Port Times Record

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Ted Lucki, president of Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen, (left) stands with Barbara Ransome, director of operations with the Port Jefferson Chamber. Photo from Barbara Ransome

One group’s extra funds is another group’s treasure.

Barbara Ransome, director of operations with the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said that leftover money from the chamber’s restaurant/meal program was donated to the Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen.

According to Ransome, a check for $2,000 was given to the local soup kitchen. The program, she said, ended in late July, but helped bring food during this past spring and summer when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Long Island. 

“Besides the hospitals we worked with, we also coordinated meals for the soup kitchen as well as other non-profits,” Ransome said. “We suspended services late July with the thought that the remaining money could stay static and used at a later time. This was the time.”

Ransome said the chamber’s board of directors agreed to give the donation to the soup kitchen, which is still providing meals to the food insecure five days a week. 

Ted Lucki, president of Welcome Friends Soup Kitchen, said that for nearly 30 years, the soup kitchen has served the greater Port Jefferson area with a shelter to enjoy a hot meal. Prior to the pandemic, the nonprofit utilized five kitchens in local churches, where food was collected. But things had to change with new guidelines and restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus. 

“Basically, the churches closed down and we couldn’t keep the kitchens open,” Lucki said. “We had to adjust to becoming a distribution service instead of a cooking service.” And instead of making the meals, they’re giving them to those in need in an organized, and safe, way. “Now you show up and we give you the food,” he said. 

Restaurants like Port Jefferson’s The Fifth Season and Chick-fil-A in Port Jefferson Station have been donating warm meals and sandwiches that the Welcome Friends can distribute. Stores like Cow Palace in Rocky Point and Trader Joes in Lake Grove also have donated groceries, and fellow nonprofit Island Harvest Food Bank also has been involved. 

“All of these people are so giving,” he said. 

While other groups and organizations have halted their donations to those in need, this group still vows to handout food Monday through Friday.

“Because of the great effort of reorganizing a delivery meal program again, our board of directors agreed to give an outright donation to the soup kitchen, which is still providing meals five days a week for the underserved and people in need,” Ransome said. 

The $2,000 will go a long way, Lucki added. “The chamber helped early on and paid for several meals,” he said. “We’re so grateful.”

Grab and go meals are available Monday through Thursday from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 309 Route 112, Port Jefferson Station and Fridays at the First Presbyterian Church, Main and 107 South Street in the village from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

By John L. Turner

Situated a mile east of Orient Point, the eastern tip of the North Fork and separated from it by Plum Gut, lies Plum Island, an 822-acre pork-chop shaped island that is owned by you and me (being the federal taxpayers that we are). 

The island’s most well-known feature is the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), situated in the northwestern corner of the property, but Plum Island is so much more. On the western edge lays the Plum Island lighthouse which was built in 1869 to warn mariners of the treacherous currents of Plum Gut. On the east there’s the brooding presence of Fort Terry, a relict of the Spanish-American War, with scattered evidence in the form of barracks, gun batteries, and the tiny tracks of a toy gauge railroad once used to move cannon shells from storage to those concrete batteries. (The cannons never fired except during drills).

And there’s the stuff that excites naturalists:

■ The largest seal haul-out site in southern New England located at the eastern tip of the island where throngs of harbor and grey seals swim along the rocky coastline or bask, like fat sausages, on the off-shore rocks that punctuate the surface of the water.

■ The more than 225 different bird species, one-quarter of all the species found in North America, that breed here (like the bank swallows that excavate burrows in the bluff face on the south side of the island), or pass through on their seasonal migratory journeys, or overwinter.

■ Dozens of rare plants, like ladies’-tresses orchids, blackjack oak, and scotch lovage that flourish in the forests, thickets, meadows, and shorelines of Plum Island.

■ A large freshwater pond in the southwestern section of the island that adds visual delight and biological diversity to the island. 

■ And, of course, the ubiquitous beach plums that gave the island its name!

For the past decade a struggle has ensued to make right what many individuals, organizations of all sorts (including the more than 120-member Preserve Plum Island Coalition), and many public officials consider a significant wrong — Congress’s order to sell Plum Island to the highest bidder, forever losing it as a public space. 

