East Quogue Community Notes, January 9

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As the joys and merriment of the holiday season were slowly becoming cherished memories, 2014 arrived brashly with its “gifts” of frigid weather and huge snowfalls. So, I think I’ll just stay inside by the fire, read my colorful garden catalogs and dream of the arrival of spring. And, in eager anticipation, I’m starting my annual countdown early this year—only 69 days until one of my favorite seasons arrives on March 20.This coming August—the 17th to be exact—will be a special anniversary for me, marking eight years since my first column appeared in this newspaper. During that time I have always written my column in a neutral way, giving equal “ink” to all causes and organizations in our community.

That being said, I am going to stray a bit from my neutral stance moving forward. As you are aware, I treasure our environment: I use no chemicals in my garden and only environmentally sensitive products in my home; I plant native; and I love wildlife. If I were to have my way, I would live all by myself in the middle of a pristine forest. But that is not reality.

“The Links” and “The Hills” are the last big tracts of land left in East Quogue. “The Links” has already been preserved and proposals for development of “The Hills” have been made. During the last few months there has been much controversy and hyperbole in our hamlet and I have dear friends on both sides of the issue.

Speaking to some of my friends and neighbors, however, I have become concerned that decisions are being made about the proposed project without full knowledge of all of the facts. I count very few residents who have actually sat down with the developers to discuss the plans for “The Hills” in a calm and informative manner.

So, I am pleased to tell you that Robert Long, the principal of our East Quogue Elementary School, will be hosting an informational meeting in the school cafetorium sometime in February. The officers of Discovery Land Company will be there to explain their proposed project and to listen to the concerns of our community.

Stay tuned because I will have more information as it becomes available. Just make a note of it for now and plan on attending with an open mind.

And, on a fun note, belated happy birthday wishes are winging their way to those special twins Samantha and Taylor Oudeans who turned 17 on Monday, December 23. Taylor and Samantha are juniors at Westhampton Beach High School where they are Honor Roll students.

On The Calendar

Saturday, January 11: “Birds of Prey Up Close and Personal” at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, 1 p.m. For more information, call (631) 653-4771.

Saturday, January 18: East Quogue’s Eileen Schwinn, past president of the Eastern Long Island Audubon Society, discusses the “Birds of Winter” at the Quogue Library, 10 a.m. For information, call (631) 654-4224.

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