading

Port Authority big shots skipped out on hearings to listen to public’s gripes about toll, fare hikes

The Port Authority's fat cat board members didn't bother to attend any of the public hearings on proposed increases, the Daily News has learned. There were nine hearings where irate drivers and PATH train riders said they couldn't afford to dig so deep into their pockets to commute to their jobs or visit the city. But none of the 12 members of the authority's governing body - who must vote on fare and toll hikes - were in attendance, according to sources. PATH riders seethed again yesterday when told about the no-show board. "I think it's crazy," Elaine Brown, 40, a construction engineer, said at a downtown PATH station. "It's horrible they didn't show up because we're the ones paying the increase." Everton Bradford, 54, another PATH rider fumed: "The public should have a say!" Port Authority staffers attended the gripe sessions held Tuesday at Newark Airport, the Port Authority's bus terminal in Times Square and other locations in New York and New Jersey. The missing included Chairman David Samson, founder of the Wolff & Samson law firm. The firm has an office at 140 Broadway - a short 3.6-mile limo ride away from the hearing room at the bus terminal. Samson was nominated to the board by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in October after serving as counsel to his campaign and co-chairing the governor's transition team. He didn't return messages yesterday. Board member Jeffery Moerdler, appointed by former Gov. David Paterson, didn't want to talk about skipping the hearings. "I really don't have time to chat right now," Moerdler, lawyer at another white-shoe firm, said. "I'm not prepared to make any comments on the record regarding this." New York state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-S.I.) was so livid the Staten Island hearing wasn't attended by a single PA board member he introduced legislation requiring board members to attend at least two hearings in each county affected by future toll or fare increases.With Karah Cesar Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Traffic forecast for July 28, 2010

All city parking rules are in effect Wednesday and Thursday. Drivers will be frozen in their tracks on the upper West Side, midtown and West Village between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday as President Obama has a full plate of events in the city. Be sure to follow the gridlock on twitter at www.twitter.com/GridlockSam. Obama will land at Newark Airport around 1 p.m., chopper to an event in Edison, N.J., before hopping back on the chopper to Wall St. around 3:30 p.m. Then it's up the FDR Drive and crosstown to the upper West Side in the 60s to pretape an interview on "The View." Every avenue between York and West End Aves. will be frozen in the 60s as the motorcade passes by. Then it's time for fund-raising as the presidential motorcade makes its way crosstown again to Park Ave. and then south to 57th St. for an event at the Four Seasons around 5:30 p.m. His final stop is in the West Village around 7 p.m. so it's back to the FDR Drive to Houston St. to attend a dinner at a private residence. Houston St. will be blocked off from Broadway to Sixth Ave. All of the north-south streets between Sixth Ave. and LaGuardia Place between Third and Houston Sts. will also be off-limits to traffic. Around 8 p.m. it's back in the limo to the FDR Drive to Wall St. to helicopter back to Newark Airport. The West Side Highway is by far the better bet with the FDR frozen shut below 71st St. numerous times while the President is in town. The following bus routes will also be detoured or delayed: M1-M5,M7, M9, M11, M1-4/14A/14D, M15, M20, M21, M31, Q32, M50, M66, M72, M98, M101-M104, BxM1-BxM4, BxM6, BxM7, BxM7a and the BxM9-BxM11. FROM THE MAILBAG Dear Gridlock Sam, On Saturday, I'm going to Hudson, N.Y., via the Taconic Parkway. Do you feel there will be much traffic in the area of Rhinebeck because of the wedding of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton? I'm coming from Long Island and plan to leave about 9 a.m. John, L.I. Dear John, Combine the security from a Continue Reading

Limo driver cheats death when tree crashes through windshield

A couple inches more, and this story would have been Francisco Vizuete's obituary. Instead, the 60-year-old limo driver has an amazing tale to tell: He barely escaped being crushed to death yesterday by a tree that toppled onto his car. The father of two grown daughters felt so lucky he bought a Lotto ticket last night. "Maybe my guardian angel is still with me," he smiled. Vizuete, who drives for Long Island-based Vital Transportation, was about to pull away from 411 W. 54th St. to pick up a "VIP going to Newark Airport" when death knocked. "I put the key in the ignition, heard this loud noise, and looked to my left," he said, recalling he was too stunned to move. "The tree was falling straight at me. It was like slow motion. I couldn't believe it. "It was coming 5 or 6 inches from my head," he said. "Glass went all over me and everything went dark for a while." The honey locust pancaked the front end of the limo, which Vizuete owns, but didn't touch him. Saturday's storm apparently split the tree down the middle and made it unstable.When Vizuete opened his eyes, people were taking pictures and a passing bicyclist, Darryl Pitt, was dragging him out through the back passenger side door.Pitt, 53, said that he was riding down 54th St., and when he noticed the tipping tree his first thought was, "Please hit the car and not me.""Once I saw someone was in the car, my heart stopped," he said. Pitt and cops got Vizuete out of the limo, prompting an impromptu ovation from onlookers."People on the street were happy for me," Vizuete said. "They were clapping and laughing."  Vizuete was taken to St. Luke's Hospital, examined and released with medication for back and neck pain.The first thing the conscientious driver did when he got back to his home in Woodhaven, Queens, was call his boss and tell him, "I can't make the run to Newark. The guy is going to be late.""You know the worst thing about it is this is my first accident ever," said Continue Reading

Virgin Atlantic executive says more amenities on the way

What is Virgin Atlantic's best weapon against its main U.S.competitors, United and Delta?If the U.K.-based airline can't beat its competitors with an extensive route system within the U.S., it will try to do so with its amenities, says Chris Rossi, Virgin Atlantic's senior vice president for North America.Among those amenities: a newly redesigned upper class suite that has the longest bar in the sky, an entertainment system with more than 300 hours of programming, and amenity kits for every passenger including those in economy."We continue to focus on the product," Rossi told Today in the Sky this week.And the product he's referring to isn't just the plane.Virgin Atlantic is also investing in its U.S. clubhouses. In March, the airline opened the JFK Clubhouse with a salon and a spa and restaurant-quality food.The latest Clubhouse will open at Newark Liberty Airport in October after the security checks in Terminal B."Meatpacking District chic," is what the airline is calling the decor of the new clubhouse. Locally-sourced produce will be used to create the menu. RELATED: Virgin Atlantic enlists whispering coach to ensure a quiet cabin ALSO ONLINE: Virgin Atlantic offers ice cubes shaped like Richard Branson's head"We think there's something for everyone on board, not just on the airplane but on the ground as well," Rossi says.Granted, the clubhouse is meant to be used by "upper class"or business class passengers. But those in economy can buy passes if there's room.And even economy passengers get some perks on board that they wouldn't get on a U.S. carrier, including a welcome cocktail. They get three choices for meals and free alcohol. They also have their own entertainment system at each seat with a wide selection of movies. New planes, amenities on the way. Are fees next?New routes are also on the way, including an additional JFK to London Heathrow flight to begin next month.And starting Oct. 28, Washington Dulles International Airport will get service on Continue Reading