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Huntington Public Library

Harborfields Public Library passed their budget with 220 yes votes. File photo

Huntington

Huntington Public Library’s budget passed with 307 yes votes to 80 no votes, and Kimberly Hawkins was chosen to serve another term as the library’s trustee. The $8,984,918 budget is a 0.75 percent increase from last year’s budget or an increase of about $66,000. The biggest expenses include personnel services and salaries, and maintenance of facilities.

“As we continue to offer our many and varied programs and services, I’d like you to know how much I appreciate the support that you, our patrons, continue to give us,” Joanne Adam, library director, said on their website. Hawkins beat out newcomer Paul Ehrlich, and in her candidate questionnaire said her experience already being involved as a trustee was more valuable to residents than fresh blood.

“I have a great depth of knowledge from being a trustee for more than five years,” she said. “I feel a deep commitment to the library and feel strongly that my experience as a trustee, board president, member of multiple committees and chief negotiator of the collective bargaining agreement makes me extremely qualified for the position. Having a trustee with this level of experience is in the best interests of our community.”

Harborfields

Harborfields Public Library passed its 2017-18 budget with 220 yes votes to 37 no votes. The $4.9 million budget is less than a $100,000 increase or a 1.7 percent increase from last year’s budget, with the biggest increases in health insurance, retirement, workers compensation, computer equipment, accounting fees and transfer for debt services. The tax increase comes to 1.92 percent or about $91,000 more raised in taxes compared to last year’s budget.

In a letter to residents, library director Carol Albano talked about some of the projects the library worked on with grants they applied for from New York State.

“Our role as the community center continues to evolve,” she said. “Over the past few years we have recognized the need for more quiet space, technology training and for an expansion to our teen area. Our new training room is used as an additional quiet space that can transform into a technology training room when needed. Both the existing quiet room and the training room received new furniture, carpeting, LED lighting and electrical outlets for plugging in and charging all of the latest technology. Whether you have an exam to study for, are working from home, or just need a space to do some research, you’ll find a quiet spot in the library!”

As for the new area for young adults, many modern updates were made.

“Our new area for young adults, Teen’Scape, offers books, computers, comfortable seating, study areas, a Maker Space and plenty of outlets – everything that a modern teen needs,” Albano said. “Teen’Scape combines the best of traditional library resources with cutting-edge technology. It is the go-to place for Harborfields teens to not only read and study but to also learn, create and explore many interests, and of course meet up with friends.”

Northport-East Northport

With 436 yes votes and 61 no votes the Northport-East Northport Public Library was able to pass their 2017-18 budget. The $9.9 million budget expects about $20,000 less in revenue from the year before, and the tax increase from last year is about $100,000 more. The biggest cost increases come from health insurance for employees, library materials including books and electronic costs and computer hardware and software. Judith Bensimon was also elected as a first-time library trustee.

Cold Spring Harbor

With the smallest number of total votes, the Cold Spring Harbor Public Library passed their budget with 101 yes votes to 33 no votes.

Elwood

At Elwood Public Library, the budget passed with 237 yes votes to 45 no votes and Nadine Araoz-Beuka was elected as a trustee. The 2017-18 budget includes a 1.49 percent tax increase and comes to a total of $1,564,533, an about $20,000 increase from the previous year. The budget includes a $2,000 increase in tax revenue, and the biggest costs include programming and museum passes, and building and office operations.

‘Northport' by Bob DeSantis

By Melissa Arnold

Nothing defines a Long Island summer more than lazy days at the beach. And even though autumn is settling in now, it’s still easy to imagine the sun on your face and the water lapping at your feet.

Huntington artist Bob DeSantis has made a career of capturing beloved memories on canvas. Now, art enthusiasts of all kinds can imagine themselves in those scenes with an exhibit entitled Being There, currently on view at the Main Art Gallery at the Huntington Public Library.

“Most of my scenic pieces are fairly large, so when you hang them up in your home it’s like looking out your window and seeing, say, Shelter Island. That’s why people buy my paintings — they want to bring those feelings into their homes,” explains DeSantis, 69, who was born in Brooklyn but has spent most of his life on Long Island.

