Village Times Herald

Andrew Polan serves on Three Village Chamber of Commerce as well as the North Shore Jewish Center, where he was recently sworn in as the newest president. Photo from David Woods

Andrew Polan has had a busy year.

The North Shore native was recently re-elected to serve another term as president of Three Village Chamber of Commerce. Over the summer, he was appointed the next president of the North Shore Jewish Center over the summer, and was sworn in in late September. Polan has been a tireless servant to the North Shore for more than the past decade and those close to him said they were happy to have him at the helm.

“Andy speaks softly, acts quietly, and gets things done,” said David Woods, executive director for Three Village Chamber of Commerce.

Polan has held many positions at the North Shore Jewish Center, including a trustee on the board for 12 years, building chair, treasurer and executive vice president. He has been a congregant there for 15 years.

Projects he has worked on include a brick engraving fundraiser, where members of the congregation could buy a brick in memory of a loved one.

Charlie Lefkowitz, chamber vice president, who, aside from working with Polan in the chamber also worked with him in the Jewish Center, helped with a recent brick dedication ceremony. He said Polan did a really nice job creating a beautiful front entrance, and that Polan is “really a unique individual.”

“This was meant to deepen community ties, and keep us all together,” Polan said of the project.

Lefkowitz also spoke of the work Polan has done to improve the annual beach barbecue held at West Meadow Beach. Lefkowitz said it started with approximately 150 attendees and has grown into more than 600 guests.

“People love to come and enjoy the camaraderie. It takes a great deal of planning; it’s really the chamber’s signature event,” said Lefkowitz.

And Polan is really all about the camaraderie, he said. He considers himself a community-based individual, and believes in the importance of people stepping up to the plate to further the quality of the community.

“I really just don’t know how to keep my hand down,” Polan said about why he volunteers for so many different organizations.

One of Polan’s favorite chamber events, and the newest one, just started this year, is the Shop Local event. Polan believes this event helps enhance the local community.

“It truly ties the students and local businesses of Three Village together, and highlights the importance of keeping money in the community,” Polan said.

Polan has been an optician for more than 30 years, and is part of a family of opticians. He was the vice president of the New York State Society for Opticians less than a decade ago. He has owned Stony Brook Vision World since it opened 17 years ago.

Former board president Robert Brown worked with Polan for many years when Polan was just a trustee on the board. One project Brown thought Polan handled very successfully was the creation of a new welcome sign located on the northeast corner of Nicolls Road and Route 347.

“It makes a pleasant intro to the community, blending both the town, the university, and the university hospital together. Polan has always proven to be a stable, thoughtful individual that knows how to get things done in a quiet way,” said Brown.

Rabbi Aaron Benson, the rabbi of the North Shore Jewish Center, is optimistic about Polan’s future with the center.

“I think he will be able to bring a great sense of community, he has a good head on his shoulders. He will make a good president because he’s the type of businessman who is always looking to try and help people. He will open up new opportunities and help us grow together,” Benson said.

iSad about iPad

A residence on Woodbury Road in Cold Spring Harbor reported that an unknown person entered a locked vehicle and stole an iPad from the car on Sept. 30 at 9 a.m.

Drug bust

A 30-year-old man from East Northport was arrested after police said he had pills on him with no prescription and marijuana on Sept. 30. He was arrested on Curtis Path in East Northport at 4 p.m. and charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana.

Time to get a new watch

A resident of Eatons Neck Road in Eatons Neck said an unknown person stole a watch from inside his or her vehicle at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 29.

Cuffed for a controlled substance

On Sept. 30 a 45-year-old man from East Northport was arrested for having heroin in his possession, according to police. He was arrested at 11:35 a.m. near Larkfield Road and Clay Pitts Road and charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Trying to rock out

A resident of Grover Lane in East Northport said someone threw a rock at a windowpane at the front of their house at 8:35 a.m. on Oct .4

Off the chain

Police said a 31-year-old woman from Huntington Station grabbed a chain off another woman’s neck on Broadway in Huntington Station at 3:45 a.m. on Oct. 4. She was charged with fourth degree grand larceny.

Finders keepers

Someone said they lost their wallet at Walt Whitman Road in Huntington on Oct. 1, and between 1 and 5 p.m. someone used their credit card inside their wallet to buy items at numerous stores in the mall.

