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A scene from a previous “I Did The Grid” event in East Northport. Photo from Megan Scherer

By Julianne Cuba

This Memorial Day weekend, for the eighth year in a row, the streets of East Northport will be filled with joggers and walkers honoring the lives of fallen soldiers.

On May 23, the Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer memorial “I Did the Grid” four-mile competitive run, one-mile fun run and four-mile recreational run/walk honors the life of Chris Scherer and all men and women who gave their lives to serve the U.S. The run will begin at Pulaski Road Elementary in East Northport.

Scherer, who was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, was born and raised in East Northport. He lost his life while serving in the province of Al Anbar in Iraq on July 21, 2007.

The late U.S. Marine Cpl. Chris Scherer. Photo from Megan Scherer
The late U.S. Marine Cpl. Chris Scherer. Photo from Megan Scherer

In his memory, the Scherer family started the Cpl. Christopher G. Scherer Semper Fi Fund, and on Memorial Day in 2008, held the first annual run to honor their son and all fallen warriors.

“Put your personal achievements away for the day and come to honor them [fallen soldiers] because it is Memorial Day weekend and that’s what we should be doing … take a little time to think about the men and women who have died serving our country and the families they left behind,” Scherer’s father Tim Scherer said.

Scherer said that his son was a great kid who loved life and wanted to help his fellow Marines. In their final phone call before his death, Scherer said his son asked him to send lighter boot socks that wouldn’t make him sweat as much. Just before he hung up, his son asked if he would be able to send socks for other Marines, too, because many didn’t have families.

The father said he sent out an email asking for contributions.

“It was just an email, I never thought I’d get anything, but in four days I had $2,500 to buy supplies for the troops, so we sent over 100 packages but he never got one of them … it was just heartbreaking.”

It was through his son’s own desire to help his fellow Marines that the Scherer family got the idea for the fund and run, he said.

Scherer said his son’s greatest quality was his loyalty for everything he loved — his family, his friends, his lacrosse team and the U.S. Marines.

“This is not just about Chris,” his father said. “The race is named after him but we run for over 6,800 fallen warriors … no service person is left behind. Everyone who has given their life is represented on Memorial Day, because that’s what Memorial Day is.”

Scherer said that instead of giving out awards, the run asks participants to look up the names of the four fallen soldiers on their bibs, from either Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. The bibs are given out before the run. Upon completion, each participant will ring a bell to signify that no fallen warrior would be forgotten, he said.

Meghan Scherer, the late Cpl. Scherer’s sister, also said that each year, they alternate giving out either a coin or pint glass, which were two of her brother’s favorite things.

“Challenge coins in the military are usually given when someone does something extraordinary, so we feel that they should receive a coin, because they’re doing something amazing by remembering these men and women,” she said.

His sister said she and her other siblings — an older brother, Tim, and twin sister, Kaitlin — were all always so close.

“Nobody ever picked on my sister or me because they knew Chris would always have our backs,” she said. “Chris would pick on us but it was never anybody else. We were always protected from the start and that’s what he did, he protected us as a Marine.”

Matt Baudier, 34, from Northport, was an Eagle Scout with Scherer and was his mentor for a few years, he said.

“As his mentor, he always looked up to me, but the day that he deployed, he became my hero,” he said.

Baudier said the run is a good way to honor Scherer and all fallen soldiers.

“One of our taglines is, ‘We run for those who stood for us,’” he said.

2. Welcoming poster boards could be spotted at a reception for new Superintendent Rob Banzer on Monday, May 4. Photo by Rohma Abbas

Recently appointed Northport-East Northport Superintendent Rob Banzer got a grand welcome to the district on Monday, as school officials showered the new leader with an evening full of music, speeches, cake and cheer.

New Northport-East Northport Superintendent Rob Banzer at a reception for him in Northport on Monday, May 4.  Photo by Rohma Abbas
New Northport-East Northport Superintendent Rob Banzer at a reception for him in Northport on Monday, May 4. Photo by Rohma Abbas

Banzer walked into a decked-out cafeteria at the William Brosnan administration building on Laurel Avenue. The room was lined with posters created by students, which welcomed Banzer with phrases like, “Welcome to Northport, Come Visit Norwood” from the Norwood Avenue School, “We’re so happy to meet you!” from students at the Dickinson Avenue School and “Bellerose Welcomes Mr. Banzer.”

