Times of Huntington-Northport

Chad Morizsan pleads guilty to charges

Suffolk County Police Officer Nicholas Guerrero is released from Stony Brook University Hospital and transported to a rehab center. File photo by Barbara Donlon

A Northport man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to running down two Suffolk County police officers last year and critically injuring one of them.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said that Chad Morizsan, who was sentenced on Thursday, July 23, waived his right to appeal and pleaded guilty to assault in the first degree, assault on a police officer, leaving the scene, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, robbery in the second degree and forgery.

Last September, Morizsan sped off in a stolen SUV after being pulled over by officers Nicholas Guerrero and Heriberto Lugo at a traffic stop. He struck both officers as he fled the scene, critically injuring Guerrero.

Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD
Chad Morizsan. Photo from SCPD

Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Spota, said Guerrero was in the courtroom at Morizsan’s sentencing.

Guerrero was hospitalized for more than three weeks with a severe head injury at Stony Brook University Hospital. He underwent surgery and a regimen of physical therapy during his recovery.

He has been with the police department for four years. His partner, Lugo, was treated and released.

Once Morizsan fled the scene, along with his co-defendant and passenger Nicholas Franzone of Northport, police said they carjacked a Ford Explorer, stole the credit cards of the 87-year-old owner of the Explorer in her Commack driveway and stole gas from a gas station in the area.

The two were arrested at a Central Islip store hours later when police said they attempted to purchase a television with the woman’s stolen credit card.

Attorney Ian Fitzgerald, who is representing Franzone, has said that Franzone had nothing to do with the hit-and-run.

“He was in the back seat of the car,” Fitzgerald said in a previous interview. “He had nothing to do with Mr. Morizsan fleeing and injuring the officer … he had no control over the vehicle.”

Franzone is set to return to court on Aug. 4, charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for his alleged role in the carjacking incident, police said.

Daniel Guttmann, who is listed in online court records as Morizsan’s attorney, didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

Henry Clarke & Rachel Pickup in a scene from "The Cottage." Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

By Charles J. Morgan

Announcement to theatergoers everywhere — the English language is alive and well and ensconced on the boards of the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. Standing like a rock in a sea of drivel, the theater’s latest play, “The Cottage” by Sandy Rustin, exhibits the nuances, the understatements, the acerbic humour, the articulate dialogue and even wisecracks to such a sophisticated, yet rapidly delivered, neatly interfaced lines that your scribe must confess he did not want the show to end.

From left, Henry Clarke, Christiane Noll and Jamie LaVerdiere in a scene from "The Cottage." Photo by Michael DeCristofaro
From left, Henry Clarke, Christiane Noll and Jamie LaVerdiere in a scene from “The Cottage.” Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

Rustin sculpted her work mindful of the spirit of that arch-sophisticated Noel Coward. A sample of his penetrating wit appeared epigrammatically on the Playbill:

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”

Directed by BT McNicholl, the play expresses the web of marital and unmarital involvement that it is interspersed with humour that comes at the audience like a spray from a Bren gun. Yes, it is high comedy delivered in a rare sense of hilarity. It was interesting to literally watch the audience slowly accommodate itself to the sophistication of it all. A graph of laughter would register from zero to 100, reaching a climactic 100.99 right down to the almost slapstick finale.

Since your scribe does not hold a critic’s duty to relate what a play is all about, suffice it to say that it involves two couples who have criss-crossed spouses. So if there is a denoument, these characters do their absolute best to untangle it. Rachel Pickup playes the lead, Sylvia Van Kipness. Tall, beautiful and statuesque, she appears in all of Act I in negligé and peignoir. Over and above it all she is a supreme actress with a stage presence that would make her outstanding if she wore a suit of armour.

Henry Clarke is Beau, her lover. He has all the masculine good looks of the Hollywood leading man, but he employs all his talents to remarkable effect. In one scene he daringly points a fireplace poker at a man aiming a rifle at him.

