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Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn

On April 10, Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) met with Cub Scouts from Pack 354 and their leader, Rob DeStefano, to present them with a certificate of congratulations for cleaning up the Setauket-Port Jefferson Station Greenway. The supervisor also presented Town of Brookhaven pins to commemorate their efforts.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) helped kick off the service project by joining the Scouts along the cleanup — filling a full five-gallon bucket with trash along the way.

The Setauket Port Jefferson Station Greenway is a three-mile-long trail that wanders its way from the east trailhead on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station to Limroy Lane in Setauket. Parking is available at both locations. Construction was completed in two phases with the first trail section opening in 2009 and the subsequent phase opening in 2014.

A true linear park, the Setauket to Port Jefferson Station Greenway is the longest paved multi-use trail in Suffolk County. The Greenway utilizes land acquired by the NYS Department of Transportation in the 1960s for a planned bypass of Route 25A. This bypass has been re-purposed, and today you can walk or bike through an amazing variety of terrains and landscapes: an old growth forest, rolling hills, rhododendron woodlands, neighborhoods, county parkland, old farmland, etc. With the recent opening of Phase II of the trail, you are now able to pedal from the Setauket Post Office to upper Port Jefferson Station. The path runs approximately four miles and is handicapped accessible.

The Friends of the Greenway, a committee of the Three Village Community Trust, maintains the Greenway. Visit www.threevillagecommunitytrust.org for more information.

 

Photo from Councimember Kornreich's office

Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn and members of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce attended the grand opening of “Mondays at Racine” at Gypsy Hair Lounge in the Three Village Shopping Center, 1389 Route 25A in Setauket on March 28. 

“Mondays at Racine” is a not-for-profit organization that strives to increase a sense of control with wellness, beauty and therapeutic services for anyone experiencing the side effects of cancer. When patients go through chemotherapy treatment, they look in the mirror and are reminded every day of their medical condition. The physical effects, such as hair loss, nail discoloration and weight loss, take a toll both physically and internally. The program is open to anyone regardless of age or gender. 

“Last week, I had the honor of attending the official opening of ‘Mondays at Racine’ at Gypsy Hair Lounge in Setauket. It was a beautiful event supported by many members of our community. Cancer has touched almost every family in our community in one way or another, and we know all too well the impact it can have on a patient’s physical appearance and emotional well-being. ‘Mondays at Racine’ partners with charter programs like Gypsy Hair Lounge all throughout Long Island to offer free services that help remind those with cancer of how beautiful they are,” said Councilmember Kornreich.

For more information, call 631-374-6397 or visit [email protected]

From left, ‘The Social Brain’ Treasurer Susan Burns, Brandon Bowen, Legislator Kara Hahn, ‘The Social Brain’ President Ira Dunne and Kathy Elton at the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge on March 8. Photo from Leg. Hahn’s office

March is national Brain Injury Awareness Month, and in recognition Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) honored Selden based not-for-profit “The Social Brain” for its work to support the needs of impacted individuals and families on March 8.

“The Social Brain” works to reduce the social isolation that is often associated with a brain injury diagnosis by holding monthly events that include sports programs, bowling, baseball games, art paint nights, nature walks and picnics for individuals and families. Additionally, the organization increases awareness of brain injuries through its community outreach efforts at local schools and neighborhood events.

 According to the Brain Injury Association of America, more than 3.6 million people of all ages sustain brain injuries in the United States every year with over 5.6 million Americans living with a permanent brain injury-related disability. 

In 2007, Suffolk County declared each second week of March as Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Week. With a goal to further public recognition of brain injuries, Legislator Hahn this month introduced legislation to illuminate the County’s H. Lee Dennison Building in green each March beginning in 2023.

Tom Manuel

By Tara Mae

After a two year COVID-19 induced hiatus, the Swing into Spring Jazz Festival makes a triumphant return from March 22 to March 27. 

A co-creation of Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn and The Jazz Loft founder Tom Manuel, the concert series, established in 2018, features local artists playing live music at multiple restaurants and shops in the Stony Brook and Setauket area. Performances will also take place at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts and The Jazz Loft. 

