Letter to the Editor: Sonic Does Not Work for East Meadow

One local shares his reasons why he believes Sonic should take its business elsewhere.

Dear Editor,

For weeks there seems to be an ongoing debate on the site about the support or lack of support for the new

While all of the residents the fact that a business wants to move into our fine neighborhood, some of the responders have severe reservations that this would be a mistake for Sonic to take over the old Rita’s location as currently proposed. Anyone doing the research on this proposal sees that, if not properly monitored, this would make that site a huge problem for years to come.

Some responders have chosen to argue for the proposal as if they are willing to let almost any business locate to East Meadow, but that is not really the case. Some responders have chosen to argue for the proposal saying that Nassau County is not Suffolk County or Rockland County or Newark. Some responders have chosen to argue for the proposal by saying traffic on eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike will not worsen. It seems that they are just fooling themselves and willing to compromise their principals so they can fill the spot.

Enclosed you will see photographic proof of what a nightmare 1900 Hempstead Tpke. will become to the residents, visitors, police and neighboring businesses if the New Sonic Restaurant is given permission to move there as their current proposal states.

I did send a letter with disturbing photos of other Sonic Restaurants to the Town of Hempstead. Please do not get me wrong; I think a Sonic Restaurant would be a great asset to Nassau County, but in a different location. A location on Merrick Avenue where the old SYMS/Filenes was would be ideal. A location across from the Tri-County Shopping Center where the old HSBC bank was would be another ideal location. Although they are on Hempstead Turnpike, there is a service lane there that would act as a great buffer.

I can be as emotional as the next resident, but I tend to try to speak with facts and data with proof to back up my opinions. I am not opposed to fast food, just all Sonic-proposed design of all the covered vehicle stalls with service. I am not arguing that this would become a teen hangout. I am not arguing that there is crime in that lot. I am saying that location is the most hazardous road in the tri-state area where multiple deaths have occurred. This would magnify that.

This proposal is very, very perilous. It needs to be altered greatly or moved to a safer place for the good of all involved and to be successful. I have wracked my brain, driven around and asked fellow residents where in East Meadow would you put the Sonic?  The most common response is "Sorry not in East Meadow, but nearby instead." There are many other businesses that could use the Rita’s location without a detrimental result.

Look at the pictures I have supplied (I have others) or take a ride to another Sonic and you’ll see what my concerns are.


Bill Alderman

East Meadow Resident

Want to respond to Bill's letter? Email a response in 300 words or less to Michael.Ganci@patch.com or tell us in the comments!

