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Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia

Town Clerk Andrew Raia, Bride and Groom Christine and Gerard Tully. Photo from Town of Huntington

Wedding bells rang again this year in Town Hall on Valentine’s Day, as Town Clerk Andrew Raia, chief Marriage Officer for the Town, presided over eight marriage ceremonies. “It is a privilege to unite these couples and share in the excitement and happiness of their special day,” said Raia.

The intimate ceremonies included a Town Board room decorated as a Valentine’s Day-themed wedding chapel, mood lighting, and traditional processional music. Each wedding ceremony included a rose and a cake presented by Town Clerk Raia and La Piazza Cucina Italiana & Wine Bar in Melville donated gift certificates to all of the happy couples.


Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci in front of Town Hall in October, 2018. Photo from Town of Huntington
Guided tour explores Huntington’s haunted history

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia dares fearless residents and visitors to be his “ghost” for a Halloween fright when he opens All Hallow’s Month at the “Hauntington” Town Clerk’s Archives with a guided tour exploring Huntington’s haunted history throughout October.

From left, Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci presents an Archives Month proclamation to Town Archivist Antonia Mattheou and Town Clerk Andrew P. Raia in 2020. Photo from Town of Huntington

The educational event will kick off Archives Month on Friday, October 1 at 1:30 p.m. in the Town of Huntington Jo-Ann Raia Archives at Huntington Town Hall, 100 Main Street, Huntington and continue on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:30 to 4 p.m. except Monday, October 11, when Town Hall is closed in observance of Columbus Day. Visitors will enjoy live interpretations of stories taken out of the town’s manuscript collection such as: 

— The Legend of Peace and Plenty Inn, and the ghost of Asa Chichester. 

— Nathan Hale, who was executed by the British in 1776. 

— Charles Kelsey, tarred and feathered in 1872. 

— Richard Latting, who was expelled from the Town for turbulent behavior and went on to purchase land on what is now the hamlet of Lattingtown.

— Jacob Conklin, who sailed with pirate Captain Kidd in 1690’s. Conklin was later chosen Town Supervisor on May 7, 1728 and Suffolk County Sheriff in 1734. 

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci with Angelica Dee Cunningham in 2018. Photo from Town of Huntington

The area outside the Archives vault will be transformed to resemble the interior of the Peace and Plenty Inn’s main gathering room. The Archives vault will be transformed into a mausoleum, ornate with gravestones and flameless candle lights. Town employees will take turns portraying the characters described and the manuscripts associated with the stories will be on display.  

Visitors will also have a chance to review the Town Clerk’s current exhibit, “Farming in Huntington,” and see the manuscript collection housed in the repository. 

The Town Board ceremoniously renamed the Town of Huntington the Town of Hauntington for Halloween in 2018, 2019, and 2020, after 7-year-old Angelica Dee Cunningham wrote a letter to Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci suggesting the new tradition. A similar resolution will be introduced at the October 13, 2021 Town Board meeting.

For more information, contact Town Clerk Andrew Raia at 631-351-3216 or the Archivist, Antonia Mattheou, 631-351-3035 or email: [email protected].  

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia, New York State Senator Jim Gaughran, Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Mark Baron, Will Harnos, Luke Kowalchuk, Ryan Farrington, Thomas Albero, Paul Ritter, Joe Sledge of Northport VA Medical Center, Suffolk County From left, Legislator Rob Trotta, Northport Chief of Police Chris Hughes.

Troop 41 of Northport conferred the Boy Scouts’ highest rank, Eagle, on six young men in its June 20 Eagle Scout Court of Honor, held on the grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport. The occasion included remarks from local dignitaries.

New York State Senator Jim Gaughran noted that for a troop to have six Eagles in a single year is “unheard of and speaks to the content of their character.”

Five of the new Eagles are seniors at Northport High School (NHS) and one is a junior at St. Anthony’s High School in Melville. They acknowledged the support, mentorship, and help they received from their adult leaders, fellow scouts, and families.

The scouts completed their projects during the pandemic – when many other troops had shut down operations – which only added to the honor and level of accomplishment. Their projects are sustainable and will benefit their community for years to come.

Other local dignitaries who spoke included Huntington Town Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia, Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class John Revere, Huntington Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Northport Chief of Police Chris Hughes, and Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy

Ryan Farrington created a Meadowlark Park/Northport Veterans Administration (VA) walking/running/biking/5K trail. He also installed 30 posts and navigation signs and has maintained the trail.

Will Harnos renovated two, lean-to camping structures at West Hills County Park and installed new roofs.

Lukę Kowalchuk built and installed three handicapped-accessible tables for the Northport VA Medical Center in honor of his grandfather, a Korean war veteran.

Paul Ritter constructed a 36- by 20-foot stone retaining wall at the Northport VA Medical Center Library memorial garden. He also renovated the garden by weeding and adding new plants and mulch.

Mark Baron built and installed a wheelchair-accessible picnic table for the PTSD Residential Treatment Unit at the VA Medical Center.

