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Huntington

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Suffolk County Police arrested two women during a massage parlor raid conducted in Huntington Thursday, Feb. 16.

In response to numerous community complaints, Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct Crime Section officers, Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives, Suffolk County Police Criminal Intelligence detectives, U.S. Homeland Security officers and Huntington Code Enforcement officers conducted an investigation into illegal activities at Lucky Seven Spa, located on West Jericho Turnpike.

Jianping Qiao, 33, and Jinjuan Gu, 50, both from Flushing were arrested at approximately 3 p.m. and charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a Class E Felony under the New York State Education Law:

An investigation by Town of Huntington Code Enforcement officers revealed numerous occupancy and town code violations. The investigation is continuing. The women are scheduled to be arraigned Friday, Feb. 17 at First District Court in Central Islip. No attorney information was immediately available.

 

The 4x400-relay team of Mark Rafuse, Lawrence Leake, Kyree Johnson and Anthony Joseph (on far right) took gold at the Suffolk County state qualifier meet (Jonathan Smith and Brian Pierre have also competed on the relay team). Photo from Huntington school district

When Huntington head coach Ron Wilson and his winter boys’ track and field team stepped into the Suffolk County state qualifier meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, they had one thing on their mind: redemption.

Kyree Johnson crosses the finish line in the 4×400-meter relay. Photo from Huntington school district

And that’s exactly what they felt when they went home.

In the last couple weeks, the Blue Devils had experienced their fair share of shortcomings, notably during its Armory Track Invitational Feb. 3, when senior Shane McGuire, a leg of the team’s 4×400-meter relay, tore his hamstring. The next day, at the large school county championship, the Blue Devils’ top sprinter Kyree Johnson felt a tweak in his own hamstring before competing in the long jump and, at the request of Wilson, sat out of competing altogether.

The team ended up losing the county championship 52-51. Had Johnson jumped that day, they would’ve won, the coach said, but it wasn’t worth the risk.

It was that tight loss that hurt them most, dropping from first to fourth in local published polls — only fueling the fire that would light up the track in Brentwood Feb. 13.

“Before we started, I said to the boys, ‘alright fellas, everyone thinks we’re not as good as we used to be, but we need to go out here and prove them wrong,’” Wilson said. “At the meet, we let everything take care of itself and when we finally started running, I was like ‘redemption at last.’”

That redemption came in the form of collaborative speed and agility.

Smithtown West’s Michael Grabowski with his first-place plaque. Photo by Kevin Redding

Johnson, whose week of resting paid off, placed first in both the 55-meter dash, with a personal best time of 6.41 seconds, and 300 dash, with a meet-record time of 34.8, qualifying him to compete in the state championships March 4 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.

“After I won the 55-meter dash and saw my time of 6.41, that made me realize that I’m not hurt anymore,” Johnson said. “I just relaxed and stayed calm, and looked at it like every other meet … because if I didn’t, I’d start making myself nervous, so I just kept thinking ‘it’s just another regular meet.’”

Running the anchor leg, he also helped the Blue Devils take home gold in the 4×400 relay in a time of 3 minutes, 32.15 seconds, along with teammates Lawrence Leake, a senior, Mark Rafuse, an eighth-grader, and Anthony Joseph, a senior. The Huntington teammates will be joining Johnson at the state championship March 4.

Leake, who, according to Wilson, is one of the toughest and hardest working young men he’s ever coached, also placed first in a competition of his own. He took gold in the 600 run and broke the meet record with a time of 1:21.70. The record was previously held by Brentwood’s Greg Santiago, who finished in 1:21.99 in 2000.

Smithtown East’s Daniel Claxton leaps over the bar during a previous competiton. File photo from Daniel Claxton

“During the race, I figured everyone else was going to get out pretty hard the first two laps to make sure I wasn’t going to catch them, so I just stayed close and in striking distance until the last lap and put the pedal to the metal and let it go,” Leake said. “It feels pretty good to have a record beat all by myself.”

