Monthly Archives: March 2016

‘A Stone’s Throw,’ watercolor, by Jeanne Salucci

By Rita J. Egan

Visitors to the Port Jefferson Village Center can view an eclectic collection of artwork from the South Shore-based Wet Paints Studio Group in the center’s gallery. Until April 30, the venue will be hosting the exhibit “From the Heart of the Artist.”

Susan Orifici, head of graphic, archival and special projects at the Village Center, said the exhibit includes approximately 100 pieces from the local artists.

“I love the combination of different things. It’s everything from pencil drawings to acrylics and mixed media,” she said.

Orifici said she’s delighted the center is offering the exhibit, and with the majority of the artists from the South Shore, also providing a venue for the group to share their work with art lovers who may be unfamiliar with Wet Paints.

“It gives their membership the opportunity to give a show where they can reach out,” she said.

‘Port Jefferson Village,’ oil, by June Long-Schuman
‘Port Jefferson Village,’ oil, by June Long-Schuman

Doug Broadhurst, president of the Wet Paints Studio Group, agreed that the Village Center provides the organization a great opportunity to show their work on the North Shore. The artist, who has two portraits in the show, “Lydia” and “Nancy: A Moment in Time,” said when he visited the center in the past to view exhibits, he was always pleased with what he saw.

“It’s a beautiful venue to show at,” he said.

Broadhurst said the group, with approximately 200 members, has been in existence for 67 years and meets every Tuesday in Sayville at the Gillette House. He explained that the first Tuesday is a business meeting, while the second and fourth weeks are dedicated to sketching live portrait models. On the third Tuesday of the month, the group hosts artists’ demonstrations.

Carol Corbett, vice president of the Wet Paints Studio Group, has been a member for almost 15 years. She said she discovered the organization when her sister came to visit and asked her if she belonged to any art groups. The sisters found Wet Paints while searching online and decided to check out a meeting with sketch pads and pencils in hand.

“It was such a nice group. It was just so good that I never left,” she said.

The group president and vice-president said new artists are always welcome, and Broadhurst explained that sometimes non-artists attend demonstrations or art talks. Corbett said she loves the range of experience in the organization.

An artist reception for ‘From the Heart of the Artist’ will be held on Saturday, April 2, from 3 to 5 p.m.

“You have the whole scope of professional to really, really amateur, and everybody is fine with it, they get along well. The ones who know more teach; the other ones are open to listening. And, sometimes you learn from the ones who are starting out as well,” said Corbett.

While the majority of members live on the South Shore, portrait artist and group membership chairman, Terry McManus, has been making the trip from his Mount Sinai home to the Sayville meetings for 20 years now. Like Corbett, he has found his fellow members to be very welcoming and encouraging.

“They’re very supportive. It’s a wonderful group to be with,” McManus said.

‘Portrait of Lydia,’ graphics, by Doug Broadhurst
‘Portrait of Lydia,’ graphics, by Doug Broadhurst

For the exhibit, Broadhurst said instead of a theme, the artists simply picked their favorite works of art from their collections or created a new piece. Visitors to the exhibit will find pictures in acrylic, oil paint, pencil, watercolor and more. He said the exhibit artwork also runs the gamut from portraits, landscapes, abstracts and mixed media.

“Anyone who looks at it will find something that they will like.”

Corbett said she saw a number of pieces she thought were wonderful being delivered to the venue while she was there to drop off her two oil seascapes, “Mysterious” and “A Passing Storm.” She said the exhibit, with its various styles, is an example of how the members create art they love. “We’re trying to show our hearts through our art,” Corbett said.

McManus, who has two pastel portraits in the exhibit, “Teenager” and “Puppy Love,” said he finds it amazing to see so many different approaches to art in the exhibit. He explained that various artists can all look at the same landscape or portrait and have a different approach to it. He said the variety of artists present a diversity of styles for art lovers to enjoy at the exhibit.

“I think it’s a talented group. So I think anybody can really enjoy the show,” the artist said.

Corbett hopes the exhibit may inspire some visitors to try an art class or increase their appreciation of art: “Hopefully their hearts will be blessed by viewing it.”

The Port Jefferson Gallery at the Village Center, 101-A East Broadway, Port Jefferson, will host “From the Heart of the Artist” until April 30. A reception will be held on Saturday, April 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. and is open to the public. The building is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and admission is free. For more information on the exhibit, visit the Facilities section of www.portjeff.com or call 631-802-2160. For more information on the Wet Paints Studio Group, visit www.wetpaintsgroup.com.

