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tbrnewsmedia.com

TIMES of MIDDLE COUNTRY C E N T E R E AC H • S E L D E N • L A K E G R O V E N O R T H

Vol. 15, No. 44

February 13, 2020

$1.00 JULIANNE MOSHER

Best Laid Plans of County and Septics ...

Suffolk comptroller/IRS say prototype septic owners must be taxed

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University

Local Cardiac Arrest Survivor Reunites with Samaritans Who Saved His Life BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

“The kindness and compassion in these people’s heart is why I’m here [today],” Dennis Dillon, 62, said of the group of good Samaritans who he said rushed to his aid after he went into cardiac arrest during a boating trip at Port Jefferson Harbor Aug. 31 over Labor Day weekend. The Mount Sinai native, along with his family, reunited Feb. 8 with the rescuers for the first time since the incident. The 10 individuals were presented with the Stony Brook University Heart Institute’s Heart Saver Community Award. After Dillon returned from a swim, he went into cardiac arrest after experiencing back and arm pain as well as nausea. His wife, Tricia, immediately began CPR and within minutes good Samaritans began assisting with CPR and sent up a flare to ensure that an ambulance would be standing by. Dillon’s heart was then shocked twice by an AED (defibrillator) and was brought back to shore where he was taken to the heart institute. Doctors said the father of three had a 100 percent blockage of the left anterior descending

Dennis Dillon, left, thanks the people who helped him survive a near-fatal heart attack last year. Photo by David Luces

coronary artery, a key artery known as LAD that moves blood to the heart. The condition is dangerous because of its low survival rate, and is often referred to as “the widowmaker.” “Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which Mr. Dillon suffered from, is associated with a 5 to 9 percent survival rate,” said Dr. Puja Parikh, interventional cardiologist and co-director of the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program at the heart institute. “It is a true

testament to the bystanders that were present that day, the measures they took before he [Dillon] came to the hospital definitely helped.” Dillon’s treatment included a drug-eluting stent to his LAD, a tiny metal tube coated with a medication to clear the artery and keep it clear, and tracheal intubation to ensure an open and unobstructed airway. His body temperature was lowered when brought to the coronary care unit, to allow time for his brain and body

to heal. Prior to discharge, the catherization team implanted a small internal cardioverter defibrillator in order to avert another cardiac crisis. After 11 days, the Mount Sinai native was released Sept. 11. According to the heart institute, a heart attack victim’s chances of survival goes down by about 10 percent for every minute that CPR is not initiated. Officials from the institute reiterated that anyone can use an AED if need be. Pictures on the device gives individuals a visual guide on where to put the pads. It also talks to you and won’t go to the next step until the previous task is completed. The Dillon family said they planned on buying an AED for their boat in case they ever find another person in a similar situation who needs aid. “I will never be able to repay any of these people, but I can pay it forward by trying to help someone else,” Dennis said. Doctors will be hosting community events throughout what is American Heart Month. On Feb. 26 from 9 to 10 a.m. Brittany Kickel, chest pain center coordinator, will host Avoiding Common Heart Health Mistakes at the Smith Haven Mall food court. For more information, visit heart.stonybrookmedicine.edu.

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PAGE A4 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

County Suffolk Residents Required to Pay Taxes on Septic Grants, IRS Says BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM After nearly a year of waiting, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has ruled that Suffolk County homeowners should pay federal taxes on county grants that were used to upgrade septic systems. In a Jan. 15 letter from the IRS, the agency said the grants count as taxable income, regardless of whether homeowners received payments or not. The determination comes after Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. (R) requested a private letter ruling on whether the grants should be counted as gross income. Beginning last year, Kennedy’s office sent 1099 forms to program participants, despite a legal opinion by the county’s tax counsel that advised that the tax forms go to the companies that received the funds, not the homeowners. At the time, the comptroller’s decision led to controversy and political fighting with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone (D). The executive’s administration has cited the prototype denitrifying septic systems as a key piece of fighting nitrogen overload in coastal waters. Kennedy and Bellone ran against each other for county executive later that year. Kennedy said at a Feb.11 press conference that the ruling has upheld their approach to issue tax forms from the very beginning. “They [the Bellone administration] have chosen to simply claim that I’ve made an effort to politicize this issue,” the comptroller said. He added that while his decision may “not be popular,” Kennedy blamed the tax issue on how the septic program was set up. “There may be ways to modify this program but it’s not up to me, it’s up to them,” he said. “We’ll continue to do the job we’re supposed to do.” Peter Scully, deputy county executive, who heads the county’s water quality programs as

Above, Suffolk Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. hosted a press conference at the comproller’s office Feb. 11 saying the IRS has agreed with him about taxing recipients of septic system grants; below, an example of the prototype septic system at Strong’s Neck resident Tom O’Dwyer’s home; right, Steve Bellone said in a statement that the comptroller is politicizing the septic program. Above photo by David Luces; below file photo by Tom O’Dwyer; right file photo by Rita J. Egan.

the titular water czar, said Kennedy continues to simply play politics with the septic program. “This program is too important; we are going to find a solution — this will be a temporary disruption,” he said. “The fact that the comptroller is essentially celebrating the ruling speaks volumes about his motives.” Scully noted that since the comptroller’s initial decision last year, they have altered application documents to make clear to applicants that the grants they were applying for could be subject to income tax. While some individuals have decided not to move forward with the program, homeowners are still applying for grants. In January alone 111 homeowners signed up, Scully added. Since the program’s inception in 2017, the county has disbursed 293 grants and expended $3 million. In addition, the county received $10

million in state funding for the septic system program. The Bellone administration has said there are about 360,000 outdated and environmentally harmful septic tanks and leaching systems installed in a majority of homes across the county. Nitrogen pollution has caused harmful algae blooms and can negatively affect harbors and marshes that make areas more susceptible to storm surges as well. In a statement, Bellone continued to call Kennedy’s decision political. “The comptroller’s actions have been contrary to the intent of the Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program, the legal opinion by the county’s tax counsel, and longstanding practices used by similar programs in Maryland and other municipal jurisdictions,” Bellone said. “He chose to politicize water quality and decimate a program that has been praised by environmental, labor, and business leaders alike. ... In the meantime, our water quality program is running full steam ahead.” The deputy executive said their main focus is protecting homeowners as they may now be exposed to new tax liability. They are also prepared to challenge the IRS ruling. Tom O’Dwyer, a Strong’s Neck resident and engineer, has enthusiastically installed one of these systems at his own home. He said while he was aware that the grants could be potentially taxable, he and others had been “optimistic” that they wouldn’t be required to pay taxes on the grants. “We got the 1099 in the mail the other day,” he said.

