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Miguel Bustamante

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Miles Borden is a major contributor to local history. File photo

By Miguel Bustamante

It isn’t easy to be more of a principal community participant in Kings Park than Miles Borden — even local history wouldn’t be quite the same without him, seeing as he literally wrote the book on it.

“Miles and Charlie [Reichert] are very similar,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga). “They’re both very low-key, but they both [pull a lot of weight] and are able to get things done in the community.” Talking specifically of Borden, Trotta added, “He’s very well respected, just a great guy.”

Miles Borden is a major contributor to local history. File photo
Miles Borden is a major contributor to local history. File photo

Six generations of the Borden clan have called Kings Park their home, dating as far back as the 19th century, even boasting the founding of the Lucien Memorial United Methodist Church. Borden has, himself, dedicated his personal and professional life to the community he loves.

A graduate of Kings Park High School, Class of 1945, Borden, 88, continued his academic career by attaining collegiate degrees from Hofstra University, NYU and Oswego State where, in 1949, his mile relay team set a record time.

For his knowledge and efforts, Borden has been named a 2015 Times Beacon Record Newspapers Person of the Year.

Back in Long Island, Borden enjoyed a 34-year career in public education as a schoolteacher then, ultimately, as interim superintendent at the Amityville school district. Throughout his tenure as an educator, Borden found time to volunteer at the Kings Park Fire Department, an endeavor that lasted over 60 years, and ultimately he became president of the department.

Borden is also a consummate historian and a major contributor to local history. “He was afraid that the history of Kings Park was going to get washed away with the rain,” said his brother Noel Borden. “Everyone he talked to didn’t know a whole lot about the town because no one had taken the time to write anything about it.” This fear prompted Miles Borden to author five history books:

• “History of the Kings Park Fire Department”;

• “The First One Hundred Years (1892-1992): Lucien Memorial United Methodist Church”;

• “History of Kings Park in Words and Pictures”;

• “History of Our School District Community: Fort Salonga, Kings Park, San Remo”;

• “First One Hundred Years, Fire and Emergency Services: History of the Kings Park Fire Department and the Kings Park Fire District.”

“He’s made Kings Park history come alive,” said Gail Hessel, a member of Smithtown Historical Society. “People didn’t really think about Kings Park having a history. And he’s even inspired me to write a book. [Miles] is the kind of person that, if I was working on a book, he would encourage me by saying, ‘Good job.’”

Along with his involvement with the fire department, Borden has served on several other local boards, including Suffolk County Parks and Kings Park Heritage Museum, where he is one of the founding members.

Now Borden is looking to enjoy his post-retirement years with wife Leona. He has remained a consummate runner and even talks to the community’s youth of the importance of staying fit and active.

But don’t be surprised if you still see him hitting the pavement for an early morning jog.

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Charles Reichert is known to be an active member of the Smithtown community. File photo

By Miguel Bustamante

There’s a lot that can be said about North Shore businessman Charles Reichert, but not only because of his entrepreneurship.

“He wants to do the right thing. You know, he’s been very fortunate in his life, he’s made good money and he wants to give back,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) about North Shore businessman Charles Reichert. “He’s the kind of guy that says ‘I want to make my community better,’ and if he could help it, he’s always there for it … It really is a blessing to have a guy like Charlie Reichert in the community.”

Charles Reichert, 80, or Charlie as his friends call him, of Fort Salonga is the owner of five IGA grocery stores throughout the Suffolk County area. With IGA locations in Bayville, Fort Salonga, Greenport, East Northport and Southold, his stores are consistently among the list of IGA’s annual Five Star Retailer award, which is the highest honor IGA bestows on its proprietors, and in 2014 he was one of five to receive the IGA International Retailers of the Year award.

Through his stores Reichert found ways to become a nexus of community interactions by employing local residents and community youth looking to get a foothold in the workforce, and also, along with wife Helen, founding the Fort Salonga Market IGA Scholarship, which awards a total of $6,000 to outstanding local high school students.

For his contributions, Charles Reichert has been named a 2015 Times Beacon Record Newspapers Person of the Year.

