It’s been a rough 12 months since the start of 2020 – a crazy year, no doubt – and before we enter 2021, it’s a good time to look back at some of the stories that made it into our papers.
Not knowing what the year would bring, The Islip Bulletin launched our complete redesign. The Argyle showed “The Little Mermaid” and we wrote about Bay Shore’s all-girl wrestling team as well as the Bach Fest. This month, we also announced our 2019 Inspiration Award winner as Mary Reid.
West Islip Schools partnered with the DEC to clean the local creeks, and talks about selling the Masera property arose. Islip held a vigil for the local boy who was allegedly killed by his father in Manorville. An East Islip High School student created a mural at the Islip Town hatchery and Union Boulevard flooding was addressed at Penataquit Village.
COVID-19 officially reached Suffolk County. As the numbers rose, nonessentials were mandated to close. East Islip’s Buttermilk’s Chicken opened mid-pandemic and local Chinese restaurants saw a decline in customers. Residents rallied against the proposed Bayview apartments and Bay Shore celebrated St. Patrick’s Day.
Bay Shore school began handing out mask donations during grab-and-go-lunch pickups, Brightwaters Village residents extended their thanks to first responders through lawn signs and domestic violence cases were on the rise county-wide. The rainbow Facebook group also gained traction with over 25,000 members sparking local creations. There were also quarantine birthdays celebrated.
In May, we still remembered our veterans during Memorial Day and our high school seniors were optimistic for an outdoor graduation ceremony. Beaches reopened and the local post office receive free meals from nonprofit Carroll’s Kitchen. A Bay Shore senior launched a #NikesForNurses program and an East Islip student won a Vans sneaker design contest.
The town’s drive-in movie theater was in full swing and local libraries began to plan to physically reopen. There were Black Lives Matter protests at Town Hall and in Bay Shore and West Islip, and outdoor dining was off to a successful summer start. Local restaurants also started to serve first responders.
In July, a judge ordered Islip Town to federal court over a town board seats lawsuit. The Class of 2020 finally graduated and we featured our “Unmasked” special series. The Tri-Tec complex moved forward with an approved zone change and Bay Shore had a march against racism. Also, 80 Bay Shore teachers were eliminated in proposed cuts. We also won a Long Island Press Award for Shoshanna McCollum’s story.
This month, we featured local women who fought for their right to vote on our front page in honor of the anniversary of the 19th amendment. Local restaurant owners spoke up about being targeted for social-distance fines, NoFoDo Co. opened and Ackerson Square in Brightwaters was restored. We also continued to clean up from Tropical Storm Isaias.
Citizens Against the Bayview Avenue Apartments spoke up about rezoning frustrations. Rabbi Stillerman continued to celebrate through the pandemic and Islip Town went purple for Recovery Awareness Month. The paper also won a New York Press Association Award for editorials.
The Islip Town redistricting settlement faced backlash siting continued inequality due to new district lines. Possible senior housing was announced for Hawthorne Avenue in East Islip and concerns over the Masera property continued. Earlier in the month, student athletes faced season delays.
It was Election Day, a historic one at that, nominating our first woman vice president Kamala Harris. Locally, Bay Shore decorated with Vickerman wreaths, Islip Rotary helped the food-insecure and Islip Town’s MacArthur Airport eased traveling with on-site COVID-19 testing. Also, more possible apartments were proposed near the Bay Shore train station. Islip Town announced the possibility of piercing the tax cap and the IDA considered providing assistance to TREC.
Last month, we featured Drew Patrick Spa’s Radio City Music Hall wooden soldiers on our front page, wrote about Bay Shore’s newest shop, Blast from the Past, selling ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia collectibles, and talked about the Hanukkah mobile brought to us by the Chabad of Islip as a safe way to celebrate the holiday season. Also this month, a female-first fashion boutique opened in Bay Shore and Islip Schools began their search for a new superintendent.