Developer Mark Baisch wants to establish 40 one-bedroom apartments for senior citizens on the former Thurber Lumber property in Rocky Point. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Nearly a month after Rocky Point’s Thurber Lumber Co. Inc. closed its doors, developer Mark Baisch of Landmark Properties plans on transforming the property to make room for senior citizens.

Baisch said he wants to establish 40 one-bedroom apartments on the former 1.8-acre space near Broadway to help the area’s aging population. Baisch hasn’t finalized rent for these 600 square foot apartments, but said future residents will pay a little more than $1,000 a month.

Baisch has been met with some opposition on his plans.

“People say he does good work, but to come in and say ‘this is what’s going to work down here, even though you don’t want it,’ is kind of strange,” said Albert Hanson, vice president of the Rocky Point Civic Association and chair of the land use committee.

Hanson said the civic and members of the community, who found out about the plans in February, haven’t had ample time to brainstorm alternative ideas for the area. Hanson added that the area doesn’t need additional housing.

According to Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai), Rocky Point is a high-density area already, and she added that the Thurber property is also a small area for Baisch’s apartments. The Legislator said she envisions different plans for the property.

“I would love to see a community center over there,” said Anker. “[The property is in] the heart of downtown Rocky Point.”

But Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) said Baisch’s plans comply with a land use plan conducted in the area several years ago. Brookhaven officials adopted the land use plan for downtown Rocky Point back in 2012. The plan called for medium density housing in downtown Rocky Point, among other improvements. Although some residents oppose the plan, the councilwoman said there is a need for these kinds of residences townwide.

“There’s a large number of seniors who live back in North Shore Beach …. and many have reached out to me excited about this,” the councilwoman said.

Baisch wanted to create apartment units because of the property’s sanitary flow requirements — the amount of sewage per unit is less for a 600 square foot unit. According to Baisch, the apartments will give seniors more freedom in their daily lives. He added that Suffolk County is committed to establishing a bus stop in the area to further assist prospective senior residents.

“They have to pay taxes, they have to pay their oil bill, they have to pay for repairs [for their home] — Rocky Point is probably one of the most unsafe communities I know of, to walk around,” Baisch said. “So they have all these things that are burdening them as seniors and they basically have nowhere to go.”

Baisch added that these residents could live comfortably in his apartments on their Social Security or the equity they received after selling their home. While some senior citizens, like Linda Cathcart of Rocky Point, don’t plan on selling their home any time soon, she said Baisch’s plans will bring a stable population to the area.

“There’s 40 units proposed, so you’re talking about possibly 80 seniors who could bring business to the existing businesses,” Cathcart said. “Also, it would encourage new businesses to come into the area.”

Cathcart added that Baisch discussed putting the original railroad station structure from the area on the property, in addition to the apartment units. The railroad structure dates back to the 1920s and 30s.

Despite the proposed plans for the property, Hanson said the civic and some community members were debating using other local talent or developers to establish a vision and plan for the area that appeals to other residents.

“We have to think of what we would like to see down there that would make us draw [people to downtown Rocky Point],” Hanson said about the property. “I think what a lot of people don’t want is losing the opportunity to actually have a downtown.”

Above, the dock at 110 Van Brunt Manor Road in Poquott. Photo by Giselle Barkley

After 15 years, the Village of Poquott is taking another look at its dock law.

On March 14, the village’s planning board proposed making three changes to the dock law. The changes will set new guidelines for establishing docks in Poquott.

According to Planning Board Chairman, Roger Flood, the board wants to ensure there is at least 18 feet from the shore end of the dock and any obstruction along the shoreline.

The second change concerns the distance from a dock to a village beach or park. Currently, a dock needs to be 100 feet away from a village beach or park. Flood says the dock applications they’ve recently received are not close to these public areas, but the board wants to double the distance between the dock and these locations.

“No one had thought to build another dock [one-and-a-half-years ago],” Flood said. “It seemed like an opportunity just to review what happened under our dock law and see if it needed some tweaking going forward.”

In light of this, last year the village issued a moratorium on building docks. Trustee Jeff Koppelson said the moratorium was extended, which gave the board more time to propose changes to the 2000 law. While there were no dock applications at the time, the ban came nearly one year after a dock on 110 Van Brunt Manor Road was established.

Flood said plans for a second dock were underway in the past, but it wasn’t constructed because the lot wasn’t big enough to accommodate the structure. A property that is 100 feet wide would be big enough to construct a dock. According to the dock law, a dock and anything tied to the dock, can’t be within 30 feet of a property line.

