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Science Vs. Sandy — Science Wins!

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) survived Sandy thanks to a lot of well laid preparation plans and hard work before, during and after the storm.  Being on the shores of Cold Spring Harbor since 1890, the institution has learned a few things, especially after Hurricane Gloria in 1985.  Now, as one of the largest employers on Long Island, CSHL President Bruce Stillman has made preparedness a priority.

“Keeping the world’s leading cancer and autism research going has to be our number one priority,” said Dr. Stillman, “and CSHL’s scientists were kept in business during Sandy by extremely smart and dedicated facilities, information technology, and other support staff who developed and executed an emergency plan like we’ve never seen.  Our people saved science.”

It meant getting equipment and data to higher ground, including bringing up elevators, sandbagging exterior areas and getting eight diesel operated generators to allow scientists to work, and the cafeteria to serve food. All essential scientific operations continued through the storm and its aftermath.  The only cancellation was an Oct. 29 public lecture that CSHL is planning to reschedule for the spring.

Richard Leakey is professor and chair of Turkana Basin Institute, Stony Brook University Department of Anthropology was to speak on How Hominid Evolution Has Shaped Human Behavior, Ethics And Morality. Their focus is human prehistory and related earth and natural science studies.

CSHL’s preparedness allowed for the institution to extend itself as a generous neighbor.  Nestled in the middle of the residential community of Laurel Hollow, CSHL was in constant contact with the village leadership and firefighters, police, friends and residents benefited from the Lab’s on campus food services, WiFI access and warm spaces.

Storm response did necessitate some changes. Meetings and course schedules were adjusted on the fly and visiting scientists from around the world were accommodated. Organizers of the Nuclear Receptors & Disease meeting were undaunted by the hurricane and the meeting’s 50 plus attendees issued their now-famous challenge: “Science vs. Sandy...Science Wins!” which made some waves of its own.

Science did win and their planning may inspire others in the future. Diesel generators anyone? For more information please visit cshl.edu or call the CSHL Public Affairs Department at 367-8455.

News

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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