Tags Posts tagged with "Kings Park"

Kings Park

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Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are
seeking the public’s help to identify and locate the man who used a stolen credit card at a
gas station in Port Jefferson last month.

Photo from SCPD

A man used a stolen credit card at Sunoco, located at 240 Terryville Road, on July 20. The credit card was stolen from a wallet in an unlocked vehicle parked in a driveway in Kings Park earlier that day. The suspect drove a white BMW with damage to the driver’s
side door.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, utilizing a mobile app
which can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play by searching P3 Tips, or online at www.P3Tips.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

Trevor Verga, of Kings Park, was reported missing March 20. Photo from SCPD

Nearly a month after a Kings Park man was reported missing by a family member, his body was found off Piper Lane in Head of the Harbor on April 9.

Dr. Trevor Verga, 45, last spoke to a family member on the phone on March 20 at approximately 1 a.m., according to the Suffolk County Police Department, and was reported missing around 2:15 p.m. that day.

Verga’s 2019 Dodge Ram was found in the parking lot of 500 East Long Beach Road, Nissequogue, and video surveillance from the parking lot showed a man matching Verga’s description exiting the vehicle at approximately 2:30 a.m. on March 20.

According to SCPD, Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the cause of death, which is believed to be noncriminal. 

A graduate of Northport High School, Verga attended American University and received his medical degree from New York University Grossman School of Medicine, according to his obituary on the Branch Funeral Homes website. He joined North Suffolk Cardiology, a location of Stony Brook internists, in 2010 and also served as a clinical assistant professor at Stony Brook University. 

According to Stony Brook Medicine officials, he was the first doctor on Long Island to perform the LARIAT left atrial appendage suture exclusion procedure for atrial fibrillation.

Stony Brook Medicine officials released a statement after news of Verga’s death.

“Dr. Trevor Verga was a beloved Stony Brook Medicine Community Medical Group physician known for his compassion and commitment to his patients and community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Verga’s family, friends, colleagues and patients. To support our community, Stony Brook Medicine has shared with our staff a wide range of counseling services available to help them during this difficult time.”

Verga was also a cardiologist at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson since 2010, according to St. Charles Hospital officials. He was a member of the hospital’s medical board since 2015 and president of the board since 2021. Officials described him as “an esteemed colleague who will be sorely missed.”

“We are deeply saddened to hear of Dr. Trevor Verga’s passing and offer our sincere condolences to his family during this difficult time,” officials said in a statement.

For Dr. Trevor Verga’s full obituary, see branchfh.com.

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Trevor Verga, of Kings Park, was reported missing March 20. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are seeking the public’s help to locate a Kings Park man who was reported missing.

Trevor Verga last spoke to a family member on the phone at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 20.  He was reported missing by a family member at approximately 2:15 p.m.

Verga’s 2019 Dodge Ram was located in the parking lot of 500 East Long Beach Road, Nissequogue. Video surveillance from the parking lot shows a man matching Verga’s description exiting the vehicle at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Verga, 45, is white, 5 feet 10 inches, 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on Verga’s location to call the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

Kings Park residents’ eyes were smiling as the hamlet’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade returned to Main Street. Last year the event couldn’t be held due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Hundreds lined the streets to view the parade, many wearing green and waving the Irish flag.

Led by grand marshals Charlie Gardner and Diane Gardner Howell, the parade featured bagpipe and school bands, Irish step dancers, police officers and firefighters from Kings Park and surrounding areas, representatives from various civic associations and businesses, and more.

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The Kingsmen of Kings Park and the Deer Park Falcons were tied 25 all to open the second half in the Suffolk Class A final, but it was all Kings Park in the third quarter out scoring their opponent by 11 points and carried that moment in the final eight minutes of play to win the game, 60-52, at Longwood High School Mar. 1. 

Junior Matthew Garside led the way with four triples, three field goals and three from the line for 21 points. Senior AJ Petraitis netted 16, and fellow senior Andrew Plate banked 15.

