Tags Posts tagged with "Councilman Mark Cuthbertson"

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson

Neighbors near the Del Vino Vineyards on Norwood Road in Northport are struggling with traffic congestion and other concerns related to vineyard operations. Photo from Norwood Community Watch Group

After numerous residents complained about parking, traffic congestion and safety concerns on neighborhood streets around the Del Vino Vineyards in Northport, officials unanimously voted at an Oct. 16 board meeting to adopt parking restrictions to certain residential streets.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (R), who co-sponsored the resolution, said they recently met with the vineyard’s neighbors to discuss the parking problems in their neighborhood. 

“This is something we wanted, but now what do we do about street parking for us.”

— Tom Ryan

“The no-parking signs should be installed by the end of the month and we are hopeful that the signs will be effective in addressing these issues,” Cuthbertson said. 

The restrictions prohibit parking around the vineyard on both sides of Norwood Road between Starlit Drive and Russell Court as well as both sides of Starlit Drive 700 feet south of Norwood Road. The no-parking zones, which officially take effect as soon as the signs go up, will be enforced Monday to Friday from 4 to 11 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 11 p.m. Also, parking on Sound Court is prohibited at all times. 

Tom Ryan, who has lived on Norwood Road for the past nine years, and has advocated for parking restrictions along with other neighbors, said the approved changes are the lesser of two evils. 

“This is something we wanted, but now what do we do about street parking for us,” he said. 

Ryan said the new arrangement was the best option to tackle the problem, because the traffic and parking situation on residential streets has gotten completely out of control with numerous tour buses coming and going as they drop off patrons near the vineyard. A steady stream of Uber and Lyft vehicles also clog local streets.

Anthony Guardino, a Hauppauge-based attorney and representative for the vineyard’s owner Frederick Giachetti, did not respond for comment on the approved restrictions by press time. He previously said at a Sept. 17 public hearing that the restrictions were unreasonable, and it would be only fair to adopt a resolution that bans all parking on those streets regardless of the time.

“We’re anxious for the signs, as of now we have resorted to putting up garbage cans, traffic cones and caution tape to deter people from parking on the street,” Ryan said. 

The tactic seems to be working, they say. However, neighbors on Starlit Drive, who are located closer to the vineyard, have had patrons disregard the obstacles and when asked to not to park in front of homes, they’ve countered that it is a public street. 

In the aftermath of the approved parking restrictions, residents who live further back from the no-parking zones are worried that the parking problem will shift closer to them. 

Ryan expects that the shift will happen. Residents outside the immediate perimeter of the new restrictions have already reached out to town officials to add additional no-parking zones to avoid pushing the congestion deeper into the neighborhood.    

Ryan said this is just one chapter of many other chapters going forward in regard to the vineyard. 

He and other neighbors are now concerned about additional capacity problems at the vineyard, since the business was approved to build a second-floor deck by the town planning board in September. 

Additionally, the owner has proposed in the past about adding 60-80 additional parking spots at the vineyard, which would increase the lot size from 120 spaces to up to 200. 

The vineyard has been a thorn in the side of many residents since it first opened in November 2018. Neighbors have said that the core issue is that Del Vino lacks adequate on-site parking, which caused the problems.

Ryan said it could alleviate some of the parking problems, but it wouldn’t relieve the patron and traffic congestion in the area. 

“The owner is someone who just continues to push the envelope,” he said. 

Some roads near the vineyard have become so crowded, residents said, that it only can accommodate one-way traffic. They have also complained that vineyard patrons pass-out on lawns and urinate in public. 

A high majority of people—95% nationwide—support organ donation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Yet, only 29% of adults in New York have actually enrolled in the state's program. Left to right: Mark Cuthbertson, Christian Siems and Michele Martines raise awareness to improve organ and tissue donor rates. Go to Mydmv at dmv.ny.gov to register.

