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Taking Steps For Paralyzed Hills Grad Family friends arranging benefit at 300 Long Island to help fund his care and therapy By Mike Koehler

Melville resident Amy Gill met Dale Ahn through her older brother, Brian. Despite an eight-year difference in age, Amy wanted to be a part of the social group. “I remember one time they let me play poker with them when I was in fifth grade and they were seniors,” Gill, now a junior at Half Hollow Hills East, said. Her mother, Karen, said Brian met Dale in middle school and have been friends since. But on Aug. 14, 2011, Ahn’s life changed forever. A member of Half Hollow Hills East’s class of 2007, Ahn graduated from Boston College in 2011 with a degree in economics. He came home that summer and permanently injured his spinal cord after nearly drowning in a pool accident. Ahn immediately underwent lengthy surgery and had another within a week, both to stabilize

and relieve pressure on his spinal cord. For nearly a month, he was lying on a bed, unable to do anything but stare at the ceiling. “Initially when I was injured, I couldn’t do anything. I was hooked up to tubes everywhere imaginable,” Ahn said. He was able to breath and eat on his own after the first month, but still spent months at hospitals and rehabilitation centers. But there was no escaping the fact that Ahn was paralyzed from the shoulders down, and had to wait to return to the family’s Queens home until renovations were finished several months later. Dale hasn’t lost his sense of humor or love of the New York Knicks, his older sister Lisa said, but does require daily assistance and personal medical care. He has full use of his shoulders and biceps, strong use of his wrists and no control of his fingers or triceps. The (Continued on page A19)

Hills grad Dale Ahn was mostly paralyzed after an accident in August 2011. Family friends are organizing a benefit at 300 Long Island to help pay for therapy and ongoing care.


New Look Makes Hotel More Competitive Half Hollow Hills photo/Mike Koehler

Senior Vice President for Dow Hotel Company Robert Levy, VP for Global Grand Performance for Hilton Worldwide Gary Steffen, Hilton Long Island employee of the year Kathleen Sabella, Newsday Vice President Paul Fleishman, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, Councilwoman Susan Berland, Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and Nassau County Legislator Carrie Solages celebrate the re-opening of Hilton Long Island with a ribbon cutting.

Hilton celebrates $16M renovations, upgrades By Mike Koehler

A mandatory renovation was in order for Hilton Long Island when Dow Hotel Company took over management in 2011. Last week, guests packed the lobby of the Melville hotel for a look at the finished product. Hilton Long Island celebrated the grand reopening Feb. 27 after the $16-million renovation project was completed. General Manager Ellen Ruane said the hotel’s 303 guest rooms had not been updated in nine years and the restaurant was last renovated four years before. Pricier executive floor rooms on the fifth floor had flat screens before the renovations; all other rooms still sported older, larger model TVs. The work was imperative, she said, if they wanted to stay competitive. “There’s a lot of competition in the

area that had a much fresher look. The Marriott, the Hilton Garden Inn. It was hard to compete with them,” Ruane added. The layout of the five-floor hotel hasn’t changed, but nearly every inch underwent a facelift. New carpet and wallpaper are everywhere, the executive lounge on the fifth floor was cleaned up, and the two ballrooms have both been renovated. Guest rooms were also modernized. Every room now has a refrigerator, an in-room safe and personal reading lights. An easy chair and table sit across from the bed, while electrical outlets are available on lamps. Renovations started in April 2012 and finished that November. The hotel was never closed, although large sections were off-limits at different times. Construction crews needed 30-45 days to get through one floor; those rooms were not (Continued on page A19)




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Hills Announces Top Students Of 2013 Top 20 in each school, valedictorians, salutatorians recognized for achievement

Pictured from Hills East are: (seated, from left) Miranda Lupion, Carol Lee, Shreyas Havaldar, Christy Chon, Robert Tannenbaum, Caila Cohen, Tyler Fisher, Sydney Pergament, Benjamin Sorkin, Helen Liu, (standing, from left), Principal Jeffery Woodberry, Amanda Zigomalas, Daniel Baden, Amanda Luper, Emma Cordano, valedictorian Ross Tannenbaum, salutatorian Hiral Doshi, Brittany Colonna, Spencer Kaplan, Alexa Spiegel, Alexander Frieder and Assistant Principal/Senior Class Adviser Roberto Trigosso. The Half Hollow Hills School District last week announced the top 20 students in each graduating Class of 2013 from High School East and High School West. At Hills East, the valedictorian is Ross Tannenbaum and the salutatorian is Hiral Doshi. Tannenbaum will be attending

Cornell University. At this time, Doshi has not decided. At Hills West, the valedictorian is Sarah Han and the salutatorian is Dean Fulgoni. Han remains undecided in her college choice, while Fulgoni will be attending University of Pennsylvania.

Pictured from Hills West are: (seated, from left) Kerri Ann Graber, You Jeong Park, Ariana Rahgozar, Sandhiya Kannan, valedictorian Sarah Han, salutatorian Dean Fulgoni, Jennifer Jung, Gina Augusta, Anna Inserra, Caitlin Caulfield, (standing, from left) Director of Guidance Donna Gross, Megan Batkiewicz, Yoon Ha Choi, Rachel Smith, Azaria Zornberg, Joshua Mease, Derek Yeung, Jared Silberlust, Jake DiCicco, Sharon Huang, Alyssa Milman and Principal Wayne Ebanks. Rounding out the top 20 at Hills East are: Daniel Baden, Christy Chon, Caila Cohen, Brittany Colonna, Emma Cordano, Tyler Fisher, Alexander Frieder, Shreyas Havaldar, Spencer Kaplan, Carol Lee, Helen Liu, Amanda Luper, Miranda Lupion, Sydney Pergament, Alexa Spiegel, Benjamin Sorkin, Robert Tannenbaum and Amanda Zigomalas.

The rest of the top 20 from Hills West are: Gina Augusta, Megan Batkiewicz, Caitlin Caulfield, Yoon Ha Choi, Jake DiCicco, Kerri Ann Graber, Sharon Huang, Anna Inserra, Jennifer Jung, Sandhiya Kannan, Joshua Mease, Alyssa Milman, You Jeong Park, Ariana Rahgozar, Jared Silberlust, Rachel Smith, Derek Yeung and Azaria Zornberg.


Season Is Prime Time At The Dix Hills Ice Rink

It’s almost Friday night, around 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 22, and the Dix Hills Ice Rink is alive and booming. Outside, parents jockey for the best hilltop parking to drop off their children at the twin-rink facility. Inside, children of all ages are lacing up their skates and hitting the ice. Once they get inside the chilly, 35-degree confines of Rink B – the newest slab, which was completed in late December 2010 – they arrive at a bustling hub of activity during the height of skating season, which runs from December to March. On one portion of the ice, young skaters learn the fundamentals, which could be as simple as staying upright on their skates. Meanwhile, individual skaters of all levels are making the rounds during an open skate at center ice. One skater, 9-year-old Carmine Pittelli, was in full Long Island Royals hockey gear as he flew along the ice with his coach, Suffolk Sports hall of famer Barbara Williams. On skates even before his third birthday, Carmine, a student at Harborfields’ Thomas J. Lahey Elementary School, is following his father’s lead by taking to the rink. Williams has high hopes for the young player, and she should know – in 1977, she became the first woman to be an NHL skating coach with the New York Islanders and worked with the Islanders during their magical late-70s, early-80s run of Stanley Cup victories. “He’s going to be an NHL star,” she said.

Pittelli said he enjoys sharpening his skills at the Dix Hills Ice Rink. “I like it,” he said. “The ice is smooth, and I like how I can work my edges on it.” And that’s exactly what Supervisor Frank Petrone hoped would happen – offering rising talent a place to sharpen his skills while giving all of Huntington’s residents a place to have fun. “We’re going to start getting you people that will develop a name,” he said. “Hopefully, a superstar will come out of Dix Hills.” While the facility offers top figure skaters and talented hockey players an ideal venue to train, it’s also a draw for firsttime skaters and recreational participants. Dix Hills resident Anthony Leotta said his son, Anthony, just started taking beginning hockey lessons, and his entire family has taken advantage of the ice. “They did a great job – it came out beautiful,” he said. A team of General Services workers are tasked with maintaining the facility, including three full-time managers, eight Zamboni drivers and maintenance workers, five part-time managers, a dozen rink guards and 30 skate instructors. Ice Rink manager Matt Naples, an 11year town employee this May, said the facility has come a long way since it first opened in 1974 and was covered in 1983. More improvements, he added, could be on the way. Renovations are coming to Rink A’s boards, and the town is hoping to replace a cracked concrete slab underneath the rink. That would create a smoother skating surface and allow the rink to stay open year-round, Naples said. Currently, Rink A closes in May to correct per-

Half Hollow Hills photos/Danny Schrafel

By Danny Schrafel

Young skaters learn the fundamentals from one of the Ice Rink’s 30 skate instructors. mafrost that builds up during the year. Upgrading that rink, Petrone said, will offer high-level skaters more ice time and additional revenue for the town. Estimating the twin-slab ice rink generated the town $2 million in revenue last year, the supervisor said he hopes work on Rink A’s new slab will begin later this year, on the path to breaking even. The Dix Hills Ice Rink has grown in its role as a community hub, hosting birthday parties, senior morning skating leagues and periodic “skate swap” events. The next swap, sponsored by Councilwoman Susan Berland, allows residents to drop off gen-

tly used skating equipment at the Ice Rink through March 22 and receive a voucher to return on March 23 to shop, swap and socialize with fellow skaters. Once the original rink is refurbished, Naples is confident he will be able to fill the ice with skaters. Presently, he estimates there are skating programs going from 5:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. the next day. “All of the programs are full. The ice is sold. It’s very successful,” he said. “If they gave me a third rink, I’d sell that, too.” “We’re booked solid,” his boss, parks director Don McKay added. “We’re constantly turning groups away.”

