Authors Posts by TBR Staff

TBR Staff

TBR Staff
1868 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
TBR News Media covers everything happening on the North Shore of Suffolk County from Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River.

Bilingual Buddies mentors students in the Bridge program at Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School. Photo from Sabrina Palacios

By Sabrina Palacios

To this day, I can still remember my first experience with mentoring. I was in kindergarten, and just like all of the other kids, I was brimming with excitement to meet my new buddy. The moment all the “big kids” walked in was indescribable. I was overcome with joy, from having the opportunity to meet kids much older than me, but also still a bit fraught with shyness because, well, these kids were “big kids”! Once I got over that fact, I was able to really form a friendship with my new mentor. Every week she visited me, and over time she helped teach me the values of responsibility as well as staying dedicated to my schoolwork. Even now, I still use those lessons in my every day life, and I can easily say that a great part of that can be attributed to having such a positive role model in my life at such a developmental stage.

At its most basic level, mentoring helps because it guarantees a young person someone to look up to and learn from. A child is not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges. By participating in a mentoring program at Huntington, Bridge class students — those who are new to the country and sometimes to even a formal school system — now have the opportunity to feel included in their school community as well as be understood by their fellow classmates.

Sabrina Palacios photo from the author
Sabrina Palacios photo from the author

Our mentoring program, Bilingual Buddies, has become the key for gradually integrating these students in the most natural way possible, while also building their relationships with those around them. As for the mentors, we have equally benefited from the program because we are given the chance to learn about cultures and backgrounds contrasting to those that we have always known. Additionally, mentoring has given each individual a role in becoming strong role models, hence giving us a sense of responsibility and respectability that we must learn to uphold.

In its early stages, Bilingual Buddies has become a blossoming mentoring program. I, along with 24 of my peers, have helped take part in developing a partnership with the Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School Bridge class with the goal to better acclimate the students to their new lives and future as students of Huntington.

The very first day we walked in to meet the kids was nothing short of delightful. Seeing each child’s face light up with happiness was quite honestly the most gratifying moment I’ve ever had both as an individual and a mentor. And I can undoubtedly say that my peers felt the same. Being a part of such a rewarding program has given us, and the students, the chance to create lasting, positive friendships. Even more so, it has given us the opportunity to be the true bridge between these new students and their community.

It can go without saying that while it is our job as mentors to leave an impact on the lives of these children, it is truly the children themselves who will impact us and our community. Hopefully we will be able to see more of this growth and positive change as the program develops from where it is today.

Sabrina Palacios is a rising senior at Huntington High School, and the founder and president of Bilingual Buddies.

by -
0 454
Ellen Brady with her father, Dave, at her wedding. Photo from Ellen Brady

By Ellen Brady

Most of the important occasions of my life, many of them happy, occurred in the month of June.

Achievement in school was always very important to me, and all my graduation ceremonies, including from college and graduate school, were in long ago Junes. My first time flying, an international flight to Belgium to spend the summer with my cousins the summer after sixth grade; my road test and prom; my first job; my engagement, wedding and the birth of my first child; the purchase of my first home — all these milestones took place in June. And yet, every year, around Memorial Day, when someone says, “Can you believe it’s going to be June in a few days?” my first thought is always of Father’s Day.

Father’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. To me, it seems less commercial than Christmas, Easter, even Mother’s Day. For me, those holidays are fraught with stress. Decorating, the pressure of buying the right gifts, hidden (and possibly imagined in my mind) expectations and trying, or being too overwhelmed to try, to make everything “right” kill any pleasure I could possibly experience on those occasions.

But Father’s Day is easy for me. I know I feel this way because of my dad, Dave Brady, affectionately and with tongue-in-cheek referred to by friends and family as Mr. Fun. He was a quiet, humble, unassuming man who seemed to have no expectations. Thus celebrating his presence in my life was always easy. A simple gift of Old Spice anything, or a beanbag ashtray or some new handkerchiefs purchased from the clothing store on Main Street in my hometown, which had long allowed my family to purchase “on account,” was exactly what he needed, or so he let me believe. My sister and I would bake a cake for dessert, and that was about all the attention and doting he could handle.