It’s as simple as signing a box on the back of your state driver’s license. Yet, New York ranks dead last in the country for the percentage of residents registered as organ donors, according to LiveOnNY, a nonprofit organization helping New Yorkers live on through organ and tissue donation.

The people in Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson’s (D) office know firsthand how critical it is to participate in the program. Both Cuthbertson and his legislative aide Michele Martines have children that needed transplants. Their ordeal has motivated them to spread the word about the importance of signing the organ donation registry.

“You can save a life,” said Martines.

In 2015, her 21-year-old son Christian received a heart transplant. He was diagnosed at age 18 with dilated cardiomyopathy and suffered cardiac arrest about a year later. Luckily for Christian and his mother, they ultimately received a call that they found a donor. Martines said many are not that lucky and die waiting for a donor.

“We didn’t know at the time that the left side of his heart had failed and if he didn’t get the call for his heart he would have passed away that night.”

Every 18 hours a New Yorker dies waiting for a donor, she said. “In New York it can take up to seven years to receive a kidney or liver transplant.”

Cuthbertson also has been affected personally by organ transplants. His son, Hunter was diagnosed in 2016 with aplastic anemia during a precollege physical. The condition causes a failure of the bone marrow to produce the necessary amount of red blood cells. The chance of finding a perfect match in bone marrow with a relative is only 20 percent, but he found that his brother was a perfect match. In 2017, Hunter received a bone marrow transplant.

“I was elated when I learned he was a match, I dropped to my knees and I was crying,” Hunter said in a May 2018 Times of Huntington article.

Despite efforts in recent years to improve the rate of organ donations, New York still lags behind the rest of the country.  Only 32 percent of New York State residents are signed up as organ donors. The nationwide average is 56 percent.

Since his surgery, Christian has taken up public speaking to local schools and advocating the need for organ donors.

“We need to educate more people about organ transplants,” Martines said. “Christian goes out and talks to kids and tells them his story.”

And the Town of Huntington has moved to the forefront of advocating the need for more donors on the registry. Beginning in 2018, the town began hosting a 5k Run to Save Lives, which highlights the statewide problem. Participants at this year’s event helped raise $11,000. All proceeds went to three nonprofits that handle and advocate organ and tissue donations:  LiveOnNY, Be the Match and Team Liberty.

Dr. Alan Gass, medical director of heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support at Westchester Medical Center oversaw Christian’s transplant surgery. He said there needs to be more education about organ donations.  He wants people to know that transplants work and it’s not just the rich and famous who receive organs.

“Most patients live on for decades after getting a transplant,” he said.  “Being a donor is the ultimate way of giving back.”

Martines said she hopes the work she and others are doing will eliminate misconceptions and help increase the number of people who sign up to be donors. “We’ll continue to try and make a difference here,” she said. “My son is alive because of a total stranger.”

A marijuana pipe. Stock photo

A Town of Huntington councilman is planning a town hall to share how the town can be prepared if marijuana is legalized in New York.

On June 4, 7 p.m. at Huntington Town Hall, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) will preside over a discussion titled “The New York State legalization of marijuana: How would it affect us in the Town of Huntington? How can we best be prepared?”

Panelists include professionals from law enforcement, treatment and recovery; health care and prevention specialists; drug counselors; the American Automobile Association; human resource professionals and public policy makers. Panelists are expected to start the conversation on what the impact on Huntington would be if marijuana is legalized, followed by a question and answer section.

“The passing of such an impactful law at the state level requires leadership and commitment from local government policy makers,” Cuthbertson said. “We want to make sure that the Town of Huntington is prepared if this law is passed.”

For more information on the seminar people can call Cuthbertson’s office at 631-351-3171.

‘Still Stunning After Storm,’ Honorable Mention, by Marianne P. Stone of Lynbrook

On Sunday, May 6, families across Long Island are invited to enjoy the Town of Huntington’s annual celebration of spring. The natural beauty of the historic Heckscher Park will once again serve as the backdrop for the town’s highly anticipated 18th annual Tulip Festival. 

