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HALF HOLLOW HILLS Copyright © 2009 Long Islander Newspapers, LLC.

Online at www.LongIslanderNews.com VOLUME TWELVE, ISSUE 48

LONG ISLANDER NEWSPAPERS TELECOMMUNICATIONS/MEDIA BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

N E W S P A P E R

2 SECTIONS, 44 PAGES

THURSDAY, JANUARY 28, 2010

MELVILLE

Volunteer: ‘It’s Like A No Man’s Land’ At Haitian border, Lions Club pres says refugees are attempting to flee ravaged country Photo by Lions Clubs International Foundation

By Danny Schrafel dschrafel@longislandernews.com

Melville’s Al Brandel and most of his party with the Lions Club International Foundation were in Haiti for less than an hour before a bus breakdown and security concerns forced them to turn back. However, what they saw in that short time told a great deal about the humanitarian crisis that has unfolded since the 7.1 magnitude quake ravaged the island nation on Jan. 12. Brandel took a 3.5-hour flight to the Dominican Republic on Thursday and returned to New York on Saturday. When he arrived in Santo Domingo, he prepared to take a six-hour bus drive from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince. At the Haitian-Dominican border, he said there were scores of people trying desperately to cross the border into the Dominican Republic, stopped by a pedestrian gate bolted shut and Jordanian and American Coast Guard soldiers trying to regulate traffic. “It’s just a mass of traffic,” Brandel, president of the Lions Club International Foundation, recalled. “It’s like a no man’s land right between the two countries. The people that want to get out of Haiti are just waiting to escape and they just can’t do it. It was chaotic, sad, and you’re watching the people who just have the

Lions Clubs International Foundation Chairperson Al Brandel meets with Dominican and Haitian Lions to discuss long-term earthquake recovery plans. clothing on their back and just a knapsack… people are lining up, hoping it will open.” A cinematographer and photographers made it into Port-au-Prince, where they stayed with a Haitian Lion overnight and continued their work during the day, documenting the aftermath. “It’s pretty much what you’re seeing on TV,” Brandel said. “It’s starting to calm down a bit, but there’s still a serious need for food, clothing and medicine.” Brandel and his group, including his wife, Winthrop University Hospital’s Dr.

Maureen Murphy, returned to the States Saturday after delivering supplies, aid and a boost to the Haitian Lions that survived the disaster. So far, the Lions have mobilized more than $900,000 in aid for the devastated region – and more is expected. The initial delivery to a Port-au-Prince warehouse, which will serve as the Foundation’s staging ground, includes medicine, hygiene aids, toiletries, food, water and clothing. Two hundred tents were also sent to provide emergency shelter for earthquake victims. Some of the medicine was delivered to hospitals and clinics

in desperate need of supplies. Leaders also met with members of the Haitian Lions clubs, which lost three members in the earthquake, at the Haitian-Dominican border, where they discussed short-term and long-term goals and needs. Brandel said the Foundation provided $30,000 to fill immediate needs and requests. “They were thrilled to know people were watching and that they had an organization behind them. It was emotional,” he said. Brandel and his wife will be back in Haiti in about a month, as the Lions provide immediate aid and seek a niche service to provide. They might help rebuild schools or start constructing eye clinics to fulfill one of the organization’s hallmark causes. An eyeglass mission is on the way to provide second-hand glasses, and the tents will be used to provide temporary shelter. Calling on experience gained responding to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Southeast Asian tsunami and devastating Chinese earthquake, a more concrete plan for long-term services should be in place in several months.

More photos of Haiti relief effort on A10.

MELVILLE

Tanker Fire Leaves One Man Dead Flames ignite after truck carrying 12,000 gallons of gasoline crashes on LIE mkoehler@longislandernews.com

A tanker truck explosion killed the driver and caused substantial damage, but will only have limited long-term effects. Melville Fire Chief Robert Warren confirmed an accident involving 12,000 gallons of gasoline on the Melville side of the Nassau-Suffolk County border fueled flames on the Long Island Expressway (LIE) on Saturday morning. “It’s an exhausting task for the membership. We were on scene for 12 hours,” Warren said. A tanker truck owned by Maine-based Kittery Transport was headed eastbound along the LIE, said Suffolk Sheriff Chief Mike Sharkey, near exit 48 in Melville

around 8 a.m. At the same time, a Dodge Neon going the same way was traveling slowly due to apparent mechanical problems. Sharkey said the truck driver tried to avoid a direct hit with the car, but struck it and lost control. The truck flipped over and burst into flames moments later. Sharkey identified Marie Medina, of Bayonne, N.J., as the driver of the Neon. Medina, 29, was treated and released from Nassau County Medical Center for minor injuries. The driver of the truck, Mujahid Shah, of Brooklyn, was killed on the scene. Sharkey said he did not know what the cause of death was, but an autopsy from the Suffolk Medical Examiner and state (Continued on page A15)

Photo by Steve Silverman

By Mike Koehler

Several thousand gallons of gasoline caught fire during a tanker explosion on the LIE on Saturday morning, killing the driver of the truck.

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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A3

DIX HILLS

Israeli Official: Peace Will Take Time During speech at Chai Center, foreign lawmaker urges greater focus on Iran Half Hollow Hills photos/Danny Schrafel

Danny Danon speaks to onlookers at the Chai Center in Dix Hills. He argued Iran was the largest threat facing Israel today and that greater American support was needed to achieve peace. Danny Danon, a member of the Israeli Knesset, with the Chai Center’s Rabbi Yakov Saachs. By Danny Schrafel dschrafel@longislandernews.com

Onlookers at the Chai Center last Thursday were told by a member of Israel’s governing body that the process of securing peace in the Middle East would not be coming to fruition in the near future. Danny Danon, a member of the Israeli Knesset, spoke at the Chai Center in Dix Hills hosted by Rabbi Yakov Saachs on Jan. 20 in what was billed as a major foreign policy address. Danon, a member of the center-right Likud party, criticized the Obama administration for applying a double-standard to the Israelis, and argued the administration is pushing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into negotiations with the Palestinians that will only further set back Israel’s push for security and peace. The focus, he argued, should not be on Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, but on Iran and pushing back

against them. “We have a strong relationship with the American people,” Danon said. “We have a problem with the administration… Iran is not a threat to Israel, but a major threat, period.” He said Israeli intelligence discovered Iranian intelligence officials were training Hezbollah terrorists in the rainforest between Colombia and Venezuela, drawing a number of audible gasps from the audience. The faltering peace process is not because of settlements or trading land for peace, but about having a partner, Danon said. Traditionally, that has been in the United States, but he argued they have been missing under the Obama administration. “If it’s lawyers, or a business, when you don’t have a partner, you don’t discuss the conditions of that arrangement, and today we have realized we have no partner,” Danon said. “President Obama is trying to force Netanyahu to play wish-

ful thinking.” That lack of partnership, not Israeli stubbornness, has stalled the peace process, he argued, leaving Israel in a position where they cannot negotiate successfully. It’s a particular frustration for older Israelis, including several men in the audience, who strive to see peace in their lifetime, but Danon said it was best to be patient and not give back land in exchange for a quick fix that would be added to the 16 accords they previously signed with the Palestinians. “I don’t know if you’re into the environment, but think of the amount of paper that was wasted on all the drafts,” he quipped. “I know it is not easy… today [Jan. 20], I had a debate with a man who said, ‘I am 75 years old, and you are telling me I will not be able to see the end of the conflict? I want something fast.’ If we are honest, we have to tell the people of Israel and Jews around the world we don’t have a solution in the

near future. It is better not to make more mistakes, rather than draft another agreement that puts us where we are today in Gaza.” Others in the audience prodded Danon on upcoming threats and how Israel could fight Iran and not be swamped by an uprising of Arab nations in response. Others asked how Jews could make their case to the rest of the world. “We believe you, we’re going to clap to everything you say. How can we take this to places where the people need to hear the other side?” one man asked. “You can’t win the PR battle when you don’t stick to the message,” Danon said, attributing the shifting message to being a democracy. “We need to be more proactive and [show people] what we do now, with Haiti for example, with the emergency hospital, for example. We should focus on that, not just the Palestinian issues.”