My father wasn’t an active parent; he left most of the child-rearing responsibilities to my mother, who therefore couldn’t be easygoing and gentle, the very qualities I loved about my father. He didn’t ask about my friends, or if I needed help with my homework or if everything was going okay at school. But that didn’t matter to me. We spent much of our time together comfortably sitting in silence. In the warm weather, we would sit on the front porch of our family home, reading or working The New York Times crossword puzzle, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves and the birds singing — we would watch the world go by.

My father died suddenly on Jan. 12, 1999, from a burst abdominal aortic aneurysm. It was two weeks before my 30th birthday, and I was moving to Florida with my husband in a week. I had barely ever left home, let alone lived outside the metro New York area. I was 19 weeks pregnant with my first child. Instead of a baby shower/going away party at my job and the 30th birthday/going away party my mom was planning, we had a wake and a funeral. I was devastated, and in a moment of desperate grief, I cried to my husband, “Who’s going to take care of me now?”

It wasn’t until many years later, after the birth of my daughters, when I was reflecting on what being a mother means to me and what I want to give to my children, that I realized what my father had given me. I was bowled over with the power of the realization — my father gave me the greatest gift a person can give —  unconditional love. He had no expectations of me giving him the perfect gift, or showing my love by spending enough money. He didn’t care if I was the smartest or was the most athletic or the most musical.

He didn’t care if I kept my room clean. All he needed to be happy and at peace was to know that his beloved wife, his children and their spouses and his grandchildren were safe and happy. I aspire to give my husband and children the same gift of unconditional love.

By the way, yesterday my husband and I closed on the purchase of my — and my father’s — childhood home … another milestone recorded in the book of Junes.

Missing child found
A 4-year-old boy went missing at West Beach in Port Jefferson on the night of June 16, and wandered more than a mile away from his parents.
According to Port Jefferson Village code enforcement officer Lt. John Borrero, the boy’s mother reported him missing around 7:30 p.m.
Both Port Jefferson and Belle Terre village constables responded to the incident, as did the Suffolk County Police Department.
Borrero said there were three police boats and a helicopter searching for the child before a woman found him around 9 p.m. near the Port Jefferson ferry terminal.

Body slam
A 29-year-old Port Jefferson man was arrested on June 13 and charged with harassment after he hit a police car with his body while on Woodhull Avenue in Port Jefferson Station.

Sunny disposition
A South Columbia Street resident in Port Jefferson Station reported on June 14 that an iPod touch and sunglasses had been stolen from their 2004 Jeep.

Fight club
A group of individuals started a fight while on Thames Street in Port Jefferson Station on June 12. There have been no arrests.

Pop some tags
An unknown person broke into the John T. Mather Memorial Hospital thrift shop in Port Jefferson and stole cash from the cash register at some point between 3 p.m. on June 9 and 6:50 a.m. on June 10.

Fore!
A complainant reported being punched in the head during a physical dispute at approximately 6 p.m. on June 14 while at the Willow Creek Golf & Country Club in Mount Sinai.

Sinner
A television and camera mount were stolen from the Mount Sinai Congregational United Church of Christ at some point between June 10 and June 13.

Watching you
An unknown person broke into a vacant home on Westbury Drive in Sound Beach between June 8 at 2 p.m. and June 9 at 9:30 a.m., and stole a surveillance system and cable modems.

A pro
A 2005 Acura was stolen from a North Washington Avenue home in Centereach between 12:30 and 8:30 a.m. on June 13. A GoPro camera was inside the vehicle.

Money mania
A 46-year-old Ronkonkoma man was arrested and charged with third-degree robbery after he took money from a man while at a 7-Eleven in Centereach.

Broken and robbed
A complainant reported that their 2008 Mercedes broke down on Middle Country Road on June 14, and upon returning to the vehicle they discovered the trunk was open and numerous items had been stolen, including a laptop, iPad, iPod, printer and credit cards.

