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Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On July 19, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Michael Loguercio were on-hand for the annual Northern Bobwhite Quail release at Town of Brookhaven’s Longwood Estate in Ridge. The bird release is a program sponsored by the Town of Brookhaven, and the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery (CEED).

The 75 birds were released to help control the tick population, especially the deer tick, which is a carrier of Lyme disease. Working with the Center for Environmental Education and Discovery (CEED), students from Shoreham-Wading River, Longwood Library, Shirley-Mastic Community Library, Mt Sinai School District, and Middle Country School District assisted in raising Northern Bobwhite Quail for release into the wild.

Once abundant on Long Island, Northern Bobwhite Quail are released annually in Brookhaven Town to help control the tick population, especially the deer tick, which is a carrier of Lyme disease. Visit the CEED website to learn more about CEED and their Northern Bobwhite Quail Release programs in other communities. The annual Quail release at Longwood Estate is administered by the Town of Brookhaven’s Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management (RSMM).

Pictured left to right during the release of the Northern Bobwhite Quail are CEED Executive Director Sally Wellinger; Councilman Michael Loguercio; CEED Wildlife Biologist, Program and Site Director, Eric Powers; CEED volunteer Olive Archer; Supervisor Ed Romaine and CEED supporter David Pate.

Photo from TOB

On June 23 at 10:50 a.m., the Town of Brookhaven’s 451-TOWN Call Center reached the milestone of 2,000,000 calls since it started operations on September 12, 2007. The 451-TOWN Call Center is the state-of-the-art constituent response system that enables residents to utilize one phone number to access non-emergency government information and services. The 2,000,000th call was from a Rocky Point resident who inquired about a Town parking permit. Pictured (left to right) are Supervisor Ed Romaine; Call Center Agent Joan Holomshek; Call Center Manager Lisa Schneider; Call Center Agents Michele Fitzgerald, Thomas Sheedy, Lisa Gerle and Michelle Donovan; Call Center Supervisor, Krista Meyers and Call Center Agent Zachary Graulich.

The 451-TOWN (8696) Call Center operates Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They handle a wide range of constituent calls, including comments and requests for general information as well as specific questions about services such as garbage collection and recycling, public safety, code enforcement, street lighting, highway maintenance, parks, and Town events.

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On May 27, the Town of Brookhaven hosted the 2022 Eid al-Fitr celebration with members of the Muslim community at Town Hall. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. The celebration comes after a month of abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. 

During the event, which included guest speakers, presentations, traditional music and refreshments, the Town honored college and high school students with Certificates of Congratulations for their academic excellence and community service. 

The student honorees (pictured from left) are Zayd Tirmizi; Tasnim Moawad; Ramazan Abir Rahman; Farihah Chowdhury; Rehnuma Khan; Areeba Ashraf; Moe Jeh Khan; Safiy Khan; Amr Ali and Mohammed Sharif Bin Iqbal Hussin.

Pictured with the student honorees are (back row, from left) Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez; Suffolk County Legislator Jason Richberg; Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich; Councilman Kevin LaValle; and Nayyar Imam, Leader of the Muslim Alliance of Long Island, Muslim Chaplain for the Suffolk County Police Department and one of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office Chaplains.

State and local elected officials joined Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine at the Stony Brook Train Station June 7. Photo by Rita J. Egan

During the late morning hours of June 7, people gathered at the Stony Brook train station but not to board a train. They were there to call out the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Long Island Rail Road for not getting on board with modernizing the Port Jefferson Branch line.

Steve Englebright at podium. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) asked state and local officials to join him at a press conference at the station to urge the MTA and the LIRR to extend electrification on the Port Jefferson Branch. In addition to the elected officials in attendance, civic, chamber, business and environmental leaders were also on hand to show their support.

Many in attendance have vocalized the need for years, including during a December 2019 press conference at the train station. However, plans were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

East of Huntington the 24 miles or so of railroad tracks are not electrified, and the LIRR uses dual-mode trains that can switch from electric to diesel.

Those in attendance addressed concerns such as air pollution from the diesel trains and traffic congestion from residents driving south to take trains on the Ronkonkoma Branch. They also said electrification would benefit the area, including efficient experiences for passengers, more business drawn to the area, increased enrollment at Stony Brook University and real estate values increasing. 

Romaine said the Port Jeff Branch was the busiest line of the LIRR. He called diesel fuel “some of the most polluting fuel that we have.” He added that Suffolk County and Brookhaven “have been shortchanged by the MTA.”

He said that with the passage of President Joe Biden’s (D) $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill and more than $10 billion estimated to go to the MTA, it was time for Suffolk County residents to see improvements on the railroad

“That is supposed to help rebuild our infrastructure,” the supervisor said. “We’re asking for a 20th-century technology — electrification. Diesel is a 19th-century technology. We haven’t even asked for 21st-century technology.”

State Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) also called for infrastructure money to be spent in the area. Regarding North Shore residents traveling to stations along the Ronkonkoma Branch, he said everyone needed to come together to ensure that those in the area could drive to a nearby station without changing trains to get to New York City. He added with a feasibility study that was started in the 1980s, the time had come for change.

“We need to make sure that we’re here for the commuters,” Mattera said. “Mass transit is so important for our future, and MTA shortchanges us all the time.”

State Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) said when the Climate Leadership and Community Protection legislation was passed on the state level in 2019, it included the call for electrification across all sectors — transportation, residential, commercial and more. He said the same year the legislation passed, the MTA purchased 55 diesel engines.

“Maybe they haven’t figured it out yet but diesels are, as the supervisor indicated, antique technology, and we need to move toward technology that doesn’t pollute the air,” Englebright said.

State Sen. Mario Mattera. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) said that the diesel engines not only are harmful to air quality, but also when they arrive at a station the vibration can be felt in nearby neighborhoods. Kornreich said there are people in Port Jefferson Station who “have to listen to the sound of diesel throbbing all night.”

Mitch Pally, CEO of the Long Island Builders Institute and a former MTA board member, called on the state Climate Action Council to mandate the MTA to have responsibility in electrifying train lines across Long Island.

“Only in that way will the mass transit system that we have not only transport our people, but do it in an environmentally sensitive manner,” Pally said.

Anthony Figliola, who is running in the Republican primary for Congressional District 1, said after the press conference he was encouraged by the bipartisan support. He added that Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) is also supportive of electrification.

Figliola and Charlie Lefkowitz, president of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce, were part of the North Shore Business Alliance formed in 2017 that worked on a feasibility study for electrification of the branch.  The MTA included $4 million in their five-year 2015-19 capital plan to pay for a feasibility study on electrification of the Port Jefferson Branch

Figliola said if elected to Congress he will be committed “to helping fund this critical economic development and environmental project.”

“The next step is for the MTA to complete the study,” he said. “My hope is the MTA will think twice before spending any additional dollars on more diesel trains.”

From left, Setauket Harbor Task Force co-founder, Laurie Vetere, Supervisor Ed Romaine, Setauket Harbor Task Force co-founder, George Hoffman and Bay Constable Connor Reid. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On May 25, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine joined members of the Setauket Harbor Task Force as they brought in the season’s first Sugar Kelp harvest. This season, the growing location was moved from Setauket Harbor to Port Jefferson Harbor just offshore by the northwest mooring field.

Sugar Kelp is a brown-colored native seaweed that thrives in the cold waters of the Long Island Sound and other areas of the northeast. Aquaculture farmers seed juvenile Kelp on long lines attached to buoys or docks in November and December, and then they wait until spring to harvest the fast-growing crop. Kelp is an excellent dietary source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, and other trace minerals; it can be used dried, powdered, fresh, cooked, and fresh frozen.

Pictured left to right are Setauket Harbor Task Force co-founder, Laurie Vetere, Supervisor Ed Romaine, Setauket Harbor Task Force co-founder, George Hoffman and Bay Constable Connor Reid.

The Setauket Harbor Task Force is a volunteer organization which works for clean water and healthy harbors. It was founded in 2014 by local Setauket residents who love the harbor and want to protect and preserve it. For more information about Sugar Kelp and to learn more about the Setauket Harbor Task Force, go to www.SaveSetauketHarbor.org.

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On May 5, Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine, Councilman Dan Panico and Councilman Kevin LaValle were on-hand at the Brookhaven Landfill’s Residential Drop Off to launch the Habitat for Humanity Donation Program. Habitat for Humanity of Long Island has partnered with the Town to collect new or slightly used furniture, appliances, kitchen cabinets and building materials from Brookhaven residents.

The items collected will be sold at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore to help build affordable housing for low-mid income families on Long Island. The ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement store and donation center whose proceeds contribute to the work of Habitat Long Island. Habitat partners with families to build strength and stability through safe and affordable housing. Items donated to ReStore are sold to the public to support Habitat’s vision – a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Pictured left to right at the Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Drop Off are HFH Director of Marketing, Maggie Luna; HFH Donations Coordinator, Veronica Golio-Astarita; HFH Donor Relations Manager, Courtney Collins; Town of Brookhaven Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management (RSMM) Commissioner Christine Fetten; CEO & Executive Director of HFH of Long Island, Lee Silberman; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Kevin LaValle and RSMM Chief Deputy Commissioner, Daniel Johnson.

