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Huntington

The Huntington Historical Society hosted its annual Sheep to Shawl Festival on May 3, giving locals a fun and fascinating look at colonial life. It featured real sheep-shearing and had demonstrators in colonial costume sharing their knowledge and assisting visitors in carding, spinning, knitting and weaving. There was also live music and colonial-era games. Children experienced different aspects of colonial life, including the process of how sheep wool goes from the animals to fabric — from sheep to shawl.

Huntington Town hosted its 15th Annual Tulip Festival on Sunday, May 3, a springtime festival that is a free, family-oriented, floral event in Heckscher Park. It featured tulips, hands-on children’s activity booths and live entertainment. Hundreds of children and their families attended.

A driver is dead after his car went into a house in Huntington on Friday night.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 49-year-old James Spillane was driving a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder west on Woodhull Road about 11:38 p.m. when he veered to the left and drove across a house’s lawn. He crashed into the northeast corner of the home, which is located near the corner with Hilaire Drive.

Spillane, a Syosset resident, was pronounced dead at the scene. He may have experienced a medical event before the Nissan left the road, police said.

No one in the home was injured, according to police, and the house had minor damage.

Police impounded the Pathfinder for a safety check and detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the detectives at 631-854-8252.

Amy Siebert, of Shirley, takes in the tulips at last year’s festival. File photo by Rohma Abbas

By Julianne Cuba

On Sunday, May 3, the 15th Annual Huntington Tulip Festival will take place in Heckscher Park in Huntington.

Founded by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) and organized by the Town of Huntington, with chief festival sponsorship support from Astoria Bank, the tulip festival will be home to children’s activity booths, art exhibits and live performances. The festival will begin at 11 a.m., rain or shine.

“It’s a small-scale, family-oriented festival that really helps mark the beginning of spring with the blossoming of about 5,000 tulip bulbs,” Cuthbertson said in a phone interview this week.

Presented by the Huntington Arts Council, live performances will begin on the Chapin Rainbow Stage at noon. The Gizmo Guys will take the stage first, with a humor-filled performance appropriate for all ages, according to a town press release.

The Shinnecock American Indian Dancers will take the stage at 1:30 p.m., with a 45-minute dance presentation that will include audience participation. At 2:15 p.m., the Shinnecock American Indian Dancers will lead the re-enactment of the children’s parade that followed the 1920 dedication of Heckscher Park. It will include a new Tulip Festival Hat Contest for children and adults.

Paul Helou, an award-winning songwriter, actor and journalist, will be the final performer on the Chapin Rainbow Stage, at 3 p.m. Helou “performs a [blend] of bluegrass, Americana, roots and folk music for children that are high-energy, interactive events with quality original songs,” according to the press release.

On the same day, the 31st Annual Sheep to Shawl Festival presented by the Huntington Historical Society will take place at the historic Dr. Daniel W. Kissam House Museum and Barn. A free shuttle bus will transport visitors between the festivals.

‘Pathway,’ acrylic and pencil on canvas. Image from Ripe Art

By Ernestine Franco

Local artist Sue Contessa will have a solo show at the Ripe Art Gallery in Huntington from May 9 to 27. Meet the artist at a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. on May 9.

The focus of Contessa’s art is the process and ritual of repetitive mark making. The color and depth in the paintings are created by alternating many layers of brush strokes and pencil lines. In discussing how she prepares for a new piece, Contessa said, “I establish criteria such as scale, color, size and placement of the marks. Making [these] decisions first allows me to proceed without interruption. Working this way, the act of painting becomes a form of meditation.”

Contessa is a longtime resident of St. James who has exhibited her work in Manhattan, England, and extensively across Long Island in solo and group exhibitions since the 1990s.

The Ripe Art Gallery is located at 1028 Park Ave., Huntington. For more information on the gallery, call 631-239-1805 or visit www.ripeartgal.com. For more information on the artist or to see more of her  paintings, visit www.suecontessa.com.

A Centerport veteran and high school teacher who was hoping to run on the Democratic ticket for one of two open seats on the Huntington Town Board has dropped out of the race.

Darryl St. George file photo by Rohma Abbas
Darryl St. George file photo by Rohma Abbas

Darryl St. George, 33, an Afghanistan combat veteran, announced in a statement on Wednesday night that he’s withdrawing his name from consideration for the board, citing a “desire to do what is best for the Democratic Party and to strive for party unity in the upcoming election.”

