Village Beacon Record

Pictured above, Lisa Di Santo and Town of Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden). Left from Di Santo’s Facebook page; right from the town website

In a race to fill former Brookhaven Town Clerk Donna Lent’s (I) seat, Town of Brookhaven Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden) will square off against community advocate Lisa Di Santo, of East Patchogue.

Lent announced her retirement last month, vacating her seat and triggering a special election for her expired term ending in 2025. [See story, “Brookhaven’s town clerk retires from public service.“] 

Both candidates were chosen unanimously by their respective parties during separate nominating conferences last week. In phone interviews with TBR News Media, the candidates discussed their professional backgrounds, reasons for pursuing the office of clerk and plans for the future.

Before entering elected office, LaValle, a lifelong Brookhaven resident, owned a title agency, assisting prospective homebuyers with vital records, such as liens, deeds and similar documents. He then transitioned into the mortgage business, where he still works today. 

In 2013, LaValle campaigned successfully to represent Brookhaven’s 3rd Council District, an office he has held ever since.

“Why I’m making this run for town clerk, I think it’s [because] we see in the paper every day with what just happened with Suffolk County, the hack that happened,” he said. “You can see very clearly that that’s something we don’t want to happen in Brookhaven. Managing people’s personal records is critical to our county and our township.”

Di Santo is a 50-year resident of Brookhaven whose background is in community advocacy. Before running for office, she was a social studies teacher, served as vice president of the Bellport Area Community Action Committee, and for over a decade was a trustee on the South Country Central School District Board of Education.

In her interview, she emphasized the need for citizens to have a stake in their local government and connect to the democratic process.

“When looking at the way the town functions, the town clerk plays a very important role in the accessibility of good government, accountability of good government and the security that’s necessary in good government,” she said. “In all of those three areas, I currently see that the town fails miserably.” 

The Democratic candidate added, “I’m running because I do believe wholeheartedly that the town clerk, especially now, needs to be an independent person and an independent voice to be certain that there is truly open government in Brookhaven Town.”

For LaValle, the protection of residents’ sensitive information is paramount. Like Di Santo’s proposal, he said he intends to promote efficiency and expand resident access to their records and to the office of clerk.

“We have to make sure records are secure, but we want to increase access,” the town councilman said. “We want to be able to have people with disabilities not have to come up to Town Hall to get handicap parking passes, and what have you.” 

He added, “We have to increase our internet capabilities to be able to service residents’ needs without making them have to come to Town Hall. And certainly, we have to work to increase the transparency within the government.”

LaValle contends that town clerk is a technically demanding position to learn and to hold. However, he maintains that his professional training within the public and private sector have prepared him in unique ways for the demands of the office.

“I believe that I have the ability and the experience to be able to do this job effectively, managing an over-30-person staff, and making sure residents are taken care of as we move forward,” he said.

On the whole, Di Santo viewed Brookhaven as failing in its obligations to promote open government. She cited the Freedom of Information Law request process as needing reform.

“You’d be hard to find an individual who has taken the time to participate in Brookhaven Town government who would tell you that the FOIL process is one of accessibility and accountability, and there’s a serious problem there,” she said. “If a citizen, a taxpayer, can’t access information, then how can the government represent those people?”

Di Santo said her campaign rests on the notion that quality governance requires informed and engaged citizenship. Given her advocacy background, she considered herself uniquely suited to this task. 

If elected, Di Santo said she intends to begin by reforming the scheduling of open meetings to bolster public participation. 

“When government continues to schedule meetings that are inaccessible to people, they’re sending a message that they do not want to have a democracy,” she said. “You can’t have a democracy without the participation of the people.”

Brookhaven residents will get the final word on these two candidates during a townwide special election on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Pixabay photo

Here on Long Island, local governments have been historically responsible for treating and disposing of solid waste. This dynamic is no longer workable.

Managing waste is among the most crucial functions of government. Without these services, untreated garbage would threaten the health and safety of our residents and endanger our local environment. 

However, treating solid waste entails ever-increasing costs to dispose of the trash and keep up with the fast-paced regulatory climate. Those costs will only compound in the years to come. 

In Port Jefferson, the village government is engaged in a messy permit dispute with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation over a small landfill it uses for branch and leaf pickup services. New DEC regulations targeting landfills have impacted Port Jeff’s kettle hole, entangling this small village in a much broader regulatory conflict. 

