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Village of Port Jefferson

File photo by Elana Glowatz

During a public meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant announced her retirement from public service. Her 14 years of uninterrupted tenure presiding over the village government will come to its conclusion this June.

“We’re going to give the community back to the residents,” Garant told a group of supporters the night of her first election win in 2009.

Six successful races later, Garant has been at the seat of power longer than any other in the village’s nearly 60-year history. And during that window, the village has undergone considerable change.

Garant’s mother, Jeanne, served three terms as mayor starting in 1999 through 2005. Unlike her mother, who had previously sat on the village Board of Trustees, Margot Garant was a first-time elected official upon entering the mayor’s office.

For over eight years, Garant’s administration engaged in a widely publicized legal battle with the Long Island Power Authority over the assessed valuation and property tax bill on the Port Jefferson Power Station. The tax grievance case was settled in 2018. 

Colloquially known as the glide path, the village and LIPA agreed to an eight-year phasing out of the public utility’s local tax contribution, with a 50% reduction in revenue by 2027.

Known for her ambitious building philosophy, Garant facilitated the construction of numerous projects, including large-scale developments along Port Jeff Harbor and near the train station. 

The development of Upper Port has been a core tenet of her administration. The seven-term incumbent also advanced the envisioned Six Acre Park along Highlands Boulevard, with plans in place to preserve that last remaining tract of undeveloped land as open space.

Garant’s boards have been forced to confront the crippling effects of coastal erosion at East Beach, which presently endangers the Port Jefferson Country Club’s catering facility at the edge of the bluff. 

Construction is currently ongoing for a toe wall at the base of the cliff. Most recently, Garant announced the injection of federal funding to subsidize the upland phase of the bluff stabilization initiative. Controversially, village residents have not had input on these investments through voter referendum.

Outlining why she will not seek reelection, she told the group assembled at Village Hall that her decision to step down was motivated by a desire to let others into the political process. Leaving public life, she reiterated her message delivered 14 years ago.

“It’s not about me, it’s about this community,” she told the audience. “This community is yours, and it’s always been in your hands. I couldn’t have done my job without you.”

The race to fill Garant’s seat is now underway, with candidate announcements expected in the days and weeks ahead. Village elections will take place Tuesday, June 20.

Graphic from the Village of Port Jefferson website

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management, Suffolk County Police Department and Port Jefferson Village Division of Code Enforcement jointly conducted an inspection on Wednesday, Jan. 18, of a business known as Organically Connected, located at 202 Main Street in Port Jefferson.

The inspection was performed pursuant to OCM regulations. It resulted in the seizure of illicit cannabis products and unauthorized hemp products that are not allowed to be sold in New York state.

OCM advised the business operator to discontinue sales of all nonconforming products or face additional action. Port Jeff Village issued appearance tickets for multiple zoning code violations, which will be prosecuted in Port Jefferson Village Court, officials say.

Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden, trustee liaison to the code department, reacted to the incident. “With the advent of new laws regarding cannabis, the [Village of Port Jefferson] Board of Trustees deliberately chose to not allow retail sales within our borders for multiple reasons, not the least of which is to protect our children from the potential harms of the use of marijuana,” Snaden said.

She added, “A store owner choosing to sell such illegal products right on Main Street shows a disregard for our laws and for our residents. We will continue to work with state and county authorities to keep Port Jefferson a safe and enjoyable village, free from illegal sales of marijuana products.”

Mayor Margot Garant thanked Suffolk PD’s 6th Precinct for its assistance and OCM for organizing and executing this joint operation.

Mayor Margot Garant analyzes coastal engineering drawings during a public meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at Port Jefferson Village Hall. Photo by Raymond Janis

The Village of Port Jefferson Board of Trustees convened Tuesday, Jan. 17. The board tackled a range of subjects from upcoming coastal engineering projects to a rideshare service and school district facilities.

A proposed westerly wall

Mayor Margot Garant reported a development to the coastal engineering plans at the East Beach bluff, where erosion threatens the village-owned Port Jefferson Country Club’s clubhouse facility.

With $3.75 million in federal funds secured for an upland wall to protect the building [See story, “Schumer secures funds for upper wall at PJCC …” The Port Times Record, Jan. 12], the mayor announced her team is exploring ways to finalize its upland plans.