“Every year the festival has grown, which is a tribute to Kara supporting us and the community’s response. I get excited that it’s been growing and that this year the funding allows us to expand beyond Stony Brook Village into Setauket. We have three new businesses — Bliss, Mario’s, and Madiran The Wine Bar — as well as the Staller Center, which we haven’t included before,” said Manuel. 

Hahn and Manuel developed Swing into Spring as a way to promote local restaurants, give musicians opportunities, and attract both locals and tourists to the establishments, during the “slow season.” 

Supported by funding through the New York State Council on the Arts and a grant from Hahn’s office, the series is a mutually beneficial cooperation between local culture and local businesses, according to Hahn.

“I had grant funding from Suffolk County earmarked for cultural arts and the local economy. The Jazz Loft is a phenomenal destination for Stony Brook and Three Village, and the question was how to get people —  ­both tourists and locals — to visit our other businesses during the off season,” Hahn said. “We help fund the musicians so that they will play at the local businesses and attract patrons when people aren’t really coming out, on days of the week that are normally less busy.”

That funding enables steady gigs for musicians who generally have less work during the colder months, providing performance opportunities and income. Musicians such as Carl Safina and his Natural Causes Band, The Jazz Loft Trio, Mala Waldron, Rich Iacona, and Manuel will play at the businesses for a couple of hours. 

“We’re excited to be doing this again and to be employing artists who are still suffering from a lack of work. For those of us who rely on this for a paycheck 24/7, this is our slow season too. It’s hard, between the weather being poor, and people being spent from the holidays, January to March are the most difficult months to be employed. We try to hire individuals who are part of the community and perform at The Jazz Loft and throughout the Island during the summer,” Manuel said. 

Via personal and professional connections, Manuel unites the talent with the venues. Many of the people and places have been involved in the event during previous years. “I’ve had relationships with them for years, they were thrilled. The new participants are individuals and institutions I knew but had not collaborated with before,” Manuel said. “They were all aware of it and honored that we wanted them to be a part of it.”

It is this rapport that enabled Manuel to put together Swing into Spring’s culmination, a new conceptualization of American composer/arranger Oliver Nelson’s 1967 recording of The Kennedy Dream: A Musical Tribute to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Inspired by Kennedy’s legacy of social conscience, scientific growth, and individual creativity, Nelson’s motivation and music are still relevant today, according to Manuel. 

“Dream addresses some of those issues Kennedy was trying to champion; there is still work to be done,” he added. 

A 38-piece jazz orchestra will give two performances: first at The Jazz Loft and then at the Staller Center the following night. It is a passion project many months in the making. “I reached out to the artists, we were all home due to COVID and everyone got on board; we have been working on it for over a year,” Manuel said.  

Drawing his own inspiration from Nelson’s work, Manuel organized the second act of the concerts to feature new original compositions by jazz musicians Ray Anderson, Jeff Lederer,  Peter Coco, Steve Salerno, Grammy nominee Dan Pugach, and Nelson’s son, Oliver Nelson, Jr., who is flying in from Indiana for the concerts. Manuel also contributed original work.

“These are reflections on our society and our world. Some reflect on COVID-19, some on social statements around Black Lives Matter, equality, and equity, ” Manuel said. “It’s very beautiful and fresh, very emotional. Both halves resonate and have a lot in common with each other. When composers’ emotions are expressed honestly and genuinely, music always communicates powerfully; any music of any style that moves us, speaks to us.”

This language of music is spoken through community support, and the co-founders of Swing into Spring agree that the Three Village area is a uniquely welcoming atmosphere. “It’s a breath of fresh air, and what our community does so well. I’ve performed all over the world and the Three Village community is unique in how it offers support,” said Manuel. 

Hahn views the event as an indication of neighborly investment in community and the future. “When we create partnerships, we can create ways to thrive. It depends on our sense of place.” 

Additional funding for the festival comes from Michael Ardolino, founder and owner of  Realty Connect USA, and Dan Oliveri, who sponsors a concert series at The Jazz Loft.

To learn more about Swing Into Spring, visit https://www.thejazzloft.org. Prices and COVID protocols vary based on location.

