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Town of Brookhaven

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On June 29, Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich welcomed Boy Scout Troop 229 from Selden to Town Hall. The group met in the Town Council conference room where Kornreich answered questions about town government and discussed his role on the town board.

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

The discussion included concerns from the Boy Scouts regarding recycling, homelessness, littering, park stewardship, clean energy and infrastructure. Kornreich also presented each Boy Scout with a Certificate of Congratulations for achieving their “Citizenship in the Community” merit badge. 

“I enjoyed hearing about issues important to the Scouts from Troop 229,” Kornreich said. “It was really thought-provoking to see the world through their eyes and understand their specific community-based concerns.”

He added that the experience was “heartening.”

“I’m optimistic that the leaders of tomorrow will step up to help our township reach new heights.”

Photo from Town of Brookhaven

On Wednesday, June 16, Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) was joined by Sound Beach Civic Association president Bea Ruberto to honor longtime SBCA board member Kevin McKeown as he steps down from the board. Bonner presented McKeown with a proclamation to thank him for his many years of service to the civic. 

McKeown has also been active with the Rocky Point VFW, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Tin Can Sailors Organization. He is also very committed to helping the less fortunate in the community as a volunteer at the St. Louis De Montfort Outreach and Hope House. 

He has been a member of the Civic for 11 years and board member for six.

“Kevin has participated in just about every project that the Sound Beach Civic Association has worked on and is always available when called upon,” Bonner said. “I thank him and his wife, Mary, for all they have done in service to the community and I’m sure that he will continue to serve in some capacity.”

Photo and caption from Town of Brookhaven.

The Pendergast family admires the new sign. Photo by Julianne Mosher

The corner of Grandview Boulevard and Lower Rocky Point Road in Miller Place will now have a sign saying Pendergast Path in honor of the street’s former resident and founder of ALS Ride For Life. 

Local officials, friends and family joined together on Monday, June 21, next to the street sign to remember Pendergast’s legacy and honor his efforts in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — a degenerative neurological disease that ultimately leads to a loss of muscle control throughout the body, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Monday was Global ALS Awareness Day.

“What a beautiful day to have this event,” said Ray Manzoni, president of ALS Ride For Life. “We’ve got somebody up there keeping an eye on us.”

Chris Pendergast’s grandson had the honor of unveiling the new sign. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Pendergast died on Oct. 14, 2020, after a 28-year battle with the disease. His nonprofit has helped raise more than $10 million in research for ALS. 

During the annual Ride For Life, Pendergast was known to ride his motorized wheelchair hundreds of miles to raise funds and awareness of the disease. His longest ride was 350 miles in two weeks.

“He defied the odds in so many ways, his endurance was remarkable,” Manzoni said. “He was extraordinary.”

Pendergast, a former teacher in the Northport school district, was told he only would have a few years to live after his diagnosis. He beat the odds and spent over two decades educating people on the disease and devoting his life to helping others. 

His daughter, Melissa Scriven, told the crowd of people that the ALS Ride For Life board started in their house on Grandview Boulevard. Team meetings were held in the kitchen, and the dining room became an office. In 1991, the family moved to the street and two short years later he was diagnosed.

“Our lives were forever changed — dreams for this new house and our new life were shot,” she said. “But only briefly … his positive attitude and optimism shaped how we would handle this ALS diagnosis. We were a team and we’re going to live with this disease — and live we did.”

Scriven said her father adored this house. 

“It’s quite fitting that he lived on Grandview Boulevard,” she said. “My dad would for sure say that he was blessed with a grand view of the goodness of humanity, of the loyalty of friends, of the generosity of strangers and the grandest view of all, the love of his family.”

As part of a street renaming, the Town of Brookhaven requires an individual to have provided the town with an outstanding service. 

And that he did. 

Councilwoman Jane Bonner embraces Christine Pendergast. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) presented the Pendergast family with a proclamation from the town shortly before the curtain unveiled Pendergast Path. Bonner said she had a special connection to the day’s event. 