A proposed “westerly wall,” originally pitched as an add-on extension to the upper wall to accommodate racket sports, is now recommended as a possible erosion mitigation strategy. Huntington Station-based engineering firm GEI Consultants “did confirm that they definitely feel we need to do both the main wall and the extension wall,” Garant said.

The village board put the upper wall projects to bid in October, announcing the cost projections the following month. The upper wall bid came back at approximately $3.3 million, with the combined upper wall and westerly wall project costing roughly $4.5 million.

Considering which option is most suitable for the village, Garant outlined why she favors constructing the westerly wall: “I believe that putting that second wall in there, now unequivocally, if somebody else is paying 75% of that cost, I think the westerly wall should go in,” she said.

Forecasting how to organize the racket sports facilities once the westerly wall is complete, Garant suggested it will be a problematic decision-making calculus regarding which racket sports to prioritize.

“We may be wanting to install more than three pickleball courts because the demand is so high and trying to get maybe an instructional court, and maybe just have the two [tennis] courts in the back,” she said. “We have to figure out when, how, where, timing, materials, cost. It’s complicated.”

She added, “The good news is we’re going to be building a wall. I think that saves a major resource for this community. I think it allows us to reinstate a racket ball campus. And I think it gives us a reasonable timeline to come up with an alternate plan, god forbid in 20 years, we need to have something different in place.”

Ridesharing service

Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden and Kevin Wood, director of economic development, parking administrator and communications committee head, jointly presented on a rideshare project. 

The benefits of the plan, as Snaden explained, are threefold: to offer residents easy access to downtown Port Jefferson, provide a safe means of return travel to their homes and ease traffic congestion.

“I think we have something that’s really going to work for the residents of Port Jefferson,” the deputy mayor said, adding that the goal is “to get them downtown, to save parking for the tourists and others, and to come down, have a nice evening and get home safely.”

Wood worked out how the village would implement such a rideshare program. “The plan that you have in front of you would be to combine world-class, Uber-like software with a black car service to be exclusively used and designed for Port Jefferson residents,” he said.

Offering a rough sketch of his vision, Wood said the service would operate Fridays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. The village government would administer the software, which would be geofenced for Port Jefferson, meaning requests outside the 11777 zip code could not be possible. “If somebody wanted to go to Smith Haven Mall, they can’t,” Wood said. 

He proposed that rides could start at $5 per person and $12.50 for groups of three to seven people. These figures could be subject to change as the village would adjust the software and set its rates based on the community’s needs.

“The beautiful part about this is that if we find that $5 is literally not enough money or too much money, I think we have some leeway there and could change this stuff on a dime,” Wood said. “We can change things on demand. We can make new group rates. We could do special event rates.”

Village attorney Brian Egan inquired whether this program could create centralized drop-off locations for riders, preventing clutter of village roads and safety hazards from stopped vehicles. Responding, Wood said the village could train drivers to drop off and pick up riders to minimize these risks.

Garant put her support behind the effort, saying this will benefit residents who wish to access their downtown amid its busy season. “We all, I’ll speak for myself, feel we’re getting snowed out in the middle of the summertime,” the mayor said. “You can’t get down here, so I think this is going to be something that I’m really excited about.”


Egan updated the board on the ongoing negotiations with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The village is attempting to reclassify the Port Jefferson Clean Solid Waste Landfill as a transfer station, enabling the continued procedure of branch and leaf pickup services. [See story, “Garbage grief: PJ Village and DEC clash over landfill permit,” The Port Times Record, Dec. 1].

“I do think we have — at least with the DEC senior administrative staff — a very receptive ear,” he said. Referring to the permit dispute with DEC, he added, “I think we’ll have a cooperative resolution to it, and I am cautiously optimistic.”

Trustee Lauren Sheprow used her report to discuss a forthcoming capital bond at Port Jefferson School District. “The school district is looking at floating another bond in May,” she said.

Citing an article in Newsday, Sheprow said approximately 80% of federal COVID-19 relief funds have yet to be spent by public schools statewide. “$14 billion has not been used yet,” she said. “There’s $14 billion issued to New York State in COVID relief,” adding that the heating and ventilation systems proposed by PJSD may qualify under COVID relief conditions.

Sheprow added she might pitch her ideas to the school board during its upcoming meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24. She encouraged her fellow board members to attend.

Snaden reported on a meeting with the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District and the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. This year’s iteration of the Port Jefferson Ice Festival, hosted by the BID on Jan. 28 and 29, will feature 27 ice sculptures at various storefronts and other locations throughout Port Jeff.