Smithtown West senior and state qualifier Michael Grabowski had a similar strategy on his dash to first place in the 3,200 run, which he finished in 9:29.19. Competing against  Jack Ryan of Westhampton Beach and Jonathan Lauer of Sachem North, Grabowski knew he had to play it smart by feeling the race out for the first five laps, and push it for the final sixth.

“I was comfortable with my pace and stuck with Lauer, until Ryan made a move and went past him with about 300 meters to go, and opened the race up,” he said. “As soon as Ryan went past Lauer, I followed Ryan and waited until the last lap and kicked. Once I started my kick, there was no going back and he didn’t really have a chance.”

Marius Sidlauskas of Smithtown East placed third in boys’ 1,600 with a time of 4:29.40; Daniel Claxton of Smithtown East placed first in boys’ high jump with a jump of 6 feet, 10 inches; Elijah Claiborne, Isaiah Claiborne, Tyler Dollhausen and Dan O’Connor of Northport placed first in boys’ 4×800 relay in 8:09.76; and Ryann Gaffney of Huntington placed fourth in girls’ 55 hurdles with a time of 8.75.

Brian Walling and Cari Endres enjoy their wedding ceremony. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

For 22 years Cupid has visited Huntington Town Hall for Valentine’s Day and spread his love throughout the building — with the help of Town Clerk and Marriage Officer Jo-Ann Raia.

Raia has been serving as marriage officer for the town since 1989, and in 1995 she started a tradition of a “marriage marathon.”

Alexander Acosta Herrera and Esmeria Martinson tie the knot. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

“I normally perform marriage ceremonies year round,” she said. “However in 1995 I thought it would be romantic to begin a Valentine’s Day marriage ceremony marathon. The couples I united over these past years received this idea enthusiastically. It is a privilege and a pleasure for me to unite these couples and to share in their happiness as they embark on their new lives together.”

The free event consists of couples partaking in a small marriage ceremony with Raia presiding, and then the new bride and groom cut a cake and enjoy drinks and snacks with their guests, donated by local vendors, as well as gifts for the couple and the maid of honor and best man. This year 11 couples were wed in town hall.

Local merchants have donated flowers, baked goods, decorations and other gifts throughout the years, and this year Raia said 34 businesses have donated to the event, including Copenhagen Bakery, The Flower Petaler, Rise Above Bakery, Fashion in Flowers and more.

Huntington residents Brian Walling, 42, and Cari Endres, 40, took advantage of this romantic event after finding out about it while paying off a parking ticket.

“It was the last day before I got another $100 charge and I saw the flyers when I was at town hall,” the bride said. “I asked him if he was working Valentine’s Day, and he said no, so I told him ‘we’re getting married on Valentine’s Day.’”

The couple met at a bar while skiing in Vermont two years ago.

“We were basically both watching TV rooting against the Patriots, because we’re both Giants fans and then I don’t think we’ve ever been apart since that night,” Endres said.

Brian Walling and Cari Endres enjoy their wedding ceremony. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

Walling said the hug the first night ensured him that Endres was the one for him.

“The conversation was fun and we definitely had a lot in common and we were just having a good time, but what sealed the deal was the hug,” he said. “It was the best hug ever.”

Walling proposed last July while the pair were spending July 4th weekend with family at Endres’ family lake house.

“My father passed away three years ago and he knew how special the lake house was to me,” Endres said. “We were up there with family after a lobster dinner sitting under tiki torches in bathing suits still and that was it.”

Huntington’s future just got a little greener, as the town recently earned the state’s Clean Energy Community designation.

The label is part of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority initiative to encourage towns to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, create jobs and improve the environment. In addition to providing tools, resources and technical assistance, the program recognizes and rewards leadership for the completion of clean energy projects. The designation also means Huntington is eligible to apply for $250,000 in state funding that can be applied to future energy projects.