Schedule of events:

Tuesday, March 22

◆ Live jazz at Bliss, Mario’s and Sweet Mama’s from 6 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23

◆ Jazz Improv Workshop & Jam at The Jazz Loft from 4 to 5:30 p.m. All ages and abilities welcome. $10

◆ Live jazz at Madiran The Wine Bar, The Three Village Inn, Sweet Mamas and The Country House from 6 to 8 p.m.

◆ Jam session at The Jazz Loft from 7 to 9:30 p.m. All ages and abilities welcome. $10 ($5 after 8 p.m.)

Thursday, March 24

◆ Jazz Duo at The Country House from 6 to 8 p.m.

◆ Interplay Jazz Orchestra at The Jazz Loft from 7 to 9:30 p.m. $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students,  $15 children ages 6 and up; children 5 and under free.

Friday, March 25

◆ Community Jazz Night at The Jazz Loft from 7 to 9:30 p.m. $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children ages 6 and up; children 5 and under free.

Saturday, March 26

◆ Live Jazz and $5 hot chocolate at Stony Brook Chocolate from 4 to 6 p.m.

◆ The Kennedy Dream Project at The Jazz Loft from 7 to 9:30 p.m. $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students,  $15 children ages 6 and up; children 5 and under free.

Sunday, March 27

◆ The Kennedy Dream Project at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts from 7 to 9:30 p.m. $30 adults, $25 seniors, $20 students, $15 children ages 6 and up; children 5 and under free.

 

By Qingyan Ma

For the second year in a row, the Asian American Association of Greater Stony Brook (AAAGSB) hosted the annual art show to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This year’s theme was Tiger, as 2022 is the Year of Tiger. The exhibition was held at the Setauket Neighborhood House on February 5. 

The Art Show received 62 pieces of tiger-themed artworks, including paintings, calligraphy, digital art and hybrid art from participants of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and age groups. 

Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn attended the ceremony and presented prizes to the 12 winners.

After successfully hosting the online art show for the Year of the Ox last year, this year’s art show was finally held in person. 

“The Lunar Year celebrations in the New York area are mostly theatrical performances. Last year due to Covid 19, many theatrical performances could not be carried out. Therefore, AAAGSB thought of the form of art show to celebrate the new year. Last year, the event was well-received by the community and received a lot of artwork. Due to the pandemic, last year’s exhibition could only be carried out online through the website. This year, with improved Covid situation, we can finally exhibit all the artworks on-site,” said Li Shaorui, the organizer of the event and the President of AAAGSB.

Tiger is known for courage, strength, and determination. The participants of the Art Show used their imagination and creativity to think about how to represent the Year of the Tiger in their art. 

The artwork was divided into three categories: Grade Pre-K to 6, Grade 7 to 12, and the adult group. The jury was led by Professor Qin Han from the Department of Art of Stony Brook University. “Tiger’s Reflection,” “Yin Tiger” and “Tiger: Past and Present” won the first prize in their respective categories. 

12-year-old Valentina Trajkovic, the winner of the Pre-K to 6 Group, said: “2022 is the Year of the Tiger and is also my zodiac year. This lunar new year is both a celebration and a time for reflection, so I painted ‘Tiger’s Reflection’. I hope to bring everyone a peaceful and healthy New Year.”

The art show attracted art lovers of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and age groups, not limited to Asian Americans. This is a different way to celebrate the Lunar New Year and to bring the community together. Art has no border. Art transcends age and race. Art is a bridge. This is the original intention of AAAGSB to host this event. 

The event also received strong support from Dr. Frank Zhang, Long Island Youth Development Inc., Cake Fairyland, Town of Brookhaven AANHPI Advisory Broad, and Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine. 

Qingyan Ma is the Director of Media relations from the AAAGSB Board.

All photos courtesy of Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich’s office.

By Heidi Sutton

On Nov. 11, VFW Post 3054 hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony at Setauket Veterans Memorial Park on Route 25A. The well-attended event paid tribute to the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country.

“Today we celebrate the millions of veterans who have ensured our freedom since America’s humble beginnings. That freedom is here because of the selfless that have continued to stand up, raise their right hand to take an oath and commit to ensuring liberty for all. Throughout our history, our veterans have answered the call to service and we all reap the many benefits of their selflessness. We celebrate their determination, dedication and unwavering patriotism,” said VFW Post 3054 Commander Reanna Fulton during the poignant ceremony.

