Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Kevin Kelly mugshot from SCPD

Police arrested a man on Thursday evening who they say had illegal sexual contact with two teenagers several years ago.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, suspect Kevin Kelly met the victims while working as a stage manager for a local theater company. One of the alleged incidents occurred in 2007 and involved sexual contact with a 14-year-old, while the other allegedly occurred with a 15-year-old a year later.

Police arrested Kelly, a Massapequa resident, on Plant Avenue in Hauppauge Thursday, after Special Victims Section detectives investigated the case. He was charged with second-degree criminal sex act and third-degree criminal sex act.

Attorney information for Kelly was not immediately available on Friday afternoon. The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

Anyone who may have been a victim of inappropriate sexual contact or has information about the charges against Kelly is asked to call detectives at 631-852-6272.

By Larry Vetter

What does a vibrant industrial park bring to a town? The answer is simple: jobs and an increased tax base, to ease the burdens on everyone.

There are essentially two types of economic centers within the town of Smithtown. One type is visible. This is the downtown areas. The second is the industrial parks, equally important, but more hidden. When we think of industrial parks, Hauppauge immediately comes to mind; however, Nesconset, St. James and Kings Park also contain industrial zones.

Larry Vetter
Larry Vetter

Recently, I had the opportunity to drive through the various zones. The Hauppauge, Nesconset and St. James zones consist primarily of warehouse-type structures, while Kings Park consists mostly of yard-type commercial businesses. Many of the buildings in the Nesconset and St. James zones are empty or significantly underutilized. The Hauppauge Industrial Park was once vibrant with a mix of light industry, manufacturing and warehousing. Today, there is also a malaise in this industrial park.

Suffolk County and several of the townships within the county have developed industrial development associations. They recognize the “Long Island Brain Drain,” where many of our well-educated young people cannot find the type of employment commensurate with their education. The primary purpose of these associations is to entice business into the county and more specifically to our towns. Today, Smithtown contains no such association. It seems to be a rather significant oversight to have, within our borders, one of the largest industrial parks, and yet not have any plans for developing it.

So what do we do? What seems to happen is that we sit back and hope. Our only initiative was to allow building owners to extend the roof heights in hopes of attracting business. So far, neither idea appears effective.

We need to once again think outside of the box. My solutions to this crucial problem are as follows:

1. Develop an industrial development association. This can be done with resources we already have within the town. It is not necessary to spend additional tax revenue on this process. We can piggyback with the existing Suffolk County program.

2. Actively entice businesses to Long Island. Who is to say that Hauppauge cannot become the next “silicone valley”? Technology companies often need minimal raw materials and shipping is often parcel post; something we are situated very well for.

3. Open discussions with Suffolk in an attempt to develop sewer system plans in Smithtown. As important as this topic is to homeowners, it is equally as important to businesses.

4. Suffolk County has a number of transportation initiatives. Why not work with the county to develop alternative transportation from our nearby rail hubs to enable easier movement into and out of the industrial park?

Smithtown is a great place. We have many hardworking families that take the education of their children seriously. As a result, there are well qualified individuals to staff modern technology enterprises. We have great public schools and nearby higher education facilities, as well as world-renowned research facilities. We have wonderful beaches and golf courses, and several nearby townships are undergoing a revival in eateries and entertainment. Finally, we are located very near one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It seems to me that it would not at all be a difficult sell, but like everything else, it must be worked for.

This November, take the opportunity to vote for individuals that will work toward solutions and not accept excuses for why things cannot happen. Let’s reverse the “Brain Drain” and give us all a chance to keep families together on Long Island.

The author is a Smithtown resident running for the Town Board on the Democratic line in November’s election.

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Port Jefferson community members decked out the village in pink to raise local awareness of breast cancer and breast health. John T. Mather Memorial Hospital spearheaded the ongoing initiative, which is also raising funds for the hospital’s Fortunato Breast Health Center.

Steve McCoy and Suzanne Mason star in ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Theatre Three. Photo by Sari Feldman, Franklin Inc.

