A scene from the Gersh Academy’s field day at West Hills Day Camp last Friday, June 10. Photo from Corbett Public Relations

More than 120 North Shore students with autism, in grades K through 12, attended a field day at West Hills Day Camp in Huntington last Friday, June 10. The event was designed to give students with autism the chance to experience fun athletic and recreational activities within a safe and positive environment, while providing them a forum that fosters growth and development.

Celeste Gagliardi, principal of Gersh Academy, said the day was a complete success and a wonderful experience.

A scene from the Gersh Academy’s field day at West Hills Day Camp last Friday, June 10. Photo from Corbett Public Relations
A scene from the Gersh Academy’s field day at West Hills Day Camp last Friday, June 10. Photo from Corbett Public Relations

“Today is the day they get to show how much they’ve grown,” Gagliardi said after the event on Friday in a phone interview. “It was wonderful to watch all of these kids just be themselves.”

Students were able to access numerous athletic and recreational facilities, including several swimming pools, ziplines, supervised rope activities, bounce houses, a playground and an arts and crafts center. The different activities helped develop students’ mental and emotional growth among their peers, while learning skills in athleticism, socialization, teamwork and hand-eye coordination.

The day also included Gersh Academy students enjoying a barbecue lunch prepared and served by individuals with autism between the ages of 18 and 23, who are participants in Gersh Experience. The program offers young adults on the autism spectrum life skills, along with social, psychological and educational support, while they develop their independence. Three of the students will be working at the West Hills Day Camp this summer.

It’s beautiful to see them interact … it’s the cherry on top of the year,” Gagliardi said.

Gersh Academy is a private school for children with special needs in K-12. They have several locations across the Island, including Hauppauge and Huntington.

Sound Beach Civic Association President Bea Ruberto presents Brianna Sander with a certificate of congratulations for being named the civic’s 2016 scholarship recipient. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Brianna Sander has a lot on her plate.

Maintaining a weighted GPA of more than 100 is hard enough, as she excels in her advanced placement classes, but the Rocky Point senior still finds time to be a part of the school’s art, math and national honor societies; is on the school’s volleyball, basketball and track and field teams; and is also a member of Athletes Helping Athletes.

“It’s busy work, but it’s not that bad,” she said, laughing.

While Sander was on her school’s website, she came across a list that her school put together, of the available scholarships in the area. She came across the $1,000 award from the Sound Beach Civic Association, in which the only requirement was that you live in Sound Beach.

Each student who applied had to submit a resume and construct an essay detailing their contributions to the school and the community, while listing the various activities and organizations they’ve been a part of, and detail how they’ve helped both the student and the surrounding area.

Sound Beach Civic President Bea Ruberto said 12 students applied for the scholarship.

“We had some really great kids,” she said of this year’s submissions. “First, we look at their grades, and then we look at their community service and the kind of work experience they have.”

Ruberto said that from the original submissions, the civic members narrowed the candidates down to four, who were all in terrific academic standing.

Sander was then chosen to be the most deserving of the four.

“She was very impressive right away,” Ruberto said of Sander. “From everything I’ve read, she’s just really involved. The couple of the things I mentioned are just a few of the activities she participates in. And she’s ranked right up there in her class.”

The civic also received letters of recommendation from the student’s teachers. Ruberto said one teacher described Sander as “the embodiment of determination and professionalism that is rarely seen in someone so young. Whether she is preparing for a political science exam or helping to sell pink ribbons for a breast cancer fundraiser, Brianna can be counted on to go above and beyond.”

Through the Math and National Honor Society, Sander also provides tutoring. She was one of the driving forces of the Dig Pink volleyball breast cancer fundraiser, which Sander said is one of the No. 1 fundraisers in Suffolk County for breast cancer awareness, in which her team performs a big game while collecting donations.

“All of the organizations and sports I’m involved in do major fundraisers,” she said. “I’m always busy; always around the school fundraising.”

Sander said she was surprised when Ruberto called her to inform her she won the scholarship.

“I didn’t recognize the number, so I was so excited and surprised when I found out what the call was for,” said Sander, who will be attending Binghamton University in the fall and majoring in biological sciences. “It’s a lot of money, $1,000 will help a lot. It’s big. I was really glad and thankful.”