Kings Park has not lost a game this season as the win lifts them to 23-0, where they’ll look to carry that momentum into the Section XI small school championship game where they’ll face Southampton again at Longwood High School Mar. 4. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI.

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Kings Park’s downtown district, above during Summer Nights in the Park: Monday on Main last July, will soon see the addition of sewers. Photo by Rita J. Egan

By Raymond Janis

Attorneys representing the Kings Park Community Association and the Long Island Pine Barrens Society have filed a $198 million lawsuit against Suffolk County over a sewer fund they claim was unlawfully depleted.

The Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund was originated as part of the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program, which was established in 1987. The program addressed ballooning sewer rates and volatility across sewer districts using a 0.25% sales tax to subsidize ratepayers and cap rate increases at 3%. After a 2020 voter referendum, the county reformulated the rate structure in Suffolk County Sewer District #6 – Kings Park, increasing rates by 452%, according to Michael Rosato, president of the community association.

In explanation, Peter Scully, deputy county executive for administration, said in a phone interview, “The prior rate structure was inequitable and would have disadvantaged residential property owners in the sewer district. The changes rectified that and made sure sewer ratepayers generating significantly more sewage paid their fair share.”

In a letter sent to Sewer District #6 homeowners Dec. 7, 2020, County Executive Steve Bellone (D) had justified raising sewer rates to mitigate wide discrepancies in operating costs across Suffolk.

“Property owners in the district have been undercharged for years, and revenues collected do not come close to covering operating expenses,” Bellone said in the letter. “The average Suffolk County sewer ratepayer paid $585 in sewer charges this year,” adding, “By comparison, the average homeowner in Sewer District #6 was billed $78.74.”

Rosato, who is also a part-time aide in the office of county Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), claimed Bellone illegally raised rates in Sewer District #6 beyond the 3% threshold, violating the terms of the program.

“In 2020 Bellone put a very misleading referendum on the ballot that he felt allowed him not to pay that fund back and to continue taking money out of it to pay for operating expenses,” Rosato said in a phone interview. “After raiding $198 million out of the fund, he raised Kings Park sewer rates 452%.”

The Pine Barrens Society is a named plaintiff in the lawsuit and has sued Suffolk County repeatedly since 2011 over this sewer fund. According to Rosato, the county demonstrates a pattern of budgetary mismanagement, sewer fund meddling and legal stonewalling.

“In 2011, County Executive [Steve] Levy [D] took $29 million out of that sewer stabilization fund to cover budget holes,” Rosato said. “He was sued by the Pine Barrens Society and the Pine Barrens Society won that lawsuit. Bellone became county executive soon afterward and he subsequently took $171 million out of that fund for operating expenses.”

In the current lawsuit, the Pine Barrens Society challenges Proposition Two, which was the 2020 referendum that authorized the county to use the sewer fund to effectively avoid service cuts and layoffs. Paul Sabatino, co-counsel representing the Pine Barrens Society, said the referendum had no legal basis.

“Proposition Two, when you cut through all the smoke, does two things. It unilaterally repudiates the judgement for $29 million and it unilaterally repudiates the balance of the [$171 million] payment.” Sabatino said in a phone interview. “A county cannot pass a charter law that unilaterally reverses a judicial decree and it cannot adopt a charter law that unilaterally repudiates a settlement agreement. Whether you do it with or without the voters, there is no authority.”

Scully disagreed with this legal reasoning. He said the Pine Barrens Society insisted in prior litigation that voter approval is paramount but is now reversing course completely.

“What’s going on here, ironically, is that the Pine Barrens Society is taking the position that voter approval should be disregarded and that the voters’ approval of Proposition Two in 2020 should be overturned,” Scully said. “I’ve been involved in government for 37 years and this is probably the most bizarre lawsuit I’ve ever seen.”

County voters approved Proposition Two by a margin of 54% to 46%. However, county Legislator Trotta said voters did not understand the intent of the ballot measure.