“My grandfather died from ALS in the early 1980s, long before anybody really knew what ALS was,” she said. “I have learned so much about ALS because of Chris, because of this organization and because of the people with ALS that really don’t ever let you forget that this disease should not be forgotten, that we need a tremendous amount of research dollars.”

She added there is a lot of time to make up due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“People need to be as generous as possible because there are many more people suffering and so we must find a cure,” she said. “And I can think of no person that deserves this honor more than Chris.”

Pendergast’s wife, Christine, was honored to have her husband’s name across the green sign. 

“I think he would be grinning ear to ear,” she told TBR News Media. “He took his ALS bike to the streets, literally, and we now have a street named after him. I think it’s a very fitting way to honor him and his work.” 

Photo from MCPL

The Miller Business Center at the Middle Country Public Library invited businesses back for in-person networking at the Strictly Business trade show on June 8. 

A heat wave did not stop the 10-plus attendees who connected with 30 local businesses and business organizations.The partnership between the library’s Miller Business Center, the Greater Middle Country Chamber of Commerce and the Brookhaven Chambers of Commerce Coalition was created more than a decade ago to promote local businesses and boost economic development in the region. Proceeds help to support these organizations. Sponsors include Flushing Bank, Synergy Wealth Strategies and Pure Mammography.

Photo from MCPL

Photo by Kimberly Brown

By Kimberly Brown

Town of Brookhaven residents gathered on Tuesday morning to honor Glen “Doc” Moody Jr., an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who passed away April 8, 2020 at just 39 years old.

The town renamed Groveland Park Boulevard and 7th Street in Sound Beach after the heroic Marine. 

The Moody family embraced each other as the street sign — which read “HM2 Glen ‘Doc’ Moody” — was revealed to the community. They were also presented with a proclamation by Councilwoman, Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) stating May 25 will be declared as “Glen ‘Doc’ Moody Day” in the Town of Brookhaven. 

The new sign is located adjacent to the Moody household.

“Growing up, Glen was really into GI Joes and guns,” said Glen’s brother George Moody. “So, there’s a lot of memories growing up in this home with him.”

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Joined by Navy personnel, veterans, police officers and firefighters, Moody was largely recognized by fellow war heroes and the community for the sacrifices he had made for his country.

After serving as an FMF Corpsman with the United States Marines for six years, Moody, of Miller Place, returned home unaware he was about to face one of his toughest battles yet, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Although Moody suffered from his disorder, Moody’s family highlighted the positive influence he created by being an active member of the community. 

“He started working with the Lt. Michael Murphy Sea Cadets. He would dress in fatigues and pack up all his equipment,” George said. “Something about it just lit him up to get out there and help these kids, teach them what he knows, and instill confidence and pride in them.” 

In efforts to aid Moody with his disorder, his family reached out to the Patriotic Service Dog Foundation in California, which trains service dogs for veterans and first responders. With the support of the community, the Moody family was able to fundraise for a service dog named Independence.

Moody had also been involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and led the Port Jefferson Dragon Boat Team.  

“This is what Glen always wanted to do, to help others and back our country up. That’s really what he was all about,” George added.

Bonner said the late veteran was a tremendous advocate in speaking about PTSD. 

“Even though Glen is gone from this Earth, his legacy and advocacy continue to live on and bring awareness and help to those suffering with PTSD,” she said. 

TBR News Media talked to Moody in 2015 about a fundraiser he hosted at Napper Tandy’s in Miller Place. The event was aimed to raise PTSD awareness and raise money to help veterans afford and obtain a PTSD service dog. 

“I’m not the only guy [suffering] — I know I’m not,” Moody said at the time. “When I talk to veterans, they say the same thing. We need more awareness and that’s what I’m doing.”

Presiding Officer Rob Calarco shakes hands with Leg. Nick Caracappa during Friday’s press conference. Photo by Julianne Mosher

A bipartisan group of representatives from local, state and federal elected offices, civics and the community gathered to call on the governor to repair New York state roads with federal funding.

