Times of Huntington

Northport midfielder Ricky Corbett with a header at home against Newfield Sept 14. Bill Landon photo

The Newfield Wolverines looked for that first win of this early season in a League II road game against the Northport Tigers when senior co-captain Oscar Moreno broke the ice to put the Wolverines out front 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. 

Northport senior midfielder Justin Besosa made it a new game midway through the second half to even the score. Both teams unable to break the tie finished the game in a draw. 

Newfield senior goal keep Carter Rothwell had twelve saves in net where Northport’s goalie Tommy Pace stopped five.

Newfield at 0-1-1 will retake the field in a home game against Bay Shore Sept 17. Northport also at 0-1-1, 2-1-1 overall, will face Walt Whitman in a road game Sept 18. Game times are 5:15 p.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.

From left to right: Middle Island Fire Chief Bill Nevin, Chuck Prentis, Dr. Jeffrey Wheeler, Nursing Assistant Drew Saidler. Photo from Catholic Health

Chuck Prentis, 59 of Centerport, was at the right place at the right time this past May, when he was bicycle riding up a very steep hill in Port Jefferson and suddenly went into cardiac arrest in front of St. Charles Hospital on Belle Terre Road.

All of the stars aligned that day for Prentis. St. Charles nursing assistant Drew Saidler was in the emergency room and heard the outside cries for help. He immediately sprang into action and performed life-saving CPR on the lawn where the rider had fallen from his bicycle. 

A St. Charles security officer alerted the emergency room staff of the incident and the medical team immediately ran out to assist Saidler. At the same time, Middle Island Fire Chief Bill Nevin happened to be driving by the scene at that very moment, jumped out of his car with an automated external defibrillator. 

Prentis was placed on a stretcher, with nurse Kirsten Connolly on top, performing life-saving compressions as Chuck was being rushed into the emergency room.

As it turns out, Chuck suffered from a widow maker which is the most severe kind of heart attack, where there is almost 100% total blockage in a critical blood vessel called the left anterior descending artery. 

Prentis has a family history of heart disease. His father passed away at a young age of a heart attack, his older brother had open heart surgery and also survived a widow maker and his older sister required a stenting procedure due to blockages. 

Knowing that he had a family history, he lived a healthy lifestyle and exercised frequently on the Peloton bike – about 130 miles a week. He never had any symptoms prior to that day in May when he went into sudden cardiac arrest. 

Once stabilized at St. Charles, Chuck also required another procedure to implant an Impella device typically used in patients with severe heart failure, to help flow of blood to the heart.

Prentis is not quite back on the Peloton, but for now enjoys playing golf and spending quality time with his wife and three sons. He and his family are extremely appreciative of the emergency room staff who sprang into action that day. Each one was instrumental in saving his life. One might say, it is a miracle that Prentis was at the right place at the right time and received the lifesaving care he desperately needed.

Photographer Bolivar Arellano was on the scene when the World Trade Center’s south tower was imploding. Photo by Bolivar Arellano

When 9/11 happened, I was only three years old, and at such a young age, I had no idea what was going on in the world — the only thing that mattered to me was my stuffed animals and food. 

As I grew up in elementary school, I was always reminded every September about the attacks with an assembly my district put together. 

We always were given little American flags to place outside the front yard after the presentation was over. 

I was born in a time where it was no longer safe to walk around by myself like it used to be. I remember my mom telling me about her time as a young child, and how she’d walk all around the neighborhood with her close friend Sue Hill from morning until dusk, no cellphone, no contact, relying on complete trust in her community and town. 

Kimberly Brown

However, when 9/11 happened, that trust broke completely. I asked her why I wasn’t allowed to do the things she did as a kid, and she told me that “times have changed.”

I didn’t always see the big picture as to why things were the way they are, because it’s the environment that I grew up in. It’s something that I’ve been accustomed to since I was born, but as I grew older and moved onto middle school I started to understand more.

I’m not sure exactly what age I was when I found out why my next-door neighbors, Timmy, and his brother Tommy weren’t around anymore, but I remember they were dedicated to their jobs as firefighters and were always very friendly to me and my family.

My mom had told me that Timmy rushed into the North Tower while Tommy, who was a Battalion Chief, led his men into the South Tower. Both of them tragically died whilst trying to evacuate 25,000 people from the World Trade Center.

When Timmy was younger, he planted pine trees next to our house that continued to grow for decades after his death. To me, it served as a memorial, remembering how free-spirited yet brave these two brothers were.