Fulton’s son, Blake, a 5th-grader at Minnesauke Elementary School, read a speech he had prepared to thank all veterans. “Today is a day to celebrate all the veterans who served … Recent studies say that gratitude leads to happier, healthier and long-lasting life. Be grateful for our veterans and say thank you to them for their sacrifices.”

VFW Post 3054 Chaplain Mike Russell read the opening prayer and as in years past there was the traditional rifle salute and the playing of taps by Richard Wiederman followed by a wreath-laying ceremony.

Bobby White from the American Legion Irving Hart Post 1766; Commander Earl Willoughby of the American Legion Harbor Post 417; Larry Coll of VFW Post 3054; Cub Scouts Pack 333 and Pack 18; and Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) and state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) took turns laying a wreath at the park’s monument which honors members of the community who perished in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

“For those of us who are here today, we know the importance of honoring the sacrifices of veterans and their families. … I hope today serves to motivate us all with a renewed sense of patriotism, purpose and pride,” added Fulton.

 Photos by Heidi Sutton

The Three Village Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and grand reopening celebration for Mario’s Restaurant in East Setauket on Aug. 18. The community welcomed back brothers Jack and Gary Tiply, along with partner Billie Phillips, for a classic reboot of one of the oldest and most notable Italian restaurants on the North Shore.  

The special event was attended by Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, members of the chamber, family and friends.

The Tipleys owned Mario’s for 28 years before selling the restaurant in 2007. They reclaimed ownership in 2019 after a fire damaged the restaurant’s kitchen. Renovations have been completed and the restaurant has put pizza back on the menu.

“Mario’s Restaurant is a community treasure as are the owners. Everyone in the community can tell a story about being there for a reunion of friends or classmates, a special life event or family gathering. So many people in the area also met their spouse here. Congratulations to Gary, Jack and Billie on the new Mario’s,” said Leg. Hahn.

Pictured in first photo from left, Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Three Village Chamber President Jane Taylor;  chamber members Carmine Inserra, Colette Frey-Bitzas, Rob Taylor; Legislator Kara Hahn; owners Gary and Jack Tipley; and chamber members Charles Lefkowitz, and Michael Ardolino.  

Located at 212 Main St., East Setauket, the restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesday to Sunday for indoor dining and takeout. For more information, call 631-751-8840 or visit www.mariossetauket.com.

On June 19, the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission (BHC) held its annual “Juneteenth” celebration in recognition of the 156th anniversary of the end of slavery in 1865. The event was held at the historic Longwood Estate in Ridge and included a BBQ picnic, games, music, dancing and activities for children. Pictured from left, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; BHC member Leah Jefferson; BHC member Dr. Georgette Grier-Key; Supervisor Ed Romaine; BHC Chairwoman Dr. Corrinne Graham; Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich; BHC member Myles Green; BHC member Charlotte Pressley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and BHC member Clayton Hudson.

About the Town of Brookhaven Black History Commission: In 1991, a Black History Month Committee was formed in observance of Black History Month. Two years later, the Town Board established a permanent Black History Commission to provide continuity in planning and organizing a Black History Night celebration every February. The purpose of these celebrations is to acknowledge and honor the contributions of national and local African Americans, nationally and locally, while fostering an appreciation for their culture and heritage. In 2014, the Town board recognized that celebrating African American culture should not be limited to one specific month, so they unanimously passed a resolution expanding and broadening the scope of the Black History Commission. The commission now works on year-round programming to promote black history and culture in the Town of Brookhaven through events and community outreach.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn formally announced her bid for Congress at a June 2 event at the Three Village Inn. Photo by Rita J. Egan

More than 150 people, celebrating a local elected official’s announcement, filled the front courtyard of the Three Village Inn, Stony Brook, in the late afternoon of June 2.

Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) announced her bid to run in 2022 for New York’s 1st Congressional District. Hahn, who is also deputy presiding officer of the county Legislature, will run against fellow Suffolk Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) for the Democratic nomination. U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) has held the seat since 2015. The congressman is currently campaigning for the Republican nomination for New York State governor in 2022.