Spearheaded by Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa (R-Selden), he demanded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) gives his immediate attention to the unsafe state roads, specifically in Suffolk County. 

Caracappa said roads like I-495 (the Long Island Expressway), Route 27 (Sunrise Highway) and Route 25 (Middle Country Road) have potholes the size of craters, that cannot just damage a vehicle, but could potentially take a life. 

“The current state of these roadways presents very hazardous, dangerous driving conditions to the millions of commuters who depend upon these roadways on a daily basis,” Caracappa said at the May 21 press conference outside the state building in Hauppauge. “Whether it be for work or leisure, commuters place themselves in harm’s way when entering these roadways throughout Suffolk County and beyond.”

The legislator noted that the county’s roads occupy over one million commuters on a daily basis. When a driver blows out a tire on the side of a busy highway, he could be putting his life at risk, stepping out of the car to examine the damage.

“The residents of Suffolk County in New York pay some of the highest taxes in this country,” he added. “There are better, safer and more secure roadways than those we are currently forced to utilize on a daily basis … the lives of the hardworking commuters and their family members should not be put in peril each and every time.”

The meeting came after the legislator issued a letter signed by all 17 Suffolk County Legislators to Cuomo and NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez.

Ten town leaders also signed the letter to show their support. Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) spoke on their behalf. 

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. Photo by Julianne Mosher

“Someone once said, all issues of government are issues of money. Look how the state spends its money,” Romaine began. “We have roads in atrocious conditions — I rode on the expressway to get here, and it seemed like there was more blacktop to the potholes than there was concrete for the pavement.”

Romaine said this needs to change.

“We need to make sure that the guys that ride bikes, the guys who drive cars, the gals that drive cars, that they’re safe, these roads are not safe,” he said. “The money is there — let’s spend it where it should be spent. Let’s spend it on our infrastructure. Let’s create jobs. Anyone that studies economics, understands that investment in infrastructure, produces great results for the economy, and also for our citizens that have to travel.”

Caracappa mentioned that repairs for these roadways are scheduled for completion by 2023-2024, which he said is an unacceptable time frame. At a time when the state has received unprecedented levels of federal aid, he felt the time for immediate and decisive action must be now.

“New York State should be held accountable and responsible for every flat tire, automobile accident, injury or death caused by the current road conditions of these roadways, with restitution given to those who have been major under the conditions that can be likened only to a war-torn country,” Caracappa said. “We have an obligation to ensure the safety of our communities, and should make every effort to begin to do so without any further delay.”

Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) said the state roadway infrastructure has been completely mismanaged. 

Photo by Julianne Mosher

“They are spending millions of dollars unnecessarily when they should be paving our roads,” he said. “People are going to get hurt and cost this county and the state millions of dollars in lawsuits, and all for what? Because of mismanagement. It doesn’t take Perry Mason to figure out the road needs to be paved.”

And it isn’t just for residents. Caracappa and several of the other officials mentioned that East End tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry. But it won’t be if tourists can’t safety get out there.

“We spend millions of dollars for tourism on the East End,” said Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset). “I don’t know if they are able to get there without blowing a tire.”

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. (R) added that Long Island is finally “mask free” and tourism will be back. 

“Let’s talk about commerce and equity of a $5 billion East End tourism industry,” he said. “People from all over the tri-state area make choices … Are they going to come down roads that are like downtown Baghdad? Or are they going to go to Jersey or up the Hudson River?”

Just an hour before the 11 a.m. press conference, Cuomo sent out a statement announcing a $30.6 million investment in pavement restoration projects for Long Island roads — for five state highways in Nassau and Suffolk Counties totaling 20 miles.

State Senator Mario Mattera (R) said that regardless, the roads are still a disaster.

“It’s amazing that the governor heard probably about this press conference,” he said. “And now money is being released. But again, strike with numbers in solidarity. And you know what, everybody needs to be a voice. This is our safety. These are our roads.”

The state restoration plans to end by 2022.

