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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 Levittown 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. 

 

Just try to keep the personal attacks to a minimum. 

News

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”

A little bit of Hollywood has come to Plainview. The Loft Sound Studio, a Plainview-based vocal and performance training facility, is the creation of lifelong music artist Donnie Klang

and Matthew LaPorte. The duo says that they draw upon their personal experience of the ups and downs of the recording industry to give kids today the chance to be superstars.

 

“Essentially, we’re looking for the next Justin Bieber, someone we can train and teach them how to really become an artist, put them on YouTube and hope they really blow up,” said

LaPorte. “If they do, through our connections that we made while we were in the music industry the past 15 years, we would try and get them a record deal.”

 

The Loft Studio, located at 1530 Old Country Road, already has a list of achievements, including protégé Madison Beer, who got attention after Justin Bieber tweeted a link to a video of her singing. She is currently signed to a record deal on Bieber’s label in Los Angles.


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


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