Tags Posts tagged with "Port Jefferson Station"

Port Jefferson Station

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The planned site for a new office building in Port Jefferson station includes a single building and an empty lot. Photo from Google Maps

Port Jefferson Station, even despite the pandemic, is building up.

Design plans for the new 31,000 square foot medical office building in Port Jefferson Station. Photo from TOB meeting

Brookhaven approved two applications Sept. 17, one for a new 31,000 square feet office building where an existing retail shop stands, and another to add an additional  structure to an existing medical park, both in Port Jefferson Station.

Applicants from S.W.M LLC, whose principal officer is named as Wayne Rampone Jr., the vice president and co-owner of the Ramp Motors dealership in Port Jefferson Station, were granted a change of zoning on the currently empty 2.3 acre parcel located at 43 Jayne Boulevard. The previous zoning was J-2 Business and B-1 Residential, and is now J-4 Business, allowing for the construction of a $4 million two story, 31,342 square foot medical office building at the site.

Site plans show a frontage of evergreens facing the road, and 165 parking stalls to complement the new structure. The planned building is across the street from Neptune Pools and borders Smith Point Fence to the north and the Fairfield apartment complex to the west. 

The other project, one from the M&R Stony Brook medical park located at the corner of Route 112 and Birchwood Drive, was granted a request to revise covenants to extend the second floor space of one existing medical building and create a whole new 20,485 square foot building on the southwest corner of the property. That new building is planned for vacant land that was at one point planned for a bank of a much smaller footprint. Estimated cost for construction is $15 million.

The property is bordered by the Sagamore Hills condominium complex directly to the south.

Developers for both projects went in front of the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Civic Association July 29 during the group’s first in-person meeting in months, held outside the PJS/T chamber train car at the corner of Routes 112 and 347. The civic released letters of no objection for both projects to the town board.

During the meeting, Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) asked the applicant to be reminded of the 30-foot buffer along the western end of the property, where they will eventually plant evergreens as a screen between the new building and Fairfield residents. Attorney for both proposed developments Timothy Shea Jr., of the Hauppauge-based CertilmanBalin law firm, said he had no objection to the requirement.

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Progressive groups stood at the corner of Route 112 and Route 347, sometimes called “resistance corner” Sept. 20 to honor the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Sept. 18, and protest Senate Republicans’ efforts to fill her seat.

At the rally called Our Bodies, Our Courts!, protesters said Republicans are hypocritically pushing a new candidate onto the bench despite those same members saying in 2016 that there should be no supreme court nominations in an election year. Rally-goers said they were concerned about the chance a more conservative court could end the ability for women to get abortions or overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The crowd of about 50 were joined by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and local Democratic candidates including Nancy Goroff, who is running for the New York District 1 House of Representatives Seat and Laura Jens-Smith, who is running for New York State Assembly District 2.

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Families are able to pick up essentials at Give Kids Hope, located on Nesconset Highway in Port Jeff Station. Photo by Courtney Rehfeldt

By Courtney Rehfeldt 

As many Long Islanders face financial hardship and food insecurity, struggling to make ends meet, Melissa Paulson, of Port Jefferson, is helping communities in need.

Donations for a back-to-school drive hosted at Give Kids Hope in Port Jefferson Station. Photo by Courtney Rehfeldt

A yellow wreath adorns the door to the Port Jefferson Station outreach center Give Kids Hope that Paulson recently opened along Nesconset Highway. Families who come to the center can pick up free food and other items, including toiletries and even toys or clothes. 

“It has been truly sad to see the amount of people who struggle with providing everyday basic needs for their family,” Paulson said. 

Eight years ago, Paulson initially started Give Kids Hope as a nonprofit to support children fighting cancer before pivoting towards helping the general public. 

“I started Give Kids Hope after my daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma,” she said. “Having been faced with such a tragedy, I knew that my only hope was prayer and the hospital staff around us. The simple things, such as a toy gifted to my daughter through the worst time, cheered her up. I wanted to be that person to help other children going through the same thing.” 