Members of the school board also attended. President Julia Binger and Vice President Andrew Rapiejko spoke before formally introducing Banzer. Binger thanked the district’s superintendent search committee and honored their work by handing one of its members, James Ruck, retired Sachem school district superintendent, a certificate of appreciation.

A Northport Tiger greets new Northport-East Northport Superintendent Rob Banzer at a reception on Monday, May 4.  Photo by Rohma Abbas
A Northport Tiger greets new Northport-East Northport Superintendent Rob Banzer at a reception on Monday, May 4. Photo by Rohma Abbas

Rapiejko, who introduced Banzer, spoke about consensus. He noted that while the school board and district residents may not see eye-to-eye on everything, Banzer’s appointment came with a “degree of unanimity.” He described Banzer as “someone who will exercise firm, focused and compassionate leadership.”

When Banzer took the microphone, he spoke about the importance of seeing students not as where they are, but what they could be and gave a shout out to staff at Northport-East Northport who believed in him — people he said inspired him to become who he is today.

“In my role, my hope here is that every single child in the Northport-East Northport school district can tell that story that they are touched and they can be inspired by the staff — and it doesn’t just have to be teachers, it can be administrators — it can be anybody,” he said. “It can be food service workers, it can be custodians — anybody — that they, they feel inspired. And I see that as our role. My role as superintendent is to partner with our board of education, partner with the community, partner with the administration and the staff to make that a reality.”

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.

Luis Antonio Fernandez leads the pack for Middle Country. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

With twice the number of athletes, Northport’s boys’ track and field team dominated the League II meet on its home track Tuesday to win the meet 105-20.

Sam Augustin leaps over the hurdle for Northport. Photo by Bill Landon
Sam Augustin leaps over the hurdle for Northport. Photo by Bill Landon

Middle Country head coach George Royce said that most of the districts’ athletes come from Newfield, so a venue change earlier in the year adversely affected his team.

“At the very beginning of the season the athletic director moved us to Centereach, so a lot of our athletes [from Newfield] just didn’t come out for the team,” Royce said. “The Newfield kids didn’t want to take the bus over, and we lost quite a few good athletes, so we’re really short.”

Short or not, finishing fifth for Middle Country in the 3,200-meter run was sophomore Luis Antonio Fernandez, a second-year varsity runner who had never competed in the event before.

“We only had one kid in it and I already ran the 1,600 and I wasn’t feeling that good for the 800,” Fernandez said. “So I wanted to wait a little bit so I could recover.”

Northport freshman Isaih Claiborne was at the head of the pack for the 3,200, and stayed with the leader, making big kicks down the final 200-meter stretch to cross the finish line at 11 minutes, 36.3 seconds.

Crossing the finish line first in the 1,600 was a tie between Northport senior Michael Cossaro and junior Sam Napoli, who both finished in 4:59.03.

Northport head coach Bob Burkley said his team’s victory was due to the number of competitors his team fielded this day. Burkley has been coaching for years and also noted that he coached Middle Country’s head coach back in 1974.

“The team aspect is what won it for us,” Burkley said. “It was a team effort because they ran in groups, and that was the key.”

Denzel Williams competes in the long jump for Middle Country. Photo by Bill Landon
Denzel Williams competes in the long jump for Middle Country. Photo by Bill Landon

Middle Country standout Denzel Williams, a junior, is a premier sprinter and one of the fastest kids in League II, according to his coach. While he believes Chris Weiner is the best pole-vaulter in the league.

Williams, who won the 100 in 11.6,  said that the running conditions weren’t the best, as he ran slower than his personal best of 11.2.

“The wind affected me — it was a long bus ride here and I didn’t get a good warm up,” said Williams, who specializes in the 100, 200 and long jump events.

With the win, Northport improved to 2-1, while Middle Country dropped to 0-3.

Despite the strong athletes Royce has, the coach said his team has a tough time filling the roster to compete against the bigger teams.

“We’re very young, with only one senior and we have talent, but we’re small and have trouble competing against these larger schools,” he said.

Middle Country will host Sachem North on Tuesday at 4 p.m., and Northport will travel to Connetquot Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

From left, Ray Palen, Gabriella Stevens and Mikal Oltedal in a scene from ‘The Man Who Came To Dinner.’ Photo by Michael Leinoff

By Charles J. Morgan

In the sometimes arcane lexicon of the theatah there is the term “chestnut.” It simply refers to a good or actually immortal play that is done every season everywhere. It has long-standing universal appeal, and is audience friendly even when translated into Gheg, Tusk or Urdu. Such a play is George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” currently playing at the Minstrel Players’ venue in Northport for a limited run.

