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Go Outside And Play...But Where?!?!

Where can our kids play these days?

We are often quick to say kids need to get out and play more (myself included) but sometimes that is harder than it appears.  Think back to the time when you were a child..go on...it's okay to day dream for a minute.  Okay, now that we all have a smile on our face, think about some of the places you used to play.  Now ask yourself how many of these places are still available to your children?  Not many, right?

This past weekend of Nemo dumping a mother-load of snow on us should have been met with the screams of children laughing and playing, but was it?  In a moment of trying to recapture my childhood or perhaps a bit of cabin fever, I was going to go tubing!  I quickly went to the shed to find some inflatable pool tubes, blew up a tire and was on my way.  Albeit, a bit winded but ready to go nonetheless. 

I made my way to the best hills I know in Kings Park which is at The Smithtown Landing Country Club.  I was hoping that it wasn't too crowded as these hills used to be a haven for all to enjoy once the snow dropped.  To my chagrin the hills were empty.  Not a footprint in the snow where the children used to run, play and laugh.  What has happened?  Have we closed this playground to all children perhaps due to a twisted ankle and a lawsuit from someone years ago?  Can we not supervise the hill and let the children enjoy?  My search would continue.

In hopes of finding a hill I settled for a small but popular spot for Kings Parkers.  The hill across from the Jewish Center off of 25A which is "the spot" for many once the driveway is passable.  I arrived eager to join the children and as I finished my first run we heard the sirens of the local police. 

This officer, perhaps watched one too many cop movies as he was on a mission to ruin everyone's day.  RoboCop armed with ticket book in hand was yelling at parents to vacate the hill or he would start writing.  This officer obviously had a unique childhood of being on the receiving end of many a wedgie as he was trying to "even the score".  But who was he protecting?  Who was he serving?  Just his own ego and to him I say shame on you.

Sure there are plenty of distractions for our children to stay inside and tweet, Facebook, upload, download, hash tag, etc... but why make it that much harder for our kids to simply be kids?  Let's be responsible and teach our kids that it is okay to play outside...the question just remains....where?

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Anthony February 12, 2013 at 07:29 PM
You are taking my comment to literally. The psych center is not a wasteland just not used appropriately. Do you really believe that something is going to be done with the psych center? You are dillusional. It's going to be 10 years before they allocate any more money for the removal of the rest of the buildings. We have been waiting for a "master plan" for over 10 years. By patience I guess you mean another 10 years. You need to stop making statements. Stop acting like you know everything. I am well aware that I can contact senator Flanagan. I will here the same garbage you are spouting about a master plan. Get real!
We Heart Long Island February 12, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Hey Daniel, can I have your address so I can come by and use your property whenever I want?
new guy February 12, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Real simple....smithtown landing country club is owned by the town. The golf coarse is leased to mike hebron. Just like the buildings(except 2nd story smithtown Rec. office) are leased to lessings catering. You being a town resident does not permit you to just use the property. The tenant mike Hebron spends a lot of money maintaining the grass. Foot traffic with sleds can and will destroy the grass. The town does not spend money on the coarse. The town owns sweetbriar nature center. There's two rental homes on that property, it doesn't mean your entitled to go watch a football game at one of the houses. As kids we did sleigh ride at smithtown landing, unfortunately sue happy society has put a damper on things.
Frank Mercuri February 13, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Anthony your comments are what they say. I am not dillusional. You do not know what is going on. There was over 29 million set aside for the cleanup. Approx 3 mill went for an engineering study as to what buildings to demolish. 6,4 million was approved for the demolish of of phase 1facilities. The remainder will be for phase 2 and the master plan which follows phase 2. I do not know what you are reading . During the 10 years cited, the state had the property up for sale. Bids were to low and the developers who bid were not accepted by the public and the town of Smithtown as to what was suggested for developement. I am nor going to contimue with any further explanaion as all is in public documents for your review as to the money the bids the making of the park etc. have a good day.
Anthony February 13, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Frank I am so glad you are happy with the progress the state is making.

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