“I have a lot of friends who also upgraded, nobody really expected this to happen ... this is a blow to everyone.” Despite the ruling, O’Dwyer still believes that he made the right choice in upgrading and thinks the septic program is still a good cost-effective option. He plans on talking to his tax adviser to discuss what his options are moving forward. The Strong’s Neck resident also acknowledged that the ruling could end up hurting the momentum of the program. “I think it could affect homeowners who want to voluntarily upgrade their system,” O’Dwyer said. “With the increased tax liability, they’ll have to pay more out of pocket and some might think it’s not worth it.” The county executive’s office has plans to work with federal representatives to reverse the IRS decision. They have already had discussions with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) and U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY3), Scully said. Suozzi has already sent a letter to IRS Commisioner Charles Rettig, saying he strongly opposes the decision and that it undermines the program’s mission.


February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A5

Town

Former Yankees Coach and MS Native Cavalea Shares His Story BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Dana Cavalea, Mount Sinai native, is passionate about coaching. For 12 years he spent time as the New York Yankees strength and conditioning coach, and along the way got to pick the brains of some all-time great athletes. He didn’t think he would eventually become an author, but he views his book, “Habits of a Champion: Nobody Becomes a Champion by Accident,” as an extension of coaching. “I never had the intention of writing a book, but I was reading these self-help books and I felt there was a gap from what I was reading and what I was seeing on the baseball field working with these athletes,” he said. “That’s what drove me toward writing this book, I wanted to write a handbook, that people can use as a utility as they navigate life.” Interactions with Yankees fans also inspired him. “It also came about being at the stadium and fans coming up to me asking me questions about their own lives, about how they could improve their performance in a certain area,” Cavalea said. “I’d give them an answer, and then they would come back to another game during the season and they would ask another question.” The Mount Sinai native pointed to a family friend, coach Billy King as a big reason why he chose to pursue his career path and started his training journey. “He was a big influence on me, when I learned what he was doing, he was in the gym training, watching what he eats, and I was

Dana Cavalea dropped by the Barnes & Noble in Lake Grove on Feb. 8. Photo by David Luces

like wow that’s pretty cool,” he said. Cavalea was 19 years old attending the University of South Florida and working as a strength and conditioning intern for the school’s football team when he was offered an unexpected opportunity. A professor at the university told him that the Yankees, who were in the midst of spring training at nearby Legends Field in Tampa, were looking for an intern to help out. Cavalea, who just so happened to have visited the ballpark as a fan the previous day, drove over the next day and was put into Yankee gear and

was on the same field stretching with pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. The Mount Sinai native worked as an intern for three years, then became an assistant, before becoming a coach at 23 years old. “The Bronx is only about 60 to 70 miles away from here but I had to go 1,800 miles away in order to get there,” he said. The performance coach said he took those experiences and wanted to write something in his own style, so people could tell it was written by him and it was authentic. “Habits of a Champion” is split into 15

lessons designed to help the reader succeed in different aspects of life. Cavalea shared some of those lessons at a Feb. 8 book-signing event at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove. Those included: “If someone doesn’t respect your time, they don’t respect you,” something Yankees Hall of Famer Derek Jeter would say, stressing the importance of being on time. Another was “never get too high and never get too low.” Cavalea mentioned that a person’s attitude or mood can determine their daily success. “It all comes down to how you control your own emotions,” he said. “Whether you are an Olympic athlete or a high schooler that has a big test or presentation.” In addition to writing books, Cavalea now works as a life coach and motivational speaker. Some of the clients he coaches are business executives, athletes and CEOs of companies. He has been asked to speak at a number of big corporations, nonprofit organizations and schools. “The messages and lessons are very universal,” he said. “When you’re a coach you are trying to learn as much as you can, and how you can maximize human potential.” Despite the busy schedule, Cavalea said he enjoys writing books and has plans to release a children’s book sometime in April. He has already written two children’s books: “Champion Kids: Johnny ‘The Jet’ Saves the Day” and “Girls on the Run: Starring Mighty Melina.” “It’s fun for me, It’s great being able to share these lessons with others,” he said. “If the best of the best need help, so does everyone else.”

Harbor Grill in Port Jeff to Be Taken Over by Curry Club Owners

BY DAVID LUCES DLUCES@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

The owners of a popular catering hall and Indian cuisine restaurant along the North Shore are making their move to West Broadway in Port Jefferson. The family of restaurateurs has plans to take over the Harbor Grill, previously known as Schafer’s. The new restaurant would be one of the latest addition to the Port Jeff harborfront. Indu Kaur, the director of operations of The Meadow Club in Port Jefferson Station, said they had been renting out the space in Port Jeff during the holiday season and hosted their annual Small Business Holiday Party there. It was during that time that they realized the potential of the building. “We noticed that our clients really liked the space and the overall ambiance,” Kaur said. “It was perfect for smaller parties — we saw a great opportunity.” In addition to the client’s feedback, Kaur said she liked the layout of the two-story restaurant

with an outdoor dining section that boasts views of the harbor. “We have been brainstorming a few things, we wanted to move into a new direction and are excited to offer something different to Port Jeff residents,” she said. Kaur said they haven’t decided on a name for the restaurant yet, but are leaning toward a water theme being they are close to the harbor as well as incorporating a touch of their business background. A chef has already been hired for the new space, and the family is in the midst of finalizing the menu and other aspects of the new restaurant. Kaur said that residents can expect Indian cuisine and a fusion of menu items similar to what they offer at their other two restaurants. “It’s going to be great to offer new options to our customers,” she said. “It will be a great place to have a nice lunch or dinner.” In addition, they hope to attract visitors coming in from Bridgeport. Kaur also teased the possibility of adding a brunch menu as a way of attracting more patrons.

Port Jeff’s Habor Grill will have a new name, soon to be determined, by owners of The Curry Club. Photo by Kyle Barr

As the family prepares to open the new restaurant, the Meadow Club which was closed due a fire in 2018, is expected to reopen this spring. One of the first events the family will host in the building will be a Valentine’s Day four-course dinner. Tickets for couples are $120 which will

include a Champagne bottle and a cocktail drink. Reservations from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. can be made by calling 631-928-3800. The dance floor will be open, and a DJ will be playing all night. “We are excited about the move and we are looking forward to helping bring more people into Port Jefferson,” Kaur said.