Set in 1939, the script is literally flooded with references associated with that era …. Haile Selassie, John L. Lewis, “Bubu” (Mahatma Gandhi), Charles Ross and even Noel Coward with a fast-paced output, wise-cracking, display of humor.

Director Ray Palen starred as the impossibly rude Sheridan Whiteside, a cultured, scholarly writer, pundit and author. Homer described Odysseus as speaking “winged words.” Whiteside’s words are winged too … laden with nuclear warheads. He demolishes any opposition with piercing, barbed onslaughts. Palen discharged his role as Whiteside expertly, consistently — like a lovable Falstaff. He is very seldom offstage and manages the signature wheelchair right up to the edge of the apron.

Michelle Torres plays Maggie Cutler, Whiteside’s long-suffering but capable secretary. Torres handled this role with called-up on professional aplomb even in a scene where she “quits” her job. Here she is still underplaying it, but with steely, scarcely concealed anger.

The Minstrels’ dynamic veteran character actress Maris Kastan is Miss Preen, Whiteside’s nurse. She plays out the dutiful nurse like someone hit with a baseball bat, but can’t figure out what hit her. That is until she dramatically resigns with a downstage center speech about going to work in a munitions factory. Kastan, together with Palen, is an outstanding example of getting into the essence of a role, making the acting real.

Banjo, a true slapstick role, is managed neatly by Ralph Carideo. He really eats up the scenery, combining an earthy Rabelaisian Vaudeville humor, delivered with punch and verve. Then we have Alicia James as glamor girl movie star Lorraine Sheldon. She is in love with one person: herself. Every line and move is promotional of a solitary object named Lorraine. She is frivolous, sexy, with a virtual murder streak … all of it with a compelling smile. This is not an easy role, but James handled it with perfection.

A triple role was held by Brian Hartwig. He was the eccentric Professor Metz in topee, tropical jacket and spectacles who delivers a cockroach colony. (Yes, they do eventually escape.) He has a  bit part as Expressman, but bursts into a key role as Beverly Carlton, a knockoff of Noel Coward done to English accent languidity with all the sophistication Noel himself could have brought. Hartwig’s range of talent was palpable. One wishes to see him more on the Minstrels’ playbill.

Constraints of space preclude mention of others in this massive cast, however, Evan Donnellan stood out as Bert Jefferson, Tricia Ieronimo as Mrs. Stanley and Jim Connors as her long-suffering husband. A curtain call bow was taken by Valerie Rowe who undertook the role of Sara the Cook as a last-minute substitute. Well done!

The Minstrel Players may be a little cramped in their present venue, yet they have expanded smoothly with this show. One sees a massively bright future for them. Break a leg, Minstrels!

The Minstrel Players will present “The Man Who Came To Dinner” on May 2 at 8 p.m. and May 3 at 3 p.m. at the Houghton Hall Theatre at Trinity Episcopal Church, 130 Main St., Northport. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 seniors and children. For more information, call 631-732-2926 or visit www.minstrelplayers.org.

Lights out
Two men from Stony Brook were arrested in Stony Brook on April 13 and charged with first-degree burglary, using a dangerous instrument. According to police, the men, one a 23-year-old, and another, a 17-year-old, entered an Old Town Road home on March 29 at about 3 a.m., struck someone in the home in the head with a handgun and took money.

Lost time
A Stony Brook man reported to police on April 16 that his Rolex watch was stolen from Blueberry Lane in Stony Brook, sometime between Feb. 18 and Feb. 21. No arrests have been made.

Hospital heist
A woman reported to police on April 14 at about 1 p.m. that items were stolen from her purse while she was at Stony Brook University Hospital’s recovery room. No arrests have been made, and police couldn’t tell what was taken from the bag.

Nail [salon] cracked
Someone broke the glass door of Pro Nails on Main Street in Setauket-East Setauket and stole cash from the register, sometime around 7:30 p.m. on April 16.

Wallet woes
Police said a Poquott man reported that someone stole items from his wallet, which was left in a car that was unlocked and parked in the driveway of his Birchwood Avenue home. The incident was reported on April 16 at 9 p.m.