Earlier this year, St. George vowed to wage a primary if the party didn’t back him for one of the seats, held by Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) and Councilman Gene Cook (I), who are both running for re-election. Wednesday’s statement, from the Friends of Darryl St. George, acknowledged the change of heart, saying, “A number of leaders within the party urged him to respect the decision of the committee and avoid forcing a primary.”

“When there were clear indications that he was not likely to gain the committee’s nomination, St. George ultimately chose to step down and offer his support to the chosen candidates,” according to the statement.

Huntington Town Democratic Committee Chairwoman Mary Collins didn’t immediately return calls for comment on Thursday.

Keith Barrett, a Melville resident and the town’s deputy director of its general services department; Jim Kelly, a Huntington Station resident and retired EMS supervisor from the Nassau County Police Department; and Berland also want to run for Town Board on the Democratic ticket.

The Republicans also have a few possible candidates for the board seats on their hands, incumbent Cook being one of them.

Burglar busted
A 22-year-old Port Jefferson Station man was arrested on Ontario Street on April 22 at about 12:45 p.m. and charged with possessing burglary tools. Police said the man was found inside an abandoned home with black gloves, a hammer, a fire iron, metal snips and a chisel.

Napkin-thin defense
Police said a 22-year-old man from Port Jefferson Station was arrested on April 26 and charged with assault, recklessly causing physical injury. Police said that at about 12:53 a.m. at Schafer’s restaurant on West Broadway in Port Jefferson, the man threw a napkin dispenser at someone, resulting in a laceration on the victim’s right eye that required medical attention.

Streetfighter
A 29-year-old man from Port Jefferson was arrested on Main Street on April 21 at about 6:55 p.m. and charged with disorderly conduct, fighting/violent behavior and resisting arrest. Police said the man was fighting with another man in the middle of the street.

First cut is the deepest
A 20-year-old woman from Rocky Point was arrested on April 23 at about 10:30 p.m. and charged with assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon. Police said the woman slashed another woman with a knife in a parking lot on County Road 83 in Holtsville.

Drug dealer caught
Police arrested a 28-year-old man from Centereach on Middle Country Road on April 23 and charged him with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. He was also charged with four counts of criminal possession of a narcotic drug, four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell and one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said the man was found that day at about 1:37 p.m. in possession of heroin. He was arraigned the next day and held in lieu of posting a $20,000 cash or $40,000 bail bond, according to court records.

It wasn’t me
A 35-year-old man from Selden was arrested on April 21 and charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and second-degree criminal impersonation. Police said he gave a fake name and fake identification at Mooney Pond Road and South Bicycle Path in Selden and was arrested at the scene at 3:46 p.m.

Facing the music
Police arrested a 23-year-old Selden man on April 24 and charged him with two counts of petit larceny and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny of property valued at more than $1,000. Police said the man stole a Bose sound bar and a Sony bluetooth speaker from a location on Horseblock Road in Medford on two separate days. He also took five watches from a location in Sayville on April 16.

ShopWrong
A 34-year-old Selden woman was arrested on April 24 and charged with leaving the scene of property damage. Police said on April 18 the woman backed her 2006 GMC Envoy into a Honda Civic in the parking lot of ShopRite on College Plaza at about 9 p.m.

Bills, bills, bills
A 21-year-old man from Bellport was arrested in Stony Brook late on April 23 and charged with first-degree possession of a forged instrument. Police said the man had two counterfeit $10 bills and six counterfeit $50 bills.

Let’s bounce
A man told police a bouncer at Junior’s Spycoast on Main Street in Port Jefferson pushed him at 3:20 a.m. on April 26. There were no arrests.

Hotmail
Someone set off fireworks in a mailbox, causing it to melt, at a home on Old Rocky Point Road in Miller Place sometime between 9:50 and 10:20 p.m. on April 24.

Shopping for a victim
Someone lifted a purse out of a shopping cart at Marshalls on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook sometime between 5 and 7 p.m. on April 23. The purse contained a wallet and credit cards.

Case of the stolen beer
A man walked out of Stop & Shop on Route 25A in Setauket-East Setauket with a case of beer on April 21, at about 7:47 p.m., and didn’t pay for it.

