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

July 10 screening and Q&A will take place at SWR High School

Tesla Science Center President Jane Alcorn, left, and ‘Tower to the People’ director Joseph Sikorski, right, at the Wardenclyffe site after the center purchased the property in 2013. File photo by Erika Karp

By Talia Amorosano

“Can You Believe Most Americans STILL Have Never Heard of Nikola Tesla?!?!” reads the subheading on the Indiegogo campaign Web page dedicated to increasing public awareness of the often overlooked inventor, not to mention raising funds for the restoration of Wardenclyffe, his last surviving laboratory in Shoreham.

Film director Joseph Sikorski said he first learned about Tesla in a bookstore.

“I was shocked that I had gone through the whole educational system without hearing about him,” he said. “He sacrificed so much for humanity. He needed to be vindicated.”

For Sikorski, this vindication came in the form of a film, which is set to premiere on Long Island at Shoreham-Wading River High School this Friday, July 10, at 7 p.m.

“Hopefully, by bringing attention to who he was and dispelling the myths, he’ll have his credit restored,” Sikorski said, regarding the effect he hopes his documentary, “Tower to the People,” will have on viewers.

Thus far, Sikorski has been pleasantly surprised by the reaction his film has received after its first three screenings in New York City, Toronto and Belgrade.

He described the response as “overwhelming,” noting that each venue had “standing room only,” and “people have been crying.”

He said the Long Island premiere would be particularly special, “because it’s happening just a few minutes from where the tower was” and “because all the benefits from the screening will be given to the Tesla Science Center.”

According the Indiegogo Web page, “Tower to the People” is about the past, present, and future of Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe lab, a site from which the genius inventor dreamed of sending free wireless energy to the entire earth.”

It features interviews with celebrity illusionist, Penn Jillette, of Penn & Teller; internet cartoonist, Matthew Inman, of The Oatmeal, who helped launch an online campaign to save the Shoreham site in 2012; award-winning author, Jack Hitt; and Tesla’s closest living relative, William Terbo.

The Tesla Science Center, the nonprofit group that now owns and maintains the site, raised nearly $1.4 million thanks to Inman’s viral campaign and purchased the property in 2013. Sikorski donated $33,000 to Inman’s “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum” initiative.

Even the most knowledgeable Tesla fan is sure to learn something new, as the film provides access to rare photographs and documents the first ever ground-penetrating radar investigation into the tunnels under Wardenclyffe.

Sikorski said he hopes the film will motivate viewers to contribute to the effort to restore the Wardenclyffe property.

According to Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, there are still hazardous conditions inside the buildings at this point. But with a $1 million commitment from Elon Musk, inventor, engineer, and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, to partially fund lab restoration plus funds raised through the Bricks for Nik program, completion within the “next several years” seems promising.

Alcorn expressed hope that the space will eventually encompass a museum, learning center, and maker lab, in which local inventors could learn how to use laboratory equipment to make their visions a reality.

“We would like to support inventors by providing some space for work like that, particularly if it relates to Tesla,” she said.

Sikorski and Alcorn believe that Tesla’s research is still relevant today.

“His ball lightning studies couldn’t be replicated,” Sikorski said. “Because of the way he’s been marginalized, they’ve shunned him and put his research aside.”

Alcorn agreed. “Because he was quite a bit ahead of his time, people looked at him as a bit of a crackpot,” she said. “But much of what he was talking about was very true. … What we’re finding is that a lot of what he was thinking about, including wireless transmission of energy, is a hot topic now. … He’s not taught about in our schools and he deserves to be acknowledged.”

Tickets for the July 10 screening are available at www.Eventbrite.com. Tickets at the door are $12. Seating is limited.

‘Salt’ by Jeanine Boubli

The Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery, 213 Main Street, Huntington, recently announced the opening of its latest exhibit, a juried art show titled Artie Techie, on view from July 2 to 18.