Unfortunately, Paulson faced yet another challenge when her husband lost his job. Just as before, Paulson’s own challenging experience inspired her to help others in the same position. 

“After my husband lost his job for 16 months, we were faced with the same situation of families who are struggling,” the outreach center owner said. “Luckily, we had our savings account and family to help us through that time. I learned that even working people can lose everything so easily without any notice or warning. We are grateful to have had the option to come back from that situation. However, most families don’t have the support from others or other things to keep them afloat. I wanted to be that person that others can lean on during their crisis.” 

Paulson noted that the pandemic and subsequent job losses on Long Island has created a massive demand for food and daily essentials. She reported that Give Kids Hope assists 15 to 30 families a week with food items, and some weeks that number is even higher, averaging 40 to 60 families. 

“We have seen every type of hard situation that is imaginable,” she said. 

Even before the pandemic, Paulson said many Long Island families were already struggling and that the need for future assistance can occur at any time. 

“I feel the community isn’t aware of how many families are truly in need of basic essentials and living needs,” Paulson said. “Even for a working family who hits a crisis, it becomes a downward spiral of effects. There isn’t enough assistance out there that allows families to receive what they truly need. Some people don’t qualify for government assistance due to a few dollars over the allowed limit. Our goal is to provide assistance and support to them through their time of need.” 

Before opening the Give Kids Hope location in Port Jefferson Station, Paulson ran the operation out of her home. 

“We had a very generous donor who donated $5,000 to get us started,” she said. “We were limited with space and ability when doing it in my home. Now we can open 4-5 days a week for pantry items and other types of assistance.” 

Paulson emphasized that it has been challenging to raise funds, and notes that Give Kids Hope relies on the community’s support to keep it flourishing. 

“Our center is 100% free to others in need,” the Port Jeff resident said. “Since we opened, we have helped 662 families with clothes, toys, and food assistance. A lot of families are walk-ins that don’t have a computer. Our center has been a huge asset to the community and has grown tremendously. We have held free shopping events, back-to-school supplies drives, and we are currently working on a Halloween costume drive, Thanksgiving, and our big toy drive for Christmas.”

Paulson also added that the center is looking for volunteers and takes food and item donations. 

Give Kids Hope is located at 4390 Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station. They can be contacted online by searching Give Kids Hope on Facebook or by calling 631-538-5287.

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Donald Harrison, of PJS, was reported missing by police Sept. 8. Photo from SCPD

*Update: Police reported Sept. 8 that Donald Harrison, the Port Jefferson Station man who was reported missing Sept. 7, has been located, unharmed.*

Original story:

Police have issued a silver alert for a Port Jefferson Station man they said had dementia and may be in need of medical attention.

Suffolk County Police said Donald Harrison, 62 left a residence on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station Sept. 7 at around 8:15 p.m.

Harrison was described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 200 pounds with greying hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a grey sweatshirt.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on Harrison’s location to call 911 or the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

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EXIT Realty were with Comsewogue officials delivering over 200 backpacks for kindergarteners. Photo from EXIT Realty

A backpack for every incoming kindergartener. Supplies for every fresh face to the Comsewogue School District. It may seem like a tall order, but a local realty office and donations from the community helped make it happen for the second year in a row.

EXIT Realty’s Jason Furnari, right. Photo from EXIT Realty

Last year, EXIT Realty Island Elite in Port Jefferson Station started a fundraising drive to buy every incoming kindergartener a backpack for the upcoming school year. Doing it again this year, the realty office helped facilitate the donations of 246 backpacks, enough for every incoming student starting their K-12 journey. The backpacks are also filled with a number of school supplies such as pencils, colored pencils, erasers and markers. While it won’t be everything the student needs throughout the year, it’s a good start.

