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Letter: Community Dialog At The Civic Association

The next meeting of the Oyster Bay Civic Association will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 20 at the Italian American Club on 48 Summit St. (across from the Historical Society). The group is the “voice of the people” —not taking sides, but serving as a mechanism for uncovering public concerns and conveying diverse opinions and wishes to “deciders.”

Currently on the agenda is the installation of officers by Legislator Donald MacKenzie (with additional nominations accepted from the floor).  However, topics open for discussion include the clean-up and possible public acquisition of the Mill Neck Marina; the dispute between the Baymen and the Flower Oyster Farm; the application by the Hess Gas Station for a bigger sign; a proposal for drive-by mail box drops at the Post Office and the need for better traffic control at the foot of Mill Hill.

Some folks ignore their Civic Association until a crisis threatens the community (like the West Shore Road collapse after Super Storm Sandy or the proposed Avalon Bay high rise apartments).  Then they expect the OBCA to round up the troops and jump into action.

But what happens to the Civic Association when there is no immediate crisis or hot button issue?  It does not go dormant, rather dedicated, alert officers and members continue to meet in public as watchdogs of the community. When issues arise, the OBCA is already in place, to serve as a public forum.

Most of the time (on the surface) things are pretty quiet here in our historic hamlet, and that is a good thing.  However, as with any community, there is always lots of tweaking going on behind the scenes: applications for variances, new policies and personnel.  Many local issues have a long pre-history, hidden in the collective memory of the community, or belong to a particular constituency like the school or business communities, which are represented by the PTA or Chamber of Commerce.

The OBCA exists as an ongoing open meeting, welcoming regular folks to discuss all sides of an issue without bias.  They keep an eye on important issues, educating us on how the government works, tracking down rumors, following up on suggestions, and providing feedback to officials.  

But they can’t do it alone. They need many more community minded citizens to participate by attending the meetings, raising issues, voicing their opinions, volunteering to serve on committees and informing their neighbors of the issues we collectively face.

Please come to our next meeting and take part in the community dialogue!

Caroline S. DuBois

News

With a general discontent about the view-blocking pedestrian railings recently installed along West Shore Road, the discussion at the Oyster Bay Civic Association meeting on Sept. 18 focused on the possibility of having the road designated as a scenic highway.

This concept was suggested by Gregory Druhak of Centre Island, a regular traveler along West Shore Road, who said, “I believe this is the most scenic drive on Long Island west of the Hamptons, perhaps on all of Long Island itself, and it is not being treated as such. I feel we are being given the Lefferts Boulevard [down by JFK airport] expressway extension instead. For all you can see, it might as well be the Belt Parkway below the fence instead of Oyster Bay. This is wrong.”  

This year you can expect to see the Freedom Schooner Amistad, Connecticut’s flagship, tied up on the Western Waterfront Pier at the Oyster Festival on Oct. 18 and 19. The ship is a Baltimore Clipper that is 129 feet in length and weighs 96 tons. Its home port is New Haven, Conn.

The tall ship visits ports worldwide, as an ambassador for friendship. It serves as a floating classroom, icon and monument to many souls that were broken or lost as the result of the transatlantic slave trade.

The original Amistad, which means friendship in Spanish, was made famous in 1839 when 53 African captives (men, women and children) transported from Havana revolted against their captors. The captives gained control of the ship under the leadership of Sengbe Pieh, later known as Joseph Cinque, who commanded the ship’s navigator to return them to Sierra Leone. Instead, the ship headed north, landing in Long Island, and was taken into custody by the United States Navy.


Sports

Football season is here and the Oyster Bay-Bayville Generals  held their opening day games on Sept. 14. Here are the results:

5 & 6 Peanuts:

The Peanuts opened the season vs. the Seaford Broncos and came out on the losing end of a hard fought game. The Lil Generals opened the game on offense and quarterback Rodney Hill, Jr. marched the offense down the field and completed the drive with a touchdown pass to Francesco Allocca. Yes, the Peanuts have a potent air attack with Hill Jr. going two for two for 26 yards. The defense played strong with Allocca leading the team in tackles with help on the defensive line from first-year players Dean Wolfe and Anthony Pelchuck.  

Former football coach and NFL player Bill Curry recently brought a wealth of experience, knowledge and history to a wide audience of student-athletes and coaches at Hofstra University for a lesson on diversity, tolerance and respect in high school athletics.

 

Director of the NYS PHSAA Sportsmanship Committee and Manhasset High School Athletic Director Jim Amen Jr. established the summit and invited Curry as keynote speaker.

Amen Jr. and Section VIII Executive Director Nina Van Erk introduced Curry to a crowd representing more than 37 local high schools.


Calendar

Plein Art Exhibit

Wednesday, Oct. 1

College Discussion

Monday, Oct. 6

Collecting Manuscripts

Thursday, Oct. 9



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