Ruberto is more thankful to have a student like Sander leaving such a positive impact on such a small hamlet like Sound Beach.

“This year we got some really impressive applications — Brianna stood out as a well-rounded student-athlete,” Ruberto said. “We are proud to have her in our community.”

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Event organizers and participants come together for one big group photo during the event. Soldiers on the Sound has been an annual celebration of thanking American heroes. Photo by Kevin Redding

By Kevin Redding

On Saturday, the St. James community continued to show their appreciation toward active members of the military as the eighth annual Soldiers on the Sound Fluke Fishing Tournament hit the waters of Smithtown Bay.

Since 2009, the tireless efforts of the event’s organizers – all volunteers – make for a day of gratitude for those in uniform, camaraderie and smiles, and, of course, friendly competition out on the fishing boats. With each passing year, the event gets bigger and better, drawing in more boats, contributors and donations, to help give back to those service men and women who sacrifice their lives everyday. This year’s tournament was its biggest yet, drawing 61 boats, all donated and hosted by local captains and mates, and 150 registered soldiers, representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard based in Westhampton.

After fishing, all soldiers returned to the Smithtown Bay Yacht Club, where they were treated to a large barbecue, a hot food buffet and a slew of raffle prizes generously paid for by companies and individual donors. The prizes included gift cards, coolers, speakers, 40” flat screen TV’s, Billy Joel tickets and a weekend vacation at the Hawks Cay resort in the Florida Keys, to name a few.

According to the event’s president and founder, Mark Garry, the only thing asked of the soldiers is that they have a good time.

“That’s what it’s all about – everybody hugging and high fiving, and thanking us sincerely,” he said. “They’re gonna go and eat like rockstars. We buy 800 cigars to give them. They have food, sodas, beers. It’s good, it’s very simple and rewarding.”

Photo by Kevin Redding
Photo by Kevin Redding

The conception of the event hit Garry when he was watching war coverage on the yacht club TV and saw soldiers reduced to lying in the sand, resting their heads on their helmets. He immediately went to work, focused on honoring those currently serving our country and giving them something relaxing to come home to. It didn’t take long for he and his “army” of volunteers to get the event underway, calling on everyone from military liaisons to boat captains to fundraisers.

“I’m retired Air Force and I knew the unit out in Westhampton,” said Skip Heine, the only founding member with a military background. “Mark called on me and we invited them the first time and they’ve been involved since. It’s great because back in the Vietnam days, you were not revered at all by the public, so it’s nice to see the people that protect get the recognition.”

Even though he didn’t have the best of luck catching fluke, active Marine Felix Torres was grateful for the event.

“To me personally, I feel like this is a great thing,” he said. “To have whole bunch of soldiers and Marines and Navy guys all go out together and fish, have a good time…it just shows how together we all are.”

The winning fluke of 6.4 pounds was caught by Captain Andy Smith and his boat crew, which included Air Force Mjr. Jesse Fritz and Tech Sgt. Nathan Dean.

“We’re very fortunate to have a community-based program like this,” Fritz said. “Being a military member out here on Long Island, there is not support like this everywhere so it’s amazing to be part of something like this, to be part of the community and see the support. Yes, it’s a fishing tournament and it’s fun but it means so much to see the support and how it all ties into the community. We’re very grateful.”

TRITEC officials and Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant shovel some dirt at the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz

A new apartment complex is setting sail for downtown Port Jefferson.

Developers and Port Jefferson leaders gathered at the old Heritage Inn motel site on Tuesday to break ground on The Shipyard luxury apartments, a 112-unit building going up on West Broadway near the Barnum Avenue intersection.

The groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments in Port Jefferson is held on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz
The groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments in Port Jefferson is held on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz
TRITEC's Bob Coughlan talks about the development's impact on Port Jefferson Village at the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz
TRITEC’s Bob Coughlan talks about the development’s impact on Port Jefferson Village at the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz

They had started taking down the decrepit motel in mid-May, with Mayor Margot Garant getting into an excavator and smashing down the machine’s arm onto the roof of one structure at the site, a task she referred to afterward as “cathartic.” She and TRITEC Real Estate Company Principal Bob Coughlan had also used sledgehammers to smash some windows.