“Huntington has long been committed to leading by example in undertaking energy conservation measures and promoting clean energy initiatives,” Town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said in a statement. “We appreciate this recognition from NYSERDA and look forward to implementing other projects that would be made possible by the state funding.”

The initiative involves a partnership between NYSERDA and PSEG Long Island. Huntington is the second municipality on Long Island following Smithtown and the sixth statewide to receive the designation, which requires a municipality to complete four of 10 clean energy actions, at least two of them after Aug. 1, 2016.

John Rhodes, NYSERDA’s president and CEO, praised Huntington on its efforts.

“Congratulations to the Town of Huntington on this important achievement and for helping to galvanize the local community to reduce energy use and improve the environment,” he said in a statement. “Communities are central to the state’s clean energy efforts under Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s [D] Reforming the Energy strategy, which is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers.”

In order to qualify, Huntington established a solar program, set up training protocol for energy code enforcement, and started including electric vehicles in the town’s fleet of cars.

The Solarize Huntington program helps homeowners utilize solar energy to save on utility costs, and is supported by the United States Department of Energy’s Sunshot Rooftop Solar Challenge. It includes a group purchasing and community education program that provides guidance on the process of installing solar residentially and features a discounted quote for town residents from Direct Energy Solar, a Ronkonkoma-based solar energy supplier. Huntington has utilized solar energy at town hall with the installation of solar panels, and has installed a net-zero solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the Huntington Station Long Island Rail Road station parking garage.

The town board also amended town code to fast track approval of solar installation permits and to adopt the New York State Unified Solar Permit to reduce costs and delays for solar projects.

As for energy code enforcement, town code compliance officers and other town officials were trained in the best practices in energy code enforcement, including collaborative plans, reviews and joint on-site inspections of local construction projects.

The town also leased a 2017 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and purchased a Level 2 electric charging station double pedestal for charging cars. One of the two pedestals in the charging station, which will be installed at town hall, will be used for the town-owned vehicle, and the other will be available to the public.

Huntington is also the first municipality on Long Island to adopt the Climate Action Plan, a road map to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate and adapt to the negative effects of climate change. Former President Barack Obama (D) introduced a Climate Action Plan for the United States as from June 2015.

Congressman Tom Suozzi takes a selfie with his family after being sworn into Congress. Photo from Suozzi’s office

Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) has wasted no time getting to work, opening his district office at 478A Park Ave. in Huntington last week, and getting sworn into office Tuesday, Jan. 3, in Washington D.C.

The office, which opened on Dec. 27, is located at Sunny Pond Farm, inside two historic homes dating back to the American Revolution, which have been preserved and converted into an office space. The homes are located on the property of former Huntington Congressman Silas Wood who represented Long Island in the early 19th century.

Suozzi said he wanted to choose an area that would be easily available for all of his constituents.

“Getting things done for the people of Long Island is our number one priority,” Suozzi said. “This office will help us serve the district. I wanted to locate the office on the Suffolk-Nassau border, so it would be accessible, but I also wanted to locate the office on a property that paid tribute to our nation’s history.”

The congressman said he will also have another satellite office in Queens.

The former Nassau County executive officially became a member of the 115th Congress this week.

“It’s a great honor to be entrusted as your voice in the nation’s capital,” he said. “I look forward to working with all of you and my colleagues in Washington, from both sides of the aisle, to get things done for the families of Long Island and Queens.”

Suozzi defeated Republican challenger Jack Martins (R-Mineola) in November, and inherits former Congressman Steve Israel’s (D-Huntington) seat, who announced late last year he would not be seeking re-election.

“This race has really been about the values my dad taught,” Suozzi said during his post-results speech at The Milleridge Inn in Jericho Nov 8. “I’m going to need everyone in this room to help me because if I stick my head up and say something that’s not the normal thing to be said, they’re going to try and smack us down.”

He added regardless of the results of the presidential election, “we really need to do some soul searching,” referencing health care coverage, the shrinking middle class, immigration reform, climate chance, gun violence and the tax code. He said there’s more important work to be done.

