Port Times Record

The nonprofit Sea Grant is sponsoring a competition for proposing cleanup solutions.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Port Jefferson flotilla, is sponsoring a competition for high school students called Solution for Pollution. Supported by a New York Sea Grant, the competition is aimed at Long Island public and private high school students, who can submit concepts for reducing trash in our waterways and on our beaches. The focus will be on the Long Island Sound, with special reference to associated harbors. The goal will be to create cost-effective methods to return our waterways to a trash-free sea. 

Waterway trash pollution is both unsightly and unhealthy. Trash can contain contaminants that are toxic to marine animals and humans. Much of this trash is the result of individuals and governments assuming that the waterways that we enjoy and live near are virtually infinite sinks for refuse. We observe in the water and on beaches piles of trash comprised of plastic bags and other plastic products. According to National Geographic, there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. 

Cash awards will be given to the top three winning entries. Entries are due by April 1, 2020, and winners will be announced soon after on May 15. 

Go to https://solution4pollution.org for detailed information.

To obtain information on New York State required boating courses or to have your vessel inspected by an auxiliary member, contact the Port Jefferson flotilla by email: info@cgapj.org; or phone 631-938-1705. Visit www.cgapj.org for more information. 

Herb Herman is the flotilla staff officer for public affairs, Port Jefferson Auxiliary Flotilla 22-6.

Deer during mating season cause havoc on the roads. Photo from Kathy Schiavone

It’s that time of year when deer look to mate, and that can result in dangers for motorists on local roadways.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Environmental Conservation are advising motorists to take care when navigating roads during October, November and December. While deer can be seen all year round roaming around the North Shore, during the fall it’s breeding season.

More deer on the roads in the fall mean an increase in collisions with the animals. Photo from Kathy Schiavone

Two-thirds of the crashes between deer and vehicles occur during the three-month span, according to a press release from the agencies.

In a TBR News Media article from October of 2018, Lori Ketcham, a rehabilitator with Middle Island-based Save the Animals Rescue Foundation, reminded residents that deer don’t hesitate when they are crossing a street, especially in the fall.

“The boys only have one thing on their mind,” Ketcham said. “They’re following the scent so they’re just running. They smell a girl down the street. They run, and they don’t care if there are roads in the way.”

Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV commissioner and chair of the governor’s traffic safety committee, said drivers should exercise extreme caution during the autumn months.

“When you see a deer-crossing sign along a highway, that means deer have been seen at that location and have collided with cars there,” Schroeder said. “Those signs are meant to warn you to be extra cautious when driving through such locations.”

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said drivers should be alert during both dawn and dusk. The animals tend to be more active during these periods of the day while visibility is also reduced.

The state agencies also recommend decreasing speed when you approach deer near roadsides as they can bolt out or change direction quickly. If you see a deer, look for others as they are herd animals and usually travel in groups.

Motorists are also advised to brake firmly and avoid swerving if they encounter an animal, as swerving can cause collisions. The DEC recommends not approaching an injured animal as they can strike out with their legs or hooves.

Here are a few additional tips in case of a deer collision:

● Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you must leave your vehicle, stay off the road and out of the way of any oncoming vehicles.

● Call the police. Alert authorities if the animal is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers. If the collision results in injury, death or more than $1,000 in property damage, you must fill out an official crash report and send it to the DMV.

● Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.

According to the 2018 State Farm Insurance deer-vehicle collision study, it was estimated that there were 1.33 million deer, elk, moose and caribou collisions between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, in the U.S. — down from 1.34 million cited in the company’s 2017 study. New Yorkers had a one in 165 chance of crashing into the animals in 2018, according to State Farm.

Juliet Catanzaro, #15 of Miller Place, was just one of many North Shore residents to race for top spot in Shoreham the weekend of Oct. 4-6. Photo by Kyle Barr

More than 600 BMX riders from across the Northeast came to Shoreham last weekend for a test of speed and skill.

The nonprofit Shoreham BMX hosted the regional Gold Cup championship the weekend of Oct. 4. Sponsored by bicycle association USABMX, the event attracted a large crowd of spectators and competitors, who packed into the small hamlet for the competition on Long Island’s only BMX track.

The event is considered to be among the most competitive races in the country and attracted 677 people from all over.

Racers who looked to compete at the Gold Cup, had to first qualify at two other regional tracks by having good times in their category before they could advance to the finals.

