Times of Middle Country

Island Harvest Food Bank and the National Association of Letter Carriers urges residents to leave a bag of non-perishable food near their mailbox on Saturday, May 13, to help Long Islanders struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Photo courtesy of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Island Harvest Food Bank, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), and the United States Postal Service (USPS) are pleased to announce the return of the annual Stamp Out Hunger®, the nation’s most extensive one-day food collection campaign. This year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive is on Saturday. May 13 and all food collected in Nassau and Suffolk counties will benefit Island Harvest in providing much-needed supplemental food support to more than 300,000 Long Islanders who face hunger and food insecurity, including nearly one-third who are children.

“Participating in Stamp Out Hunger is easy,” says Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Generous Long Islanders are encouraged to leave non-perishable food items in a bag next to their mailbox before the regularly scheduled mail delivery on Saturday, May 13. Then, your USPS letter carrier will do the rest to help make sure that no one on Long Island goes hungry.”

Non-perishable food items to be donated include canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, boxed juices and shelf-stable milk (please, no food or juices in glass containers). In addition, personal care items such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, and disposable diapers are accepted. All goods donated on Long Island will help replenish Island Harvest’s network of food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs in communities throughout Long Island.

“Every donation, no matter how small, helps our neighbors who are in the unenviable position of choosing between paying for such things as housing, transportation, and medicine or putting food on the table,” said Ms. Shubin Dresner. “I am confident that the past generosity displayed by our Long Island neighbors will help make this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive one of the most successful.”

Due to the pandemic, the Stamp Out Hunger food collection was temporarily discontinued in 2020.

Since its inception in 1993, Stamp Out Hunger has collected more than 1.75 billion pounds of food in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help address the issue of hunger in America. On Long Island, Stamp Out Hunger brought in over 519,000 pounds of food in 2019 before the event was temporarily suspended from 2020 through 2022 due to the pandemic.

“The National Association of Letter Carriers and the men and women we represent on Long Island are pleased to once again partner with Island Harvest in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger food collection,” said Tom Siesto, 1st Vice President, NALC Branch 6000. “Our carriers often see firsthand the pervasive issue of hunger as part of their daily rounds, and they are eager to help give back to the community and assist in helping Island Harvest Food Bank tackle this important issue.”

This year’s major sponsoring partners with Island Harvest on the NALC Stamp Out Hunger collection campaign include National Grid, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Amazon, Allstate, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Catholic Health, Nonna’s Garden, Long Island Federation of Labor, MCN Distributors, Dime Community Bank and New York Community Bank. All donations to Stamp Out Hunger are tax-deductible because all the food collected benefits Island Harvest, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

About Island Harvest Food Bank

Island Harvest Food Bank is a leading human services organization whose mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island. We accomplish this through innovative programs and services aimed at enhanced hunger awareness, short-term case management, nutrition education, outreach and advocacy initiatives, our Healthy Harvest Farm, a Workforce Skills Development Institute, and efficient food collection and distribution. Our work directly supports children, families, seniors, and veterans who turn to us in times of crisis and supports a network of community-based nonprofit organizations. Island Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America®, a nationwide network of food banks leading the effort to solve hunger in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.islandharvest.org.


Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney has announced that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, along with the Suffolk County  Police Department, and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, has partnered with the Fund for  Animal Cruelty Treatment of Suffolk, Inc. (“FACTS”), a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization, for the utilization of their animal cruelty crime victims fund.

“Prosecuting an animal cruelty case is unlike any other crime, in that the evidence of the crime  consists of a living, breathing animal that needs to be cared for while the case or investigation is  pending,” said District Attorney Tierney. “Abused or neglected animals require a significant  amount of resources including veterinary care, shelter, transportation, medication, and food. We  have partnered with FACTS so that the money needed for the care and recovery of abused and  neglected animals can be funded by donations, alleviating the burden on Suffolk County  taxpayers.”

“FACTS is proud to partner with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Suffolk County  Police Department and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office by providing costs of care that benefit  animal cruelty victims,” said Joyce Glass and Barbara Dennihy, co-founders of FACTS. “This  funding allows animal victims to receive necessary care while recovering and cases are pending.  FACTS meets an identified need during the investigation and prosecution of cases, focusing on  victims without a voice. Donations to FACTS allow us to speak for animal victims by providing  the care and treatment they deserve.”