Jason Furnari, the broker owner of the PJS realty office, said upon opening just a year and a half ago he knew he wanted to support the community in some way. He himself is a Comsewogue alumunus, having graduated in 2003. He also said it’s a continued legacy of Joe Rella, the popular former superintendent who passed away this year in February. Rella was Furnari’s chorus teacher in middle school.

“I really like the area we’re in, so we decided to give back to the Comsewogue School District,” he said. “It’s always about giving back to people and doing good for people, and that’s what the community’s about, it’s really family based.” 

The realty office set up an Amazon wish list and posted it to community social media groups and in notices around their office and elsewhere in the local area as well. All who participated would go online and order the items they wanted for delivery to the Port Jeff Station office. Some community members also donated some lightly used backpacks from students who have already aged past the early grade levels.

The backpacks are a great boon, but especially in a time like this where so many have been financially hit by the pandemic, having to not worry about at least one kid’s school supplies can be a big help.

Comsewogue superintendent, Jennifer Quinn, said the backpacks do a world of good for incoming students. 

“We live in such a great community — we have so many businesses willing to help our school district and EXIT Realty is one of those,” Quinn said.

The realty office has also supported two graduating seniors with $1,000 scholarships both last year and this year. 2020 graduates and siblings Tricia Sandhala and Arav Sandhala were recipients of this year’s awards. 

Furnari said the office will continue with their backpack and scholarship donations into the future.

“We’re really excited to start the school year and end the year helping out the young generation coming in and those on their way off to college,” he said.

File photo.

Suffolk County Police said a woman was arrested Saturday Aug. 29 for allegedly driving while intoxicated when she struck a pedestrian in Mount Sinai.

Jennifer Hohn, 50 of St. James, was driving a 2018 Toyota northbound in front of 745 Mount Sinai Coram Road, when she allegedly crashed the vehicle into a parked 2010 GMC pickup truck occupied by a man and woman, which then struck a man on a bicycle who was leaning against the truck from the right shoulder of the road at 2:27 a.m. Hohn then crashed the Toyota into a sign, a mailbox and a fence.

The pedestrian, Jason Sciortino, 40, of Port Jefferson Station, was transported by Port Jefferson EMS to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Following an investigation by 6th Squad detectives, officers charged Hohn with driving while intoxicated. She was arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip Aug. 29. She is next set to appear in first district court Sept. 2.

Detectives are asking anyone who witnessed the incident to call the 6th Squad at 631-854-8652.

Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, right. File photo by Elana Glowatz

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright (D-Port Jefferson Station) announced her nomination for New York State Supreme Court justice in the 10th District, which covers both Nassau and Suffolk counties. She has been cross-endorsed by both parties, and is almost guaranteed a seat on the bench come November.

The slate of judicial nominees was made at the Democratic Party judicial convention earlier this month. Cartright made the announcement official.

“The principles of fairness and equality under the law have been the foundation on which I built my career —first as a trial attorney and then as a town councilwoman,” she said in a statement. “My experience as an attorney, a community advocate and a legislator drafting laws and policy with community involvement uniquely positions me for judgeship.”

Cartright has been the lone Democrat on the majority Republican Brookhaven Town Board for the past six-and-a-half years. She has also been the only person of color on that board in that same time.

Rich Schaffer, the Suffolk Democratic Committee chairman, said in a statement the committee was “proud to present this diverse slate of distinguished jurists that includes a candidate of Councilwoman Cartright’s caliber and experience.”

A number of nominees have been cross-endorsed by both major parties, and are almost guaranteed their seats. The Republicans had their judicial convention early this week. Cartright  — along with Kathy Gail Bergmann, a Suffolk County Family Court judge; Tim Mazzei, state Supreme Court justice; and Derrick Robinson, an acting county court judge — have all been cross-endorsed. Justice seats are on a 14-year term.

Before running for town councilperson, Cartwright had spent years as a civil rights attorney at the Law Offices of Frederick K. Brewington. She also is an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College.