Christiane Noll & Lilly Tobin in a scene from "The Cottage." Photo by Michael DeCristofaro
Christiane Noll & Lilly Tobin in a scene from “The Cottage.” Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

Sharply involved in the verbal interplay is Christiane Noll as Marjorie. Jamie LaVerdiere plays Clarke, Beau’s brother and husband to Marjorie who was once married to Beau. Then onstage comes Lilly Tobin, as Dierdre who is actually bounced all over the boards in Act II. Another spoiler is Brian Sgambati as Richard, the allegedly long-lost husband of Dierdre, but actually a deserter from the Royal Navy. Put them all together and you get a hilarious story that gets untangled … maybe.

The title reflects the set. It is the interior of an English cottage located 90 miles from London, possibly the Cotswolds. Set designer Jonathan Collins has outdone himself with this effort. It is tastefully decorated in what may be called English Rustic of 1923, the play’s time frame. Collins’ skills are outstanding.

The ribald essence of the show is an outcome of the vanished Victorian/Edwardian values that went up in smoke on the Somme, Gallipoli and Passchendaele. Hence the gaiety of the actors involved in marital disintegration. But let us not get somber over this. The show is humourous and not without a touch of satire.

If deadly serious matters can be put up for laughs, then prepare to split your sides … keeping in mind that the English language is alive and very well.

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport, will present “The Cottage” through Sept. 6. Tickets are $59. For more information, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

Eight affordable rental housing parcels in the works

Veterans roll up a flag at a press conference on the Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative. The county Legislature will vote on a measure to transfer properties to create affordabe housing for homeless veterans at its Sept. 9 meeting. File photo by Rohma Abbas

Suffolk County has gained some footing in the war against veteran homelessness.

Last week, officials announced a proposal to transfer eight tax-defaulted properties over to nonprofit groups that will be charged with developing them into rental housing for homeless veterans or those who are at risk of becoming homeless. The units will be overseen and managed by the non-profit organizations.

The move is part of the Housing our Homeless Heroes legislative initiative, a package of four bills sponsored by Legislator Steve Stern (D-Dix Hills). Officials say there are about 750 Long Island veterans who are either homeless or who are expected to be homeless by the end of 2015.

In a phone interview on Monday, Stern said the county Legislature would vote on the transfer of the properties at its Sept. 9 meeting. He said he expects the resolution, which he is co-sponsoring with County Executive Steve Bellone (D), to gain unanimous support.

Stern, who is the chairman of the county’s Veterans and Seniors Committee, said in addition to housing resources, the veterans will receive additional services through these nonprofits, such as job training and placement; primary and mental health care; disability management and health care coordination; family counseling; financial training and substance abuse services.

“The Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative is the housing part of providing assistance to our veterans and families,” Stern said. “But it can never be just about four walls and a roof.”

Once transferred, the nonprofits would foot the construction bill through roughly $10 million in state and federal grant funding available for such projects, Stern said. Funding for the construction will be provided in part from the New York State Homeless Housing Assistance Program and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

Two parcels in Central Islip will be transferred to the Concern for Independent Living for the construction of three single-family homes. Bay Shore-based United Veterans Beacon House has proposed to rehabilitate an existing home on a Copiague parcel, and build a single-family unit on a Yaphank parcel.

In addition, the Association for Mental Health and Wellness is proposing to build a new four-bedroom house for three senior disabled veterans and a live-in house manager on two parcels in Mastic; rehabilitate a house in Riverhead for one veteran family; and build a new set of four, single room occupancies for veterans on a parcel in Medford.

The Legislature approved the Housing our Homeless Heroes initiative last year, and Bellone signed the legislation into law just days before Christmas. The four laws tackle the issue of veteran homelessness from different angles — one establishes a partnership between agencies and community advocates that serve veterans and their families and helps them set up an informational web portal on the county’s website to direct them to services available across all levels of government and within the nonprofit sector. Another maximizes access to available housing for veterans. The third amended the county’s human rights law by adding veterans as a group of individuals protected against discrimination in housing and employment opportunities. The last bill will require a veteran services officer to work at the county’s Department of Social Services on a regular basis. The officers must be veterans as well, in order to establish a peer-to-peer relationship between those they are helping.

“As an agency committed to ensuring empowering people to overcome the impact of health and mental health disabilities, it is our intent to devote these houses to assist male and female veterans who have been affected by service-connected and post-service transition mental health challenges,” Michael Stoltz, chief executive officer of the Association for Mental Health and Wellness said in a statement. “I thank Suffolk County for partnering with our organization to further assist us in supporting our veterans.”