HALF HOLLOW HILLS

Hills Could Lose $2.7M In State Aid Guv’s 2010 state budget reduces funding by 5 percent, will hit local school districts harder By Sara-Megan Walsh swalsh@longislandernews.com

The governor’s proposal to reduce state aid to schools could pack a $2.7million wallop to the Half Hollow Hills School District. Gov. David Paterson’s proposed 2010 state budget reduces expenditures on aid to school districts by 5 percent, or $1.1 billion, in attempt to eliminate the state’s $7.4-billion deficit. If passed as is, Half Hollow Hills stands to lose $2,671,734, or 10.8 percent, of its state funding, posing a challenge to the year ahead. “It’s a significant hit to our district and all districts in the Long Island area,” said Victor Manuel, Hills’ assis-

tant superintendent of finance and facilities. The proposed reductions would leave pre-school funding fully intact, Manuel said, but would cause reductions to a variety of the district’s other programs and services. He said state aid makes up a large portion of Hills’ revenue, second only to property taxes, which combined fund 95 percent of the annual budget. “We’re having very similar but more intense conversations than last year about what the district offers in programs and services across all areas,” the assistant superintendent said. “We’re going to have to make some reductions.” Manuel expressed further concerns about other policy changes contained within the budget. He said the governor

had put on the table an idea to shift the cost of pre-school education to individual districts, currently funded by the county and state, thus turning it into another “unfunded mandate,” and the elimination of STAR rebate program for homes assessed at over $1.5 million. Paterson issued a statement on Jan. 19 supporting the state aid reductions based on New York State’s high pupil spending rate of $15,546 per student, 61 percent above national average, and citing that districts statewide have reserved funds totaling over $1.5 billion. “The governor has done everything he can over the past two years not to touch the legislature’s rainy day fund. Now they’re asking schools to deplete their reserves that they use to prevent a prop-

erty tax hike,” said Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R – E. Northport), stating the reduction was disproportionate on Long Island. Superintendents across the Town of Huntington expressed similar upset with the governor’s proposed budget and hoped legislatures will attempt to alter it before the April 1 deadline. “We have tempered our thoughts. We have gone so far backward that we’re happy to take less of a reduction, where in former years we were fighting for more state aid,” said Harborfields Superintendent Frank Carasiti. Half Hollow Hills is expected to present its preliminary 2010-2011 budget at its Board of Education meeting on March 8.


A4 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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Olympic Fever It’s time to… dust off my figure skates. The years

POLICE REPORT Compiled by Mike Koehler

Woman Has Heart Palpitations

hearts and lace is the bees knees in my book. Just remember one thing: Aunt Rosie doesn’t like coconut creams.

sure do go by quickly. Seems like just yesterday we were cheering Sarah Hughes toward Olympic gold in the figure skating competiI wonder… I heard this tion, and here we are getting IN THE KNOW week that Walmart is laying ready to start another WITH AUNT ROSIE off people from its Sam’s Club Olympiad in Vancouver. I division. I’d like to think it’s started doing a bit of catch-up with in the figure that Buy Local campaign kickskating, so I can tell you who my favorites are there, ing in. Maybe it really does start here! but I sure don’t know who’s who in slalom, or downhill, or speed skating. And then there’s curling to Unidentified Flying Trash… I was driving up throw into the mix. Deer Park Avenue through Dix Hills last week when Speaking of curling… I have friends who consid- an orange garbage truck appeared in front of me. Without warning, two objects jumped out the top of er curling an Olympic sport but it’s something that’s the truck, got caught by the wind and finally landed done with a curling iron and not an iron weight and on the road. It looked like a paper plate and latex a broom. What’s that sport about anyhow? I can unglove, but I’ll only admit to a quick glance. Regardderstand the evolution of figure skating. It started less of what it was, I’m surprised that this doesn’t with skaters competing to see who could skate most happen more often. Then again, this looked more precisely by doing things like figure eights. Now it’s like a box on wheels than a traditional garbage all about athletic jumps and spins – and unofficially truck, and if that’s the case, then who knows what it the costumes. Likewise, the biathlon is totally logiwas really hauling! cal; it involves hunting on skis. But curling, not only has it never evolved, for the life of me I can’t figure out how tossing a weight down-ice while your teamConcerns D-Awning… Northport toy store Einmate smoothes the path with a broom got started in stein’s Attic appears ready to open the doors at its the first place. new location within days. The old store looked empty from the outside and the new store had a closed Skate fest… I told you I was watching figure sign in the window with stock on the shelves. In the skating on the TV. It was not a competition, but an meantime, awnings remained in front of both locaexhibition, and as part of it NBC managed to bring tions. I can understand needing to attract customers in every American who had ever won gold in the and identify yourself, but what happens with the secsport. There were 12 in all, and I have memories of ond set once the move is done? In this awful economost of their competitions. It was a nice touch to the my, wouldn’t you avoid unnecessary duplicates to exhibition, though I couldn’t help thinking to myself, save money? thank goodness Tonya Harding didn’t win.

Fave holiday… I know it seems like every time a holiday rolls around I declare it to be my favorite. Well, regardless of anything I’ve said in the past, Valentine’s Day really, really is my all time favorite holiday. Anything that involves chocolates and

(Aunt Rosie wants to hear from you! If you have comments, ideas, or tips about what’s happening in your neck of the woods, write to me today and let me know the latest. To contact me, drop a line to Aunt Rosie, c/o The Long-Islander, 149 Main Street, Huntington NY 11743. Or try the e-mail at aunt.rosieli@gmail.com)

QUOTE OF THE WEEK DANNY DANON

BABY FACES

Send a photo of your pre-school age child along with a brief anecdotal background and we’ll consider it for “Baby Faces.” Include baby’s full name, date of birth, hometown and names of parents and grandparents. Send to: Baby of the Week, c/o Long-Islander, 149 Main St., Huntington, NY 11743. Please include a daytime phone number for verification purposes.

“If it’s lawyers, or a business, when you don’t have a partner, you don’t discuss the conditions of that arrangement, and today we have realized we have no partner.” Israeli Official: Peace Will Take Time, PAGE A3

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Suffolk police rushed to a Dix Hills home before dawn on Jan. 24 when a woman had heart palpitations. The Dix Hills Fire Department took the 29year-old resident to Huntington Hospital.

So Close, Yet No Heat For You A Huntington woman called Suffolk County police to report an oil company filling up the wrong tank. She told police the oil delivery came for her house on Jan. 24, but they filled a tank that is no longer in use. She wanted to document the incident before taking the company to civil court.

Baby Cuts Lip In Fall Suffolk police rushed to a Huntington Station home on Jan. 24 when a 9-month-old baby fell with his mother in the kitchen. The Huntington Community First Aid Squad took both to Huntington Hospital, he had a cut on his bottom lip.

Was There Any Money Before? A Dix Hills man contacted Suffolk County police about a pink Coach bag on Jan. 23. He told police he found the bag on his neighbor’s property with no wallet or money inside. The bag and personal items inside were invoiced at the Second Precinct, although police soon identified the owner and returned the property.

Sounds Like A Joyride A Dix Hills man told Suffolk County police his 2003 sedan was missing, but likely in use by his 17year-old son on Jan. 22. He did not want to report the vehicle as stolen or being used in an unauthorized manner at this time. The incident was reported for informational purposes only.

Money For Nothing? A Dix Hills man called Suffolk County police on Jan. 22 about a troubling eBay auction. He told police he sold a fountain pen online, only to have the buyer send an empty box back when she claimed to have returned it. He did not refund the money, and contacted police to report the incident as eBay requested.

10-Year-Old Getting Porn Messages A Huntington Station woman called Suffolk County police after finding pornographic text messages on her 10-year-old daughter’s cell phone on Jan. 22. One of the messages appeared to be a chain letter with two additional pictures, one of a sex act. Police could not determine if the sender knew the receiver was a minor, and could not establish a crime. Police advised the complainant to talk with her daughter about these texts and contact them again with any new information.