Previously called the Residences at Port Jefferson, the project calls for a three-story apartment building comprised of 42 one-bedroom apartments and 70 two-bedroom units, with resident parking underneath the structure. The building will take up less than half of the 3.74-acre property, which borders Old Mill Creek, to leave room for landscaping and buffers.

During the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, Coughlan, who lives in Port Jefferson near the site, said the apartments will “clean up a blighted property” and help keep young people living and working on Long Island.

“There is a desperate need for housing of this type, particularly in walkable communities,” he said. “We are thrilled to be part of this.”

Heavy equipment is on display during the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments in Port Jefferson on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz
Heavy equipment is on display during the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments in Port Jefferson on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Garant also spoke at the ceremony, saying that having people living on the west end of the village year-round will support the businesses on that side of town, because they will eat in local restaurants and shop in local boutiques.

“This project is going to become a huge economic engine for us year-round,” the mayor said, adding that it could become home to both young professionals from Stony Brook University and elderly Port Jefferson residents who want to downsize without leaving the area.

Coughlan estimated The Shipyard would be finished in 18 months.

Port Jefferson officials shovel some dirt at the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz
Port Jefferson officials shovel some dirt at the groundbreaking for the Shipyard apartments on June 14. Photo by Elana Glowatz


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The second phase of construction is underway at the Texaco Avenue apartments. Photo by Elana Glowatz

If you build it, they will come.

Port Jefferson developer Rail Realty LLC proved that old adage when Rob Gitto, from its parent company The Gitto Group, confirmed its uptown apartment project is already at full rental capacity — a month before it is even slated to open.

Gitto said the 38 units in the first completed apartment building has been completely pre-leased and there is a waiting list for the second building, which will add another approximately 36 units when completed next year.

Most of those future tenants are affiliated with Stony Brook University in some way, Gitto said, whether they are graduate students, medical residents, professors, nurses, doctors or other staff. There are also a few people from John T. Mather Memorial Hospital’s new residency program.

The first phase of the Texaco Avenue apartments is complete. Photo by Elana Glowatz
The first phase of the Texaco Avenue apartments is complete. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Officials broke ground on the much-anticipated project, dubbed The Hills at Port Jefferson, in May 2015, expressing hope that the first new development in upper Port would spur revitalization efforts in the troubled area.

Village leaders have been trying to enhance the uptown’s Main Street corridor, between North Country/Sheep Pasture Road and the Long Island Rail Road tracks, with the goal of improving quality of life, making it more pedestrian-friendly and attracting developers and visitors.

At the groundbreaking last year, Mayor Margot Garant said the 74 Texaco Avenue apartments would be “so important” to the revitalization.

Gitto thinks it’s already propelled other improvements. He said Monday that he has seen one nearby business making improvements to an existing establishment and two others sign leases to bring in new ones.

“We wanted to see the area revitalized and we’re seeing it,” he said, adding about the rest of the uptown area, “We definitely hope they follow suit.”

There are other community benefits attached: Under the conditions of the project’s approval, Rail Realty has to make improvements to a pocket park on the west side of Texaco that currently has a jungle gym, swings and a basketball hoop, and improve traffic flow in the area by redesigning the intersection of Main Street and Sheep Pasture Road.

Construction has gone in phases. Last year, Rail Realty knocked down vacant homes and buildings along the east side of Texaco Avenue between Sheep Pasture Road and Linden Place to make way for the two three-story buildings — which will have a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments — and began working on the northern building. That was completed recently, with the new apartments visible from some angles on Main Street, a block over. The developer got started right on the foundation of the second building, to the south.

The first phase of the Texaco Avenue apartments is complete. Photo by Elana Glowatz
The first phase of the Texaco Avenue apartments is complete. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Garant announced the milestone at a village board of trustees meeting on June 6, saying people would start moving into the first apartment building in mid-July.