Thomas Albero, a junior at St. Anthony’s High School, built and installed a bookcase at the Long Island Cares food pantry in Huntington Station. He filled it with more than $1,500 worth of new English, Spanish, and bilingual Spanish/English children’s books, and cookbooks. He also collected more than two dozen boxes of gently used children’s books to replenish the bookcase and donated $1,100 of remaining funds to Long Island Cares for the purchase of new books.

Christopher Henigman, now a freshman at SUNY Plattsburgh, completed his project in 2020 before the pandemic, but passed his Court of Honor during the pandemic. He built and installed two marimba instruments for the outdoor classroom at The Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI).

Troop 41, sponsored by the Northport American Legion post, has produced dozens of Eagles since it was established in 1924.


Huntington Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci presented Town Clerk Andrew P. Raia with a proclamation commemorating American Archives Month in front of the Town Clerk’s new Farming in Huntington exhibit on Oct. 20.

“Farming has a long and fascinating history in the Town of Huntington, and I would like to thank those farms which are participating in my office’s Farming in Huntington exhibit as part of Archives Month 2020,” said Raia.

“Our rural roots are on display in the Town Clerk’s “Farming in Huntington” exhibit, which also punctuates the need to preserve this type of open space to maintain the character of our Town,” said Sup. Lupinacci. “The Town Clerk’s Archives Month exhibit highlights the significance of preserving historical records and help us understand how our past has influenced our present.”

Farms featured in the exhibit include Albert H. Schmitt Family Farms, Albert Schmitt & Sons Farms, Carlson’s Elwood Farms, Crossroads Farm, DeLea Sod Farms, Dobler Farms, ELIJA Farm, Elwood Pumpkin and Christmas Tree Farm, F & W Schmitt’s Family Farm, Kerber’s Farm, Lewis Oliver Dairy, Makinajian Poultry Farm, Manor Farm, Mediavilla Orchards, Prianti Farms Inc., Richters Orchard, Schneider’s Farm, Tilden Lane Farm and White Post Farms of Melville.

“The images, artifacts and antique items loaned to the exhibit from owners of the participating farms provide an in-depth look into the evolution of farming in Huntington and serve as an educational experience for individuals of all ages,” said Raia.

A virtual Farming in Huntington exhibit with an interactive tour map is also in production, and will be announced when it is available for viewing. A dedication and renaming of the Huntington Town Clerk’s Records Center & Archives Division in honor of Jo-Ann Raia, Huntington’s Town Clerk for 38 years, originally scheduled for 2020 will take place in 2021, with details to come.

The exhibit will be on display on all three floors of Huntington Town Hall for one year and will be open to the public free of charge by appointment. Please call the Town Clerk’s office at 631-351-3206 or the Town Archivist at 631-351-3035 to schedule a tour.

Michael Marcantonio, left, and Keith Brown, right, are both seeking the Assembly District 12 seat. Left, file photo; right, photo from campaign

After an April 28 special election had to be postponed due to the pandemic, Republican Keith Brown and Democrat Michael Marcantonio will finally find out who the 12th state Assembly District constituents will choose for assemblyman Nov. 3. The two candidates are running for the seat left vacant by Andrew Raia (R-East Northport), who resigned at the beginning of 2020 after winning the Huntington town clerk seat.

Marcantonio was set to run for assemblyman on the Democratic ticket in 2018. However, due to voting as a student at Duke University in 2012 and 2014, judges from the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division disqualified from him running, maintaining New York State requires a five-year residency to qualify to run.

During an Oct. 15 Zoom debate with TBR News Media, the two attorneys and longtime Northport residents exchanged barbs. Brown said the millennial Marcantonio doesn’t understand mortgages and bills because he lives with his mother and also described him as “bombastic.” Marcantonio pointed to a Riverhead-News Review article from September that reported on the alleged Russian mob ties of one developer Brown represented and said the attorney didn’t always represent the most honest developers.

“Anyone can say whatever they want on the internet,” Brown said. “It doesn’t mean it’s true.”

Marcantonio said he has a better chance of getting things done in the state Assembly as he will be part of the Democratic majority. Brown reminded his opponent that he would be a freshman assemblyman and would have little power. The Republican added he himself has worked in both the public and private sectors and he has a reputation for getting things done. He described himself as a self-made businessman who has built up his law firm.

The candidates also debated on other issues facing New York state, particularly in their district. 


For years, many local residents have been waiting for a settlement with the Long Island Power Authority. The Northport power plant was taxed at $86 million, which LIPA said was drastically overassessed, and the entity was seeking a court-order reduction which could have led to a 90% cut of taxes. This in turn would have made the Town of Huntington responsible for an $800 million refund to LIPA and school taxes would have been raised.

A recently proposed settlement, agreed on by the Northport-East Northport school district and the town, will cut LIPA’s taxes to $46 million from $86 million over the next seven years, lessening the burden a court-order reduction would have imposed.

Marcantonio has spoken against the town and the school district agreeing to the LIPA settlement. He said he drafted legislation that would prevent LIPA from collecting hundreds of millions of dollars of back taxes, which he said he “gave” to state Sen. Jim Gaughran (D-Northport). While the bill passed in the state Senate it didn’t make it through the Assembly.