“Animal cruelty cases are particularly disturbing as the victim is defenseless and voiceless,” said  Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison. “This new partnership ensures that  injured or neglected animals receive the necessary care they deserve while the case moves through  the court process. This is a win-win for animal rights as well as Suffolk County taxpayers.”

“Often times, when our Deputy Sheriffs are reporting to a domestic violence situation or similar  crime, they find animals that are also victims of cruelty or abandonment,” said Suffolk County Sheriff Errol D. Toulon, Jr. “This partnership with FACTS will allow us to immediately get  these animals the proper treatment and housing they deserve without worrying about where the  funding for their care is coming from.”

Financial assistance from FACTS will help treat and care for animals that are victims of criminal  animal cruelty investigations that are being prosecuted by District Attorney Tierney’s Biological,  Environmental, and Animal Safety Team.

To kick off FACTS’ fundraising, Kristie Johnson, president of Foos Fire, Inc., a local Suffolk  County fire sprinkler business, and Kristie’s husband, Christopher Johnson, presented FACTS  with a $10,000 check.

If you would like to donate to FACTS, please visit www.FACTSSAVES.org, and click on the  “Donate Now” button.  You can also donate to FACTS on Venmo, to username @factssaves. Donations can be mailed to:  FACTS, 2168 Nesconset Highway, Suite # 310, Stony Brook, New York 11790.

It was all Kate Timarky for the Middle Country girls lacrosse team Monday afternoon, May 8, when the senior midfielder rattled off five goals in the first six minutes of play.

In this Div. I home game against Half Hollow Hills, Middle Country closed out the first half with a four-goal advantage. But the Mad Dogs exploded in the second half, peppering the scoreboard with eight more, putting the game away 18-9.

Notre Dame-bound Timarky led her team in scoring with five assists and eight goals. Teammates Olivia Annunziata finished with five goals and two assists, and Juliana Speziale notched a pair of assists along with three goals. Goalie Jamie Cuozzo, a senior, had 10 saves in net.

With the victory, Middle Country improves to 8-4 in the division with two games left in the regular season before playoffs begin Tuesday, May 16.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Photo by Joseph Cali

Several trains will be temporarily suspended on the Port Jefferson Branch for two days, according to the Long Island Rail Road.

Service will be suspended from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9, and Wednesday, May 10, between Huntington and Port Jefferson in both directions. Buses will be available for customers. LIRR recommends travelers plan for approximately 30 to 40 minutes of additional travel time in either direction.

LIRR is conducting its Sperry Testing along the branch. The rail testing program is part of an annual track maintenance program to ensure infrastructure is in good repair.

Work is weather dependent, dates are subject to change to take advantage of favorable conditions. 

Above, participants during the conference. Photo courtesy the town’s public information office

On April 28, the Long Island Geographic Information Systems (LIGIS) Conference was held in the auditorium at Brookhaven Town Hall. A Geographic Information System is a computer-based tool to help visualize, analyze and understand patterns and relationships within data that has a geographic or spatial component.

In simpler terms, it’s like a high-tech, interactive map that can display different types of information, such as roads, buildings, weather patterns or even population distribution, all in one place.

GIS combines various types of data, including maps, charts, and spreadsheets, and layers them on top of each other to show a more comprehensive picture of a particular area or topic. This makes it easier for people to understand complex information and make informed decisions based on geography.

It can be used for a wide range of applications, from urban planning and environmental conservation to disaster management and public health.

Alyson Bass, left, candidate for the Town of Brookhaven’s 3rd Council District, and Brookhaven Councilman-elect Neil Manzella. Left from Bass’ LinkedIn page; right courtesy Manzella

In the race to fill Brookhaven Town Clerk Kevin LaValle’s (R) seat on the Town Board, Neil Manzella (R-Selden) handily secured victory on Tuesday, April 25.

