Authors Posts by Alex Petroski

Alex Petroski

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Alex Petroski is a TBR bloodhound/reporter, St. John's University graduate and Mets fan to a fault.

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The Mount Sinai softball team raises up its championship plaque following a 8-1 win over Westhampton-Beach. Photo by Alex Petroski

Before 2015, Mount Sinai’s softball team had never won a Suffolk Class A title. Now, the county crowns are coming in bunches.

The Mustangs completed their Suffolk schedule a perfect 22-0 with an 8-1 victory in the championship game against Westhampton Beach May 27 at Mount Sinai High School. Junior Emma Wimmer led the way with a complete game, eight-strikeout performance on the mound and went 2-for-3 with four RBIs at the plate — including a three-run homerun in the fifth.

Emma Wimmer throws a pitch. Photo by Alex Petroski

“Couldn’t happen to a better kid,” head coach Thomas Tilton said of Wimmer’s big day. He praised his starter and sophomore pitcher Julia Golino for their season-long dominance in the circle. “We have a two-headed dinosaur here — we have a kid that’s 12-0 and another kid that’s 10-0. So on any given day, either one of them can go, and they do their job.”

Golino served as a catalyst for the offense against Westhampton, chipping in three doubles and scoring two runs in the blowout win. She’s been one of many underclassmen to step up for the Mustangs throughout the course of the 2017 season, and given her age, could be a sign that the three straight championships might only be the beginning.

“I think being younger helped us,” Golino said. “We’ve gained experience through this, and we’re only going to grow through the years.”

Wimmer, who will also be back to make a run at four straight county titles in 2018, expressed a similar sentiment.

“It’s good because you get to work with them throughout all the years, and everyone’s just progressively getting better,” she said. “We’re all growing up together basically.”

Julia Golino hits one of her three doubles. Photo by Alex Petroski

Before Wimmer’s big swing in the fifth, Mount Sinai led 4-1 thanks to two sacrifice flies from tenth graders — one by Holly McNair in the third and another by Ilexa Skulnick before Wimmer’s homer in the fifth — and several baserunners taking the extra base on fly outs and wild pitches. Following the semifinal win, Tilton repeatedly used the word “gritty” to describe his team, and the same toughness and willingness to grind out at-bats characterized the performance Saturday before Wimmer blew the game open.

“We were hitting it hard, they just weren’t falling in,” Tilton said. “It was just a matter of time. They were playing us deep and we were just trying to hit the ball in front of them.”

Westhampton made Wimmer work early on the mound. The first two batters reached on a single and a walk to start the game, but two strikeouts with runners on second and third eliminated the threat in the top of the first. A double and a single to start the third inning got Westhampton on the board first, but Wimmer settled in, allowing only one more baserunner over the final four innings. She retired 14 of the last 15 batters she faced.

Emma Wimmer’s teammates congratulate her after a three-run homer. Photo by Alex Petroski

The hurler said she couldn’t remember a better all-around game in her career, and called it “awesome” to come up with the clutch performance in a county final.

“It was a great feeling, I was so happy,” Wimmer said, reflecting on what went through her mind as the homer sailed over the centerfield fence. “It definitely let some of the pressure off. Having more runs helps when I pitch because you get that insurance.”

Mount Sinai will face McArthur in the Long Island championship June 2 at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue at 3:30 p.m.

The Mustangs celebrate their third straight county title. Photo by Alex Petroski

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The Wildcats will play in the Long Island championship June 3

The Shoreham-Wading River baseball team dogpiles following its 8-1 win over Bayport-Blue Point, to complete a series sweep for the Class A Suffolk County crown. Photo by Alex Petroski

The Shoreham-Wading River baseball team utilized a familiar formula to extend its dominant season beyond the Suffolk County Class A final May 26 — equal doses of the long ball and the powerful right arm of senior ace Brian Morrell.

