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Mount Sinai

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Participants dump buckets of ice water over their heads during last year’s event. File photo by Erika Karp

This challenge can’t get much colder, and for the second year in a row, Mount Sinai is looking for help icing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Last year, 500 participants from all over the North Shore came out to Heritage Park in Mount Sinai for the Ride for Life Ice ALS challenge, to raise money to help spread awareness and find a cure for ALS.

The disease affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing motor neurons to degenerate. People with the disease lose control over their muscles, leaving them unable to speak, eat, move or breathe on their own.

With events like the one at Heritage Park, people all over the world have brought attention to ALS, and on Aug. 26, Mount Sinai is doing it again.

Game booths, face painting, balloon twisting, dunk tanks and pie tosses are just a few of the events listed for Wednesday’s ice bucket challenge. Admission to the event, which begins at 5 p.m., is free, and T-shirts and other ALS awareness items will be available for purchase. Hot dogs, cotton candy and soda will also be available, as well as a limited supply of buckets.

To help support the cause, create a team or collect pledges for the Big Dump, which will begin promptly at 7 p.m.

“Last year, more than 500 people participated in the challenge and I expect to see a bigger crowd this year,” Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) said in a press release. “We need all the help we can get from friends, family, businesses, sports teams and more to come together so we can find a cure for ALS.”

Paper pledge forms can be found on www.alsrideforlife.org. In the event of bad weather, a rain date is scheduled for Sept. 2. Email RFLoffice21@aol.com or go to Facebook’s ALS Ride for Life page for more information.

DWI identity crisis
Police arrested a 21-year-old Center Moriches woman at Linden Place in Port Jefferson shortly after midnight on Aug. 15 for speeding and failing to stay in her lane. According to police, the woman, who was driving while ability impaired, was in a 2012 Honda Civic and provided the officer with a fake name when she was pulled over.

On the fence
A 21-year-old man was arrested on West Broadway in Port Jefferson on Aug. 16 at 3 a.m. for criminal misconduct with the intent to damage property. According to police, the man punched and kicked a nearby fence with the help of two other men, a 24-year-old and a 21-year-old.

Can you hear me rocking?
Police said someone shattered the front windshield of a 2000 Chevrolet Blazer with a rock between Aug. 11 and 12 on Main Street in Port Jefferson. No arrests were made.

The Great Train Robbery
On Aug. 14 at 5:30 a.m., three people approached a man at the Port Jefferson Long Island Rail Road station and threw him to the ground. Police said they stole cash, jewelry and a cellphone. There have been no arrests.

Breaking and entering and exiting
Police arrested a 44-year-old man from Patchogue on Aug. 16 after he pried open the side door of Fox Linen Service on Wilson Street in Port Jefferson Station. The arrest took place at 2:35 p.m. According to the police, nothing was stolen.

Carded
Police said an unknown suspect made several unauthorized transactions on a Mount Sinai resident’s Citibank debit card on Aug. 12.

Concussed
A 49-year-old Port Jefferson woman was arrested on Aug. 12 in Selden, about a month after police said she punched another woman in the face at Portside Bar & Grill on East Main Street down Port. The victim suffered a concussion.

All in a day’s yard work
A man who arrived at a residence on Tyler Avenue in Miller Place on Aug. 14 to do yard work was assaulted by the tenant’s girlfriend.

Feel the Millburn
Someone punched a complainant in the face during a dispute on Millburn Road in Sound Beach on Aug. 12.

Tapped out
According to police, someone punched a man in the face at The North Tap on Route 25A in Mount Sinai on Aug. 15. The victim was taken to Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson to treat his injuries.

Grand larceny, grand pushing
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested at the precinct on Aug. 12 and charged with grand larceny. Police said he threatened a teller at the Chase bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and demanded money. The man was also charged with obstruction. According to police, the man pushed away and attempted to grab an officer who was trying to get information regarding another investigation.

The case of the forgotten bills
While paying for items at the 7-Eleven on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station, a woman forgot a bank envelope with money on the counter. The incident happened at 6:18 p.m. on Aug. 14. Police said when she returned for the envelope at a later time, it was gone.

Left unlocked
Someone took a pocketbook and a wallet from an unlocked car on Longview Avenue in Rocky Point on Aug. 13, at 1:30 a.m. The case is still under investigation.

Police said an unknown male took a Cobra dash cam from an unlocked red 2002 Mitsubishi on Monticello Drive in Shoreham. There have been no arrests made in relation to the incident, which happened on Aug. 13 at 3:19 a.m.

According to police, someone entered a 2010 Honda on Dare Road in Selden between Aug. 12 at 3 a.m. and Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. and stole a Dell laptop. The case is under investigation.

