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Huntington

Phil Tepe, Paul Kelly and Fred Amore, members of the Town of Huntington Veterans Advisory Board, and Supervisor Frank Petrone unveil names at the Vietnam memorial wall on June 11. Photo from A.J. Carter

Huntington Town has added 378 names to its Vietnam War memorial, and unveiled tribute plaques on June 11 as part of a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict and the half-century that has passed since it began.

Almost 3 million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam War between March 1965 and April 1975, and more than 58,000 died in the conflict.

The town kicked off the day with a breakfast that served veterans, their families and supporters and included musical performances as well as a keynote address from Huntington native Frank Libutti, a retired U.S. Marine corps lieutenant general. He spoke about his service and experiences as a platoon commander in Vietnam. During the breakfast, according to a town press release, the names of the 49 Huntington residents who were killed in that war were read aloud.

Later, people gathered at Veterans Plaza in front of Town Hall for a ceremony dedicating the plaques with the 378 new names at the Vietnam memorial wall. The town said there are now 1,540 names at that memorial, which was erected in 2003 and includes names of Vietnam War-era veterans who live or have lived in the town.

The Town of Huntington Veterans Advisory Board was named an official Vietnam War commemorative partner, as part of an initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the war’s beginning, and the local event was listed on the national website for the program.

On Saturday, June 13, the 2015 Long Island Pride Parade marched down Main Street in Huntington Village.

Hosted by the LGBT Network, an association of non-profit organizations working to serve the Long Island and Queens LGBT community, the parade featured an array of marching groups, including community organizations, social groups, LGBT corporate employees and other constituencies.

Meeting to take place at town hall

Woodbury Road residents have called the thoroughfare unsafe in recent years. File photo by Barbara Donlon

The results of a Woodbury Road traffic study will be revealed at a meeting on Monday, June 15, at Huntington Town Hall, according to Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland (D).

The town-commissioned study was a response to a petition organized by Marilyn McDermott, a resident of Cold Spring Harbor who lives on Woodbury Road. McDermott said in July that the road was so dangerous she was afraid to pull out of her driveway.  Numerous car crashes have occurred in recent years on the road that connects Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington, two of which resulted in fatalities.

The Uniondale-based traffic engineering consultant GEB HiRise, which will host the Town Hall meeting on Monday along with Berland, conducted the study. The town board authorized the cost of the study to be less than $25,000.

“I think people will be happy with the study,” Berland said in a phone interview this week. “They’ll see the analysis that went into it.”

McDermott said she will attend the meeting on Monday to hear the results of the study and the firm’s recommendations for future change.

“It’s been worth it already,” McDermott said about the time she has dedicated to making the road she travels on everyday safer. “It’s brought my community together in a way that’s been eye opening.”

McDermott said she was surprised by the support she received from both the board and the community thus far, but she expects that the findings will reveal a need for changes.

“It would behoove them to make some changes based on the fatalities and accidents that have gone on there in the past,” McDermott said.

Other Woodbury Road residents have spoken out about the dangerous conditions of the road since the petition for a traffic study began in June of last year.

“The way the turn is constructed, along with slippery conditions, the road equals death,” Woodbury Road resident Stan Cotek said in July.

Another resident, Sierra Mittleman, a neighbor of McDermott’s, also said in July, “Our whole road is starting to look like a memorial.”

Berland said that members of the engineering firm that conducted the study would take questions from community members after they reveal the results and their recommendations on Monday night. Boards will be set up around the room with pictures of sections of the roadway, along with what is suggested for those particular areas, according to Berland.

“I hope we have a great turn out and a lot of people come and share their opinion,” Berland said about Monday’s meeting.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Damaged doors and windows
A Village Green Drive resident in Port Jefferson Station reported the door of their 2014 Hyundai had been dented at some point between 3 p.m. on June 3 and 11 a.m. on June 4.
Two cars and an apartment on Linden Place in Port Jefferson were damaged between 5 p.m. on June 6 and 7 p.m. on June 7. According to police, the apartment’s resident reported that the vehicles’ windows were smashed and the inside of the apartment was damaged.
A BB gun pellet damaged a window at a Granada Circle home in Mount Sinai on June 7 between 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.

