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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

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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