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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

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.

Diamond Fitness held its grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 6. Members of the Historic Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce came out to meet Wendy Goldstein, her staff and her re-invented gym at 138 South St.

Goldstein said she was touched by the warmth of the people who came into the gym to welcome her, even before the official opening. “People came in to say hello, saying they had heard that the gym had changed hands. It warms my heart,” she said.

Goldstein attended a chamber meeting and is now a member. Nassau County Legislator Donald McKenzie helped Goldstein cut the red ribbon as chamber members Walter Imperatore and Michele Browner cheered the opening along with staff members and friends.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

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.


Calendar

Movie: Godzilla

Thursday, Sept. 25

Bayville Car Show

Friday, Sept. 26

Plein Art Competition

Saturday, Sept. 27



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
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