Artists were asked to submit their computer-embellished or computer-created art or video animation stills, or computer enhanced art of any medium.

‘Harrison’ by Kasmira Mohanty
‘Harrison’ by Kasmira Mohanty

Participants include David Benson, Stephen Bitel, Jeanine Boubli, Virginia Bushart, Elizabeth Cassidy, Robby Cusack, Emily Eisen, William Farran, Jim Finlayson, Beryl Garner, Joanna Gazzola, Diane Godlewski, Marzena Grabczynska, William Grabowski, Samantha Hernandez, Kate Kelly, Cheryl Kurman, Neil Leinwohl, Remy Lexington, John A. Lynch, Stephanie Marcus, Ron Merrick, Carol J. Miller, Jean Miller, Kasmira Mohanty, Lynellen Nielsen, Lisa Petker Mintz, Howard Prince, Alan M. Richards, Sally Shore, Mark Strodl, Irv Suss, Mac Titmus, Bobbie Turner, Debra Urso, Pamela Waldroup, and Nancy Yoshii.

The exhibit was judged by Barbara Jaffe, Professor of Fine Arts/Photography in the Department of Fine Arts, Design, Art History at Hofstra University. “The artists in ‘Artie Techie’ used a variety of image-making methods from across the artistic and technological spectrum, from manipulated digital prints, camera-generated images and completely computer-generated images evoking paintings and drawings. Others used the scanner as their main capture. Still others appear to be representational camera-generated photographs, but are, in fact, completely cameraless, a new technical twist on the trompe l’oeil photo-realist movement of the 1960s and 70s. ‘Artie Techie’ is a truly unique and innovative exhibition that opens a wide spectrum of artistic offerings,” she said.

‘Salt’ by Jeanine Boubli won first place. Kasmira Mohanty won second place for her image titled ‘Harrison,’ and ‘Sentinel’ by Jim Finlayson garnered third place. An opening reception will be held on Friday, July 10, from 6 to 8 p.m., to which the community is invited. For more information, call 631-271-8423 or visit www.huntingtonarts.org.

The barracks of the 124th Illinois Infantry in Vicksburg, Miss. Photo in the public domain

By Rich Acritelli

Independence Day commemorates the birth of our nation as well as a day when the Union Army notched a huge victory during the Civil War. It was a July 4 more than 150 years ago that saw some of the most serious fighting ever to take place on U.S. soil.

President Abraham Lincoln wanted desperately to end the Civil War and preserve the Union. By mid-1863, the only way to accomplish that goal was to destroy the southern will to fight. Lincoln’s most important leader was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who in 1861 was a shop clerk in his family’s store in Illinois. Nobody, including Grant, could have foreseen his quick rise from obscurity to one of the best fighting figures the nation ever produced.

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant poses in Virginia in 1864. Photo in the public domain
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant poses in Virginia in 1864. Photo in the public domain

During the war, Lincoln grew increasingly bitter toward the officers tasked with attacking the South. He detested Gen. George B. McClellan and later fired him for his unwillingness to crush the rebellion in Northern Virginia. For two years, the Army of the Potomac became a revolving door for other officers who failed to defeat Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Lincoln had a limited military background, serving as a captain during the Black Hawk War between the U.S. and Native Americans three decades earlier, but took his job as commander-in-chief seriously. One of his most important decisions was keeping Grant as the head of the Army of the Tennessee after the 1862 Battle of Shiloh and in the face of rumors that Grant was an alcoholic and unable to carry out his duties.

Grant’s rise to commanding general began during the Battle of Vicksburg.

Vicksburg was known as the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy” and the “citadel” on the Mississippi River. Early in the Civil War, Grant understood taking that location would divide the Confederacy, open the river to Union naval and commerce shipping and prevent resources from reaching Lee in Northern Virginia. Grant was determined to destroy it.