The Huntington field hockey team will look to continue its forward momentum in the fall, but the Blue Devils have their work cut out for them after losing many of their top players to graduation.

Irina DeSimone maintains possession of the ball in a game against Comsewogue last season. File photo by Bill Landon
Irina DeSimone maintains possession of the ball in a game against Comsewogue last season. File photo by Bill Landon

Fortunately, last season’s squad boasted skilled underclassmen who will be counted on now more than ever.

Huntington is coming off a 2014 campaign that saw the Blue Devils compile an overall record of 9-8, including a sudden victory upset over Northport in the Suffolk County Division I playoffs.

Among the seniors the Blue Devils are losing are All-County players Darya DeSimone and Tara Byrnes, All-Conference athletes Cassidie Giammarino and Anna Tesoriero, All-Division mention Kacie Rubert and All-Tournament members Olivia Castillo and Ellyn Byrnes.

The Blue Devils will be hard pressed to replace the production of forward Ellyn Byrnes (nine goals and two assists) and goalkeeper Tara Byrnes (69 saves and six shutouts), as well as the other seniors the team lost to graduation.

Huntington’s offense will be led by Irina DeSimone, who earned honorable mention All-County honors last fall after notching five goals and five assists at forward link.

Emma DeGennaro returns as a speedy and powerful presence on defense, with the ability to cover a lot of field area and recover the ball. Kelly Palladino (defense), Sarah Fernandez (link-midfielder) and Elizabeth Berejka (link/defense) also played prominent roles on last year’s team and will be returning as veterans.

Meghan Plant, Michaela Carnesi, Grace Curran, Jessica-Rose Greene and goalie Cara Sorrentino are also coming back to try and strengthen the lineup.

Huntington is tentatively scheduled to scrimmage at Sachem North and Lindenhurst on Sept. 2 and 4 before traveling to Walt Whitman on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 9:30 a.m. for a nonleague game.

The Blue Devils’ league opener is set for Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 4:30 p.m. at Smithtown East. A series of home and away league games with North Babylon, Copiague, East Islip, Riverhead, Newfield and West Babylon will follow.

Stock photo

Mosquito samples from Port Jefferson Station, Rocky Point and East Northport have tested positive for West Nile virus, Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James Tomarken announced on Friday.

In total, six mosquito samples tested positive for the virus, bringing this year’s total to 13. While the insects were infected, no humans, horses or birds have tested positive for the virus in Suffolk County this year.

Two samples collected from Port Jefferson Station on July 14; one sample collected from Rocky Point on July 16; and one sample collected from East Northport on July 17 tested positive, according to a press release from the health services department. Two other samples were gathered from Copiague and Dix Hills.

West Nile virus was first detected in birds and mosquito samples in Suffolk County in 1999, and is transmitted to humans by mosquito bites. According to the Center for Disease Control, 70 to 80 percent of those infected with the virus do not develop any of the symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea and rash. Severe cases — less than 1 percent of infections — could lead to a neurological illness.

Tomarken said while there is no cause for alarm, his department is asking residents to help in their efforts to reduce the exposure to the virus.

First, residents should try to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. Popular breeding grounds include tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires, wading pools, wheelbarrows and birdbaths. In addition, residents can make sure their roof gutters are draining properly, clean debris from the edges of ponds and drain water from pool covers.

To avoid mosquito bites, residents should minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, cover up when mosquitoes are most active, use repellent and make sure windows and doors have screens in good repair.

To report dead birds, which may indicate the presence of the virus, residents should call the county’s West Nile virus hotline at 631-787-2200 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents are encouraged to take a photograph of any bird in question.

To report mosquito problems or stagnant pools of water, call the vector control division at 631-852-4270.

For medical related questions, call 631-854-0333.

Following investigation, police apprehend man in Greenlawn

File photo

A Centerport man who police said robbed three Suffolk County banks and attempted to hit a fourth in Huntington all in the same month was arrested on Friday morning in Greenlawn.