“We have to figure out what’s going on in the country,” he said. “We need to figure out how to bring people back together again to work together.”

Kings Park's Paul Cooper dribbles down the sideline. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Kings Park’s boys’ basketball team nearly doubled Huntington’s second-half score to remain atop the League IV leaderboard with a 69-49 come-from-behind win Dec.30.

The Kingsmen jumped out to an 8-1 lead before the Blue Devils rattled off 15 unanswered points for a 16-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Senior Kevin Lawrence netted nine of those points on four baskets and a free throw.

Kings Park clawed back to trail by five with just under four minutes left, a one-point lead minutes after, and senior guard Paul Cooper helped his team take the lead, 23-22, by banking four of six free-throw attempts on fouls.

Kings Park’s Richie Price scores a layup. Photo by Bill Landon

“In that first half we weren’t communicating, and then guys started to talk and make each other accountable,” Cooper said. “So we got on track, and played good defense and that leads to open shots.”

The teams traded scores, and Huntington junior guard Mekhi Harvey let the clock unwind before scoring a field goal, to give the Blue Devils a 26-25 edge heading into the locker room.

Kings Park opened the second half with a different defensive look. The Kingsmen swarmed with a full-court press as Huntington turned the ball over and paid the price each time. Harvey said he wasn’t surprised.

“We don’t take any team lightly’ and their defense was pretty rough going into the second half,” he said.
Kings Park head coach Christopher Rubé said he told his team they might get outplayed, but told the

Kingsmen to make sure they didn’t get out worked. They took it to heart.

“We increased the intensity in the second half,” Rubé said. “We’re 6-1 but I told them ‘you have to earn it every night,’ and I think they got that message.”

Kings Park senior Jeff Li hit a big three-pointer for his first points of the game to put his team back in front, 28-26, and next was senior Richie Price, who scored his third trey of the game. Junior guard Jason Hartglass followed with his third of the game,as the Kingsmen jumped out to a 45-31 lead, and Price struck again from three-point land to put his team out front 48-31.

“When you’re in the zone you’re not thinking about your shot, you’re just letting the game come to you,” Price said. “So when the ball comes to me, I’m not thinking about it, I’m just shooting.”

Kings Park sophomore Andrew Bianco opened the scoring for the final quarter with a three-point play for a 53-35 lead. And Price followed swishing his fifth three-pointer.

Huntingotn’s Kevin Lawrence scores on a rebound. Photo by Bill Landon

Price was splitting time with Liam Thompson before an injury against East Islip the game prior sidelined Thompson. Rubé said he was proud of Price, and happy for his showing. He led the team with 17 points.

“He played great defensively, he had  great energy, played hard on our press, and that spilled over to his offensive game,” he said. “He did a great job.”

Hartglass, who scored 15 points, let one fly from the left corner while getting knocked to the court by a defender, and saw his shot make it while sitting on the floor. Matter-of-factly, he made it a four-point play from the free-throw line.

“We definitely tightened up especially with communication,” Price said. “Not only did we play harder in the second half, we played smarter.”

Huntington had no answer.

“I would say we got more confident as a team,” Huntington junior Michael Abbondandelo said, despite head coach Brian Carey pulling his starters. “We started driving to the hole more and definitely got more rebounds. Our bench definitely earned that — they needed to go in at that point — it was right to put them in.”

With the win Kings Park improves to 7-1 overall and 3-0 in league play. The Kingsmen will face Half Hollow Hills West Jan. 3 at home at 5:45 p.m.

Harvey topped the scoring chart for the Blue Devils with 17 and Lawrence tacked on 14.

With the loss Huntington drops to 2-6 overall and  1-2 in the league and plays West Islip Jan. 3 at home at 5:45 p.m.

By Victoria Espinoza

For Huntington residents, going to the emergency room just got a little less painful.

Huntington Hospital unveiled its new $53 million emergency department Dec. 13, which is capable of handling 64,000 patient visits per year. The department starts treating patients Jan. 3.