paul February 27, 2012 at 02:35 PM
To Patricia: Interesting thoughts. I did not say good thoughts just interesting. Lets see, when White Castle was in the lot there were no issues Adults, teens, etc. all was well. No issues. You obviously know nothing or less than nothing about Sonic. First: it will have guests of all ages... Second: ALL ordering will be done at a menu board, whether it be from a marked drive-up stall with a board or a walkup board in a simple enclosed area. Third: If you have not noticed people intermingle with others EVERYWHERE, with no ill intent. (you are scaring me now) Four: your phrase of a hang out is grossly overstated at best. They will do more as you say, hanging out at a Mcdonalds, rather than a Sonic. You should be more concerned that the youths / children you are referring to are bored and do not know where and how they should be spending their time. Five: You have never been to a Sonic have you?????? I know the answer to that one..... NO ! Since you have not noticed there are bars all along the pike and Hooters too. Please wake up and smell the coffee..... Its ready.......
paul February 27, 2012 at 02:49 PM
To Patricia: This is good. I did not see a second chapter. If you have been to a Sonic you would see that it will have a separate and distinct means of entry and egress. But you would not know you have never been to a Sonic so you really can not offer any valid opinion. Right? Right...... That is why variances get requested, for things out of the ordinary. Home builders and businesses apply for them all the time. I don't see a ruckus about that do we. You are looking for answers in the wrong places. Your answers come from papers filed at the town, the owner, corporate etc. Certainly not Bill Alderman, the entertainer..... My opinion, and it is my opinion, that he has you bamboozled like some others. He "CYBER BILLYS" everyone from CEMCO to ZEBCO........
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 04:11 PM
According to my information at the last CEMCO meeting - there will be a community meeting at 7pm on Wed 2/29/12 at EM High School Little theater to discuss the Sonic Restaurant proposal. A rep from the landlord, EM chamber of commerce, A rep from Sonic, community activists and others will be on hand posing and answering questions. The Patch's own-Mike G. can confirm this........ if you'd like to attend.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 04:21 PM
There has been no mention of this meeting ANYWHERE except in your blog. Calls have been made and no one seems to be aware.
Michael Ganci (Editor) February 27, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Patch can confirm that there will be a meeting on Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m. in the East Meadow High School Little Theater. Sonic representatives are expected to attend.
Michael Ganci (Editor) February 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I am pretty sure this meeting was first announced at last Wednesday's CEMCO meeting. Just pulled out the agenda from the meeting, and the meeting is listed under dates to remember.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Residents DO NOT belong to CEMCO so who is trying to pull the wool over whose eyes here??? Secret meetings .... nice.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
But yet no one else can. No mailing was sent out, no phone call. So we can expect a well attended meeting of Patch bloggers, the few Patch followers, and anti-Somic people! No notice is always wonderful! NOT.
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Residents may attend, but not vote on issues, at CEMCO. For more info on this Call Legis. Norma Gonsalves- 516-571-6213................ or the EM Chamber of Commerce or even Kiwanis, EM Herald Editor, Clarke PTA, CASA of Salisbury, Hadassah, East Meadow School Board President and a whole slew of others.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 06:01 PM
No kidding??? REally?? I went to CEMCO meetings before you even moved to East Meadow. There isn't anything about this meeting on Norma's Facebook page and if it was in the Herald, I missed it there too. Btw, our Hadassah 'delegates' report at all Hadassah mtgs. The next one is next week so we would not have had a CEMCO report yet.
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Susan I gave you and all the reders the information nicely and effeciently , but am getting the impression that I am unjustly being attacked with comments that drip of sarcasm. I did not arrange the meeting and it is not polite to shoot the messinger. I am just telling the facts as I know them. Nothing is secret. If you doubt me you may contact my editor.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Bill, why do you feel EVERY comment is directed at you??? It's NOT. But I didn't feel it was necessary to explain CEMCO to me. It seemed quite patronizing especially since my comment that "residents do not belong to CEMCO" is the exact TRUTH. I'm sorry if you thought the words "no kidding" were sarcastic. Everyone insults you and you do nothing, and yet me you blast for "no kidding". Strange. And honestly, until a little while ago when Mike posted it on facebook, you did seem to be THE only one who knew about this meeting. The information did NOT appear anywhere else.
paul February 27, 2012 at 07:16 PM
To Bill: Susan is right on target. As well as several others. More and more people are figuring you out as the anti Sonic promoter and more. As well as an authoritarian on the jail, crime, and how a precinct operates...... Please, read your article about "Cyber Bullying" or is it "Cyber Billying" and see how it applies to you? It is your article not mine....
Susan February 27, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Paul, please do not speak for me. I have a big enough mouth and can speak or myself when need be. Thanks.
Michael Ganci (Editor) February 27, 2012 at 07:20 PM
@Paul- Enough with the cyber billying. Please keep comments on the topic at hand and not personal in nature.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Speak FOR myself ** typo and I cannot delete on the Patch ever. Sorry.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I already decided to give up work on Wednesday night so I can be at this meeting. I've had quite enough of all these ridiculous excuses to not build a Sonic here. The most ridiculous of all of them was because there is a bar in the shopping center. Well, the bar was there when Rita's was there too. I've just had enough of all the BS and plan to be there. Will I see you there Jenn? Seems like we have a lot to talk about. :)
Jenn February 27, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Well I can say one thing - I hope enough supporters show up in order to shut up the naysayers.