In April 1863, he saw he would only gain a victory by moving his army south and attacking Vicksburg on the same side of the Mississippi held by the enemy. This was a risky decision — one that could win or lose the war in the West. The campaign involved Grant cutting off his own supply and communication lines, with he and his men living off the land using the lessons he learned while fighting in the Mexican-American War. If he and his fellow soldiers could survive in the deserts and heat of Mexico, the Civil War fighters could do the same with the hearty agriculture, cattle and poultry resources in Mississippi.

On April 16, with his wife and youngest son Frederick next to him, Grant ordered a naval flotilla of gunboats and barges to make the perilous journey south. The Confederacy opened up its vast armaments but failed to destroy the ships, and Grant turned his gamble into a string of victories that led to the demise of Vicksburg.

Through July 4, Lincoln watched in amazement as the general decisively drove against the enemy. When one politician suggested the operation was a failure and that Grant was again drinking too much, Lincoln retorted that Grant was engaged in some of the most serious and successful fighting the world had ever known.

It was a cunning campaign to operate within the Confederacy. Southern Gens. Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton both commanded larger forces but under the attack of Grant’s Union Army were unable to combine their forces in battle. In Washington, D.C., Lincoln watched Grant take Jackson, Miss., the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, thereby cutting off the supply, communication and transportation links that supported Vicksburg.

In late May 1863, Grant began a 48-day siege that trapped Pemberton, a native of Pennsylvania, and his forces on the Mississippi River. By July 4, Pemberton’s men were starving and had lost their morale; they surrendered. On our nation’s birthday, Grant took 31,000 Confederate soldiers as prisoners of war, and seized 172 cannons and 60,000 rifles.

Church bells rang out in northern cities to celebrate the Army of the Tennessee’s efforts to finally take Vicksburg in one of the most vital campaigns of the war, on the road to reuniting America.

Rich Acritelli is a social studies teacher at Rocky Point High School and an adjunct professor of American history at Suffolk County Community College. He was a staff sergeant in the New York Air National Guard 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach.

iPad grab busted
Suffolk County Police arrested three individuals in connection with stealing 12 Apple iPads from Walmart on Crooked Hill Road in Commack on Aug. 25, 2014 at about 7:30 p.m. Police said a 20-year-old woman from Bay Shore, a 24-year-old man from Waterbury and a 32-year-old woman from Bellport were all charged with third-degree grand larceny. Each in the trio was arrested on different dates ranging from May 18 to June 27.

What a blow
A 23-year-old man from Kings Park was arrested in Smithtown on June 28 and charged with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury. Police said that on Nov. 16, 2014, at about 12:21 a.m., the man hit another man on the top of his head, causing a laceration. The incident happened on Pulaski Road in Kings Park. The victim had to go to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.

Get drunk, crash and flee
Suffolk County Police arrested a 66-year-old man from Nesconset on June 27 and charged him with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident where there was property damage. Police said the man, who was driving a 2002 Jeep, struck a 2005 Jeep three times on Route 347 in Nesconset at 10:12 p.m. on June 27, causing damage. He then fled the scene without exchanging information, and was later stopped and charged with driving while intoxicated.

CVS shoplifted
Police arrested a 24-year-old man from Nesconset on June 25 and charged him with petit larceny. Police said the man stole merchandise — they couldn’t say exactly what — from a CVS on Middle Country Road in Centereach on May 15 at 5:44 p.m. He was arrested at his home on Truval Lane at about 6:30 p.m.

Back up and out
A 63-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested at her home on Kohr Road for first-degree leaving the scene of an accident and failing to show license/identification. The woman was arrested on June 28 for an incident that occurred on June 18 at 4:35 p.m. Police said the woman, who was driving a 2010 Nissan, backed into a 2014 Lexus on Broadhollow Road in Melville and fled.