Someone stole cash from a 2008 Toyota RAV4 between 11 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 1:15 a.m. on Aug. 14. Police said the car was unlocked and parked in a Port Jefferson Station driveway.

That’s an order
Police said a 23-year-old man from Mount Sinai was arrested at 11:45 a.m. on Lyon Crescent on Aug. 13. According to police, the man violated an order of protection.

Verbal argument escalates
A female driver had a verbal argument with a male operating another vehicle on Holbrook Road in Centereach on Aug. 14 at 8:37 p.m. The male got out of his car and punched the rear-driver side of the complainant’s vehicle.

Jam-packed
A 46-year-old man from Sayville was arrested in Stony Brook on Aug. 14 and charged with petit larceny. Police said the man stole socks and a backpack from Marshall’s on Nesconset Highway at about 3:30 p.m. He was arrested at the scene.

About to blow
An 18-year-old man from South Setauket was arrested by police on Aug. 13 at noon and charged with attempted second-degree grand larceny by extortion and second-degree falsely reporting an incident. Police said he called up the Chase Bank on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and threatened to blow the bank up in an attempt to get money. The attempt was unsuccessful, police said.

Harassed
A man told police that a male suspect pulled a door on Ringneck Lane in Setauket on Aug. 13 at about 3 a.m., threatening physical harm to him. Police said the complainant said the suspect threatened to fight him. There have been no arrests.

A pair of petit larcenies
Two women, both of Bohemia, one 46 and one 16, were arrested on Aug. 15 in Setauket-East Setauket and each charged with one count of petit larceny. Police said the women took assorted merchandise from Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and left the store without paying for the items. The incident happened at about 7 p.m., police said.

Is that a red light?
A 26-year-old Stony Brook man was arrested by police on Aug. 15 at about 3 a.m. and charged with driving while intoxicated, a first offense. Police said the man was driving a 2000 Jeep and ended up driving through a red light at the intersection of Route 25A and Nichols Road. Police interviewed the defendant and found him under the influence. He was arrested at the scene.

What interlock device?
Suffolk County police arrested a 46-year-old man from Mastic on Aug. 15 in Smithtown and charged him with using a vehicle without an interlock device. Police said the man was driving a 2006 Ford van without the device, despite a court order. He was arrested at 10 a.m. at the LIE westbound on Commack Road.

Can’t stay in the lines
A 22-year-old Kings Park man was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 1997 Mercedez Benz northbound on St. Johnland Road in Smithtown at about 2 a.m. when he drove onto the shoulder and failed to maintain his lane. He was arrested at the scene in the vicinity of River Heights Drive.

Crash ’n dash
Police arrested a 22-year-old woman from Brentwood on Aug. 13 and charged her with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage. Police said the woman was driving a 2015 Honda Civic on Oser Avenue in Hauppauge, when she went through a steady red traffic light and crashed into a 2010 Nissan, damaging the vehicle. There were no injuries. The incident occurred at 6:37 a.m. and police arrested the woman later at Veterans Highway and Old Willets Path in Smithtown at about 11 a.m.

One bump too much
A 27-year-old woman from Kings Park was arrested in Smithtown on Aug. 13 and charged with first-degree operating a motor vehicle impaired by drugs. Police said the woman hit the rear bumper of a vehicle stopped in front of her on East Main Street in Smithtown at about 9:08 p.m. She was arrested at the scene a short time later.

Wheeled away
A pair of people told police two bikes  left in a wooded area on West Main Street in Smithtown on Aug. 15 were gone when they returned to them. The incident happened sometime between 6:30 and 7:17 p.m.

Party foul
Police said a man went to a house party on Queen Anne Place in Hauppauge on the evening of Aug. 15 and was beaten up by a group of 15 men there. Cops said the man didn’t know the people at the house party but asked if he could enter and was granted permission to attend. He told police that the men approached him and began kicking and punching him in the face and head. He went to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown for treatment of injuries. The incident happened at about 9:45 p.m.

Ttyl, ATV
Someone stole a 2008 Yamaha Raptor ATV from the front yard of a home on Old Willets Path in Smithtown sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and 3 p.m. on Aug. 14. There have been no arrests.

Graffiti mystery
Police received reports of two separate incidents of graffiti on Lake Avenue in St. James last week. Cops said that someone made graffiti on the Eddy’s Power Equipment Inc. building sometime between Aug. 12 and 14. Police got another report of graffiti, this time on a building and PVC fence, sometime between Aug. 13 and 14.

A fit at Flowerfield
Someone smashed a glass mirror of a restroom at Flowerfield in St. James, broke a paper towel dispenser, emptied a fire extinguisher in the hallway and stole the fire extinguisher from the business. The incidents occurred between Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 7 a.m.