When you see DeSantis’ art for the first time, you might have to do a double take. Many of his paintings are photorealistic — painted in a way that resembles actual photographs.

Art has been a part of DeSantis’ life for almost as long as he can remember — he even listed becoming a professional artist as his future goal in his high school yearbook. He went on to receive an associate’s degree in commercial art from Farmingdale University (now Farmingdale State College) and a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Hofstra University in Hempstead.

‘Donnie Baseball’ by Bob DeSantis
‘Donnie Baseball’ by Bob DeSantis

That varied education enables DeSantis to combine the best practices of both fine art and modern technology, as he works with a combination of oil and acrylic paints as well as an airbrush for a smooth, almost flawless texture.

His lengthy career has included graphic design, commercial and fine art that’s been featured all over the country. His paintings have been displayed in galleries and even on products like phone book covers and light boxes. He also plays several musical instruments and was once a member of the band The Silvertones.

For the past 25 years, he’s worked as an art restorer, helping to correct and repair artwork that’s been damaged through aging or disasters. He has also worked closely with well-known landscape painter Diane Romanello and Civil War artist Mort Kunstler.

While restoration takes up much of his time, DeSantis is always looking for inspiration for his own art.

“I’ll take a ride out to the Hamptons with my camera and if I see something that inspires me, I’ll take photos of it. Then, I might take a photo of a barrel with flowers in it and incorporate that into the scene,” DeSantis explains.

Using the image editing program Photoshop, DeSantis will experiment with combining scenic photos with furniture, people and decorations. Once he’s satisfied with a concept, he’ll paint it on canvas. “I can duplicate anything I see and focus on replicating each little detail exactly, which is what makes it resemble a photograph” he said. “It’s a skill that has served me well, both in restoration and my own artwork.”

While some of DeSantis’ most popular art features Long Island hot spots, he’s also known for his portraits of famous people, particularly athletes.

“Years ago I was working for a company doing sports prints of small children wearing the jersey of a prominent athlete,” he explains, adding that the prints were meant to represent those athletes in their early years. He has done similar work featuring child athletes looking up into the sky at their adult selves.

DeSantis is a loyal Yankees fan, and some of his favorite athletes to paint are the greats from that team, including Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly and Joe DiMaggio, among others.

The exhibit at the library will feature more than 20 of DeSantis’ favorite paintings with a variety of subjects, says Laurene Tesoriero, coordinator of the library’s art gallery.

Tesoriero says that the library hosts a number of art exhibits throughout the year. She’s particularly impressed with how realistic DeSantis’ work is.

“[The scenic art] almost looks like [it’s drawn with] pastels. Everything he does is very interesting and draws people in right away. You feel as though you’re a part of the scene,” she says. “And typically you don’t see a lot of sports art around. It’s so crisp and vivid and I think that has a wide appeal.”

Being There will be on display at the Main Art Gallery at the Huntington Public Library, 338 Main Street, Huntington, through Nov. 22. The exhibit may be seen during regular library hours. Admission is free. For more information, contact Laurene Tesoriero at 631-427-5165, ext. 258, or visit www.myhpl.org.

Learn more about artist Bob DeSantis by searching his name at www.Art.com and www.Giclee.com.

The Huntington library is packed with people reading, studying and doing other work. File photo

Voters in the Huntington Public Library district overwhelmingly approved an $8.9 million budget for next year that stays within a state-mandated cap on property tax levy increases.

Residents also elected a new library trustee, Pat McKenna Bausch, knocking eight-year incumbent Harriet Spitzer off the board.

In total, 423 voted in favor of the budget and 88 voted against it, according to library director Joanne Adam.

“I feel wonderful,” Adam said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Of course, I’m happy that it passed. I think what makes me even more happy is the amount that it passed by.”

Bausch was the top vote-getter in a contest of three vying for one seat. Candidate Yvette Stone earned 53 votes and incumbent Spitzer amassed 174 votes.

Looking forward, Adam is most excited about renovations at the library’s Main Street branch, which include reconfiguring some spaces and updating the building’s lighting, heating and ventilation.

“Redoing the space, I think, will kind of just give us a nice facelift.”