If It Quacks Like A Duck… A Huntington Station deli employee called Suffolk County police on Jan. 22 about a man selling stolen electronics out of a gray van. Police found the van along West Jericho Turnpike and noticed the subject was repackaging electronics and selling them. It is unknown if they were stolen.

Mail to:

Long-Islander Newspapers, LLC. 149 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743

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TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Will Budget Harm Parks? Governor proposes 20 percent cut alongside new soda tax and cigarette tax hike By Danny Schrafel dschrafel@longislandernews.com

For a second consecutive year, state parks funding is back in the financial crosshairs, and park advocates warn that drastic cuts would force several to close. If Gov. David Paterson gets his way, funding for state parks would plummet another 20 percent. He announced his 2010 budget proposal on Jan. 20. Advocates for the state parks system said such a cut would decimate the program and stunt economic recovery especially on Long Island and upstate, where there are more parks. On Long Island, $410 million in economic activity and nearly 4,000 non-park jobs are tied to the state parks program. State parks generate $5 on every dollar invested in them for the local economy, according to statistics. “I’m fairly sure that will entail some parks closing,” said Shawn McConnell, director of the State Campaign for Parks, said. “Probably a lot of parks. Unfortunately, though, [the state has] not released a plan, so we don’t know what parks will be closed.” Three state parks – Caumsett State Park in Lloyd Harbor, the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington Station and Cold Spring Harbor State Park – fall within Town of Huntington borders. Birthplace Executive Director Cynthia Shor said parks are especially important during a recession because they provide arts and culture at nominal cost. “In these economic times, now more than ever, the public facilities, be they state parks, museums, or other arts organizations are absorbing much of the leisure activities of people,” Shor said. Dan Keefe, spokesman for the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites, agreed that the cuts would be devastating if they passed, but did not know which parks would be hit hardest, or even closed. “That’s what we’re looking at right now,” he said. “At this point, there will be a serious impact… last year, 100 parks saw closures or shortened seasons and programs that were cut,” he said. In addition to Paterson’s proposed cuts to state parks, he is also calling for a 5 percent cut to school aid, delayed welfare allowance increases and slowed Medicaid spending growth. Tax loopholes and restructuring the STAR tax rebate program are additional targets for savings. Various taxes and fees would also go up, too – Paterson is trying to revive several proposals from his 2009 budget that were shot down in subsequent negotiations. In his 2010 budget, cigarette taxes

would increase by $2.75 per pack, making the state levy on smokes just shy of 19 cents for every cigarette. The governor also proposed allowing the sale of wine in supermarkets, more strenuous taxing of cigarettes on Native American reservations and cracking down on speeding in highway work zones to raise nearly $1 billion in new revenue. A one penny-perounce tax on soft drinks is also being proposed – another encore from 2009. A tax on soft drinks is a proposal that Assemblyman Andrew Raia said governors have been trying to pass in one form or another since 1991 without any success. He expects it to fail again. “That’s something that parents need to get more involved with… ultimately it’s going to be kids paying this tax and funding the state budget,” he said. Kurt Moore, a manager at Liquor Plaza in Huntington Station, said selling wine in supermarkets is unacceptable. While the state’s coffers would benefit from an influx of franchise fees paid by supermarkets that want to get into the wine business, he said the move would hurt business, especially for mom-and-pop liquor stores, and provide new avenues for underage drinking. “You go into a supermarket now, you can buy beer,” he said. “ They have their classmates selling them the beer on the weekends; you’d have them selling them wine, too.” Assemblymen James Conte and Raia said allowing supermarkets to sell wine would put liquor stores out of business. “Until we can find a way to compensate them by buying them out or letting them do other things to come up with a better business plan so they can continue to make money, I am still in opposition to it,” Conte said. “It’s going to be all the mass-produced wines that will be sold in the supermarkets and all you’re going to do is hurt local businesses, local families and local wine producers from Long Island,” Raia said. Raia said the painful budget from Paterson was a good start, however he added that cigarette taxes are being treated as a recurring source of income as opposed to a smoking-cessation tool. He claimed the tax would disproportionately impact poorer New Yorkers. Conte argued the state should focus more on cracking down on illicit cigarette sales before raising taxes and increasing the incentives to dodge cigarette taxes. “The problem that I have with the governor’s proposed budget – I kind of liken it to Groundhog Day. We’ve seen this act before and the question is, which governor are we going to see when the legislature finally adopts a budget?” Raia asked.

TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Knocking On Doors Don’t be alarmed if someone knocks on your door this spring. The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring employees for the 2010 Census, some of whom will be visiting homes to update address lists. According to the Bureau, all employees must present a photo ID badge, as well as provide you with a letter from the director or contacts for a supervisor if re-

quested. They may also carry a laptop or hand-held computer bearing the Bureau’s insignia. Census questionnaires will be mailed by March, and employees will return to the streets beginning in April to visit homes that did not return a questionnaire. -KOEHLER

THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A5


A6 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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MELVILLE

Firefighters Battle Flames Photo by Steve Silverman

Melville firemen work to extinguish a house fire on Ray Court. A Ray Court home went up in flames earlier this month. The Melville Fire Department battled the house fire on Jan. 9. Led by Chief Robert Warren, about 40 firefighters battled the blaze with an aggressive interior attack and search for occupants. They had the fire under control within a half hour. Though the fire caused extensive damage to the rear of the home, no injuries were reported, fire officials said.

Three engines, a quint ladder, heavy rescue, three ambulances, first responder and fire police units were at the scene. The Dix Hills Fire Department assisted with an additional engine for a Rapid Intervention Team at the scene, as the Huntington Manor and Plainview fire departments provided standby coverage for Melville. The Suffolk Police Arson Squad and Town of Huntington Fire Marshal are investigating.

MELVILLE

Lions Making Heroes Video game contest to benefit local charities On this world tour, the last stop is Melville. Those who think they have what it takes to be a Guitar Hero champion are invited to the Walt Whitman Mall on Saturday for a competition sponsored by the Melville Lions. The event kicks off Jan. 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Center Court. “This is the first time that the Melville Lions are having this event and we’re hoping that we have a good turnout,” said Lions chairman Richard Hoffman. “We wanted to think outside the box.” Contestants in the video game showdown will compete for the highest overall score in three division/skill levels: medium, hard and expert. Winners will receive an electric guitar complete with amplifier, donated by Sam Ash, as well as trophies and T-shirts to all winners and runners-up. The contest entry fee is $17. Hoffman said the Lions are getting participation requests from 8 year olds right up to parents. “It’s a nice family thing to do on a Sat-

urday,” he said. The Melville Lions has been serving the Huntington area since 1953, aiding the less fortunate in the community. Funds raised during the event will benefit local charities including Suffolk Diabetes Education Foundation for Juvenile Diabetes, the Simon Youth Foundation and Vacation Camp for the Blind, among others. “We are so pleased to be part of this fundraising opportunity to benefit such worthy local charities through the Melville Lions Club,” said Nancy Gilbert, Walt Whitman Mall’s director of mall marketing and business development. “This event will inspire young people make a difference in their local communities, and have fun while doing it.” A playoff round may take place on Sunday. For event information or to register, visit the Melville Lions Club table at the Walt Whitman Mall or the organization’s website, www.melvillelions.org. - DALLOJACONO


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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A7

HUNTINGTON STATION

Homeless Men Still In The Woods Some return to site of former tent village after future AvalonBay site cleared by work crew Half Hollow Hills photos/Danny Schrafel

By Danny Schrafel dschrafel@longislandernews.com

Just two weeks after a wooded Huntington Station property on East 5th Street was cleared and the homeless men living there were ordered to leave, evidence is emerging that some have returned. Local television cameras captured video of a charcoal campground-style fire burning last Tuesday, and several men were seen walking around the property last Wednesday. Contractors hired by the property owner last week tore down a tent village in which as many as 30 people had reportedly been living for several years. Some of the men who find steady work have been able to acquire more stable living arrangements. But, others like Jose, a Salvadoran immigrant who declined to give his last name, say they still call the woods home. Jose has lived in the woods for six months; he’s been out of work for eight months. Jose said that officials gave the men about a day’s notice before the tent city was dismantled. He claimed he lost almost all of his belongings when the property was cleared. A number of men at the Huntington day laborer hiring site on Depot Road Wednesday said they knew of men still living in the woods off of East 5th Street. Evidence of the previous tent community – the thick branches used to shape the tents and the twine used to tie it all

Personal belongings remain in the woods even after the tent village was destroyed.