This ill-conceived path of auctioning the island was set in motion by a half-page paragraph buried in a several thousand- page bill to fund government agencies in 2009. Fortunately, this struggle has been won — the wrong has been righted — as language included in the recently adopted 2021 budget bill for the federal government, repeals the requirement that the General Services Administration sell the island. 

Thank you to Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Senators Christopher Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and members of Congress Lee Zeldin,Tom Suozzi, Rosa DeLauro and Joe Courtney!

Thanks is also due to New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright who sponsored legislation that was signed into law creating a Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle area in the waters surrounding Plum Island.

While this victory is a vital and necessary step to ultimately protect Plum Island, it is a temporary and incomplete one since the island can still be sold to a private party through the normal federal land disposition process if no government agency at the federal, state, or local level steps up to take title to the island. 

The Coalition’s next task, then, is to ensure that a federal agency such as the National Park Service (National Monument?), U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuge?) or the state of New York (New York State Park Preserve?) expresses a willingness to accept stewardship of this magnificent island, since they get first dibs to the island if they want it. A key enticement toward this end is the $18.9 million commitment in the budget to clean up the few contaminated spots on the island.

Why the sale in the first place? Since 1956 PIADC has been conducting top level research on highly communicable animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. To this end, several years ago staff developed a vaccine for this highly contagious disease that holds great promise in controlling the disease globally.

Despite this successful research, Congress determined the facility was obsolete and should be replaced, approving the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility, known as the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), to be located on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. NBAF is complete and will soon be fully operational so as a result PIADC is no longer needed; PIADC is expected to transfer all operations to Kansas and close for good in 2023.

Plum Island is a rare place — a remarkable asset that holds the promise of enriching Long Islanders’ lives —your family’s lives, if we can keep it in public ownership. The Preserve Plum Island Coalition, with the input from hundreds of Long Islanders, has painted a vision for the island … so, imagine throwing binoculars, a camera, and a packed lunch enough for you and your family into your backpack and participating in this realized vision by:

— Taking a ferry across to the island, debarking to orient your island adventure by visiting a museum interpreting the cultural and natural riches and fascinating history of the island before you wander, for countless hours, to experience the wild wonders of the island. A most worthwhile stop is the island’s eastern tip where, through a wildlife blind, you enjoy watching dozens of bobbing grey and harbor seals dotting the water amidst the many partially submerged boulders.

— Standing on the edge of the large, tree-edged pond, watching basking turtles and birds and dragonflies flitting over the surface.

-Birdwatching on the wooded trails and bluff tops to view songbirds, shorebirds, ospreys and other birds-of-prey, swallows, sea ducks and so many other species. Perhaps you’ll see a peregrine falcon zipping by during fall migration, sending flocks of shorebirds scurrying away as fast as their streamlined wings can take them.

— Strolling along the island’s eight miles of undisturbed coastline, with the beauty of eastern Long Island before you, offering distant views of Great Gull, Little Gull and Gardiner’s Islands, Montauk Point, and the Connecticut and Rhode Island coastlines.

— Lodging at the Plum Island lighthouse, converted into a Bed & Breakfast and enjoying a glass of wine as the sun sets over Plum Gut and Orient Point.

— Learning about the role Fort Terry played in protecting the United States and the port of New York as your explore the many parts of the fort — the barracks where soldiers stayed, the gun batteries that once housed the cannons angled skyward to repel a foreign attack.

— At the end of day, if you don’t stay over, taking the ferry back to the mainland of the North Fork, tired after many miles of hiking in the salt air of the East End stopping at a North Fork restaurant to share a chat among friends and family about what you’ve learned relating to this fascinating place.

This legislation has given Plum Island (based on the above perhaps we should call it Treasure Island!) a second chance and an opportunity for us to achieve this vision. But this law is only the first step. We need to take the vital second step of new ownership and management in the public interest if all of the above adventures are to become realities. We collectively need to tell those elected officials who represent us, and who can make a difference in determining the island’s fate, that we want Plum Island protected in perpetuity and the opportunity for its many wonders to become interwoven into the fabric of life on Long Island. 

Go to www.preserveplumisland.org to learn more about the Coalition, receive updates, and what you can do to help.

