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Nov 7, 2011 12:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Flanders, Riverside And Northampton Community Notes, November 10

Nov 8, 2011 1:11 PM

I usually don’t start my column off this way but I have something that, I feel, needs to be addressed. You can agree, disagree, or not give a hoot—your choice. But I am having trouble understanding why the change to Southampton Town’s leaf pickup program is such a big deal.

I have heard so much complaining about it these past few weeks that I had to say something. From what I’m hearing, many of you feel that we pay taxes to have our leaves picked up and the town shouldn’t just take that service away. But they are still picking up our leaves ... you just need to bag them now. And, no, I’m not married to a highway worker—I’m just being realistic. Is it really that big of a deal to bag your leaves?

Like others in the community, I cannot stop thinking about the tragedy that struck the Trinca family nearly a month ago, where mom and son were lost in the blink of an eye. Four-year-old Marialena is still recovering from injuries she suffered in a car accident that claimed the lives of her mother and older brother ... and people are complaining about bagging leaves.

Be thankful that you and your children are alive and healthy enough to be raking leaves. If I learned anything from that tragic October day it is that life is too precious to be sweating the small stuff. Why not put some of that energy into a game of flag football with your kids, or have a family game night. In the end, those are the memories you will treasure the most, not the time you wasted complaining about bagging leaves. No one is promised tomorrow—just think about that for a moment.

The leaf program begins on Monday, November 14, and all your leaves should be placed at the curb by then so you don’t miss out. Our district has two pickups and the first area to be hit will be the Northampton/Wildwood Lake area before crews move to Flanders and Riverside next. Biodegradeable bags are available at local hardware stores and Home Depot.

Please remember that the highway trucks will swing through an area only once and they will not be collecting brush. The town’s transfer stations in Westhampton, Hampton Bays and North Sea will be accepting your brush at no charge. For more information about that program, please call 283-5210.

If you are a senior citizen or have special needs, you can call 728-3600, ext. 2585, and register with the highway department for curb-side loose leaf pickup. You can also self-haul loose leaves to a registered drop-off location if you don’t want to bag them. You must call the number above as well to register and receive a voucher. You can also turn off your TVs, cellphones and video games, grab your family, put on some music and spend the day in the yard raking and bagging leaves. Just saying ...

An Important Reminder: Flanders Fire Department members want to make sure that everyone changes the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors now that the clocks have been set back. Twice a year replacement of the batteries will ensure that you and your family are protected in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

Congratulations go out this week to Ronald Dyke of Manorville who took first place at the Friends of the Big Duck’s Autumn Antique Auto Show on October 9. Ronald’s modified 1929 Ford Model A was a fan favorite at the show.

Riverhead’s Community Awareness Program (CAP) is presenting a free workshop series for parents called Guiding Good Choices every Monday, beginning on November 14, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. The workshops will be held in the CAP offices on East Main Street in Riverhead and will focus on strengthening family bonds and reducing the risk that children will use alcohol or other drugs in the future.

It is never too early to start learning prevention when it comes to your children. The program will run for five weeks and is an interactive program where parents will learn to set clear guidelines on underage drinking and drugs, and participate in workshops to help children develop healthy behaviors and respond to peer pressure. Space is limited, so call to reserve your spot today. For more information or to register, call 727-3722.

And don’t forget to register for the Southampton Town Senior Services Bowling Party that will be held next Thursday, November 17, at Wildwood Bowl in Northampton. The fun begins at 11 a.m. and will include two games of bowling, a pizza lunch and round-trip transportation from the Hampton Bays Senior Center. The cost is only $20 per person and pre-registration is required. Call 728-1235 today and reserve your spot on the lanes.

Looks like that wraps it up for this week, folks. Have a great one and start raking those leaves!

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