Busted with syringes
Police arrested a 23-year-old man from Northport on June 27 and charged him with possession of a hypodermic instrument. Police said the man possessed hypodermic syringes in his vehicle on Pulaski Road in Kings Park on June 27 at 12:26 p.m. He was arrested at the scene.

Shattered windows
Someone reported to police that windows were broken on a vacant building located on Maple Avenue in Smithtown sometime between June 2 and June 28. There are no arrests.

This trash is on fire
A garbage pail full of yard debris on Dewey Street in Port Jefferson Station was burned at some point between June 27 and June 28.

I spy punches
A 24-year-old man was arrested in front of Junior’s Spycoast bar on Main Street in Port Jefferson at around 2:30 a.m. and was charged with second-degree harassment after he pushed and attempted to punch a police officer.

Designer thief
Between June 25 at 6 p.m. and June 26 at 10:30 a.m. an unknown person took items, including a Michael Kors bag and money, from a Volkswagen and a Toyota parked on Jamaica Avenue in Port Jefferson.

Insta-threat
A Mount Sinai resident reported on June 26 that a high-school-aged girl threatened a male student over Instagram.

Full throttle
The front fender of a Harley-Davidson parked at a Pipe Stave Hollow Road residence in Mount Sinai was damaged at some point between June 22 and June 24.

Details
A 2014 Toyota’s paint was damaged while parked at a residence on Oakland Avenue in Miller Place on June 25 between 1 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Snooping
A North Country Road homeowner in Miller Place reported on June 24 that the panel of a back door was damaged and a person possibly went through items in their home.

Beach party gone wrong
A security guard at the beach off of Friendship Drive in Rocky Point was struck in the head by a bottle. According to police, at around 10:40 p.m. on June 24, the guard had asked a group of youths to leave the beach and the individuals started throwing bottles. The guard wasn’t injured and no arrests have been made.

Tired of this
A customer at a Centereach Goodyear Service Center was accused of harassment and causing public alarm after he entered the Middle Country Road business on June 28 and demanded his car be fixed. The man then pushed the complainant after being told he would have to wait.

Imperial Civil War
A 29-year-old man was arrested on Imperial Drive in Selden on June 24 after he went to a residence and ran up to the complainant, swinging his fists, and then wrestled the man to the ground. The man is charged with second-degree harassment.

No happy meal
Police said a group of teens damaged a fence in the parking lot of McDonald’s  on Nesconset Highway at Stony Brook. There are no arrests.

Money taken
Someone broke in through the side door of Dunkin’ Donuts on Main Street in Setauket-East Setauket and stole money, sometime between 11 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. from June 27 to June 28. There are no arrests.

Boat burglary
Someone entered a boat docked at Setauket Harbor and stole safety flairs and a toolbox, sometime between June 20 and June 28. There are no arrests.

Package stolen
Someone lifted a packaged delivered to a home on Old Town Road in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between June 26 and June 27. There are no arrests.

Car keyed
Police said someone keyed a 2008 Cadillac Escalade parked at Walmart on Nesconset Highway sometime between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on June 25.

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What if we told you that you could travel to Paris this summer? What if you could finally achieve your dream of becoming an astronaut? What if you had the opportunity to travel back in time to the 1890s or 1960s? Well, you can. Just pick up a book.

Some of our school districts already require students to read one or multiple books over the summer. We commend those districts and think others should follow suit and implement their own summer reading programs in the future.

Summer learning loss, or the summer slide, is real — but we can prevent it. This is more important than ever before as students are being held to a higher standard.

We’ve heard the argument from parents that summer break should be just that — a break — and mandating a child to read a book defeats that purpose. We disagree.

Instilling the value of reading into our lives and those of our children is important. Reading stirs the imagination, helps you think critically and makes you a lifelong learner.

While reading may be difficult for some kids and others may just not like it, there is a book for everybody — or at least an educational magazine — and there are so many places to find them.

Visit your local library to find summer reading programs for kids and adults. Go online and download an eBook. At the bare minimum, try out Audible and listen to an audiobook.

