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Editorial: Editorially Speaking

Editorially speaking, we truly appreciate the views of all of our readers. It takes a lot of good old-fashioned courage to stand up in a community and express your view. It can mean that you divide your audience into those who agree with you and those who disagree with you.

It can be a loaded experience and one not everyone wants to put themselves through, but it is truly worth it for the benefit of the community and we thank all those who stand up and speak.

We have had varying views from people about the multi-sports field proposed for Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. Regarding the recent letter from Darren Gill, director of marketing FieldTurf: In his letter he said, a “Connecticut-based engineering, landscape architecture, and environmental science firm, Milone & MacBroom, in a December 2008 report, Tthe ‘Evaluation of the Environmental Effects of Synthetic Turf Athletic Fields’ concluded ‘that the leaching potential of metals in accordance with acceptable EPA methods indicates that metals will leach from the crumb rubber but in concentrations that are within ranges that could be expected to leach from native soil.’  Again, no safety concern.”

Our concern is that today’s EPA standards tend to change as we learn more about what the effects are of what we are doing to the environment. Recently, the EPA changed the standards for Superfund cleanups. They learned more and changed their views, and more inspections and cleanups were necessary.

In our opinion, because the TR Park is in a flood plain and is a filled-in wetland area that surrounds a pristine harbor, there is extra concern about what happens there. In our opinion, it is too close for comfort.

Interestingly for about the past 20 years, there has been no swimming program run by the Oyster Bay-East Norwich school district, even though we are a waterfront community. Maybe when considering the uses of TR Park, some concern should be given to making sure our young people are safe in the water, just as we prepare for their safety on land. Swimming and sailing and rowing are lifetime skills in a way most team sports become professions.

Just for a moment, let’s think outside of the box and consider what is the way to go. The community has been asking for the TR Park Advisory committee to be re-instated. This would be a good time for it… and for a group of visionary people to look into the questions surrounding recreation in Oyster Bay would be wonderful.