To some people around the country, 9/11 is a distant memory, but for me, it has been prevalent in my community since the day it occurred. Neighbors, friends and family members, all have people they hold dear to their hearts, serve in our local fire and police departments. 

In one way or another, regardless of age, 9/11 has touched everyone in some form. It truly is one of the most important events of our American history to remember, as well as commemorating our brave service members who gave their lives to save others. 

Kimberly Brown is a reporter with TBR News Media and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University.

Stock photo

I honestly don’t remember a whole lot from elementary school, but I still remember September 11, 2001. 

I remember it was a beautiful, warm day. There was not one cloud in the sky and we were all so excited that we would be able to play outside for recess and gym class. 

At just 8 years old, I was in the fourth grade at East Street Elementary School in Hicksville — just a little over an hour away from one of my favorite places, Manhattan. 

My dad was a truck driver back then, and he was always in the city making deliveries. He’d take me and my brother out there every other weekend and show us his favorite spots. One of them was the World Trade Center. 

“Isn’t it amazing?” I remember him saying, “They look like Legos from far away.”

Back at school that Tuesday morning, I remember simply going about our day. Things eventually got weird, though. My principal came to speak to my teacher out at around 10 a.m. outside of the classroom, and I remember her face when she came back inside. She was white as a ghost. 

Throughout the day, my classmates started to get pulled out one by one. I remember being mad that I couldn’t go home, like everyone else. I remember being jealous but, looking back, they were being taken out because their fathers and uncles were first responders and their families were scared.

When our parents picked us up later in the afternoon, I remember everyone just feeling so sad. The sky wasn’t that pretty blue anymore — it felt like a dark cloud washed over us, which on reflection might have been smoke heading east. Everyone’s energy was low. The news was the only thing we watched for hours.

My dad made it home later that night and he was shell shocked. From his truck route in Queens, he said he saw the smoke. He was on the parkway, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, fleeing with the rest of the people trying to evacuate Manhattan. 

My family was lucky — we didn’t lose anyone that day, and being so young I don’t know if I was able to recognize what happened until much later in life. 

I knew it was a sad day. I knew that something bad happened. I knew that I had to wear red, white and blue on Sept. 12 and that a lot of people were missing and dead. 

But when I became a journalist, I started to talk to more and more people who were impacted on the anniversaries of the attacks. Every year since the age of 8, it began to become more real to me. 

After college, I met my best friend, Nicole, who’s aunt worked in the first tower. She died on impact when the plane crashed through her office. 

Hearing these stories opened my eyes more. I grew up with 9/11 and felt it firsthand. But growing up, I started to learn more about the actual people whose lives were lost that day. I heard their stories and they eventually became real persons to me — not just numbers in this crazy story. 

It’s amazing to think that 20 years have passed since the events which took place that horrible day. It’s amazing to see what has happened since then —wars, recessions, other bombings and a pandemic. And it’s amazing to believe that families, like my friend Nicole’s, have been without their loved ones for two decades.

No matter what age you were when the events happened — or even if you hadn’t been born yet — I think the anniversary of 9/11 should remind all of us to hug our families a little harder. Tell them you love them, and never forget the thousands of people who were impacted that day. 

Julianne Mosher is the editor of the Port Times Record, Village Beacon Record and Times of Middle Country. 

Holly Signoretti picks out a book at the Book Revue in Huntington village. Photo by Kimberly Brown

After 44 years of business, countless celebrity guest appearances and thousands of loyal customers, Huntington village’s independent bookstore, Book Revue located on New York Avenue, will be closing its doors by Sept. 30.

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Due to the pandemic, the well-known store had to shut down business for three months, but even when the owner Richard Klein was able to reopen, it struggled to get back on its feet again. 

“We lost our events, where authors, politicians, celebrities and athletes would come in, and that was a very big part of our business, and we lost it,” he said. “It all came back very slowly, so we fell behind on the rent.”

According to Klein, he spoke with one of the landlords during the course of the pandemic asking to give the store a chance as the fall season approached, hoping business would pick back up. 

“I told him I’d start paying in September for the rest of the year, not full rent but more than half, and if the fall came back with decent business then I’d start paying additional rent and paying back the debt,” he said. “He told me that sounded OK and would discuss it with his partners.”

Unfortunately, the person Klein spoke with died two months ago, leaving the son to take lead on most of the decision-making. 

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Despite having a payment plan worked out before the broker’s death, suddenly the remaining landlords demanded Klein pay the money he owed immediately. 