Thus far people must build docks on a residentially zoned lot that has riparian rights. The rights are a means to allocate water among property owners who live or own land along the water. Flood, who helped create the initial law. While the board discussed means of preventing an overabundance of docks along the shoreline, the current law simply details a dock’s suitable distance to various property lines.

Flood and his team are also looking at how and if future docks will affect nearby mooring boats. While the board doesn’t want to displace nearby mooring boats, there was discussion of whether the docks will be long enough to deter offshore mooring in the area.

“Our intent is to have a similar sort of discussion at our next meeting to try and answer these kinds of questions,” Flood said about the law and mooring boat questions.

Mayor Dee Parrish couldn’t comment on the changes to the law. Parrish said she didn’t attend the board’s meeting and couldn’t comment until the changes are submitted to the board of trustees for their meeting in April.

The village will hold its next planning board meeting on Apr. 11, at 7:30 p.m., at Village Hall in Poquott.

Botched burglary
A 30-year-old man from Bay Shore entered through the window of a second-floor apartment on Smith Road in Lake Grove at about 8:30 p.m. on March 26, police said. The man escaped the apartment without taking any items. When approached by police, he gave a fake name and date of birth. He was charged with second-degree burglary and false impersonation.

Hit-and-run
At the intersection of Route 25 and Edgewood Avenue in Smithtown on Jan. 12, a 25-year-old woman from Setauket was involved in a car crash just after 8 p.m., according to police. After the crash, she fled the scene without exchanging contact information with the other driver. She was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

Reckless driver
At about 4 p.m. on March 25, a 41-year-old man from Brentwood driving a dump truck crossed the white pavement line on Terry Road in Nesconset, hitting a parked 2014 Dodge with the driver inside. No one was seriously injured. The man was charged with reckless driving.

Two guys, too much pot
A 21-year-old man from Northport and a 22-year-old man from Islip were seated in a parked vehicle on West Main Street in Kings Park at about 5:30 p.m. on March 26 when, police said, they discovered the pair was in possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana. They were charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Mind your own business
At about 10 p.m. on March 26, police said a 34-year-old man and a 37-year-old man both from Ronkonkoma shouted obscenities and threats at police officers and members of the Lakeland Fire Department near a home on West 3rd Street. They were arrested and charged with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.

Saloon patron slugged
Just after midnight on March 19 at South Beach Saloon Inc. in Nesconset, a 23-year-old man from Ronkonkoma punched another man in the face, police said. He was charged with third-degree assault with the intent to cause physical injury.

iPod stolen and broken
On March 24, a 22-year-old man from Lake Ronkonkoma was found to be in possession of a stolen and damaged iPod on Ronkonkoma Avenue in Islip at about 12:30 p.m., police said. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief.

Stolen from Sears
At about 5 p.m. on March 24, a 41-year-old woman from Lake Ronkonkoma stole assorted electronics from Sears in the Smith Haven Mall, police said. She was later arrested in Brookhaven and charged with petit larceny.

Identity crisis
On March 24 at about 7:30 p.m., a 23-year-old woman from Patterson, N.J., was arrested in Commack for possessing a Pennsylvania driver’s license that did not belong to her, police said. She was charged with second-degree possession of a forged instrument.

Fence kicker on the loose
An unknown person kicked in the fence of a home on Morris Avenue in Lake Ronkonkoma at about 3 a.m. on March 27, police said.

Damaged door
On Wheeler Road in Hauppauge at about 2:30 p.m. on March 27, an unknown person dented the driver’s side rear door of a 2000 Toyota, according to police.

You’ll shoot your eye out
Police said an unknown person damaged the screen of a window at a home on Barley Place in Commack at about 11:30 p.m. on March 26 with a BB gun.

Violent encounter
An unknown person approached a man at a Smithtown home just after midnight on March 26 carrying a handgun, police said. The man with the gun demanded money from the victim and then hit him in the head repeatedly with the gun, causing lacerations to the victim’s head, according to police. The man fled on foot.

Dave & busted window
An unknown person broke the driver’s side window of a 2006 Toyota parked at Dave & Buster’s in Islandia on March 24 at about 11:30 p.m., according to police. A wallet with credit cards was taken from the car.

Poor park job
At the Devonshire apartment complex in Hauppauge, an unknown person scratched the driver’s side front and rear doors and tailgate of a 2015 Dodge at about 10:30 a.m. on March 24, according to police.

Caught in a Benz bind
On March 22, an 18-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station was arrested for criminal possession of stolen property, a 2012 Mercedes-Benz. Police pulled over and arrested the man around 4 p.m. on Route 112.