Taken times two
A William Street resident in Port Jefferson Station reported that cash was stolen from their unlocked 2014 Cadillac sometime around 2:35 a.m. on June 3.
A Corvette Road residence in Selden was burglarized on June 4 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Police said the suspect entered through an unlocked rear door and took jewelry, cash and electronics.

Going through withdrawals
After stealing a pocketbook from a shopper at Stop & Shop on Pond Path in Centereach on June 3, a suspect then used the credit cards to make purchases.
A Wolfhollow Road resident in Centereach reported on June 3 that their debit card had been used to make unauthorized withdrawals.

Welts on West Broadway
A female was injured after a verbal dispute at Schafer’s in Port Jefferson became physical in the early morning of June 7. According to police, the woman had welts on her forehead after being punched and was transported to a local hospital.

Tempestuous relationship
A mother and her son’s friend got into a verbal argument on June 6 on Tempest Road in Selden.

Do not enter
A 22-year-old Bellport man was arrested in Mount Sinai on June 6 and charged with third-degree criminal trespass after he entered the backyard of a Savanna Circle home without permission on June 5.

Working for tips
A 26-year-old Centereach woman was arrested in Mount Sinai on June 5 and charged with petit larceny after she took a tip jar from Tropical Smoothie Café on May 29.

Locked and loaded
Police arrested a 43-year-old Rocky Point man on June 3 shortly after 8 p.m. after they discovered the suspect in possession of cocaine and a loaded Glock, among other weapons. He was charged with multiple related counts, including second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

Crash-and-dasher sought
Suffolk County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a woman who may have left the scene of an accident last month. Police said on May 31, at about 9:30 a.m., a woman driving a tan or beige-colored four-door sedan sideswiped a white Toyota at the Shop Rite located at 71 College Road in Selden. The suspect’s vehicle may have damage to the right front-end fender. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Speedy DWI
A 29-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested in Stony Brook on May 5, at 1:30 a.m., and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 2007 gray Lexus and was observed speeding on County Road 97 at Shirley Kenny Drive in Stony Brook.

Clothing grab
A 30 year-old female from Sayville was arrested on June 1 in Setauket-East Setauket and charged with petit larceny. Police said she stole clothing from Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway at 8:12 p.m. She was arrested at the scene.

Wrong side of the tracks
Someone drove onto the lawn of Crossroads Church on Pembrook Drive in Stony Brook and left tire tracks between June 5 at 5 p.m. and June 6 at 10 a.m.

Basement burglary
Someone broke into the basement window of a home on Bennett Lane in Stony Brook and took a phone, cash and credit cards sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on June 5.

Cheat sheet
Someone took two sheet sets and returned them for credit at Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between May 20 and June 6.

Lost and found
A man lost his wallet at Kohl’s in Setauket-East Setauket and someone stole it and used his credit card sometime between May 18 and May 19.

Bag grabber sought
Suffolk County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who broke a car window and stole a bag in Hauppauge last month.
Police said a man broke the passenger front window of a blue Toyota Rav-4 and stole a Coach handbag from within the vehicle on May 5, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The suspect appears to be a light-skinned Hispanic male, five feet and seven inches tall, in his 20s, with a medium build. The suspect was wearing a baseball hat and had his right arm in a sling.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Credit compromised
Suffolk County police arrested a 37-year-old man from Holbrook on June 6 and charged him with fourth-degree grand larceny of credit cards. Police said he stole credit cards from a Holbrook woman on June 4 at 8:30 p.m. He was arrested at the 4th precinct at 9:45 a.m.

Rude awakening
Suffolk County police arrested a 28-year-old undomiciled man in Smithtown and charged him with third-degree criminal trespass of enclosed property. Police said he entered a building on Maple Avenue in Smithtown on June 5 and found the man sleeping in a storage room. Police also said there was a sign on the door that cautioned no trespassing. He was arrested that day at 12:20 a.m.

