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Town: Improvement To Parks Worth Cost

It may only be January, but the upcoming November election already appears to be on the mind of Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto. At a recent board meeting, the supervisor defended the decision to spend millions of dollars to upgrade town parks and facilities.

“Every level of government is suffering,” remarked Venditto about the fiscal woes faced by municipalities. “Having said that, in some municipalities the infrastructure has not been addressed. This [the renovations to town facilities] is going to protect our infrastructure and quality of life. Just remember that when fall comes around and people are shooting arrows at us.”

The town has been dealing with budget shortfalls, which Venditto has blamed on the recent recession. Standard and Poor’s has lowered its long-term bond rating for the town. Because of the town’s finances, challengers will likely raise the issue of spending the money to upgrade town parks during the next campaign.

The issue arose when a resident thanked board members for their decision to upgrade town facilities. The resident said that town parks give the town’s youth a nice place to play which she said is especially important because of the increase in bullying.

Also, a public hearing was held to consider the 2013 Fire Protection Agreement between the town and its fire districts. No residents spoke at the public hearing. However, both Venditto and Councilman Joe Pinto expressed their gratitude for the service of firefighters.

“For a large part, they’re the reason the Town of Oyster Bay is such as a safe place to live,” said Venditto. The supervisor also recalled his mother’s house being on fire, and while he grabbed the dog and his mother grabbed her checkbook, both ran away from the fire while firefighters ran towards it, without knowing what perils they might be rushing to.

“I have a heartfelt feeling to our fireman,” said Pinto.  “After my son was born, there we three or four times that if they hadn’t responded, I don’t know what would have happened.”

Dr. Natalia Appenzeller, Clinical Director of the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, thanked the board for its assistance in conducting the 5th Annual Town of Oyster Bay Walk for Autism this past September. According to Appenzeller, this year’s event raised almost $7,000 for their efforts to meet the needs of children and adults with autism and related developmental disabilities.

A Syosset resident spoke to the board and appealed for a long-term solution to the issue of noise coming from the town’s Department of Public Works facility located at 150 Miller Place in Syosset. Stephen Meyers, who says he represents about 600 homeowners in the area who are disturbed by the sound of constant beeps which come from construction trucks within the facility. The beeps are a warning signal that the truck is going in reverse.

Meyers is calling on the town to put up a highway wall to muffle some of the sound or hire a signal person so that trucks may have the reverse warning beep turned off.

John Venditto said he would look into the issue although a town official cautioned him that the town’s leverage in getting vendors who use the facility to cooperate is diminished because of the economy.

News

One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.

Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.

Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.

“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”


Calendar

Sonny And Perley

Saturday, July 26

Women Artists You Should Know

Thursday, July 31

Adult Summer Reading Club

Through Aug. 7



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