Household goods
A Loma Place residence in Huntington was robbed of furniture and appliances on June 12.

Online shopping?
An unknown person took a MacBook Pro and assorted clothing from a 2015 Audi parked on Pond Path in South Setauket on June 13.

Sharp objects
A 30-year-old Centereach man was arrested for petit larceny on June 11 after he stole a knife from a Walmart.

Festivalgoers enjoy listening to music on the Great Lawn at the Vanderbilt Museum. Photo by Stacy Santini

By Stacy Santini

It is hard to imagine that William K. Vanderbilt II envisioned people dancing ensconced in tie dye, Frisbees being tossed into the wind, and Grateful Dead melodies connecting with the air when he donated his 43-acre Eagle’s Nest estate in Centerport to the county in 1944, but if he were at what is now known as the Vanderbilt Museum on June 7, it is pretty certain that he would marvel at the sight. Exceptional weather with crystalline blue overhead, grassy knolls kissing azure water and ornate gothic buildings served as a brilliant host to a Woodstock Revival.

The amazing world of event promoter, Rich Rivkin is a wonderland of Birkenstocks, hula hoops, live music, visual artists, bubbles, and face painters. Rivkin, who started Rich Rivkin Presents more than a decade ago, is a live art and music promotional entity. He has become a sort of pied piper for a community of people who love music, the energy and movement of festivals and fellowship. Rivkin tells us, “Look at the people around you at these events. You know that years ago they were there at those shows that the Grateful Dead and similar artists became known for — themed festivals where the audience feels a tangible sense of community as they sing the same songs in unison. I wanted to recreate that.”

Artist Stelios Stylianou paints overlooking Northport Harbor at the Vanderbilt Museum. Photo by Stacy Santini
Artist Stelios Stylianou paints overlooking Northport Harbor at the Vanderbilt Museum. Photo by Stacy Santini

Rivkin is a humble and kind soul who has made a profession out of all things altruistic.  He is an environmental consultant specializing in the removal of contaminated soil and has become a national expert advisor in the field. With clients such as UPS, Rivkin’s company has more than 4,000 projects to its credit, recycling soil and bettering communities around the United States.

He is also a talented hand percussionist. Fifteen years ago he began to form drum circles so that passionate musicians like himself could collaborate with one another and share their work. Within a short period of time, popular local bands like Reckoning were eager to participate and one of Long Island’s first music festivals, called Elwoodstock, was born, overseen by Rivkin. Held at a public park in Elwood in 2001, musicians joined Rivkin for a day of music and togetherness. There were no permits in place, no insurance obtained and next to zero marketing performed, but people turned out and have been turning out ever since.

Rivkin recalls the moment he knew that these events were indeed something he not only wanted to pursue, but felt compelled to do. “It was as if we created a living room under the stars, Persian rugs and all.  In the afterglow of everyone’s departure, I could still feel the vibe, the energy of the music, the sense of community.  It was so personal, it actually made me cry. I had no idea in that moment how it would expand,  but the seed was planted and there was no turning back.”

Known for its pristine shorelines and beaches, Long Island certainly has much to offer, but there is a movement occurring that is rapidly injecting culture into our neck of the woods and Rivkin can certainly be attributed for facilitating this local renaissance. Fusing world class musicians with local visual artists, his events have become an enclave for creators and observers alike and Rich Rivkin Presents is synonymous with both art forms.  He has joined these communities together and created a fellowship much like the days of the 1960s when the Grateful Dead lyric, “Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hands,” was the mantra. It is really quite beautiful and very much needed in such a secular society.

Ann McInerney (aka Annie Mac) and Mike Katzman of Jellyband perform at the Vanderbilt Museum. Photo by Stacy Santini
Ann McInerney (aka Annie Mac) and Mike Katzman of Jellyband perform at the Vanderbilt Museum. Photo by Stacy Santini

On Sunday, June 7, more than 50 years after the Woodstock Music Festival in upstate New York stunned a nation, the grounds of the Vanderbilt Museum were literally transformed to sustain a revival of that historical moment. Droves of hippy-clad professionals, music aficionados and art lovers alike freckled the lawns and set up camp amongst the historical landmark structures to enjoy a day of peace, love and joy. Dancing amid colorful tents, coolers and strewn blankets, attendees were treated to some of the best local music around and were able to witness the alluring process of artisans painting their canvases.

