Authors Posts by Erika Karp

Erika Karp

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Kyle Konecny mugshot from SCPD

Police arrested a man just a few hours after he allegedly robbed a Bank of America in Selden on Monday morning.

Kyle Konecny, 25, was arrested and charged with second-degree robbery after he allegedly entered a Bank of America on Middle Country Road, displayed what appeared to be a handgun and demanded cash from the teller, police said. He then fled on foot at about 10 a.m.

Suffolk County Police Department 6th Precinct police officers were able to track Konecny to the Elmwood Road area thanks to a GPS tracking device from the bank.

Konecny, of Selden, will be arraigned in Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip on April 21.

Attorney information for Konecny wasn’t immediately available.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Peter Fogel stars in the touring production of ‘My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy.’ Photo from Theatre Three

During the first 15 minutes of “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy,” currently on tour and playing at Theatre Three in Port Jefferson, I became a little concerned. I expected to be laughing my tuches off, but that wasn’t the case. Until, that is, Peter Fogel, portraying the show’s author, Steve Solomon, really started describing his Italian mother and Jewish father.

Despite the slow start — and some predictable jokes — the one-man show is enjoyable, especially if you can relate to it.

The show ran on Off-Broadway from 2006 until 2008 and spawned sequels “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m STILL in Therapy” and “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m Home for the Holidays.” Inspired by Solomon’s family and his upbringing in Sheepshead Bay, the show received favorable reviews and has toured internationally and in more than 100 cities.

Fogel, a Stony Brook-born, Baldwin-raised comedian, does a wonderful job of portraying all of the Solomon family and has great comedic timing when interacting with audience members who couldn’t stop laughing.
Fogel is especially hilarious as Grandma Angelina, who states “grandpa was a mail order groom damaged in shipping” and in one conversation confuses “condo” for “condom.”

One of the show’s strength’s is how even the punch lines have a little poignancy to them, like when Solomon asks his parents about the birds and the bees, but they always answered in riddles.

At the end of the show, Fogel made a comment about performing the show in other states and how not as many people get the jokes, which are definitely New York-centric.

There aren’t many other places that will truly understand the bit about driving through a gated Florida retirement community and being stopped by an elderly security guard with a walker or having a Jewish father whose cure-all to life’s problems is Chinese food.

These bits make the show and are so incredibly true for anyone whose parents, or grandparents, have shipped off to Florida or kept Kosher — unless it involved Chinese food.

Some of the jokes may be a little cliché, but man are they funny!

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present ‘My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy’ through May 10. Tickets are $44 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and $49 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Special group rates are available. For more information, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Max Schneider mugshot from SCPD

Suffolk County police caught up to the Miller Place man who allegedly robbed a Rocky Point bank on April 14, but the man didn’t go down without a fight.

Max Schneider, 26, was arrested on April 16 in Huntington at approximately 5:45 p.m., after the Suffolk County Police Department’s Pattern Crime Unit and Larceny Task Force detectives spotted him pulling into the parking lot of the Walt Whitman Mall, according to police.

Schneider allegedly attempted to escape detectives, but in the process collided his 2012 Honda Civic with two police vehicles.

Officials allege he is the man who entered the Capital One bank on Route 25A in Rocky Point shortly after 9 a.m. on April 14 and gave a teller a note demanding money. Police said he then fled on foot with an unknown amount of money.

Police arrested and charged Schneider with third-degree robbery; criminal mischief; reckless endangerment; and violation of a parole warrant.

Attorney information for the defendant was not immediately available.

According to online New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision records, Schneider was convicted of third-degree robbery in 2013.

Schneider will be arraigned in Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip on April 17.

Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Jane Bonner speak against PSEG Long Island's proposed rate increase. Photo by Erika Karp

Brookhaven officials announced Thursday that the town is seeking permission from the New York State Public Service Commission to intervene on PSEG Long Island’s pending application to the commission for a rate increase.

At a press conference, Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) and councilmembers Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point), Dan Panico (R-Manorville) and Neil Foley (R-Blue Point) expressed their concerns about the increase in the delivery charge portion of customers’ bills — a nearly 4 percent bump each year for three years — set to kick in next year. The officials said they believe PSEG Long Island hasn’t adequately justified the increase, which would have a “devastating impact,” on Long Island residents.

“We want to make sure that our voices are heard — the ratepayers in Brookhaven Town are heard,” Romaine said.

By legally intervening, according to attorney Rob Calica, of Garden City-based law firm Rosenberg Calica & Birney LLP, town officials would have access to filings and documents that are otherwise not public.

“If the town doesn’t intervene, it’s a commenter,” said Calica, who the town retained to handle the matter. “The comment period is closed. If the town doesn’t intervene, the records that are unavailable for public review remain unavailable. If the town intervenes, it elevates its status from commenter to a party.”