PAGE A6 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

School News

Career Exploration Program Returns to Middle Country School District

For its ninth year running, the Middle Country Central School District will host the Career Exploration Program. The event is open to all ninth- through 12th-grade students attending either Centereach or Newfield High School who are interested in obtaining information about a particular profession. The program offers participants the opportunity to be paired with a professional that reflects his or her career interest. For example, students contemplating various medical careers are connected with Stony Brook University Hospital where they are able to experience many different positions within a hospital/medical field. Similarly, if participants are interested in law enforcement, they can shadow police officers to gain knowledge about the various responsibilities of police departments. Some recent job observations included an attorney, karate instructor, EMT, engineer as well as positions in the welding industry, bakery and many more. Over these years, approximately 100 students have taken advantage of this opportunity with some participating more than once. The mission of the program is to afford students the ability to gain insight about various jobs that will foster their decisions about their postsecondary pathways. For some, the experience may solidify their decision to pursue a specific career, while for others the experience justifies reasons not to aspire for a particular job. In order to participate, students must commit to spending a minimum of 10 hours with an assigned/selected mentor. The schedule arrangement is determined between the mentor and student and a “work plan” that highlights the job’s important aspects is devised by the mentor. In addition, to completing required paperwork, students are asked to develop a presentation about their overall experience and are encouraged to deliver their presentation to a panel of judges. Participants that do complete the minimum hour requirement and elect to present are eligible for scholarship awards. Prize money that is garnered through business sponsors as well as the Chamber of Commerce is allocated among the top presenters. The presentation awards are based more on the knowledge gained from the experience versus the presenters’ speaking skills. One such student is Juliana Dovi. In 2018, then a high school junior, she was

Stock photo

interested in working at the Riverhead Aquarium because she was intrigued with marine biology. However, Juliana was informed by the aquarium that she was below its internship program’s age requirement. Juliana managed to intertwine our program with Riverhead’s and exceeded far more “working hours” than required. By doing so, she gained an enormous amount of experience which ultimately earned her a summer paid internship with the aquarium. Another notable story is that of Natalie Walsh. Natalie had one goal: to shadow someone at UL laboratories. She took it upon herself to seek a host in the lab, but wasn’t able to connect with the appropriate people in time to participate in our program that year. Undeterred, Natalie continued to reach out to UL Labs for months and was finally able to work with a willing professional. She completed the required hours and entered the experience into the following year’s exploration program. Natalie’s determination and hard work were rewarded with an amazing experience at UL Labs as well as a monetary scholarship award. This annual program is sponsored by the Middle Country Business Advisory Board, which is made up of a handful of teachers, board members and district staff, rounded out with a few volunteer members from the MC Chamber of Commerce and Centereach Civic Association. For more information on this program please visit the district website at www. mccsd.net or email Liz Scott at lscott@ mccsd.net. The program is currently underway and will wrap up in mid-May. — Compiled by Diane Caudullo, Gina Malone and Liz Scott Pothier

Cops Centereach Woman Killed Crossing Street Police said a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle while she was attempting to cross Middle Country Road in Centereach on Feb. 1. Suffolk County police said Christine Chellis, 35, of Centereach was driving a Chevrolet Suburban westbound on Middle Country Road, west of Wood Road, and was changing from the right lane to the left lane when the vehicle struck Laura Godek, 57, of Centereach who was crossing the street at 6:24 p.m. Godek was transported by the Centereach Fire Department to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Chellis was not injured. The police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the collision. The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. Anyone with information on this crash is asked to call the 4th Squad at 631-854-8452.

Sports

Laura Godek

From left, assistant coach Corey Tulaba, Colin Cassara, head coach Anthony Agostino and Athletic Director Joseph Mercado

Newfield’s Cassara Scores 1,000th Point

BY BILL LANDON DESK@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Newfield’s Colin Cassara joined that elite group of high school basketball players when he scored his 1,000th point of his varsity career in a road game against Hills East Jan.

25. Cassara was presented a commemorative basketball marking the event in a home game against Copiague four days later. Cassara currently sits in eighth place in Suffolk County in total points scored, with three games remaining in the regular season. Photo by Bill Landon

Top 5 most-read articles at TBRnewsmedia.com 1. Suffolk County Ready to Make Changes to Nicolls Road in Stony Brook 2. Trump Supporters Rally in Port Jeff to Support Frigate Sign 3. Harbor Grill to Be Taken Over by Curry Club Owners 4. Fort Salonga Estate Sees Renewed Interest from Developers 5. Sound Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking

Every week TBR News Media will be listing its most read articles on its website. Check out our website at www.tbrnewsmedia.com and our next issue for more local North Shore news.


February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A7

LEGALS

To Place A Legal Notice

Email: legals@tbrnewsmedia.com

Notice of formation of JeanTeam Property Solutions LLC. Arts of Org. filed with Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 08/16/2019. Office location: Suffolk County. SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of the process to the LLC: 1070 Middle Country Road Suite 7-177, Selden, NY 11784. Purpose: Any lawful purpose.

175 Mile Crossing Boulevard Rochester, New York 14624 (877) 430-4792

293 1/23 6x tmc

WHEREAS, the CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT has, by appropriate resolution, established a certain capital reserve fund designated as the Capital Reserve Fund, established pursuant to Section 6(g) of the General Municipal Law, in an account for deposit of said Capital Reserve Fund entitled, “The Centereach Fire District, Section 6(g) General Municipal Law FIREMATIC EQUIPMENT CAPITAL RESERVE FUND” in local banks, and

NOTICE OF SALE SUPREME COURT COUNTY OF SUFFOLK Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC, Plaintiff AGAINST Richard Cincotta a/k/a Richard J. Cincotta a/k/a Rich J. Cincotta; et al., Defendant(s) Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale duly dated October 16, 2019 I, the undersigned Referee will sell at public auction at the Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill Farmingville, NY 11738 on March 6, 2020 at 10:00AM, premises known as 3 Williams Lane, Middle Island, NY 11953. All that certain plot piece or parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements erected, situate, lying and being in the Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of NY, District: 0200 Section: 376.00 Block: 02.00 Lot: 018.000. Approximate amount of judgment $169,402.22 plus interest and costs. Premises will be sold subject to provisions of filed Judgment Index# 602948/2019. Valerie M. Cartright, Esq., Referee Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, LLC Attorney(s) for the Plaintiff

Dated: December 24, 2019 323 2/6 4x tmc

RESOLUTION CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT AMBULANCE, DISTRICT VEHICLE AND CHIEFS VEHICLE AND RELATED EQUIPMENT