Out of the gate, the first of four bands, Jellyband, gave crowd–pleasing renditions of Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Joe Cocker favorites. Lead singer Annie Mac delivered a goose bump-inducing version of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” elevating the energy of the crowd to eagle-soaring heights.

Germinating the vibe, Milagro took the stage next, singing and emulating Santana as only Milagro can do, bringing us favorites such as “Black Magic Woman.” A welcome addition to the familiar setlists came from the third band, Wonderous Stories, as they impeccably treated the crowd to the entire “Who’s Next” album by the incomparable beloved rock ensemble, The Who.  Essentially, one voice emanated from the crowd as “Behind Blue Eyes” settled upon the audience.

Half Step, a group that has a strong following with the Long Island Deadhead community, was astounding and closed the day with an execution of “Morning Dew” that even Jerry Garcia would have loved. The vocals of Tom San Filippo and Cindy Lopez recreate the magic of the Grateful Dead in a manner very few can do. As well-known music photographers, such as Joel Werner and Artie Ralisch, and fan photographer Jason Cousins captured the crowd’s moments of rapture, it was apparent that there was no place on earth any of these people would have rather been. Festivalgoer Tom Schilling sums it up, “Breathtaking views, soul nurturing tunes, with my great friends, it is my favorite start to the season. Rivkin’s Deadfest here in September will just cap it all off.”

Rich Rivkin Presents will be indulging his friends numerous times throughout the summer with events such as Box of Rain, Long Island Sound & Art Festival and Grateful Fest. During the winter, Rivkin keeps the momentum going with indoor experiences as well. Next year, he hopes to mirror larger national festivals with a two-day camping event on a private 40-acre property on eastern Long Island. Rich Rivkin’s recipe for entertaining folks and bringing people together is marvelous, and one can only hope that he keeps playing his magical flute for years to come. For more information, please visit www.limusicfestivals.com.

Mute swans peruse the Setauket Harbor waters. Photo by Maria Hoffman

By Susan Risoli

Mute swans might soon have an easier relationship with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, if a bill recently passed through the York State Legislature is signed into law.

The legislation was written to require DEC to provide scientific documentation that mute swans are a threat to the environment. Also, before taking any action to control the state’s mute swan population, the DEC would have to hold at least two public hearings and give the public at least 45 days to comment on its plans for dealing with the birds.

The legislation package passed the state Assembly June 9 and had passed the state Senate on April 22.

Mute swans, a non-native species from Europe, are considered an invasive species, according to the state DEC. Trumpeter swans, also found in New York, are native to the region and are not included in the DEC’s management plan.

The agency’s proposed mute swan management plan, released in March, called for limiting the statewide population to 800 birds. By 2002, there were more than 2,000 mute swans downstate and 200 upstate, the report said.

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket), chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Environmental Conservation, said in a phone interview Tuesday that the mute swan legislation was a response to public concern “that had been raised, particularly about the lack of appropriate science to justify this eradication of a very beautiful animal” that inspires “a sense of curiosity about the environment,” particularly among children.

In April, Englebright and Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), also a member of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, sent DEC’s Bureau of Wildlife a letter saying the agency disregarded the state Legislature’s requests for “full documentation of the scientific basis for management decisions” and requests for “less reliance on lethal management measures. The DEC has failed to provide compelling scientific information as to why such an aggressive management strategy is being pursued.”

DEC spokesman Jomo Miller said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the agency is reviewing the letter from Englebright and Cymbrowitz “as part of its review of the comments received” on the draft management plan. The DEC hopes to adopt a final plan later this summer, Miller said.

“At that time, we will provide a response to the principal comments received, as we did for comments on the first draft of the plan,” he said.

