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Port Jeff Station

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Mrs. Claus (Jennifer Quinn) with board members present gift bags prepared by students Ashley Doxey and Alysaa Morturano to military families. Photo from Andrew Harris

By Andrew Harris 

On Saturday, Dec. 11, at the Holiday Club Fair at Comsewogue High School, the district honored their graduates who are currently serving as active military personnel. 

“We hoped that some could actually be here but realized that they get very little time off and many are serving all over the world,” Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn said. “So, we invited their families to receive the care packages.”

Santa Claus (Joseph Coniglione) with Mrs. Claus (Jennifer Quinn). Photo from Andrew Harris

One mother, whose sons Paul and Sean Piotrowski (2015) are serving in the U.S. Marines, said that “receiving the gift cards and handwritten notes for each of them was wonderful.”

The idea was inspired by students Alyssa Morturano and Ashley Doxey, who followed up by collecting cards at events and doing various fundraisers.

The wife and children of Michelle Flaherty’s son Billy (2004) attended because he is currently in the Army as a helicopter crew chief. The mother said that he is getting deployed to the Middle East this coming May. 

“I am so proud of my son and all the Comsewogue alumni who are serving in our armed forces,” Flaherty said. “It means so much to the families to have the support of the Comsewogue community — once a warrior, always a warrior.”

Joseph Coniglione, assistant superintendent of schools, was thrilled the event was able to happen.

“To have the proud parents of those who have made the decision to serve our country there, and to be able to share their pride was a tremendous experience for me and this community,” he said. “We are all so proud of all our students, especially those who made this commitment.”

Andrew Harris is a teacher in the Comsewogue School District. 

To help maintain social distancing, but still with the holiday spirit, the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce hosted their second drive-thru Santa visit and letter drop off on Saturday, Dec. 4.

President Jennifer Dzvonar said that for decades, the chamber has hosted Santa at the Port Jefferson Station Train Car. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 they opted for a drive-thru visit, instead. 

During the free event, kids were able to unroll their car windows, say hello to the man in red — who waited in his sleigh— and then pull their cars to a mailbox where they drooped letters to the North Pole. 

“Last year everyone raved about the drive-thru, and everyone seems to enjoy it,” Dzvonar said. 

Raffle tickets were also sold to help the chamber’s flag fund.

— All photos by Julianne Mosher

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Pictured in 1911 during Old Home Week, Griswold’s Garage was built of Unit Brick and located on the west side of Port Jefferson’s Main Street. Photo from the Kenneth C. Brady Digital Archive

Incorporated in 1910, the Unit Brick and Tile Company was located on Hallock Avenue, just south of the LIRR tracks, in today’s Port Jefferson Station.

Employing 20 workers on an 11-acre site, the plant manufactured standard brick, roofing and flooring tile, and hollow block, but was best known for producing Unit brick.

Made from sand, gravel and cement, Unit brick had a distinctive U-shape and could be finished in a variety of shades thus eliminating the need for interior painting.

According to its boosters, Unit brick was 33-66% cheaper than common brick, impervious to dampness and as strong as conventional building materials. 

Fanning’s Garage, West Broadway, Port Jefferson, and Chris Henningsen’s residence, Hallock Avenue, Port Jefferson Station, were among the first buildings in the area to be constructed of Unit brick. It was later used in building projects in Belle Terre, St. James, Patchogue, Old Field, Smithtown and Wading River.

Unit brick was also shipped by schooner, such as the Emma Southard, to destinations in New York as varied as Hastings-on-Hudson, Staten Island and Lloyd Neck.

To popularize Unit brick, the company exhibited its signature product in a store on Port Jefferson’s East Main Street. The showroom opened in August 1911 during Old Home Week, an event that brought thousands of visitors to the village.

The Unit Brick and Tile Company was situated on Hallock Avenue, just south of the LIRR tracks, in today’s Port Jefferson Station. Photo by Arthur S. Greene; Photo from the Kenneth C. Brady Digital Archive

In addition, the corporation was promoted by members of the Port Jefferson Business Men’s Association, especially Jacob S. Dreyer, publisher of the Port Jefferson Times, and advertised in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Port Jefferson Echo. In August 1912, newspapermen from the Long Island Press Association toured Unit Brick’s factory.

The company received glowing testimonials from customers such as Belle Terre’s William Wadsworth who wrote in 1913 that Unit brick was “the best all-around building material on the market.”

Prominent Port Jefferson lawyer Thomas J. Ritch, Jr. and physician Luther H. Chambers, both of whom served on Unit Brick’s Board of Directors, lent their respected names to the venture.

Unit Brick enjoyed a meteoric rise marked by encouraging sales and good publicity, but much like a shooting star soon burned out, several factors contributing to the corporation’s early demise.

Unit Brick faced competition from another local startup, the Dyett Sand-Lime Brick Company on the west side of Port Jefferson Harbor, as well as from the established Port Jefferson Cement Block Company on High Street. 

Court proceedings followed allegations that Unit brick was an inferior product and being delivered “damp.” 

The company expanded too rapidly, opening subsidiaries in Connecticut and Rhode Island, where demand for its goods was not as strong as anticipated. 

Perhaps most important, the building trades had a long tradition of using red clay brick and simply balked at trying a new product.

After Unit Brick dissolved in 1917, a receiver was appointed. The corporation’s machinery and equipment were sold at public auction in 1918 and bought by the Port Jefferson Junk Company for $2,150. In 1920, Unit Brick’s former property in Port Jefferson Station was purchased by the LIRR which built a yard for its locomotives and cars on the acreage.

Kenneth Brady has served as the Port Jefferson Village Historian and president of the Port Jefferson Conservancy, as well as on the boards of the Suffolk County Historical Society, Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council and Port Jefferson Historical Society. He is a longtime resident of Port Jefferson.

