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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

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



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