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Harborfront Park

In a scene from the film, the Allman Brothers Band pose with Jimmy Carter at a benefit concert for the presidential candidate in 1975. Photo from PJDS

The Port Jefferson Documentary Series kicks off its 26th season on Monday Sept. 14 with an outdoor screening of “Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President” at the Harborfront Park, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson at 7 p.m. This fascinating documentary charts the mostly forgotten story of how Jimmy Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others. Director Mary Wharton assembles a star cast including Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Nelson, Dylan and Bono and fills the soundtrack with Southern rock, gospel, jazz, and classical. Bring seating and a mask. Rain date is Sept. 15. Advance tickets only are $10 at www.portjeffdocumentaryseries.com/ticketsvenues.

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Brian Murphy, the captain of the Ginny Marie, brought his schooner into Port Jefferson this past week. Photo by Kyle Barr

The 39-foot schooner Ginny Marie has made its temporary home in Port Jefferson, leaving another tally for community members, officials and historians trying to bring in tall ships to the historic harbor.

The Ginny Marie at dock. Photo by Kyle Barr

Captain of the Ginny Marie, Brian Murphy, is a Northport resident and retired Stony Brook University Hospital nurse of 16 years. He said he wanted to bring in this boat to share his love of being out on the water at the mercy of the wind.  

“I just want to thank everyone, bring people out and sail,” Murphy said. “I love people, and I love bringing attention on the boat.”

The type of schooner design dates back to William Atkin in 1927. This more modern version of those vessels started being built in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until 18 years later that the Ginny Marie actually launched. Other than a more modern countertop, the boat builders wanted much of it to be without current technologies and amenities. 

Other than that, a number of interesting pieces dot the ship’s design. Behind the boat’s wheel stands a binnacle, a “museum piece,” Murphy said. The cleats, or the anvil-shaped devices to which the ropes are tied, are shaped like alligators, dragons are carved into the end of the flagstaff and the vessel even includes an old, verdigris-covered belaying pin from the Shanty, an Atkin-designed vessel. 

“It took them 18 years to do this, and you end up with a very unique boat,” the Ginny Marie captain said. 

The two-masted schooner is allowed six passengers and a crew, which currently includes Murphy and a fellow seaman who’s training aboard. The dimensions include the 39-feet on deck, plus an 8-foot bowspirit. It weighs 16 tons with an 11.5-foot beam, a 6-foot draft and a 34-foot waterline. 

Chris Ryon, Port Jeff village historian and member of the Tall Ship Committee, said they will continue to bring more ships into the harbor. Last year brought in multiple crafts, including the historical 120-foot Amistad and much smaller Lady Maryland. 

“I’m so happy to have a schooner here,” Ryon said. “Port Jefferson deserves a schooner.”

The Ginny Marie is moored at the dock next to Harborfront Park for people to see and potentially speak to its captain. The boat is expecting to host small charters at $55 a head, six people at a time for two hours, three times a day. 

What’s the best thing about sailing?

“The best part about sailing is you get off the dock, you hoist those sails and you’re gone,” Murphy said. 

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A Port Jeff parking ambassador sanitizes a parking meter. Photo from Port Jefferson Village

As Long Island started with Phase 4 opening Wednesday, July 8, Port Jefferson village is active in debating a number of topics both related to the pandemic and not. Here are a few updates from the village’s July 6 meeting.

• Metered parking started up again in Port Jeff July 1. Monday through Wednesday will remain free parking, and parking ambassadors are going around on heavily trafficked days to disinfect meters. Some meters have been converted so people can pay with their phones by tapping their devices with either Google or Apple Pay to the meters.

Main Street remains open for curbside pickup only on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Otherwise it is open for 1 hour parking only during those same times.

• Village officials agreed to pay Andy Fortier Fine Woodworking and Design $10,857 to finish up the last designs for the Harborfront Park stage. This includes permanent railings up to the stage and postings at the edges of the stage footprint which will handle the decorative sails meant to cover over the stage. The sails will be rigged up like on a sailboat so they can lift and cover the stage. The money is coming out of the Farmers Market Trust Account, which is made up of the fees merchants pay the village to set up their stalls. 