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Chinese Government Donates $11K to Hills

Christmas has come early for Mandarin Chinese classrooms in the Half Hollow Hills School District. On Friday, the district received an $11,000 check from Hanban China, the educational branch of the Chinese government, as well as a flat screen TV, two computers, monitors, keyboards, a camera, a printer, and even shelves to set them up on. This is the second year the district received gifts from the Chinese government. Last year it was awarded $10,000 to promote Mandarin Chinese in the American classroom. In addition to teaching the language, instructors educate students about the culture, history and scientific contributions of the Chinese. The government also supplied literature, masks, kites, and Chinese artifacts to bring the culture to life in a school setting. Half Hollow Hills is one of the few districts on Long Island that offers Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language, as most schools typically offer students the option of taking romance languages, such as French or Spanish. Francesco Fratto, director of world languages for Half Hollow Hills, said the district was forced to seek outside sources of funding to maintain the Mandarin Chinese program. “When you think of Half Hollow Hills

and everything that’s happening in the district, it speaks to the community that foreign language is still a part of the program and our kids are excited about it,” Fratto said. The Mandarin Chinese program was implemented five years ago. The first wave of students who enrolled are now in the 10th grade, an evolution Fratto has enjoyed witnessing. There are a total of 10 classes, and approximately 160 students who take Mandarin Chinese. With a crow bar and security guard in tow, Fratto opened the two large wooden crates, which were shipped as cargo all the way from China to the Dix Hills Transportation Center for the March 2 opening. Last year’s donation allowed the schools to buy a SMART board for classroom instruction, new textbooks, and field trips to Chinatown and the Chinese Museum in New York City. The technology will be installed in schools throughout the district over the next several weeks. The foreign language director hopes that students in the district will one day speak a foreign language as fluently as international students speak the English language. “They wanted to partner with a highachieving school district. It’s not just one way; they want to establish a partnership [with the district],” he said. “They’re very selective.”

Half Hollow Hills photo/Jacqueline Birzon

By Jacqueline Birzon

Director of World Languages and English as a Second Language Francesco Fratto is stunned during the March 2 crate opening, when the district received $11,000 and other gifts from the Chinese government.


Lawsuits Over ‘The Club’ Withdrawn Peter Nichols pulls Article 78; Deshon Partners drop $1M countersuit By Danny Schrafel

A legal battle over the Club at Melville affordable senior community is over. Melville resident Peter Nichols dropped his Article 78 lawsuit, filed on Oct. 19, which sought to overturn the town’s decision to approve a land-rights swap that allowed the creation of Sweet Hollow Park on near Old Country Road and Round Swamp Road in Melville, the 261-unit Club at Melville affordable senior ownership community and a BAPS religious temple on 18 acres on Deshon Drive.

Town spokesman A.J. Carter said Nichols signed a stipulation Feb. 21 dropping his Article 78 with prejudice, which means he cannot re-file it. The town signed off on his motion the next day. “I decided to unilaterally withdraw my personal lawsuit against the town board and Deshon Partners,” Nichols said. “While I still feel the town board made a mistake linking a park on the former Meyer’s Farm property with a zone change on Deshon Drive, there was no point in penalizing the residents who live in the area surrounding Meyer’s Farm. These should have been two separate issues and considered separately.”

acres of development rights to Deshon Drive once Deshon Partners buys the property from the Tribune Company, which briefly owned Newsday in the mid-2000s. “Both closings should take place in a matter of weeks,” Weber said. The Deshon Drive parcel would be shared with the BAPS, who would build a temple on 5 acres. Development rights transferred from Meyer’s Farm to Deshon Drive, which will become Sweet Hollow Park, will allow for the additional 5 acres worth of development. Carter said the BAPS’s site plans for their temple are still under review by the town’s building department.

In turn, Deshon Partners dropped their countersuit against Nichols for $1 million, plus attorney’s fees, which they filed in lateJanuary, said Mort Weber, counsel for Deshon Partners. They alleged his Article 78 was filed maliciously and cost the developer additional closing fees, higher taxes, possibly higher borrowing rates, increased construction-related costs and delayed unit sales and marketing efforts. With both legal challenges dropped, the town and Deshon Partners can now buy the two properties involved in the land-swap development deal. Once the town owns Meyer’s Farm, they will be able to transfer the 5


Naughton In For Re-Election Bid Three-way battle coming for Democratic highway superintendent nod By Danny Schrafel

Huntington Highway Superintendent William Naughton, who has been at the helm of the department as its elected head since 1987, is pursuing four more years. Naughton, 79, made the announcement Monday, stating it has been “a privilege” to serve for the last 25 years. He said he is hoping voters will choose to return him to the post, where he would be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of 784 miles of roadways and right-of-ways within the town. “I appreciate the confidence that voters throughout the Town of Huntington have continued to place in me, and would wel-

come the opportunity to continue to serve our residents and taxpayers in an honest and responsible manner,” he said. Naughton was last elected in 2009, when he ran unopposed and with the endorsement of the Democratic, Republican, Independence, Conservative and Working Families parties. But in 2013, Naughton is in a three-way battle just to earn the Democratic nomination. He is facing challenges from Dix Hills’ Don McKay, the town’s parks commissioner, and Huntington’s Kevin Orelli, a longtime contractor. Naughton said Monday he is not overly concerned about the prospect of a primary. “Who knows? It’s a long time until May… We’ll see. But I’m definitely going to run regardless,” he said.

Leading up Monday’s announcement, Naughton has faced sharp criticism from his Democratic challengers, as well as Conservative prospect Peter Gunther, for his office’s response to a major blizzard in February. They argue the office was ineffective in clearing the more than 2 feet of snow that walloped many parts of Huntington, and his office communicated poorly with residents. While Naughton declined to respond directly to his critics, he stressed he is doing his best to take it in stride. “What else can they do? I’m used to that, by the way,” he said. “I’m not upset. I accept their criticism. I just don’t like being lambasted. I won’t agree with it, of course – but I won’t be upset by it.”

Naughton has steadily defended his efforts immediately following the bliz- William Naughton will zard, and seek re-election as Huntthanked resi- ington’s superintendent dents for their of highways. patience and understanding as town officials grappled with unprecedented storms. “Thanks to the efforts of conscientious and dedicated town employees, we were able to cope well with both Superstorm Sandy and February’s blizzard, which wreaked havoc across Long Island,” Naughton said.


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POLICE REPORT Compiled by Mike Koehler

My Favorite Time Of Year

Does Anyone Fall For This?

Luck of the Irish… So, what are you doing this

are pretty spry for our age, say it comes as one approaches 70. That’s really when the keys go missing, weekend? Hopefully wearing something green. you forget what you had for lunch, and you can’t reMaybe drinking something green. And also eating member what question you corned beef sandwiches at the just asked the waiter. But my Elks Lodge… That’s right, it’s IN THE KNOW niece argued that it begins parade time! My favorite time WITH AUNT ROSIE right after one graduates colof year. The biggest parade of lege. “After you’re out of the year will kick off on Sunday, March 10 shortly school, you start to lose your after noon on 2 p.m., starting at Huntington train smarts almost instantly,” she told me, recounting all station and coming down 110 before finishing outthe recent times her brain went on the fritz for no side St. Pat’s in the village. So prepare for the typigood reason. Then you have my good friend Marcal road closings that come with a parade, and if garet, who at 55 (although she looks 39, love you you’re planning to attend – get here early. Get my dear!) thinks that is the magical age of forgetlunch. Make a day of it. Because if you try to park at fulness, as she is starting to see an inability to re1 p.m., you’re going to end up parking in Cold member easy things, like where she put her watch Spring Harbor and hoofing it up the hill! or the photo of the kids. My advice to all of you unSend us your photos… If you’re planning to at- der-70 people who think they are approaching brain drain: You ain’t seen nothing yet. So you untend the parade, make sure you send us some phoder 30s, get more sleep and drink more water. You tos! We will of course be covering it ourselves, but 40s-50s, enjoy the memory you have while you have sometimes our readers just catch those perfect moit. And my fellow 60-plus-ers, let’s try to remember ments along the parade route. The best way to get each other’s things. Maybe that’s a winning strategy. your photo is by emailing Ring, ring… Did you lose a cell phone around or near the Huntington Historical Society headquarFor next weekend… For those of you hoping to ters? There’s a note nailed to the tree in front of the celebrate on the actual St. Patrick’s Day, the Elks headquarters, right by the municipal lot, which Lodge has you covered. Join them from 7-11 p.m. on states: “Found iPhone, this vicinity, a few days after Saturday, March 16 for a corned beef dinner, a cash Christmas. Call 516-982-9932 or 631-351-3211. Ask bar (with free tap beer, wine and soda) and live mufor Maryellen. You will need to identify it.” So, if you sic. On Sunday – St. Patrick’s Day! – join them at 2 happen to be missing an iPhone and think it happ.m. for the “afterparty,” with $2 Bloody Marys and pened near the tree between the Huntington Hisfree corned beef sandwiches! Gotta soak up all the torical Society and the Elks Club, what have you beer, I’m sure. It’s $25 per person, so it’s a deal you been waiting for? simply can’t beat. Call Kevin Arloff at 631-271-1078 or email for tickets.

Brain drain… I know the phrase “brain drain” is associated with losing our young people to big cities, but I have been using it more recently instead of saying “I’m having a senior moment.” And that got my friends and me talking… At what age does the brain drain really start? My friends and I, who

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

(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


A Melville resident called Suffolk County police to report a possible theft on Feb. 27. The complainant received a call from an unknown person claiming a family member had been in a car crash and they needed to send money. The call is believed to be a scam.

That’s A New Paint Job Suffolk police were dispatched to Huntington Station on Feb. 27 about criminal mischief. The complainant said someone keyed their 2010 Honda CRV the day before.

Burglar Strikes Home Suffolk police responded to a Melville home on Feb. 27 about a burglary. The complainant reported both jewelry and money was missing.

‘I Know Where You Live’ Northport police were dispatched to a Chestnut Circle home on Feb. 27 to resolve a dispute between the complainant and a cesspool worker. The complainant said he could not access his driveway because a van was parked in the way. The worker eventually moved the van and allegedly told the complainant, “That’s OK, I know where you live.” Both the worker and van were gone when police arrived. Police tracked down a phone number for the business and spoke with the employee. He acknowledged a verbal dispute did occur, but said the complainant was the aggressor for honking his horn and yelling profanity. He denied making the comment. Both parties were advised that no criminal actions occurred, but the situation would be documented.

Surprise, Your Car Is Gone A South Huntington resident called Suffolk County police on Feb. 26 to report a major theft. The complainant said someone took their 1996 Honda Civic from the driveway the day before.

At Least It Wasn’t A Customer He Punched Suffolk police were dispatched to a Huntington village restaurant about an altercation on Feb. 26. The owner was training an employee, when he punched the complainant after being told he was doing something wrong. The suspect fled the scene.

Was It A Clean Escape? A Dix Hills resident called Suffolk County police on Feb. 25 to report a possible burglary. The complainant said someone was coming in through a window by the laundry room. Police found nothing missing.

Smash And Grab Suffolk police responded to a Dix Hills parking lot on Feb. 25 about a major theft. The complainant left her purse in a gold Nissan Altima. Somebody broke the passenger window and made off with the pocketbook, which contained credit cards.