Trustee Stan Loucks reported on winter projects at PJCC. He said 188 members have already signed up for this year as of the time of this meeting. Trustee Rebecca Kassay was absent and did not deliver a report by proxy.

The board of trustees will meet again Monday, Feb. 6, with a scheduled public hearing to amend the village code concerning dogs and other animals.

Pixabay photo
By Carolyn Sackstein

When visitors to the Village of Port Jefferson were approached Saturday, Jan. 7, they thoughtfully and very personally responded to the question: “What was your favorite,  most significant or memorable event of 2022?” The themes of health, pets and travel ruled the day.

— Photos by Carolyn Sackstein

Paul and Gerri Havran, St. James

“We were on the ferry returning from Connecticut after picking up a truck,” Paul said. “Shortly after leaving Bridgeport, I had a heart attack and died for several minutes. Fortunately, there was a [physician’s assistant] sitting by us. There was an EMT and they went to work on me. They weren’t bringing me back, but the captain saw from the bridge what was going on and sent the crew down with an [automated external defibrillator]. A fireman and the PA administered the AED and brought me back.”



Corinne Minor (left) and Sara Jackson, Selden

Corinne: “We got two cats from my grandmother this past year, when she passed away. Bringing them here and getting them acclimated to our little home has been significant.”

Sara: “I would have to say my health. I went through a whirlwind of surgeries. I am happy and healthy right now. I cannot wait for 2023.”




Ashley Smith, St. James

“Definitely adopting my second dog from Last Chance Animal Rescue. She’s a Redbone Coonhound named Caroline.”







Keith, Lauren and Christine Kmiotek, Brooklyn

Keith spoke for the family. “Our island vacation in St. John, the U. S. Virgin Islands, was very nice. We are beach bums, so what’s nice about St. John is you can go to all the public beaches. It’s open to everybody. You don’t have to pay to get on the beaches. You get tired of one, you get in your car and drive to another. You go around the corner and it’s like a whole new world. The island is that beautiful to explore.”




Chuck Sullivan, Manorville

“Getting on the ferry and going to Vermont. It was the greatest bike trip I ever took. It was with a bunch of good guys.”

Screenshot from portjeff.com/opentodayvideo/

Over a decade since disbanding, the Port Jefferson Civic Association was back in action Monday, Jan. 9.

Eighteen village residents filled the Meeting Room of the Port Jefferson Free Library, discussing several pressing local issues and establishing their priorities as a body.

Michael Mart was a member of PJCA under its previous configuration. He shared a history of the organization and why village residents have banded together in the past.

“The history and importance of the Port Jefferson Civic Association, as I recall it, was to serve as a vehicle by which individuals come together,” Mart said. “Its concerns are essentially local in nature: streets, safety, recreation, parks and open government.”

He added the civic association “acts to represent opinions, concerns and agendas of its members to the local governing body.”

Mart said PJCA has functioned in various capacities in the past. At one time, it had produced a regular newsletter, held meet-the-candidates events, offered scholarships to local students and even took the village government to court.

PJCA was “a very active group,” Mart said. “It starts small here, like in this room, and makes itself known to other residents, offering to give voice to their concerns.”

The members of the newly formed civic gave introductions, outlined their reasons for joining and discussed their priorities. 

Ana Hozyainova, a 2022 candidate for village trustee, organized the event. She stated her goals for the civic body.

“I hope that we can have a group that can be a force for discussion and greater transparency in the village,” she said. 

Myrna Gordon discussed communications between the village and residents and other environmental themes. “I would love to see better transparency or communication and more of our village residents getting involved in the important issues that we face,” she said.

Other residents echoed the call for greater transparency within the village government. 

Among them, a 2022 trustee candidate for the Port Jefferson school board, Paul Ryan, identified a supposed divide between the public will and the decisions made by elected officials.

“Since I ran for the BOE last year, I’ve noticed a lot of disconnect between what people want and think is important and what is happening, the decisions that are being made,” he said. “I hope as a civic association, we can channel that voice more strongly and more effectively to make positive change.”

Suzanne Velazquez, candidate for village trustee in 2021, spoke of the “sense of apathy that has crept in” among residents. She also considered the civic association as fulfilling a necessary community end. 

“I have had a lot of good conversations about the need to revitalize the civic association,” the former trustee candidate said.

Holly Fils-Aime, president of the local environmental group EcoLeague, described continual development within the village as among her priorities. 