A rider competing in the Gold Cup series counts their best two scores from separate events held over the weekend. Competitors who earn their place on the podium are considered regional champs and receive a coveted gold plate. 

Jennifer Dzvonar, the president of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce and PJS resident, watched both her husband, William, and daughter, Daphne, participate.

“It was amazing to watch them at such a really big event,” she said

Rich Soper, the track operator and president of the Shoreham BMX Parents Association, said this was the first time the track has hosted this specific event, calling it one of the best days he’s ever seen at the Shoreham track.

The North Shore community was well represented at the weekend’s events, with people from Wading River west to Northport competing. Many people from Port Jefferson Station through Rocky Point gained podium spots.

The Shoreham BMX track is notoriously difficult. Soper said that the people and teams who practice on the nonprofit’s track learn tight jumps and turns even at a novice level.  

“That’s why our local people tend to do better,” he said.

Rocky Point resident Marie Stewart watched her son, Keith, compete in the finals this past weekend. The 12-year-old, at age 4 watched a friend navigate the Shoreham track and asked his mom if he could do the same. Since then he and his team, the Rocky Point/Miller Place-based Toxic Racing, have gone on to win multiple Gold Plates at recent competitions. Keith, who currently competes in the 12-year-old expert category, is a past Gold Cup champion and has recently won fifth place in the New York State BMX competition.

“The kids have become such good friends with each other, whether they’re on the team or not,” Stewart said. “It’s not so much the trophy at the end, but what each kid puts into it — their heart and soul.”

Keith said he was happy in how he performed for the Gold Cup considering the tough class he was in. He expects to carry on with BMX for a while more.

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By Julianne Mosher

Children watched and cheered in awe as their principal, Tom Meehan, climbed to the top of a fire ladder parked in the back lot of Edna Louise Spear Elementary Friday, Oct. 4. He flew above the kids, dressed in his volunteer firefighter uniform, to help teach his students about fire safety and prevention. 

Along with Meehan, several members from the Port Jefferson Fire Department came to the school with two large fire trucks to show kids that firefighters aren’t scary and, instead, they’re here to help.

“We don’t want children to be afraid of the fire department,” Meehan said, “We’re here today to get them more comfortable with us in case there’s an emergency.”

Meehan added that the volunteer firefighters have been visiting the school for about nine years and have unfortunately visited the homes of students in the past. The event on Oct. 4 helped get the kids excited to see the department, including five-year-old Logan Devine who excitedly compared them to superheroes. 

“Firefighters save persons from fire,” the kindergartner said, “They help us like Spider-Man!”

During the fire prevention event, those in uniform let the kids high-five them, let them play with the fire hose and question them on what they know about fire safety. The kids were reminded on what to do in case there is trouble, like dialing 911.

“It’s important to show the community that we’re here to help,” Christian Neubert, a music teacher with the school and volunteer fireman, said. “We take pride in it and take it seriously.”

Neubert added that the Port Jeff Fire Department is made out of 100 volunteers, many who are lifelong community members. Men and women from all types of career paths are on call, ready to help out, and new members are always welcomed. 

 

Port Jefferson shops such as Hookah City on Main Street, above, sell hookahs. Photo by Elana Glowatz

Port Jefferson officials have made explicit their antipathy for the vape and smoke shop in the village, especially after news broke an employee had been cited for selling to children underage.

Hookah City, located at 202 Main St. in Port Jefferson was recently charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in a countywide police sting labeled Operation Vape Out. It was amongst 32 establishments that Suffolk County police said were cited for illicit behavior, most concerning selling tobacco products to children under the legal age limit of 21.

“All eyes are on that place,” said Trustee Kathianne Snaden during a conversation after the Sept. 23 village board meeting.

“It’s immoral to addict a human being to something they can’t get away from.”

— Paul Casciano

Mayor Margot Garant said they had asked Village Attorney Brian Egan about the shop but were told there is nothing in village code that allows the village to affect a business in such a way, adding there was nothing that violated their lease. 

Fred Leute, the acting chief of code enforcement, said constables take reports and inform Suffolk County police regarding businesses selling to people underage. Leute added they had originally sent notice to police about the shop.

“Kids would come in and put their knapsack down — they would have money on the knapsack, and a note stapled to it what they wanted,” the acting chief said. “The guy who they caught would take that note, fill their order, so to speak, and put the stuff in the bag, then the kid would come by and take their bag.”

A manager or owner of Hookah City could not be reached for comment before press time.