Catching some Zs
A 19-year-old Port Jefferson Station man was arrested on March 26 for driving while ability impaired, after allegdly being caught sleeping in the driver’s seat of his running 2016 Hyundai, which was blocking the intersection of Route 112 and Nesconset Highway. Police arrested the suspect at the scene, around 4:21 a.m.

License revoked
According to police, a Sound Beach woman was arrested on March 26 for petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property. Police said on Oct. 11, the 27-year-old woman had stolen jewelry and assorted merchandise from Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point. She was also using a Florida driver’s license that didn’t belong to her. Police arrested her at the 6th Precinct.

Busted
On March 23, a man from Centereach was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana. The 27-year-old was in his 2012 Mazda on the corner of Blydenburgh Road and Horseblock Road when police discovered him in possession.

Not-so-great escape
A 22-year-old woman was arrested on March 21 for petit larceny. The Yaphank woman allegedly had stolen someone’s phone on Middle Country Road in Centereach several days before.

Mad for meds
Police arrested a 30-year-old man from Rocky Point for two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance after discovering him in possession of two different prescription medications that he wasn’t prescribed. Police arrested him on Westchester Drive in Rocky Point on March 21.
Police said someone stole medication from a store on Route 25A in Miller Place. The incident happened on March 26 around 10:25 p.m.

Less-glamorous bank heist
On March 22 around 3:08 p.m., police arrested a 31-year-old man from West Babylon for grand larceny. According to police, the man stole money from the Capital One bank on Route 25A in Setauket after he deceived the teller. Police didn’t expand upon what the man did to acquire the money.

Breakin’ down the cars
Between March 25 at 9 p.m. and March 26 at 6:30 a.m. at Broadway, Port Jefferson Station, an unidentified person broke the front passenger window of a 2015 Ford pickup truck.

Boozing for bucks
According to police, someone entered the L.I. Pour House on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on March 23 at 2:30 a.m. and stole a metal box that contained cash.

Put ’em up
On March 26 around 3:47 a.m., an unknown person punched a man near the Junior’s Spycoast bar on Main Street in Port Jefferson.

‘The Wicker Man’ sequel
According to police, someone stole a wicker chair from the front yard of a residence on Broadway in Rocky Point. The incident happened on March 25 around 8 p.m.

Unlocked and loaded
Between March 21 at 6 p.m. and March 22 at 7 p.m., an unknown person entered an unlocked 2006 Nissan Altima and stole cash and several gift cards. Police said the incident happened at a residence on Oak Street in Centereach.

Noise turns dangerous
On March 26 at 10:20 p.m., a man left his residence on Newton Avenue in Selden to investigate a noise when an unknown person approached the man and threatened him. Police said the complainant was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital after the suspect cut the man in the stomach.

Backpacking thief
Someone broke into a 2015 Maserati parked near the AMC Loews theater on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and stole backpacks and two passports. Police said the incident happened on March 24 around 9:03 p.m.

Hearthstone hit-and-run
On March 27 at about 8:30 p.m., a 46-year-old man from Dix Hills was driving a 2004 Mercedes on Vanderbilt Parkway near the intersection of Hearthstone Drive when he crashed on the side of the road and then fled the scene, police said. He was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

Heroin bust
Police said a 38-year-old man from Huntington Station possessed heroin near the intersection of Cooper Avenue and Route 25 at about 10:30 p.m. on March 25. He was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

A satellite view of the Steck-Philbin Landfill site that the County plans to repurpose in cooperation with the Suffolk County Landbank. Image from Suffolk County Landbank Corp.

A North Shore-based group has answered the county’s calls to revitalize the site of a former landfill in Kings Park.

The Suffolk County Landbank Corp., which is a not-for-profit entity that works with the county to redevelop tax-delinquent properties, put out a request for proposals to completely rejuvenate eight brownfield spots across Suffolk, including the former Steck-Philbin Landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park. This week, Stony Brook’s Ecological Engineering of Long Island answered with a proposal to build Long Island’s first community-owned solar farm.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said the county wanted to team up with the private sector to revitalize the various brownfield sites and described them as blights on their respective communities. Shawn Nuzzo, president of Ecological Engineering of Long Island, said his group’s plan had the potential to pump renewable energy into the Island’s power grid almost immediately.

In a statement, Nuzzo described the 6-megawatt solar farm proposal as the largest landfill-to-solar project in New York state that could generate nearly 8 million kilowatt hours of solar electricity in its first year.

