Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:00
East Norwich Civic Association Treasurer Lianne Gunther announced an easy fundraiser for the group. They have opened up a bank account for the ENCA at the TD Bank. “Just mention our name to TD Bank and they will give us a donation of $50,” she said happily.
Bob Lashuk, TD vice president store manager explained that when someone opens a new individual account at the bank they will give them $25 and will donate $50 to the ENCA. If someone has an existing TD account they will donate $10 to the ENCA. The bank will present the ENCA with the funds they are donating on the anniversary of their opening of the group’s account. “If 100 people sign up, that means we will present a check to ENCA President Matthew Meng for $5,000 after the end of the year,” said Lashuk. The new Affinity Program is available for qualified not-for-profits.
President Meng said the time lapse is to be sure the people are opening an account and not just scamming to get the donation. He said he too is offering a business incentive. “I’m trying to find a mechanic and will pay someone $100 for finding one for the Little Garage. Of course we will only pay four weeks later, to be sure we have found a really good mechanic, and that can be a woman, today,” said the father of three daughters.
The ENCA continues to be a great resource for the community. They announced at their July 25 meeting that the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich will hold their annual Chicken Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 7. This year it will be in honor of John DeBellis, the East Norwich Fire Chief who died recently.
Stephen Walker was honored Thursday evening July 25 for his 44 years of service at the Oyster Bay High School where he has been a band teacher. He is also the head of the Oyster Bay Community Band and is seeking funding for their annual free concerts on the front lawn of the high school. Donations can be sent to the OBEN Community Band, c/o Steven W. Walker, 29 School Street, NY 11771-2306. In his appeal letter, Walker had a copy of a check written by Theodore Roosevelt when he made a donation to the band in 1911.
Everyone was delighted with the 50th anniversary cocktail party held at the Pine Hollow Country Club this spring. The proceeds from the event are split between the ENCA and the Oyster Bay Civic Association. Because of the greater cost of the event to the ENCA, since it was their anniversary, they are down $450 but the OBCA received a check for $843. Still, the ENCA is delighted with what happened since now the group has a new brochure that they can be proud of and which can be given to visiting friends and family as well as to new residents. The front cover photo was taken by Bill Davis, retired from Newsday, of a trail at the Muttontown Preserve.
At the meeting there were discussions about the trees in the median on Route 25A and 106: the state does not want any more of them planted there. The group is very pleased with the landscape work Sal is doing in caring for the medians. They are trying to get the state to cut the weeds around the guardrails with no success. The board is working on the issue with tact, according to Meng.
A spirited discussion took place about the legality of taking down illegal signs posting information on items from garage sales to a new limo service or advertising power washing homes. Hanging commercial signs along the road are not allowed by state law and the average citizen is empowered to remove them. ENCA board member Gil Columbo said there was a discussion among members of the Committee for the Beautification of East Norwich on whether it is legal to remove illegal signs from Lilco poles themselves. “The question is what does Lilco think,” said Meng.
A resident brought up trash left at local beaches and suggested that recycling bins were needed there. Lianne Gunther reported that Newsday had an article saying that Supervisor John Venditto plans to put recycling pails at the local beaches. They had them earlier but people put regular household trash into them, which was a problem.
When someone asked the group if they had a stance on the sale of the DPW site next to the Cerro Wire property along the LIE, it resulted in a spirited discussion. Meng said he has talked to Todd Fabbricant, now an East Norwich resident and head of 17 civic organizations that were fighting the Traubman mall. Fabbricant is in favor of the town selling the property to Oyster Bay Realty which is comprised of Castanza Realty, the owners of the Americana shopping center; Simon Properties, the owner of the Roosevelt Mall and the Whitman Shopping Center; and the Albanese Organization that is involved in home building. The first two have earlier expressed the wish not to have more competition in the mall business, which could be deleterious to them.
The civic members expressed concerns in view of: where will the town relocate the DPW department; what if they need to buy more property in 10 years, before they vacate the site, as allowed in the contract; that this is a one-time solution to a budget problem; they did not go out to bid; it appears to be a back room deal in that there was no discussion of what else the land could be used for and no information about the tax impact of the various uses of the land has been given.
Meng suggested it be used for a new LIRR station with parking.
Generally it appears that the members feel there is insufficient information on the deal to make them feel confident about the vote. An article in Newsday on July 26 reported that the town’s bond rating will be affected unless they get the needed funds to make up their budget deficit from the sale of the property for $32.5 million. Last year, the town tried to reduce the budget by encouraging longtime employees making high wages, to retire as a way to reduce costs. The town was still hiring new people, as needed and re-hired several people who retired, including Jim Moriority the head of the public information office of the Republican town board at a salary of $30,000. Supervisor Venditto said Moriority’s expertise was needed in that position. [With no Democrats on the board there is no Democratic press office as there is in Nassau County.]
Another member brought up recent filming of the TV show Royal Pains opposite the Atlantic Steamer Fire Company where the show filmed a blood drive. The resident asked where the money the town gets for the permits goes. It goes into the general fund, said the town information office.
On Wednesday, July 31, the crew from Royal Pains were back filming at the Sagamore Yacht Club and Town Hall, disguised as Hampton Heritage Hospital. People have reported seeing fire trucks from the Hamptons and emergency vehicles with Hampton Heritage on them in the hamlet, which means that residents can again see views of Oyster Bay all gussied up to look like the Hamptons in the Wednesday night TV show.
The ENCA meets the fourth Thursday of the month. Residents are invited to bring their concerns to the group. Everyone is welcome and will be heard. Meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall of the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich at 7:45 p.m.