John Turner is the spokesperson for the Preserve Plum Island Coalition.

Martin Luther King Jr. during a visit to Brandeis University in 1957 at the age of 29.

Join Building Bridges in Brookhaven’s 5th annual (and first virtual) Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 16 from 1:30 to 4:40 p.m. With this year’s theme We’re All in This Together!, the afternoon’s speakers will focus on local issues of environmental racism/ecological devastation and homelessness and offer practical steps to take action.

Co-sponsored by:
The Poor People’s Campaign Long Island Chapter
The Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remedial Group (BLARG)

WEBINAR SCHEDULE
Introduction and Live Music – 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.
“Environmental Racism Hiding in Plain Sight”– 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
“Homelessness & The Poor People’s Campaign’s Winter Offensive” – 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wrap-up and Live Music – 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Webinar will be also be live-streamed via the Building Bridges in Brookhaven Facebook page. For more information, call 928-4317 or email [email protected]

Stock photo

They said the American flag belongs to everyone — not a single party or point of view. 

With the recent events at the United States Capitol and the riots that ensued from pro-Trump groups, local residents are joining in a national campaign to Take Back Our Flag.

Beatrice Ruberto, a Sound Beach resident, said the campaign, which started online around the 2020 election, implies that the American flag has become a symbol of President Donald Trump’s (R) beliefs.

“We started searching the internet, wondering how the American flag was being used,” she said. “We saw that over the past four years, it became shorthand for MAGA.” That’s Trump’s campaign slogan of Make America Great Again.

During her research, she found that after the election, many people on all sides of the political spectrum were ready to take it back. 

“We want to make the flag a unified symbol rather than a one-sided symbol,” she said.

So now, Ruberto and many members within the community, are looking to make sure the flag stands for its initial emblem, a symbol of We the People.

Ruberto and her group are hoping to persuade all people to hang their American flags outside their homes the day of the U.S. presidential inauguration, next Wednesday on Jan. 20.

“This is not a message of division,” she said. “It’s a message of inclusion.” 

After making its rounds online locally and nationally, Ruberto said the feedback so far has been generally positive, although some has been otherwise. 

But the message is simple, Ruberto noted. “Fly the flag,” she said. “Continue flying the flag, no matter what your point of view is. Everyone should be flying it.”

Kara Hahn takes the oath of office as deputy presiding officer administered by County Clerk Judy Pascale on Jan. 4. Photos from Suffolk County Legislators

The Suffolk County Legislature has officially started its new session, with new lawmakers sworn in this week for the body’s 52nd organizational meeting Jan. 4. 

Legislator Nicholas Caracappa (R-Selden) took his ceremonial oath of office as a new lawmaker, while Rob Calarco (D-Patchogue) and Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) were reelected to their leadership posts.

Calarco, legislator for the 7th District, was reelected to lead the body for a second year as presiding officer in a bipartisan vote, and Hahn, who represents the 5th District, was reelected deputy presiding officer, also in a bipartisan vote. 

Rob Calarco takes the oath of office as presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature. Photo from Suffolk County Legislature

“Important projects await us in the coming year, and we will confront the challenges of 2021 the same way we did in 2020 —in a bipartisan fashion with a shared commitment to cooperation and finding common ground,” Calarco said in a statement. 

In his remarks, he reflected on the challenges of 2020 and pointed to legislative progress on diversity and inclusion, open space and farmland preservation, and updates to the county’s wastewater code. 

In 2021, Calarco looks forward to building out sewers in Patchogue, the Mastic Peninsula, Deer Park, Smithtown and Kings Park, which will help protect Suffolk County’s water and provide an economic boost to downtowns. Additionally, he said the Legislature will soon be presented with a plan to reinvent policing in Suffolk, as required by an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

“The men and women of our law enforcement agencies work hard every day to do their jobs professionally and with a commitment to protecting all the residents of Suffolk County, yet we also know whole portions of our population fear the presence of police in their community, making officers’ jobs far more difficult,” he said. “We must put politics aside to ensure the plan addresses the root of those fears, and builds on the initiatives already underway to establish trust and confidence between our police and the communities they protect.”

Hahn intends to continue focusing on the global pandemic that has hit close to home.