A pair of thieves

Two 27-year-old women from Hollis were arrested in Huntington Station on Oct. 3 after police said they stole a sweater, scarf, pants, four belts and two pairs of sunglasses from Lord & Taylor on Walt Whitman Road at 1:55 p.m. They were both charged with petit larceny.

High tide at the beach

On Sept. 30 a 22-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington after police said he had marijuana on him. He was arrested at Gold Star Beach Park on Browns Road at 7:25 p.m. and charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.

Crack is whack

A 26-year-old female from Huntington Station was arrested after police said she had crack cocaine in her possession. She was arrested on Railroad Street and Mckay Road in Huntington Station at 1:50 p.m. on Oct. 3 and charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Car meets brick column

A woman was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze on Oct. 1 at 1:48 a.m. on Jericho Turnpike near Terry Road in Smithtown when her vehicle left the roadway, struck a brick light column in front of St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church on East Main Street, overturned and hit a tree. The victim was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital with serious injuries.

Cold crime

An unknown person stole a jacket and bottled water from a Target on Henry Street in Commack on Oct. 1 at 11:40 a.m.

Day drunk

A 33-year-old man from Coram was arrested on Oct. 3 after police said he was driving drunk. At 12:07 p.m. he was driving on Main Street and Elliot Place in Smithtown in a 2007 Nissan Murano when he was involved in a car crash. According to police, he then fled the scene and refused to show his license when arrested. He was charged with a DWI, first degree leaving the accident and failure to show license.

Someone’s gotta loose

Someone parked their 2002 Honda Accord on Locust Street in Nesconset and then said an unknown person broke into the car and stole the owner’s wallet, lottery ticket and credit card between 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 and 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 1.

Stop in the name of the law

On Oct. 1 a 61-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said she was driving a gray Toyota in an erratic manner on Edgewood Road and Nissequogue River Road in Smithtown at 9:28 p.m. She was accelerating, slowing and stopping for no apparent reason before police pulled her over.

Tire trouble

At Key Food on Indian Head Road in Kings Park, someone damaged four tires of a 2003 Chevrolet Astro at 11:20 p.m. on Oct. 2. 

Sit ‘n’ Bit

At Sit ‘n’ Sip Inn on 296 Maple Ave. in Smithtown on Sept. 30, a 25-year-old woman from Smithtown was arrested after police said she bit a man on his forehead and left arm at 5:40 p.m. The man needed medical treatment, and she was charged with assault with intent to cause physical injury.

Climbing in your windows

A resident of Washington Avenue in St. James reported that someone entered their home through a garage window on Oct. 2 between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and stole assorted jewelry.

Armed robbery

At a 7-Eleven on Jericho Turnpike in Commack on Oct. 2 at 12:40 a.m. an unknown person entered and displayed a handgun. They then demanded cash and fled the store.

Targeted for theft

Two females entered a Target on Veterans Memorial Highway in Commack on Oct. 1 at 8:45 p.m. and stole assorted clothing.

On the Pathmark to jail

On Oct. 4, police arrested a 37-year-old woman from East Setauket for petit larceny at the Pathmark on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station, after she allegedly stole beauty and cooking supplies.

Gunnin’ for goods

Police arrested four people between the ages of 17 and 21 for armed robbery on Oct. 1, shortly after they approached an unidentified man on Dewey Street in Port Jefferson Station, pulled out a gun and stole cash and marijuana from the victim. Police didn’t specify which of the suspects was holding a weapon but said they were arrested on Olympia Street, the next block over.

Getting comfy

A 32-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested on Oct. 1 for petit larceny after she allegedly stole a comforter set from the Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in East Setauket 10 days earlier.

A sleepy surprise

Shortly after midnight on Oct. 4, police arrested a 34-year-old man from Centereach for criminal trespassing on Mark Tree Road in Centereach. Police said the man entered someone’s home and slept in a bedroom, but the man didn’t break into the home, and it was unclear if the man knew the homeowner.

Third time was not the charm

Police arrested a 40-year-old man from Miller Place on Oct. 3 for operating a vehicle with a suspended license. Police said the man was driving a 1999 Toyota when he was pulled over on Miller Place Road. The man’s license had been suspended three times in the past.