Community members came out for the 2021 Great Brookhaven Clean Up on May 15. Co-sponsored by the Town of Brookhaven’s Department of Recycling and Sustainable Materials Management and Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the event is part of a national effort that draws over 5 million volunteers in more than 20,000 communities across America who come together to pick up litter and clean miles of roadway, rivers, lakes, and more. 

Courtesy photo

The Suffolk County Legislature has approved the purchase of 17.29 acres of open space within the Terryville Greenbelt — its vote providing county officials with authorization to complete the remaining steps of the acquisition process for these properties. 

Through a partnership, the cost of purchasing these parcels will be divided between Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven at a 75% and 25% split, respectively. Additionally, the County and Town are expected to enter into an agreement for management and oversight of this open space by Brookhaven. 

As part of the Central Suffolk Special Groundwater Protection Area and located within the heavily developed Port Jefferson Station community, the Terryville Greenbelt is situated south of Route 112, adjacent to the rear of Comsewogue High School, and is approximately 75 total acres. 

The Town of Brookhaven has already preserved approximately 40 of the greenbelt’s acres through open space acquisitions and these 60 individual parcels will add to those existing municipal open space holdings to form continuous greenery.

“Preserving the Terryville Greenbelt parcels, located within a Special Groundwater Protection Area, in perpetuity highlights the continued commitment of Suffolk County to being a strong community partner to ensure protection of the local environment and our quality of life,” said Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket).

Suffolk’s efforts to preserve the greenbelt began in 2017, when Hahn gained approval for the appraisals of the parcels, the first step in a multi-phased county acquisition process. 

That initial step commenced a complex process of contacting the 60 parcels’ owners, gauging the owners’ interest in selling to the county and appraising the sites.

According to a letter of support provided to legislators from the Port Jefferson Station Terryville Civic Association, “Given the past and present development in this hamlet this proposed acquisition is needed for both quality of life and of our drinking water. The community supports the need for this type of quality and amount of open space in our Suffolk hamlet.”

Councilman Jonathan Kornreich was also grateful for Hahn’s help.

“This is a monumental achievement for our community and I’m grateful for your passionate dedication to getting it done,” he said. “This latest addition to the 40 acres preserved by the Town of Brookhaven will further strengthen our shared efforts to protect our groundwater and provide more public access to precious green spaces.”

Photo from Rage Room

By Chris Cumella

The area could soon have its own rage room — a creation designed for destruction. The local concept was conceived in 2019 by Michael Hellmann, who hopes to start up Rage Room Long Island.

A vacant storefront on Middle Country Road could be on its way to becoming the latest attraction that Selden has to offer its residents and visitors alike. The last hurdle for Hellmann and his crew is obtaining a permit from the Town of Brookhaven. Doing so will solidify their place in the Selden Plaza and create a therapeutic stress release for all who enter.

“We started this project two years ago,” said Hellmann, a Holbrook resident. “It is definitely an intense workout if you want it to be  — you can break a picture of your ex, you can make it whatever you want.”

Derived from Japan, the first rage room opened in 2008, known as The Venting Place. It was created in the wake of the nation’s Great Recession, putting stressed-out workers, students and people from all walks of life in an environment where destruction was therapeutic. Since then, over 60 venues are operating in the U.S. and rising, according to Hellmann.

He said that his premises would include two sizable rooms accompanied by a third, larger room designed for parties and other big groups. Once a waiver is signed, a mechanical arm will hand you a weapon of your choice to arm yourself with —including crowbars, sledgehammers, golf clubs and even pipe wrenches.

“Michael is very creative and is looking at the latest and most innovative methods,” said Michaela Pawluk, social media manager of Rage Room LI. “When you go to other rage rooms, you are just destroying things, but the way that he created it and designed it — it is an entire experience.”

Participants are equipped with thick coveralls and a face shield for bodily protection from the bits of cutlery, furniture and technology scattered throughout a room during their allotted time ranging from 15-30 minutes. For the larger room intended for parties, audiences will have access to larger objects to unload. These include an industrial humidifier and a 4-foot Xerox machine right out of an attorney’s office.