Fleeting feeder
Someone stole a bird feeder from a location on Lake Avenue in Saint James sometime between 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 13.

The library is decorated with book recommendations and lists of readers’ personal heroes. Photo from Susan Guerin

A surgeon, parents, a brother, first responders, the Angels of Bataan — these are some people Comsewogue Public Library readers consider heroes.

Top summer reading titles

“The Girl on the Train,” by Paula Hawkins

“The Husband’s Secret,” by Liane Moriarty

“The Nightingale,” by Kristin Hannah

“The Museum of Extraordinary Things,” by Alice Hoffman

Scores of bookworms shared their own as they participated in the adult summer reading program, which encouraged the library patrons to read about superheroes or try something new through its “escape the ordinary” theme. Trying something new could be discovering an author or joining a library program. To facilitate that, Library Director Debra Engelhardt and adult services head Susan Guerin said, the library steered people toward its resources for finding books or learning online and hosted different programs like an arm-knitting workshop and a drum circle.

“It’s about bringing a lot of different and unique ideas,” Guerin said.

According to Engelhardt, about 350 people signed up for summer reading and, with the program coming to a close this weekend, many of those have completed it — reading at least three books of their choice and submitting recommendations for them. After finishing a book, the participants received a raffle ticket for a chance to win prizes from local businesses.

There were also matching superhero-themed summer reading programs for children and teenagers, which hundreds of young people have already completed.

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Danny Bullis stops in his tracks to maneuver around an opponent and go to goal for Mount Sinai. File photo by Bill Landon

After playing his freshman year at St. Anthony’s, Danny Bullis transferred back to Mount Sinai, and he and his team couldn’t be happier with his decision.

Harold Drumm, the Mount Sinai boys’ lacrosse head coach, first saw the now college-bound attackman when he was in sixth grade, playing on a club team.

“We knew he was going to be a special player,” he said. “He was really good and you could see it even at that age. He just really understood the game and we were excited for him to come on up.”

Drumm would have pulled Bullis up to the varsity level when he was a freshman, but the attack decided to try out St. Anthony’s and upon transferring back to Mount Sinai his sophomore year, made the varsity team.

“He was the quarterback of the offense for the last three years,” Drumm said. “This year he really came into his own and became the talented and determined player that we knew he could become.”

The team went 8-8 his first year on the team, where Bullis scored 21 goals and added 27 assists. In his junior year, the Mustangs went 9-6 and the attack tallied 22 goals and 39 assists.

“We haven’t really had a player like Danny since I’ve been the head coach here,” Drumm said. “We had a couple of really good players in the past when you needed a goal or an assist or were waiting for something to happen, but we never had a player of his caliber to give the ball and to create something.”

Danny Bullis celebrates the Suffolk County win with his Mount Sinai teammates. File photo by Bill Landon
Danny Bullis celebrates the Suffolk County win with his Mount Sinai teammates. File photo by Bill Landon

Bullis excelled his senior year, exceeding his sophomore and junior marks by scoring 45 goals and 37 assists.

His second-to-last goal of this past
season was the most important one of his career.

With 3:41 left in the Suffolk County Class B title game, in front of a large crowd at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium, Bullis scored the game-winning goal to help the Mustangs edge out Sayville, 8-7.

“I can’t even describe the feeling.” Bullis said of scoring the final goal of the game. “It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

Bullis scored two goals and added two assists in the Mustangs’ first county-title win in years.

“He was definitely very dedicated and worked hard,” Drumm said of Bullis. “He had the lacrosse ability and he worked real hard in the weight room this last off-season, got a lot stronger, and that made a big difference for him his senior year. I wish I had a Danny ever year.”

The attack is now St. Joseph’s University-bound, and Taylor Wray, the men’s head coach, is thrilled to welcome his new player to the team.

“He’s a huge addition to our team,” the head coach said. “He’s got a terrific skill set, he has an old-school attackman — two-handed, great vision, speed, he’s a feed first kind of player, and he can do a little bit of everything. He can turn the corner and score, shoot the ball pretty well from the outside and he’s a very well-rounded player.”

Wray is hoping that Bullis can compete for time right away and said he believes he has all the tools to do so.

“We are expecting big things from him over the course of his career,” he said. “From a program standpoint, to have a player of Danny’s caliber and skill set on attack, and to have a character guy who puts the team first, is something that gives you a major piece to work with for many years.”

Although initially a baseball player, it seems that switching to lacrosse was another move in the right direction for Bullis, who was unanimously voted an All-American and the Attackman of the Year for Division II.

“It’s one of my greatest accomplishments,” Bullis said of the All-American nod. “Not as great as the county title, though,” he added, laughing.