A 49-year-old man from Centereach was arrested on Oct. 4 for operating a vehicle with a suspended license. Police said the man was driving a 2015 Ford Fiesta down Holiday Park Drive in Centereach around 2:18 a.m. and was pulled over and arrested at the scene shortly afterward. They said the man had his license suspended three times in the past.

Wrecked windows

Police said a 17-year-old man from Syosset was arrested for criminal mischief on Oct. 3. According to police, the man smashed the back window of a 2002 Nissan Silvia on Ruland Road and of a 2012 Honda Civic on Mallard Avenue, both on Aug. 10 in Selden. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct.

Shore thing

Between Oct. 1 at 10 p.m. and Oct. 2 at 1 p.m., an unidentified person stole credit cards and identification from a 2011 Toyota. Police said the car was parked on Shore Road in Mount Sinai.

Police said an unidentified person stole house keys and an insurance card from a 2002 Cadillac between Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m. The car was unlocked and was parked in a driveway on Shore Road in Mount Sinai.

A sweet steal

Someone broke into the back entrance of Sweet and Savory on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 3, stealing money from the cash register.

Mailbox madness

An unidentified person smashed a mailbox on Westchester Drive in Sound Beach.

On Oct. 3 around 10:37 p.m., police said someone struck a mailbox on Patricia Lane in South Setauket with a metal rod.

Suits him

On the afternoon of Oct. 4, two unidentified people got into a verbal dispute. Police said one of the individuals entered the residence of the other and stole assorted men’s clothing. Police were unsure when the dispute occurred in relation to the theft.

Rosy robber

On Rosewood Road in Rocky Point, an unknown person stole a purse containing a woman’s license and checks from a car on Oct. 1.

Rock on Branch

A woman reported that an unidentified person threw a rock at her garage door and damaged it on Oct. 4 on Branch Lane in East Setauket.

Out of step

Police said an unknown person entered the backyard of a residence on Tudor Road in Centereach on Oct. 2, stole a 10-foot fiberglass step ladder and fled.

Tailgates and tools

Police said a 2011 Dodge Ram was parked in a driveway on Hawkins Road in Selden on Oct. 1 when someone stole the tailgate from the truck, as well as a drill, a separate drill set and a table saw from the bed of the truck.

Theater theft

Between Oct. 1 at 9:15 p.m. and midnight on Oct. 2, someone shattered the front driver’s side window of a 2013 GMC Denali while it was parked in the Loews Theater lot in Stony Brook. The unidentified person stole a camera, cash and assorted Michael Kors merchandise from the car.

Preschool students enjoy the newly installed playground at Nassakeag Elementary School. Photo by Andrea Moore Paldy

Little ones burned off energy as they played on the newly installed playground just outside their classroom.

Inside, little chefs whipped up imaginary creations in a play kitchen, while a few yards away, eager fingers grasped crayons, poised for writing.

This was a typical morning for preschoolers at Nassakeag Elementary School, where the Three Village Central School District is partnering with SCOPE Education Services to offer a tuition-based prekindergarten for 4-year-olds. 

Like most preschools, the day starts with a morning meeting and includes lessons in literacy as well as art. There are learning centers and outdoor play.

Kristin Rimmer, Nassakeag assistant principal and prekindergarten liaison, said what makes this program stand out — in a community with no shortage of preschools — is its role in easing students’ transition to kindergarten.

“We have an understanding of what the expectations are in our kindergarten programs,” Rimmer said.

Rimmer, who began her career as a kindergarten teacher, said she worked with the district’s kindergarten, first and second grade teachers to develop a curriculum that emphasizes the skills students will need in the early elementary grades. She then collaborated with SCOPE, which runs several universal prekindergartens and fee-based programs across the island, to create a curriculum specific to the needs of future Three Village students.   

“We’re really giving them those building blocks in this program that they can use to transition up into the kindergarten program,” she said.

For instance, the preschool uses “Fundations,” the same phonics program used in Three Village primary grades. Rimmer added that New York State-certified teachers, hired and supervised by SCOPE, use multi-sensory approaches to guide students in a way that is developmentally appropriate and fosters creativity as well as social and emotional growth.

“Though there is an academic focus, the way that we are delivering that instruction is through play and through interactive activities,” she said.