Were Beer Muscles Involved? “We’re going to start getting you people that will develop a name. Hopefully, a superstar will come out of Dix Hills.”

Suffolk police responded to a Huntington village bar about a possible assault on Feb. 24. The complainant said he was in a nearby parking lot when he was hit in the face and kicked. He refused medical treatment, although a friend took him to a hospital.

Season Is Prime Time At Dix Hills Ice Rink, PAGE A2

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Donating iPads To Sandy Hook School Photos by Tina Shek

Candlewood Middle School sixth grader Nova Shek donates an iPad to the Brentwood School District last month. By Jacqueline Birzon


What began as a campaign to find her autistic brother’s voice spread to finding voices of students in Brentwood, and now, in Newtown, Conn. Touched by the story of two victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Nova Shek, 11, is raising money to donate two iPads and gift cards to the Connecticut school in honor of Dylan Hockley and Anne Marie Murphy, an autistic student and his paraprofessional who were killed in the Dec. 14 shooting. Reports said the 6-year-old died in his paraprofessional’s arms. As of Monday, Shek’s fundraising website has raised $1,645, in addition to cash donations. Their current goal is $2,000, but the Shek’s hope to raise even more. Nova and her mother, Tina, have contacted Dylan’s mom and have arranged to meet her sometime in the next few weeks to give her the iPads. “I felt really badly about the story and Dylan and Mrs. Murphy,” Shek said. “I know it [the iPad] made a big difference with Zen [her 4-year-old autistic brother] and I know it helps kids communicate, learn and play also. It makes my family happy, maybe a child will speak more and learn in an easier way [with the donation]” Shek said. Shek has sold homemade lollipops in the shape of puzzle pieces, the symbol for autism awareness, at $2 a pop. The technology will be used to help students with disabilities learn and interact. Shek’s campaign, “Finding Zen’s Voice,” was inspired by her brother’s success with the iPad. Since Zen got hold of the interactive tablet, and the costly applications available for purchase, his verbal skills have improved and he’s found a creative outlet to engage with. Shek hopes the iPads will have a similar effect on other autistic children. Before the table technology, Tina said, the family was forced to print out pictures from the internet and use social story books to figure out what Zen wanted. With the iPad, Zen can Google or download images and use

SELLING & APPRAISING Paying The Highest Cash Prices Since 1946 Nova Shek presents chocolate puzzle piece lollipops, sold at $2 a piece, to raise money for iPad donations to Sandy Hook Elementary. them repeatedly to point out or express himself at times when he is unable to find the right words. “With Zen, he starts speaking more. With autism there’s a lot of things they repeat and emulate, and now he’s starting to say phrases. Just the fact he found something he enjoys,” Tina said. “He used to just sit with trains, and [now] I realize he’s opening up windows, and I get bills for downloads. It blows our mind that he knows what he’s doing.” Dylan Hockley’s parents, Nicole and Ian, have organized a memorial fund in honor of their son’s memory. The Dylan Hockley Memorial Fund website said Dylan was autistic, and that school services and support were beneficial to his learning experience. “This fund has been created to help children with autism and special needs. We are committed to making a positive change and help more children achieve their fullest potential and lead fulfilling lives,” they wrote. The donated iPads will come with a case, and one will have “In Memory Of Dylan Hockley” and the other will have “In Memory Of Anne Marie Murphy” inscribed. To make a donation to the “Finding Zen’s Voice” campaign, visit

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Attorney To Lead St. Pat’s Parade Former Marine a decorated lawyer and multifaceted community leader By Danny Schrafel

A longtime fixture on both the legal scene and philanthropic endeavors in Huntington will lead the Ancient Order of Hibernians’ 79th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Huntington. Andrew Lawrence, of Huntington, is the grand marshal for the parade, which kicks off Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m., just north of the Huntington train station along New York Avenue. It then turns west onto Main Street and ends at St. Patrick’s Church. Lawrence said he was stunned to have been chosen, and that his only wish is that his father, Dr. Andrew Lawrence Sr., the former chief of staff of Huntington Hospital, could have been here to see it. “What can I say? It’s something I didn’t expect,” he said. “I couldn’t believe I was selected. But I’m honored. I’m humbled.” He won’t be the only Lawrence marching proudly March 10 – his granddaughter, Katie, will be one of the “Wee Colleens.” Born in Flushing, the Lawrence family moved to Huntington when Lawrence Jr. was 7. He attended St. Patrick’s School in the early 1950s, and has been active in the parade from a young age. “I’ve marched in and observed this parade for almost 60 years now,” Lawrence said with a chuckle. “I can’t believe that.” Lawrence joined the Hibernians about four years ago, at the suggestion of Councilman Gene Cook, who will lead the parade with Lawrence as one of his four aides. The others include lifelong residents and friends John “Jay” Cavanagh, Andrew J. Schmitz and John Dooley. “I’ve been friends with 18 of the past grand marshals over the last 40 years, so I’ve been familiar with the organization. It was Gene Cook who suggested I might join

it,” Lawrence said. Before going to law school, Lawrence was a decorated Marine captain in Vietnam, and headed the Marine Corps training center in Halesite for several years in the early 1970s while he studied law at St. John’s University. Since 1973, Lawrence has been a practicing attorney. He got his start with the Suffolk County DA’s office in the Major Crimes bureau, where he was active through the late 1970s, and continues as a special assistant district attorney. After leaving active service with the Suffolk County DA’s office, Lawrence joined the firm of Toaz Buck Myers as a partner. He remained there through the mid-1990s and has since launched his own practice in Huntington. During his career, Lawrence has kept active in a number of community pursuits, such as serving as Huntington Bay’s village prosecutor for 30 years and representing agencies like Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Visiting Nurse Service, Huntington Hospital and various villages, fire departments and public libraries. He is also the past director of the Townwide Fund and has served as a trustee on the board of Huntington Hospital, a past president of the Family Service League, vice chairman and director of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, a trustee on the Housing Help board, and a past president of the St. Johnland Nursing Center board. He has received Huntington Hospital’s Teddy award, Visiting Nurse Service’s Man of the Year award and has twice been honored by the Townwide Fund. The parade route along New York Avenue and Main Street will be closed by police about an hour and a half before the parade steps off from the train station at 2 p.m. Depending on the parade’s pace, the route should be reopened around 3 p.m., organizers said. Police will also barricade off side streets that feed into the parade route. Organizers recommend spectators arrive early.

Andrew Lawrence and his grandchildren.

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$1.5 Million In School Budget Cuts Remain Board of Education announces a property tax cap levy of 2.97 percent for 2013-2014 Half Hollow Hills photo/Jacqueline Birzon

By Jacqueline Birzon

The Half Hollow Hills School District will once again adhere to the state’s tax levy cap in the 2012-2013 budget, school board members announced Monday. Instead, the district plans to increase its tax levy by the maximum allowable amount, or 2.97 percent, which is determined each year by a state formula. Last year, the cap allowed a tax levy increase of 2.33 percent. A districtwide survey, presented Jan. 28, indicated there would not be sufficient support to pierce the cap. To do so, the district would need a 60-percent supermajority of voters, but of the one-third of the 15,500 residents who responded to the survey, only 50 percent said they would approve piercing the property tax cap. During Monday’s board meeting at Otsego Elementary, Anne Marie MarroneCaliendo, assistant superintendent of finance and facilities, outlined the areas where board members plan to save money in making $9.5 million in cuts for next year’s budget, noting most revenue comes from taxes. “Most revenue for Half Hollow Hills is generated by property taxes…an indication of higher wealth,” she said. As of March 4, Marrone-Caliendo said the district still had $1.5 million in reductions to make. The presentation outlined $2,012,737 remaining in cuts, however during a budget workshop meeting held before the public board meeting, officials identi-

Half Hollow Hills parent Gary Schatz urges Board of Education members to reconsider piercing the property tax levy cap during Monday’s meeting at Otsego Elementary. fied four more areas where the district cam save. The secondary summer school program, historically held at Half Hollow Hills High School West, will be moved. The district is a part of a Western Suffolk BOCES consortium, and in past years nearby districts

would attend summer school at High School West. Next year the district will continue to offer summer school, but it will no longer be housed at the district. Students will pay a “nominal fee” to enroll, and classes will be held at a different school within the consortium.

The board also decided to close the Discovery Center at the Fran Greenspan Administration Building, eliminate the extended intramural sports season, and abolish the position of director of world languages and english as a second language. The current instructor is retiring, and administrators will step in and assume responsibility of duties. The district plans to maintain utilization of fund balance and reserves as in 20122013, at a balance of $9.5 million. Marrone-Caliendo said there is a high tax aid reduction for next year’s budget, and instead, the money will be provided to other, less wealthy districts. Building aid will also be reduced from year to year. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013-2014 Projected Executive Budget, the district will receive $37,204 less from the state than last year. Board of Education President James Ptucha said the budget crunch is not isolated to the Half Hollow Hills district. “The problems are systematic and statewide – completely out of our control,” Ptucha said. Monday’s presentation also showed the district will find $3,738,424 in switching middle school to eight periods, $1,513,997 accounting for elementary enrollment decline at an estimated reduction of 250 students, and will save $317,237 in eliminating driver’s education. The next board of education meeting will begin at 8 p.m. at Vanderbilt Elementary on Monday, March 8.

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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

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

Making Huntington More Competitive A recently completed $16-million in reno- groups should be able to host these important vations at the Hilton Long Island in Melville events in places that show well, because they not only makes the hotel more competitive in too, have a multitude of options. the market; it also makes Huntington more This also drives home the importance of competitive. building hotels in our downtowns. There is curRoute 110 is home to some of the biggest rently nowhere for visitors and investors for our businesses on Long Island, and those business- village businesses to stay, and the Route 110 es host conferences and draw in visihotels aren’t exactly around the tors and investors. Those people need EDITORIAL corner. Modest hotels that fit the somewhere to stay, and that place characters of our downtowns could should be reflective of the Town of Huntington’s bring in commerce in so many ways, through reputation. meetings, conferences and foot traffic. When visitors come to Huntington businessWe are approaching a critical time in the es for work, we want them to stay in Hunting- Town of Huntington’s development, and investton – shop at our local merchants, eat in our ment is key. Near its southern border, the Walt restaurants, and explore our town. If the hotels Whitman Shops is upgrading, as are nearby nearby are not up to par, they will look else- businesses and hotels. In Huntington village, where for a place to stay, and that means lost improving the parking infrastructure is actively potential for our residents. being pursued, and plans for a boutique hotel In addition to visitors from outside the island, are in the works. All of these things make Huntmany local organizations rely on hotels for ington more competitive on the Long Island their own conferences and meetings. These scene, and that is important for our future.