According to Drumm, St. Joseph’s is a budding lacrosse program that he thinks is a perfect fit for Bullis. For the player’s mother, Janine, she’s just excited to see how far her son has come in the sport.

“The older he got the more he practiced and the more he strived to become the player that he is,” she said. “I’m so proud of how far he’s come. It’s something that I never expected. I don’t even have the words to describe how exciting it is as a parent to watch the progress of not only Danny, but the entire team.”

Bullis said he plans to take a lot of what Drumm taught him with him to college, and he’s hoping it will make him successful at the next level.

“Coach Drumm is one of my favorite coaches,” he said. “Training with him throughout the last few years has made me not only a lot better of a player, but a better person. He taught me hard work will outwork talent when talent’s not working hard, and I’m never going to give up.”

Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point), right, and Park Ranger Molly Hastings at the stewardship center. Photo from Brookhaven Town

Town officials recently toured the newly reconstructed boardwalk at the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center at Cedar Beach.

The 500-foot-long loop begins and ends at the center, which is located off of the nature trail at the beach, and offers visitors two resting off shoots with benches. Visitors can stroll along the walkway to see a variety of wildlife and watch the sunset.

The boardwalk isn’t the only thing residents can see at the center. The center is open until Labor Day, Sept. 7, Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  In addition, the center is hosting a variety of summer programs open to people of all ages throughout the month of August:

The Giving Tree Aug. 8, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Discover how dependent we are on trees. Trees give us cleaner air, food, medicine, shelter and much more.

Shellfish Facility Tour Aug. 14, from 10 to 11 a.m. Tour the grow-out facility at Cedar Beach. Learn why we are giving nature a helping hand.

Marine Life Jeopardy Aug. 15, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. All ages. Play with family and friends together or as opponents; you choose. Test your knowledge of Long Island Marine life.

Nature Center Tour Aug. 21, from 10 to 11 a.m. Take a tour of the newly upgraded Nature Center. Environmental displays, touch screen interactive computers, marine tanks and touch tanks.

All programs are free and registration is required. To register call Ranger Molly Hastings at 631-751-6714 or email at mhastings@brookhaven.org. Leave your name, number of people attending and the program name.

In threes
A group of young men were arrested in the early morning of July 16 and charged with second-degree robbery. According to police, a homeless 24-year-old, a 19-year-old from Stony Brook and an 18-year-old from Port Jefferson Station forcibly stole money from a person on Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station.

Quick cash
An unknown man pushed a woman to the ground and stole property from her by a bar in Port Jefferson Station on July 15 at around 4:15 a.m.

Failed getaway
Police arrested a 35-year-old Port Jefferson Station man in Port Jefferson on July 13 and charged him with second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm, third-degree possession of a narcotic with intent to sell, first-degree leaving the scene of a crash and second-degree obstructing government administration. According to police, at around 4:58 p.m. the man was instructed to shut down his vehicle when stopped at Old Town Road but instead drove north on Jayne Boulevard at a high speed. When he attempted to make a right onto Maple Avenue, he failed to stay to the right and collided with a 2013 Nissan, whose driver required medical attention. The man then fled on foot until apprehended by police. Police said the man possessed a loaded semiautomatic weapon and heroin.

Changing gears
An unknown person stole a bike right off the rack from the The Port Jeff Bike Dr. on Main Street in Port Jefferson on July 19, at around 2:10 p.m.

Can’t even
A woman assaulted another woman in the female bathroom at Portside Bar and Grill in Port Jefferson on July 18, at around 2:30 a.m. According to police, the suspect thought the victim said something negative about her, so she punched her. The victim was transported to John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson to receive medical treatment. No arrests have been made.

Old-fashioned fisticuffs
A 25-year-old Rocky Point man was arrested in Port Jefferson and charged with disorderly conduct on July 18 after he engaged in a fistfight with security personnel at Billie’s 1890 Saloon on Main Street.

Friendly fire
Two co-workers at Heritage Diner in Mount Sinai were involved in a tiff on July 18. Police said one worker swung a utensil at the other, causing a laceration to the person’s face. No arrests have been made.

ATM on-the-go
An unknown person broke the front door of a CVS Pharmacy on Route 25A in Miller Place on July 16, at around 2:17 a.m., and fled with the cash register.

Lawn games
An unknown person drove across a lawn on Harrison Avenue in Miller Place on July 15 at some point between 10:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Homerun
A Hawkins Road home in Centereach reported a broken window above a front door on July 16 at 11 p.m. The damage was thought to be caused by a softball.

I’mrich
A 2013 Honda parked at a Ulrich Road home in Centereach was robbed of a wallet and credit cards at some point between July 14 and July 15.

Caught
A woman was given a field appearance ticket after attempting to take property from a Bob’s Store in Selden on July 19 at around 2 p.m. Police said the culprit tried to conceal a bathing suit and blender bottle in her bag.

