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Community Garden In Danger

The Plot Thickens

Glen Anderson and his mother Rose, 93, are a team when they till the soil at their plot of earth at the Peter F. Rickert Memorial Garden, a community garden on the grounds of the 36-acre estate surrounding the Science Museum of Long Island. They fear they may lose their beloved plot of earth on the property owned by Nassau County where one of the four fig trees on their plot was grown from an original clipping secretly transported by Rose’s father around 1900 when he left his home in Mezzojuso, Province of Palermo in Sicily. He carried the shoot with him as he set out to make his way to America.

The 16 gardeners, active there over many years, had been asked in a Feb. 1 letter to remove their plants and equipment - remove everything by Feb. 17, Glen Anderson remembered, but several inches of snow covered the ground. The date was then extended to March 1. The letter, Anderson said, came out of nowhere, and stated, “that effective immediately the community demonstration garden activity at SMLI/ Leeds Pond Preserve has been restructured due to expanding programming needs, child safety and security priorities.” The letter also explained “no new participants will be accepted. All 16 participants will be limited to one 10 foot by 20 foot plot. The 16 current gardeners may select one of the existing plots or it will be assigned to you by lottery.”

There were no prior meetings, Glen reported, when museum management sent letters asking that the gardeners remove everything. They were also informed, he said, that in the future, should community gardening be permitted, qualifying for a plot would be on a lottery basis. The community plots could have different gardeners each year.

“Community gardening implies continuity and longevity; not only of the individual plots,” Anderson said, “but of the communal ties such gardening nurtures.  Random lottery luck of the draw annual improbability schemes nurtures nothing and no one.”

The core of the problem, Anderson believes, is the museum administration never respected them enough as a group to consult with them in an attempt to establish a compromise.

Their beloved gardens may become a parking lot. They want to save them but if that is not possible, they need a new home.  

Attempts to reach the science museum for comment were not fruitful by press time. More next week.

News

Negotiations are currently underway between the Village of Farmingdale and members of the local CSEA labor union. After a closed door executive session meeting, on Jan. 6, village trustees met with members of the labor counsel to iron out terms of a new contract proposal, which they said will hopefully meet the fancy of union leaders. 

 

“We have sent our proposals out there,” said Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand, “we are just waiting for the CSEA membership to approve it.”

A new Child Care Centerfor children ages eight weeks through Pre-K—opened at Farmingdale State College this week, which will be open to the community and the college campus. 

 

“The College owes a great deal of thanks to everyone involved in this project,” said Farmingdale State College President Hubert Keen. “This center provides a safe and nurturing environment for the children of our students, faculty and staff.

Especially for our students, the availability of quality child care can determine whether or not they are able to complete their education.”


Sports

On Saturday, November 9, the MHS Girls Swim Team competed in the Nassau County Team Championships. After a strong preliminary performance on Friday, the girls had their sights set on swimming even faster on Saturday at the finals. On Friday, Manhasset qualified 14 individual swims in the top 10 and all three relays. The team also had an additional 7 swims in the consolation finals (places 11-20). On Saturday, the top 20 individuals and relays compete in each event, all finishers scoring points towards their team total.

In the championship’s opening event, the 200 yd. medley relay team from Manhasset set the tone for what turned out to be a historic day in Manhasset Girls Swimming. The relay team of Grace Kenlon, Allegra Sodi, Megan Smith and Meredith Johnson finished third and set a new school record time of 1:51.96, also qualifying for the New York State Championships.

Second at Counties, State Quals as Weilep Qualifies for State Meet

The Indians' regular season came to a close recently, but not before the boys locked up several more post-season honors to complete a highly successful campaign that brought an undefeated season as well as Division and Conference Championships. Manhasset headed into the post-season with high aspirations and battled it out with rival Wantagh High School for two weekends in a row—at both the Class Country Championships and the State Qualification race—coming up just short on both occasions, but achieving many milestones along the way.


Calendar

Champions for Charity

Thursday, December 5

Mens' Club Luncheon

Thursday, December 5

Holiday Tree Lighting

Friday, December 6



Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com