Port Jefferson Village residents can score free tickets to see the musical “Sweeney Todd” at Theatre Three on Main Street.

Residents with a valid ID can pick up tickets at the village recreation department office, on the second floor of the Village Center, as supplies last. The tickets are available for two Thursday night shows: Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.

Call 631-802-2160 for more info.

The author, second from right, hiking at Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire, with fellow WWOOFers, from left, Matt Cook, Greg Mizar and Camille Horace. Photo by Melanie Glissman

By Stacy Santini

This is the last installment of a four-part series. Miss part three? Read it here.

Jack Kerouac did it, John Steinbeck did it; there is something to be said about being on the road. Not for everybody, there are countless moments when the vexation of it all can be overwhelming. Living out of suitcases and spending more time crouched over a steering wheel than being vertical most definitely takes a toll, but for me, those inconveniences were small in comparison to what I was feeling and the perspective I gained. 

“My life is my message.”
 Mahatma Gandhi

After so many years of ignoring the spirit that now guides me, I felt completely and utterly free, treasuring every mile of my journey. Revelation upon revelation unfolded itself and I got to know a person that had been a stranger for all too long — myself.

I unfolded my crumpled-up bucket list and placed check marks where there had been blank spaces, and WWOOFing it in New England served as a springboard to extraneous adventures I took advantage of while I was away.

During my time in the Northeast, I was able to reconnect with my family in Concord, New Hampshire, and stay with dear friends I don’t often get to see in Exeter. Sitting around dinner tables, breaking bread and talking to familiar faces was a comfort.

I felt empowered and strong as a result of farming and did not feel out of my comfort zone when I read poetry at an open mic in Portland, Maine or dined al fresco in Saratoga Springs. There were strange faces along the way that quickly became native as I was invited to join them to observe jam bands at local venues.

Friendships were made and alliances amongst my fellow WWOOFers were welcomed. I took my Southern California comrades from Owen Farm to Melanie and Matt’s organic farm in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, to hike and assist them in turning sap into maple syrup in the sugar shack.

Charlie, my morkie, and I traveled west to our beloved Catskills, walked part of the Appalachian Trail and held fort in New Paltz for several days, shopping at Groovy Blueberry and chowing down with a women’s motorcycle club at The Gilded Otter.

Returning home was not easy, as there was so much more I wanted to explore, but I have learned to trust timing, and without hesitation I know that Charles Crawford and I will one day again be road warriors embarking on the unknown. I am not sure whether or not I thought I would return to Long Island a farmer, but regardless, I knew I would come home different and better for this undertaking. Mission accomplished.

Stacy Santini is a freelance reporter for Times Beacon Record Newspapers. If you would like to find out how to become a WWOOFer, visit www.wwoofusa.org.

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AASLH says thanks to Frank Turano

Center, Frank Turano, project manager of the Chicken hill Exhibit Committee, receives the AASLH Award of Merit. Photo from Beverly Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

The Three Village Historical Society received the American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Merit for the exhibit Chicken Hill: A Community Lost to Time at the AASLH’s annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 18.

The Award of Merit is presented to recognize excellence for projects ranging from civic engagement to exhibits and publications.

The Award of Merit is one of the AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards. AASLH bestows Leadership in History Awards to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

AASLH maintains the awards program to recognize good history that changes people’s lives by helping them make connections with the past. Recipients can take pride in the fact that they are recognized by their peers. Winners use the award to promote their institution in their communities and beyond, including leveraging needed funds.

Chicken Hill project manager Frank Turano and I traveled to the AASLH annual meeting to receive the award and to participate in the annual meeting. Staff members and volunteers at history museums, historical societies and related organizations from all over the United States attend the annual meeting to take part in sessions about all phases of local history and to exchange ideas, problems and successes.

The awards dinner on Friday was attended by recipients from 31 states, and the range of their efforts was detailed as each individual or group came up to receive their award. This year, AASLH conferred 61 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books and organizations.