• Texaco Park in Upper Port is open, though the basketball hoop was taken down to dissuade contact sports. Reopening other parks in the village is a little more controversial. 

The trustees debated opening up Rocketship Park, with Mayor Margot Garant and trustee Stan Loucks concerned with the amount of traffic the park gets. Trustee Kathianne Snaden argued that beaches are already open with kids playing there as well, and that the village could try and open it to “see how it goes.” 

The village parks department is said to be spraying down benches and other equipment in the mornings as a kind of “routine maintenance,” according tovillage administrator Joe Palumbo. 

Officials also talked about adding free-standing hand-sanitizing stations to park entrances or potentially limiting park hours and capacity while having a person on staff monitoring how many people are in the park at a time.

• Garant said the village is working to codify a new rule setting a moratorium on any new parades for the foreseeable future. This comes after this past week when a right wing Facebook group Setauket Patriots filed a permit for their own parade for the Fourth of July weekend after the fire department canceled its annual event. That parade was in part a political response to a Black Lives Matter march that came through Port Jefferson two weeks before. Village officials approved that march, though officials also had reservations about that event. 

While the village still has to set up a date for a public hearing on a moratorium, Garant said they are adding an emergency order for village employees to put any new parade applications under stay, for the time being. 

“I think we made a mistake, and we need to just stop now and be careful about how we’re moving forward,” the mayor said.

At the July 6 meeting, the board also retroactively publicly approved the Setauket Patriots parade after having been polled on the decision remotely. All approved the parade except Garant, who had previously recused herself from that original decision.

• The village re-upped its contract with Social Butterfly, a web and social media agency based in Port Jefferson for $2,000 a month. Garant said the agency does posts to the village’s Facebook page and establishes events for the page. They also work with Port Jefferson and the country club’s website regarding events. Snaden asked if the agency can give more up-to-date statistics for page views and offer ways to work with Facebook’s algorithms so more people can see village posts.

• Port Jefferson approved at a monthly cost of $1,000 Garland Industries for IT services for the operation and maintenance of the Foreup system software. Foreup is software for managing tee times and other marketing for golf clubs. Brian Macmillan, the general manager of the Port Jefferson Country Club, said it will streamline current services and send out emails to market country club membership. The village capped the services for four months through October, with a chance to reevaluate the program after that time. 

Last week, Long Island was slammed and hit by an unexpected fall nor’easter which brought in heavy rains and gusting winds that exceeded 50 mph. 

The powerful winds from the storm caused downed power wires and felled large trees and branches. According to the National Weather Service, parts of Long Island dealt with moderate coastal flooding and about 2-3 inches of rain.   

More than 73,000 PSEG Long Island customers lost power during the storm. Within 48 hours, PSEG restored service to nearly 100 percent of customers affected by the storm on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 16-17, according to PSEG media relations. The rest were restored by that Friday. 

By the end of the nor’easter, crews had removed a total of 1,206 trees and large branches downed by the storm.

In Port Jefferson Harbor a sailing sloop named Grand Prix slipped her moorings and drifted aground in front of Harborfront Park, according to local photographer Gerard Romano who took a photo featured on the cover of this week’s paper. Another sailing vessel called the Summer Place washed ashore in Mount Sinai Harbor.

The Town of Brookhaven Highway Department responded to nearly 250 calls during the 24-hour storm. 

“We worked directly with PSEG as they dispatched their crews to areas where trees had fallen on wires so we could safely remove the debris after the power lines were de-energized,” town Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro (R) said in a statement. “Crews worked throughout the night to clear the roadways swiftly and efficiently.”

 

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Close to 50 people attend a candlelight vigil and prayer service for the victims of 9/11 at Harborfront Park. The event was headed by the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America Vigiano Brothers Lodge Brothers Lodge 3436. 