Feeling hot, hot, hot
Police said two men fled Walmart on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket on March 15 at about 6:35 p.m. with lighters and condoms. They were confronted at the door and told staff they didn’t take anything. They fled on foot.

The Bicycle Thief
A bike was stolen from a Terryville Road residence in Port Jefferson Station on April 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Pocketed
An unknown person stole a purse from inside a Piedmont Drive home in Port Jefferson Station between April 17 and 19.

How charming
Two males got into an argument at a Charm City Drive residence in Port Jefferson Station on April 17. According to police, one of the men hit the other with a closed fist. It is unclear if the victim needed medical attention. No arrests have been made.

Missing
A wallet was stolen from a 2008 Volkswagen Jetta parked at Danfords Hotel & Marina on April 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Played
An unknown person stole a PlayStation and game from a North Country Road residence in Port Jefferson on April 14 between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Still snowing?
An unknown person stole a snowblower from Agway in Mount Sinai at some point between April 18 and 19. According to police, the individual prised open a locked shed and removed the blower.

Sounding off
Two friends got into a spat on April 15 on Hallock Landing Road in Sound Beach. One man pushed the other.

Pod and pills
An unknown person stole an iPod and prescription pills from a 2010 Hyundai parked on Block Island Drive in Sound Beach on April 13 between 1:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Double the larceny
A 31-year-old Sound Beach man was arrested on April 14 on two petit larceny charges stemming from incidents in October and on Feb. 21 when he stole items from stores on the South Shore.

Rocking and rolling
An unknown person threw a rock at a truck’s windshield while it was parked on King Road in Rocky Point on April 18.

Cashing in
Cash, a cell phone and a debit card were stolen from a home on Broadway in Rocky Point at around 4 a.m. on April 15.

Moving you forward … to jail
A 28-year-old Bayport man was arrested in Centereach for criminal mischief after he damaged the windshield on a 2009 Toyota on April 19.

Binge watching
An unknown female left the Centereach Walmart on April 17 without paying for a flat screen television.

In a cell
Police arrested a 26-year-old man from Centereach on child pornography charges. According to police the man, who was arrested at his home on April 17, had the images on his cellphone.

Screen scene
A residence on Choate Avenue in Selden reported a screen had been damaged on April 19.

Wrecked
A 47-year-old female from Middle Island was arrested in Selden for leaving the scene of an incident. According to police, on April 17 at 11:05 p.m., while operating a 2010 Chevy, the woman was involved in a crash at Hawkins and Wireless roads. She then fled the scene.

Directions?
A GPS was among items stolen from a vehicle parked in a driveway on Glenwood Avenue in Miller Place on April 14 at approximately 6 p.m. A day earlier, personal papers were stolen from a Jeep parked on the same street.

Wrong department
Police arrested a 35-year-old Port Jefferson man on April 15 and charged him with second-degree harassment after he attempted to return stolen merchandise to Sears on Route 347. After employees questioned the man, he became belligerent, pushed a store manager and ran out of the store. He was arrested around noon.

Slap ‘n pepper
A 21-year-old from St. James was arrested in the Village of the Branch on April 17 and charged with second-degree harassment, physical contact. Police said he sprayed pepper spray into the face of another person on East Main Street at about 6:37 p.m. that day. He also slapped the victim in the face during a verbal argument. Police said the victim required medical attention.

Double-team punch
Two men were charged with second-degree harassment, physical contact, and arrested on April 13 in Smithtown. Police said a 32-year-old from Pikeville and a 31-year-old from Ocala were both charged with punching someone in the head on West Jericho Turnpike in Smithtown at about 11 p.m. that day.

Stolen jewels
A West Main Street jewelry store in Smithtown was burglarized on April 13 at about 2:12 a.m., police said. The front door was smashed and assorted jewelry was taken from L.I. Gold Mine, according to police.

Wiped out
A 55-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested in Smithtown on April 15 and charged with criminal mischief with intent to damage property. Police said that at about 9:15 a.m. that day he broke off the driver side windshield wiper arm of someone’s red Chevrolet Impala on Route 111 in Smithtown. He was arrested on Plaisted Avenue in Smithtown that day.

Assaulter caught
A 23-year-old Commack woman was arrested in Smithtown on April 13 and charged with assault with criminal negligence, causing injury with a weapon. Police said she punched a female in the head after an argument over prior issues on April 6 at 11:43 p.m., causing the woman to have a fractured nose. The incident occurred on Motor Parkway in Hauppauge, and the Commack woman was arrested at the precinct.