Brian Morrell hurls a pitch from the mound. Photo by Alex Petroski

Morrell put a cherry on top of his special senior season with a complete game, 11-strikeout performance to stymie the Bayport-Blue Point bats in an 8-1 victory. He also went 3-for-5 at the plate including a second-inning grand slam — his second in three games — finishing just a triple short of the cycle. The win was the 20th in a row for the Wildcats, which completed the sweep of Bayport-Blue Point to close out their Suffolk County schedule 24-1, with an eye on more pieces of hardware.

“His breaking ball was really dynamite — that’s a tough pitch to hit,” head coach Kevin Willi said of Morrell’s stuff on the mound Friday. “He’s throwing it in all counts — not afraid to throw it 3-2 to guys; and it was really effective.”

Willi reflected on coaching the dominant two-way player during his memorable career.

“It’s nice, it’s easy,” Willi said of coaching Morrell. “He’s a good kid too on top of that. He’s always team first.”

Shoreham-Wading River’s baseball team celebrates its Class A Suffolk County championship win. Photo by Alex Petroski

The ace, who has committed to play ball at the University of Notre Dame next season, said his whole arsenal was working in the victory.

“I just commanded my fastball, that’s really how I started off every batter,” he said. “Every pitch I really felt confident in. I knew if I threw strikes I was going to come out with the ‘W.’”

Morrell scattered three hits over the first two innings, then didn’t allow another over the final five frames. He set down 10 straight Phantoms at one point, before loading the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch to start the sixth. A fly out and two strikeouts ended the threat and maintained a seven-run lead.

“He was throwing really hard and painting corners,” senior catcher Thomas Brady said of his battery mate’s performance. Brady kicked off the scoring with a one-out, two-run homer in the top of the first. He and Morrell combined to drive in seven of the Wildcats’ eight runs. “Honestly, when me and him get in our rhythm, we’re the best duo,” Brady said. “It’s really hard to hit Brian obviously.”

Brian Morrell rounds the bases after hitting his second grand slam in the last three games. Photo by Alex Petroski

Despite Morrell’s consistency on the hill, Willi said the team was driven by its offense in 2017.

“All season we’ve had a really heavy senior class — a lot of guys working hard for very many years to get to this point,” he said. “We put together a lot of great pitching performances, we played great defense at times when we needed it, and really the story of the year was the bats. We scored a lot of runs.”

The Wildcats will face the winner of the Nassau County championship series between Wantagh and Garden City. The Long Island championship game will be played June 3 at SUNY Old Westbury at 12 p.m.

Brady said he’s not sure it matters who Shoreham-Wading River squares off against next.

“Whoever we play, they’re not going to stop us right now,” he said. “We’re hot, we’re playing hard. We became a team, and I’m proud of all of these guys.”

Residents participate in a CDC survey to accumulate data on health and diets of Americans. Photo by Alex Petroski

By Alex Petroski

Suffolk County residents will play an important role in improving the health of their fellow Americans in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention selected Suffolk as one of 15 counties nationwide to participate in its annual National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a data collection study that is used to draw conclusions about the health and diets of people in the United States.

The CDC is the nation’s health protection agency, conducting research in the hopes of preventing the spread of diseases and tracking their prevalence. The NHANES is a 55-year-old program that tracks health and diet trends in the U.S. by selecting counties based on demographics with the goal of accumulating a set of data representative of the entire population of the country.

Three CDC trailers will spend about six weeks parked in Stony Brook’s Research and Development Park to study Suffolk County residents. Photo from CDC

This is the second time Suffolk was observed as part of the survey since the turn of the century, according to study manager Jacque DeMatteis. The CDC arrived April 29 at Stony Brook University’s Research and Development Park in three mobile trailers outfitted with dozens of pieces of medical equipment, researchers and physicians to begin assessments on the approximately 600 Suffolk residents selected.

“It’s important because right now we’ve got all of these miracles happening with cancer research and things like that, without information that people help us to provide — a lot of it comes from here — [researchers] don’t have anything to draw on,” DeMatteis said of the purpose of the yearly survey during a tour of the CDC mobile facility May 19.

Charles Rothwell, director of the National Center for Health Statistics, reiterated the importance of accumulating the data in a statement.