LaValle took over as town clerk in February, vacating the 3rd District and triggering a special election to complete his term, which ends in December. An unofficial tally from the Suffolk County Board of Elections indicates Manzella comfortably defeated his Democratic opponent, Alyson Bass, of Centereach, holding a 57-43% margin of victory.

The councilman-elect explained that there was little time to celebrate. The true test will be this November when he and Bass will be back on the ballot to compete again for a four-year term.

In exclusive post-election interviews with Manzella and Bass, the two CD3 candidates set the table for round two. Following resident feedback heard throughout the special election cycle, repaving the district’s roadways will be a primary focus.

“One of the biggest topics that I heard from the district [residents] themselves is the condition of the roads,” Manzella said. “One of my plans is to go and sit down with the Highway Department — the Superintendent of Highways [Dan Losquadro (R)] — and try to see if we get that taken care of during the summer months.”

Bass, too, heard from district residents about the disrepair of the roadways. To mitigate those concerns, she proposed enacting measures to promote transparency within the road prioritization process.

“You hear of roads being paved multiple times while other roads haven’t been paved in six or seven years,” she said. “How does that happen? There are definitely areas in our district that are neglected, and there are other districts that are not neglected at all.”

The two candidates also narrowed in on the other major overhanging issue for the area, commercial redevelopment. CD3 contains two prominent commercial corridors along Middle Country and Portion roads. The candidates departed in their approach to building up the many undeveloped parcels.

Bass approached the redevelopment issue with caution, noting the need to protect open spaces and restrain sprawl. 

“We’re looking at every piece of green land being sold with no inhibition,” the Democrat said. “You have shopping centers with less than 50 percent capacity, parking lots that are barely used, yet all of our green spaces are being sold.”

Manzella offered a different perspective on redevelopment, viewing the undeveloped lots as a potential tax base for the town while building upon the aesthetic character of the area.

“I see our district trying to thrive in the commercial region,” the councilman-elect said. “I want to push redevelopment of areas along our Middle Country and Portion roads. I want to push redevelopment that can help fill vacancies, empty lots, to make it a more aesthetic and more business-friendly [area].”

Ahead of this November, the closure of the Brookhaven Town landfill looms as one of the most pressing issues facing residents townwide, with regional implications as well. 

Manzella said his campaign has yet to focus on the landfill closure but expressed optimism toward working with his colleagues to remediate the issue.

“The plans for what happens when the landfill closes is not something that I would have even been a part of before now,” he said. “But now that I am in a role where I can contribute to it, I can’t wait to have that conversation.”

Bass said the Town Board staying proactive in the landfill closure would serve the best interest of the residents townwide. “I think pushing to have a plan in place so that we aren’t so affected by the closure of the town dump is huge,” she said in an earlier interview.

Residents of the 3rd Council District will decide upon these two candidates again in just over six months. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Teen Driver Safety Program. Photo from TOB

Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro is announcing several free safety programs at Safety Town at the Holtsville Ecology Site, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville for Town of Brookhaven residents this spring.

Teen Driver Safety Program. Photo from TOB

First up is the Teen Driver Safety Program on Thursday, May 11, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Teenagers 15 and older and their parents are invited to participate in an interactive experience exhibiting the dangers of texting or drinking and driving. During this intense, real-life program, certified instructors with many years of defensive driving and accident investigation experience will talk with participants about the importance of developing safe habits when traveling the roadways. Teens will then use electric cars to complete obstacle courses designed to simulate driving while texting and impaired.

Child Safety Seat Check. Photo from TOB

The Traffic Safety Department is hosting a Child Safety Seat Check at on Saturday, May 20, from 8 a.m. to noon. The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, along with certified technicians from the Brookhaven Highway Department, will be on hand to inspect car seats and make sure children are riding in the right car seats for their age and size as they grow.

Bicycle Rodeo. Photo from TOB

Also on Saturday, May 20, the Brookhaven Highway Department will host a Bicycle Rodeo from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event encourages children to learn how to safely ride their bikes in a mock-roadway, kid-sized setting. Participants of all ages will be evaluated and given feedback on their own bicycle-handling abilities, after proper bicycle safety skills are demonstrated. Participants are required to bring their own helmets and bicycles; both will be inspected for safety.

All programs are funded in part by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governors Traffic Safety Committee.