Anthony Rotoli, Jr., president of the lodge, said this annual event has a significant impact on them as they are named after two brothers John T. Vigiano, Firefighter First Grade NYFD and Joseph V. Vigiano, Detective, Emergency Services NYPD who perished on 9/11. 

“It’s a way to honor them and the lives lost that day,” he said. “We had a pretty good turn out.”

 

 

Dragons will roar on the North Shore once again as The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosts the 6th annual Port Jefferson Dragon Boat Race Festival on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The free event will take place at Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson and the village’s inner harbor.

The festival is the brainchild of Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, who attended a dragon boat race festival in Cape May, New Jersey, a few years ago.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 8:30 a.m. and include a performance by the Asian Veterans Color Guard, singing of the national anthem by Peggy Yin, a Blessing of the Dragon and the traditional “Eye Dotting” ceremony to awaken the dragon.

This year’s event will consist of 27 teams with dragon boats provided by High Five Dragon Boat Co. With the first race scheduled for 9 a.m., boat teams will compete on a 250-meter, three-lane racing course. Each team is made up of 20 “paddlers,” one steersman and one drummer. Heats will run all day, culminating in an awards ceremony at 5 p.m. All race teams will have their own “encampment” along Harborfront Park as they are queuing up for their races. Team contests for the best team T-shirt and best costumed drummer will be judged in the middle of the day.

Spectators can easily view the race course from the park’s edge and pier.

In addition to the races, there will be a day-long festival featuring numerous performances including the famous Lion Dance, Taiko and Korean Drum performances, martial arts demonstrations and Asian singing and instrumentals. There will be many cultural and educational vendors and retailers as well. New this year the best “drumming performance” sponsored by Taiko Tides and two new dragon statues.

Six food trucks will be on hand offering American, Italian, Chinese dishes as well as empanadas, smoothies and barbecue options.

Children’s activities will be in abundance with traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, origami, kite making, trick yo-yo demonstrations and face painting. Adults can enjoy free chair massages, as well as free health screenings.

Free shuttle buses provided by the Port Jeff Jitney will make frequent stops on Oakland Avenue next to the Port Jefferson train station, the CVS parking lot on Barnum Avenue and the northeast corner of Belle Terre Road and Myrtle Avenue to bring eventgoers to the Port Jefferson Village Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors, which include Murphy’s Marine Service-PJ Sea Tow, Incorporated Port Jefferson Village, Port Jefferson Yacht Club, Harbor Ballet Theatre, and  the Port Jefferson Ambulance Suffolk County School Crossing Guards, the Confucius Institute of Stony Brook, NY Community Bank-Roslyn Savings Division, News 12, Jet Sanitation, Island Federal Union, TBR News Media, Danfords-Hotel Marina & Spa & The Waterview-Crest Hospitality, The Gitto Group, Peoples United Bank, PSEG and Servpro of Port Jefferson.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and come enjoy the festivities. The event will be held rain or shine. For more information, call 631-473-1414 or visit www.portjeffdragonracefest.com.

Schedule of events

7:45 a.m.  Team captains meeting on the Great Lawn at Harborfront Park

8:30 a.m.  Opening ceremonies: Asian Veterans Color Guard; Singing of the National Anthem- Peggy Yin ‘acapella’; Introductions of VIP’s-Blessing of the Dragon and ‘Eye Dotting’ Ceremony

8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Food vendors, cultural crafts, children activities, retail/educational/nonprofit vendor tables

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Continual Dragon Boat races in Port Jefferson’s Inner Harbor

9 a.m.  First races begin

10 to 11:30 a.m. LI Waist Drum, Riprise Music, Tai Chi-Demonstrations-Stony Brook Chinese School & Long Island School of Chinese, Yana Dance Group, Sound of Long Island Chorus

12 to 1 p.m.  Lunch break (no racing)

12:30 to 1 p.m. Parade of the Team T-shirts Contest & ‘Best Drummer’ Costumer Contest