Cu later
Police arrested a 24-year-old man from Ronkonkoma on June 3 and charged him with third-degree burglary. Police said the man broke into a residence on Pleasure Avenue in Lake Ronkonkoma, between April 28 and May 2, and stole copper piping. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct at 2:35 p.m.

Bike-jacked
Someone stole a BMX bicycle from a parking lot on West Main Street in Smithtown on June 7, between noon and 2 p.m. There are no arrests.

Laser gazer
A driver complained to police that someone in another car was pointing a green laser at him, causing him visual distress. The incident happened in Smithtown, eastbound on Route 25A, on June 5. The driver was traveling in a 2007 Infiniti and the suspect was a male with a female passenger.

Two heads are better than one
A man told police he was head-butted by someone at Napper Tandy’s Irish Pub on East Main Street in Smithtown on June 3. The victim said he required medical attention and stitches. The incident happened at around 11 p.m.

Donation box looted
Someone took money from the poor box at St. Patrick’s Church on East Main Street on June 2, sometime between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. There are no arrests.

Knocked out
Police arrested an 18-year-old man from Huntington Station in Huntington on June 6 and charged him with assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon. Police said he smashed a bottle over somebody’s head at about 12:30 a.m. The victim had to receive stitches at Huntington Hospital. The man was arrested at 5 a.m. that day.

Teen punched
A 44-year-old man from Huntington was arrested in Huntington on June 6 and charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child below the age of 17. Police said the man punched a 14-year-old boy in the face multiple times. The incident happened on the street on Wall Street in Huntington on May 23 at 9:05 p.m. The man was arrested on West Neck Road at Gerard Street at about 11:19 a.m.

No ‘scrips, no problem
Police arrested a 39-year-old Huntington man in Huntington on June 5 and charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said the man possessed prescription medication without a prescription, and he was arrested in front of West Shore Road in Huntington at 5:09 p.m.

In your face
A 23-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington on June 3 and charged with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury. Police said the man punched another man in the face, and the other individual required medical treatment. The incident took place at Ohara Place in Halesite on May 9 at 1:40 a.m., and the man was arrested at the 2nd precinct at 4:45 p.m.

Missing computer
A Knollwood Road resident in Halesite reported to police his computer disappeared from his home. He used an app to locate it and tracked the device to Brentwood. The man said he doesn’t know how it got there. The incident occurred sometime between 8 p.m. on June 4 and 11 p.m. on June 5.

Gone in a click
Someone stole a woman’s bag containing a camera, lenses, a tripod, batteries and charger sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight on June 5 on New York Avenue in Huntington. The woman left the equipment on a party bus, and when she returned to the bus, the bag was gone.

Power punch
Someone punched a man in the face on New York Avenue on June 6 at 2:35 a.m., causing him to fall back and hit his head. The man had to go to Huntington Hospital for medial treatment.

Rings taken
Someone stole two diamond rings from a home on Woodbury Road in Cold Spring Harbor sometime between June 1 and June 4. There are no arrests.

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Photo from Flickr/David Rodriguez Martin

As a community newspaper, we find ourselves tossing around the phrase “NIMBY” — standing for “not in my backyard” — from time to time. But it’s usually more of an expression, and a negative one, than a literal translation of residents resisting something from going into their actual backyards.

But in the case of drones, NIMBY could not be taken more literally.

Call them drones, call them unmanned aircraft systems — either way, the public perception of these flying devices is still developing as they buzz around the skies.

Huntington Town attempted this week to ground concerns over these drones when it introduced a resolution that would regulate their use for the betterment of public health, privacy and safety “so that operation of same is respectful of community standards [and] the concerns of residents, as well as protect property and privacy rights,” the resolution said.

Huntington wasn’t alone in its efforts to come out a step ahead of drone regulation, either. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and several other elected leaders have been banging the drone drum for months now, calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to require drones to fly below 500 feet and limit where they can fly.

While we understand the legislative urge to keep an eye on the sky for the sake of public privacy and safety, we hope our public leaders don’t turn the drone debate into a droning drain on resources.