WHEREAS, the purchase of a NEW AMBULANCE, DISTRICT VEHICLE AND CHIEF VEHICLE AND RELATED EQUIPMENT and associated expenses including, but not limited to, professional and consulting services related to the purchase project, is deemed necessary to meet the emergency services needs of the residents of the CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT, and WHEREAS, the purchase of a NEW AMBULANCE, DISTRICT VEHICLE AND CHIEF VEHICLE AND RELATED EQUIPMENT and associated expenses including, but not limited to, professional and consulting services related to the purchase project is deemed essential for the operations of the Centereach Fire Department, and WHEREAS, the maximum cost of such purchase

project and for incidental expenses, advertising, and other professional and consulting fees is estimated to be three hundred eighty five thousand ($385,000.00) dollars. IT IS RESOLVED that pursuant to the laws and regulations applicable and in particular to Section 6(g) of the General Municipal Law, that such project, NEW AMBULANCE, DISTRICT VEHICLE AND CHIEF VEHICLE AND RELATED EQUIPMENT and associated expenses including, but not limited to, professional and consulting services related to the purchase project shall be purchased and funds expended from the Firematic Equipment Capital Reserve Fund upon authorization of the Board of Fire Commissioners, at the maximum estimated cost of three hundred eighty five thousand ($385,000.00) dollars, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution is subject to a permissive referendum as provided for in Section 6(g) of the General Municipal Law. The adoption of the foregoing resolution was duly put to a vote and upon roll call, the vote was as follows: Chairman Joseph Losquadro ) Commissioner Kenneth Sandtorv ) Commissioner Stephen P Corvaia, Jr. ) Commissioner Scott Jordan ) AYES Commissioner Thomas Doyle ) The resolution was thereupon duly declared to have been adopted. Dated: Centereach, New York January 28, 2020 LEGAL NOTICE

TO THE TAXPAYERS OF THE CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a resolution was duly adopted by the Board of Fire Commissioners of the CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT, Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of New York, on the 28th day of January, 2020, subject to permissive referendum as provided for by the General Municipal Law. An extract of the resolution is as follows: THE CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT SHALL EXPEND A SUM NOT TO EXCEED THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY FIVE THOUSAND ($385,000.00) DOLLARS FROM THE SECTION 6(G) GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW FIREMATIC EQUIPMENT CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR THE PURCHASE OF A PROJECT DESCRIBED AS A NEW AMBULANCE, DISTRICT VEHICLE AND CHIEF VEHICLE, RELATED EQUIPMENT AND ASSOCIATED EXPENSES. This resolution shall not take effect until thirty (30) days unless, in the meanwhile, a permissive referendum as provided by the General Municipal Law is required to be held. Dated: January 28, 2020 BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS CENTEREACH FIRE DISTRICT TO W N O F B R O O K H AV E N ATTEST: Jennifer Gardner District Secretary 337 2/13 1x tmc

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING BOARD OF

ZONING APPEALS TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE IV, SEC. 85-55 (B) OF THE BUILDING ZONE ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN, NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS WILL HOLD A WORKSESSION ON FEBRUARY 18, 2020 (BZA CONFERENCE ROOM – 1ST FLOOR) AT 3:00 P.M. AND A PUBLIC HEARING ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2020 (2ND FLOOR AUDITORIUM) COMMENCING AT 2:00 P.M. AT ONE INDEPENDENCE HILL, FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH OPEN MEETINGS LAW, SAID PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE LIVE STREAMED OVER THE INTERNET AT http:// b r o o k h a v e n t o w n n y. i g m 2 . com/Citizens/Default.aspx, TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING: TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY 16. Pizza Pros Corp., 229 Middle Country Rd., Selden, NY. Location: Northwest corner Middle Country Rd. (Rte. 25) and Patchogue Mt. Sinai Rd. (CR 83), Selden. Applicant requests permission for proposed 80 sq. ft. wall sign (64 sq. ft. permitted). (0200 47400 0100 003013) THE FOLLOWING CASES WILL COMMENCE AT 4 P.M.

guarnera, 713 Main Street, Port Jefferson, NY. Location: South side Park Street, 520.55’ East of Washington Avenue, Centereach. Applicant requests front yard setback variance for existing (10’x22’) deck; also, rear yard and side yard variances for existing inground swimming pool. (0200 51500 0700 029000) 42. Meadowcrest Corporation, c/o Robert Strecker, P.O. Box 69, Quogue, New York. Location: West side of Woodland Boulevard 30’ North of Taj Street, Centereach. Applicant requests lot area, lot frontage, rear yard and minimum and total side yard variances for a proposed one family dwelling. (0200 51400 0200 026000) 44. Vincent Caraciolo, 17 Wyanet Street, Selden, NY. Location: North side Wyanet Street, 120’ East of Parkwood Lane, Selden. Applicant requests height and side yard variances for existing 20’ high detached garage (14’ high permitted); side yard variances for existing shed and existing pool deck. (0200 51900 0100 006000) CASES WILL BE HEARD AT THE DISCRETION OF THE BOARD. PAUL M. DE CHANCE CHAIRMAN 345 2/13 1x tmc

29. Andres Velasquez, 34 Sabre Drive, Selden, New York. Location: West side of Sabre Drive 1649.02’ South of Mooney Pond Road (East side of North Ocean Avenue), Selden. Applicant requests height variance for existing 6’ high fence located in rear yard on thru lot (North Ocean Avenue). (0200 52100 0800 002000) 35. Daniel & Linda Turney, c/o Andrew Mal-

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PAGE A8 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

Sports

tbrnewsmedia.com Goforto more sports photos

Newfield Falls to Huntington, 40-34 BY BILL LANDON DESK@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM Huntington had a score to settle with visiting Newfield in a Feb. 6 Division III game, having lost to the Wolverines back on Jan. 14. The Blue Devils avenged that loss with a 40-34 victory on senior night to finish the regular season on a winning note. Senior Abigail Maichin topped the scoring charts

for the Blue Devils with five from the floor and seven free throws for a team high 17 points along with a dozen rebounds. Freshman guard Gianna Forte followed with eight and sophomores Katie Browne and Makayla Frazier netted three apiece. Raiyah Reid, an eighth-grader, led the way for Newfield with nine points, sophomore Megan Spina banked seven and senior Madison Roman along with junior Chinelle Nelson each netted six.

The win lifted the Blue Devils to 7-5, 12-8 overall, as Newfield finished at 7-5, 13-5 overall. Both teams entered postseason play, which began Feb. 10. Photos clockwise from above left, Newfield guard Nelson scores; Spina drives the lane; Reid drives to the basket; and junior Savannah Bond goes up for the shot.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Huntington Newfield

40 34

D O N AT E YO U R C A R benefiting

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February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A9

Town

Ice Festival Takes Over Port Jefferson BY KYLE BARR KYLE@TBRNEWSMEDIA.COM

Ice was looking very nice in Port Jefferson last weekend as the village hosted its first ever Ice Festival Feb. 8 and 9, bringing in a professional ice sculptor who made a marvel for nearly every business downtown. Richard Daly, New York’s only certified master ice carver, came out for both days

showing off his skill and artistry. Despite warm weather on Saturday, crowds streamed into the village to witness Daly’s craft as he ran a chainsaw over huge blocks of ice. Each business had its own individual sculpture, such as a giant burger in front of Gourmet Burger Bistro and Baby Yoda in front of Prohibition Kitchen. The two-day event also featured a Mac and Cheese Crawl, an ice skating demonstration, marshmallow roasting and costumed characters.