The controversy may be affecting Port Jeff right now, but it will soon involve nearly every community on Long Island. Plans are underway to close the Brookhaven Town Landfill by 2024, which serves the entire region, precipitating a garbage crisis here on Long Island.

From these examples we are learning that solid waste treatment is not merely a local policy concern. It is integrated within a much larger context, affecting neighboring communities, regions and states. 

Solid waste landfills, where much of our garbage is stored, are also significant emitters of greenhouse gases. These facilities may soon be prime targets for oversight and regulation under plans to curb the effects of climate change. 

At TBR News Media, we are committed to the premise that local government is closest and, therefore, most accountable to the people. Local control gives residents a stake in what goes on within their community’s boundaries. But garbage is blind to these political distinctions and its hazardous effects often cross over these lines, impacting our neighbors. The problem is too grand for any one municipality to handle on its own.

Effective waste management is an increasingly regional, national and even global phenomenon. The situation calls for a coordinated and efficient response from these higher tiers of government. 

Sustaining local control over waste management will soon come with a crippling price tag for municipalities and taxpayers alike. State and federal regulators will place heavy restrictions on the operators of solid waste landfills — local governments — passing the burden of cost and regulatory compliance onto these smaller governments.

Over time, municipalities will have to devote more resources and staff to their garbage, eating away at their budgets and diverting vital funds from other local programs and constituent services. All of this runs counter to the original idea of local autonomy.

Now is the right time for local governments to evaluate their involvement in waste management. Municipalities should seriously consider transitioning these duties to higher levels of government — such as counties or the state — with oversight from regional planning councils composed of delegates from our communities. 

A consolidated waste management apparatus could be more efficient and less restrictive for small governments, freeing up money and attention for local matters within their control.

At the individual level, we must also take steps to limit our impact on landfills. On Long Island, we don’t even have reliable measures of recycling rates, let alone a plan to bring those levels up. Furthermore, many ordinary household items have the potential for reuse. Residents should take advantage of special recycling events that assign these items a reuse value.

While policymakers work out the nuances of an integrated waste management hierarchy, we can do our part to limit our contribution to solid waste landfills. These complex problems may find meaningful solutions if governments and citizens act responsibly.

Photo from Robbie Harte

For one North Shore singer, an injury and her 13-year-old daughter have led her on a path she has dreamed about for years.

Singer-songwriter Robbie Harte, above, won two awards at the 2022 International Singer-Songwriters Association awards ceremony. Photo from Robbie Harte

Growing up in Montreal, Canada, Robbie Harte wanted to become a singer-songwriter. However, her goal was put on hold when an accident 14 years ago caused a back and spine injury that left her in chronic pain and unable to sing.

“It affected every part of me,” Harte said.

She added the best way to describe the issue to people is to imagine throbbing tooth pain from the waist to the toes all day, where sitting, standing or lying down doesn’t relieve the pain. It was so overwhelming that it was difficult for her to take in the breaths she needed to hold notes.

The Canadian was already living in Suffolk County when the accident occurred. She had met her husband during a trip to Hawaii. She worked for an airline and planned to go to Paris to write. Last minute Harte said she felt she shouldn’t go to France and opted to go to Hawaii, a place she was familiar with from visiting a couple of times. One morning while sitting in a coffee shop, she saw him run by, and then he was inside the shop a little while later. He stopped by her table to talk to her while she was writing about a couple meeting 

In her song “Out of the Blue,” she recounts the meeting saying she “traded Paris in for paradise.”

They began a long-distance relationship, with the two traveling between Canada and Smithtown, where he lived at the time. Shortly after she moved to Suffolk County, they married. Soon after she became pregnant with her daughter, she was injured.

“It was such a happy time for us, then I was sidelined,” Harte said. “It wasn’t just that I was sidelined — I was sidelined and silenced.”

She added that she navigated sad times in the past by expressing herself through music. Harte said at first, she accepted this was the way it was, but she started realizing she wasn’t herself. 

After her daughter was diagnosed with autism when she was 7, Harte wanted to show her child that a medical diagnosis shouldn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams.

“She’s the driving force that I’m on this journey,” the singer said. “She is the reason I’m pursuing my dream. She’s the reason that I’m doing all of this.”

