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From The Desk Of Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton: March 1, 2013

As Spring Approaches

Spring is a time of renewal. It will be welcome this year after an historic blizzard, which followed a power outage that had most of sitting in freezing houses for weeks.

From my seat in the Legislature, there is renewal that needs to happen and I am concerned that the county executive’s administration here in Nassau is – once again – not taking the needs of our area seriously.

Restoring Welwyn - Tree Replanting

I don’t need to rehash the travesty that occurred under our county executive’s watch, under his staff’s orders. Glen Covers know the treasure that we have in our Nassau County preserve. And they know the truth about what happened. Since the devastation that went on there, with Nassau possibly misusing much-needed FEMA money in the aftermath of Long Island’s worst disaster, I have called for the company involved to repay Glen Covers by replanting trees and doing other restoration work at Welwyn.

The county executive and his majority in the Legislature have no interest in holding the company accountable. Could it be because of campaign contributions from that company?

At any rate, the administration first testified to me at a hearing that they weren’t allowed to replant trees with FEMA money. Then, amazingly, after I fought them, they realized they had a million dollars to replant trees with FEMA money. Now, after this same company / campaign contributor mowed down trees on Searingtown and Shelter Rock Road, there is something more like $3.5 million for replanting trees.

Imagine a scenario in which the county executive is using federal storm relief aid from FEMA to pay his campaign contributor to cut down trees that don’t need to come down, and then replanting the trees with more federal storm relief aid? One would find such a scenario hard to believe, but worth an investigation.

That said, I do want trees replanted at Welwyn. I don’t think that your county or your federal tax dollars should pay for it.  

Bayville Bridge

I have been meeting with Bayville and Mill Neck area residents and business owners for many months now. The county executive’s administration, and his majority in the Legislature, allowed West Shore Road to collapse as I repeatedly – month after month - asked them to begin repairs.

At this point, one major concern for that greater area, a concern that comes directly from business owners, is when they will fix the drawbridge. I am told it will be expensive but have not received solid information about getting this important project done. Spring is around the corner. If the bridge isn’t up and running, I am told that businesses will fail. Bayville has lost at least one business that I know of since Nassau let the road collapse. And I have met with several others who fear they will go out of business because there is now no traffic on their end of Bayille.

Crescent Beach

I haven’t forgotten. However, I do fear that they hope I did. My office put in several requests early last year to review adding the 75 homes in the Crescent Beach area to the Nassau County sewer system so that our harbor is not polluted by one or two bad septic systems, which no one has been able to trace for several years now. The Nassau County health department told me that the real solution to the issue is adding that community to the sewer system. How many more summers will they let begin and then end again with that beach remaining closed? I am submitting another request.

News

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.

Diamond Fitness held its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 6. Members of the Historic Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce came out to meet Wendy Goldstein, her staff and her re-invented gym at 138 South St.

Goldstein said she was touched by the warmth of the people who came into the gym to welcome her, even before the official opening. “People came in to say hello, saying they had heard that the gym had changed hands. It warms my heart,” she said.

Goldstein attended a chamber meeting and is now a member. Nassau County Legislator Donald McKenzie helped Goldstein cut the red ribbon as chamber members Walter Imperatore and Michele Browner cheered the opening along with staff members and friends.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.


Calendar

Plein Art Exhibit

Wednesday, Oct. 1

College Discussion

Monday, Oct. 6

Collecting Manuscripts

Thursday, Oct. 9



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com