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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

On Saturday, July 5, Building J on the Western Waterfront was opened to the public for a free concert of classical music played by talented youth in the Oyster Bay Music Festival. The acoustics in the large metal shed were lively as the backdrop of the Ida May, a wooden oyster dredge under construction, lent artisanal flavor to the rich stew of mostly sea-related musical selections. People sat on stacks and benches of freshly milled wood or stood in the cavernous space. They soaked in beautiful solos, duets and trios that combined voice, piano, flute, cello and violin. Frank M Flower & Sons provided fresh oysters that engaged the palate, and representatives from Steinway & Sons gave a quick overview of how their pianos are made, relating several aspects of their meticulous process to the construction of the Ida May.

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


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