Authors Posts by Phil Corso

Phil Corso

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Phil Corso is TBR’s managing editor. When he’s not plugging away at stories, he finds joy in the finer things in life, like playing drums, watching hockey and discussing the latest Taco Bell items.

A typical teenage girl’s bedroom from the late 1960s. Photo from LIM

Above, a typical teenage girl’s bedroom of the late 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Long Island Museum

By Ellen Barcel

Back in 1964-1965 some very excited New Yorkers (as well as visitors from all over the world) attended the World’s Fair held in Queens. The last time a world’s fair was held in New York was 1939!

The 1960s was a time of the Beatles. It was the time of John Denver and other folk musicians. It was a time when the Vietnam War was escalating, a time of protest and peace marches. “Make Love Not War” and “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way” were just some of the slogans commonly heard. It was a time of the early growth of Stony Brook University, founded in 1957 in Oyster Bay and moved to the Stony Brook campus in 1962 on land donated by local philanthropist Ward Melville.

It was also a time when Long Island was growing by leaps and bounds. Housing developments were springing up everywhere, taking over former farmland. While the housing boom of the 1950s was felt in Nassau County, Suffolk’s boom took place in the 1960s.

The Long Island Museum’s new exhibit, Long Island in the Sixties, explores this decade of growth through clothing, photographs and other items of popular culture. A large time line goes throughout the exhibit noting the events of the decade.

Exhibit curator and Director of Collections and Interpretation Joshua Ruff said, “There are five video installations, several of which play music, most notably a film of the famous Beatles concert…”

Said Julie Diamond, museum director of communications, “One thing that struck me [in the exhibit] was a video of the Beatles playing at Shea Stadium. I was imagining myself being there, with all those girls screaming.” One section of the exhibit focuses on clothing: the mod style of the ‘60s “and another more elegant, dressy section. All of the clothing is from our collection,” Diamond said. Pieces were donated to the museum over the years. “It gives us a chance to bring out clothing which we don’t often see.”

Ruff added that there are several vignettes, including “a stylish modernist Hamptons living room, filled with great contemporary furnishings and art … and a middle-class suburban living room with a wildly patterned couch [and] a 1965 Zenith color television set (the dawn of color TV).” The teenage girl’s bedroom, “includes a lot of pop culture artifacts (the Monkees, Beatles, a big record album collection, and all the types of objects you’d see in such a room in the late ‘60s).” There’s a section on that World’s Fair, President John F. Kennedy’s campaign on the Island and information on Grumman’s role in the 1960s.

Ruff noted, “We decided to do the ‘60s exhibition as an outgrowth of the success of a very popular Long Island in the 1950s exhibition that we did in 2012. In the last few years, we have also had a good number of significant donations of 1960s era art and artifacts which we wanted to find a way of showcasing.”

Ruff added that the exhibit includes some really notable artifacts, “the phone that John F. Kennedy used to call Robert Moses to get him to begin building the New York World’s Fair; parts from a lunar modular (antenna mount, strut, micro-shield, copper cables); and terrific dresses from famous designers including Emilio Pucci, Rudy Gernreich and Gino Charles.”

Also at the museum is a second exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience curated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The two exhibits relate, “I think beautifully! There is a lot of content (Woodstock, Altamont, Newport Jazz Festival) in Common Ground that is based in the 1960s … It was important for us to think of these two exhibitions as tied from the very beginning, and we chose to schedule them in this way intentionally,” said Ruff. Common Ground runs through Sept. 5.

This wonderful trip down memory lane will be at the Long Island Museum through Dec. 31. The museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is located at 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. Call 631-751-0066 or go to www.longislandmuseum.org for further information. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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David Morrissey Jr. as Benjamin Tallmadge

By Ed Randolph

The “Culper Spy Adventure,” a special presentation by TBR News Media, is an immersive digital attraction that will allow locals and tourists alike to be recruited into the ranks of General Washington’s secret Setauket spy ring. Accessed by scanning a special QR code on a panel of the Three Village map due out later this summer, you will begin an interactive 45-minute journey that puts you into the starring role of your very own secret spy adventure! Become a time traveler as you arrive in the year 1780, crossing paths with legends and heroes: Abraham Woodhull, Anna Smith Strong, Caleb Brewster, George Washington himself!

