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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

The Oyster Bay community paid tribute to award winning journalist Marie Colvin at Oyster Bay High School on Saturday, Oct. 11. The school library was officially dedicated in her name and a portrait of the journalist who died on the frontlines in Syria in 2012 was proudly displayed at the entrance of the library. The event was put together by members of the Oyster Bay class of 1974 who held their 40th class reunion over the weekend.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dennis O’Hara gave a short speech in honor of Colvin’s name. Nassau County legislators Judi Jacobs and Donald MacKenzie also gave speeches, along with Colvin’s sister, Catherine Colvin, and Donna Fiore-Houman, who helped coordinate the event. Both were members of the class of ‘74. Founding dean of the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University, Howard Schneider, also gave a small speech at the end of the ceremony.

Some people deserve a long obituary: in a way, it is a tribute to the number of people’s lives they have touched, so for Dottie Brandt, it is a given. A long line of mourners stretched down the street from the Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home, in Oyster Bay, where Dorothy R. Brandt, known to everyone as “Dottie,” was laid to rest, soon after her death on Friday, Sept. 12.

Dottie was a beautiful woman that age couldn’t change. When your warmth, spirit and love come from the inside, it keeps the outside looking bright and fresh. Dottie was always smiling, full of energy and always willing to help people.


Sports

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.

The Diane Whipple Foundation with the cooperation of Manhasset PAL, Manhasset School District and St. Mary’s High School Athletic program has announced a premier College Division I Women’s Lacrosse Scrimmage day on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Competing in this great event will be Columbia, Fairfield, Michigan, Sacred Heart, Stonybrook, UCONN, UMASS, and USC.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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