There are several things to consider when it comes to drawing the legislative line for drones. At what point would new laws encroach upon our personal freedoms? Whose job is it to regulate them? Does the regulator depend on how high the drone flies or what jurisdiction is underneath it? Should regulations vary based upon the type of drone?

Moving forward, our local municipalities should not jump the gun. Officials should properly investigate all the nuts and bolts of the drone industry and be careful when determining where governments should step in.

Flying a drone is not like flying a kite, and we, like many of our neighbors, are concerned about personal privacy and public safety. All we ask is that our elected officials consider the whole subject carefully before inking laws.

Town board hosts public hearing on zone change

A deli on the Platt’s Tavern site would be demolished under Dominick Mavellia’s zone change application to construct a medical office building. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Residents offered mixed opinions this week at a town board public hearing on a plan to rezone a historic Huntington village property that once hosted George Washington for dinner in 1790.

Developer Dominick Mavellia wants to change the zoning of a parcel on the corner of Route 25A and Park Avenue from R-15 Residence District to C-1 Office Residence District to make way for a 10,000 square-foot medical office building. Of that space, GoHealth Urgent Care would occupy 3,000 square feet, and 7,000 square feet would be regular medical office space for North Shore-LIJ Health System.

The project is located in the Old Town Green National Historic District and the Old Huntington Green Town Historic District and was the site of the former Platt’s Tavern, one of the first buildings in the area. According to town documents, Washington dined at the establishment on April 23, 1790, during a tour of Long Island.

At the time, Huntington’s population was around 2,000.

If approved, the new development would replace an abandoned gasoline service station/automotive repair shop, a deli and a vehicle storage yard. The demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of any new buildings would have to undergo architectural review and be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission, according to a town document.

The access to and from Park Avenue would be restricted to allow only right turns in and out of the property.

Also, East Main Street would be restriped in order to provide a left-turn lane for westbound vehicles looking to enter the site, and Park Avenue would be widened to provide a right-turn lane for northbound traffic looking to head east on East Main Street.

It is said George Washington dined at Platt’s Tavern, located at the corner of Park Avenue at Route 25A in Huntington. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
It is said George Washington dined at Platt’s Tavern, located at the corner of Park Avenue at Route 25A in Huntington. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Part of the plan would also include situating a life-sized statue of George Washington beside his horse on the property.

An earlier iteration sought a zone change to C-4 Neighborhood Business District, which would allow for retail use, but the applicant amended his request for the zone change on the spot at Tuesday night’s town board meeting. The change came after consulting with “various members of the community,” according to a representative of the developer.

“Determining the fate of this exceptional corner and gateway to our great town is vital,” Mavellia, a lifelong Huntington resident, said at the meeting. “We heard everyone’s concerns loud and clear, hence the change in application to C-1.”

Mavallia also said he’s brought on a historical architect to work closely with town historians “to address their concerns and ideas.”

The main issue seemed to surround the proposed design of the structure, of which many individuals, including town board members Susan Berland (D) and Mark Cuthbertson (D), said didn’t look historic enough.

Cuthbertson said he took issue with the proposed awnings. “I’m hoping there’s room for discussion,” he said.

Berland said, “To me it looks like a CVS.”

Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) asked the developer’s representative if he would be consulting with the community on the design of the project, to which the representative replied he would.

Paul Warburgh, president of the Old Huntington Green Inc., said he was pleased the applicant decided to go with the C-1 zone change request, which is more in keeping with the character of the area and neighboring buildings.

“We’re here to work with the developer to put something there that will honor the Huntington Green and the historic area,” he said.

While some seemed heartened by the amended zone change request, others wanted to see the town take action and do something unique with the property, like rebuild Platt’s Tavern. Some said they were concerned the project would create even greater traffic issues. One individual wanted the scale of the building reduced, while some speakers — who were friends of Mavellia — supported the developer and spoke highly of his character.

The zone change was a big move for some who originally opposed the project, Petrone said in an interview after the meeting.