Package taken
Someone stole a package from an office building on West Jericho Turnpike at about 2 p.m. on April 13. The package included an employee’s credit card, which police said was later used.

Checks nabbed
Someone stole business checks from a car dealership on Middle Country Road in Nesconset and forged signatures on them. The incident was reported on April 18 and occurred sometime around 9 a.m. on Feb. 11.

Car break-in
Items from a 2012 Honda CRV parked at a 4th Avenue home in Kings Park were taken April 18. Police said an unknown person damaged the driver-side window and took a book bag, cash, credit card and driver’s license.

Identity stolen
A Saint James resident of Lake Avenue told police on April 18 that an unknown person used his identity to withdraw money from the bank on Jan. 26 at about 9 a.m.

Brutal beating
A 50-year-old St. James man and a 53-year-old Huntington man were arrested in Huntington on April 20 and charged with third-degree assault, with intent to cause physical injury. Police said the two grabbed a male victim and punched him in the face. The victim suffered a concussion, a broken nose and required stitches. The 50-year-old man was arrested on Stewart Avenue in Huntington, the 53-year-old was arrested on O’Hara Place in Huntington.

Knife threat
Police said a 16-year-old from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington on April 17 and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, with intent to use it. Police said he got into an argument with a male on West Pulaski Road in Huntington Station on April 17 at about 9:20 p.m. and threatened the person with a knife.

Toothbrush, baby formula stolen
A 34-year-old Mastic Beach man was arrested in Huntington and charged with petit larceny on April 14. Police said the man entered a Rite Aid on West Jericho Turnpike in Huntington Station at about 8:03 p.m. on that day and took an electric toothbrush, replacement heads and baby formula.

Not-so-slick liquor thieves
Two women entered Angelina Liquors on Broadway in Huntington on April 20 and stole two bottles of liquor. Store staff told police the females went to the rear of the store and removed a bottle of tequila and went to another aisle and took a bottle of vodka.

Green Street punch
Someone was punched in the face in a parking lot on Green Street on April 19 at about 3 a.m. There are no arrests.

Beauty dash
Someone entered Sally Beauty Supply on New York Avenue in Huntington and fled with five assorted beauty items on April 16 at about 10:35 a.m.

Exclusive cream stolen
A woman pocketed a skin cream on display at L’Amour Spa on Fort Salonga Road in Northport on April 14 at 1:55 p.m. The product was an in-store trial-only sample.

Mowed down
An East Northport woman told police on April 13 that someone drove onto her 5th Avenue front lawn, causing damage sometime on April 12 at 11 p.m. There are no arrests.

Fill ’er up
A Cold Spring Harbor man told police he found his 2011 Chevrolet’s gas tank filled with salt. The incident occurred sometime at midnight on April 15 and the car was parked on Harbor Road.

Gold chain, meds stolen
A Centerport man told police he want for a walk on April 16 between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and didn’t lock the door to his Washington Drive home. Someone came in and stole a gold chain and medicine.

Stephen Waldenburg Jr. is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. File photo by Rohma Abbas

With seven individuals in the running for three open seats, this year’s race for the Northport-East Northport school board vows to be a spirited contest.

From a 22-year-old Northport man looking to flex his political muscles to a 15-year veteran school board member vying for his sixth term, the slate spans a spectrum of backgrounds and candidates tout a range of experiences.

Tammie Topel is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
Tammie Topel is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

“It’s going to be a party,” Stephen Waldenburg Jr., the long-serving board member who is seeking re-election said in a phone interview.

Three seats are open — those of board members David Badanes, James Maloney and Waldenburg.  Badanes and Waldenburg are running for re-election, while Maloney is not running, according to district clerk Beth Nystrom.

Other candidates running include former school board member Tammie Topel, Josh Muno, Peter Mainetti, David Stein and Michael “Bruno” Brunone.

In interviews this week, the candidates discussed issues including the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) litigation challenging the value of the Northport power plant — a lawsuit that if settled unfavorably could mean double-digit percentage increases in taxes for district residents. Candidates also discussed the recent green-lighting of full-day kindergarten next year and the board’s recent budget decision to nix the district’s visual arts chairperson position in next year’s budget.

