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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

A lot of people think that our world would be better off without all of the insects in it. Not so, according to Lois Lindberg, volunteer naturalist at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Lindberg and fellow naturalist Wendy Albin gave a presentation about the importance of butterflies and insects in our ecosystem at the site of Theodore Roosevelt’s former home on Saturday, Aug. 23, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“Butterflies and other insects are very important in nature,” said Lindberg. “People see bees, wasps and ants and other insects as pests, but they actually contribute to our ecosystem by each doing their own unique job. They pollinate the flowers and fruits and without them we would not be able to eat a lot of the stuff we eat every day.”

Building J at Oyster Bay’s Western Waterfront is again up and running as the Ida May Project builds the 40-passenger oyster boat that will be operated by the WaterFront Center. The Ida May Project of the Christeen Oyster Sloop Preservation Corp. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to preserve Oyster Bay maritime heritage by involving the community in traditional boat building.

Bill Shephard, Herb Scheirhorst, President Clint Smith and Project Manager Hank Tiska were there on a recent Thursday. Smith had left at around 2 p.m. to get a part he had at home they needed to fix the tractor they use to move the logs they cut to size in their saw mill. Fixing their equipment and cutting logs are some of the many projects that encompass the work.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 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