Remnants of a former tent community in the East 5th Street woods were still in piles last week. However, several of the homeless men driven out appear to have returned. together – remains as of last week, except now the branches are cut up and sit in piles. The men’s belongings – jackets, clothing, furniture and even children’s toys, are still heaped in piles off of the wooded area’s paths.

Karen Boorshtein, president and CEO of Family Service League, said her organization continues to arrange overnight shelter and other services for those men who seek it. On a busy night, about 30 people take advantage of the Huntington

Interfaith Homeless Initiative that puts up homeless in area churches overnight, and as many as 10 come from the Manor Field area. When the cold weather subsides, she said she doesn’t want people to lose sight of the plight of the homeless. “It’s an ongoing problem for Suffolk County and Long Island,” she said. “Homelessness is a problem 365 days of the year but we don’t seem to zero in on it during the summer months.” Meanwhile, Town officials say it is the property owner’s decision on whether or not to take further action to move the men. “It’s up to the owner to decide whether he wants to press charges,” Town spokesman A.J. Carter said. “Our concerns are that people not be living in illegal and unsafe conditions and structures.”


A8 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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Opinion

Sen

d letters to The Editor, : Half Hollow 149 Main S Hills Newspaper, treet, Huntington , New York 11743 or e-m info@long ail us at islanderne ws.com

‘Not the types set up by the printer return their impression, the meaning, the main concern.’

State Cuts Must Be Fair We knew what was coming. The question thinking that the governor would cut deeper. Unfortunately, there are still significant cuts was, how much? Gov. David Paterson has released his to school districts across the board. That’s budget proposal for the year ahead and it is- going to affect property taxes, and to keep tax n’t pretty. New York State is facing a stag- increases minimal, districts are going to have gering deficit – $7 billion, according to cur- to look carefully at their spending. Everyone realizes that these are extraordirent projections – so this budget brings a lot nary times, and unfortunately, many reof pain. member all too well the impact of You can’t blame the governor for the global economic crisis and EDITORIAL similar cuts in the early 1990s. It won’t be easy, and many will be the banking meltdown, but they are the reason the state’s financial picture is unhappy. What’s most important for our so dire. Revenue on which the state depends state officials to keep in mind is that the simply hasn’t come in. And since you can’t spending cuts be equitable, and that suburspend what you don’t have, there are cuts. ban districts don’t get saddled with greater hits than the city schools. We’re all in this toSevere cuts. Locally, the most significant cuts are in ed- gether and unfairly allocating resources will ucation spending. Many were surprised, only foster divisiveness.

Letters to the editor are welcomed by Long Islander Newspapers. We reserve the right to edit in the interest of space and clarity. All letters must be handsigned and they must include an address and daytime telephone number for verification. Personal attacks and letters considered in poor taste will not be printed. We cannot publish every letter we receive due to space limitations.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Cars Only, Please DEAR EDITOR: Thanks for your article about how crowded Commack Road is with some 600 heavy diesel trucks using it every day and night. Yes, we residents want a wider Commack Road, but not for trucks. We live here. We want Commack Road not for trucks but for our use. We hate these noisy, smelly 18-wheeler tractor trailer loads. In fact, we want no trucks or trailers on Commack Road at all. Let’s get rid of them and have Commack Road for our cars only. Ban all trucks from Commack Road and let’s have a congressman’s written promise of this. Meanwhile a skeleton lurks. Gov. Paterson, who in the case of Commack Road is much more powerful than Steve Israel, has another vision. The governor wants to build a huge polluting plant where trucks meet trains just off of Commack Road on the former Pilgrim State property that by law is a natural preserve called Edgewood Oak Brush Plains. Paterson can’t legally build in Edgewood, but he seems to be illegally dirtying his hands anyway as he has done before. He wants to build a huge, highly polluting facility, which he calls LITRIM, short for Long Island Truck-Train Inter-Modal facility.

Here, 600-plus trucks a day would be spewing diesel fumes and soot day and night into our homes. Governor, we support the idea of a string of truck-train intermodals along Route 495, especially in the pine barrens and agricultural areas alongside the Long Island Expressway. What we do not support is one huge intermodal that is surrounded by a quarter-million people, north, south, east and west in the Towns of Huntington, Smithtown, Islip and Babylon. Governor, you would be sending polluted air and water to ruin the health of some 250,000 people including thousands of babies and elders. What is the right solution? Let’s use the large amount of vacant land in eastern Suffolk to build a lot of small LITRIMs that would serve many local communities well. A lot of that land is already county property. You will be popular with those communities for bringing them new jobs. Governor, call a press conference to announce your opposition to one big LITRIM, and your support of many small ones. OK, let’s widen Commack Road, but let’s make sure we residents, and not the governor, get the use of it. GEORGE PETTENGILL

Dix Hills

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Serving the communities of: Dix Hills, Melville and the Half Hollow Hills Central School District. Founded in 1996 by James Koutsis Copyright © 2010 by Long Islander Newspapers, publishers of The Long-Islander, The Record, Northport Journal and Half Hollow Hills Newspaper. Each issue of the The Half Hollow Hills Newspaper and all contents thereof are copyrighted by Long Islander, LLC. None of the contents or articles may be reproduced in any forum or medium without the advance express written permission of the publisher. Infringement hereof is a violation of the Copyright laws.

Open Hearts DEAR EDITOR: As a local dog-owning resident residing in the area surrounding Coindre Hall, I do not understand what all the fuss is about. Why is this park so controversial? I have been visiting this place for nine years and have never seen a dog fight, out-ofcontrol dogs or a dog biting a human. It seems that the dogs that are allowed off leash in this huge field are more balanced, socialized, and less anxious then dogs that are not allowed the freedom to play in this manner. Large Field Socialization is a known method to increase the balance of dogs, even with aggression. Having no boundaries with the ability to flee, engage, move in curved patterns, choose to interact or not to, gives dogs choice without frustration. Dogs are not by nature fighters within their own species. They are peacekeepers. Having no leash with an anxious owner on the other end either pulling them, commanding, yelling at or dragging them allows them to make decisions on their own without anxiety. The field at Coindre Hall is the right size to allow them to do just this. Dogs off of a leash do not bark excessively. I am there almost daily and see no excessive barking whatsoever. Dog owners in Huntington village pay very high taxes. The

DEAR EDITOR: With the recent declaration by the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases are dangerous pollutants, municipalities and businesses throughout the country are faced with the challenge of reducing the emissions and fuel consumption of their fleet vehicles. There is no simple solution when it comes to improving fuel economy and reducing emissions of fleet and transit vehicles. This is especially true today when there are limited resources available to address a multitude of complex issues. It makes economic and environmental sense to investigate the benefits of retrofitting before spending hundreds of millions of dollars on new hybrid vehicles. The realized reduction in fuel consumption and added years of useful life provide economic advantages, while reducing harmful emissions from a renewable source of energy is environmentally sound. Conducting a thorough vehicle asset analysis and having a comprehensive, executable plan in place are the best ways to conserve energy and maximize return on investment.