New York State was originally set to ban the creation and sale of flavored e-cigarette products Oct. 4, but a day before the deadline the state appellate court put that order on hold until the court reconvenes Oct. 18. The proposed ban came after a wave of health cases the U.S. Centers for Disease Control attributed to vaping, among them were several deaths. As at Oct. 8, there have been 1,080 cases of injury nationwide with 23 deaths. There have been 110 cases attributed to New York, according to the state’s health department. On the same day, the death of a Bronx teen was announced as the first confirmed fatality in New York related to vape products.

Under the 1992 state Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, each time a vendor is caught selling tobacco products to a person under the age of 21, that vendor will acquire two points on their license. If the vendor acquires three points within a three-year period of time, the vendor will lose its tobacco and lottery ticket licenses.

Though as of recently this is the first infraction in a number of years. Suffolk police’s research section found Hookah City has had no other infractions of selling to minors since the beginning of 2016. 

Nearly 40 percent of 12th grade students and 27 percent of high school students in New York State are now using e-cigarettes, according to New York State health officials.

Parents and school officials in Port Jefferson said not only are kids using vape products excessively in school but are doing so sometimes in the middle of classrooms and clandestinely in bathrooms.

Soon-to-be-outgoing Superintendent Paul Casciano said in a sit-down interview that districts all across the county have been dealing with the same thing. While the district has added vape detectors, students will either blow the smoke into backpacks or lockers to avoid smoke detectors or find areas of the school without the detectors. Incoming Superintendent Jessica Schmettan said at the last school board meeting the district takes away vape products from students, who are then disciplined.

“The kids aren’t producing this stuff, and that for me and among my colleagues is one of the most disturbing parts — adults are creating these things,” Casciano said. “It’s immoral to addict a human being to something they can’t get away from.”

The district recently played host to the countywide peer education pilot program about the dangers of vaping. 

But for the one last vape shop in Port Jeff, the focus has come down hard on its shoulders for the number of students who have continued to vape. Casciano said there is little the district can do to affect the businesses in and around Port Jeff, many of whom sell vape and e-cig products. The most they can do is applaud current activities from New York State and continue to educate young people about vape products.

“The local efforts, whether its local or state officials, those have all helped, because if you can’t get your hands on the flavors … it will be even more difficult for them,” Schmettan said.

The mayor mentioned limiting vaping in village parks, but she later said that, unlike cigarettes which offer physical discomfort and negative health effects to pedestrians, it would be hard to enforce with citations.

“I think it goes back to the household.”

— Margot Garant

Snaden said the issue of vaping needs an effort on all ends. She suggested the school district should include harsher penalties to students who use vape products in schools, including potentially kicking them off sport teams. 

“If everywhere these kids turn, everywhere they turn they’re being shown this is not accepted in this village, they’re either going to take it somewhere else — we’re not going to alleviate the problem altogether — we have to hit them everywhere they turn,” she said. “They have to get turned away everywhere, that’s how we can get the message across.”

Village code currently disallows new smoke shops in Port Jefferson, but Hookah City was grandfathered in when the code was changed in 2016. Garant said during the Oct. 7 village board meeting that with the current code, they are looking to enforce other businesses within the village to limit the sale of vape products. 

“They would all have to become vape dispensaries, so we’re cracking down on them ourselves,” she said. 

She added that vaping, just like any other drug use, often requires work from those closest to the youth.

“I think it goes back to the household,” the mayor said.

Challenger Will Ferraro and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine during a debate hosted by the Sound Beach Civic Association at the Sound Beach Firehouse Oct. 8. Photo by Kyle Barr

Road issues and health/odor complaints from the town landfill have become a major bane for residents in the Town of Brookhaven, and local incumbents and challengers have made it a major point of their election campaigns.

The Sound Beach Civic Association hosted debates Oct. 8 for Brookhaven town candidates in The Village Beacon Record area as Long Island quickly slides toward Election Day Nov. 5.

The room was flanked with both Republican, Democratic and a few third-party candidates.

Perhaps the most contentious town race is for supervisor, with young Democratic challenger Will Ferraro facing the well-established town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R).

Romaine lauded his and the town’s accomplishments in the seven years since he was first put in office during a special election in 2012. He talked about recent intermunicipal agreements combining districts to save residents money, including ending the Sound Beach and Setauket water districts that gave a small check to residents of those defunct districts.

In terms of roads, Romaine cited the proposed town budget that includes a $150 million pot of funds for the Highway Department from both bonds and reserves from the tentative capital budget.

