Tags Posts tagged with "Town of Huntington"

Town of Huntington

Photo from Town of Huntington

Last week, in a joint statement, the Town of Huntington and the Huntington Village Business Improvement District, announced that the BID would not be able to organize the annual Holiday Spectacular this year. That decision has now been reversed.

According to a Nov. 11 press release from the town and BID, Northwell Health will provide funding to help the event go on as usual. 

“The Town of Huntington’s Annual Holiday Spectacular has garnered a lot of attention this year,” the press release read. “One key issue for this year’s event being reimagined was not only the safety concerns but the costs involved in creating such an event. The crowning glory of the Holiday Spectacular was the magnificent 65-foot multi-media Christmas tree. It must be made clear that the tree is not owned by the BID or the town, but is provided by (along with other decor) each year through Looks Great Services, Inc.”

This year the BID did not have the resources to fully fund the event in order for it to be a safe and successful one, according to the press release. The hope was to reimagine the event, but new plans wouldn’t be completed in time for the 2022 holiday season.

“However, since the plight of the spectacular was made public, we have since heard from our lead sponsor, Northwell Health and they have committed to provide the additional funding needed to ensure that the Spectacular continues for 2022,” the press release read. “Northwell Health’s generosity will enable the BID and the town to continue this highly anticipated event for the third consecutive year at its original location in Huntington Village/Wall Street.  We are grateful to Northwell Health that we can continue the tradition!”

According to the town and BID, organizers will work with local fire officials and first responders to take into account safeguards and precautions.

“We expect that this event will be ever changing based on the needs of the community, our town, and our merchants,” the press release read. “For now, we are happy to return the event so many have found to be the epitome of the holiday season for the Huntington community. We look forward to welcoming you all back to Wall Street for 2022.” 

The parade and celebration is scheduled for Nov. 26.

File photo by Lina Weingarten

The Town of Huntington board repealed an old code, Chapter 155, at its Oct. 19 meeting that limited pregnancy terminations to hospitals.

The law was adopted Dec. 8, 1970, and the regulation required “justifiable abortion acts, as defined in the Penal Law of New York State, shall be performed only in a hospital duly licensed and accredited under the New York State Department of Health and having equipment and facilities acceptable to the State Hospital Review and Planning Council.”

Chapter 155 allowed the town to order a cease and desist to a facility that was not authorized and permitted by the town to perform the procedure. The misdemeanor also carried a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 15 days. However, due to the practice of medicine being within the authority of the NYSDOH, the law was never enforced.

At the Oct. 19 board meeting, Councilwoman Joan Cergol (D), who sponsored the measure, said she had the support of her colleagues. 

“This is a violation of New York State law,” she said.

She added similar laws had been struck down in Hempstead [in 1972] as the law is unenforceable due to towns and villages not having police power to regulate police procedures.

“This has been a moot law on the books that is 52 years overdue to be removed because it has no effect at all, no matter what the laws of the land are, this law has no powers,” Cergol said. “It’s a paper tiger.”

The board held a public hearing on the motion. While some speakers gave their opinions as to why the code should remain on the books or not, a few used the opportunity to share their beliefs on abortion.

Among the speakers were representatives from the League of Women Voters who were on hand to support the repeal of the code.

Michael Lobasso asked the council members to remember “the spirit and intent” of the Town Board when the law was established. He said the board in 1970 had the foresight to choose a hospital as the safest place to have an abortion. Lobasso asked the current Town Board to ask themselves what is their intent and if they want to promote abortion procedures in any part of the town, and what precautionary procedures will they request of facilities. He asked the members to reconsider.

A mother carrying her baby was the last to come up to the microphone. She said it was great to repeal the “archaic” law, while it may not have a direct impact now due to state laws but could in the future. She said a few years ago when she had pregnancy complications, she was unable to access care in Huntington. She was told to go to Stony Brook University Hospital or Manhasset, which she said was costly and emotionally difficult. 

The board voted unanimously to repeal the law.

In a statement released after the board meeting, Cergol said, “I am proud to join other local municipalities on Long Island to repeal outdated regulations on where a woman can choose to terminate her pregnancy. The state judiciary and Legislature have made it clear: The Town of Huntington does not have the authority to regulate this issue.”