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total amount of taxes paid exceeds the dollar amount of revenue that is received by the few homes abutting the field. And not all of these homes complain, I am sure. Why isn’t the town trying to find a real solution to this problem? Sending policemen to issue fines does nothing but take them away from dealing with real crimes. There has been a rash of car break-ins in the area as well as a crime committed on Glen-Na Little Trail that involved a gunshot that wounded a dog very seriously. Why is Alex McKay pushing to ban dogs from Coindre Hall? Because of a few residents? What is the real reason? Who are his supporters? I would like to see an end to this controversy. With all the real problems facing us today, this is not where we should be putting our efforts. As more of the public become dog owners, as we find that the benefits of pet ownership are real, I feel it is time to listen to our voice. Pet owners are usually put on the defensive, and are not the complainers so their voice is not as loud and as annoying. The majority are law-abiding, responsible citizens, who care very much about the quality of life of animals. This caring attitude also extends to people. I would venture to say that people that open their hearts to animals have open hearts.

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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A9

People In The News Sal Mangano, owner of Mangano Funeral Home, recently announced that his firm has been selected to become an exclusive Certified Veterans & Family Memorial Care Provider (VFMC) for Dix Hills, Deer Park, North Babylon, Babylon, Bay Shore, West Islip and surrounding communities. VFMC providers are family-owned and operated, selected for upholding a high level of business standards and integrity while providing affordable professional service. The staff at Mangano Funeral Home work closely with all veterans service organizations and local Hospices. Mangano Funeral Home in Deer Park has also become an official drop off site for Cell Phones for Soldiers to help troops stay connected with their families, as well as an Old Glory Collection Center. The mission is to collect old, tattered, unusable flags to be retired in a dignified manner in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code. Mangano Funeral Home is located at 1701 Deer Park Ave., Deer Park. A staff member of the Alcott Group was recently honored by Melville-based Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Long Island chapter, in recognition of her personal fundraising on behalf of the organization. One of New York State’s most prominent Professional Employer Organizations, the Alcott Group’s Human Resources Assistant Stacey Bailey received a “Bright Light” Certificate at a recent luncheon. Bailey raised $1,050 as a participant in the Society’s Team In Training “Light the Night” walk, which took place at the Atlantis Aquarium in Riverhead. Bailey, along with other members of the Alcott Team, solicited sponsors for their individual walks. In total, the Alcott team raised $3,500 in donations. For Bailey, raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, whose mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and

TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Tips For Going Green Sometimes the best way to go green is to go paperless. The Huntington School District, for example, is moving forward with a paperless communication initiative that will save money, improve efficiency and effectiveness and be environmentally friendly, school officials claimed. Letters will soon be on their way to parents offering them an opportunity to receive certain types of district communications via e-mail. The items are currently mailed or carried home by students in hard copy form. The district is also making available a “parent portal” that will allow parents of secondary grade level students to view their child’s daily attendance, progress reports and report cards online. The program will be convenient for parents, school officials said, and will also save taxpayer dollars by reducing the need for postage, paper, envelopes and the cost of the personnel.

improve the quality of life of patients and their families, has been a decade-long activity inspired by her mother, the late Helen Smagala, who had non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She passed away in 1994 due to complications from a septic infection. “When I learned that Alcott was forming a Light the Night team, I thought it was a perfect way to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of my mother’s passing,” Bailey said. “The organization is a tremendous resource to individuals with various blood cancers and has been instrumental in significant research and development strides, as well as in providing support to patients and their families.” In addition to participating on Alcott’s

Compiled by Luann Dallojacono Light the Night team walk, Bailey said she has been raising funds to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a way of paying respect to friends and family members when they have passed away. She also conducted numerous fundraising letter campaigns on behalf of the organization and annually supports other team members with their fundraiser campaigns. Bailey, a 12-year Human Resources veteran who joined Alcott in 2004, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Long Island University, C.W. Post College. She and her husband, Tom, have two sons, 8year-old Thomas and 4-year-old Aidan. Both her husband and older son joined her in the Light the Night Walk.

Stacey Bailey with Katie Stockhammer, campaign director for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Long Island Chapter.


A10 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Huntington Heeds Call For Haiti Relief Residents respond to humanitarian crisis abroad offering time, help and supplies Photos/U.S. Navy

Hills West graduate Andrew Jahier, in purple gloves, squatting, attends to a patient in Haiti with fellow members of the USS Higgins crew. The Navy destroyer was the first vessel to anchor off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo/Lions Club International Foundation

Navy men carry a wounded Haitian on a stretcher to be treated.

Lions Clubs International Foundation Chairperson Al Brandel, of Melville, and his wife, Dr. Maureen Murphy, meet with volunteers preparing to bring aid to victims of the Haiti earthquake. Photo/Lions Club International Foundation

Lions volunteers deliver supplies, including medicine and water, to Haiti earthquake victims.

An American soldier in full camouflage gently cradles a child in Haiti and carries them to safety.

A soldier comforts one of the younger victims of the earthquake.


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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A11

TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Huntington Couple Escapes From Haiti Hospital worker comes home, family anxious to return to aid effort for earthquake-torn area By Mike Koehler mkoehler@longislandernews.com

Huntington Hospital nursing assistant Guilla Julien returned to Haiti for her annual New Year’s trip just in time for the earthquake to strike.

“If you can’t give a million dollars, give a dollar. If you can’t give a dollar, give a can of soup. This isn’t a Haitian Crisis, it is a humanitarian crisis.”

Flanked by her sons Cody and Stanley, Huntington Hospital nursing assistant Guilla Julien is safe at home after being in Haiti the day the catastrophic earthquake struck.

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— STANLEY JULIEN Julien and her husband, Joseph, make the trip every year to Petionville, home to generations of her family. Typically they go with the intention of cooking enough joumou – a pumpkin soup symbolizing Haiti’s independence – for the entire village. But on the afternoon of Jan. 12, just one day before the couple was to return to America, the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the Port-au-Prince suburb. Julien recalled being thrown out of her chair before her husband carried the nursing assistant out of the home they had been visiting. Free of physical injury, Julien and her husband spent four days on the streets of Haiti. Homes were reduced to rubble and dead bodies lay in the streets, she said, while the injured could not find medical care and children went hungry and thirsty. “There is no food. Everyone had to sleep in the street,” Julien said. “You could hear people yelling ‘save me.’” In the meantime, back in Huntington, the couple’s three children, Gregory, 32, Stanley, 29, and Cody, 19, anxiously waited to make contact with their parents for nine hours after the earthquake struck. “I felt helpless,” Stanley said. “We were watching news reports of the damage, seeing the growing death tolls, and not knowing if our parents were okay.” Back in Haiti, the couple finally secured seats on a cargo plane headed for Miami on Jan. 16. They caught an American Airlines flight back to New York, where co-workers welcomed Julien with roses and balloons. But with the horrors of what his mother witnessed fresh in her mind, Stanley said the family intends to travel back to Haiti as soon as possible to assist with the relief effort. “We want to hand out food and water, or help with translating, or do whatever we can,” he said, encouraging others to lend a hand. “If you can’t give a million dollars, give a dollar. If you can’t give a dollar, give a can of soup. This isn’t a Haitian crisis, it is a humanitarian crisis.”

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A12 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

French Horn Ensemble Breaks World Record 264 horn players gathered on Commack Middle School stage in Guinness attempt Photos by Brenda Lentsch

Commack Middle School’s auditorium stage overflowed as 264 French horn players gathered to perform on Jan. 15 in an effort to break the Guiness World Record for “Largest Horn Ensemble.”