Enjoy interactive games between each episode that are filled to the brim with intrigue, action and fun! Created with the whole family in mind, the “Culper Spy Adventure” is great for all ages. We are also offering a special American Sign Language version as well as a handicap-accessible edition! Join the revolution later this summer!

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with David Morrissey Jr. who who plays Benjamin Tallmadge in this interactive journey.

Who was Benjamin Tallmadge?

He’s the young mind who organized the Culper Spy Ring for General Washington. He originally was from Setauket and grew up with Caleb Brewster and Abraham Woodhull and acted as Washington’s direct connection with the spies. For most of the war he led a dragoon (cavalry) unit, and participated in a lot of major battles. He was brave and was the very definition of patriot.

What was the most challenging part about bringing Tallmadge to life?

I’d say it must have been acting like someone with the leadership skills to organize the Culper Spy Ring but yet still be a believable 26-year-old. Yeah, people grew up earlier back then, but it’s still so young to have done so much.

What’s your favorite memory from filming the ‘Culper Spy Adventure’?

My favorite memory is working with the reenactment soldiers (from the Third NY Regiment and the Huntington Militia), those guys are great. They know everything about the subject matter, so if you have a question about dialect or terms or anything they would definitely know it. Also, trying to get the words “whale fodder” out was a tough one for some reason, everyone on set got a good laugh about that one!

What do you think Benjamin Tallmadge would think about this project?

He’d probably think it was pretty cool, I mean you’d have to explain to him the whole film medium thing and how it works, but I’d imagine after introducing him to the concept he’d love the idea. It’d probably be pretty neat for him to relive an interpretation of things that really happened to him!

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File photo

The online version of this story was updated on July 7 at 12:30 p.m.

Suffolk County Police have arrested two men in connection with a shooting outside of a bar on Main Street in Smithtown on Friday, June 3 that left one man injured.

Police said one man grabbed and hung onto a water pipe inside of Hypnosis 8.0 at 43 East Main St. around 1:15 a.m., causing the bar patrons to evacuate and a crowd to form outside the bar. Soon after, police said at least two people fired shots following an altercation, leading to a 29-year-old man from Central Islip to be shot in the leg.

The victim, who was shot, but not identified, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Suffolk County cops said Friday.

Following an investigation by Fourth Squad detectives, Joell Nieves surrendered to police on June 24 and Dashaun Odister was arrested by members of the Suffolk County Police Firearms Suppression Team on Montauk Highway in Bellport on July 6.

Nieves, 22, of Bay Shore, was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Odister, 21, of East Patchogue, was charged with, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and an active warrant for military desertion.

Odister will be held overnight at the Fourth Precinct and will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on July 7. Nieves has already been arraigned.

Additional reporting contributed by Victoria Espinoza

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By Nancy Burner, Esq.

While discussing an estate plan with a client, she stopped me and said “What is probate.” Sometimes we forget to explain the simplest concepts. Probate is the process by which a last will and testament is given effect. Under New York State Law, a will is admitted to probate after the executor files a Petition for Probate with the decedent’s will attached and gives proper notice to the individuals that would have inherited from the decedent had the decedent died without a will. The proceeding for the probate of a will takes place in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death. The probate proceeding gives the interested parties (distributees) the right and opportunity to object to the probate of the will.

Typically, we advise that a client that creates a will consider if there are any circumstances that will make the probate proceeding an expensive one. For instance, is any distributee being disinherited? If so, that disgruntled distributee may come to Surrogates Court and object to the will. The litigation objecting to a will can be long and drawn out — and expensive as well. Are there missing heirs that must be found before the will can be probated? If so, it could be very expensive and time-consuming to find all the individuals that are required to be given notice and an opportunity to object. Is there real property owned by the decedent in different states? If so, then the will would have to be probated in each state. If any of these circumstances exist, you may want to avoid probate altogether.