Harte said she was inspired to pursue her goals despite chronic pain to show her daughter, right, that obstacles shouldn’t get in the way of dreams. Photo from Robbie Harte

Harte remembered the day she and her husband told their daughter about the autism diagnosis. She said they explained that sometimes things may be more challenging for her than others, but she shouldn’t let it get in the way of living her dreams. Harte said that conversation catapulted her to start pursuing her own goals.

“Here I was sitting on the couch, curled up in a ball, not living my dream because I couldn’t do it anymore, and things were really hard for me,” she said. “I said, ‘You know, I can’t tell her that and not put action behind my words. I have to show her by example, by being the best possible role model I can.’ That was the moment that I really decided this is my dream.”

Harte decided to put everything into singing despite how difficult or uncomfortable it was at first. The singer, who taught herself to play guitar, released her first EP in 2020 and has been enjoying musical success with her country/pop songs ever since. She has won and been nominated for several awards. Recently, she won the Gold Songwriter of the Year award and Bronze Single of the Year award for “Outside My Window” from the International Singer-Songwriters Association.

A few weeks ago, Harte released the single “Reason to Rise.” She described the song as an “anthemic power ballad.” The single has received airplay all over the globe and has landed on Canadian, country and indie music charts.

The journey has taught Harte a lot about herself and her strengths, she said. Initially, she was afraid she would never be able to get on a stage because she uses a cane regularly. However, she decided she would hold on to whatever else she needed, whether it was a curtain or microphone stand.

“You can’t let any of these things stop you because they’re just details,” Harte said.

The wife and mother also had advice when it comes to balancing various responsibilities and demands that parents face when juggling their own and their children’s obligations. She said the key is not to let everything overwhelm a parent, and she feels it’s important to make time for oneself. Harte said it’s vital to have a release such as singing, a hobby or playing a sport.

“If you don’t have that, you can’t give to other people,” she said. “You need to be in a positive mindset, and you need to have a few minutes — even if it’s 15 minutes — to do something that you love, so that you’re grounded, so that you can give your best to the people around you.”

Harte said she hopes to use her platform “to uplift, inspire and empower people” and to encourage them to let nothing stop them from doing what they love.

“I want to remind people to go out there and pursue their dreams and do what they love, despite their age, their ability or their limitations.”

For more information, visit robbieharte.com.

Rising energy prices, rents and wages are all applying greater pressure on small business owners. Pictured above, storefronts in downtown Port Jefferson. File photo by Julianne Mosher
By Rita J. Egan & Raymond Janis

Residents of communities throughout the area came out on Saturday, Nov. 26, to support local downtowns during Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday was a campaign first developed by American Express in 2010. Martin Cantor, director of the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy, detailed the history and purpose of this effort.

“Because everybody was focusing on Black Friday, American Express wanted to focus on small businesses,” he said.

Mary Joy Pipe, owner of The East End Shirt Company and president of the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, described this year’s iteration of Small Business Saturday as a success. She forecasts a favorable holiday season for the small business community this year based on the turnout.

“Am I optimistic about how I did on Small Business Saturday and over that weekend, and that things should go well?” she said. “Yes.”

The success of these business initiatives, according to Pipe, is primarily contingent upon the weather. She characterized the clear skies on Friday and Saturday as fortunate for the business community.

Tandy Jeckel, owner of TandyWear in Commack, said Small Business Saturday was similar to last year saleswise but that Black Friday was better.

Black Friday “was major,” she said. “We beat last year. Small Business Saturday was pretty much the same as last year.”

Confronting difficult times

While some storefront owners saw favorable returns over the weekend, others discussed the several factors working against their businesses. Among these are nationwide economic instability and inflation, soaring prices and hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeckel said her business did well during the pandemic by making masks to match outfits and so drawing in customers. She added she had noticed customers opting for dressier outfits where people were looking for more comfortable loungewear for a while.

Joe Schwab, co-owner of Schwab’s 2nd Wind in East Setauket, said he didn’t experience an increase in traffic on Small Business Saturday. He said that the special shopping days did not necessarily boost sales, even though Black Friday was better this year than it has been in years past.

“I would love to have a big excitement about shopping days again, but for the time being it seems to be a bit lost or fizzled out,” he said.