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French horn players raised their bells in triumphant five-part harmony as part of a record-breaking ensemble. Students from across Suffolk County gathered at Commack Middle School on Jan. 15 in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Horn Ensemble on Suffolk County Music Education Association’s (SCMEA) “Day of Horn.” The 264 horn players filled the stage, playing simultaneously for an unofficial world record. “Right now I’d rather enjoy the moment and worry about the documentation next week,” said Commack music teacher Alan Orloff, organizer of the event. Students from South Huntington’s Stimson Middle School and Half Hollow Hills’ West Hollow Middle School joined in playing four songs, including the “Can-Can” and “Auld Lang Syne.” The performance was photographed and videotaped with horn players completing extensive paperwork supported by witness affidavits to verify their participation. “It brings attention to an instrument that can otherwise get lost in a group. It’s been a huge undertaking,” said Collette Galante, a music teacher from Half Hollow Hills. Orloff said he started SCMEA’s “Day of Horn” as an educational event to bring together French horn students as a group, learn more about their instruments and experience playing in a large group of all ages. “It’s a very difficult instrument to start out on. A lot of youngsters are embarrassed to continue, other kids are playing songs and they are still struggling to play notes. I’m trying to make horn more acceptable to the kids trying to play it,” he said. The event unexpectedly drew 159 young musicians in 2006, and more than 250 attended the next year. Orloff said he realized how large the ensemble had grown and spent the next two years trying to reach Guinness to make an officially sanctioned attempt at the record. “I told him, ‘Let’s make it official and invite Guinness to join us and achieve more recognition,’” said Paul Infante, director of fine and applied arts for Commack School District. Despite this year’s attempt, Orloff said the focus and highlight of the festivity remains on the bonds formed between experienced musicians and those starting the French horn, forming a family that grew just a bit larger this year.

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Experienced French horn players sat alongside younger students in the ensemble to help them find note pitches and play their parts.


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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A13

MUSIC

Dix Hills Spotlights Jazz Legend Five Towns senior Tierney Ryan to pay homage to Billie Holiday with solo performance Photo by Darlene Ward

By Danny Schrafel dschrafel@longislandernews.com

Tierney Ryan has always had a thing for jazz music. It’s been her favorite since she started taking voice lessons at age 10. “The first type of music I got into singing was jazz,” she said. “It’s definitely the freedom of it. There are so many songs out there and they’re all really good.” Ryan, a Five Towns College senior, is preparing to pay tribute to one of the genre’s giants – Billie Holiday – at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center on Jan. 31. About 20 Holiday numbers will be making it into her performance, including “Willow Weep for Me,” “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Fine and Mellow.” “I always knew about [Holiday] from listening to jazz, and I started studying her when I did the last Billie Holiday concert at Five Towns,” she said.

Tierney Ryan will pay tribute to legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in song on Jan. 31 at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center.

Sandy Hinden, executive director of the performing arts center, said Holiday remains one of the most influential chart-topping songwriters in the world. “Her soulful singing style and ability to communicate through song won the hearts of many listeners, young and old,” he said. Holiday, who was known as “Lady Day” to her contemporary fans, had an enormous impact on American pop and jazz music, with hits like “God Bless the Child” and “Don’t Explain,” both of which she wrote. Holiday died when she was 44, yet enjoyed a prolific career. Her posthumously published autobiography, “Lady Sings the Blues”, was released in 1959, named for her hit song, which she also wrote. Ryan’s formal training began following a fateful walk through the Broadway Mall with her father. “There was an acting group singing on a stage,” the Long Island native recalled. “My dad asked if I would ever want to do that, and I said yes.” After asking her father “week after week,” she signed

up for lessons and was on her way. She sang in the Girl Scouts and school chorus, but never realized the extent of her talents until taking solo lessons. When she was a teenager, she sang at the Crescent Beach Club in Bayville. Already working there as a waitress, she made a connection with their piano player, Robert Lepley, and became their singer. Ryan has been singing jazz professionally for four years at supper clubs, cafes and community events, and has appeared with a number of acclaimed jazz musicians. When not appearing as a soloist, Ryan performs in a seasonal female a cappella group called the Jingle Belles. In addition to her singing gigs, Ryan studied Jazz improvisation at Nassau Community College before arriving at Five Towns, where she studies music education with a concentration in vocal studies. She is currently student teaching and is preparing for her senior recital. For more information, call the box office 631-656-2148 or visit www.dhpac.org.


A14 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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HUNTINGTON OPEN HOUSES Want to get your open houses listed? Get your listings for free on this page every week in the Long Islander Newspapers. Call Associate Publisher Peter Sloggatt at 631-427-7000 or send an e-mail to psloggatt@longislandernews.com.

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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A15

6K gallons of gas burn police’s investigation may provide some answers in the months to come. Shah, 57, is survived by his wife and two children. A man who answered the phone at Kittery Transport refused to comment on the crash until receiving police reports, but said the employee was very loyal and level-headed. While sheriff ’s deputies cordoned off entrance ramps and all eight lanes, Melville firefighters were the first responders to the scene. But with flames spewing from the tanker, they wouldn’t be alone for long. About 125 firefighters and support personnel from the Huntington Manor, Hicksville Haz-Mat, East Farmingdale, Halesite, Dix Hills, Greenlawn, Syosset, Farmingdale, Bethpage, Plainview, Long Island MacArthur Airport, Republic Airport, Centerport, Cold Spring Harbor and East Northport fire departments, along with the Commack Ambulance Squad, arrived at the scene or manned other firehouses. Firefighters quickly began spraying foam on the flames, with the assistance of a MacArthur Airport Crash Truck. Foam, Warren explained, is far more effective than water when dealing with gasoline. “The foam suppresses the fumes and the gasoline is going to float on the water,” he said. They should know; the Melville Fire Department was called on in 2008 to tangle with another tanker fire on the Long Island Expressway. Last time the fire spawned in Dix Hills around exit 50. “We have handled calls like this before,” Warren said. But about 15 minutes into the battle, a new hazard posed a risk to rescuers. A large INFORM sign typically operated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to communicate traffic conditions came crashing down across all eight lanes when metal supports collapsed in the heat. Thankfully nobody was injured by the sign. Warren said there were no visual or audible clues that the sign would buckle, but firefighters avoided the sign due to the presence of excessive heat and possible damage it could cause. “We’re very fortunate that the sign came down very quickly into the fire and prevented much more serious injuries,” the chief said. Firefighters knocked out the flames within 90 minutes. However, gasoline was still on the road. First responders limited the flow with dikes around storm drains, although the fuel was still finding its way onto service roads and catch basins. A Department of Environmental Conservation

f|zÇtàâÜx Photos by Steve Silverman

(Continued from page A1)

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Smoke rises from the site of the tanker explosion. (DEC)-hired contractor uprighted the tanker and pumped out the remaining fuel another seven hours later. One thousand gallons remained in the tank, DEC spokesman Bill Fonda said, adding that an estimated 6,000 were burned off while another 5,000 spilled into storm drains. Several thousand gallons of water were sprayed down the drains to flush the gasoline out. “We started working as soon as the fire was put out. They are concentrating on the drainage system, which is concretelined,” Fonda said, adding that it limits the path the contaminated water can take. “They’re going to know where the contaminated product will be.” The drainage system directs all water from that area to a recharge basin – a large hole in the ground designed to saturate the ground with rainfall – along Round Swamp Road in Nassau County. Contractors flushed out the storm drains twice on Saturday and Sunday, which DEC officials believe removed most of the gasoline. They’ve also been placing absorbent pads in the basin to soak up contaminated water, and 120 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated. “They’re still monitoring the situation today, but with the rain, they’ll have to reassess it,” Fonda said, adding that crews working through Saturday night likely prevented substantial contamination. “If they can work on a spill immediately after it happens, it lessens the environmental exposure.” They were joined by DOT workers milling and filling a 200-foot section of the LIE that melted in the heat. DOT spokeswoman Pat Audinot confirmed the eastbound lanes were re-opened around 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning; the westbound lanes opened around 6 p.m. after debris was removed. There is no indication when the sign will be replaced. “Our crews worked really hard,” Audinot said. “They did a great job.”