“Unlike other recent utility solar projects on Long Island – where large developers have proposed to clear-cut forests, raze golf courses and blanket farmable lands – our proposal takes a dangerous, long-blighted and otherwise useless parcel and revives it as a community-owned solar farm,” Nuzzo said. “The Kings Park Community Solar Farm will be a quiet, low-intensity land use generating nearly no automobile traffic after installation. As equally important, we will return proper ecosystem services to the site through the ecological restoration technique of phytoremediation — using native, low-light, low-lying and drought tolerant plants known for their long-term soil restorative properties.”

Related: Former landfill in Kings Park to be repurposed

A property is classified as a brownfield if there are complications in expansion or redevelopment based on the possible presence of pollutants or hazardous materials, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The site on Old Northport Road is still owned by Richard and Roslyn Steck, according to the Suffolk County Landbank Corporation Request for Proposals, though penalties and interest bring the total owed in property tax on the roughly 25 acres of land to nearly $1.5 million. The property has been tax delinquent since the Richard Steck, Gerald Philbin Development Co. was found to be using the site to dispose of waste that it did not have a permit for in 1986. It is located less than a half mile east of the Sunken Meadow Parkway and about a half mile west of Indian Head Road.

The former Steck-Philbin Landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park is one of the eight blighted brownfields that the Suffolk County Landbank requested proposals for repurposing. Image from Suffolk County Landbank Corp.
The former Steck-Philbin Landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park is one of the eight blighted brownfields that the Suffolk County Landbank requested proposals for repurposing. Image from Suffolk County Landbank Corp.

The property is next to the future location of a multisport complex being developed by Prospect Sports Partners LLC. The $33 million plan for the 44-acre site was approved in July 2015.

“This has been a long time coming and creating policies and procedures for the Landbank has been an arduous task, but I’m beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel,” Suffolk County Legislator Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) said earlier this year when the county sought private sector support to revitalize the site. Cilmi is a member of the board of the Landbank. “Hopefully, soon we’ll see the remediation of this and other properties, which benefits our environment. We’ll put the properties back on the tax rolls, which means millions of dollars of savings for taxpayers.”

Nuzzo said Ecological Engineering of Long Island would finance, build and operate the solar farm through a crowdfunding campaign seeking small investments from everyday Suffolk County residents. The plan, he said, would be to sell 25,000 “solar shares” in the farm at $500 a piece.

“We calculate that the Kings Park Community Solar Farm will generate more than $24 million in gross revenue over a typical 20-year power purchase agreement. We will offer our investors a guaranteed 150 percent return on investment with annual payments deposited over the 20-year lifetime of the agreement,” he said. “Through design efficiencies we will maximize photovoltaic energy output to not only increase profit for our investors but also to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, which today — despite many residential and commercial PV installs — still represents the majority of Long Island’s energy production.”

The plan has already received support from various North Shore elected officials, including state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), who threw support behind Nuzzo in a letter to the Suffolk County Landbank Corp.

“I am always happy to see younger members of our community active in civics, so it was especially heartening to this vibrant young man at the helm of my local civic association,” he said. “Mr. Nuzzo has also worked with the Setauket Harbor Task Force and was responsible for securing the donation of the use of a ‘solar trailer’ from a local solar installer to power our Setauket Harbor Day Festival last September with renewable solar energy.”

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) described Nuzzo as a “knowledgeable leader on environmental issues” who was “well versed in many modern environmental technologies and practices, including solar projects, LEED process and green technology.”

The Suffolk County Landbank was established in 2013 after its application was approved by the New York State Empire State Development Corporation. Some of the other brownfields included in the request for proposals include Hubbard Power and Light and a gas station on Brentwood Road in Bay Shore, Lawrence Junkyard in Islip and Liberty Industrial Finishing in Brentwood, among others. Cumulatively, the eight properties owe more than $11 million in delinquent taxes as of August 2015.

Asharoken Mayor Greg Letica, center, and Trustees Laura Burke and Mel Ettinger are all seeking a third term in Village Hall. Photo from Laura Burke

Three elected officials in Asharoken Village announced their bid for re-election on Monday morning.

Mayor Greg Letica and Trustees Mel Ettinger and Laura Burke all hope to land a third term in office in the June election.

“It has been an honor to have served the village alongside Trustee Ettinger and Trustee Burke for the last four years,” Letica said in a statement. “We are very proud of what has been accomplished since 2012 and look forward to the opportunity to serve the village in the next two years. Although there are still many important issues to face, we are confident that we will be able to draw together the community, as we have done many times in the past, to reach the best solutions for Asharoken.”

Letica, who has lived in Asharoken since 1957, has previously served as a trustee, village treasurer, deputy harbormaster, police contract negotiator and a budget committee member. In discussing his campaign for re-election, the incumbent touted the village’s strong finances.