Habitat for Humanity of Long Island, Inc. is an independently operated affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International. Since 1988, Habitat Suffolk has empowered hundreds of families to achieve their homeownership dreams through its affordable home ownership program, building 5-8 houses annually. Recognized as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator, Habitat Long Island works in partnership with thousands of Long Island volunteers and responsible, lower-income families of all races, religions, and creeds, to build and renovate homes for those in need.

Starting on May 5, residents can drop-off items at the Town of Brookhaven landfill to donate to Habitat Long Island at no charge. Donations must be dropped-off at the Habitat container on-site. Residents can request an e-receipt for tax-deductible donation by texting DONATE to 631-525-5447. The Brookhaven Town Landfill is located at 350 Horseblock Road, Brookhaven, NY 11719. Drop off hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Monday – Friday) and 7 a.m. to noon (Saturday).

Drop off items accepted Appliances (within 10 years old and in working condition); building materials (uncut and unused); doors and windows (within 5 years old); flooring/tile; furniture; kitchen cabinets; tools/hardware. For more information, please email [email protected].

On April 26, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich attended the 22nd annual Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition (BCCC) Awards Night at the Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station. 

Established in 1992, the Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition represents more than 16 chambers in the Town of Brookhaven. The awards reception honors members that represent the values and mission of the coalition.

During the evening, Brookhaven Town chamber members were recognized by the Supervisor and Councilmember for their service to the business community. In addition to running their own businesses, members share the understanding that small businesses provide jobs to thousands of people and help create a sense of place in the community. 

“Congratulations to all the award recipients. This recognition of service to the business community is well deserved, especially after the difficulties brought on by the pandemic. Small business was hit hard, but now it’s their time to rebound and get back to business as usual,” said Supervisor Romaine.

“I was so proud to see our own Jennifer Dzvonar from the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce; James Luciano from the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Colette Frey-Bitzas from the Three Village Chamber of Commerce be nominated as members of the year,” said Councilmember Kornreich. 

“The town wide winner was our very own Jen Dzvonar. Thank you, Jen and all our Chamber members for everything you do to make Council District 1 a great place to live and do business. Special thanks to Indu Kaur for hosting the event at the elegant Meadow Club, and a shoutout to Barbara Ransome for running a great event,” he added.

On April 10, Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) met with Cub Scouts from Pack 354 and their leader, Rob DeStefano, to present them with a certificate of congratulations for cleaning up the Setauket-Port Jefferson Station Greenway. The supervisor also presented Town of Brookhaven pins to commemorate their efforts.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) helped kick off the service project by joining the Scouts along the cleanup — filling a full five-gallon bucket with trash along the way.

The Setauket Port Jefferson Station Greenway is a three-mile-long trail that wanders its way from the east trailhead on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station to Limroy Lane in Setauket. Parking is available at both locations. Construction was completed in two phases with the first trail section opening in 2009 and the subsequent phase opening in 2014.

A true linear park, the Setauket to Port Jefferson Station Greenway is the longest paved multi-use trail in Suffolk County. The Greenway utilizes land acquired by the NYS Department of Transportation in the 1960s for a planned bypass of Route 25A. This bypass has been re-purposed, and today you can walk or bike through an amazing variety of terrains and landscapes: an old growth forest, rolling hills, rhododendron woodlands, neighborhoods, county parkland, old farmland, etc. With the recent opening of Phase II of the trail, you are now able to pedal from the Setauket Post Office to upper Port Jefferson Station. The path runs approximately four miles and is handicapped accessible.

The Friends of the Greenway, a committee of the Three Village Community Trust, maintains the Greenway. Visit www.threevillagecommunitytrust.org for more information.

 

From left, Supervisor Ed Romaine; DIME CEO Kevin M. O’Connor; Town Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management, Christine Fetten; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Councilman Dan Panico and DIME Executive VP and Chief Banking Officer James J. Manseau. Photo from TOB

On March 22, Supervisor Ed Romaine accepted a $4,000 check from DIME Chief Executive Officer Kevin M. O’Connor to co-sponsor the Town of Brookhaven’s 2022 community recycling events. Each year the Town holds two recycling events in each Council District that include paper shredding, e-waste disposal and a supervised prescription drug drop-off program.

The scheduled recycling events will help residents properly dispose of sensitive documents which, when improperly discarded, can fall into the hands of identity thieves. Residents can also dispose of e-waste including TV’s, VCR and DVD players, fax machines, printers, calculators, modems, cables, routers, copiers, radios/stereos, laptops, keyboards and cell phones as well as expired prescription drugs in an environmentally safe manner. 