The Town of Huntington placed clams in Huntington Harbor Sept. 26. On Sept. 27, spat-on shell oysters were deployed into the water. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Town of Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth (R) greeted members of Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County’s Marine Program and the town’s Maritime Services department before they headed out on the water this week.

File photo by Kimberly Brown

An expedition leaving Gold Star Battalion Beach dock out into Huntington Harbor Sept. 27 was the first of two projects. Monday, the town and CCE representatives placed seed clams in the water, and Tuesday, the group deployed spat-on-shell oysters.

As groups of spat grow into mature oysters, they create a reef and help to filtrate waterways. Cleaner water leads to species diversity which in turn helps to support the local shellfish industry.

The clams released into the harbor can be harvested and consumed once they are mature.

Garrett Chelius, Huntington deputy director of Maritime Services, said 250,000 clams were being placed, and about 7,000 oysters this week.

“The oysters are more for habitat,” he said. “They get deployed to make kind of an artificial reef to create food sources and hiding spaces for other animals and other fish, and they filter 50 gallons of water a day for each oyster.” 

The oysters, he said, are placed strategically using GPS coordinates from CCE. The clams can be spread out. It takes approximately three years for the clams, which have already reached one year, to be mature enough to be harvested. 

Smyth added the shellfish currently are about the size of a nickel. The supervisor said working with CCE in their efforts to clean Huntington waters with natural resources has been a successful partnership and the initiative is an easy one.

“As far as growing them, it’s very low maintenance,” he said. Volunteers “put them into the racks that are underneath the docks, and they’re protected.”

The program runs at Gold Star Battalion Beach, Asharoken Beach and Crescent Beach at Huntington Bay where volunteers help to care for the shellfish. The town hopes to expand the program next year.

Councilmen Sal Ferro and Dave Bennardo. Photo from candidates

Nearly eight months into their first terms as Huntington Town Board councilmen, David Bennardo (R) and Sal Ferro (R) said they have been learning a great deal about their community and have been satisfied with recent progress on town projects.

Town of Huntington Councilman Sal Ferro speaking at a Boating Safety press conference ahead of the 2022 boating season. Photo from Ferro’s office

“I really feel like we’re getting a lot of positive work done,” Ferro said. “I want to be able to serve the community, and I’m very happy with what we’re doing so far.”

When Ferro and Bennardo ran for office in November 2021, they promised to work toward creating a more nonpartisan Town Board. It’s a feat they feel has been accomplished.

Ferro said he believes while everyone may not always agree on issues, it’s important to respect “other people’s opinions and positions.”

“I think Dave and I bring that to the table in that we have tremendous respect for different opinions, and we want to have open-door policies,” he said. “Our ears have to be open to listen and work together, because we’re not going to get anything done if we’re not working together.”

Bennardo agreed and said, “We’re elected to serve the people and there’s no Republican or Democratic way to clean up snow.”

Bennardo added that sometimes there could be 10% of people on each of the extreme political sides that seem to control the argument.

“The 80% in the middle will just want the government to do something,” he said. “They’re kind of held hostage by the 10 and the 10, and so we heard that on every door we knocked on, ‘Just break the gridlock.’ So, what we’ve been able to do, really with nothing other than just listening and being open minded, was kind of create a centrist core that starts to get that we serve the people not the party, and both sides are starting to see that.”

Bennardo also credits Supervisor Ed Smyth (R) with being the “most able administrative leader he’s ever worked with” and moving Huntington in a positive direction.

Councilman Dave Bennardo and Councilwoman Joan Cergol at an Earth Day event at Manor Farm Park on April 23. Photo by Media Origin

Bennardo said customer service seemed to be waning in the town. When responding to issues, taking the approach of seeing residents as clients has improved town services.

Both councilmen said they believe a lot of headway has been made in the Highway Department with new superintendent Andre Sorrentino (R).

“I think our highway superintendent has been fixing more roads in seven months than we have ever done in the past,” Ferro said. “It’s just a matter of sufficient management and help and support from the council level.”

Ferro added that some infrastructure projects would take time due to the extent of the jobs, but there have been discussions about making  such projects a priority.