“The Leadership in History Awards is AASLH’s highest distinction and the winners represent the best in the field,” said Trina Nelson Thomas, AASLH awards chair and director, Stark Art & History Venue, Stark Foundation. “This year, we are pleased to distinguish each recipient’s commitment and innovation to the interpretation of history, as well as their leadership for the future of state and local history.”

The Three Village Historical Society Chicken Hill exhibit was designed and installed by members of the society’s Three Village Rhodes Committee, many of whom had a personal connection with the Chicken Hill area and the people who lived and worked there over the past century and a half.

The exhibit includes stories of the evolution of the Chicken Hill area and its religious, social and cultural development. It especially details family life and the passion that surrounds the Setauket baseball teams based there. One of the most dramatic parts of the exhibit is a touch screen computer station featuring interviews with former members of Chicken Hill, who relate their personal stories and recollections of the events that engaged the entire community.

The Chicken Hill exhibit, as well as the companion SPIES! exhibit, are open every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Three Village Historical Society Headquarters, 93 North Country Road in Setauket.

Beverly Tyler is the Three Village Historical Society historian.

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The Rose Caracappa Senior Center in Mount Sinai was upgraded to be more energy efficient. Photo by Giselle Barkley

On Monday, Waste Management Executive Assistant Frank Tassone and the Town of Brookhaven’s Chief Environmental Analyst Anthony Graves updated town officials during a work session meeting regarding their Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Initiative plan progress.

Since the town began executing the project earlier this year, Tassone said they are on target with creating a more energy-efficient environment during a work session meeting at the Town of Brookhaven. Thus far, the duo have completed energy audits in the Town of Brookhaven building, the Rose Caracappa Center in Mount Sinai, the Highway Department and the Brookhaven Animal Shelter as well as four other facilities, with the help of various contractors.

Additionally, they have and are still replacing existing streetlights with LED lights. During the meeting, Tassone said the town has saved over $320,000 in lighting this year, and they expect to save over $400,000. According to Graves, replacing the lights isn’t based on where the streetlights are located.

“We’ve been looking at [the lights] based on energy use,” Graves said in a phone interview. “Some of our streetlights use a lot more energy than other street lights [because] they’re higher voltage bulbs.”

To date, 1,316 traffic light units have also been replaced with LED bulbs. Tassone and Graves estimated that the change will help save nearly $40,000. They also projected that the plan will help save around $750,000, annually. Graves said that the number could increase as an increase in upgrades means the amount of money saved will also increase.

The plan also focuses on sustainability as part of Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine’s (R) goal to plant 10,000 native trees by 2020 to help the local environment. Four thousand native trees were planted so far. The plan also attempts to reduce fossil fuel emissions with its Green Fleet update. The town recently adopted a 33-mile-per-gallon minimum for passenger vehicles, which will reduce the amount of CO2 emissions in the environment. A typical vehicle excretes nearly 5,500 pounds of these emissions. With the new MPG standards, under 3,000 pounds of CO2 emissions will be released.

While saving energy is good for the environment, Graves said Long Island’s location makes energy saving and sustainability initiatives very important.

“We’re surrounded by water, and after Sandy we realized that we’re going to need to take a leading role in terms of trying to combat climate change,” Graves said. “We’re very vulnerable to sea level rise and to the increased intensity of storms that are predicted to occur as a result of climate change, and we can’t just sit here and do nothing. We have to show action.”

Romaine first mentioned this plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2020, during his state of the town address in February. Tassone and Graves, alongside others who are working to execute this plan, targeted facilities that use high amounts of energy, like Town Hall.

During the work session meeting, Romaine commended Tassone and Graves and others involved in the plan, and he emphasized that it will take time to work.

“This is a plan that we’re working on, and it will come together.” Romaine said during the meeting. “It’s one of those things you don’t notice and all of a sudden you take a look at it and boom, you’ve achieved a reduction in greenhouse gases. You’ve improved your energy efficiency and you’ve reduced your cost. But it’s not something that just happens overnight, it’s a gradual thing.”

