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Cold Spring Harbor

Woodbury Road residents have called the thoroughfare unsafe in recent years. File photo by Barbara Donlon

Plans to calm traffic and reduce car crashes on Woodbury Road accelerated on Tuesday.

The Huntington Town Board voted to pay traffic consultants an additional $16,635 to design some of the recommendations they made in a traffic- calming study of the road released earlier this year.

In the study, GEB HiRise, of Uniondale, recommended things like larger and more reflective signs; thicker lane markings; rumble strips in the double yellow lines in the center of the road; reduced speed limits in some areas from 30 to 25 miles per hour; and narrower lanes in some areas.

Residents in the area have been calling for traffic-calming changes, citing a number of crashes along the road.

Huntington Town Councilwoman Susan Berland (D), who has spearheaded the issue, said after the town board meeting on Tuesday that this measure takes traffic calming on Woodbury Road “to the next level.”

The engineering firm will be charged with mapping out where things like rumble strips will go, where to narrow the road and exploring the road-skidding aspect of the issue.

“This is the next step,” Berland said.

A $6.5 million project to repave and repair Route 25A will resume in Northport and Cold Spring Harbor on Monday. File photo by Rohma Abbas

Route 25A’s $6.5 million makeover is set to resume in Cold Spring Harbor and Northport on Monday, Aug. 10, the New York State Department of Transportation said on Friday.

Motorists can expect travel lanes to be shifted between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in both areas. In Cold Spring Harbor, repair and repaving will be underway between Glen Way and Lawrence Hill Road. In Northport, the work will span Elwood and Middleville roads, according to the DOT. No travel lane closures are expected — a single travel lane will be maintained in each direction.

The DOT estimates those sections of Route 25A to be complete in about two weeks, weather permitting.

The work is part of a larger 10.6-mile project along Route 25A/Main Street/Fort Salonga Road between NY Route 108 in Cold Spring Harbor and Bread and Cheese Hollow Road in Fort Salonga, all within Huntington Town. The top layer of distressed pavement along the project area is being removed and replaced with new asphalt and the DOT is replacing traffic signals and installing fresh pavement markings, including bike lane striping and more visible pedestrian crosswalks. The project also includes the installation of rumble devices on the center yellow lines to provide noise and vibration warnings to motorists who may stray across into oncoming traffic. In addition, workers will clean and repair drainage structures to improve roadway runoff.

Construction is being staged on shorter, limited sections of the project area, and the work is taking place during off-peak day and nighttime hours, depending on each area’s overall needs and characteristics. On-street parking will not be permitted during the construction work. Drivers are being warned of the construction and urged to use alternate routes to avoid travel delays. Local officials, businesses, schools and emergency service providers have been notified about the repaving operations in their areas.

Posillico Civil, Inc., of Farmingdale, is under contract with the DOT to perform the project.

“When completed, these pavement repairs will improve motorists’ safety and help maintain the integrity of NY Route 25A/Main Street/Fort Salonga Road in the Town of Huntington,” according to the DOT.

Drivers who cannot use alternate routes are reminded to drive carefully through the work zone for their safety as well as the safety of the highway work crew.

The construction work may be canceled, postponed or prolonged due to inclement weather.

For up-to-date traffic and travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.org. Travel information can also be obtained from the INFORM Transportation Management Center cameras at www.INFORMNY.com.

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A scene from the annual Make-A-Wish Junior Sailors Regatta, hosted by the Northport Yacht Club. Photo by Talia Amorosano

By Talia Amorosano

It was a windy summer morning at the Northport Yacht Club on Monday where more than 100 sailors from age 8 to 17 rigged their own boats and hit the water to race at the 20th Annual Make-A-Wish Junior Sailors Regatta.

Sailors hailed from the Northport Yacht Club, Centerport Yacht Club, Huntington Yacht Club, Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club and Huntington YMCA, and all gathered to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a nonprofit organization that grants children with life-threatening illnesses wishes within their lifetimes.