paul February 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM
You are 100 percent correct. It was listed no where until it was found out about and its validity was challenged.... Only certain people knew about it...... Now we all need to share and advise those that are interested. What is interesting is that the naysayers are saying no for a made up agenda that has caused hysteria to those that are followers...
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Susan I am sorry I misunderstood your comments. They sure seem directed at me as the info i eagerly passed on was from me. And if you tell me you weren't being sarcastic with the obvious "No kidding??? REally??" i will take you at your word and apologize for taking them as such. The " I went to CEMCO meetings before you even moved to East Meadow." sure seemed that it was directed at me & not Mike who lives outside our town. The "There has been no mention of this meeting ANYWHERE except in your blog" sure seemed to be directed at me.. The "Residents DO NOT belong to CEMCO " comment is false- there are a few, even one board member. We belong there and more should come. But I am sorry again if i take the time to explain.(NO sarcasim intended) The "Calls have been made and no one seems to be aware." comment seemed directed at me as i provided the info and I'm not sure who you called which was why I provided the phone #. And others responding to my letter to the editor here, seemed to not have any info either. Thanks
Susan February 27, 2012 at 07:48 PM
If I was addressing you, I would have begun the comment with "Bill". My early comments about the meeting where addressed to "The Letter to the Editor"or anyone who had information, as this space was the only place the information appeared. Again, my comment was truthful, not meant to be sacarstic. The CEMCO comment was directed at you but it wasn't sarsatic, just truthful. Btw, residents cannot belong to CEMCO. Organizations belong to CEMCO. As far as I know, there has been discussion to allow residents to join but it has not been voted on yet. But I don't have information about last Wednesday's meeting. As far as I know, it is still The Council of East Meadow Community Organizations. If you know if a motion has passed allowing residents to join, then by all means, please share that information with everyone. The other comments about the meeting (calls, tc ..)were directed to the editor as he was the one who was supplying the information. I am so done with all this BS.
Brent M. February 27, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Did anyone else read in todays NEWSDAY.. Chick-Fil-A is scouting a Long Island location to open its buisness???? I am curious , would that be a better spot in Rita's as oppose to Sonic?? Mr. Ganci, did you see this article.. its in the buisness section of today's Newsday.
Jenn February 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Chick-Fil-A huh? Well: The company's statement of corporate purpose says the business exists to "glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us." So maybe they might try to instill God into our children, or worse yet, us!!!.......OH THAT"S RIGHT - this is just as much of a stupid reason to shun a business as the reason's given for Sonic. Go figure.
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Timmy B. I did read that article, thanks for mentioning it . Page A40 for anyone else interested. There have also been postings in other places about other chains scouting Long Island location to open their businesses like Cracker Barrel, Musclemakers Grill, DelSol, Everything But Water, Fire & Ice Mongolian Grill, Elementz, Acorn, and more.
Susan February 27, 2012 at 08:52 PM
A Chick-fil-a !! Yes, we can be the first town on LI to have our own anti-Semitic, anti-gay rights fast food place. And we can get blessed when they hand us our food! Now won't that be wonderful for East Meadow! (Note to Bill: I'm being sarcastic). Note to other readers: I'm being sarcastic.
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Susan Seeing as how "Your comment was truthful, not meant to be sacarstic." I duly apologize for taking it as such. As far as CEMCO goes there is a committee that is looking into whether to change the bylaws to be clearer to allow residents to join and vote. There are resident members currently , but can't make motions, vote, etc and anyone may attend . I guess i misunderstood that you were directing your comments to the Patch editor and not the writer of this "Letter to the Editor"- which would have been me. (But I wasn't alone in that impression-) sorry for taking it wrong, i should have known better. For those of you who do not know : the "Council of East Meadow Community Organizations (CEMCO) is a voluntary civic organization in East Meadow that allows for the shared information of other civic, community, public and private organizations ......and individual residents of the East Meadow community to interact and share information in a public forum."
Bill Alderman February 27, 2012 at 09:04 PM
sorry -meant " I duly apologize for Not taking it as such. (An honest comment - instead of sarcastic)
Susan February 27, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I got it, thank you. I don't know why you thought it was directed at you. It's not your fault that others didn't know about this meeting. Now I am well informed. I spoke to Norma this afternoon. Btw, those "members" of CEMCO that can't vote, etc. They're really not members under the bylaws. They are attendees just like I used to be.
paul March 17, 2012 at 12:07 AM
To Pat Maher: You stated to Newsday: "The board did their due diligence in investigating the issues presented to them and apparently, found fault with the application presented by Sonic," said Patricia M. Maher, president of the Merrick Avenue Civic Association, who opposed the plan. "I believed that Sonic hadn't presented sufficient information and studies to be granted the application." Please tell us all how the application process works? Why dont you tell us all the reasons it was declined, since no one else does yet? It says Political agenda all over it........
paul March 22, 2012 at 02:46 AM
The official release by the BZA has not yet been distributed. As stated by another writer it was not yet typed up for mailing. I was given the same response today in person at the TOH. If the decision is something that can be reasonably appealed I am pretty sure an attempt will be made. Keep writing/blogging all your positive comments. The right people are reading them... When an official response is received please feel let the BZA know how you feel....


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