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Editorial: Two for One (Editorial)

Mike Scheck sent us an email that we thought was not only a great idea, but one you should know about. He suggests that on Friday, September 11th, 2009, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this eighth anniversary of one of our country’s worst tragedies.

We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.

In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn’t take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

So, here’s what we all need to do: Tell everyone you know (at least 11 people) about putting out an American flag, and fly one yourself on 9/11.

It would be a great thing to do, to remind ourselves of our love of this great country.

On a local level another piece of wisdom...

The community is currently looking at the proposal to build an athletic field at TR Park. It has been hard to get the full information – to understand the information in what the town itself calls a preliminary proposal. Talking to people – they say they don’t want to be quoted. That is fine with us. Our only concern is that everyone understands this is a democratic process. By its very nature that means it is slow, deals with different opinions among friends, and needs to be handled with care.

When we began covering stories for the Enterprise Pilot in about 1985, the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District was wrestling with the issue of not having a big enough gymnasium. There was a proposal made and a vote was taken and it was lost. There was a second proposal and it too was voted down. We were getting antsy when we had to write about the second proposal and then we had a third proposal to cover. We were annoyed at having to explain what we viewed as the same issue again. Then we had an epiphany – this is what Democracy is all about. We all have a stake in the issues and we all have to come around to one view and it takes time.

When the third proposal was made – it was amazingly like the first proposal but now there was more proof that it would work and there was a safeguard in the contract that, as it turned out, had to be used. The floor in the gym was damaged by water and had to be repaired at the contractor’s cost.

Well, the gymnasium is beautiful. We’ve heard no complaints. The community had enough time to get on board with the issues.

So the story here about the fields and the festival is – be patient. The community has big issues to look at and decide what comes next. The town is suggesting TR Park as the solution. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. We really have to allow ourselves time to figure it all out. Maybe the former Hallock property now owned by Avalon Bay Communities might be worth the asking price. It might solve the community’s need for fields in one swoop. Maybe TR Park will turn out to be the best solution, although we have to hear about how the Oyster Festival solutions will be worked out. We remember that the festival generated the $10,000 the chamber donated to the Boys & Girls Club and the $10,000 it donated to the Doubleday Babcock Senior Center. One year they made almost no money when they paid for the tall ship to come here. Another year the cost of the festival left little money for the chamber although the members did all the organizing work. Sometimes it seemed the festival promoters made more than the chamber.

Last year the Oyster Festival Charitable Foundation gave out $60,000 to the community. Nowadays it appears that Rotary has learned from the experience of others and has a good formula for success. It didn’t happen overnight. It took a long time and a lot of people to make it come to the point it is at now.

There is a lot at stake here. Let’s give the community time to find what is best in the long run for the entire community. Someone said the fields are for the kids…so is the Oyster Festival. Much of the funds go to help things that benefit the youth of the town. Let’s all put our thinking caps on and work this out together. Whatever is decided will be around for a long time.

Remember when we were asking for a cumulative impact statement about developments in town – maybe it is time for another type of commulative impact study for the hamlet – in this case it’s for recreation, cultural interests, and non-profit fundraising aspects that make up the quality of life issues in this exciting ever-changing, ever-interesting area. Not that you need reminding, but the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum plans to use Firemen’s Field for their parking since the area in front of the museum is going to become a pedestrian plaza – so they too are in the mix. There is a lot to think about. Let’s all give each other enough time to figure it all out and some space to think and no pressure please.