“I gave them a starting proposal, and they didn’t give me anything back, telling me it was unacceptable, and that the money was needed now,” Klein said.

The building’s landlords did not respond with a comment before press time.

With outcries of disappointment and anger from local book shoppers, a GoFundMe was set up to attempt to save the beloved store but was later taken down. 

Klein said even if the community was able to fundraise the debt money, the landlords were changing the rent to a 75% increase, which is impossible for the business to keep up with. 

“I’m really sad because I love this place,” said Kathleen Willig, a Seaford resident. “There are no independent bookstores on Long Island — it’s all Barnes and Nobles. I really think independent bookstores are the charm of so many cities and states. It truly feels more personalized.”

Reminiscing on the impact Book Revue had on people’s lives while growing up around town, made regular customers disappointed to see it go.

“My mom used to bring me here and now I bring my daughter here, so to me it’s part of my childhood and I think it’s what holds the town together,” said Michele Lamonsoff, a Huntington resident. 

Photo by Kimberly Brown

While some customers said they will miss the comfort of reading unique novels, others who work in the field of education relied on the store for classroom work. Plainview resident and social studies teacher Nicole Scotto said her favorite part of Book Revue was the history section.

“As a social studies teacher, I always enjoyed browsing through Book Revue’s extensive collection of history books and finding used books on niche topics with the previous owners’ handwritten notes in the margins,” Scotto said.

Leah Jefferson, director of the Huntington Community Development Agency and Economic Development Corporation, speaks at the Aug. 20 press conference. Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Town of Huntington has been awarded $5.9 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to go toward a new outreach program called the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

The grand opening of the new center took place Aug. 20 in Greenlawn. The program’s purpose is to provide economic relief to help low and moderate-income households who are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability. 

“The funds can pay for 12 months of past-due residential rent for some households, up to three months in future rent and up to 12 months of overdue electric or gas utility bills,” said town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci (R). 

All payments would go directly to the landlord or the utility provider. By partnering with Housing Help, trained specialists will be available to answer questions about the program and assist anyone who needs help filling out an application form.

“Help is available even if you have no lease, no pay stubs and regardless of immigration status,” Lupinacci said. 

With evictions on the rise and rent going up in price, housing instability for tenants and landlords has become an extensive issue. Landlords are encouraged to fill out an online application form or visit the new ERAP center in person to work out a solution for their tenants’ overdue rent.

“This program has been a blessing to the residents,” said Leah Jefferson, director of the Huntington Community Development Agency and Economic Development Corporation. “We have received over 300 applications to date. However, we do anticipate receiving a much larger number of applications in the coming few weeks.”

The center is located at 95 Broadway in Greenlawn. Even so, James Calero, director of St. Hugh of Lincoln Outreach, has worked with Housing Help to provide a satellite office in Huntington Station for ERAP appointments as well.

This closer location will make it easier for local residents to travel to, or meetings can also be set up as a video conference. 

“For those people who might not have transportation and are not able to get to the Greenlawn center, please give us a call, we’ll be happy to set up an appointment and we will meet with you,” said Pilar Moya-Mancera, executive director of Housing Help. 

The Housing Help board members expressed their gratitude for the creation of this new program and for Moya-Mancera, who has a passion for community activism and has aided town residents.

“I like to say this is like Christmas in August for our community, and it’s something that we needed for a while,” said Guillermo Perez, a Housing Help board member. “It’s an honor to be a part of this, and I want to thank Pilar. She is like an octopus; her hands are everywhere — she covers all of Long Island and is a blessing to us.”

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. Photo by Julianne Mosher

As Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) packed up his moving trucks at the governor’s mansion, the soon-to-be state leader headed to Long Island last week for a quick appearance and chat with local reporters.

Before she became New York’s 57th and first female governor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) made a quick stop in Hauppauge for a roundtable discussion on Friday, Aug. 20, with local labor leaders where topics included job training, green jobs and new legislative efforts to support essential workers.

Although the discussion was closed to media, Hochul stopped for a small press conference to quickly discuss her intentions during the meeting.

“One of my first priorities is continue creating good jobs,” she said. “Getting the offshore wind institute off the ground and give opportunities to just really train people in the underserved communities and the jobs of tomorrow where there will be tens of thousands of jobs in that space.”

Hochul said she and the business leaders in attendance also talked about workforce development and creating opportunities to keep young people fully employed on Long Island.

The visit wasn’t anything new, she said, mentioning that over the last seven years “coming out and seeing the people is what I do.”

