Today’s news:

To the Point: As the birds chirp, woodchucks shiver

Welcome to the Point. The Point being College Point. The groundhogs may be wearing earmuffs and scarves, but the birds are all out chirping, shedding their old feathers and building their nests for their new arrivals.

Remember to attend a very important meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. at the St. Fidelis Auditorium. Urgent health problems and community problems will be addressed. All politicians have been invited, plus agency heads. This is your opportunity to ask your questions.

Special warm regards to Nanny Menaszes, a notable fan who loves beating everybody at Chinese checkers. Good health to Joanne Newcomb, who is eagerly expecting an addition. Daughter Michelle and son David will more than help in the care. It was also nice having Katalyn and Colleen and Connor for lunch at Cascarino's. Right after lunch, Erin and Briana had to be picked up from school.

Condolences to Laraine Memola and Sean who lost their special pet Waggles.

Speedy recovery to Helen Mazzarello, Thomas Capone and Robert Carmichael. Frank Hess (Penny's live-in) is still mesmerized by his Silver Star that he received for meritorious service in World War II.

Condolences to the family of Anne Rose, who was sweet, loving and always had a kind word for everybody.

A luncheon will be held at the First Reformed Church at 12:15 p.m. Joe Hellman will be the speaker on the upcoming 2000 US Census.

Special birthday greetings to Betty Pegan, who makes the greenery so beautiful to look at. Congratulations to Roberta Martin and David VanderWerf, who were recently engaged and will be married in the First Reformed Church on June 17.

The Pasta for Lovers Dinner is Saturday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m., at the Knights of Columbus, St. Ambrose Council. Cost is $10/person, $15/couple. The chef, Phil LaFurno, will cook pasta with homemade gravy, chicken, salad, cake and coffee. Call Brian O'Keefe or Rocco Cardali at 886-0938.

A St. Patrick's Dance will take place on Saturday, March 4, at 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Council. Admission is $25 per person and includes corned beef and cabbage, wine, beer, soda, live musicians and more. Call Tim O'Donnell at 359-6338. Come see the leprechauns at the St. Ambrose Council.

Go see A Murder Mystery, Saturday, April 1, 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus for $35 per person. That covers a hot meal and beer, wine or soda but hard liquor is b.y.o.b. DJ dancing. The Murder Mystery was written exclusively for St. Ambrose Council. Reservations must be made in advance. Call Bruce Johnson 358-6873 or Melissa and Karen at 762-0506.

The Knights of Columbus Hall is available for rentals accommodating up to 100 people. It is ideal for parties, limited to five hours total. It is accessible to all and is the only local hall with no stairs. There are limited kitchen facilities. For information, call rental chairman Dick Swanson at 718-445-4098.

Poppenhusen Institute will hold an Irish Candlelight Cafe Night at 7 p.m. on March 4. Admission is $15 and must be purchased in advance. Country line-dancing is scheduled on Mondays. Beginners attend from 6:45-7:45 p.m. The fee is $5. Intermediate dancers go from 7:45-9:45 p.m. and pay $6. Group keyboard lessons for children (ages 6-12) run from 5-6 p.m. for a fee of $60 for 10 sessions. The instructor is Sing Ing Ho.

Don't be misled, there will not be "play ball" on the fields of the College Point Sports Complex. Just walk or drive down there and look for yourself. Forty-thousand cubic feet of questionable fill has been removed and there will be about another 40,000-plus cubic feet to go. This summer will mark three years that the children have not been able to play on these fields. This is a disgrace!

Senator Frank Padavan's recent mailing on "Focus on Public Safety" is very informative and should be read. He has been a principal sponsor of the New York State Death Penalty Law and the main sponsor of New York's "Safe City, Safe Streets" laws that put cops on the beat in the neighborhoods. This year he is sponsoring and co-sponsoring bills that include: permitting juries to find criminals guilty but mentally ill and to send them to secure prisons for psychiatric treatment instead of psychiatric hospitals; helping to curb acts of religious desecration by making parents or legal guardians liable for up to $7,500 in damages when their child destroys or damages property of religious significance; establishing that a person driving a recently stolen car who has absolutely no relationship to the rightful owner is very likely to be a car thief (the courts make these bills necessary) and mandating that a person convicted of auto theft serves a minimum of six months in jail.

The Memorial Day Parade Committee is in session and most certainly we could use more volunteers for this committee. If you wish to volunteer for this endeavor, please call parade chairman Fred Mazzarello at 939-3393 between 9-2 p.m. and become a member of the committee.

News from St. Paul: The rector has announced the appointment of Roy Prescod as the George Hess Jr. Memorial organist and choir director of St. Paul's Church. Prescod assumed his duties on Feb. 6. On Sunday, April 2 at 10 a.m., the unveiling of the Hess Memorial will be held. Grace Fredricks will join the rector in presiding. Also, Prescod will be installed as organist and choir director. It will be known as the George Hess Jr. Memorial Choir. Many members of Hess's extended family will be in attendance and a meal will follow the service in the Parish Hall.

Important health news follows: The federal government is investigating whether malathion, the pesticide that was sprayed over the New York area to combat last summer's outbreak of West Nile fever, may cause cancer. The investigation was revealed in a letter last week from a US Department of Agriculture official to a Washington DC area environmental scientist. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering changing the registration status of malathion because of studies that suggest it could be a low-level human carcinogen, wrote Harold Smith, a senior project leader in policy and program development at the USDA.

Sabina Says: I hope St. Valentine's Day brought out the love that was in your heart to those around you. Be touched by the love of others. Share the love that you have received.

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