The event was sponsored by the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District. Top photos: Daly designed an ice statue of Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen”; right, characters from “Frozen” came to Port Jeff to share in the fun; businesses such as Gourmet Burger Bistro and Prohibition Kitchen had custom ice sculptures outside their doors; below left, attendees enjoyed playing on ice sculptures of a sleigh and ice skating at the rink.

— Photos by Julianne Mosher


PAGE A10 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

From Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River – TBR NEWS MEDIA • Six Papers...Plus Our Website...One Price

CLASSIFIEDS 631.331.1154 or 631.751.7663 • www.tbrnewsmedia.com

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is Tuesday at noon. If you want to advertise, do it soon!

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Limousine Services

SMITHTOWN TAX COMPANY LLC CPAs are experts in accounting that sometimes prepare income taxes. EAs are experts in taxes that sometimes do accounting. 631-360-0862 See our display ad for more information

TENDER LOVING PET CARE, LLC. Pet Sitting Services. When you need to leave town, why disrupt your pet’s routine. Let your pets enjoy the comforts of home while receiving TLC from a PSI Certified professional Pet Sitter. Experienced, reliable. Ins/Bonded. 631-675-1938 tenderlovingpetcarellc.com

Super-playful “Miss Kitty O’Boyle� and her 2 siblings seek loving homes. 3 months old, FeLv-neg., will be spayed prior to adoption. Contact “Second Loves� foster mom (631) 751-5519 for application.

ITS TAX TIME We’ll make sure you get your full refund, William Carpenter CPA 901 Nesconset Highway Nesconset, Williamcarpentercpa.com 631-979-0081.

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Health, Fitness & Beauty

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Garage Sales


February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A11

CONTACT US:

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The Classifieds Section is published by TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA every Thursday. Leah S. Dunaief, Publisher, Ellen P. Segal, Classifieds Director.We welcome your comments and ads. TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA will not be responsible for errors after the first week’s insertion. Please check your ad carefully. • Statewide or Regional Classifieds also available - Reach more than 7 million readers in New York’s community newspapers. Line ads 25 words : Long Island region $69 - $129 – New York City region $289 - $499 – Central region $29 - $59 – Western region $59 - $99 - Capital region $59 - $99 – all regions $389 - $689 words. $10 each additional word. Call for display ad rates.

INDEX The following are some of our available categories listed in the order in which they appear. • Garage Sales • Computer Services • Announcements • Electricians • Antiques & Collectibles • Financial Services • Automobiles/Trucks etc. • Furniture Repair • Finds under $50 • Handyman Services • Health/Fitness/Beauty • Home Improvement • Merchandise • Lawn & Landscaping • Personals • Painting/Wallpaper • Novenas • Plumbing/Heating • Pets/Pet Services • Power Washing • Professional Services • Roofing/Siding • Schools/Instruction/Tutoring • Tree Work • Wanted to Buy • Window Cleaning • Employment • Real Estate • Cleaning • Residential Property • Commercial Property • Out of State Property DEADLINE: Tuesday at Noon

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WAITSTAFF & BUFFET SERVERS NEEDED

MAJESTIC GARDENS 420 Rte. 25A Rocky Point, NY 631.744.9500

©105343

Part-time, weekends required. Reliable and responsible. Will train, apply in person.

HOUSEKEEPER - Greenlawn, NY. Family of 3 and 3 small dogs. 4 days/wk, 6-7 hours/day. See display ad for details.

Help Wanted

JOB OPPORTUNITY: $18.50 P/H NYC $16 P/H LI up to $13.50 P/H Upstate NY. If you currently care for your relatives or friends who have Medicaid or Medicare, you may be eligible to start working for them as a personal assistant. No Certificates needed. (347)462-2610 (347)565-6200

TO SUBSCRIBE CALL 751-7744

PT TRAFFIC SAFETY EDUCATOR Town of Brookhaven Safety Town Facility. 26 hrs/wk; flexible. Must be available to work occasional nights/weekends. Provide traffic safety instruction for elementary-school field trips and teen driver safety programs. NYS driver’s license required. Salary varies by experience. For more information, call 631-451-6480.

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Help Wanted WAIT STAFF/BUFFET SERVERS AND BARTENDERS NEEDED p/t, weekends required, reliable and responsible, will train, apply in person Majestic Gardens 420 Rte 25A Rocky Point, NY

YOUR AD HERE! Call 631.751.7663

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PUBLISHERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EMPLOYMENT NOTICE: All employment advertising in this newspaper is subject to section 296 of the human rights law which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, disability, marital status, sex, age or arrest conviction record or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination. Title 29, U.S. Code Chap 630, excludes the Federal Govâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. from the age discrimination provisions. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for employment which is in violation of the law. Our readers are informed that employment offerings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis.

FREELANCE SUPPLEMENTS EDITOR Knowing Indesign a help but not a must. Email resume to: desk@tbrnewsmedia.com or call 631.751.7744.

Help Wanted

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Place your ad today Call 631.751.7663 or 631.331.1154

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About the Job: Family of three and three small dogs looking to employ a housekeeper immediately.

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Responsibilities are as follows: kitchen cleaning, dishes, sweeping/mopping floors, laundry etc.; assisting wife and daughter with physical disabilities in and out of the house. Prior housekeeping experience a plus. Must be dog friendly and willing to take care of three small dogs; all under 11 pounds. 4 days a week, 6-7 hours/day. TEXT 631-978-6435 and 646-385-4403

Knowing InDesign a help but not a must.

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¡¤¹ȶ¹Sq/ ¹¤FFS ¬F/¹Ã&#x17E;/'Ã&#x20AC; ¹~¤ Part-time position at Town of Brookhaven Safety Town Facility. 26 hours/week; flexible. Must be available to work occasional nights/ weekends. Provide traffic safety instruction for elementary-school field trips and teen driver safety programs. NYS driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license required. Salary varies by experience.

Email resume to: desk@tbrnewsmedia.com or call 631.751.7744

For more information, call 631.451.6480. ©104878

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WE ARE:

The Village TIMES HERALD The Village BEACON RECORD The Port TIMES RECORD The TIMES of Smithtown The TIMES of Middle Country The TIMES of Huntington, Northport & East Northport


PAGE A12 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

SERV ICES Clean-Ups LET STEVE DO IT Clean-ups, yards, basements, whole house, painting, tree work, local moving and anything else. Totally overwhelmed? Call Steve @ 631-745-2598, leave message.

