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South Setauket

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Photo from PJSTCC

Girl Scouts of Troop 991 got to work on their Silver Award Project at the Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce Train Car.

Pictured above are scouts Vanessa Molinelli, Olivia Vecchio and Emily Gaide. Behind them are volunteers pressed into service. 

The Silver Award leadership project is one that scouts plan, prep and execute. These one entrails refurbishing the deck, rails, steps and handicap ramp at the early 1900s baggage coach “train car.” 

The scouts organize schedules, responsibilities and fundraisers. They received building material donations from Home Depot of South Setauket and Margaritas Café Port Jefferson Station have been keeping them fueled. 

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Jeanette Parker was able to celebrate her 100th birthday with her family on July 10. Photo from Judy Visconti

A milestone birthday was celebrated at Jefferson’s Ferry in South Setauket recently.

South Setauket resident Jeanette Parker celebrated her 100th birthday July 10. Photo from Judy Visconti

Jeanette Parker, who has called the retirement community location her home for 12 years, turned 100 years old on July 10 and was able to celebrate the momentous occasion with family members, including her three daughters, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

“I don’t know how I got here, truthfully,” she said in a phone interview. “I’m just as surprised as anyone else.”

Her daughter Judith Visconti, of Setauket, was on hand for the celebration.

“I feel I’m very, very fortunate to have my mother still at this stage,” she said. “Not only do I have her, but she’s as smart as could be.”

The centenarian said while she didn’t have advice for longevity, she thinks a few good habits may have contributed to her long life.

“Truthfully, I don’t have any secrets,” she said. “I never smoked, and I never drank much — just once in a while for social reasons — and I was never a big eater.”

Parker, who was born in Brooklyn in 1921, married Charles Parker when she was 21. He was drafted into the Army Signal Corps shortly after they were married, and they were apart for four years. It wasn’t until 1992 for their 50th anniversary that they were able to have the large party that they never had for their wedding, according to Visconti.

Jeanette Parker with her daughters Judy, Anita and Carol. Photo from Judy Visconti

In addition to Visconti, their first child, the couple had two more daughters, Anita and Carol. The children grew up in Queens, and while living in the borough and raising her daughters, Parker was active in Hadassah, an American Jewish volunteer women’s organization. Her husband ran a trucking business with his brother in New York City’s Garment District, and after he retired due to poor health, his wife started working for a real estate business in the city.

The couple moved to Coram in 1982 where they lived in the Bretton Woods condo development to be closer to their children and grandchildren on Long Island. Parker started the Bretton Woods Players. She always enjoyed music and singing, she said, but chose to stay behind the scenes writing and producing the annual musical shows from 1983 to 1992. Her husband painted the scenery for them. The couple also enjoyed playing golf, and Jeanette Parker was on the women’s golf team.

Visconti said her father loved to swim and looked for a winter home in a place where he could do so even during the colder months, and her parents bought a place in Fort Lauderdale. When he found the waters were still too cold in Florida during the winter months, the Parkers looked into a place in Puerto Rico and the two bought a condo on the island in 1989.

A few years after Charles Parker died in 1995, it was on the island of Puerto Rico where Jeanette Parker met Jose Hernandez walking along the beach. The two wound up dating and were together for 11 years, something she believed was her late husband’s intervention because he didn’t want her to be alone.

“I always say my mother was always lucky in love,” Visconti said.

While one of Parker’s daughters lives in Massachusetts and another in Westchester County, she said they stay in touch with her regularly. She was thrilled to celebrate her milestone birthday with her family after them not being able to visit during the pandemic due to COVID-19 restrictions.

When it comes to going through difficult times, Parker had advice.

“Keep busy,” she said. “That’s the main thing. Keep doing things that satisfy you.”

A rendering of the planned Heatherwood Golf & Villas in South Setauket. Rendering from Town of Brookhaven Planning Board

The proposed apartment complex project on the property of the Heatherwood Golf Course in South Setauket will not receive a tax benefits package after the Brookhaven Industrial Agency rejected a proposal that would cut property taxes on the land by $3.76 million over 13 years at a hearing Aug. 21.

Also included would be $2,854,000 in sales tax exemptions and $420,000 in mortgage recording tax exemptions. In total the developers would see savings of more than $7 million.

The decision proved to be a small victory for some area residents who have been against the project since its inception. They were concerned that the proposed tax breaks could negatively affect local school districts and development would increase traffic congestion at the intersection of Route 347 and Arrowhead Lane.

