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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

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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