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This small berm has stone edging as well as a decorative planter. Photo by Ellen Barcel

By Ellen Barcel

Do you have a problem spot in the garden or a garden that you feel is vulnerable, for example, to cars along a road way? You may want to consider building and planting a berm. Berms are described as an artificial ridge or embankment, used for defense or as a barrier — basically it’s a little hill. It’s also a way of providing privacy, redirecting foot traffic, creating a noise barrier, directing and controlling rainwater, blocking an unattractive view, creating a focal point or as wind protection. You can probably think of other uses, including creating interest in a flat landscape or as the center in a circular driveway.

To create the berm, make a plan on paper first. Generally, the berm should be four to five times as long as it is high. In general, berms are one to two feet high, but that is really up to you. They could be higher, even five or six feet.  The bigger the berm, the more fill you will need to create it. If you are using a contractor (strongly recommended if it’s a big job), the firm can provide the fill. If you are doing the work yourself, then make sure you don’t use fill that will add chemicals to the soil/groundwater. Also, don’t use wood as it will decompose and the berm (or at least part of it) will sink down into the surrounding  ground.

This section of a berm is adorned with large trees and hostas. Photo by Ellen Barcel
This section of a berm is adorned with large trees and hostas. Photo by Ellen Barcel

Once you or your landscape contractor have created the berm, you need to plant it. What plants you select really depends on why you created the berm in the first place. For example, if you did it as a noise barrier or to block an unsightly view, then you probably want evergreens since they will protect year round while deciduous trees or shrubs would not in winter. If it’s for privacy in an area that you only use in summer, then you could use deciduous plantings.

Another considerations is where the berm is located. If it’s in a very shady location, then you need to plant shade-tolerant plants. You could use rhododendrons (some reach a height of 10 or more feet tall), hostas and ferns. If it’s to create a focal point in a sunny location, you could use perennial flowers such as coneflowers, black eyed Susans, mums, etc.  Berms also work well as a place to install a rock garden.

Depending on the use, you might want a variety of plantings to supply year-round interest — rhodies in the spring, coneflowers in the summer, mums and ornamental grasses in the fall. Grasses are also lovely in winter with snow and ice on them. Red twig dogwood adds color to the winter garden. Don’t forget the mulch for spaces between plantings.

Berms can create a microclimate. If it blocks the sun, then one side could be cooler than the other. Or, if it blocks the wind, it might allow more tender plants to survive well on the protected side. Follow general landscaping principles, for example, put taller plants in back (or for a very large berm in the center) and shorter plants near the edges. Two plants create a more formal appearance while three (or five) create a more casual look.

When planning out your berm, you might want to add some small statuary, a birdbath, a bird feeder or in a sunny location, a sundial. Plan how you will access the center of the berm — for example,  several stepping stones. You also need to decide how you will edge the berm. You could just put some simple edging in where the berm meets the grass. Or you could put in a number of decorative stones. If the berm is very high, four or five feet tall or more, you may want to terrace it.

Autumn/winter is the ideal time to plan out what you want to do and how to do it. Research the plants that will be installed. Then come the first mild days in early spring, you can get started.

Ellen Barcel is a freelance writer and master gardener. Send your gardening questions to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com. To reach Cornell Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener program, call 631-727-7850.

Update, Oct. 5, 10:15 a.m.: Police identified the deceased woman found in a Lake Grove home last week as 42-year-old Tricia Odierna.

A woman found dead in Lake Grove on Thursday afternoon was killed, according to the Suffolk County Police Department.

The case began when patrol officers responded to a 911 call at 1:50 p.m., entering a house on Win Place, off of Hawkins Avenue. Police said the officers found a dead woman inside.

Authorities had not released the woman’s identity by Friday morning.

According to police, the woman’s death is believed to have a criminal cause.

Detectives from the SCPD’s Homicide Squad are investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-852-6392, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Eli Mollineaux, who was born with a rare condition called Pearson marrow-pancreas syndrome, smiles for a photo at Huntington High School after receiving a proclamation from the town for his positive attitude and high spirit despite his condition. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Rain or shine, 13-year-old Eli Mollineaux always has a smile on his face — even as he battles a rare mitochondrial disease known as Pearson marrow-pancreas syndrome.

