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Letter: Pick Up After Your Pet

Many dog owners are completely unaware of the impact of not picking up after their pet. Some common misconceptions from pet owners are: It’s completely natural and leaving it on the ground to decompose is fine if it’s left where someone can’t step in it. 

 

According to the EPA, pet waste is 57% more toxic than human waste, and in 1991 it was placed in the same health category as oil and toxic chemicals. The EPA also estimates that in two or three days, 100 dogs can produce enough bacteria to close a small bay with a 20 square mile watershed to swimming and fishing. Dog feces contain high concentrations of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and pathogens (bacteria, viruses, worms and parasites) that can cause serious illness in humans and pets. Dog feces can take up to a year to break down in the environment. Some fecal bacteria can even become airborne. The deposit site can become toxic to both dogs and people. Some pathogens can survive for years; for instance, roundworms and Giardia survive up to four years, E. coli can live up to four months, and salmonella up to six months.

 

Once on the ground, feces become a non-point source (NPS) pollutant. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt running over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away the nutrients and pathogens, and deposits them into groundwater, storm water run-off, streams, rivers and lakes.  Unlike most NPS pollutants, pet feces contain pathogens that make people and/or pets sick. Feces from yards and urban areas enter storm water run-off. Feces left in wooded or shoreline areas, such as parks, almost always bypass storm water run-off systems and directly enter waterways.

 

Nature can easily handle the feces breakdown of wildlife and maintain a balance. Our environment cannot handle and effectively process high concentrations of pet waste, which create an un-natural balance.

 

If it is buried, it still leaves pathogens on site below the surface, and nutrients and pathogens can still enter the groundwater. Flushing it down the toilet works well (feces only but not a plastic pick-up bag) if you’re on a city sewer system where it can be treated, but septic systems can’t handle the load. Scooping, bagging and disposing of feces in the garbage is the most ecological and responsible way to clean up after your pet. Landfills are specifically designed so that wastes are contained and do not leach into groundwater.

 

If you care about your community, your home and health, pick up after your dog and dispose of it properly, so you don’t pollute the soil, and keep it out of our waters.

 

David Paterson


News

The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.

To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.

At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.

The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also.  Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.


Sports

The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.

Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”

Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it  paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”

Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.


Calendar

Park District Swim

Saturday, Dec. 7

Board of Education Meeting

Monday, Dec. 9

Peter Max Exhibit Presentation

Tuesday, December 10



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