Stephen Waldenburg, Jr.
Waldenburg said he’s running for many reasons, but mainly to help newly appointed Superintendent Robert Banzer transition smoothly. Waldenburg has served on the board since 2000 and said he’s got some unfinished business, such as working on the LIPA litigation and ensuring the arts program isn’t impacted by the loss of the chairperson position. Waldenburg voiced opposition to the move. “I’m very concerned about that. I kind of want to be here to make certain the program isn’t allowed to diminish at all.”

Josh Muno is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
Josh Muno is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

The veteran board member said he was instrumental in getting a robotics team established at the high school. He said he’s also got his eye on declining enrollments, which could prove to be “a very scary thing” for the district, particularly if buildings need to be closed.
Waldenburg works for American Technical Ceramic in Huntington Station as a customer service manager.

Tammie Topel
Former school board trustee Topel is looking to make a comeback.
The Northport resident, who was on the board up until last year, decided not to run again last year for personal and health reasons. If elected, she’d be interested in exploring cost savings in special education and working on the LIPA issue.
She said if she was on the school board she would have voted to axe the arts chairperson position as well, just based on numbers — most chairpeople at the district manage a department of 40 or so teachers, while the arts chairperson was managing a department of about 16 teachers, mostly veterans.
“My heart is really in Northport, in the school district, and I just want to be there again.”
Topel is the director of two nonprofits — K.i.d.s. Plus, which offers sports and therapeutic recreation programs for kids, and KIDS PLUS, which works with adults with disabilities.

David Stein is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
David Stein is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

Josh Muno
The youngest out of the pool of candidates, Muno, 22, said he’s running because he feels the school board is “a little inactive on important issues.”
He’s critical of the Common Core Learning Standards and said he felt the curriculum doesn’t allow children to expand on their passions.
“The state, I think, is really overstepping their boundaries for this.”
Muno questions the need for the number of assistant superintendents currently at the district.
A Suffolk County Community College student, Muno lives in Northport and was raised by his grandmother. He works as a site safety captain at the Northport Hess gas station.

David Stein
Stein is credited with successfully lobbying the school board to bring about full-day kindergarten funding for next year’s budget. He started going to the meetings last year, interested in a state comptroller’s audit that claimed the district overestimated its expenses to the tune of millions over the course of several years.
“In short, I’m a big proponent of honest budgets. And I think that the prior administration … became fairly adept at adopting budgets that were not entirely transparent.”

Peter Mainetti is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
Peter Mainetti is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

Stein said he feels the district’s been neglecting putting money into things it should, like its physical plant and sports facilities. He thinks the district needs capital improvements. He’s also interested in seeing school board term limits.
Stein is a retired New York City Police Department lieutenant.

Peter Mainetti
Mainetti said he’s running because, “I’m not happy with what the current board’s doing, quite simply.”
He said he was greatly disappointed by the school board’s decision to get rid of the arts chairperson position. He called it a “terrible decision.”
He said he doesn’t support the budget because he wants to send a message to the board that what they’re doing, particularly with the art and music program, is not acceptable. He’s in favor of greater community involvement at board meetings and wants more board-back efforts of community outreach.
Mainetti is a baker training specialist at Panera Bread. He lives in East Northport.

David Badanes is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
David Badanes is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

David Badanes
In his first term, Badanes said he feels he’s brought about positive changes on the board.
He said he was heavily involved in the interview process that ultimately resulted in hiring the new superintendent, slated to start this summer.
Badanes also mentioned that he’s one of two trustees charged with overseeing teacher contract negotiations, and to that end there’s been a tentative resolution that has to be approved by both sides. “I think I was a positive person in that role,” Badanes said.
Badanes is also a member of the policy committee. Looking ahead, he wants to focus on resolving the LIPA litigation issue and keep offering a wide array of electives and opportunities at the high school.
Badanes is an attorney who practices mostly matrimonial, some criminal and a little bit of real estate law.

Michael “Bruno” Brunone
Brunone, born and raised in Northport, said he’s running because he wants to give back to a community about which he feels strongly.
Brunone said he believes the school board’s done a good job with the budget and he wants to step up to help out.

Mike Brunone is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month. Photo from the candidate
Mike Brunone is running for Northport-East Northport school board next month.
Photo from the candidate

“I think what I could bring to the board is I’m a good team player, and when it comes down to a board, I feel it’s all about coalition building,” he said.
He said he supports the decision to get rid of the arts chairperson position, and he’s also supportive of the decision to create full-day kindergarten at the district. He wants to focus on “the triple A” if elected — athletics, academics and the arts.
Brunone is the vice president of Huntington-based Taglich Brothers.