He said he has been impressed with the town employees, describing them as “incredibly talented people with good work ethics that really care about what they’re doing.”

Ferro, CEO and former president of Alure Home Improvements, has been using his business skills and working closely with the building department and IT personnel. They have been moving forward with implementing state-of-the-art software to convert the permit process to online and to streamline the process.

“I believe six months from now you’re going to see a whole different experience when it comes to filing a permit,” he said, adding the revised process will be revolutionary for the building department and town.

It’s a project that the town has been working on for years, and Ferro said he’s happy that he and town personnel have been able to move it forward.

Bennardo, formerly Harborfields High School principal and South Huntington superintendent, said the Town Board has been working on bringing business back to Huntington. The town had developed a reputation of being unfriendly with business, according to Bennardo, and he said that the new permit process will be more business friendly.

In addition to working on making Huntington more inviting to businesses, the two said the board is moving forward with a sewer plan and, as always, is looking at affordable housing in the area.

“We need to create an environment that’s good for business, that’s better for housing, where development starts being able to bring people to our community,” Bennardo said.

He added another issue residents have brought up and that needs to be addressed is homelessness in the area and helping those who have found themselves in the situation.

Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth hosted the Town of Huntington’s 11th annual Anne Frank Memorial Ceremony on June 22. 

The Anne Frank Memorial Garden sculpture in Melville by artist Thea Lanzisero.

“We must counter the voices that seek to divide us and fight ignorance with education, which is why the Town honors the memory of Anne Frank every year and, through her voice, all those voices silenced through the Holocaust,” said Supervisor Smyth. “The iron wedding dress sculpture in the Anne Frank Memorial Garden appears vulnerable yet it has withstood the elements, and even acts of vandalism; its endurance represents the strength and fearlessness with which we must fight evil, ignorance and hate.”

Supervisor Smyth was joined by Councilwoman Joan Cergol, Councilman Dr. Dave Bennardo, Councilman Sal Ferro, Receiver of Taxes Jillian Guthman, Superintendent of Highways Andre Sorrentino, Senator Mario Mattera and Assemblyman Keith Brown at Huntington Town Hall, the rain location for the Anne Frank Memorial Ceremony, where the event streamed live on government access TV channels and on the Town’s website. 

Commander Harry Arlin and members of Jewish War Veterans Post #488 were joined by Commander Gary Glick of the New York State Jewish War Veterans and provided a color guard to present the colors for the ceremony. Rabbi Beth Klafter from Temple Beth David in Commack delivered the invocation; Hazzan (Cantor) Steven Walvick of East Northport Jewish Center performed two vocal musical selections; and Rabbi Yakov Saacks from The Chai Center in Dix Hills delivered the invocation. 

Guest speaker Gail Sheryn Kastenholz, a Huntington Station resident, Second Generation Survivor and Holocaust education advocate spoke about her parents’ experience as survivors of the Holocaust and how that formed her life path as an educator; she currently serves as a docent at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center in Glen Cove. 

Attendees included Rabbi Lina Zerbarini of Kehillath Shalom Synagogue; members of the Tobay Hadassah in Oyster Bay; members of the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center in Glen Cove; and Town of Huntington Community Development Agency Director Angel Cepeda who is a Board Member of Voices for Truth and Humanity, a Holocaust education advocacy organization.

Refreshments for the ceremony, including those from Hummel Hummel Bakery in East Northport, were donated by Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban. 

“The Holocaust was not that long ago. If Anne Frank were still alive now, she would’ve been celebrating her 93rd birthday this year,” said Councilwoman Cergol. 

“With each passing day it grows more and more critical to preserve the stories of those who managed to survive this mass genocide as well as those who did not. For our sake and for history’s sake, we gather for Anne Frank’s birthday to remember her and to recognize her immense contributions to for understanding our very much flawed human history through her writings but we also gather to affirm our vigilance for standing up for and protecting those in our modern society who suffer from continuing acts of hate. Let our Anne Frank Memorial Garden serve not just as an enduring reminder of what was lost and who is lost but also how much more we might lose if acts of bigotry go unchallenged,” she said.

