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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

Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution. 

 

The Levittown School District has been vigilant with the increase of cases in general. “We are continuing to implement the precautions provided by the health department and the CDC,” said Levittown School District Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel Darlene Rhatigan. “We are also reminding students and staff to be mindful of the importance of proper hygiene including frequent hand washing.”

Audrey Zhang, a sixth grader at Island Trees Memorial Middle School, took home first place in the Long Island Arts Alliance (LIAA) on Sept. 17. Zhang was honored at the Cradle of Aviation Museum for her work and was presented with a $500 check and an iPad Mini. Many dignitaries were on hand, including State Education Department Regent Roger Tilles.


Sports

 

Four Division Avenue High School seniors have signed national letters of intent to play baseball at local universities next fall. All four players were instrumental in winning the 2014 Nassau County Championship. 

The Island Trees Squirts Rockets U-6 team met with town officials, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilman Gary Hudes at the 2014 Island Trees Soccer Club Opening Day Parade and Ceremony held at Stokes Elementary School. Pictured also with the Rockets U-6 team is President Joe Badolato, Event Coordinator Keri Cinelli, Equipment Commissioner Chris Blum, Travel Commissioner Mike Rich, Vice-President Brian Fielding and Rockets U-6 Coach Gina Weyland.



Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - October 22

League Of Women Voters Talk - October 23

Lecture - October 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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