Featuring two nationally recognized groups in folk music and an open mic filled with 10 local singer-songwriters, the Northport Arts Coalition’s StarLight Concert Series ended its season with a bang on Friday.

A packed house was captivated by the intertwined harmonies of singer-songwriters Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley of The Sea and the Sea and the old time up-tempo music of Jan Bell and the Maybelles, a cornerstone in the Brooklyn folk and country scene.

Northport-East Northport teachers picket over contract negotiations earlier this year. Photo by Rohma Abbas

By Susan Risoli

The United Teachers of Northport union has reached a tentative employment contract settlement with the Northport-East Northport school district.

School board counsel John Gross, of the Hauppauge firm Ingerman Smith LLP, said in a phone interview Monday that a memorandum of agreement containing details of the settlement had been delivered to Sean Callahan, the NYSUT labor relations specialist, that day.

Callahan will have the opportunity to make changes or comments on the agreement, he said. After that, Smith said, he expects it will take “another week or so before it’s signed.”

After signature by the negotiating team, Smith said, the agreement will go to UTN members for ratification, then to the Northport-East Northport school board for approval “and then it becomes public.”

The union’s previous contract expired June 30, 2014.

Union President Antoinette Blanck said in a phone interview Tuesday night that the union had received a draft of the memorandum of agreement and “we’re in the middle of reviewing it.”

She sent an email to union members Tuesday to update them on the contract’s progress, she said. A meeting was set for Wednesday with Callahan, she said, to review the agreement. Callahan’s office is in the same building as Ingerman Smith, she added, which she hoped would hasten the process if there are further discussions about the agreement.

After the memorandum is signed, each of the union’s 720 members will get a hard copy to read. There will be a ratification meeting, Blanck said, at which the settlement agreement will be explained. Then there will be a ratification vote “by secret ballot, in each building” no less than five days and no more than 10 days after the meeting, she said.

Although she said she couldn’t yet speak publicly about details of the new contract, Blanck said she felt positively about the settlement.

“We would have been still at the [negotiating] table if we felt this wasn’t an appropriate settlement to bring back to our members,” she said. “We’re hopeful that the rank-and-file members agree that this is an agreement that is respectful of the membership and respectful of the community of taxpayers.”

Blanck said the settlement was a long time coming “but certainly we’ve been very happy with the process” of negotiations.

The union represents the district’s teachers, teaching assistants, nurses, librarians, psychologists and counselors.

The Northport Public Library. File photo from library

Northport-East Northport Public Library district voters overwhelmingly approved a nearly $10 million budget to fund both Northport and East Northport libraries’ operations in 2015-16.

The voters also elected two trustees —incumbent Georganne White and newcomer Jacqueline Elsas, according to library Director James Olney in a phone interview on Wednesday. Longtime trustee Robert Little, who had sat on the board for 13 years and sought reelection, did not win another term.

In total, 530 people voted in favor of the budget, while 68 people voted “No,” Olney said. “I’m actually very pleased with the figures,” he said. “The 530 is not only great, but we tend to have about 100 ‘No’s each year and I’m happy to see those numbers decline.”

As far as trustees go, White was the top vote getter, amassing 415 votes. She was elected to a five-year term. Elsas received 358 votes and was elected to serve a four-year term, filling the seat of former trustee Patricia Flynn who stepped down early to become a district court judge. Little received 285 votes.

The library’s spending plan translates to an approximately $6.80 increase in taxes for an average library district resident with a home assessed at $4,000. And the proposed budget stays within a New York State-mandated cap on tax levy increases.

Some of the highlights of next year’s budget include increased funding for adult, teen and children programming, $140,000 in capital and technological improvements at both buildings; an uptick in professional fees and a decrease in projected revenues. The tax levy will increase from $9.5 million to $9.6 million, or about 1.46 percent.

Olney said he is happy with the results and the library is now looking ahead to May, when library staff will be hosting a celebration marking 75 years of public library service in East Northport. That celebration, which is open to the public, will take place on Saturday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the East Northport Public Library on Larkfield Road. It will feature games for children, crafts, a pickle booth, historical artifacts and more.

“It will be a nice time,” Olney said.

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