Police pored over video surveillance and multiple Crime Stoppers tips and ended up pinning Frank Marquez, 46, with the robbery of a TD Bank on Broadhollow Road in Farmingdale on July 7; the robbery of another TD Bank on Deer Park Avenue in Deer Park on July 14; and the July 21 robbery of a Capital One on Deer Park Avenue in North Babylon.

Police also said he tried to rob a People’s United Bank on E. Main Street in Huntington on July 14. At the time, police said a man in shorts, a white T-shirt and a red hat made verbal demands for money at the bank but fled after the teller did not comply. But he was successful 25 minutes later, when he allegedly showed up at the TD Bank on Deer Park Avenue and once again verbally demanded money from a teller.

Police said the teller gave the man money and he fled south from the Deer Park bank on foot. The suspect at the time was described as a Hispanic man with a gray goatee, between 40 and 45 years old, and between 5 foot 6 inches and 5 foot 7 inches tall with a medium build.

The Suffolk County Police Pattern Crime Unit detectives, with assistance from officers in the 2nd Precinct, found Marquez on Pulaski Road near Butterfield Drive in Greenlawn at 10:23 a.m. A detective from the Pattern Crime Unit said he was apprehended in his car, a 1994 Jeep Cherokee.

Marquez was charged with three counts of third-degree robbery, one count of attempted third-degree robbery and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, for driving with a suspended license.

Marquez is being held overnight and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on July 25.

Attorney information for Marquez wasn’t immediately available on Friday afternoon.

Sinai ‘The Mountain’ Megibow is going to step into the ring for charity. Photo from Jen Vaglica

This charity packs a punch.

In this corner, Commack native Sinai “The Mountain” Megibow, 41, is one of 20 determined volunteers who will be boxing for charity this Nov. 23 for the 12th annual Long Island Fight for Charity. The mission is to raise money for local charities by putting volunteers from around the Island in the ring for head-to-head fights in front of spectators who buy tickets for the event.

Megibow, who lives in Commack with his wife and three daughters, said he is eager to contribute to the greater community of Long Island.

He is a founding partner of Radius Investigations, a specialized private investigative and security-consulting firm in Melville. He is also a member of the Nassau County Bar Association and a member of the Long Island Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

“I have very much wanted to get involved in something fun for the community,” Megibow said in a phone interview, adding that he felt this was the perfect event.

Every boxer is required to raise $5,000 for multiple charities including the Long Island Community Chest, The Genesis School and the National Foundation for Human Potential. But if they raise more than the minimum, contestants can send half of the excess funding to a charity of their choice.

Megibow said he has his eyes set on the Michael Magro Foundation if he is able to raise more than $5,000. The foundation focuses on bettering the lives of children with cancer as well as other chronic pediatric illnesses.

A scene from a previous Long Island Fight for Charity event. Photo from Long Island Fight for Charity
A scene from a previous Long Island Fight for Charity event. Photo from Long Island Fight for Charity

“I am far from an expert in boxing,” he said. “I’m much more an enthusiast. But I do very much enjoy training in martial arts, and I have done a little bit of kickboxing as well.”

In fact, Megibow said he is more anxious about raising the amount of funds he needs than he is for the actual fight.

“[My wife is] more nervous about raising the money as well, but I’ve got a pretty big support group,” Megibow said.

Each person who buys a ticket for the event also has to choose one fighter to support. For this fight, Megibow said he hopes he can garner some sponsors from larger clients and pair that with help from his family and friends.

Each boxer is also required to undergo a certain amount of training before they can step into the ring. Trained boxers volunteer their time to help get each contestant into fighting shape, according to Megibow.

Although he doesn’t have any strategies yet aside from training as much as possible, once it’s determined who he will fight against, he said he’ll start to think more about how to approach his opponent. For example, if his opponent is taller than him, he’ll focus on low strikes.

As for Megibow’s fight name, The Mountain, it’s a direct reference to his first name, Sinai — after Mount Sinai, the mountain that he was named after.

“This is a great organization — as much money as possible goes straight to the charities they’re involved with, and I’m excited about it,” he said. “I think the fight itself is going to be fun.”