SCOPE, which offers programs in neighboring Comsewogue, Commack and Hauppauge, handles the staffing, licensing and day-to-day operation of the preschool. Tuition payments — $400 a month for half-day and $1,100 for full day — are paid to SCOPE.

Mellisa Krauss, supervisor for prekindergarten programs at SCOPE, said the organization “had great administrative support to implement and maintain” the program.

“We collaborate on all aspects. It’s a team effort,” she said.

Krauss said there are currently 29 students enrolled in the new prekindergarten.  Of that number 18 attend half-day, 8:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. or 11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., and 11 are in the full-day program that runs from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Parents can extend the day by enrolling their children in school-aged childcare for an additional fee.   

The preschool follows the Three Village school calendar, which means it issues progress reports and holds parent-teacher conferences on the district’s schedule. Rimmer said that information from the quarterly assessments would be used to measure the strengths of the program and determine what improvements can be made.

The district spent $24,000 on the purchase of  playground equipment for the preschool. The funds came out of the district’s portion of the Smart Schools Bond, money earmarked for learning technology and prekindergarten spaces, said Jeffrey Carlson, assistant superintendent for business services.

Rimmer said early entrée to the Three Village school community provides the opportunity to identify students who may need additional help and to help parents get special services that might be needed. 

Since the preschool is open to Three Village residents and children of district staff, families are invited to join the Nassakeag PTA and to take part in the school’s upcoming harvest festival.

Though the program is a little more than a month old, the addition of a three-year-old program will be considered if there’s a need, Rimmer said.

James Hazen Hyde’s 1899 station brougham carriage. Photo by Ellen Barcel

By Ellen Barcel

Mention the Gold Coast era on Long Island, and people immediately think of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” and the great mansions built in the early 1900s. Some of those mansions are gone,  victims of housing developments. Others, such as Laurelton Hall and Villa Francesca were both lost to fires. Some are in the public trust, turned into museums or schools like the Vanderbilt Mansions in Centerport and Oakdale. And a few, a very few, are still privately owned, like Oheka Castle, now a luxury hotel and event venue, and the Woolworth mansion. Of the more than 1000 mansions built, less than one third are still in existence.

To highlight the architectural wonders of Long Island’s North and South shore mansions during the “Gatsby” era, the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages is currently presenting “Gilding the Coasts: Art and Design of Long Island’s Great Estates.”

“The subject of Long Island’s great country house era has been chronicled in numerous other exhibitions, books, and documentary films. We thought it would be interesting to focus on the design and construction aspect of the story more than the social history of the house owners and their servants, which tends to get a larger share of the attention,” said Joshua Ruff, exhibit curator and museum director of collections & interpretation.

From left, 1920s pink party dress with silk faux glass beading, gift of Timothy Smith; embroidered silk gown, 1908, gift of Mrs. B. Langdon and Mrs. William Floyd Nichols; embroidered silk velvet evening opera cape, 1912, gift of Grace Rumbough. Photo by Ellen Barcel
From left, 1920s pink party dress with silk faux glass beading, gift of Timothy Smith; embroidered silk gown, 1908, gift of Mrs. B. Langdon and Mrs. William Floyd Nichols; embroidered silk velvet evening opera cape, 1912, gift of Grace Rumbough. Photo by Ellen Barcel

Some of the mansion owners are well known, while others less so. Ruff continued, “We wanted to look at both the extremely well-known figures in this story, … like Stanford White, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and William Delano, as well as those people and their houses who have not received the same level of attention, such as William de Leftwich Dodge, who designed and lived in the fascinating and unique Villa Francesca, just a couple of miles away from the museum [in Setauket].”

The exhibit includes furniture from some of the estates, beautiful antique women’s clothing, estate plans, photos, paintings, Tiffany lamps, sculpture and even the very unique weather vane from Vanderbilt’s Eagle’s Nest.

“One of the most interesting stories that I learned much more about in the development of this exhibition was that of James Hazen Hyde (1876-1959), heir to Equitable Life Insurance and owner of a spectacular house and estate in Bay Shore, a place which he inherited from his father, redesigned and named The Oaks.

Hyde was a major figure in Gilded Age society who was forced to exile in France after a scandal in 1905. In the exhibition, we have a terrific close-to-life scale portrait of him located beside a brougham carriage that he owned, as well as a painting of his estate. The paintings came to us from New York Historical Society, the carriage is ours. It was terrific to pull all of this material together,” said Ruff.