“The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions,” he said. “The comprehensive data collected by NHANES has a far-reaching and significant impact on everything from the quality of the air we breathe, to the vaccinations you get from your doctor, to the emergence of low-fat and ‘light’ foods on the shelves of your grocery store.”

A young participant in the study is measured. Photo from CDC

The process for selecting participants within a county begins with about 1,500 addresses, and interviewers scour the area in the hopes of securing about 600 willing participants who also provide a representative sample of age ranges, genders, races and ethnicities and degrees of health. The selected participants who are willing to be examined then visit the mobile facility to be subjected to a variety of tests of blood pressure, diet, dental/oral health, vision and hearing, bone density, liver function and much more using high-tech scans not often available through traditional physicians.

DeMatteis made the case for selected participants making the trip to be studied despite some minor possible inconveniences.

“For the people who participate, they get their results back,” she said. “If anything abnormal comes up they’re contacted immediately. Our national health officer will contact them and we’ve had a couple of situations where it was kind of life-threatening situations and they were totally unaware of it.”

Participating adults also receive $125, reimbursement for travel expenses and the opportunity to receive credit for five hours of community service. Newborns and up are required for data collection, though specific scans and tests are not done uniformly across age groups.

“A lot of people do it for the exams, and in the past even more people had no means to get access to health care, so they came here because they’re going to get a whole lot of data about their health that they otherwise can’t afford to get,” DeMatteis said.

No medical procedures are offered at the site, though on occasion physicians are forced to recommend immediate treatment if anything concerning appears as a result of a test. Patients are also allowed to pick and choose which tests they’d like to participate in of the ones they qualify for. The CDC urges anyone selected to participate in the survey.

File photo

A man was killed while installing a cesspool at a home on Beech Place in Huntington just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, according to police.

A crew was installing a cesspool at a home located at 2 Beech Place in Huntington when the ground gave way trapping Edward Sinnott at approximately 12:50 p.m. Sinnott, 59, of Huntington, was recovered just before 7 p.m. and pronounced at the scene by a physician’s assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct and Emergency Service Section officers, Nassau County Emergency Service officers, members of Huntington Community First Aid, Huntington Fire Department, Huntington Manor Fire Department, Greenlawn Fire Department and Dix Hills Fire Department responded as well as officials from the Town of Huntington and Occupational Safety and Health Administration responded.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the incident.

A man was taken to the hospital for treatment of a puncture wound after he was allegedly assaulted with a screwdriver by a 22-year-old man in Port Jefferson Station May 22, according to police.

Joel Moreno-Alvarado, 22, of Port Jefferson Station was arrested and charged with second-degree assault and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after he allegedly assaulted a victim at about 11:30 p.m. Monday night on Main Street near the intersection of East Oakland Avenue, police said.

The victim walked into the 6th Precinct in Selden to report the incident and was taken by ambulance to the hospital to be treated for a puncture wound. Moreno-Alvarado was held overnight and arraigned in 1st District Court in Central Islip Tuesday, May 23, police said. Attorney information for Moreno-Alvarado was not immediately available.

 

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Lové Drumgole greets her teammates following her big home run. Photo by Alex Petroski

The Mount Sinai softball team is on to the Suffolk County Class A championship thanks to a stellar pitching performance by an underclassmen, and a little dose of Lové.

Sophomore starting pitcher Julia Golino shut down Westhampton Beach in a complete game performance in the semifinals May 23, and junior shortstop Lové Drumgole provided the bulk of the offense with a second-inning grand slam to help the Mustangs secure a 7-4 win at home. Mount Sinai will face the winner of the May 26 matchup between Westhampton Beach and Sayville for the right to wear the Suffolk County crown. The Mustangs, who went 18-0 during the regular season, have still yet to lose a game in 2017.

Lové Drumgole rounds the bases after her grand slam. Photo by Alex Petroski

If Mount Sinai were to lose to the winner of the May 26 matchup during the May 27 final, which starts at 10 a.m., the teams will play a final elimination game at a time and date to be decided.