Although the fight is going to be on a little too late for Megibow’s kids, he said he’s hoping to set them up with the pay-per-view channel that will be airing the fight, so that “they can watch their dad get beat up,” Megibow said.

Katie Reilly races between two opponents. File photo by Kevin Freiheit

Three Huntington athletes participated in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Weekend at Towson University in Baltimore, Md. Newly minted alum Samantha Lynch played in the senior All-America game and incoming seniors Katie Reilly and Taylor Moreno were on the Long Island All-America underclassmen tournament team.

Lynch came off the bench to help the North team rally from an 8-1 deficit and nearly overtake the South, falling just short, 14-12. The South led at halftime, 10-3, but the North owned the second half, outscoring its opponent, 9-4.

Lynch took a shot and scooped up two ground balls in the game, which drew a crowd of 3,711 to Towson’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. Each of the teams was comprised of a 22-player roster, representing the finest graduating seniors in the country.

Reilly and Moreno played on a Long Island team that finished second in the tournament, winning five of six games. Long Island topped New England (17-8), South (20-6), Midwest (20-2), Philadelphia (11-6) and Washington, D.C. (9-7) before dropping a 12-6 contest to Baltimore in the championship game.

Lynch is headed to the University of Notre Dame on a lacrosse scholarship. Reilly has verbally committed to Princeton University. Moreno has given a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sigma Psi Omega members make healthy snacks for children. Photo from Pleshette Shelton

Giving back and making a difference in the community is what the women in the Sigma Psi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha have strived for since June 23, 1990. But the quest to serve the community did not start with the chapter.

According to Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc., Howard University student Ethel Hedgeman founded AKA, the first African American sorority, on Jan. 15, 1908, in Washington D.C. Her goal was to unite like-minded women to help give back to those in need. One hundred years later, her efforts still drive members like Pleshette Shelton, the current president of the Sigma Psi Omega chapter in Bay Shore in Suffolk County.

“We went from doing 20 programs a year, to last year we did, I want to say 45,” Shelton said in a recent interview.

Shelton’s chapter was charted by 26 African American women in Hauppauge. Now, the local chapter doubled to include around 50 members. Although the women in the chapter are Suffolk County residents, this graduate chapter welcomes all AKA members regardless of which university they attended as undergraduate members.

Second Vice President Trina Gerrard, joined the sorority as a sophomore at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md, before moving to Long Island and joining the local chapter. For Gerrard, a full-time social worker, what attracted her to the undergraduate sorority was not just the ladylike mannerisms of the members but also the services they did for their community.

Last month, the Sigma Psi Omega chapter celebrated its 25th year the day after providing its services on June 13 at the Tri Community Youth Agency in Huntington. They conducted a seminar for youths and their families regarding financial literacy and historically black colleges and nutrition, according to TRI CYA Director Debbie Rimler.

“Our center serves youth 5 to 21 years old,” Rimler said. “Most of them are at or below the poverty line. It’s great for these families to have this type of information available for them.”

For Sigma Psi Omega, the quest is to find those in need and help educate, feed and provide activities for them to learn, grow and enjoy. According to Shelton, some of these youths do not receive a hot meal during the weekends or holidays since some pantries do not serve on those days.

“I started to cry,” Shelton said when she learned these kids only have microwavable food when the pantries are not in service. “I waste so much food myself that here are families living in shelters and they’re hungry.”

It was one of many eye-opening experiences for Shelton.

“The question isn’t, ‘Why would you serve?’ It’s, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to?’” Shelton said.

Before providing its service, the chapter meets with Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, the sorority’s international president. Wilson organizes the programs and identifies target communities before the chapter uncovers the communities that are most in need.

Their programs are not limited to financial literacy or historically black colleges. The chapter also organizes blood drives, arranges craft days where children can make pieces of artwork like paper mache flowers for Mother’s Day, provides information on going green, helps single mothers living in shelters and finds employment or career opportunities for the individuals they help among other services.

For the communities to which the chapter frequently provides its services, the women try to “piggy-back” off of what they taught the children on their previous visit while maintaining a light-hearted fun learning environment.

“You want to make sure you’re keeping it light because these kids are already going through a lot,” Shelton said.

