Briefs

Pixabay photo

Are you seeking help and encouragement after the death of a spouse, child, family member or close friend? St. James Lutheran Church, 230 2nd. Ave., St. James will provide GriefShare, a 13-session support group program, at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays from Jan. 12 through April 6, 2022. 

The program will be hosted by Bonnie Spiegel and Deacon James Lundgren, long-time Care Givers at St. James Lutheran Church and is offered free of charge to all members of the community seeking bereavement support — a warm and caring group “oasis” during their long journeys through grief.  It is offered without cost, completely underwritten by a generous grant from St. James Funeral Home, owned and operated by the Maher family. Call 631-584-5212 for reservations and find more information at www.griefshare.org.

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Get ready to lose an hour of sleep, but gain an extra hour of daylight! Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 14. That’s when you’ll move your clocks forward by one hour and “spring ahead.” The event is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, Nov. 7 this year when we’ll move our clocks back an hour and lose an hour of daylight.

A sign of the times outside Smithtown Town Hall. Photo courtesy of Smithtown Library

The Smithtown Library’s Long Island Room, located in the lower level of the  library’s main branch at 1 North Country Road in Smithtown, invites the community to participate in an important project.

Over the course of the last few months, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns have had a dramatic impact on the entire world and our own community. As challenging as these times are, however, it is important to recognize and document the historical significance of this period so that future generations may learn from it.

Ways you can participate include collecting relevant items, keeping a journal reflecting on your experiences and sharing photos and/or videos of the way your life or surroundings have changed.

For more information about this project and collecting examples, please visit https://smithlib.org/documenting​. If you are interested in donating materials to this collection or have any questions, please contact the Long Island Room via email at [email protected] Please do not bring any materials to the library at this time or before contacting the Long Island Room. For further information, please call 631-360-2480.

A temporary sign asking for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Stony Brook University Hospital, April 2019
Face masks (top to bottom): surgical, N95, and handmade, Port Jefferson, May 2019

The Long Island Museum (LIM) in Stony Brook has announced that they will be seeking the collection of objects, images and stories as related to the COVID-19 coronavirus to document for future generations on how Long Island responded during the crisis. 

Titled Collecting Our History: Long Island During COVID-19, the compilation will serve as a record of the community’s shared history, and will influence future exhibitions, programs, research, and other projects. The LIM is particularly interested in seeking material that exemplifies how the virus has impacted victims, medical personnel and other frontline workers, the operation of businesses, schools, religious and cultural organizations, and the structure and interactions of our daily lives both large and small.  

“The COVID-19 coronavirus is the most severe pandemic to impact Long Island since the Spanish Influenza of 1918-1919,” said Jonathan Olly, Curator at the LIM. “It is affecting our lives in dramatic and sometimes tragic ways.”

People living or working on Long Island, in Brooklyn and in Queens are invited to offer contributions of any digital or physical item that documents their experience and that of their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Material may include photographs, audio, and video, signs and posters, artwork, masks and other personal protective equipment, home recipes, journals, and planners. 

An empty paper goods aisle at Stop & Shop, Setauket, March 2019

Digital items can be emailed to [email protected] Photos should be in JPG, PNG, or TIF format, audio in MP3 or WAV, videos in MP4, AVI, WMV, or MOV, and documents in PDF, TIF, PNG, or JPG. All submissions must be by persons 18 years or older, and convey copyright (if applicable) to the Long Island Museum and include a description and contact information. 

“The LIM helps to preserve the experiences of Long Islanders and so we’re reaching out to our community to share with us the objects and images that help tell this story. In the coming years Collecting Our History: Long Island during COVID-19 will allow us to be able to look back on this time and see how it changed us, and how we persevered,” said Olly.

Select online submissions may be featured on the LIM’s website and/or social media platforms. Due to the volume of submissions the LIM may be unable to individually notify people if or when their digital submissions will be posted. The LIM prefers not to have objects sent to the Museum at this time, as the offices are currently closed. 

For further questions, please email the LIM’s Assistant Collections Manager, Molly McGirr at [email protected], or LIM’s Curator, Jonathan Olly at [email protected]

Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin poses beneath an oil portrait of her great-great grandfather, William K. Vanderbilt II, as a child. Hola magazine photo

Hola!, a popular, weekly celebrity-news magazine, recently published an eight-page feature article on the Vanderbilt Estate, home of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. 

The story, which included stunning photos and aerial views, focused on Vanderbilt family history and the development of its railroad empire. (The magazine, based in Madrid, Spain, publishes 30 international editions in nine languages.)

The feature also concentrated on William K. Vanderbilt II’s great-great-granddaughter, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, and her husband, Rafael Feldman. The couple was photographed in several rooms of the mansion.

Eagle’s Nest, a 24-room, Spanish Revival mansion, was built in stages from 1910 through 1936, on 43 hilly acres above Northport Bay in Centerport. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Representatives Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-3) and Peter King (R-NY-2) have introduced bipartisan legislation to reverse the impact of last year’s tax overhaul, which eliminated the deduction of state and local taxes from federal filings. If passed, people who live in high-salary, high-tax areas, such as Long Island would regain write-offs plus other benefits. 

“The SALT cap was particularly unfair to Long Islanders and New Yorkers because they already subsidize other states by paying $48 billion more into the federal government than we receive back,” Suozzi said in a statement. “It is a tax on taxes already paid, and it hits the homeowners whose local taxes fund police, firefighters and other services.” 

The legislation, called the Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act, would eliminate the marriage penalty by doubling the cap to $20,000 for joint filers for 2019 and would fully restore state and local tax (SALT) deductions for 2020 and 2021. 