“We really have to consider how overdeveloped Long Island is,” she said, adding that residents must be vigilant about looking out for their forests, wildlife and the natural environment.

Steve Velazquez echoed this sentiment. He criticized the alleged overdevelopment of Upper Port, arguing that plans for the property that formerly accommodated PJ Lobster House are “not in character with this village.” Velazquez expressed a desire to see a “true historic district” within Port Jeff village.

In common, those in attendance voiced similar concerns over the perceived lack of transparency, environmental issues and the implementation of projects without resident input. Bluff stabilization at East Beach, according to Mart, encompasses each of these themes.

Referencing the $3.75 million the village recently received to construct an upper wall between the East Beach bluff and the Port Jefferson Country Club clubhouse, Mart said the money “is not the issue — the issue is that we didn’t get to vote on it.”

Also in attendance was guest speaker John Turner, conservation chair of the Four Harbors Audubon Society. He advocated for a villagewide open-space program along with a sustainability plan.

Turner pinpointed specific examples on Long Island of progress concerning the environment. He cited the novel irrigation system at Indian Island Golf Course in Riverhead, which uses wastewater from a sewage treatment plant to irrigate the golf course. 

“That wastewater is no longer dumped in the river and the bay,” Turner said. “The nitrogen is all taken up by the grass,” averting contamination of local surface waters. He suggested the village could explore comparable wastewater reuse opportunities.

He added, “The other beauty about this water reuse, from a water quantity perspective, is that we have water quantity challenges on the Island. … Using that water for the golf course means that 66 million gallons of water stay in the ground.”

Expressing her vision for the civic, Gordon said the organization could prevail so long as its members stay persistent. “You have to stay the course,” she said. “We can’t get tired. We have to support each other, we have to ask questions, and we have to go in front of our village trustees and ask, ‘What is going on?’”

Stu Vincent, director of public affairs and public relations at Mather Hospital, has also made a name for himself within the Port Jeff business community.

As 1st vice president of the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, Vincent has emerged as an important local figure and leader. He has been active in chamber events, including overseeing its annual Health & Wellness Fest. 

Barbara Ransome, GPJCC director of operations, characterized his role as chair of this festival. “That is a very important event that we are involved in because it is a strong revenue-producing event,” she said. 

Ransome maintains that Vincent, as 1st VP, acts as a close adviser, referring to his public relations expertise as a helpful springboard for different ideas. To her, Vincent is a warm presence within the chamber and a reliable attendee of chamber events. 

“That particular skill set is very important, certainly for a chamber of commerce, and I look for his expertise on certain matters that pertain to that,” Ransome said.

With Mather, Vincent has had considerable influence in the hospital’s Paint Port Pink campaign. Through the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, this initiative raises awareness about breast cancer, shares information and brings the community together. The bright pink lights streaming through the village in October are a staple of the campaign.

Mayor Margot Garant considered Vincent a dedicated community servant and a positive force for the Port Jeff community.

“He’s at every single event, a strong member and volunteer of the chamber, so he’s definitely a dedicated servant and a very good employee,” she said. “I think he makes an excellent face of the hospital, and he’s just a swell guy — kind of a quiet soldier.”

That quiet soldier continues to leave his mark on the Port Jeff community. For his sterling work on behalf of the chamber and Mather Hospital, TBR News Media recognizes Vincent as a 2022 Person of
the Year.

Holly Fils-Aime, above. Photo courtesy Fils-Aime
By Chris Mellides

As a child growing up in New Hampshire, Holly Fils-Aime and her sister would often venture into the wilderness surrounding their rural childhood home to play. The sisters spent much of their time admiring nature and would often canoe, swim and take walks in the neighboring woods. 

Fils-Aime became enamored with the undisturbed woodlands that she would often explore, crediting her mother for deepening her knowledge and understanding of the wildlife that surrounded her family home. 

“We learned a lot about nature,” Fils-Aime said. “My mother was an avid bird enthusiast and she had actually taken a course in that in college. We learned to identify bird songs and identify birds by sight. I just had a pretty good background in nature and identifying different species.”

Beyond birds, Fils-Aime’s mother taught her children how to identify wildflowers and various tree species as well. One of the major actions her family took was helping to preserve a portion of the woodlands she happily spent her time adventuring in when she was still a young child.

“My family did donate 25 acres of woodland to the town where I grew up, which is going to New Hampshire as a conservation easement,” she said. “That’s in perpetuity that that land will not be developed.”