Computer Services/ Repairs COMPUTER ISSUES? FREE DIAGNOSIS BY GEEKS ON SITE! Virus Removal, Data Recovery! 24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICE, In-home repair/ On-line solutions. $20 OFF ANY SERVICE! 844-892-3990

Decks DECKS ONLY BUILDERS & DESIGNERS Of Outdoor Living By Northern Construction of LI. Decks, Patios/Hardscapes, Pergolas, Outdoor Kitchens and Lighting. Since 1995. Lic/Ins. 3rd Party Financing Available. 105 Broadway, Greenlawn. 631-651-8478. www.DecksOnly.com

Electricians

Floor Services/Sales FINE SANDING & REFINISHING Wood Floor Installations Craig Aliperti, Wood Floors LLC. All work done by owner. 27 years experience. Lic.#47595-H/Insured. 631-875-5856

Furniture/Restoration/ Repairs REFINISHING & RESTORATION Antiques restored, repairing recane, reupholstery, touch-ups kitchen, front doors, 40 yrs exp, SAVE$$$, free estimates. Vincent Alfano 631-707-1228

Handyman Services JOHN’S A-1 HANDYMAN SERVICE *Crown moldings* Wainscoting/raised panels. Kitchen/Bathroom Specialist. Painting/windows/ceramic tile, finished-basements. All types repairs. Dependable craftsmanship. Reasonable rates. Lic/Ins.#19136-H. 631-744-0976 c.631-697-3518

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ANTHEM ELECTRIC MASTER ELECTRICIAN Quality Light & Power since 2004. Commercial, Industrial, Residential. Port Jefferson. Please call 631-291-8754 Andrew@Anthem-Electric.net

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SOUNDVIEW ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING Prompt* Reliable* Professional. Residential/Commercial, Free Estimates. Ins/Lic#57478-ME. Owner Operator, 631-828-4675 See our Display Ad in the Home Services Directory

Home Improvement

Exterminating HOMESTEAD WILDLIFE SOLUTIONS Humane Trapping & Rodent Prevention. Sealing all acess points. Daniel Wafer: call or text 631-295-6186. NYS#2852 homesteadwildlifesolutions.com hmstdwildlife@optonline.net

SMITHPOINT FENCE. DEER PROBLEM? WE CAN HELP! Wood, PVC, Chain Link, Stockade. Free estimates. Now offering 12 month interest free financing. Commercial/Residential. 70 Jayne Blvd., PJS. Lic.37690-H/Ins. 631-743-9797 www.smithpointfence.com.

*BluStar Construction* The North Shore’s Most Trusted Renovation Experts. 631-751-0751 We love small jobs too! Suffolk Lic. #48714-H, Ins. See Our Display Ad ISLAND HARBOR HOME REMODELING Now is a good time to do BASEMENTS! All phases of remodeling. Specializing in Kitchens & Bathrooms. Over 40 years of experience. Owner always on the job. Lic/Ins. 631-972-7082, please leave message LAMPS FIXED, $65. In Home Service!! Handy Howard. My cell 646-996-7628

Home Improvement LONG HILL CARPENTRY 40 years experience All phases of home improvement. Old & Historic Restorations. Lic.#H22336/Ins. 631-751-1764 longhill7511764@aol.com THREE VILLAGE HOME IMPROVEMENT Kitchens & Baths, Ceramic Tile, Hardwood floors, Windows/ Doors, Interior Finish trim, Interior/Exterior Painting, Composite Decking, Wood Shingles. Serving the community for 30 years. Rich Beresford, 631-689-3169

Lawn & Landscaping SETAUKET LANDSCAPE DESIGN Stone Driveways/Walkways, Walls/Stairs/Patios/Masonry, Brickwork/Repairs Land Clearing/Drainage,Grading/ Excavating. Plantings/Mulch, Rain Gardens. Steve Antos, 631-689-6082 setauketlandscape.com Serving Three Villages SWAN COVE LANDSCAPING Lawn Maintenance, Clean-ups, Shrub/Tree Pruning, Removals. Landscape Design/Installation, Ponds/Waterfalls, Stone Walls. Firewood. Free estimates. Lic/Ins.631-689-8089

Landscape Materials SCREENED TOP SOIL Mulch, compost, decorative and driveway stone, concrete pavers, sand/block/portland. Fertilizer and seed. JOS. M. TROFFA MATERIALS CORP. 631-928-4665, www.troffa.com

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ALL PRO PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Power Washing, Staining, Wallpaper Removal. Free estimates. Lic/Ins #19604HI 631-696-8150. Nick BOB’S PAINTING SERVICE 25 Years Experience. Interior/Exterior Painting, Spackling, Staining, Wallpaper Removal, Staining and Deck Restoration Power Washing. Free Estimates. Lic/Ins. #17981. 631-744-8859 COUNTY-WIDE PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Painting/Staining. Quality workmanship. Living and Serving Three Village Area for over 30 years. Lic#37153-H. 631-751-8280 ED’S PAINTING INTERIOR/EXTERIOR Wallpaper removal, spackling, sheetrock repair. Over 25 years experience. Commercial/Residential. Reasonable rates. 631-704-7547

Masonry CARL BONGIORNO LANDSCAPE/MASON CONTRACTOR All phases Masonry Work:Stone Walls, Patios, Poolscapes. All phases of Landscaping Design. Theme Gardens. Residential & Commercial. Lic/Ins. 631-928-2110

Miscellaneous DISH TV $59.99 For 190 Channels + $14.95 High Speed Internet. Free Installation, Smart HD DVR Included, Free Voice Remote. Some restrictions apply. 1-888-609-9405

LaROTONDA PAINTING & DESIGN Interior/exterior, sheetrock repairs, taping/spackling, wallpaper removal, Faux, decorative finishings. Free estimates. Lic.#53278-H/Ins. Ross LaRotonda 631-689-5998

JOSEPH BONVENTRE CONSTRUCTION Roofing, siding, windows, decks, repairs. Quality work, guaranteed. Owner operated. Over 25 years experience. Lic/Ins. #55301-H. Call or Text 631-428-6791

Tree Work ARBOR-VISTA TREE CARE A COMPLETE TREE CARE SERVICE devoted to the care of trees. Maintenance pruning, water-view work, sun-trimming, elevating, pool areas, storm thinning, large tree removal, stump grinding. Wood chips. Lic#18902HI. Free estimates. 631-246-5377 CLOVIS OUTDOOR SERVICES LTD. Expert Tree Removal AND Pruning. Landscape Design and maintenance, Edible Gardens, Plant Healthcare, Exterior Lighting. 631-751-4880 clovisoutdoors@gmail.com RANDALL BROTHERS TREE SERVICE Planting, pruning, removals, stump grinding. Free Estimates. Fully insured. LIC# 50701-H. 631-862-9291

SUNBURST TREE EXPERTS Since 1974, our history of customer satisfaction is second to none. Pruning/removals/planting, plant health care. Insect/ Disease Management. ASK ABOUT GYPSY MOTH AND TICK SPRAYS Bonded employees. Lic/Ins. #8864HI 631-744-1577

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February 13, 2020 â&#x20AC;˘ THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY â&#x20AC;˘ PAGE A13