Representatives for Heatherwood said at the meeting that they could not move forward with development without the tax breaks.

Salvatore Pitti, president of the Port Jefferson Station-Terryville Civic Association, said the notion of developers abandoning the project was wishful thinking.

“We never wanted it from the beginning,” he said. “The entire community has been against it.”

The proposed project dates back to 2014 when it was brought up to the Town of Brookhaven zoning board and was approved of a crucial zone change that allowed for apartments on the property. As a part of the approval, the town board required the property owner to donate 40 acres of land to the Manorville Farm Protection Area, remove a billboard at the golf course and construct a sidewalk on the east side of Arrowhead Lane.

“The zone changes already occurred,” Pitti said. “We’ve already accepted the fact that it will be developed [eventually].

“Why do you need tax breaks if you don’t have the money to build it? It came off as them being more greedy.”

–Salvatore Pitti

In 2018, the Planning Board approved the proposed plans for the company to build on nearly 26 acres of its more than 70-acre property. The project, dubbed the Heatherwood Golf & Villas, will be a 200-unit senior apartment complex catering to individuals 55 and over.

The planned project would reduce the 18-hole golf course to nine holes to allow developers to build the apartments and would supposedly bring more revenue to the golf course.

IDA members questioned the reason Heatherwood needed tax breaks to move forward with the project. Heatherwood said that the project would create six permanent full-time jobs, though IDA members said it wasn’t enough jobs to grant it the benefits package.

Herb Mones, chair of the Three Village Civic Association land use committee, was shocked when he first heard that Heatherwood was looking for tax breaks.

“I was like ‘You gotta be kidding me,’” Mones said. “It wasn’t enough that they got the zoning approval, but now they need tax breaks — at some point enough is enough. It is corporate greed.”

Mones argued that the project would forever affect the surrounding communities.

“It adds to the over development, we lose open space and a golf course,” he said. “…We are happy the IDA turned them down.”

Mones along with Pitti wasn’t buying that the project would be abandoned if Heatherwood didn’t receive the tax benefits package.

“There is no possibility that they will not develop that land after they got the zone change, they are going ahead with the project,” Mones said. “It will yield a gold mine for the corporation. We believe this will bring no benefits to the community.”

Despite, the IDA rejecting the package, Pitti said he wouldn’t be surprised if Heatherwood broke ground on the project in the next few months.

A representative from Heatherwood did not return messages requesting a phone interview by press time.

 

Police are searching for two women who allegedly used a stolen credit card in South Setauket. Photo from Suffolk County Police Department
Two women allegedly used a stolen credit card in South Setauket. Photo from SCPD

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police 6th Squad detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate two women who allegedly used a stolen credit card at two locations in South Setauket last month.

A woman reported her wallet containing cash and three credit cards was stolen at Whole Foods Market in Lake Grove Dec. 8. Later that day, two women allegedly used credit cards from the wallet to purchase or attempt to purchase approximately $9,000 in Apple products at Best Buy and Target on Pond Path in South Setauket.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 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, texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

File photo

A South Setauket resident was seriously injured after he was hit by two cars while riding a bike across Nesconset Highway near Walmart in East Setauket just before 11 a.m. June 26, according to Suffolk County Police.

Stefan Kochaniwsky was riding a bicycle across Route 347 from the south side to the north side in front of 3990 Route 347 when he was struck by an east 2004 Ford Mustang. Kochaniwsky was then struck by an eastbound 2005 Jeep Liberty.

Kochaniwsky, 18, of South Setauket, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The driver of the Ford, Kevin Nelson, 22, of Port Jefferson Station, and the driver of the Jeep, Cassandra Benitez, 23, of Shirley, were not injured.

Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks and the investigation is continuing.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Third Squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that seriously injured a pedestrian in Bay Shore early May 14.

Jonathan Esposito, of South Setauket, exited his vehicle, which was pulled over on the side of the eastbound Sunrise Service Road, just east of 5th Avenue, and was struck by a 2017 Volkswagen.

Esposito, 30, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was admitted for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Volkswagen, Kristen Erlwein, 21, of Islip, was not injured.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Third Squad at 631-854-8352.

Nikki Yovino, above, accused two men of sexually assaulting her at an off-campus party outside Sacred Heart University, below. Photo from Bridgeport Police Department

By Rita Egan

South Setauket native Nikki Yovino turned herself into the Bridgeport Police Department last week after a warrant for her arrest was issued. The 2016 Ward Melville graduate is accused of filing a false police report and tampering with evidence involving a case where she reported two men for sexual assault, according to the Bridgeport Police Department website.

