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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 Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.

What better way to celebrate a 100th birthday than by having a new room inauguration filled with local residents, live music and cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. That is what happened at the Locust Valley Library Sunday evening, Nov. 9, as the community room was officially renamed the Matinecock Neighborhood Association Community Room. Proceeds from the event went to the restoration of the new room.

Speakers at the centennial celebration included Library Board of Trustees President Charles Brisbane, Library Administrative Director Kathy Smith, Locust Valley Historical Society President Herb Schierhorst and Matinecock Nation Chief Little Running Fox.


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