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February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A17

R E A L ESTATE Houses For Sale

Commercial Property/ Yard Space PUBLISHERS’ NOTICE All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination.” We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

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PAGE A18 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

Editorial

Letters to the Editor

We Need a Good Count A Sign of Our Polarized Times

This year’s census could be one of the most consequential for Long Island in many decades. It could very well have impact us for the next 10 years and we at TBR News Media know now is not the time to throw away this year’s questionnaire once it gets to our door. By several accounts, New York is set to lose one or two congressional seats. Long Island especially could be hit hard. Much has been said about Long Island’s loss of population. The Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonprofit Albany-based think tank, released a report in December that New York has lost nearly 1.4 million residents from migration to other states since 2010. School districts continue to show drops in enrollment, due to parents either leaving the Island or from adults waiting longer to have children. Just how important is the census? Government on all levels prioritizes road work, school aid, grants and so many other operations based solely on the size and strength of a local population. If we complain about sections of state roads like Route 25A never getting paved, population very much plays a major role in those decision makings. April 1 is the reference day for the census, but this year is the first-time residents will be able to reply to the questionnaire over the phone or online. It’s too early to tell how efficient such a firsttime government website will be, but hopes are for nothing like a repeat of the shaky rollout of HealthCare.gov back in 2013. Still, New York State has put major efforts behind galvanizing for the census. The state plans to make $20 million available out of a total of $60 million to go toward engagement efforts in local municipalities. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced another $10 million was earmarked in this year’s proposed budget for census efforts. Suffolk County has put its own initiatives forward with a committee gathering several local groups to help galvanize for the census. Every one of Suffolk’s outgoing emails now contains a pledge to take this year’s census. There is evidence that the people most needed to be counted, the people who would benefit most from being accurately counted, have previously declined to fill in the questionnaires. The website, www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us, shows districts in every part of the U.S. that have had less than optimal counts in the previous census. Despite most of the North Shore showing a count of above 73 percent, there are areas of Port Jefferson, Rocky Point and Sound Beach that had a count of 70 to 73 percent. There are large areas of Huntington Station that show a count of 60 to 65 percent count. A large section of Selden, north of Middle Country Road along Route 112, also shows a relatively low response rate. In these areas with high minority populations, those counts could mean the difference between local schools getting the support they need or not. Recent efforts by the feds under President Donald Trump (R) to put a citizenship question on the census were defeated last year. The Washington Post and The New York Times uncovered evidence such efforts were intended to dampen Democratic voting areas. While the courts have put the squash to such a plan, there is still the lingering notion the census will be used to bite down on undocumented families. All officials say this will not be the case, and whatever we may feel about people coming into the country illegally, the government knowing such people exist will only benefit the state as a whole.

Letters … We welcome your letters. They should be no longer than 400 words and may be edited for length, libel, style and good taste. We do not publish anonymous letters. Please include a phone number and address for confirmation. Email letters to dluces@tbrnewsmedia.com or mail them to The Times of Middle Country, P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733.

The House of Representatives’ impeachment and Senate’s acquittal made me decide to vent about a 2018 act of vandalism in Heritage Park. I created 44 presidential blocks recognizing past presidents and 10 blank blocks to border a central planting area in the Court of America. A vandal tore out the presidential block of former President Barack Obama [D] and tossed it. The vandal’s ignorant act speaks for itself. The presidential blocks identify past presidents and the time they served. Since President Donald Trump [R] had not completed his first term a handcrafted block could not be created and installed. If Trump serves a second term, then his presidential block will have to be crafted in 2025. Whoever this vandal is they disrespected the freedoms we have, and displayed an intolerance of our national heritage. Indeed, the four horsemen of calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and

The block featuring former President Barack Obama’s name was vandalized in 2018. Photo by Fred Drewes

smear — seem to have increased since 2016. This saddens me as I’ve always had high hopes for FDR’s Four Freedoms that are part of our national heritage. Hopefully calmness, knowledge, tolerance and respectful disagreement

will replace the four horsemen of calumny. After the response of the U.S. Senate and actions of our arrogant president I doubt that will happen. Fred Drewes Heritage Park Volunteer

Shame on Congressional Republican Enablers I recall during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and aftermath thereof that many people were more infuriated with Hillary Clinton then they were with then-President Bill Clinton [D]. They felt this way even though it was Bill Clinton who committed the crime and even though virtually every religion and every marriage counselor encourages such couples to work things out and to solve the problem, i.e., to save the marriage. The rationale for blaming Hillary Clinton? 1. She was an enabler to the crime.

2. She was primarily interested in her own career self-interest. OK, fair. But let’s apply that same logic to most U.S. Senate Republicans who presided over the Trump impeachment trial. The lone exception — Mitt Romney. These Republican senators enabled President Donald Trump [R] to get away with constitutional crimes that clearly were serious and impeachable. They didn’t even allow witnesses to be heard! Some trial. Talk about enablers. In so doing they jeopardized our democracy. No

doubt they did this because they felt it was in their “best interest,” albeit short-term best interest. Whoever follows Trump as president will have a huge challenge to restore balance to our government. I do hope those who vote remember this. I am not saying for citizens who happen to be Republican not to follow their political leaning. But please select Republican candidates who respect the Constitution, who believe in due process and who are fair. Dave Hensen Miller Place

The Real Origin of the Port Jeff Peace Pole

A letter last week [“Punitive PJ Fine Is Example of Double Standard”] misstated the origin of the newly installed Peace Pole at Rocketship Park in Port Jefferson village. The Peace Pole and plaque alongside of it were originally suggested, designed and fully funded by members of Building Bridges in Brookhaven. Our group was founded in the aftermath of the 2015 shooting that left nine people dead inside the Mother Emanuel

African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The plaque identifies the pole as “one of more than 250,000 that have been placed in more than 200 countries as part of the Peace Pole Project begun in 1955 in Japan.” Similar poles are located on the grounds of parks, schools, churches, hospitals, cemeteries, businesses and other locations. All of them simply state, in various languages, this universal wish: “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

It is worth noting that separately from our efforts, a joint project recently begun in Suffolk County has a goal of “planting” an additional 100 peace poles across Long Island in 2020 co-sponsored by local Rotary clubs and Pax Christi groups from Roman Catholic churches. We are grateful to Port Jefferson Village for providing the location and installation of the pole. Tom Lyon, Co-founder Building Bridges in Brookhaven

The opinions of columnists and letter writers are their own. They do not speak for the newspaper.


February 13, 2020 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • PAGE A19

Opinion

20 Years Later and Still Learning from My Wife

T

wenty years ago this week, my wife and I got married. Over the course of the next two decades, we have gone through numerous changes and challenges together, providing a united front for our children, hosting relatives during birthday parties and celebrating landmark occasions. As I think about the many roles we’ve played D. None in each other’s of the above lives I am grateful for my wife, the BY DANIEL DUNAIEF teacher. In addition to taking time to help educate our children, she has also been an extraordinary educator for me.

