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Comsewogue Public Library

Adding to the typical Saturday docket of sleeping, eating and playing, a few furry locals headed to a Port Jefferson Station library in search of a new home.

For the third consecutive year, the Comsewogue Public Library hosted a Pet Adoption Fair in the hopes of finding new homes for cats and dogs currently up for adoption through local organizations.

Save A Pet animal rescue in Port Jefferson Station, Last Chance Animal Rescue in Southampton, Patchogue Rotary Animal Assisted Therapy and Brookhaven Animal Rescue Alliance each sent representatives of the two-legged and four-legged variety to set up on the grounds of the library to meet prospective new families April 29.

“We really wanted to just bring the community together and just try to get some animals some homes,” Shelby Broderick, an adult services librarian at Comsewogue Public Library who helped to organize the event, said during an interview. “We thought that this was a perfect place since there’s always people coming and going, so we wanted to get some exposure for these animals and some therapy dog groups.”

Stephanie Winus of Save A Pet, a shelter-based rescue as opposed to a foster-home-based, said the shelter currently has about 15 dogs waiting for new “forever” homes.

“I like to do these events as a volunteer because I think it just gets the word out of what Save A Pet is, where it’s located, which is right in this neighborhood in Port Jeff Station, and also you get to see some of the dogs in person,” she said. “We’ve had dogs a year or two and eventually found the right home for them because the idea is to place them in a home where they’re going to be forever in, and not just place them to get them out of the facility so that more dogs come in.”

Andrea Allen, an event leader for Last Chance Animal Rescue, said the foster-based shelter has about 40 animals currently up for adoption.
“It’s so important because it brings awareness to the community of our mission of saving the animals from the high kill shelters down south,” she said.

Broderick said finding homes for the animals brought to the fair is important, but events like these can play a larger role.

“I feel like even if there’s just one adoption it’s worth it just to host some groups and get exposure for them,” she said. “Even if one dog gets a home that’s one less dog that’s in a shelter without a family.”

For more information about any of the groups visit saveapetny.org, lcarescue.org, praatinc.org or bhara.org.

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The children's section of the Port Jefferson Free Library. File photo by Heidi Sutton

The community sent a resounding message of approval for two different library budgets April 4 — a vast majority of voting residents are happy with the services provided by their local libraries and are willing to pay for more.

The Port Jefferson Free Library’s $4.2 million budget passed with a 143 to 10 margin. The 2017-18 financial plan is about 1.2 percent more than last year’s version and will cost homeowners on average about 49 cents more monthly in property taxes compared to last year.

“We are very flattered and pleased at the support we get,” Library Director Tom Donlon said in an email. “This year we juggled a few budget lines around, and tried to focus on where our community wanted us to go. We increased the book budget as well as the programming budget in order to deliver the materials and services that Port Jeff has come to expect.”

More than 1,000 children participated in summer reading programs offered by the library in 2016, and 270,000 items were checked out during the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to a budget newsletter sent out to the community. Library administration was also proud of a teen garden established in 2016, which allowed children and teens to grow vegetables for local soup kitchens. A new, easy-to-use website was launched by the library last year, and the board also plans to update the community on some possible improvements to the facilities coming in the near future.

Additional books and programs, along with an increase in staff salaries, benefits and retirement payments represent the largest drivers of the budget increase. The gap in those increases is closed in large part by a near $200,000 savings compared to last year in transfers to the capital fund and debt services fund. The library also will offer fewer print and nonprint newspapers and periodicals this year.

The Comsewogue Public Library’s budget was passed with 102 yes to 14 no votes. The total operating budget for 2017-18 will be about $5.6 million, up 2.7 percent from last year. Like its Port Jeff counterpart, Comsewogue Public Library’s budget increases can be attributed for the most part to increases in staff salaries and benefits. Additional money was also factored into the current budget for some furniture and equipment upgrades. The library will see a savings in the coming year in computer equipment and supplies, as well as in debt service payments.

The average homeowner in the district will be required to pay about $4 more in taxes for the 2017-18 fiscal year compared to last year.

“The 2017-18 proposed operating budget is designed to ensure that the library continues to provide a high quality service program at a reasonable cost,” a letter to the community from the library said. “The public library serves everyone in the community, from babies to seniors.”

Port Jefferson Station resident and library trustee Edward Wendol was also elected to remain in the position on the board that he’s held since 1972. Wendol, who ran unopposed, has previously served as the board president and was named a Port Times Record Man of the Year in 2003. Library administration said he “has provided guidance and oversight to the organization,” in a letter sent to residents along with an informational budget newsletter.

“I’m very happy to be on it, and I’m happy to be elected continuously,” Wendol said in a phone interview. He added his primary objective in his next term is to move along a heating and air conditioning plan for the library. “I think we’re a good asset to the community.”

Photo courtesy of Comsewogue Public Library

‘LITERACY BEGINS AT BIRTH’

The Comsewogue Public Library in Port Jefferson Station recently announced that it has officially become a Family Place Library. Family Place Libraries redesign the library environment to be welcoming and appropriate for children beginning at birth and connect parents with resources, programs and services. Pictured from left are Kristen Todd-Wurm, Christine Kowalski, Director Debra Engelhardt, Audrey Asaro, Debbie Bush and Amanda Pendzick.

Comsewogue Public Library, 170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station will host a Job Fair by the Suffolk County One-Stop Employment Center on Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs continues to offer a variety of services and programs, such as the One-Stop Employment Center, that provide valuable guidance to those who are looking for employment,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D). “We hope that our residents in the Port Jefferson area and along the North Shore will take advantage of this opportunity to explore potential career paths or job opportunities.”

The following employers are scheduled to attend: ACLD, Access Home Care, American Pool, Association for Mental Health and Wellness, Attentive Care, Comfort Keepers, DDI, East End Disability, East West Industries, EPIC LI, FREE, HEAP, Home Depot, LI Cares, Maxim Homecare, NBTY, New York Life Insurance, Teachers Federal Credit Union, The Odyssey Group, UCP of Suffolk, United Healthcare, Urban League Mature Workers Program, US Postal Service, Utopia, Verizon Wireless and more. All residents in need of a job are encouraged to attend and no registration is required.

Job candidates in need of proper attire for an interview should contact Career Couture at 631-853-6769.

For further information, please call the library at 631-928-1212.

Library members in Port Jefferson and Comsewogue approved the two districts’ proposed budgets on Tuesday. Stock photo

Comsewogue and Port Jefferson library district members approved both institutions’ 2015-16 budgets on Tuesday. The Port Jefferson Free Library budget passed with 106 votes in favor and nine against. Comsewogue Public Library’s budget passed with 104 votes in favor and 19 against.

The Port Jefferson budget, which totals $4.33 million, will increase annual taxes by about $10.80 for the average village resident. The budget includes a $107,000 transfer to the library’s capital fund for facility improvements, as the library nears the finish line on forming a strategic plan for how the institution will serve members in the future. That plan includes improving the facilities and considers possible uses for an adjacent residential property on Thompson Street that the library recently purchased.

In Comsewogue, annual taxes will increase by about $11 for the average resident under the approved $5.58 million budget.

The Comsewogue district residents also elected a new trustee, Corinne DeStefano, with 116 votes. The candidate, who ran unopposed for a five-year term, is the wife of Comsewogue school board Trustee Robert DeStefano. A lifelong resident of the district, she works in quality assurance for software corporation CA Technologies.

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