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From The Desk Of Assemblyman Charles Lavine: December 27, 2013

Hope For The New Year

As we look to the year ahead with promise and hope, it is difficult to assess where we are now and where we are headed without first grasping the importance and relevance of the last three months of 2012.

Perhaps 2013 will be remembered as the year in which the Long Island community came together to repair the structural, physical and emotional damage incurred in October, November and December of 2012: when neighbor to neighbor we worked to rebuild our island, to find a way to improve electric service and infrastructure; to give our veterans a plan for the future, return our residents to good jobs, provide our neighbors food for their tables, and to protect our children and loved ones from mentally ill people with guns.

It seemed that the collective conscience of Long Island was riveted on doing what each one of us as individuals believed was the right thing. We didn’t always agree, but we worked hard to take the lessons learned and turn them into something positive.

We opened our homes and our arms to those suffering the devastating effects of Sandy and we weighed options for how to better protect our Island from future storms. We created programs to help our veterans return to life before war and give them hope for a better tomorrow, and we found ways to put people back to work and improve not only the economy but the housing market as well.

During the first weeks of 2013, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a sweeping package of gun-control measures which expanded a ban on assault weapons and made New York the first state to change its laws in response to the murders of innocent children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

We worked hard to give people hope - something to believe in; and that is really what a new year is about. A new year gives us a chance to wipe the slate clean and start again. We get the choice to clear out all the negatives and replace them with positives. It gives us an opportunity to look back at what didn’t work and figure out a new game plan.

It is a time for reflection and introspection - a time to re-examine ourselves as people and see if we can’t be just a little bit better. We get a chance to readjust our thinking by looking back with a clearer understanding of what took place and knowing what we would do differently to improve the outcome.

Each Jan. 1, we get a crack at being better than we were the year before and doing our small part to make the world a more respectful and accepting place for our children and grandchildren. We can look back at 2013 as a year of rebuilding, recommitting and remembering. It was a year in which we laid the foundation for 2014 using the cornerstones of pride and compassion.

It was a tough year, but we are stronger for the experience and ready to move ahead. Here’s to 2014 and what I hope will be a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.

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



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