Coffee buzz interrupted
Police said two men from the Bronx were arrested in South Setauket on July 15 and charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglar tools. According to police, the men entered a Dunkin’ Donuts on Nesconset Highway at about 1 a.m. on July 15 and attempted to break into a safe. Police said they possessed a sledgehammer, a wedge tool and a pry bar.

Does this gift card buy drugs?
Two men were arrested on Pond Path in Setauket-East Setauket on July 15 and charged with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance. Police said the men, one 23 and the other 34 years old, were observed in a 2014 Honda at about 1:20 p.m. Police said the 23-year-old was observed exchanging a Home Depot gift card for heroin. The other man was seated in the passenger seat and possessed heroin.

Repeat burglar busted
An 18-year-old man from East Setauket was arrested on July 15 at 6:37 p.m. at his home and charged with two counts of second-degree burglary of a dwelling and one count of petit larceny. Police said that sometime between Feb. 1 and 28 the man stole master keys to an apartment complex on Jefferson Ferry Drive in South Setauket. Sometime between March 22 and March 31, he entered a residence using the stolen keys and stole property. He entered another Jefferson Ferry Drive residence on March 29 and stole jewelry.

Movie, popcorn, mischief
Someone broke the passenger-side front window of a 2015 Mercedes parked at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 theater on Nesconset Highway in Stony Brook and stole Beats by Dre headphones, cash and cologne between 9:40 and 11:54 p.m. That same day, someone broke the window of a 2006 Ford F350 between 8 and 11:35 p.m. and stole tools from the same location.

Shattered window
Someone broke the rear passenger-side window of a 1994 Plymouth Voyager parked outside a home on Hollow Road in Stony Brook sometime between 8 p.m. on July 16 and 10 a.m. on July 17.

Jewelry box lifted
Someone snatched a jewelry box containing jewelry that was inside an unlocked 2006 Mercedes parked on Spring Meadow Road in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between 3:25 and 4:25 a.m. on July 19. There have been no arrests.

Car handle hulked
Someone ripped off the driver-side handle on a 2015 Ford Mustang parked on Adams Way at the Sayville Commons parking lot in Sayville. The incident happened on July 19 sometime between 12:05 and 12:50 p.m.

Phone jacked
Someone took an iPhone 4 and cash from an unlocked 2014 Honda CRV sometime between 6 p.m. on July 14 and 7 a.m. on July 15.

Bicyclist killed in Lake Ronkonkoma crash
Suffolk County police are investigating a motor vehicle crash that killed a Bohemia bicyclist in Lake Ronkonkoma on Tuesday evening.
Laura Heerbrandt, 23, of Ronkonkoma, was driving a 2014 Nissan eastbound on Portion Road when her car struck Luis Benitez, 51. According to police, Benitez swerved into her lane of traffic as he was traveling westbound on Portion Road.
Benitez was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner. Heerbrandt was not injured.
The vehicle was impounded for a safety check and the investigation is continuing. Detectives are asking anyone with information about this crash to contact the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

Armed robber hits Hauppauge 7-Eleven
A masked man robbed a 7-Eleven in Hauppauge early Monday morning, injuring the clerk on duty.
According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the masked suspect, who was also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and sunglasses, entered the convenience store on Townline Road shortly before 2 a.m., displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash from the clerk. After the clerk complied, giving him cash from the drawer, the assailant fled on foot, heading west on Townline.
The clerk suffered a minor injury during the holdup, police said. He was treated at Stony Brook University Hospital and released.
Police described the robber as being about 6 feet tall and having a thin build.
Detectives from the SCPD’s 4th Squad are investigating the robbery. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8452 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Police search for man who stole $400 in clothes from Commack store
Suffolk County police and 4th Precinct Crime Section officers are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who stole merchandise from a Commack store last month.
The man stole assorted men’s clothing from Kohl’s at 45 Crooked Hill Road on June 2 at about 6:15 p.m. The clothing has a value of about $400.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers 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.

One of 20 Long Island business professionals gearing up for annual Long Island Fight for Charity in November

Rhonda Klch gloves up for last year’s Long Island Fight for Charity. This year, Klch will head back into the ring for the charity match, which raises money for the Long Island Community Chest. Photo from Corbett PR

By Rachel Siford

Mount Sinai’s Rhonda “Master of Financial Disaster” Klch is heading back into the ring on Nov. 23, 2015, for her second Long Island Fight for Charity match.

Klch is the founder and CEO of Equity First, LLC, a financial advising firm based in Coram. She started the company in 2004.

The charity boxing match raises money for the Long Island Community Chest, a nonprofit organization that provides short-term financial support to needy families and individuals who have suffered a crisis. Last year, Klch left her match victorious.

