Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Athletic Field for Tappen Beach

July 15, 2008: The Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor reports in the email message below that the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) has announced that an athletic field will not be installed at Tappen Beach. The Civic Association hopes that TOB will reconvene the Glenwood Landing Waterfront Steering Committee and hold meetings to gather community input about people's vision for Tappen Beach with a view toward updating or creating a new Tappen Beach Plan.

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There will be no artificial-turf field at Tappen Beach! That was the good news today at the TOBAY board meeting! Following about two hours of public hearings, Supervisor John Venditto opened the meeting up for public comment, and when the issue of the Tappen Beach artificial-turf field proposal came up, he stated that the plan has been stopped and that he had made a mistake and miscalculated the public sentiment over the project, and he admitted to being bombarded with calls and e-mails opposing the project.

You all made this happen--everyone who took time to write or call the supervisor's office, write letters to the editor, and sign the petition. (We had nearly 700 signatures on the petition that was circulated to halt the artificial-turf-field proposal.!) This is a victory for the community not only in ensuring that public health and environment will be protected, our quality of life preserved, and our treasured beach park protected from a use that is not in harmony with coastal activities, but also for our faith in the public process. The voices of individuals count, and together we can make a difference in events that shape the future!

We could leave it at that and say we're done, but we're not. First, please take time to write to Supervisor Venditto and thank him for listening to the community. (It took him long enough, but he knows that he made a mistake and that the town's public information system is flawed.) Then tell him you are still concerned about the potential health hazards that artificial turf poses to the town's children and environment and that you encourage the town to initiate a townwide moratorium on construction of artificial turf fields until all the information is in from the appropriate health and environmental agencies--see that attached document that was submitted to Supervisor Venditto and the town council this morning. (The Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor has never been a NIMBY organization; we don't want to shift the problem to another community.)

And there's this last request. The Coalition is used to operating a shoestring, but the string has become quite thin these days. In addition to all the support you have offered, we need your financial support as well to be able to keep things going so that when the need arises, we will be ready to act. We have downsized our operation, but we still have rent to pay and internet, phone, mail expenses, etc. We have obtained grant money to fund our water program, but we do not have sufficient funds to cover our activist activities. We have not asked for membership dues in a long while, but we are asking now. If you can afford $25 or more, we would greatly appreciate that or any amount you are comfortable donating. Please make checks payable to the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor and send them to P.O. Box 159, Sea Cliff, NY 11579. Also, please include your mailing address so that we can acknowledge your contribution as required for tax purposes.

Best regards,
Carol DiPaolo
Programs Director

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