The free event, located at 2 Prime Ave. in the Village of Huntington, will feature thousands of tulips planted in selected beds throughout the park, activity booths for children with creative, hands-on projects, lectures, demonstrations, a school art contest, refreshments and live entertainment on the Chapin Rainbow Stage from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D), the founder of the festival, and chief sponsor, NEFCU, are looking forward to an even bigger community-driven event this year.  

“The 18th Annual Huntington Tulip Festival is a free event that has something for the whole family to enjoy,” said Cuthbertson, adding, “So please stop by and enjoy the festivities!”

To help make this wonderful day a success, volunteers are needed to distribute festival programs to visitors. Any person or community group is welcome to volunteer by calling 631-351-3099.

Entertainment schedule

Gizmo Guys

 

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Explore the Heckscher Museum’s current exhibits for reduced admission ($2). Docents will be in the galleries to answer questions at 2 p.m.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Winning works from local School Art Contest will be on display near the Chapin Rainbow Stage. 

Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: Gizmo Guys, a rapid-fire juggling act with Allan Jacobs and Barrett Felker that exhilarates and inspires sidesplitting laughter in audiences of all ages.

Linda Humes and Sanga of the Valley

1 to 1:45 p.m. — Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: Griots in Concert, an inspirational and motivational performance featuring stories, music and songs from Africa, the Caribbean and America with vocalist and storyteller Linda Humes and master percussionist Sanga of the Valley. Griot is the French term for a West African oral historian or storyteller. 

2 to 3 p.m. — Chapin Rainbow Stage Performance: Funkytown Playground, a music and movement program with Aly Sunshine and band featuring interactive songs that are catchy, fun and educational — a high-energy performance delivered with contagious enthusiasm! 

4 p.m. — Festival closes. Heckscher Museum exhibits on view until 5 p.m.

Back row, from left, Councilwoman Tracey Edwards (D) and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) pose for a photo with student art contest winners at the Heckscher Museum on May 5. Photo from Town of Huntington

The Town of Huntington, Astoria Bank, the Huntington Arts Council and the Heckscher Museum of Art recognized the winners of the 17th annual Tulip Festival Student Art Contest on Friday, May 5. For the contest, art students were asked to express their views on spring in Huntington and the Annual Tulip Festival using artistic interpretation.

The contest was open to students in grades 3 through 8 in schools within Huntington township. Three winners from each grade level were honored at the event, with the first-prize winner receiving a $50 gift card courtesy of Astoria Bank.

Art teachers also received $50 for each student whose art was chosen as the best of the grade for use in purchasing art supplies, also courtesy of Astoria Bank.

Jennifer Zhu won the Carolyn Fostel Best in Show award, given in honor of the late Carolyn Fostel of Astoria Bank who was instrumental in joining Astoria Bank and the Town of Huntington together as co-sponsors of the Huntington Tulip Festival since its inception in 2001.

‘Orange Flame’ by Richard Dolce, last year’s first-place winner in the Tulip Festival’s photography contest. Photo from Town of Huntington

What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than with a Tulip Festival? The natural beauty of the historic Heckscher Park will once again serve as the backdrop for the Town of Huntington’s highly anticipated signature spring tradition this Sunday, May 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Now in its 17th year, the event was the brainchild of Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D).

“The 17th Annual Huntington Tulip Festival is a free event that has something for the whole family to enjoy. There is live entertainment throughout the afternoon on the Chapin Rainbow Stage, booths with hands-on activities for children and thousands of colorful tulips throughout the park,” said Cuthbertson, adding, “So please stop by Heckscher Park and enjoy the festivities.”

Janice Bruckner will perform on the Chapin Rainbow Stage at 2 p.m. Photo from Town of Huntington

In addition to the festivities, the Heckscher Museum of Art will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. offering a special reduced pricing of $2 per person (members and children under 10 free!). Docents will be in the galleries leading tours beginning at 2 p.m. Enjoy the museum’s exhibitions Thaddeus Holownia: Walden Revisited, Earth Muse: Art and the Environment and The Art of Narrative: Timeless Tales and Visual Vignettes.