“They’ve been battle tested,” head coach Thomas Tilton said of his team. “You’re talking about a team that was 65-3 over the last three years. They’ve been behind, they’ve been in front — they just lean on one another. Everyday there’s a different hero, and that’s the way they play. It’s a team, that’s all I can say. They’re gritty and they don’t give up.”

Tilton spoke highly of his sophomore starter, who held Westhampton to one run through six innings before surrendering a walk and two hits sandwiched around a two-run error. It created some tense moments for the Mustangs in the final frame, though they held on for the victory.

“She’s a warrior,” Tilton said of Golino. “She got a little tired in the end; she was getting caught on her hip a little bit, but our defense is usually better than that. We stress fundamentals, especially on defense, and we got away from it a little bit, but they collected themselves.”

Drumgole came to the plate in the second inning with the bases loaded and no outs and a run already in during the frame to put the Mustangs ahead 2-1.

“That felt great,” Drumgole said of the grand slam home run which put her team ahead 6-1. “It was an outside pitch and I just hit it where it was pitched.”

Julia Golino tosses a pitch. Photo by Alex Petroski

When asked if the four-run-producing swing relieved some of the pressure the team might have been feeling in a tight playoff game, Drumgole downplayed the significance and said her approach never changes based on the score.

“She’s for real — that’s one of the best players on the island, by far,” the head coach said of his star shortstop and leadoff hitter. “She does it all. She’s one of the cornerstones of the team, so they all look up to her.”

Drumgole and team captain and senior left fielder Angela Bukofsky praised the “youngin” Golino for her toughness in the performance, repeatedly using the word “amazing.”

Golino said she gained confidence after Drumgole’s big swing.

“I think it gave us an advantage, coming out strong, and I think it made us able to stay strong throughout the game and determined — you can’t let up,” she said.

Mount Sinai had chances to put the game further out of reach, but left the bases loaded in the third inning, and left runners on second and third in the fourth. In the fifth inning, with runners on first and third, a line drive to shortstop was turned into a 6-3-2 triple play with Drumgole getting cut down trying to score by Westhampton’s first baseman. Golino recorded the final out of the game with the tying run in the on deck circle.

This version updates the dates and times of the championship games as per Section XI, as changes in the brackets occurred.

Brilliant, an 85-year-old schooner ship visits Port Jefferson Harbor May 22. Photo by Alex Petroski
Brilliant, an 85-year-old schooner ship visits Port Jefferson Harbor May 22. Photo by Alex Petroski

By Alex Petroski

Boating enthusiasts in Port Jefferson were treated to a piece of history May 22.

Brilliant, an 85-year-old, 61-foot schooner docked in Port Jefferson Harbor Monday afternoon, just weeks after the anniversary of its launch in 1932.

“It is known as one of the finest and best-maintained wooden vessels in America,” John Lane, former commodore of the Port Jefferson Yacht Club and a 47-year resident of Poquott said in a phone interview. He added that the vessel is “spotless,” and lauded its ahead-of-its time design.

For 65 years, the ship has sailed under the flag of the Mystic Seaport, a Connecticut-based boating museum, and has been used as a training vessel for children and adults interested in honing sailing skills and experiencing full immersion into ship board life.

“After a busy spring and a lot of work by a vast army of crew, volunteers, painters, yard workers, specialists and vendors Brilliant is in top shape,” Brilliant’s Captain Nicholas Alley said in a message posted on the museum’s website ahead of the 2017 boating season. He has been at the helm of the ship for six years. “Now we get to enjoy that labor and take this floating jewelry box out sailing.”

Brilliant was initially built for businessman Walter Barnum, who used it as a racing boat in the 1930s. During World War II, it was used as a patrol vessel for the United States Coast Guard. In 1953 it was donated to the Mystic Seaport. The ship sailed to Oyster Bay last week for three weekends of racing against other classic yachts, and it made a stop in Port Jefferson along the way.

The ship is considered one of the 100 most beautiful classic boats in America by WoodenBoat Magazine. It is estimated to have transported more than 10,000 people in its history.