In an interview, Englebright said the legislation is “not just an exercise in willfulness on our part but an exercise in democracy,” and it reflects “a very high interest” from the public about the fate of the swans.

The legislation would require DEC to “give priority to nonlethal management techniques” for controlling the mute swan population. The proposed plan said it does not advocate any specific method of controlling the population, and because many people object to the use of lethal control methods, especially killing adult birds, the DEC will use “nonlethal” methods where practical and timely to achieve the management objectives, the report said.

Research shows that mute swans “can significantly reduce the availability of submerged aquatic vegetation in wetland ecosystems” depending on the number of swans relative to the size of the area being considered, the spokesperson said.

The DEC said in the draft management plan that mute swans hurt the environment by eating and uprooting large quantities of plants that are food for fish and other wildlife. Swan feces have high levels of coliform bacteria, which can make waters unsafe for drinking, swimming and shell fishing, the document said. Their presence near airports poses “a serious threat to aviation,” the plan said. It also said that territorial swans have been known to attack people and other birds.

by -
0 501
Pumping nitrogen into our local waters can contribute to fish kills and have other nasty environmental effects. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

There is no need more basic than clean water. We need it in its simplest form to survive, but we also need it to be clean so that it can sustain the animals and plants we eat and support the environments we live in. So why aren’t we trying harder to avoid pumping it with toxins?

Tens of thousands of dead bunker fish have recently washed up on eastern Long Island, killed by low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water. Algal blooms are a cause of those low oxygen levels, and that’s where we come in — the blooms, in turn, can be caused by excess nitrogen in the water. How does that nitrogen get there? It can come from our septic and sewage treatment systems and from the fertilizers we use on our nicely manicured lawns, to name just a few sources.

We may not be able to avoid using the toilet, but we can easily refrain from dumping fertilizers with harmful chemicals into the ground and our water supply. But many of us are operating on obsolete waste systems and our governments should be making it a top priority — in action, not just rhetoric — to move communities over from septic to sewer.

This is undoubtedly a costly process, but it has benefits beyond the immediate. For example, sewer systems enable and encourage development, which is important for all of the downtown areas we are working to revitalize. Revitalized downtowns could help keep young people on Long Island, reversing the brain drain that is the source of such frequent sound bites for our politicians.

Shoring up our water management plans would create a ripple effect throughout so many other important items on our political and social agendas. Without clean water, none of these ambitious improvements will be achieved. We are calling for a heightened awareness from both our neighbors and our public officials not to let our water initiatives run dry.

The Soldiers on the Sound fishing tournament yields hefty results on Sunday. Photo by Joseph Bellantoni

By Rachel Siford

St. James was swimming with activity on Sunday as the Soldiers on the Sound fishing tournament hit the waters.

From 15 boats and 25 soldiers participating in 2009, to 57 boats and 135 soldiers this year, Soldiers on the Sound Ltd. has been thanking active military members every year with consistent growth and success.

Soldiers on the Sound is a military charity and fishing tournament for active service men and women, organized to honor and give back to those who are in the military.

At the event’s beginning, Mark Garry, president and founder of Soldiers on the Sound Ltd, got off his boat after a day of fishing and relaxing at the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club and saw news coverage of the war, seeing soldiers overseas laying in the sand using their helmets as pillows, and thought that he should do something to thank them for protecting his freedom.

He said he decided a fishing tournament was the way to go, because that is how he relaxes. Garry was then a Nassau County Homicide Detective.

“This is a very satisfying event to put on,” Garry said. “You can’t find anyone without a smile on their face.”

The event includes a fishing tournament, food, entertainment and raffles at Smithtown Bay Yacht Club, all paid for completely from donations. This year they raised about $13,000. Soldiers do not have to do anything. Local boat owners donate the boats.

Individuals and companies make the donations. Simrad Marine Electronics and C.E. Smith Company Inc. were major contributors.

“Soldiers bring nothing and walk out of there with new TVs and trips to Florida,” Garry said. “Soldiers leave in disbelief, because it’s hard for them to grasp the fact that there’s no catch.”