All events are by appointment only; call 631-451-5335 to reserve your spot.

File photo by Raymond Janis

Congrats, TBR News Media

Dear Leah,

You must be very proud of your continued recognition from the New York Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest from your team’s work by receiving 11 awards this year. This is also a testament to your success as the founder and publisher of a weekly newspaper.

I believe hometown papers are an essential means to keep residents updated on what is happening in their community as they report on local government, schools, sports, entertainment, news and other items of interest.

I join with all of your readers in congratulating you and your staff and look forward to your continued success.

Rob Trotta

Suffolk County Legislator (R-Fort Salonga)

13th Legislative District

Sunrise Wind projections questionable

The Sunrise Wind project, as we were told in a March 23 TBR News Media article, “will use windmills to provide power to about 600,000 homes.” But what does this mean, exactly? It appears that 600,000 may have been selected as an arbitrary number, which may represent the number of homes that will derive 100% of their power requirements when all of the windmills are generating power at their maximum capacity, although this is not specifically stated in the article. But this raises the obvious question: For what percentage of the time will this be the case? We can only guess.

A much more helpful and meaningful terminology, in my opinion, would be to present these concepts in terms of energy, rather than power. Power is the rate at which energy is produced, or expended. To state that a windmill farm can produce a certain amount of power under ideal conditions, but neglect to mention the percentage of time this may be in effect, is to provide a very limited ability to understand the issue. A much more useful characterization would be to specify the total amount of energy generated in a fixed time, such as a year, compared to the total amount of energy required. For example, we might say something like, “The Sunrise Wind project will provide 45,000 MWh per year, which is 22% of the total energy required by Suffolk County.” (These are, of course, made-up numbers.) In this way, the complex variability of the wind strength becomes included in the energy notation, making the whole issue considerably easier to understand and evaluate.

Surely this issue is well understood by Sunrise Wind, and why they would choose to muddy the waters, as they have, is a matter for speculation. As Honest Abe Lincoln would have told us, a windmill farm can provide some of the power some of the time, or possibly all of the power some of the time, but it can provide none of the power most of the time.

George Altemose


More Maryhaven discussions needed

We may be missing the forest for the trees in the process by which the Village of Port Jefferson is approaching this initiative to make an amendment to a long-standing village code for the Professional Office (PO)-zoned Maryhaven property. Residents had their first opportunity to hear and provide feedback as to what was being proposed at the standing-room-only public hearing during Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, May 1. 

Comments and concerns ranged from: Do what it takes to preserve the Maryhaven building; and, we need to know exactly what the plan is prior to a zoning change; to, have the Architectural Review Committee and Conservation Advisory Council been involved? Because we’ve known about the sale and vacancy for a very long time as a village; and, questions and concerns over the potential density as permitted via the draft code amendment (192+ units/~19 units per acre), coupled with the lack of a full environmental review (SEQRA) and sewage treatment related to the project. Other questions? Why didn’t we work with the owner of the property to secure an historic landmark designation and has water runoff into the neighborhoods below been considered? 

The bottom line is that these questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Engagement with the developer by a select group of village officials had been ongoing, but the announcement of the pending sale (March 6, Deputy Mayor Snaden) followed by the public hearing request (April 3, Mayor Garant) ostensibly came from out of the blue for the rest of us and now we are playing catch up and the residents are as well. 

There should have been more discussion about this building in the public sphere — years if not months ago; i.e., the ARC, CAC, Port Jefferson Historical Society, all could have been engaged. 

Is it too late? We will see. But because the developer is working within a “timeline” as described by the mayor, this has suddenly become an urgent, time-sensitive matter. The public hearing remains open for three weeks. 

I’d like to hear the public’s response to this and encourage feedback. What I heard May 1 was important, if not concerning. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have additional feedback.

Lauren Sheprow, Trustee

Village of Port Jefferson

Maryhaven: a potential spot zoning case

I was surprised to learn at the May 1 standing-room-only public hearing that the mayor, deputy mayor and village attorney have been in discussions with the developer for the proposed Maryhaven project for well over a year. Yet the first time the residents were made aware of this proposal was at a March 6 Port Jefferson Village Board of Trustees meeting.