Cantor maintains that the broader economic trends are squeezing small businesses and local downtowns. Ballooning costs associated with energy prices, rents and wages are making it harder for small businesses to stay profitable. At the same time, consumers have less discretionary income and, therefore, less to spend in these downtown settings.

“Right now, small businesses are caught between trying to recoup the high rents, energy costs and things like that,” he said. “And then they’re running into the competition and the fact that consumers don’t have the money to spend.”

Competing with big businesses

Inflation and other economic pressures are driving consumers to try to stretch their dollars, Cantor said. This is adding even greater strain on small businesses compared to big businesses.

“The reality is that these big businesses can buy goods and services at much cheaper prices, and consumers are certainly looking for bargains,” he said.

Despite this popular narrative, Patty Kaczmarczyk, owner of Cheese & Spice Market in Wading River, insists that her prices are competitive and often outperform her larger competitors.

“People sometimes feel, ‘I’m going to go to the supermarket where I can get things cheaper there,’ but now that’s not so true,” she said. “I’m a small business, so I’m trying not to kill people in pricing to stay very competitive. That’s my goal.”

Contrasting the business models of large and small businesses, Kaczmarczyk said smaller stores are better adapted to meet the needs of consumers. Whereas large retailers emphasize bulk purchases, she said small vendors allow for smaller, often cheaper orders.

“I carry so many loose spices, which are way cheaper than buying them in a grocery store,” she said. “I sell it loose, and you can buy smaller amounts.” Maximizing these advantages, she suggests, can keep small businesses afloat while competing against their larger counterparts.

Susannah Meinersman, owner of Huntington-based Bon Bons Chocolatier, said the store has been busy in general, which she attributes to making a great product. Meinersman said she appreciates Small Business Saturday: “I think the day brings awareness to the small Main Street business, so that’s a good thing.” 

Giving back to the community

David Wolmetz is co-owner of Urban Air Adventure Park in Lake Grove. He described the small business sector as an extension of the greater community. Through various interactions of small businesses with community members, he said these businesses foster a greater sense of local cohesion.

“It’s not only about money for us,” he said. “It’s about connecting to the community.” 

For example, Wolmetz sits on the board of the Stony Brook Cancer Center Community Advisory Council. Maintaining connections between small businesses and other local institutions is crucial, Wolmetz said, for community prosperity.

“We look for them: Girl Scouts, Boys Scouts, anything that’s related to our demographic of a youth, family oriented connection,” he said. “I’m very familiar with that connection, and that’s my reason for having the business.”

This connection will be imperative as businesses transition into the post-pandemic era. For Suzanne McEnroe, owner of This n’ That Gifts in St. James, the turnout on Saturday was encouraging. 

She said she appreciates resident support as the business owner opened the gift store in February 2020, just a few weeks before the COVID-19 shutdowns. She is grateful to be open.

In general, she noticed a difference in business this year with more people out shopping. “They love to have a town shop to be able to just come and get a quick gift,” she said.

A critical juncture

While Small Business Saturday primarily targets the retail and service sectors, Long Island’s regional economy consists of small businesses across many other industries. 

John Hill is the founder and CEO of the Long Island Advancement of Small Business, an organization committed to the growth and development of small businesses that do not interface with customers, such as financial planners, bankers and IT service providers, among others.

Hill contends that these small businesses are struggling, too. “They’re not growing, they’re not failing, they’re just eking out a living right now,” he said.

Given the high living costs on Long Island, Hill sees more small business owners closing up shop and heading to more affordable regions in the country, a startling trend for Long Island’s regional economy.

“We’ve had four people leave our organization to move off of Long Island,” he said. “Two moved to Florida, one to North Carolina and one to Tennessee.”

To stay afloat, Cantor suggests business owners will soon have to find creative ways to attract consumers to downtown areas while eliminating operating expenses.

“Businesses are at a critical juncture,” he said, noting that Small Business Saturday is “super.” He added, “We want all these small businesses to survive, and it’s great that Long Islanders are coming out to the downtowns to shop on Small Business Saturday. But they have to continue to do it.”

Wading River School’s Student Council members with advisers Kerryann DeMauro (back, right) and Kellie McGuire (back, left). Photo courtesy SWRCSD

The Wading River School’s Student Council Food Drive was a resounding success. 