Fils-Aime’s deep appreciation for nature endured and has stuck with her well into adulthood. The mother of two admits that when she moved to Port Jefferson in 2000 to settle down with her husband and children, she was somewhat removed from the environmental field and instead focused her attention on teaching English at the New York Institute of Technology. 

However, following her retirement in June 2021, her passion for environmentalism and nature preservation was reignited. So she connected with like-minded friends to discuss the environmental issues impacting Port Jefferson, Long Island and beyond.

Fils-Aime said her plan was to forge a group of individuals who understood the importance of environmentalism and how nature should ultimately be protected. The group goes by the name EcoLeague and consists of about 10 members with three of them living out of state. 

Before expanding their various initiatives both on Long Island and outside New York, the group came together to focus on the move away from plastics. 

“I had been having these conversations with my friends and it seemed we were always talking about plastic, and was there any better way to recycle it,” she said. “My friends didn’t necessarily know each other, but I thought they would all be compatible.”

On Sept. 18, Fils-Aime and other members of the EcoLeague joined a small group of protesters to call out Mather Hospital’s move to clear the surrounding woods and walking trails to make way for additional hospital parking. 

‘Holly really understands the value that birds and wildlife bring to us as humans.’

— Ana Hozyainova

The protesters were joined by Ana Hozyainova, formerly working in international human rights, who ran for a seat on the Village of Port Jefferson Board of Trustees earlier this year.

Though she was not elected to the village board, Hozyainova used her platform in the fall to draw attention to what she, EcoLeague and the remaining protesters felt was an unjust action carried out by Mather and the village. 

The demonstrators protested these actions because the woods are “crucial in protecting Port Jefferson from further flooding, from even steeper increases in temperatures, but also ensuring that our backyards are filled with birds and insects that protect against harmful pests,” Hozyainova said in an interview.

A lawsuit against the parking lot expansion was filed in August, but this measure proved to be unsuccessful. The woodland was cleared, and the additional hospital parking was paved. 

“I had done the right thing by signing on to the lawsuit,” Fils-Aime said. “We filed the lawsuit in August. We didn’t get what we wanted.” She added, “This was, in our minds, an act of complete disregard for the concerns of Port Jefferson citizens. … This was a part of our habitat. People enjoyed going in there with their kids and so on.”

Hozyainova expressed her concern that the new parking lot at Mather and the predilection to clear out trees to expand backyards and to pave new driveways are all leading to what could be a disturbing situation. 

“The more impermeable surfaces that we create, the more we reduce the capacity of the water to go down into the ground and be absorbed into the ground,” said Hozyainova, who also expressed concern that flooding is only going to get worse with deforestation and a rise in sea levels due to climate change. 

Asked about working with Fils-Aime and the vision that the EcoLeague founder has for Port Jefferson, Hozyainova said, “Holly really understands the value that birds and wildlife bring to us as humans, because it’s a well-documented fact that we need access to nature to be well. Nature is a part of what we try to protect.” 

As for what’s next for EcoLeague and its founder, Fils-Aime is optimistic. A current endeavor is appealing to small businesses and company leaders to make a move away from plastic to aluminum, which is infinitely recyclable. 

Fils-Aime is determined to continue working with EcoLeague and spreading her environmentalist message, with the goal to change some minds and hearts in the village and greater community. 

“We don’t want to make enemies, but if we see something that is not right, that is hurting the environment, that is hurting Port Jefferson, we are going to be doing something right,” Fils-Aime said. “Whatever we need to do, we’re going to be doing something.”

For her passionate environmentalism, TBR News Media is pleased to name Fils-Aime a 2022 Person of the Year.

Pixabay photo

Station Street, a one-way corridor between Port Jefferson train station and Port Jefferson Crossing apartments in Upper Port, is set to open early next year.

Following an upcoming Jan. 3 public hearing and a vote by the village’s board of trustees, the street will be codified within the village code. In an exclusive interview with Mayor Margot Garant, she offered some updates on the roadway opening.

“Physically, it’s ready,” she said. “The structure is up, the signage is installed, the lighting is in and the irrigation is in.” 

Arriving at “Station Street” was an effort that integrated various aspects of the village government’s tech apparatus. That name was given to the street during the Upper Port master plan phase. Cementing the name, however, the village employed some creative means.

“We’ve been calling it that for almost a decade, but we thought, ‘Maybe it’s fun to give the public a chance’” to add input, Garant said.