While some of the items on display belong to the museum, Ruff noted that, “We were pleased to have received very significant loans from the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, the Vanderbilt Museum, Planting Fields, the New-York Historical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Huntington Historical Society.  We also received excellent important loans from a number of private collectors, especially Daniel and Betsy White of Box Hill, Leftwich Kimbrough, the grandson of William de Leftwich Dodge, and Gold Coast historian Paul Mateyunas.”

An important feature of the exhibit is the gigantic time line which encircles the gallery. It begins in 1866 with the formation of the Southside Sportsman’s Club, which catered to the wealthy residents of the South Shore. It ends in 2015, with the sad notation that a fire badly damaged the 25,000 square foot Woolworth mansion in Glen Cove.

Noted Ruff, “Adaptive reuse has been the saving grace for many historic Long Island estates. Thankfully, people can still visit and appreciate William Cutting Bayard’s Westbrook Estate — Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Otto Kahn’s Oheka, William Coe’s Coe Hall — Planting Fields Arboretum and State Park, The Phipps Estate — Old Westbury Gardens and many more. We really hope that the exhibition encourages visitors to seek out and explore the treasures that are available to them a short drive away and to appreciate how fragile and vulnerable these estates are, and worthy of our protection.”

“It is wonderful that Box Hill still exists in an excellent state of preservation and remains in family hands after all these generations. Sadly, Laurelton Hall and Villa Francesca were both lost to fires within several years of one another,” he added.

Julie Diamond, director of communications at the museum, said a bus trip is planned in November to the Culinary Institute and the Vanderbilt Estate upstate in Hyde Park, an interesting comparison to Long Island’s Vanderbilt Estate.

Dori Portes, the museum’s receptionist for the past 17 years, said, “This is one of the three top exhibits I’ve seen,” in all that time. “It’s stunning, just beautiful!”

An illustrated exhibit program, which not only includes information on the artifacts in the exhibit but the time line as well, is available from the museum.

The exhibit is open through Sunday, Oct. 25. Don’t miss this fascinating look at historic Long Island. The LIM, a Smithsonian affiliate, is located at 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. It is open Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. For further information, call 631-751-0066 or go to www.longislandmuseum.org.

Legislator Kara Hahn speaks about the harmful effects of microbeads on Tuesday. Photo from Hahn’s office

A push in the Suffolk County Legislature to ban the sale of personal care products containing microbeads was met with unanimous approval on Tuesday, as state and federal lawmakers are also signing on to the cause.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) celebrated the unanimous vote on Tuesday for legislation crafted with the goal of washing the county free of the tiny, potentially hazardous plastic particles linked to several issues affecting waterways. She stood alongside environmental experts at the county Legislature building in Riverhead, referring to the new ban as a means of keeping Long Island and its surrounding waterways safe.

“There is no place for plastics in our vulnerable bays and waterways,” said Hahn, chair of the Legislature’s Environment Committee and author of the bill. “Microbeads have been found in our precious Long Island Sound, and my legislation will protect our environment, protect our health and protect our fishing and tourism industries.”

Microbeads, which are usually between one and five millimeters in diameter, are typically not filtered out by most wastewater treatment systems. This poses the risk of the tiny beads making their way into surface waters, picking up toxins as they flow from one source to the next. Because of their tiny size, the toxin-laden particles can sometimes be mistaken for food by small fish and other aquatic species.

But it does not end there.

Once the aquatic life consumes the potentially harmful microbeads, they could then make their way into larger living organisms and eventually into the human food supply.

The county legislation said that manufacturers of several personal care products have added the small plastic beads to their facial scrubs, body washes, toothpaste products and select soaps and shampoos over the past 10 years. Now that it has passed, Hahn’s law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018, and prohibit the sale of any personal care products that contain microbeads in Suffolk County.

Six months before that deadline, Hahn said the Department of Health Services will begin informing retailers selling products that contain microbeads of the new regulations, and enforcement will come through random inspections of at least 10 retailers per quarter in 2018. Anyone who violates the law will be subject to a civil fine of up to $500 for a first offense, a fine of up to $750 for a second offense and a fine of up to $1,000 for all subsequent violations.

