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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

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.

Dr. Charles Schleien, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, said that although the enterovirus is still active, cases are dwindling on Long Island. According to Schleien, approximately 500 cases have been reported this season of enterovirus, at Cohen’s Children Medical Center, with two to six patients being admitted per day.

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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