“I believe in fighting for each and every one of the communities of this town”

– Ed Romaine

Ferraro, who has worked as a legislative analyst for the New York State Assembly and a political activist, spoke of the three main issues of his campaign: the quality of Brookhaven’s roads, a plan to reconfigure the town’s recycling to bring back monthly glass pickup, and a public plan for air quality issues around the town landfill.

“This election is not going to be about credentials, it’s about credibility,” he said.

When an audience member’s question was brought up about the town’s website, saying that it was purposefully convoluted, the supervisor said the town has worked hard to make everything easily available and to make town matters transparent. Ferraro retorted, “I agree with [Romaine] I don’t think it’s intentional, they really think that’s what a website is supposed to look like in 2019.”

The landfill was recently cited by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation over odor complaints and was ordered to spend $150,000 on the landfill or face a fine of $178,000. Romaine said the odor complaints were from last December and occurred because of the process of currently capping portions of the site in the Brookhaven hamlet. The town is looking to set aside $20 million to deal with the impact of the landfill closing in 2024.

“We are definitely going to look at how we are going to handle solid waste — that is something we will be working with all the communities in Brookhaven,” he said.

Ferraro responded that Romaine was diluting the complaints that residents living close to the landfill have had, both in terms of odor and health issues they claim have come from the dump. He criticized Romaine for leaving his state appointment to the Long Island Regional Planning Council in 2018 and said more needs to be done to test the air quality in the area surrounding the landfill.

The day of the debate, Newsday had published its endorsement for Romaine, who held up a printout to show to the audience. Ferraro said, “that endorsement will be in Newsday tomorrow, it will also be in my cat’s litter box tomorrow,” to the moans of several audience members.

Though he had planned to attend the debate, town Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro (R) had to cancel at the last minute, and his second-time Democratic challenger Anthony Portesy spoke up instead about his plans to remedy town road issues.

He advocated for his six-point plan, complaining about the town’s practices of “mill and fill” for fixing roads with topcoats that crumble in a short time and for not fixing drainage issues. He also talked about creating a priority list by working with the town council, and then posting that publicly online to see which roads are getting done based on the level of funding. He also called for the need to advocate for more state and federal funding for road repairs.

“We need to get out of this duct tape and Band-Aid operation,” he said. “I want to make sure we’re creating a long-term mission for the Town of Brookhaven.”

Democrat Sarah Deonarine is challenging Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) for the District 2 seat.

Bonner said the issue with recycling was the market has collapsed, a problem not just for Brookhaven but for every municipality across the U.S. Since the market for glass has fallen through the floor, the town has been taking glass at drop-off sites and using them for lining the landfill.

“What is better recycling than that?,” she said.

Regarding the landfill, she said the town has steadily increased its landfill closure account to deal with the impacts of when there will be nowhere on the island left to dump ash or debris, though they have taken the odor complaints “very seriously.” She said the best plan is to turn the landfill into an “energy park.” 

On the issue of recycling the Democratic challenger cited other towns that currently accept other materials, promising to model their collection system after them. She also called out the town’s response to the DEC’s order regarding the landfill. She said she has “connections” around the island, and with those they could start a work group that could look at the health impacts of the landfill.

“The town should recognize that people are getting sick there, set up our own [odor] hotline, and invest in the people in the area to get better,” she said.

On Monday, Oct. 14, the Sound Beach Civic Association will host a second debate moderated by the Suffolk County League of Women Voters between Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) and her Republican challenger Gary Pollakusky at the Sound Beach Firehouse located at 152 Sound Beach Blvd. People can come at 6:30 p.m. to write out questions for the debate starting at 7:30 p.m.

Early voting starts Oct. 26, with election day set for Tuesday, Nov. 5. Check back here at The Village Beacon Record Oct. 31 for our annual election issue, featuring debates with all local candidates in our coverage area.

 

By Heidi Sutton

As one of the country’s most beloved holidays draws near, Theatre Three gets into the act with Halloween treats of its own. While the theater thrills and chills on the Mainstage with “Jekyll & Hyde,” its Children’s Theatre offers “A Kooky Spooky Halloween,” the adorable tale of a ghost who is afraid of the dark. Written by Jeffrey Sanzel and Steve McCoy, the musical, which runs through Oct. 26, is the perfect way to kick off the spookiest of seasons.

