Denise Evans-Sheppard is one of those Oyster Bay people who can say “my great-grandparents lived here.” It is something that happens more often than you might expect in this historic village that many families truly call home. For Denise and her relations – home is on The Hill, where the family homestead is located off Pine Hollow Road and where she still lives with her husband, Kelly Sheppard, and son Kai. “My husband and I were married in Hawaii,” she said. They named Kai, 7, in third grade at Vernon, after one of the wonderful people they met in Hawaii. “It means love in Hawaiian and life in Hebrew. I researched the name,” said Denise.
Research is one of the things she does most naturally. For many years she has been known as the family historian; last year she decided it was time to write the family’s history in the book, The Struggle Within, that she discussed at the Oyster Bay Historical Society meeting on Feb. 7.
The Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours gathering on Jan. 25, had Serata Italian Restaurant abuzz with conversation as about 40 bussiness people chatted. The chamber’s concept of getting business people from the area together for networking is a great success. Business cards were collected and late in the evening three cards were drawn and those guests received a copy of the book Bare Knuckle People Management by visiting author Sean O’Neill.
President Michelle Browner introduced Walter Imperatore, who is working with Dottie Simons on the Valentine Fair weekend events, Feb. 10, 11 and 12. Raynham Hall history tells us that British Officer Col. Simcoe gave Sally Townsend the first Valentine in America. A replica of it will be shown at Raynham Hall Museum, along with some of their collection of valentines. The chamber is encouraging local businesses to join in the valentine weekend fun with a promotion of their own.
East Norwich Civic Association President Matthew Meng said after their Jan. 26 meeting. “We had a good meeting. We had about 10 people and had a good healthy talk about what we are going to do this year. It included comments on the traffic up and down Route 106 [and the DOT proposal for only one lane southbound in the area of the Vernon school, plus a turning lane.
“East Norwich Fire Department Chief John DeBellis said they will oppose it because it would slow down the response of the volunteers getting to the firehouse so their response/arrival time will be impacted.
“On the other hand, if you are one of the people living on Route 106, anything is better than it is now. In general people don’t want to see a change,” Mr. Meng said.
The Oyster Bay and East Norwich Civic Association’s traffic committee sent information to the media to alert the community about a DOT traffic calming suggestion. Rob Brusca, OBCA counsel made the announcement at their Thursday, Jan. 19 board meeting about the request from the NYS DOT to find out what the community input is on making Route 106 two single lanes going north and south with a center turning lane in the five-tenths of a mile stretch roughly in front of the Vernon School property. The DOT initially wanted an answer by Jan. 31, but Mr. Brusca said on Monday, Jan. 23, “The NYS DOT has extended the time by which they would like some further input – re: the proposed conversion of two southbound lanes to one lane- to the end of February. Potentially, the work on it could be done some time this summer, as I believe it would not be much more work than re-striping a half mile of roadway.”
The Enterprise-Pilot contacted East Norwich Fire Department Chief John DeBellis, on any impact on emergency response/service of the proposed change on the road. At the Oyster Bay Civic Association meeting on Jan. 19, longtime East Norwich resident Rosemary Colvin commented that the second lane was a truck lane needed for the oil trucks leaving what was the Commander Oil depot that is currently owned by Petro Oil. Mr. DeBellis responded giving his own opinion saying, “Please remember that this is my personal opinion and is not any official opinion of any organization that I belong to.”
Raynham Hall and the Oyster Bay chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are hosting the 20th annual Great Presidents Contest, being held at the historic museum at 20 West Main Street. Entries are due by Wednesday, Feb. 1 by 5 p.m. Only one entry per person. The reception will be held on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m. All contestants and their parents and teachers are invited to attend a reception including an awards ceremony at Raynham Hall Museum, 20 West Main Street, Oyster Bay.
Winning entries will be on display at the museum from Feb. 17 through March 1, and will be available to be picked up beginning March 5.
All entries not picked up by March 12 will be disposed of unless prior arrangements have been made with the museum.
Raynham Hall Museum started the year with a gala Twelfth Night celebration with about 40 members and friends attending. It is the festival that marks the end of Twelve Days of Christmas when you start counting with Dec. 25, and was held Jan. 5.
Raynham Hall Museum Director Harriet Garrard Clark said they chose to celebrate 12th Night because “the Townsends, of Colonial times and Victorian times would have celebrated then, as opposed to Christmas which was thought of as being a sober event as opposed to a holiday. And, we wanted to thank all our members and friends for what they do during the year,” she said.
Members of the community were invited to an informal chat on Thursday, Jan. 12 in Room 115 at the high school, as the introduction to the 2012-2013 Oyster Bay-East Norwich School budget. About 40 parents, teachers and board members attended and discussed their concerns.
Considering last year’s first budget forum, this was a way to informally hear people speak about their concerns without using “Robert’s Rules” of procedure. The 2011 forum was a board meeting that - because of the number of people who came – was held in the auditorium. The board listened but didn’t answer questions. It was a very long night. Instead, this meeting was a dialog with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Phyllis Harrington acting as the chair and parents and students (seniors) asking questions, making suggestions and comments and answers were given.
The Town of Oyster Bay inducted their newly elected officials on Jan. 2, in a ceremony of gratitude and thanks to the Republican Party leaders, the town workforce, the families who support them and the voters who as Supervisor John Venditto said – get their message. That message is preserving their quality of life, good fiscal management, and listening to civic leaders and making them partners instead of adversaries.
Supervisor Venditto spoke of the challenges of winning and having to do better each time. He said proudly, that they are winning by increasingly greater margins each time they seek election and said, “It’s because of the people in this room and beyond.
It was a busy holiday season for Oyster Bay Jewish Center Rabbi Marvin Demant as he lead Channukah events on Monday, Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. at OBJC; 5 p.m. at Harbor House; and 5:30 p.m. at the Derby-Hall Bandstand.
Rabbi Demant said, “The Oyster Bay Jewish Center celebrated Channukah symbolically, on the day before the first candle was to be lit the next night. The reason was that all the children of the Oyster Bay Jewish Center Hebrew School are there on Mondays. Our Hebrew school meets on Monday and Wednesday so it is easy for us to get them together those days.”
Ewa Rumprecht and Jolanta Zamecka of Think Long Island First said, “Within minutes of sending our first announcement of the Show the Love Valentine Competition we have received enthusiastic letters from prospective participants. We are thrilled with the response.”
The invitation to the competition said, “Love is all around us in many shapes and forms, and this Valentine’s Day a special competition will give local artists and budding artists-to-be a chance to show what love means to them in the way of the time-honored tradition of the Valentine.”
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