Microbead legislation has been gaining traction beyond the Suffolk County level over the past year, with elected officials on both the state and federal levels stepping up to promote the ban of such products. U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman visited Long Island over the summer to announce the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, a bipartisan federal bill that would also ban cosmetics containing the plastic pellets.

Gillibrand’s bill had sponsors and co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, most of them from the Midwest, according to a press release from the senator’s office. It is similar to a New York state-level bill of the same name, which is Schneiderman’s effort to prohibit the sale and distribution of products containing microbeads.

Robert Cariddi, of Mount Sinai, was arrested yesterday for burglarizing 16 businesses between August and October. Photo from the Suffolk County Police Department

Police arrested a Mount Sinai man Monday for allegedly burglarizing 16 Asian restaurants and nail salons over the last couple of months in Centereach, Selden, Setauket, Miller Place, Rocky Point, Sound Beach, Patchogue, Bohemia and Middle Island.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, 6th Squad detectives, after noting a pattern of burglaries in which someone broke the front windows at the restaurants and nail salons and took cash, began patrolling potential targets similar to the burglarized businesses. On Monday, Detective Michael Fales allegedly observed suspect Robert Cariddi commit a burglary at Ho Ming Kitchen, on Route 25A in Miller Place.

Cariddi, a 49-year-old Mount Sinai resident, was arrested shortly afterward. He was charged with 16 counts of third-degree burglary and with false personation, and was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Attorney information for the suspect was not immediately available.

According to police, Cariddi allegedly targeted the businesses because they did not have alarms or surveillance systems.

Detectives are investigating whether Cariddi was responsible for other burglaries. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8652, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Kevin Scanlon, assistant superintendent for educational services, delivers a presentation. Photo by Andrea Moore Paldy

Enrollment in the Three Village school district has hit a historic low.

That’s some of the news Kevin Scanlon, assistant superintendent for educational services, delivered at the district’s second school board meeting in the new school year. His numerical snapshot of the district also included state assessment and Regents scores, as well as statistics for the Class of 2015.

Kevin Scanlon, assistant superintendent for educational services, delivers a presentation. Photo by Andrea Moore Paldy
Kevin Scanlon, assistant superintendent for educational services, delivers a presentation. Photo by Andrea Moore Paldy

Enrollment, Scanlon said, has been declining steadily by about 200 students each year. Current enrollment is 6,472 compared to 6,723 last school year. With 348 students, this year’s kindergarten is little more than half the size of last year’s graduating class, he said.

Scanlon said, though, that the district is taking advantage of declining enrollment to decrease class sizes in elementary grades and reduce study halls in the secondary schools. In an interview following the meeting, the assistant superintendent added that Three Village has been able to appoint a STEM teacher at each of the elementary schools.

Even as student numbers go down, the poverty rate has climbed a percentage point to 7 percent. Scanlon’s report also indicated that district spending per student has increased from $16,137 to $17,554.

On a more controversial matter, Scanlon reported that the refusal rate in this year’s state tests for third- through eighth-grade students was 58 percent for English language arts and 57 percent for math.

Of those who opted out of ELA this year, 48 percent had passed it in 2014. Those who opted out of math this year and took it in 2014 had a 59 percent pass rate last year.

Though the Three Village 2015 ELA results reflect only 42 percent of students in the testing grades, the pass rate jumped in all grades, increasing between 4.15 and 12.7 percentage points, a comparison of the two years shows. The highest pass rate was 61.9 percent in eighth grade.

The passing rate on the math exams, which reflected 43 percent of students in the grades tested, also saw gains. Fourth grade had the largest increase — 11.16 percentage points — and a 77.2 percent pass rate.

Scanlon said that there was a 3.93 percentage point drop in the eighth-grade math results because the majority of eighth-graders took the Algebra Regents exams instead of the eighth-grade state test.

The 2015 assessment and Regents report showed that all scores in both disciplines were well above the New York state, Long Island, Nassau County and Suffolk County averages. New York state averages for all students were 31.3 percent for ELA and 38.1 percent for math.

When compared to neighboring districts — Commack, Half Hollow Hills, Hauppauge, Northport and Smithtown — Three Village’s ELA scores surpassed other districts in all grades except seventh. Seventh-grade scores were only 0.1 percentage point lower than the second highest-scoring district. Three Village’s math scores were either first or second in all grades, except for eighth.

