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Modern Madness And the Mute Swan

I’m lucky to live only blocks away from an unspoiled piece of nature, where a pond-side bench lets me sit and enjoy a big cup of coffee and a plastic-tipped cigar.

From this vantage point, my mind wanders freely. I often reminisce of my childhood, where in every season and at every age I spent time here.

Nowadays, I smoke my cigars and admire the brilliant beauty of the swans on the pond. Here, there is peace. But any tranquility I feel is replaced with indignation when I think of what I’ve recently learned: that the swans are to be slaughtered if the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation goes ahead with its latest management plan. This plan seeks to eradicate the species from the state by 2025.

What’s the reasoning for this possible genocide? Well, the State’s rationale falls mostly under the fact that the Mute Swan has been deemed an “invasive species.” In other words, in the eyes of the State, there are too many of them breeding successfully.

I find this absurd, since I never come across so many that I would ever think anything except we’re lucky to have the ones that we do. These magnificent symbols of peace, who usually mate for life, are one of the last remaining wildlife species able to thrive in our polluted waters; waters so contaminated, the State warns against letting dogs near them because of the deadly bacteria they contain; waters that are actually most easily monitored by having a sentinel species, like the Mute Swan, present for testing. And the state wants to kill them all?

It’s modern madness.

I think the greatest treasure we’ve lost within the modern struggle is our cultural appreciation and intimate individual connection to nature. Because of this loss, we’ve become very sick. The governing bodies now operating in our name do so with soul-less machination. We must reclaim them and right this ship. Humanity must come to terms with what it means to be part of the whole of creation and return to our roots as caretakers, rather than takers.

We’ve fenced off the soul of the world too long not to have it push up its back on us.

The growing trend to use brutality and decimation toward any living being or thing it considers “invasive” is a symptom of this madness; a reflection of collective psychosis by powerful entities who, under the spell of the dollar sign, see demons on every waterway. This sickness embraces the use of mass killing and heavy-handed chemical management as the only means for our survival, when really it is the cause of the vast environmental pathologies that so threaten us. We are stuck in a cycle of always masking and attacking the symptoms, rather than allowing for a cure.

If we participate with nature, rather than demonize it; if we submit to its wisdom, meet it halfway and love it as we should, we will build up the health of the whole system and find balance for all its species. If we do not, we will suffer and perish for it.

Please contact your politicians and sign the online petitions to stop this senseless slaughter. Then, go visit with the swans and encounter the great spirit within.

Mike Dougherty

News

You may not actually see who is leaving books and magazines for the commuters at the Locust Valley Train Station, but those who have nicknamed these delightful and dedicated women the “Book Ladies.”

Sue Klein and Joan McCauley, who are Friends of the Library, have been collecting donated books from the community and displaying them at the Long Island Railroad waiting area every week. The Book Ladies have also displayed Locust Valley Library programs so that commuters are aware of all the wonderful events that are going on.  

There will be a different look to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Board of Education come September. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Van Cott is leaving his position to take a similar role in the Oceanside School District. He is following in the footsteps of past OBEN School Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Harrington, who also left to take a similar position in Oceanside last year. The district will begin their search for a replacement for Van Cott this summer.


Sports

The Varsity Baseball Team finished the season with a league record of 11-3-1. In the playoffs, the team swept Carle Place in a best of three set to advance to the county finals vs. Wheatley at Hofstra University. The team finished the season as County runner-ups. The team was a nice combination of veteran varsity leaders and new comers to the varsity with six senior players and four freshmen on the squad. Along with four juniors, the team maintained the winning ways of a program that has won the league championship 7 out of the last eight years and won the county championship 6 of those years. Senior Berkeley Golon, Junior Jackson O’Neill, and Junior Stephen Spiegel received All-County honors. Senior Robbie Venegas and Freshman Harrison Treble received All-League honors. With two All-County pitchers coming back and four freshmen going into their second varsity season mixed with the other juniors and new players coming up from another successful JV season, the team expects to continue to work towards the goal of another county title next season.

The 2014 Oyster Bay High School Lady Baymen varsity spring track team recently completed a most memorable and record breaking season. Two school records were shattered this season; one relay record and one individual. Oyster Bay’s 4x800 meter relay team comprised of seniors Nicole Giannetti, Cassandra Iacono and juniors Linda Cameron and Rachel Wesley, broke the existing school record, and later broke their own record with a time of 10:01.56 at the Section VIII State Qualifier Meet on May 29.

Nicole Giannetti‘s senior year as a member of the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Track team will also be one that will be long remembered. In addition to helping break the school’s 4x800 meters relay record, Giannetti broke the school’s 2000 meter steeplechase record, with a time of 7:23.79. Winning the 1500 meter run in very dramatic fashion at the Nassau Coaches Invitational, with an amazing time of 4:59 was a memorable mid-season highlight. Giannetti earned All-Conference honors in both the 1500 meters and 3000 meter runs and All County honors in the 2000 meter steeplechase. Giannetti qualified for the New York State Track and Field Championship in the 2000 meter steeplechase, finishing fifth and thus earning All-State honors. Giannetti was recruited by Haverford College to run for them when she attends this fall where she will study bio-chemistry.

Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



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