The June 2 event was organized for Hahn to make her first public remarks about her decision. When she was younger, the legislator was a waitress at the Three Village Inn.

Hahn said her father, who was a volunteer firefighter in Stony Brook, gave her inspiration to serve the community.

“I always try to match the level of service my dad gave,” Hahn said. “He is my hero, and my prime example of what it means to show up for your community and help families in need. It’s his example that led me to pursue a career in social work and become a civic leader.”

She said his influence also helped her tackle difficult issues in the Legislature where she has worked on legislation to protect land and water from pollutants, confront Long Island’s opioid epidemic, and helped victims of domestic abuse.

Hahn said more than ever the district needs a leader in Congress, “who actually wants to find solutions for our problems, and that is what I will do — find solutions.”

“I have so much hope and optimism right now,” she added. “We are back together close enough for handshakes and hugs.”

Hahn compared the pandemic to a storm, and said like other storms, residents will come out stronger “if we are willing to face head on together the enormous challenges that need to be tackled for Long Island’s hardworking families.”

The legislator said she recognizes the impact the pandemic has had financially on many. She added Long Islanders’ finances were affected long before the COVID-19 shutdowns when the federal government capped the state and local tax deduction.

“This punitive tax has hurt families and hurt our economy,” she said. “Of course, I’ll stand up for Long Island homeowners and vote to repeal that tax.”

In addition to removing the tax cap on SALT deductions, among her goals, if elected to Congress, are making health care affordable, child care more accessible, investing in local infrastructure and protecting land and water from pollution and having access to parks and shorelines.

“Washington must be better for us,” she said.

Hahn said she believes a campaign can be built with Long Islanders across the political spectrum “while upholding deep-held Democratic values of respect, equality, justice and opportunity for all.” She made it clear she is ready for the task of running for Congress and described herself as a problem solver.

“I work to get things done,” Hahn said. “I lead with respect, and I listen. I have a track record of working with anyone, to put family first and get results. That’s the kind of leadership our community needs in Washington. This campaign isn’t going to be easy, but like a lot of Long Islanders, I’ve never backed down from a challenge.”

Alexandra VanDerlofske, executive director of the Suffolk County Democratic Committee, said in an email statement that voters will have a difficult decision to make when it comes to the primaries.

“Kara Hahn has been a dynamic legislator and has a proven record of getting things done for Suffolk,” she said. “Voters are going to have a tough choice to make, but either choice will be a good one as Kara or Bridget will both be strong advocates for Suffolk in Congress.”

By Heidi Sutton

The Three Village Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for Pedego Electric Bikes Stony Brook in Setauket on May 24. The event was attended by New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, Town of Brookhaven Councilman Jonathan Kornreich and Pedego Director of Business Development Cynthia Newcombe along with members of the chamber and community. 

Owned by Trisha and Martin Larsen, the shop is located at 690 Route 25A at the corner of Bennetts Road in Setauket and is the first Pedego Electric Bike store on Long Island. 

“Our community loves to get outdoors — we have so many parks and cultural locations and art institutions … and there’s a lot of history here and a lot of beauty and there is no better way to experience all that than on a bicycle. We are so excited for you — we are thrilled as a business community and a community to have you here and we are looking forward to all you are able to do,” said Leg. Hahn.

“With everyone’s help, we are going to make Pedego Stony Brook successful and hopefully bring a lot of tourism and awareness to this area,” said Trisha Larsen. “We have self-guided tours, group rides, rentals and site sales. Please stop in.”

“At Pedego, we’re committed to inspiring connection and adventure within each of our communities,” said Cynthia Newcomb, Director of Business Development at Pedego. “We’re a people-oriented, fun-focused company, which is why [this store] is the perfect addition to our Pedego family. We look forward to not only providing Pedego Stony Brook with the best e-bikes in the world, but also cultivating a community that brings out the best in each other.”

Pedego Stony Brook joins the over 160 locally-owned Pedego stores throughout the United States. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. For more information, call 631-201-4283 or visit pedegoelectricbikes.com/east-setauket.

Photos by Heidi Sutton