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Nursery School Closing In East Norwich

The installation of a cell phone antenna in the steeple of the Community Methodist Church of East Norwich has outraged parents, causing them to seek alternative preschool options for their children and resulting in the closing of the nursery school held at the church. The decision to close the school was announced last week, and the school shut its doors on the summer camp on Tuesday.

“We knew this might be coming, since the numbers were so low, but we didn’t know the summer camp would close so soon,” says Carolyn Wilson, who has been teaching at the Wesley United Method Church Nursery School for 35 years.

She says she attended a meeting on Tuesday, July 24, when the decision was made, though her staff was not allowed to attend the meeting. She says she was told by the church council the staff would be contacted individually, though as of Monday, July 28, she had received no correspondence. About 30 kids were attending the summer camp, which was supposed to last until Aug. 14. She and five other teachers, three assistants, a music teacher and a hall monitor are now all out of work.

“This is so disrespectful to myself and the staff,” says Wilson.

The battle over the installation of the Verizon cellular antenna has been going on since 2011. The church had wanted to move forward with it, while many parents, staff and members of the community, including the East Norwich Civic Association (ENCA), were opposed.

“A few years back, we were trying to stop the church from installing the antenna, or at least have them engage in a dialog with the community,” says Matthew Meng, president of the ENCA. “Historically, the church has not been very forthcoming with information,” he adds.

He says that, ultimately, the decision was approved by a court, and there was nothing more the community could do.

“When I asked the church why they didn’t reach out to the civic association for a dialog, they said, ‘sorry, we forgot’ and I let it go," says Meng. "Now, I think they are disingenuous and not being truthful...shame on them.”

Wilson says this is the only nursery school in East Norwich, and its closure will have a big impact on the community.

“How do you get your things packed up so quickly? How do you even wrap your head around all this?” says Wilson of the abruptness of learning of her job loss. “We did this as a community service to the church. We’re talking generations coming here.”

Pastor Nelson Kalombo Nguy confirmed that the decision to close the school came from the church council of the United Methodist Church. By press time on Monday, however,  he had not returned calls for comment.

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News

Serving Oyster Bay and the rest of Long Island since 1990, Periwinkles is an Oyster Bay business on Audrey Avenue that assists with event planning, staging and staffing and catering a multitude of different events. Periwinkles was started by Pat Spafford, who was encouraged to take her passion and make it a career.

 

“I was raising a family and doing this part-time,” said Spafford. “One of my clients encouraged me to make it full-time. Most of my clientele was from Oyster Bay so I settled here. I have a huge affection for the people and the place. It’s great that I have been successful here for so long.” 

On Sunday, Sept. 21, the only place to be for lovers of local music is the Homestead in Oyster Bay, where a full day of live music is planned at GlenFest featuring 25 different performances. The lineup includes big names like Richie Cannata to Sea Cliff mainstays Kris Rice and Chicken Head to up-and-comers like Matt Grabowski and Lisa Vetrone.

 

GlenFest is the brainchild of Dave Losee, 53, of Glen Cove, who plays in the Crosstown Blues Band.

 

“I had this idea for a festival years ago, and when I finally nailed down a date, people are coming out of the woodwork to be a part of it,” says Losee.


Sports

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.


Calendar

MSA Party - September 17

West Shore Rd. Update - September 18

Harbor Beach Cleanup - September 20


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