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.


Stay Safe From Identity Theft DEAR EDITOR: On March 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the Huntington Senior Center, I will be discussing the perils of identity theft and what you can do to protect yourself. The IRS announced the results of a massive national sweep targeting identity theft suspects in 32 states and Puerto Rico and is continuing their enforcement push against refund fraud and identity theft. IRS auditors and criminal investigators conducted a special compliance effort starting on Jan. 28 to visit 197 money service businesses to help make sure these businesses are not assisting identity theft or refund fraud when they cash checks. The compliance visits occurred in 17 highrisk places identified by the IRS covering areas in and surrounding New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, El Paso, Tucson, Birmingham, Detroit, San Francisco, Oakland

and San Jose. To stop identity thieves up front, the IRS has made a significant increase for the 2013 tax season in the number and quality of identity theft screening filters that spot fraudulent tax returns before refunds are issued. The IRS has dozens of identity theft screens now in place to protect tax refunds. To help taxpayers, the IRS has a special section on dedicated to identity theft issues, including YouTube videos, tips for taxpayers and a special guide to assistance. For victims, the information includes how to contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit. For other taxpayers, there are tips on how taxpayers can protect themselves against identity theft. MARK MAYOKA Huntington Councilman

Explaining Sequestration DEAR EDITOR: If you've been watching the news, you've probably heard a lot about "sequestration." We under-

stand that many of our clients are concerned about the effect of these spending cuts on the economy and their financial future. We are reaching out to provide some information and reassurance. Sequestration refers to the $85 billion in automatic federal government spending cuts that are scheduled to begin March 1. A Brief Background: The Budget Control Act of 2011 established caps on federal spending designed to reduce the national debt and established a new debt ceiling, which is the federal government's borrowing limit. The U.S. hit its borrowing limit on Dec. 31, 2012. If lawmakers were unable to agree on deficit reduction measures and raise the debt ceiling, sequestration would kick in on Jan. 1, 2013 and institute mandatory federal spending cuts across all aspects of governmental operations. These cuts formed part of the "fiscal cliff" debates in late 2012, and the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 reduced the size of the sequestration from $109 billion to $85 billion and postponed the deadline until March 1. In order to pay the govern-

Serving the communities of: Dix Hills, Melville and the Half Hollow Hills Central School District. Founded in 1996 by James Koutsis Copyright © 2013 by Long Islander Newspapers, publishers of The Long-Islander, The Record, Northport Journal and Half Hollow Hills Newspaper. Each issue of the The Long-Islander 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.

drag out the economic recovery even longer. What does this mean for investors? If the sequestration deadline arrives without Congressional action, we expect a period of market volatility will follow. Markets are already reacting nervously to the prospect of spending cuts and a potential U.S. default on its debt obligations. However, we do not believe that default is likely and, even if the spending cuts hit, lawmakers will strike a deal when they begin to feel the pain of sequestration. With respect to long-term investing, sequestration is simply a bump in the road. In December, all anyone could talk about was the fiscal cliff and how badly markets would be affected. However, as of Feb. 22, 2013, the Dow has gained 6.84 percent since the beginning of the year. As financial advisors, we focus on building long-term wealth for our clients. While short-term market movements may provoke anxiety, we have learned to seek out opportunities in many market conditions; good and bad. SAFE HARBOR ASSET MANAGEMENT Huntington

Peter Sloggatt Associate Publisher/Managing Editor


ment's bills, the Treasury has implemented temporary measures. In order to resolve the situation and avoid sequestration, Congress and the White House must agree to either raise the debt ceiling or adopt measures to reduce spending or increase revenue. Otherwise, the U.S. risks defaulting on some of its financial commitments. Sequestration and the Economy: Sequestration would not be catastrophic for the large and robust American economy. However, these automatic spending cuts would cause major disruptions to government activities and cut payments to government-funded organizations (many of whom are in the defense sector). Worse, the cuts are arbitrary and widespread, meaning that agency heads are unable to pick and choose where to trim spending. While the total economic cost of sequestration is unknowable at this point, some economists estimate that sequestration would contribute to the loss of 700,000 jobs (including drawdowns in the armed forces) and shave 0.6 percent off of GDP this year. While this may seem like a small cost to pay, slower growth, increased unemployment, and reduced consumer confidence may

Luann Dallojacono Editor Mike Koehler Associate Editor Danny Schrafel Jacqueline Birzon Reporters

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149 Main Street, Huntington, New York 11743 631.427.7000

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Life&Style MUSIC

Marshall Tucker Band To Rock Paramount By Tom Mortensen

Southern Rock may find its roots buried somewhere below the Mason Dixon line, but nowhere did the genre grow stronger than here on Long Island; a fact not lost on lead singer and founding member of the legendary Marshall Tucker Band, Doug Gray, who brings the band back here to The Paramount in Huntington on March 15. “I love my hometown of Spartanburg, S.C., but I’ll be honest. I don’t know if we would still be here today if it weren’t for Long Island,” he stated humbly. For more than four decades now, the singer has been blessed with the opportunity to continue a dream that began in the early 1970s with five boyhood friends, and while he makes it a point at each and every performance to publicly thank fans for that honor, his gratitude runs far deeper. Recently the group mounted a major relief effort to aid many of the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Collecting clothing, supplies and more than 1,500 blankets, several of their equipment trucks were dispatched directly to nearby areas. “Long Island was right there with us when we were just driving around in a van eating cheese and crackers ’cause that’s all we had,” Gray said laughing. “Had this been the original band we would have done exactly the same thing. I mean think

The Marshall Tucker Band plays The Paramount on March 15. about it. How many times in our lives are we ever gonna be able to appreciate and give something back?” The Marshall Tucker Band has seen several changes over the expanse of their four-decade career, yet today the group

continues to tour relentlessly, playing to standing ovations and sold-out shows not just around the country, but in many places around the world. On several occasions they have journeyed to Iraq and Kuwait to show their support and play for

the troops. Things seem to be coming back around full circle for Gray and fans as well. In 1976 the original members toured Europe for the first time. Several shows were recorded and plans had been set in motion to release a live album shortly afterwards. Their contract with Capricorn Records was due to expire however, causing a 27year delay in getting those tracks released. “Stompin’ Room Only” finally saw the light of day in 2003, allowing fans of yesterday and today a true glimpse into the peak of their career. This month, the current incarnation will travel to Switzerland to play the International Country Music Festival in Zurich where tape will roll yet again with plans to release a new live recording in the far nearer future. “It was always about the music, always about the songs and always about the fans. Right now things are really meshing again,” Gray said. “I’ve got some of the greatest musicians in the world in this band and I know the original guys – some of whom are no longer on this earth – would be extremely happy that all of it is still going on. Our personality as a group continues to touch people now as it did when we first started out. Every night I go out there and know the audience still feels the music as much as I do because they’ve shared so much with us. What a tribute that is to the writing and career that we put together.”


Side-Splitting Laughs In Dix Hills With ‘The Nerd’ How long can someone handle having a hopeless nerd in his or her home? The answer may be different for everyone, but audiences can find out how long Willum Cubbert can put up with Rick Steadman in “The Nerd,” opening at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center today, March 7, and running through Sunday, March 11. An aspiring young architect in Indiana, Cubbert has often told his friends about the debt he owes to Steadman, a fellow exGI whom he has never met but who saved his life in Vietnam. Steadman shows up unexpectedly at Cubbert’s apartment, and with his over-the-top tactlessness and inability to take social cues, its takes him less than a week to wear out his welcome. Five Towns professor Jodi Gibson directs the production, produced by Five Towns College’s award-winning theatre department and the Dix Hills Center for the Performing Arts. The play, written by Larry Shue, opened on Broadway in 1987 starring Mark Hamill and saw 441 performances. It has since enjoyed a number of professional revivals, including a recent off-Broadway revival in New York. Shue had his career cut short at the age of 39 when a commuter plane he was in crashed in Virginia in 1985, two years before “The Nerd” would open on Broadway. He left behind a small but celebrated body of work, including a children's musical, “My Emperor's New Clothes”; a oneact comic memoir about his college years, “Grandma Duck is Dead”; and a bitter-

Starring in Dix Hills Center for Performing Arts’ “The Nerd” are Steven Michel, Nakia Innis, Chris Rogers, Toni Anne DiFilippo, Alden Brown, Chleaselayn Rodriguez (under the chair) and Paul Edme. sweet political drama, “Wenceslas Square,” set in 1974 Prague after the Soviet invasion. Shue also had two comic achievements in “The Nerd” and “The Foreigner.”

Performances at the Dix Hills center will be held Thursday, March 7 to Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors

and students. The center is located at Five Towns College, at 305 North Service Road in Dix Hills. Contact the box office at 631-656-2148 or visit online at


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Chichimecas Spotlights Smoked Meats Foodie photos/Danny Schrafel


Foodie SECTION By Danny & Jackie

For restaurateur Alejandro Gonzalez, each of his restaurants’ names tells you a story about what to expect when you sit down for a meal. His oldest, Oaxaca, which he started in Huntington village in 1996, is a reference to the Oaxaca region of Southwestern Mexico, known for its cuisine. His second, Quetzalcoatl, which he opened in Huntington village in 2007, is a fine dining experience named after the Mesoamerican deity that captures the idea of “serving food for spirit” and the native Mexican philosophy of respect for food and body. His latest venture, Chichimecas in Farmingdale, is no different. Drawn from the Nahua name given to a group of nations in northwestern Mexico and the Southern United States, collectively, the Chichimecan nations are known for their semi-nomadic culture, hunting and gathering ways and prowess at smoking meats to preserve it. With Alejandro’s attention to pairing names with concept, it is little surprise then that smoked meats, like chicken, pork chops, pulled pork and ribs are the centerpieces of his menu. The meats are served

steakhouse style and are a must-have during your visit. Pork chops ($7.50, $14.50 and $22.50 for two, four and six, respectively) are served in a poblano sauce that highlights the top-notch preparation and woody, smoky flavors. And the ribs ($9.50, $14.95, $19.95 and $22.95 for a quarter, half, three-quarter and full rack) are a knockout – delightfully tender and smoky, with meat that falls off the bone with ease. Before we discovered our new favorite way to prepare meat, we got started with crispy tortilla chips and hearty mild salsa before checking out the Shrimp al Tequila ($8.95) appetizer. Tender shrimp are sautéed in ancho, cazrabel dry peppers and tequila sauce. Slight hints of each ingredient create a cool flavor with a tingly finish. Next up was Pepan de Buerro ($16.95) a fire-orange presentation of thick, juicy cubed pork dressed with a nutty pumpkin-

summer2013 Open House MARCH 9 at Farmingdale State College 11 CAMPS

Cheerleading Golf Little Stars Soccer Volleyball Baseball Lacrosse Basketball Multi-Sport Football Tennis

Alejandro Gonzalez, owner of Chichimecas in Farmingdale, shows off one of his restaurant’s meat smokers – his secret weapon in producing mouth-watering ribs, chicken and pork, pictured in the inset. seed derived sauce. Mole Chicken Enchiladas ($13.95), three corn tortillas stuffed with pulled chicken and marinated in vibrant, eye-catching mole sauce, are sweet, spicy and satisfying. The mole recipe is a medley of 32 different ingredients – almost all sourced from the Americas. Alejandro explained that the recipe calls for seven different dried peppers, as well as either cocoa bean or chocolate as well as a cookie. He also said mole is a good benchmark for a Mexican restaurant – “If the restaurant makes good mole, chances are, the rest of the food is good,” he said.