1 to 2 p.m. Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu-Lion Dance, Kung Fu  & Tai Chi Demonstrations

2 to 3:30 p.m. LI Chinese Dance Group, Lingyan Vocal Art Studio; Alice & Emily Dance Duo; North Shore Youth Music Ensemble

3:30 to 4 p.m.  LI School of Chinese Mother’s Dance Team, Stony Brook Chinese School;  Peggy Yin & Claire Yang-Singing ‘My Homeland’, ‘Big Fish’ Ivan Ge-Keyboard; Zekey Huang-Violin

4 to 4:30 p.m. DDKY-2 Traditional Korean Percussion Pieces-‘Youngnam’ & ‘Chil-chae’;  Junko Fisher-Japanese Dance-‘Matsushima’

4:30 to 5 p.m.  United Martial Arts Center-UMAC Marital Arts Demonstration, Yixin’s Dance Center performing Girl’s Love, Picking Osmuda Flower, The Blue and White Porcelain & Auspicious Peacock

4:45 p.m. Last Dragon Boat race of the day

5 to 5:30 p.m.  Closing ceremonies and awards

Photos courtesy of Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce

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By Julianne Mosher

The ninth annual Sikaflex Quick & Dirty Boat build went off without a hitch Sunday, Aug. 25 as a week of hot and humid air turned into a clear, warm day for racing hand-built boats.

Seven teams built their boats out of plywood and calk over Saturday and early Sunday before taking them into the water to race a short circuit around Port Jefferson harbor in front of Harborfront Park.

Peter Charalambous and Sunny Drescher won the day with their boat “The Winner,” while Chris Voorhis and Doug Santo finished second with the boat called No. 1. Kayla Kraker and Alex Serina took up third in their craft called Avalon 1.25. Dominic Ware and Kelsey Pagan won best design award for their craft called Sunny Days.

EarthCam showing live footage of Port Jefferson Harbor. Photo courtesy of Earthcam

While local residents only have to drive a few minutes to see Port Jefferson Harbor’s quaint waterside sights, now people across the world can watch kids play in Harborfront Park and watch the ferries ship out from the historic dock, all in high definition.

Port Jefferson Village has joined EarthCam, a New Jersey-based company that allows locations from all over the world to showcase live 24/7 broadcasts of locations. The camera is located on the side of the Village Center facing toward the harbor and has been running since the end of November.

“Now, [Port Jefferson] residents, visitors and the world can share in the beauty of our stunning harborfront village,” Mayor Margot Garant said in a statement. “Being a four-season village, we are excited about the many changes of scenery that everyone will be able to see live from any place around the world.”

The village joins other famous sites like Montauk on the East End and Times Square in Manhattan. Kevin Wood, the village’s parking and security camera administrator, said he has been impressed with EarthCam for several years, and while there are other security cameras around the village, this one will be used specifically to promote Port Jefferson.

“It’s for the benefit of everybody worldwide to see the beauty of our harbor,” he said. “Many people, even on Long Island, don’t know what the harbor looks like.”

Wood added that the camera, which cost approximately $1,800, will have the capacity to broadcast sound as well as video starting in 2019.

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The annual racing of the dragons took place off the shores of Port Jefferson’s Harborfront Park under sunny skies Sept. 15.

For the fifth time, Port Jefferson Harbor was the scene and The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce played host for Port Jeff’s Dragon Boat Race Festival. The day-long festival features 34 teams competing in heats with dragon boats provided by High Five Dragon Boat Co., numerous performances including the famous Lion Dance, Taiko and Korean Drum performances, martial arts demonstrations and Asian singing and instrumentals. New this year was a special Ribbon Dragon Dance and musicians playing the traditional Japanese stringed instruments, the Shamisen and Koto.

The event also offers food, children’s activities, displays set up by various vendors and much more.

The festival is the brainchild of Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, who attended a dragon boat race festival in Cape May, New Jersey, a few years ago.