“Long term, the village is in excellent financial shape,” Letica said in a letter to residents regarding the budget. “Our reserve accounts are properly funded and will allow the village to make necessary infrastructure improvements, update our police fleet, maintain our Village Hall and properly fund police retirement costs with little to no impact on the following year’s tax rate.”

This year, Asharoken officials have proposed a budget that complies with the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases but also maintains services throughout the village. And, according to a press release from the New York State comptroller, two financial stress tests of local governments in the last four years resulted in Asharoken receiving the best evaluation possible — no financial stress designation.

A major project that the village completed this past year was the construction of a new village hall, which Ettinger began working on almost 10 years ago.

“It has turned out to be fantastic,” Ettinger said of the new building in a phone interview. “It’s a wonderful facility where we not only hold village board meetings, but also court. Functions like the Asharoken Garden Club also use the space.”

As for why he is seeking a third term, Ettinger said, “I love the village. I feel we have accomplished a great deal with the current administration, but we still have a fair amount more to do.”

Ettinger has not only served as a trustee for the past four years, but also as police commissioner for almost a decade, the project manager for the construction of the new Asharoken Village Hall and once as the highway commissioner. He has lived in Asharoken for 25 years.

The village has also taken steps to decrease their environmental footprint.

Over the last four years, Asharoken has signed an agreement with Huntington Town and Northport Village to work together on protecting the water quality in Northport Bay. Asharoken has also made a deal in which its residents can use Northport’s e-waste recycling program, and one with Smithtown Town to initiate single-stream recycling in the village so residents can put all their recyclables on the curb together. As part of the latter agreement, Asharoken transports its recyclables to Kings Park, where Smithtown workers take the material for processing at a special facility in Brookhaven.

Burke has played an integral role in the recycling improvements.

“I helped to implement single-stream recycling in the village, which has been a tremendous success, resulting in tax savings,” she said in an email.

She also edits the village newspaper.

Burke grew up in Asharoken and, after living in the city for several years while working as a marketing executive, she moved back to raise a family.

“I’m pleased to be running for my second full term as trustee along with Mayor Letica and Trustee Ettinger, both residents with exemplary character and work ethic,” she said. “The current board … works well together, considers opposing views respectfully and makes decisions based on what is in the best interest of the Village of Asharoken and its residents.”

Residents have until May 17 to complete paperwork to run for the three village positions.

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Beware of low quality pet supplements at local pet stores and wholesale clubs. Stock photo

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

I was watching the movie, “The Big Short” and could not believe what many of the participants of the subprime mortgage and derivative market were able to get away with. I was wondering if there was some sort of parallel in veterinary medicine, and veterinary supplements best fit the bill.  Veterinary supplements are a very big business.  Are we getting what we pay for?

Veterinary supplements can be divided into pre- and post-1994. Supplements, or nutraceuticals, were first coined by human physicians in the 1980s. A nutraceutical referred to any oral compound that is neither a nutrient, “nutra,” nor a pharmaceutical, “ceutical.”

Before 1994 all dietary ingredients not marketed as a supplement were subject to strict premarket safety evaluation by the FDA to prove the compound did not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury. However, in October of 1994 human nutraceutical special-interest groups (lobbyists) were able to persuade Congress to pass the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. This act restricted the FDA’s ability to regulate these products by no longer requiring premarket safety evaluation. What this means is, although the manufacturer is still responsible for premarket safety evaluations, the manufacturer is also able to decide what constitutes an assurance of safety.   

So what happens when the nutraceutical industry is allowed to self-regulate?  In a study performed at the University of Maryland in 2000, one particular supplement, chondroitin sulfate, was mislabeled in 9 of 11 products (about 84 percent of the time). The range of 0 percent (could not find any of the product as compared to what was labeled) to 114 percent (there was more than labeled) was found. The products that were the cheapest to produce (less than $1 per 1200 mg of chondroitin sulfate) were the worst of the bunch with 10 percent or less of what was actually on the label.

So the industry learned its lesson, yes?  Well … let’s flash forward to 2015.  In 2015 the New York State Attorney General’s Office brought suit against GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. Why, you ask? An investigation into these top selling supplements found that four out of five did not contain any of the herb on the label.

What was in there, you ask? Ground up rice, asparagus, radish and houseplants. OK, so the supplements were not top quality but there was no danger, correct?  Well, unfortunately these supplements also contained soy and peanut fillers that could be a real danger for those individuals with allergies.

That’s not to say that all supplement manufacturers are shady. There are plenty that are of very high quality and are very safe. These supplements are usually found through your veterinarian and are more expensive. So, before you brag to the veterinarian that you can get the same supplement at the local pet retailer or wholesale club ask yourself this — “If some of these companies show little concern as to what is in a human supplement, what do you think these same companies will put in pet supplements?”

