Tags Posts tagged with "Port Jeff Village"

Port Jeff Village

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Port Jeff Village is asking residents to use the online parking sticker portal. File photo by Elana Glowatz

In an effort to eliminate lines and gatherings at Village Hall, the Village of Port Jefferson has created an easy-to-use portal online for residents to acquire their parking permits. 

Resident parking permits for homeowners and tenants must obtain a new 2021 parking sticker to be able to park in all municipal lots. 

In pre-COVID times, residents would fill out their forms at the clerk’s office, but instead the village is asking residents to apply online. 

Available on the village’s homepage (portjeff.com), a portal to apply for a new parking sticker asks applicants to provide a driver’s license, list their physical Port Jefferson address, and their vehicle registration.

Should the applicant’s license be listed to an address other than the physical Port Jefferson location, two documents — including a utility bill, automobile insurance, bank statement, notarized letter from their landlord, or voter registration card — are required as proof.  

Residents who would prefer to fill out the application on paper can download the form online, fill it out, attach copies of the required documents and mail it to the village’s clerk’s office. 

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Port Jefferson artist Jennifer Hannaford, right, along with Linda Alfin, left, revitalized the Dickens Festival mural present in front of Chandler Square just off Main Street. Photo from Hannaford

It’s a scene straight out of a Charles Dickens novel, and has been displayed every holiday season for years.

Featuring buildings covered in snow, a big decorated tree and a sign that welcomes visitors to the annual Dickens Festival in the Village of Port Jefferson, the mural was starting to look a bit worn, according to local business leaders. 

“The cutout is pretty old,” said Barbara Ransome, director of operations for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses were saying it was looking tired and asking if anything could be done.”

With the intention to clean up the painting and make it as good as new, Ransome asked two local artists to give the decade-old mural a facelift.

Linda Alfin and Jennifer Hannaford have been spending a good part of this past year decorating different spaces throughout the village. 

It started when Ransome and chamber president, Mary Joy Pipe, recruited the artists over the summer to decorate a set of electrical boxes and turn them into aquatic scenes in an attempt to beautify downtown.

“I’ve always understood that art can be powerfully transformative for a community, but engaging in this process has been fun because I get to see the change,” Hannaford said. “People also feel like their village is being cared for and, in turn, so are they.”

Since then, the pair has done several murals together throughout the village. 

“Linda is one of the most efficient painters I have ever seen,” Hannaford said. “I cannot say enough about her work ethic. I hope more folks take advantage of the fact that they have this kind of service and talent in their own town. I have learned a great deal from her this year.”

And the work didn’t stop for the artists come earlier this month. Alfin said that when Ransome called last minute asking if they could “freshen up” the scene, the two artists jumped on it. 

“The very next day we brought the mural back to life,” Alfin said. “Everyone walking by as we were painting was thanking us for repainting the mural.”

It took just two hours on Dec. 1 to make it vibrant, while the compliments and gratitude from residents touched the Port Jefferson muralist.

“A woman came up to us and was so happy to see us sprucing it up,” Alfin said.

While the Dickens Festival was canceled this year due to the COVID crisis, the snowmen in the scene can now greet visitors with a new smile, reminding them of what can hopefully be celebrated normally again next year. 

“I’m so happy to be able to help my town look more inviting and festive with all the murals we did so far throughout the village,” Alfin said.

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Alexa DeSimone brought her own creativity to bear in crafting her cookie at the Port Jeff Village Center Dec. 5. Photo by Julianne Mosher

It was a sweet day for Port Jefferson children and their families. 

On Saturday, Dec. 5, The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Cookieland event inside the Harbor Cove Room at the Village Center. 

Kids of all ages were each able to decorate two large sugar cookies with sprinkles and icing to celebrate the holiday season. 

“The chamber is encouraging shoppers to come and enjoy our beautifully decorated village,” Barbara Ransome, director of operations with the chamber, said. “We wanted to create a level of normalcy with COVID compliance, mindful of safety and mindful of the holiday spirit we all need.”

Packages of individually wrapped cookie decorating kits at the PJ Chamber Cookieland event. Photo by Julianne Mosher

For $15, La Bonne Boulangerie bakery of Port Jefferson provided the kit, with tickets available for purchase through the chamber’s website. Four tables were spread out throughout the room, with protective barriers between guests. Masks were worn at all times, and proceeds supported the chamber of commerce nonprofit. 