Call me
A prepaid phone was stolen from a home on William Penn Drive in Stony Brook sometime between 11 a.m. on April 18 and 1 p.m. on April 20. The incident was reported on April 22.

Stopped up
A 32-year-old man from Selden was arrested in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Setauket-East Setauket on April 21 and charged with petit larceny. Police said that at about 1:45 p.m. he took wrenches and plumbing fittings from the store.

Phoning it in
A man from Brandywine Drive in Setauket-East Setauket told police someone fraudulently accessed his AT&T wireless account to obtain an iPhone 6. The incident was reported on April 23 at 3:30 p.m. and occurred sometime between Feb. 20 and April 8.

Jeep Grand Cherokey
Someone keyed a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee parked at Danfords Hotel & Marina on East Broadway in Port Jefferson on April 24 at about 5:30 p.m. There were no arrests.

Temper tantrum
A 32-year-old man from Stony Brook was arrested in Smithtown and charged with obstructing traffic and resisting arrest on April 26. Police said that at about 5:25 a.m. at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Glenrich Drive in St. James he was standing in the middle of the street and became violent and belligerent as cars attempted to pass him. He also refused to comply with a police officer’s demands.

Caffeine crash
Police arrested a 17-year-old teen from Nesconset in Smithtown on April 21 and charged him with criminal mischief — reckless property damage in an amount less than $250. Police said that the teen pushed a coffee-making machine off the counter at a 7-Eleven on Smithtown Boulevard, causing damage to it at 9:52 p.m. on April 8.

Be right back
A 34-year-old woman from St. James was arrested at her home on Copperbeech Road on April 25 and charged with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident. The incident happened on Lake Avenue in St. James on March 19 at about 2:10 p.m., where police said the woman was involved in a reportable car accident. She was driving a 2011 Toyota Sienna and fled the scene of the accident.

Swords, bow and arrow jacked
A Smithtown complainant from Jerome Street told police someone took a laptop, bow and arrows and swords from a shopping center at 2150 Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook sometime on April 24 between 10:30 and 11:40 a.m.

Tire troubles
Two cars parked on Hawkins Avenue in Smithtown were damaged in two separate incidents that occurred on April 22 at 10 p.m., police said. Two tires of a 2007 Infiniti were damaged, and an unknown person also slashed a tire on a 2015 Kia.

Plate taken
Someone removed a license plate from a 2011 Ford pickup truck parked on Standish Place in Smithtown sometime between April 25 at 8:30 p.m. and April 26 at 8:30 p.m.

Push ‘n shove
A man told police another man pushed him at America’s Best Value Inn on Nesconset Highway in Nesconset at about 6:30 p.m. on April 26.

Fence face-lift
An unknown person spray-painted multiple sections of a fence on Pine Drive in Nesconset sometime between April 24 at 8 p.m. and April 25 at 9:30 a.m.

iSad
Someone broke the driver-side window of a 2008 Ford parked on Bennett Street in Kings Park and stole an iPad. The incident happened sometime between 11:30 p.m. on April 20 and 5:30 a.m. on April 21.

Out of tune
Someone took an electronic guitar, cable, wireless system and tuner from a 2014 Lexus parked on Lou Avenue in Kings Park sometime between April 19 at 11:30 p.m. and April 20 at 7 a.m.

Jewels, cash taken
Jewelry and cash was stolen from a home on Drew Drive in St. James sometime between 8 a.m. on March 26 and 2 p.m. on April 21.

Paper stolen
Multiple reams of paper were stolen from a school on Moriches Road in St. James sometime between March 27 and April 20.

Car climbing a tree
A 27-year-old man from Cold Spring Harbor was arrested in Huntington on April 25 and charged with driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 of 1 percent. Police said that on April 25, at about 5:48 a.m., the man was heading west on Holdsworth Drive in Huntington when he drove up an embankment at Oakwood Road and struck a tree.

Stolen car, pills and a fake check
Police arrested a 50-year-old man from Huntington on April 23 and charged him with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree possession of a forged instrument. Police said that at the corner of Kerri Court and Park Avenue in Huntington after midnight, the man was found to be operating a stolen 2002 Toyota. He was also found with prescription pills without a prescription and also appeared to possess a fraudulent check.

