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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

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.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date Daphne, a 3-month-old long haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.


Sports

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.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


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