Recycling is the name of Rage Room LI’s game, and Hellmann and his team play strategically when scouting the town’s curbs for discarded objects large enough for further destruction. Once a customer is finished with their session, the leftover scraps are recycled once again in an environmentally conscious effort to avoid sending them to a landfill.

“We are literally getting things off the street,” Hellmann said. “We have a Rage Room LI van, and we drive around the neighborhoods to collect junk off the curb. We love finding things that are technologically based.”

A rage room is designed to be used in any way that customers see fit — from an outlet to unleash anger to a venue for birthday parties. Rage Room LI is attempting to break the stigma around the danger of rage rooms. One of their most significant priorities has been to facilitate a safe environment where people can let endorphins flourish and have fun.

To get up and running at the request of over 900 eager participants via email, Hellmann is seeking a permit from the town to register his business. All town board members have expressed interest in introducing Long Island’s first rage room, except for one hesitant councilmember concerned of misuse or bringing in troubling individuals.

Rage Room LI has seen support from a petition on Change.org to open shop that has garnered 586 signatures as at May 12 out of a goal of 1,000. Aside from the signatures, the purpose of creating the petition was to show local and neighboring residents that it is a worthwhile cause. It is a continuous effort which Pawluk encourages anyone who is interested to add their name to the petition to emphasize community solidarity.

Envisioning opening day leaves Hellmann and his crew optimistic that their business will make a tremendous splash in Selden. Rage Room LI is shaping up to succeed from the positive community feedback, project plans and potentially a permit at its side.

“At some point, people break things whether they want to or not,” Hellmann said. “We are just expressing positivity, that is mainly the goal.”

Pictured left to right: Sponsor Brian Keating, United Service Workers 355 JATF; Sharon Boyd, executive director of Dress for Success Brookhaven; Sponsor Gina M. Pellettieri Attorney at Law; Sponsor Kaitlyn Keating, United Service Workers 355 JATF; Lisa Keys, Town of Brookhaven Commissioner of General Services and Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine. Not available for the event sponsor photo was Denise Nostrom from Diversified Financial Solutions. Photo from town of Brookhaven

On April 27, Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) was on-hand to thank two event sponsors of Dress for Success Brookhaven’s first annual “EMPOWER – Virtual Walk/Run for Success” fundraiser. 

The event, which will be held from May 1 to May 9, is designed to meet Dress for Success Brookhaven’s 2021 fundraising goals. 

“During the past year, women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and support has never been more critical,” Romaine said. “This event will help to fund the much-needed services that women need to succeed in the workplace and in life.”

Since its inception, Dress for Success Brookhaven has suited over 6,500 women and they hope to continue to provide much-needed services in the future. 

As the saying goes, “EMPOWER a woman and she will EMPOWER her community.” 

To participate in the EMPOWER – Virtual Walk/Run for Success fundraiser event, walkers/runners, must: Lace up their sneakers and hit the local neighborhoods, tracks and parks, pick whether they would like to walk or run in the event, choose the date (May 1 through May 9) and time that works best for them, decide how far to walk or run, register for the 1-mile, 5k or 10k Walk/Run.

Dress for Success will select random winners each week and raffle off great prizes. Anyone registered for the “EMPOWER – Virtual Walk/Run” has a chance to win, including one lucky participant who will receive a prize package valued at over $200 by simply sharing a photo or video while participating in the virtual walk/run on run sign up day. Registration is open to women and men of all ages.

The event organizers encourage walkers/runners to be imaginative and show their love of Dress for Success Brookhaven in a creative way.  

The cost to register is $30 per-person and all participants will receive a free, “EMPOWER Walk/Run” t-shirt. 

The raffle for prizes/gift certificates will be held from May 1 to May 9.

“EMPOWER – Walk/Run participants may register at runsignup.com/Race/NY/Farmingville/DressforSuccessVirtualWalk.