We also suggest avoiding probate if you are the surviving spouse and your spouse is or has received Medicaid benefits. Medicaid has a lien against the spouse’s estate for any Medicaid benefits paid for the other spouse within 10 years of the death of the surviving spouse.

Another reason to avoid probate is if you have a disabled beneficiary as the Surrogate’s Court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect that person’s interest. That could be another delay and cost to the estate.

The next question to consider is how do you avoid probate? One way to avoid probate is to name beneficiaries on all your accounts. But I rarely, if ever, suggest that a client resort to this solution without first considering the consequences. First, it may not be possible to name beneficiaries on all your accounts. What if your beneficiaries are minor’s or disabled? If that is the case, the minor or disabled beneficiary would have to have a guardian appointed to collect the bequest. This is also timely.

For minor’s, the guardian would have to put the money in a bank account, earn little or no interest and turn the money over to the beneficiary when he or she turned 18. If the account was a retirement account, the result is even harsher. The IRA or other retirement account would have to be liquidated, all income taxes paid and then put into a custodial account at a bank, earn little interest and then be paid to the beneficiary at age 18.

Most clients, when given the choice, would rather protect their heirs from divorcing spouses, Medicaid liens, creditors and taxes than avoid probate. We can protect beneficiaries by having their assets paid to trusts. This can be done in a will (and probate) or by avoiding probate altogether by using a revocable trust.

The important point here is that it is a mistake to make the avoidance of probate the overriding consideration when embarking upon an estate plan. Not everyone needs a revocable trust, but some people will be well served by using a trust, if the circumstances make probate impractical.

One size does not fit all. A successful estate plan takes all factors into consideration. In a world where people are computer savvy and everything is available on the internet, it is easy to believe that you can just do it yourself. The fact is attorneys are called counselors at law for a reason. The documents are only part of the problem and solution. The fact is, there is no substitute for competent legal advice.

Nancy Burner, Esq. practices elder law and estate planning from her East Setauket office.

Setauket native David Calone, left, barely trails former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, right, after Tuesday’s primary election. File photos

Polls closed Tuesday at 9 p.m. for the Democratic primary in the 1st Congressional District, but voters still have to wait to find out who will face freshman U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) come November.

Setauket native David Calone trailed former Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst by 29 votes by the end of Tuesday, unofficial Suffolk County Board of Elections results showed, but neither candidate felt comfortable enough to speak definitively about the race.

Unofficial results showed Throne-Holst with 5,446 votes — 50.09 percent of the vote — and Calone with 5,417 votes — 49.82 percent.

Calone, a former prosecutor, venture capitalist, and North Shore native, said his campaign would be waiting for the nearly 1,700 absentee ballots to be counted in the coming week before making any further statements on his status in the primary race.

“We did not have Wall Street fundraisers, and we did not have $720,000 of super PAC funding poured in for us in the last three weeks — but here we are in a virtual tie,” Calone said Wednesday. “I cannot begin to thank all the volunteers and supporters who have put their hearts and souls into this campaign over the past year. Together, we knocked on thousands of doors, held nearly fifty house parties, and made tens of thousands of phone calls to voters in every corner of this district.”

By the end of the primary campaign, Calone received several endorsements from various elected officials and community groups, including state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) and Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station).

Calone has experience working as director of six privately held companies throughout the country and has helped organize the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the U.S. House of Representatives, advocating federal policies that promote job creation through the development of startups and other small businesses. In that role, he helped launch Startup Day Across America, an event to connect federal officials with early-stage companies in their regions. He also founded the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund, which provides funding to six early-stage companies based on technology developed at Long Island’s research institutions.

Throne-Holst, who received support from Zeldin’s predecessor, former U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) — who Throne-Holst said was pivotal in convincing her to run — spoke with gravitas about her standing after all voting district tallies were in Tuesday night, excluding absentee votes.

