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Editorial: Good News, Bad News?

We were saddened to see that the Town of Oyster Bay is eliminating night meetings from their 2012 hearing calendar. Some time ago we fought for those night meetings to become a regular part of the town board hearing process.

At that time, if residents wanted a night hearing - so that those working during the day wouldn’t have to take a day off from work, but could attend a night meeting – they had to submit a petition with 100 signatures of local residents - to get a night meeting.

It made it very difficult for people to participate.

Next year, the only night meeting will be the evening budget hearing in October. The budget gets approved after the election. When asked for an explanation, a town spokesperson said, “Historically, Town Board Meetings were held during the day.  During the 1990s, changes were made to the Town Board schedule and some meetings were conducted at night, however, over the course of time it became readily apparent that except for certain zoning applications that involved community wide interests, there was little or no distinction between day and evening meetings.  

“Accordingly, the Town Board now conducts day meetings, but will accommodate residents who reasonably request a night meeting (for example, there is community wide interest in a zoning application and residents are unable to attend a day meeting).  The decision to schedule a night meeting will be made by the Town Board on a case by case basis.  

“Of course, anyone who knows the Supervisor Venditto and Board members knows that they are always very accommodating to resident requests on any matter.”

So that is the story!

In other news, Gregory Druhak informed us, “Robert Terry of Seawanhaka Winter Laser Sailing has taken the video of the Ida May Project Keel Laying Ceremony of December 10, 2011 and kindly edited it and posted it on his Laser District 8 site on You Tube.  The run time is approximately 25 minutes.”

If you would like to see the event, it will hopefully interest you in the rest of the story of the boat. It is anticipated that the Ida May – with more capabilities for service adds to our appreciation of Oyster Bay Harbor and Long Island Sound.

The boat operates under power with an engine – so wind is not a problem; it has lights and can go out at night; it is wider than the Christeen and can be used for dinner outings at night and on Long Island Sound.

The Ida May Project was up for a $400,000 NYS Heritage grant but this year none were given out, so she is pressed for funding. Hopefully there will be some donors who will be able to fill the gap.

For now, take a look at the video and see if you are inspired.

Have a great new year. There is a lot of good news for Oyster Bay in store.