Soldiers are mainly local to Long Island and work out of the airbase in the Hamptons, but many come from all over.

Ed Reiter, retired command chief master sgt. of the 106 Rescue Wing, Air National Guard, serves as the liaison.

“What the soldiers do is unbelievably generous,” Reiter said. “A lot of the soldiers are overwhelmed by the generosity and support.”

Jake DeLeo, a 16-year-old first mate, caught the winning fish, weighing more than six pounds, with help from Staff Sgt. Chris Arrigo from the 106th Rescue Wing, and his captain Tony Voelker.

“This event is really cool; it’s great what they do for the soldiers,” Deleo said. “The fish was big and flat, so it wouldn’t go in the net. I had to turn it sideways to finally get it in. Then we saw the rigging was stretched out and they could have lost the fish! The fish was so big they had to put it another cooler.”

It was both Voelker and DeLeo’s first year participating in Soldiers on the Sound.

Skip Hein is the only founding member of Soldiers on the Sound with a military background. He is a retired senior master sergeant who served in the U.S. Air Force and New York Air National Guard.

“Back in Vietnam, the public wasn’t really supportive of the military, so it’s just natural that I’d want to show my thanks to the military now,” Hein said.

Book launch to be held at annual members reception

The front cover of Stephanie Gress’s new book. Image from Vanderbilt Museum

Stephanie Gress knows more about the history of William K. Vanderbilt II than most people. As director of curatorial affairs for the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum for eight years¸ she is the steward of Mr. Vanderbilt’s legacy, his estate, mansion and museum collections.

Using that extensive knowledge and a trove of rare photographs from the Vanderbilt archives, Gress created a richly illustrated book, Eagle’s Nest: The William K. Vanderbilt II Estate. Its cover photo, from the Vanderbilt Museum archives, is by the noted New York City photographer Drix Duryea. The picture shows the bell tower and one wing of the mansion in the late 1920s, before the Memorial Wing enclosed the courtyard.

The book was published June 1, by Arcadia Publishing in South Carolina, the leading local-history publisher in the United States. The Vanderbilt will celebrate the book’s official launch at its annual Members Reception on Sunday, June 28.

Gress noted that the release of the book is well-timed, as the development of the Eagle’s Nest estate is in its centennial decade: “This book tells readers about the Vanderbilt family, why Mr. Vanderbilt came here and built the estate, how the place changed over the years based on changes in his life, and how we use it today.”

Vanderbilt, known as Willie K., purchased the first parcel of what would become 43 acres for his Northport Bay waterfront estate in 1910, and hired the eminent New York City architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore to design and build it. The firm had designed Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan for Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York Central Railroad. Cornelius was William’s great-grandfather.

Eagle’s Nest is the easternmost Gold Coast mansion on Long Island’s affluent North Shore. From 1910 to 1944, the palatial, 24-room, Spanish-Revival mansion was Willie K.’s summer hideaway. There he hosted intimate gatherings of Vanderbilt family members and close friends — including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, legendary golfer Sam Snead, and the Tiffanys.

“Mr. Vanderbilt embarked on many of his legendary world voyages from Eagle’s Nest,” Gress said, “along with a 50-person crew and a few, fortunate invited passengers.” During his travels, she said, he collected natural-history and marine specimens and ethnographic artifacts from around the globe.

With the help of scientists and experts from the America Museum of Natural History, he created exhibits in the galleries at the estate to showcase his collections.  Mr. Vanderbilt died in 1944. His wife Rosamund continued to live in the mansion until her death in 1947.  Vanderbilt’s will bequeathed his estate and museum to Suffolk County. In 1950, it was opened to the public as the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. The estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Much to the credit of Willie K., Eagle’s Nest continues to fulfill his intended mission,” Gress wrote in the conclusion of the book. “Visitors from all over the world come to see one of the few remaining Long Island Gold Coast estates with its original furnishings. His collections remain on display and they continue to fascinate and entertain.”