Chichimecas 169 Main St., Farmingdale 516-586-8646 Atmosphere: Neighborhood Mexican eatery Cuisine: Mexican staples and fine smoked meats Price: Moderate Hours: Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m. Fri-Sat noon-11 p.m. Closed Tuesday

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from March 15-17 only, so stock up if this seasonal goodie is a favorite. PANERA RISING: Speaking of Panera, the artisan bread specialty bakery-café chain is making progress on its new location in Huntington village. Taking over the former NOMA and Guido’s restaurants, the new Panera at 354 W. Main St. will have entrances on both Gerard and Main streets. The sign is already up and generating buzz around town. A spring opening is expected.

Panera Bread will offer Irish soda bread at its bakery-cafes March 15-17. AN IRISH FAVORITE: The traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebratory corned beef and cabbage dinner would not complete without a hearty slice of Irish soda bread. However, not all of us were bakers in a past life. Panera Bread (160 Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station; 4097 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport; is getting its green on and bringing back its own version of the staple again this year. Using time-honored ingredients like currants, buttermilk, eggs and a hint of caraway, Panera’s Irish soda bread loaves are baked fresh daily. At $4.29 per loaf, you can buy them

PARADE CENTRAL: The biggest post-parade party after the St. Patrick’s celebration in Huntington village on Sunday, March 10 is at Mac’s Steakhouse (12 Gerard St., Huntington, 631-549-5300). For the fifth year, the party is on from noon-8 p.m., featuring corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches, $7 Guinness/Harp pints, $5 domestic beers, and entertainment immediately following the parade at 3:15 p.m. GET YOUR IRISH ON: Huntington’s oldest restaurant, Finnegan’s (5 Wall St., Huntington, 631-423-9696, is ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Specials for Sunday, March 17 include corned beef sandwich ($8.95), corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and Irish lamb stew (all $13.95); $4 Heineken, Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s pints, Angry Orchard Cider bottles, Black Velvets (cider and Guinness), and Angry Balls (cider and Fireball Whiskey); and $3 Jameson shots.




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


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Town Huntington Huntington Huntington Commack Northport E. Northport S. Huntington Northport Huntington Huntington Huntington Huntington Dix Hills Northport Dix Hills Dix Hills Melville Melville Huntington Huntington Sta Huntington Sta Huntington Sta S. Huntington S. Huntington Commack E. Northport Greenlawn Dix Hills Melville Greenlawn Huntington Dix Hills Dix Hills Greenlawn Northport Dix Hills Dix Hills Huntington Northport Lloyd Neck

Address Beds Baths 29 Whistlerhill Ln 5 4 3 Maple Ln 3 2 20 Gibson Ave 2 1 97 Rhett Ct 1 1 56 Prospect Ave 3 2 15 Suffolk Pl 3 2 26 Sprucetree Ln 3 1 9 Ray Pl 4 3 11 Noel Ct 3 2 12 Dumbarton Dr 3 2 53 Willow Ave 4 2 17 Dumbarton Dr 3 1 20 Talon Way 5 4 86 Bayview Ave 6 3 27 Ryder Ave 5 4 4 Stepping Stone Cres7 5 117 Brandywine Ln 5 4 32 Cottontail Rd 5 3 12 Westwood Dr 6 5 48 Whitson Rd 4 2 24 Melville Rd 3 2 37 Evergreen Ave 4 2 34 Norwich St 3 2 6 Quebec Dr 4 3 149 Scarlett Dr 2 3 67 Elberta Dr 5 3 20 W Maple Rd 4 3 9 Princeton Dr 4 2 2493 New York Ave 4 3 3 Andrea Ln 3 2 42 Colonial Dr 4 3 128 Burrs Ln 4 2 10 Parsons Dr 5 4 2 Oakwood St 4 4 2 Duffy Ct 4 3 16 Stepping Stone Cres 5 4 6 Heller Ct 6 4 26 Green Meadow Ln 5 5 246 Asharoken Ave 4 4 23 Lloyd Point Dr 5 4

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Middle School Robotics Win Teamwork Title ‘Awesome AHAPers’ tackle senior solutions Photo by Caryn Meirs

Awesome AHAPers Corey Jeshiva, Ben Goldberg, Michael Sarosy, co- captain Michael Lehmann, Hannah Lebowitz, Lauren Tucker, Megan Lulley, and Nolan McDermott share the first place Teamwork trophy after the March 3 First Lego League competition in Longwood. Half Hollow Hills photo/Jacqueline Birzon

By Jacqueline Birzon

The next time you forget to take your medicine, just call the Half Hollow Hills Awesome AHAPers Robotics team. The group of eight middle school students participated in an Island-wide tournament Sunday, where students were asked to utilize z-wave technology to construct robots that would be useful to senior citizens. This year and last, the team walked away with the First Place in Teamwork award. Sponsored by Lego, this year’s competition on March 3 asked students to design robots that would tackle independent living obstacles for seniors, such as remembering to take medication, getting enough sunlight, or inactivity. The students used the equipment, provided by Lego, and transformed them into small robot prototypes that perform tasks, like automatically dispensing medicine, alerting caregivers if a senior falls, and providing natural light. The students, who attend West Hollow and Candlewood middle schools, are enrolled in the district’s Academically High Achievement Program (AHAP), a service designed for gifted students. The team partnered up with seniors from the Gurwin Jewish-Fay J. Lindner Residences in Commack to brainstorm real life uses for their robots. The students met with the seniors on two occasions, most recently on Feb. 27, just four days before the competition. Hannah Lebowitz, 12, who joined the team when she was in fifth grade, said she loves the learning experience. “I like to learn new things and be with all my friends. I like to keep my mind going,” she said. Before meeting with the Commack seniors, many students first consulted with their grandparents to discuss invention ideas, but found their suggestions were based more on individual needs. The seniors at Gurwin Jewish- Fay J. Lindner, however, face shared struggles on a daily basis, and spend most of their time in the living facility and have limited interaction with the outside world. The team named their kit the “Sixth Sense,” which utilizes multi-sensory technology to create prototypes, including an accelerometer clip that notifies a care network in case of a fall or emergency. The clip also measures inactivity and unresponsiveness to prompting, and

Team co-captain Michael Lehmann shows off a robot prototype during a visit to Gurwin Jewsih-Fay J. Lindner Residences in Commack on Feb. 27. uses voice technology to ask the senior if they need help. “It uses a lot of your senses so it can alert you,” said Megan Lulley, 12, a student at West Hollow Middle School. The kit also includes a light box, positioned where a senior spends most of her time, to mimic natural daylight and provide Vitamin D. The third component of the “Sixth Sense” kit identifies and sorts pills into a dispenser. A senior could insert a month’s worth of medication into the robot, which would have a built-in camera monitor that identifies a pill based on its’ shape, size, color, and individual markings. In past years, the Awesome AHAPers have participated in the league’s disease detection competition, as well as the foodpreservation-themed tournament. In addition to winning first place in team work, the Half Hollow Hills team this year won first place in robot programming at the qualifying tournament on Feb. 3, and the award for gracious professionalism at the Dec. 1 practice meet. Team co-captain Lauren Tucker, 12, said she is proud of the Awesome AHAPers’ consistency in working as a team. The team won first place in teamwork last year, after helping out another rookie team that was struggling during the contest. “I’m most proud that we came up with all of this, and we develop a great relationship with everyone. Every year we score well with teamwork” Tucker said.



OneVoice from Cedarville University performs a free, public concert March 7, 7:30 p.m. at Island Christian Church, 400 Elwood Road, East Northport. 631-822-3000.

North Shore Civil War Roundtable

The North Shore Civil War Roundtable presents a free lecture by Scott Mingus, who will discuss his book, “The Louisiana Tigers in the Battle of Gettysburg,” Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. at the South Huntington Public Library, 145 Pidgeon Hill Road, Huntington Station.

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Calendar O M M U N I T Y

The next event of the Leadership Foundation’s Community Conversations Series will be held March 13, 7 p.m. at the Harborfields Public Library, 31 Broadway, Greenlawn. The topic is: “Who are we? What does our community look like? What is important now?”

Black Rose Band Performs

On March 13 at Honu in Huntington village, The Black Rose Band performs standards from the American Songbook, featuring vocalist Tito Batista, composer/rhythm guitarist Paul Val, bassist/co-producer/arranger John Pandolfo, lead guitarist Chris Carberry, drummer Frank Belucci and keyboardist Karl Schwarz, plus a three-piece horn section. Showtimes are 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. For reservations, call 631-4216900.

FRIDAY SeniorNet Open House

Trinity Thrift Shop, located in Trinity Episcopal Church, 130 Main St., Northport, holds a bag sale March 1-30. Customers can fill a brown bag with shoes and clothing for $5. Thrift Shop hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Head-Shaving In Commack

Commack High School’s fourth annual headshaving event for St. Baldrick’s Foundation is March 15, 3-7 p.m. in the main gym at Commack High School. Visit Contact Dan Revera at or call 631-912-2099.

Red Is For Passion

Love the color red and enjoy living it up? The Red Hat women are looking for new members who enjoy going places and making new friends. Their motto: Fun, Frolic and Friendship. 631-271-6470 or

SATURDAY Guys and Dolls

The HJC Park Avenue Players present “Guys and Dolls” – the fun and romantic musical classic featuring "Luck Be a Ludy", "A Bushel and a Peck", and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," on Saturday, March 9 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 at 3 p.m. $18 general admission/$10 children 5 and under. Premium and patron seats $25/$50. Huntington Jewish Center, 510 Park Ave. 631-427-1089 ext. 10/631-697-3367.