“If you ask anyone, I’ve been told that Nassau and Suffolk counties are planning on taxing me as a local resident because I’m here so often,” she joked.

As chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, she said that she is going to continue and be accessible throughout her term.

“I’m going to continue showing appreciation to the labor community, the job creators, the business community and elected officials,” she said. “I have a deep appreciation for all the various roles of government, and I want them to know that they have a governor who recognizes and appreciates that.”

Hochul officially took on her new role early Tuesday, Aug. 24, moving into the governor’s mansion in Albany.

“I haven’t thought about getting a U-Haul,” she joked to reporters on Friday. “I was just going to pack an overnight bag and see what happens. I’ll then keep our residence in Buffalo, as well. It’s going to be very fluid.”

During the event, reporters urged Hochul to announce what her plans were surrounding mask mandates. At the time she said she couldn’t release an official statement until she took office but hinted that “people should be ready.”

As expected, she said during her first press conference as governor that New York will require schools across the state to mandate mask wearing for students. Faculty and staff must be vaccinated or tested weekly, as of press time Wednesday, Aug. 25.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

And they’re off!

On Saturday, Aug. 14 cars from the last century geared up to tackle the ascent on East Broadway in Port Jefferson village to commemorate the 1910 hill climb.

Sponsored by the Port Jefferson Harbor Education & Arts Conservancy, in partnership with the village, the event allows vintage car enthusiasts to retrace the original hill climb course as spectators cheer them throughout this historic tribute. 

According to the event chair, Bob Laravie, this was the seventh recreation of the climb – its original, as the name states, being in 1910.

“We’re celebrating right where the original cars ran,” he said. “We had every decade starting from 1909 up to one car from 1980.”

The conservancy decided to bring back the hill climb in 2010, with the plan to run again every five years. After a successful 2015 run, the pandemic halted the 2020 event. 

So, the 2021 hill climb was highly anticipated for people who love old cars. While many drivers were local to Port Jefferson and its surrounding communities, others came from across Long Island — as far as Queens and Montauk. One couple brought their 1911 Hupmobile Model 20 roadster across the Sound on the ferry to participate. 

Laravie said there were about 60 vehicles at the start of the climb, parked outside the Village Center. 

“We’ve done this every five years since the 100th anniversary and we look forward to doing it again in four years,” said Lisa Perry, president of the conservancy.

Mayor Margot Garant said the event speaks about the village’s role in the automobile industry which many people are not fully aware of. She noted that after the building — which is now the Village Center — was no longer used for making boats, car engines were created inside its walls. 

Some of the early 20th-century cars at the event very well could have had their engines made in Port Jefferson. 

“It’s great to see the turnout today,” Garant said at the event. “And, more importantly, to celebrate the history of the village in another dimension.”

You can watch a recording of the hill climb here.

Photo from Pixabay

Looking out the window on a sunny day, one might notice a not-so-subtle haziness in the sky. However, that haze isn’t harmless clouds or fog, it’s smoke that’s traveled a far distance across the nation from raging wildfires in California and Canada.

As concerns grow over the impact of these wildfires stretching their way over to the East Coast, Long Islanders are beginning to become uneasy about the repercussions the hazy smoke might have among residents. 

With multiple reports of poor air quality in the past few weeks, people who have vulnerable conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or heart disease need to be wary and avoid going outside or doing strenuous activity. 

“There is something called fine particulate matter, which is very small ash,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “The cause of concern is that this is the type of material that causes respiratory ailments. It irritates the throat and respiratory system, but most importantly fine particulate matter can lodge in your lungs and make microscopic perforations, much like asbestos.”

According to Esposito, It is highly likely the ash will also be deposited into Long Island’s estuary and could affect the marine environment. However, it is uncertain exactly how much will accumulate due to the variables of wind speed and the amount of ash that will be pushed toward the Island. 

“The East Coast should absolutely have an increased concern of weather events associated with climate change,” she added. “What we are having right now is an increase of torrential rain, and an increase in intensification of storms which means that hurricanes that might normally be a Category 1 [the lowest] now have the ability to reach 2, 3, or 4.” Esposito said. 

Kevin Reed. Photo from Stony Brook University

Although air pollution issues are nothing new to New York, there are always certain times of the year, particularly in the summertime, that fine particulate matter can get trapped. The question of the future frequency of surrounding wildfires still stands.

While Long Island is experiencing a rainy season, California is currently facing one of the worst droughts in history. Within a two-year period, rain and snow totals in parts of the West have been 50 percent less than average.  