The utility stated in its proposal that it would invest in maintaining and modernizing the electric system; enhancing technology for managing customer accounts; improving infrastructure to better prepare for and respond to storms; and improving system reliability.

The town joins Suffolk County Comptroller John M. Kennedy Jr., who asked to act as an intervener in an April 10 letter to the New York State Department of Public Service, the department which contains the commission.

According to PSEG Long Island’s application, the three-year increase will amount to an approximate $221 million increase in revenues.

In his letter, Kennedy called it questionable to give “that excessive amount of money” to a “quasi-governmental entity that is supposed to be a leader in management performance, yet decides to increase the average residential customer’s bills when its own employees live and work on Long Island.”

This is the first time in more than 20 years that Long Island’s utility provider has had to submit a rate plan to the Department of Public Service, as required by the LIPA Reform Act of 2013, which also put the Long Island Power Authority under the management of private company PSEG Long Island. The department assigned administrative law judges to hear the case, on which Long Island residents commented at public hearings held throughout March.

Brookhaven officials and Kennedy said they also took issue with the fact that the utility’s proposed increase does not have to follow any cap that other public institutions, like governments and school districts, have to abide by, referring to the state’s tax levy increase cap. Romaine said PSEG Long Island should have to comply with and be held to higher standards.

“They are a public authority no different than the Town of Brookhaven,” he said.

In an email, Jeff Weir, PSEG Long Island’s director of communications, said the organization is proud to have the most transparent rate proceeding that local customers have ever seen.

“We believe the modest increase that we are seeking in our filing will allow us to continue to create a more resilient, modern and customer-responsive electric utility,” Weir stated. “We welcome the opportunity to continue to have constructive, open dialogue regarding our request.”

The bank robbery suspect was caught on surveillance video. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police Department’s Pattern Crime Unit detectives are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who robbed a Rocky Point bank on Tuesday morning.

The suspect, described as a white man, 30-40 years old and approximately 6 feet tall, was wearing a black coat when he entered the Capital One bank on Route 25A in Rocky Point shortly after 9 a.m. and gave the teller a note that demanded money, according to police. The unknown robber then fled on foot with an unknown amount of cash.

Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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Christopher Campbell mugshot from SCPD

Nearly six months after a Miller Place woman was killed in a hit-and-run crash on North Country Road, police have made an arrest.

Christopher Campbell, 35, of Sound Beach, was arrested on Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, following an investigation by the Suffolk County Police Department’s Vehicular Crime Unit, county District Attorney Tom Spota said.

Campbell allegedly drove the vehicle that struck 40-year-old Tracy Mangino, who was walking on North Country Road, east of Block Island Drive, on Oct. 18. Mangino died of her injuries at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson.

Campbell pleaded not guilty to the charge in Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip, Spota said. Judge Fernando Camacho set Campbell’s bail at $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond.

The October crash isn’t the first time Campbell has been accused of leaving the scene. In June 2012, he was arrested and charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident after he sideswiped a parked car on East Main Street in Port Jefferson. According to Spota’s office, Campbell allegedly tried to flee the scene on foot, but was apprehended by a village constable and Suffolk police officer. The charges are still pending.

Robert Macedonio, Campbell’s Central Islip-based attorney, was not immediately available for comment regarding either case.

At the time of the October crash, police described the vehicle that hit Mangino as a box-type truck, traveling eastbound on North Country Road. Detective Sgt. John Sumwalt, of the Vehicular Crime Unit, said in an October interview that the vehicle was light-colored and that a passing motorist notified police of the incident. He added that detectives were reviewing surveillance footage from the area. And on Tuesday, Spota revealed the strategy was successful.

“Vehicular Crime Unit detectives canvassed the neighborhood and were successful in gathering evidence, including video footage of the driver’s truck leaving the scene,” he said.

Supervisor Ed Romaine file photo

A state assemblywoman from Ithaca is pushing to provide state aid to municipalities that host four-year, residential State University of New York colleges and universities, and Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) is signing onto the cause because of the potential financial relief it could bring to Long Island.

The legislation, introduced by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca) on March 24, seeks to offset the cost of providing public safety services to state schools, which are currently tax-exempt. The move came shortly after Romaine vowed to work with the New York State Board of Regents to seek a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, for the Stony Brook and Setauket fire departments, which both serve SUNY Stony Brook University.

Lifton, who represents the cities and towns of Ithaca and Cortland — which host SUNY Cortland and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University — called the lack of aid a big issue for her municipalities.

“There is a deficit there that we need to makeup,” she said, noting that the state’s Aid and Incentives for Municipalities, or AIM funding, has decreased over the years.