We urge everyone to turn off the video games, get off the computer and escape for a few minutes in the pages of a book. Relax — you will be OK and you may even find it fun.

In the time-honored tradition of required reading, we end with a quote from Betty Smith’s 1943 classic, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”

“The world was hers for the reading.”

May the world be yours this summer.

Rosamund and Willie Vanderbilt aboard their 264-foot yacht Alva during a 1931 cruise around the world. Photo from Vanderbilt Museum archives

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum will celebrate the 65th anniversary of its official opening on July 6.

William K. Vanderbilt II — great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the railroad and shipping magnate — died in 1944.  His wife Rosamund continued to live in the Vanderbilt Mansion in Centerport until her death in 1947.

He realized the potential for his sprawling estate to become a museum for what he called “the use, education and enjoyment of the general public.” That wish prompted him to leave his estate, and a trust fund to finance its operation, to Suffolk County. The county opened the museum to the public on July 6, 1950.

The anniversary coincides with Arcadia Publishing’s release of “Eagle’s Nest: The William K. Vanderbilt II Estate” by Stephanie Gress, director of curatorial services for the museum. The book is available on the Arcadia Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites, in the Vanderbilt Museum Gift Shop and at local bookstores.

Today, the Vanderbilt estate and museum are an important part of Long Island history. It is a destination for regional visitors interested in natural history, the life of the oceans, armchair journeys through space, and the history of the privileged life on the Gold Coast from the Jazz Age through World War II.

The Vanderbilt’s Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium is another magnet for visitors. The museum decided to add a planetarium in the late 1960s. Trustees knew a planetarium would enhance the museum’s ability to carry out the science education aspect of its mission and to honor Vanderbilt’s love of science and astronomy and his interest in celestial navigation.

A planetarium also would augment the original Vanderbilt trust fund and help to ensure financial sustainability. The planetarium was opened to the public on June 28, 1971.

Vanderbilt — known to family and friends as Willie K. — loved the sea and the natural world. In his global oceanic travels, he collected fish and other marine life, birds, invertebrates and cultural artifacts for the personal museum he planned to build on his Long Island estate.

Willie Vanderbilt exhibited thousands of the marine specimens he had gathered ­— one of the world’s most extensive, privately assembled collections from the preatomic era ­— in his own marine museum, the Hall of Fishes, which he opened to the public in 1922. Wings of the mansion contain galleries of his natural-history and cultural-artifact collections, including the Habitat with its nine wild-animal and marine-life dioramas and eight more in the adjacent Stoll Wing, all created by artisans from the American Museum of Natural History.

The 43-acre waterfront museum complex counts among its extensive collections (which total more than 30,000 objects) the mansion, curator’s cottage, a seaplane hangar and boathouse, centuries-old household furnishings, rare decorative and fine art, the archives and photographic record of Vanderbilt’s circumnavigations of the globe and published books of his travels. The estate, mansion and museum are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is located at 180 Little Neck Road in Centerport. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

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Top row, from left, Isabella Eredita Johnson, Bruce Teifer, Jessica Stolte Bender, Danielle Davis, Arthur Lai; bottom row, from left, Bob Westcott, Charlotte Koons, Maddalena Harris, Cheryl Savitt Spielman, Lorraine Helvick, Lauren Murray, Kayla Dempsey. Photo from the Three Village Historical Society

By Frank Turano

On Sunday, June 14, it was standing room only at the Bethel A.M.E. Church on Christian Avenue in Setauket. The Three Village Historical Society sponsored a concert featuring an 1860 Robert Nunns piano built in Setauket. A Robert Nunns piano has probably not been heard in concert for more than 100 years.

The concert was developed by the Three Village Historical Society Rhodes Committee. This committee was also responsible for the construction of the exhibit, Chicken Hill: A Community Lost to Time, the community in which the piano was manufactured. Michael Costa of Costa Piano Shoppes has been working to restore the Nunns piano for more than six months.