Reichert’s generosity has also extended outside of the IGA’s sponsorship. In 2013 The Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation donated $850,000, to be dispersed over several years, for the restoration and preservation of the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium (formerly the Vanderbilt Museum’s Planetarium), which enabled the facility to purchase new seating, carpeting, lobby and gift shop along with technological updates.

“I’ll tell you something,” said Michael Rosato, board member of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation. “If there were more Charlies around, we’d all be a lot better off.”

Rosato was referring to the contributions Reichert has made to the foundation.

“We were able to rebuild the parking area around the soccer fields, expand the hike and bike trail and renovate the parks administration building. It was all because of Charlie’s support … He’s given back so much for the community.”

Reichert, however, has played some contributions close to the heart. In 2013 the Charles and Helen Reichert Family Foundation donated $100,000 to the Huntington Hospital for the purchase of a 3D breast tomosynthesis machine, which can produce 3D images that can more accurately help detect cancer cells in breasts.

This year, Charles and Helen Reichert, herself a 24-year breast cancer survivor, donated $1 million for the construction of the brand new, state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Imaging Center in Huntington, which offers diagnostic radiology services.

With so many outstanding contributions already in tow, Charles Reichert hasn’t stopped looking for ways to continue to give back to the community. He has consistently sponsored the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation’s 5k Turkey Trot and the Fort Salonga Civic Association’s holiday caroling events by donating refreshments and gifts.

Northport running back Rob Dosch makes his way upfield while he carries Sachem North defenders in the Tigers' 29-22 homecoming win over the Flaming Arrows on Sept. 19. Photo by Bill Landon

By Miguel Bustamante

Northport school district is enacting stricter rules for handling student-athletes with concussions.

School board members were informed of new procedures for kids returning to athletics after those injuries during their meeting on Nov. 5, using guidance from New York State regulations.

Northport running back Rob Dosch makes his way upfield while he carries Sachem North defenders in the Tigers' 29-22 homecoming win over the Flaming Arrows on Sept. 19. Photo by Bill Landon
Northport running back Rob Dosch makes his way upfield while he carries Sachem North defenders in the Tigers’ 29-22 homecoming win over the Flaming Arrows on Sept. 19. Photo by Bill Landon

Paul Klimuszko, Northport-East Northport’s director of physical education, athletics and health, and Cynthia Fitzgerald, director of student support services, made a presentation to the board outlining the new procedures to follow if a student has a concussion.

“A concussion is an injury that changes the ways the cells in our brain function,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s important to understand that a concussion is a brain injury, and can occur in any sport.”

According to Fitzgerald, there are between 70 and 90 concussions in the district every year, including at the middle and high school levels.

The two administrators laid out the “return to play” regulations, which are used across the country and require students to complete a five-stage observational test before full re-entry into school-sponsored physical activities.

The five stages include light to moderate aerobic exercises observed by the school nurse and/or an athletic trainer; a non-contact gym class participation period; and a full-contact gym class participation period. A school district physician must clear the concussed students before he or she can be fully reintegrated into school athletics.

The presentation followed a previous district discussion about student safety in school athletics. That subject has been a hot topic over the last few years, but particularly since Tom Cutinella, a high school football player from Shoreham-Wading River, died after taking a big hit in a game against John Glenn High School in Elwood last year. School districts across Long Island have been making changes to their concussion responses following Cutinella’s death, and there have been new directions from the state on the matter.

Northport-East Northport Superintendent Robert Banzer. Photo by Victoria Espinoza
Northport-East Northport Superintendent Robert Banzer. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

New York State’s Concussion Management and Awareness Act of 2011 requires local school boards to develop and promote concussion management policies. According to the act, children and adolescents are more susceptible to concussions and take longer than adults to fully recover.

“Therefore, it is imperative that any student suspected of having sustained a concussion be immediately removed from athletic activity … until evaluated and cleared to return to athletic activity by a physician,” the act said.

Northport school officials don’t take concussions lightly, Klimuszko said.

“The athletic office ensures that all coaches are educated in the nature and risk of concussions and concussion-related injuries.”