The legislation earmarks $12 million in aid for the host municipalities, and establishes a formula to distribute the aid based on the cost of public safety services, how much AIM funding the community already receives and the student population.

Lifton said there are a lot of rental properties in Cortland, so the police and fire departments “provide more than the normal amount of services.” In the City of Cortland, firefighters are paid, but Cortland Town firefighters volunteer their time.

While the legislation currently doesn’t propose aid be rewarded to a fire districts like those in Stony Brook and East Setauket, Romaine still said he was supportive of the idea.

“We think this is a solution,” Romaine said.

Like in Cortland, Brookhaven officials have been dealing with off-campus rental properties, which university students often inhabit. Over the last two years, the town has tried to curtail illegal and overcrowded rentals in the Stony Brook and Setauket area by strengthening its codes, increasing fines and working with the university to educate students about illegal rentals. The town also hired additional investigators to stay on top of the issue.

While Romaine said the legislation would help Brookhaven, he continued to advocate for “some contribution to the fire districts involved so their taxpayers don’t have to bear that burden.”

Romaine also said he hopes Long Island’s state representatives would support the legislation, and that at some point along the line, a PILOT agreement is established.

State Assemblyman Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) did not return requests for comment.

Stony Brook Fire Department Commissioner Paul Degen, who works as a town investigator, said 50 percent of Stony Brook Fire District’s tax base is exempt, which has made things financially difficult at times as the department has spent money retrofitting trucks and adequately training volunteers.

“It is what it is, but it would be nice if 50 percent of our district paid their fair share,” he said.

According to records from Stony Brook University, alarms requiring a fire department unit on the scene have dropped since 2012 when single detector activations, which are investigated by university fire marshals and don’t require fire department presence, were implemented in May 2012.

In 2012, the Stony Brook and/or Setauket departments were on scene for a total of 137 alarms. In 2013, the number drastically dropped to 25.

While there has been progress, Degen said he would like to see more incentives to attract department volunteers, which aren’t easy to come by these days. The department currently has 72 members, and more than half of them are over 50 years old.

One idea, he said, would be to offer some sort of tuition break or benefit to volunteers, which could help attract students to the department.

“All of that needs to be visited,” he said.

Romaine, Lifton and Degen expressed similar sentiments about the universities, saying they play important roles in the host communities, which welcome them, but still shouldn’t burden the taxpayers.

“All I’m asking for is some kind of remuneration,” Romaine said. “The full burden should not fall on the taxpayer. That is just not fair.”

The North Shore Public Library. File photo by Elana Glowatz

Budget season is in full swing and the local libraries aren’t excluded. Voters will take to the polls on Tuesday, April 14, to weigh in on proposed spending plans and elections of library trustees.

North Shore Public Library Director Laura Hawrey said in a phone interview that the proposed small increase of 0.9 percent from the current year would allow for additional programs at the library. Language programs, including Spanish, Italian and English, will have additional offerings.

“All of the language programs are very popular,” she said.

In addition, the library will continue to build its multicultural program, which exposes people to music and arts from different cultures.

Following another trend many libraries are experiencing, North Shore will continue to supply readers’ demand for e-books.

“We are increasing the e-books and decreasing the amount of [printed] books,” she said.

But old-fashioned book lovers shouldn’t be worried. Hawrey said books could be easily accessed through interlibrary loan. The loan system has contributed to a decrease in a need to have as many books in-house.
Under the spending plan, an average resident in the Rocky Point and Shoreham-Wading River school districts will pay an additional $3 annually.

Incumbent library Board of Trustees President Bill Schiavo is running unopposed for his third five-year term. In a phone interview, the retired high school English teacher and Stony Brook University professor said he has always been a book and library lover.

Schiavo said he and his fellow board members have worked to make sure taxpayers are getting some bang for their buck.

“Any increase we have, however minimal, is designed to go [toward] new programs,” he said.

Schiavo said he first ran with the goal of creating an annex library in the Rocky Point area, as the community needs more meeting spaces for residents. While this hasn’t come to fruition just yet due to financial constraints, Schiavo said the whole board is well aware of the need and will continue to look for space.

Children were delighted by tricks and treats at the Brookhaven parks department’s Spring Happening in Centereach on April 7.

The spring celebration featured a show by magician James Amore, along with crafts, games and face painting. In addition, some talented kids paraded their best spring hats for the special occasion. Claire Wagner, 7, of Sound Beach, whose hat featured New York City’s Empire State Building, took home the best hat award.

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The hundreds of Easter eggs scattered throughout Rocketship Park in Rocky Point were snatched up in a flash on Saturday during Brooklyn Bagels’ annual egg hunt.

Children of all ages eagerly searched the park for the treat-filled eggs, while Rocky Point’s Creative Zone offered plaster and face painting activities, and Jen Chi Faces drew caricatures.