Since its inception, Huntington’s Tulip Festival has also included an annual photo contest. Entries by amateur and professional photographers will be juried to select the images most evocative of the beauty and family orientation of the festival and must be postmarked or received by July 31. Prize-winning images will be used in festival publicity.

Entertainment schedule

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ­— Student Art Contest. Building up to the festival was an art contest for area students organized by the Huntington Arts Council. Award-winning work will be displayed near the Rainbow Chapin Stage.

Noon to 4 p.m. — Springtime Is for the Birds Art Workshop. Feathers will fly when children of all ages are invited to create colorful, mixed-media birds to celebrate spring on the terrace of the Heckscher Museum. In the event of inclement weather, activities will take place in the museum.

Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Children’s Music with Mike Soloway. Soloway is a teacher and performer of children’s music residing in Huntington. His children’s recordings include the “Moving With Mike” series, the “Preschool Action Song” series in addition to the albums “Hungry for Manners” and “School Bus Songs.”

Inkarayku will perform on the Chapin Rainbow Stage at 1 p.m. Photo from Town of Huntington

1 to 1:45 p.m. — Inkarayku: Journey Through the Andes. An interactive children’s concert, Journey through the Andes takes children on a musical journey through the Andes Mountains, starting in northern Ecuador and ending in Bolivia. The concert features a storytelling narrative, singing along games and group dancing. Inkarayku members use large floor maps, theatrical costumes and props to transport youngsters to another time and place, giving them a one of kind educational experience.

2 to 3 p.m. — Songs & Puppetry with Janice Buckner. Buckner is one of the nation’s top performing artists for children. She tours nationally and has appeared on radio and television, as well as over 4,000 schools and concert halls. Buckner entertains audiences of all ages with her voice, guitars, puppets and her knowledge of Sign Language for the Deaf. She is noted for her voice, her creativity and the outstanding quality of her lyrics.

4 p.m. — Festival Closes. Museum exhibits on view until 5 p.m.

For more information regarding the Tulip Festival or if you would like to volunteer for the day, please call 631-351-3099.

 

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) and the Huntington Town Board, along with a representative from Astoria Bank, the chief sponsor of the Huntington Tulip Festival, announced the winners of the 2016 Tulip Festival Photo Contest at the Jan. 10 town board meeting.

First place and a $150 award check went to Richard Dolce of New York City for his photo, “Orange Flame.” Second place and the $100 prize was awarded to Suzanne Abruzzo of Bayside for “Lean on Me” and third place and the $50 prize went to Charleen Turner of Huntington for “Our Swan Family.” An Honorable Mention with a $25 prize went to Times Beacon Record News Media’s resident photographer Bob Savage of Port Jefferson Station for “Untitled” and to Gary Moss of Huntington for “Tulips and a Great Old Tree.”

Cuthbertson, founder of the annual festival stated, “Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Tulip Festival Photo Contest. Your colorful images bring a touch of spring and anticipation of warmer days ahead. We are looking forward to the 2017 Huntington Tulip Festival and are excited to celebrate spring in bloom in our community.”

The Huntington Tulip Festival is a free, family-oriented festival featuring thousands of tulips, booths with activities for children and live entertainment sponsored by the Town of Huntington and Astoria Bank. This year’s festival will take place on Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Huntington’s Heckscher Park.

The 2017 tulip festival photo contest is open to any photographer, amateur or professional. All entries must be un-mounted, 8×10-inch photographic color prints. A maximum of two entries per photographer will be accepted. To be eligible, all entries must be postmarked or received by Monday, July 31. Additional information and entry forms can be obtained by calling 631-351-3099 or by going to the Town of Huntington’s website at www.HuntingtonNY.gov