The Anne Frank Memorial Garden, unveiled by the Town in June 2010 at Arboretum Park in Melville, symbolically captures the journey of Anne Frank’s life. It features a circular pathway that surrounds a garden, which leads to the sculpture of a young girl’s dress. The Memorial Garden serves as tribute to Anne’s legacy of wisdom and genuine belief in the goodness of mankind and human nature, despite the ugliness of war and discrimination.  

See video from the event here.

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' will be shown at Crab Meadow Beach in Northport on July 13.

Supervisor Ed Smyth and the Town of Huntington Department of Parks and Recreation will launch the 2022 Drive-In Movies on Wednesday, July 13 at Crab Meadow Beach on Waterside Road in Northport, expanding additional movie dates to new locations across Town.

“In an effort to make Huntington’s recreational experiences more accessible, we are taking our Drive-In Movies on the road,” said Supervisor Ed Smyth. “I hope to see you all at the movies!”

The 2022 Town of Huntington Drive-In Movies lineup is as follows – all movies start at 8:30 p.m.:

Wednesday, July 13


Crab Meadow Beach

Waterside Road, Northport

Wednesday, July 27


West Neck Beach

West Neck Road, Lloyd Harbor

Wednesday, August 3


Dix Hills Park

Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills

Wednesday, August 10


Huntington Senior Center

423 Park Avenue, Huntington

Wednesday, August 17


Huntington Senior Center

423 Park Avenue, Huntington

*Admittance is free and limited to Town of Huntington residents.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and movies start at dusk (approximately 8:30  p.m). Movies are shown on a 40-foot screen, easily seen from all parking spots.

Movie audio will be broadcast on FM radio frequency (channel 99.3) to watch the movie from a vehicle. There will also be speakers for attendees who bring lawn chairs to sit outside.

For information, or in the case of inclement weather, please check out the Parks & Rec Facebook page or visit huntingtonny.gov/parks

For up-to-the-minute movie information, call (631) 351-3089.

'Sublime', Anne Frank Garden Memorial by Thea Lanzisero
Ceremony to Feature Second Generation Survivor, Holocaust Education Advocate Gail Sheryn Kastenholz 

Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth will host the Town of Huntington’s 11th Annual Anne Frank Memorial Garden Ceremony on Wednesday, June 22, at 4:30 p.m. in the Anne Frank Memorial Garden at Arboretum Park on Wilmington Drive (between Threepence Drive and Roundtree Drive) in Melville.

The Anne Frank Memorial Garden symbolically captures the journey of Anne Frank’s life.  It features a circular pathway that surrounds a garden, which leads to the sculpture of a young girl’s dress.  The Memorial Garden serves as tribute to Anne’s legacy of wisdom and genuine belief in the goodness of mankind and human nature, despite the ugliness of war and discrimination.   

 Program participants include Rabbi Beth Klafter of Temple Beth David in Commack, Rabbi Yakov Saacks of The Chai Center in Dix Hills, musical selections by Hazzan (Cantor) Steven Walvick of the East Northport Jewish Center; and remarks from guest speaker Gail Sheryn Kastenholz, a Huntington Station resident, Second Generation Survivor and Holocaust education advocate.  

Attendees of the Anne Frank Memorial Garden anniversary celebration may take a walk through the garden following the program and will be offered light refreshments, donated by Suffolk County Legislator Manuel Esteban.

For more information, 631-351-3000.

Pixabay photo

Supervisor Ed Smyth and Town Clerk Andrew Raia will co-host a cultural celebration of Eid in the Town Board Room at Huntington Town Hall on Friday, May 6, 2022 at 4:30pm.

“We join Huntington’s Pakistani, Indian, Arab, and Turkish-American communities and all who observe this annual cultural celebration reflecting on acts of kindness, gratitude and generosity,” said Supervisor Ed Smyth.

“Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating this festive holiday, I hope you can join us on May 6th,” said Town Clerk Andrew Raia. “I wish all of our residents observing Eid happiness and a meaningful reflection on everything that is important in your lives.”

The unifying celebration will honor members of the greater Huntington community who exemplify the event theme of charity, generosity and inclusiveness. The festival will include a traditional “nasheed,” or vocal performance, face-painting, henna tattoos and refreshments.