“Looking ahead, 2021 will once again be a tough year, but with a vaccine there is now a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said in a statement. “We will focus our efforts on halting the spread of COVID-19, helping those in need, conquering our financial challenges and getting through this pandemic with as little heartache and pain as possible. There is hope on the horizon, and I know we will come back stronger than ever.”

After winning a special election in November, Caracappa will now represent the 4th District, filling the seat left by Republican Tom Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) who passed suddenly in September. 

Nicholas Caracappa is sworn in as new legislator for Suffolk County’s 4th District. Photo from Suffolk County Legislature

A lifelong resident of Selden, Caracappa was a 34-year employee of the Suffolk County Water Authority. He was president of the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, Local-393 for 14 years and previously served as a member of the union’s national executive board. 

He also served as a Middle Country school district board of education trustee for seven years and volunteered at Ground Zero. He said his goal is to keep his district’s quality of life at the forefront. 

“I am committed to the quality of life issues that make this community a great place for families to live, work and enjoy recreation,” he said in a statement. “My focus will be to eliminate wasteful spending, support our law enforcement, first responders and frontline health care workers, and protect our senior citizens, veterans and youth services.”

He added that he wants to continue enhancing Long Island’s environmental protection initiatives including critical water-quality measures and expanding the existing sewer studies in his district’s downtown regions. 

The Legislature’s Hauppauge auditorium is named after his late mother, Rose Caracappa.

Legislator Sarah Anker (D-Mount Sinai) was sworn in last year. Representing the 6th District, she said she looks forward to continuing and expanding on the important work she’s been doing for the community. Specifically, for 2021, her top priority is working with the health department, along with federal, state and local governments to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anker said she wants to prioritize public safety and plans to continue to work with the county’s Department of Public Works and the state’s Department of Transportation to monitor and create safer roads. 

As the chair of the county’s Health Committee and chair of the Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, she also plans to continue to collaborate with panel members to monitor the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the opioid epidemic on Long Island.

“Together we have worked to protect the integrity of this great community by addressing issues and improving our quality of life,” Anker said. “This year, I will continue to be proactive in dealing with this current pandemic and prioritize issues including stabilizing county finances, fighting crime and the drug epidemic, addressing traffic safety and working to preserve what’s left of our precious open space.”

The Capitol. Stock photo

A lot has happened since the start of 2021, only two weeks ago. 

Shortly before the insurrection at the United States Capitol Jan. 6, Long Island sent four Republicans to the New York State Senate to kick off the new legislative session.

State Senator Anthony Palumbo speaks at TBR News Media during the 2014 election cycle. File photo by Elana Glowatz

Two of those are newly elected Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) and Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James), both local to the North Shore. 

On top of their swearing-in and preparation for the new year ahead, various local and national elected officials released statements surrounding the horrors Americans witnessed that Wednesday.

The two state lawmakers are not condoning what happened Jan. 6.

“Most, if not all, New Yorkers were happy to put the year 2020 behind them and are looking forward to the promise of a better 2021,” Palumbo said. “Sadly, last Wednesday’s storming of the Capitol using acts of violence does not help any cause and instead leads to incarceration.”

Palumbo said he will condemn all lawless attacks on America’s institutions and cities.

State Senator Mario Mattera. File photo.

“I fully support our men and women in law enforcement who continue to find themselves in ever more dangerous situations,” he said. “I appeal to everyone’s better angels, both on the right and left. We must all focus on important issues like public health and economic recovery, not stoking division from the political extremes.”

Mattera said that he supports the right to peaceful protests.

“The right to express views peacefully is a fundamental freedom for all Americans and it is essential to who we are,” he said. “But when the events become violent or unlawful, as they did last week and have in the recent past, those responsible must be held accountable and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mattera said that what was witnessed must not be condoned or excused.  

“There can be no acceptance of these actions regardless of motivations,” he said. “They attacked our men and women in blue, and their actions insulted all who support the First Amendment.”

But he said that through it all and at the end of the day, Americans must work together.

“We must now join together as Americans to show we are stronger when we stand together,” the state senator said. “This nation has stood for over 240 years and we must work together to ensure its future.”