“Just because Long Island is having a really wet season right now doesn’t mean it couldn’t shift later this year,” said Kevin Reed, a Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences researcher. 

According to Reed, the winds that blow from out West don’t always streamline toward the East Coast. Direction in wind patterns could cause the air flow to “wobble,” so it is uncertain whether or not Long Island may face more smoke pollution in the future. 

“Drought is certainly becoming more severe, potentially longer lasting, and at a larger extent, which means larger parts of land will be susceptible to wildfire,” Reed said.

Adding that wildfires are typically a natural occurrence and benefits land by replenishing it, Reed said the extent of the current wildfires is most likely a result of climate change and has potential to harm people and the environment.

“Air pollution could really affect our human health, especially to certain groups that are more susceptible to issues with air quality,” he said. “Even if it’s here for one day it could have an impact and of course the impact is going to be multiplied if it’s a longer-term event.” 

An advisory board is working on solutions for the Coindre Hall boathouse that fell into disrepair years ago. Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Coindre Hall boathouse, located directly behind Coindre Hall, has been a staple to the Huntington community for decades. Looking over the Long Island Sound, the historic boathouse has remained empty and become run down over the years, causing residents to push for restoration.

Unfortunately, SuperStorm Sandy caused significant damage to the seawall of the boathouse. As a result, Suffolk County agreed with the Town of Huntington to allocate funds to the rehabilitation of the boathouse. 

However, the foundation was crumbling, and it was decided the seawall needed to be fixed first before making any other renovations. 

“This process has taken a number of years,” said Suffolk County Legislator Doc Spencer, founder of the advisory board for the boathouse. “We had gotten people with experience in restoring historic structures and our capital budget in the county now has funds to repair the seawall and move onto the boathouse itself.”

An advisory board is working on solutions for the Coindre Hall boathouse that fell into disrepair years ago. Photo by Kimberly Brown

Throughout the years after SuperStorm Sandy, teenagers have broken into the boathouse and painted graffiti. While outside there has been a significant amount of growth of weeds and underbrush surrounding the property. 

With community members demanding to know when the improvements to the boathouse will move forward, Spencer decided to establish a community advisory board. 

“Anything the advisory board advocates for will be what best serves the public,” said Garrett Chelius, chairperson of the advisory board. “But remember, we are just an advisory board, we don’t make policy, we just make recommendations to the legislature.”

Although the board was created a year and a half ago, any attempts to improve the property were immediately halted due to the pandemic. This summer, the board was able to advise on how to improve the boathouse once again. 

“The boathouse itself structurally needs a lot of work before it might literally fall down,” Chelius said. “The pier is currently disconnected from the seawall so it’s unusable and the seawall itself has some erosion issues.” 

Many of the other members are a part of the surrounding community and have taken a strong interest in bettering the property.

“One of the first things we got permission from the town parks department to do was to get rid of the weeds and other plants around the boathouse,” Spencer said. 

The Town of Huntington partnered with a company that used a bobcat to pull out several years’ worth of underbrush and invasive species, which began to pose a safety hazard.

A meeting by the advisory board was held to discuss the plans of removing the weeds in 2020, however, it wasn’t widely advertised due to COVID, and the meetings were held on Zoom. 

“That led to concern in the community because when they looked in and saw what was happening. They thought we were clearing the property and developing on it,” Spencer said. “But we can’t do that. We don’t have the power to. We were just cutting the weeds back so we can begin restoring the seawall. It was also a liability and neglect.”

With a confusion of what the boathouse’s future was to become, community members became distressed and wanted to halt any further construction. 

“There was a significant misunderstanding, throw social media in there and it becomes an uproar,” Spencer said. 

Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Department of Environmental Conservation was called in by community members, who asked to take a look at what was going on with the property. The bobcat was ordered to halt any further removal of the weeds.

The advisory board is meeting with the DEC on Aug. 4 to discuss the issue and make sure there is a collective understanding of the intentions the board has with the boathouse. 

According to Spencer, “The wetlands surrounding the boathouse are man-made, so the DEC is wondering if they even want to have authority over man-made wetlands. The advisory board is making efforts to keep in touch with the community regarding any further plans.”

The advisory board has compiled a few ideas to improve upon the dilapidated boathouse such as turning it into a place to cultivate shellfish, a place to dock first response vessels, or polishing it up to become a row house for boaters. 

“We are looking to revitalize not redevelop,” Spencer said.

For more information on how to participate in the revitalization of the Coindre boathouse, or attend one of their meetings, visit www.scnylegislature.us.