As part of its monthly Port eReport, the village generated an online survey to collect input from the community. Charmaine Famularo, a village staff member, organized the survey.

With over 130 entries, Station Street was the highest vote getter with 54 votes. Rail Road and Port Place tied as distant second-place finishers, with 19 votes each. Other names included Locomotion Lane, Gateway Drive and Upper Port Drive, among countless others. There were even humorous suggestions such as End of the Line Avenue and Whistle Way.

“We are so excited about the participation we received,” Famularo said in a text message. “Now, as we all pass the Station Street sign as we enter Port, we will have pride in our new road. It is one that we named.”

Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden voiced similar sentiments. In an email, she suggested public participation in naming the street added a sense of community identity.

“Having the residents involved in naming the street brings a sense of pride of ownership in the community that I strive to bring to this village,” Snaden said.

Garant regarded the street naming activity as part of an ongoing initiative by the village to boost readership and interaction with the eReport. “I think it adds strength and depth to the newsletter,” she said. “This newsletter is chock-full of information. It’s interactive. It can be a real way of getting the public more engaged.”

She added, “I think the more you understand the technology and are able to utilize it, it’s fun. It was a fun suggestion.”

While street renaming was the first example of incorporating tech in decision-making, it may serve other functions down the road. 

When asked whether she foresees these technologies being used in different formats, Garant said, “With that particular incident, a very small segment of the population responded. I think it’s a way — maybe in addition to a public hearing — of gaining public input, but it would not be the sole source.”

The naming of Station Street reflects how local policymakers and constituents relate to one another through technology. Garant stated the need for municipalities to adapt to these technologies and use them to strengthen local democracy.

“Social media is a very powerful, interactive tool, and if it’s used constructively, it can embrace a lot of important public input,” she said. “I think it can also be a way to distribute important public information.” She concluded by saying, “I think we’re finally getting our arms around that entire thing.”

Attendees of the latern dedication. Photo courtesy Kevin Wood

Friends, family, and community members gathered on Friday, Dec. 2, to dedicate a lantern to the late Aida Ramonez, a beautiful young girl very dear to the Port Jefferson community. 

The community continues to come together for the Ramonez family, this being the latest example. Mayor Margot Garant shared her sentiments during the ceremony. 

“I see there are many of her classmates out here tonight and know when one family hurts, we all hurt,” Garant said. “We can’t think of a more beautiful thing than celebrating life. Look around you, look at all the people in your life and in this community and be so very grateful for what we have here together.” 

The inscription on Aida’s lantern reads, “In loving memory of Aida Esperanza Ramonez — Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Aida’s grandfather Ramon expressed his gratitude to those who coordinated the service. 

“I want to thank the community of Port Jefferson,” he said. “The love and kindness that we have felt from you. Losing someone so young and so precious has been difficult. But the support of a community like this makes it a lot easier.” 

The Port Jefferson School District and community raised the money for the lantern dedication. Funds raised beyond those necessary for the dedication ceremony will support a scholarship in Aida’s name. 

It’s tradition each year during the lantern dedications that students participate by reading a poem as a part of their curriculum. Students Luca Caltagirone and Blake Weaver eloquently shared the poem “Family is like a Circle” by Nicole M. O’Neil.

“This community is strong, and we’re here to support the Ramonez family still,” Garant said. “Every time we see this beautifully lit lantern, you’ll have a very special place to sit by the harbor and honor her spirit.”

By Heidi Sutton

Creativity is in full display in the Village of Port Jefferson as more than 20 businesses take part in a Holiday Window Decorating Contest. Shoppers can vote for their favorite window display at any of the participating businesses or by scanning the QR code on the flyer located outside the store.

Participating businesses include The Amazing Olive, Breathe, Century 21 Icon, Curry Club Saghar, Fedora Lounge, Fetch Doggy Boutique, Fame and Rebel, Lavender and Co., Organically Connected Dispensary and Kombucha Tap Bar, Luna Nova, Pattern Finders, Port Jeff Salt Cave, Pasta Pasta, Pattern Finders, The Spice and Tea Exchange, SkinMed Spa, The SoapBox, Sue La La Couture, Tabu Boutique, Torte Jeff Pie Co., The East End Shirt Company, The Smokin’ Gentleman and WILD Plant Shop. Winners will be announced in the first week of January, 2023.

The festive event is sponsored by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call 631-473-1414.

Photos by Heidi Sutton