“That basically was a real change in terms of going to C-1, which was the biggest contention of our historic community especially,” he said. “And that has provided I think an opportunity now. They want to work together. So I’m hopeful that they’ll be able to come up with something that everyone will be proud of.”

Due to the amended zone change, the public record for the hearing will be held open for 10 days. Those interested may continue to submit written comments to Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia (R).

Photo from Flickr/David Rodriguez Martin

Huntington officials have their eyes on the skies.

The Huntington Town Board voted to schedule a public hearing that would regulate the recreational use of unmanned aircraft systems “so that operation of same is respectful of community standards, the concerns of residents as well as protect property and privacy rights,” according to the resolution authorizing the hearing.

Huntington Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D), who sponsored the measure, said he was inspired to do so in part by an experience he had shooting a promotional town video outside.

“And lo and behold up above, a drone,” he said.

Cuthbertson said he couldn’t tell who was operating the device.

“It all could be for very benevolent purposes, taking pictures of the boats on the water, but it could be something more nefarious,” Cuthbertson said. “You don’t know. So I think we need to at least start a discussion of how these things are used and what they’re used for.”

The proposed law defines an unmanned aircraft, also known as a drone or a model aircraft, as “a non-human carrying aircraft weighing no more than 55 pounds, capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere intended exclusively for sport, recreation, education and/or competition and is typically guided by remote control or onboard computers.” Restrictions would apply to all properties in the unincorporated parts of town — residential, commercial and otherwise.

Under the new rules, if approved, no one would be allowed to use the aerial devices to collect images or information on individuals, homes, business or property at locations where there is “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” That conduct would be prohibited unless permission is obtained from the individual property owner or manager.

It would also be illegal to pilot an unmanned aircraft on private property or town property without the owner or the town’s consent; pilot an unmanned aircraft that interferes with manned aircraft; or pilot an unmanned craft outside the operator’s visual line of sight.

The new rules would prohibit piloting an unmanned aircraft higher than 400 feet from the ground, near or over unprotected persons or moving vehicles at a height less than 25 feet from same; operate the devices under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol; use the devices in adverse weather such as high winds or reduced visibility; or pilot an unmanned aircraft near or over sensitive infrastructure or property like power stations, sewage treatment facilities and heavily traveled roadways in Huntington Town.

Those who violate the proposed law could be punished via a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for up to 15 days.

The board voted to schedule the public at its meeting on Tuesday. Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) was the only one who voted against the measure.

“I think it’s premature, at best,” she said, noting that she had questions about how this law would be enforced and whether it would interfere with the Federal Aviation Administration or other jurisdictions looking into the matter.

In an interview after the meeting, Supervisor Frank Petrone (D), who seconded Cuthbertson’s resolution, said it was worth it to start the conversation with a public hearing.

“It’s a problem,” he said. “Bring it up, let’s air it.”

Earlier this year, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called on the FAA to employ sweeping drone regulations, including limits on how high the devices could fly and where or when they can be used. He and several other lawmakers zeroed in on drone regulations after an incident in which a drone operator flew an aircraft onto the White House property in Washington, D.C.

The FAA released several proposals for the usage of drones, requiring them to fly below 500 feet, away from airports and other secure airspaces and more, which Schumer applauded as a step in the right direction.

“Overall, the American public is a lot better off today with the FAA’s proposed drone regulations than we were yesterday, particularly related to the safety of our air travelers,” he said in a statement in February. “However, I will continue to work with the FAA to expand eligible commercial uses for drones and further protect privacy and safety.

The town board public hearing will take place on July 14 at 2 p.m.

Residents turn out for and against a plan to build a 69-unit assisted living facility in Huntington. Photo by Rohma Abbas

Plans to build a 69-unit assisted living facility in a residential, wooded Huntington neighborhood were largely met with heavy censure by neighboring residents at a town board public hearing on Tuesday night.