For the Doherty family, which has headed the regatta for nine years, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has a very personal significance: a family friend who died from a heart condition at age 16 was a Make-a-Wish recipient, and was able to take a trip to Walt Disney World Resort thanks to the organization.

Keara Doherty, 17, who has been the top fundraiser all nine years since being involved with the event, said that once she ages out of sailing in the regatta this year, she plans to become more directly involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and help her dad, Bob, who is involved with the club’s Special Event Committee, organize the regatta and recruit fundraisers. This year alone, Keara Doherty has raised $10,000 by writing personal letters to family and friends asking for donations.

According to Peggy Doherty, the teen’s mom, the fundraiser has become increasingly successful over the years. Nine years ago, the event raised $25,000. Last year, the group hit $50,000. She said that this year the fundraiser brought in $46,000.

Northport Yacht Club Rear Commodore Rich Boziwick spoke highly of Bob Doherty’s influence in making the fundraiser a success.

“He’s been an incredible asset to this whole event,” he said. “He coordinates, brings the staff together, and gets the kids together.”

This year’s winners, in order of increasing difficulty levels, were: Joey Zarcone (Opti Green), Connor Burns (Opti White), Aidan Quigley (Opti Blue), Sterling Thompson (Opti Red), Courtney Garrison and Zoe Buscareno (Pixel); Connor, Brandon and Tyler Besendorfer, and Sebastion Blot (Blue Jay); Hallie Simkins and Cormack Murphy (Club 420), and Gavin Anderson (Laser Radial).

It is clear that there is a high level of community involvement with the fundraiser, with bagged lunches donated by a local Stop & Shop and prizes (including baseball tickets and a kayak) for the top fundraisers donated by local shops and members of the yacht club.

The Northport Yacht Club also hosts an annual swim-a-thon that contributes to the total funds raised for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  This year, there were 120 participants who swam 3,800 laps (53 miles) in total.  Of the group, 16-year-old Bryce Winters came in first place, swimming 304 miles in under 3 hours. Fundraising worked on a kid-by-kid basis, with individuals and sponsors setting rules for how sponsors would donate, sometimes based on number of laps swam or number of hours spent swimming.

Peggy Doherty said that the yacht club plans to continue hosting the fundraiser for years to come and that she and her family plan to stay involved.

“The kids are doing so much better with fundraising [as the years go on],” she said.

Camila dos Santos photo from the scientist

By Daniel Dunaief

Mothers of more than one child have blogged about it for years. When they have their second child, the breastfeeding process is often quicker, with milk available sooner than for the first child. Camila dos Santos, who became an assistant professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in February, has found a reason.

Cells in the mammary gland go through something called epigenetic changes. That means something affects the genetic machinery, causing them to react differently under the same circumstances. In mouse models, dos Santos discovered changes in cell proliferation and milk production genes to the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

When she was a postdoctoral student in Greg Hannon’s laboratory at CSHL, dos Santos said they “decided to profile the epigenome before and after pregnancy.” At first, she was looking for changes associated with the effects of pregnancy on breast cancer development. The recent work, however, described the presence of epigenetic memory of past pregnancies, which influences milk production in the next pregnancy.

The message from these studies was that those areas where she saw changes “are associated with the genes responsible for lactation and the proliferation of the mammary gland during pregnancy,” said dos Santos.

The implications of this research extend from the potential to enhance breastfeeding in women who struggle during lactation to breast cancer.

Indeed, other studies have shown that women who become pregnant before 25 have a lower risk for all types of breast cancer.

“We believe that such strong protective effect must have an epigenetic basis,” dos Santos said. She would like to “understand how this stable, pregnancy-induced epigenome prevents cancer development,” she continued.

Hannon believes the kind of research dos Santos is conducting holds promise.

“The world of breast cancer prevention is badly in need of very solid underlying molecular biology and I think there’s a fair chance that what [dos Santos] is doing will eventually get us there,” said Hannon, who recently left Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and is now the Royal Society Wolfson Research Professor at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute at the University of Cambridge.