“As the investigation continued, the case detective received more information that contradicted Yovino’s statements to police.”

— Bridgeport Police Department

After attending a party Oct. 15, Yovino reported that two black males sexually assaulted her. The Sacred Heart University student said she was at an off-campus house party in Bridgeport when the assault occurred in a bathroom of the home. One of the alleged assailants was also a student at the university, and a football player, and the second was a former student. According to the police department’s website, “BPD detectives conducted a thorough investigation and met several times with SHU administrators. Initial statements from witnesses and evidence recovered from the scene suggested that a sexual assault had occurred. As the investigation continued, the case detective received more information that contradicted Yovino’s statements to police. This new information included new witness accounts, text messages and cell phone video. Yovino was confronted with this evidence, and admitted that she, in fact, did have consensual sex with both males.”

The police department’s website also states that with this admission, probable cause existed to charge the woman with a false report and tampering with evidence. A warrant was issued, and after being informed of the warrant, Yovino turned herself into the police Feb. 21.

Sacred Heart University. Photo from Facebook,

Yovino’s attorney, Mark Sherman, expects his client to plead not guilty at a March 3 arraignment. According to the Stamford-based criminal lawyer, he would not be able to comment further about the case until he was provided with police reports and video footage.

“The details of what happened here will come out at the appropriate time during the court process,” the lawyer wrote in an email.

Kimberly A. Primicerio, assistant director of media relations for Sacred Heart University couldn’t confirm whether or not Yovino is still enrolled at the school, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and  Privacy Act that prevents providing information about specific students.

“I can say that some of the early information that was released is inaccurate,” she wrote in an email. “Sacred Heart never expelled the two students nor was any student stripped of scholarships because of any allegations. Whenever there is any kind of incident at Sacred Heart University, we go to great lengths to ensure due process for all parties involved. The way that this particular case is playing out certainly demonstrates the validity of our procedures.”

The Dalys smile looking back on 60 years of marriage

Bill and Angie Daly with their wedding photo. Photo by Donna Newman

Angie and Bill Daly are months away from celebrating 60 years of married bliss. Well, maybe it wasn’t all bliss, Angie said, but they must know how marriage survives, because they are still happily together.

The two met at a church dance in Brooklyn in 1956. Angie’s brother Vin knew Bill from their days together at the Vincentian seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. So when they encountered each other at the coat check, Bill noticed Vin’s armful of coats.

“Where’re you going with all those coats?” Bill asked. To which Vin explained he brought seven girls to the dance. “I said, you’re just the guy I want to talk to.”

Angie was the first girl he asked to dance.

“I was attracted to guys who were fair with blue eyes,” Angie said. “It was those blue eyes. And I thought he was suave.”

At the end of the evening, Bill asked Angie if he could drive her home.

“I thought everything about her was terrific,” Bill said. “She was so bright and cheerful and outgoing — and cute.”

She said yes, but only if some of the other girls could come along. So they piled into his yellow Olds 98 convertible and on the way home, the car broke down.

“It just died,” Angie said. They were alongside a big cemetery. It was around midnight; no houses or stores were nearby. It started to snow. Angie and Bill left the others in the car and went to find help.

They finally reached some stores, but only the bar and grill was open. They went in and called Vin, who had been home for some time, got dressed, picked them up, drove all the girls home and dropped Bill off at the train station.

“So the first night we met, we had problems,” Angie said.

They got engaged in 1957, married in 1958, and the babies started coming in 1959. By 1969, the couple had four sons and two daughters. Bill taught algebra and business at John Adams High School in Queens. The family lived in Brentwood. He moved into sales with State Farm insurance company and operated his own agency for 28 years. The pair moved to Smithtown, where they resided for 25 years before moving to Jefferson’s Ferry in South Setauket a little more than four years ago.

They still enjoy spending time together.

“We have a lot in common: walking, dancing, visiting friends. We’re on the same page,” Angie said, as she turned to Bill to says “Is that a good answer?”

“Yes,” he replied, adding, “listening to a little music … we try to outdo each other in kindness.”

Asked what she thought were the main factors in a good marriage, Angie said she thought that having animals helped a lot.

“Our loving, therapeutic animals kept us together,” she said, adding that she believes they had a calming influence and can reset your feelings when emotions occasionally get out of hand.

And, of course, there is their faith.

“I remember in elementary school the nuns saying ‘marriage is not just a man and a woman. It’s God, man and woman,’” she said. “And I think we both felt that. We always forgave.”