In the past few months, the councilwoman ran for the Democratic nod for the New York State Senate 1st District seat that has long been held by state Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson). She came in second place in that race with a vote tally of 6,569 compared to her Port Jeff opponent Laura Ahearn’s final number of 8,427 votes.

State Supreme Court nominees names will be on ballots come election time Nov. 3. If her seat is left vacant after that, the Brookhaven Town District 1 seat would need to be put up for vote in a special election to finish off the remaining three years of Cartright’s term.

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The site model for the Concern for Independent Living apartments in Port Jefferson Station. Photo from Concern for Independent Living

The Concern for Independent Living affordable rental complex in Port Jefferson Station is hosting a lottery for 31 units for people making below the area’s median annual income.

The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 10 with the winners of the lottery announced over Zoom Aug. 17 at 10 a.m.

In a letter to community leaders, CEO of Concern for Independent Living Elizabeth Lunde said the point is to ensure local residents apply for the apartments located at 1599 Route 112.

“During the community conversations about this project there was significant amount of discussion about wanting to ensure that local residents, local students, local veterans, young people and seniors etc. who are from the Port Jefferson Station and immediately surrounding community are able to apply and take advantage of these affordable housing units,” Lunde wrote in the letter.

According to a flyer by Concern for Independent Living, there are 30 one-bedroom apartments available rental prices at $924. People applying must have a total annual income of between $36,960 to $44,350 in a  one-person household, and between $36,960 to $50,650 for a two-person household.

There is also a single two-bedroom apartment available for a household size between two and four for families with an annual income of between $37,997 and $63,300, depending on the household size.

For more information and to download the application, people can visit http://www.concernhousing.org/ and scroll down to the space about the Port Jeff Station facility.

Police said a number of young people on bikes physically and verbally harassed members of a Port Jefferson Station gym last Thursday. Photo from Crossfit DHP

Crossfit DHP in Port Jefferson Station was the site of a tense confrontation between the owners of a local gym and a crowd of children and teens on bikes. Though police said nobody was hurt, owners said this could be a learning experience that parents make sure kids show respect.

Suffolk County Police said around 20 young people on bikes were roving around the Port Jeff Station area July 23, and that officers responded to two disturbances outside the gym at 5:30 and then around 6:15 p.m. Police said once they arrived, the groups dispersed with no injuries on either side.

Police said the young people then traveled to Wendy’s on Nesconset Highway and allegedly threw drinks and cursed at patrons. 

Two tickets were issued to two of the juvenile’s parents.

In a statement, gym owners said a group of young men and women on their bikes were seen smoking weed behind the building when they started harassing gym members who were going on their run.

We asked them to be aware of our presence but then they started hitting our members with their bikes,” the statement reads. “At that point we asked them to leave and that we would call the cops to which they said they were proud that the cops were chasing them around all day. With a lot of vulgar language and verbal harassment, they did start to leave as the cops escorted them out.”

On the way out, gym owners said one kid tried to throw a barbell at one of the gym members. The bikers left after police were initially called, but about 10 minutes later came back to harass the gym again. That is when the video was recorded, and owners said the bikers took pipes from their bikes and swung them at member’s heads. 

“To go even further, several of them spit on us, which during a pandemic is unquestionably wrong,” the statement read.

On July 31, police announced they have made two arrests, namely two males, both 15 years old, of Centereach, whom police said were involved in the incident.

One of the teens was charged with 2nd degree reckless endangerment for throwing a barbell at a gym member, and the other was charged with second degree menacing for swinging a bicycle seat at another gym member.

The teens were issued desk appearance tickets and scheduled for arraignment at Suffolk County Family Court in Central Islip Aug. 14.

A viral video posted to the Comsewogue Community Facebook page has since been taken down, but in that video the crowd of young people, most not wearing masks, surrounded the front of the gym’s parking lot where owners and a few gym members confronted them. 