The new ED is more than double the size of the old. In total it’s 28,000 square feet, with 47 treatment spots and 12 private waiting stations where patients receive results. The facility was designed with a mission to significantly improve patient care.

“Efficiency is the idea behind this whole department,” Michael Recupero, director of patient care services in the ED said at the opening.

An entirely new system was put in place for dealing with patients from the moment they enter the building, to ensure their stay is as short and effective as possible.

Michael Recupero shows how the lighting system will works. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.
Michael Recupero shows how the lighting system will works. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

Under the new method, patients are immediately seen by a nurse to determine if they need instant treatment in the main ED or treatment in one of the four intake rooms. The intake rooms are what Recupero calls “the game changers.”

“Traditionally you’d come in and be seen by a triage nurse, then you’d sit and wait in the waiting room for an undisclosed period of time, and then be brought to a room where you would wait some more,” he said. “Finally you’re seen by a doctor. But with this model, you’re seen by a nurse and then immediately placed in one of the intake rooms where a doctor will see you.”

The intake rooms feature a brand new lighting system that helps staff learn what step of care each patient in a room is at. The system, created by the University of Colorado, runs similar to a traffic light, but with four colors. If the light above an intake room is red, the patient is in the room and needs their vitals checked. If the red light is flashing that means vital check is complete. When the light is yellow, a provider is in the room and when flashing yellow, the provider completed their exam and the patient is ready to move. A green light indicates the room needs cleaning and flashing green means the room is clean and ready for the next patient. When flashing blue, the patient needs an EKG test done.

“It’s really amazing,” Recupero said. “With visual queues, we don’t even have to have a conversation. [A doctor] can see what’s happening in each room without anybody telling [him or her].”

On the wall of every intake room is a whip-off board with a checklist of certain tests a doctor may order.

Within the first five minutes you’re getting orders done,” Recupero said.

One of the private waiting results stations. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.
One of the private waiting results stations. Photo by Victoria Espinoza.

He explained the ED is spilt into half of an emergency department and half of an urgent care center. Patients with less serious illnesses are taken to “super track” spaces where they quickly get antibiotics, or an X-ray, and are then sent to one of the 12 results waiting areas, which are private cubicles with lounging chairs and floor to ceiling windows.

The main part of the department will be divided into an east wing and a west wing, with a nurse’s assistant, doctor and three nurses on each side. Another doctor is designated to the trauma area, which deals exclusively with patients in extreme conditions.

Recupero said other standout features in the new ED are a pediatric wing that can treat up to nine children at once, a radiology section exclusively for the ED — meaning no other departments are allowed to take time away from ED patients to use the machine — a dedicated Ob/Gyn area and a behavioral health area.

Michael J. Dowling, the CEO of NorthWell Health, of which the hospital is a member, said the hospital plans to apply for level three trauma designation in 2017.

“It’s a new beginning here,” he said at the opening. “This is just a wonderful example of what you can do when a lot of people put their efforts together and have the communities and patients interests forefront.”

Leonardo Huertas, chairman of emergency services for the hospital, said the new treatment style at Huntington Hospital will be a win for patients.

“The emergency department leadership has envisioned a way to best care and manage our patients,” Huertas said. “The new ED was designed with an eye for innovation. We wanted to change the traditional sequential process which is riddled with bottlenecks and delays.”

‘Rush’s Lancers’ by Winslow Homer, 1886; Courtesy of the Mort Kunstler Collection. Image from The Heckscher Museum of Art

By Ellen Barcel

Two related exhibits have opened at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington: Normal Rockwell and Friends: American Illustrations from the Mort Künstler Collection (through March 5, 2017) and Mort Künstler: The New Nation (through April 2, 2017). Related in theme (American artists and subjects), related in exhibit time and related through American artist Mort Künstler himself, the duel exhibits complement each other perfectly.