50-Percent Off Thrift Shoppe

Enjoy 50-percent off baby equipment during March at Commack United Methodist Thrift Shoppe, 486 Townline Road, Commack. Open Tuesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and the first Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 631-499-7310.

St. Pat’s Run

Registration is open for the Townwide Fund of Huntington’s annual St. Patrick’s Runs on March 9. The fun run begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 4-mile run begins at 9. For details and information on sponsorships, visit or call Bea Hartigan, race chairperson, at 631-271-3349 or the office at 631629-4950.

Skate Swap At Ice Rink

Attention figure skaters, hockey players and parents of children who have outgrown their equipment. Councilwoman Susan Berland and the Huntington Youth Council host the biannual “Skate Swap” at the Dix Hills Ice Rink from March 6-22. In exchange for gently used hockey and skating equipment, donors receive a voucher to shop, swap and socialize on March 23. Residents unable to donate equipment can donate $5 for each item. 631-351-3018.

Every Tuesday from 12-4 p.m. is “Military Appreciation Tuesdays,” when Long Island Cares specifically assists veterans, military personnel and their families at the Hauppauge and Freeport emergency pantries. Appointments can be made by contacting

Community Conversations

Kehillath Shalom, 58 Goose Hill Rd, Cold Spring Harbor, hosts “A Women’s Passover Seder,” featuring passover songs and poems that celebrate freedom for all people, on March 14. Friends, families, and neighbors are welcome. The seder is at 6:30 p.m., dinner included. Adults $30/children $10/4 & under free. Call 631-367-4589.

Bag Sale

Free Help For Vets


Women’s Passover Seder

Award-winning not-for-profit SeniorNet holds its free spring semester open house and reception for people 50 years and older who want to learn to use the computer on March 15. Guests can tour the modern center at 790 Park Ave. in Huntington and review computer course choices. Classes begin April 1. Call 631-427-3700 x268 or x235.

11 a.m.-noon. Register by phone or online: Chai Tots Preschool, 501 Vanderbilt Parkway. 631-351-8672.

Free Senior Learning Program

Everyone’s Favorite Red Dog At The Paramount Everyone’s favorite red pup comes to life on stage at The Paramount with “Clifford the Big Red Dog – Live!” on Tuesday, March 12 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Paramount is located at 370 New York Ave., Huntington. 631-673-7300.

A free Lunch ‘n’ Learn program of Hand in Hand for Seniors will feature a return visit from Donna Martini, aresearcher of traditional and alternative medical practices, on March 13 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, 53 Prospect Road, Centerport. She will speak on positive manipulation (energy exchange). Reserve by calling 631-629-4449.

Business After Hours

Pancake Charity Breakfast

Sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 410 of Northport, the Annual Pancake Breakfast Charity Fundraiser is March 16, 7 a.m.-noon, at St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Northport. Proceeds will support the Northport Food Pantry. $5 suggested donation.

Northport Winter Farmers Market

There’s no need to wait until the weather gets hot to enjoy local produce. An indoor market is held in Northport every Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 27 Main St., through March 30.

Live Music

Live local bands take over Finley's of Greene Street, 43 Greene St., Huntington, every Saturday night at 11 p.m. Join in the fun and food!


MONDAY Aging And Saging

Members of an “Aging and Saging” group shares their experiences at The Women’s Center of Huntington, 125 Main St., Huntington, on Mondays (except holidays) from 10 a.m.-noon. $15 members/$10 non-members. 631-549-0485.

Mitzvah Volunteer Project

The Mitzvah Project, organized by The Chai Center of Dix Hills’ Ariella’s Friendship Circle, aims to give volunteers ages 11-14 a genuine sensitivity to individuals who have special needs. Participants will learn a number of disabilities and the proper way to interact with someone who has special needs. Free program meets Mondays, March 11, 18 at the Half Hollow Hills Library, 7-8 p.m. RSVP to Serena Kindler at

See The Light

Green Faith

National, regional and local presenters will help people of diverse faiths deepen their spirituality and empower faith communities in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on March 10, 2-6:30 p.m., at Temple Beth David, 100 Hauppauge Road, Commack. Open to the public. Workshops include preaching and teaching on the environment, food and faith, and energy savings in congregations and households. Register at Contact Fletcher Harper at

Arts Camp Open House

Summer arts day camp Usdan Center’s next, free Open Houses for the 2013 season is March 17 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 185 Colonial Springs Drive, Wheatley Heights. 631-6437900.

Huntington Winter Farmers Market

There’s no need to wait until the weather gets hot to enjoy local produce. An indoor market is held in Huntington Station every Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Jack Abrams School Gym, 155 Lowndes Ave., through April 28.

Murder Mystery Dinner

St. Peter's Lutheran Church of Huntington Station presents a Murder Mystery Dinner, “Mobster in the Men's Room,” produced by Murder Mystery Players, Inc., along with a silent auction at 11 Ogden Court on March 9, 6 p.m. $40 in advance/$45 at the door ($25/$30 under age 18). Proceeds benefit St. Peter’s 2013 Costa Rica Mission Team. 631-423-1013.

Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia has organized an exhibit of Huntington Lighthouse artifacts and memorabilia to celebrate its centennial anniversary of The Huntington Lighthouse. The display includes correspondence between the Lighthouse Establishment and Lighthouse Keeper Robert McGlone, and an original painting of the lighthouse, which will be auctioned. On display in the Town Hall lobby, 100 Main St, Huntington, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. 631-421-1985.

TUESDAY Real Estate Expo

Learn from Long Island’s commercial real estate industry leaders how to “Build a Stronger, Smarter and Safer Future” on March 12, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Hilton Long Island, 598 Broad Hollow Road, Melville. $20-$140. 347-699-6040.

Best Practices From The Experts

AFPLI presents Mentoring Express on March 12 at the offices of Greco Planning, Inc., located at 105 Broad Hollow Road, Melville, 5:307:30 p.m. Members free/$45 non-members. Event includes a light supper, one-on-one mentoring, and a question and answer session with leaders in

Mommy And Me Yoga

Free Mommy and Me yoga classes are offered in Dix Hills every Tuesday. Walkers: 12 Months and up, 9:45-11 a.m. Crawlers: 6-12 Months,

The Melville Chamber of Commerce holds an after-hours networking event on March 13, 5:30-8 p.m. at Bertucci’s, 881 Walt Whitman Road (Route 110), Melville. RSVP to or call 631-7776260. Free for members/$30 non-members.

Spring Eggstravaganza

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson and the Town of Huntington present the “Spring Eggstravaganza” on March 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in Heckscher Park in Huntington, featuring face-painting, temporary tattoos and craft tables. Advanced registration required; visit and click on “Special Events.” 631-351-2877.

Power Breakfast

Join business professionals at BNI Executive Referral Exchange’s breakfast networking meeting every Wednesday, 7-8:30 a.m. at the Dix Hills Diner, 1800 Jericho Turnpike, Dix Hills. 631-462-7446.

AT THE LIBRARIES Cold Spring Harbor Library

95 Harbor Road, Cold Spring Harbor. 631-6926820. • The Lloyd Harbor Conservation Board on Sunday, March 10, 2-5 p.m. holds a free symposium on edible landscaping. • On display through March 30 is work of students in grades 7-12.

Commack Public Library

18 Hauppauge Road, Commack. 631-4990888. • Notary Service is available at the library, normally Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday evenings and occasionally on the weekends. Call before you come to the library to make sure there is a notary available upon your arrival. There is a charge of $2 for each document that needs to be notarized. • AARP provides tax assistance on Fridays from 1-5 p.m. through April 12.

Deer Park Public Library

44 Lake Ave., Deer Park. 631-586-3000. • Did you get a new tablet for the holidays and need help downloading books or apps? Make a one-on-one appointment with a member of the Tech Team. Call 631-586-3000. • The library is starting a Scrabble Club for adults. Sessions will start Saturday, March 30. Call the library for more information.

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Elwood Public Library

3027 Jericho Turnpike, Elwood. 631-499-3722. • Homework help is being offered for students in grades 3-7 on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. through May 28. • Bill Tucker, local author of four novels, retired attorney and former minor league baseball team owner, discusses his new novel “Willie – A Political Odyssey,” on Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m.

Free Program On Healing Energy For Seniors A free Lunch ‘n’ Learn program of Hand in Hand for Seniors will feature a return visit from Donna Martini, a researcher of traditional and alternative medical practices, on March 13 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, 53 Prospect Road, Centerport. She will speak on positive manipulation (energy exchange). Reserve by calling 631-629-4449.

Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Dix Hills: 55 Vanderbilt Parkway. 631-4214530; Melville: 510 Sweet Hollow Road. 631421-4535. • Join Chef Rob as he shares his recipe for Irish soda bread and an Irish banana dessert on Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. in Dix Hills. Take home an Irish soda bread to bake. $5. • Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., meet for friendly English conversation practice. All are welcome, refreshments provided. Call to register: 498-1225.

through March 10. • Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Youth Theater Series presents the musical “Pinkalicious” through March 10, Saturdays at 11 a.m., Sundays at 10:30 a.m. $15.

Harborfields Public Library

Township Theatre Group

31 Broadway, Greenlawn. 631-757-4200. • “Common Ground,” a photography exhibition by Raymond J. Rothaug, is on display through March 30. • Celeste Ray performs with the Celtic Legend Ensemble on Sunday, March 10, 2 p.m.

Huntington Public Library

Main Branch: 338 Main St., Huntington. 631427-5165. Station Branch: 1335 New York Ave., Huntington Station. 631-421-5053. • There will be literary tutors available on Mondays from 9-11 a.m. • Senior Yoga with Linda Cadle-Hinton will be held Tuesdays in March and April, 11 a.m.noon. $22.50.

Northport-East Northport Public Library

Northport: 151 Laurel Ave. 631-261-6930. East Northport: 185 Larkfield Road. 631-261-2313. • Practice your conversational English in a friendly, informal atmosphere on Fridays, March 15, 7 p.m. in East Northport. • Award-winning film “Argo” shows Friday, March 8, 1:30 p.m. in Northport. • Enjoy an evening of popular and folk music performed by Lexi & Sydney, two young singers and guitarists, on Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. in East Northport.

South Huntington Public Library

145 Pidgeon Hill Road, Huntington Station. 631-549-4411. • Singer and songwriter Lois Morton performs songs of social commentary in “As I See It” on Sunday, March 10, 2:30 p.m. • Everybody's Irish in March! Join friends and neighbors as The Baking Coach helps you prepare a loaf of Irish soda bread on Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m. $10.

