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Firemen’s Field Overhaul Scheduled for 2012 Budget

Oyster Bay Civic Association Hamlet Update

Oyster Bay Civic Association (OBCA) President Bill Von Novak said the Town of Oyster Bay informed them it will place the improvements to Firemen’s Field into their budget that will be adopted in the fall of 2012. Mr. Von Novak said he and East Norwich Civic Association President Matt Meng; Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce President Michele Browner; Main Street Association Executive Director Isaac Kremer; Rob Brusca and Phil Blocklyn of the Oyster Bay Historical Society attended a meeting with the town where they were told that work on Firemen’s Field is set for 2013. The parking lot area will be re-designed with landscaping, and a comprehensive drainage system overhaul is planned for this, Phase III of the park renovation.

The funding is guaranteed for the project, explained Mr. Von Novak. He said of the announcement, “It’s been a long haul that started in August 2007.” All the organizations in the town recently sent a letter asking for the progress of the project. He credited Mr. Brusca for organizing the meeting with the town.

“It’s the final phase of the TR Park renovation. The engineering consultant will begin the plan and there will be opportunity for input for later in 2013. The town was very cooperative about the project,” said Mr. Von Novak. The work includes the LIRR parking area; and the firemen’s training strip – with drainage planned for the entire area.

Holiday Season Dates

The OBCA will again provide the refreshments for the Monday, Dec.19 Hanukkah Menorah Lighting at 5:30 p.m. (the eight day holiday starts on Dec. 20) at Townsend Park – located between the post office and Town Hall East. They will also provide refreshments for the annual tree lighting, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. Santa will arrive by fire truck and volunteers are needed, said Mr. Von Novak. They will be serving hot chocolate, cookies, and there will be holiday songs to listen to and to sing.

Seasonal Events

Earlier that same day, Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. there will be an exhibit and art sale to benefit the Life Enrichment Center, with live music, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres at the Seawanhaka Yacht Club. For more information, call the Center at 922-1770.

The next day, Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. the OB-EN Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual Light Up the Holidays Fundraiser to benefit seasonal decorations and other chamber programs - at Luce Italian Ristorante, 1053 Oyster Bay Road, East Norwich. Call 922-6464 to reserve your spot.

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, the Boys & Girls Club of OB-EN holds their annual Holiday Luncheon starting at 11 a.m. at The Metropolitan Club in Glen Cove. The event includes shopping boutiques and raffles. It is a wonderful way to start the holiday season and do a lot of shopping for a great cause. The club gets a portion of sales – a good reason to spend. Call 922-9285 for tickets.

OBCA Elections for 2012

The 2012 board of directors election will be open to nominations at the Thursday, Nov. 17 meeting. Grace Searby and Joan Drury are the co-chairs of the nominating committee. The OBCA will also take nominations from the floor. If there are any new candidates, the OBCA will mail out ballots to the members so they can vote.

If there are no new nominations at the November meeting, the secretary will cast one vote to accept the new board. The seats of Stan Spiegelman, Louise Rea, Gary Drury, and George DiMartino are up for election. Mr. Von Novak said the directors are elected, and then they meet and decide on the officers for 2012.

Mr. Siegelman encouraged anyone interested in serving on the board to step up. He announced that he would be 80 in a few weeks and as a “snow bird” he was willing to give his seat to anyone interested. If not he would continue to serve, doing mailings and “Giving sage advice,” he added.

Always fun to talk to, Mr. Spiegelman said in a telephone interview, “When I turned 50, I started announcing it six months before, and I am still doing that.” He still plays Jazz music. “I’m still playing, arranging and writing - and do that more than playing which takes a lot of physical energy. I do transcribing and arranging scores every day. It is what keeps me going - that and my family.” Because of family members living in other areas, he said they would be having a weeklong celebration for Thanksgiving to be sure to see everyone.

Mr. Spiegelman is in charge of the annual Oyster Bay Menorah Lighting on Dec. 19, the day before Hannukah. “I’ve invited Supervisor John Venditto and Legislator Judy Jacobs. Hopefully they will both be re-elected to office on Nov. 8,” he said.

Coordinated Septic System Grant

At the end of the meeting, the OBCA signed on for a town cesspool grant application to support a coordinated septic system management program on behalf of the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, the Oyster Bay / Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee, Friends of the Bay, and the Town of Oyster Bay itself. The coordinated septic system management and public education campaign was tentatively given the acronym: The CESSPOOL Project (for Coordinated Environmental Solutions for Septic Problems Occurring On Long Island).

“Friends of the Bay is participating in this grant as part of the new Watershed Action Plan,” affirmed Patricia Aitken, FOB executive director.

It is the intent of this grant to undertake a coordinated approach to determine what factors would motivate and what factors currently deter the public from properly maintaining their septic systems, and then use that information to carry out a program designed to motivate the public to make septic system maintenance a common habit. In the process, our bays and harbors will be better protected and jobs will be created.

At their meeting on Oct. 27, the East Norwich Civic Association also signed on to add their voice to the need for the grant.

Next Meeting

The Oct. 20 meeting of the Oyster Bay Civic Association was also their September meeting. A date conflict for the meeting room prevented the September meeting, but the board has been meeting and working for the community. Their next meeting will be on Nov. 17.

“Thursday, Nov. 17 is a general meeting open to the whole community,” said Mr. Spiegelman. It will be held at the Italian-American Club and there will be a panel talking on Hunger and Poverty in Oyster Bay.

The panel members are the Rev. John Yenchko of the North Shore Community Church that has a food pantry; Rabbi Marvin Demant of the Oyster Bay Jewish Center; and Barbara Rakusin of the Youth & Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich that oversees the Celia Flower Food Pantry.

“We are asking people to bring canned goods and non-perishable items to donate to the needy in our community,” said Mr. Spiegelman.

After the business meeting, Ray Easton and Joseph Babich of the Snouder’s Corner Drugstore Foundation spoke to members in their campaign to raise funds to purchase the property from owners Frank Genovese and Gene King for which they need $1.1 million. (Please see article on page (one or three of five).