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Seyma Ikizoglu attacks the net for the Warriors in a road game against East Islip Sept 1. Bill Landon photo

After an abbreviated 12-game season last spring, the Comsewogue girls’ volleyball had their hands full in their season opener on the road against East Islip Sept. 1.

The Lady Warriors fell in three sets 11-25, 14-25 and 10-25. Comsewogue retook the court Sept. 3 where they hosted Hauppauge, followed by another road game against West Babylon Sept. 10.

First service for both games is 5:45p.m.

All photos by Bill Landon

Photo by Kimberly Brown

The Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce finished off its Summer Concert Wednesdays Aug. 11 with a classic car show, performances by the School of Rock and a BMX stunt show in the Port Jefferson/Terryville train car park. 

Dozens of families attended to enjoy the rock concert put on by Port Jefferson’s School of Rock singing classics from Queen and other iconic rock bands. 

“It’s been so rewarding to see this concert series grow and evolve over the years,” said Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), one of the sponsors. “The turnout this year was some of the best I’ve seen with a mix of young families, retirees, veterans and music lovers coming together to enjoy a free night out in the community.”

The BMX bike show, presented by Dialed Action from New Jersey, featured two skilled BMX bikers who amazed the crowd with their daring stunts, from flipping upside down to imitating Superman in the sky. 

“The BMX stunts are a yearly favorite and always bring out a crowd,” Hahn said. 

Despite the COVID-19 Delta variant becoming a concern as cases spike up again, families continued to attend the three-part Summer Concert Wednesdays while keeping in mind the need to socially distance. 

For this year, the series also hosted a Hawaiian-themed night followed by a tribute to Long Island’s frontline workers. The other show was a ’60s night with Just Sixties, including a tribute to veterans. 

The events were sponsored by Brookhaven Town Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) and the chamber of commerce with Hahn. 

“We ended the series last night on a high note, with music from the School of Rock Port Jefferson, a classic car show, BMX stunts and some free ice cream on a hot summer night,” she said.

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Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are investigating a shooting that took place outside a residence in Port Jefferson Station Tuesday night.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to 95 Pine St. after a 911 call reported a man shot at approximately 11:40 p.m. on Aug. 17. When officers arrived they found Angel Bermudez in the backyard with two gunshot wounds.

Bermudez had left a party inside the residence when he was shot. Bermudez, 26, of Freeport, was transported to a local hospital in serious but stable condition.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

 

Ira Dunne, president of The Social Brain in Port Jefferson Station, at last month’s Bike and Helmet Safety Day event. Photo from the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce

By Joan Nickeson

Selfless and supportive. There are many 501c3 nonprofits in our communities, which hold a special recognition by the state and local governments. In the old days we referred to them as “charities.” 

Being charitable has never been more important, so I’m shining the light on one exceptional organization, The Social Brain, founded by Ira Dunne. 

A behavioral specialist with a master’s in therapeutic recreation, Dunne has transformed the lives of traumatic brain injury survivors on Long Island and their office center is right here in Port Jefferson Station.

“Traumatic brain injury survivors may be getting support during the week, but come the weekend, there is a void,” Dunne said. “Building social activities that accommodate their physical challenges has lacked organized support. That’s why we created the Social Brain.”

They just completed their first music therapy event, where clients interacted with a certified therapist and 15 different instruments. Dunne explained how singing of familiar songs builds cognitive skills, sparking memories. Manipulating instruments motivates and engages the individuals in a fun group setting. 

The Social Brain, a member of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce, recently held a hugely successful Bike and Helmet Safety Day at the chamber train car. 

TBR News Media covered the event where new helmets were given away to children and adults, and the importance of head protection was discussed. All helmets had been donated via the Social Brain website; thesocialbrain.org. 

One hundred percent of their services are provided through donations. For more information contact Ira Dunne at 631-793-4311 or [email protected].

Joan Nickeson is an active member of the PJS/Terryville community and community liaison to the PJS/T Chamber of Commerce.

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Suffolk County Police Sixth Squad detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the assault of a man who was located behind a Port Jefferson Station strip mall on Monday,  June 12.

Sixth Precinct officers responded to the rear of 5145 Route 347 at approximately 9:20 a.m. after a 911 caller reported finding an injured man. The man, who detectives determined had been assaulted, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Sixth Squad at 631-854-8652 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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Six people were arrested at the start of the holiday weekend in Port Jefferson Station.

Highway Patrol Bureau Selective Alcohol Fatality Enforcement Team (SAFE-T) officers conducted a sobriety checkpoint at the intersection of Route 112 and Hallock Avenue during the overnight hours of July 3 into July 4. from 11:05 p.m. until 2:15 a.m. 

The checkpoint was part of an ongoing holiday weekend enforcement initiative targeting alcohol and drug impaired driving.  A total of 435 vehicles went through the checkpoint. 

The following people were charged with Driving While Intoxicated:

  • Cesar Ortiz, 32, of 54 Carver Blvd., Bellport
  • Erik Anderson, 38, of 208 Terryville Road, Port Jefferson Station
  • Richard Russo, 61, of 12 Mark St., Port Jefferson Station
  • Hashim Qayyum, 23, of 619 Hawkins Road, Selden
  • Alexia Smith, 23, of 3540 Gregg Court, Wantagh
  • Salvatore Laduca, 58, of 7 Blueberry Ridge Road, Setauket

All six will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on July 4.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

 

Photos from Comsewogue School District

This year, Comsewogue High School held their commencement at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium on Wednesday, June 23.

Speakers at the ceremony included High School Principal Michael Mosca, Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Quinn, Valedictorian Sydney Carter, Salutatorian Anthony Lin, Board of Education President John Swenning, Vice President Alexandra Gordon and Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.