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital Director of Engineering, Design and Construction Kevin Koubek monitors the hospital’s electricity generation. Photo by Alex Petroski

A Port Jefferson-area hospital is setting trends in reducing its environmental impact. A number of new initiatives at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital have turned the facility into an energy efficiency machine, but the hospital’s director of engineering, design and construction said they’re not done trying to improve.

“I would say Mather is one of the most progressive hospitals on the Island in terms of green energy renewable technology and reducing carbon footprint,” Brian Hassan, PSEG Long Island lead account manager for health care, said in a phone interview. He added if other hospitals followed Mather’s lead it would be beneficial to reducing substantial carbon footprint that can be left by facilities that consume large amounts of energy. The glowing assessment can be attributed in large part to the efforts of Kevin Koubek, the engineering director at Mather who is constantly working to improve the hospital’s efficiency.

“I think we’ve shown we’re trying to do everything physically and humanly possible to reduce our demand on the grid,” Koubek said in an interview. Between air conditioning and heating, heavy-duty medical equipment, elevators, kitchen equipment, lighting, gift shops, coffee shops and various waiting rooms, the amount of power required to run a hospital is obviously substantial. Koubek said the hospital is always looking for ways to reduce energy requirements.

“Trying to offset some of this electrical demand is huge, and that’s one of the reasons we have tried to identify where we can minimize our loads,” he said.

Mather is the first Long Island hospital to install a thermal ice storage system to help with cooling the hospital during warmer months. It was installed and became operational earlier in 2017. The system serves to shift a portion of the hospital’s peak electrical load from daytime to nighttime, when electricity is more plentiful, less expensive and generated more efficiently by creating ice using larger air conditioning equipment during off-peak hours, then storing ice in 24 tanks that are used with pumps to generate cool air during the day.

“The day-to-day benefits would be that we’re not turning on this large machine, we’re pulling off the electric grid,” Koubek said.

In the past, before the hospital focused on energy efficiency initiatives, Koubek said much like homes in the summertime, the hospital’s cooling systems had a hard time meeting demand.

“We have to recognize [we] do have patients that for whatever reason, they’re here,” he said. “Their comfort is paramount.”

The chiller was approximately $2 million, though the hospital is expecting a rebate check from PSEG Long Island to cover half the cost.

Mather was also the first Long Island hospital to install solar panels. A 50-kilowatt photovoltaic ground-mounted solar panel was installed in the rear of the parking lot in 2011, and Koubek said the hospital has considered adding more.

“[Hospital administration] would love to do that, it’s just very expensive,” he said.

Koubek added the hospital is also in the process of replacing about 300 standard lighting fixtures of the roughly 3,000 at Mather with LED ones. Standard fixtures require about 180 watts of power while LEDs require about 30 watts.

“That’s the one thing that is sort of flying under the radar, but is making a huge impact on us is the fact that we’re on a track to replace every lighting fixture in the hospital and go to 100 percent LED,” Koubek said.

The hospital is also using lower cost hydropower, or electricity created by utilizing moving water, to reduce its energy costs by $2.5 million through the ReCharge NY award from the New York Power Authority. ReCharge NY is a program designed to retain and create jobs through allocations of low-cost power, half of which is made up of hydropower.

Koubek seemed to embrace the idea that Mather is setting trends for other hospitals in increased efficiency.

“I’d have to say we’re probably one of the leading hospitals on the Island, if not in the state,” he said.

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TRITEC Vice President Rob Kent looks out at Port Jefferson Harbor from the third floor of The Shipyard apartments. Photo by Alex Petroski

By Alex Petroski

Entering Port Jefferson Village via West Broadway looks a lot different these days. The three-story structure being built on the south side of West Broadway, as drivers turn the corner and head down the hill into the village at what’s known as the community’s western entrance, is sprouting up rapidly and residents are taking notice.

Longtime members of the community have expressed concerns about the substantial size of the apartment complex, dubbed The Shipyard by TRITEC Development Group, the real estate developer responsible for the homes. Others have voiced worries about the impact new residents in the area will have on traffic, the possibility of disturbing the historic feel of the village and breaking with traditional architecture in Port Jeff, and the mindset of people who rent instead of own property­­ —that they are less likely to be conscientious neighbors.