The featured artist was Isabella Eredita-Johnson, a classically trained pianist living in Northport. Assisting Ms. Eredita-Johnson were Kayla Dempsey, cello and Lauren Murray, violin. The program featured classical music from the period of the piano’s manufacture.  Sopranos Cheryl Savitt Spielman, Jessica Stolte Bender and Danielle Davis performed, as did mezzo soprano Lorraine Helvick and tenor Arthur Lai.  The highlight of the concert was Ms. Eredita-Johnson playing Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” on the Nunns piano. A sprinkling of American classics from Stephen Foster were rendered by guitarist Bob Westcott and folk singer Maria Fairchild. The entire program was enhanced by visits from Clara Schumann, played by Carlotte Koons, and Robert Nunns, played by Bruce Teifer. The surprise of the day was the presence of Frederick Lorthioir of Connecticut, Robert Nunn’s great-great- great grandson. Since the restoration of the piano is not complete, funds will continue to be solicited to complete the restoration and it is anticipated that future concerts will make more complete use of this historic instrument.

An expert panel at Stony Brook University discusses environmental issues facing Long Island. Photo by Talia Amorosano

By Talia Amorosano

After a month of increased algal blooms, reduced water quality and two of the most severe fish kills the county has ever experienced, Long Island scientists and officials have decided it is past time — yet about time — to address the issue of harmful nitrogen pollution in our waterways.

Hosted by the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, a forum on water pollution in Suffolk County was held at Stony Brook University’s Charles B. Wang Center on June 23 to identify the core causes of nitrogen pollution and brainstorm functional, cost-effective technological solutions.

In his welcome address, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) emphasized the gravity of the problem.

“This problem wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be solved overnight,” he said. “Big challenges like this won’t be solved in election cycles.”

But he has noticed signs of progress.

“To see this group all coming together, saying we’re going to work to solve this problem, gives me great hope and optimism that we have actually turned the corner and we are now on the road to addressing our water quality issues in a real way.”

At the forefront of the technical and technological sides of this progress are panelists Walter Dawydiak, director of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services; Amanda Ludlow, a scientist at Roux Associates Inc.; Theresa McGovern, a water resources engineer at VHB; and Harold Walker, a professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Stony Brook University.

Dawydiak identified unsewered septic flow as the main source of the nitrogen problem.

“Nitrogen, which we expected to level off, is not leveling off,” he said.

He noted that 85 percent of unsewered septic flow originates in residential areas.

“The elephant in the room is us.”

He said a change in health department standards for residential wastewater treatment — for the first time in 40 years — could mitigate the problem by regulating the installation, operation, and maintenance of septic systems. He referred to this proposed set of regulations as an example of policy driving the technology to where it needs to be.

“We need better technology in this area,” Walker said. “If we’re going to solve this problem, we need to expand the tool box that we have available. … We need to think about systems operating effectively for as long as possible, with little or no maintenance. That’s the challenge.”

Ludlow agreed, and emphasized the importance of implementing systems that treat nitrogen and other pollutants, like pharmaceuticals and hormones, on the 360,000 homes running on old systems: “Focus on technologies that affect all the constituents in our wastewater.”

McGovern said that a holistic yet specific approach to wastewater management would make improvements possible.

“We need to be consistent and science-based with the targets, yet still allow some flexibility,” she said. She suggested setting a universal — instead of concentration-based — limit on the amount of nitrogen allowed to remain in wastewater, while allowing households that consistently perform under that limit increased wastewater flow.

Of course, new technologies and oversight costs money. During the second panel discussion on funding proposals, Suffolk County Planning Commission co-chair David Calone suggested using Hurricane Sandy recovery funds to improve storm-water drainage and prevent sewage from entering waterways.