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A16 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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THEATER

Nothing Ordinary About This ‘John Smith’ Engeman’s ‘Run For Your Wife’ puts British farce on stage for American audience By Luann & Christine ldallojacono@longislandernews.com

“God almighty, I thought you were ordinary!” Stanley Gardner can’t hide his surprise when his seemingly average neighbor divulges a secret confession: John Smith has two wives, two lives and one big problem when a situation threatens to expose him. Scheduled for a month-long engagement at the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, “Run For Your Wife” is a British play about a bigamist set in the 1980s. The farce crosses cultural lines and caters to all audiences. Even the song “Love and Marriage,” which begins playing as the lights come up, crosses generational lines; it was also the theme for the 1980s TV show “Married… With Children.” The audience is immediately introduced to the women in John Smith’s life: pouty, shapely blond wife Barbara and the more conservative wife Mary, both unknowingly in love with the same cabdriving man. Audra Wahhab returns to the Engeman stage after appearing in “The Odd Couple” last season to play Barbara, while Broadway actress Laura Shoop takes on the role of Mary. The play is set simultaneously in the Wimbledon flat of John and Mary and in the Streatham flat of John and Barbara. Scenic Designer Court Watson, who also did Engeman’s “The Foreigner” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” makes clever use of

In Engeman’s “Run For Your Wife,” a cab driver finds himself in the middle of chaos as his secret of having two wives teeters on the brink of exposure.

The audience is quickly brought into the world of John Smith’s two loves, pouty wife Barbara, played by Audra Wahhab, and conservative wife Mary, played by Laura Shoop.

inverse color schemes and separate doors to make it clear in which apartment the action is occurring. No detail is missed, from the vibrant yellow and blue wall décor to the blue-and-yellow-makes-green sofa in the middle, shared by both flats. John’s life is turned upside down when he is hospitalized after being mugged and his two addresses surface, sparking questions from police in both towns. The only way to maintain his sham is to enlist the help of his friend Stanley. Though at first fascinated by John’s setup, Stanley quickly finds himself in outrageous situations as he helps maintain the farce. John Patrick Hayden, who plays John, and David Rossmer, who plays Stanley, are a well-matched pair. Rossmer comes out with abounding energy and maintains it throughout the play; his twisted

small stage, especially when several are on at the same time but are supposed to be in different apartments. What could result in a confused audience as well as a blocking disaster instead gives audience members the feeling they are “in the know” about simultaneous situations as the actors glide past each other flawlessly. It is a credit to Director BT McNicholl, who also did Engeman’s “Lend Me a Tenor” and “The Odd Couple.” McNicholl is also the resident director of Tony Award-winner “Billy Elliot.” Despite a somewhat slow start, the play picks up quickly and the jokes that hit, hit hard. Showing through Feb. 21, tickets are $50. Call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com for more information. The theater is located at 250 Main St. in Northport.

facial expressions in the second half are physical comedy at its best. His character is balanced by Hayden’s relatively straightforward play of John, who builds and builds as the farce reaches its pinnacle. In fact, it is the initially subdued nature of Hayden’s John that makes him believable. John Little of Engeman’s “Little Women” returns to play the detective of Streatham while Broadway actor Doug Stender plays the detective from Wimbledon. Broadway veteran Stuart Marland plays the so-flamboyant-you-can’thelp-but-laugh gay neighbor upstairs, while Matthew Naclerio of Engeman’s “Oliver!” and “The Foreigner” makes a brief appearance as the newspaper reporter. The actors utilize every inch of the

MELVILLE

Media Experts Join Huntington Chamber

Panelists at the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Meet the Media Networking Breakfast. It was a full house as the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce opened the new year with a premier business networking event. The “Meet the Media” Networking Breakfast took place on Jan. 21 at the Hilton Long Island/Huntington. In addition to the standard pre-event networking and relationship building, the featured media program added value for members by providing newsworthy information and entertainment as well as vital information for local businesses and communities. The strategic panel of journalists and reporters from Long Island’s most influential media outlets included: Frank Eltman, Associated Press; Greg Cergol, WNBC-TV; Mona Rivera, 1010 WINS; Doug Geed, News 12; Carol Pack, LI News Tonight; Holli Haerr, Fios 1; Peter Sloggatt, Long Islander Newspapers;

Tim Bolger, Long Island Press; David Winzelberg, LI Business News, and Vic Latino, La Fiesta/Party 105 Radio. The lively program was moderated by Joye Brown from Newsday. “It was an incredible event with a great turn out from both members and nonmembers looking to find out more about the Chamber,” said Chamber Chairman Robert Bontempi. “The panelists are among the best in the media world and touched upon several issues that are not only affecting all Long Islanders but, millions of Americans. This event is a wonderful forum for the public to interact directly with the press.” The panelists discussed significant news events and how it impacts Long Island and local communities. Topics included economic hardships, environmental issues, the most important stories and the most under reported news of

Pictured from left, are: Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Chairman Robert Bontempi; Peter Sloggatt, Long Islander Newspapers; Greg Cergol, WNBC-TV; Vic Latino, La Fiesta/Party 105 Radio; Frank Eltman, Associated Press; Mona Rivera, 1010 WINS; Joye Brown, Newsday; Holli Haerr, Fios; Carol Pack, LI News Tonight; Tim Bolger, Long Island Press; David Winzelberg, LI Business News; and Doug Geed, News 12. 2009, how the media has changed in the past year, and the advent of social networking and what it means for the future of Long Island businesses. After an indepth discussion, the panelists responded to a number of questions from the audience. This program was made possible through the generosity of Chamber sponsors: Adelphi University; BAE Systems; Capital One Bank; Community National Bank; CyberKnife Of Long Island (North Shore Radiation Group); Farrell Fritz, P.C.; Home Depot; JVKellyGroup; Newsday; Nightingale PR; North Shore Financial Group; Park Shore Country Day Camp; ServPro of North Huntington and Verizon Communications.

Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Chairman Robert Bontempi addresses the audience at the Meet the Media Networking Breakfast.


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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A17

TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Barking Up The Right Tree Side business fills niche tending to people and pets in their home Spotlight On

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What started as a chance meeting at a networking group for pet professionals is growing into a side project that threatens to demand more attention than a cute puppy. Created by social worker Jennifer Devine and veterinarian Michael Selmer, Caring4Pets bridges the gap between their careers and provides a unique service – non-medical care for pets and a watchful eye for households. “I don’t think anyone’s discussing it because there’s not a plan or awareness of it. What I’d love to see happen is that when a social worker is talking with someone who has been admitted, they ask if they have pets at home,” Devine said. A licensed master social worker specializing in geriatric care employed by Caring For People and a Huntington resident, Devine also has more than a dozen years of experience as a professional pet-sitter. Selmer, on the other hand, has owned Advanced Animal Care in Huntington Station for 15 years. In 2007, he created the Mobile Care Unit to help pets when their owners couldn’t get the animals to his office. What he found was that some people ignored their own health maladies to care for their pets. “While I was there, I ran into some situations where someone would have to be rushed to the hospital, and they wouldn’t leave the bus because of a cat or other pet,” Selmer said. Enter Caring4Pets. The new business provides sitters that can walk, feed and groom pets while owners are away. If an operation caused the absence and the hospital approves, the sitters can also bring the pets bedside for a visit. Employees also collect mail, water plants, throw out expired food and fill the refrigerator in time for the client’s return.

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Michael Selmer with Bea Denno and her dog, Raider, in a Long Island senior living facility, the primary demographic for Caring4Pets. Clients initiate contact by reaching out to the company. A Caring4Pets staff member will meet with the customer, create an assessment and come up with a plan. While sometimes it is as simple as feeding the cat and cleaning its litter box, Devine said often there’s more to it. “I went into a senior’s home for an assessment and one of the issues for this woman was that she got into a car to bring [her cat] to the vet to get its nails clipped. Because she wasn’t balanced, the cat got frightened and ran away,” she said, adding that the feline returned and now Selmer clips its nails in the home. “Now she’s comfortable with us coming in to talk about her.” And that was the original idea, both owners said. Caring4Pets accepts anybody as clients and was created to help both senior citizens and their pets. “I wanted to put them together because I think there’s a need for it,” Devine said. Despite opening in September, Selmer said they are just beginning to market themselves and look for new clients. They currently have staff in the

Town of Huntington and south shore of Nassau County. Another social worker could be hired in the very near future to work out of Patchogue. Anyone looking to use Caring4Pets’ services is asked to call 631-697-5995. The business is currently based out of Selmer’s office.

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Selmer’s Mobile Car Unit is sometimes used for Caring4Pets calls as well.


