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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

Oyster Bay is becoming a known name on the Long Island bar scene thanks to the recent success of its very own craft beer created by The Oyster Bay Brewing Company. Established in 2012 by Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter, two friends who quickly jumped at the opportunity to home brew and create their own beer, these Long Islanders are excited to be doing what they love while representing Oyster Bay.

“There is a lot of opportunity in Oyster Bay, being a hamlet on the water and on the North Shore, we thought it would be a perfect fit,” said Haim. “Oyster Bay is going through a resurgence and we wanted to be a draw in the town. “

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

July Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 30

Babysitting and First Aid Workshop

Thursday, July 31

Opera Night

Saturday, Aug. 2



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