Resident parking is underground, a noteworthy element for a small village in which having more cars than parking spaces has long been an issue. And toward the end of the second ongoing apartment construction phase, the developers will bring down a building on the south side of the Texaco Avenue and Linden Place intersection, the Stony Brook Electric Inc. building, to make room for additional above-ground parking.

That’s also when the park improvements will take place, Gitto said. Plans are still developing, but they might include landscaping, such as flowers and necessary irrigation, and taking down an unused shed there.

For The Gitto Group — which has built up other parts of Port Jefferson, including an office building, the CVS and the Barnum House apartments on Main Street — things are falling into place faster than anticipated. Rob Gitto said the project was done in phases because the developers weren’t sure how well the first set of apartments would be received and how quickly they would be leased.

“We knew it would be successful but we didn’t know it would sell that quickly.”

The lawns of Heritage Park in Mount Sinai played host to nearly 100 hot rods old and new on a sun-splashed, windy Sunday morning. A Ford Starliner from the 1950s and brand new Chevrolet Camaros, along with just about everything in-between, shared the green grass underneath blue skies on display at the Heritage Park Car Show.

North Shore residents young and old circulated the park to admire the vintage cars inside and out, with most even showing a peak at what’s under the hood. Live music, food, vendors and raffles accompanied the cool rides.

A historic Stony Brook homestead has a massive overhaul in the works.

The Three Village Community Trust recently announced the completion of the long process of securing state grant funding and implementing state requirements for selecting a contractor for this first, exterior phase of restoration of the Hawkins Homestead on Christian Avenue. General contractor Long Hill Carpentry, a North Shore, family-owned firm, will begin work this week, the Trust said.

“The deterioration of the exterior shingles requires total replacement of the siding, but offers an opportunity to upgrade the exterior walls from the outside,” the trust said in a statement. “Shingles will be removed, allowing for inspection and any necessary repair of the wall framing. This will also allow insulation and new electrical wiring to be installed. Replacement of the shingles will follow these infrastructure upgrades.”

The trust also said it was able to locate red cedar shingles that fit the appropriate measurements to replace the existing shingles with the same exposure.

The next phase includes continuing exterior restoration and infrastructure modernization for 21st century residential use. The trust is working on a way to offer teaching workshops in the window and door restoration projects for those seeking to learn skills in historic preservation, the group said.

State grants secured by Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) will fund much of the first and second phases of this restoration project. The trust said it was also prepared for additional expenses for unanticipated needs when undertaking any historic restoration project.

Because of the generous support of the Three Village community, the trust has been able to meet these needs as we wait for the state funds to be processed. Contributions made to the trust’s acquisition and restoration fund make it possible for the work to continue and were greatly appreciated.

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Wilson Sail Loft’s sail plan of the schooner-yacht Wanderer. Photo from Beverly Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

“Roots,” a new version and a new vision.

This past week the cable channels History, A&E and Lifetime presented a new look at Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, which tells the story of his Mandinka ancestor Kunta Kinte and his descendants. Born in the village of Juffure, West Africa, in 1750, Kunta Kinte and other Mandinka men and women were captured, transported to America and there suffered brutal enslavement. In 1977 “Roots” became an ABC network miniseries watched by millions of viewers. It was a slavery story that many Americans were learning for the first time. Now a new generation of Americans, sadly less informed about our history, can benefit from this new adaptation of Haley’s historical novel.

“Roots,” 2016, benefits from new scholarship giving viewers a broader understanding of the Mandinka culture in which Kunta Kinte grew to manhood, factors that led to a culture of enslavement by the Africans themselves, and the brutal conditions on the British and Americans ships that transported Africans to the Americas. The story continues in America with a more detailed story of the enslaved Africans and less about the white slavers and plantation owners than in the 1977 ABC miniseries.

If you missed the original production last week, you will be able to see it repeated on the cable channels or on the web at The Web site also includes more details on the show and on the featured characters and actors.

On a more local level, the book, “The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory,” by Anne Farrow uses a log book of three voyages, over 20 months in the first half of the 18th century, recorded by a young Connecticut man who went on to captain slave ships and privateers, to tell a much wider and disturbing story.