On Wednesday, Suffolk County honored Eli for his sunny disposition despite his condition, with a proclamation. Now, the month of September is Mitochondrial Awareness month, and Suffolk County officials went a step further, calling the proclamation “Eli’s Law” in light of the Huntington native’s 14th birthday this Saturday, Oct. 3.

Eli’s birthday is yet another milestone for him, his family and their friends.

“The lifespan for kids with Pearson’s is around 3 to 4 years old,” said Alyssa Mancuso, a family friend of 10 years. “So the fact that Eli’s turning 14 is huge.”

Children with Pearson marrow-pancreas syndrome, an incurable multisystem disorder, have problems with the development of blood-forming cells in the bone marrow that have the potential to develop into different types of blood cells.

From left, Huntington School District Superintendent James Polansky, Principal Brenden Cusack, Legislator William “Doc” Spencer, Eli Mollineaux, his mother Ellen, younger brother Sam, older brother Josh and Eli’s aide Ilene Messina, pose for a photo at Huntington High School while Eli holds his proclamation. Photo by Giselle Barkley
From left, Huntington School District Superintendent James Polansky, Principal Brenden Cusack, Legislator William “Doc” Spencer, Eli Mollineaux, his mother Ellen, younger brother Sam, older brother Josh and Eli’s aide Ilene Messina, pose for a photo at Huntington High School while Eli holds his proclamation. Photo by Giselle Barkley

According to Eli’s mother, Ellen Mollineaux, the “mitochondria is [the] battery for cells and [Eli] is missing a big part of that battery.”

Mollineaux remembers her son’s condition developing when he was a infant, as he was often sick and didn’t act like a typical child.

“Cognitively, I knew he was there, but all of a sudden he was sleeping more and wasn’t playful,” Mollineaux said. “[He] always wanted to be held and hugged and I knew something was wrong.”

After taking Eli to his pediatrician, a blood test revealed Eli’s hemoglobin level was around 1.9 grams per deciliter, when the average 6-month to 2-year-old child’s level should be around 12, which means his body was running out of blood. Mollineaux said doctors rushed Eli to the North Shore Hospital in Manhasset for a blood transfusion.

“It was as if they filled his tank up with gas,” Mollineaux said. “He sat up and within minutes; all the skills he didn’t have, he had.”

Mollineaux received the transfusion in September of 2002. While Eli was doing well for a few years, his disorder has progressed in the last several months. According to his mother, his tremors are getting worse, making it difficult for him to eat — especially his favorite food, soup. Walking is also more difficult.

Principal Brenden Cusack, left, and Eli Mollineaux, right, perform Eli’s daily joke over the school intercom. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Principal Brenden Cusack and Eli Mollineaux perform Eli’s daily joke over the school intercom. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Despite this, Eli remains positive.

“He will lose his balance when he tries to walk and he doesn’t say ‘It sucks,’” Mollineaux said. “If the doctor asks him… ‘How you doing?’ Even though he can’t walk [properly, he says] ‘Great. Everything’s good.’”

During an interview with media, Eli’s older brother, Josh, also commented on his brother’s sunny disposition. He said his brother is a happy kid who is indifferent to his illness.

The only thing Eli doesn’t like, is having his blood drawn.

Regardless of his hardships, thinking about school and seeing his friends is what keeps Eli’s spirit up. During an interview, he said art was his favorite subject at school.

Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport), who was present at the press conference where Eli received his proclamation, said “Eli’s Law” will honor Eli’s courage, while bringing awareness to his condition. Spencer said that Eli and his spirit is inspiring, and gives hope to those who are battling their own adversities.

Although his current prognosis is not very good, Ellen Mollineaux said her family clings to their motto.

“Nobody knows their future,” she said. “That’s like our motto. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Horrible things happen every day and we just move on.”

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