Dos Santos said her research is exploring ways to turn the changes that occur during pregnancies before the age of 25 into a “preventive strategy to treat women that are high risk and even those that are not.”

To be sure, Hannon and dos Santos cautioned, it’s difficult to know how quickly or even whether this kind of research will lead to any treatment or prevention options.

“The main goal of my lab is to try to understand the effects of pregnancy on normal cells, to devise a strategy to prevent breast cancer from arising,” dos Santos said. She recently published her work in the journal Cell Reports.

Dos Santos and Andrew Smith, a computational biologist from the University of Southern California, along with his postdoctoral fellow Egor Dolzhenko discovered that mice that had been through a single pregnancy had methylation marks that were different from mice of the same age that hadn’t been pregnant. The group connected the changes in the genome to a transcription factor called Stat5a. A transcription factor is a protein that acts like a genetic traffic light, turning on or off genes.

When she joined Hannon’s lab in 2008, dos Santos wanted to study gene regulation throughout cell development. It took her three years to purify stem cells.

Hannon credits dos Santos for developing new techniques.

“She had to build the tools she needed to ask” these questions, Hannon said.

Dos Santos lives in campus housing with her husband, Christopher Vakoc, who is an assistant professor at CSHL. The couple take their young sons hiking and can’t wait for the spring and summer because they hike, swim and kayak. Vakoc and dos Santos met when they were in adjoining labs in Philadelphia.

“We used to have joint lab meetings and one day he asked me on a date,” she recalled.

This summer, dos Santos’ lab will include a premed undergraduate student from Hofstra and high school students from Cold Spring Harbor High School and  Southampton High School. She recently hired a postdoctoral fellow.

“I envision my lab growing according to my needs,” she said. “Right now, I want to continue to work at the bench while training students and postdocs.”

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On Sunday, June 14, Cold Spring Harbor High School held its 52nd commencement honoring the Class of 2015.

High School Principal Jay Matuk congratulated the class, and following tradition at the school district, there were three reflection speakers this year: David May, Gabrielle Bailenson and Allison Grey. The ceremony also featured a performance by senior Christine Collins, who joined the wind ensemble on the flute. Senior Emily Gallagher led the audience in the national anthem.

Commencement also featured comments from Superintendent Judith A. Wilansky and school board President Anthony Paolano.

Martin Doherty presents traffic study findings to residents at a meeting about the heavily traveled Woodbury Road. Photo by Alex Petroski

Findings on a traffic study for the heavily traveled Woodbury Road fell short of some residents expectations Monday night, when engineers recommended against adding traffic signals or stop signs on the thoroughfare that connects Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor.

GEB HiRise, the Uniondale engineering firm that spent 10 months on the project, announced the results of their traffic study to about 60 residents at Huntington Town Hall, at a meeting sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Berland (D).

Martin Doherty, GEB HiRise senior traffic engineer, said the firm conducted the study over 10 days, laying rubber tubes across the road that tracked both the volume and speed of traffic.

Despite resident reports of dangerous traffic activity on the road, GEB HiRise recommended only minor changes.

Doherty said during his presentation that the maximum speed clocked on the road over the 10-day study was 76 mph, by a car passing by at night. For the bulk of drivers traveling on Woodbury Road during the study, the average speed was 44 mph.

The speed limit on the road is 30 mph.

Doherty said larger and more reflective signs; thicker lane markings; rumble strips in the double yellow lines in the center of the road; reduced speed limits in some areas from 30 to 25 mph; and narrower lanes in some areas were the most drastic changes GEB HiRise recommended. The firm also suggested adding permanent overhead radar detectors in some spots — the kind that tell drivers how fast they are going, in the hopes of making them aware of excessive speed.

The study results did not suggest adding stop signs or traffic signals to the road.

The study deemed stop signs to be an ineffective solution because they would increase the number of rear-end collisions and create heavy delays, according to Doherty.

“I’m almost at a loss because it’s a lot to take in,” Woodbury Road resident Marilyn McDermott said after the meeting Monday. “I had my own expectations coming in of what I thought would be helpful.”

McDermott started a petition last summer to have the traffic study done. Her driveway leads directly onto the thoroughfare. McDermott said she arranged for her child’s school bus driver to come up her driveway in the morning because the road is too dangerous for anyone to stand on while waiting for a bus.

“You hear the study say that it doesn’t call for [stop signs],” McDermott said. “It makes us take a deep breath and say, ‘OK if it’s not [warranted], then are we turning this into a highway?’ … None of us want to have that kind of a road.”

There were moments during the meeting when the crowd became audibly frustrated with some of Doherty’s recommendations.

“How many people have to die before we get some damn stop signs?” one resident called out before exiting the meeting. He said he feared his agitation would trigger an existing heart problem.

Residents said they believed many of the worst offenders driving on Woodbury Road are people who are trying to make it to the Cold Spring Harbor train station in time for a train.

Berland reiterated that the study simply made recommendations about improving conditions on the road. She collected note cards from residents who wanted to share their opinions, and plans to consider them before action is taken, she said.

“We’re going to collate all of that, put all of that together and then I’m going to sit with the supervisor and our director of traffic, go through everything and see where we go,” Berland said.

Residents voiced concerns with numerous aspects of the study. Some were unhappy that it was conducted over a span of only 10 days, while others said that some of the data collected would be skewed because drivers were aware of the fact that their speed was being tracked. Also, residents who live on side streets of Woodbury Road were frustrated that their difficulties in making turns onto the curved main road were not taken into account in the study.

Resident suggestions made during the meeting included asking the police department for an increased presence and adding speed cameras.

Mayer Horn, a Dix Hills resident and transportation engineering consultant, offered a different view.

“Let me stress one word,” Horn said. “It’s not enforcement. It’s not stop signs. It’s not signals. People who asked you for those things mean well, but they’re misguided. The key word is ‘compliance.’ That’s what we really want here.”

Meeting to take place at town hall

Woodbury Road residents have called the thoroughfare unsafe in recent years. File photo by Barbara Donlon

The results of a Woodbury Road traffic study will be revealed at a meeting on Monday, June 15, at Huntington Town Hall, according to Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland (D).

The town-commissioned study was a response to a petition organized by Marilyn McDermott, a resident of Cold Spring Harbor who lives on Woodbury Road. McDermott said in July that the road was so dangerous she was afraid to pull out of her driveway.  Numerous car crashes have occurred in recent years on the road that connects Cold Spring Harbor and Huntington, two of which resulted in fatalities.

The Uniondale-based traffic engineering consultant GEB HiRise, which will host the Town Hall meeting on Monday along with Berland, conducted the study. The town board authorized the cost of the study to be less than $25,000.

“I think people will be happy with the study,” Berland said in a phone interview this week. “They’ll see the analysis that went into it.”

McDermott said she will attend the meeting on Monday to hear the results of the study and the firm’s recommendations for future change.

“It’s been worth it already,” McDermott said about the time she has dedicated to making the road she travels on everyday safer. “It’s brought my community together in a way that’s been eye opening.”

McDermott said she was surprised by the support she received from both the board and the community thus far, but she expects that the findings will reveal a need for changes.

“It would behoove them to make some changes based on the fatalities and accidents that have gone on there in the past,” McDermott said.

Other Woodbury Road residents have spoken out about the dangerous conditions of the road since the petition for a traffic study began in June of last year.

“The way the turn is constructed, along with slippery conditions, the road equals death,” Woodbury Road resident Stan Cotek said in July.

Another resident, Sierra Mittleman, a neighbor of McDermott’s, also said in July, “Our whole road is starting to look like a memorial.”

Berland said that members of the engineering firm that conducted the study would take questions from community members after they reveal the results and their recommendations on Monday night. Boards will be set up around the room with pictures of sections of the roadway, along with what is suggested for those particular areas, according to Berland.

“I hope we have a great turn out and a lot of people come and share their opinion,” Berland said about Monday’s meeting.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Damaged doors and windows
A Village Green Drive resident in Port Jefferson Station reported the door of their 2014 Hyundai had been dented at some point between 3 p.m. on June 3 and 11 a.m. on June 4.
Two cars and an apartment on Linden Place in Port Jefferson were damaged between 5 p.m. on June 6 and 7 p.m. on June 7. According to police, the apartment’s resident reported that the vehicles’ windows were smashed and the inside of the apartment was damaged.
A BB gun pellet damaged a window at a Granada Circle home in Mount Sinai on June 7 between 5:15 and 6:15 p.m.

Taken times two
A William Street resident in Port Jefferson Station reported that cash was stolen from their unlocked 2014 Cadillac sometime around 2:35 a.m. on June 3.
A Corvette Road residence in Selden was burglarized on June 4 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Police said the suspect entered through an unlocked rear door and took jewelry, cash and electronics.

Going through withdrawals
After stealing a pocketbook from a shopper at Stop & Shop on Pond Path in Centereach on June 3, a suspect then used the credit cards to make purchases.
A Wolfhollow Road resident in Centereach reported on June 3 that their debit card had been used to make unauthorized withdrawals.

Welts on West Broadway
A female was injured after a verbal dispute at Schafer’s in Port Jefferson became physical in the early morning of June 7. According to police, the woman had welts on her forehead after being punched and was transported to a local hospital.

Tempestuous relationship
A mother and her son’s friend got into a verbal argument on June 6 on Tempest Road in Selden.

Do not enter
A 22-year-old Bellport man was arrested in Mount Sinai on June 6 and charged with third-degree criminal trespass after he entered the backyard of a Savanna Circle home without permission on June 5.

Working for tips
A 26-year-old Centereach woman was arrested in Mount Sinai on June 5 and charged with petit larceny after she took a tip jar from Tropical Smoothie Café on May 29.

Locked and loaded
Police arrested a 43-year-old Rocky Point man on June 3 shortly after 8 p.m. after they discovered the suspect in possession of cocaine and a loaded Glock, among other weapons. He was charged with multiple related counts, including second-degree criminal possession of a loaded firearm.

Crash-and-dasher sought
Suffolk County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a woman who may have left the scene of an accident last month. Police said on May 31, at about 9:30 a.m., a woman driving a tan or beige-colored four-door sedan sideswiped a white Toyota at the Shop Rite located at 71 College Road in Selden. The suspect’s vehicle may have damage to the right front-end fender. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Speedy DWI
A 29-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested in Stony Brook on May 5, at 1:30 a.m., and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said the man was driving a 2007 gray Lexus and was observed speeding on County Road 97 at Shirley Kenny Drive in Stony Brook.

Clothing grab
A 30 year-old female from Sayville was arrested on June 1 in Setauket-East Setauket and charged with petit larceny. Police said she stole clothing from Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway at 8:12 p.m. She was arrested at the scene.

Wrong side of the tracks
Someone drove onto the lawn of Crossroads Church on Pembrook Drive in Stony Brook and left tire tracks between June 5 at 5 p.m. and June 6 at 10 a.m.

Basement burglary
Someone broke into the basement window of a home on Bennett Lane in Stony Brook and took a phone, cash and credit cards sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on June 5.

Cheat sheet
Someone took two sheet sets and returned them for credit at Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket sometime between May 20 and June 6.

Lost and found
A man lost his wallet at Kohl’s in Setauket-East Setauket and someone stole it and used his credit card sometime between May 18 and May 19.

Bag grabber sought
Suffolk County police are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating a man who broke a car window and stole a bag in Hauppauge last month.
Police said a man broke the passenger front window of a blue Toyota Rav-4 and stole a Coach handbag from within the vehicle on May 5, between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The suspect appears to be a light-skinned Hispanic male, five feet and seven inches tall, in his 20s, with a medium build. The suspect was wearing a baseball hat and had his right arm in a sling.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Credit compromised
Suffolk County police arrested a 37-year-old man from Holbrook on June 6 and charged him with fourth-degree grand larceny of credit cards. Police said he stole credit cards from a Holbrook woman on June 4 at 8:30 p.m. He was arrested at the 4th precinct at 9:45 a.m.

Rude awakening
Suffolk County police arrested a 28-year-old undomiciled man in Smithtown and charged him with third-degree criminal trespass of enclosed property. Police said he entered a building on Maple Avenue in Smithtown on June 5 and found the man sleeping in a storage room. Police also said there was a sign on the door that cautioned no trespassing. He was arrested that day at 12:20 a.m.

Cu later
Police arrested a 24-year-old man from Ronkonkoma on June 3 and charged him with third-degree burglary. Police said the man broke into a residence on Pleasure Avenue in Lake Ronkonkoma, between April 28 and May 2, and stole copper piping. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct at 2:35 p.m.

Bike-jacked
Someone stole a BMX bicycle from a parking lot on West Main Street in Smithtown on June 7, between noon and 2 p.m. There are no arrests.

Laser gazer
A driver complained to police that someone in another car was pointing a green laser at him, causing him visual distress. The incident happened in Smithtown, eastbound on Route 25A, on June 5. The driver was traveling in a 2007 Infiniti and the suspect was a male with a female passenger.

Two heads are better than one
A man told police he was head-butted by someone at Napper Tandy’s Irish Pub on East Main Street in Smithtown on June 3. The victim said he required medical attention and stitches. The incident happened at around 11 p.m.

Donation box looted
Someone took money from the poor box at St. Patrick’s Church on East Main Street on June 2, sometime between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. There are no arrests.

Knocked out
Police arrested an 18-year-old man from Huntington Station in Huntington on June 6 and charged him with assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon. Police said he smashed a bottle over somebody’s head at about 12:30 a.m. The victim had to receive stitches at Huntington Hospital. The man was arrested at 5 a.m. that day.

Teen punched
A 44-year-old man from Huntington was arrested in Huntington on June 6 and charged with acting in a manner injurious to a child below the age of 17. Police said the man punched a 14-year-old boy in the face multiple times. The incident happened on the street on Wall Street in Huntington on May 23 at 9:05 p.m. The man was arrested on West Neck Road at Gerard Street at about 11:19 a.m.

No ‘scrips, no problem
Police arrested a 39-year-old Huntington man in Huntington on June 5 and charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said the man possessed prescription medication without a prescription, and he was arrested in front of West Shore Road in Huntington at 5:09 p.m.

In your face
A 23-year-old man from Huntington Station was arrested in Huntington on June 3 and charged with third-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury. Police said the man punched another man in the face, and the other individual required medical treatment. The incident took place at Ohara Place in Halesite on May 9 at 1:40 a.m., and the man was arrested at the 2nd precinct at 4:45 p.m.

Missing computer
A Knollwood Road resident in Halesite reported to police his computer disappeared from his home. He used an app to locate it and tracked the device to Brentwood. The man said he doesn’t know how it got there. The incident occurred sometime between 8 p.m. on June 4 and 11 p.m. on June 5.

Gone in a click
Someone stole a woman’s bag containing a camera, lenses, a tripod, batteries and charger sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight on June 5 on New York Avenue in Huntington. The woman left the equipment on a party bus, and when she returned to the bus, the bag was gone.

Power punch
Someone punched a man in the face on New York Avenue on June 6 at 2:35 a.m., causing him to fall back and hit his head. The man had to go to Huntington Hospital for medial treatment.

Rings taken
Someone stole two diamond rings from a home on Woodbury Road in Cold Spring Harbor sometime between June 1 and June 4. There are no arrests.

DeForest Williams property is open to public

A scene at the grand opening of Wawapek Preserve in Cold Spring Harbor last weekend. Photo from North Shore Land Alliance

Local officials gathered to mark the grand opening of the Wawapek Preserve last Saturday. Located in Cold Spring Harbor, residents will now be able to walk through the 32-acre parcel’s trails and take in its unique nature.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the North Shore Land Alliance, Huntington Town, Suffolk County, New York State and the local community, $8.5 million was pitched in to preserve the property, following a negotiation that spanned years.

This property, once part of a 600-plus acre piece of land that encompassed the Wawapek Farm, has remained in the DeForest Williams estate for more than 100 years. Originally owned by Robert Weeks DeForest, a lawyer and philanthropist, the family expressed interest in having the property preserved in 2006.

Unfortunately, Huntington and Suffolk County did not have the funds at the time to purchase the land. But three years ago, threats of development become more foreboding, and the land alliance came on board to help guarantee that the property would be conserved.

Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone (D) said in a statement that the town is happy to have partnered with the county and the land alliance on the purchase, and he hopes that many people will walk these trails to see some of the unique flora and fauna that call the Wawapek Preserve their home.

These partners were able to raise the millions needed to purchase the property, with the help of the residents of the community, nonprofits and local businesses.

Eastern box turtles, a species on the New York State special concern list, and at least three state-protected plants have been documented on the land, Lisa Ott, president and CEO of the alliance, said in a press release.

It has also been discovered that it’s very likely Wawapek Preserve serves as a breeding spot and stopover habitat for many migratory songbirds and other species. The scarlet tanager, a neotropical migrant species, was expected to be discovered there, although comprehensive biological surveys have been limited due to restricted access.

Long Island has a strong commitment to protecting the habitats of endangered birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Long Island Field Office has worked with state and local governments to protect the habitat of birds like the piping plovers.

More than 60 percent of the land is comprised of mature hardwood forest, which protects air quality, provides erosion control and is home to a variety of wildlife, trees and wildflowers, according to Ott.

Local lawmakers including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D), county Legislator William “Doc” Spencer (D-Centerport), Petrone, Councilwoman Susan Berland (D), Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) and former Councilman Mark Mayoka (R) gathered back in September 2013 at the DeForest Williams property, when the funds were first committed to make the purchase possible. Spencer called it an “incredible victory” at the time, and believed it was government work at its finest.

“The opening of Wawapek represents the ideal blending of conservation and community,” land alliance Chairman Carter Bales said in a statement.

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The pressure was on for the Mount Sinai girls’ lacrosse team on Saturday as they fought in sudden death for the Long Island Class C crown. Under the hot sun at Adelphi University, sophomore goalkeeper Hannah Van Middelem made her last of the game’s eight saves during the tense overtime period and passed to senior midfielder Sydney Pirreca, who tossed in the game-winning goal to edge out Cold Spring Harbor, 10-9, for the crown.

The Mustangs led their opponents, who scored 35 goals in their previous two playoff games, 4-2 at the end of the first half.

With three minutes left in the second, a Seahawks goal put that team out in front, 7-6, before Mount Sinai senior midfielder and co-captain Kasey Mitchell passed to freshman attack Camryn Harloff on a free position shot to retie the game, 7-7.

Mustangs senior midfielder and co-captain Mary Ellen Carron and Pirreca, also a co-captain, helped the girls build a two-goal lead in overtime but Cold Spring Harbor scored two goals, the second with 4.8 seconds left on the clock, to send the game into sudden death.

In the final moments of the game, Van Middelem snatched a point-blank shot by the Seahawks out of the air, then dished the ball to Pirreca. The senior, who is known for her speed, sprinted the length of the field and took the ball all the way to the cage, stretching the net for the game-winning goal.

Mitchell and Pirreca led the team with four points apiece. Mitchell scored two goals and added two assists, while Pirreca tallied four goals. Freshman attack Meaghan Tyrrell netted two goals and an assist, Harloff scored a point in each column and senior defender Jessica DeMeo rounded out the scoring with an assist.

Mount Sinai will play the winner of the Salmon River-Skaneateles in the state semifinals at 9 a.m. on Friday in Cortland.