Dorian Dale, director of sustainability and chief recovery officer for Suffolk County, noted that, though the $16 million of Sandy relief money would cover some of the cost for improvements, it could not provide the minimum $8 billion necessary to replace 360,000 septic systems.

He said changing the tax on drinking water from a base price to one that reflects household usage could help close the gap.

Calone brought up the possibility of reaching out for federal funding and increasing the cap on private activity bonds to spur work on water quality issues.

“Involving the private sector is where we’ve shown a lot of leadership on Long Island,” said Anna Throne-Holst, Southampton Town supervisor. “It has to be a public/private partnership.”

The panelists were optimistic about the county’s ability to undertake the project.

“The last sewer project, 40 years ago, was rife with cesspool corruption,” Dale said. “I don’t think anybody’s going to have time for the shenanigans of the past.”

Throne-Holst expressed her faith that the public will remain informed and engaged on this issue.

“The public education process is well underway,” she said. “People are well aware of what a crisis this is.”

A scene from last year’s event. Photo by Bea Ruberto

By Ernestine Franco

Help the best and brightest young people in our community by attending this year’s Sound Beach Civic Association scholarship fundraiser — a food fair and raffle auction that will allow the Civic to award $1,000 scholarships to two high school seniors for the seventh consecutive year.  The event will be held on Sunday, July 12, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Sound Beach Firehouse, 152 Sound Beach Blvd., Sound Beach.

Come sample steak tidbits, baked clams, General Tso’s chicken, eggplant parmigiana and more, as more than a dozen area restaurants have donated their signature dishes, including CaraMia Restaurant, Papa Francesco’s, Great Wall and Hartlin Inn of Sound Beach; Sea Basin and J & R’s Steakhouse of Rocky Point;  Tuscany Gourmet Market, CP La Manno’s, Miller Place Pastaria, Rubino’s and Fusilli Restaurant of Miller Place; and Land & Sea Restaurant of Mt. Sinai. Coffee will be provided by Starbuck’s in Miller Place and dessert will include two cakes (one a chocolate mousse, the other a vanilla creme), creme puffs, eclairs and cookies.

A scene from last year’s event. Photo by Bea Ruberto
A scene from last year’s event. Photo by Bea Ruberto

More than 50 great raffle prizes, donated by local merchants and individuals, will be raffled off, including artwork, housewares, pet products, kids’ games, wine baskets, a lotto tree, home décor and a variety of gift certificates, including one valued at $500 from Reality Carpet in Rocky Point. The door prize will be a flower arrangement donated by Flowers on Broadway in Rocky Point.

Nicole Berg and Megan McCarthy, this year’s recipients of the scholarships, will be in attendance and Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point), who has been a strong supporter of this worthy cause from the beginning, will be on hand to honor their achievements. “The Sound Beach Civic does so many wonderful things for Sound Beach,” Bonner said, “and this is just one of them. It’s a great opportunity to honor their annual scholarship winners, meet great new people, catch up with old friends and try some yummy, local food.”

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley)will be there to honor former Civic president John Moerlins, who passed away several years ago. A copy of a testimonial that will go into the Congressional Record will be presented to John Moerlins’ widow, Audrey Moerlins.

Civic president Bea Ruberto fondly recalls one of the previous recipients, Cassidy Bohan. “Cassidy was one of the first to receive the scholarship,” Ruberto said, “and she keeps in touch and has done so well.” Bohan attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and is currently working in advertising as a campaign manager.

When asked what receiving the scholarship meant to her, Bohan said, “It was an honor to receive the support of a community that I love so much.”

“It’s been so gratifying to be part of this,” Ruberto said, “and I hope to see a lot of people at this year’s event.”

Tickets are $20 each, $18 each for a table of eight, $10 for children under 12, and free for children under 6. For more information or to order tickets, call 631-744-6952.

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The Class of 2015 celebrated their graduation in Port Jefferson on Friday, remembering their pasts as they looked toward their bright futures.

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