The cost of the plan would be fully offset by returning the top individual tax rate from 37 percent, back to 39.6 percent, the number prior to the GOP tax bill of 2017.   

Suozzi’s district includes parts of Queens and extends into Nassau and Suffolk counties, mainly along the North Shore and includes parts of Kings Park.  In the region, more than 250,000 families reportedly have claimed the SALT deduction at an average rate of $18,300. Capping the deduction has cost Long Islanders, and all New Yorkers, billions in additional taxes, according Suozzi. In fact, Suozzi reports that the average SALT burden statewide is above the $10,000 cap in 52 of 62 counties.

“Eliminating deductions for local and state taxes will have a devastating effect on New York. We give far more to Washington than we get back. For every dollar we give, we get $0.79 back. That’s a $48 billion shortfall and hurts our middle-class Long Islanders. This legislation is critical,” Rep. King said in a statement. 

Some elected officials are skeptical of the legislation. 

Earlier this year, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1) introduced legislation that would fully reinstate SALT reductions and also close previously unaddressed loopholes. He said he prefers that to raising the individual tax rate. 

“The issue Congressman Zeldin has with this new proposal by Representative Suozzi and others is that it permanently raises the 37 percent individual tax rate to 39.6 percent and only temporarily makes changes to the SALT deduction until 2021,” said Katie Vincentz, Zeldin’s spokesperson. 

Zeldin, Vincentz said, would be happy to work with Suozzi and King to fix the current proposal and reiterated that the legislation Zeldin introduced would permanently reinstate the deduction without raising individual income taxes.

The Restoring Tax Fairness for States and Localities Act was approved in the House Committee on Ways and Means Dec. 10. 

“In the midst of all the battles in Washington, D.C., I know that my constituents on Long Island want tax fairness. The 2017 cap on SALT broke a century-old agreement. A covenant to protect state and local government and my bill restores that protection, it restores that covenant, and it restores fairness as well,” said Suozzi. “I thank Chairman Neal and the Ways and Means Committee for passing my bipartisan legislation and I hope it will be passed by the House of Representatives in short order.”

David Badanes speaks at a Northport-East Northport school board meeting. File Photo by Eric Santiago

On July 15, members of the Northport-East Northport Union Free School District board of education gathered for their annual reorganization meeting. During the meeting new trustees Larry Licopoli and Thomas Loughran, as well as re-elected member Allison Noonan, were sworn in by the board counsel. Each member will serve for three years on the board.

   Additionally, the positions of board president and vice president were voted upon in which David Badanes and Allison Noonan were appointed, respectively. Both were also sworn in by the board counsel. Both Superintendent of Schools Robert Banzer and District Clerk Beth Nystrom took their annual oath of office, pledging to fulfill their duty in serving the district.

Photo by Richard Rocchio

Learn the importance and fragility of a wetlands ecosystem, enjoy the beauty of a salt marsh moraine and be amazed at the untouched beauty of Long Island’s North Shore this summer aboard the Discovery Wetlands Cruises beginning May 16.

 The Ward Melville Heritage Organization has been offering wetlands cruises since 1995 aboard its 27-passenger pontoon boat, carrying guests from the calm waters of Stony Brook Harbor into the wetlands at West Meadow Creek.

 A naturalist is on board to guide passengers through this exceptional experience embracing ecology, geology and history, including information on how Native Americans first settled in the area. Adventurers and sightseers are encouraged to bring their binoculars for a close-up view of plant and animal life and their cameras to preserve cruise memories. Special Photography Cruises are also offered on board with an expert from Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions discussing techniques to capture the best landscape and wildlife images on the water.

Cruises leave from Stony Brook Marine Services parking lot at 51 Shore Road in Stony Brook, across from The Three Village Inn, and run through Oct. 31. Individual rates are $28 for adults, $25 for students and seniors and $18 for children under 6. Photography cruises are $50 per person. Reservations are suggested to secure your spot but walk-ons are accepted, with cash payment at the boat, when space is available. For additional information or to make a reservation, call 631-751-2244 or visit www.wmho.org.

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The Rocky Point Historical Society’s Noah Hallock Homestead is officially open for tours every Saturday  from 1 to 3 p.m. April through December.

Take a trip back in time with a visit to the Noah Hallock Homestead, at 172 Hallock Landing Road in Rocky Point hosted by trained docents. The house was built in 1721 when Noah Hallock and Bethia Youngs were married in November of that year and made Rocky Point their home. Three of their sons and three of their grandsons served as soldiers and patriots in the Revolutionary War.  Noah and Bethia’s descendants lived in the Homestead and worked the farm for eight generations, through the next century and on to a good part of the twentieth century.  At one time the Hallock family owned much of the land in Rocky Point.

The house has a gable roof wing on the west and 3 bay and the original wood shingles attest to their care through the centuries.  In the mid nineteenth century Greek Revival details were added, such as the entrance containing sidelights, transom and paneled front door. The old metal roof is unique and in excellent condition for its age. The house is a showplace of original furniture, artifacts, farm equipment and archival photographs.  It depicts life in Rocky Point from the early 18th century thru the 20th century with the establishment of RCA Radio Central, the world’s largest transmitting station from 1921-1978.

For group tours and more information, call 631-744-1776.

 

Narcan kit

Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai)and the Sound Beach Civic Association will host an opioid overdose prevention and Narcan training class at the Sound Beach Firehouse, 152 Sound Beach Blvd., on Monday, April 8 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. This class meets the NYS Department of Health requirements and includes training on how to recognize opioid overdose, how to administer Narcan and steps to take until EMS arrives. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and an emergency resuscitation kit that includes Narcan. Free but advance registration is required by calling 631-854-1600.