Eagle’s Nest is available for purchase on the Arcadia Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites, in the Vanderbilt Museum Gift Shop and in local bookstores.

Supervisor Ed Romaine makes friends with a dog at the town animal shelter. Photo from Brookhaven Town

By Talia Amorosano

Brookhaven Town is reducing adoption costs at its animal shelter this month.

According to a recent town press release, the Brookhaven Animal Shelter and Adoption Center on Horseblock Road will offer discounted adoption fees through June. While the fees are normally $137 for a dog and $125 for a cat, they have been dropped to $60.

The lower fee includes a free neuter or spay for the animal as well as a free microchip, vaccinations, heartworm test and animal license.

The reduced price is partly the result of renovations that are currently taking place at the shelter.  The shelter’s website notes that “pet overpopulation is of great concern” and that it is especially important for some of the animals to be adopted during the next four to six weeks because kennels will be renovated during that timeframe.

The shelter has also invested in new air conditioners, freshly painted walls and new floors.

But Martin Haley, Brookhaven Town’s commissioner of general services, said adoption discounts like this one are common throughout the year regardless of special circumstances like construction and renovation, because the shelter staff is constantly trying to incentivize adoption.

As of Monday, there were 78 animals in the shelter.

Haley said the number fluctuates every day and the shelter’s goal is to keep the population manageable. He said the animals can become difficult to manage at numbers of 80 to 100, but it varies on a case-by-case basis with animals’ spatial and behavioral needs.

According to Haley, most of the animals currently housed at the shelter are dogs, but there are also about 30 cats and kittens available for adoption.

The shelter is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. It is closed on Wednesdays.

Anyone interested in adopting a pet may call the shelter at 631-451-6950 or visit www.brookhaven.org/animalshelter for more information.

by -
0 477

Focusing on clinical and population improvements for our communities

By Joseph Lamantia

Whether or not you’ve already heard of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program, one thing is for certain: it’s about to change health care in our state.

In April 2014, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York had finalized terms with the federal government for a groundbreaking waiver enabling the state to reinvest $6.2 billion in federal savings generated by Medicaid Redesign Team reforms. Known as DSRIP, the program promotes community-level collaborations, with a focus on improving health care for patients covered by Medicaid and those who are uninsured.

The main goal of the program is to reduce avoidable emergency room visits and avoidable hospital admissions among Medicaid and uninsured populations by 25 percent over a five-year period. The plan is to accomplish this through enhanced collaboration among providers, improved electronic and direct communications, and ready access to primary care and behavioral health services.

For example, offering after-hours appointments can help patients who work full-time; translation services can assist those for whom English is a second language; and transportation to appointments can help patients who don’t have access to a vehicle or public transportation.

The DSRIP initiative for Suffolk County and its network of providers is called the Suffolk Care Collaborative.

The Office of Population Health at Stony Brook Medicine is administering the SCC and is responsible for coordinating more than 500 countywide organizations, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, long-term home health care providers, behavioral health professionals, community-based organizations, certified home health agencies, physician practices and many other integral health care delivery system partners.

Some of the 11 focus areas of the SCC are diabetes care, pediatric asthma home-based self-management, cardiovascular care, behavioral health access and substance abuse prevention programs. Central to all programs is a coordination-of-care effort using care mangers embedded in the community to support health care providers and patients to achieve individual health goals. Connecting with patients at the point of care, identifying needs and providing appropriate support in the community will help prevent unnecessary emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and support a healthier population.

Suffolk County has approximately 150,000 uninsured residents and 240,000 Medicaid enrollees who can benefit from the program’s initiatives. And, because improvements made will affect the overall health care delivery system, they have the potential to benefit everyone — enhancing the patient experience and outcomes. When providers collaborate on patient care, information can be shared, test duplication can be avoided and preventive measures can be put in place to help all patients stay healthier.

Visit www.suffolkcare.org to learn more about the Suffolk Care Collaborative.

Joseph Lamantia is the chief of operations for population health at Stony Brook Medicine.

Social

9,192FansLike
1,098FollowersFollow
33SubscribersSubscribe