Algebra students took both the old integrated algebra and the Common Core-aligned Algebra I exams. Scanlon said the higher of the two scores will be used on transcripts. The report showed that except for geometry, there was a dip in the math Regents scores. Pass rates remained high — in the 90s — for science, history and social studies Regents.

In other good news, the class of 2015 maintained the district’s 99 percent graduation rate and had a 95 percent college acceptance rate. This year also saw the highest number of Advanced Placement scholars ever, Scanlon said. The 293 students received the honor based on the number of AP exams they took and their average score, he explained. This number includes current students, as well as those who graduated last June.

In other news, the board voted on two new administrative appointments: Anthony Pollera, who has been a music teacher with the district since 2002, was named coordinating chairperson of music; and Marnie Kula, Ward Melville science chair since 2008, added InSTAR program coordinator to her responsibilities following the retirement of George Baldo.

Funding would increase for snow removal, environment

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. File photo by Erika Karp

By Giselle Barkley & Elana Glowatz

Brookhaven Town won’t ask for more money from residents next year, according to Supervisor Ed Romaine’s 2016 budget proposal.

Romaine (R) revealed his nearly $281 million budget plan at a meeting on Oct. 1, touting its benefits of complying with the state-imposed limit on property tax increases and putting more funding toward snow removal as the winter season approaches.

Crafting the budget was a challenge given the tight limit on how much the property tax levy could increase, according to Romaine — the state’s limit was 0.73 percent this year. Despite that, “I support the tax cap because I understand what the tax burden is on the taxpayers of this town,” Romaine said during a meeting with the press last week. “I’m trying to do my best to limit that tax burden while providing needed services and that’s crucial, and our five-year plan reflects that.”

According to the budget proposal, the town’s property tax levy will not see a net increase in 2016, holding taxes steady for many residents. Romaine was able to maintain the levy because of the amount of money the town will save from satisfying debts. Some of the money that would have gone toward those debt payments was used instead to fund increases in other budget lines. When money from the town’s debt reserve fund is excluded, the budget proposal actually reduces overall spending more than $800,000.

“That’s come from careful management of capital projects and the elimination of pipeline debt,” Finance Commissioner Tamara Wright said during the meeting.

Just as there were cuts in the budget, there were also additions. Romaine proposed bringing the highway department’s snow removal budget up to $5.2 million — a budget line the supervisor and the town board have been adding to since the massive February 2013 storm, frequently dubbed Nemo, that buried Long Island under three feet of dense snow. That removal budget has doubled in the last few years.

“I hope that someday we will have a less snowy winter,” Romaine said.

Town officials hope any leftover snow removal money will be deposited into a reserve account, to be used in an emergency winter weather situation.

The supervisor’s proposal also increases spending on environmental protection and funding for public safety staff, code enforcement and internal auditors, among others.

Romaine’s proposed capital budget totals $62.2 million, a reduction of about 2.4 percent from the current year. The capital funds will go toward local projects like long-awaited athletic fields in Selden and road and drainage improvements.

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Ward Melville
Ward Melville junior midfielder Madison Hobbes is chased for the ball in the Patriots' 6-0 shut out of Brentowod on Oct. 5. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville junior midfielder Madison Hobbes is chased for the ball in the Patriots’ 6-0 shut out of Brentowod on Oct. 5. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

After a slow start, and leading 2-0 at the end of 40 minutes, the Ward Melville girls’ soccer team leaned on its bench in the second half to overpower Brentwood and put the game away, 6-0.

“I was happy with our play in the first five to 10 minutes when we scored quick, but we fell into a lull — thinking we were going to have an easy game,” Ward Melville head coach John Diehl said. “I didn’t like our performance for most of the first half, but we picked it up midway through the second.”

Ward Melville sophomore forward Kerri Liucci opened the scoring four minutes in when she broke free of defenders and shot from the left side, beating the keeper to the right corner for the score.

Junior midfielder and co-captain Megan Raftery struck next off a corner kick, to help the Patriots edge ahead, 2-0.

Ward Melville senior forward and co-captain Ciara Guglielmo stops the ball to gain possession at midfield in the Patriots' 6-0 blanking of Brentwood on Oct. 5. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville senior forward and co-captain Ciara Guglielmo stops the ball to gain possession at midfield in the Patriots’ 6-0 blanking of Brentwood on Oct. 5. Photo by Bill Landon

“We had good possession today — we really stepped it up even though we had a considerable lead,” Raftery said. “But it was a much better effort in that second half.”