Sabelo Ndala mugshot from SCPD

A motorcyclist was killed on Saturday afternoon when a young man who was allegedly on drugs crashed a car into his bike.

Two days after Thanksgiving, the Suffolk County Police Department said, 56-year-old Thomas Heissen Buttel was riding a 1972 Harley-Davidson north on Old Town Road when he was struck by a vehicle whose driver had been trying to make a left onto Hyson Way in Coram, just south of Hawkins Road.

The motorcyclist, a South Setauket resident, died from his injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital, police said, while the driver of the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta that struck him, 22-year-old Port Jefferson Station resident Sabelo Ndala, was not hurt.

Police charged Ndala with driving while impaired by drugs, operating a vehicle without an interlock device and second-degree aggravated unlicensed driving. He was arraigned the next day.

The suspect is listed as defending himself in the New York State court system’s online database and could not be reached for comment.

According to the database, Ndala had a previous drunk driving charge against him, dating back to February, to which he pleaded guilty. His license was revoked for 18 months in that case and he was mandated to use an interlock device on his vehicle, which prevents the car from operating unless a sober person breathes into the device, for three years.

After Saturday’s crash, police impounded both the Jetta and the Harley-Davidson for safety checks.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call detectives from the SCPD’s Vehicular Crime Unit at 631-852-6555.

Does not compute
Early in the morning on Oct. 23, an unknown person entered an unlocked business on Oakland Avenue in Port Jefferson and stole a computer.

NoGood
An unknown person stole a woman’s wallet from her purse on Oct. 25 while the woman shopped at the HomeGoods on Nesconset Highway in Port Jefferson Station.

Got my eye on you
Police said a dispute broke out between two males on Main Street in Port Jefferson on Oct. 24, during which one punched the other in his face, near his eye. It was not clear if the victim needed medical attention after the altercation.

Left unlocked
An unknown person entered an unlocked 2005 Toyota Sequoia on Harbor Beach Road in Mount Sinai and stole assorted items between Oct. 22 at 9:30 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 3:30 a.m.

A clean getaway
At some point between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, unknown people entered a residence on Norwich Road in Sound Beach through a basement window and stole a washing machine from the residence.

Beer me
Police said on Oct. 23 a man entered a store on Middle Country Road in Centereach and took a 12-pack of beer without paying.

Getting to work
On Oct. 24, an unidentified person stole work gloves and cell phone accessories from the Centereach Mall in Centereach.

Smashing pumpkins
An unknown person smashed a pumpkin in front of a residence on Ambassador Lane in Selden on Oct. 23, then threw another pumpkin through the front window of the residence. Police didn’t know if the individual was acting alone or with others.

Cold case
Police said three people took off in a yellow sedan after stealing five coats from the Kohl’s on Nesconset Highway in Selden on Oct. 23.

Drove my Chevy to the jailhouse
Police arrested a 23-year-old woman from Centereach for driving while ability impaired on Oct. 23, after pulling her over for failing to maintain her lane while driving east in a 2004 Chevy on Chereb Lane in Port Jefferson Station. The officers arrested her at the scene at 1:15 a.m.

Larceny tour
Police arrested a 39-year-old man from Farmingville on four charges of petit larceny, after he hit different stores throughout the county. According to police, on Sept. 11, the man stole assorted merchandise from the Walmart in Centereach, then stole a snow blower from the Kmart in Farmingville 10 days later. On Oct. 5, he stole a vacuum from the Walmart on Middle Country Road in Middle Island, and on Oct. 20 stole toys from the Kmart on North Ocean Avenue in Farmingville. Police arrested the man at the 6th Precinct two days after the final incident.

Gone with the ganja
A 38-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana on Oct. 23, after Suffolk County police executed a search warrant at her residence on Island Trail in Mount Sinai. Officers found more than one pound of marijuana. Police did not elaborate on why the search warrant was issued.

Stay focused
A 33-year-old woman from Selden was arrested for unlicensed operation of a vehicle on Oct. 23, after she was pulled over while driving a 2005 Ford Focus down Route 25 in Centereach.

Low maintenance
On Oct. 25, a 25-year-old woman from Mount Sinai was arrested for driving while ability impaired. Police said the woman was driving a 2013 Hyundai east on Route 25A in Port Jefferson shortly after 1 a.m., when police pulled her over for failing to maintain her lane.

Targeted approach
A 42-year-old woman from Centereach was arrested for petit larceny on Oct. 25, after she stole clothing and toys from the Target on Pond Path in South Setauket.