Klch was inspired to participate in the fight when she heard the money was going to the Community Chest. More than $850,000 has been donated to Long Island charities since its inception 12 years ago.

“Due to the fact that my firm works heavily in budget planning and helping clients that are in financial distress, I felt it was very close to what we do,” Klch said.

Rhonda Klch left the ring with a victory last year. Photo from Corbett PR
Rhonda Klch left the ring with a victory last year. Photo from Corbett PR

Preparing for the match takes time. Fight for Charity requires all participants get a physical exam. Fighters also have to check in at certified gyms to track how much they are training. Boxers typically need to complete three to four days of cardio a week, with two or more days of sparring.

Klch will have to wait until September to find out who she will be fighting on the night of the event.

“Right now, I have to train like I’m going to get my butt kicked,” Klch said smiling. “I have no idea who it is going to be yet.”

Klch and her company try to get involved with many organizations.

Equity First is also involved with The Starkey Hearing Foundation, which supplies hearing aides to those who can’t afford them, and Pink Tie, a cancer research fundraiser. Last year, the company sponsored 160 children from the Longwood community who were either homeless or in transient housing and provided them with their holiday gifts. Klch is also on the Friends of Karen, which supports critically ill children and their families, Long Island advisory board.

“We have a pretty good corporate culture here,” Klch said. “Everyone wants to chip in and help out; it’s almost a prerequisite for their employment.”

Prior to founding Equity First, Klch was a branch manager for First West Mortgage Bankers. She actually started Equity First as a side business while still working at the bank.

“I’m just very entrepreneurial by nature,” Klch said. “I feel like I am a good leader and I like having my own concepts and being able to see them through from start to finish.”

Klch said staying involved with charities helps people learn about their communities and issues they may not have realized existed.

“You just never know enough about yourself until you put yourself into an uncomfortable position,” Klch said. “You’ll never grow if you never go out of your comfort zone.”

For more information on the event go to www.lifightforcharity.org.

By Talia Amorosano

Despite 95-degree weather, car enthusiasts young and old gathered at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai on Saturday to get up close and personal with old and new local cars.

Cars displayed were in pristine condition and many had been refurbished or restored. Attendees were able to view parts of the cars that they wouldn’t normally see, as many owners propped the trunks and hoods open to enable full viewing. Because some cars were accompanied by informative signs with origin stories, or were staged with time-period-appropriate memorabilia, the car show was surely a learning experience even for already knowledgeable viewers.

They buzz and flutter and they are disappearing from Long Island’s environment. Pollinators are on the decline on the Island and nationwide.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, native pollinators such as Monarch butterflies have decreased in numbers by more than 80 percent in the past two decades. Native bee populations, among other indigenous pollinator species, are also on the decline, which can put local farms at risk as less pollinators mean less pollination.

But Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) hopes to help Long Island farmers combat the population decline with her new Educational Agriculture Support Initiative, which aims to increase the amount of native plant species on Long Island, starting with the Heritage Park in Mount Sinai.

“The history of Heritage Park is [that] we wanted to take care of the rural character and the heritage of the area,” Lori Baldassare, president of Heritage Trust, said about how the park got involved with Anker’s initiative. According to Baldassare, Anker has a long history with the park so “it just seemed like a natural place to do [a] … demonstration garden.”

Honeybees, above, which are native to Europe are efficient pollen collectors and honey producers but they are not effective pollinators because pollen sticks onto their legs so well. They are one of the few bee species that live in a hive. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Honeybees, above, which are native to Europe are efficient pollen collectors and honey producers but they are not effective pollinators because pollen sticks onto their legs so well. They are one of the few bee species that live in a hive. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Although Anker has teamed up with Heritage Trust, Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Long Island Native Plant Initiative, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District to help create a pilot native plant species garden at Heritage Park, she said that it will take more than the individuals from these organizations to bring back local pollinator species.

“I need people to participate,” she said. “I need people to understand that this is really important. If we don’t preserve [the environment] nobody else will.”

According to Polly Weigand, executive director of the plant initiative and senior soil district technician for the conservation district, the team is trying to provide the pilot garden with various native plant species, including native grasses, which will attract and sustain pollinators throughout the year. While these plants are neither flowering nor the most visually appealing, Weigand said the grasses provide a place for insects to lay their eggs and shelter during the winter months.

While some invasive or nonnative plants, like butterfly bush, can provide food for native butterflies, it isn’t sufficient for these insects to lay their eggs or seek shelter. Native insects evolve with the native plants in the area. The evolution allows these creatures to use a plant for shelter and sustenance. Although some invasive or nonnative plants can provide food and habitat for these small creatures, this is not always the case.