Documents brought in for shredding will be fed into an industrial shredder, enabling each participant to witness the secure destruction of sensitive papers. Paper can be brought in boxes or bags. Documents can remain stapled together, but paper clips and other metal must be removed along with any other contaminants such as rubber bands. 

The 2022 schedule of events are as follows:

CD-3 Councilman Kevin LaValle

Saturday, April 2 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Middle Country Public Library, 101 Eastwood Blvd., Centereach

CD-1 Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich

Saturday, April 23 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Comsewogue Public Library, 170 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station

CD-2 Councilwoman Jane Bonner

Saturday, April 30 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Route 25A, Mt. Sinai

CD-4 Councilman Michael Loguercio

Saturday, May 21 – 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Brookhaven Town Hall, South Parking Lot, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville

CD-3 Councilman Kevin LaValle

Saturday, Sept. 10 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sachem Public Library, 150 Holbrook Road, Holbrook

CD-2 Councilwoman Jane Bonner

Saturday, October 1 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Route 25A, Mt. Sinai

CD-1 Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich

Saturday, October 22 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Setauket Fire Department, 394 Nicolls Road, Setauket

The 2022 recycling events are open to all Brookhaven Town residents for their personal, household material. For more information, call 451-TOWN (8696) or visit www.brookhavenny.gov/recyclingevents.

Photo courtesy of Suffolk OTB

Suffolk County Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, along with county elected officials, Suffolk OTB President/CEO, Tony Pancella, and executives from Northwell Health, held an emergency aid press conference with Long Island Ukrainian leaders on March 22 at Jake’s 58 Casino Hotel in Islandia.  

Suffolk OTB, which operates the casino, made a $10,000 donation to the Northwell Health Ukraine Relief Fund to send vital medical supplies to hospitals in the embattled nation.  The check was accepted by Donna Moravick, Executive Director for South Shore University Hospital, on behalf of Northwell Health President and CEO, Michael Dowling.

Additional money will be raised throughout the month of April from Jake’s 58’s Donate Your Change for the Ukraine campaign. The program gives casino bettors the option to effortlessly donate excess change while cashing out winnings and funds at kiosks located throughout the casino. “At times like these, people always come together to help those most in need, and the patrons at OTB will undoubtedly do their part,” said McCaffrey.

Pancella hopes to double, or even triple, the initial $10,000 donation. “Our patrons are very generous, and we want to do all we can to help the Ukrainian people during this tragic invasion of their homeland,” he said.

Long Island volunteer firefighters were also on hand to announce a donation of flame-retardant gear to help Ukrainian first responders put out fires left in the wake of bombs and shelling.  The equipment was donated by the Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund. “The Fire Service is a brotherhood that takes care of its own,” said Brian Farrell, the organization’s president.

The World Health Organization has verified at least 43 attacks on healthcare facilities in the Ukraine since the Russian invasion. More than 300 healthcare facilities are within the conflict zone and 600 others are within six miles of territory currently under siege. The funds raised at Jake’s 58 will pay for medical supplies that will be transported to Poland and eventually delivered to the front lines.  

“We have a moral obligation to help ease the suffering of the Ukrainian people. This generous donation will help address the immediate needs of individuals, families, and communities by providing medical assistance on the front lines. I want to thank Jake’s 58 for their contribution to the Northwell Health Ukraine Relief Fund,” said Dowling.

“Thank you to Northwell Health and Jake’s 58 for their efforts to help the people of Ukraine by funding and facilitating the delivery of critical medical supplies,” said Legislator Al Krupski, whose office has been active in collecting provisions for the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Riverhead. “I also want to thank the members of our firefighter community for donating gear to help firefighters and first responders in Ukraine.  Despite the dreadfulness of this war, it is heartening to see communities and institutions from across Long Island come together to help a country and a people in desperate need.”

“I commend Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell, and Tony Pancella, OTB President and CEO, for creating this team effort to provide essential medical supplies to Ukraine. I believe the patrons at Jake’s 58 will be generous and compassionate in supporting this endeavor,” said Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta.

“The situation currently unfolding in Ukraine is horrifying to say the least,” said Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg. “We need to do anything and everything we can to support the innocent people being affected and displaced every day. Thank you to Northwell Health and Jake’s 58 for your leadership and efforts in raising funds for much-needed medical supplies that I have no doubt will have an impact and help support countless individuals and families in Ukraine.”

Legislator Nick Caracappa said, “It is inspirational to see how our community, in both the public and private sectors, are working together to assist the people of Ukraine. This besieged nation needs our support, and I was pleased to attend the press conference. I applaud Jake’s 58, Northwell Health, and all who coordinated this fundraising effort.”

Legislator Dominick Thorne stated, “It is my honor and privilege to stand with the people of the Ukraine. Their bravery in the face of reprehensible attacks is inspirational.”