“We are waiting for all votes to be counted,” she said in a statement, “but are proud to have a lead at the end of election night. We are confident going forward that victory will be ours now … and in November.”

Throne-Holst co-founded the Hayground School — an elementary school dedicated to supporting children with different learning needs. After serving as a councilwoman, she was the first Democrat to be elected supervisor in Southampton since 1993, overcoming a red-leaning electorate on the East End.

Zeldin unseated the six-term Democrat Bishop by a wide margin back in 2014, with a final vote total of his 54 percent to 45 percent.

“While the two Democrats continue to slug it out against each other beyond a primary with historically low voter turnout, I remain focused on my work to pursue my ‘New Era of American Strength’ agenda to protect America’s security at home and abroad, help grow our economy, support our veterans and first responders, improve health care and the quality of education, repair our nation’s infrastructure and safeguard our environment,” Zeldin said in a statement.

Out in the more western 3rd Congressional District, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) bested four other candidates vying for the nomination to run for Israel’s seat after the longtime incumbent said he would not seek re-election earlier this year.

Leslie Boritz is the new principal at Commack High School as of July 1. Photo from Commack school district

The Commack Board of Education announced the appointment of Leslie Boritz as the new Commack High School principal, effective July 1.

The decision capped what the district called an intensive search process for a dynamic leader who will continue to support its vision of student achievement through access and opportunity.

Boritz is a proud Commack alumnus, and has worked as an assistant principal at the high school since July 2011. Her 22 years of service in Commack schools also includes 11 years as an assistant principal at Commack Middle School.

“I have passionately dedicated my life to the students of our community, and will continue to do so,” Boritz said. “I look forward to continuing the traditions and upholding the high standards of our school, and am thrilled to be the next principal of Commack High School.”

Her credentials include master’s degrees in both arts and education, and further degrees in school district administration and supervision. She is the recipient of many honors and awards, including Commack PTA’s Distinguished Service Award.

“The list of Mrs. Boritz’s contributions to our district is endless,” said Superintendent Donald James. “She has served on hundreds of committees, coordinated and designed academic initiatives that benefit our schools and students, and volunteers for countless activities that benefit others. She is well qualified as a leader, with endless enthusiasm and compassion, along with a deep understanding of the culture of our high school and community. We are confident that Leslie will embrace her new position and give it her all.”

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Protestors hold up signs along Main Street in Smithtown on Saturday in protest of the Senate failing to vote on GENDA. Photo from Juli Grey-Owens

Activists took to the Smithtown office of state Sen. John Flanagan (R-East Northport) over the weekend to express their disappointment with the legislature’s failure to pass a state civil rights bill for the transgender community.

GENDA, also known as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, would have helped restrict discrimination against transgender citizens in areas of housing, employment or public access, which could include things like restaurants or cab rides. The bill, which made it through the state Assembly for nine years straight, died in the Senate when the legislative session ended last week, spurring the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition to protest outside Flanagan’s office on Saturday.

“The transgender community has again been prevented from receiving the basic protections all New Yorkers enjoy” said Juli Grey-Owens, executive director of the Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition. “In the past, Sen. Flanagan had said he supported this bill to protect his transgender constituents, but now that he has the power to finally bring the bill to the floor for a vote, he seems to have forgotten his commitment to us.”

The Long Island Transgender Advocacy Coalition is a not-for-profit social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, teaching and empowerment. The group hosted a community forum back in March alongside other activist organizations calling for the Senate to step up and pass the legislation, or at the very least, move the conversation forward.

At that time, Flanagan spokesman Scott Reif said the Senate majority leader “prides himself on being open and transparent,” adding that Flanagan was listening.

“The senator routinely meets with all groups, as he has done for 30 years, throughout his entire public career, regardless of whether he agrees with them or not,” Reif said in an email to TBR News Media in March. “The decision to take a meeting is never influenced by a group’s position on an issue; it is dictated solely by what his schedule will allow.”

Grey-Owens said the transgender community was a constant target of discrimination, and Saturday’s demonstration came less than one week after a gunman opened fire at a gay club in Florida, murdering 49 patrons, in what quickly became the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history.