A friendly ghost named Abner Perkins (played by Steven Uihlein) has just graduated from Haunting High School. With a diploma and a medallion of invisibility in hand, his first assignment is to become the spooksperson for Ma Aberdeen’s Boarding House, famously known the world over for being the most haunted house in Harrison County U.S.A. and for serving the best toast. There are only two rules he has to follow — he can only haunt at night and he can’t lose the medallion or he’ll be seen by the living.

Abner confides to his best friend Lavinda the witch (Michelle LaBozzetta) that he has an uncontrollable fear of the dark and, after a bit of teasing (“That’s like a vampire who’s afraid of necks!”), she gifts him a night-light and promises to assist him with his haunting duties for the first few weeks. When they arrive at the boarding house, they find Ma Aberdeen (Ginger Dalton), the finest toast maker in the land, and her guests in the kitchen stuffing treat bags for Halloween.

We meet Kit Garret (Nicole Bianco) who “just came from a small town to a big city with a suitcase in my hand and hope in my heart” and can’t wait to try Ma Aberdeen’s famous toast. We also meet the Petersons — Paul the periodontist (Andrew Lenahan), his wife Penelope (Krystal Lawless) and their son Pip (Eric J. Hughes) — who have the most curious habit of using words that start with the letter P in every sentence.

When Pip puts on a pumpkin pullover and proceeds to tell pumpkin jokes (see what I did there?), Abner casts a speed spell on the group, making them spin like a top, do jumping jacks and walk like a duck in double time, and then, straight out of a scene from “The Golden Goose,” has them stick to each other “like birds of a feather.”

Just as he is about to undo the spell, fellow graduate and ghost with a grudge Dora Pike (Beth Ladd) shows up and steals Abner’s night-light and medallion of invisibility and hides them in Black Ridge Gulch, the deepest, darkest gorge in the entire world. Now visible, Abner has to convince the boarders, who are still stuck to each other in “an unprecedented predicament,” to help him and Lavinda get his property back. What follows is a hilarious adventure that highlights the power of honesty, determination and friendship.

Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the eight-member adult cast embraces the brilliant script and presents a hauntingly fun afternoon both children and parents will love. Accompanied on piano by Douglas Quattrock with choreography by Nicole Bianco, the song and dance numbers are fun and catchy with special mention to the rap “A Need for Speed” by Abner and Lavinda and the group number, “It’s Ma Who Makes the Toast.” Costumes by Teresa Matteson and Toni St. John are spot on, from the Peterson’s black and orange outfits to the spooky white garbs for the ghosts. And wait until you see the special effects!

Souvenir cat, pumpkin, vampire and ghost dolls will be available for purchase before the show and during intermission for $5. Meet the cast in the lobby for photos on your way out.

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson will present “A Kooky Spooky Halloween” on Oct. 12, 19 and 26 at 11 a.m. and Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. Running time is 1 hour and 15 minutes with one intermission, and Halloween costumes are encouraged. Children’s theater continues with “Barnaby Saves Christmas,” from Nov. 23 to Dec. 28. All seats are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

On Oct. 6, hundreds attended the 26th annual Walk for Beauty in Stony Brook village. Each year The Ward Melville Heritage Organization hosts the event that raises money for a targeted research fund at Stony Brook Medicine for breast cancer research and The WMHO Unique Boutique for wigs.

The 10K Hercules on the Harbor run complemented the 4K/6K walk where  participants make their way through scenic Stony Brook.

After the walk and run, a pet costume contest was held, attendees had the chance to win raffles, musicians were on hand to entertain and HeartBeet Farms and the Stony Brook Cancer Mobile Mammography van was on-site.

 

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Chief Joseph Ole Tipanko and members of the Kenyan Maasai tribe returned to their “home away from home” Oct. 6 when they led educational presentations to a room full of local residents at the Port Jefferson Village Center.  

Patrons learned about the history, customs and lifestyle of the tribe who reside in Kenya and Tanzania. 

“They are the oldest indengious African tribe still functioning in Africa today, much in the way they did from the beginning of time,” said Virginia Armstrong, a local resident who partners with the Maasai Good Salvage Outreach Organization. 

The presentation was organized by Armstrong, a former Mount Sinai educator, and the Maasai Good Salvage Outreach Organization, which builds schools for needy and vulnerable children. 

Over the years, Armstrong and the organization have raised donations to help the Maasai communities. In July 2018, the educator and the Mount Sinai School District helped shipped 140 small laptop computers to children in both Sri Lanka and to the Maasai tribe. In 2015, they donated clothing and sneakers as part of an Athletes Helping Athletes clothing drive. They also helped build a school for the villages wired with electricity. 