Starting with something easy, she taught me to relax. Before I met her, I felt the need to move, almost all the time. Sitting on a beach, a bed or a rock at the top of the mountain seemed like a waste of time. Over the years, taking a moment to soak in the sun, to observe the trees and birds around us, or to talk and laugh about the events of the day have become increasingly enjoyable ways to spend time and connect. While my wife has taught me the fine art of relaxing, she has also demonstrated an incredible work ethic, balancing between the needs of our family and the demands of her job. She finds time to respond to work emails, to read work material and to answer important calls, all while supporting our children at everything from sports scrimmages to concerts to graduations. Neither of us is particularly fond of shopping. She has, however, demonstrated how to speed-shop in a store. She has a gift not only for finding what she or any member of our family needs — a black shirt for a coming

concert, a white dress for a party or specific socks that are cool enough for school — but also doing it in the most efficient manner, enabling the four of us to race back to the car and on to other activities. She has also taught me how to laugh. Of course I laughed before I met her, but the laughter wasn’t as frequent and it didn’t continue to help cement my relationship to someone as well as it does with my wife. The absurd surrounds us, if you know what to look for and how to find it. Of course, I don’t necessarily cherish every lesson the same way. You see, my wife is a cat person, a trait she shares with her mother and siblings. When my wife was pregnant and during the months when she breastfed, I learned the fine art of scooping cat litter and, once a week, changing the pan. I learned how to do this unpleasant but necessary maintenance task as quickly as possible, leaving me with only a slight scent of cat litter on my clothes. Our young children enjoyed watch-

ing me expectorate for a full minute after the process ended. She also taught me the sheer joy of walking the Earth with someone. Before I met her, I was an avid walker, trekking up and down West Meadow Beach, walking around neighborhoods in Manhattan and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Ever since then, we have covered thousands of miles in all types of terrain as we share our observations of everything from nature to the events of the day or week. Walking together in stride, I have felt a part of something larger and more meaningful than my own existence. Ultimately, however, my wife taught me how to turn my dreams into a reality. When I was 13, I read about the Galapagos Islands. When I heard about how all the marine and island life ignores people, I knew I had to visit. Spurred on by my wife, we planned this journey, which in 2013 far exceeded my lofty expectations, just as each year does with the woman I married two decades ago.

In California, the News Desert Recedes

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his is a happy tale about a lifesaving rescue that particularly pleases me. It must also have pleased The New York Times since the paper gave it a full-page spread under the National news banner this past Monday. The hero is an unlikely 71-year-old retired computer programmer and labor economist named Carl Butz. A fourth-generation Californian, he was aware, like the some 300 other residents of Downieville in the mountainous northern countryside, that the local newspaper, the state’s Between oldest weekly, was folding with the reyou and me tirement of its pubBY LEAH S. DUNAIEF lisher. We know that newspapers across America have been dying, especially in rural areas, and this Sierra County town, like a

movie set preserved from the Old West days, was about to become the latest “news desert.” Downieville’s weekly, The Mountain Messenger, was founded in 1853 and was as constant a fixture over the years as a Thursday is in every week. Mark Twain wrote several articles for the paper that were “a few unremarkable stories,” according to the Messenger’s former publisher, Don Russell, who had run the paper for nearly 30 years and read Twain’s stories on microfilm before he sold it to Butz. “They were awful. They were just local stories, as I recall, written by a guy with a hangover.” Twain was reportedly hiding out there from the law, or so the legend goes. Then one night Butz, a recent widower, was watching “Citizen Kane” on cable, and had an epiphany. “I can do that,” he decided. He made a deal quickly with Russell, who was a good friend, to pay in the “four figures,” plus assuming some of the paper’s debts, and he never looked at the books. Russell told him he was “a romantic idealist and a nut case,” because the paper was a losing proposition “and someone who would want it would be crazy.” So why did he do it?

TIMES BEACON RECORD NEWS MEDIA We welcome letters, photographs, comments and story ideas. Send your items to P.O. Box 707, Setauket, NY 11733 or email dluces@tbrnewsmedia.com. Times Beacon Record Newspapers are published every Thursday. Subscription $49/year • 631-751-7744 www.tbrnewsmedia.com • Contents copyright 2020

In a letter to the readers of the first edition, Butz explained. “Simply put, the horrible thought of this venerable institution folding up and vanishing after 166 years of continuous operation was simply more than I could bear.” The newspaper was “something we need in order to know ourselves.” The rest of the residents felt the same way, apparently, and the editor of an online news site in town said, “It was devastating for everybody that we were going to lose The Mountain Messenger.” The paper’s publishing software, Butz learned, was from the mid-1990s. There was no website, no social media platform. The only other employee, Jill Tahija, has been with the paper 11 years and takes to work her small black-and-white dog, Ladybug. Tahija’s business card reads, “She who does the work.” The paper relies mostly on legal notices, from the county and other government offices, which bring in about $50,000 for the bulk of its revenue, has about 700 subscribers throughout the county and a print run of 2,400. “I’m not going to lose a million dollars but I know I’m going to have to subsidize some of it,” the new owner said. “My daughter is already aware that

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER Leah S. Dunaief GENERAL MANAGER Johness Kuisel MANAGING EDITOR Kyle Barr EDITOR David Luces

LEISURE EDITOR Heidi Sutton ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Kathryn Mandracchia ART AND PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Beth Heller Mason

her inheritance is shrinking.” Butz’s first edition was filled with the usual complement of local news stories: a supervisor’s meeting, wildfire prevention, the upcoming census and a local poetry competition. Russell, meanwhile, was on vacation with his wife, driving his RV up the coast — probably his first time off in three decades. Downieville has become a popular destination as an old Gold Rush town at a fork of the Yuba River in distant western Sierra County. It has a corner saloon, one-lane bridges over the river, and the newspaper is located in a second-story office above a beauty salon on Main Street and next to the fire department, whose sign on the door reads, “Oldest volunteer fire department west of the Mississippi.” Gold mining and sawmills were once the economic engine. Now it relies on mountain biking and fly fishing. And the paper is a repository of the county’s history, with its vast archives. Carl Butz has become to the The Mountain Messenger what Jeff Bezos is to the The Washington Post: A savior who cares who we were and where we are going. I understand him.

INTERNET STRATEGY DIRECTOR Rob Alfano CLASSIFIEDS DIRECTOR Ellen Segal BUSINESS MANAGER Sandi Gross

CREDIT MANAGER Diane Wattecamps CIRCULATION MANAGER Courtney Biondo


PAGE A20 • THE TIMES OF MIDDLE COUNTRY • February 13, 2020

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