The room was filled to the max with individuals holding up signs for and against the proposal, and jeering and applause often punctuated speakers’ statements. Out of the nearly 35 individuals who spoke, most residents opposed Massachusetts-based Benchmark Senior Living’s plans to build the facility at the corner of East Main Street and Washington Drive, calling the proposal too dense for the area and criticizing the traffic, noise and sewage treatment aspects of the project. The residents called on the town board to reject the company’s proposal to rezone the six-acre land, which has both C-3 Special Business and R-10 Residential zoning, to R-HS Residential Health Services District, a designation that would make way for the facility.

The project has gone through several versions. The proposed number of units has been brought down from 87 to 69 units, and the proposed on-site sewage treatment plant has been moved to the northwest corner of the lot, adjacent to commercial property. A 40-foot-wide natural buffer along Old Northport Road will be built, and the gross floor area would be slightly reduced from 70,567 square feet to 66,995.

Representatives for the developer said at the meeting that the project would meet the needs of a growing senior population in Suffolk County and especially in Huntington Town. But many residents expressed frustration over the zone change request, urging the board to keep the zoning of the current land intact.

Some support Benchmark Senior Living’s request to rezone property to make way for a 69-unit assisted living facility in Huntington. Photo by Rohma Abbas
Some support Benchmark Senior Living’s request to rezone property to make way for a 69-unit assisted living facility in Huntington. Photo by Rohma Abbas

“Shoehorning a large-scale facility into this spot that would house 100 to 150 people including the staff is so far from the original zoning plan that it renders zoning laws absurd,” Jane Carter, a Cobb Court resident said. “Why do we have zoning laws in the first place? They’re there to protect us.”

Meanwhile, the plan got some support by fewer than a handful of residents, including the construction industry. The developer’s team of representatives argued the proposal is a good use for the site and for the town. John Dragat, senior vice president of development at Benchmark, said the plan destroys fewer trees than previous plans for the site, which included eight homes and an office building. Benchmark’s proposal covers less of the lot and, square-footage wise, isn’t much greater than the plan for the homes, Dragat added.

“In fact, we believe it’s a very responsible proposal,” he said. “It’s respectful of the surrounding community.”

Still, residents were not sold. Astrid Ludwicki, an Old Northport Road resident, said the project was too dense and called it a “monstrosity.”

“This building is too large,” she said. “It’s for Benchmark’s profits, clear and simple.”

Petitions opposing the project have been submitted to the town. Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia (R) said if they’re valid, it could mean the board would need a supermajority vote — four out of five — to approve the zone change, versus a simple majority of three.

After the meeting, Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said in an interview that the town’s planning staff would review the proposal. Asked for his sense of how the community feels about the project, he said “they’re against it.” The supervisor also said he agreed with the applicant’s claim that this type of facility is needed.

“I think there is a need,” he said. “I think everybody will say there’s a need. Now depending on if it’s in the right spot, we have to analyze that.”

Huntington's Infinite Tucker leaps over the hurdles. File photo by Darin Reed
Huntington’s Infinite Tucker leaps over the hurdles. File photo by Darin Reed

It wasn’t completely smooth sailing, but it all worked out in the end. The Huntington boys’ track and field team overcame several mishaps to qualify athletes in three different events for this week’s state championships in Albany.

Scott Gulizio got off to a slow start in the 800-meter run, falling far behind the leaders at last weekend’s Section XI state qualifier at Port Jefferson. Once the senior finally found his stride, he started passing competitors at a fast clip and managed to finish third in a new school record time of 1 minute, 53.83 seconds, 1.12 seconds behind first place finisher Shamar Powell of Walt Whitman and 49/100ths of a second off the second place pace of Bellport’s Tom Gassner.

Unfortunately for Gulizio, only the first place finisher and a second runner who has met the state-qualifying standard are eligible to advance to the state finals.

“It’s a real shame because Scott is one of the best in the state,” Huntington head coach Ron Wilson said. “Unfortunately, when you fall too far behind off the starting gun, it’s hard make up the deficit in a tough field.”

Kryee Johnson, Infinite Tucker and Exzayvian Crowell are members of the Huntington 4x400-meter relay team. File photo by Darin Reed
Kryee Johnson, Infinite Tucker and Exzayvian Crowell are members of the Huntington 4×400-meter relay team. File photo by Darin Reed

Another hard-to-take result came in the 110 high hurdles. Infinite Tucker struck the second hurdle and nearly came to a complete stop before recovering and speeding to the finish line, crossing third in 14.48 seconds.

