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Editorial: Log On And Chime In

Nothing, it seems, gets people’s dander up as much as kittens in peril.

Our sister paper, the Massapequa Observer, last week told of the Town of Oyster Bay closing a nonprofit no-kill cat rescue shelter for code violations, after neighboring businesses complained about odor.

The tale has brought our offices a flood of calls from across Nassau—Massapequa to Mill Neck, Floral Park to Farmingdale, Port Washington to Plainview. Our two stories on the rescue shelter’s closing have unleashed a torrent of comments—some in support of the shelter, some in support of the businesses (but all in support of the kittens)—on the Massapequa Observer Facebook page (www.facebook.com/massapequaobserver). Passionate pleas for animal welfare mingle with calls for the business owner to correct code violations. It’s a lively debate with many points of view and at times it gets contentious — and we couldn’t be happier about hosting a platform for the public.

Social media has afforded us, and other news outlets, the opportunity for direct engagement with our readers. Gone are the days when snail mail was the only way for your voice to be heard by your town’s local editor. Also gone are the days when your local editor had to decipher your — ahem, dynamic — handwriting. Now, your voice is heard the instant you click ‘send,’ whether it be in an email or on Facebook or Twitter. And we, as a news organization, encourage this. Your voice adds depth to our stories and ensures that the perspective of Floral Park residents are represented. It keeps the conversation going long after the ink dries on our papers.

This animal rescue story perfectly illustrates how public feedback advances a story beyond the initial conflict and beyond the control of the central players: the businesses, the shelter volunteers and town officials. The online conversation brings out into the open community views that formerly would not have been heard.

Besides commenting online or by phone, readers have gravitated toward a poll we posted asking what people would like local government to do about Long Island’s feral cat population. As of press time, 41 percent vote to neuter and release these wild felines, while 35 percent want the town to find them all homes. Twelve percent suggest the town simply kill them.

If you consider yourself an old-school news reader and prefer the fold and feel of an actual newspaper, we are right there with you. We are in the business of print journalism and our papers will always offer more context than is available online. Send us a letter! We love them. But remember the many other avenues for making your voice heard. Come visit us on the web, at www.antonnews.com/floralparkdispatch or on the Floral Park Dispatch’s Facebook page and comment, share, and tell us how you feel. Join the arena where the conversation is ongoing and the news is interactive.

Just try to keep the personal attacks to a minimum.

News

Tammany Hall is an essential part of the vocabulary of New York City politics. For many, Tammany Hall and political corruption are synonymous. For others, Tammany Hall was a lifesaver tossed into the turbulent and unforgiving sea of 19th- and early 20th-century New York City. The author of a new book about Tammany Hall, Terry Golway, will speak about these complexities at the Wednesday, Nov. 12 meeting of the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City area.

Golway’s book Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics has been well received in book reviews. His talk will acknowledge the misgovernment of Tammany Hall with its creation of “Boss” Tweed as the very face of political corruption. But he will also argue that Tammany Hall was an influence on the progressive legislation which helped working people, the Irish among them, to form a vibrant middle class in the United States.

On Oct. 23, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the arrest of a Floral Park woman for stealing nearly $700,000 from a longtime employer, as well as more than $10,000 from a new employer, by writing herself checks drawn from company bank accounts.

Deborah Tangredi was arrested and arraigned on Oct. 23 before Nassau District Court Judge Joy Watson on the following charges:


Calendar

Harvest Fair

Saturday, November 1

West End Civic Meets

Thursday, November 6

Floral Park Board of Trustees Meeting

Wednesday, November 5



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