 While I applaud the Board of Trustees for their interest in preserving the historic Maryhaven building, their solution — changing the village code to achieve this goal — seems like the classic definition of spot zoning. This is the practice of singling out a specific property for a special zoning designation that differs from surrounding properties — an approach that is controversial and subject to challenge. During the hearing, the village attorney and mayor repeatedly said the purpose of the zone change was to preserve this historic building.

 Significant concerns were raised about the scope and scale of the Maryhaven redevelopment that would be facilitated by the “relaxing” of existing limits in our code. Many good alternatives to the proposed code change were offered both by residents and trustees Lauren Sheprow and Rebecca Kassay. But there was near universal opposition to changing the village code to accommodate this project because of its potential for adverse impacts to this property and for other parts of the village.

If the village is serious about historic preservation, we need to explore code changes that would apply to more than just a single property. Also, funding opportunities for historic preservation should be vigorously researched and a report issued so that the village can make fully informed land use decisions.

Virginia Capon

Port Jefferson

Editor’s note: The writer formerly served as Port Jefferson Village trustee and chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

Character assassination in PJ mayoral race

I came home from the May 1 Village of Port Jefferson public hearing elated. Village Hall was packed with residents who were there to weigh in on a code change that would affect the development of the Maryhaven building, encompassing people from all political stripes. Yet, here we were engaging in civil discourse and united in the goal of trying to find the best solutions for our community.

So I was stunned when I received a letter, the very next day, which can only be described as a character assassination on one of our mayoral candidates. The unsigned letter, which had no return address, purported to be from a “concerned villager,” and proceeded to attack trustee Lauren Sheprow in a vile manner.

I have the pleasure of knowing both candidates and refuse to believe either of them would ever condone such ugly politicking.

Last year, when we had an unusually competitive trustee campaign, the candidates remained civil. I trust Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden to maintain an even higher level of courtesy and respect, and am confident she will publicly condemn this offensive attack on her colleague.

Going forward, I hope all candidates will urge over-ardent supporters to refrain from personal assaults and focus on issues villagers care about.

Kathleen McLane

Port Jefferson

Snaden: a seasoned leader

It has recently come to my attention that we have an open mayor’s seat in the Village of Port Jefferson’s election taking place this June. Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden is running for the open seat, as well as newly elected trustee Lauren Sheprow.

We need to be mindful that the mayor’s office is no longer a place where a neophyte can just step in. The village is a small city, with two major hospitals, a train station, deep water harbor, school district, two business districts, large federal FEMA grants and major redevelopment projects underway uptown. It takes a seasoned, experienced person to be able to run this village and the $11.37 million budget in place.

Having been a trustee for less than one year, Sheprow does not bring experience to the table. She is rather in the middle of a very large learning curve, seeing to the day-to-day “ins and outs” of village policies, New York State law and municipal government — never mind the obligations of the mayor’s office. She has in fact, confessed herself on many occasions in public meetings that she hasn’t done a budget before and hasn’t run a public hearing.

On the other hand, you have Deputy Mayor Snaden, who has been working for years under the tutelage of Mayor Margot Garant. Snaden is a seasoned, experienced proven leader, with her own perspective and innovative ideas who is ready to take control.

In this election cycle, Sheprow would keep her seat if she loses her bid for mayor and would remain a trustee. If, on the other hand, Sheprow is elected we will have in office a neophyte mayor, and we will lose Snaden as she gives up her trustee position to run for mayor. 

So, I ask you: Why would we vote for a rookie and lose the lead pitcher, when we can have them both on our team? Don’t forget, the last time a Garant [Jeanne] left office to an inexperienced mayor, our taxes went up. Let’s not let history repeat itself.

Lauren Auerbach

Port Jefferson

Vote ‘no’ on the May 16 school bond vote

My name is Teri Powers. I’m 63 years old, widowed, a resident and homeowner for 37 years.

Currently, we are on the LIPA tax burden (glide path), in which we have experienced increases in our tax bill, but the lion’s share of this burden is a result of that settlement, which will increase our current taxes by over 35% by the year 2027.