Norman Rockwell and Friends

Norman Rockwell’s ‘A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!’ (aka ‘World of Charles Dickens’), 1937; Mort Künstler Collection. Courtesy Norman Rockwell Family Agency. Image from The Heckscher Museum of Art
Norman Rockwell’s ‘A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!’ (aka ‘World of Charles Dickens’), 1937; Mort Künstler Collection. Courtesy Norman Rockwell Family Agency. Image from The Heckscher Museum of Art

Mort Künstler, an American artist himself, has long collected the works of late 19th century and early 20th century artists/illustrators. The current exhibit at the Heckscher (Norman Rockwell and Friends) highlights Künstler’s collection and is unique because this is the first time these works are being shown to the public. The 75 pieces on display, such a broad variety of artists, represent 39 artists including Edwin Austin Abbey, Howard Chandler Christy, Dean Cornwell, Charles Dana Gibson, George Gross, Winslow Homer, J.C. Leyendecker, Thomas Lovell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle and, of course, Norman Rockwell.

In a recent phone interview, Künstler remarked that of the many artists he collected, he knew several personally. Thomas Lovell was “almost like a mentor” to him and George Gross “really was my mentor,” adding, “I did have the pleasure of talking to Norman Rockwell on the phone.”

Künstler’s collecting goes back to at least 1972 “or earlier,” he commented, over four decades of seeking out the best illustrators of the early 20th century. Why these particular artists? “I liked the work,” he said, from when he was in art school. Künstler stated that many of the artists were members of the Society of Illustrators, a professional organization founded in 1901. Gibson was one of its early presidents. Included in the nine founding artists were N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle, both in the current exhibit. The heyday of the society’s art shows was during the Roaring Twenties and Great Depression of the 1930s.

“All were illustrators,” said Künstler. “There was no TV (back when they were working). The only visuals that people got were out of magazines and newspapers. Visually, they were the ones who created the fashions. Charles Dana Gibson was the creator of the Gibson girl.” She was recognized as the personification of feminine beauty in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “The illustrators were idolized like movie stars. They reached out to thousands of people. They were the superstars of that era.”

Why the exhibit now? “I got to know Michael Schantz, executive director at the Heckscher Museum, well. He came to lunch, visited, loved the collection. … It was time to let it go out,” said Künstler.

“One of the extraordinary things about this is that both the Künstlers allowed us to take everything off their walls, from the house. It was just an extraordinary gesture. It speaks so well of the relationship between this museum and the Küntslers,” said Schantz. “I met with him quite a few times. I recorded him for hours and hours — a record of the interesting stories, the hunt for the works, where he found them and how he found them.” He added that some of these stories are related in the information cards in the exhibit.

Mort Künstler: The New Nation

The museum also has a related exhibit, Mort Künstler: The New Nation, featuring Küntsler’s most recent work including his paintings of the early years of the United States. Künstler, who is particularly known for his Civil War paintings, reflected that his interest in American history came about because “almost all of my work was commissioned,” and frequently those commissions related to American history.

Above, ‘Washington’s Crossing: McKonkey’s Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776,’ 2011; oil on canvas, 33 × 50 in., from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Suozzi. Image courtesy of The Heckscher Museum
Above, ‘Washington’s Crossing: McKonkey’s Ferry, Dec. 26, 1776,’ by Mort Künstler, 2011; oil on canvas, 33 × 50 in., from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Suozzi. Image courtesy of The Heckscher Museum

“My book, ‘The New Nation’ [‘The New Nation, The Creation of the United States in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts’] will act as the catalogue of the show,” said Künstler. “I did some of the work for the bicentennial in 1976,” then did additional paintings, he said. The book, with text by American military historian Edward G. Lengel and David H. Fischer, will be available at the museum. Künstler, who has published 10 books of his art work, now also has a children’s book series as well, “based on my paintings.” Themes of the four books include the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Wild West and World War II. The works are written by well-known historians (particularly James “Bud” Robertson) for children ages 10 to 15.