Man gets batty
Police arrested a 50-year-old man from East Setauket for menacing after he prevented the female passenger in his 2002 Toyota from leaving the car on Oct. 26. The driver then exited his car with a baseball bat and hit her car. The incident occurred on Old Town Road in East Setauket.

Stolen apparel
A 36-year old man from Plainview was arrested after police said he stole assorted apparel from the Smith Haven Mall in Smithtown on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 1:20 p.m. and then, once he was taken to the 4th Precinct, police said he had an altered New York State identification card. He was charged with second degree forgery of an official document.

Smoke sign blows away
It was reported that business signs from Aroma Smoke Shop in Smithtown were damaged by four unknown teens at 4 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Xanax o’clock
Police said a 24-year old woman from Northport was in wrongful possession of Xanax at 5:55 a.m. at 4 Parsons Lane in Nissequogue on Oct. 22. She was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Not so lucky
Police said an unknown white man entered Gulf gas station on Nesconset Highway and fled with scratch lotto tickets on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

Oxy-co-don’t
A 17-year old man from Smithtown was arrested after police said he was in possession of oxycodone at Commack Liquors on Route 25A in Commack on Oct. 23 at 6:05 p.m. He was charged with seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Rims gone
It was reported that two sets of rims and tires were stolen from a 2016 Cadillac Escalade at a dealership in Smithtown sometime between 10 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 8 a.m. on Oct. 21

Bad contact
On Oct. 22, a 23-year old woman from Commack was arrested after police said she hit someone on the head on Route 454 in Commack at 3 a.m. She was charged with second degree physical contact.

Home Depot items have new home
A 47-year old man from East Northport was arrested on Oct. 22 after police said he stole miscellaneous items from Home Depot on Jericho Turnpike in Commack at 10 p.m. He was charged with petit larceny.

Wrong turn
On Oct. 24, a 40-year old man from Bay Shore was arrested after police said he made an illegal left hand turn on Route 25A in Smithtown and they discovered he was driving drunk. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Boozing and speeding
A 36-year old man from Centereach was pulled over for speeding on Route 347 in Commack when it was discovered that he was driving drunk at 1:50 a.m. on Oct. 22. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Toke at the traffic stop
A 25-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested when police said he had marijuana in plain view during a traffic stop on the corner of Lebkamp Avenue and Brennan Street in Huntington on Oct. 24. He was arrested at 7:50 p.m. and charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

Welcome to New York
Police said a woman was punched and kicked in the face on New York Avenue in Huntington on Oct. 24 at 3:12 a.m. She was transported to Huntington Hospital for treatment of a broken nose.

Under control
On Oct. 21, a 20-year-old man from Central Islip was arrested after police said he had marijuana and another controlled substance on him at the corner of Park Avenue and Pulaski Road in Huntington Station. He was charged with unlawful possession of marijuana. Police would not specify which other controlled substance the man had on him, nor why he was not charged with unlawfully possessing it.

Wild times
Someone reported that a wallet containing cash, a credit card and a driver’s license was stolen from a counter in Wild by Nature in Huntington on Oct. 23.

High times at the beach ramp
A 19-year-old man from Commack was arrested at 7:54 p.m. on Oct. 21 in the parking lot of the Hobart Beach boat ramp in Eaton’s Neck for having marijuana and another unspecified controlled substance on him. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Oh no in the Volvo
Someone entered a 1991 Volvo on Fort Salonga Road in Huntington on Oct. 23 and took medication and cash.

The nail polish remover
Police said a 30-year-old woman from East Northport stole 75 bottles of nail polish from a Walgreens on Larkfield Road in East Northport on Oct. 23. She was charged with petit larceny.

An unknown person stole numerous bottles of nail polish at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 21 from Walgreens on Larkfield road in Commack.

Puffing at the park
A 17-year-old man from Huntington was arrested after police said he possessed marijuana in plain view in Elwood Park in Huntington on Oct. 23 at 12:35 p.m. He was charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.

On the fence about staying
Early in the morning on Oct. 24, a 41-year-old man from Centerport was arrested after police said he hit a fence at a residence on Dunlop Road, at the intersection with Greenlawn Road in that neighborhood, with a 2008 Nissan and fled the scene. He was charged with leaving the scene of a crash and property damage.

Minor problem
A 69-year-old man from Lindenhurst was arrested after police said he was selling a can of beer to an underage person on Oct. 23 on New York Avenue. He was charged with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child.