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Brookhaven Town Hall

Local Union 154 workers held a protest in front of Brookhaven Town Hall Nov.19. Photo by David Luces

Hauppauge-based Local Union 154 workers protested outside of Brookhaven Town Hall Nov. 19, disputing the Town of Brookhaven’s decision to hire another contractor to work on roofing of the government building. 

The protesters who stood at the entrance to Independence Hill did not want to speak on the record, but said they were protesting because town officials hired nonunionized workers for the ongoing roof work being done at Town Hall. Brookhaven has ongoing projects to put solar panels on the Town Hall roof.

Local 154 did not respond to multiple requests for comment by press time. 

The contractor, Ronkonkoma-based Statewide Roofing, has been performing commercial and industrial roofing on the Island since 1983, according to its website. Notable projects include replacing the roof and deck waterproofing at Stony Brook University South Stadium. The company is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association and North East Roofing Contractors Association. 

Gerry Curtin, president and part owner of the company, believes his workers are more than qualified to do the work and said the problem is with Local 154, who “wants everyone to go through them.” 

Curtin said they have long resisted unionization. 

“We’ve been around 36 years — we pay our workers prevailing wage and we’ve had apprenticeship program for over 25 years, we have done a lot of public work [over the years],” he said. 

The president of the company said they do have labor union agreements and take on other laborers if needed.

A Brookhaven spokesperson said they make sure the union/contractor they hire offers a prevailing wage and has an appropriate apprenticeship program in place. 

The spokesperson said work being done on the roof is part of the town’s solar energy program. The town put out a request for bids for the roof work and got a response from five different companies. They ultimately went with Statewide Roofing, which came in $1 million less than the next lowest bid. 

 

Classic car owners cruised into the parking lot at Brookhaven Town Hall last weekend to not only show off their collection of vintage hot rods, trucks and wacky automobiles, but their hearts, too.

At the town’s annual Charity Car and Motorcycle Show Nov. 12 — a partnership between the Brookhaven Youth Bureau and different classic car, truck and motorcycle clubs throughout Long Island — more than 300 vehicles of all shapes, makes and models were on display for residents in an effort to gather nonperishable food and unwrapped toy donations for families in need.

This year’s event raised 1,500 pounds of food, including canned soups, tuna and boxes of rice, which were transported by the town’s charity-based INTERFACE program to its Thanksgiving Food Drive, and will go directly to residents that need it most. By the end of the day, residents filled 25 big garbage bags with toys for children to open next month.

“This really helps allow people to have a very merry Christmas and a happy holiday,” said Sound Beach resident Dan Ryan, a member of the Long Island Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society, one of the event’s main groups that has helped collect donations since it first began about 12 years ago. “It’s just one day out of the year but it makes a big difference in people’s lives, especially kids. The crowds here are really caring people. They come out and give what they can.”

Maxine Kleedorfer, the event’s chairperson and a member of East End Olds Club, said of the day: “This is still so amazing to me. It’s Long Islanders giving to Long Islanders.”

Other organizations represented at the all-day free event were Long Island Moose Classic Car Club, the Long Island and New York City Oldsmobile Club and Long Island Street Rod Association, as well as independent car owners, who showcased everything from old Chevy Coupes to Lincoln Continentals to a 1981 Checker Taxi Cab.

Residents perusing the variety of wheels in the parking lot were treated to live music from local bands, free hot dogs and beverages, 50/50 raffle prizes and even a special visit from Santa Claus, who rolled up in an antique LaFrance Brockway Torpedo fire truck to meet with the kids and ask what they wanted for Christmas.

Adam Navarro, a vintage car collector from Centereach, said while he was happy to see so much generosity in the air that day, it didn’t surprise him all that much.

“One of the biggest things about car culture is that those involved are always giving back to the community,” Navarro said. “So you come out here, look at some great cars, sip hot chocolate, meet some friends and at the same time help out the community. You can’t get better than that.”

Joe Morgani from Mastic, who brought along his classic Corvette and several cans of soups and vegetables, called the event a win-win.

“The cars are amazing, we have the band and everything, and it all brings people together to help other people,” he said. “We need more charities like this. I love it.”

Sitting in front of a blue 1958 Chevy Bel Air was the car’s original owner, Lake Ronkonkoma’s Karl Krumsick. His wife Carol said he bought it when he got home from serving in the Korean War. The two went on their first date in the car and drove off in it after they got married.

“We come to this show every year because we love to donate to the needy,” Carol Krumsick said. “We brought a bunch of toys and canned goods. It’s wonderful here.”