The junior failed to qualify in one of his signature events, trailing Copiague’s Aaron McFadden (14.29) and Travon Duncan (14.36).

“Once it was over, all we could do is look ahead to the next race,” Wilson said.

The Blue Devils wouldn’t suffer another letdown.

Sophomore Kyree Johnson finished second in the 400 dash in a school record time of 48.50 seconds to qualify for the state finals in that event. Tucker came back to win the 400 hurdles in 53.14 seconds to also advance to the state championships.

Scott Gulizio leads the pack for Huntington in a previous race. File photo by Darin Reed
Scott Gulizio leads the pack for Huntington in a previous race. File photo by Darin Reed

“Kyree and Infinite both ran really well,” Wilson said. “There is always pressure in this type of meet. You have to be nearly perfect or you’re going to be disappointed in the state qualifier.”

Huntington and Half Hollow Hills West collided in the 4×400 relay, but in the highlight of the day, the Blue Devils won by less than a second to qualify for the state championships.

After running in Friday’s qualifying heat, Exzayvian Crowell stepped aside for alternate Shane McGuire, who ran the first leg in Saturday’s finals. Johnson, Gulizio and Tucker followed with blistering performances.

Huntington’s time of 3:19.17 nipped the Colts, who took second place in 3:19.87.

“It’s awesome,” Gulizio said. “It’s good to see all our hard work this season has paid off. Hopefully we can produce the same kind of results as winter.”

Town board to host public hearings on new proposals

The town board will consider a ban on e-cigarettes at town beaches and playgrounds. File photo by Nick Scarpa

Huntington Town residents next week will be able to weigh in on a proposal to ban e-cigarettes from town beaches and on another measure that would expedite cleanup of graffiti-ridden properties in the town.

The proposals will be the subject of two separate public hearings on June 9 at 7 p.m at Town Hall.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) has introduced the new legislation to ban e-cigarettes from town beaches and playgrounds. Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) hopes to improve on old legislation to speed up the process of graffiti removal from both residential and commercial properties.

Berland’s proposal enhances existing graffiti cleanup laws. Under the new provisions, residents of Huntington would have 10 days after they receive a summons from the town to remove the graffiti from their property, according to Berland. After the 10 days expire, the town can send Huntington Town General Services Department employees in to remove the graffiti. The resident will then be charged with the cleanup fee and a $250 administrative fee.

If the owner fails to pay the cleanup bill within 30 days, the property will be added to a graffiti blight inventory, which will cost homeowners $2,500 and owners of commercial properties $5,000. Owners who fail to pay the bill will have the bill become a lien on their property.

The time frame is even shorter for graffiti that contains hate speech. The owner has a total of three days to remove it after getting a notice of violation before the town takes action.

“I think it’s important to protect our neighborhood from unwanted graffiti,” Berland said in a phone interview.

Berland has worked with graffiti cleanup for years and is now trying to create legislation that amends the town code so that the cleanups are routine.

Cuthbertson has introduced legislation to add electronic cigarettes to the list of products banned from town beaches and playgrounds. This list already includes tobacco and herbal cigarettes, pipes and cigars.

In 2010 a county law restricted the sale of e-cigarettes to those old enough to buy tobacco. Suffolk County Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport) sponsored legislation to ban vaping, or the act of smoking an e-cigarette, at county parks and benches in late 2012.

Many residents in Huntington approached Cuthbertson asking for legislation to end vaping on public grounds, since they have concerns with being exposed to secondhand smoke. However, this new law, if adopted, would not include private property, as well as the parking lots at beaches. New no-smoking signs would go up at each public beach and playground.

In an email through his legislative aide, Cuthbertson said he believes this legislation is important on a public health level.

“The extensive amount of medical research and published studies support our desire to protect the health and welfare of those at our town beaches from secondhand smoke,” the councilman said.

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