Funding for these programs does not come from donations but out of pocket. Sigma Psi Omega chapter members are required to contribute some of their own money to gather appropriate supplies for each program they organize.

According to Gerrard, there is a high demand for the chapter’s services that “people are just waiting because they don’t have direction. They don’t know where to reach out to,” Gerrard said. As a result, some individuals respond within a week of the chapter reaching out to them.

On many occasions, the communities this chapter serves are not aware of information available on the importance of going green or managing finances. The sorority does not just give back by providing the programs, but they are also teachers to those who do not have access to various resources.

But like any other group, working with members of the chapter is not always easy.

“It’s a sisterhood. It’s a lifetime commitment so you get a lot of fulfillment,” Garrard said. “Sometimes you get frustrated … but you find the strength from each sister.”

The chapter has retreats where members can resolve tension and discuss and strategize plans for a program or community in need.

“Each community is different,” Shelton said. “Going in and finding what that need is and being able to help them succeed … even if it’s one life.”

Going forward, both Shelton and Gerrard want to continue their efforts and continue their founder’s purpose by helping communities that require their services.

“I think that it was phenomenal to have an organization that is still around for that long and it’s still growing strong,” Gerrard said. “It makes us know that whatever we are doing, we’re doing it for a cause and it’s … making our founders proud to continue their legacy.”

Asharoken Village beach. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Asharoken Village residents will soon have to decide if they want support a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-backed proposal to replenish the community’s eroding beaches.

The $30 million idea involves building the beach back up with more sand to fight erosion. The issue concerning many residents is that in order for the plan to go into effect, public access must be granted to private properties that have new sand put down on their beaches.

Currently, the public is only afforded access of a private beach property below the water line. However, if the village board approves this proposal, the public would have access above the mean high water line to certain private properties.

Some trustees on the village board have said they will not approve a plan that residents don’t agree with.
According to Village Trustee Mel Ettinger, five public access points need to be established for this pitch to go through. He said currently the public can access private beaches from two different areas, and are not trespassing as long as they are below the mean high water line.

Since the Army Corps of Engineers is largely funding the project, public access is a must in order for the proposal to go through. The Army Corps would pay for 89.5 percent of the $30 million costs to help fight beach erosion, and the village would have to pay 10.5 percent, or about $3 million dollars.

“The board of trustees and the mayor are doing our due diligence in exploring the issues associated with putting sand on the beaches and making sure residents are being heard,” Ettinger said in a recent phone interview.

At the end of June, the Army Corps presented the board with five different versions of the proposal, all varying in costs and methods.

On June 30, the Army Corps met with the village board and recommended a plan that consists of a berm and a dune system with groins on the northwestern end of the project area. This area includes the properties on the side of Asharoken Avenue that touches the Long Island Sound.

Berms are wedges of sand that face the sea. They are composed of sand from offshore, and help indicate that the beach has been gaining sand in recent weeks or months. Dunes are hills of sand that have either accumulated over time or have been bulldozed in. Artificial dunes help to hold an eroding shoreline in place.

“Groins in combination with new sand would reduce the erosional effect of existing groins and reduce the frequency of re-nourishments needed,” James D’Ambrosio, public affairs spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers said.

According to D’Ambrosio, if the residents of Asharoken do not approve this idea, then the Hurricane Sandy funds that were allocated this project would be used elsewhere.

Ettinger said once the board decides on a plan, it is required to write a letter to the Army Corps requesting which plan they want to go ahead with. Then, assuming the Army Corps approves the decision, the board will prepare a presentation to the village residents that explain all aspects of what it would mean to move forward with the plan.

“The best decision is to come up with a plan that the residents are in agreement with,” Mayor Greg Letica said in a recent phone interview.

Letica also mentioned that there are other options to ensure the safety and longevity of the beaches in Asharoken while still maintaining private access. If residents themselves entirely footed the bill, then there would be no need for the Army Corps financial assistance, and thus no obligation to make private beaches public.

“We need to protect the beaches, I understand the residents that don’t want to give access to their private property, but I think this is something we need to do,” Christine Peterson, an Asharoken resident said in a recent interview. “It’s not like we’re opening up a new beach and expect many new visitors to come and use it.”

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