“The National Transgender Discrimination Survey showed that 26 percent of trans people lost a job due to bias, 50 percent were harassed on the job, 20 percent were evicted or denied housing, and 78 percent of trans students were harassed or assaulted,” Grey-Owens said. “We will continue to fight for our community and the rights that are being denied us.”

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Smithtown and fellow firefighters stop to salute 9/11 hero Lawrence Stack, whose remains were honored during a service at Saints Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in St. James. Photo from FDNY

All of Smithtown came to a stop on Friday as the community said a final goodbye to one of its own.

FDNY Battalion Chief Lawrence T. Stack of Lake Ronkonkoma was laid to rest at Saints Philip and James Roman Catholic Church of St. James nearly 15 years after his death on Sept. 11, 2001. The North Shore native, who died helping others in the horrific terrorist attacks of that tragic day, was never recovered from the rubble, forcing his family to hold out hope for a proper Catholic funeral ever since.

A bizarre twist of fate made Stack’s funeral and burial possible on Friday, on what would have been his 49th wedding anniversary with his wife Theresa. While his remains were never found, two vials of blood he donated to a bone marrow bank nearly six months before his death allowed his family to orchestrate a final goodbye in Smithtown.

Lawrence Stack, 58, received a full line-of-duty service on Friday as Smithtown shut down several streets surrounding the St. James church to accommodate the number of people who stopped to honor him, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and countless more distinguished guests. It wasn’t until a year ago that his wife Theresa Stack said she remembered she and her husband donating blood about six months before 9/11 with hopes of matching a Long Island boy who was fighting cancer. Upon remembering and pursuing that blood, Theresa Stack said she found it in a Minnesota blood bank. That blood was buried on Friday.

“We’ve always honored him, respected him, loved him, and we never forgot him. But now he will rest with the members of the FDNY and the military at the Calverton National Cemetery,” wife Theresa Stack said. “I’m happy, and my family is happy, that we finally have some place to go to. I want Larry’s story to be out there so people don’t forget that there are families still suffering from that terrible day.”

Lawrence Stack’s son Michael, who is a lieutenant with the FDNY with Ladder 176, said he would remember his father as someone dedicated to helping others at any cost. In a statement to the FDNY’s Facebook page, Michael Stack detailed the accounts he received of his father’s last day.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, he was at the safety battalion at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, putting the finishing touches on the [fatal] Father’s Day fire report, when he heard about the plane hitting the north tower,” he said. “He went on the roof, looked through his binoculars, and saw the south tower get hit with the second plane. He put his binoculars down, looked to the other chiefs and firefighters and said, ‘Guys, I think they’re going to need us over there.’”

Brian Stack of Ladder 123 was 30 years old when his father died in the Sept. 11 attacks. He said he was thankful to have been able to spend as much time as he did with his father, and felt for the younger children of other heroes who died that day.

“I understood what happened on September 11 because it’s work, it’s the fire department. Danger is always right around the corner. It’s part of the job. I was 30 years old when he died, and I know that I’m lucky that I got more time with my father than some of the men and women coming on the job now,” Brian Stack said. “They were much younger when they lost their fathers. We were fortunate to have so many years with him in our lives.”

In a statement, the New York Blood Center said it was an honor to help bring peace to the Stack family.

“To every member of the FDNY, NYPD and to every rescue worker: We honor you all,” the center said in a statement on its Facebook page. “We honor those fallen in the line of service and those who serve. You protect life in our communities with determination, vision and courage every single day.”

Lawrence Stack worked with the FDNY for 33 years and was one of 343 FDNY members who died on Sept. 11th. He joined the department in 1968, first assigned to Ladder Company 107 and then Ladder Company 175 in Brooklyn. In 1981, he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to Ladder Company 35 in Manhattan. Three years later, he was promoted to captain and assigned to Division 7 in the Bronx, and in 1990, he was promoted to battalion chief, working in Queens at the Bureau of Operations and the Safety Battalion. Prior to joining the FDNY, he served in the United States Navy for six years, including a tour of duty in the Vietnam War.