A18• THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010 • A19

MUSIC

Voices Raised For A ‘Note’-Worthy Cause Local congregations gather to raise awareness of poor children on Long Island. Photos by Brent Eysler

The Gathering of Light, Multifaith Spiritual Fellowship Choir hold up Dr. Martin Luther Kinginspired signs during the service. Children from Joshua Baptist Cathedral Youth Choir in Huntington take the stage for their set. By Zoe Shapiro info@longislandernews.com

Around 100,000 children across Long Island receive food assistance from pantries or soup kitchens each year; almost 1,000 of them are homeless. But they are not alone. Choirs from 10 Huntington congregations joined together at St. Hugh of Lincoln R.C. Church on Jan. 17 in song and prayer to raise awareness about the growing problem through a Martin Luther King-inspired service. About 500 people attended the event, including four children’s choirs. Although participants were only asked to donate one non-perishable food item, St. Hugh’s Outreach Director Fran Leek confirmed they collected 1,000 cans. “This food pantry feeds about 500 people a month. It was a great donation for us,” Leek said. “The program was very well received.” However, Long Island Jobs with Justice Community [JWJ-LI] Outreach Coordinator Richard Koubek said the event was designed to inspire more than charity. “What we are doing with this Martin Luther King service is saying that works of charity are not enough,” Koubek said.

The participants ranged from Christians to Buddhists, all trying to help the children. They aspired to achieve Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of helping those in need – hence the event’s title of “‘We Must Speak’...Putting Children First.” “We are using Dr. King’s dream of an America without poverty,” JWJ-LI Executive Director Charlene Obernauer said. JWJ-LI joined with many other children’s advocacy and anti-poverty groups to sponsor the event. That list included Every Child Matters on Long Island, The Child Care Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and Mobilized Interfaith Coalition Against Hunger. This was actually the fourth consecutive year that Huntington’s congregations collaborated to help a Long Island cause. This time they elected to help the impoverished children on Long Island. “This year we chose to emphasize children because poor people are most vulnerable, especially poor children,” Obernauer said, adding “especially with the economic crisis we are experiencing.” Though Long Island is one of the 10 wealthiest regions in America, 20 percent of Long Island residents struggle each month to provide their families with the basic necessities, according to JWJ-LI. “We are rallying people of faith to take

Both children and adult choirs joined in the service.

A group of young singers wait for their turn to raise poverty awareness through song. political actions to address these in justices,” said Koubek, “and asking people to send their representatives to support public policies that get at the root of poverty, such as an increase in funding child care.” The most recent source of information about Long Island poverty is the 2009 Adelphi University “Vital Signs” study,

although Island Harvest/LI Cares will be releasing a more updated study on hunger on Feb. 3. “Seventy-five thousand children under the age of 6 cannot get into licensed and regulated child care centers because there are not enough government subsidies to help their parents pay the child care fees,” Koubek said.

Choirs from 10 Huntington congregations joined together at St. Hugh of Lincoln R.C. Church on Jan. 17 in song and prayer through a Martin Luther King-inspired service


A20 • THE HALF HOLLOW HILLS NEWSPAPER • JANUARY 28, 2010

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HillSPORTS LACROSSE

Pros Securing Future Of Their Sport Women’s World Cup team spends one-on-one time with Hills players Half Hollow Hills photo/Sara-Megan Walsh

By Sara-Megan Walsh swalsh@longislandernews.com

Lacrosse players from across Long Island flocked to Half Hollow Hills on Sunday to get a leg up in the pre-season with world-class advice from their national idols. Hills Youth Lacrosse hosted clinics taught by four members of U.S. Women’s World Cup Training team at Hills East High School on Jan. 24. Over 150 female youth and high school lacrosse players had the opportunity to get one-on-one training and advice from their sports idols. “This is a hugely empowering event for all of these girls from fourth grade to ninth grade, to even those in 12th grade,” said Trisha Dean, organizer of the event. The league was chosen as one of 12 sites across the nation to host the U.S. Women’s National 2009-2010 clinics, and was further selected as one of four locations to host an advanced high school level clinic. The sessions gave athletes a general overview of the game, with focus on basics of passing, catching and stick work, said clinician Whitney Douthett, a member of the 2009 Gold Medal winning U.S. World Cup Team. “It’s a great honor for us to be here playing with these kids, they are the future of our sport,” said Jennifer Russell, who plays defense for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a member of the U.S. Developmental Program. Members of the Hills Youth Lacrosse

U.S. National Woman’s World Cup Training team member Colleen Olsen helped local high school players perfect their games at Hills East in one of four national advanced clinics held last Sunday. fourth-grade girls team including Lindsay Dean, Samantha Leva, Sophia Russo, Dana Schlackman and Kelly Sullivan eagerly collected autographs while talking about their new moves, including a behind-the-back pass and the “Twizzler.” “For parents of the younger girls, it’s about having their daughters exposed to world-class talent, who serve as great role models for these girls,” said Rich Makover, director of Hills Youth

Lacrosse’s girl program. “For the older girls, I think they want to speak to them and learn how to follow in their footsteps. This is both a skill-building and networking opportunity.” Nichole Doran, a ninth-grader at Hills East who plays attack, held the advice of U.S. team members Douthett, Russell, Hilary Bown and Colleen Olsen in high respect. “One of them started playing at my age,

and now she’s on Team USA which makes it even better, to think I could do the same one day,” Doran said. Russell, who didn’t start playing lacrosse until she was in eighth-grade, said she had one piece of advice for those athletes who aspire to play at the national level. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but if you commit to it you can do it,” she said.

GIRLS BASKETBALL>> EAST ISLIP 55, HILLS EAST 53

Thunderbirds Seconds Away From Victory Team unable to close 2-point gap in the final minute, leading to heart-breaking loss By Sara-Megan Walsh swalsh@longislandernews.com

The Thunderbirds narrowly missed clinching their first league victory, which evaded their grasp in a heated game that was still undecided with less than 10 seconds on the clock. The Half Hollow Hills East girls basketball team traveled to East Islip to take on the Redmen on Jan. 21. The clock worked against the Thunderbirds in the close game, ticking down as East Islip claimed the lead and hung onto it for the final 40 seconds to win 55-53. Coach Yvan Garcia said he was not disappointed by the loss. The girls played an exciting game, giving it their all on the court, he said, and that was what mattered most. From the moment the first quarter started, a battle for control ensued as action bounced back-and-forth from one side of the court to the other. The Redmen, spurred on by the cheering

of the home crowd, took an early 5point lead. The Thunderbirds came back with a vengeance in the second quarter, perhaps remembering their early season 39-36 loss to East Islip on Dec. 17. Hills’ offense proved a force to be reckoned with, outscoring their opponents by 7 points. The aggressive play put the Thunderbirds in the lead at the half for the third time this season, 21-19. Senior Maureen Pollet opened the third quarter with a nothing-but-net 3-pointer. This opened the door for the Thunderbirds to take control of the court, holding a narrow lead for most of the third. It was late in the third quarter when Hills East began to run into trouble with fouls, as the Redmen took a 3837 lead via free throws. Hills sophomore Tara Wirth scored a quick 2-pointer seconds into the fourth quarter to reclaim the lead. Baskets made by sophomore point

guard Gabby Diamandis and junior Bria Green were quickly off set by the Redmen’s fast offense. Tension rose when the score was tied at 45, as senior captain Kelsey Cunningham raced back to stop an offensive break with a single hand, coming up with two huge blocks. A 3-pointer by Green put Hills ahead 53-50 with one minute left. East Islip fought off defeat by scoring twice and sinking a series of free throws to take a 55-53 lead. Garcia called a time out to gather the Thunderbirds for one last attempt, as they had possession with 9.2 seconds left, but the shot bounced harmlessly off the backboard. Diamandis and Green led the Thunderbirds’ offense with 16 points apiece. The loss puts Hills East 0-7 in League III with six games remaining. The Thunderbirds will look for their first win today when they take on Newfield at 4 p.m.

Senior Janel Gardner goes up for a slam-dunk against the East Islip Redman on Jan. 21.

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