Farrow’s book connects Dudley Saltonstall, the Connecticut man who kept the log books, to the slaves transported from Africa, then to the African men who enslaved them, to the ships that transported them across the Atlantic, and finally to the men who purchased them to work to death in the Caribbean sugar plantations and rice plantations of America’s southern colonies.

Farrow, a former Connecticut newspaper reporter, feels the early story of African people in America must be told over and over, from the beginning. She believes that it has not yet been absorbed into the family of stories told and retold about America, that the story of injustice and suffering still has not made its way into the national narrative.

Unknown to most Americans is the fact that colonial Connecticut was a major provisioner of British West Indies plantations where slaves were growing and processing sugar and yielding huge profits. In addition, Rhode Island men were at the helm of 90 percent of ships that brought captives to the American south, an estimated 900 ships.

The story of the Connecticut and Long Island Sound men who took part in the slave trade is disturbingly real. It brings into focus the way many of our own prosperous and influential Long Island families made their fortunes. It doesn’t change who they were or who we are, but it provides us with a clearer understanding of the pain and suffering caused by their actions.

In spite of the federal law (1807) prohibiting the importation of slaves from Africa, slaves were still being transported from Africa until the beginning of the American Civil War. On an even more local level is the story of our own East Setauket slave ship, Wanderer.

East Setauket’s Joseph Rowland built the schooner-yacht Wanderer in 1857 for Colonel John D. Johnson, a New York Yacht Club member and a wealthy New Orleans sugar planter. The sails for the Wanderer were made in Port Jefferson in the Wilson Sail Loft.

Johnson sold the Wanderer in 1858 to William Corey, and she reappeared in Port Jefferson where large water tanks were installed. Despite numerous checks by the U.S. Revenue Service the Wanderer was allowed to sail.

Slavers were rigged to outrun the slave squadrons of Great Britain and America, both of which were trying to stop the now illegal slave trade. Wanderer took aboard some 600 people from the west coast of Africa and sailed for America.

On Nov. 28, 1858, she landed 465 Africans on Jekyll Island, Georgia. The ship was seized by federal authorities; however, the Africans, now on Georgia soil, a slave state, were sold at auction.

A walking tour of the maritime and wooden shipbuilding area along Shore Road in East Setauket will be conducted Saturday, June 18, beginning at 3 p.m. from the Brookhaven Town Dock for a tour of the homes and shipyards that built ships that sailed around the world. The tour includes the home of the Wanderer shipbuilder and his story.

Beverly Tyler is the Three Village Historical Society historian and author of books available from the Three Village Historical Society.

A house and property owned by James Grant on Marshall Drive in Selden is unstable and unsecured, leaving it in danger of imminent collapse. Grant has until June 25 to fix the property or the Town of Brookhaven will demolish it. Photo by Alex Petroski

A vacant house on a dilapidated property on Marshall Drive in Selden is in danger of imminent collapse, according to Town of Brookhaven Senior Building Inspector Robert Incagliato.

The Brookhaven Town Board, at a public hearing on May 26, discussed the roughly 2,000-square-foot house and surrounding property, and ultimately voted to demolish the house upon the recommendation of Incagliato and other independent engineers’ reports if no significant progress is made by the owner in fixing the house’s compromised foundation within 30 days.

James Grant purchased the house for about $45,000, he said, in March 2015, with the intentions of rehabbing it and the surrounding property then flipping it to a prospective buyer for a profit. Grant’s sale fell through when the buyer learned of the possibility the town would demolish the structure, leaving Grant with few options. He testified at the hearing that he started the process to obtain a building permit that would be required to fix the crumbling foundation, in April 2015. The building permit, which is good for one year, was issued on October 29, 2015.

“I didn’t know I was under a specific time restraint to get it done,” Grant said.

An engineer’s report from the firm Cashin, Spinelli & Ferretti LLC declared the house unfit for human occupancy on April 15, 2015. The report sites debris and rubbish throughout the property, abandoned vehicles with expired registrations, an illegal and unsafe rear addition to the house, a deteriorated roof and frame, animal and insect infestations and damage to the house’s foundation as evidence for the recommendation to demolish the house. It stands less than 500 feet from Newfield High School.

“It is evident that the owner has not taken any of the required steps to perform maintenance as may be required from time to time to ensure the entire site is safe and secure and does not present a hazard to the adjoining property owners and to the general public,” the report said.

Grant and his attorney argued that he was required to spend about $5,000 to receive the yearlong building permit, and didn’t want to invest more time and money into fixing the property knowing the town was considering having it torn down anyway.

A house and property owned by James Grant on Marshall Drive in Selden is unstable and unsecured, leaving it in danger of imminent collapse. Grant has until June 25 to fix the property or the Town of Brookhaven will demolish it. Photo by Alex Petroski
A house and property owned by James Grant on Marshall Drive in Selden is unstable and unsecured, leaving it in danger of imminent collapse. Grant has until June 25 to fix the property or the Town of Brookhaven will demolish it. Photo by Alex Petroski

Town officials visited the property on May 25, one day prior to the hearing to check on the status of the house and see how much progress Grant had made. According to Incagliato, the front door was wide open along with second floor windows, making access to the dangerous structure easy for anyone.

“The damaged walls and foundation still exist,” town employee Bill Faulk said on behalf of the Town Law Department. “There has been no work done to the house at all.”

Grant and his attorney attended the hearing hoping for a six-month adjournment to continue working on the rehabbing process.

“You can’t just get a permit and use that as a ticket not to do anything for a year,” Town Attorney Annette Eaderesto said. “It has now been exposed since October 29, 2015 to all the elements of the winter. This foundation is getting worse. … We don’t want a kid to be in there when this thing starts to collapse.”

Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) represents the district that the property is in.

“We’ve been getting complaints about this house constantly and you’re not moving,” he said to Grant. “We’ll give you 30 days. That’s the fairest thing we can do. You’ve had over a year to start to rectify these problems. Now we’ll give you another 30 days. If you don’t make any substantial move at this point, we’ll knock down the house and we’re probably going to do you a favor because I think that’s what you’re going to end up having to do with this structure.”

A check of the house from just outside the property on June 3 showed a roll-off dumpster in the driveway and very little visible debris. The front door appears secured, though second floor windows remain wide open. Leaves and overgrown vegetation remain on the property. It is unclear if any work has been done to repair the foundation.

Grant has until June 25 to stave off demolition, though Eaderesto said he could get an extension if he makes a good faith effort to repair the foundation before that time.

The village has scaled back a plan to stripe its basketball courts for pickleball after one resident said it would be a big dill to hoops players. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Village officials are making a compromise to avoid a pickle.

The basketball courts at Rocketship Park in downtown Port Jefferson were due for a redo, and while a Long Island company was repairing the court surface, village Trustee Stan Loucks had arranged for workers to also add stripes for people to play pickleball when the four hoops were not being used. But that plan has changed.

Pickleball is a sport that involves paddles and a net and has similarities to tennis and badminton. Officials added pickleball striping at the basketball courts at the park, between Barnum Avenue and the municipal parking lot behind Village Hall, to other work — which included repairing cracks, and dips in the surface that attract puddles — to embrace the growing sport trend.

But one resident was half-soured on the idea of basketball players potentially turning green with envy as they lost out on court time while others were playing pickleball.

Myrna Gordon called the courts a spot that “attracts many people from surrounding communities” in a letter to the editor last month, an opinion she also expressed to Loucks in person during board of trustees meetings in recent months.

“Culturally diverse people come to play pick-up games,” she wrote. “Converting this area for dual purposes would be an especially negative act when there are alternative sites for pickleball in the village.”

Gordon has suggested using the park on Texaco Avenue in uptown Port Jefferson, across from the upcoming apartment complex, for pickleball to avoid taking away court time downtown and to potentially attract people to the blighted uptown area.

Loucks announced at the board meeting on Monday that the pickleball proposal would be bumped back to keep ballers cool as cucumbers.

Instead of putting down lines for the sport on the basketball courts at Rocketship, the village is going to start by running a one-hour pickleball program on the court with removable nets and stripes, as a method of gauging resident demand for a venue for the activity.

The program will take place in the middle of the day, while young players are in school, the trustee said.