A rendering of what the building and property will look like upon completion. Image from TRITEC

The 112-unit complex of one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments is being constructed on the former site of the Heritage Inn motel, and is expected to be completed by January 2018. TRITEC Vice President Robert Kent and director of marketing Chris Kelly opened the doors to the construction site during an interview May 12 to shed some light on what the community should expect from their new neighbors.

A common theme of letters to the editor submitted by community members was the building seems to exceed the 35-foot maximum established in the village’s code. One letter referred to the structure as “an unnatural behemoth in the middle of a small historic village.”

“Much of [Port Jefferson’s] architecture is historically authentic,” resident Karleen Erhardt wrote. “The natural beauty of its harbor and surrounding hills make it one of the loveliest spots on the North Shore of Long Island. It is no wonder that visitors come here year-round to escape the blur of boxy, vinyl-sided suburbia that now characterizes much of Long Island. The Shipyard has done irreparable damage to the character of Port Jefferson Village. All that we residents can do now is wait for the inevitable traffic congestion in and around our town that can only make life here worse.”

According to Kelly, the height adheres to village code because the currently exposed ground level will be covered with both dirt and eventually a sloped lawn up to the first floor level.

“The reason the code is written like that is because it’s Port Jeff — there’s hills,” Kent said. He added the process of getting plans for the project approved took about two years worth of back and forth with the village building and planning departments, as well as informational sessions for concerned community members. He also addressed claims the building won’t fit with the historic feel of the village. “We took dozens of photographs from homes in Belle Terre, to Danford’s [Hotel & Marina], we looked up historical buildings from the turn of the century, the old train station — we had our architects study all of that to pick a design that would fit in and complement what is here. We didn’t just come up with it.”

The ceiling of the leasing office lobby on the ground floor will be fitted with a grid modeled after century-old plans detailing construction of a 95-foot wooden deck barge, which Kelly said they found in the village’s historical archives.

“There’s a lot of things that take all of the history of this village and we’ve tried to incorporate it into what we’ve done,” Kelly said.

A view of the southern side of The Shipyard apartment building. Photo by Alex Petroski

Kent said that transparency has been a key component of TRITEC’s plans throughout the process.

“When we say we’re going to do something we do it,” he said. “When we show you a picture of what we’re going to do that’s what you get. That’s what it looks like when we’re done. The way we do that is by thinking it out, being open and candid up front.”

In another attempt to address community concerns, the complex will only allow for those entering via the West Broadway entrance to make right turns in and right turns out of the property. A separate entrance exists on Barnum Avenue on the building’s southern side, which required the construction of a bridge to go over Mill Creek for entrance into the building’s parking garage.

Kent said TRITEC has spared no expense in the hopes of creating a luxury living option for those wishing to rent in the village. To do that, the company secured financial assistance from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

“To improve economic conditions in their respective areas, IDAs generally attempt to attract, retain and expand businesses within their jurisdictions through the provision of financial incentives to private entities,” an explanation of the role of the agencies from the New York State comptroller’s office said. “IDAs are legally empowered to buy, sell or lease property and to provide tax exempt financing for approved projects.”

As a result, Port Jefferson Village will lose out on property tax revenue, except in the form of payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs, that TRITEC will be required to pay for 15 years, as part of the agreement. To receive IDA financial assistance, the private company must also provide yearly proof of jobs created and retained as a result of the project.

Kent said the project will result in the creation of three to five permanent, full-time jobs within the building, in addition to the dozens of construction jobs already created, which Kent added could ramp up to more than 100 as the project progresses.

The vice president said the village should expect to see increased patronage of village businesses and restaurants, and a similar project in Patchogue resulted in millions of dollars worth of investment from other private entities looking to capitalize on a revitalized area. An economist hired by the village who studied the possible impact of the various construction projects in Port Jeff reiterated the same point during a presentation to the board in February.

“I think it’s a real disaster for the village that they were able to get this financial assistance. It’s like we’re giving away the store.”