Hundreds of pounds of donated nonperishable food items were delivered to local food pantries to help families in need this holiday season. 

Teachers and student council advisers Kerryann DeMauro, Kellie McGuire, and student council members organized and distributed the donations. 

Andrew Muller Primary School held a food drive in which students donated goods and supermarket gift cards. Photo courtesy MPSD

The Miller Place School District lent a helping hand ahead of this Thanksgiving by hosting a series of food drives at various schools. 

Students at Miller Place High School collected 800 canned and packaged goods through a Thanksgiving food drive hosted by the National Honor Society. Students collected canned soup, vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing, muffin mix, potatoes and grocery gift cards. The food was distributed to families in need throughout the community. Additional items will be donated to local food pantries.

The School Improvement Team Committee at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School donated Thanksgiving meals to seven families in need throughout the community. Photo courtesy MPSD

At North Country Road Middle School, the student government sponsors a yearlong food drive to stock the North Country Road Middle School food pantry. Each Thanksgiving, the donations are used to create Thanksgiving meal packages that they distribute to families throughout Miller Place and Sound Beach.

Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School’s School Improvement Team (S.I.T.) Committee, run by assistant principal Nicole Farley and fifth grade students, “adopted” seven families in need in the Miller Place and Sound Beach communities. The students brought in items to put together a complete Thanksgiving meal for each family.

Andrew Muller Primary School held a food drive where students donated goods and supermarket gift cards and distributed them to local families in need ahead of the holiday. The school’s hallways were lined with boxes labeled accordingly for students to place their donations. In addition, a local catering business donated fresh turkey for families in need. 

For more information about the Miller Place School District, visit the website at: www.millerplace.k12.ny.us.

Pixabay photo

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Here are three of my most feared words: what’s your password? I understand that passwords were designed to keep out the unwelcome in any digital circumstance. Early passwords worked for ATM machines. After all, we didn’t want anyone else to be able to get our money, right?  OK, so that was four numbers that we could remember, certainly easier than committing our social security number to memory, for example.

Not any longer do we enjoy such brevity. Now we are asked to use eight or 10 numbers and letters, the combinations of which must contain capitals, lower case, numbers and some other vital symbol, like an asterisk or a dollar sign or an exclamation point. And we are admonished not to use the same password twice for fear of opening the gates to financial ruination. I would bet the fact is, though, that the only person kept at bay by the request for the password is the password holder who has forgotten the sacred assemblage of letters, numbers and pound signs.

Further, needing the password makes no sense since the frequently asked question, “Forgot your password? Press here to make another,” often allows anyone to bypass the gate anyway. All the intruder has to do is come up with a new password, and they are in.

Some passwords are useful. Certainly, we don’t want just anyone to access our banking records if we bank online. And if we pay for a service, like a subscription to a newspaper, we don’t want an undesignated person to share it. But some of the pass requirements are just plain stupid. Who else but me cares how many steps I walk per day? Or how much sleep I averaged over the past week?? Or how much I weigh? Almost as soon as I apply for an app, I have to select a password to use it, even though the app is free.

Passwords are just one irritant of the digital age, however. As long as I am voicing my frustrations, let’s consider telephones and what has become of what was a perfectly helpful way to enter in conversation with another human. Just try to call an airline or an insurance company and see how long you are put on hold. Sometimes they will tell you that the operator will be with you in 28 minutes and ask if you would like them to hold your place in line and call you back. That’s civilized. Or the automated voice will try to shove you off to their website. But you cannot ask questions of a home page beyond the couple of programmed Q&As posted there. 

When you finally get a person on the other end, after pressing any number of buttons, they will ask you to hold for the correct extension, which will ring and ring and finally disconnect you. Then you have to start all over.

I recognize that there is an attempt to have a paperless world. I understand that companies are feeling pressured financially and are trying to cut down on personnel. But does the world have to get there by driving us to distraction first? Some technology is actually helpful. Instead of a password, some apps ask for fingerprint ID. Once you register with your thumb or whichever finger you choose, you need only to present that finger in the future, and you are immediately admitted. Why isn’t that more commonly used to authenticate the user? Or ask a personal question as the price of admission only the user would be able to answer, like the name of your junior high school or your first pet’s name. Sometimes I am asked two or three questions like that, but only after I have already offered my password. And usually it’s my mother’s maiden name, which by itself used to work but no longer. Not complicated enough, I guess.