Chief Joseph spoke about life in his tribe.  

“The Maasai are tranquil, nomadic and an indigenous group of people,” he said. “We have still kept of our lifestyle and traditions despite many changes that are happening in the communities.”

Joseph said since he has become the chief of the tribe, he has worked to move away from old customs of arranged and early child marriages and female genital cutting. With help from the outreach organization and others they have been able to give young girls an alternative by providing them with an education. 

“We have been campaigning in our villages to end [the practices],” he said. 

Last year, 11 at-risk girls graduated from the tribe’s local high school. Some have qualified to go to university, while others will join technical colleges. Currently, 12 girls are being supported in high school and eight are being sponsored in elementary school. Hot lunches, school uniforms and books are also provided for 28 preschool kids.  

Other highlights of the presentations were Chief Joseph and John Kilenyi Ole Parsitau performing native songs and dances. The duo also let three attendees try on traditional Maasai robes. 

Margot Garant, Port Jeff mayor, presented Chief Joseph and members of the Maasai with official village pins. 

Chief and I met six or seven years ago when he came to the village and it was love at first site,” she said. “We adopted the Maasai tribe as our sister village and we are committed to finishing the girls dormitory and a pump for your well.”

On hand, the tribe had articles of jewelry, crafts and clothing for attendees to buy. All funds collected will go toward the children’s education and water projects in the villages. Patrons were encouraged to sponsor a Maasai child’s education. 

To find out more about the Maasai tribe, visit www.magsaoutreach.org. To find out more about the tribe’s ties to Suffolk County or to donate, visit www.leavingfootprints.org.

 

Dom Pascual seeks to unseat Louis Marcoccia as Brookhaven Town Reciever of Taxes in the November elections. Photo provided by Dom Pascual

“I want to be an advocate for the people,” said Dom Pascual, a Farmingville resident running for Town of Brookhaven receiver of taxes in the November elections. “I live in a blue-collar community that feels that they are not being represented.”

Pascual, who is running on the Democratic ticket, said an important issue for him is helping to keep young families on the Island. 

“I want to keep them here, right now it’s not good — the cost of living is too high,” he said. “We need housing for working families — there’s no jobs on Long Island, taxes are too high.”

– Dom Pascual 

Pascual is vying to secure a four-year term in the upcoming election against longtime town receiver of taxes, Louis Marcoccia (R). This will not be Pascual’s first time running for elected office. In 2017, he ran for the 4th district Suffolk County Legislature seat but ultimately lost to incumbent Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma). 

“I’m fighting for change, we have had a receiver that has been around for a long time and hasn’t had an opponent in 12 years,” Pascual said. 

If elected, the challenger said he would make his office more accessible and have more available hours to accommodate residents. He said he also wants to look into more tax relief programs for senior citizens, veterans and emergency response workers as well as getting more homeowners into the STAR program. 

He also wants to make it possible for residents to see multiple years of tax bills when filing their taxes, host workshops aimed at explaining to residents where their taxes are going and helping them through the filing process. 

“It’s about educating people on the resources that are available for them and letting them know we can do these things,” the Farmingville resident said. 

Pascual, who was raised in Dix Hills, currently works as a bank compliance and financial crimes attorney. He graduated from Binghamton University and received his law degree from Vermont Law School. Previously, he has worked for JPMorgan Chase  and for five years he worked as a New York City administrative law judge hearing Section 8 rent and fraud cases. Pascual is also a commissioned officer in the New York Army National Guard. 

The challenger said his previous lines of work would help him in the new position, as he had experience reviewing budgets and has reviewed billions of dollars of transactions looking for indicators of corruption, criminal activity or other violations. 

Other areas Pascual would like to address are developments approved in the town. In terms of planning and land use he would like the town and the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency to scale back on giving tax breaks to developers. 

“These tax breaks are not affordable,” he said. “Taxes and student loans are crippling young people [in the Town of Brookhaven].”

Pascual said the position, while tasked with the town’s budget and taxes, is connected to other facets of the government. He wants to be an honest broker for residents. 

“I want to make sure we can help get more roads paved,” he said. “The town is already in debt. How are we going to pay those off? What’s going to happen when the landfill closes?”

Pascual reiterated that he believes it is time for change in Brookhaven. 

“The establishment has been in the town for a long time — it’s time for new blood,” he said.