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Letter: Flower Benefits Community

I am writing to correct the inaccuracies of Frances Leone’s letter to the editor in the Enterprise-Pilot issue dated Aug. 13. Ms. Leone is correct that it is important to respect all living creatures. We can agree on that as we have the same belief. However, her accusations that Frank M. Flower’s harvesting methods are killing horseshoe crabs and other marine life is simply not true. Let me set the record straight because the numerous falsehoods that Ms. Leone, a select group of Baymen and those that are their followers are spreading only makes for an air of panic and hysteria in the community which is not based on scientific facts.

We are shellfish farmers. At our hatchery we grow millions of oyster and clam seed that are planted on the bay bottom. We also provide the town with a million clam seed annually to plant on public grounds. The Baymen benefit from our work and it seems contradictory to bite the hand that feeds you. The lands we plant are leased from the TOB; who has a legal right to lease their lands for Aquaculture. The state does not lease lands, so yes there is no mechanical harvesting on NYS public lands. However, the DEC regulates our farming operation and is well aware of our harvesting methods. Again; we farm town lands which allow for and wants Aquaculture programs that will improve the environment of the waters.

We have been using mechanical harvesting methods since 1936 with our first dredges. The water quality reports from the Friends of the Bay speak for themselves as well as the landings reports from the DEC. Oyster Bay Harbor is the most productive waters in NYS. The act of mechanical harvesting cultivates the bottom. Planting oyster and clam seeds improves the water quality and takes out a tremendous amount of the harmful nitrogen. The Baymen benefit from our work and have successfully harvested the same or more clams than us annually. The notion that we are killing marine life is just not accurate. The mechanism on the harvesters actually has a built in device that causes any fish to swim away...if a fish did get brought up on the boat we have a dedicated deckhand on all the vessels to throw back any fish alive and well. We are a sustainable farm whose Aquaculture methods also benefit the community.

Joseph Zahtila,

Co-Owner Frank M. Flower and Sons

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