“The law is very clear about how a referendum has to be put on the ballot,” he said in a phone interview. “It has to be clear and concise, but most people had no idea what they were voting for. Politicians pride themselves on using uninformed voters and manipulating them.”

Scully contended that Trotta and the Pine Barrens Society conducted a lengthy media campaign against Proposition Two in 2020, but voters approved the ballot measure anyway.

“In the weeks prior to the referendum, Legislator Trotta and others were very vocal in bringing their concerns to the attention of the public through the media,” Scully said. “The voters appeared to summarily reject those concerns. People seemed to understand clearly what they were voting on. They voted for financial stability and they spoke with a very clear voice.”

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a major initiative to bring sewers into downtown Kings Park. The sewer stabilization fund and the downtown extension are fiscally unrelated, sourced from separate revenue streams. Scully said that while construction can move forward as planned, the modified rate structure will impact the business district when the project is complete.

“The project can move forward but the rate structure continues to be at risk,” Scully said. “Had the Legislature not modified the rate structure, residential customers in the sewer district would end up in some instances paying higher rates than businesses that generate significantly more sewage.”

Trotta accused the administration of intentionally muddling these two distinct sewer issues to confuse community members and generate fear that the extension project may be derailed.

“They’re totally unrelated,” he said. “What this administration tries to do is tie them together to scare people. They use scare tactics.”

Acknowledging that the two issues remain separate for now, Sabatino implied that the legal principle at stake could affect the downtown sewer extension in the future.

“The legal principle of this lawsuit is important because if they believe they have the ability now to unilaterally evade the 3% cap for Kings Park, then what will stop them from doing that for the extension five years from now?” Sabatino said.

Sabatino argued that fixed-rate increases and rigid percentages were put in place to prevent county officials from depleting the fund at will. He said this lawsuit will determine whether or not those officials remain bound by these requirements.

“If you don’t tie up the hands of elected officials, over time when they see a large pot of money it’s going to be gone,” he said. “You have to tie their hands and do it in a way that is truly effective. It’s the law of political human nature.”

Scully said the Pine Barrens Society has lost credibility due to this lawsuit.

 

“It’s really kind of sad what has happened with regard to the Long Island Pine Barrens Society, which is no longer a credible voice for environmental protection in Suffolk County,” he said.

Kings Park senior quarterback Jonathan Borkowski #10 plows his way into the endzone for the score in a Div III road game against Comsewogue Oct 23. Bill Landon photo

The Kingsmen of Kings Park raided Warrior nation and put a damper on Comsewogue’s homecoming football game Oct 23 where the Warriors struggled to find traction. Kings Park quarterback Jonathon Borkowski punched in for the score on a keeper in the final minute of the opening quarter and followed it up four minutes later with 10-yard touchdown run to put his team out front 14-0.

On Comsewogue’s ensuing possession Kings Park cornerback Kyle Weeks stepped in front of Brady Shannon’s shovel pass for a pick six that covered 41 yards. Kings Park senior Mert Duman whose foot was perfect on the day made it 21-0 at the half. Jonathan Borkowski’s 10-yard run found the endzone midway through the 3rd quarter for the 28-0 lead. Kings Park senior Nick Laviano broke free for a 60-yard run early in the 4th for a 35-0 advantage. Shannon the senior quarterback would avoid the shutout in the closing minutes with an 11-yard run for the score and with Josh Carrolls kick concluded the game for your 35-7 final.

The win lifts Kings Park to 5-1 in Div-III while the loss drops the Warriors to 2-5. Comsewogue concludes their 2021 campaign when they retake the field Oct 29 hosting Hills West. Kings Park is also back in action on Oct 29 with a road game against East Islip. Kickoff for both games is 6 p.m.

All photos by Bill Landon 

After a threat of storms postponed the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Nights in the Park: Monday on Main on July 19, the event was rescheduled for July 26. This time around, Monday night went on without a drop of rain.