Port Jefferson Free Library will be hosting photographer Harper Bella for her one night only online exhibition “Flower of Honor” on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. The show examines the role of black and brown essential workers throughout the uprise of COVID-19 and social injustices across the United States. Centered around New York, this series highlights their experiences and recognizes their efforts in one of the most uncertain times in history.

Harper Bella is an international photographer. Born in Queens, New York to Trinidadian and Barbadian parents, she was raised in Trinidad and Tobago until the age of six, when her family settled in Long Island, New York. Enamored with the arts from an early age, Harper pursued her first degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was during a black and white film photography course that she knew she found her calling.

Bella graduated from FIT in 2012 and went on to intern for various photographers in New York City. In 2014, she created the Angela Davis-inspired project, “Reflective Souls: Women in Society.” Well received upon release, Harper was given the opportunity to present her work at the Copiague Public Library. Her work has gone on to be exhibited at the Huntington Arts Council. Harper’s photographs have also been featured in KODD and Epsilon Magazine.

From her Caribbean background to travels to over 25 countries, including Vietnam, Germany, and Morocco, a global perspective is at the heart of Harper’s work and life purpose. Harper’s aim is to initiate conversation and spark growth through powerful visuals. She also values community building through amplifying less prominent voices in art.

Harper Bella currently serves as a freelance photographer and a Board of Director for the American Society of Media Photographers, New York City Chapter. To see more of Bella’s work, visit https://www.harperbella.com/

This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by The Huntington Arts Council.

Free and open to all. To register, visit https://portjefflibrary.org/flowerofhonor

For further information, call 631-473-0022 and ask for adult reference.

From FBI.gov

By Chris Cumella

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a statement that it is seeking assistance in locating individuals who had participated in the riots, which took place at the United States Capitol building Wednesday, Jan. 6. 

In addition to citizens, the FBI is also looking for off-duty police officers and firefighters who may have been involved.

A brief memo on the FBI official website at www.fbi.gov noted that an investigation has been launched to track down and arrest those individuals.

“We have deployed our full investigative resources and are working closely with our federal, state and local partners to aggressively pursue those involved in criminal activity during the events of January 6,” the memo said.

Next to the bureau’s statement can be seen a list of news events about the Capitol riots, with arrests and charges. 

The bureau’s call to action was for citizens to utilize its online forum, specifically if they had documents, photos or video to attach. 

There is also an option enabling participants to utilize the FBI’s phone number at 800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) to report any relevant tips.

FBI Director Christopher Wray made a statement detailing that the violence and destruction of property at the U.S. Capitol building was appalling and disrespectful to the democratic process. 

“As we have said consistently, we do not tolerate violent agitators and extremists who use the guise of First Amendment-protected activity to incite violence and wreak havoc,” he said.

“Our agents and analysts have been hard at work … gathering evidence, sharing intelligence, and working with federal prosecutors to bring charges,”  Wray added. “We are determined to find those responsible and ensure justice is served.”

These investigations follow directly after the attacks on the Capitol building, which many outlets and organizations have blamed on President Trump’s (R) morning rally as a direct cause of the violence. 

During his speech, the president urged his supporters to “fight much harder” against “bad people” and “show strength” at the Capitol, where lawmakers were about to certify the Electoral College votes giving victory to President-elect Joe Biden (D), who is to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Regarding off-duty police officers, a media liaison for the Suffolk police department stated in an email that they currently have no specific knowledge that any of its off-duty members attended the event, and will comply with any investigations necessary moving forward. 

“The Suffolk County Police Department will cooperate, if requested, with the federal investigation into the events at the U.S. Capitol, including any alleged involvement of our members,” the statement said.

Groups gathered outside local congressional offices demanding that President Donald Trump (R) be impeached and convicted, and for Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) to be expelled from Congress following his vote against the certification of Electoral College ballots. 

On Monday, Jan. 11, the group Suffolk Progressives organized the protest and created a petition, demanding Zeldin leave his position. 

Shoshana Hershkowitz, from South Setauket, who founded the group, said they are against the congressman’s vote challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election — even after the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. 

“He continued to talk about his feelings despite the evidence from the country,” Hershkowitz said. “On Jan. 2, he put a tweet out saying this is a lie. … Those words unfortunately they came to fruition on Jan. 6.”