“Plants have a little chemical warfare that they play with the species that are going to [prey] on them,” Weigand said. “They put out toxins to try to keep the animal from eating the leaves.”

It takes several generations before an insect can successfully utilize the foreign plants for their life cycle.

But according to Robin Simmen, community horticulture specialist for the cooperative extension, and Laura Klahre, beekeeper and owner of Blossom Meadow in Cutchogue, in addition to the lack of suitable plants, the use of pesticides and lack of suitable habitat for Long Island pollinators are some of the many factors contributing to the decline in the native species.

Polly Weigand, left, of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, and county Legislator Sarah Anker, right, discuss native plant species for Anker’s Educational Agriculture Support Initiative pilot garden at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Polly Weigand, left, of the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, and county Legislator Sarah Anker, right, discuss native plant species for Anker’s Educational Agriculture Support Initiative pilot garden at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. Photo by Giselle Barkley

“We used to just think that we would get these free pollination services from nature,” Klahre said. “But in the future that may not be the case because there aren’t enough flowers around [and] we have so many pesticides.”

Pesticides that target unwanted pests, like ticks, are also detrimental to native bees, which live underground.

When the toxins seep into an area in close proximity to native insects, some eventually develop dementia.

Klahre also mentioned the lack of open space as an issue as it jeopardizes the livelihood of the bugs.

While Klahre does not know by how much the native bee population has declined, she said they are struggling to maintain their populations just like their European counterpart, the honeybee. According to Klahre there are about 4,000 different bee species nationwide and 450 different species in New York state alone.

Unlike docile native bees like mining, mason or sweat bees, honeybees are not efficient pollen collectors.

Native bees are among the best pollinators for a variety of plant species. The native bees also yield higher quality and longer lasting fruits like apples or cherries, which can have a thicker outer skin; a thicker skin means that the fruits have a longer shelf life than those pollinated by honeybees.

Although Anker said farms across Long Island are affected by the decline in pollinator species as they are forced to import pollinating bees to the locations, Klahre said she only saw a disruption in growing produce with home gardeners.

Monarch butterflies, above, fly from their wintering grounds in Mexico to Long Island, which serves as their breeding range during the summer. Monarchs born during the summer only live three to five weeks in comparison to overwintering adult Monarchs that can live up to nine months. Photo by Giselle Barkley
Monarch butterflies, above, fly from their wintering grounds in Mexico to Long Island, which serves as their breeding range during the summer. Monarchs born during the summer only live three to five weeks in comparison to overwintering adult Monarchs that can live up to nine months. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Pollinators like bees usually have a route that they go on to collect pollen and nectar before returning to their habitat. If these insects are not accustomed or attracted to a homeowner’s property, it is unlikely that the pollinator will visit the area. This is especially the case for homeowners who have a simple grass lawn.

While some grasses help native insects, a bare lawn does not provide a pollinator with the necessary sources of food in order to survive.

But Anker’s goal is to educate the community about the best way to attract and support these insects using appropriate native plant species like milkweed, among others.

“I’m actually looking to have [pilot gardens] throughout Suffolk County,” Anker said in regards to her initiative.

The plant initiative has selected the types of native plants that will go into Anker’s pilot garden, which could be designed and constructed toward the end of August.

Individuals like Klahre believe there is enough time to heal the environment and help increase native pollinators like bees, but she does acknowledge the reality of having little to no pollinators.

“In China there are some areas that are so polluted that they actually have people that are going from flower to flower in orchards with feathers moving the pollen,” Klahre said. “I just never want us to get to that point.”

Car parts thief sought
Suffolk County Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who stole catalytic converters from vehicles in Hauppauge earlier this month.
Police said the man stole 10 catalytic converters from commercial vehicles parked at three businesses on Oser Avenue in the early morning hours of July 3.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers 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.

High interrupted
A 26-year-old man from East Northport was arrested in Smithtown on July 12 and charged with driving while ability impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. Police said the man was driving a 1995 Honda and crashed into a tree on Route 25A and Oakside Road in Smithtown. He was arrested at 2:19 a.m. Police did not know which drug the man was on.

Rowdy gun-wielders arrested
Two individuals were arrested on July 8 in Smithtown and charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Police said a 20-year-old man from Central Islip and a 20-year-old woman from Brooklyn possessed loaded handguns, and both were arrested on Nesconset Highway at 8 p.m. The man was also charged with obstruction of government administration — for flailing his legs and refusing to be placed in a police car — and two counts of menacing in the second degree, for displaying a handgun to two separate women shortly before his arrest. The woman was charged with disorderly conduct — police said she threatened others in a parking lot.