— Molly Mason

Molly Mason, a village resident for 30 years, said in a phone interview she believes that the tax revenue the  village will miss out on pales in comparison to the benefits suggested by TRITEC. She said she voiced concerns about the company pursuing IDA financial assistance during public hearings years ago.

“I think it’s a real disaster for the village that they were able to get this financial assistance,” she said. “It’s like we’re giving away the store.”

She also said she is worried about the impact on village infrastructure that the additional residences could mean, in addition to the possibility that renters with children would be sending kids to the district without contributing property tax dollars.

Some of the perks and amenities for those living in the new apartments will include various views of the water thanks to an abundance of windows throughout the units and a rooftop deck; dog washing and bike repair stations on the ground floor; full-sized washers and dryers in every unit; a fitness center with weights, machines and cardio equipment; charging stations for electric cars in the parking garage; a plaza area with barbecues, a fountain, fire pits and plenty of landscaping; and an indoor common area that features televisions, areas to do work, and couches, among many other perks.

Pricing details and leasing options will be available for those interested in the coming months.

Unopposed board of education races go to incumbents, one newcomer in Port Jefferson

Compared to Election Day in November, the May version for school district budget votes and board of education candidates in the Port Jefferson area was seriously lacking in drama.

Board of education races came to a close in the Port Jefferson and Comsewogue school districts May 16 with little suspense, as two candidates ran for two open seats in each district. Both districts’ budgets were also passed, with 82 percent of Port Jeff voters and 79 percent in Comsewogue giving their stamp of approval to the 2017-18 spending plans.

Port Jefferson

Adam DeWitt. File photo by Elana Glowatz

A second proposition on the ballot in Port Jeff was also overwhelmingly passed by the community, allowing the district to release $456,000 from a capital reserve fund to be used on renovations and infrastructure-related improvement projects.

“On behalf of the Port Jefferson board of education, administration, students and staff, I extend my appreciation to the Port Jefferson community for their continued support of our district,” Superintendent Paul Casciano said in an emailed statement. “Through the approval of our school budget, our district will continue to offer our students a high quality educational program. Additionally, the support of Proposition 2 allows the district to replace portions of the high school and middle school roof, continuing our investment in district facilities.”

Port Jeff’s 2017-18 budget will be nearly $43 million, a roughly 3.5 percent increase over last year. Almost $36 million of revenue will come from property taxes. The budget was passed with 338 “yes” to 74 “no” votes.

Adam DeWitt will begin his third term on the Port Jeff board of education after receiving 357 votes. He and newcomer Dave Keegan, with 356 votes, each ran unopposed for two seats.

“I am very grateful to the Port Jefferson community for giving me the opportunity to join the Board of Education,” Keegan said in an email. “I am excited to begin my tenure and to contribute to helping keep the Port Jefferson School District among the best public school systems in the country.”

DeWitt said in a phone interview he was thrilled with the support the community showed for the upcoming year’s spending plan.

“I couldn’t be prouder to continue to serve on the board for another three years,” he added.

Comsewogue

Ali Gordon. Photo from Ali Gordon

Voters in Comsewogue passed the district’s approximately $90 million budget by a 789 to 208 margin. The district’s tax levy will be 2.8 percent higher than for the current year.

“I’m very, very thankful to our wonderful community for its overwhelming support of our budget,” Superintendent Joe Rella said in a phone interview.

Ali Gordon, who ran unopposed, will begin her third term on Comsewogue’s board of education beginning in July after receiving 882 votes. Board vice president James Sanchez will also be granted another term, as 846 community members checked off his name.

James Sanchez. Photo from James Sanchez

“There are great things happening in our schools every day, and I’m proud to be part of a team that prioritizes innovation and creativity in education,” Gordon said in an email. She called it an honor to be able to serve the community for a third term.

Sanchez expressed a similar sentiment.

“As an incumbent I am honored to be given the opportunity in serving a third term, allowing me to be the voice and advocate for the Comsewogue families and students,” he said in an email. “I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks for entrusting me as your representative on the board.”

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