After the mass attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump extremists, Zeldin still voted to object the election of President-elect Joe Biden (D), and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (D). 

“The combination of all of it, and then going back into the chamber after all of this violence and death, refusing to accept those results, trying to overturn the people … it was mind-blowing,” she said.

Upon Zeldin’s vote, Hershkowitz and her group penned a petition that is now up to nearly 2,000 signatures, calling for his expulsion.  

“I was hoping that after all this he would change his tune,” she said.

On Monday, Jan. 11, a group of more than 100 people gathered outside of Zeldin’s Patchogue office. A smaller group of counter-protesters stood across the street. 

Members further west rallied outside Rep. Tom Suozzi’s (D-NY3) Huntington office, asking him to demand that Zeldin be accountable. Suozzi supports the removal of Trump through the 25th Amendment or impeachment. 

The day of the insurrection, Zeldin released a statement.

“This should never be the scene at the U.S. Capitol,” he said. “This is not the America we all love. We can debate, and we can disagree, even on a January 6th following a presidential election. We can all passionately love our country, but in our republic, we elect people to represent us to voice our objections in the House and Senate on this day.”

He added that there must be “zero tolerance for violence in any form.”

Hershkowitz said she will be sending the petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). 

“I believe that these people shouldn’t be sitting in Congress,” the group organizer said.

A protester holds up an "Impeach Trump" sign. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Protesters rallied in two North Shore locations this past weekend, to demonstrate their First Amendment right to protest. 

Nearly 100 people stood on the corner of Route 25A and Bennetts Road in Setauket on Saturday holding signs urging that President Donald Trump (R) be impeached. For the last 18 years, the North Country Peace Group has stood on the bend, every weekend, to protest.

This year was different.

“I’m going on 79 years, and I’ve seen a good chunk of American history,” said protester Jerry Shor. “I’m really sad this happened to our government, which I owe a lot to … We have tremendous respect for our government.”

And although Shor said he doesn’t always agree with what the government does, he knew he had to exercise his right to demonstrate, protest and make his feelings known. 

In response to the storming of the United States Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 6, members of the group wanted to make their voices heard — their anger at the president for inciting violence, and their urge to remove Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) from Congress. 

“I usually don’t come out, but today seemed like a day we had to because of what happened in Washington on Wednesday,” said protester Bob Keeler. “And Lee Zeldin, who supposedly represents us in the Congress, is not representing me very well. It’s time for him to be a former congressman.”

Several protesters stand on the corner of Routes 347 and 112 in Port Jefferson Station, responding to events taken place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Normally the corner has a large group of counter-protesters — known as the North Country Patriots — across the way. This weekend there was only a small group of five. 

“The real patriots are the ones who are voicing their opinions the way our forefathers really meant to be voiced,” Shor said. 

Protester Paige Pearson said she had a bad feeling that something was going to happen Jan. 6. 

“My immediate thought was I wasn’t surprised,” she said. “But I’m extremely disappointed.”

Pearson said she was disheartened to see what was happening in Washington D.C., especially when she previously participated in other protests that were peaceful and civil. 

“We’ve been fighting for months and months, trying to stay as peaceful as possible,” she said. “And then all of these people can just storm into the Capitol, and cause all of this violence and destruction, and get out clean and unharmed.”

At the same time, at Resistance Corner on Routes 347 and 112 in Port Jefferson Station, a smaller, but just as loud group rallied against the president. 

A protester at a rally on Routes 347 and 112. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Organizers of the Friends for Justice group Holly Fils-Aime said the protesters chose to stand at the corner of Nesconset Highway because nearly 3,000 cars pass every hour.

“Obviously we were very upset when Trump claimed election fraud,” she said. 

With the riots down south, Fils-Aime said she and her group are calling for the president to be impeached. 

Holding signs of Trump’s face on a peach, the group voiced their hopes that Congress will vote to remove the president from power. 

“I can’t believe this is happening to our country,” Fils-Aime said. “He’s been talking about this for months. … We need to get him out of office, so he can’t do this again.”

Protesters at the North Country Peace Group rally. Photo by Julianne Mosher