He said if elected by being part of the chamber’s majority and being able to chair committees and introduce legislation, he’ll be able to have a say when decisions are being made and get such a bill passed again.

“If my opponent wins this race — which he won’t — but if he does, the most he can do is cosponsor a Democrat’s legislation,” Marcantonio said.

Brown said Marcantonio’s LIPA bill is a “fool’s errand” as it only applies to back taxes. He also said the Democrat was a single-issue candidate.

“He’s trying to go through and tout this legislation that is dead on arrival,” Brown said. 

He added that Marcantonio is “blinded by this issue” and called him a single-issue candidate. He said moving on from the issue of LIPA’s back taxes and accepting the recent settlement will control the damages felt by the town and the school district.


Brown said if he’s elected one of the first things he will do is meet with superintendents to see what their districts need. Despite proposed state aid cuts of 20% to 30%, the Republican said he plans to bring money back to local schools.

“I have a deep respect for the school superintendents and the job that they do,” he said.

Marcantonio said he also would make sure schools in the district get the money they need as the district is the fourth most-owed in the state for foundation aid.

“It’s not enough for New York State to get federal aid,” he said. “We need to get the aid from the state to this district — it doesn’t automatically go equally to each district.”

COVID Response

Brown said he believes Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) did a good job during the pandemic, but added that he believes businesses could have been reopened quicker. When the lockdown was lifted, Brown said he started meeting with small business owners along major corridors, including Route 25, Commack Road, Larkfield Road and provided owners with his information. He said there is a need to take another look at how businesses are opening but not at the risk of public health.

“If we don’t do something soon, we’re going to lose major industries,” he said, adding many are filing bankruptcy. 

Marcantonio said there were arbitrary rules when it came to reopening, and he agreed that the state needed clearer guidelines.

“Small businesses are getting crushed right now, and they’re getting crushed because we have a system right now that favors big businesses over small businesses,” he said.


Marcantonio said he’s fighting for young people who feel forced to leave the Island due to the high cost of living. He understands because he’s a millennial as well, and knows his peers want to stay near their families.

“I have empathy for them,” he said. “I don’t shame young people for not being able to afford a home.”

To help bring jobs to the area, Marcantonio said there is a need to attract manufacturing jobs back to Long Island and rebuild a crumbling infrastructure. He added the Island would benefit from a high-speed railroad which would enable residents to travel from Montauk to New York City in 30 minutes.

Brown said one of the reasons he wanted to run for Assembly was because he was horrified by those in the legislative body that fought against an Amazon facility in Long Island City, which would have brought more jobs to the area. He said he doesn’t shame millennials and their struggles, and is working on transportation projects to keep millennials on the Island and to keep the region vibrant and relevant. He said he believes his business background will help to keep businesses here and not lose them to the South.

“I’m fighting for the middle class,” he said. “I’m fighting for the business owners who are being strangled by regulations.” 

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia (R)officiated over the Valentine’s Day Marriage Ceremony Marathon that took place in Huntington Town Hall Feb. 14. Photo from Town of Huntington

One Huntington official carried on a town and family tradition Valentine’s Day.

Tiffany and Luke LeGrow, above, renew their vows as their children Shane and Blakley look on. Photo from Town of Huntington

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia (R)officiated over the Valentine’s Day Marriage Ceremony Marathon that took place in Huntington Town Hall Feb. 14. The event was first initiated by his mother, former Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, in 1995. It was an event the new town clerk was pleased to continue.

“I am thrilled to be continuing on the tradition established by my predecessor, Jo-Ann Raia, of hosting multiple wedding and renewal of vows ceremonies on Valentine’s Day here in Town Hall,” he said. “This event has always been received enthusiastically by the couples that have participated, and it was a privilege and a pleasure for me to unite these couples and to share in their happiness on this very special day.”

Raia performed eight wedding ceremonies and one vow renewal during the marathon. Among the couples were Victoria Espinoza and Alex Petroski. A few years ago, the couple met while working at TBR News Media. Espinoza went on to become the editor of The Times of Huntington & Northport and The Times of Smithtown before she left the media group in 2017, and Petroski was the managing editor and editor of The Port Times Record and The Village Beacon Record before he left at the end of 2018. Jo-Ann Raia remembered Espinoza covering the event in the past.

“I am very proud of the way the new town clerk, Andrew Raia, planned his first Valentine’s Day Marriage Marathon, and I am pleased to see my tradition of 25 years continued,” Jo-Ann Raia said. “In fact, Victoria and Alex Petroski met at The Times of Huntington newspaper, and Victoria covered for the Times Beacon Record several years of my Valentine’s Day Marriage Marathon, and I’m excited they took the opportunity of getting married at Town Hall.”

Couples were able to bring family and friends along for support and 31 local merchants consisting of bakeries, restaurants, florists, supermarkets/food stores, pharmacies, gift shops, candy stores, a salon and spa donated items for this year’s celebration.