One friend figured she had solved the password problem by putting all her passwords into one file on her cellphone. Only trouble? She has forgotten the file’s password. 

METRO photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

As we reach the beginning of December, we are only a month away from the inevitable promises to shed unwanted pounds.

Today, however, only a few days after our journeys to visit friends and families for Thanksgiving, I’d like to urge you to consider shedding unwanted baggage.

Metaphorically, we all lug unwanted baggage with us — remembering the spot where a girlfriend or boyfriend broke up with us; the moment we decided to substitute the wrong player in a game we were coaching; and the time our teacher gave someone else partial credit for the same answer on which we received no credit.

Some of that baggage is constructive, giving us the tools and the memory to learn from our mistakes and to have a perspective on the things that happen to us.

We might, for example, learn to cope with losses on the athletic field more gracefully when recalling how we felt the time we shouted at a coach, an umpire or an opposing player. Days, weeks, or years later, we might realize that we have the tools and the distance to understand the moment better and to develop a grace we might not have possessed when we were younger.

Extending the baggage metaphor, it seems that the more we carry with us everywhere, the harder it is to move forward. Baggage, like those unwanted pounds that make it harder to hike up a hill or to climb stairs, keeps us in place, preventing us from improving and moving forward.

Shedding pounds, which isn’t so easy itself, has a prescribed collection of patterns, often involving an attention to the foods we might mindlessly eat and a dedication to exercise.

But how do we get rid of the emotional baggage that gets in our way? What do we do to move forward when the burdens around us weigh us down?

For starters, we might learn to forgive people for whatever they did that annoys or puts us down. Forgiveness isn’t easy, of course. We sometimes hold onto those slights as if they are a part of our identity, becoming a doctor to show our biology teacher who didn’t believe in us that we are capable and competent or developing into a trained athlete after a neighbor insulted us.

Holding onto those insults gives other people unnecessary power over us. We can and should set and achieve our goals because of what we want and not because we continue to overcome limits other people tried to set for us.

We also might feel weighed down by our own self-doubt. As I’ve told my children, their peers and many of their teammates, we shouldn’t help our competitors beat us. Believing the best about ourselves is difficult.

We also don’t, and won’t, always win. It’s easier to carry the memories of the times we failed a test or when we didn’t reach the top of the mountain on a hike. Carrying those setbacks around with us for anything other than motivation to try again or to go further than we did before makes it harder to succeed.

Now is the time to set down that baggage, to walk, jog or even run forward, unencumbered by everything that might make us doubt ourselves and our abilities and that might make it harder to achieve our goals. While all that baggage might feel familiar in our hands, it also digs into our palms, twists our fingers and slows our feet.

Even before we resolve to eat better, to exercise, to lose weight and to look our best, let’s check or even cast aside our emotional and psychological luggage. Maybe dropping that baggage in the last month of the year will make achieving and keeping our New Year’s resolutions that much easier.

Rocky Point High School principal Jonathan Hart, senior Vivian Dorr and music teacher Amy Schecher. Photo courtesy RPSD

Rocky Point High School senior Vivian Dorr was selected for the 2023 National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honor Band. 

In April, Vivian will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with students from NAfME’s Eastern Division, including New England and Northeastern states, Washington, D.C., and Europe. The All-Eastern rehearsals and performances will take place from Apr. 13-16, 2023. 

“This is an incredible accomplishment,” music teacher Amy Schecher said. “Vivian is a very talented young trombonist and an excellent student. She continues to impress me with her dedication to her academics, music and athletics.”

Center Moriches sputtered against the swarming defense of Shoreham-Wading River during a non-league basketball game on Monday, Nov. 28.

The Wildcats took a 14-point lead by halftime. Seniors Sophie Costello topped the scoring chart for the Wildcats with 17 points, GraceAnn Leonard banked 13 and Colleen Ohrtman netted 8 in the 50-31 home victory. 

The Wildcats notched their second win in as many games with three more non-league contests to go. They’ll face Sachem East, Newfield and William Floyd before league play begins. 

The Wildcats open their league season on Tuesday, Dec. 13, when they host Hampton Bays at 4:30 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon