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Gas Station

Prices at a North Shore gas station. Photo by Jim Hastings

Consumers are not the only ones feeling the pinch of ballooning gas prices here on Long Island.

Kevin Beyer is vice president of government affairs at the Long Island Gasoline Retailers Association, a nonprofit trade association which represents over 700 independent service stations throughout Suffolk, Nassau and Queens. According to Beyer, gas retailers are suffering as well.

“When it hurts you as a consumer, it hurts us,” Beyer said in a phone interview. “People think that when prices go up, these gas stations are making a killing. It’s quite the opposite because we’re constantly trying to keep the price down. When we start making money is usually when [the price of gas] levels out or it goes down.”

Beyer also notes that the cost of diesel fuel has increased exponentially. This affects a wide range of consumers, particularly commercial and pickup truck drivers.

“There are a lot of consumers that use diesel because a lot of people have bought pickup trucks in the last few years,” he said. 

Despite recent calls for electric vehicles, Beyer believes that the wholesale transition to electric cars is not feasible due to difficulties related to the technology and is counterintuitive due to already high utility rates in New York. 

“You have to deal with massive batteries that have to be produced,” Beyer said. “To produce the batteries, you’re buying products from other countries, number one. Number two, to discard these batteries, you’re talking about a hazard. Number three, there aren’t a lot of charging stations, and New York and California already have probably the highest utility rates in the country.”

Beyer believes that as gas prices continue to rise, governments that tax oil will have a windfall profit. This is why he said LIGRA is lobbying to remove gas taxes at the county and state levels.

“One thing that we are working on is to try to push for some tax relief, even on the county and state levels,” he said. “People don’t realize that they’re making a fortune — the county and the state — as the cost goes up because it’s a percentage per gallon.”

Other than the railroad which carries the commuters, Long Island is not a mass transit-friendly community.

— Martin Cantor

Soaring gas prices will also disrupt local businesses on Long Island, according to Martin Cantor, director of the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy and author of “Long Island, the Global Economy and Race.” 

According to Cantor, Long Island was originally envisioned as a bedroom community for New York City residents. To continue their existing way of life, commuters who drive to work have no choice but to pay up.

“The reality is that Long Island has a workforce of about 1.4 million people with, at its peak, 300,000 Long Islanders commuting daily on the Long Island Rail Road,” he said. “With the LIRR operating at 48% of pre-pandemic capacity, some of the workforce has no option but to fill up at the high prices.”

According to Cantor, Long Island’s transportation networks were not designed to support the commuter economy of today. He said antiquated public transit systems have led to increased reliance on automobiles. 

“Other than the railroad which carries the commuters, Long Island is not a mass transit-friendly community,” he said. “We just don’t have enough public transportation to carry Long Islanders around. We are wedded to our cars and will continue to be.”

Cantor said that the exorbitant cost of gas will leave residents with less discretionary income, which in turn will harm local businesses.

“Just think, a year ago [gas] was pretty much half the price,” he said. “Right now, with gasoline prices so high, as people have to go to work and have to commute to work, more people are putting gasoline in their cars at higher prices and have less money to spend in the surrounding communities.”

Cantor believes that not only drivers will suffer due to the cost of gas, but that local business owners will take a major hit as well. 

“Some of the workforce has no option but to fill up at the high prices,” he said. “That will hurt the economy because the money we spend for gasoline really gets exported off the Island. Those additional dollars we spend for gasoline will take money out of Long Islanders’ pockets to spend. That’s going to hurt the small businesses that already are hurting from the pandemic.” 

To read about Cantor’s work, visit martincantor.com.

Local gas pump showing the surging price of gasoline.

The skyrocketing price of gas has hit record highs here on Long Island and across the entire United States. TBR News Media took to the streets of Port Jefferson and Setauket to find out how local residents were feeling about it all.

Photo by Jim Hastings

Crista Davis, Mount Sinai

“We’re pretty local, thankfully. I don’t have a far commute, but if I did, that’s something that would surely affect other aspects of my life. I’m fortunate that I live close to everything, but I feel bad for people who have no choice.”




Photo by Jim Hastings

Kenny Dorsa, Selden

“We’re pretty local, thankfully. I don’t have a far commute, but if I did, that’s something that would surely affect other aspects of my life. I’m fortunate that I live close to everything, but I feel bad for people who have no choice.”




Photo by Jim Hastings

Mitch Steinberg, Huntington

“It’s definitely going to make us consider our finances. Conserve a little bit. But we still have to drive to work and do the things we have to do.”





Photo by Jim Hastings

Abby Buller, Port Jefferson Station

Owner of Village Boutique, Port Jefferson

“From my business point of view, all of my wholesalers are complaining about their cost rising and having to pay more to employees. So, the higher cost of employees, gas, oil, freight. If I hear anything more about the cost of freight. When my wholesaler increases my cost of $7 an item, I have no choice. I have to pass that $7 on. I used to live in Queens and drive to Port Jefferson every day. I thank God I don’t have to do that, because that would have been, at these prices, a decision to close this store. 


Photo by Jim Hastings

Walter Martinez, Shirley

“I pay now double what I was paying last year, but I don’t blame it on the president and I don’t blame it on the government. Everything is just going up. And now with this war thing it’s just getting worse. It is what it is. You just gotta stand by and hope for the best. You know, we gotta pay the price. I do regret that I didn’t go for an electric car before.”









A man allegedly entered a Port Jefferson Station gas station Oct. 13, displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash. Photos from SCPD

A man wearing a ski mask allegedly entered Speedway gas station in Port Jefferson Station Oct. 13, displayed what appeared to be a hand gun and demanded cash, according to Suffolk County police.

Sixth Squad detectives are investigating the incident, which occurred at the gas station located at 501 Patchogue Road in Port Jefferson Station at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning, police said. When the masked man made the request, the gas station employee did not comply, and the robber fled, and there were no injuries, police said.

Detectives believe this robbery is connected to an armed robbery that occurred at Sunoco gas station, located at 1575 Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, Oct. 7 at 9:45 a.m. During that incident, a man entered the store, displayed what appeared to be a gun and demanded cash. The clerk complied and the man fled. No one was injured.

The suspect, pictured above, is described as light-skinned black, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build and a goatee.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about these incidents to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Joseph Gallo was arrested for robbing a Nesconset gas station. Photo from SCPD.

A man wielding a machete who allegedly robbed a gas station in Nesconset was arrested Monday, July 17.

Suffolk County Police said Joseph Gallo allegedly entered BP gas station located on Smithtown Boulevard July 10 at 9:28 p.m., displayed a machete and demanded money from an employee. The employee complied and the suspect fled with cash eastbound on Smithtown Boulevard.

Fourth Squad detectives obtained video and distributed a description of the suspect. A 4th Precinct officer recognized Gallo at the corner of Smithtown Boulevard and Metzner Road in Ronkonkoma, New York, July 14 at approximately 5:50 p.m. and arrested him.

Fourth Squad detectives charged Gallo, 50, a Ronkonkoma resident with first-degree robbery. He will be held overnight at the 4th Precinct and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip July 16. No attorney information was immediately available.

Suffolk County police car. File photo

Suffolk County Police arrested Patel Sanjaykumar for selling alcohol to a minor in Centereach on Aug. 17.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers received tips of alcohol being sold to minors at the Mobil gas station, located at 2033 Middle Country Road. Sixth Precinct Crime Control, working with an underage agent, conducted a check of the business in accordance with the New York State Liquor Authority. The employee, Sanjaykumar, sold an alcoholic beverage to the underage agent and was arrested.

Sanjaykumar, 28, of Babylon was charged with sale to a minor and issued a field appearance ticket for arraignment at a later date.

Sheldon Davis mugshot from SCPD

A Coram man was allegedly found driving drunk in a vehicle that had just recently struck an officer while fleeing police questioning at the scene of a grand larceny.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, the incident began with 5th Precinct officers responding on Wednesday to a report of an attempted larceny at the 76 gas station on Route 112 in Medford. When the officers were leaving, a vehicle police have described as belonging to the suspect in the crime returned with three people riding in it, and the officers approached it and talked to the people inside.

Police said during the discussion, the 2014 Dodge Charger fled, hitting one of the officers as well as a police car. The officer who was struck fired three shots at the Dodge.

He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital.

The driver went north on Route 112 as one of the other vehicle occupants fled the scene, police said. The Dodge was found shortly afterward on Flores Lane in Middle Island.

Sheldon Davis, a 43-year-old Coram resident, was driving the Dodge at the time it was found, police said. He was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

Attorney information for the suspect was not immediately available. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.

Police said the third occupant of the Dodge at the scene of the grand larceny in Medford was questioned and later treated at the hospital for cuts from the glass that broke when the Dodge was shot.

The other officer at the scene, who had not been struck by the Dodge, was evaluated at the hospital, police said.

Some oppose East Northport gas station rezoning

Speedway on Fort Salonga Road. Photo by Victoria Espinoza

A Speedway gas station is hoping to get the Huntington Town Board’s green light to change its zoning to add a 24-hour convenience store — but some residents want to hit the brakes on the plan.

Speedway on Fort Salonga Road in East Northport wants to change its zoning from C-7 Minor Commercial Corridor District to C-11 Automotive Service Station District. At a board meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 16, residents of Huntington spoke out against the proposal, which was up for a public hearing, saying it poses traffic issues and questioning the need for a 24-hour convenience store. The gas station, which formerly was known as Hess, is located at the intersection of Catherine Street and Fort Salonga Road.

“Growing up in a commercial corridor as busy as we had was tough as a kid,” William Foley Jr., an East Northport resident who lives directly behind Speedway, said at the meeting. “A car once hit my brother when he was riding his bike. Adding more traffic to this commercial corridor would be a disaster.”

Foley Jr. went on to list a number of grocery stores and markets all within a close proximity, including a Stop and Shop, a Rite Aid, a King Kullen, a CVS, two liquor stores, a beer distributor, two delis, a pizzeria, two bagel stores and more.

“What is this convenience store going to bring to our community that we don’t already have?” Foley Jr. said “We have everything, all within a mile span.”

Speedway is hoping to get a C-11 rezoning instead of the current C-7, which allows for retail uses, food shops and convenience markets, but prohibits the sale of prepackaged food, soft drinks, newspapers and other convenience store-type products if the business is not part of a lawfully preexisting nonconforming service station or repair shop.

“Most gas stations operating in the Town of Huntington are preexisting nonconforming ones, as is this one,” Kevin O’Brien said, who spoke on behalf of the applicant. “The correct zone for gasoline and service stations is C-11.”

A C-11 zoning allows for the retail sales the applicant desires, and storage tanks must be on-site and underground.

Aside from building a retail mart, Speedway is seeking to make underground and aboveground improvements. This includes removing or replacing the underground gasoline storage tanks and reconfiguring the pump volume.

O’Brien expressed that Speedway was more than willing to work with neighbors and listen to their concerns. He also said that the company went through a very similar process with the Commack Speedway location, where they were able to change its zoning to C-11.

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson (D) said he saw many differences in the two cases.

“[In Commack] it was an old, shuttered gas station, that couldn’t sustain itself as just as a gas station,” he said. “This particular station is very, very active. There are a lot of people going in and out of there all day just with gas.”

Kevin Papasian, branch manager of FST Engineers and who was also representing the gas station with O’Brien, said that although the station is popular, several other well-used gas stations in the area have secondary uses besides gas.

“Those all have car repairs,” he said. “This station does not.”

In terms of the repairs and renovations, Papasian said the underground storage tanks are old and need to be upgraded. Speedway also would like to move them closer toward Fort Salonga Road and farther away from the residents.

William Foley Sr., an East Northport resident who also lives directly behind Speedway, said that the site plan for this proposal requires many variances.

“Right from the start they showed gross disregard to the neighbors in the area by submitting a site plan that will need several variances before they can proceed,” Foley Sr. said.

According to Foley Sr., as per town code, no side yard adjacent to a residential property shall be less than 50 feet from the property line and Speedway’s proposing land is only 15 feet from the property line.

Councilwoman Susan Berland (D) also questioned the number of variances the plan needs.

“Mr. Foley said that your side setback and rear setback are off, as well as your square footage and height,” Berland said. “Maybe you should start over again and at least try to present something that doesn’t require four or five variances before you present it to the board.”

O’Brien said that the height was off at one point due to a decorative feature that has since been removed from the planning.

When reached Monday, Speedway declined to comment.

The public hearing was closed and the Town Board must vote within 90 days or hold another public hearing before voting.

A gas station and convenience store is proposed for the corner of Route 25A and Woodbine Avenue in Northport Village. Photo by Rohma Abbas

The entrance to Northport Village off of Route 25A could be in store for a face-lift.

Long considered an eyesore by some, the corner of Woodbine Avenue and Route 25A is the subject of a zoning board application for a gas station and convenience store.

Applicant Edward Clark, of Babylon, and his architect Harold Gebhard, of Lindenhurst, are seeking area and use variances to move forward with the plan, but the zoning board wants more information — particularly on traffic impacts — following a public hearing on the proposal last week.

Currently, a vacant white building that was once a gas station and auto repair shop sits on the property. The applicant is seeking to rehabilitate the current building, add a canopy, gas pumps, a convenience store and eight parking spaces. If approved, a maximum of six cars could gas up at a time. Clark said he’s been in discussions with BP to be the new gas station. 

The convenience store would sell soda, coffee, packaged foods, bread, milk and more, but there would be no food preparation on site, Clark said. He said he needs the convenience store to offset the cost of gas.

Zoning board members expressed some concern about the appearance of the project, especially the size of the convenience store and the height of a proposed canopy atop the gas pumps. Clark and Gebhard said from its peak to the ground the canopy would be about 18 feet high.

Zoning board member Arlene Handel said she was concerned about the height of the canopy obscuring a “historic entry point” to the village.

“It’s very much an important part of the character of the village,” she said. She added that a tall canopy “is really going to cut upon the view.”

ZBA Chairman Andrew Cangemi had a flurry of questions about the project that were mostly traffic-related. He wanted to know the number of cars the project is anticipated to generate during hours of operation and its peak hour volumes, and how the lighting would look.

Some residents in the audience expressed dissatisfaction with the proposal and questioned whether the community needed another gas station. But Cangemi pointed out that the site needs work and a gas station had already existed there.

“We understand something’s got to go in there,” Cangemi said.

Clark said he’s been trying to move forward with developing the site for several years and called the long process a “nightmare.”

“I’ve been paying rent, real estate taxes on this property for three years to get to this point now,” he said.

The public hearing will be held open until Sept. 16. Cangemi asked the applicant to come back with a traffic study.

Tony Taddonio allegedly attempted to rob two banks within 15 minutes. Mugshot from SCPD

“If at first you don’t succeed, try again” must have been the mantra for the men accused of attempting to rob two gas stations within 15 minutes on June 6.

The Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement that 27-year-olds Tony Taddonio, of Medford, and Michael Iovino, of Islip, were arrested and charged with second-degree attempted robbery and second-degree robbery for their alleged spree on Saturday night in Coram.

Taddonio allegedly entered a Sunoco gas station on Route 112 at approximately 6 p.m., armed with what appeared to be a handgun, and attempted to hold up the clerk. However, after the clerk grabbed a stick kept behind the counter, Taddonio fled to a 2003 Acura allegedly driven by Iovino.

Michael Iovino allegedly attempted to rob two banks within 15 minutes. Mugshot from SCPD
Michael Iovino allegedly attempted to rob two banks within 15 minutes. Mugshot from SCPD

Fifteen minutes later, police said, the men tried their luck a second time. Taddonio allegedly entered a Mobil gas station on Middle Country Road, held up the clerk and fled with approximately $350.

A 6th Precinct officer, Francesco Saracino, was searching the area for the suspects, when he stopped the duo on Route 112 at about 6:50 p.m.

Police said cash and a BB gun were recovered.

The men were arraigned in First District Court in Central Islip on June 7. According to online court records, Taddonio was released on $20,000 bond bail and Iovino was released on $30,000 bond bail.

Attorneys for Taddonio and Iovino could not immediately be reached for comment.