Halloween shenanigans
A 17-year-old from East Northport was arrested in Huntington on April 24 and charged with third-degree criminal tampering. Police said that on Halloween last year at 8:55 p.m. on Wendy Lane in Elwood, he intentionally ran through a vinyl fence, damaging it. He was arrested at 4:40 p.m. at the precinct.

Brawler busted
Police arrested a 50-year-old man from St. James on April 20 in Huntington and charged him with third-degree assault, with intent to cause physical injury. On March 27 at about 7:40 a.m., police said the man grabbed another male by his sweatshirt on New York Avenue and both individuals fell to the ground. The man then punched the victim in the face. The victim suffered a broken nose, concussion and required medical attention, including stitches. He was arrested at the 2nd Precinct.

Persistent thief thwarted
Police said a 32-year-old East Northport man was arrested on April 26 at his home on Loret Lane in East Northport and charged with a flurry of petit larcenies in the area spanning March 25 to April 4. Sometime between March 25 and March 26 on Norton Drive in East Northport, he stole ear buds, a phone charger and cash. On March 26 at about 1:50 a.m., he stole Ray-Ban sunglasses and cash from a home on Joseph Court. That same day, he stole two portable DVD players and phone chargers from another home on Joseph Court. Sometime between April 3 at 8 p.m. and April 4 at 4:30 a.m., he stole an iPhone 5 and iPod from Tanager Lane in Fort Salonga. He also took a Garmin GPS sometime between April 3 at 11 p.m. and April 4 at 6 a.m. from a location at Gilder Court in Fort Salonga. Police said that at Bobolink Lane in Fort Salonga the man stole prescription pills.

Window broken in bar fight
A window was broken during a fight at Finley’s of Greene Street in Huntington on April 26 at 3 a.m., police said.

Man stabbed
Someone told police he was stabbed by an unknown person in a parking lot on West Hills Road in Huntington on April 26. The call came in at about 4:20 a.m. The victim said he required medical treatment.

Temple looted
Someone took money from a locked file cabinet drawer at Temple Beth El on Park Avenue in Huntington sometime March 31 and April 14. The incident was reported on April 23.

A rendering of the Gateway Plaza development on the left, and on the top right, the envisioned artist residences on the corners of New York Avenue and Church Street. Image from Renaissance Downtowns

Plans to revitalize Huntington Station are inching closer to fruition, with the town board holding a public hearing next week to jointly consider the environmental impacts of three potential developments that would inject the community with retail, commercial and residential spaces.

Renaissance Downtowns, a private developer the town appointed and charged with revitalizing Huntington Station, is spearheading the projects situated along New York Avenue. They include a four-story, 140-room hotel with 100,000 square feet of office space; 49 artists’ lofts, which would include residences and gallery space in a three-story building; and 68 residences made up of studios and one-bedroom units to be built above 16,000 square feet of retail space.

Andrea Bonilla, the community liaison for Source the Station, a partner of Renaissance Downtowns that solicits ideas for redevelopment in Huntington Station, said the public hearing will allow the board to consider the impacts of all three projects in one hearing, versus considering one at a time, which would take about six to nine months each, she said in an interview this week.

“The feeling was if you’re in very close proximity, to do a single environmental impact statement to cover the area,” town spokesman A.J. Carter said last week.

It’s a big step forward for Renaissance, and for the area’s revitalization, Ryan Porter, vice president for planning and development at Renaissance Downtowns said this week. “It’s huge,” he said.

The three projects represent what Renaissance has identified as “immediate opportunity sites,” meaning they’ll able to be developed within the current sewer district capacity.

There’s still work to be done before the projects are in the ground. Once the board considers the environmental impacts under the New York State Environmental Quality Review process, it can choose to adopt a finding on whether the projects pose a significant impact. If a favorable finding were adopted, Renaissance would begin financing the projects and gaining site plan approval for each lot, Porter said.

Porter said he hopes Renaissance breaks ground on the hotel project by the end of the year. He also said he has already attracted interest from companies such as Marriott and Hilton.

The public hearing next week is yet another town board milestone on Renaissance’s road to revitalization of Huntington Station. The most recent was the town board’s approval of a community benefits agreement in January that spells out job and economic benefits to the surrounding community if Renaissance develops property in Huntington Station. That agreement was the brainchild of a number of local groups, officials have said.

