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SAFE Inc. Works To Spread Message Of Red Ribbon Week

A little bit of prevention can go a long way

Red Ribbon Week, a national drug awareness campaign, was created in 1985 to address the importance of substance abuse prevention. During this important week, SAFE Inc., the only substance abuse prevention agency in Glen Cove, sponsors a citywide prevention celebration, working together with Mayor Suozzi’s office, the Glen Cove School District, PTA, Glen Cove Police Department, Glen Cove Senior Center, the Inter-Agency Council and the North Shore Clergy to help spread Red Ribbon Week’s message throughout the community.

SAFE, Inc. partnered with each of the Glen Cove School District’s elementary schools art teachers and clinical staff who worked with youth to create prevention art work/posters to celebrate the weeklong event. SAFE’s board of directors traditionally judge the art work, choosing first, second and third place winners and presenting prizes at each school within the district.

“We are happy to be able to sponsor this nationwide event each year and provide all district students with red ribbons that state a positive prevention message,” SAFE’s Executive Director Dr. Sharon Harris said.

Last year, with the assistance of SAFE’s Coalition Co-Chair Tony Gallo and School Committee Chair Denise Kiernan, Red Ribbon Week was expanded to include the Finley Middle School in the annual celebration. Students attended a presentation led by coalition members from the Glen Cove Police Department, Sgt. Christopher Ortiz and Detective Gerald Williams. Both grew up in Glen Cove and told the children gathered in the gym that they sat on the very same bleachers.

“Detective Williams and I have been exposed to some of the things you’ve been exposed to and will be exposed to,” said Ortiz. “We want to give you the tools you’ll need to deal with this. SAFE, the Glen Cove Police Department and the Glen Cove School District believe it’s important to keep giving these lessons so you’ll know what to do.”

Ortiz and Williams’ presentation included a PowerPoint component that, with several videos depicting extreme athletes and other young people who ruined their lives as a result of being involved in substance abuse.

“Extreme skateboarder Christian Hosoi was on top of the world but he decided to make the decision of smoking weed which led to all kinds of other drugs including heroin,” he said. “You know of Tony Hawk – he was once a competitor of Hosoi but you don’t know Hosoi because he’s serving a 20-year sentence now. He made a bad decision and it cost him.”

The presentation stressed the repercussions of making bad decisions and facts about the drugs of today and just how easy it is to get addicted. He also explained why taking pills without a prescription can be deadly.

“One blue pill looks like another to me because I’m not a doctor,” he said. “And the weed today is not like it was even five years ago. It’s genetically altered and chemically engineered so it is more powerful.”

He compared the risks involved in extreme sports and those from drugs and alcohol. In extreme sports people train, condition their bodies and wear protective gear. Ortiz said that there is no way to minimize the risks involved in taking drugs.

“The only way is to not do it all,” he said. “The first time you do drugs you could die.”

The police officers explained to the middle school children that when you become addicted to drugs you are no longer getting high or having fun. Instead you are taking those drugs just to be normal.

“I’ve taken dead children out of homes where they are lying there with a needle still in their arm,” he said. “There is no such thing as a safe drug.”

The students were quiet during the presentation only speaking to answer questions from Ortiz and Williams. Ortiz said they’ve been doing the presentation for the past two years and decided to continue it because it sends such an important message. Growing up in the community, he said that he and Williams understand the pressure children undergo.

The children appeared to be truly affected by the presentation. And they paid attention throughout.

“I learned not to use drugs so you don’t die,” said Adam Andrzejczak.

“I didn’t know that if you take it once it could kill you,” Robert McCarthy added.

Both boys quietly left the gym passing another noisy class of middle school children entering the gym. They were there for the second presentation.

For further information on any SAFE Inc. upcoming events call 676-2008. SAFE Inc. is a not-for-profit tax-exempt substance abuse education and prevention agency located in Glen Cove. Visit www.safeglencove.org and follow them on Facebook at www.face book.com/GlenCovePrideCoalition.

News

 It has been five years since a particularly heavy rainfall closed all the beaches in Glen Cove including Crescent Beach. As per Nassau County Department of Health standards, beaches are ordered closed after heavy rainfall because of storm water runoff that adversely affects bacteria levels at local beaches. Typically, bacteria levels subside within a day or so, allowing for the beaches to be reopened. This was not the way it went with one popular beach after the June 2009 rain storm.

 

“Unfortunately, this was not the case with Crescent Beach,” said Glen Cove Parks & Recreation Director, Darcy Belyea, at last Wednesday night’s public forum at Glen Cove City Hall. “Elevated levels of microbiological contamination continued to be found in the bathing water months after the heavy rain and recent samples show they are still elevated today.”

 

Belyea was one of a number of panelists at the public forum, which included Glen Cove Mayor Reginald Spinello, City Attorney Charles McQuair, Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee Eric Swenson and representatives from the Nassau County Department of Health. 

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion. 

 

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “We were scheduled to open last week, and there were a few things that weren’t ready...I got a call from the theater operator, Jay Levinson, and he told me that unfortunately, that day Spiderman had the flu,” he joked. “But, Spiderman is well and Glen Cove is well, and we are coming back strong. This is just the beginning. This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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