Howard Shaw, president and director of the Hammer Galleries in Manhattan, has known and worked with Künstler for more than 25 years. “Mort is considered the country’s leading historical artist,” said Shaw. “Not only has he incredible technique but he does enormous research so that even the smallest detail is accurate.” Shaw went on to relate an incident where Künstler was researching information with a number of historians for a painting he was doing. Only one was able to get back to him “one or two hours before the opening of the show. With the painting on the gallery wall, Mort repainted that particular part of an insignia,” so that it would be historically correct.

Shaw observed the joy that goes into Künstler’s work. “He told me if it ever feels like work, ‘I’ll stop doing it.’ Over 70 years he hasn’t felt he’s had a job.”

A gallery tour and talk with Mort Künstler will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the museum (inclement weather date is Jan. 19). Members are invited to attend free, for nonmembers there is a $5 charge.

The Heckscher Museum of Art, is located at 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. The museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day). For further information, visit www.heckscher.org or call 631-351-3250.

Huntington Town and Northport Village hosted holiday parades this past weekend to get into the Christmas spirit. Live reindeers, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and fire trucks dressed up in lights paraded through Northport, while over at Huntington, fire departments from all over the North Shore competed in a float contest.

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Tricia Arceri flips into the pool. File photo by Darin Reed

Tricia Arceri always has a list of goals she is striving to attain. One of them has been to reach the medal platform at the New York State diving championships. The Huntington junior can now put a check next to that one after finishing fifth out of 43 divers Nov. 18 at Ithaca College.

Tricia Arceri leaps off the board. File photo by Darin Reed
Tricia Arceri leaps off the board. File photo by Darin Reed

Arceri was in eighth place after the first round of the state championships and was sixth following the semifinals. The diver moved up to fifth place following the final-round dives.

“I had a great meet,” Arceri said. “I set a goal to be on the podium and achieved it taking fifth place. My new goal for next year is to be on the top of that podium.”

Prior, Arceri won the county crown with a record-setting score Nov. 4.

“Tricia walked onto the deck for the county diving championships knowing she was already headed to the state championships [after earlier meeting the qualifying standard],” said Meg McConnell, who coaches Huntington’s divers and serves as assistant to Blue Devils head coach Christopher Helmke. “She completed an undefeated dual-meet season, won the Sachem diving invitational as well as handily winning the six dive events at the League I championships. … It was time to get the county championships win.”

Arceri’s first county’s effort, a required back dive, was nearly flawless, garnering the teenager four 10s out of a possible five. “As the preliminary round continued she remained in the lead solidly hitting all her dives, even her least favorite reverse 1 1/2 somersaults,” McConnell said.

As the semifinal round began, Arceri started with an inward and scored 10s across the board. Two dives later, the round concluded with the Huntington star still leading the field.

“I set a goal to be on the podium and achieved it taking fifth place. My new goal for next year is to be on the top of that podium.”

— Tricia Arceri

“To start the final round, Tricia chose her forward 2 1/2 somersaults, her hardest dive,” McConnell said. “With an imperfect takeoff it didn’t come out great, but luckily the higher degree of difficulty helped offset the lower scores of the judges.”

Arceri continued holding the lead through nine dives, but on her 10th, which also earned her all 10s, she dropped into second place due to the lower degree of difficulty it was assessed.

The meet concluded with Arceri performing  higher-difficulty dive. The inward 1 1/2 impressed the judges, who awarded the diver 9.5s and 10s, sealing her first Suffolk championship and helping the Huntington standout set a new county scoring record with 618.10 points.

“Going into the final group of dives the scores were close,” Arceri said. “The girl that had placed second [Grace Reeves of Lindenhurst with 609.90 points] had a little more of degree of difficulty, meaning I had to nail every dive. I am very consistent with my final dive and I knew I had to go out there and do it the best I ever could, so I did. … Beating my own score was great, but getting the county record is even better.”

The trip this past weekend marked Arceri’s third trip to the state championships, where she finished 14th last year.

— Huntington Athletics

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