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office.

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Suffolk County put out a request for proposals to help redefine what the former Steck-Philbin Landfill brownfield site on Old Northport Road in Kings Park could look like, and this week a Stony Brook group has proposed to build a solar farm there.

We were excited to read some of the details behind the Ecological Engineering of Long Island plan, which the firm’s president Shawn Nuzzo said would deliver significant amounts of solar electricity to Long Island’s power grid without decimating anymore of the area’s land.

This is the kind of development we hope our fellow Long Islanders can get behind.

The solar farm proposal is an example of what can be done with Long Island’s most problematic properties. All we need is for residents and politicians to give it a chance.

Oftentimes we encounter widespread resident opposition across our North Shore communities to development proposals of any sort for various reasons. But by giving projects like this a thorough look, coupled with an open mind, we believe we can address some of the biggest environmental issues facing the Island.

In this case, for example, transforming an industrial area into something that could benefit us all seems almost like a no-brainer. The former landfill site in Kings Park is no doubt an eyesore and a horrific blight on the greater North Shore community, so why not see it transformed by a legal and reputable business? EELI wants to come in and build a 6-megawatt solar farm through crowdfunding dollars, so let’s support the firm.

This quote from Nuzzo, also the president of the Three Village Civic Association, said it all: “Unlike other recent utility solar projects on Long Island — where large developers have proposed to clear-cut forests, raze golf courses and blanket farmable lands — our proposal takes a dangerous, long-blighted and otherwise useless parcel and revives it as a community-owned solar farm,” he said.

We say reputable, by the way, because of the several letters of support Nuzzo and his team received from some of the North Shore’s staunchest environmental advocates, including state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station).

This property is a perfect example of what we could do with so many more of our neglected areas across the North Shore. The landfill is not situated directly next door to someone’s house, so the “not in my backyard” argument holds a little less weight. It’s time we think smart when it comes to repurposing our landscape.

Miller Place's Julia Burns moves the ball around the net and Harborfields' Aishling Brent toward goalie Erin Tucker. Photo by Desirée Keegan

It was a battle until the final seconds.

In a frenzied finish, four goals were scored in the final minute, ending with Harborfields’ varsity girls’ lacrosse player Angela Deren scoring the game-winning goal with 5.6 seconds left for a big 8-7 victory over Miller Place Tuesday.

“It feels great,” said Deren, a senior attack. “Our attack and our riding helped, and our goalie saved us a lot. It was a great team win.”

Deren was right — the Tornadoes’ sophomore goalkeeper Erin Tucker kept her team in the game, coming up with 15 saves on the evening.

She said she felt the excitement as the last seconds ticked off the clock.

Harborfields' Ella Simkins reaches to block a pass from Miller Place's Kelsey Lane. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Harborfields’ Ella Simkins reaches to block a pass from Miller Place’s Kelsey Lane. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“The energy on the field was amazing,” she said. “It felt like we won states, so it was awesome to be a part of.”

Miller Place started off scoring the first two goals of the game, and by halftime, had a 3-2 advantage.

Harborfields junior attack Mikayla Bergin scored the game-tying goal in the opening minutes of the second half, but Miller Place senior midfielder Alyssa Parrella helped her team edge ahead with her second goal of the afternoon off a foul shot.

“Although it didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, I know every single girl on my team put in the hustle and the heart today,” she said.

After Parrella tied the game, 5-5 with 6:40 left to play, she got a foul shot, but Tucker came up with one of her crucial saves.

“I knew I had the support of all of my teammates out there, which gave me the confidence I needed to make the saves when I needed to,” Tucker said. “It felt awesome to be able to help my team.”

Harborfields scored for the advantage, and after assisting on the goal, Harborfields senior midfielder Ella Simkins received a long pass up and across the field from Deren and shot the ball into an open right side for a 7-5 advantage with 55 seconds left to play.

With the game on the line, the Panthers pushed to even the score. Harborfields head coach Kerri McGinty said she knew Miller Place had what it took to rally back.

Harborfields' Angela Deren catches a quick pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Harborfields’ Angela Deren catches a quick pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“We knew that Miller Place was going to be really good, really athletic, have a lot of speed — we didn’t get off to the start we were hoping for, but what’s most important is that the girls had a team win here,” she said. “We’re a very dynamic team this year. We have a lot of goal scorers, great defenders, great midis, we have that mentality of sharing the wealth as well, which makes us a much harder team to prepare for.”

