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Four upcoming community events

Group to discuss use of school for voting

The West End Neighbors Civic Association of Long Beach will discuss the closure of West Elementary School as a polling place at its meeting tonight.

City Republicans have said they want the Nassau County Board of Elections to reopen the polling place, as they believe it is critical to the party’s success in next month’s city council election. But William Biamonte, Nassau’s Democratic elections commissioner, has said he does not support the change because it would alter polling places between a primary and a general election.

Long Beach normally has six polling places in citywide elections, but superstorm Sandy closed West Elementary School. The school reopened in September. West End residents voted a mile away, at Lindell Elementary School, in this year’s primary.

John Bendo, president of the civic association, who supports reopening the polling place, said the association is inviting the community to talk about the issue. He said residents have voted at West School for 40 years and should be allowed to do so this year.

“Being able to walk to voting makes it much easier for people,” said Bendo, who is registered to vote but is not a member of any party. “I’m concerned that if we lose it, we might never get it back.”

The meeting, which is open to the public, is at West End Community Center on Maryland Avenue and is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Free art therapy for students planned

The Smithtown Youth Bureau plans to host a free art therapy program for Town of Smithtown high school students next month.

The group will meet every Tuesday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., from Nov. 12 to Dec. 17, at the Horizons building, 161 E. Main St. in Smithtown.

Concetta Valenti, the bureau’s community relations assistant who will be running the program, said art therapy is an outlet for students who may struggle with expressing themselves but want to be heard.

“A lot of students don’t have that outlet to be heard — their ideas, their thoughts, their feelings get overlooked,” Valenti said. “When students get overlooked, they tend to become overwhelmed, withdrawn, and they can become depressed.”

Students will select from several art journal prompts, such as “managing your inner critic as a monster,” and draw or paint what the expression means to them, Valenti said.

“The aim is to get them to have an awareness ... you’re using your own creativity to make something that you can’t put into words,” she said. “It can be difficult for some people to use words to express their feelings sometimes.”

Valenti stressed that students do not have to be artists to take part in the group, adding, “the point of this is feeling your emotions and putting them down on paper.”

Register by Nov. 8 by calling the Smithtown Youth Bureau at 631-360-7595, or emailing Space is limited to 12 students.

Forum to focus on breast cancer impact

Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy L. Goosby will host a breast cancer forum Saturday to discuss the impact of the disease on African-American women and how it could be eradicated.

The forum will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the African American Museum, on 110 N. Franklin St. in Hempstead Village. The event is also presented by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Iota Theta Zeta Chapter, and Nassau County Interdenominational Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows Association.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African-American women. It is also the second-leading cause of cancer death among African-American women, exceeded only by lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

“These are staggering statistics for our community,” Goosby said in a statement. “Breast cancer does not have to be a death sentence for us. Armed with the appropriate information, we as a community can combat breast cancer.”

For more information, call Goosby’s office at 516-489-5000, ext. 4304.

Estate-planning seminar offered

State Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) will host a free estate-planning and financial-security seminar on Thursday at the Garden City Library, 60 Seventh St. in Garden City, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The featured speaker will be Sheila Lyons, who will address elder law, elder care, estate planning and related topics. The other speaker will be Linda West of All Metro Health, a senior housing advocate who will discuss options for home care and housing for seniors.

Elder care emphasizes the social and personal requirements of senior citizens who need some assistance with daily activities and health care. Those who have a loved one who might require some form of elder assistance, home care or housing should attend, officials said.

The seminar is free and reservations are required. For more information, visit or call 516-739-1700.

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