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Sandy Leaves Financial Problems For TR Sanctuary And Youngs Cemetery

Theodore Roosevelt: the common thread

between the bird sanctuary and his gravesite

Most Long Islanders have great sympathy for people living on the South Shore where Hurricane Sandy came ashore and demolished homes, but the North Shore too was attacked and people are now dealing with the ravages of the storm. Driving along North Shore roads you can see the raw wood where trunks of trees have been split and limbs came crashing down.

The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary & Audubon Center (TRS&AC) in Oyster Bay Cove is dealing with the financial problems of cleanup. Ted Scherff, TRS&AC director said, “I was out chain sawing this week. We lost about 50 trees as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We’ve cleaned out and taken away 10 to 12 of them,” he said on Thursday, Jan. 17.

“Hurricane Sandy had quite an impact on the sanctuary. We are having to re-route some of our trails.” Some have too many trees down and some of them are too big to handle. In another section the storm has broken off the canopy of a tree which is being supported by other trees. “It is snagged real good but we never know when some heavy winds or a storm will bring it down. We’re getting estimates on taking care of that potential site.”

The teaching pond also has a problem. It is located behind the building and was man-created but has become naturalized by wildlife taking over. Now there are cattails, birds and wildlife that use it. “The fresh water teaching pool is important to the sanctuary and wildlife and it is central to our education program. There is a big tree lying in it right now. We started trimming it to get it out. We want to see what kind of damage the pond sustained and to see if we can restore it.”.

Scherff said, “It will take time for the sanctuary to recover. We have tried to contact FEMA but we have not heard from them.”

Scherff was also familiar with what happened at Youngs Cemetery, next door. The sanctuary site was given to the Audubon Society in part to create a buffer for the gravesite of President Theodore Roosevelt, which borders the sanctuary.

The caretaker of the TRS&AC also takes care of Youngs Cemetery. Mr. Scherff said, “Youngs Cemetery, next to us, sustained considerable damage. “A falling tree uprooted the asphalt walkway and others uprooted the ground and though they did not expose any human remains, they did lift some surface material in the area where the black slaves of the families were laid to rest. These are things you can’t ignore but have to take the corrective actions that need to be done.”

Edward Mohlenhoff, Youngs Memorial Cemetery board chair and host of the TRS&AC Taste of Spring event said, “It’s taking a long time for the TRS to do the cleanup. It is because of the time involved in dealing with the insurance and with FEMA and other things that have to come together before the cleanup is complete. Our neighbors are a little impatient with us but it is not an overnight fix. We will do everything we can to take care of is as soon as we can.“

That Youngs Cemetery hillside along Cove Road had many of their downed trees cleared away by this week. All you can see are piles of sawdust where the trees were cut down. The smell of sawed wood fills the air.

Mr. Mohlenhoff said Youngs Cemetery had about 10 trees downed. “We just got them cleaned out this week. I put out an appeal to members of the (private) cemetery asking for some money for the work. The tree removal cost $10,000, and luckily I got some of the money needed. Then we have to replace the road and the waterline which was ripped out. The road will cost about $20,000 to repair so we need $25,000 to $30,000 and the work has to be done. We may have to cash in part of our endowment. The road repair is necessary and we just do not have money in the bank to cover such a high expense.

“We will get no FEMA money and from the insurance — nothing.

“We have insurance for property damage but when it comes to get it we find that the road is not considered ‘property’ it is part of the ‘grounds.’ You pay all this money each year and when something happens, they don’t do a thing. It is awful.”

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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