Diehl said he decided to start some players in the second half who don’t normally start and don’t receive as much playing time.

“They came in and did a great job,” he said. “They did what we wanted, because we needed a change in the second half.”

Raftery opened the second half with her second goal of the game, after leaping in the air and heading a corner kick past the keeper with authority, for a three-goal advantage.

“I’m designated to go to the net for every corner [kick],” Raftery said. “It was a cross from Ciara Guglielmo and I was able to head it in. It’s a set play for us and we practice it all the time.”

On a crossing pass three minutes later, sophomore midfielder Arianna Barbieri passed to junior midfielder Hannah Hobbes, who buried her shot.

Ward Melville junior midfielder and co-captain Megan Raftery, who had two goals in the Patriots' 6-0 win at Brentwood on Oct. 5, heads the ball. Photo by Bill Landon
Ward Melville junior midfielder and co-captain Megan Raftery, who had two goals in the Patriots’ 6-0 win at Brentwood on Oct. 5, heads the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

“I got a great cross and I just tapped it in,” Hobbes said. “We had a better second half with better possession and good passing.”

With just over 20 minutes left to play, it was Guglielmo, a senior forward and co-captain’s turn, as she drove a teammate’s rebound off a save from the Brentwood goalkeeper back at the net, and this time, in, for the 5-0 lead.

“I thought we had great possession on a grass field, because we usually don’t play on grass,” Guglielmo said. “It’s bumpy and a different way of play, so in the second half we got used to the [field] and played to our feet.”

Rounding out the scoring for Ward Melville was junior forward Erin O’Connor, who found the net at the 18:13 mark, to put the game away, 6-0.

With the win, the Patriots improve to 7-1-2 in League I, and will travel to Sachem North Wednesday for a 4:15 p.m. game.

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AASLH says thanks to Frank Turano

Center, Frank Turano, project manager of the Chicken hill Exhibit Committee, receives the AASLH Award of Merit. Photo from Beverly Tyler

By Beverly C. Tyler

The Three Village Historical Society received the American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Merit for the exhibit Chicken Hill: A Community Lost to Time at the AASLH’s annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 18.

The Award of Merit is presented to recognize excellence for projects ranging from civic engagement to exhibits and publications.

The Award of Merit is one of the AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards. AASLH bestows Leadership in History Awards to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

AASLH maintains the awards program to recognize good history that changes people’s lives by helping them make connections with the past. Recipients can take pride in the fact that they are recognized by their peers. Winners use the award to promote their institution in their communities and beyond, including leveraging needed funds.

Chicken Hill project manager Frank Turano and I traveled to the AASLH annual meeting to receive the award and to participate in the annual meeting. Staff members and volunteers at history museums, historical societies and related organizations from all over the United States attend the annual meeting to take part in sessions about all phases of local history and to exchange ideas, problems and successes.

The awards dinner on Friday was attended by recipients from 31 states, and the range of their efforts was detailed as each individual or group came up to receive their award. This year, AASLH conferred 61 national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books and organizations.

“The Leadership in History Awards is AASLH’s highest distinction and the winners represent the best in the field,” said Trina Nelson Thomas, AASLH awards chair and director, Stark Art & History Venue, Stark Foundation. “This year, we are pleased to distinguish each recipient’s commitment and innovation to the interpretation of history, as well as their leadership for the future of state and local history.”

The Three Village Historical Society Chicken Hill exhibit was designed and installed by members of the society’s Three Village Rhodes Committee, many of whom had a personal connection with the Chicken Hill area and the people who lived and worked there over the past century and a half.

The exhibit includes stories of the evolution of the Chicken Hill area and its religious, social and cultural development. It especially details family life and the passion that surrounds the Setauket baseball teams based there. One of the most dramatic parts of the exhibit is a touch screen computer station featuring interviews with former members of Chicken Hill, who relate their personal stories and recollections of the events that engaged the entire community.

The Chicken Hill exhibit, as well as the companion SPIES! exhibit, are open every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Three Village Historical Society Headquarters, 93 North Country Road in Setauket.

Beverly Tyler is the Three Village Historical Society historian.

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