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection, in the Muslim community. Eid festivities are celebrated across the globe, in many countries as a public holiday, with the common thread of charity, hospitality and gatherings of family and friends.

The event will livestream on Optimum 18, FIOS 38, and at huntingtonny.gov/featured-programs

Pixabay photo

Event to feature raffles, giveaways, plantings, disposal services, and more.

Councilmembers Joan Cergol and Salvatore Ferro, the Town of Huntington, Covanta, and Starflower Experiences are co-sponsoring Huntington’s Earth Day celebration for the first time at Manor Farm Park.

The free event will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 210 Manor Road, Huntington from 10 man, to 2 p.m. This year’s Earth Day will feature raffles, giveaways, and hands-on activities for all ages.

Free paper shredding, e-waste, and medical pill disposal services will be available to residents through Shreduction, the Town’s Environmental Waste Management Department, and the Suffolk County Police Department’s Operation Medicine Cabinet, respectively.

Other activities include a marine touch tank operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County; an exhibit of formerly wild animals hosted by Volunteers for Wildlife; water chemistry and conservation demonstrations by the Town of Huntington Maritime Department; garden planting, composting, and beekeeping demonstrations by Starflower Experiences; and face painting and arts and crafts booths for kids to enjoy.

All participants will receive a raffle ticket with the chance to win electric-powered landscaping equipment courtesy of a $2,500 donation from Covanta, including a string trimmer/leaf blower combo kit, a compost tumbler with a cart, a lawn mower, and a pressure washer. Also, several event attendees will take home a birdhouse courtesy of the Love of Learning Montessori School in Centerport.

The Town’s Planning Department will be distributing bare root tree saplings, provided by the Long Island Native Plant Initiative, to everyone in attendance, and volunteers from the Robert M. Kubecka Memorial Town Garden will be giving away vegetable and flower seedlings.

“We set the bar high for this year’s Earth Day celebration and I’m proud to say we delivered something really special,” said Councilwoman Joan Cergol. “I’m grateful to Covanta for their generous donation, plus Starflower Experiences and everyone involved that helped make this event so extraordinary.”

“Huntington’s Earth Day celebration proves that education and environmental responsibility can be fun,” said Councilman Salvatore Ferro. “We want everyone to have a great time at Manor Farm and to go home thinking about how we can protect and preserve Long Island’s incredible ecosystem.”

Interested parties can sign up online at www.huntingtonny.gov/earth-day, but registration is not required to attend.

Stock photo

Town of Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth, Huntington American Legion Post #360 and the Halesite Fire Department will hold back-to-back blood drives with New York Blood Center on Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22 in response to the emergency blood shortage.

“Our hospitals need the public’s help with the emergency blood shortage we are facing,” said Supervisor Ed Smyth. “One blood donation can save up to three lives — please donate share this life-saving gift.”

“Donating the American Legion to host a blood drive is just one element of our national mission statement, we are happy to do what we can for our community,” said Glenn Rodriguez of the Huntington American Legion Post #360.

“Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood donations is at an all-time high,” said Halesite Fire Department Chief Dom Spada. “The Halesite Fire Department will be holding an additional blood drive on Friday, April 22nd — please register online and donate the gift of life.”

Appointments are preferred however walk-ins will be welcomed if space permits. Please remember to eat, drink and bring your donor ID card or ID with name and photo. Masks are required for all donors regardless of vaccination status. For full list of COVID-19 safety protocols, please visit nybc.org/coronavirus.

Thursday, April 21 

Supervisor Ed Smyth, the Town of Huntington and Huntington American Legion Post #360 will host a blood drive at the American Legion, 1 Mill Dam Road, Halesite on Thursday, April 21 3:30 to 8 p.m. To make an appointment, please contact: Ryen Hendricks at [email protected] or register online at: https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/292863  

Friday, April 22 

Halesite Fire Department will host a blood drive at the Halesite Fire House in the large meeting room upstairs at 1 N. New York Avenue, Halesite on Friday, April 22 from 3:30 to 8 p.m. All donors are asked to park in the municipal parking lot behind the fire department building, not in the area immediately around the building, as those spots are needed for fire department members, and enter through the back door of the building. To make an appointment, please register online at: https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/299416