One unidentified young person in the video in a light blue shirt became physical with one unidentified person from the gym, seemingly throwing a punch that doesn’t connect. Young people could be heard swearing and threatening the adults. Another man stepped forward holding a rod of some kind, but in the video he does not appear to use it on the bikers. 

At one point in the video, somebody tried to grab something from a woman at the gym, and a brief struggle ensued but was quickly broken up. 

Owner of the gym Ryder Champouillon and his wife and fellow gym coach Jen posted a video to their gym Facebook page the day after the original video was released, thanking community members for their well wishes.

In the statement, the gym owners thanked Suffolk County Police along with Suffolk Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) for their genuine response to the incident. 

In the gym’s statement, they said this is not the first episode of harassment in the local community, and many more have posted about such incidents to community Facebook pages. Though thanks to the community, owners said they have already been able to identify many of the people in that video.

Our sole purpose within our facility is to offer the community a single outlet to find healthcare, nutrition and exercise that improves our lives, which improves our community as a whole,” the statement read. “We spoke earlier with members of the local government about moving forward with programs for the community and youth to have an outlet surrounded by positive role models.”

Owners asked anybody who could identify the bikers to send a confidential email to [email protected]

This post has been updated July 31 with information on two arrests.

Annemarie Lopez holds a police pin for her brother Christie Masone, an officer who died in the line of duty June 22. Photo by Kyle Barr

Crowds numbering in the several hundreds rallied at the corner of Route 112 and 347 in Port Jefferson Station June 22 calling for people to support police. It was a counterpoint to the over 100 protests all across Long Island calling for an end to police violence for the past several weeks.

People waved thin blue line flags and held signs supporting police reading “back the blue” and “respect and honor our law enforcement.”

The pro-police rally came three weeks after a protest against police violence in the same location, which some local progressive activists have called “resistance corner.” Some came with flags, signs or hats supporting President Donald Trump (R). Most people in the crowd at the June 22 rally were not wearing face masks, compared to other recent protests where the majority were wearing some kind of face covering.

Suffolk County Police officers stood at both sides of the protest line and entrance to the small park, and others milled about the crowd, with many people thanking them for their service. Most cars passing by honked in support, though there was a small number of counter protesters holding signs supporting Black Lives Matter on the other side of Route 347. Towards the start of the rally a woman pulled to the side of the road and got out of her car, cursing at the people standing on the sidewalk who responded with expletives of their own before a cop came by to tell her to get back in her car.

People at the rally said police have become disrespected since the start of the nationwide protests after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in police custody. Though they admitted what the police did in that situation was wrong, when one officer leaned his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until EMTs arrived, they said most cops want to do good.

Annemarie Lopez, of Port Jefferson, said she was at the rally in remembrance of her brother, Christie Masone along with his partner Norman Cerullo who were shot and killed in the line of duty in 1978.

“There are good cops and bad cops, but these are people putting their lives on the line,” Lopez said.

Others said the calls for police budgets to be cut will ultimately make the Island less safe.

“Cops are being treated unfairly — this will be detrimental to our safety, we don’t need cuts to police,” said Maria Leonette, a nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital.

The Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association had a large presence, sporting a trailer which handed out water to people during the hot June afternoon.

PBA President Noel DiGerolamo saw it as an incredible turnout that showed a “humbling support for the men and women of law enforcement. The silent majority isn’t silent anymore.”

At the height of the rally, the crowds gathered under the trees in the center of the park to hear people speak, including former chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Party John Jay LaValle, who was introduced as a spokesperson for Trump.

One of the two main organizers for the rally, Jonathan Stuart of Manorville, said “I could not let the broad stroke of social justice, virtue signaling and cancel culture paint all the police in the shot of the heinous death of George Floyd,” adding, “Is every person who puts on their bullet proof vest, turn their radio on, holster their pistol, shine their badge and kiss their family goodbye a murderer? No. Racist? No.”