Cleanup project is next step in building transformation

The New York State Armory is slated to become the James D. Conte Community Center. File photo

Huntington’s town board took the next step needed to transform the New York State Armory in Huntington Station into the James D. Conte Community Center, approving a measure at a town board meeting last week to spend $437,000 to clean up large amounts of hazardous materials inside the building.

The board also voted on a resolution approving the conditions it must meet for a $1.5 million state grant that will be used to continue the building’s transformation into the center, named after the late state Assemblyman James Conte. The site is slated to become a multipurpose venue offering programs and services for both youth and adults.

When the town took over the building located on East 5th Street in Huntington Station, officials found asbestos and other unsafe material inside, town spokesperson A.J. Carter said in a phone interview this week.

“Before anything further can be done, the hazardous material has to be removed,”  he said.

Town board members approved a resolution authorizing Unitech Service Group, a Bay Shore business, for the remediation of hazardous material and other work needed done in order to move on to the next step of the transformation. The town’s director of purchasing received sealed bids and Unitech was chosen as the lowest responsible bidder for the project.

The work will include asbestos removal, waste disposal, temporary lighting, removal and recycling of mercury wall thermostats, installation of temporary waterproofing and more.

The center will serve as a collaborative venue for not-for-profits and other agencies to interact with town initiatives and agencies, such as the Huntington Business Incubator, Huntington Opportunity Resource Center, among others, to uplift the area and improve the lives of residents, according to a previous press release from the town.

A date for the project has not been set, as the town has not drawn up any contractual agreements, according to Carter. However, it is expected to begin later this year.

File photo by Rohma Abbas

Huntington Town is exploring how to stay on while the power isn’t.

The town board voted last week to apply to the New York State Energy Research and Development for a $100,000 grant that would explore the feasibility of creating a community microgrid energy system that would link up Huntington Town Hall, the Village Green senior center and the Huntington Sewer District wastewater treatment plant.

The town will spend $7,750 to hire technical consultant TRC, based in New York, to assist in preparing the grant application by the May 15 deadline. Huntington Hospital and the Huntington YMCA could also be potentially added to the microgrid, the town board resolution said.

Microgrids are essentially self-sustaining, small electric grids with their own generation resources and internal loads that may or may not be connected to the larger electric utility macrogrid, NYSERDA’s overview of the grant program said. NYSERDA, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, said it plans to award up to $40 million under the three-stage NY Prize Community Grid Competition to support the development of community microgrids throughout the state.

“When a widespread power outage affects the town, it is important that electricity be restored to sites that provide vital emergency services,” Supervisor Frank Petrone (D), who spearheaded the measure, said in a statement. “Creating a microgrid linking Town Hall, the Village Green Senior Center, the Huntington wastewater treatment plant, Huntington Hospital and the YMCA could help to restore electric service to those locations more quickly. The concept certainly merits a feasibility study, which is why the town is applying for this grant.”

Electric power in the U.S., including generation and distribution systems, used to operate on a smaller scale, but over time, regional utilities were developed to deliver cost-effective and reliable water, heat, power, fuel and communications over broader distances, according to a summary of the program on NYSERDA’s website.

“These systems are, however, vulnerable to outages that can impact large regions and thousands of businesses and citizens, particularly as a consequence of extreme, destructive weather events,” the summary said. “Microgrids could help minimize the impact of these outages by localizing power generation, distribution, and consumption so that a fallen tree or downed wire will not interrupt critical services for miles around.”

During Hurricane Sandy, Huntington Town Hall lost power, town spokesman A.J. Carter said, but officials were able to get the building back running via a generator. Getting on a microgrid, he said, could help Huntington’s most crucial facilities get online faster during outages.

“Theoretically it would allow the utility to target this grid first because of its emergency nature,” Carter said.

Councilwoman Susan Berland (D), who seconded the resolution offered by Supervisor Frank Petrone, said the town’s response to Hurricane Sandy power outages was good, but the microgrid is still worth exploring.

“If we could explore the idea of being on our own grid that’s something we should absolutely look into,” she said. “The exploration and the alternate conversion are obviously two different things, because you’d have to see what it would entail and whether it’s doable.”

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