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The Incorporated Village of Poquott. File photo

In the June 16 issue of The Village Times Herald, the Letters to the Editor page featured one letter, “Poquott: a village at war” that the newspaper has since learned was sent under a potentially false name.

Readers have notified the newspaper that the letter writers, Felicity and Arthur C. Terrier, may have been falsely reported, and this newspaper now disavows the letter.

It appears there are dirty tricks afoot as the Village of Poquott prepares for the end of what has been a contentious election cycle, where a once long-serving mayor challenges a successor who is newer to the position.

The Letter to the Editor page is this newspaper’s resource to the community to have their voices heard, and we do not support or endorse it being taken advantage of with intent to deceive or distort. Therefore, once again, we disavow and rescind the letter.

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 former landfill in Kings Park has been transferred into the hands of a nearby developer with the intention of rehashing the site into a solar farm.

The site of the former Steck-Philbin Landfill on Old Northport Road in Kings Park has withstood 30 years of tax delinquency but was selected as part of an effort from the Suffolk County Landbank Corp. to be revitalized along with seven other brownfields across the county. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) signed the transfer of the property into law on June 2, allowing Landbank — a not-for-profit — to begin revisioning the parcel with developer Powercrush Inc., of Kings Park, with the goal of reusing the site for solar farming.

Powercrush Inc. did not return requests seeking comment, but Bellone heralded the deal as a turning point for blighted spots on Long Island.

“These properties have been a burden on our taxpayers and a blight on our communities,” Bellone said.  “The inactivity at these locations dragged down neighboring property values and served as magnets for criminal activity.”

The site in Kings Park is still owned by Richard and Roslyn Steck of Steck & Philbin Development Co., 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 Steck & Philbin Development Co. was found to be using the site to dispose of waste for which they did not have a permit 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 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.

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 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. The group issued a competitive Request For Proposals (RFP) to the public for redevelopment of the eight specific sites and selected three developers to take title to four sites.

The four sites, on average, have been tax delinquent for 21 years and cumulatively owe over $4 million in back taxes. Once back on the tax rolls, the properties would pay a cumulative property tax of more than $175,000 per year.

The developers selected “possessed the qualifications and expertise to clean up the properties and reuse them in a way that benefits the community, stabilizes the tax base, and protects Suffolk County’s soil and groundwater,” the county said in a statement.

Amy Keys, executive director of the Landbank, said Powercrush was selected based on a number of qualifications, including design, impact and feasibility. Its partnership with BQ Energy LLC, which has worked on several solar projects across the region.

“[Smithtown] was clear they were supportive of solar happening there,” Keys said. “When reviewing solar proposals, we were looking for experience in developing solar on that scale, and a proposal that seemed feasible.”

Shawn Nuzzo, president of Ecological Engineering of Long Island, had also submitted a proposal for the site that he said had the potential to pump renewable energy into the Island’s power grid almost immediately. His proposal included a 6-megawatt solar farm 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. The plan received support from various North Shore elected officials, including state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) and others.

In an interview, Nuzzo said he was disappointed to learn of the county’s selection of Powercrush Inc. and accused the county of playing politics.

“This is the exact sort of ‘pay-to-play’ system that politicians like to say that they are against, but at the end of the day willingly corroborate, or at least turn a blind eye to. The seemingly endless series of Suffolk political scandals only serves to affirm that there must be a lot of blind eyes in Suffolk County politics,” Nuzzo said. “Despite the fact that the Suffolk County Legislature voted on the proposal and County Executive Bellone announced it at a press conference more than two weeks ago, the details of the proposal remain secret to the public. Our most recent [Freedom of Information Law] attempts have been thwarted by the Suffolk County Landbank. I can only speculate that the winning proposal was so inadequate and incomplete that the county is embarrassed to share it. It’s a shame, because our proposal to build Long Island’s first community-owned solar farm could have been a landmark moment for Suffolk County. Instead what we got was politics as usual.”

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