THEATER and FILM Cinema Arts Centre

423 Park Ave., Huntington. 631-423-7611. • Join the legendary Rita Moreno at a special screening of the classic musical, “West Side Story,” for which she won an Academy Award, plus a special reception and booksigning of her new book, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” on Thursday, March 7, 7 p.m. $25 general/$25 public. • Showing as part of the ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival on Sunday, March 10 is: at 1 p.m., “Getting Up” with guest speaker Theresa Imperato, RN; and at 3:30 p.m., “Wampler’s Ascent,” with the Wampler family. A reception for both films will be at 3:15 p.m. $10 members/$15 public per film ($16/$26 double feature).

Dix Hills Performing Arts Center

Five Towns College, 305 N. Service Road, Dix Hills. Box Office: 631-656-2148. • March 7-10 is the theatrical comedy “The Nerd.”

John W. Engeman Theater At Northport

350 Main St., Northport. 631-261-2900. • “Wait Until Dark,” where a cool-as-ice psychopath smooth talks his way into the home of an unsuspecting blind woman, runs • The group marks its 60th season with the lively musical “Smokey Joe’s Café,” on March 8 and 9, 8 p.m.; and March 10, 2 p.m., at the Helen Butler Hall Theatre at Dominican Village, 565 Albany Ave., Amityville. In the café spirit, the show will offer cabaret-style a seating along with an appetizer and dessert concession stand. $20 general/$18 students, seniors. Call 631-2139832 or order advance tickets online.


A local cable TV talent show is looking for all types of talent (except bands). Singers, impressionists, comedians, magicians, and other performers/acts welcome. Register online at or call 631-2237011. Auditions are open to all ages. Registration in advanced is required – no walkins permitted.

MUSEUMS & EXHIBITS Art League of Long Island

107 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills. Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. 631-462-5400. • The talent of local visual artists will be celebrated in a competition on view at the March 10-April 14. An artist’s reception takes place Sunday, March 10, 3-5 p.m.

b.j. spoke gallery

299 Main St., Huntington. Gallery hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 631-549-5106. • On display through March 29 is “Requiem,” Liz Ehrlichman’s solo show, with a members’ exhibit, “The Musical Spectrum,” with a reception Saturday, March 9, 2-5 p.m.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor. Open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sundays until 6 p.m.: $6 adults; $4 children 3-12 and seniors over 65; members and children under 3 are free. 516-692-6768. • Features New York State's largest collection of freshwater fish, reptiles and amphibians housed in two aquarium buildings and eight outdoor ponds.

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum

Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor. Museum hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $4 adults, $3 seniors, $3 students 5 -18, family $12; military and children under 5 are free. 631-367-3418. • Wear your Girl Scout uniform and enjoy 2-for1 children’s admission March 9-10.

fotofoto Gallery

14 W. Carver St., Huntington. Gallery hours: Friday 5-8 p.m., Saturday 12-8 p.m., Sunday 12-4 p.m. 631-549-0448. • SPARKBOOM opens April 6 with a reception from 6-9 p.m. On display through April 28, it includes “New York Underground” by Richard Gardner and “In A Split” by Michelle Carollo.

Heckscher Museum Of Art

2 Prime Ave., Huntington. Museum hours:

Wednesday - Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., first Fridays from 4-8:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $68/adults, $4-6/seniors, and $4-5/children; members and children under 10 free. 631-3513250. • “Mirrored Images: Realism in the 19th and 20th Centuries” explores the various realist movements. On display through March 24. • “Modernizing America: Artists of the Armory Show” focuses on American artists who participated in the Armory Show and explores the impact of European Modernism on American art in the early years of the 20th century. On display through April 14.

Holocaust Memorial And Tolerance Center

Welwyn Preserve. 100 Crescent Beach Road, Glen Cove. Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun.: noon-4 p.m. 516-571-8040 ext. 100. • The new permanent exhibit explains the 1920s increase of intolerance, the reduction of human rights, and the lack of intervention that enabled the persecution and mass murder of millions of Jews and others: people with disabilities, Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), Jehovah’s Witnesses, gays and Polish intelligentsia.

Huntington Arts Council

Main Street Petite Gallery: 213 Main St., Huntington. Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Art in the Art-trium: 25 Melville Park Road, Melville. Gallery Hours: Monday Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 631-271-8423. • “Journeys & Destinations” in the main gallery runs through March 11, featuring painters Vivian Hershfield, Suzanne McVetty, Virginia Edele, Grace Su and Nancy Fabrizio. • The "High Arts Showcase IX" is in display in the Art-trium through March 22, showcasing students' work in all mediums from seven high schools.

Huntington Historical Society

Main office/library: 209 Main St., Huntington. Museums: Conklin Barn, 2 High St.; Kissam House/Museum Shop, 434 Park Ave.; Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Building, 228 Main St. 631427-7045, ext. 401. • Learn what music was like long ago as Michael Goudket discusses the role of music and musicians in the Continental Army on Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Conklin House. $10 members/$12 non-members. Call ext. 403 to reserve a spot.

LaMantia Gallery

127 Main St., Northport Village. 631-754-8414. • Robert Finale presents captivating landscapes and Richard Johnson displays exquisite paintings of the human face and form.

9 East Contemporary Art

9 East Carver St., Huntington. Gallery hours: Wed.-Sat., 3-8 p.m. or by appointment. 631662-9459. • The “Winter Invitational Exhibition” presents nine major works by the 9 East Artists and nine works created by a selected group of professional Long Island artists. On view through March 31.

Northport Historical Society Museum

215 Main St., Northport. Museum hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 1-4:30 p.m. 631-757-9859. • A new exhibition, “Northport Collects II,” runs through the end of June. Highlights include a collection of miniature airplanes and old bottles discovered at local locations by a metal detector enthusiast. • A month-long series of events and exhibits

will celebrate Jack Kerouac’s birth, beginning Sunday, March 10, 3 p.m. with a presentation by author Patrick Fenton, who will discuss the author’s days in Northport and importance to American literature. $5 donation.

Ripe Art Gallery

67 Broadway, Greenlawn. 631-807-5296. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Thursday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday 2-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. • “Black and white, Dark and Light” by the members of the National League of American Pen Women, All Cities branch, features the work of Carolyn De Soucey, Dina Fine, Eleanore O'Sullivan, Diana Sanzone, Jeanette Martone, and Lisa Hermanson. Reception on Saturday, March 9, 3-6 p.m., with a poetry reading at 4 p.m. On display through March 30.


Headquarters: 161 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor. Joseph Lloyd Manor House: Lloyd Lane and Lloyd Harbor Road, Lloyd Neck. 631-692-4664. • “Long Island at Work and at Play,” early 20th-century photographs from SPLIA’s collections, is now on display Thursdays through Sundays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Suffolk Y JCC

74 Hauppauge Road, Commack. 631-4629800, ext. 140. Tuesday 1-4 p.m. Admission: $5 per person, $18 per family. Special group programs available. • The Alan & Helene Rosenberg Jewish Discovery Museum provides hands-on exhibits and programs for children 3-13 years old and their families, classes and camps. Now on exhibit: The Alef Bet of Being a Mensch. “Zye a mensch” is a Yiddish saying that means “be a decent, responsible, caring person,” infusing both the best blessing and the best that an educator can wish for his students.

Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium

180 Little Neck Road, Centerport. Museum hours through April 15: Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, 12-4 p.m. Grounds admission: $7 adults, $6 students with ID and seniors 62 and older, and $3 children 12 and under. Mansion tour, add $5 per person. 631-854-5555. • The Arena Players Repertory Theatre presents “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” a tale of a frightening and fascinating relationship, at the Carriage House Theatre through March 17. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. $20-$25. For reservations call 516-293-0674 or visit • The Arena Players Children's Theater presents “Pinocchio” March 2-30, Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Carriage House Theater. $10 adults/$8 children/free for children under 3. Call 516-293-0674 or visit

Walt Whitman Birthplace

246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station. Hours: Wednesday-Friday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students, and children under 5 are free. 631-427-5240, ext. 114. • Join the tea party on Monday, March 25, 10 a.m. $10/child. Bring a friend, or your favorite doll. Email or call Carolyn at 631-427-5240, ext. 113.

MUSIC & DANCE The Paramount

370 New York Ave., Huntington. 631-673-7300. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. • The Saw Doctors play with special guest The Latchikos on Friday, March 8. • “Clifford the Big Red Dog – Live!” plays two shows for children on Tuesday, March 12 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Send us your listings Submissions must be in by 5 p.m. 10 days prior to publication date. Send to Community Calendar at 149 Main Street, Huntington, NY 11743, or e-mail to

















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Bringing Visions To Life On Screen Spotlight On

Huntington Businesses By Mike Koehler

The address for 1909 Productions is in Northport, but the sets for this independent film company are across Long Island and New York City. 1909 is a collaboration between Fort Salonga resident Gia McKenna and Queens resident Stephen M. Ditmer. Backed by a four-person part-time crew, the pair does a little bit of everything in the film industry.

“[We are] a collaboration between upand-coming filmmakers who really want to shake up the independent film scene and try and bring different personalities together,” McKenna said. The duo met at Long Island University’s C.W. Post as film students in 20082009. They were strangers at the time, but worked together as juniors during a production lab class. Ditmer served as the camerman and editor while McKenna produced and directed. “We have a nice peanut-butter-and-jelly mix. We both complement each other,” she said. They helped each other the following year on their senior thesis and worked together on a documentary for Ascent Youth Alliance to Battle Autism. “We just realized we’re graduating soon. What are we going to do?” McKenna said.