Parrella said what ignited the team to come back was senior attack Allison Turtorro’s goal after she received a pass in front of the cage with 34.5 seconds left.

“It gave us that much more adrenaline,” Parrella said. “That next draw control was huge for us.”

Miller Place won possession of the draw, and the team sprinted down the field as fast as it could. That’s when Parrella did her thing.

“I just really charged to the net and put in everything I had to score that goal,” she said of her fourth goal of the day.

She scored five goals in the prior game in a 15-4 win over Lindenhurst.

“Everyone went crazy. It was a big moment for us to step up and show other teams what we’re made of,” she said.

Miller Place's Alyssa Parrella hugs the sideline while maintaining possession against Julia Clementi and Falyn Dwyer and crossing the ball into Harborfields’ zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Miller Place’s Alyssa Parrella hugs the sideline while maintaining possession against Julia Clementi and Falyn Dwyer and crossing the ball into Harborfields’ zone. Photo by Desirée Keegan

After a foul forced a turnover in Miller Place’s zone, the Tornadoes had the opportunity to win with seconds left, and did.

“We all came together as a unit and rallied back,” Simkins said. “I feel like we’re all trying to piece together what we lost, so I think that we’re looking really good now, and as the season progresses I see us getting better and better.”

Although losing in the final seconds deflated her team, Parrella said things are coming together for her team, as it adjusts to a new coach and a new outlook on the game.

“Coach [Thomas] Carro told us to keep our heads up — this is only the beginning of what we’re calling our ‘new beginning,’” she said. “Looking back on last year, we definitely had a lot of weaknesses and that’s what Coach Cara really wanted us to focus on was our weaknesses. We’ve been doing stick work 24/7, shooting, working with our goalies, a little bit of everything, which is showing in the progress in our play. I think we’re just becoming a whole new team and we’re looking really good this year, so I hope we surprise other teams.”

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Above, Chris McCrary is running for a spot on the Comsewogue library board. His opponent, Richard Evans, did not provide a photo to the library. File photo

Comsewogue and Port Jefferson readers will vote on their libraries’ budgets on April 5, as well as one board trustee.

Ali Gordon, the library board president in Comsewogue who also serves on the school board, is not running for another term and two candidates are vying for the library seat she will vacate at the end of June, following a seven-year stint on that board.

Richard Evans, 50, is running for the five-year seat because, “I would like to be of service to my community,” according to a candidate profile on the Comsewogue library website. He listed his occupation as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service, saying that role has given him experience interacting with the public.

In addition, he said, “My experience as a computer forensic examiner gives me insight and growth of electronic media and its uses.”

He has lived in the district since 2011, and is an assistant coach with the Terryville Soccer Club.

Chris McCrary, 49, on the other hand, is running because, “Comsewogue Public Library has been a huge part of my life since I joined the summer reading club in 1971.”

According to his own candidate profile, the longtime resident and high school biology teacher wants to share his passion for reading and show kids “the tremendous resource they have in our own backyard.”

McCrary’s name may be familiar to some voters — in addition to coaching soccer and lacrosse in the area over the years, he has run a couple of times for the Comsewogue school board, albeit unsuccessfully.

Comsewogue budget

As residents vote for a trustee, they will also be asked to cast ballots for a proposed $5.4 million budget.

While that number represents a decrease from last year’s budget total, taxes would go up slightly, mainly because the library would pull less money from its reserves to fund the budget. According to a library brochure, the district is asking to collect 1 percent more in taxes in 2016-17 — a number significantly less than its state-mandated levy cap of 1.48 percent would allow.

If the budget passes, residents would pay almost $0.13 more for every $100 of their homes’ assessed values.

The library plans to spend more on its materials and programs next year and less on staffing and mandated expenses.

According to library Director Debbie Engelhardt, both library visits and overall circulation of library materials has increased since last year.

Port Jefferson budget

Over in Port Jefferson, the library is proposing a nearly $4.2 million budget, which also represents a decrease from the current year’s spending plan. In this library’s case, however, taxes would remain about the same in 2016-17.

According to a library brochure, Port Jefferson has seen savings from retirements. In addition, “a reasonable conclusion of collective bargaining negotiations also helps keep costs in line.”

One budget line that would increase is in programs, which would go up almost $18,000, while costs for books, audio and visual materials and periodicals would all decrease. The brochure said further movement toward cheaper digital formats has contributed to that shift.

If the budget is approved, each resident would pay about $12.54 for every $100 of a home’s assessed value.

Voting at the Comsewogue library on Terryville Road in Port Jefferson Station will take place on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Polls will be open at the Port Jefferson library on Thompson Street from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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