The event included live bands along Main Street, dance performances, face painting, local photographers and authors displaying their works, a classic car show and more.

Rocky Point senior Emmarose Hansen clears from behind the cage in a home game against Kings Park June 4. Bill Landon photo

The Eagles of Rocky Point had a six-goal cushion at the halftime break, but Kings Park came out strong early in the second half drawing within three goals two different times when the Eagles slammed the door to win the Division II matchup 19-13 at home, June 4.

Senior Kelly Logue topped the scoring chart for the Eagles with five goals. Lindsey Lucia followed with four, and seniors Kaleigh Wilgeroth and Emmarose Hansen both had hat tricks.

A pair of sophomores led the way for Kings Park with Jaxie Cestone and Anne McGovern scoring three goals each.

Rocky Point senior Jenika Cuocco had 12 saves at net.

The Eagles finish their regular COVID- shortened season at 11-3 to ready themselves for post season play which began Tuesday June 8. Rocky Point was scheduled to play Comsewogue June 9. Results were not available at press time. Kings Park concluded their 2021 contest at 7-6.

Pictured clockwise from above left, Kings Park sophomore Anne McGovern crosses midfield pursued by Rocky Point junior Lindsey Lucia; Rocky Point junior Victoria Curreri takes possession for the Eagles; senior Emmarose Hansen pushes up-field; senior Kelly Logue sets up the play; senior goalie Jenika Cuocco with a save in a home game.

 

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim cut the ribbon at the new parking lot on Pulaski Road. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Town officials joined together to celebrate the completion of a new municipal parking lot located on Pulaski Road in downtown Kings Park.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Smithtown Town Supervisor Ed Wehrheim cut the ribbon at the new parking lot on Pulaski Road. Photo by Julianne Mosher

On Monday, Nov. 23, Smithtown Supervisor Ed Wehrheim (R) was joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D) to mark the new parking spaces and its quick completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“This completed project, finished just one year from the date of award, comes at a crucial time when many restaurants have used portions of their parking lots to expand outdoor dining,” Wehrheim said. “However, in the long term, the municipal lot will create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown that supports walkability, increases foot traffic to local businesses and decreases traffic congestion.”

In October last year, Bellone signed a bill awarding the Town of Smithtown $500,000 in county Jumpstart funding to build the lot in downtown Kings Park on Pulaski Road, right off of Main Street. The Jumpstart program is part of a comprehensive economic development plan designed to encourage, foster and enhance the planning and developments of Suffolk’s downtowns. Since 2013, the county has awarded almost $14.5 million in funds.

“The fact that we’re standing in this parking lot today, basically a year from when this bill was signed, is an extraordinary act of efficiency and excellence by the Town of Smithtown,” Bellone said. “My hat’s off to you and your team for getting this done.”

The new lot features 23 spaces and several electric charging stations. To celebrate the upcoming holidays, the Kings Park Chamber of Commerce decorated the lot with festive wreaths.

“You don’t often describe parking lots as beautiful,” Bellone added. “But this is a beautiful parking lot.”

The lot will help small business, as parking is a constant concern in local downtowns, especially with spots taken over by outdoor dining. Members from the chamber of commerce and the officials in attendance all agreed that shopping and dining in downtowns will help the local economy.

“The small business community has been hard hit across Long Island,” said Vision Long Island’s Eric Alexander. “A government that listened on multiple levels and funded — this is how you do good downtown projects. This is wonderful.”

According to Wehrheim, the Kings Park Downtown Market Analysis and Action Plan was completed by Larisa Ortiz Associates in 2017. The study determined that businesses along “restaurant row” were suffering due to a lack of sufficient parking. The analysis was backed up by public polling from both residents and business owners.

“We have to do everything that we can to support small businesses, not only to survive this crisis, but to get back to thriving,” Bellone said. “We will get through this and we will overcome this.”