Holbrook resident Andrea DeSimone brought her 8-year-old daughter, Alexa, to decorate the snowman and snowflake-shaped cookies. 

“I figured it would be something fun to do,” she said. “Especially since it’s not nice outside.”

Due to the inclement weather on Saturday, a socially distanced visit from Santa surprised families inside the room, instead of the originally planned photo opportunity outside with his sleigh.

Alexa was thrilled to play with the provided decorations.

“My favorite thing is putting on the frosting and getting it all over my hands,” she said with a laugh. “I’m having so much fun today.”

Families who missed out can still get tickets for the next two events on Dec. 12 and 19, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. 

Local stores are encouraging shoppers to buy local this holiday season. Photo by Julianne Mosher

COVID-19 has impacted business globally, but for local mom-and-pop shops in villages across Long Island, they have been hit twice as hard. 

Between the impact of online retailers, plus big box stores, the pandemic has made it even more difficult to make a sale. 

When people shop small, the sales tax goes right back into the local economy. The community depends on these stores to make the village look great, while also supporting a neighbor. 

That’s why on Thanksgiving weekend, Small Business Saturday immediately followed the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, with hopes to bring revenue into the smaller stores. 

All weekend long in Port Jefferson village, local shop owners gleamed with hope that customers would continue their holiday shopping “small” and keeping these businesses afloat. 

Here’s what some small business owners had to say: 

Stacy Davidson, owner of Pattern Finders/Stacy’s Finds on East Main Street. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Pattern Finders/Stacy’s Finds

128 E. Main St., Port Jefferson

Stacy Davidson, owner of Pattern Finders/Stacy’s Finds on East Main Street, said she was pleasantly surprised on Thanksgiving weekend with the amount of people shopping around.

Unique gifts can be found at the shop, including antiques, furs, evening wear and accessories. 

Davidson said while the store is most known for her vintage jewelry, they also have a large selection of new pieces as well. She said that shopping at her store gives the customer a one-of-a-kind experience.

“All of the items in a store like mine you won’t find anywhere else ¬— especially online,” she said. 

At her store, Davidson said that all of her items are packaged nicely, “so all you have to do is hand them over with a smile — no gift wrap needed.”  

Davidson added that when people shop small, they’re supporting the community. 

“I’m very encouraged from the local community who came out to support us,” she said.

Joann Maguire, owner of Max & Millie. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Max & Millie

142 E. Main St., Port Jefferson

Joann Maguire, owner of Max & Millie, a woman’s clothing boutique nestled alongside East Main Street, said that her store gives customers a personalized shopping experience that cannot compete with a big box retailer.

“You should always shop small, not just during the holidays,” she said. 

The store is known for casual, chic and trendy clothes ranging in sizes 2 to 16, accessories and unique jewelry, including a small rack of pieces from former neighbor, Susan Rodgers Designs. 

Throughout the holiday weekend, Max & Millie sponsored several discounts from Friday to Sunday, completing the deal with their famous gift wrap. 

“We support our community,” she said. “We’ve always been there for you in terms of fundraisers, now it’s time for you to support us.”

Alana Miletti, owner of Fame & Rebel. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Fame and Rebel

415 E. Main St., Port Jefferson

Alana Miletti owns two locations of her store Fame and Rebel — one on Main Street in Patchogue, and the other on East Main in Port Jefferson village — so this past weekend was double the work as shoppers flocked in.

“Small businesses give back to the community more than a big box store does,” she said. “We employ so many community members and offer one-on-one personalization for each and every shopper.”

Throughout the holiday weekend, she offered a “shop more, save more” sale, which got dozens of people into her doors.  

Known for her on-trend clothing for women, the boutiques are constantly bringing in new arrivals that will fit any style every day.

“When you support a local business, you’re also supporting your town, city and neighborhood,” she said. “Small businesses pay sales taxes to the city and county the businesses are located in, and that tax money is used to support public schools, parks, roads and sidewalks, as well as fund public service workers. Imagine your town without any small businesses — pretty scary.”