Gia McKenna and Stephen Ditmer founded 1909 Productions as a collaboration of up-andcoming filmmakers. The concept of a production company came together quickly, and 1909 Productions was born in May 2010, almost im-


How To Recover From Disaster By Danny Schrafel

A free seminar dedicated to helping small business owners prepare better for natural disasters and other sudden business disruptions will be held at Huntington Town Hall March 19. Presented by the Huntington Small Business Resource and Recovery Center, “Business Recovery: What Do I Do Now?” was crafted after Superstorm Sandy to help business owners make smarter decisions for future catastrophic events, Councilman Mark

Mayoka, the event’s sponsor, said. “We’re going to talk about the importance of putting your backup information on your cloud, and how to have a backup plan so you can hit the ground running and maintain contacts with your customers and clients so you are not as adversely affected,” Mayoka said. The event features a five-member panel that will include Peter Rothman, the CIO of Alcott HR, who will discus the “people” portion of business recovery. Patti Bloom, the president of the Bloom Resource Group, will talk about the available options for rebuild-

ing a business. Liz D’Alesandro, the director of managed services for DJJ Technologies, is set to cover helpful technologies available, while Fred Strauss, a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU and the CEO of the Envision Institute, will discuss the importance of corporate culture. Bernard Ryba, of the New York State Small Business Development Center at Stony Brook University, will discuss updates to FEMA deadlines and other business-recovery topics. The seminar begins at 8:30 a.m. For more information, call 631-351-3317.

mediately after their graduation. The company name itself, she admitted, is not as mysterious as it looks. Unhappy with the thought of naming it after themselves, they looked at their birthdays. “Stephen was born March 19, 1988. I was born May 9. We couldn’t think of a name,” McKenna said. The company has its hands in a number of projects, and in various roles. That includes directing, producing, acting, filming and post-production in films, music videos and commercials. Typically working on no more than two projects at a time, the scale of each project changes. Commercials and other shorter gigs take just a few weeks while documentaries can take months. 1909 Productions has about 30 projects under their belt. “We just try and stay busy and creative,” McKenna said. She likes helping other people’s visions come to life, but she admitted that down the road she’d like to do more directing. (Continued on page A19)

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Getting Educated On Safe Boating Techniques

If you’re looking to take a certified boating safety course before new county laws mandating them kick in next season, the Town of Huntington has some suggestions. Huntington Town Council members Mark Cuthbertson and Susan Berland announced last week that several options are already available for residents to get educated on the fundamentals, and earn their safe boating certificate. A six-week course, to be held from 79 p.m. on Thursdays, begins at the South Huntington Public Library April 4, while a second six-week course on Mondays, also from 7-9 p.m., begins at the Harborfields Public Library April 8. On April 13, a one-day course will be offered at Huntington Town Hall. For more information visit or ndex.php.

In addition, a state-certified boating safety course is being held March 16 as part of the Cold Spring Harbor Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Family Safe Boating Expo. It is part of a full day of exhibitions, demonstrations and education at the Cold Spring Harbor Public Library. The course is $40, and registration is required. Email for more information. Enforcement of Legislator Steve Stern’s “Suffolk’s Safer Waterways Act,” which requires Suffolk County residents to take a safety course before operating a motorized vessel, begins November 2013. A July 4 boating accident in Oyster Bay Harbor off Lloyd Neck, which took the lives of three young children, was the catalyst for the county law and several others pending in the state and federal government. “Last year’s boating tragedy will be forever etched in our minds and hearts, which is why it is so vitally important to

Photo by Kevin Armstrong

By Danny Schrafel

Safety on the water is the goal of several new laws that will soon be in effect. educate each and every boater on boating safety,” Cuthbertson said. Berland added that promoting boating safety education is an important way to

honor the victims of that disaster. “It is our hope that in doing so, we will never again have another fatal accident in or near our waters,” she said.

Family rallying support for Hills East graduate (Continued from page A1)

spinal cord damage can cause his blood pressure to spike and limit his ability to use the restroom. He was in therapy until January, when insurance stopped covering it. The family is investigating additional therapy, at their own expense. Medicaid covers a 12-hour aide at home, although they’re not allowed to handle any medical matters. “We all work during the day and there is a long period of time he would have been alone otherwise,” Lisa said. Nearing the end of her own high school career, Amy is in the midst of her college search. Community service is always part

of the application, and the junior wanted to do something that hit close to home. “You want something to set yourself apart,” she said. That turned into the Dale Bowling Benefit, a bowling fundraiser for Dale and his family on April 9. In exchange for $30, participants receive two hours of bowling, shoes, pizza and soda at 300 Long Island. Their goal is to enable Dale to have access to the necessary medical equipment and care required for his daily life. Some of the donations will also benefit The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which continues to do research and advocate on behalf of those individuals who

face paralysis. “His expenses now are extreme and going forward his daily needs are extreme,” Karen said. Amy began investigating the concept back in November. She put in the leg work, having the website built, seeking approval to advertise within the Half Hollow School District and getting local businesses to donate prizes for raffles. Now in the promotion stage, the student is pushing the event on Facebook, through word of mouth and at local businesses. “You have to do this every day. You don’t want people to forget about it,” she said.

About 50 bowlers had signed up as of last week, her mother added, and they’re hoping to break 100. “I’d rather fill the bowling alley if we could,” Karen said. Dale hopes to make the trip back to Half Hollow Hills, the first since his accident. “If you’re available that night, check it out. It’s just going bowling, having fun and learning a thing or two about spinal cord injuries,” he said about the fundraiser. For more information about the benefit, visit Additional donations can be made to The Dale Ahn Supplemental Needs Trust, 35-10 150th St. #6N, Flushing, NY 11354.

Hotel celebrates completion of $16 mil project (Continued from page A1)

available at that time. Work in the lobby was harder to hide, and guests were asked to excuse jackhammers going through marble floors and planters. The renovations also changed the hotel’s dining options. Basil’s Restaurant has new Mediterranean cuisine and a big breakfast selection. Combined with Basil’s Lobby Bar, they have an unprecedented 200 seats. Around the corner, Fuse is turning into Masterson’s, a steakhouse, in April.

Huntington Councilwoman Susan Berland was on hand to celebrate the renovations last week. She said the renovations help the hotel meet the reputation its name establishes. “The interior is beautiful,” Berland added. Berland joined Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ellen O’Brien, Hilton Long Island Employee of the Year Kathleen Sabella and various

Hilton and Down officials for a ribbon cutting. Last week’s ceremony also included a donation from Hilton and Dow Hotel Company to Newsday Charities. The hotel partners cut a $10,000 check; they also donated 100 free rooms for those providing Superstorm Sandy relief. Hilton Long Island was packed with displaced Long Islanders in the first dozen days after Sandy, Ruane said, gradually trading residents for out-ofstate utility workers. Both groups filled

the hotel until the middle of January. “We definitely want to do something local. We knew they helped hurricane victims. When the hurricane hit here, it was incredibly sad to see displaced guests. We still have a guest who was displaced that is with us,” she said. Regarding the rooms, Hilton and Dow will meet with the charity organization for guidance, the general manager said. Original plans call for workers traveling here to use some of the nights, although it’s hardly set in stone.

Young filmmakers hope to make their mark on L.I. (Continued from page A18)

When she’s not doing 1909 work, McKenna works part-time as an assistant technical director at LIU Post. She makes a point of answering questions, providing advice and generally serving as a mentor for future colleagues. “I didn’t have someone guiding me,” she said. Not even out of school for three full years, McKenna has a number of independent and 1909 projects under her belt. While working at Blockbuster in 2008, she found her way into a production assistant (PA) job for “Three Backyards” with Edie Falco that was shot in

Northport. “I learned early on it’s very tough, even just being a PA. I tried it out, it’s very intense and I went down a different route to be creative,” she said. The production coordinator from that job recently tapped McKenna to produce her feature film, a first for the Fort Salonga resident. The piece is a dark comedy about an anthropologist balancing her professional life and dysfunctional family life. “It’s pretty nerve-wracking. I’ve never done a feature and just seeing how much work goes into a short film, I know it’s going to be a lot. I have a very supportive family and friends,” she said.

McKenna is definitely on-board with the feature, although she said 1909 may or may not get involved. The company’s name will appear, however, as long as she works on the project. The production company also did work last year on Lifetime network’s “Growing Up Gold Coast,” a reality show starring several local faces. McKenna said they filmed talking heads – close ups of people talking – for two days, including one at Nina’s Pizza in Northport. Their footage has been used in the show’s opening, she said. When potential clients meet with McKenna and Ditmer, it’s never at a stuffy office building. Instead, they gath-

er at coffee shops and other locations. In fact, most of the company’s work is done free of any office. They’ll shoot on location – that includes in the Town of Huntington – and edit on the road or at Ditmer’s home. “It’s a very on-the-go business – grab our cameras and go,” McKenna said. In the future, they would like to see 1909 Productions get involved with more projects, and maybe become a bigger name in the industry. “All the big production companies are in Manhattan. I don’t think of Long Island. Hopefully we can make our mark on Long Island,” she said.


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COMMACK ROAD American Community Bank ANC Food The Everything Bagel Deli Beer Smoke

100 Commack Rd, Commack 134 Commack Rd, Commack 217 Commack Rd, Commack 223 Commack Rd, Commack

JERICHO TURNPIKE Commack Lucille Roberts New York Sports Club The Cutting Edge Hair Design Mozzarello’s Pizza Stop & Shop Bagel Boss Dix Hills Diner The Critic’s Choice Deli Stop & Shop Desi Bazar Brooklyn Pizza Ruby Salon Dunkin’ Donuts Roy’s Deli Golden Coach Diner Bagel USA

6534 Jericho Tpke, Commack 6136 Jericho Tpke, Commack 6065 Jericho Tpke, Commack 1957 E Jericho Tpke, East Northport 3126 Jericho Tpke, East Northport 1941 Jericho Tkpe, Commack 1800 E jericho Tpke, Dix Hills 1153A E Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 1100 E Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 905 E Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 881 E Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 822 East Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 795 East Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 669 East Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 350 W Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station 573 W. Jericho Tpke, Huntington Station

DEER PARK AVENUE Dix Hills Fire Department Bethpage Fed’l Credit Union

580 Deer Park Ave, Dix Hills 1350-35 Deer Park Ave, North Babylon

Nelly’s Deli Grocery Gigi’s VIP Deer Park Nails Inc Tony’s Pizza Deer Hills Delicatessen Park Avenue Barbers

1737 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park 1747 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park 1749 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park 1829 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park 2122 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park 2150 Deer Park Ave, Deer Park

OLD COUNTRY ROAD/SWEET HOLLOW ROAD Dix Hills Hot Bagels 703 Old Country Road, Dix Hills Half Hollow Hills Library 510 Sweet Hollow Road, Melville ROUTE 110/BROADHOLLOW ROAD Deli Beer Cigar Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station Dunkin Donuts 281 Walt Whitman Rd, Huntington Station Berry Healthy Cafe 350 Walt Whitman Rd, Huntington Station Marios Pizza 1 Schwab Rd #17, Melville International Haircutters 439 Walt Whitman Rd, Melville Bethpage Fed’l Credit Union 722 Walt Whitman Road, Melville Roast 827 Walt Whitman Rd, Melville PIDGEON HILL RD South Huntington Library HAUPPAUGE RD Commack Public Library VANDERBILT PKY Half Hollow Hills Library

145 Pidgeon Hill Road, Huntington Station 18 Happauge Rd, Commack 55 Vanderbilt Pky, Dix Hills

Half Hollow Hills Newspaper - March 7, 2013  

news for the Dix Hills and Melville NY communities

Half Hollow Hills Newspaper - March 7, 2013  

news for the Dix Hills and Melville NY communities