The Port Jefferson School District Board of Education is proposing a $15.9 million capital bond vote on Tuesday, May 16, at the high school between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. A similar bond vote was defeated in December 2022. Please renew your enthusiasm and defeat this bond again.

Teri Powers

Port Jefferson


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Email letters to: [email protected]

or mail them to TBR News Media, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733

METRO photo

Long Island has an impending garbage crisis, and the Town of Brookhaven is at the center of it. As Brookhaven voters prepare to elect their next town supervisor and town council representatives, they must keep this garbage issue at the top of their minds.

Given the complexity of municipal government and the scope of its influence, a local election can never be reduced to a single issue. Still, the Brookhaven Town landfill will have an outsized role in townwide elections this year, affecting every resident in the town and citizens across Long Island.

Opened in 1974, the Brookhaven landfill is the largest on Long Island and the centerpiece of waste collection for the region. In a 2019 thesis paper, Katlin Stath wrote, “the landfill isn’t isolated from the rest of Long Island since it is an integral part of the functioning of the Island’s waste management system.”

However, the landfill is near capacity, with plans in place to close the facility to construction and demolition debris by next year, and expectations to close the site completely two years later. The impending landfill closure, therefore, represents one of the great environmental, governmental and social dilemmas of our time.

Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico (R-Manorville) and Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant, a Democrat, have won their respective party’s nominations for this year’s contest for town supervisor. Six months from Election Day, it is time for both candidates to begin preparing comprehensive proposals for this facility.

Though the exact figure is difficult to pinpoint, the landfill is estimated to represent two-fifths of the town’s public revenue. How do the candidates for supervisor plan to make up for the loss of income? Will the town increase taxes on residents? Are there other ways to boost revenue without raising taxes amid this inflationary period?

While the plans are imprecise, officials across levels of government seem poised to begin shipping our trash off the Island by rail. Though garbage-by-rail occurs in other places around the country, is it the optimal solution to our problem? We remind leaders that any plan for shipping trash on train lines must be environmentally and ecologically sustainable.

Our mass transit network on Long Island is dilapidated to begin with. Many residents along the North Shore commute to Manhattan via Jamaica in railcars powered by diesel, a 19th-century-era technology. Will our garbage crisis compel the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to electrify the Port Jefferson Branch once and for all?

How will moving garbage by rail affect other facets of our transportation network, such as our roadways, waterways and airways? It seems plausible that adding greater volume to our rails will incentivize riders to drive, potentially compounding our traffic congestion troubles.

Finally, we suspect the landfill may have harmed generations of residents of North Bellport and Yaphank, who have endured the possible detrimental health and environmental impacts of living in close proximity to this site.

We regret that the Brookhaven Town Board voted unanimously last year to gerrymander Council District 4 — which includes North Bellport and Yaphank — disempowering the most important voices in this landfill closure dialogue, potentially denying them a true champion on the Town Board to expedite the facility’s closure.

We nonetheless encourage both candidates for town supervisor to coordinate closely with the residents of that hamlet and members of the Brookhaven Landfill Action and Remediation Group, an advocacy organization that has fought for years to close this facility.

While decisions over the landfill closure are ongoing, Brookhaven citizens will have a stake in this effort. The November election for supervisor and Town Council represents a unique opportunity for the public to guide this process.

We encourage residents to start preparing their questions and for candidates to start preparing their answers. With six months until Election Day, let the landfill conversation get rolling. Permanent closure is just around the corner.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Sixth Squad detectives are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a woman and her daughter in Yaphank this morning.

Jose Ducos was driving a 2019 Thomas Built mini bus southbound on County Road 101 when he attempted to make a left turn onto Express Drive South and the bus was struck by a northbound 2019 Nissan Sentra at approximately 7:35 a.m.

The driver of the Nissan,  Jacklyn Smolian, 31, of East Patchogue, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her daughter, Joelaya Smolian-Davenport, 1, who was in a car seat in the backseat of the vehicle, was transported to Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue and later transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Ducos, 73, of Medford, and Aria Mingo, 61, of Bellport, a matron on the bus, were transported to local hospitals for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Both vehicles were impounded for a safety check. Detectives are asking anyone with information on the crash to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652.