Marianna Cucchi, owner of The Soap Box. Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Soap Box

18 Chandler Square, Port Jefferson

Marianna Cucchi’s store, The Soap Box, has been in the village for 13 years. 

The shop, located in Chandler Square, houses hundreds of different gifts fit for everyone’s list. From homemade designer soaps, to bath and body products, to personal care, pajamas and other unique gifts, Cucchi said the last nine months have been hard and it’s going to take a while to recover.

“Shopping small is important because it supports our community and keeps our businesses open — especially after being closed over 70 days during the pandemic,” she said. 

Throughout the big shopping weekend, The Soap Box offered sales to shoppers stopping by. While browsing, they’d stop to admire the collection of rubber ducks in hats sitting politely by the front window. Cucchi also offers custom gift wrapping for all orders, a complete one-stop shop.

“We need to keep small town America,” she said. “This is your community and we want to see it thrive.”

Kandy Muñoz, owner of The Amazing Olive. Photo by Julianne Mosher

The Amazing Olive

213 Main St., Port Jefferson

For the foodie on your shopping list, Kandy Muñoz said she can provide them with a unique and tasty gift this year. The Amazing Olive has two locations,  a newer location in Patchogue run by Muñoz’s son Steven, and her original Port Jefferson spot that she’s owned since 2012. 

Known for their vast collection of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, wine vinegars, salts and rubs, the store can accommodate any taste. 

But for this holiday season, Kandy Muñoz said personalized bottle labels and gift baskets are extremely popular this year. 

“When you shop small, you’re supporting a neighborhood family,” she said. 

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James Robitsek, and Setauket Patriot supporters, rally outside Village Hall in Port Jefferson in November. File photo by Julianne Mosher

Right wing Facebook group Setauket Patriots rallied outside Village Hall in Port Jefferson Tuesday night to protest what they claim is a violation of their rights, though officials say they are following the law.

On Sept. 12, the patriots group marched from the Port Jefferson train station down Main Street to gather for a 9/11 memorial across from Village Hall, though they lacked a permit for the march. Earlier in the summer the group hosted a permitted car parade for the Fourth of July following a Black Lives Matter march down main street held in June.

Following the June and July events, the Village of Port Jefferson issued an executive order signed on July 6 by Mayor Margot Garant effectively stopping the village from signing any new permits for marches or protests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Garant had said it was in response to how many people the events were bringing, and not maintaining social distancing while doing so. The village has not granted a parade permit to any group since the moratorium was enacted.

Setauket Patriots organizer James Robitsek said he received a summons with a $1,400 constable fee and $2,800 fine 30 days after their 9/11 event.

“Because it was 9/11, it’s sacred to us,” Robitsek said. “I personally lost friends in 9/11.”

In previous events, the group that regularly supports President Donald Trump (R) on Facebook was relatively low-key in support of the president. Since then, the group has held multiple car parades down Main Street without a village permit which were explicitly pro-Trump. Such events did draw a few confrontations between counterprotesters and caravan-goers in Setauket. Some comments by leaders of these rallies have specifically mentioned Mayor Margot Garant. (To read about those mentions, click here. To read about the last Setauket Patriots caravan, click here.)

On Nov. 24, the night of their court date at village hall, members and supporters of the patriots protested with flags and music across the street from Village Hall, while in court, Robitsek asked for a full dismissal.

“It’s a violation of our civil rights,” he said. “They can’t just pick and choose who they give permits to, and that’s basically what they’ve done.”

Only 10 people were allowed in the court hearing, where Robitsek, represented by Lindenhurst-based attorney Vincent Grande III, rejected the offer of the fine and plead not guilty.

“The courts offer was to plead guilty with a conditional discharge, and to not hold any future events in Port Jeff village,” Robitsek said. “I’m looking for a dismal because I won’t be able to hold any more events in the village and I don’t want that.”

Deputy Village Attorney Rich Harris said that while Robitsek argued that other events were able to be held, like Black Lives Matter protests, the summons was simply for the one event hosted in September.
“It’s not about any about any other events,” he said. “It’s just about the Sept. 12 march.”

Robitsek said he plans on holding a 9/11 parade every year.

Grande will be filing motions by January, and Robitsek said the next court hearing should be sometime in February or March.

This article was amended to add links to previous caravans hosted by the Setauket Patriots.