What a pill
Suffolk County Police arrested a 29-year-old man from Kings Park on July 12 at about 9 p.m. and charged him with criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said he was arrested on 4th Avenue in Kings Park, where he was found in possession of prescription pills.

Check yourself
Police said someone stole a checkbook from a man’s 2010 Lexus LX450 parked on West Main Street in Smithtown on July 12 at about 7 a.m. There have been no arrests.

Cash out
Someone removed a register box containing cash from LA Fitness on East Main Street in Smithtown sometime between 10 p.m. on July 11 and 8 a.m. on July 12. There have been no arrests.

Wheel of misfortune
Someone took four wheels and tires from a 2014 Toyota Tundra at Smithtown Toyota on East Jericho Turnpike in Saint James between 6 p.m. on July 11 and 11 a.m. on July 12. There have been no arrests.

Coming down from a high
Suffolk County Police arrested a 24-year-old man from Setauket and a 22-year-old female from Stony Brook on July 10 in Stony Brook and charged them with loitering and unlawful use of a controlled substance. Police said the pair were observed at a location on North Country Road in Stony Brook in a Ford Taurus in possession of heroin. The duo was arrested at 8:37 a.m., police said.

Car looted
Police said an unknown person took money and a gift card from a 2015 Ford parked on Blinker Light Road in Stony Brook. The incident was reported on July 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Road bump
Someone stole a bicycle from outside a garage on Braemer Road in Setauket. The incident happened sometime between 10 p.m. on July 11 and 9 a.m. on July 12.

Jewelry jam
Police said someone stole jewelry from Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Setauket on July 11 at 6:45 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Purse pickpocketed
Police said a woman reported that someone stole her license and credit card from her purse as she was shopping at Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket. The incident occurred on July 9 at 2 p.m., police said.

Money mystery
Police said an Antler Lane resident from South Setauket reported that someone used his Chase banking card to make several cash withdrawals between July 1 and July 9. There are no arrests.

Bank withdrawal woes
Police said that a Stalker Lane resident from Setauket reported someone used his bank information to make three unauthorized withdrawals between July 8 and July 9. There are no arrests.

Car trouble
Things got a little crazy on Woodhull Avenue in Port Jefferson Station on July 4, at around 10:05 p.m., when someone threw items at a 2013 Hyundai and damaged a car door.

Midnight mischief
An unknown person slashed the driver side tire of a 2007 Hyundai parked on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station on July 3.

Ride denied
A woman reported being harassed by a cab driver on June 30 at around 3 p.m. According to police, the complainant said she called a cab service to pick her up from a dollar store in Port Jefferson Station, but the driver refused to take her. He then allegedly pushed her and took her grocery bags out of the cab and drove away.

Bad luck
A 2008 Toyota’s side view mirror was damaged on July 7 while parked on Dayton Avenue in Port Jefferson Station.

Cloned
Police received two reports of cloned credit cards in the Port Jefferson Station community on July 7. According to police, a resident on Magnolia Drive reported an unknown person had cloned their ATM card and made withdrawals using their pin. Another resident on Pine Street made a similar report.

Razor-sharp
The person who demanded money at the USA Gasoline on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station got quite the surprise on July 6. According to police, the suspect went into the station shortly after 9:30 p.m. with a razor blade and demanded cash, but the quick-thinking complainant grabbed a knife and chased the intruder out of the store.

Taking flight
A 20-year-old Mount Sinai resident was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree fleeing from an officer in a motor vehicle and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle on July 9. Police said the woman was driving a 1999 Chevy north on Route 112 in Terryville at around 3 p.m. when police attempted to pull her over. As the officer approached her vehicle, the woman pulled away, almost striking two vehicles, and exceeded the speed limit on Route 112 before pulling over again. Police discovered Roxicodone, a prescription opioid, in her possession.

I saw the sign
A homeowner’s 10 “no parking” and “no trespassing” signs on North Country Road in Miller Place were spray-painted or torn down on July 10.

Lock ‘em up
A wallet full of credit cards and cash was reported stolen on July 8 from an unlocked 2007 Chevy parked at a residence on Ann Street in Miller Place.

Thumb war
A 56-year-old Miller Place man was charged with second-degree assault and second-degree menacing after he stabbed a man in the finger. The incident took place on July 8 at the suspect’s Avery Lane home.

Dashed board
On July 8 at 9 p.m., a Washington Avenue, Centereach, resident reported the dashboard of their 2010 Nissan was damaged.

Grocery games
A woman reported on July 7 that her wallet, with $2,000 in cash, was stolen from her shopping cart at the Centereach Mall Walmart.

Screened
A home on Rosemary Lane in Centereach had a window screen damaged on July 12.

Picking up
An unlocked 2008 Ford pickup truck parked at a Bank Street residence in Selden was robbed of a tablet and money on July 7.

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